I’m writing this as we slowly move from the golden colours of autumn into the somehow beautiful stillness of winter. Time of transition, time of change. The dance of Nature. This comes as a reminder for me of the importance to embrace, and even celebrate, the moments of change in our lives.
In the past few months, I’ve been through a lot of professional changes: Moving the location of my practice, developing new ways of working, new partnerships, new relationships and so on; so many changes. And during that period of time, many of my clients, if not all of them, also expressed going through major transitions in their lives: Moving countries, starting a new project, a divorce leading to a new life, a new career, welcoming a new child, buying a new home…Of course all these situations are very different, but they all have in common the process of change, transformation and moving from the old to the new.
These changes are sometimes exciting, but they can also be scary. Sometimes they happen with joy and laughter; sometimes with sadness and tiredness. But every time I work on change in my life or with my clients, it reminds me of what is truly fundamental in a time of change: Going back to ourselves.
It’s not easy, it can bring discomfort and it often requires a bit of discipline. But I cannot insist enough on the importance of being strongly grounded and centred in the turmoil of change. Even through a short practice: Breathing, going back to the body, to what we feel, here and now. Connecting to this neutral point within ourselves where there is no judgment anymore. And letting the door of all possibilities slowly open up.
By essence, change takes us out of our comfort zone. But as Nature teaches us in so many instances, such as the change of seasons we’re going though right now, change, movement and transformation, are simply essential to life and should be welcome, embraced, thanked and celebrated.
Easier said than done…But that’s where to me, practicing sophrology, daily and sometimes boringly repetitively, is so precious. Sophrology helps me to tune deeply into myself, not intellectually but it makes me travel very vividly through my feelings and sensations, giving me space to explore my body, my emotions, my thoughts, my resources and my dreams, with a lot of kindness and compassion (both being often neglected when navigating a storm of changes!)
Sophrology helps me staying true to myself and it’s my go-to technique when I need to look deep inside so that I can listen to my intuition and find all the answers I need, while remaining very grounded, focused, find courage and be efficient when needed.
And most importantly, sophrology also helps me to relax, recuperate and let go when stress is too intense.
The subtle dance of action and recuperation. In a time of change, we can sometimes experience waves of agitation, frustration or even pain. But we can prepare for it and create some space for deep rest as well. And always remember that allowing change to happen is also making room for personal growth.
I love witnessing transformation in my clients’ lives. And I am so grateful that they allow me to be part of their intimate journey. Sophrology does have the power to transform our lives, it certainly did transform mine.
And these days, change is everywhere, not only in our personal lives; simply looking at the economic and political climate is certainly not helping us feeling grounded and safe. So let’s go back to basics. Breathe, lower your fears, listen to your body, regain confidence, remain positive, think creatively and welcome changes, big or small, whatever they are…
By Sophy McGrath, Sophrologist.
What is Sophrology?
“The science of the harmony of the consciousness”
Sophrology originated in Spain in the 1960’s and has since been continually developed and adapted by its creator, Professor Alfonso Caycedo, a Spanish neuro-psychiatrist.
Sophrology is based on a combination of Oriental traditions (Yoga, Zen and Buddhist meditation) Western techniques and philosophies (relaxation, hypnosis, phenomenology, psychology). Professor Caycedo studied them all; he then combined and adapted them to create a unique structured method that can be easily used in our daily lives.
The method involves exercises based on breathing, relaxation, meditation, concentration and simple movements.
Although not very well known in the UK, Sophrology has been widely practised throughout continental Europe for the past 50 years, gaining an increasing acceptance for its benefits to well-being. More and more health insurance companies in France and Switzerland now include cover of Sophrology sessions as part of any broad-based health insurance plan. In the UK, Sophrology has recently been recognised by the Complementary Medical Association and the Institute of Complementary and Natural Medicine.
Sophrology includes 12 progressive levels, known as the 12 degrees of Caycedo Dynamic Relaxation (CDR). Most people work on the first four levels which form the first cycle. Those willing to go further can practise cycles 2 and 3 with a qualified Master Caycedian Sophrologist.