2020 has been a strange beast, a testing time for everyone.  At this time of the year – a time of endings and beginnings – I always feel an odd mix of exhaustion and invigoration. My garden is saying ‘Grow, grow!’, my diary is saying ‘Slow down, slow down!’ There are so many mixed messages as the days get longer and the new year rolls on.

It’s important to reflect on what’s gone on this year and try and imagine the potential of what’s to come, so I’m going to frame this post as gratitude and intention. I’d like to share three things I have loved about this year and three things I am looking forward to in 2021.

The first great thing that happened for me in 2020 was the move to Katoomba. I love the studio, and making a calm and beautiful space for you to be in while you do your important work has made me very happy.

Secondly, I have really enjoyed doing my Master’s degree. It’s been challenging to attend classes online – I am much more an ‘in the room’ kind of student – but my lecturers and tutors have been very supportive, and the study I’m doing is enriching and stimulating.

The third thing I am grateful for is the support networks that have helped me get through the past twelve months – my partner and family, my close friends, my dog, my cat, and my garden.

This year, the work of therapy has involved looking at disconnection and isolation. So I feel clear around the idea that the key support I have felt throughout the year has helped me hold space for those feelings as they present and arise for clients. In this way, we are interdependent and connected.

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that we cannot be attached to our plans – but I am looking forward to 2021 and have three intentions for the year.

Firstly, I am very excited about the addition of Dr. Polly McGee to the Mannaz studio. Polly’s work draws from various modalities with a focus on breathwork. Working with the breath is a central pillar to many therapeutic styles including somatic approaches and body orientated therapies.

Starting in February, Polly will be working remotely (via her New Norfolk studio) with plans to bring her unique flavour of support and care to the Blue Mountains. Keep an eye out for Polly’s words of insight and reflection via the Mannaz Journal, with updates on her availability and workshops via the monthly newsletter. Polly is a wonderful practitioner, writer, and collaborator.

Next, I’m hoping to complete my post-graduate study, attend further training in the Gottman Method for couples mid-year, and attend the International Summit on Psychedelic Therapies for Mental Illness in November. This training will be facilitated by the wonderful folk at Mind Medicine Australia.

And finally, I plan on deepening my work in landscape by allowing as much time as possible to walk and wander along the wild Blue Mountains trails. A tension for me is allowing time for both my garden – a holding and healing space – and the big blue wild that I love.

I hope you are finding some space to reflect and to imagine – both help us create our sense of self, purpose, and momentum. It’s also important to keep them both in perspective – the present moment is the only one we can truly engage with, and it’s here that we influence the future.

I’ll be on break from 21 December to 3 January 2021, a shorter break this year as I’m keen to get back to the therapy studio. I wish you a very happy holiday season, and I look forward to continuing our work next year.

Photo by Scott Walsh on Unsplash

This little fox appears to embody some of my favorite qualities. Wildness, sparkle, & curiosity.  An outsider for sure. For some, a pest – and why not – he is, after all, an introduced & much-maligned creature.  For others, he’s a source of inspiration. Indeed, they are tenacious & courageous animals.

Disclaimer: This article contains the views of the author and is not a replacement for therapeutic support. Please reach out to a registered therapist if you are experiencing distress and require assistance.