Honour ٠ Accept ٠ Release ٠ Trust
– Kahlil Gibran
We stand on many thresholds of change throughout our lives – from puberty to menopause; from welcoming new life into the world to saying farewell to a loved one; from starting our first job to retiring from our last. As well as these ‘life stage’ moments, we might also experience tumultuous and life altering endings such as divorce or redundancy and equally dramatic beginnings such as embarking on a new career or starting a business.
Stepping towards any of these milestones deserves to be recognised for all the joy, anticipation and uncertainty it brings. Making a change is a daunting task and one that should be honoured and prepared for with love and patience. As you make the journey there are many opinions voiced and choices to be made.
Working with HART, and with me as your witness and guide, you will find your own voice and be empowered to make your own decisions as you move forward. I call this Milestone Mentoring and the following will give you an idea of the process and how it works, along with my guiding principles.
The HART process asks us to Honour, Accept, Release and Trust in the milestone we are facing. We do this by acknowledging where we are right now, the journey we have made to get here and the path ahead of us.
Each stage of the process combines to enable us to navigate our emotions, physical challenges and long-held beliefs. We also recognise our assets, passions and inspirations so that we may emerge stronger, more balanced and ready to move steadily forward.
Take a look below for an overview of the four stages of the HART process.
We begin by setting the intention to HONOUR ourselves, the current situation and all those involved, (either directly or indirectly).
By respecting this as a time of transition we lay foundations that will help us navigate the path ahead. This is a time to acknowledge our current position as an important milestone in our lives – whether we have chosen it or not; whether it feels comfortable for us or not.
Once we have made our intentions clear – be that publicly or privately – we begin to ACCEPT that the change we are experiencing is in our best interest, (even if it doesn’t feel like it right now). We ask ourselves to believe that we have the capacity to learn from this transitional time and to grow stronger from it.
By stepping boldly into the transition, and all it brings with it, we can stand bravely in the face of the uncertainty, ready to courageously embrace the change. We live it and feel everything it brings and work through it, one day at a time.
The strength that comes from this acceptance enables us to RELEASE any old fears, expectations or beliefs that we carry – “it has to be perfect”, “I can’t do it alone”, “I don’t want things to change”. This allows us to focus on the present moment, and find solace from it. It also makes space for us to welcome new ideas and celebrate new possibilities.
By outwardly naming any limiting factors we begin to minimise their impact. We also give ourselves the chance to replace them with more motivating and supportive ideas that we build on for the future.
The final step to following our HART is to make a commitment to TRUST that whatever the future holds will be in our best interest in the long run. This does require a leap of faith as the future is unknown. However, if we can hold on to the belief that everything happens for a reason, we are more than half way there.
By taking time to pause and appreciate we can see just how far we have come in our lives, already. This is also a time to gather with those who have supported us on our journey; to thank them and ask for whatever help we need moving forward.
As a holistic therapist, birth doula and independent celebrant I can draw upon a host of different techniques to help you achieve this.
After a Setting the Intention session, and in recognition that everyone’s process is unique, we will settle on a length of time to work together for your HART journey.
The time we spend on each stage of the process will be unique to your individual circumstances but I recommend making a commitment of at least three months.
Your personal programme may consist of any or all of the following, depending on your particular needs and preferences.
There may be certain aspects of the work we do together – or as part of your personal work between sessions – that feels more in-depth or challenging than others. Some may be more reflective and others more dynamic. You can rest assured that every step along the path will be discussed and agreed with you in advance.
All programmes will culminate with a Milestone Ceremony – be that a private event, just for you, or something that includes family and friends, or those at a similar life-stage to you.
We will recognise the body’s complex reactions to the demands we place upon it. As a result, we may use a blend of emotional, physical and energetic techniques. These will create a framework which to enable you to reflect, replenish and re-engage.
Techniques include: Emotional Transformation (EMO & EEFT/Tapping), Reiki, Holistic Massage and Meditation.
We will acknowledge the desire for self-development that brought you to seek support at this time. Therefore, we may employ any number of practical and cognitive exercises to help you move steadily forward.
Techniques include: Mind Maps, Timelines, Influence Wheels and Prioritisation Lists.
To fully acknowledge the transition, we may call upon some traditional or more modern, ceremonial observances. These will help bring a sense of spiritual awareness to the work you are doing together.
Techniques include: Mantras & Affirmations, Symbolic Gestures (e.g. fire pit, candles, mandalas) and Ceremonies.
This is about focusing on the here and now, without worrying about what has happened in the past or what might happen in the future. This allows us to remain in the moment, without being distracted by ‘if’s, ‘but’s and ‘maybe’s.
By cutting through someone’s tone of voice, their turn of phrase and our own visceral response patterns we can hear what is really important and find the real story behind the words. When we listen in this way there can be no misunderstandings.
This means saying how we feel, honestly, openly and always with compassion for ourselves and others. When we are courageous enough to speak our truth we encourage others to speak theirs and true communication can begin.
By remaining open to all possibilities and not attached to any specific one we give ourselves and others permission to change and grow and flourish. The future is unknown so holding on to any particular outcome is impossible.
* These principles were introduced to me by one of my mentors, Anja Saunders, who adapted them from the teachings of ‘The Four Fold Way’, which itself was the distillation of thousands of years’ worth of indigenous wisdom undertaken by the late Angeles Arrien. To both these women, and the ancestors, I am forever grateful.
The following statements cover some of the reasons why people are drawn to the kind of work we do during the HART process.
I invite you to sit quietly, take a deep breath and take a look at the statements, ticking as many as resonate with you. There is no right or wrong answer, it’s just good to connect with how you are feeling about where you find yourself right now. Download checklist.
Well done, you’ve taken your first step. You have begun to acknowledge the milestone you are working through and how you would like to tackle it.
If you have ticked one or more of the statements, the HART process may, very well, be the right approach for you. Get in touch and let’s set up some time to talk about taking the next positive step forwards.
I am inspired by the fact that the HART, the word for Stag in Old English, is thought by many cultures to symbolise a pivotal life change or new beginning, when it allows itself to be seen by humans. With antlers that grow in Spring and are shed in Autumn it might be seen as a talisman for the ongoing change we experience in our own lives. Believed to be the protector of the forest in which it lives, for me (also a resident of the forest), the HART is a powerful metaphor for the strength, calm and intuitive wisdom that we each hold within us.