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Stop and Smell The Roses by Debbie Williams


When do we take time out to explore life’s simple pleasures? Going for a walk in nature can calm and invigorate us at the same time. We get so engrossed in work that we lose sight of the beauty that is all around us, says Birmingham-based life coach Debbie Williams.


I love this time of year .The buds are appearing on the magnolia tree in the garden and the tete-a-tete daffodils are now out, joining the vibrant purple of their neighbouring crocuses, which are still holding their own.

It’s great to take time and stand still to view life’s forthcoming attractions and to appreciate the growth of the many plants that are developing in their own time to shine and proudly show of their beauty.

I always feel very connected to my late father, as he was a keen gardener. I can lose myself yet find myself at the same time doing even the monotonous of tasks like weeding.

Many times, when I work with clients, I invite them to look through their past and rediscover the simple things in life that they used to enjoy, but, for whatever reason, they’ve stopped doing. Perhaps they liked to cook or write short stories or sing in the choir at school.

Leonardo Da Vinci who once said, “Every once and a while, go away and take a relaxing break, and then when you come back to your work, your judgment will be better – because remaining constantly at work will hinder your power of judgment. Move some distance away, because then your work will appear smaller, and more of it can be taken in at a glance, and any lack of harmony or proportion will be more effortlessly seen.”

A common saying is; “A change is as good as a holiday.” What if you looked at your diary for the next few months and put in some plans of things that would bring you joy. They needn’t cost much. Even staying overnight in a hotel and exploring a new part of the country is affordable with deals starting from £19 per night. Go to a butterfly farm or a rescue centre and “adopt a pet”, where you fund their care and get regular updates.

I always get my clients who have suffered with depression to start a feel-good journal, in which they record pleasurable times. I get them to scale the degree of pleasure, reassuring them if it’s a one out of ten, that is okay.

One client who had been sent to me by his parents had survived a suicide attempt. He thought he was a complete failure. I told him that failing to kill himself was a good thing. He looked at me as if I was nuts. Gradually over time he would chart good things starting with my first suggestion ‘’Even if you smell a rose and it’s one out of ten.’’ He did and said it was a two, which made him laugh. He rated the spontaneous laughter a three out of ten.