REVIEW: Jean Gamble presenting in Holland – ‘Is there more to life?’

REVIEW: Jean Gamble presenting in Holland – ‘Is there more to life?’

Holland had the pleasure of welcoming psychotherapist and relationship counsellor, Jean Gamble, in May 2018 for an interactive presentation and workshop on ‘Is There More to Life?’ in the heart of Amsterdam.

We have all at least once considered that there must be more to life than what we are living right now. We have asked ourselves the question: Is this it?

This question was the topic for the interactive presentation, where Jean ‘ruffled our feathers’. She took the audience by the hand in the way she delivered the presentations.

Jean began with sharing that an acorn has all the space to grow up to become a beautiful and grand oak. Nobody tells it to be any different than it is or to compare itself with other oaks . . . the oak can just be itself without any imposition, judgement or the need for change.

For us human beings however, this is not the case. As a baby we are born in our essence like the acorn: complete, pure, loving and unique. But what happens as we grow up? Parents and family, education, society, media, religion, culture and the Internet all tell us how we ‘should’ be. We get imposed upon and are affected by expectations, needs, pictures and beliefs that tell us we are not complete just as we are. Slowly it seems we start to disconnect from our essence. We then live with the tension of not living true to ourselves.

During the presentation Jean asked us how we might ‘medicate’ ourselves to not feel this tension. We found there are many ways to numb ourselves . . . the response was enormous. From alcohol, drugs, shopping, social media, food and entertainment, to work, sports, gaming and smoking. We workshopped in small groups to uncover which ‘medications’ we use.

Jean shared that there is another way – a way where we can make the choice to wake up and not live like zombies. A way where we make the choice – and it starts with one choice – to truly take care of ourselves.

For example, one choice could be to go to bed on time – getting many hours of sleep before midnight – or to make a small change in our diet, for instance, to stop eating bread.

If we start to take care of ourselves and from there fall in love with ourselves, nobody can manage us but us. If we connect to our essence again and live from that essence, our vibration and movement might bring true change: a change that is very much needed in this world today.

The workshop was also about how to bring YOU into all your relationships. Jean explained that we tend to ‘pretzel’ ourselves in our relationships – that we adjust and change ourselves, depending on who is in front of us. Jean offered that we are constantly in relationship and all relationships start with decency and respect. From there is the possibility to go to connection, purpose and love.

As human beings we tend to carry hurts from our past . . . small hurts and big hurts. When we don’t deal with our hurts we bring them, plus our needs, into relationships. This creates an emptiness. If we consider ourselves to be like a pizza with missing pieces, we then want another to fill up our pizza. For instance, with a partner we look for somebody who fits right into our pizza and we hope that he or she can fill up our missing pieces. This is not a true relationship however, but an arrangement.

So, how can we start to change this and build a foundation, one on which we can have true relationships?

Again we did some great workshopping. We learned about how to deal with our own reactions, to not take things personally, and the impact of truly listening to each other.

Jean also shared about how relationships start to blossom when we let go of our need to be right. She gave the example of playfully asking, “Who shot John?” Then answered it by saying there is no need to know who shot John as he is dead anyway. In other words, if we want to be right, we deny the reality of the other and identify too much with our own reality.

Jean inspired the audience in saying that relationships should be and can be a stairway to heaven and not a descent into hell. It’s our choice. If we choose it, eventually the ‘us’ becomes more important than the ‘I’.

As we left the workshop Jean left the group with homework to start practising in our daily lives in our relationships, for instance, with not wanting to be right. We left feeling united with our newfound understanding on relationships and ourselves.

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  • By Mariette Reineke