We live in a world filled with paradoxes that constantly challenge our desire to have all the answers. Finding a way to live with uncertainty is hard … we want to know, we want to solve, we want to understand and we want to feel as though we have some control. Accepting paradox isn’t easy, but it’s essential. I have found one small and seemingly incidental word to be incredibly helpful.

More than simply a conjunction, the word ‘and’ can really help to change our perspective and carries inordinate power when used as a tool. When negative thoughts, feelings, circumstances start to overwhelm you and lead to a pattern of self-sabotage look for the ‘and’ … a situation at work is unfair and it’s a chance to make a change; there is conflict and opportunity to solve it; you made a wrong choice and there are always other options; your partner is angry and they love you; you can make a decision and you can change your mind, you can need and you can nurture, you can teach and you can learn.

Living in the land of ‘this and that’ opens up a wealth of possibilities… reframing things doesn’t mean avoiding it means accepting what is so that you have choice in how you respond. It even works in ridiculous everyday situations, for example, “I’m such an idiot I missed the turn off… and there are a myriad of other ways to get there”.

Gabi Lowe – July 2017