Now I have to confess that not everything my mother taught me is a part of my present life.  I was (and probably still am to some degree!) a rebel at heart and my mother found it very difficult to “get inside my head”.

Though, of course, she did as far as I was concerned, but not in the way that she wanted.

I have experienced many of the influences on my life to have been positive, whilst some have been very much less so.

Some of the things my mother taught me fall into the latter category.

My mother did not teach me to cook, how to swim, or ride a bike – the reasons for this are a story much longer than this blog, so I will focus on just one aspect of my process.

“You’re too deep, my girl.  You think too much” was a favourite saying of hers.  This, of course, was in stark contrast to the reprimands I received when I had done something wrong, which usually went along the lines of “you didn’t think did you? The problem with you my girl is that you just don’t think....!”

Well, whether I thought too much or not, my practice of self-reflection has supported and rewarded me well throughout my career.  I use a daily journal for focus and reflection, and I practise and teach meditation.  That aspect of personal development has been essential in my therapeutic training and clinical work.

And the more my mother told me I was “too deep”, the more I nurtured that inner process of reflection.

Reflecting on the influences in our lives, both those which we feel are positive and those which we experience as limiting, is part of the process of self-knowledge and awareness.

The Online Certificate in Humanistic Counselling includes a number of exercises requiring reflection on personal influences and how we respond to them.  It’s about recognising what we have internalised from others, and what we take ownership of for ourselves.

Perhaps my mother unwittingly taught me to rebel.....or just maybe I have owned it for myself.