Originally shared via newsletter 18.03.20

And here we are. To begin please know you are in my thoughts. At no other time has a sense of community meant so much. I am grateful to you for being here and I hope you and yours are safe and well. I will continue to keep in touch over the coming weeks and months and who knows, I may even start sending emails with some kind of regularity 🙂

Today I want to share with you a visual template I have designed to help us come to terms with and manage the wave of feelings we are all experiencing right now. I don’t know about you but in times of stress I often go into ‘Doing’ mode. I fight stress with action. What I’ve been recognising though is the importance of making those action plans from a grounded, calmer place.

Introducing the Self Soothing System

When we feel stress or anxiety we often feel it in certain areas of the body. For me the first place I feel it is in my gut and then I get this sense of disconnection in my feet like I’m not fully grounded. My jaw tenses up as do my hands. I decided to use this image of the body as an acknowledgment of that sensory experience of stress and anxiety. Our aim here is to soften the intensity of those feelings and arrive at a calmer, more grounded place.


Print out the template or copy it out on paper. Beside each ‘wound mark’ note down a particular concern or worry for you right now. One concern for each wound. Let’s get those negative, stressy anxious thoughts down on paper.

Next, take each one in turn and consider what ‘ointment’ you can place on the wound to bring a sense of healing. How can you take the sting out of this worry or concern? What would a friend say to bring softness to this area?

This is not about ‘wishing the worry away’ or putting on some kind of plaster to mask the pain; this is just about viewing each concern from a compassionate, caring, positive perspective.

It is about self soothing and tapping into our innate wisdom. I’ve shared mine here by way of example.

I hope you find this useful. As always, give it a go and let me know how you get on. Here’s the template to print out. Feel free to share with your networks or anyone you think may benefit from this right now. And big thanks to Christina Merkley who was the inspiration behind this.

Yours in community spirit,


To harness the power of visual templates for reframing our thoughts, reflecting on priorities and making plans join us for Draw Out Your Future Jan 12th. Sign up here >>