May has special meaning for me. It is the month of Mother’s Day and my mother’s birthday. These days were a week apart and so my Mum suggested we choose which day to celebrate. She figured she was the centre of attention whatever we chose. She was a wise woman.
That wisdom shepherded our family through many a strife and tribulation. My Mum was often described as a “tiger” and I am grateful and fortunate to have been in her presence. I am the product of that presence – now and in the years yet to live. For many in India, the tiger represents strength and regeneration; in China, they imagine born leaders who inspire respect; in Japan the tiger governs the elemental forces of wind and rain and is paired with the dragon as the representations of Heaven and Earth.
Peter Levine named his famous book Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma, and the Buddhist monk, Akong Tulku Rinpoche, wrote Taming the Tiger: Tibetan Teachings for Taming Daily Life. Rinpoche’s book aims to help anyone seeking the truth about suffering and happiness and includes exercises designed to provide a base of self-knowledge, mind-therapy and self-healing. I feel that my Mum wrote those key messages into my life through her presence, her actions and her love.
This reminds us to be aware of what already exists within us and also what we create in the world by our presence. This issue follows that idea with an excerpt from the wonderful book by Omar Reda, The Wounded Healer: The pain and joy of caregiving (courtesy of W.W. Norton). His first chapter explores the Pain and Joy of Interacting with Clients. Another wonderful book excerpt, along with annotations and notes from author Andrew Jamieson, we explore the extraordinary time of midlife. He shows how it can be a grand opportunity in Midlife: Humanity’s Secret Weapon (2022) (courtesy of Notting Hill Editions).
Matthew Dahlitz continues his discussions of Iain McGilchrist’s books The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions, and the Unmaking of the World. In this 4th installment – Perception, Relations, and the Divided Brain: A guide for therapists – Matthew describes the nature of emotional and social intelligence in the context of the individual and society and the hemispheres of the brain.
And finally, we have another book commentary from Gunnel Minett in the UK. She looks into the new book by Ken Benau, Shame, Pride, and Relational Trauma Concepts and Psychotherapy. Gunnel expresses her opinions and reflections that the book inspires.
The humanity, strengths, and perhaps fragilities in these articles have a lot to do with the qualities of the tiger, the month of May, and my Mum. I wonder what presence is or has been in your life that is your “tiger”. It might even be yourself!
RICHARD HILL | EDITOR