Therapy For Hearts & Minds

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Always Align Your Career With Your Values

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I know too many people that are just plain unhappy in their careers working in jobs they despise just to pay the bills. If you are one of them then read on. The main reason people feel unhappy at work is due to how it makes them feel. Generally speaking, we feel good when we do what feels right. What feels right is often influenced by our own core beliefs and values.

So the basic formula in achieving job satisfaction is to ensure the work itself is in line with your values. Supportive staff and managers are of course important as well. I have personally been in jobs that clash with my values and have suffered the consequences.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of job satisfaction on the psyche. After all, we spend most of our lives at work so if we are unhappy in our jobs then we are unhappy most of the time. This can lead to anxiety, low mood, depression, and a whole plethora of mental and physical ailments long term.

Whether we like to admit it or not work affects every area of our lives and more often than not we take it home with us as well. Particularly now with the pandemic working from home has blurred the lines of work and home even further.

Our personalities, life experiences, and ambitions can all be connected through our choice of career. For example, we are not all cut out to be salespeople. For some, the thrill of closing a deal and the banter of selling to customers comes naturally. Knowing who you are, what you believe in, and what you stand for help when choosing a job that aligns with your values. So before you evaluate your current job, start a new one or go back into studies to retrain, you have to be honest with yourself about your goals and values.

Brainstorming Ideas

It helps to brainstorm at this stage so write a list of your values down on paper. Then list the types of professions and industries you’re attracted to, what salary you would need to live comfortably, and what your professional strengths and weaknesses are. It also helps to list what you do not want and what you are averse to in respect of work ethics and values. For example are you a people person and enjoy face-to-face direct contact or do you prefer working behind the scenes? What roles lend themselves to your preferred way of working? What transferable skills and experience do you have that might fit across the roles you are considering?

  • If you are at a crossroads in your career it might help to ask yourself these questions:
  • How do I feel about my career right now? Am I feeling fulfilled or frustrated?
  • What are the deal breakers?
  • What positions or companies have I enjoyed working in so far?
  • What roles or companies do I want to avoid?
  • What values am I looking for in a job/company?
  • What professional interests do I have?
  • Do I need to retrain and return to studies or is my skills set enough to switch jobs imminently?
  • Where do I see myself in five years?

Next Steps

Having completed the above steps you are ready to seek out a role that suits you and start making applications. However, it is important that you research the companies you apply to. You need to know each company’s values, mission, and background before you get to the interview stage otherwise you will be setting yourself up to fail. Be realistic in your approach and acknowledge that you’ll probably never agree with every aspect of a company but there are some things to consider:

  • Is the companies mission and values statement in line with your way of being
  • What products or services does the company sell?
  • Who are the company’s clients?
  • Do you respect what they stand for?
  • Read the annual report from the last two years (if available) to see how the company has performed and recognize any pitfalls/positives / negatives about their way of working.
  • Can you buy into their way of working?

Be Selective 

To ensure you find the right personal and professional alignment you’re looking for, you have to filter through and be selective on the jobs you apply for. Remember all your research and use that to make an informed decision. At this stage, it could help to list the “pros and cons” of each role you are considering applying for. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is it about the role that makes you want to apply- is it just the salary, or the role itself?
  • Does the role excite you?
  • What worries do you have about this offer
  • Do you feel this role will offer you the opportunity for professional growth?

Trust Your Gut

I was once told by a high court judge whilst representing a family in court, that our gut instincts are the years of experience and knowledge accumulated within our psyche. They offer unique insights that help to inform our decision-making process internally. As such we inherently know what is right or wrong for us based on our own life experiences so far. This intuition doesn’t mean that we’ll automatically know exactly what to do next -but offers us guidance and options to explore based on how we are feeling. It helps to trust our instincts and assess what is in front of us. It might be worth trying to visualize yourself working within the company, how does it feel? Do you think you can get along with the staff there? Do you feel confident with the job specification and functions? Can you see yourself as part of that particular company?

Money Isn’t Everything

It can be tempting to take the highest paid role but if job satisfaction is missing and the role goes against your values you may find yourself wanting to change jobs again. Even though it might seem obvious to choose the role that offers more money, remember your goals, your values, and your gut feeling about it all. It’s not all about the money.


Author Kamarun Kalam- Article also published in Illumination Publication via


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A warm welcome to all my readers, and my past, present and future clients.

The ‘I’ In Me: “Who Am I Anyway?” by Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.

Learn more:

Paperback link uk- The ‘I’ In Me “Who Am I Anyway? by Amazon

Learn more:

Audiobook Link http://The ‘I’ in Me: “Who Am I Anyway?”

Author page Kamarun Kalam

Ebook Preview Link –


Medium Articles

About Me – Introducing Kam –

Being A Decent Human Being -Poetry from the heart.

Diary of Mr Anonymous In Therapy-

Hard Times- Poem

The Buzz Of First Dates- Poetry –

The Best Advice Ever Given-

Future Self Letter-

Haiku After Dark-

5 Truths In Life-

Infinite Knowledge-Haiku –

Is There Life After Death? –

Patience (Sabr) –

Radical Acceptance-

Welcome 2021-

Everybody Hurts –

What Is- Soulful Poetry-

The Trouble With Letting Go Is –

Old Habits Die Hard –

The Joys of Yesteryear –

Dear Me-

Relationship Tips For When Children Are Born-

Random Acts Of Kindness-

Conquering The Assassin Within-

Is Online Dating Safe? –

Brene Browns Pearls of Wisdom on Being Vulnerable-

Yes You Can! –

Beat The Winter Blues –

Personal Power –

Diseases Of The Heart –

The I In Me-

It’s The Unsaid Stuff That Haunts Us The Most-

Look Inside Yourself-


What is…

What Is…

What is death but the absence of life.

What is a body without a soul?

What is the sky without the sun?

What is a branch without a tree?

What is the day without the night?

Everything is connected but often we don’t see.

The beauty of having opposites to the contrary.

We live our lives in separate ways, but still believe in community.

What are we without each other?

But a group of people needing lovers.

What is light without the shadow?

But a false view of reality.

For most of us it seems to be- we know things by their opposites.

If this is truly so… then there is a truth that we must face.

Only through the darkness can we find our own light.


Soulful poetry published on Medium by Kamarun Kalam -click the link below:

Beautiful Quotes


When reading quotes our hearts feel moved and inspired, our souls connect with the words written and our minds capture the beautiful imagery within the meanings. Much of this motivates and encourages change within us that empowers us to become the best possible version of ourselves.
To become our true authentic selves.

Patience & Gratitude

Being Patient and Grateful improves mental health

Its not often we stop to reflect on our blessings and show gratitude. As a species we have evolved into very busy beings, and with such little time for contemplation we have lost patience with ourselves and others. I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to stop, and just be.

Seriously just sit for a minute -don’t do anything and try to think about one thing you are grateful for in your life. Got it? Ok now think about one thing you could do for someone else that would make them happy. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture it could be a smile, running an errand or visiting for a chat.

The idea is that you appreciate what you do have instead of focussing on what you don’t have.  Also to carry out an act of service for another person encourages connection, love and warmth.

We are all in need of a bit of love, care and belonging to feel human. Accepting who we are and being accepting of others is key to a more satisfying life. Nobody is perfect but we can all be our own kind of normal, and thats good enough. 🤗

So what are you waiting for? Start practising being more patient and grateful and watch how your mood and life improves.😃

If you need help to explore your life and its highs and lows feel free to contact me for some Counselling sessions in the Birmingham area.

Love Kam.

Future Dreams

What do you dream of for your future? Retiring early?

Travelling the world?

Downsizing your home and moving to the countryside or near the sea to live in a cute bungalow?

Have you stopped to consider how your life might look in the future or are you just trudging through each day just getting by?

It’s useful to visualise yourself in the future and see what you want it to look like as you then train your mind, plans, thoughts and actions to meet that desired need. Almost like training your brain to think and act in order to achieve that goal. So what are you waiting for?

Create your own vision board either via scrapbooking images and words about what you want to happen in your life or via a digital slideshow of images and words to reinforce your wishes to the universe and to yourself🤗


Letter to self…by anonymous client

Dear Me,

I know that the past few years have been a struggle and I understand how heartbroken you feel sometimes from your destructive thoughts that keep flowing… I know you’ve been living for years in a battle between the most important person in the world, which is you. You have prayed to wake up in a different body, sought therapy and harmed yourself with all the body wraps, the painful fat freezing treatments and all those fat burning pills that made you physically sick. I know you’re sick and tired of spending all that money on those fat burning products, body shapers and loose clothes.

I am here today to ease your pain and tell you that I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to feel like disappearing because you’re so fed up with yourself, to cry from your own emotional abuse and to isolate yourself from the world because spending time with one person (YOU) alone seems suffocating and unbearable, which makes you so frustrated and angry.

The agony is too much and I’m here to tell you the solution is so, very simple;

Love yourself and be confident. Now before you flush this letter down the toilet or slash my tyres, hear me out.

I know you heard this a lot… And I know that you and I are both aware that you deserve to cry from laughter daily, to have a huge smile on your soul and to walk tall with confidence.

This will NEVER happen till YOU make a decision NOW to be kind to yourself and to love every cell of your body from the core of your heart. Remember we live in a world where everything is fake or filtered, you’re not, and that’s what makes you naturally stunning and incredibly breath taking. Don’t allow society’s beauty standards to get to you, because you are a strong woman who has her own voice and opinion.

Don’t listen to anybody like you usually do and don’t allow anyone, including yourself, to do anything but LOVE on YOU. I want you to acknowledge and remind yourself daily of how worthy you are. You are NOT defined by some Instagram body goals picture or anything similar. Purge yourself with content and understand that you can never be happy with someone else if you don’t enjoy the time you spend with yourself.

You have to value yourself enough to the point that a few extra pounds don’t shake you. The only opinion that matters is the reflection you see when you look in the mirror, because that’s who you’re spending the rest of your life with. This is one hell of a long journey, but don’t you dare give up!

Trust me, when you reach that victorious, invincible and empowering position, the last stage, that’s when new thoughts, feelings and beliefs will be created and become habitual. Nothing and no one will have the power to take that away from you, and that’s how you become legendary.

Lots of love,

Your Higher Self


New Beginnings

new-years-day-2897867_1920Out with the old and in with the new is how the saying goes, but how can this be applied to oneself? A new year means new beginnings and fresh starts, but also a time for reflection on past events. Consider the following points:

  • What went well over the past year?
  • Any memorable moments?
  • What times could we do with forgetting?
  • Do we have regrets?
  • Have we lost loved ones?
  • Ended or begun new relationships?
  • Changed careers/lost or started a new job?

There is so much to reflect on outside of ourselves that when it comes to thinking about what we actually want and how we have developed as people over the past year its often overlooked. Other things take precedence and we carry on living, working, existing day to day. How many of us stop to take time and reflect on the present. To appreciate what we do have and share our gratitude. Can we learn from past mistakes and let go of disappointments and regret? Do we dare to liberate ourselves from the inner critic that is ever present within us just waiting for us to lose hope and belittle us some more.

What we need is compassion and to forgive ourselves, not succumb to the pressure of negativity and reach out for support when we need it. One of the most courageous things we will ever do is to face our fears, acknowledge our reality and embrace change if thats what it takes to become the best version of ourselves.

With everything going on in our lives it’s important to make time for reflection. Consider the past years events- take what you need to move forwards and let go of what holds you back. Think carefully about what it is that YOU want in life and don’t short change yourself. With the right mindset anything is possible.

Just remember to take care of yourself along the way because when you take time to replenish your own spirit you have that much more to give others in need. Be the best person to yourself first and foremost and then to others.

Peace and good will to all.



cliff-2213614_1920This is a topic that many people shy away from and feel uncomfortable talking about for various reasons. For some it’s a painful reminder of something someone they love may have committed. For others it’s a topic that leaves little space for discussion as often there are more questions than answers for those left behind. The truth of the matter is that we just don’t understand it and don’t know what to say when trying to console people affected by this.

That does not mean that we should avoid, ignore or desist from trying to learn, understand and educate ourselves about this serious matter. Taking one’s own life is not an easy thing to do, in fact the survival instinct built into each one of us often makes it the most difficult thing to act on. In order to better understand this it is important to dispel some common myths, such as “The people who talk about it don’t do it. “ Research has shown that in a high proportion of cases, people did things in the weeks prior to their death to show others how distressed or in despair they felt. So if you know anybody expressing such feelings or talking about feeling suicidal they may need immediate attention, help and support. What often starts out as a cry for help can develop into more serious mental health issues so its essential people are offered appropriate support as they need it. We are all unique individuals and as such each of us have different ways of coping in life. For some life can be become so overwhelmingly difficult that their ability to cope and resilience is overshadowed by their pain and suffering.

Another myth is “If a someone is going to kill themselves, nothing can stop them.” What the person wants is for the pain and suffering to end, part of them wants to live but the other part wants the pain to go away. With the right love, support, care and help from others at the time it’s most needed many do not act on their impulses. If you know somebody expressing feelings of a suicidal nature- Be present, listen and really hear what they are saying. Don’t rush in with advice or feel you have to ‘say the right thing’ there is no set way to respond, as long as you show in your voice, body and tone attentiveness, warmth, care and understanding that will be conveyed to the person and they will feel your support without words. They will have chosen you to confide in because they trust you and feel safe with you. No matter how negative the person feels the fact they are choosing to talk about it is a positive thing and it releases some of the pain. We need to be willing to offer help sooner rather than later. If however the person is acutely suicidal then do not leave them alone unsupervised, stay with them and seek professional help.

To help identify when a person may feel suicidal see the warning signs list below courtesy of



Conditions associated with increased risk of suicide

  • Death or terminal illness of relative or friend.
  • Divorce, separation, broken relationship, stress on family.
  • Loss of health (real or imaginary).
  • Loss of job, home, money, status, self-esteem, personal security.
  • Alcohol or drug abuse.
  • In the young depression may be masked by hyperactivity or acting out behaviour. In the elderly it may be incorrectly attributed to the natural effects of aging. Depression that seems to quickly disappear for no apparent reason is cause for concern. The early stages of recovery from depression can be a high risk period. Recent studies have associated anxiety disorders with increased risk for attempted suicide.

Emotional and behavioural changes associated with suicide


  • Overwhelming Pain: pain that threatens to exceed the person’s pain coping capacities. Suicidal feelings are often the result of longstanding problems that have been exacerbated by recent precipitating events. The precipitating factors may be new pain or the loss of pain coping resources.
  • Hopelessness: the feeling that the pain will continue or get worse; things will never get better.
  • Powerlessness: the feeling that one’s resources for reducing pain are exhausted.
  • Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt, self-hatred, no one cares. Fears of losing control, harming self or others.
  • Personality becomes sad, withdrawn, tired, apathetic, anxious, irritable, or prone to angry outbursts.
  • Declining performance in school, work, or other activities. (Occasionally the reverse: someone who volunteers for extra duties because they need to fill up their time.)
  • Social isolation; or association with a group that has different moral standards than those of the family.
  • Declining interest in sex, friends, or activities previously enjoyed.
  • Neglect of personal welfare, deteriorating physical appearance.
  • Alterations in either direction in sleeping or eating habits.
  • (Particularly in the elderly) Self-starvation, dietary mismanagement, disobeying medical instructions.
  • Difficult times: holidays, anniversaries, and the first week after discharge from a hospital; just before and after diagnosis of a major illness; just before and during disciplinary proceedings. Undocumented status adds to the stress of a crisis.

Suicidal Behaviour

  • Previous suicide attempts, mini-attempts.
  • Explicit statements of suicidal ideation or feelings.
  • Development of suicidal plan, acquiring the means, rehearsal behaviour, setting a time for the attempt.
  • Self-inflicted injuries, such as cuts, burns, or head banging.
  • Reckless behaviour. (Besides suicide, other leading causes of death among young people are accidents, drug overdose, and AIDS.) Unexplained accidents among children and the elderly.
  • Making out a will or giving away favourite possessions.
  • Inappropriately saying goodbye.
  • Verbal behaviour that is ambiguous or indirect: I’m going away on a real long trip., You won’t have to worry about me anymore., I want to go to sleep and never wake up., I’m so depressed, I just can’t go on., Does God punish suicides?, Voices are telling me to do bad things., requests for euthanasia information, inappropriate joking, stories or essays on morbid themes.

What You Can Do To Help


  1. Be yourself. The right words are unimportant. If you are concerned, your voice and manner will show it.
  2. Let the person unload despair, ventilate anger. If given an opportunity to do this, he or she will feel better by the end.
  3. Be sympathetic, non-judgmental, patient, calm, accepting. The person has done the right thing by getting in touch with another person.
  4. If the person is saying I’m so depressed, I can’t go on, ask ‘The Question’ :Are you having thoughts of suicide? You are not putting ideas in their head, you are doing a good thing for them. You are showing that you are concerned, that you take them seriously, that it is OK for him to share his pain with you.
  5. If the answer is yes, you can begin asking a series of further questions: Have you thought about how you would do it (PLAN); Have you got what you need (MEANS); Have you thought about when you would do it (TIME SET). 95% of all suicidal people will answer no at some point in this series or indicate that the time is set for some date in the future. This will be a relief for both of you.
  6. Simply talking about their problems for a length of time will give suicidal people relief from loneliness and pent up feelings, awareness that another person cares, and a feeling of being understood. They also get tired — their body chemistry changes. These things take the edge off their agitated state and help them get through a bad night.
  7. Avoid arguments, problem solving, advice giving, quick referrals, belittling and making the caller feel that has to justify his suicidal feelings. It is not how bad the problem is, but how badly its hurting the person who has it.
  8. If the person is ingesting drugs, get the details (what, how much, alcohol, other medications, last meal, general health) and call for emergency services for medical advice and help.

The most important pain-coping resource is the help of a trained mental health professional. A person who feels suicidal should get help, and get it sooner rather than later. Also seek medical advice from a GP. If you are struggling with this issue you can use the list below to access support. 

Helplines and support groups (listed on

  • Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at
  • Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.
  • PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
  • Depression Alliance is a charity for people with depression. It doesn’t have a helpline, but offers a wide range of useful resources and links to other relevant information.
  • Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts.
  • Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying.
  • Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)is an excellent resource for young men who are feeling unhappy. As well as their website, CALM also has a helpline (0800 58 58 58).

Talking to someone you trust

If you don’t want to speak to someone on a helpline, you could talk to:

  • a member of your family, a friend or someone you trust, such as a teacher
  • your GP, a mental healthcare professional or another healthcare professional
  • a minister, priest or other type of faith leader

Seeing your GP

It would also help to see your GP. They can advise you about appropriate treatment if they think you have a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety.

Your GP may be able to help you with access to talking therapies. Talking therapies, such as counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), are often used to help people who have suicidal thoughts and usually involve talking about your feelings with a professional.

Helping your child

If you are concerned your child may be feeling suicidal or is self-harming, the following advice may help:

  • notice when they seem upset, withdrawn or irritable
  • encourage them to talk about their worries, listen to them and help them find their own solutions
  • keep all medicines locked away, including painkillers such as paracetamol
  • suggest your child talks to their GP or a counsellor about how they feel.

Use the contact form below if you need any help or support around this.


What comes to mind when you hear the word Consciousness? Does it conjure up images of the brain, or a mystical spiritual energy?

It can mean different things to different people, so for the purposes of this article I will offer the dictionary definition:

“Consciousness is the state of being aware of and responsive to one’s surroundings.”

This means that we use our sensory perception to know and recognise things. Our sight, smell, and touch all work together when we are consciously aware. In effect we all have two parts to ourselves the conscious and the unconscious self. So if being conscious means being aware, the opposite would be true when describing the word ‘unconscious’, not being aware. 

To highlight this point lets explore a learning theory. Basically when we study or learn new skills we go through the following 4 stages of learning:

1. unconscious incompetence

2. conscious incompetence 

3. conscious competence 

4. unconscious competence

So an example we can use to illustrate the above in simple terms could be as follows.

A learner driver has Unconscious Incompetence when taking their first lesson as they do not know how to drive having never driven before.

After a few lessons they move to the Conscious incompetence stage- they realise or are conscious of how little they know as they continue to learn and practice driving.

Nearer to the time of their driving test after many lessons they become consciously competent as they have learned the skill of driving but are not fully aware of their ability hoping that they are skilled enough to pass their driving test.

Lets say this person then goes on to pass their driving test and has been driving for a few months- they move into the unconscious competence level. This is where they become so competent they no longer have to think about what they are doing when driving as it becomes second nature. The term ‘autopilot’ comes to mind. Have you ever got in to your car to go somewhere and arrived quickly without realising how you got there? Thats the brain performing at an unconsciously competent level allowing your conscious brain to attend to more pressing thoughts and leaving the body and unconscious mind to do the driving. 

People can become conscious of unconscious things. For instance in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder the brain has a habit of pattern matching- it puts together sensory evidence of the original trauma. So if during the original trauma eg. Being mugged- a car had been driving past at the time beeping its horn or a cat had been mewing in the background then in the event of these things occurring again at a later date a person suffering with PTSD could find that each time those sensory things are present they act as a trigger and can cause them to become traumatised again. This is because the brain pattern matched the original trauma to the current day event due to the similarities in sensory evidence between both events creating anxiety and triggering the flight or fight mechanism. 

This in turn heightens the anxiety and can cause a physical reaction as well as have a psychological and emotional impact. Constantly living in the fight or flight mode is exhausting for anybody and it is in understanding how this works and why we are stuck in these patterns that will eventually free us to change our patterns of behaviour and think/act differently in the moment. 

The past does not have to define our future but in some cases it can and does. It is our conscious mind that collects good and bad habits as we repeat them over time. Conditioning our brains to act, think and behave in certain ways. These things can be changed with conscious effort, time and awareness. Being mindful is one way of challenging our negative processes. Mindfulness is attentive practice and it can help if we engage in at least 10 minutes daily mindfulness practice which is to sit and reflect on the day and be here and now in the present. 

Being mindful is about teaching your subconscious how to function. Try practicing being present and mindful for just 30 seconds. Focus on what you are doing in this present moment-notice with all of your senses of sight, smell, hearing and touch the moment you are in right now- really focus on the present and notice your breathing. What do you see, smell, hear? How do you feel?

The truth is that you cannot be constantly mindful or present that is difficult but you can have flashes and moments of it. Be mindful of your present task, think of thoughts as a dandelion – once blown they scatter in the wind blowing around silently in the background. To be mindful you could choose one of those flying pieces (thoughts) to focus on and be mindful about.

So moving forwards how do you get motivated in a moment? 

Well there are five specific questions that you can apply to any scenario in order to plan ahead:

1. What would you like to have happen in your life?

2. What would need to happen for those things to be achieved?

3. Is there anything else that needs to happen?

4. Can you do what needs to happen?

5. Will you do what needs to happen?
Activities like this can help you get un-stuck and move ahead in life. 

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