Understanding the Echo

I hear religious voices. I hear children and adults singing. I watch motivational and sentimental movies and I see the sadness in the eyes of many lonely people.

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Understanding the Echo! Does the title of this blog make you think of anything in particular?

For me, it triggers a few memories. 

Nowadays, I listen to the radio via a portable speaker that I talk to and appreciate that in letting the gadget into my life I am also allowing the software and the internet to know my voice, my likes and my requests to change station because the music is no longer tolerable.  I’ve noticed, whether I like it or not, if I want to move forward, adapt and be flexible within the material age, I have to jump on board the sharing and freedom of information mono-rail. Where is it taking me? Or you? I don’t know and only time will tell.

When I first began to write a blog of my own back in 2015, I felt quite fearful and tried to keep the chat simple. I knew I wanted to write. Although, I wasn’t sure what my words were revealing about me, so I limited my openness, I was in fear of judgment. Three years later, and after a few thrown apples and curving balls, I have begun to accept that I have chosen to share my thoughts and opinions online and must accept, as with newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and more, the impact of my words on another person’s life are beyond my control, tread carefully and stay true to myself. First, I had to be clear, who was I?

I often read my own blogs back at a later date. I wonder whether I use this resource to hold myself accountable. Accountable to myself and the many readers that choose to take a little time out of their busy lives to stop and read.   I follow quite a lot of bloggers, it doesn’t cost me anything, just my Microsoft Account, internet line and a little time. How amazing is that? I have a link to a resource that is so full of interesting perspectives, fact and opinion. It made me feel connected.  

Over time, I began to feel quite consumed by the many voices, and in truth I began to lose clarity - which words were fact and who was simply sharing fiction from fantasy to non?  This was something I had been unconscious of until recent months. I came to understand, let’s call it ‘see the light’ after withdrawing from Facebook.

I needed clear boundaries in place, for example: time management, and to accept that some apps and facilities are just not for me. That’s the beauty in being human, we are all the same, yet we have our differences. I do sometimes sense that I should be participating, I miss knowing. However, if I'm meant to know, the information will find a way. 

I begin to look at the situation from a different angle. If I was an employee with a job description: update a database; and spent all of my time chit-chatting on the phone sending pics and vids to others, I would probably be disciplined and potentially asked to give notice.

I’ve chosen to use this professional approach with apps and digital gadgets in 2018. I welcome them into my life for around six months and if they work for me, I keep them. If they don’t suit my needs, I remove them, call it decluttering. I believe if the products are meant to stay in my life, they’d find a new way in.

It’s easy to talk so matter-of-fact about technology, because technology, it isn’t human, is it? I leave that question with you, we will all have our own personal response to it.

Sometimes, I wish I could have this approach with people around me too.

This month I did my I-Ching Creative Writing Practice using the Psychologies Magazine as the resource-tool and pulled out the July 2018 copy and turned randomly to page 42.  I read the article about Echoism basics. I recall laughing at this article back in June. Who would allow that to happen to themselves? I had thought.

However, this month, reading it again, with my newfound consciousness I recognised I have been playing out the role of the echo exceptionally well. It is often the case that those who avoid confrontation are often in denial. It has taken a full year of self-care exploration to hear my conscious self finally saying to others:

  • “If you loved me, you wouldn’t speak to me like that.”
  • “You may suggest I'm being too demanding, but maybe that’s because I usually people-please and quietly get on with these things with or without your support or thanks!”
  • “This is not all about me, maybe you should take this conversation up with your own reflection!”
  • “Enough of the drama, can we look at the situation for what it really is and make some sensible choices.”

It’s taken a while and hasn’t happened overnight. If this can be achieved from a self-awareness-coaching programme and in my case with the use of a little I-Ching, literature, and newfound self-belief. What else is achievable?

I may have scoffed at the Article back in June, but it pierced my core without my awareness:

I’m learning the Art of Self Care via the Leisure Centre, and I’ve recently levelled up to saying No, (I do still close my eyes and pray that the repercussions won’t be angry) which I hope to improve upon in 2019. Choices! Aren't they amazing. 

I still need to learn to express myself more confidently and clearly, and I probably need to have an annual or six-monthly assertiveness training programme in place, to stay on track. I have assessed my personal boundaries, my moral core, and found quite a lot of self-respect which was buried.  Values in caring for others, being compassionate and kind does not make me weak and I'm allowed to be a Diva every once in a while, it didn’t do Joan Collins, Charlize Theron, Julia Roberts and J.K.Rowling any harm – the list goes on. I will leave it to you to add more names that own their sensitivities and actions and are proud.   

Maybe in 2019 I will make it my resolution to try and write a blog in no more than 500 words. Wish me luck. I wish you so many positive echoes in the future.

Take care of you, you deserve it.


Julie Spencer

Ambassador and Learning Support Assistant, Psychologies Magazine

Proud Ambassador for Psychologies Magazine. The magazine encapsulates many of my core values: being kind, have compassion, look after your health and wellbeing, be professional and be supportive of others. A little self belief can go a long way. I have studied as a mature student. I went into a writing frenzy and spent 3 years writing in solitude. I was a stay at home mum, too. What I learned: being alone for long periods of time is bad for your health and wellbeing. Thanks to a little nudge from Psychologies Magazine I am reconnecting and rebuilding my C.V. I'm a creative. I have lots of ideas and I need to constantly realign my focus onto one project at a time. Until recently I had a real fear for public speaking, but after reading a book that suggested I acknowledge my fears and challenge them anyway; with the support of the Psychologies community and more I'm working through my fears one blog at a time.