“How are you?”

“I’m OK”

But do you really mean it?

Lots of people go about their life feeling broken.

You want to be fixed for your infidelity, or lack of confidence or your anxious state or because you’re just not likable.


“You are the expert … and I feel broken on the inside “

Now we all go through phases in life when we feel emotionally wounded… and you’re no exception. It’s normal to feel Not OK sometimes. Your very human-ess is about feeling hurt, feeling pain, feeling wounded and doubting yourself.

People Respond with a good dose of  Self-Analysis

What I have noticed, is by the time people reach me for counselling or coaching, they’ve done their research and lots of homework. With the help of Dr Google, they bring with them a desire to be fixed and a fancy label for their problems that’s supposed to tell me what’s wrong. They even tell me to fix them for their ails, incompleteness and pain…  care of Dr Google.

They talk about the self- analysis …

“I am … that kind of person…. that is why I do these awful things. And I even have proof that I am broken… look at how my life has turned out, this is not working and neither is that and so I must be broken.”

“So can you tell me what’s wrong with me, so I can get fixed and make a better life and not feel these awful feelings again”?

The Quick Fix

Hmmmm!!!!! … are you open to hearing the truth?

They’ve spent so long waiting for this appointment and they just want that prescription:

“… this is what is wrong with you and here is the the cure”

“Do A, B and C or take these pills three times per day and over a month you will feel better and life will change.”

Bu alas!!!!  Not so

I have no magic cures and no magic pills.

When the suffering and pain are so real, are you open to hearing the truth?

You’re NOT broken, You’re Perfect.

You are as you are meant to be.


When I worked with pain patients, many years ago, I saw lots of people with back problems.

You see, when you have a back problem, it hurts. So you stop moving or you’re so careful with your movement so you don’t  trigger that horrible pain. You  move like a robot… carefully avoiding that position that you know will send shivers up your spine.

Pain is around the corner and you are watching for it in every movement.

But when we change the normal way we’re meant to move, our body adapts and calls on different muscles from those that would normally be involved. The recruited muscles get very good at doing the job of executing a certain move and hey presto! we use them a lot and our body adapts and we avoid the pain and it feels a bit better … but our posture is misaligned and this eventually throws other bits out of whack.

It seems right to AVOID the pain……but any good physio will tell you that it’s not the right thing to do.

And this also is what we do with emotional hurt and pain…

We look the other way… do something different to distract ourselves… or give it a label like “broken” just because we are not getting the results we want in our life. The problem doesn’t go away just because you’re not looking at it.

Even if you avoid certain places, people or things, that inner unsettled feeling is still there. Your mind will even build stories around it and tell you that you are broken.

What you need is to go into it and look at the pain, feel it and examine it. And that is the real work of counselling and therapies that incorporate mindfulness.

The real cure

The practice of mindfulness or any other contemplative tradition, allows you to know yourself from the inside out. You are then able to tune in to the inner signals and mind thoughts and examine them before you fuse with the misaligned emotional tone around being “broken” and the habit of thought that tells you that “you’re not OK”.

So In my office I have a small bottle with a label which says ‘pills’ and it is loaded with lots of shiny white pills (The Tic Tac and mints companies are making a lot of money out of me!)  and this is where the conversation starts….

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About Iman Iskander

Iman Iskander is a Clinical Social Worker with a psychotherapy practice in Sydney. She is passionate about interactional intelligence -between people and within. She specialises in human interactions, mindful relationships and self-mastery. Iman holds engaging workshops for the public and in the corporate sector.