Self Love as a Healing Modality

If you feel like you’re constantly being rejected by others or feeling unworthy and unloved, it’s a pretty bleak place to be isn’t it? But what if you could change this place for a more loving and abundant place instead? Would you be willing to move?

The great thing is is that with some simple self love you can become a very different person living a more fulfilling life and you don’t need to rely on anyone else to start your journey!

Feeling unloved or rejected has it’s roots in childhood usually with some form of  ‘obvious’ rejection such as a parent walking out on you when you were a child or being bullied, or it could be a perceived rejection such as a parent ignoring you when you want their attention or a friend ignoring you one day at school.

It’s easier to see how we can feel unloved and abandoned when a parent walks out on us but it’s harder to understand how we can begin to feel unloved when a parent simply ignores our demands for attention. However as a child out whole world evolves around us quite literally and if someone ignores us, treats us badly, we begin to doubt our self worth and we create a misunderstanding that we are somehow unlovable or wrong as a result.

Once we form that seed of doubt, of feeling unlovable, we then begin to change how we view our world. Instead of seeing love in everything we do and experience, we begin to see rejection and over a relatively short period of time we can form the belief that we are unworthy or unlovable.

From then on in, an ignored text, or a harsh word from another person backs up that belief that we are unlovable or unworthy of being treated nicely. And isn’t it a shame that you waste your life feeling unloved or unimportant based on a misunderstanding from your childhood or someone else’s inability to love you?

The great thing is you can change how you feel about yourself and how you see ‘rejection’. How? By practising self love. By being aware that there is a part of you that craves love, that seeks love in most things you do and somehow always feels disappointed when that love never shows up.

So stop looking to the outside world for that love and start looking within yourself. Stop looking for people to verify your self worth and verify it yourself. Stop looking to relationships to make you feel ‘whole’ and make yourself feel ‘whole’.

Self love is the most important love of all. Without self love you will continue to feel unloved,  no matter how much love is in your life. And Self love allows you to feel loved, validated, important and worthy. And it’s an incredibly easy journey to take.

Initially it may well feel embarrassing or awkward telling yourself how amazing you are and how much you love yourself, but with perseverance, it will begin to feel more natural and eventually it will begin to feel incredible!

I was introduced to self love or ‘meta’ through a Buddhist Meditation Practice and I love it! It is an incredibly empowering way to start the day. No longer waiting for external verification to feel good,  you can go right on ahead and love yourself. Simple.

So give yourself an extra ten minutes in bed every morning or find a sacred place where you can practice ‘meta’ or self love. Of if you have some issues you need to work on, set aside some time to work through them.

Start by taking a three deep breaths in and slowly breathing out through your mouth. Focus on letting go and relaxing on every out breath. Then simply focus on your breathing and place your hands over your heart centre (in the middle of your chest). To begin with – if you feel it difficult to feel loving towards yourself – think of a loving, happy memory and focus on the feelings they create within you and the thoughts that come up.

Once you feel loving – simply focus on an image of you in your mind – as you are now or a younger you that might need this love – whilst telling yourself ‘I love you. I’m sorry. Thank you for being so amazing’. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

As you repeat this mantra, feelings will surface – usually sadness or fear or anger and that’s okay. Breathe through these feelings and continue with the mantra. Remember if you feel unloved or unworthy these feelings will surface.

Memories may surface which may need your attention and again, focus on you in the memory and send the younger you so much love, support, gratitude, forgiveness or whatever it is that you think they need. Or simply keep repeating the mantra until you feel a shift in your energy, when you feel more peaceful.

You may well experience a lot of negative emotions initially when practising this and that’s okay as it releases pain from the past. If you need support – make sure you have a friend to help you through. It may well prove tough – but believe you me – it is worth it.

There will be times when you practise this and feel great. Revel in the positive feelings of love and gratitude, really feel how awesome it feels to feel loved and appreciated. Tell yourself how amazing you are, focus on things you have done well. You can send this love to others if you desire too – to family or friends who need it.

Self love is a healing tool in that it soothes and releases past hurts and as we release these and fill our hearts and bodies with love, kindness and forgiveness, we begin to feel a shift.

You can use this exercise to heal the past which inevitably will help you feel better, or as an exercise to boost your mood, to feel more loved and help you feel more positive about yourself. I would recommend that you go with whatever comes up. If it’s healing the past make sure you spend time at the end, focusing on love and gratitude to ensure you feel upbeat and positive when you finish.

After a couple of weeks or months you will begin to notice how differently you feel about yourself and indeed others. You may notice you begin to be kinder to yourself, more loving and supportive and you may notice as a result you are more loving and kinder to others too.

You may feel differently about events in your life and begin to see them in a different light. The more forgiving you are of yourself and others the more inner calm you will feel.

Love starts with you. The more you love yourself the more you see that rejection isn’t all about you. And if someone does reject you, you know what, that doesn’t mean you are unlovable, it just means you weren’t right for each other. Self love enables you to become a better mother, lover, sister, aunt, friend and person. It allows you to find pure joy in the simplest of experiences. You will feel much more grateful for what you have and that in itself, will increase your feelings of self worth.

So make a commitment today to practise self love every morning. I guarantee it will change your life!

Namaste.

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I’m Sorry …

We come across many people in our everyday lives. Some enhance our lives whilst others detract from our daily satisfactions and others seem hell bent on making you pay for whatever shit they are dealing with in their lives or from their past!

I believe that we can learn a lot from the people that show up in our lives, especially when certain types of people show up regularly! There’s a learning there for the taking.

Our outer world is a reflection of our inner world. Certain behaviours we find annoying in others may be a reflection of a behaviour we deny in ourselves which we may need to address such as anger, weakness, thoughtless etc

We can all have elements of these behaviours, but for some people these behaviours may be creating problems in their lives. Non of us are infallible. If you think you are, you may need to address this! 😂

Behaviours that upset us could also be a warning that we need to look at our belief system and address a limiting belief about ourselves or our world, or it could be showing us that we need to be more true to ourselves and not others.

You may come across rude or controlling people that ‘ push your button’ and it may well be that you need to address how you let others treat you. It may be a lesson in learning to stand up for yourself or to believe in yourself more.

Or it may mean you need to look at relationships where you too are controlling in some way.

There are always lessons to learn from behaviours that you find distasteful in others!

For example, I have recently met a woman who is highly controlling and I consider her behaviour rude. She, it appears, is entitled to be flexible, whilst she expects me to ask ‘how high’ when she tells (not asks) me to jump!

To say I find her manner frustrating is an understatement however I have asked myself why she should show up in my life. What is her controlling behaviour, her rudeness and her superiority flagging up within me?

The first learning. Stick up for yourself more. Now depending on who you ask, you may well get two sides to this!

Whilst I don’t take kindly to being messed around there are situations where I tolerate bad behaviour for the appearance of ‘professionalism’. However I can still be professional and say no thank you!

Tolerating disrespectful behaviour that is a ‘one off’ is fine, but when it forms the basis of a relationship, it needs to be dealt with accordingly. I am worthy of respect. Learning number two.

Also – is her overly controlling behaviour highlighting an element of controlling behaviour in me? I can certainly see situations where I can be controlling – I’m no where near as bad as I used to be but could I still loosen my parental reins? Probably. Lesson number three.

But it’s also interesting to see just how much I have already let go of the need to control my kids’ lives and this woman’s controlling behaviour has highlighted just how much I have changed and has helped me recognise this positive change. So all good so far! Lesson number four.

And honestly? This behaviour is this woman’s responsibility. It’s her ‘story’. She needs to own it. She needs to address it. Not me. Lesson number five.

But the main lesson? It’s ok to say no. It’s ok to say I’m sorry but I deserve better than this. It’s okay to walk away without any explanation. Lesson number six.

Wow! How amazing. Someone’s shitty behaviour has helped me see so much within me. Imagine if we all reflected on this how much more self awareness we’d have. How much better we would feel?

So if you continue to ‘invite’ people into your life with a behaviour trait that grates with you, ask yourself these two questions.

What behaviour in me do I dislike and need to address?

What limiting belief is this highlighting within me that I need to let go of?

We do not need to be held hostage by other people’s shitty behaviour and by working out why it pisses us off so much, we will find ourselves less and less bothered by obnoxious people. Now how awesome would that be?

Because, from where I am standing, well sitting, we are ALL worthy of respect. So expect nothing less.

You are amazing.

You are enough.

You deserve better.

Meditate Away ADHD

My son was diagnosed with ADHD at the beginning of Secondary School and to say that he was hard work, was putting it lightly! However, being a therapist, and observing students I work with who present with ADHD, I strongly believe it is linked to anxiety and if you check out the symptoms of anxiety you can see a strong correlation.

Anyway – back to ADHD. My son was OK with his ‘hyper’ as he would call it though, through the day but struggled to get to sleep. Being aware that I meditate, he took it upon himself – after doing some meditation with me – to listen to meditation audios on YouTube. He found they not only helped him calm down and sleep better, they also made him feel better too.

He further added regular exercise to his regime and the change in him was amazing, Calmer, more focused, less angry and more able to reflect on his behaviour. WOW!

So if you struggle with your child’s ADHD and related behaviour’s – why not get them into a regular meditation practice? Not only does meditation help calm the mind, boost confidence and help children focus – it also helps to release tension and negative thinking too. A real win-win situation!

The old  ‘how can I get my kid to sit still for any length of time?’ is a question I get a lot. Don’t expect them to! Get them to listen to a short meditation to begin with – ask them to sit and listen and if they fidget – that’s fine. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. It took me a couple of months to get into a regular practice and it will take your child a while too – so drop those expectations and just keep going.

There is a lot of research into Vetiver essential oil and ADHD and it has proved to work wonderfully with reducing symptoms – so give this a whirl too. Ensure your child exercises daily as this releases pent up stress and emotions and gives your child a way to release tensions that can exacerbate symptoms of ADHD,

Also a healthier diet helps. There is a link between what you eat and your health and there are various diets out there to help with ADHD – mainly fresh produce and less processed food.

You have the power to make a difference to your child’s ADHD – so give mediation a go. Change their diet – gradually – to lessen resistance. Get out more with your child and try Vetiver oil too. All these tools can make a huge difference. Believe me I know!

Try out the video below – if you want a longer mediation – there are others on my YouTube channel.

You can do it. You can make a difference to your child’s ADHD without medication. So give it a go and let me know how you get on!

adhd, mediation,treatment,anxiety,meditating,

Disrespect Me – Disrespect Yourself

I saw a recent affirmation that said something along the lines of – I’m sorry that I wont allow you to disrespect me and if that makes me ‘difficult’ then OK (obviously worded much better than this!)

And this resonated with me. So many times we blame others for out bad mood or our bad behaviour or out bad attitude yet the only person truly responsible is us. People can annoy the hell out of us, be rude to us or be completely offensive to us – yet we respond is our choice.

This also resonated on another level too. I work with difficult children and live with two too! I can become the garbage bin if I allow my students to constantly dump their rubbish on me – though to be honest – it’s more all over the floor and no where near the bin.

What’s important when you work with people, deal with people or live with people – is to NOT allow people to disrespect you. This does not mean that you have to rise up to every slight. it just means that you allow the other person to accept responsibility for their behaviour. By pointing out their poor behaviour you allow them the opportunity to learn and possibly adapt their behaviour. This is growth.

Not only are you not accepting their crap, you are allowing them the opportunity to grow.

On the other hand, if you constantly avoid dealing with people’s rude behaviour on a continual basis, it not only wears you down (there is a difference between ignoring it and allowing it) it also enables them to continue on their path of poor behaviour.

And it’s so much easier for them to label you as ‘difficult’ rather than to address their behaviour. And you know what – it that makes them feel better than fine. That’s their story and don’t make it yours.

So next time someone is disrespectful to you . Point it out. Calmly. And if they don’t like it – hard shit. Remember you didn’t much like their behaviour either!

We can be so ineffectual at dealing with rude behaviour and sometimes we need to bite the proverbial bullet and deal with it. It’s really not worth our effort if it’s a one off thing but with people we are in contact with often, it’s time to lay down some boundaries, dole out some home truths and allow the other person to grow.

 

What Do You See?

Life is very much what you make it and that goes for the people you meet, the relationships you have and the job you do. And what one person my see as black another person my argue that it’s more a dark grey than black yet both will be right in their map of the world.

When you ask someone what they think of such and such you generally find that most people will have varying opinions which is hardly surprising as we are all unique human beings with different tastes, cultures and experiences and besides, wouldn’t life be dull if we liked the same things and people? Ask my children what their opinion of me is and you will get three very different views. Ask my friend or my ex sister-in-law what they think of me and you will get very different views!

Yet what we see in others is what we see in ourselves – so when you meet someone who you feel at ease with because they seem easy going – there will be a part of you that is like that too. See someone as bitchy – then guess what – there is a part of you that is a bitch too.

It is down to us to recognise that perhaps our views of others isn’t the truth more our interpretation of the truth. If you are determined to loathe someone you will – you will look for all the negative things in them that back up your view whilst if you seek to look at the positives – you will see someone completely different. What you seek you will find!

Relationships can be tricky at the best of times but when you have to ‘get on with’ or like a family member, your friends boyfriend or the new guy at work, then sometimes it can make like a little tedious. However if you are struggling with a relationship that does impact negatively on your life then there is a simple way for you to let go of your judgement and see the other person in a new light (and maybe give them the chance they need!)

It can seem impossible to like someone if you have taken a dislike to them or to forgive someone for hurting you – but it is not impossible. Simply seeing people through the eyes of love can change how you think and feel about them. Not sure? Well try this.

Sit for a few moments – take a few nice deep breaths and close your eyes. Now bring to mind someone you love very much or something that makes you happy (and if that’s shopping then shame on you!). When you begin to feel that wonderful loving feeling flooding through your body – really get into how great it feels. Notice where you feel this love in your body – is it in your chest, your stomach even? If it was a colour what colour would it be? Would it be warm or cold?

Really focus on how fabulous that feeling is and as you feel this incredible loving feeling throughout your body I want you to bring in an image of the person who you have a problem with. Begin to see them through the eyes of love. Focus on the feelings of love whilst looking at this persons face and you will begin to feel a shift in how you feel about them.

If you can feel negativity rising up as soon as you bring in their image then bring back the loving image again – focus on the great feelings and then focus on the individual again. You will begin to feel less bothered about the person to begin with and over time you may well begin to see them in a completely new light. It’s hard to dislike or hate with love in your heart. You begin to see the other person as an individual with flaws just like yourself (and if you think you are perfect – you aren’t!).

What happens when you look at someone with love – you begin to see them for who they are – flaws and all and you recognise that you yourself aren’t perfect either – we all make mistakes. You will feel less judgemental and more open minded. So what if they let you down that time, haven’t you let people down? Yes they can be a bitch but can’t you be too? Maybe your treatment of them resulted in their rather cold response to you?

There are very few really evil people in the world and sometimes it suits us to have an enemy as it can allow us to feel better about who we are or it can even make us feel ‘good enough’ when we compare ourselves to ‘them’ but to enjoy life isn’t it better to love more and hate less? After all if you are bitter about someone – they probably aren’t even aware of it whilst you sit bubbling and simmering with hatred!

So next time you find yourself overcome with bitterness or feel in the need to judge others – sit with love and see them with different eyes – it really is an eye-opener! We can’t like everyone in life but we can certainly let go of our judgements of them or our negative feelings towards them especially if they impact on our lives – so make a conscious effort to spread the love and you may be surprised at how much more wonderful the world really is.

The View From Up Here

I was at the doctors yesterday morning when during our consultation he asked what I did for a living. I told him I was a hypnotherapist and he asked did I do smoking and weight loss. I said I did along with anxiety too and he became intrigued with my view on the cause of anxiety.

He asked me in my opinion, what caused anxiety. I told him that stress may well bring on anxiety however the cause is more likely to be an event – traumatic or otherwise – from the person’s past, usually childhood. He seemed to agree with my view (which has been evidenced in several studies and personal experiences too) and believed that the majority of all pathological issues such as depression, anxiety and other more serious illness such as psychosis seem to be rooted in childhood and more specifically linked to relationships with parents/primary carers.

We had a great discussion about how a child’s relationship with their parents can impact on their behaviour, beliefs and relationships as an adult and of course this is true to an extent, however issues such as anxiety may well be caused by events other than relationship issues.

We moved onto an area I have been writing about a lot recently – responsibility. We both agreed that whatever relationship you have in your life, you go into it with a means to extracting something from it whether consciously or subconsciously. When we befriend someone it’s usually because we enjoy their company or they may provide us with a shoulder to cry on or a chance of a good night out – but there is a reason why we befriend that person in the first place.

Likewise in romantic relationships, we seek something from our partner and that tends to be something that we feel is missing either from our life (companionship) or from us as an individual (low self worth). When we feel unloved we depend on our partner to fill the void inside of us – which invariably they rarely do as only we can do that ourselves – so when they fail to live up to our expectations they become the ‘problem’ and not us.

Whilst I can totally appreciate how my conscious and unconscious needs impact on every area of my life including relationships it can be difficult to get my clients to understand this concept. ‘Well he was the one who cheated/hit me/never let me out’ so it’s his fault the relationship is the way it is. I have no doubt that your partner treats you disrespectfully but who is allowing him to treat you that way? Why did you ‘invite’ him into your life in the first place? 

You are responsible for every relationship you have – and if the relationship turns sour or abusive you have a choice. Stay or leave. Understandably there are relationships that you can’t walk away from – your kids for one – however the same still applies to these relationships too. What is it about the other person that upsets you? What is it in you that you see in them?

I have a friend who allows her son to smack and throw things at her. He punches and kicks his grandparents as she sits watching. She is finding him a ‘handful’ and doesn’t know what to do with him. Start by drawing some boundaries based on respect first. If she learnt to respect herself and other people her son will learn to respect others too. What is lacking in us can, due to our lack of awareness, also be lacking in our kids (‘the sins of the father’).

So next time a relationship presents a problem for you – ask yourself what is it about me that is creating this problem – it may not be pleasant (I know!) yet it gives you the chance to rectify those relationships that deserve to be saved  and break free from those that cant be. Whilst responsibility gives you the opportunity to transform relationships and your life it doesn’t mean in anyway that things are always your fault. It merely means that as part of the ‘problem’ you need to address the fact that you are involved in it – like it or not – and because you are involved you have the ideal chance to resolve the issue. 

Self awareness begins by accepting responsibility for all the problems in your life – no one can hurt you unless you allow them too – so if you are in a hurtful relationship then why are you in it and why are you putting up with it? As you begin to learn more about yourself, your limiting beliefs, values and what you want from your life you begin to take control of your own destiny – if you hand over responsibility for every problem in your life to others – then you will always be at everyone else’s beck and call!

Take responsibility today and live a more fulfilling life. Love yourself, nurture yourself and forgive yourself daily and watch as others begin to love you, nurture you and accept you for who you really are. After all only you can change your world.

Perception and Judging

I was trying to explain the idea of perception to my eldest son this morning in a bid to get him to assess his behaviour and how it impacts on his life. (He is on report for his poor behaviour at school – he has special educational needs and if he struggles to cope with work in class his behaviour is affected (why he is on report and not assisted in class is a different issue and discussed on my other blog! http://maireadrussell.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/nowhere-to-run-to/))

Needless to say I didn’t have much joy with this – he struggles to understand how his behaviour impacts on others let alone how the perception of his behaviour and impact negatively on how teachers respond to him! So I left it and vowed to come back to this issue another day.

However this brought to mind my own experiences of how our perceptions of people are swayed by other people’s judgements. I was teaching at a school in Botswana and was informed that I would be teaching a boy, let’s say his name was John (it wasn’t) , who had been expelled from his last school due to poor behaviour.

Thankfully I didn’t go in with any preconceived ideas of how this boy’s behaviour would be – I didn’t have the time to think about it in all honesty as I was teaching him that morning. I was surprised by what I discovered – I actually quite liked the boy! He was outspoken – yes – and he liked to have a bit of a laugh but that was manageable. He was bright and if you kept him busy he quietened down considerably.

Later that week I was praising John’s behaviour and work and was met by blank stares from some of his other teachers. They were aghast! They found him to be rude, disruptive and a problem. It was my turn to be stunned. Was this the same boy I was teaching? Unfortunately it would appear that a number of teachers had prejudged this boy based on his past history and had him earmarked as trouble before he had even entered their class. So what ever he did – rightly or wrongly – was prejudged. He didn’t stand a chance!

We have all unfortunately prejudged other people at some time or other, based on other’s perceptions of them. It is part of human nature to prejudge (it makes life simpler – we don’t have to judge for ourselves) but it leaves us sometimes with a tainted view on how we perceive another individual.

As we have already formed an opinion of them we meet them with preconceived ideas of how they will behave and because we do this so well, we then begin to look for evidence to back up our opinion of them. And it’s amazing what you can find when you go looking for things – even if they don’t exist!

There have been several studies looking into how our perceptions of others affect how we respond and how when we are given incorrect information about an individual, we subconsciously begin to look for evidence to back up this information. One such study was done in a school in the States. Teachers were provided information on students that was incorrect. So children who were underperforming were reported to be gifted; child who were reported to struggle  were in fact gifted, and another had behavioural issues when in fact this was far from the truth.

Over time, the child who was ‘gifted’ made amazing progress and was pushed to excel. His teacher noted how bright he was. The child who struggled (he was in fact gifted) did indeed gain poor grades and the ‘naughty’ child was of course found to be naughty! So now you can begin to understand how your preconceived ideas about other people may well be affecting how you respond to them!

So next time you listen to mindless gossip or your work colleague expresses an opinion on the new manager, make a note that what the other person is expressing is merely their perception (which might even be based on somebody else’s perception too) and not fact. When you meet someone new base your opinion of them – on what you see before you and not what you have heard. After all, wouldn’t you prefer someone to judge you for who you are and not who other people think you are?

Whilst perception is based on a number of factors other than just other people’s opinions (your own life experiences, past relationships etc) it is important to remember that who we see in front of us is not necessarily who other people see and neither is it ‘correct’ either – it is after all our perception.

So next time you find yourself forming an opinion about someone who you haven’t met – think again. Perception is just an opinion, an idea – it is not fact. So make sure you make up your own mind about other people just as you would like other people to make up their own minds about you and remember – who you see might not be who they really are!