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.

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Clear Out the Junk

I had a pretty low day yesterday. The boys went back to school and I had a mound of work to tackle but little motivation to do it. I didn’t feel like doing my morning run but did it anyway. I didn’t run as far – my heart wasn’t in it and that was the problem that morning – my heart wasn’t in it.

I dragged out my laptop and opened my mail and feeling more like going for a long walk than work, I decided to take 20 minutes and meditate instead. I use the Ho’oponopono clearing prayer when I feel ‘blocked’ by anything in life or .n I find it hard to focus or calm my mind. So I sat down focused on my lack of motivation and began to meditate, repeating the mantra

I love you

I’m sorry

Please forgive me

Thank you.

I use this Ho’oponopono clearing prayer when ever I feel the need to offload any emotional baggage of if I am experiencing any problems or relationship issues. Not only does it help calm the mind (it works like a mantra) it also helps to raise your energy vibrations too. The words you use believe it or not do have an effect on your body (look at the study of words on water by Dr Emoto) and by repeating the above prayer you can change your body’s energy field thus lifting your mood.

When yo do this clearing exercise focus on the words and their meaning as it really helps to make you feel better after all love is the ultimate healer! When you focus on the words ‘I love you’ say them with meaning – focus on love. When you say ‘I’m sorry’ mean it and if you find something coming up – either a memory or a feeling then work on that. It has surfaced for a reason!

So next time you feel a little ‘flat’ or your heart isn’t in something – do this clearing meditation using the simple prayer above. If you are having problems in a relationship then use the prayer as a way to clear out the negativity in the relationship. Focus on the person when you say the prayer and mean what you say. Tell them in your mind ‘I love you’ and say it with heartfelt meaning – apologise for anything in you that has caused the problem (there will be something even if it’s at an unconscious level). When you say thank you again say it with meaning.

I did this recently with someone and within an hour the person had apologized for their less than wonderful behaviour. I use it with a close family member and whilst his behaviour has calmed recently it is more his willingness to apologise for his poor behaviour which is the most noticeable change. When ever I experience any problems now I turn to this prayer – it really does work miracles!

Go on and give it a go – if it only clears your head and gives you peace of mind – it has worked. But use it to clear out any problems in your relationships too and see if you can notice the difference.

Stop! And Smell The Roses

I am sure I am not alone when I say that some days, when everything seems to go wrong, I wished I had have stayed in bed.

I had one of those days this week which kicked off with my son having a melt down over getting a later bus, closely followed by his brother refusing to get out of bed. A while later a client cancelled at the last minute and the offer I had just received on my house wasn’t quite as much as I had hoped it would be. I lost my car keys (well couldn’t remember where I put them is more precise) and so ended up arriving late for work and the day had barely started!

I felt exhausted and I still had the day ahead of me. I was feeling disappointed with my boys for spoiling my morning, angry with myself for misplacing my keys and frustrated that the offer on my house meant I would have to rethink my buying options once again. As I sat and prepared for my first client of the day, I could feel my anger and frustration brewing and I hadn’t even had time for a cup of tea that morning, no thanks to the kids!

As I went over the events of the morning I became more and more upset until I had literally had enough of listening to my own whining voice in my head! Enough is enough! Did I want to continue to feel upset and get even angrier because my son refused to get out of bed or that my client cancelled last minute or did I want to feel better?

I wanted to feel better. So what if my son had a melt down about the bus, that had nothing to do with me so why was I taking it personally? And I’m not surprised the youngest wanted to stay in bed that morning as it was a Monday and we’d had a hectic weekend. Once I realized that life is not always about me – I was able to release all that frustration. And besides, no-one had upset me – I had upset myself by taking on board everyone else’s issues.

Sometimes we can get lost in our doom and gloom and it could be easy for us to remain bitter about things that happen in our life – things that for the most part – aren’t actually important. However it could be just as easy for us to move on and leave the past where it belongs and take a different slant on life. The choice is ours.

You are the only person who can allow yourself to get upset and by focusing on the ‘wrong doings’ that others have seemingly done to you, you are handing them your power. People can be rude – that’s their issue. People can be thoughtless – that’s their issue. People can loose it over tiny things – again that’s their issue so why make it yours?

If you want to feel positive, happier or more fulfilled then focus on what is going right in your life, focus on what you want out of life and allow others the space to do, say and be who they want to be. You can not control other people however you can control how you respond to them.

My son had a meltdown because he feels anxious about any changes to his daily routine. My other son was tired. My client either changed their mind about therapy or was really sick. These things I can not change but I can change how I deal with them. I can reassure my son that he will be fine on the later bus, I can gently coax my youngest out of bed and I can empathize with my sick client and hope that another (higher!) offer comes in for my house.

Life is what you make it and if you make it miserable inside your head then it will be miserable outside in the real world too. So STOP those negative thoughts and focus on something positive instead and notice how you begin to feel happier, brighter and more positive.

Stop and smell the roses because they don’t stay in bloom all year long.

Second That Emotion

All of us (though some are exempt from this) have been or still are hostage to our emotions, with many people not even being aware of how they feel from one moment to the other.

However being aware of how you are feeling and the thoughts you have – can help you gain some control over wayward emotions such as anger, angst, sadness or anxiety. Basically the more ‘self aware’ you become the more able you are to control your emotions.

Being self aware simply means being aware of our thoughts and feelings which in turn gives us the opportunity to be ‘aware’ of them without becoming emotionally attached to them and when we become the ‘observer’ of our emotions we can choose whether we wish to change how we feel or wallow in our emotions.

For example, how many of us have been cut up on the road at some point by what would appear to be a ‘thoughtless’ driver? Most of us no doubt! But self awareness allows us to see that our angry response to this incident is ours – maybe our outburst (expletives!) are called for but maybe they weren’t – maybe the guy just didn’t see you?

So yes we got angry – but being aware that you are angry in the first place is great but being aware that our response to this incident is also our choice – means we gain control over how we feel – or for how long we feel these emotions, because lets face it – feeling bad sucks!

Self awareness allows us to remain calm in stressful situations, helps us to chose a more beneficial or positive state of mind and as a result we feel more balanced and positive. We become the ‘observer’ of our emotions – ‘I am feeling angry/sad/overwhelmed etc – which enables us to distance ourselves from those negative emotions and then gives us leverage to change them into a more positive one, if we want to! So if we find ourselves in a bad mood we can get ourselves out of it more quickly than other people who are less aware of their emotions.

On the flip side there are people who loose themselves in their emotions – drowning in their emotions or wallowing in their sorrows or worries. These people are immersed in their emotions and are unable to ‘see’ them clearly and as a result become overwhelmed by the emotions they experience. They have little perspective on the emotions they feel as and a result have little control over their emotional life and live at the mercy of their own emotions feeling they can do nothing to improve their situation.

And then we have those people who are aware of how they feel but do nothing to change them. Some people believe that they should experience all emotions as they arise as this is natural – but then there is a fine line here between wallowing in these emotions or really ‘feeling’ them and moving on.

And of course there are those who know they feel depressed, or sad, or angry but chose to stay with these emotions and they are ‘who I am’.

Your emotions are not who you are – they ‘tell’ us how we should feel based on past, present and future experiences however they are not always appropriate or the best option. You always have a choice – to feel bad or feel good. Simple.

Yes it’s necessary to feel bad sometimes – they make the good times good – and it’s better ‘out than in’ we are told (and I’m not talking about wind here!) – if we feel upset, angry, worried – deal with the cause of these feelings and move on – it’s a far healthier option than denying our emotions or believing you are a slave to them – you are not!

We all have times when we feel low – and that’s okay – but if these feelings drag on then perhaps you need to ask yourself if these emotions are serving you at this moment in time. Do they make you feel good – probably not – so do something about it.

Make a commitment to yourself to be more self aware – and once you start to notice your emotions – you can then go on to question whether they are appropriate (not all emotions we feel are – they can be a learned response) and if not – change them and move on.

You have a choice in life – to live a more fulfilling and happier life – or to chose to be a victim to your emotions. We all feel them – good or bad – but it’s how we ‘experience’ them and ‘deal’ with them that determines our lives. So chose well!

So What Do You See?

It never ceases to amaze me how many people can tell you exactly what they do not want in life yet when you ask them what they want instead, they become quiet and in some cases, somewhat put out that you asked!

What you want in life is important isn’t it? If you want to be happy then it’s important to know what makes you happy so that you can be happy isn’t it? It’s important to focus on reaching your ideal weight if you are overweight yet very few people do.

How many people have you heard bemoan their excess weight or not being able to find nice clothes in their size or indeed clothes to fit them or how they just ‘lurve’ food (which technically they don’t as they barely if at all taste it because they eat too fast)?

When was the last time you heard someone say ‘I chose to be slim and healthy’ or ‘I will reach my goal weight easily and effortlessly’? Very rarely I can imagine.

What you focus on in life you get in life. If you focus on being fat then guess what? You will be fat! However if you stop moaning and start focusing on what you want – to reach your ideal weight and shape and look slim and sensational – then guess what? You are more than likely going to reach your ideal weight! And besides doesn’t it feel so much better to focus on how wonderful you are going to feel and look instead of focusing on something that makes you miserable?

Common sense prevails here. Focus on what you want and you are more likely to get what you want. Also focusing on what you want is a strong motivator especially if you imagine you ourself having the thing that you want! It makes you feel so much more positive and the more positive you feel the more likely you are to attract positive things (those things that you want) into your life

By focusing on what you want you are also employing the powerful Law of Attraction and like any natural law, such as the Law of Gravity, The Law of Attraction is in operation 24/7. So use it and get what you want in life and all you have to do if stay focused on what you want!

So next time you find yourself focusing on what you don’t want instantly change your point of focus to what you do want and be specific and state it in the positive. Do not say ‘I want to lose weight’ as you are STILL focusing on the weight! Simply state something like ‘I will reach my ideal weight of XX by XXDate and I will be slim and healthy’ or ‘I easily maintain my ideal weight’.

So focus on what you want in life and focus on the positive things too and pretty soon you will notice a shift. So remember……..

Focus. Focus. Focus. Persevere. Persevere. Persevere.

Remember a time…….

…a specific time when you felt great about yourself, when you achieved something or when you just felt so relaxed or great to be alive. And as you remember that time now I want you to really get a sense of being right back in that moment right now…..perhaps close your eyes and see the memory now.

See it as though you were right back in that moment now, as though you were looking through your eyes and really see everything that you could see at that time. Hear what you could hear – perhaps people talking – and really get a sense of how great you felt at that time.

And you may be surprised at how good you are beginning to feel as your mind re-associates into those feelings at that time. Now make that image bigger, brighter, perhaps make the sounds crisper and notice how the feelings become stronger and stronger.

Keep focusing on everything that was going on at that time and feel all those feel good feelings flooding through your body again and doesn’t it feel good to know that you can feel this good when ever you want to?

How? By simply focusing on happy memories or positive things in our lives – such as gratitude – you can begin to feel a lot more positive and a whole heap happier.

If you suffer from depression or anxiety you have a tendency to focus on the ‘bad’ things or those things that make us feel anxious. You go through old hurts over and over again replaying them over and over again in your mind however, unlike a movie reel which will wear out over time, these memories seem to get stronger and more powerful the more you play them.

Sometimes these memories become distorted in some way so that they appear worse than what they actually were and all the time our mind is remembering and reliving these ‘bad’ memories your body is re-experiencing all those old ‘bad’ feelings.

Your cells become accustomed to certain feelings (depression, anxiety, anger) and you stay trapped in a cycle of bad feelings, as your body begins to ‘crave’ those ‘bad’ feelings because it’s all it knows so you continue to focus on those old memories and those negative feelings. Then you get given a label. Depressive. OCD. Frustrated.

If you want to beat depression, anxiety, anger, sadness, worthlessness or any other negative emotion then it’s time to change the movies you run in your mind. However before you do that you need to become aware of them first!

So take a few day to ‘listen in’ to your thoughts, and discover what things you dwell on – and write them down. You will be amazed at how a pattern seems to form. Once you become aware of what you focus on, then make a commitment to yourself that you are going to change. Write this down to and state it in the positive.

So if you want to let go of depression and feel happier then make a commitment to yourself to focus on the happy things in life and always see the good in any situation. If you want to be less angry, then make a commitment to stay calm in every situation and to speak calmly and politely to everyone.

Once you have made that commitment, for the next 30 days you need to change the movies in your mind or those negative thoughts to ones that are more supportive of your new outlook.

So as soon as you find yourself dwelling on that memory of you feeling sad, say CANCEL in your mind and bring in a new happy memory (and yes you will have them you have just chosen to forget them!) and focus on this memory for about 15-20 seconds. Each and every time you have a negative thought say CANCEL in your mind and change to positive supportive thoughts such as ‘I am happy’, ‘I am in control’ etc.

Write a reminder of what you are doing somewhere visible so that you are reminded everyday what you are doing. Use post it notes and stick them on mirrors, cupboard doors etc to remind you to change those old movies or thoughts to new, positive and supporting ones.

Yes some days will feel like an up hill struggle and that’s okay. Persevere. Because it’s natural to come up with some resistance when you are making changes to your life. So know that it’s natural to ‘fight’ these new changes and keep on going!

You can change how you feel and depression, anxiety, anger, low self esteem and all those horrible feelings are all run on automatic. Your thoughts run who you are so make a commitment to change how you feel and change your thoughts.

However in order to succeed there are three words of advice for you.

Persevere. Persevere. Persevere.

 

 

 

Bittersweet

I was reminded the other day whilst chatting to a family member about how differently we see the world and the people in it!

Our past experiences shape who we become as adults and ultimately how we ‘see’ the world too. Whilst some may look at the world and it’s inhabitants with a hopeful or positive attitude, others, due to their ties to the past, see the world as ‘out to get them’.

I have recently experienced the backlash of an incident which occurred over three years ago involving a parent at my son’s school and my son (and then me!). This incident was upsetting for my son and I was devastated that any parent could speak to a five year old the way this woman had done. The teachers had reassured me that things were sorted out and that my son had nothing to do with this apparent incident.

The next day, incident over and reassurances done, this woman marched up to me as I went to collect my son and verbally abused me too! I was quite frankly speechless (which is rare for me!).

Now as I have said this occurred over three years and the incident long since forgotten or so I thought! And I am stunned and amazed that this woman has carried this incident around for the past three years and still displays aggression towards me. Initially I was angry with her however on reflection I feel sorry for her. I see her as a bitter, aggressive woman who sees the world as a threat to her safety and lashes out when she feels attacked (real or imaginary!). 

However bitterness is something we chose to hang on to. It’s something we use to protect ourselves from pain (either real or imagined) and it let’s those poor unfortunates who are at the receiving end of it, know that this person is not to be messed with! Bitterness is about blame and accepting the victim role.

But how does bitterness impact on our lives? How can holding onto old grudges and hurts impact on our lives today? Well it can impact negatively on our lives in many ways (I have yet to come up with a positive!). Firstly we are forever living in the past and reliving old hurts and that’s got to feel bad hasn’t it? Wouldn’t you rather feel happy and positive?

As a result we suffer from stress, which can result in several uncomfortable symptoms such as migraines, muscle aches etc as well as making us less resilient to disease and infection.

Bitterness goes hand in hand with animosity and aggression and as a result, people begin to avoid you as they fear confrontation, so relationships suffer.

Bitter people depict themselves as victims of an never ending sagas, so they believe the world is ‘out to get them’ so they create situations that prove their theory right.  You will often hear them say ‘I told you she hated me/didn’t like me/ she is a bitch’ etc.  

And because bitter people are so upset about apparent injustices in their lives and find it hard to let go of the past, they tend to view people negatively and therefore believe that everyone else feels the same way too. And as a result they think that everyone ‘hates’ them because that’s all they ‘see’ in their mind so as you can imagine they tend to suffer from low self esteem.  

I could go on but I would only be venting my frustrations!

Live is for living and yes, people upset us (if we let them) but hanging on the pain and blame will only create more pain in your lives. How can you possibly move forward if you continue to throw your anchor in the past? By accepting that X hurt us and learning from this, we then have the opportunity to accept responsibility for how we handle the situation which gives us the power to move forward in our lives.

So let more love into your life and let go of the past before it’s too late. Blame equates to pain and letting go of blame leaves you more in control of your life than you ever thought possible!