I recently have undergone some therapy. I do this often - I think most therapists do, maybe more than most, because we know just how beneficial it is. But I digress... This therapy included listening to some hypnosis CDs each day. That sounds easy, right? Well, I've managed to stick to it, but what was interesting was that I noticed quite a lot of resistance to it at the start. To briefly summarise, the point was to re-programme my subconscious, which is great and just what I wanted to happen. However, my subconscious, which I learnt recently, only develops until the age of 6, didn't wholly agree that it wanted to change and tried to throw a childish tantrum. I got some mild headaches and I got very tired. I also got the feeling that it would be easier if I didn't bother. Luckily, having been in this business for a while now, I recognised these symptoms for what they were and my conscious (the adult part of my brain) decided to override these impulses. I also had a gentle chat with my subconscious, thanking it for dealing with things the best it could in the past and telling it kindly that it didn't have to take on all these extra duties, which were really the role of the conscious, any more. The next time I listened to the CD, I felt a much greater relaxation and felt energised at the end. Now, this can happen with any holistic therapy. As we heal, part of ourselves can want to hold on to the old ways of being. It may be that the old ways were a form of protection. It may be that this part fears what will happen when change comes. The key is to be aware of the resistance for what it is. We can't fight resistance; we have to gently coerce it to change. Think about how you'd like to be approached in order to change and use the same approach when you talk to your subconscious. You may find amazing things happen.
We've all probably been told at some point in our lives to try harder. Maybe by our parents or school teachers, or seen it written on a school report. Nowadays it's very common to hear people say "I'll try" in response to a request to do something. But what is actually going on energetically with this? To start with, the confirmation that you'll "try" suggests that you may succeed or you may fail. It therefore prepares the person you're talking to for either outcome. It also lets you off the hook if you don't achieve whatever you were setting out to do as you pre-warned that it might not happen. Now that's fine if you're referring to something that isn't very important, but not so good if it's a priority. "I'll try and get to the gym this week." If I were to hear those words from someone, I wouldn't be very sure they'd actually make it. The word "try" also suggests a lot of effort. "I'm going to try and push that car along the road." Well, I'll heave and heave and I may shift it a bit, but it's going to take all my strength to do it. Similarly, "I'll try to clean the kitchen today" suggests that this will be a mammoth job that may well take ages and leave us drained to exhaustion. That's not really likely to inspire us to get started. In fact, it creates resistance. I would suggest that firstly, we just make a decision whether or not we truly want to take action. For that, we need to dig down and find out our underlying motivations. What are our reasons for doing it? Are we just trying to placate another person when we have no intention of doing it? Is there buried fear around doing it, even if we're not sure exactly what that fear is? Then if we decide to do it, affirm that we are going to do it. "I'm going to the gym this week" has much more certainty to it. I'd be more likely to believe this. Also, if we affirm an intention to someone else, we often feel more accountable to take the action, which can help us find motivation when it's not forthcoming. By affirming rather than trying, we're going with the flow rather than fighting against the current. Affirmations help create a new reality. If we affirm that we are becoming fitter, then we are likely to attract things to help us create that, including the motivation to go to the gym. If we decide not to do something, be honest. Let the other person know why and be accountable for your choice. They may not like it, but in the long run, they'll probably respect you more for your honesty and for setting clear boundaries. So next time you hear yourself say the word "try", check out whether it is really serving you.
I love creating the titles for all my blogs, but this has got to be one of my favourite. Firstly, when I talk about rescue, I'm not referring to rescue from massive environmental disasters, or the sort of essential help we receive when we're ill. What I'm talking about is the need some of us have to rescue people from their problems - the sort of problems they go round and round in circles with - the sort of problems that can impact on our lives by the very behaviour others exhibit - the sort of problems that the other person doesn't recognise as a problem. The thing is, no-one can fix another person. Their journey is just that - their journey. As hard and as painful as it can be to see someone suffer, nagging them to change or rushing over to make everything as painless as you can is often not the best of most constructive help you can give. I'm going to focus on some of the consequences of doing this. Firstly, it can be very annoying. I remember when I was struggling with various things in my life, people would offer "helpful advice" and then get annoyed with me when I explained why it wouldn't work. The truth was that, although the advice was logically sound, I wasn't ready to make that step. I needed to sort other stuff out first and no-one else but me could possibly know what order I needed to heal areas of my life in. Secondly, it can be very dis-empowering. If you're rescuing someone who laps up the help, it can lead to reliance on the helper. Also it can lead to low self-esteem if the person feels they can't fix things his or herself and this can lead to a reluctance to even try. This something I've been taught all the way through my professional training. Do not encourage clients to become dependent on their therapist in the long term. Thirdly, we need to be aware that rescue might be fulfilling a need in ourselves to be useful, to be appreciated, to be the one who's indispensable. If these needs are left unchecked, what will happen if the person we are rescuing gets better. Will we suddenly have a gap in our lives? Does part of us need them not to on some level? Or will we transfer our rescue on to someone else? Some people have a pattern of helping good causes. This is fine if it's in balance, but it can also mask a problem of not wanting to focus on ourselves. If you find yourself in this situation, I invite you to think about the following questions. Is the help you're offering life saving? Obviously this is a no-brainer. We're not suggesting leaving a loved one to die or have serious injury, but are you the best person to be dealing with it. It might be more relevant to phone the emergency services and leave it to them if it happens repeatedly. Are your worries for the future realistic or are you considering the worst case scenario? Often our fears surpass what is likely to happen. If you're not sure, reach out to someone else for an opinion that isn't clouded by the emotion of the situation. What would you choose to do if your fear wasn't there? Did you already have plans which the rescue would interfere with. Maybe someone else go to help this time or maybe they could wait a bit until you're free to go. What kind of help do you think is expected of you? Is the person even asking for help or are they just letting you know what's happening with them? If they are wanting help, do they mean they want you to drop everything and rush over to fix their whole life or do they want something a lot smaller from you? Remember the best help is that which is given for our greatest and highest good. Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. Sometimes it's in the low points that we find the courage or the reason to change. I know that I often have low points when I don't want to face something about my life, or I don't want to take some kind of action that would be beneficial. No-one is a higher authority on our journey than ourselves, so be careful not to seem to be taking that authority away from another person. The best thing we can do for another person is to support them in their journey with love, whilst focusing on our own needs.
How many of us put things off, which we know would be better if they were done now. I know I have to put my hand up for that one. For all those who scroll down to read the previous blog post, you'll see it was in August. So for just over 2 months, I've procrastinated writing a new post. I can come up with a thousand excuses; some of them sound very reasonable, some sound just plain ridiculous (even to me). The truth is that I've procrastinated. I've diverted myself onto other things because I haven't wanted to write. I've wasted time because I haven't wanted to write. I've even been ill for a little while, which gave me an excuse not to write. But the truth of the matter is that there has been fear preventing me from writing. Not the kind of easily identifiable fear. I don't expect a big monster to come and eat me if I tap keys on my laptop. No, this is the kind of hidden fear that lurks in the shadows and suggests that something bad might happen. It doesn't quantify what, because then I could rationalise it away. And it doesn't clearly explain to me what I'm frightened of; it persuades me I don't like writing, which is actually completely false, because I'm loving writing this. It persuades me that I don't know what to write, which is also false, because I didn't know what I was going to write before I started writing this post and yet the words have come. No, the truth is that I'm fearful of something deeper. Maybe it's fear of failure, maybe fear of success, maybe fear of opening up, maybe fear of making a mistake. Maybe a bit of all of those. The other important thing is that I'm completely normal. It's take me a long while to come to that realisation, but it's true. No matter how much I feel I'm alone with this, most people are fearful. Some people are fearful of standing up in front of people, whether it's doing a presentation of being in a show. Some people have a fear of making a phone call to someone they don't know. Some people are fearful of asking for help and support. Now, the thing with fear is that it can often come from events in our past. If we had a bad experience in a school play, we might fear being on stage now. However, sometimes the fear comes from doing something new, from stepping out of our comfort zone. If you've always labelled yourself as someone who doesn't make phone calls, it's going to take you a little while to become comfortable with it. I got into writing this blog over the spring and summer, but the longer I've left it unwritten, the harder it has been to reconnect with it. The first step is literally taking the first step. I've sat down at my laptop. I invite you to stand up on stage, even if it's alongside someone else. I invite you to pick up the phone and make one call on your list. I invite you to ask one person for some help, even if it's the tiniest thing. I invite you to take that first step and to realise that the monster doesn't actually come. And when you've done that, congratulate yourself and plan step 2. It's OK to feel fear while you're doing this. We don't have to clear all the fear before we take action. In fact, it is often not possible to do this. We often have to take action in order to clear the fear. So, I wish you courage to take the next step in to your power and I would love to hear how you get on.