I started writing this blog after the UK referendum back in June, where the result was very close - just over half the people who voted, chose the option to leave the EU. The initial response to the result was shock by much of the country, followed by anger towards the people who voted differently from themselves. What saddened me then is that our country seemed to have become so divided over the lead up to the referendum. There was so much anger on both sides against those who had a different opinion. Now 4 months later, that anger is still present. We've had major division within one of our main political parties over its leadership and now a high court case questioning the legalities of invoking Article 50 which starts the process of leaving the EU.
So says the famous song from the Disney movie, Frozen. But what does it actually mean? Letting go is something we regularly need to do. Beliefs become outdated. Baggage, we held onto once, we find we no longer need. Fears we had start to limit us. All these things are examples of where we need to let go. In the song, the character is undergoing a transformation. She has magical powers, which had caused problems in the past when she was too young to understand or control them. We all have powers, even if our powers aren't seen as magical in the Disney sense. Leadership in adults is often seen as being bossy in children. Intelligence can be defined as being a "know it all"; confidence as a show off. Extreme sensitivity can be labelled as weakness by people who don't understand the gift it can be. Many of us have learnt to hide our light under a bushel as did Elsa.
I've been talking recently with people who struggle to make a success of their passions. The confusion that comes out of this is that, if we're following our passions, then life should be plain sailing. In other words, it should be easy. I've fallen in to this trap of thought myself. For some reason, I've often found that I get an initial success when I'm following a passion. I've chosen to interpret this as "being on the right track". Therefore, I deduce, if I'm on the "right track" more successes will follow. But then they don't. So what's going on here. Am I actually on the wrong track, or is something else going on? Well, I'm not on the wrong track. I know what my passions are and even if I'm aiming for something that isn't my number one passion, that shouldn't be a reason to fail. What is far more likely is that in order to succeed in my chosen area, I have to put myself out there in a far bigger way than I have before and it scares me. We are genetically evolved to try and stay safe. Back in the times when real physical dangers lurked round every hill, it made more sense to stay close to your community. Those with a sense of adventure were rare because we have an innate instinct for survival. So when we start a new venture nowadays, we're usually stepping into unknown territory. There is unlikely to be actual physical danger in most of today's projects, but we will often be stepping outside our comfort zone. Maybe we have to use skills we're not very confident at. Maybe we have to work with new people. It might not seem very difficult but if we're not used to it, it can feel quite terrifying. So, in order to feel safe, we have to fail. We can't have it both ways. So, unconsciously, we self-sabbotage. This might mean we don't give a task all we could. Or maybe we don't take up an opportunity that presents itself. Because these behaviours are usual subconscious, we don't realise we're doing them. So we believe we're doing all we can and wonder why the results aren't coming in. The solution doesn't lie in beating ourselves up for what we're not doing; the solution lies in overcoming our natural fears of pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone. No amount of therapy will get rid of all these fears. It's a case of "feel the fear and do it anyway". However, that's not to say that we don't have other blocks too that can be helped by therapy. I've personally found that the key to pushing myself out of my comfort zone, is to take steps that are big enough to move me forwards while staying small enough to make them achievable. What some people don't realise is that outside our comfort zone is a "terror zone". Pushing ourselves too far too fast is counter-productive as too much fear will paralyse us. Finding the balance is what will enable us grow and move forwards. This balance will be different for different people. It's no good trying to copy your friend or colleague. It will come down to experimenting and good self-awareness. So if you feel like you are failing when you should be thriving, check out whether you are triggering your fears.
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.
A couple of days ago, I met up with a friend, who was not feeling her normal positive self. She had a couple of nerve-racking events coming up, but she seemed very flustered generally. She said she felt heavy and seemed to lack her normal confidence. So I thought I'd write a little article about why this happens and how we can get ourselves out of it. Firstly, I'd like to say that this is a pretty normal reaction to the stresses and strains of every day life. From time to time we're bound to slip off the positivity plateau that I'm sure all my readers frequent on a regular basis. Oh, you don't? Well read on... There's a big difference between falling off this plateau and staying down. The second state is one which hopefully you can avoid. Our emotional state is one which will always fluctuate. The word emotion can be broken down into e-motion. The "e" stands for energy, so emotions are energy in motion. Hence they are designed to move, ie fluctuate. There is no problem with feeling anything in life. The problems come when you get stuck there, as anything which is stuck can't move. The other point to recognise is that this movement is in a vibratory pattern. How fast or slow these emotions vibrate depends on how positive or negative they are to us. In simple terms, the closer they are to love or fear - love being the most positive and fear being the most negative. Try it out for yourself: what order would you put the following: contentment, anger, frustration, bliss? The next thing is what to do about it. Well there are a few options. The easiest and quickest is to use your self-talk to boost your emotional vibration. Your what, I hear you cry? Your self-talk - the little voice inside your head which, if you're feeling negative, is probably saying ridiculously untrue things like "I'll never do it", "I'm not good enough" and often gets worse and worse as we spiral downwards. For some reason us humans find this state quite sticky. We can very easily get immersed in such a state, but we do ourselves great harm with negative self-talk. So the obvious solution is to monitor what we're thinking and change it for the opposite. So if we find ourselves saying "I'll never do it", immediately change this to "I'll easily do it". You may not believe it straight away, but if you keep replacing the negative statements with positive ones, then you'll soon start to. You only believe the negative ones because you've repeated them so much. This works very well for sudden emotion drops, when they are a temporary state. For more long term states of low emotion, we often need to do a bit more. It's still worth replacing your self-talk, but often we find it harder, or the results come more slowly, which can discourage us. It might be worth interrogating the emotions (gently) to find out where they came from. We might recognise them as the voice of a parent or teacher from when we were younger and that might be enough for us to disown them and replace them with a new positive voice of our own. If we're still not getting the results we want, chatting to a friend can help. Remember, it's great to talk to someone who can empathise with the fact you're having a hard time, but not someone who's going to agree with you that life sucks, unless you really want to remain stuck in a low vibration. And if none of this is helping, it might be worth getting some professional help. I can help you find the root cause of the negative emotions and help you transform them in to positive ones. There's no need to stay down.
Process is a word that comes up a lot in healing circles. People talk about being in process or processing stuff, but what does it actually mean and how does it work? When something changes in our life - circumstances, or our feelings about something - we go through a period of transformation. Sometimes that's quite smooth and quick, but at other times it can be quite challenging. Take, for example, moving house. When moved from my last house to my present one, both of which I liked, there was a period where I felt uncomfortable in the new house. I hadn't yet got to the point where I felt at home there, but I'd already left the last place, so I couldn't return there either. Eventually I made the new place home and things became more comfortable, but the period of adjustment is what we know as the process. One thing that can come up during a process is uncertainty. That may be one of the reasons I found it hard to adjust my new home - it was all new and unfamiliar. However process happens with other types of change too. It might be that an organisation or group you're involved in wants to change something. The tendency is often to resist the change or take it as a personal criticism, but it might be that the change will result in something even better. We might want to resolve everything very quickly so we know where we stand, but we will probably have to go through a period of process. If a large number of people are involved then they will need to have their views heard and they may change their views during the process. The uncertainty can feel uncomfortable until a new equilibrium is found. In the same way, when we go through therapeutic healing, whether we do this by ourselves or with a professional therapist, we are also going through a change. We're changing from the person we were to the person we are becoming. Although this will be a positive change, the unknown element can make it feel a bit strange for a while. As unresolved issues come to the surface, we can feel uncomfortable. As we let go of the old, we can feel a bit empty. As we take a new step into the unknown, we can feel vulnerable. The key to all this is patience and trust. An awareness of what process is can make it easier for us. Rather than panicking that we're somehow going mad or that a decision feels wrong, we can ride it out calmly. It is also important to let others go through their own process. By recognising this, we can give them space and respect until they have found their new balance. So I wish you the best for your next process. Enjoy.
The credit for the title of this post has to go to my friend, Reid, who wrote this phrase on a piece of paper at a recent meeting. However, I thought it was worthy of a bit more exploration in a blog article. So, I've been pondering over this for the last few days. Firstly I wondered how true it is. Certainly for many of us, we like the status quo and resist change. But then there are the adventurous among us who often head off into the unknown. I've known people who tell me change is a good thing, and they're right, but do these people also have their fears before they step off the metaphorical diving board? It's definitely true that the familiar is often seen as safe. We know where we are with the present circumstances, even if we don't like them. The new and unknown change may be better, but then it also may be worse. The trouble is that we don't ever really know until we've made the change, and then it may be too late to go back. The familiar protects us. We know how to respond and what reaction we're going to get. We know where and how we fit in. We can easily visualise the future when it's exactly the same as the present. The new is daunting and it often involves taking a leap of faith into the unknown. So what is going to make us change. Well for some of us, the thought of adventure is enough. We take a deep breath and leap with a confidence that it'll be a good experience for us. For others, change only happens when the present circumstances become too unpleasant, or when external circumstances force it. Now, we're all influenced by external circumstances to some extent. So the way in which we adapt to forced change is also significant in our lives. Do we fight against the inevitable or do we go with the flow? Does it really do us any good to fight against the inevitable? Well, for our personal stress levels, the answer is probably no. However there are may people throughout history who've managed to bring about great changes for the positive by not accepting externally enforced situations. Often we don't know what to do for the best. We oscillate between the different options available to us. Do we change or do we accept? I find the best way is to try to split the arguments into those coming from the ego and those coming from the soul. The soul has our highest good as it's focus. It only wants what will expand us and help us to grow. It will guide us to that which will fulfill us and help us use our gifts in the world. The ego focuses on that which will keep us safe and therefore encourages us to do what will enable us to fit in, what will cause the least disruption and often comes from a place of fear. The soul guidance comes from a place of love. So I invite you to tune in to these 2 voices. They both have their places in our lives, but it's good to be able to differentiate between them. And lastly, I leave you with these well-known words of wisdom because I think they sum up this subject so well.
What do these three things have in common? The answer is fear. Phobias are pretty self-explanatory. We fear something to such an extent that it causes us problems in our present lives. They may have come from a past trauma. Maybe we were bitten by a dog when we were young and still become very frightened when a dog barks or bares its teeth. They may also be inherited from another person. Maybe your mother screamed every time she saw a spider, so you learnt very early that spiders were something to be scared of, even though you didn't know why. Addictions are habits we have developed in our lives, that produce a negative emotional response when they are taken away. Often they are something we take into the body - common examples are cigarettes, alcohol or drugs. However we can be addicted to patterns of behaviour or to people. What happens here is that we are blocking a negative emotional response by seeking so-called "pleasurable" behaviour. However, what that does is push the negative emotion down into our body, so it isn't resolved. Every time it re-surfaces, our bodies tell us we want the addiction. This gives us a positive "hit" and the pain is pushed aside for a while. The trouble with this is that the pain will keep trying to resurface in order to be healed. So often we need bigger and bigger "hits" to keep it suppressed Alongside that, we can have a physical response to addictive substances, but this is much easier to deal with if we've dealt with the emotional residue. Obsessions are fears projected into the future. This time there will be an initial negative experience from our past which we worry about happening again in the future. Like the phobias or addictions, it could be experienced by us or learned from another person. Things like believing we'll get ill if we don't clean things several times a day or worrying we'll forget to do something. Often we create rituals to cope with these things; checking something several times or obsessive cleaning. Alternatively, we avoid the triggering situations altogether, for example, not being the last to leave the house so we don't have to check the door is locked several times. Superstitions also come into the category of obsessions. These are usually learned from another person. Like addictions, if we treat the underlying fear, then the ritual becomes a simple habit which is much easier to break. So, if these patterns are causing you problems in your life, kinesiology can help you find and clear the root cause and take back control of your lives, even if you have no conscious idea of where they came from.