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JUST A MOMENT…

JUST A MOMENT

Isn’t that what life is? Just a moment or should I say a series of moments. It’s true. If you really think about it, five minutes time, tomorrow or next week hasn’t happened yet and two minutes ago, yesterday or ten years ago is the past. So the only bit that’s real is now! Enjoy it!

Looking back and realizing what a great evening that was or anticipating the enjoyment of a forthcoming holiday is something we all do. Whilst it’s pleasant to reflect on the past and future, we may be in danger of actually missing out on the moment, the here and now, the present.

If you’re one of my yoga students you’ll know that I’m always directing your awareness to the presence of the ego mind. This is the part of the mind that is in charge of filtering. It sifts and sorts, categorizes and labels and is an essential part of our thinking. Without it we would all be bonkers!

Although an essential part of the mind, the ego can take over, acting as if it’s the only ‘mind’. It can gather steam with its labeling, comparing, judgments and criticism and before long it’s the only part of our inner dialogue that we hear.

If your ego mind is very busy and loud it will drown out deeper intuitive thoughts from your Self. These thoughts could be considered as natural perceptive ‘gut instincts. They have just as much, if not more value. They wish to serve you in the pursuit of being the ‘best’ you. They may for example alert you to a health issue that you are not paying attention to, this pushes you to take the necessary action that could be preventative.

Think of it like tuning a radio. If you only ever listen to Radio 1, how do you know that radio 4 exists, with all its amazing programs and information?

How do we access this deeper intuition you might ask? By being present is the answer.

Being here now equals less stress. If we want to enjoy life more and feel less pressured we need to make a conscious effort to be in the moment. Being present requires being ‘psychologically awake’ and more conscious.

Here’s How.

Take a moment to notice what you can see right now around you. Now notice every single sound near and far. Next observe what you can feel… hungry, happy, and irritable, the fabric of your clothing, the air in your nostrils, the wind on your face and so on.

Practice this as often as possible so that you become the observer… the watcher… the listener… then you may wonder ‘who am I’?

Enjoy the Easter break I wish you lots of light, love and peaceful presence.

 

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RAPE OF THE HEART

Many years ago, I did some work with the dynamic authors and couple therapists Helena Lovendal and Nick Duffell. This is where I first heard the term ‘rape of the heart’. A phrase afforded to the men who as boys, became the confidante and major source of emotional support to their mothers.

This can happen for a variety of reasons, though fundamentally as a result of the father being absent whether literally as in dead, estranged from the family, unavailable due to work commitments or more often emotionally absent. This coupled with needy or emotionally stunted mothers, sets the scene for a ‘rape of the heart’.

Similarly to girls, boys have a heightened awareness and sensitivity to their mothers needs. By the time a boy is 5 years old, he is said to know all of his mothers unfulfilled dreams and heartaches. This is mentally confusing and emotionally too much for their hearts to bear. In an effort to survive psychically, they detach themselves in favour of climbing trees and kicking footballs.

In this detachment they shut down their hearts for protection, not wanting to continue the painful connection because ultimately they cannot meet the needs of their mother or fix her pain. The fact that it is not their place to do so, is beyond their comprehension. The already emotionally overburdened boy, carries a sense of guilt for not being able to be the ‘man’ his mother needs.

Disappointed and disillusioned with the ‘absent’ husband,  the mother can unconsciously or consciously place both insidious and overt demands on her son to ‘hold the space’ emotionally for her.  This makes contributes hugely to the later failure in his relationships and the subsequent emotional and psychological pain and torment that can plague his life.

Fast forward 30 odd years. The boy, now a man, is in a troubled relationship. Sitting in front of me with his partner, I ask what they want from therapy.  He says with a pained expression “I just want her to be happy” she says with frustration “ He doesn’t get me because he never really listens to me”. Neither of them can understand what went wrong. Both tell me how much in love and happy they were in the beginning. They thought they were a perfect match.

Naturally it will take time for them to explore their dynamic and to understand some of the more subtle issues in their relationship.

If he is able to grasp the concept that the closer he and his partner become and the more intimate their relationship, the more threatening this feels for him at a deeper unconscious level. His visceral memory associates closeness and intimacy with the deep emotional wound of not being ‘enough’ for his mother.

As his partner opens up to him, expecting connection because for her, this is the foreplay, the intimacy.  He instinctively pulls away and shuts down. He is fearful that he wont be able to  ‘fix’ his partner, so it’s easier for him to disconnect.   As this unconscious reflection plays out in their relationship it threatens their connection.

Once he gains understanding and insight of this unconscious programming, he can start to clear the mental fog of confusion and become more congruent. In time he learns to feel more comfortable with the intimacy and improves his communication with his partner.

If you have found this article thought provoking please feel free to pass it on to anyone who you think would be interested too.

 

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Are You Ready To Confront Your Fears In 2016?

GO FOR IT

GO FOR IT

Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway was one of the first and best self-help books I have ever read, in it, author Dr Susan Jeffers encouraged us to ‘go for it ‘ despite our fears and anxieties.

We can become more emotionally robust and courageous and it is possible to develop the courage to overcome fears and anxieties, but they wont go away on their own, without doing some work with them.

Here’s a quick exercise to spark courage.

Ensure you won’t be interrupted for five minutes. Close your eyes and ask yourself “where abouts in my body does courage live” intuitively go to the first place that comes to mind.

If you feel that you lack courage, then ask yourself “where in my body is the place where I lack courage”

Once you have located the place that this feeling or lack of it resides (it may be in your stomach, your chest or heart for example) then ask your subconscious mind or imagination to give you a colour, shape or size that represents this feeling.

As soon as an image, picture, shape or colour, comes to mind, just accept it. Now ask the picture (shape, colour) what it (the image) wants to do so that you can feel more courageous. Usually the image will change, sometimes dramatically, sometimes in a very minor way. Sit, sense and notice what shift takes place in your image, colour or shape. I know it feels a bit odd talking to yourself in this way but aim to lend yourself to the experience in order to get results.

As soon as there is a change from your original image, even the slightest change, the exercise is complete and you can open your eyes. You are likely to notice an improved sense of courage over the coming days. You can repeat this exercise as often as you wish.

Physiologically there’s a fine line between fear and excitement both states involve breathing more quickly for example.

Our inner chatter can also determine how we feel, so what we say to ourselves is really important. It can be helpful to reframe a fearful feeling and tell yourself that this feeling is excitement, it’s anticipation, kid yourself and act as if you are brimming with courage.Assertive Empowerment Now

If you’ve set goals and decided to ‘go for it’ in 2016 you might find the Assertive Empowerment Now audio hypnosis program  a great support for you. Programing the deeper subconscious mind on a regular basis with positive words of encouragement and support can really help us to step up to the challenges we set ourselves. We can then approach goals with greater confidence. Using mind tools such as this audio program is a practical way of making positive changes quickly and with minimal effort, simply play the recording when you go off to bed each night.  As you drift of to sleep listening to powerful, assertive suggestions, you can expect to feel emotionally stronger and self-assured in the following days, but don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself.

If you’re still in need of inspiration please take a few moments to watch this amazing video of Dilys Price an 82-year-old lady who regularly throws herself out of a plane! She is truly inspirational and will definitely encourage you to go for it!

As usual we love to hear your feedback and comments below.

Enjoy.

 

 

 

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How are you feeling?

To understand others is to have knowledge. To understand oneself is to be illuminated

How was your festive break? Has it left you feeling rested, recharged and raring to get back to work? Or are you in need of some rest and relaxation after all the energy expended in shopping, wrapping, cooking, visiting or entertaining?

Unfortunately  for some people the Christmas period can generate anxiety. Being out of the natural routine of things can be a trigger for some, whilst others worry about having bought the right gifts, or visited the right relations in the right order. Even people who ordinarily, are emotionally robust, report feeling out of sorts, sometimes being catapulted into their family ‘roles’ can create generalised anxiety.

Whatever your current ‘state’ it might be nice to take a few moments out from doing anything at all. Will you rise to my challenge here and take ten minutes to sit still (preferably upright) and do nothing, absolutely nothing?

When you’ve finished reading this blog, come away from any distractions such as TV, computer, tablet or phone. If possible sit near a window with some natural light.

Keep your eyes open yet heavy-lidded and settle your gaze slightly ahead of you and sit still for 10 minutes.

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Allow your mind to wander if it wants to and periodically come back to an awareness of your breathing.

Notice what arises when you keep still in this way. What happens physically? Do you get an itch or irritation somewhere on your body, do you suddenly need to cough, or want to shift around? Just notice.

What happens mentally? Is your mind darting rapidly from one thought to another, from the future to the past? Does the mind draw you into one particular memory that you begin to run over and over? Just notice.

What happens to you emotionally when you sit doing absolutely nothing? Do you feel uncomfortable or peaceful? Do you start to feel sad, anxious or agitated? Do you begin to feel sleepy? Is there an overwhelming desire to get up and move? Override it by calmly bringing your attention back to your breathing.

Taking small chunks of time in this way to practise the art of ‘being’ allows us to become more and more familiar with how it feels to be peaceful and we can then carry that over into other aspects of our day, approaching daily tasks with a calmer detached manner.

Over time these mindfulness techniques can help us to conquer some of the negatives that the mind throws up, so that we use the mind rather than allowing the mind to use us.

Making space to spend time with ourselves can provide opportunities  for insight and understanding of ourselves and others. The Chinese book of philosophy  the Tao Te Ching says ‘To understand others is to have knowledge. To understand oneself is to be illuminated”.

To understand others is to have knowledge. To understand oneself is to be illuminated

I hope 2016 brings enlightenment, peace and joy into your hearts and minds.

Will you accept my challenge? As always I love the feedback so please leave your comments to let us know how you got on.

Enjoy!

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Don’t Panic! There’s Help Out There.

When Callum was discharged from hospital with the words “It’s just a panic attack” despite obvious relief (he had been admitted for a suspected heart attack) he found these words less than comforting.

Psychotherapy was his next stop.

Callum’s symptoms were terrifying to him, his heart thumping so loudly he thought it would pump right out of his chest, accompanied by a feeling of being gripped tightly around the chest and a distinct inability to breathe properly.

Among other therapeutic interventions such as managing old memories, learning meditation and relaxation, he trained himself to breathe differently by using some simple breathing techniques . This gave Callum a greater sense of control in situations where he’d previously felt fearful and inadequate.

Relax MGD©My overriding message to people suffering in this way, is that it is possible to change the way you think and feel.

Not everyone can afford counselling and therapy. You can however join a local yoga class that teaches breathing as a regular part of the class, talk to your Doctor and read up on the internet and educate yourself about the nature and reasons for panic and anxiety.

If you’re suffering from excessive stress, tension or the other things mentioned here sign up to download your free relaxation programs.

Stress Free With Confidence is a program that if listened to regularly can also help alleviate some of the symptoms of panic and anxiety.

Mean while you might find this audio clip useful. I’m always interested in your feed-back.