“If there are no ups and downs in your life, it means you are dead.”
A few years ago I was doing a trek in Nepal, and on the first day we were walking along the valley floor and the guide pointed upwards and said, “That’s where we are staying tonight.” My heart sank, to see the height of the hill/mountain we had to climb. But there was no alternative and we had chosen this particular route so that we could see the sunrise from the ‘top of the world,’ the next morning. And what an experience that was, with hundreds of others from all parts of the world, joined with one common exciting purpose. So the contrast was amazing! Yes it would have been easier to just walk along a flat path, but we would never have had that fantastic experience.
Life is also like that. How do we get the contrast of light and shadow, of good times and ‘bad,’ if we only ever have one basic experience? Life would become monotonous. The rich tapestry of special moments wouldn’t be treasured, if we didn’t have some challenges to gives us the contrast. Maybe even some pride in ourselves when we have overcome something that perhaps we didn’t know we could do. It takes acceptance of both the good points we have and the points we would rather hide, to make us who we are and what we have to offer the world.
Enjoy staying alive with both the ups and downs in your life! Robyn
“The art of being wise, is knowing what to overlook.” William James
At the end of the day the question we have to ask ourselves is, “Will this matter in a year or even 6 months from now?” The art of overlooking is never tested as sorely as when we have children. Tidy bedrooms, beds made, dyed hair, studs in the tongue. Our beliefs can affect these thought processes. At the end of the day we have to make a judgement call. Aah the word judgement. I was having a conversation with a friend recently because judgement has been tied to criticism and we were discussing how we still need judgement. Some may call it discernment, but being able to discern or judge with a clear mind can keep us safe, can help us to keep our relationships intact or feel comfortable with the decisions we have made.
Recently I was reading a series of blogs and one was about judgement. Rachael Jayne Groover was saying that judgement can help us choose, even down to which groceries we want; it can help us let go of situations that are causing anxiety, when we judge what is real or imagined; judgement helps us see red flags to sense what situation is or isn’t right for you. Understanding what is going on in the brain when we immediately react or jump to conclusions can help us to learn that we can do it differently if we choose to. At the start it may seem impossible to change our reactions. Being aware of your automatic brain reaction after it has happened is the first step, then noticing when you are in the midst of it, then finally bringing it back to priming yourself to be prepared and choose how you want to behave BEFORE an event. It is then so much easier to stay calm under apparent attack. That other person may be triggered by something very innocent and is smarting from their own judgements. Connecting regularly with that part of you that is wise, will help you judge and know what to overlook.
Enjoy overlooking minor things!
“Your competition isn’t other people. Your competition is your procrastination. Your ego. The unhealthy food you’re consuming. The knowledge you neglect. The negative behaviour you’re nurturing and your lack of creativity. Compete against that.” – Jade Jackson.
Have you thought of what is going on in your life in this way? Our inner being, our inner critic, can really put the brakes on, when we put out some goals that we want to achieve. I’m in an exercise group at the moment that has a very strong face book group who all support one another. This is so good when people fall off their eating plan, or they don’t exercise every day as they had planned. I haven’t seen any judgement, which I think is fantastic, as we can do a lot of that judging & criticising of ourselves which doesn’t get us anywhere. I have been in trainings where they suggest we have an accountability buddy who not only helps to keep us from procrastinating or neglecting the actions we said we planned to do, but also props us up as the inner critic tries to do a hatchet job.
When the ego decides to let us know we’re not achieving as we should, or we’ve had a bad day eating food we know really should be off limit, the brain creates the stress response by pumping out chemicals or hormones that shut down the part of the brain that is able to think clearly and help us to think positively again. This is an inbuilt reaction, a stress reaction exactly the same as when we are faced with a physical stress. If you don’t have an accountability buddy or a group of people who are cheering you on, it can be easy to let the negative voices in the head take over. The voices that tell you you’re not good enough, that you can’t achieve what you have said you want to do, or that, “other people can do that, but I can’t.” As this quote says, this is what we are all competing against. Recognising that is a start. Then setting up systems or better conversations in our head will help you work with those voices rather than against them, because those voices won’t stop.
Enjoy taking on this competition from a new perspective!
“The truth is we can learn to condition our minds, bodies & emotions, to link pain & pleasure to whatever we choose. By changing what we link pain & pleasure to, we will instantly change our behaviours.” Tony Robbins.
While will power can take us down a path we want to go, there are easier ways to create what we want in our lives. For example, most of us associate dieting and exercising with feelings of deprivation, which makes a goal like losing weight seem like an endless uphill battle. If through hypnotherapy we reprogram the mind to associate positive feelings with the behaviours we want to maintain, it
becomes natural and even easy to fulfill our goals. Whenever we make choices and say ‘no’ to one thing, we are then available to say yes to something else – something that may be more in line with what you want, or that excites you. In other words it is linked to more pleasure. And the more we are seeing from neuroscientific research, the more we understand how much the mind has to do with repeating the old patterns or choosing some new ones.
Sometimes we are so busy listening to the negative messages in the brain, that have been going around & around, ‘like a cracked record,’ we don’t stop to listen to the messages coming from our body for example the heart and gut. The messages that say, stop being so unkind to yourself, the messages that tell us when we are feeling good instead of focusing on the ones that tell us we are feeling bad and the messages that help us focus on the pleasures of life rather than focusing on the pain. When we connect with the pleasure, the good feelings, we change the vibration that others are feeling from us. Here in New Zealand we have public holiday today to recognize those who fought to have our working week reduced and better treatment by our employers. Sounds like focusing on pleasure to me.
Enjoy pushing the pain into the shadow and focus on what feels good!
“I have never thought of writing for the reputation and honour. What I have in my heart must come out; that is the reason why I compose.” Ludwig Van Beethoven
Beethoven started going deaf when he was 30 and lived until he was 57. In his last decade of life he was completely deaf & although he stopped conducting and performing he continued to write some amazing music. Imagine writing the wonderful music he did completely deaf, just putting down on paper what was inside him. These days we would describe his connection to that inner drive as, “being in the zone.”
We hear of artists who learnt the Silva method of meditation so they could connect with the work that was inside them. People like Wayne Dyer, who wrote some great books, say they have no conscious awareness of what they have written, that their message comes from inside to be expressed on the paper. In fact there is a ‘coach’ from Hawaii who takes groups of people to teach them to write the books that they feel called to write. Some express themselves with their bodies. I enjoy watching things like good gymnastics, ballroom dancing or ice dancing. We all have that ability to make a connection with our inner knowing and then express that in a way that is of benefit to others. There is a quote about not dying with the music still inside. How do you like to express the ‘music’ inside you?
Enjoy expressing your passion!
“Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath.” Eckhart Tolle
Most of my work is about emotions, in some form or other, that are causing us to feel discord in our body. Liza Palmer wrote another quote with similar sentiments that I have on my website homepage. “Angry is just sad’s body guard.” Whatever way it is put, the stronger emotions are usually stepping up to protect us in some way, perhaps trying to tell us something about not only what is going on right now, but where we may have experienced a similar situation in our life before, and this has created a pattern of how we react each time. Some people will say they don’t experience anger, but if they are really able to look at some of the things in their life that are upsetting, they may find they have learnt to swallow, or push down that reaction because society tells us that it is inappropriate to show anger.
Sometimes the anger is covering up for a fear that we feel, fear that we’re going to be cheated, that we’re going to fail, that we are not going to have the love we all need in our lives. If something wasn’t provided for us as children, we may fear our adult relationships are going to treat us the same way. So when a precious relationship looks like faltering, we immediately fear the loss we had as a child. As a child we may feel overwhelming powerlessness, helplessness or hopelessness at the hands of an adult and those feelings can stay stuck in our nervous system. The list is endless. Once we understand what is behind the anger we can learn how to deal with it by addressing those long held beliefs and fears.
Because the anger can be about these unmet needs, we could ask, “What is my anger telling me that I need?” Or we could ask, “Why am I angry? How can I deal with this differently, how can I respond differently?” Having that understanding can help us deal better with a behaviour that society condemns. We can then add shame and blame into the cauldron of negative emotions. This is not helpful, it does not take account of the fact that we are all human with emotions from both ends of the spectrum, with a history of experiences that have been less than empowering, but if we want to move forward we need to learn how to deal with them now as an adult, start taking responsibility to change our old patterns.
Enjoy loving the anger for what it is doing for you!
“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” Henry David Thoreau
If we all took notice of this quote we may think twice about some of the things we do with our lives. I know sometimes I can spend too long on face book as I see what others are up to & support others in the groups that I’m in. But it is very easy to let time slip by and suddenly I don’t feel so good about having let this activity to go beyond a short time of social interaction. And then I do feel that the price I have paid is more than I wanted, especially when I consider that I now no longer have that time every again, to do some of the things that are actually more meaningful to me. However I need to know what those meaningful things are, and how important they are to me – my Big WHY. Only then will I see whether the price I am paying is okay, is too much or I am prepared to spend more on.
I have just spent some time doing a Sleep course. I have learnt a lot about myself and my habits – not just sleep. This information that was new to me, encompassed the circadian rhythms and this excited me because for years I had felt I was out of step with society in general, because I didn’t feel the need to go to bed when everyone else did, or get up when the majority do, for that matter. I have learnt that I am in one of 4 different groups as found in my circadian rhythm. I learnt how this affects also when I should eat and exercise, and if I live according to that rhythm I will feel more energetic and it will support better health. Do you think that the price of my life to hear this is worth the time I spent? Because I am always trying to live a healthy life, I felt it was! What are the things you do, that are important to you, that are well worth the price you are paying with your life?
Enjoy doing those things most important to you!
“If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.” Hermann Hesse.
Do you resonate with this quote? Do you recognise that when you see a behaviour in someone else that doesn’t feel good, you notice it because it is familiar, you can feel something come up in you that you have felt before. The only problem is, your parents, your teachers, your culture or society, has conditioned you to believe that it isn’t appropriate to behave in that way. I’ve told the story before of the shame I felt over something I did as a 7 year old because I had been brought up to believe that I shouldn’t behave the way I had. At some level I suppose I must have believed that I had let the family down in some way. I don’t know how long it took for me to stop thinking about it, but it did pop up from time to time. It took 45 odd years before I realised that not everyone has been brought up with the same beliefs about life and that particular behaviour.
The part of me that behaved in that way, judged other people who also showed that side of their personality. I didn’t like it in myself and I didn’t like seeing it in others. It wasn’t until I realised that my belief was not a universal truth, that I could stop judging myself and others for that particular behaviour. Now I use those situations where I feel judgement come up about someone else’s behaviour or way of being, as a reason to look inward and discover where in myself have I done that, could do that or want to do that. This is a very powerful process to see that for what it is, just a belief, not a truth. Once I can acknowledge that, I can stop judging both the other person and myself. Judging anyone doesn’t feel good, and I’ve been the recipient of the judgement of myself too much in the past. It doesn’t feel good. Does this feel like something you would like to start doing?
Enjoy letting the judgement go!
“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.” Mark Caine
Have you ever felt like things are just not working out the way you would like, or that you are just not in the right place – you know it. If you really listen to the information your body is broadcasting you can see that you are not comfortable doing what you’re doing, you’re looking longingly at something else you want to do and it doesn’t feel good in your body to get up each day and do something you are not enjoying. Sure in every job there are tasks that are not the most exciting thing to do in the world but overall we feel on purpose or “on fire,” as some would say. With local elections coming up I have just been reading the thoughts of the 2 ODT reporters who sit in on the Council meetings. It was interesting to see one of them comment about a present councillor, “…so the question has to be asked: Why is he bothering?” Sometimes we could ask that of a lot of people around us, who we can see are not getting a lot out of life, but could others ask that about you?
Why are you bothering to get out of bed each morning and doing what you are doing? Do you feel like you are the hamster on the wheel going through the motions even though you are very aware of a vision that feels so much more empowering to you? Have you sat down and examined where you would like the direction of your life to head? This would be a great start. Sometimes we have had it so strongly ingrained in us that we are to do a certain thing with our life, that we haven’t allowed ourselves the ‘luxury’ of dreaming of a different life. But, I hear you say I can’t do that because….. Life is full of choices and if you want to listen to that voice and stay where you are, that is your choice and unless I’m living with you that’s not really going to reflect a lot on my life. But if you were to fast forward to your deathbed and look back at your life are you going to feel YEEAH I did everything I set out to do? Only you can answer that. If the answer is, “No,” do you think your life is going to feel successful? So what steps can you take today towards that dream of success on your terms.
Enjoy feeling successful!
“Like water, which can clearly mirror the sky and the trees only so long as its surface is undisturbed, the mind can only reflect the true image of the Self when it is tranquil and wholly relaxed.” Indra Devi
I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t had times when they are feeling disturbed or upset. When we are in the midst of it we can find it difficult to concentrate on what is going on around us at work or in our home life. It can be difficult to see our way through when things are not going the way we had planned. The Institute of Heart Math has done research showing that Heart rhythms are very reflective of inner emotional states and stress. As you can see in today’s image when we are frustrated, angry or otherwise feeling a ‘negative’ emotion, the result is disorder in the heart’s rhythms and this is also true in the autonomic nervous system – the nervous system that controls the automatic functions in our bodies. This adversely affects the rest of the body, leading to inefficiency and increased stress on the heart and other organs.
In contrast, as you can see on the bottom half of the image, positive emotions create increased harmony and what is called coherence in the heart rhythms. When the heart’s communication is clear and ordered, this coherence helps all our systems to be synchronized and working together harmoniously. Coherence is a high performance state where less energy is being wasted and we become very aware. This is the sort of state we are in when meditating or just sitting quietly focusing on our breathing. Feeling emotions like appreciation, compassion or love still the disorder, affecting the hormonal, immune and nervous systems in a good way, making them more efficient and less stressful to the body. Coherent heart rhythms help facilitate the brain to think more clearly, make better decisions and communicate better. Coherence helps the brain in creativity and innovative problem solving.
If you are experiencing a rough patch, hold on to your vision of how you would like to see your life unfolding, focus on the breath as it goes in and out of the body and imagine that undisturbed surface of the water reflecting that vision back to you and possibly a solution to your problem, because your heart is able to synchronize all your systems and create coherence.
“I am who I am today because of the choice I made yesterday.” Eleanor Roosevelt
I know that the Law of Attraction stuff, the Quantum Physics stuff or the metaphysical stuff is all a bit woo woo for some. However the work coming from the energetic back ground is showing us again and again that we can co-create our future with the thoughts we had yesterday as Eleanor Roosevelt is saying, or today, going forward. Those thoughts can be reactionary to what is going on around us and so not a conscious decision or choice, but a choice none-the-less. We can choose not to act in that reactionary way and think or feel into another way of responding to the situation. That is definitely a possibility, and takes some work to be mindful to the response we want to make in the moment. If I’m being triggered by some old memories or beliefs I may respond in an old way that I really didn’t intend and create a situation that I’m not happy about.
Each one of those choices and creations that I have made up to the present moment produced ‘the me,’ I am right now. Those experiences are all stored in the part of the brain which is more of a subconscious activity so I’m not aware of where that choice came from. This makes it hard to change, if we can’t see the thought that created the action in the first place. This is where noticing throughout the day what we are feeling is the key to unlocking that particular door. If you are not feeling good then what you are thinking is at the root of that feeling. If you want to change it, you need to choose a thought that helps you to feel good, which then causes you to act in a different way, so that tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, continue to create a different you, a you that has been chosen. Sound easy? Have a try!
Enjoy changing your feelings by changing your thoughts every day, and see where you get to!!