Saturday, December 30, 2017


If you were to accept everything in your life just as it is right now, how would that feel? I know you probably don’t want to. You probably want to change lots of things. Seems a very human thing to do. We want to improve ourselves. We want to improve our circumstances. We want to improve our relationships. We want more love, or more money, or more fun, or better health, or a better job, or a better house.
But if for a second, you were to imagine accepting everything just as it is, how would it feel? If you really cannot imagine this, then what is the block? Does it feel like you might be letting yourself down? Does it feel like the current circumstances might just be all there is for you? Do your thoughts then tell you that you are not worthy of anything better. Ah ha. Here is some stuff for you to look at, in you.
If just for a second you are able to imagine accepting everything just as it is, is there an opening and relaxing feeling? This is how it is for me. There is no way I can stay in it, because there is so much I wish to change in my life. And yet, I can feel the expansiveness that occurs when I accept totally. And in this expansiveness, I can sense that everything is possible. What a dilemma! On one hand there is acceptance and total expensiveness including that all is possible. On the other hand, there is no wish to accept because it might mean that this is all there is. What to do?
One suggestion is to imagine accepting and feel how it feels. Then to actually accept, just for a minute. But is it possible to come back from this? Because I don’t want to stay accepting. Or do I? Who knows!!  Of course, not being able to answer this is just like life. We really do not know anything. Everything we think we know may or may not be right. It’s likely that it isn’t right.
So maybe there is no choice anyway. Maybe we have to accept, so we may as well do it willingly. Instead of fighting it.
And just know that acceptance does not mean that things won’t change. It does not mean that we are stuck. It actually allows the universe in to expand our life. It allows possibilities to present themselves and us to actually see them. It’s our minds and thoughts that get in the way. It’s thinking we know that limits us.

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Christmas rush

At this time of the year, do you find yourself spiralling into panic? Do you feel overwhelmed by the things to do, by the music, by the….everything? And to be really honest, it’s not all about how much you have to do, is it? Even when plans are coming along perfectly and easily, it can feel like there is an increase in rush, and pressure. The traffic seems more, the shops are more crowded, people move faster, things get remembered and have to be acted on before the rush or before the holidays. There are parties to go to, more shopping to do, people to coordinate for getting together, events to organise, presents to buy, cards to send. Children get frazzled and tired. Adults get stressed and anxious. It can all add up to……..too much. And yet somehow, we continue to go along with it. It’s almost like a habit….. to feel rushed and stressed just because it’s Christmastime. Where did you learn this habit? There’s almost an expectation that you will feel this way, even though you say you don’t want to.
So can you get yourself out of this?  Somehow, even when we plan things in advance, something else crops up, and plans need changing. It can stir up feelings to have to change plans. Somehow trusting oneself can go out the window. Trusting that things will work out okay, can go out the window. Trusting others to do their part can go out the window too. Chaos can be felt. So time for a recharge of you. Breathe, slow down, stop for a moment and acknowledge your feelings. Funnily enough, often when we slow down, more gets done. Weird eh? Try it. Be present to each task. Do it mindfully. Leave the next task until you have finished this one.
And whatever feeling arises inside you, just know that you are allowed to feel it. You can respect yourself and acknowledge how you feel. You may want to do something from that feeling, such as speak to someone connected with the feeling. Or change your plans. Or you may be able to feel the feeling in your body and let it dissolve. You can feel it and carry on with whatever needs doing. You can act from the best part of you even if you are not feeling like the best you. You can feel overwhelmed and breathe into that feeling. You can feel chaos and breathe into the feeling. We can feel panic when we think we can’t cope with how we feel. If you take a couple of minutes to feel your feeling inside your body, before carrying on, it can make all the difference. Feelings react quite well when acknowledged. They often disappear.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Taking care of yourself.

There is a lot of talk these days about looking after oneself. And it’s not selfish to do so. Sometimes, the reason people tell you to look after yourself is because you are doing everything for other people and forgetting you. Or it could possibly be, that your behaviour is governed by a neediness in you to prove yourself to others, or to gain other’s approval. And in doing so, forgetting to take care of you. Or maybe it feels just too hard, because there is so much to do, and everyone needs you. Just stop and consider if you really value yourself. Do you really have to be everywhere at once, looking after everyone else?
Looking after oneself does not necessarily mean that you go off and book yourself a holiday, or a massage or a dance class. It may do, but not necessarily. There are many ways of looking after yourself and only you can know what this truly means. If you need touch and aren’t getting it, then a massage could well be the answer, or even regular massages. You may think that you need some excitement, and this may be great in the anticipation and even on the day. It can also be a distraction from the issue that is bothering you. We do tend to think that we will be happy when we get………., or if a certain thing happens. And it may do for a short time, and then the old issue will start rumbling away again, pushing you to gain another excitement or pushing you into depression.
5 simple ways to look after yourself:
1.       Give yourself some positive feedback. Think back over the day and consider what you did or what you said. Give yourself a mental pat on the back for those that you were pleased about. Let the rest go and know that you did your best.
2.       Take a few minutes at the beginning of the day, maybe even before getting out of bed to lightly run over the day. Then set an intention for you. It could be as simple as intending to take 5 deep breaths when you get in the car. It could be to be aware of how you feel and know that your feelings are valid. Or it could be to have that difficult conversation.
3.       Have some fresh air and exercise. Even a 5 minute walk can be refreshing.
4.       Take time to eat. Rather than stand and gobble down your breakfast as you look after everyone else, sit down and be mindful about eating. Give your body a chance to actually focus on what is happening inside without the rush.
5.       Develop awareness of this moment. Be honest with yourself to yourself about what is going on inside you.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Making decisions.

 It’s easy to get into a muddle. Our minds are a bit of a liability. They are a bit of a responsibility. They need looking after and keeping track of. Otherwise the thoughts go round and round, and off on a tangent and back again, with nothing solved. It’s a mystery that we get any answers really. Because the mind gets hopelessly tangled up. 
When do you make your clearest decisions? For some people, the answers arise spontaneously in times of peace and calm. It might be walking in nature or relaxing in the bath. (Didn’t Albert Einstein find answers to his problems in the bath). The answers might pop up when you least expect them. Like when you have taken a break from thinking about them. Maybe when you have relaxed and had some fun. It seems that when we forget to try and make a decision that the answer just arises. From where? 
For me, I sometimes ask a question as I go to bed and the answer is clear when I wake. Or I sit at the beach and just “be”……feeling whatever is here and dropping through these feelings to the stillness that is inside, and then the answer arises. 
The thing with the mind, is that it is programmed by our up-bringing. The brain goes through massive development during the first 3 years. What we experience, especially to do with attachment to our significant carer, creates our security in ourselves, develops our ability to trust, it creates our ability to connect with people, it creates our beliefs about ourselves. And the further early years reinforce or develop these even more, depending on our experiences. 
Trust, security, connection, and beliefs will affect how we make decisions. The state of these factors will affect how you live your life and affect your ability to be true to yourself. When you were little, if the only time you received love was when you pleased others, then your adult decisions will be coloured by an unconscious desire to please. This can stop you sticking up for yourself. It can stop you from being true to you. If, when you were little, you developed a fear of arguments, disagreements and conflict, this will influence how you make decisions as an adult. You may not be consciously aware of it, but you may delay making a decision until life forces it on you. You may delay making a decision until someone else makes it for you. You may be afraid to step up and state your mind. You may not be able to make a decision that honours you. You may just follow along with other people’s decisions. 
So much of how we are in life stems from our early childhood. Can we change? Certainly. Develop awareness. Observe yourself and see the patterns. Observe how you talk and how you behave and what you avoid. Then deliberately challenge yourself in tiny little ways. Find the stillness that is inside you. Especially when you need to make a decision. Trust the stillness. Not the doubts, shoulds, should nots, wants, can’ts, don’ts. Take time to be inside you. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

What are you suffering?

Are you suffering worry? Are you suffering pain? Are you suffering trauma? Are you suffering stress? Some spiritual traditions suggest that to be human is to suffer. Well, to be human means we feel emotions and we have an active mind. And we want to be loved. And we want to be happy.
So consider this question…………If you didn’t think would you suffer? If you mind didn’t go round and round, would you suffer? If your mind didn’t come up with doubts and interpretations, would you suffer?
I am suggesting that your mind creates the suffering. If you didn’t think so much about whatever is going on or worrying you, then you wouldn’t suffer.  So you might then think: well I can control my mind with positive thinking and affirmations.
Trouble is, your willpower will only work for a while and then the other stuff will creep back in. Before changing your thinking to positive thoughts you need to face whatever is bugging you.
Recently I had something bugging me. It meant that I lost sleep for a few nights. My mind was going intensely, over and over the whole situation and the memories associated with it. A variety of emotions were being felt. And I did allow myself to feel them. I felt them in my body. Then I thought about them, and because our thoughts keep the emotion there, I felt them some more. Eventually though, I dropped through them into a place of stillness and from there clarity arose.  As in, what I needed to do. The important thing is to do what I sense is right for me. Not what someone else says to do, or what someone asks me to do, or what my mind suggests I could do, but what is right from my deepest truth.
Here’s my formula to escape suffering.
1.      1.  Let emotions be felt as they arise. If we feel them in the body without the thoughts about why they are there, then they dissolve.
2.       2. Acceptance of how you feel about the situation. Acceptance about your own feelings allows your body to relax. In this relaxing, solutions and possibilities will arise. If you are tense you close off to ways to change the situation.
3.       3. If you have past trauma, and you are aware that it’s affecting you, seek a safe helper to guide you to feel and release the internal trauma.
4.       4. Exercise self care. Think (give your mind a job to do!) about the food you eat, the exercise you do, comfort, rest, fresh air, the company you enjoy.  If you don’t value yourself enough to take care of yourself, then this is the issue that needs attending to.
5.       5. Don’t believe everything your mind tells you. Be light with your thoughts.
6.       6. Live in the moment. Feel emotions, concentrate on the task you are doing, be present to the person you are having a conversation with. If you need to plan the future, then attend to the task of planning for the future, in this moment.

Remember, inside you are a person of value. You are someone worth respecting, so respect yourself first and then others will respect you.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

What trauma did you experience when you were young?

What is trauma? There are traumatic events that take place unexpectedly, and there is ongoing trauma that happens for some people. And really it is the trauma that develops inside a person that is the real trauma. This trauma is the emotions that get stuck and the negative self-beliefs that are formed from these emotions.
Young children have no skills for coping with either unexpected traumatic events or ongoing trauma. They have no resources. They are reliant on the adults that care for them, to protect them and support them to healthily deal with emotions. During the first 3 years their brains are rapidly developing. The brain is very vulnerable, especially at that time. Disrupted brain development can result in brain pathways not being formed in a functional working way leading to emotional, cognitive, behavioural and/or interpersonal deficits or disorders. And psychological research is showing that there is a link between trauma in childhood and adult health problems.
What took place for you in your early years? The results of trauma play out all through your life. It’s not so much what the trauma is, but what happened inside you. Do you become scared of people? Did you become unable to have a close relationship? Did you comply and agree and do people pleasing behaviours? Did you become a workaholic, or an alcoholic or a substance abuser to run away from it? Or are the effects more subtle, like me. When I was a baby, my older brother was ill with polio for a long time, and it seems to me that I was crying a lot and I was not heard. This led to feelings and internal beliefs of unworthiness, not being heard, the need to be “good”, not wanting to speak up for myself, not valuing myself.
If the child’s significant carer is unknowingly part of the trauma, maybe by not being available, or by providing inconsistent love, or by not meeting basic needs, or by not protecting the child, then the child is going to grow up feeling the impact every day. Those first few years are so profoundly important for a person.
When we think about how widespread trauma and its effects are, it would be easy to feel despair. How can someone overcome the internal impact of trauma which happened when so very young and vulnerable? When young there is no way for a child to develop healthy emotional responses, unless the adults around provide loving mature support.

But can it be done later? YES. There are many forms of help available. You can choose the one that feels right for you. Whether it is talking and understanding the trauma and the impact, or emotional release work, or body work, or spiritual work. Trauma can turn into empowerment. Trauma can be growth for you. Through facing your own trauma and the emotions attached, there can develop a greater compassion for yourself, and greater compassion for others. This can lead to you living a more satisfying and authentic life. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Saying sorry, apologising, asking for forgiveness.

Are these 3 the same thing?
Anyway, starting at the beginning. When children are young, parents, educators and others encourage children to say they are sorry, when they have hurt someone, or broken someone’s thing. Children are told to say sorry, before they have even understood what it means. It looks like just being taught the words for the occasion. However, most people probably also model this around the children and say they are sorry when required. An adult might even say, for example: “I’m sorry that you broke Aunty’s vase. Now she doesn’t have her vase that she has loved for years. I’m going to say sorry to Aunty. How about you do too?”
For some adults, sorry doesn’t happen. Maybe they didn’t have the teaching or the modelling when young. And there is more to it than that. Saying sorry or apologising can be downright difficult. It can feel really awkward. It’s like exposing yourself as being wrong. It’s like revealing your worst self. You just don’t want to say those words. How would you feel about asking someone to forgive you? Does that feel even stronger?
When you do say sorry, does the other person acknowledge what you have said and say thank you? What do you say when someone apologises to you? Often we tend to brush it off and say something like “That’s ok” or “No need to apologise” or “There is nothing to forgive”. We try and make things better as fast as possible to get out of that awkward situation, instead of using the opportunity for a real connection.
I have had the experience of my apology and my asking for forgiveness being treated just like that. And for me, it then feels like I’m not free of it.  When someone told me that forgiveness was not needed, I felt like I was being shut off, brushed aside, not listened too, and not valued.
Asking for forgiveness or apologising for something you have done, whether you meant to do it or not, gives you the opportunity to be honest, it gives you the chance to show kindness, it gives you the time to connect authentically. It allows you to accept what you did and to be free of the feelings associated with it. It allows you to drop it.
It could be an apology for words causing emotional hurt, or upset, even though you were unaware of doing that and had no intention of causing pain. Apologies are powerful. They can mean that you connect instead of brushing stuff aside.
Responding to an apology or request for forgiveness is a wonderful chance to really listen and understand the other side. To inquire into what was actually going on for the other person. So feel grateful for the apology and say thank you, instead of brushing it away.
And think about saying sorry to yourself. Or forgiving yourself. Give yourself some love and compassion.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Hospital experience.

Recently I was at the hospital. I was sitting there watching people and thinking that I see 2 sorts of people. Those that appear strong inside themselves and those who don’t.
Those who have a strength inside them let this show. They may not even know. They may not even be aware. But something makes them different from the others. It’s like they know they will be okay, whatever happens. It’s as if they know that they will be taken care of, in a way that fits with honouring themselves. They know they are still in charge. They know they will be listened to and respected.
The others are looking down, looking closed off, being sorry for themselves, feeling worthless and just doing what they are told. And maybe attracting more despair and more of being a victim. And really, these people are only victims of their own beliefs. It is easy to drop into feeling sorry for oneself, especially when one is in pain. Or when the professionals are telling the worst case scenario, as they do. It’s easy to feel down and go further down when health issues multiple. And especially when someone believes unconsciously that they are worthless or not of value. So just know that you are of value and are worthy of respect.
We so want our bodies to work well. Except when, we have some unconscious desire for attention and care, and it seems the only acceptable way to get this is to be sick or need hospital care. Or when one believes the words spoken are the truth whereas they may be an opinion.

As I was sitting there, I was asking myself…..which sort of person am I?  (What sort of person are you?) I realised that it is possible to be both at different times. Emotions can be triggered by the words spoken by professionals. This can be compounded by another specialist’s words. It is difficult to sort out the information in one’s head to see how it fits with one’s understanding of one’s self. The key is to stay present. Lift oneself up and engage brain. You can do it. Promise yourself you will let yourself feel the overwhelm, the confusion, the worthlessness, the terror, the hopelessness later. In the meantime, focus on the person in front of you and know that inside yourself, you can sort this out. Show that you respect yourself by putting your head up and asking that question. Give that piece of information even if it is not important. Be listened to. And let yourself blob while you wait, and wait again. A bit of numbing out by watching the TV or by reading the trashy magazine can give you a rest from the thoughts. And honour yourself by acknowledging the feelings that are stirring inside you……later, let yourself feel them, because by letting yourself feel them, they give way to a developing clarity. Then you can do what’s right for you. 

Thursday, September 7, 2017


Long word…………………taking a long time to actually do something.
Do you have something that you want to do, but you keep putting off? Do you have something that you are going to do “one day”? Maybe you have several things you have put off, that other people, maybe family, have heard you say you are going to do. When?? If you put them off so long that you can’t do them, will you feel relieved or resentful? What is really in the way? What is the cost to you personally of not doing them?
You may not even know that you are putting off doing something. It might seem so natural to think that it will happen sometime. It might seem like the absolute truth that there are reasons why you haven’t done that thing. The reasons may seem very real. You may believe your thoughts about why you can’t do something just now.
With me, it feels like I wait for the right time. Sometimes it seems like the more I think about it, the more I don’t do it, and then suddenly, its right and I do it with no thinking. I have had a lot of practise waiting for the right time. Waiting. Waiting. Preparing the words. Preparing my mind. Not being confident enough, thinking that I was not good enough, worrying about other people’s feelings, feeling responsible for others feelings, not wanting to be exposed as me.
So what gets in the way for you? Apart from the reasons (really!). Our minds seem to be programmed to come up with reasons to not do stuff. Our minds are so good at producing the doubts. Underneath these reasons, we might worry about what people will think of us. It might be plain scary to be seen doing what we want to do? What if we fail? What if we succeed? We might worry about being judged. Or criticised.
You might have a dream that you want to follow but then the mind asks how are you going to do that bit, or where is the money for that, or maybe it’s not the right time. Our minds can go into overload about the detail. What if you were to just take the first step and don’t even think about the next step. Concentrate on just this step. I remember learning this lesson when walking/climbing up a mountain in India – the only thing to do was to focus on just this step. It wasn’t even one step at a time, which implies that another will follow….it was just concentrate on this step. Nothing about the next. Try it….take the step, feel how it feels and the next step will be revealed as you complete the one you are doing.

Recently I got called on my own procrastination, and realised that I was putting something off for no good reason really. So I will do it this week. Will you?

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


I broke a bone in my ankle 45 years ago. Any relevance for today?
Physically, I have had issues with the hip and the knee on that side. Probably because back then, it was a case of plaster up to the knee for several weeks and no physio afterwards. Would this have affected how I walk, how I use that side of my body, where I put my weight in different positions?? Quite likely. And would these different patterns of walking and weight bearing have continued over the years meaning that some parts of the body are now being strained? Probably.
And, what about emotions and beliefs stored in the body? Well, I have faced some emotions stored in my hip and knee, and let these go.
Now it is time to revisit the memory.
This is what I remember. I had taken my flatmate to work on her motor scooter. I was returning when I went round a corner. I turned the accelerator handle bar the wrong way!! So I went faster, rather than slowing down. At that moment I froze, so I was unable to reverse the action. I sped round the corner and drove smack into a parked car on the other side of the road, which flipped me and the scooter onto our sides in the middle of the road.  Since then I have mightily blamed myself for the huge mistake that I made. Any time I have remembered it, I have felt so stupid and so bad. I made a stupid mistake. A mistake that should not have happened. It was more than a mistake…. I had actually done the complete opposite to what one should do. So not a little mistake.  In my mind it meant that I was worthless and totally stupid. Throughout my life this is how I have felt about any mistake. No matter how little.
Today I also realised that in the moment, I froze. So I was unable to correct. Which would have been simple to do. Doubly stupid. Why? Probably because as a child, I had developed this strategy. I made a mistake, I got told off, and then someone else fixed it. (because I was not clever enough to fix it) So I learned to freeze myself, to not feel, to not think, to just get through the next few moments. And then someone did it for me. This strategy had an effect on how I handled the scooter accident situation. And no one there to fix it for me. And really it need not have been like that, if I had had a different coping strategy in place.

Consider your own strategies. What do you do when you make a mistake? Do you wish you could wind the clock back and undo the mistake? Do you joke about it, in order to cover up your feelings? Consider your childhood and see what strategies you developed to cope with mistakes. Just know that whatever your way of dealing with mistakes, that these were strategies were put in place when you were young. You have more internal resources now, so take a look, and maybe change your strategies.

Friday, August 11, 2017


There is that saying….something like you can’t change it so just accept it. How do you feel when someone says that to you? Not listened to? Not heard? Yep. Me too. (might be something in there about not worrying too)
Then from a spiritual point of view, there is the goal of accepting whatever circumstance we are in. But what does this really mean? That we allow people to tread all over us? That we put up with things as they are? That we don’t try to fix things? That we don’t think about changing things? That we don’t plan to walk a different path?
As humans we seem compelled to want more, or better, or healing or fixing or improving. We want more money. We want a better house. We want better health. We want to fix our body. We want to be more confident. We want to be someone better than we are. We want to develop spiritually.
The concept of acceptance seems to be opposite of these. And then there is the thing of judgement entering into this. If we have the perfect life, we will accept life as it is, won’t we? How do you judge what is perfect. You might say, everything in balance. (not being greedy, of course!) How do we get to balance? And maybe this is just a concept we like because it allows us to feel comfortable. Some of us really like to feel comfortable. No conflict, no annoying emotions please.
I suggest that acceptance is something to be considered in any moment. Do you accept that right now you are in pain? Do you accept that right now you do not have the abundance of money that you would like? Do you accept that right now you do not have the house that you want? Do you accept that right now you do not have the life that you want? Or you are not the person you want to be? In getting a sense of acceptance, there is a relaxing that happens. There is a letting go of the effort that has been taking place. The effort makes you tense. It can make pain worse. It can make you grumpy. It can make you unhappy.
Acceptance means that you accept in this moment. It does not mean that things won’t change. Somehow, in the relaxing, other options appear, that wouldn’t if you are tense. Somehow, acceptance opens the door to more.  Letting go of effort, supports you in living your life fully, because you are then open to possibilities that arise. You can be light with the circumstance, knowing that things change, with no effort from you. Amazing things can happen. More amazing than you believe you deserve.  Just stay relaxed. Just stay in this moment. Treasure yourself so that you don’t put up with circumstances, that you don’t allow others to tread all over you. Trust your amazing self to know what to do.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Is calmness a cover up for more interesting emotions.?

We think we are clever. We think we are doing the right thing. We think we are being righteous. We think we are being good. How? By not allowing our emotions. It’s how we have been conditioned by our family, and by society. We are taught that it’s good to be calm and balanced all the time. We strive for this. We strive to be right in this.
When I was younger people admired how calm I was. I can tell you, that it was a big cover up job. Any hint of emotion and I stuffed it down. Too scary. Too unknown an area. And there was a cost to me. It meant that I sailed along in life without experiencing the richness of life. I didn’t experience any strong emotions, either the “negative” ones or the exciting joyous ones.  Bland, I say. BLAND!!.
Do you know what to do with your emotions? Do you allow them to be felt? Do you find them scary and stuff them down before you even get a little feel? Is your life bland?
How about you do a little experiment with yourself. Have an intention to be curious about your feelings. Maybe when you are on your own so you feel safe. And see what happens. As you experiment more you will begin to notice more about how you are feeling. Allow yourself to feel the emotions in your body. When your mind jumps in with the story of why you feel this way, just ask your mind, where in the body do you feel this, and bring your awareness to that part. Your mind will try and jump in again, it’s what minds do. Redirect your awareness to your body. Your body is where emotions are felt.
These days, I am actually more genuinely calmer than I was earlier. Well, you know, in-between the other emotions!! My body has been learning that I will allow emotions to be felt. So they arrive. The good, the bad and the in-between. All emotions are welcome in me. This allows me to live life more lightly, because emotions come and then they go. Emotions do not hang around when they are welcomed to be felt.

Sometimes we want to have the thoughts about the emotion. We want to analyse them. Somehow it seems to justify them. Somehow if we can blame someone else or some circumstance for our feelings then we don’t have to own our own feelings. But really, give yourself some trust. Know that it is safe to feel feelings in your body. If you fall apart into vulnerability, so be it. It is actually okay. If you fall into anger, this is okay too….feel it in your body. If fear or even terror arises, feel that too. You do not have to do anything with the emotions, except feel them. Then they dissolve. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017


Have you ever noticed that after some work on your body, such as massage, bowen, physio, yoga, that emotions arise? Or when you have been to the doctor about an issue? Take note next time, because developing awareness allows you the opportunity to feel emotions that can then be released.
Research has shown that when emotions are stuffed down over time, something in the biochemistry of the cells changes. The cell receptors close in a bit. And if your immune system is down and if disease is going to come knocking, then these cells will be affected. If you have a chronic condition there will be an emotional cause buried deep inside. The World Health Organisation says that over 85% of diseases have an emotional component or cause. Add emotional release work to your health plans.
Recently, I had pain in my hip. When I went to bed one night, I was rubbing my hip…. Giving it some love really, or trying to distract myself from the pain!! But keeping my awareness on the hip. And without effort, an emotion came up and was felt. It was shame….certainly an emotion I don’t want to feel. Certainly one that I stuffed down. But in being honest with myself, I acknowledged it. And then a memory came. I then spoke and got things off my chest. I mostly spoke to my younger self ……..until her and I reached a point of understanding. Since then, the pain has been going.
You can bring your awareness to that part of your body and ask the question: If this part of my body had words what would it say? And how does this make you feel?  This may give you a clue because arising from the emotion, there may be a memory. Have compassion for yourself. Know that all emotions are valid. In our society we usually learn to stuff emotions down. “be brave”, don’t cry”, don’t get angry, don’t be sad, time to get over it. And all this does us a disservice. We actually need to learn to allow ourselves to feel emotions. It is not about projecting emotions out there and acting out against other people. It’s not even about talking about them, because usually we get into the story of why we feel that way. We start trying to figure out why we feel that way and the reasoning becomes blame. And repeating the story keeps the emotion there. The ultimate treatment for emotions is to feel them in the body. These is where we naturally feel them, and it’s unfortunate that we have been brought up to think them, rather than feel them. So when you feel an emotion, subtly or strongly, let yourself feel it in your body. Bring all your awareness to the feeling, focusing on your body so the mind is occupied. Relax into the emotion and it will dissolve in a short time.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Relationships: What is seen and what is buried?

This is not a column of how to make relationships work, nor how to find the perfect relationship. It’s about you and me. There is something in the core of us that wants to be loved. To be cared for. To be treasured. To be safe and protected. There is a want to share fun things, to share achievements, to share troubles. Someone who just “gets” you. Someone who values you and respects you. Who really listens. Someone to show love to, to care for and do things for. Me too.
For some people, these relationships are with family members. For some people, these relationships are with close friends. For some people these relationships are with animals. And for some, the love is between love partners.
What do you bring to a relationship? You bring your personality, your behaviour patterns built up over years, your way of talking, the words and phrases you use, your habits, your love language, your values, your beliefs about life, your beliefs about yourself, your need for control, your need for physical closeness, your need for spontaneity, your need for clarity and rules, your need for understanding…………….. And then, do each of these things match those of the other person? Not in terms of whether these factors are there and apparent, but rather HOW they manifest in daily life for you and the other person. What is the sea-saw effect inside you when there are differences? How much internal movement happens when you try and be the same? How rocky do you like things to be? How much conflict can you tolerate? Do emotions such as resentment build up inside?
Notice what goes on inside you. You are questioned …… do you interpret these questions? You are told what to do………do you interpret this as being controlled or not? You are given feedback………do you interpret this as criticism or not?
And do you notice that all these things depend on how you feel about yourself? If you feel great and confident in yourself, things just slide off? If you are feeling a bit down then differences in comments, beliefs, values can seem important.
Our perspectives and interpretations are how we see our world. Inside you are an amazing being. In relationship you have the opportunity for connection with another. But there may be a gap between you. What is dropping into this gap and being lost?
Our innermost needs arise at odd times and we may not always be aware of them. As they arise, observe how they sit in you. Maybe you can meet your own needs. Maybe you can take care of you. Show yourself compassion. Show yourself love. Treasure you. Take time for you to meet your needs. Maybe you need some quiet time, some walk in bush time, some creativity time, some listen to yourself time. And then your expectations of the other may not be so definite.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What do you put up with and how does it affect you?

Do you ever feel like you are putting up with stuff? Putting up with pain? Putting up with being uncomfortable? Putting up with put-downs? Putting up with being criticised? Putting up with people’s anger? Putting up with being told what to do? Putting up with people being negative? Putting up with your living arrangements? Putting up with people not caring?
Why do you put up with these things?
There are probably many reasons. Underlying these reasons that your mind tells you, will be some issues inside you.  Could be a lack of confidence to speak up. You might be too scared to speak up.  Might be a lack of courage. Could even be a feeling that you deserve this treatment. Might be that you don’t feel strong enough in yourself. Maybe you don’t have love for yourself, or even respect. Or value yourself enough. And your need to avoid conflict could be strong. As well, you may fear the consequences of speaking up. Could simply be an old habit that just carries on because it’s comfortable and familiar. Could even be connected to a sense of commitment.
What is the cost of this putting up with stuff? The cost to you as a person? Does it matter? Do you value yourself enough to realise that putting up with anything is not doing you a service. The cost is that you are not free to express who you really are. The cost is that you are not living your life in your purpose. The cost is that inside you are building up resentment. It may be bubbling away at a very low level. The effect of this resentment is that the anger underneath may explode at an unexpected moment. The possible cost to you is your health. All that pushed down emotion can affect your physical health.
What to do? Spend some time contemplating the questions mentioned. If they apply to you, then do some searching inside you. What do you really believe about yourself? Be honest. And how does this affect your behaviour and your ability to speak up clearly and calmly for yourself. What would you like to change about yourself? Maybe you could do with some help to change yourself.
Personally, I was in a place of putting up with most of the things mentioned. For many, many years. I lacked courage, I lacked self-esteem, I lacked the belief that I would be heard. I did not value myself. I did not feel good enough. The physical health issues were a gift because they meant that I then looked for help. And found more than the help for the physical issues.
When we feel strong inside ourselves, when we feel of value, when we feel we are worthy, then we can make changes to how we talk, to how we perceive situations, to what we will put up with. We can be happy and enjoy life.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Directing your life.

There is agony in trying to direct one’s life. We think we want to.  We have a plan. We may know what we want to do. We may have expectations about the future. And we know that these expectations are right for us. We may have a purpose. We may have read about how “thoughts become things”.  So let’s think those things into reality. The agony arrives when it doesn’t work out. Recently I experienced this agony. And it was real emotional agony. I was feeling so restricted by money and by circumstances. I had been so sure that I knew what I was supposed to be doing. I had been so sure that things were going to flow in the way that I wanted them to flow.
Wanting something actually creates a barrier to getting it. How can that be? Because in feeling the wanting, we learn how wanting feels and experiencing it more, just means it get more and more familiar, so it stays right there inside. We stay wanting. It’s like the wanting creates a block. 
So some people create vision boards, some people list the detail of what they want (e.g. the qualities of a partner they would like or a house they would like), some people write gratitude lists, and some people use other strategies of manifestation to get what they want. Does trying to get what we want mean that we are in charge of our life and directing our life?
Be clear on your values. Because these will allow your life to flow. I don’t mean the usual old-school values like honesty (and there are different levels to this!), respect, trying your best, goodness, working hard, pleasing people.
There are even deeper values that you can decide on. Values that can govern your every word, every action and every thought. For me these are inner truth, recognising the goodness in everyone, love, living in each moment. The inner truth is a deep knowing of rightness which is different to the mind saying what is right. Recognising the goodness in people is a real knowing that people behave the way they do because of the conditioning from their youth and their emotions……..there behaviour is not who they really are. Love is more than loving other people and more than loving oneself. It is being love. Living in the moment means the acceptance of emotions that arise (feeling them, not acting on them) and the ability to look at each moment freshly rather than from the ideas of the past.
So I experienced the agony of the emotions that arose when my thoughts went round and round about limitations. I allowed myself to feel the agony and the emotions that were under it. Tears came aplenty. And that was what was there is those moments. Until they weren’t there. Until acceptance and love filled that space.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Spirituality, Religion or here now?

Are you on a spiritual path? Do you follow a religion?
Funny things…….are words. Do you notice that the religion question includes the word “follow”? To you, this may be quite okay. To you, it may even be righteous and meant with integrity. And that’s okay. To me, it implies doing what someone else says and not being in my own truth. Which is right? I can’t say what is right for anyone. Who has the right to say what is right for someone else? You need to decide for yourself. Maybe it’s scary to decide for yourself? Maybe you don’t think that you are good enough to decide for yourself. But actually, you are.
To access your own right answer it is helpful if you can relax into your being. Because your mind usually can’t come up with answers. Well, your mind will try, but what is really happening is that your mind answers from the conditioning that you have experienced growing up. And the emotions that you have stored. Research has shown that when faced with a decision, the emotional part of the brain lights up first and then this is quickly followed by the cognitive /thinking part of the brain. To truly access what is right for you, it will be helpful if you release all the stored emotional patterns and ways of thinking. How to do this? (Come and see me!)  After all, there probably are plenty. You may have observed yourself and how you react/respond to situations. You may be aware that in the split second before reacting, that there is a decision made…………. If you can catch yourself in this moment, there is the opportunity to change how you respond.
Some people might say that I am on a spiritual path. I do have the word path in my website name! However, my spirituality is about learning to live in the moment, to be totally present so that I can make the choices from the very best part of me, to live from the stillness that is within. And this is nothing airy-fairy. This is real life. I recently had the opportunity of releasing some of the emotional stuff that I mentioned in my last article. Those beliefs that I had put in place when young about love being conditional and that I needed to work at being good in order to earn love. So now I am feeling deeply peaceful.
A spiritual path can be just as narrow as following a religion. Maybe you think you are following a path to somewhere. Maybe to freedom. But when will you get there? How can you know what is in the future?  Be here, right now. Because you are free right now….in your inner self. Right now, you can choose expansiveness and discover your own truth. Let go of the limitations that you believe are around you.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Letting love in.

Let me tell you a story: Recently I went for a walk in a pine forest with a friend. We walked a long way downhill. Through swampy ground and my gumboot had a leak….so I was getting a wet foot. Ugh! And feeling cross. Then we sat down. Looking up I could see the branches of the pine trees, and also the fronds of a tall tree fern. It felt like they were sheltering us, embracing us. We sat on some rocks. (old volcanic rocks placed there by the force of the earth) We sat in stillness and my friend prompted me to uncover what was going on inside me. I was super reluctant, in fact, it felt like there was no choice for me. I was either going to run away (rebel) or resign myself to staying stuck. No falling into and facing whatever emotion was deeper. In the midst of this a realisation arose – that I felt threatened by love. And secondly that the rebel or resign scenario is a pattern of mine.
So what to do with these realisations. What would you do? Are they familiar to you? Do you accept love offered to you?
For me, I realised that in my childhood, love was conditional. I had to earn it by doing as I was told, by being good, by behaving right. And so in growing up, I worked to earn love. I tried to gain approval from others. In my marriage I worked to earn love. I worked hard at keeping the peace so that I knew that I had earned love. And what is love, really.
Can you love yourself? Can you love the little child that is still a part of you? My little child was so confused. Afterall, our parents or those we live with when we are young affect our whole way of being. In order to feel truly secure and connected to others, we need to experience unconditional love. When we perceive that strings are attached then we set up beliefs about ourselves that do not serve us in truth. We may believe that love only comes when we submit to being controlled. We may believe that we have to behave in certain ways. We may believe that we are worthless on our own. And there are many more possible beliefs that could have been put in place on the same theme.

So how about you talk to the little you inside you, and show understanding and compassion. Maybe give her or him some resources to help him or her cope differently. Stop for a moment and let the love of the universe in. And if you were to show unconditional love to your inner self, what then………….

Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Years Resolutions

Often New Years Resolutions are things we think we "should" do........... we've been told by the media or by friends that we should be fitter, healthier, wealthier, smarter, etc. Or they are things that have been niggling at us for some time and because it's holidays and the start of a new year, we think we will decide to do it.
And being human beings, we usually want to improve ourselves, or have more, or enjoy a change!!!!!
It might be health, fitness, wealth, activities, weight, spirituality,...........
Change your focus a little. Be still and quiet for a moment and breath. Just allow the notion that if there were no restrictions (such as money, people, health....) and absolutely all creativity was present right here, what would you really like to do? Let your mind lazily travel outside the box of your existence to the place of all possibilities.
No limits, no boundaries, open expansiveness, all possibilities.
And then, a bit later, what would the first little step towards that be? Take that baby step, not knowing the plan ahead. Focus on that step only, without getting ahead of yourself. When that is completed, the next one will be revealed.

So, here I am, taking my own advice. Sitting and being still, opening to an expansive awareness of life. Expanding more and more. Stepping outside the limitations of my perceptions.
So my vision is to make a difference for people. To support them to know their spiritual self and to let their real self shine. This has been my purpose for some time - seeing people one-on-one, and also in small groups for The Inner Path Retreats. Also, what came up as I expanded was to have a place where people can be on retreat, sometimes silent, sometimes in guided sessions. Some people paying, some people referred and funded.
And the baby step: look after myself and focus on completing the therapy room. I've been calling it the Peace room lately - maybe that will stick, or maybe that will change.
And I have an advertised date for The Inner Path One Day Retreat - to be held in Upper Hutt on 4th February.