Climbing Out of the Abyss – Part 7

November 18, 2014

Self Esteem

Self Esteem

“There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn’t matter anymore.” 
― 
Laurie Halse Anderson – Quote

 

I love that quote with the line ‘A mirror that doesn’t matter anymore’. It kind of sums up the result of building your self – esteem. I spent 44 years living with low self- esteem, where the mirror mattered and I really didn’t like what I saw there.

The term ‘Self-Esteem’ refers to a person’s general emotional evaluation of their own worth. It is an attitude and a judgment towards the self, it is all about the stories we create about ourselves.

We’re not born with low self-esteem, but we soon become trapped in a triangle of disempowerment. We begin to identify with the roles of either Victim, Perpetrator (forcing issues) or Noble Rescuer (saving people) or else we’re looking for someone to save us. Have a look at your life right now, which role are you playing? I’ve played all these roles over the years, and the problem is, we begin to identify with them. When I was a victim, life was unfair, it was out of my control, when I was a Perpetrator I found I couldn’t actually control everything, and when I was a Noble Rescuer, I found that if people really wanted to be saved they would do it themselves. I was also looking for a Noble Rescuer, to solve all my problems. I found this disempowering. The only person we can control is ourselves. The only person who can save us is ourselves, we are our own magic wand!

We also become identified with roles of being a parent, or our job, our status, our possessions, our illness etc etc. Problem is, what happens when your children grow up? Or you lose your job or possessions? Does your sense of worth go too? Yes! Who are you without these things? Most of us tie up our self -worth in external things, and this affects our self-esteem, because nothing is permanent.

To maintain low self-esteem, you will have to continue to identify your worth with these types of things, and you will have to constantly judge yourself on this performance. You will need to be critical and have negative self-talk. Knowing this, how do we turn it around and begin to build our self-esteem and tackle the enemy within?

  • Become aware of your thoughts (part 1) and choose alternative ones that make you feel good.
  • Develop positive self-talk (part 5) if you catch yourself putting yourself down, focus on what you are good at.
  • Write down the roles you’ve identified with, awareness is the first step towards changing something.
  • Accept responsibility for the part you play, no more blaming, it gives our power away.
  • Stop judging yourself, you’re doing the best you can with what you know right now, and when you know better, you’ll do better.
  • Don’t tie up your worth in external things. Find out who you really are without these things.
  • Find things to like about yourself, and practice doing things that you enjoy.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others.
  • Be patient with yourself, this takes time. Start creating a new story for yourself, this will build your self-esteem!

 

Part 8 Managing Stress & Anxiety

Paula is an Author/ Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Artist in Blessington Co. Wicklow. www.i-want-a-better-life.ie / paulaosullivan1@gmail.com / Phone 086 0848398 All her articles to date are on her blog www.paulaosullivan@wordpress.com

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Climbing Out of the Abyss – Part 6

November 1, 2014

Mindfulness

Mindfulness

Previously we’ve discussed how thoughts, visualization, foods, disassociation and self-talk can help lead us out of depression. Now let’s explore mindfulness.

The word ‘Mindful’, means taking heed, or care, being conscious. And the word ‘Conscious’, means being aware and awake.

Most of us are not really aware or awake, we think we are, but we are really running on auto pilot, continuously being in a state of ‘Reaction’ or ‘Resistance’. Mindfulness means paying attention on purpose. Being here and now with our present experiences in a non-judgemental way. Nothing is perceived to be either good or bad. Situations can be thought about in many ways.

‘Reaction’

We are like a boat without oars, being pushed this and that way, as life throws stuff at us. Our reactions are based on thoughts about past experiences, or fearful thoughts of the future. We are rarely present in the now moment, yet that is the only time we have some control.

 ‘Resistance’

Something happens that we don’t like or want, and we set up resistance in our mind to it. When we resist something, our body and mind perceives this as a threat to the natural balance of things. We trigger the stress response and we stop our minds from finding solutions.

 

Tips for being mindful

 

  • When your thoughts go to the past or future, gently bring them into the present moment. Take a few slow deep breaths in and out. Notice your surroundings. Be kind and patient with yourself. Say ‘I’m ok now in this moment’
  • Develop a sense of gratitude. Say ‘I have more than enough’.
  • If you’re feeling angry, sad etc. do not judge the feeling, say ‘Oh here’s comes anger, what brought that on?’ In that mindful moment you have a chance to reflect or react in a different way than you did previously. You will no longer be reacting on auto pilot.
  • Do one thing at a time and be fully present with it. If you’re drinking or eating, taste, smell, notice texture etc. When washing the dishes, feel the suds, see the rainbow colours. In the rain, look at the droplets on a branch, there’s a tiny world reflected there. If walking, notice your feet connecting with the ground, feel the sun, or wind, warmth of your clothes, look at the sky. If with someone, listen carefully to what they say, really look at them, hear them. Be present.
  • If ill, in pain, depressed etc. Listen to your body, what’s it trying to tell you? If you’ve got a headache, ask yourself what was happening in your life prior to that? If you have pain, what is paining you in your life? What emotional conflicts have you not dealt with? What thoughts or emotions do you hold onto that might create pain for you. If you are getting frequent colds etc. your immune system has been weakened by stress, not nurturing yourself etc. Ignore it and other things may happen to draw your attention to where your body feels out of balance. If you’re depressed or feeling low, what are you resisting? What can you not accept? What can you not forgive?

With mindfulness, we can become aware and rest before our body makes us. We can create new meaning in our lives and improve the relationship with ourselves and others.

Part 7 Self- Esteem

Paula is an Author/ Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Artist in Blessington Co. Wicklow. www.i-want-a-better-life.ie / paulaosullivan1@gmail.com / Phone 086 0848398 All her articles to date are on her blog www.paulaosullivan@wordpress.com


What Would Love Do Now?

July 19, 2012

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A while back I discovered a very useful principle that could be used with anyone and in most situations. The WWLDN (What would love do now) Principle lends an element of acceptance and empathy, that can create an oasis of calm for the eager practitioner.

Of course to practice this principle we must first be clear on exactly what love is.

So what is love?

Mmmmm, so many things spring to mind with the word love. Let’s keep it simple shall we?

Love is… patient… love is… kind… love is….understanding… love is supportive… love is…encouraging….love is… non judgemental…love is…non clinging… love is…non controlling…. love is…accepting… love is…gentle…. love is….forgiving… love is having a sense of humour and not taking things too personal… ok…. You see where I’m going with this?

The problem with most of us, is that we have been programmed most of our lives. We have been programmed to have rigid views and expectations. We see characters acting out scenarios on TV, showing us the way it should be. We see our parents, friends, family etc role modelling modes and opinions of accepted behaviour. And when something similar happens in our lives, we go into a kind of auto pilot response, of how we should be reacting, we don’t even think about it, and we can see or hear our mum, or our dad or whoever, in our heads, telling us how to argue with our spouses, partners, and friends. We hear those voices telling us not to let them away with it, or we see our TV characters behaviour in our minds and off we go, re creating some drama or other. Pretty scary huh! I think it is, and for a lot of my life it was exactly like that. Until I discovered, the WWLDN Principle.

So how does this change things?

Well…. Your kids are screaming at you and you are tempted to react like your mum, dad, friend etc. but you know it will mean you getting angry, maybe losing control again, and spending the rest of the day feeling guilty and apologizing, but knowing deep inside that you have damaged your relationship further, and that someday it will be too late to say sorry. So you pause for a moment and think What Would Love Do Now? And you think about what element of love is most appropriate in this situation. So maybe you’ll explore being kind, or being patient for example. And you notice that the anger dissipates, and over time your relationship heals.

Or your neighbour who always manages to push your buttons in a negative way and brings out the worst in you is moving in for the kill yet again and you’re fired up to give him/ her a piece of your mind, and you can feel the pressure in your head already as your blood pressure rises… and you pause for a moment and ask yourself… What Would Love Do Now? And again you explore the most appropriate component of love for this situation, so you may decide to just understand their point of view, or you may decide to be non controlling and let go of the need to be right. You might even bring some humour in and say to them, yes you’re right, I agree, and then walk away, watching their chin drop to the ground. Ego loves to be right, and if you let them be right without it becoming a personal issue for you, you might even get to have a little chuckle to yourself about the whole thing.

My life has changed in the most amazing ways since I started incorporating it into every interaction and situation. I can already see the difference of outcomes as compared to my pre WWLDN phase.

There are always opportunities to interrupt the way we’ve been programmed, and the WWLDN Principle is a great way to do this. Give it a go; see what kind of positive difference this makes in your life!


Letting go of Ego

June 18, 2012

 

Letting go of Ego is not an easy thing. If you try to fight it, it will fight back. So what can we do? Well just become aware of when your ego mind is talking, you’ll recognize it easily. That part of you will always want to make an issue of things. It will want you to take things personally; it will want you to take offence. It will want you to stay in fear. It will want you to have expectations that things must be a certain way. It will want you to be disappointed when they’re not. Ego mind will lead you away from the heart. It will be focused on things and possession, on external sources of momentary happiness, quick fixes, quick highs. And if you continue listening to your ego, you’ll feel empty inside, in between these artificial highs that you’ve become addicted to. Your life will have no meaning, no purpose. I know.. I was there in that hell for far too many years.

What does your heart desire? To love and be loved? How do you do it? Stop listening to the ego chatter, one thought at a time. Tell your thoughts to go talk to the hand! Say next, not welcome! You are not your thoughts but you can become them. Start switching to the type of thoughts that bring you peace, that bring you joy. Let go of rigid expectations, allow things to unfold as they will, just be, accept, observe not judge, stop trying to get everything your way, stop trying to control people and things. Relax, leg go. Let go of the illusions, there is only a problem if you make one in your mind. Choose to be in the company of those who are more heart based than ego, or they will bring you back to that level of vibration. Ego is a low energy frequency. Heart is a high level frequency. Ill health is low level frequency, so watch your thoughts if you are ill or becoming ill. Wellness is a high energy frequency; you can help yourself stay well with the right kind of thinking.

If you stay in you Ego mind, nothing will ever be enough for you, even if you were given the world on a platter, you would still want more, you can never satisfy the ego mind. It’s important to know that you will never, ever, have inner peace, as long as you allow the ego to rule your life.

Heart is different; you become more peaceful, more accepting and at one with your world and all in it. You are easily satisfied and grateful for the basic things. From here you can develop unconditional love. You can even love the haters. You no longer need to be right because that’s an ego thing. And you know that not having to be right, doesn’t necessarily mean that you are wrong. You release the need for such things, it’s ok to just be. This brings you peace, this brings you happiness, which cannot be affected by what you have or don’t have. It cannot be affected by people or things. They no longer have any control over you…. and you become free. It is so empowering… Heaven on Earth…. Goodbye Ego… I’m not missing you x


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