Climbing Out of the Abyss – Part 23

July 11, 2017

Divided Mind – Taming the Ego

By Paula O’Sullivan

 

Taming Ego

Photo courtesy of pexels.com

 

‘We must go beyond the constant clamor of ego, beyond the tools of logic and reason, to the still, calm place within us: the realm of the soul’ – Deepak Chopra

 In order to tame the ego, we must first know a little bit about it, and why anyone would even want to tame it. Notice I said tame, and not destroy it, as we need it in some ways to know ourselves as an individual. If you look in the dictionary, you may very well be still confused as to what it is. It is described as; a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance, the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity, and, a conscious thinking subject. Interesting descriptions.

There are many ancient stories that refer to the beginning of the ego / divided mind, in mankind. Some relate to Atlantis, the Annunaki, and the creator gods. There are references in the bible too.  The Adam and Eve story refers to the creation of the Adamic and Eve race and the subsequent division of mind and the discovery of good and evil, or more appropriately, awareness and unawareness. Apparently the original souls that came to earth, were of a higher consciousness and were fully aware. The duality or division of mind that ego created, led us out of paradise, not poor Eve! We’re in paradise or heaven when we’re fully aware, we’re in hell when we’re not! I’ll explain more about this in a future article.

To make it easier to understand, let’s consider that Ego stands for Edging God / or Goodness Out. If we were like the original souls, before the fall, we would have a higher consciousness and awareness of ourselves and others. We would make more decisions and choices based on love and compassion. We would only see the connections between souls. We would recognize the similarities we all share in this earth school.

Well the good news is, that we are like the original souls, we all have an inherent goodness in us, a light, an awareness, a conscience, or Con – Science (science of the heart)

However for a long, long time we have been conditioned to exist from the perspective of the ego.

The ego is our lower, baser self, it’s all about the ‘Me’ part of us, and self – preservation. The higher part of ourselves, the ‘I’ is the soul, and is about the interconnectedness of all things.

How were we conditioned?

We’ve been encouraged to believe in borders, flags, nationalities, patriotism, and differences. Cautioned to ignore our intuition (tuition from within) and to be skeptic of it. The religious and political stories we’ve been told have separated us from ourselves and others. All arguments, all wars spring from ego, the need to be right at all costs.

We were told Eve was to blame, this started a patriarchal system that is still alive and kicking today.  Women are still being treated as second class citizens around the world. Yes the men did and still do terrible things, they have been conditioned that way. Women do awful things too. In unawareness, in ego mind, we are separated from our soul’s highest intentions.

We were told that the God we believe in is outside of us, and that we’re not worthy enough to even gather up the crumbs from under the table of that entity. If we were encouraged to believe that entity was within each of us, we might just feel it important to respect everyone. We’d all be sacred then wouldn’t we?

Far too many of us were brought up mostly in an unloving manner, with a social myth about ‘sparing the rod and spoiling the child’. We now know that this way of parenting creates people who are unable to love, to connect to themselves and others. It creates people who are dependent and prone to depression, suicide and addictions. It creates people who feel they are flawed, disconnected and unworthy.

Our school systems are primarily geared towards left brained learning. Most of it is academic, analytical, rational stuff. From an early age our minds are crammed with useless shite, of little or no use in our everyday lives after we leave. We are taught to listen and repeat, and not taught to think and reason for ourselves.

We are taught to ridicule the imagination. ‘It’s only your imagination’- (you’re just a feckin looney!)

Perhaps psychology was introduced to highlight and control those fucked up individuals among us who didn’t conform to left brain conditioning. If you’re a right brained creative or psychic etc. you’ll be seen as a weirdo, more separation. Don’t worry if this depresses you, they have a pill for that!

Look around you at your world if you don’t believe me for proof of ego mind in action. Poverty, hunger, greed, wars, bigotry, racism, sectarianism, pollution, slavery, crimes, mental health issues (gentle souls get depressed, in this unloving world of ego. You rarely hear of egotistical psychopaths getting depressed do you?) Pornography (this separates males and females from forming connected sacred sexual relationships) and on and on the list goes!

Is this the kind of world we want for ourselves and our children and grandchildren?

So how do we tame our ego, how do we begin to heal the divided mind?

  • Learn to love, accept and respect yourself, then you’ll begin to love accept and respect others, you will see the connection between us all.
  • Start to value your imagination. It’s the greatest gift we’ve all been given, use it wisely and only allow what you would like to happen into it. Know that what you wish for others, you wish for yourself.
  • Pay attention to your intuition and your conscience, that’s your soul prompting you to other alternative more aware choices.
  • If you are in two minds about some decision, ask how this will affect all concerned, if it hurts or harms another person or being, choose carefully.
  • Practice using your right brain. Stories, music, art, being creative, exploring imagination etc. We need both sides of our brain, we’re like an aeroplane flying on one wing otherwise.
  • Meditate, and listen to the promptings of your higher self. There is a wiser, less mean part of us. We can be cold hearted beasts or warm hearted angels, or somewhere in between.
  • Catch yourself trying to be right, trying to win at the cost of another, trying to destroy someone else, by gossiping etc. Catch yourself out.
  • Find the ‘I’ that is observing the ‘Me’ Find the wiser self, watch the ego play its little games.

Part 24 – The Relationship Bank

Paula is an Author / Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Life Coach / Artist / Photographer, 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

 

 


Climbing Out of the Abyss – Part 22

June 29, 2017

Meeting Your Unmet Needs

By Paula O’Sullivan

Needs

Photo courtesy of http://www.pexels.com

‘We’re only as needy, as our unmet needs’ –John Bowlby (Quote)

Identifying the difference between our needs and our wants, can be the beginning of a very beautiful friendship, with ourselves and others.

Most of us have some very basic common needs, including the need to be loved, accepted, respected, touched, seen, connected, and heard, to feel safe and to feel special.

What happens to us if these basic needs have not been met, either in our early childhood experiences or later on as life progresses?

Well, we’ll go looking to get them met. Everyone you meet, is trying to get their needs met, in some way, shape or form. Knowing this can help us to understand others better. But what about ourselves?

If we don’t know exactly what our needs are, then we might get addicted to something, or find ourselves repeatedly experiencing relationships or situations that cause us deeper pain, in an attempt to cover up our distress or unease. We’ll feel we need to have ‘something’ in our lives to compensate for the loss we feel inside, at not getting our needs met. This can also trigger a deep depression, disconnection and feelings of abandonment and un-worthiness.

And there’s no guarantee that even if you can identify your needs, that someone or something else will actually satisfy that for you. It’s a huge burden to put on someone to expect them to meet all your needs. And even with alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography etc. You’ll still feel the void after the bottle is empty, the high has subsided, the sex is over, the movies or pictures cease to stimulate you. You’ll have to constantly ‘Chase the Dragon, as they say, for your next high. And in between those highs, it can get very low indeed.

If you don’t find out what you really want, and learn to ask for it in a healthy way, you’ll end up attracting others who also share some similar unmet needs. Yes I know, you’re probably thinking, now wouldn’t that be nice, but I can tell you, it can get real dysfunctional!

What’s the difference between a need and a want then?

A ‘Need’ is something you feel you have to have (or you’ll die)

A ‘Want’ is something you would like to have (you won’t die if you don’t get it)

Psychologically, not feeling loved, can make us die a little inside. In some cases where babies weren’t touched or stroked in the early days, they actually died. Those that didn’t die, grew up pre- disposed to depression, anxiety, violence, addictions etc. and were averse to feeling love or being touched. (Psychology experts will tell you that if you didn’t bond with someone in childhood, that you won’t be able to bond with anyone later on, but you can change this, it wasn’t easy, but I did!) So in a way these things are needs for our healthy functioning, and for our soul too.

But what if, in all the searching, what if in all the wrong relationships, you still didn’t meet anyone who really loved you, cared for you, heard you etc.? What then?

Like I said, most people find ways to cope, to compensate, and that’s ok, we’re all doing the best we can to keep surviving, but if all this is causing you mental and emotional pain, I’d like to tell you, it doesn’t have to be that way.

We cannot change anything until we become aware of it. So we need to ask ourselves what do we want, and what do we need, for to create a healthy balance in our lives? And then we need to find the courage to begin asking for that.

More importantly though, because as I said you may not get what you ask for, is to learn how to meet some of your own needs.

No this isn’t an easy task, there’s no quick fix, it’s a process, which needs to be practiced and tested out over periods of time.

You may have to explore issues like your Self Esteem (part 7) or your Core Beliefs (part 13) or being Addicted (part 19) among others.

In my early childhood, I didn’t feel loved, accepted, respected, heard, touched, seen or connected. I had very low self- esteem and a general feeling of unworthiness. This affected my whole life up until I was 44! It affected my career choices and my relationships.

The need to be loved kept me tied to many mental, emotional and physically abusive situations. I survived them, but my soul suffered from all of this. I never found love in those relationships. I found sex, which I thought was love, but it wasn’t, and it certainly wasn’t a good enough reason for me to stay so long with those experiences, but hey, that’s what expecting others to meet your unmet needs can do for you.

When I was 44, I began an amazing journey into meeting my own needs, and that has changed everything for me.

It began with learning to actually LOVE MYSELF. That meant dealing with the negative Self Talk (part 5). It began with recognizing that I just wanted people to be nice to me, because I’m actually a nice person, and more importantly, I needed ME to be nice to ME!

Once this process started, I began to ask myself better questions.

  • If I loved myself, what would be different? How would I talk to myself if I loved myself? What kind of friends or relationships would I tolerate if I loved myself? (I’ve distanced myself from people who are just plain unaware, if they’re not honouring and respecting themselves, they are not going to be able to honour and respect me. If they are destroying themselves, they’re not going to be in a position to celebrate my blossoming, now are they?)
  • What way would I treat my body if I loved myself? (I stopped drinking alcohol, I chose my foods more carefully, I rest when I need to rest, I meditate and exercise daily) If no one wanted to listen to me, how could I get my voice or thoughts heard? (I started to journal, then blog, then that turned into a book, now I’ve several books in the making, there’s always someone out there who might be interested in what you’ve learnt)
  • How could I meet my own sexual needs in a safe way? (Ha, ha, use your imagination for that one!) How could I experience touch? (I got massages and Reiki and began to feel more comfortable with hugging, free hug anyone?)
  • How could I feel more connected? (Spiritual practices of meditation, mindfulness (part 6) and reading inspirational books, helped me see that I am already connected to everything, it was only my thoughts and feelings that made me think otherwise)
  • How could I feel seen? (I started making videos! I started to put myself out there to help people also)
  • How could I feel respected? (Once I started to respect myself, I found I attracted more people who did respect me, and could easily distance myself from those who don’t, what they think of me doesn’t matter, I know my worth now !)
  • How could I feel safe? (By not allowing my needs to override my wants and get me into potentially dangerous situations, which they did in the past!)

This began the most loving relationship I’ve ever had! I’m 100% there for me. I buy myself flowers and gifts. I don’t criticize myself anymore, I know I’m doing the best I can in any moment. I do review my performance at the end of each day, I do seek to improve myself as I deem necessary. I’m in the process of honouring my higher ideals. I love, accept and respect myself, enough to walk away from anyone or anything that is not honouring my higher ideals. This hasn’t been easy, because I’m human, and I keep getting tested, I’m not fully there yet, I’m not even sure there is a ‘there’ to get to, but hey I’m in a process ! I’ve identified my essential needs, and I’ve also divided some of those into wants. I’m not needy now. I won’t accept any old kind of relationship anymore. I might want intimacy, and companionship but I’m happy with myself, I don’t need it, there’s a difference, I can be more choosy now. There’s great freedom in that!

Part 23 – Divided Mind – Taming the Ego

Paula is an Author / Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Life Coach / Artist / Photographer, 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

 


Climbing Out of the Abyss – Part 21

April 16, 2017

Self Mastery image

Photo Courtesy of http://www.pexels.com

Mastering the Self

By Paula O’Sullivan

‘Self-Mastery and the consistent care of one’s mind, body and soul, are essential to finding one’s higher self, and living the life of one’s dreams’ – Robin Sharma Quote

As within, so without, to thine own self be true. Self- Mastery means learning self-control. It means learning how to control our thoughts and our emotions. (See Emotional Intelligence Part 9) It means being the same in all situations and having a core of stability within. We are only as strong as our greatest weakness, don’t worry, life will test you on this!

Most of us are like chameleons, we are constantly changing in response to what is happening to us, without consistency. When we’re in the process of achieving self-mastery we begin to realize that ‘Between stimulus and response, man has the freedom to choose his reaction’- (Victor Frankl)

Self-mastery gives us a choice, it helps us to be more in control of ourselves.  And no it doesn’t give us a licence to control others. Ask yourself this: If I’m not in control of my thoughts and emotions, then who is? You don’t have to be a victim, you can choose to be a survivor instead.

Most of us have been conditioned to focus on altering the externals in our lives. We wait for everyone else and everything to change first. This makes for a very frustrating life journey!

When we change, we will find that things change around us. We’ll either accept it, change something, or we’ll detach either physically or mentally from it. Check out Eckhart Tolle’s work on this. ‘Nothing happens until something moves’ (Einstein)

You’re probably asking the question ‘Well why do I have to be the first to make a move or change?’ I’ll answer you with this question. ‘Well how’s that going for you so far?’ If you’re happy with your results, carry on as you are.

Well for me anyway it didn’t bring me to anywhere worth going. It was with beginning the process of learning self-mastery that my life began to change in many happier ways. I’m not saying I’m there yet. Life has many lessons and challenges for me that always keep me on my toes. I’m a work in progress, I’m further on than I was, and I’m getting there, as they say.

Ok so how do you begin this process?

Awareness

Start observing yourself in various situations. Are you doing or saying what you want to do and say, or is there some kind of an agenda to be met? Are you looking for approval? Is it meeting an unmet need? Are you doing and saying things to just fit in with the general crowd, or are you being true to yourself? Watch your reactions. Watch any self-talk. Read my article on Self- Talk Part 5. Also see Part 1. Coping With Depression, where I highlight the two main ways of thinking and how they affect us. As we master ourselves, we begin to notice all these things, and with the observation comes the choice in how we really want to be. See my article on Mindfulness Part 6.

Identify your needs versus your wants

This is really important. Most of us are on auto pilot (not fully aware) we all have basic needs, including security, sex, love and belonging, financial, freedom, fun etc. True needs take into account the higher greater good and serve our soul. Our wants can override this and serve our ego or lower selves, they can lead us into selfishness and a desire to satisfy our own personal interests without concern for how it affects others. There’s an element of developing integrity with self-mastery.

Delay Gratification

Start practicing to strengthen your will by testing yourself in small ways. Delay gratification in some area of your life regularly. Watch your wants, watch the impulses, they can be so strong. For example: I want that biscuit, the drug, the high, the sexual release, the escape etc. but I’m consciously deciding that I’m not going to have that right now. I may wait until later, or I may defer it until tomorrow, or some other time, but now in this moment, when I’m aware, I can choose to delay, if I want to. Observe your thoughts and feelings when you do this. Or another example:  I want to say this to this person, but I’m going stay quiet instead. I’m choosing to be fully present with this person, without being compelled to make the snide remark, or say the things that could destroy the relationship, the trust etc. And yes sometimes we do have to speak up, but play with this to strengthen you will. You may decide to speak up in another moment instead. Practice also doing things you’d rather not do right now, like take out the bins, do the dishes, laundry, paperwork etc. I use a mental symbol of a foot kicking me in the ass, and saying Just Do It! I always have my sense of humour with me, it comes in handy! Notice how much energy we take up in resisting doing things. Your ego will protest, and cause a fuss, but observe it. Practice with little things, and you’ll see where you can be free of external control.

Keep your promises

Do what you say you will do. How many times have you said you’d do something and didn’t? How did you feel? Say what you mean and mean what you say. You will learn to trust yourself, and others will learn to trust you also. Practice keeping your promises to yourself and others. It starts with the little things.

Practice being consistent

I mentioned earlier that we are like chameleons, we are not the same people all the time. If someone is mean to us, we are mean to them, or if we’re afraid, we’ll be mean behind their backs instead. If life throws us a curve ball, we disintegrate, however momentarily. We’re like boats without oars, constantly being driven this way and that by relentless waves. Our self-esteem plays a huge part in this too, and the more you develop a balanced self-esteem, the more you can be consistent with anything that happens. It gives you a strong core of stability that helps you to trust yourself, and be trusted. You will be the same you in all situations. Check out my article on Self-esteem Part 7.

Part 22 – Meeting Your Unmet Needs

Paula is an Author / Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Artist / Photographer, in Blessington Co. Wicklow.  paulaosullivan1@gmail.com / Phone 086 0848398 All her articles to date are on her blog www.paulaosullivan@wordpress.com

 


Building Your Dreams

January 17, 2016

 Manifesting What You Really Want

By Paula O’Sullivan

Castles in the air

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.

Now put the foundations under them.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden (Quote)

Many of us have a vague idea of what we want. Sometimes we do get what we asked for, but it turns out to be, not what we really wanted after all. Sometimes we don’t even seem to be getting anywhere near to what we desire. It can be a frustrating venture.

I’d like to share some of the things that are helping me to manifest what I want. Ok I’m a work in progress here, and I’m no expert, which is a good thing, as I’m constantly open to trying new and different approaches, so I’ll keep sharing as I learn and get results.

I’d like you to begin thinking of yourself as an architect from now on. What does an architect do?  They take the time to formulate an idea of what they want to create. Once they know what they want, they put some ideas on paper. They believe it is possible, otherwise it won’t happen. They check out the environmental impact of their plan. Then they go into the details. What materials will they use? How much will it cost? Who will they need to help? Ok you get the idea, ready? Let’s go!

Everything in your world has been created from thoughts. Unbelievable huh? Look around you… the clothes you wear, the car, the computer, the pathways you walk on, the building you live or work in, the chair, the bed, all the gadgets etc. Yes! Even you were a thought in someone’s mind at one stage, in my case an unwanted thought, but hey that’s life!

But it doesn’t end there. What about your life right now? The relationships you have or don’t have. The way people treat you. The things you do or don’t do? How you feel about life and your experiences. Your health, your wealth or lack of them? Somewhere you had a thought that led you here. Our beliefs are just thoughts we keep thinking over and over, and these can become our conscious or subconscious reactions to things. These can affect our behaviour and the actions we take or don’t take.

The good news is that if everything in our lives was created by our thoughts and beliefs, then we can change it. Thoughts can be changed, and with different thoughts about things, we will take different actions and form different behaviours, which will create something different. As Albert Einstein said, ‘We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them’.

So the first thing we must do is:

Decide what you want to create. Think about the architect, be specific. Why do you want it? What do you think gaining this will give you? The reason I ask is this, some people want more money, but approximately 70 – 95 % of lottery winners become broke within 5 years and are worse off. Some people who enter new relationships end up feeling they are further from experiencing what they wanted. Some people who change jobs find they have re-entered a similar or worse situation than before.

Sort yourself out first: If you can’t manage your finances now, then winning a large sum won’t change that. Learn how to do it now, so that if you do attract large sums of money, you won’t be a statistic of those who go broke again.

Work on yourself: If you have low self- esteem and no healthy boundaries now, don’t expect that a new relationship or work situation will change that. If you don’t love and respect yourself, don’t expect others to. If you don’t make the time to look after and nurture your wants and needs, then no one else will make sure that you get it. Well this has been my experience anyway. We only get treated the way we allow ourselves to be treated. You’ll only attract what you are, because we each carry an energetic vibration that varies from being lower to higher. In the universe like attracts like. Match your vibration with what you desire and it will suddenly appear. So become what you desire. Manage your finances better and you’ll feel wealthy. Obviously there is more to this, you’ll need to let go of a sense of poverty consciousness if you have that. Start watching what you say and think about money. If you say there is never enough, then there won’t be. Love yourself first and you’ll feel loved and respected, then you will be more discerning with who you engage with in relationships. Support yourself and you’ll feel supported and so on.

We have been brought up to believe that the solution to our problems or our happiness lies in the hands of others. We are constantly looking to the external to satisfy us. We really need to look within first. Our outer experiences are just mirroring our inner perceptions. As within, so without. Start watching for different results as you work on yourself. You will start attracting according to whatever perceptions you are holding inside of you. Also sometimes we start attracting what Florence Scovel Shinn describes in her writings as, ‘signs of land’. You want to attract a large sum of money and only receive a small discount or gift of money at first. Look at this as a positive move towards abundance. Or you want a date but the right person isn’t showing up, but you’ve been asked out by others, this is a sign that you are on the right path, keep going. Just keep being grateful for what shows up, and re define what you DO want. I always say ‘thank you, now I’m getting nearer to what I want’.

Write it down in detail. If you don’t know exactly what you want, then anything and everything will show up. Be very specific. An architect can’t afford to gloss over the details or their creation would collapse, and neither can you, not if you want to create what you really want.

Visualize it. Play it over and over in your imagination. Perfecting it as you go.

Bring up the emotions you want to feel when you have received what you want. E – motion is Energy in Motion. Put some energy into what you desire.

Believe it is possible. Drop the doubts, drop the fears.

Release your resistance to receiving it. Use this affirmation ‘I now release any resistance to: wealth, abundance, excellent health, loving or being loved, the right person, the right home, the right job etc.

Write out your environmental impact plan! No kidding, what affect will getting what you want affect you and everyone else in your life? When making conscious decisions we must take the view of the higher greater good of all concerned. How will others benefit from what you want?

Now take action. Build the foundations under those castles in the air. ‘If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.’ Thomas Jefferson (Quote) If you want to move home, check out in detail where you want to move to. Get a snag list done up on the house you’d like. Find out the costs involved. Find out who you’ll need to help you with this. Go on a dating site, join a club, or take up a new hobby. Do a course, research, etc.

Gratitude: You must be grateful for where you already are with what you already have before you can appreciate anything new.

Share your ideas only with people you know will support you. It won’t help you to share with people who reinforce your fears or doubts. They will just help you to stay as you are in the realms of their comfort zone. I found that the people who had the most opinions about me and my life, have never really done anything with theirs, and they didn’t want me to do anything with mine. It kind of shows them up, and they don’t like that. Don’t allow anyone to squash your dreams, the anger and resentment you’ll carry is not worth it for your health and wellbeing.

Goals

Sometimes after doing this we may realize that we don’t want it after all, and that’s ok, just see this as a blessing and re focus on something else that you want. Remember that nothing will be 100% perfect forever. We are constantly changing our ideas of perfection. The only true perfection in life is death, it is final and complete. “If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.”- Leo Tolstoy (Quote) A lot about creating what we want, is sometimes accepting something imperfect and improving on it where we can.

And finally, you gotta want what you want so much, that you have done all you can to help it to happen, that you just don’t care anymore! Yes you read that right. You reach a point in all of this, that you are content as you are, feeling very grateful for where you are now, knowing what you’d like to improve on it, and realizing that you’ve survived this long without it, and knowing that you can survive a little bit longer, that’s when it just all seems to fall into place, when you’re fully allowing it to! So do what you can and then let it go!

Happy Manifesting!

Paula is an Author / Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Artist / Photographer, 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

 


Climbing Out of the Abyss – Part 19

November 24, 2015

addicted

Addicted

By Paula O’Sullivan

“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.” ― Edgar Allan Poe (Quote)

Whatever you may be addicted to, in order to be free, you’ll need to find out what your addiction appears to be giving you. We won’t give something up unless there is the promise of a better life waiting for us. Every behaviour has a payback, we get something out of it, or we wouldn’t do it. We are motivated in two basic ways: by the ‘Promise of Pleasure’ or the ‘Fear of Pain’.

When we are addicted to something, it can appear that this helps us to deal with our needs and desires, but usually it’s just a quick fix, a band aid solution. This is why people remain addicted for so long. The effects of the alcohol or drugs wear off and we are painfully aware of our reality once again, the adrenalin kick from gambling or sex wears off, and we have to re- experience it again to feel good, hopeful or less lonely. The stressful situations keep happening and we have to keep smoking to help us ‘cope’.

You think the addiction is helping you to cope, but it’s not really solving the issue for you, it’s actually creating more problems. Unless you focus on the benefits of quitting the addiction, and begin to imagine how good that will feel, and how your life and relationships will improve in so many ways, you will remain stuck.

Most of us find it difficult to imagine what we DO want.  Mostly we focus on what we DON’T want to happen. This is the fear of pain again, which stops us from moving forward.

When we’re addicted, we have given up our own power. We are saying to the thing or person ‘Save me, I am powerless without you’.

Most of us who are or have been addicted to something, have very deep emotional needs that weren’t or aren’t being met in a healthy way. This is not so easy to address, so we reach out for something to make it all better, but the pain is still there at the end of the bottle, cigarette, drug, gambling slip, one night stand or whatever. The story is and will remain the same, unless you decide now to change the ending.

Remember that no matter what has happened to you in your life, you still have a choice how to think about it. You can be a strong survivor, or a helpless victim of your circumstances. Most of us just want to feel loved, accepted, and respected. If we are expecting the world to meet our basic needs, we may be disappointed. This creates havoc within us, we feel we aren’t good enough, and we become our own destroyers. We have to find a way to love, accept and respect ourselves first and to discover our own power, regardless of others, then we can be free.  Check my blog for articles that help with this.

Part 20 – It’s A Generational Thing

Paula is an Author / Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Artist / Photographer, 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


Tips & Techniques for Quitting Smoking

October 19, 2015

By Paula O’Sullivan (RC Hyp, Dip Hyp)

quit smoking

So you’ve decided to quit smoking? Maybe this is your first real attempt to quit, or maybe you’ve tried everything you can think of and haven’t succeeded so far.

Well I’d like to share a few things that might help you to succeed once and for all. Remember we only fail when we stop trying. Although ‘Yoda’ from ‘Star Wars’ tells us, to ‘do or do not, there is no try’. In a way trying actually gives us an excuse to fail. ‘Look I’ve tried everything and it hasn’t worked, I’m never going to quit etc’… well it doesn’t have to be that way.

Begin with being very honest with yourself, yes yourself! Forget about what everyone else in your life wants or thinks about you smoking. Do YOU really want to quit, for your OWN personal reasons? On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being very committed, where are you? If you are under a 6, you just haven’t put enough focus on this issue, let’s see if I can help you change that. If you want to that is!

Get a sheet of paper, it’s time to make a plan.

First, in order to change anything in your life, you need to know what the habit of smoking actually gives you. Every behaviour has some form of payback, otherwise you wouldn’t do it. We are primarily motivated in two ways, by the promise of pleasure or the fear of pain. Your promise of pleasure mostly wins out, although the fear of the pain of something can also be a strong motivator which could stop you from even trying to quit.

Ok so you have a piece of paper? Draw a line dividing the page in half. On the left side, write the title: Reasons why I smoke. And on the right hand side of the page, write the title: Benefits from quitting. Now list all those things, reasons may be relaxation, dealing with stress, etc. Benefits may include better health, more money, etc

Be very honest with yourself. Money will not be a benefit, if you are already financially well off, unless you decide on something to spend that extra money on.

Your list will look something like this:

Reasons why I smoke

 

  1. Relaxation
  2. Dealing with stress
  3. Clears my mind and helps me think clearly
  4. Social inclusion etc.

Benefits from quitting

 

  1. Better health, I will feel fitter
  2. More money
  3. Clothes smell cleaner
  4. Feel empowered and a sense of achievement
  5. Food tastes nicer
  6. More energy
  7. Better relationships etc.

Now you have an idea of what smoking is giving you, and what would be the benefits of quitting.

Let’s see if we can balance some of the reasons, with some techniques. Ok if you have reasons like, 1,2 & 3 above, think about this. What are you actually doing when you smoke?

You are breathing in very slowly and deeply, and you are breathing out very slowly and deeply.

When we are ‘stressed out’ or need to relax, it is because we have triggered the ‘Stress Response’ in our body. If you think of it like this: Your body and mind is like a very busy building site with lots of workers rushing around doing many jobs. When you are stressed, a signal travels up to the brain area and puts these workers on high alert.

Oxygen gets pumped immediately from your brain down into your heart and lungs, so that you can’t think clearly, it puts you into survival mode. Cortisol and adrenalin gets pumped in excess. This all allows you to have the strength to fight or flee from whatever is distressing you. Ha! But most of us can’t fight or run away. So we grab an oul smoke to help us, but what are we really doing? We are breathing! Why? Because the only way to reverse the stress response is to breathe deeply!

Now that you know that, here is a breathing technique, which, if you really want to quit, will give you everything that, reasons for smoking 1,2 & 3 gave you, except the chemicals !

Breathing Technique:

Find a quiet place initially, where you won’t be disturbed, lock yourself in the loo if you have too!

Close your eyes, uncross your arms and legs. Now breathe in very slowly and deeply. To help you with this, imagine that the breath is travelling up from your fingertips, all the way up your arms, to your head and chest on the in breath, and out and down through your body, down through your legs, feet and toes on the out breath. Do this slowly at least 5 times.

Now doing this sends the signal to all those hard workers in your body to go take a tea break! They can relax and do what they normally do!

You will now feel calmer and more relaxed and your mind will be clearer. But wait, we’re not done yet. We still have to deal with your thoughts. It is your thoughts and beliefs about things that are keeping you stuck in the habit of smoking. A belief is a thought you keep thinking over and over.

Every time you think a thought it strengthens a neural pathway in the brain, this becomes a belief, which then forms a habit, and will then affect how you behave. This will in time become your unquestioning automatic response to things in life.

How do we change this? Use the breathing technique on a regular daily basis, for example every morning and evening and during the day, when stuck in traffic, a queue, or when being challenged by life, then you’ll have enough oxygen to be able to reason this out more effectively.

Then remember this: There are TWO ways of thinking about things.

The Worst Way: Focuses on all that is going wrong or may go wrong, you play movies in your mind about not being able to cope with quitting, you feel all the dreadful feelings of failure etc. You can’t see yourself doing it. In the battle between imagination and reality, imagination will always win, so as long as your focus is on the pain or the fear, then that is all you will see and experience.

The Best Way: Focuses on all that could go right, you play movies in your mind about all the ways quitting smoking can benefit you. You see yourself using the breathing technique, you see yourself choosing a different way to think. You imagine how wonderful it is to be finally free of this habit. You see and feel the excitement, the empowerment of achieving something in your life. You use your imagination to focus on the pleasure of being free of smoking. In your mind you play out your daily routines and plan what will be different now that you are a non- smoker.

Now you have two things to try, a breathing technique and the choice of how to think about this, but there is one more thing that will help you. The mind movies that you play in your mind and the feelings they conjure up, will either keep you stuck or will help to liberate you.

Remember a RUT is only a Record of Unhelpful Thoughts. Stay out of a RUT, by choosing the best way of thinking. Talk back to any thoughts that tell you to give in.

Use a journey statement to help you, one like:

‘As I become and stay a non-smoker, my life improves in many ways,’ or write your own one that resonates with you.

As you change your thoughts, you will change how you feel. Don’t believe me? Close your eyes, think of something sad, go on bring it all up. Open your eyes, feel really good do you? No? Ok close your eyes again, think of something that made you happy, go on bring it all up, that lovely feeling in your chest, or tummy. Open your eyes, feel really good do you?

Now here’s a little visualization exercise for you. Find a quiet time when you won’t be disturbed. Close your eyes and breathe in and out slowly, so that you can think clearly.

Mind Movie

Use your imagination to imagine that you are walking into your own private movie theater.

You are perfectly safe in here and you choose a seat. You look up at the screen and see a scene from your life on pause. Think about how you DO want to be in this scene. Not how you ‘don’t want to be’ (that’s the worst way of thinking!) Now think about how you want to be as a non-smoker. What will you be wearing, what will you look like, what will you feel like? See, hear, feel, and imagine your life as a non-smoker. How wonderful does it feel to have achieved this? Imagine yourself doing all you can to make sure that you remain a non-smoker. What kind of things are you telling yourself? What kind of scenes are you imagining for yourself?

Press play and let the movie unfold as you would want it to be, take your time with this. Now press pause, re think what you could improve on, then rewind it back very fast and press play, imagining any changes you want to make, take your time. Press pause, review if there is anything you can improve on, then play again and so on, do this at least three times or more, regularly. It is no different to what we already do, except that we usually play disaster movies instead.

If you can see yourself doing it, then you are already halfway there. The next thing you do when you have a clear idea of what you want your experience to be like, is to put into action all the techniques that feel right for you.

Now finally plan out your first week as a non-smoker. Get rid of the spare cigarettes, roll ups, cigars etc. Yes even the little glass box on the wall, with the break in case of emergency! If you decide to do this right there won’t be a need for it!

Break the habit easily by slightly changing your routine. If you have a smoke with a cuppa in a certain cup every morning, change the cup for the first week, so that you break the habit association with the thing you smoke. Ever hear a song, or smell a scent that brings back a memory? Well it might be the same with letting go of smoking. Be prepared. If you smoke before you shower, change the routine and shower first, then do something else where the smoke would be, read, or go for a walk, or use the breathing techniques etc. Plan out your day and be prepared.

  1. Use your breathing technique.
  2. Challenge your thoughts and change your focus to what you Do want.
  3. Play your Mind Movie in your imagination.

If you want it badly enough, you’ll make it happen, if not, you’ll just make an excuse. The choice is yours!

Paula O’ Sullivan is an Author / Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Artist & Photographer, based in Blessington, Co. Wicklow, Ireland. Her website is http://www.i-want-a-better-life.ie


Climbing Out of the Abyss – Part 17

September 19, 2015

Steps to heaven

Seven Steps to Heaven

We are surrounded by reminders of the seven steps to Heaven / Enlightenment/ Transformation, but most of us are not really aware of them and how they can help us.

The first of the seven steps to Heaven begin at Hell, in a way. It is represented by Saturn (Satan in Astrotheology) the slowest planet, the limitations of time. ‘Baptism’ – born into our tribe. The ‘Root Chakra’ – our basest survival needs, our ego, self- preservation, where we get caught up in ourselves, habits, addictions, anger, our lower selves. In Alchemy it’s the Lead of self. In Energy it’s the lowest frequency and vibration. It is our ancient and stubborn soul in Spirituality. By letting go of our fear and anger, by looking out for others as well as ourselves, by realizing that there is nothing outside ourselves that can harm or control us except our own vain imaginations, we get to move up to the next level.

Step two is represented by Jupiter, the metal Tin. ‘Communion’ – greater interaction with others, community. ‘We’ rather than ‘I’. The ‘Sacral Chakra’ – when we move up from our ego desires and fears, we find balance between love, money and the power to create. Through using mental exercises and intuition we can seek to let go of repressed feelings that are at the root of all our addictions. With more balanced emotions we go to level three.

Step three is represented by Mars, the metal Iron. ‘Confirmation’ – discovering who we are in the world. The ‘Solar Plexus Chakra’, willpower, the will to live. When we gain insights into our behaviours and how they affect ourselves and others, we learn to assert ourselves without dominating or submitting, we find equality, personal honour, courage, and we move away from materialism and the battles it causes.

Step four is represented by Planet Venus (the glyph is the symbol for life force, the Egyptian Ankh, it denotes a circle over a cross, the triumph of spirit over matter) the metal is Copper. ‘Marriage’ – we become more caring and less manipulative to others. ‘Heart Chakra’-we balance our emotions further, learn our lessons from love and develop greater compassion, forgiveness and empathy. We learn to give unconditionally while respecting our own boundaries.

Step five is represented by Mercury and the metal Mercury. ‘Confession’ – power of speech. ‘Throat Chakra’ – speaking our truth, liberation, creativity, inspiration, expressing our thoughts but balancing speaking with listening, being aware of our inner power without getting caught in the pride of our wisdom, discovering mind over matter.

Step six is represented by the Moon, Silver. ‘Holy Orders’ – being Divinely guided and sharing that knowledge to help others. ‘Third Eye Chakra’ – intuition, free of the ego and instinctual influences, a feeling of connectedness to everyone and everything and seeing how you play your part in affecting the world around you.

Step Seven is represented by the Sun, Gold. ‘Last Rites’ – death to the old ways of living and being in the world. ‘Crown Chakra’ – transformation, a oneness with the universe in which the Divine is experienced. In Alchemy it is the Gold of self, the Philosophers Stone. It is higher consciousness, the highest vibration and frequency. We are in touch with higher guidance, knowingness, enlightenment, bliss, and can fulfill our highest potential.

Part 18 – Interdependence

Paula is an Author / Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer / Artist / Photographer, 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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