Climbing Out of the Abyss- Part 20

March 17, 2016

It’s a Generational Thing

By Paula O’Sullivan

Seven Generations

‘Hurt people, hurt people. That’s how pain patterns get passed on, generation after generation after generation. Break the chain today. Meet anger with sympathy, contempt with compassion and cruelty with kindness. Greet grimaces with smiles. Forgive and forget about finding fault. Love is the weapon of the future.’- Yehuda Berg (Quote)

Stories in Ancient Lore suggest our thoughts, words and deeds all have the power to affect seven generations.

As mentioned in a previous article, by the age of six, we have witnessed our parents, guardians, siblings etc. response to the world with all the dramas and challenges of living, and we have learned our responses from them. Unless we challenge it, this is the way we too will carry on responding and reacting for the rest of our lives. Sometimes we even end up marrying someone like a parent, so our stories continue!

Most of us, were not brought up to love ourselves. Our parents didn’t love themselves, they were too stressed out trying to survive, and their parents certainly didn’t, it was even harder for them. And what about their parents, and their parents, go back seven generations, was there ever any concept of love given? For some of us it was a ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’ kind of concept. For others it was a ‘let that child cry, you’ll only spoil it if you give it too much attention’. These are just brief examples, but what kind of pain do they teach? The teach us that violence is an acceptable way to make people do what you want them to do, and that anger and abuse are an acceptable way for us to express and inflict our own deep emotional pain on others. They teach us that we are unworthy of loving and being loved, so we end up with low self-esteem, forever after either feeling inferior or the opposite, superior to others. Low self-esteem always swings like this, you never feel equal to anyone.

I also hear so much about illnesses etc. running in families. No one ever questions it, they just blame it on the genes, but the genes are only reactors to stimuli from the environment, they switch on and off as required, according to research by Dr. Bruce Lipton in his book, ‘The Biology of Belief’. A lot of people though if they look, will find that similar thought patterns and behaviours also run in families, which holistically are linked to those so called hereditary illnesses.

I’ve spent the past few years leaning to love myself and others. I’ve broken the pattern of my generations by changing myself first. In doing so I’ve shown my children an example of a different way of being in the world. Was I afraid to change, to break out of the norm or of what I was brought up to believe was the correct way to be? Oh yes, it took enormous courage to become who I really am and to honour that integrity above all else. But in doing so, I have opened a doorway for my children to be more loving, and hopefully if they have children, they too will improve on that. In this way we raise our consciousness and create a better world for all.

Part 21 – Mastering the Self.

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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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 11

March 2, 2015

The Happiness Ratio

smiley

‘At any moment, you have a choice that leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it. Letting go, gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness, if in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions, we cannot be free’ – Thich Nhat Hanh

There have been many researchers claiming to have found a mathematical formula for finding happiness. Some said the ratio was three positives to every one negative, and others claimed that the ratio was five positives to a negative in order to be happy and flourish. But how can anyone really measure such a thing? We are all responding to things in our own unique way, based on our individual experiences.

Personally I found in times of crises, when I was feeling low and overwhelmed, it was very difficult to find any positives. When we’re feeling low, we have a distorted perception of things, everything seems to be going wrong, and knowing about the ratio doesn’t necessarily help to make it any better.

However as I practiced becoming aware of my thoughts (part 1) and by developing my emotional intelligence (part 9) I discovered that I could change my perception. That as I changed my thoughts about things, the things I thought about changed, in a way. I saw that a situation was just a situation, I could think about it in many ways, which could affect how I felt about it. I could be either miserable or happy.

I found that by cultivating an attitude of gratitude in everything, that I was able to tip the balance. I was able to become happy regardless of what happened. Suddenly my awareness was focused on all that was going right in my life, even though it could easily have seemed like a shambles. I would shift my focus again and again each time. I would just keep asking myself, ‘Tell me one thing that’s going right… great now another… now another’ Then my mind would focus on all that was missing, that it thought I needed to be happy. So I would shift my focus to all that I did have, even though at times it wasn’t much. I’ve been lucky enough to always have clothes to wear, to have a roof over my head, some money, no matter how meagre and some food to eat. So by viewing it from that perspective, I was luckier than some. I could be grateful about that.

And like the quote at the start of the article says, we have a choice in any moment to move closer to our spirit or away from it. Your spirit sees life as an adventure with different opportunities to learn and grow from your experiences.

It is our attachment through our thoughts about things that keeps us from finding happiness. You can find happiness right now, this moment if you wish, by just enveloping yourself in gratitude for all that you do have right now, it turns everything into more than enough. And yes the personality will always want something more, will always want things to be different right now, but you get to choose what you want to put your focus on, and if those things make you feel good, you will have found your happiness ratio.

Part 12  Being Proactive

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


Choose your Illusion

June 29, 2012

Life can seem so complicated at times, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you ask yourself a few of these simple questions regularly, things will get easier.

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When you are considering making a decision, or taking action of some kind or even when just thinking about someone. Ask yourself:

What would LOVE do now?

Am I choosing LOVE or FEAR?

Is this for The Highest Greater Good of All?

Choices become easy.

For me anyway, this life is just one big illusion, and we don’t have to be ill, we don’t have to be unhappy, we don’t have to be miserable, and you can buy into all the schools of thought that tell you different, and you can become and remain helpless, a victim if you wish, and I do know what I’m talking about, because I went to that school and graduated with flying colours (Or did I?)

But having spent the best part of my life so far in that unhappy illusion, I’ve come to see it, just for what it is, a big fat lie!

And you can choose to stay in your illusion, and I can choose to stay in mine, and I know I cannot save anyone, and I do not wish to try, I am merely sharing information with you, what you do with it is entirely up to you. You and you alone, have the same choice that I did, to take some information and work with it and see what happens. It’s a choice to be miserable, or a choice to be happy. It’s that simple.

There are no limits my friend, no limits! The bars on our cages are the ones we put there ourselves, albeit unconsciously. Every ‘Must’, ‘Should’, ‘Have to’, or ‘Can’t’, that we adhere to, enslaves us even more.

And you can remain in the Fearful Illusion, seeing and feeling your separateness, your disconnection, your aloneness, your anger, your frustration, your doubts, your discontent, your darkness, your despair, with your special conditions, your attachments and expectations, your external control, or you can choose in this moment, that enough is enough, and you can choose to step into the light my friend, you can choose to step into the illusion of ‘Love’.

No nothing will change in the world around you immediately. So if you’re coming from there to here, you’ll probably be asking yourself, ‘Why should I bother, what’s in it for me, what’s the payback?’

Well I’m glad you asked…. where should I begin? Oh yes the illusion of ‘Love’ always begins with yourself. That means loving yourself completely, accepting who you are now and moving forward, choosing to think loving thoughts of yourself, being kind to yourself. No it doesn’t mean elevating yourself onto a pedestal, your ego would have fun with that, over time you would begin to think you are better than others, this doesn’t work, no more than putting others on pedestals will either, that’s a lose, lose situation, no….  you stay on the ground, but make enough equal space for yourself on the level, then you will never feel superior or inferior ever again, great for your self esteem! And once you love yourself, you will like yourself, your own company, you will no longer feel lonely, perhaps alone at times but not lonely, not desperate to fill the empty spaces just for the sake of it, no, your alone time will become special something precious.

When you begin to master loving yourself, you will see your world with new eyes. Now that you aren’t judging and criticizing or doing anything to hurt yourself, that includes dealing with your anger, your fears, your mistrust, your insecurities, you will feel more loving towards others. You don’t need to put others down, to build yourself up, you don’t need to own or control anyone, you see that there is nothing to lose, you free yourself of the things that previously you clung to in fear, and you let them go easily, knowing that what is for you, will come to you, in it’s own time.

New people come into your life to uplift and support you, to build you up, now that you are a loving person; you attract more loving people and situations. You see that it’s not all about getting, and now you see what you can give in any situation, no longer being concerned about giving too much, but remaining mindful that in all things a balance must be reached, and checking in with emotions, of how you feel, will always indicate to you if it’s time to check that while you are being useful, you won’t be used. No longer a doormat, you have a new found respect for yourself and your time and efforts. Evaluating each situation and personal encounter differently and no longer generalizing that ‘They are all the same’. You start to feel really good about yourself.

You find yourself in the light, and your heart fills with joy and you see things for what they really are, just illusions, one feels good, one doesn’t, and you get to choose which one you want to experience. Fear or Love? Despair or Hope? Separateness or being connected? Frustrated or Satisfied?  Sadness or Joy? Miserable or Happy? Illness or Health? It all becomes and empowering choice…. What do you choose?


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