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

 

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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 14

June 18, 2015

Fear

Overcoming Fear

We are born with only two fears, the fear of falling, and the fear of loud noises. These are there to protect our survival. If we have other fears, we have acquired them though our repeated dominant thoughts, the use of our imagination and through learned behaviour and response.

What is Fear?

Fear is a chain reaction in the brain that starts with a stressful stimulus which then produces the fight-or-flight response. The stimulus could be a spider, or anything else, which is a trigger for the brain to release chemicals, cortisol and adrenalin etc which cause our bodies to prepare to fight or flee. The oxygen in our brains travels very fast down to the heart and lungs area, and makes us breathe faster, blood and oxygen gets pumped into our muscles, arms and legs, giving us the strength to get away and survive.

When we think the same kind of thoughts, we engage our imagination, we produce the same kind of response in our bodies and minds, and we reinforce the fear. It’s a cycle that can’t be broken unless we change something first.

Learned Response

Observe any child, if they hurt themselves, see a spider, etc. They will always look to the nearest adult to see how they respond first, before they respond. This is how we learn how to act, behave and survive in the big world we find ourselves in. Most of us want to fit in and belong, so we mirror the behaviours and reactions of those closest to us. In a way we form a subconscious agreement with these people, that this is the way to react and respond when this stimulus or situation happens. This doesn’t just apply to fears, it also applies to relationships etc. We can find ourselves as adults still playing the same old scripts that we agreed to when we were children, and it becomes our automatic response to things.

So to change this we use a series of steps;

  1. Decide how you want to respond to future stimulus, decide how do you want to react, feel, etc.
  1. Use the Anxiety Breathing Technique (Part 8) on a daily basis to form a new habit in the body to prevent the stress response from triggering physiological changes. So that once your mind is calm the body becomes calm, and you can think more clearly.
  1. Then engage your thoughts and imagination, by acting out the responses that you do want, in your mind first. By thinking the kind of thoughts about what you want, you then get to feel the feelings that you want to experience. Practice playing positive mind movies (Part 2) which will enable you to create the desired result. Switching over to this new mind movie, whenever your thoughts prompt you to play the fearful disaster movie instead. You have a choice which movie to play, you just need to become aware of it and choose wisely.
  1. The best time to do this, is last thing at night before you drift into sleep, and first thing when you awaken. Your mind is at a very high natural hypnotic state of awareness at these times. It will also work if you take naps during the day, do it before and after them.

Part 15 – Living With Intention

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


Can ‘Love’ be a Verb?

February 10, 2015

Love is a verb

Most of us have been conditioned into believing that ‘Love’ is something external. It just happens to us, we fall in love or someone falls in love with us. We don’t share any sense of responsibility regarding love. It’s a feeling that just takes us over and can leave us just as quickly.

I saw a post on facebook recently that stated, ‘don’t expect people to love you, sure they don’t even love themselves’. Is this true? I suspect in the majority of cases it is.

For me anyway it was kinda like that. My mum told me frequently in the early years how much of a surprise I was to her, she hadn’t been expecting to have any more children, she meant no harm in saying it, but I grew up not feeling wanted, not loved and somewhat abandoned emotionally. My parents didn’t find it easy to express love, they seemed kind of detached. It is said that we will seek what we’ve never had, so I sought love, I sought support, and I sought people who would prove to me that I was wanted. I played the same scenes over and over throughout my life, different faces, but the same disheartening results.

I would arrive at every new relationship armed with wants and needs, a giant gaping void inside my heart looking to be filled, looking to be made complete, looking for someone to give me what I didn’t have myself, but there was always something missing, and I didn’t know what that was.

It wasn’t until my marital relationship of 17 years broke up, that I began to question my beliefs about love.

I realized that I hadn’t viewed ‘Love’ as a verb, an ‘action’ word. I had seen it as something you got from others. Had I been seeking to ‘get’ not ‘give’, all my life? ‘Perhaps if I had brought what I could give, in more abundance, than my expectations of what I could get, would this have changed some of my experiences?’ I asked myself. But I also became aware that in my desperate need for love and acceptance, I had put everyone else’s needs first as I didn’t feel worthy enough to ask for what I wanted.  I still couldn’t be sure, there was still that emptiness, the something missing inside me. Most of us just want to love and be loved in return, we want people to be nice to us, to respect us, to understand us, to support us when we need support. We want to feel wanted, not abandoned in our times of need.

But what if we are not loving ourselves first? What if we don’t support, respect or we abandon ourselves on a regular basis? What if we can’t even keep the promises we make to ourselves, let alone the ones we make to others? Can we really expect others to give us what we don’t already give to ourselves? Are we all just mirroring those unhealed parts of ourselves back and forth with others? And what if we only feel loved if others tell us we are? Is our worth tied up in that ?Then we’re in real trouble I think, you only have to look at the Jesus story to see that, one week people will be celebrating us, the next they’ll be wishing us a speedy demise ! How can any of us really be there for anyone else, if we’re not there for ourselves first?

It was with trying to find answers to these questions that I began to change my views about ‘Love’.

If I wanted to feel loved, I would have to learn how to love myself first. I needed to develop a strong central core of love inside of me, one that didn’t crumble at each rejection. That meant learning to like and accept who I was at that time. It was a difficult process. I had spent 44 years telling myself things like, I was ugly, not worthy of love, and that I was stupid etc. etc. There was nothing I liked about myself. Reading Louise Hay’s book, ‘You can heal your life’ really helped me at that time. She encouraged people to look in a mirror and actually like what they saw, among other deep work. It took me a long time to like and accept who I was. This work is emotionally painful but well worth it. I gradually accepted who I was and had been. I also became aware of aspects of my personality that weren’t serving me or anyone else for the better.

Learning to love yourself is a very transformative process. As you begin to love yourself, you stop and reconsider those things that might harm yourself, or others. You begin to observe your thoughts, your behaviours and your words. I took a personal oath to ‘Do no harm’. I began to see the sacredness of all life, mine and others, human, animal and environmental too. I began to see the effect that I was having on myself and others and I began to live, to think, to speak and to behave more consciously. I found what nourishes the soul.

And no, people didn’t suddenly come rushing into my life to support, love, respect and be there for me, some did, some didn’t, but it didn’t matter anymore, because I was there for myself, I respectfully stopped caring about peoples’ opinions of me, and while I recognised that emotional independence was better that emotional dependence, I still also knew that the best to aim for was emotional interdependence, which is when people are there for each other and themselves at the same time, both giving and receiving freely without conditions or expectations. Both wanting the very best for all concerned, celebrating life, not destroying it. From then on I chose to spend time with people who were living consciously more often than those who weren’t.

So to make Love a verb, I decided to just love. I began to practice listening better (stay with me, I’m a work in progress) I began to try to understand others before I expected to be understood. I sought to see what I could give in every situation rather than what I could get. Instead of looking at how useful people could be to me, I began to see how useful I could be to them instead, in every interaction. In the hope that I could leave others happier and better off than when I found them. A kind word of encouragement, a friendly smile, a genuine compliment. No, not to get anything, not to gain ground or friendship, not to get people to like me, or to be persuasive or manipulative,  and not in a premeditative way, only ever spontaneously, just so that I could practice being loving to all, yes even those who were not nice.

We are all working within the realms and limitations of our current awareness. We are all doing the best we can with what we know, when we know better, we do better. Knowing this, helped me to forgive my parents. They did not know how to love themselves, so they found it difficult to show their love, and they didn’t know how I allowed that to affect me. This also allowed me to practice forgiveness in general and to cut people a bit of slack, are any of us ever fully aware of how we affect others? Those who are in deep emotional pain, who don’t love themselves, are the ones who cause the most distress for others with their words and actions.

When we practice loving, we are there for ourselves first, but not in a selfish way, we consider others, but we nourish ourselves from the well first, before we have enough nourishment in us, to give to others. We don’t feel we’re losing anything in being nice, and  we can be more there for them, with much less resentment. When we love ourselves we can learn discernment, we can set up a healthy emotional bank account that has more deposits than withdrawals, for healthy balanced relationships, as regular attempts are made to meet everyone’s needs. And we can set healthy boundaries and not allow ourselves to be treated in ways that destroy our spirit.

So how can we begin? We must first make some space to get to know ourselves, to be able to watch and observe our thoughts, our actions and to notice the affects they have on ourselves and others. Create a sacred space or sacred time that’s just yours. Go out into nature, go into a room by yourself, or go to bed earlier or later than others to find that quiet time. Place your hands over your heart centre, the centre of your chest, close your eyes and breathe in and out slowly and deeply for a while, until you feel a measure of peace, and ask yourself, ‘How can I love myself and others more?’

I also found this very powerful visualization to help you put things into perspective. Close your eyes, breathe deeply a few times. Now imagine you are at the end of your life, you have one hour left to contemplate all that has brought you to this point. If you had the time over again, what would you do differently? How would you have treated the ones you loved? What would have said, that you didn’t say? What would you have liked to do in your life that you didn’t do? What regrets do you have?

Now open your eyes, you’re still here, you’re still alive, that last hour may be nearer than you think. You now have a chance to change what you will be thinking about at the end of your life, when it does come. What will you do differently from now on?

The answers may surprise you!


Climbing Out of the Abyss (Part 2)

August 3, 2014

Positive Mind Movies

‘Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think’

Benjamin Disraeli (quote)

Visualization

 

In part 1, I shared how if we change our thoughts, we can change how we feel. Most people think it works the other way around. They feel depressed and they wait for the feeling to pass, and it may or may not. Being aware of types of thoughts though, at least offers you a choice in the matter. Oh I’m not saying this is going be a fast and easy thing for you. We all have good and bad days where we’re more or less able to deal with stuff.  Checking our thoughts can be tiring. But choose a day when you feel up to it, and then begin.

Also when we are depressed, we play disaster movies in our minds. We can’t picture ourselves coping, or of things working out for us. Here’s a little exercise for you to create positive mind movies instead. Write down how you do want to feel. What do you want your life to look like and how do you want to see yourself coping with whatever happens in your life. I would often call up an image of myself as a strong survivor, admittedly sometimes it was of me standing on one plank, barely afloat, with one arm waving a flag, but hey I was still standing, I was still here! We need to keep our sense of humour!

Close your eyes, imagine a private movie theatre with a freeze frame of you on the screen. You are safe here. Choose a scenario that you want to be better in. How do you want to see yourself acting? How do you want to feel? What do you want to look and sound like? Now press play and practice seeing, feeling and hearing the new you. Press pause, think of what you want to change. Then rewind fast, pause and play the new scene. Repeat the scene a few times and then press save. Anytime the disaster movie comes on in your mind, eject and play the new movie instead. Keep improving on what you want. If you can see it in your mind then you’re already halfway there. When you are comfortable with what’s in your mind, you can then start to practice it in your life.

You probably weren’t born depressed, so if that’s the case, then you acquired a certain way of thinking that has affected you. Each thought, forms and strengthens a neural pathway and reinforces that way of thinking, which affects your behaviour and beliefs. Well you can reverse that, it just takes some time.

Another thing I found useful were affirmations, short positive sentences, like ‘Each and every day, I get better, and better in every way’ I wrote them out on post it notes and stuck them everywhere. Every time I started to feel a bit low, one of them would catch my eye, and remind me that I wanted to feel better, and I would imagine feeling what I wanted to feel. I would repeat them a few times when I awoke, and again when I was drifting off to sleep. This is your body’s natural hypnotic state, your mind is in alpha theta brainwave, and is very susceptible to suggestion, so be kind to your mind at these times!

In Part 3 How Foods Affect Moods

Paula is an Author / Hypnotherapist / Reiki Healer, based in Blessington, Co Wicklow http://www.i-want-a-better-life.ie


Disassociation by Design

July 20, 2012

Image

Life throws so many things at us doesn’t it? People and situations, some unpleasant, some emotionally painful. Sometimes things just don’t go our way or the way we would like. And we end up mulling it all over, and over in our minds, tormenting ourselves about how it could have been different. Of course that just makes it worse in our minds. As the more we play back a picture that upsets us, the more we evoke stronger feelings and emotions in relation to this, which keeps us stuck in the past, and helps to make us more fearful of the future. Now most of us wouldn’t keep watching a DVD for instance, if it really upset us, so why do we continue to replay mental pictures that upset us and make us feel sad, uncomfortable, fearful or unhappy? Crazy aren’t we?

I’ve learnt some techniques which I’ve used successfully with my clients and in my own personal life too. I cannot take the credit for them, I’m just sharing something that works for me, if you know of any other ones, please share and I’ll update this article with them.

Firstly and very importantly, I suggest that you try to accept what has happened. A lot of the time, most of our pain and suffering, or even in some cases depression, arise out of our lack of acceptance of what the reality is. So when you get into the place in your mind where you accept that you can’t change what happened, but that you can change how you feel about it, then you can move on to disassociate effectively in my opinion.

What we’re aiming to do here, is to free your mind from unpleasant thoughts and feelings around a person or situation, so that you free yourself to move on to be able to embrace new experiences in the future.

This first one is about dissociating a bad feeling. If someone annoys you or leaves you with a bad feeling that you can’t shake.

Return to Sender

  • Imagine where that feeling is lodged, i.e. chest, tummy?
  • Imagine a colour for it
  • Imagine a shape / texture
  • Then imagine plonking it onto the table, packaging it up, and then firing it over the horizon back to the person who gave it to you!
  • At best it will give you something to smile about

Now as a loving spiritual type of person, I don’t tend to send bad energy or bad feelings back at anyone, so the original one I came across is mentioned here, but I changed this slightly and I send the package to the far ends of the universe for recycling. I believe that feelings are only good or bad if we attach that label to them. So for me, I’m sending stagnant energy out and away from me, and I’m not harming anyone by directing it at them. Do whatever works for you, play around with this idea, and make it your own, so that you can feel better.

Photo disassociation

  • Imagine a person or situation that has bothered you
  • If you are in the picture with the person or situation in your mind, notice how you feel, how bright is the picture? Full colour?
  • Now imagine you are looking in on the person or situation as if you were a bystander, you can now see you and the person from a third perspective. Notice how you feel now, as an observer, you’ll be slightly more detached and less emotionally involved.
  • Now imagine that you take a photo. There is a frame around the picture of you and the person and situation, and the photo is in bright colour, large and up close.
  • Now start pushing that photo further away from you, so that it gets smaller and smaller and the colour starts to fade out of it, until it becomes just a white rectangle in the distance and then dissapears.
  • Do this, as often as necessary until you feel better about the person or situation. Ideally the intensity of your feelings about the issue will lessen as the photo gets smaller.

Movie Theatre

  • Imagine that you go into an empty cinema and sit down. You feel safe. On the screen is a situation that has been bothering you. It’s on pause ready to play.
  • When you are ready, play through the situation as you recall it, then pause at the point that you would like a different outcome of how you reacted or felt about it.
  • Now rewind it back to the beginning really fast.
  • Think about how you would like it to be different, ie, maybe you have a new or different perspective at the end of it; maybe you can see it from a different point of view, from theirs or from a third party view point.
  • Now play it again, and in your mind allow the picture of that new approach to go up on the screen. See yourself calmly reacting in a different way this time. Feel the feelings, you want to feel etc.
  • Pause. How does that feel? Better? Or not there yet?
  • Rewind back to the beginning and pause. Think, what could be better?
  • When you are ready, press play, let the movie reflect what you want the situation to be like, get into the feelings that you do want to feel, not the ones you don’t want to feel.  So how would you like to feel? Play that out. See yourself playing that out. Work with it until you feel happy. And then play it again. Pause, rewind, and play as many times as it takes until you feel you have it as you want it.

Then whenever you think of this situation again, play the updated movie in your mind. It won’t change what has happened, but you will feel better about it. And you will have a blueprint in your mind for the next time something like that happens to you. This can be used for many things. You can use it to pre plan how you want to be in future situations. The more you play your mind movie over and over, bringing up new thoughts, new feelings and new emotions, you will successfully re programme yourself. I did this long before I trained as a Hypnotherapist, I played a mind movie over and over, getting it right, seeing and  feeling how it would be when I qualified. By the time I got to train, most people believed I was already a professional. I’m doing it again now, as I’m training to be a Life Coach. I’ve used this technique to deal with emotional situations also, so I know first hand that these techniques work if we work at making them work.

If you need any help with this, feel free to contact me. I’ll share what I can.


Is it time to Get Focused on Losing Weight?

June 29, 2012

Do do do do, do do do do….. Picture yourself in the ‘Light Weight Zone’

Can you see your future slimmer self in your minds eye? What are you wearing? How do you feel? How do you walk? How do you talk? What do you look like? If you can begin this journey with a positive picture in your mind that makes you feel good when you think of it, you’re already half way there!

So let’s get this picture established in our minds. How do you want to be? How do you want to feel? What do you want to look like?

Have you got that in your mind? Good… now we’re on a roll. Can you believe that it is possible to achieve that? Feeling a bit unsure huh? Does it seem a bit unreachable? It can seem that way, especially if you’ve got more than a few pounds to lose? Ok how about we focus on the first 14lbs in weight to begin with, small steps. A marathon runner sets off towards the finish line, and helps to keep themselves motivated by focusing on the next lamppost, when they reach that, they go on to the next, and the next until they reach the finish line.

So now what? Well assuming you now know what you want, and believe that you can achieve it, and have set your first goal i.e. to lose the first 14lbs in weight, you’ll need to do something… take some action…. nothing happens without action.

A good place to begin is by being honest with yourself. Get a notebook and pen ready, a weighing scales would be handy too. Now get ready…. weigh in (preferably without clothes and before you have a shower, both add pounds to the scales, which you’ll have to calculate and subtract…, keep it simple!)….. write it down….now you’ve got your starting line……… write down your target weigh loss…… now you’ve got your finish line…… in your notebook for the first week…. If you eat or drink something write it down….. if you exercise…. write it down….. at the end of the week…..  You’ll see clearly what you are eating, how much you are exercising and how much you weigh. Ouch….. the truth hurts sometimes….. Now’s your opportunity to see that you have control over your mind and body, this is where you get to choose….This is the exciting bit. The second week…. Have a look at last weeks list and see where you can change something……if you ate 2 chocolate bars a day last week, you might try 1 a day this week…. If you had only one walk last week you might try to have two or three this week….. at the end of the second week…. Weigh in again…… and you will see that by making a few small changes in the week you have suddenly lost weight…… now you feel excited…… now you see that you are indeed in control…. And you can tailor this to lose more….. It’s all about balance really…. If we keep filling our car up with fuel and don’t drive it…. The fuel pours out…. Messy…. Our bodies are the same……if we keep eating and don’t exercise…. We gain weight…. By keeping a record of what you are doing…. This will help you to stay accountable to yourself…. And will show you where you can make healthy choices.

Now sometimes the initial excitement  may wear off and you may notice that it takes a little bit of work to keep going forward with this…. and you may start thinking the kind of thoughts like……. oh I’ll just have that extra slice of cake, sure I deserve it, haven’t I been very good…..and it may be easy for you to give yourself permission to do this, and then you may have another slice and so on until you’re back where you began, or worse……. The reason this can happen is that we have neural pathways in our brains…. And every time we think a thought…. It strengthens those pathways…. And these form beliefs and habits which affect our behavior….. and if you’re over weight due to unhealthy eating and exercise patterns…. these pathways are already strengthened…. And it would be very easy to slip back into the old habits….. these kind of permission giving thoughts…. bring us into a RUT…and a RUT… is only a record of unhelpful thoughts…. and the way out of a rut is to have helpful thoughts……. now helpful thoughts are the types of thoughts that remind us that we have a choice to say no, or we can  imagine that  every time we get tempted to go off our plan,  the voice in our minds that say, go on you deserve it, sounds like Elmer Fudd or  Bugs Bunny or someone that you would never take seriously…. Yes laugh at it…tell it to talk to the hand…. whatever works for you…

And this would be a good time to use some affirmations…. and form some new neural pathways….. affirmations are short sentences… for example ‘I am in the process of losing weight and I’m enjoying it’, ‘I lose weight, easily and effortlessly’,  ‘Every step I take brings me nearer my goal’, if you just rattle them off they won’t work, the way affirmations work is if you can evoke some kind of positive emotion and feeling with them, really get into it, get a clear picture into your mind of what you want to achieve, for the less visually orientated it helps to have a photo or a picture from a clothes catalogue nearby, to help reinforce your goal,  you’ve got your picture, you’ve got the words, now make it feel real, don’t think that it is difficult, we have already done this by telling ourselves this for far too long, that it’s impossible to lose weight, you’ve been hypnotising yourself all along and didn’t even know it… It’s time that you got your mind working for you for a change…. So play act in your mind…. This is what it’s like…

You have decided how much you want to lose…. You believe you can achieve it, if you break it down into small steps and stages….. you’ve set you’re goal for the first 14lbs within a reasonable amount of time…… you’ve taken that outfit that you want to wear out of hiding or perhaps you bought a new one, and it’s hanging in a prominent place in the wardrobe…. You have a clear picture in your mind of what you want to look and feel like…. You are constantly telling yourself that you are in the process of getting slimmer… and you’re choosing to believe it…you’re talking back to any thoughts that tell you otherwise…. And you haven’t ended up in a straight jacket….. life is good…..now your subconscious mind is working for you….. it’s helping your goal to become a reality….. you find it so easy to keep on track with this….

Doing all the things you need to do… keeping yourself accountable… regulating your own foods… cutting down but not necessarily cutting out and you’ll keep remembering that bigger snacks mean bigger slacks!

Life is fair…. Life is fun….. you enjoy the moments when you are eating so much more now…. becoming mindful of the tastes, savouring, enjoying…. Not allowing any distractions … being fully present with your meals….. and knowing how much more you will enjoy the next one…. Without ruining it by snacking in between…… and you can see yourself stepping on the scales weekly and even if you’ve only lost 1lb…. knowing that you are now 1lb nearer to your goal….. and it feels great … Choosing your own exercise……you are finding ways to get exercise into your weekly routine, and even if it only means parking a few car spaces away from where you want to go, you know that those steps will all add up at the end of the week and will make a difference on the scales…..

And now all you’ve got to do is GET FOCUSED and make it happen! Best of luck!


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