We try to control everything around us because we believe that it will allow us to feel stress free, safe and happy, but the very act of trying to control the uncontrollable is a trap we set for ourselves, that makes us feel stressed, unsafe and unhappy.
In the studio recording the Real Health Show for DSTV’s Home Channel again today. Our topic – brain health – fuzzy thinking, what to do about it. With the other beautiful guests Nutritional Jeanne, and Hypnotherapist Yvonne, and of course the host Stacy Norman. Keep an eye out for the details of when it will be aired.
New years resolutions – ha! Someone asked me what mine were for this year, I suppose they were expecting the usual – more work, more money, more success, more exercise, quit this, do that.
If I am perfectly honest with myself, I would have to say that if I really wanted those things, I would be sufficiently motivated to be doing them already, and not waiting for the new year. It is a strange phenomena that we expect our future self to be more motivated, more energized, more willing to do the “right thing”, the “hard work” than our current selves are. Then surprise, surprise, our future self turns out to be just as “slack” about getting those things as our current selves.
For myself, I have not set a New Years resolution for at least 10 years. I find that honesty is the best policy, and I do try to be as honest as possible with myself. Following the “know thyself” principal, I pretty much know what I want to do, and what I really don’t, what I will be willing to do and what I won’t, and I don’t try to con myself.
Ironically, my honesty doesn’t make me a lazy slacker. While I am working on being a human being – I am, by my very nature a human doing. I still have dreams, goals, plans, and I have every intention of perusing them, with energy and enthusiasm, but here is the plan…….
Instead of creating a list of everything I “should” or “must” do, I think about what I want to create for the year, and see if it makes my heart sing. How do I know if it makes my heart sing? My whole body says “YES” when I think about it. I feel energized, motivated and alive, sometimes with a frisson of fear, or peaceful, calm and content,
If I feel like I am losing energy, my body gets heavy, my chest feels a weight on it, my breathing becomes restricted, it is not for me.
So when I think about doing 10 hours of training every week for badminton – grooving new shots, playing games, drenched with sweat in the heat of Feb and going out in the cold in winter, losing, wining, putting myself out there in competition, socializing with the badminton crowd, my toes start wiggling my knees start bouncing and I am ready to go.
When I think of the new course I am taking about postural structural alignment, I can’t wait to get going.
MY RECIPE FOR A HAPPY LIFE:
Make a list of the things that make your heart sing, and a list of the things that you are currently doing every day – adjust accordingly
PS. If you want to have great self esteem, and feel successful, do the things you are good at – the things you love, are very likely going to be the things you are good at. I am going to be so much better at studying postural alignment then I was at studying accounts at Varsity. And because I am fascinated and intrigued, I will be fabulous, and think my self awesome!
Have you ever noticed how, when you start thinking about something that creates a high emotional state – usually a negative state, you can very easily get caught up in that thinking. It starts with a thought, you think it, and before you know it, your mind is running on and on, and you are more and more swept up in the thinking and the emotions and then you are completely out of control of your thinking and emotional state. How long does it take you before it becomes impossible to stop the hamster wheel of your thinking.
Letting your thinking take over in this way is good bye to being in the present moment, good bye pleasant day, good bye calmness, happiness, rationality.
There is a big difference between acknowledging your emotions, and feeding them with hamster wheel thinking. Recognizing and acknowledging your emotional state, can be a useful, some might say, an essential tool in healing. Getting caught up in your story is completely self defeating.
This is where the internal observer comes in. This ability to divide the brain into the chattering monkeys, and the observer of your state and thinking, is possibly the most powerful skill you can develop. If you don’t know all about the internal observer yet – I have a blog all about that, which you should go look at.
Noticing a feeling with kind curiosity, and becoming aware of the thinking that allows the feeling to come up, is a space in which you can begin to understand yourself and heal your past pains. Or more often notice that the story you are telling yourself about something is in fact the root of your pain. Sitting with that feeling without allowing a story to develop, this is the role of the internal observer. Noticing the story, and recognizing how much of it is made up, developed, delivered by the script writer of your mind, and how much you know for certain is the truth, that is the power of your mind working for you.
On Friday night, my mixed doubles partner Andile and I won the Gauteng closed badminton tournament. Title defended from last year. Whooo hoo, who doesn’t like to win?
On Sunday morning, I was back on the court training with Wayne, who, wonderful man, gives up his early Sunday mornings to play with me, and make me a better singles player. He hits me a shuttle, and I play the same shot, again and again, hundreds of times, until I can hit is easily and consistently. I start with getting a couple over the net and in the court, and by the end of the session, I am getting the majority over and in. Next week we will do the same shot – guess what happens? I start by getting a couple over and in and end by getting most over an in – the same shot!
Yesterday my husband, Brett came up with an interesting comment. He said that the collective noun for failures is success, haha good one babe. But perhaps rather, it is the collective of many failures and small successes and more failures etc. that finally becomes the unconscious competence we are looking for. For myself, there have been many times when I have though, “finally, I have this waxed”, this shot, or this understanding or this skill, or this ability to be in peace; joy; happiness; self worth; self love, the present moment etc. only to find that life is like badminton, turn around and you start all over again. There is really no point in being annoyed, or disappointed or judgmental when we slip back into our old stuff, simply get back in the game, and love the practice. To my badminton buddies – I do love the game, and I do love the practice, to my life buddies – same applies.
MY 3 BEST WAYS TO MANAGE STRESS:
1. FLOATATION THERAPY Is the easiest way to decrease stress hormones while simply resting. Since it is stress hormones that create all the physical
l side effects of stress, you need to find a way of getting rid of them, as fast as you are creating them. Floatation is proven to decrease stress hormones, and increase endorphins (happy hormones), in the space of just one hour. If you need to manage your stress and don’t want to have to work on it, this is my first recommendation. For more about Floatation Therapy www.cloud-nine.co.za
2. GET PRESENT AND MASTER YOUR THOUGHTS.
Since 90% of your day is really quite nice, (even when you are having a difficult run), your ability to focus your attention, and mood, on what is really happening around you at any one time, will give you a 90% lovely day.
It is the brewing, story creating, and living in the past or future that messes with a lovely day. It is your thoughts that make you mad, sad,unhappy, stressed out. So learn to get present, and control your thinking. In the book Clarity (which I highly recommend), Jamie Smart talks about living in the feelings of your thinking. You can learn to change your thinking, and so change your feeling, and your whole life experience.
If you are having a hard time of letting go of the past, controlling your thinking, or creating a happy life, you can always come see me for some Kinesiology/NLP. You will be blown away by how powerful it is to change the way you feel about things. For More about Kinesiolgy/NLP coaching, check out my web site www,cloud-nine/v1
3. MEDITATE DAILY. I know, it seems hard to do, but there are loads of different ways to meditate, keep searching and you will find a way that works for you. Don’t get caught up in and disheartened by the myths around silence, stillness, immobility, ability, that abound. There are loads of places you can learn to meditate and meditate with a group, that will help you are a beginner, so get started.
By the way, stress is a major player in all disease from heart, to cancer, to autoimmune disease, to catching a simple cold Stress fundamentally affects your bodies physiological functioning, including it’s ability keep you healthy and to heal. So if you do anything at all for yourself, do something to manage your stress, everyday!
If you found this post interesting, please share it with your friends, and visit my web site for my blogs about mind mastery, relationship mastery and much more.
The lesson for me: just because the world is not going according to MY plan for it, does not mean something that happens is good or bad. I for one have lived long enough to look back on my life to see the things I though of as disasters at the time, turn out to be the turning point for something great in my life.
When my hubby and I work ourselves into a tiz over something, one of us has to remind the other – it is neither good nor bad, it just is what it is, we can never know the whole story. To which he often replies: it is neither good nor bad, it is just bloody irritating. Always good for a laugh he is.
My Favorite story
So, today I was reminded of the following story. I absolutely love this story, it reminds me that we judge things are normally good or bad, because they do or don’t fit into our plan – it is not the situation itself but the judgment on them that makes them feel “good” or “bad’ to us, and our emotional response follows.
I didn’t, unfortunately make the story up, and sadly don’t know who to credit it to. It goes like this:
There was an old man living in a small village in a small country. He owned a beautiful white stallion which was the envy of every one who saw it. It came to the attention of the emperor, who sent an agent to buy the stallion. But the man loved the horse and refused the generous offer. His fellow villagers thought him mad – “that kind of money is not easy to come by.” They remonstrated.
Some time later the stallion broke out of it’s corral and ran off. “you see’, cried the villagers, it was a bad thing that you did not sell the horse for now you have no horse and no money.” The old man replied “It is neither good nor bad, it simply is what it is, for we can never know the whole story”.
Some time later the stallion returned to the village trailing behind him a brood of wild mares that he had picked up in the mountains. “You were right’ cried the villagers “good thing that the horse ran off, now you have a whole herd.” The old man replied “It is neither good nor bad, it simply is what it is, for we can never know the whole story”.
Some time later the old man’s son was breaking one of the wild mares for the saddle, and he was thrown and broke both his legs, becoming lame. “Oh ho,” the villages pronounced “it was a bad thing that the horse came back with this herd, now your son is lame. Better to have no horses then a lame son.” The old man replied “It is neither good nor bad, it simply is what it is, for we can never know the whole story”.
Some time later the small country went to war with it’s neighbor, and the emperor started a conscription campaign, conscripting all the young men in the villages of the land. The villages knew that their sons were unlikely to make it home alive. “Who would have thought, it is a good thing your son is lame, at least he will survive this terrible war, when our sons will most likely die” they declared to the old man “It is neither good nor bad, it simply is what it is, for we can never know the whole story”.
So happy together
I talk to a lot of my clients about relationships. For my own part, I have been with my man for 25 years now. Please, don’t try to decide how old that makes me, we were young, verrrrrrry young! Now, granted, he is the best man in the world (so far) but that doesn’t mean we haven’t had to learn how to make it work. They always say that relationships take work – the only problem is that they are not exactly clear on what that work would be or how we should do it.
Well, now that I am a wize old owl in the relationship department, I have a couple of ideas. As I share them with you, I have to be grateful to my clients, who remind me to take care of business in my own relationship too, when they come around with problems in theirs.
Never, Never try to change your partner – this is key.
Yes I suppose you have heard this before, most people have, but what they think that means is that their partner has no right to expect them to change, not that they shouldn’t try to make their partner a better person!
The fact is, people never change for someone else. That is not to say that they don’t change – they do, but only when they actually think that they have a problem and are personally motivated to fix it. You thinking that their procrastination, prissiness, perfectionism, penchant for prawns, whatever should go to make them a better person, doesn’t mean that they agree with you.
Ultimately you have to weigh up your relationship and partner as a whole. If the bad is to bad for you to ignore, that person is not for you. Get out before you waste your life and theirs tying to make them into someone they will never be.
If the things you love about them out weigh the things you don’t love, great. Focus all of your attention and love on those aspects of your partner, and let the other stuff go unmolested. If you spend your whole life trying to “fix” those other things, all they will ever get from you is the “your are not good enough” sound track. Bitching and wining about petty things does not make for a great relationship! It makes your partner feel as though they are never good enough to love. You will start to feel that they are not worth loving too, because your focus will always be on the things you don’t like. Ignoring those not so important aspects, and focusing on the things you love, is what makes a great relationship. Growing up is about accepting the fact that no one is ever going to be perfect for you.
Choose a partner with a similar set of values to you.
All sorts of value issues could amount to a deal breaker for you. If you are frugal and your partner is spendthrift, this could be a deal breaker for you. If you believe in faithfulness and your partner does not…., if you are risk averse and your partner is a risk taker….. All this means you need to know yourself well, and know what your deal breakers are.
Relationships do take work. The problem with that statement is that no one ever tells you what that work is – If you want a great relationship, you need great techniques to work with.
Some of my best ever techniques are:
5 love languages is brilliant work. (this is my best and easiest ever) Read the 5 love languages by Gary Chapman or do the Cloud 9 Love languages spa day and workshop.
Imargo technique, and learn to do active listening. Read Harvel Hendricks “Getting the love you want “, visit the web Harvillehendriks.com or visit an Imargo therapist for relationship counseling.
Understanding when something is your rule not theirs. This was such a revelation to me. From Anthony Robins “Awaken the giant within.”
Read Bryon Katie “Loving what is” I loved this book.
If you know what the work is that needs to be done, it is relatively easy to do it. If you are casting around in the dark, unsure of what to do, don’t be surprised if it does not do any good.
Maintain your own persona – you are not 2 halves of a whole, whatever the fairy tales may say. You do not complete each other. When you meet your partner you have interests, passions, and friendships that fulfill different aspects of your personality. That is a very big part of what makes you interesting and attractive. If you give that all up to sit at home with your “other half”, it wont be long before you are both bored and asking “what ever happened to that woman/man I fell in love with, they were so vivacious and interesting.
Carry on doing the things you love, with the people you love, even if it does not always involve your partner. That way you will always maintain your enthusiasm for life, and there will always be something to talk about.
The idea is to fill your own spirit/ life, so that you have plenty of love and life to overflow into the lives of others, not to empty yourself for them.
When you are brewing for a fight, consider your big picture.
In the big picture you have for your relationship, is there constant fighting? Take some time to think about what the big picture is, and what is important about that for you. Is there any fighting at all? Take a breath, and be proactive instead of reactive. You can not have a happy relationship by choosing to be mad about things that are really not that important in the bigger scheme of things. Choose not to be screamingly mad, about the little stuff. In fact, choose not to be screamingly mad about anything. This does not mean your opinion does not count, or that you have no right to your feelings, but decide how to behave or react with the big picture in mind, not the little irritation. Mostly this means taking a moment to think:
- What about this situation is making me so angry.
- What is the underlying emotion for me? Since anger is the way we feel when we want to protect ourselves from what we don’t want to have to feel.
- How can I communicate my needs or feelings in a way that will more positively impact my relationship at this time, and if I can’t, what can I do to diffuse the situation now, so that we can communicate about this at a time when we are feeling less emotional.
- What do I need for myself and my relationship right now, and how can I ask for it?
Laugh at yourselves.
So you are angry, does that mean you can’t joke about it? It is what it is, accept that, and let it go. More often then not, you are mad at your partner because you want them to be or do or say something that they can’t, won’t or don’t know they are supposed to be, do or say. It goes back to trying to make your partner conform to your ideal instead of accepting them exactly as they are. Also check out what I said about your rules above. If you are willing to laugh and joke about the things that you keep getting stuck on in your relationship, you can communicate much more easily about them.
Your relationship may not last forever.
We all grow and change. Sometimes in a way that keeps us interesting and desirable to our partner, sometimes not. It is OK to not want to be together anymore. Even the closest of friends move on, do you have to have world war 3 break out before you can let each other off the hook?
Know what you needs are, and be responsible for yourself.
I met a woman who said “your husband should make you feel like you are the most beautiful woman in the world, don’t you think so?” Let me think about that for a moment ….errr NO. What I think, is that the fantasy that someone else is going to make you feel something you don’t already feel within yourself, is pure illusion, and asking for failure.
To feel confidence, self worth, unconditional love, respect etc…. This has to be sorted out within yourself, it is not for your partner’s responsibility to create this in your life. Do you want to be a lover and partner, or a child? If you are still thinking that your partner should complete you, think again. You complete you, they come along and enjoy the rewards of a complete you. Lucky them!
For your children, developing a strong self esteem is critical, and as a parent, your influence in that area is paramount. You are in a perfect position to teach your children the knack of where they put their attention in life, and, as we all know what we put our focus on, expands. This video, offers a few simple, fool proof tips for parents to help their children grow a strong sense of self esteem and self acceptance, and to have a balanced, healthy outlook on life.
If you enjoy this or any of the blogs below, please pass them on to others, and if you would like to make comment, discuss the blog, or be notified of the next one please “like” the cloud 9 page on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cloud9craighall
For those of you that missed the Hay House world summit, it was fascinating. With a wide range of authors from writers about angels, to self help, to self healing, to mediums, to doctors, intuitionalists, all speaking about their latest work. It was all deeply inspiring. I learned some really good stuff, and would love to pass the essence of it onto you. So here’s the top 10 of what I remember:
1. Meditate – there is not a single author who does not consider is essential for a good life, whether they speak to angels or teach people to deal with their anger, or learning to create financial abundance, everyone of them meditates daily, you could too.
2. Never use the word should – this from Louise Hay herself. I love this concept. Should is like a mini reprimand and a bit of a self flagellation. She recommends could or can as a perfect substitute – I could go to gym, I could eat a healthier diet. Opens a whole lot of friendly potential, rather then the finger wagging, I am going about things wrong “should”.
3. Meditate – Meditation trains the brain to follow your instructions instead of going around in circles like a wild monkey.
4. In the question of abundance: we limit ourselves by the our belief systems, (both conscious and unconscious) and our thinking patterns and ideas about money and abundance in general. If we can find out what they are and change them, we start to allow ourselves to have more. The idea, is that we return always to the level that we feel comfortable around money (I should say comfortably uncomfortable) Wishing we had more, but feeling like more is not our due, or making judgment on what is the right amount some how (money is the source of all evil – kind of thinking). This concept is actually quite similar to the sabotage programs we check for with Kinesiology – which is exciting for me, because I know how to check for them and what to do to get rid of them. Woohhooo!
If you want to come and play around with what yours may be, book a session and we will investigate and remove yours too.
5. Meditate – it calms, centers and distresses you and helps you cope with the ups and downs of life.
6. Learn to be an observer within yourself: This is my personal best message to everybody. It means that you allow yourself to separate the 2 parts of yourself – the “crazy monkey” and observer. The crazy monkey is the part that responds instinctively to internal and external, gets totally involved and sometimes freaks out for no good reason. The observer is the part of your brain that watches the crazy monkey doing its thing. The observer spots the self judgment, notices the self deception, notices the “story” that the crazy monkey is both creating and freaking out over. The observer steps in, gently and lovingly (not judgmentally and harshly) to point the craziness out to the crazy monkey, and lovingly suggest that there may be another way. Practice and develop the observer part of yourself, and you can get control of your own brain. Self acceptance, self love, goals, roles, dreams, actions, are all yours to create when you have control of your own brain.
7. Meditate! Meditation helps to create and train the observer.
8. Nutrition: here is something I never knew – fermented veggies – like sauerkraut (there are better tasting versions of this curious food) are full of the good bacteria that your body needs to process the food in your gut (probiotics). Eating fermented veggies are an excellent way (some say the best way) of introducing these probiotics into the gut. They are dead easy to make, and actually quite delicious – yes I have tried them. Pop onto you-tube for instructions.
9. Meditate – any way you please. You can do breath meditation, wordlessness, visualizations guided or otherwise, past life meditation, candles, even walking or dishwashing, observing the thoughts, going for no thoughts. Whatever floats your boat, but do it.
10. Finally, and again from Louise Hay herself. There is only one really important thing you need to do and do well, and that is to learn to love yourself. Every morning she gets up, and bed head and all, looks at herself in the mirror and says “I love you Louise, I really, really love you.”
This is a huge topic, and I am playing around with the what, how and heeeelp of it right now, so look out for my next blog on loving yourself, what is means and how to make a start.
PS, in case you didn’t get the main overwhelming message of the whole conference…. MEDITATE.
More than anything else in our lives, it is our limiting beliefs and sabotage programs that keep us from achieving what we really be achieve and succeed at in our lives. Mostly, these limiting beliefs and sabotage programs are unconscious thinking . something we have learned and internalized from childhood – as a result of hearing and seeing our parents, teachers and preachers, and from our own interpretation of our personal experience and what that means about how the world works. These beliefs and sabotage programs undermine our efforts on a unconscious level, stopping us from getting what we want. That is why, when I do Kinesiology and coaching sessions, this is one of the first thing we check for and the first thing we address.
Let me give you a couple of examples to show how this works. (below is a very small extract of some of the many many unconscious beliefs you could have.)
If you want to have more money in your life, but you have an unconscious belief that:
“Money doesn’t grow on trees”
“Wealthy people get their money by stealing or taking from others”
“To be wealthy, I would have to sacrifice other things in my life”
“Rich people are arrogant a-holes”
“Money corrupts the soul”
“you have to be corrupt to make serious money
It follows, that if you are a person who does not identify with being corrupt, the unconscious belief that you need to be corrupt to have serious money will keep you from allowing yourself to make serious money. Your unconscious mind does not allow you to go there, for fear of becoming corrupt, which it will not allow you to do. If you do not want to be an arrogant person, but believe that rich people are arrogant, then you cannot allow yourself to be rich, in order to avoid being an arrogant person.
If you want to loose weight or have a healthier fitter lifestyle, but have some any of the following unconscious beliefs or others:
“if I am slim I will have to be perfect in other ways – or people will expect me to be perfect”
“to be slim and healthy, I will have limit what I eat and do”
“If I eat a healthy diet, it will be a problem in my family or social circle”
“I need to be directed by some outside authority to loose weight”
It follows, that if you have to be perfect if you are slim, and you are afraid of being judged as not perfect, you cannot afford to be slim. Or if you love life, and you believe you will have to limit your life to be healthy and slim, you are not going to allow yourself to be that.
If you want to have great self esteem but have any of the following unconscious beliefs or others:
“people who love themselves are arrogant or selfish, or don’t love others, or are vain.”
“if I don’t judge myself harshly, I will not do better”
“I need to speak to myself harshly, and pay a lot of attention to my flaws to be a better person”
“I would have self worth or self esteem if I had a better body/job/car/partner etc.”
If you want to have a great relationship but you have any of the following unconscious beliefs or others:
“I am unlovable”
“no one would really love me if they knew me well”
“Men or woman cannot be trusted not to cheat”
“Men or woman only want one thing”
It follows that is you can’t trust let yourself believe or trust in the relationship, it will never be all it could be.
Limiting beliefs and self sabotage programs, are often difficult to spot in ourselves, because they are so unconscious, and go unquestioned for so long. If you want to work on them yourself, without professional help, I suggest you write a list of the beliefs you hold true about something (such as the list above) – and then go about interrogating them, and coming up with reasons why they may not be true. What you have to keep in mind, is that the “survival brain” really wants to be right. For beliefs, that means that when it comes across a thought or belief that it thinks is true, it searches for evidence that is it true, unfortunately at the same time completely discounting evidence that it is not.
So if for instance you have been believing that “people who love themselves are arrogant or selfish, or don’t love others, or are vain” you will certainly find evidence to prove that it true. Some vain arrogant people will pass through your life, who appear to love themselves. However, those that truly love themselves, as opposed to their power or wealth or image in the world, will have no reason to put on the protective crust of vanity and arrogance. Your belief will lead you to discount those kind, loving people which quiet confidence that touch your life, not recognizing that it is the ability for them to love themselves, unconditionally, that allows them to go through life with an open heart, unconcerned and not needing to protect themselves from the judgement of others.
If you are finding the work hard to do alone, well, I am always happy to help, after all, it is what I love to do.