What is guilt? Is it healthy? Does it serve any useful purpose?

According to some, having been raised an Irish Catholic, I should practically have a PhD in guilt!  Seriously though, seeing the effect that it has on people’s lives, I do ponder this feeling, and its consequences, from time to time.

Recently I’ve been thinking about how strongly it relates to shame.  For most of us, this is something that we learn at a very early age.  This means that it’s acquired during the phase of our lives (0 – approximately 6 years of age) when we accept things without question, and without the ability to judge their validity or helpfulness.  As a result, shame is something that is very longstanding, deep rooted and can have a profound impact on our lives.  It is also – as alluded to in my, slightly flippant, comment above – often embedded into our culture, helping to perpetuate and strengthen its hold on us.

So, is it healthy, and does it serve any useful purpose?

If I can address the second part of that question first, I believe that guilt is only useful in as much as it alerts us to discomfort.  It shows that there is an issue that needs addressing.

When we experience discomfort in this way, it indicates that our thoughts are out of line with our Higher Self’s views on the subject.  For example, if I do something that makes me feel guilty, my inner critic is telling me all those self-shaming thoughts, such as:

  • You’re a bad person!
  • You never get anything right!
  • You’ve failed again!
  • What a stupid mistake that was!

In contrast, our Higher Self never judges us, and certainly would never address us in less than loving terms.

So, our discomfort makes us aware that we’re out of alignment.  We’re not being true to our Higher Self.

If we drill deeper, we’ll probably find it’s not just the shaming thoughts that are off balance, they’re most likely coming from our deeper awareness that we’re not living as our Best Self – we’ve allowed ourselves to be distracted by other things.

In today’s world we’re spoilt for choice on ‘distractions’:

  • Social media
  • ‘Will we / won’t we’ Brexit?
  • And, whichever way it goes, what impact will this have on the economy?
  • Has environmental damage gone beyond repair?

Then, of course, there’re also the ‘minutiae’ of our everyday lives:

  • What to have for dinner
  • Who will get together with whom on Love Island?
  • What are people thinking of me / of what I said / of how I look?

All of these things can occupy our thoughts, meaning that we’re not fully present much of the time. 

As a result, we often act, or make decisions, on a largely subconscious level.  We can end up going through our days on autopilot, reacting rather than consciously responding to situations, allowing the nervous, anxious, fearful part of our mind to make our decisions for us.  This can result in things like:

  • Over eating
  • Over spending
  • Not stepping out of our comfort zone – eg trying something new
  • Avoiding situations that we find challenging – eg meeting new people
  • Self sabotage

When we notice that we’ve made decisions that were unwise, and maybe got us into trouble, we then feel guilty.  This isn’t ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ – no feelings are, and it’s impossible to turn them off anyway – it’s what we do with this feeling that’s important. 

Do we get ‘stuck’, listening to, and engaging with those shaming thoughts?  

Or do we explore the feelings and learn from them, seeing what changes we can make to move closer into alignment with Who We Really Are, in order to live a life where we make conscious choices that serve us, and that feel authentic and honest, and where we can be responsible and accountable rather than feeling guilt and shame?

This can be challenging, and will require us to look deeply at conditioning that we’ve carried since childhood.  Others have referred to this as ‘un-domestication’ or ‘rewilding’.  It’s a visceral process and requires deconstruction and reconstruction, but you don’t have to do it alone, and the rewards feel amazing: self awareness, autonomy and freedom.

I think that this is the only value of guilt and therefore I don’t feel that it’s a place where we should spend any more time than absolutely necessary.  In fact, to return to the question of ‘is it healthy?’, generally, beyond the initial recognition and finding the issues to be addressed, I would say that the answer to this is ‘No’.

On the contrary, guilt is often very restricting and deeply uncomfortable.  It keeps us small and can be very stressful which, as we know, impacts on our wellbeing.  That inner voice also isn’t content with just criticising our current choices.  If we are prepared to listen, it has a nasty habit of dragging up every perceived failing and every ‘mistake’ we’ve ever made.  It also projects its beliefs onto others, telling us that they, too, see us as not good / clever / skilled enough.

So, what can we do? 

Start by taking a step back and observe the things that your mind is telling you, without engaging with them, knowing that they are merely the product of your conditioning and your natural negative bias.  Don’t try to fight your mind, it’s just doing its job, and it’s not really open to persuasion anyway!  Observe, without judging, and accept that this is what the mind does – not just yours, but everyone’s.

You can then make a conscious decision about whether to go along with what your mind says, or choose a different option.  You don’t have to push yourself too far out of your comfort zone.  Small steps and small challenges will help you to build your ‘consciousness muscles’ allowing you to stretch and grow.

As you become more self-aware you will be able to identify the things you really want in your life, the things that light you up and fill you with excitement and joy.  These are your guide in creating the fulfilling life that you long for.  These are where you discover your ‘purpose’.  You aren’t here for the ‘should’s, ‘have to’s or ‘ought to’s.  You’re here to Be Who You Really Are and to let that light shine out.  You’re here to experience and grow and en-joy the journey.

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‘I don’t know what the problem is, but I’m just not happy…’ (part 2)

Following on from last week, where I looked at physical ways that we can support our wellbeing and happiness, I will now turn to exploring the more emotional and ‘spiritual’ aspects.

Perhaps it would be good to start by explaining that, when I say ‘spiritual’, I don’t mean in any religious sense.  That might play a role, if it is important for you, but I believe that we all have a spiritual part of our being – whether or not we’re religious – that needs care and attention in order for us to be living a whole, balanced – and happy – life.

I believe that it is only by being in harmony with our inner nature, and the Nature all around us, that we can truly experience balance, wellbeing and flow.  For me, being in Nature feeds all the layers and aspects of our being and offers us many lessons on how to better care for our health on all levels.

One of the main attractions of the property that we recently moved to in Wales is the amazing Nature all around us.  I’ve known for some time that I wanted to move out of the city.  I’ve been finding it claustrophobic and stifling, feeling squeezed uncomfortably into a role and space that no longer felt ‘right’ for me.  I longed to find a place where I felt I could breathe; where I could see the sky above, and green, living things all around me.  We looked at a variety of places in our search, all of them more rural than the Bristol suburbs where we’d been living, but not truly ‘countryside’- until we found Rose Cottage!  Here we have woods, fields, trees, natural hedges and even a little stream.  I instantly felt the sense of peace that fills this place, and it was as if the coiled spring that I’d been carrying around inside of me began to unwind and relax.

Spending time outdoors, in Nature, has proven health benefits.  There are the obvious ones of fresh air, exercise and the fact that we need daylight for our bodies to synthesise Vitamin D.  In addition there is something calming and healing about the colours green and blue – the main colours that we see, at least in the UK, when out in nature.

Connecting in with the earth is beneficial, both in terms of a physical connection and also on an emotional / spiritual level.  It is very grounding, especially if we can take our shoes off and feel the earth beneath our feet, tuning into its energy and allowing it to bring us peace and balance.

Since moving here, we haven’t been connected to the internet (if you’ve been following this blog you’ll know that it’s been an ongoing saga with BT…) but I’ve really come to know and appreciate the truth of the saying:

There is something very special about getting away from the world of work, busy-ness and all the normal daily demands.  Sadly we are often so used to this ‘noise’ that we’ve forgotten how to be quiet, and lost touch with our own uniqueness – who we are without all the ‘domestication’ of our every day lives, and also the wonder of our being and all the amazing gifts that we alone can bring to the world.

So many people are experiencing stress and overwhelm in our society.  They might push it down, using work, food, alcohol, smoking, shopping, over-exercise or some other form of addiction in order to dull the pain.  But it doesn’t go away, and often it can fester inside us, leading to physical or mental dis-ease.  Sadly, trying to stop ourselves from feeling the pain in these ways effectively dis-connects us from ourselves, and from our internal guidance system, meaning that we can find ourselves feeling lost and/or making decisions that don’t serve us.  We can end up feeling discontent, unfocused and lonely, knowing that something is missing but not sure how to fill the hole…  This is what leads us to look outside of ourselves for the answer, the thing that will help us to feel fulfilled and ‘complete’, but in reality, nothing outside of ourselves can ever satisfy this need, if we don’t first take care of our inner selves.  This is where it is so important to spend some time in quiet, allowing ourselves the space to reflect, reconnect and tune in to what we really need.  Mindfulness and getting present are great ways to start.  Also practising gratefulness.  I often recommend keeping a gratitude diary, making a note of all the things you find in your day to feel thankful for, or that make you smile.  It can be as simple as a warm cup of delicious coffee, reading a good book or seeing the smile on a child’s face.  Focusing on these things will reset your focus away from negativity.  Where your attention goes, energy flows and will attract more of the same into your life, so feeding the positive is a great way to support your wellbeing.

Basically ‘overwhelm‘ is when we find ourselves in a situation where we feel that we have little or no control, and yet we’re having to juggle a high level of demand.  We feel overloaded; trapped with nowhere to go to escape.

When we make time to get out into Nature, it gives us space – both literally and emotionally – allowing us to take a step back and regain a degree of perspective, in order to reconnect with what is important to us.

I love this quote from Emily McDowell:

To me, this is what it’s all about, and it’s what being in Nature gives us the space to do.  It allows us to strip off the layers of conditioning, the masks we wear to survive in the worlds outside of ourselves, and to reconnect with Who We Really Are.  When we can do this, and appreciate the amazing being that we are, ‘warts and all’, then we can start to explore what it means to be that person, more fully.  How can we tap in to our gifts and begin to truly share them with those around us…?  This will both benefit others, and help us to grow and to feel more fulfilled – more ‘in tune’ with ourselves – that is, more comfortable in our own skin.  The feelings of stress and overwhelm begin to melt away as we step into the niche that was always there for us, waiting for the time that we would stop trying to please others, and instead allow ourselves to be all that we can be.

It’s like Marianne Williamson says:

We are ‘powerful beyond measure’ when we connect with our authentic selves.  The Universe has created you with great care, bringing many elements together over aeons of time, to result in the person that you are.

Stop and think about this for a moment…

Let the miracle of your being really settle into your consciousness…

This doesn’t just apply to others – those who are rich, or famous, or have won the Nobel Prize for something…  it applies to each and every one of us.  Being ‘small’ doesn’t serve ourselves, and it doesn’t serve those around us.  As Marianne says:

“… as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

So don’t think of it as selfish to take time for yourself and to listen to your heart and follow where it leads you.  That is what you are here to do.  That is how you fulfil your potential.  That is how you be your best self and give permission to others to be their best selves.

This magical place is supporting me along my journey, and if it resonates for you, I’d love to offer you the opportunity to experience this healing space for yourself.  Together we can create a bespoke package for you to explore Who You Really Are, within this safe and supportive environment.  I work with energy, using techniques such as Reiki and EFT (‘tapping’), and also offer workshops and retreats.  If you would like to know more, please get in touch:

You can also see more on my website: equenergy.com

‘I don’t know what the problem is, but I’m just not happy…’

Sometimes the lack of internet and TV connection here is a blessing!  This week it has inspired me to write this blog…

As we can’t watch any of our favourite programmes at the moment, I’ve been going to the library in Abergavenny to borrow from their collection of DVDs.  One of the movies that I picked up last week was called ‘A Long Way Down‘.  When I chose it, I didn’t read the blurb on the box so had no idea what the story was about and, to be honest, to start with, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to continue watching it, as it’s about a group of 4 people who happen to go to the top of the same building, on the same night (New Year’s Eve) intent on committing suicide.  They obviously hadn’t planned on doing this in front of anyone else and so there’s a bit of awkwardness and they end up agreeing to form a pact, promising not to kill themselves before the next most popular suicide date, Valentine’s Day.

The film then follows them through all their misadventures together, but what struck me was that one of the characters, JJ, feels like an outsider in their little group because, from his perspective, each of the others has a reason for feeling the way they do – one has been publicly shamed, one has lost her sister and the other has a disabled son and spends all her life caring for him.  JJ on the other hand confesses that he doesn’t know why he is unhappy.  He feels hopeless, and also jealous of the others.  They know what is ‘wrong’ in their lives and so they know what they need in order to ‘fix’ things, however as he doesn’t have an obvious ‘problem’, he has no idea how to improve things, or indeed, if that’s even possible…

This got me thinking…  This seems to be a not uncommon situation in our society.  So many people are unhappy, unfulfilled and dissatisfied, without knowing why.  On the surface their life might appear to be ‘good’, or even ‘perfect’, but to them it is a miserable, and perhaps painful, existence.  The issue is compounded because they don’t feel they can complain about this apparently happy life, particularly when so many others have ‘more obvious’ challenges to deal with.

Just look at examples such as Robin Williams.  On the surface he had an amazing life and his public persona was very upbeat, but behind this he was very unhappy and deeply troubled.

I’m glad that there is now a greater awareness about mental health issues, and much work is being done to reduce any stigma.  It’s great to see well-known personalities speaking out about their experience and letting the world see that outward appearances can be deceptive.  Even the most amazing lifestyle, or having lots of money, doesn’t protect you from feeling unhappy.

I believe that these feelings need to be addressed holistically.  It’s not something that will generally be resolved overnight, or with a simple fix.  It takes time for someone to reach this point, and it will take time for them to find their way back to balance and wellbeing, but every step along the way will bring improvement and valuable learning – about themselves, their needs, values and desires – that will be of great benefit in creating the life that they long for.

So, what do I mean when I say that the issue should be tackled ‘holistically’?  We are many layered beings and for us to function at our best, all of those layers need to be healthy and in balance.  When we feel any form of dis-ease, it means that something is out of balance.  In order to resolve this, we need to look at each area of our lives: physical, emotional and spiritual.

These aren’t discrete layers.  They flow from one to the other and are interdependent.  Any separation is artificial, but for simplicity, and ease of explanation, I’ll look at each in turn:

Physical

Did you know that gut health plays a huge part in our mood, as well as in many other aspects of how we feel and of our self image?

For this reason, it’s important to pay attention to what we eat.  For example, did you know:

It’s not just what we eat, either – it’s also about the whole of our environment.  This includes the products you use, both on yourself, and for cleaning.  Did you know that you absorb things more quickly through your skin, than by digestion?  For this reason I try not to use any harsh chemicals.  I use natural, organic, vegan products where possible.  I’m a consultant for Arbonne and I also buy from sites such as Green PeopleNorwex and Forest Hog.

Next week, I’ll look further at the emotional and spiritual aspects.

 

If this post has struck a chord and you’d like to ask any questions, or have a chat, please get in touch:

Some words of inspiration

This week seems to have been overly long and, having got to the weekend, I find myself feeling drained and exhausted.  Much of this is probably down to the fact that we went up to London yesterday for a funeral.  This is the second one in just a few months within the same family (Tim’s cousin and then his uncle) which obviously has quite an impact.

Added to this, the funeral took place in Upminster, which is the far side of London for us, meaning that I got up at 4am to see to the horses before catching a series of 5 trains, followed by a lift to the crematorium for the service at 10.30.  We left again about 1pm and got home about 5 – a long and tiring day!

Funerals, of course, are sobering occasions and, particularly as we get older, they become more and more a time to pause, reflect and consider where we’re going in Life.  Funny how death has a way of making you think more about Life!  It makes us realise how quickly time passes and how temporary and fragile things can be…

I see death as just another part of the natural cycle of things.  To me it’s not an end, just the start of another, different chapter.  As Einstein said:

I believe that since we are energy, death is just a change of form.  We move on to a new state of being, one that, from this life, we can’t see, imagine or understand, but no less real for that.

I also think that it’s a good thing that death makes us reflect…

  • Are we truly living?
  • Or are we merely surviving, struggling through each day..?
  • or existing, drifting along with no purpose, no joy and no hope?

I think that we’re here for the sole purpose of experiencing Life in all its fullness and exploring what it means to be as fully ourselves as we can possibly be.

I don’t think we’re being watched, judged or found wanting – other than, so often, by ourselves.

If we could just find a way to let go of that, and to know that there is no right or wrong, no good or bad, no failure, other than where we choose to apply these labels…

If we could know that our true nature is Love and allow ourselves to align more closely with that, without fear, what a Life we could lead, and what a world this would be.

I know that this is a bit of a simplification of things and that there are many layers and many shades to our existence here in this Life, but I’m all for keeping things simple!  I think that we so often over-complicate things…

I also think that when we see things that we label as ‘bad’ or ‘evil’, this is often due to misunderstanding, a difference of perspective, or deep pain somewhere that has caused things to go so far off track, so far away from the beauty of our true nature, that it has become distorted and hurtful.  Sometimes this has perhaps gone beyond the point of no return, but often, with Love and gentleness, these hurts can be healed, at least in part.

So, for me, this week has been about taking stock.  Where is my life serving me – where is it making me happy, bringing me joy, helping me to grow – and where is it holding me back?

The following quotes appeared on my Instagram feed over the last few days:

They spoke deeply to me and so I thought I would share, in case they might resonate for you too.

As we enter the weekend after another busy week, I wish for you:

  • some time of stillness to rest, recharge and reflect
  • the opportunity to discover what makes your heart sing, and the strength to choose to follow that
  • the courage to face the things that aren’t supporting you in your life, and to make the changes that will align you more with your happiness, freedom and Love

Feeling our way from Stress into Flow

Thank you for your patience while I’m without regular WiFi connection and my blogs aren’t always posted on time.

This week I thought I would share with you a little about a presentation that I gave earlier this week.  It was the last session of 2018 for The Business Haven, a networking group based in Portishead, and was followed by a fun Christmas lunch.  The lunch included a draw with many wonderful prizes, donated by members of The Business Haven group.  I was very fortunate to win a beautiful necklace made by Katie Bird of Birdsmith Jewellery.  I couldn’t believe it when I opened the parcel and found that it was a delicate silver horse’s hoofprint!  Could it be any more fitting for me?!  Everyone around me was also in awe of the synchronicity of this prize coming to me, particularly as mine was the last number to be chosen and so this necklace had been sitting in the stocking waiting for me!

The presentation I gave was 90 minutes of looking at ways that we can Feel our Way from Stress into Flow.  It was the first time that I’ve run the session in this way.  In the past I’ve given a short 20-minute, interactive session as a Women Mean Biz keynote speaker, and offered a 3 hour workshop from the EQUENERGY healing space.  I was interested to see how it would work in this new format.  In the end it turned out that they were such an open and engaged group that I really enjoyed it!  This is a huge change for me…

About 3 years ago I was working with a business coach who encouraged me to start networking in order to build my business.  I’m naturally quite a shy person and the idea of walking into a room full of people that I don’t know or – heaven forbid! – standing up in front of them and telling them about what I do, was enough to make me want to run away and hide.  But I strongly believe in all that I offer, and I love supporting people to step into their joy and freedom, so I took the leap and tried out some networking groups.  You can read more about this process in my earlier blog post.

Having found the group that worked for me, I was then working with another coach who said that the next step was to offer talks and workshops.  Again, this felt very out of my comfort zone, but I went on a fabulous workshop with Helene Jewell of Jewell Facilitation and learnt how to put together a good workshop and to deal with any challenges that might arise.  This helped to build my confidence and again, reminding myself how much I love what I do, and that it would just be sharing my passion with others, I started to offer workshops and make contact with groups who might be interested in hearing me speak.  At first, I was nervous, but I’ve found that people are usually open, welcoming and interested in the topic.  I love when they ask questions and we start a discussion where everyone can share from their experience.  It’s very much a 2-way learning!  I find it exciting to meet new people in these sessions and to hear a little of their experience and the wisdom that they’ve learnt along the way.  The questions, too, always get me thinking and challenge me to be more aware, and clearer on my message.   For example, on Wednesday Tamsin, the group leader, asked me a question that reminded me of the importance of remaining curious when faced with challenges, rather than feeling overwhelmed, taking things personally or getting angry.

Running this workshop also makes me think of the role that emotional intelligence plays in our wellbeing.  So often we can become detached from our feelings in order to survive in this world, which is sometimes so busy and full of noise that it can leave us feeling overloaded.  I believe that often the key to keeping our balance is to be realistic about how much we can do on our own, to not be afraid to seek support, and to be aware of our own needs, doing our best to meet these rather than expecting someone else to do this for us.  In some ways I think that while our brains have evolved beyond those of our ancestors, we often haven’t learnt ways of responding from this new place.  This can result in dis-ease, as our bodies try to cope with the stress and tension that we hold, unable to indulge in more ‘animal-like’ behaviours, due to etiquette and the rules of polite society, but we’re not yet fluent in alternative ways of releasing the tensions.

Those who have attended these sessions have found them helpful and full of ideas to put into practice in order to support their wellbeing.  This is some of the feedback that I’ve received:

If you’d like to know more, you’re interested in booking a place on a workshop, or you’d like me to run one for your group, please get in touch on 07980669303.

 

‘Irrational’ fears

What are they?  Where do they come from?  Is there anything we can do about them?

This blog has come about because of Dax, one of the horses who lives with us.  I’d noticed that he wasn’t himself during this last week, not rushing in for his food as he normally does and seeming to be distracted by something in the distance.

He was still eating and seemed to be well in himself, but something was obviously bothering him.  At first, I couldn’t work out what it was.  I couldn’t see or hear anything myself, so I couldn’t understand what was holding his attention to such a degree.  Then yesterday morning I followed his gaze and saw that there are some new neighbours in a nearby field.  The farmer has put some cattle in a field that joins onto one of ours.  The cows have a large area in which to wander so they are not always visible from our land, but Dax was clearly acutely aware of their presence.  His owner had told me that he isn’t comfortable around cows and now I was seeing just what effect they have on him.

This got me thinking about fears, specifically the ones that seem to trigger us into ‘excessive’ behaviours.  These could be severe, ‘phobia’ type responses, or simply going out of our way to avoid whatever is unsettling us.  Common triggers can be spiders, heights or enclosed spaces and these can be easy for others to understand, however sometimes the cause of our fears can be simple everyday objects such as buttons, beards or cats.

So where do these fears come from, and why do they affect our behaviour in ways that sometimes seem to be out of our control?

I believe that these fears have come from some form of ‘trauma’.  This can be ‘Big T’, or ‘little t’ trauma, and will be very subjective, but it will have been sufficient to have appeared to cause some form of threat to the person’s safety.  Remember, though, that many of our ‘irrational’ fears have been held for a long time and are very deep seated.  We might even feel that they’ve always been there.  This probably means that they were created when we were very young, further back than our conscious memory.  The perceived threat would therefore have to be understood from the viewpoint of that younger self.  Rationally, it might be hard to understand why someone is scared of spiders as an adult – after all they’re so much smaller than we are and, in the UK at least, they’re unlikely to cause us serious harm – however, from a child’s perspective they could look quite scary.

We can also inherit fears from others; for example a parent who hates spiders, or who has experienced a dog attack, might pass on their fears to their children.

Another important point to be aware of is that when we experience a trauma, our brain takes a snapshot of the moment, in an attempt to avoid any similar situations in the future.  The downside of this is that the snapshot captures all the details of that instant, even the ones that weren’t part of the trauma.  This is why we can develop phobias about innocent objects such as buttons, and why animals can react to very specific things such as people wearing a red coat.

Triggers can bring on huge anxiety, resulting in ‘fight or flight’ type responses, ie adrenaline, fast heart rate, sweating palms, dry mouth, shaking, a need to run away or even burst into tears.  Rational thought can be lost and our ‘survival instinct’ takes over.  When someone is in this state it can be difficult, or even impossible, for them to ‘snap out of it’ or ‘get a grip’ on their feelings.  If you find yourself in this situation – or you’re supporting someone who is feeling this way – find a way to help yourself (or them) to feel safe again.  This might mean moving away from the situation, if possible.  Take some slow, deep breaths, and focus on feeling the air going in and out, perhaps counting along with each breath, for example: breathe in 1-2-3-4, breathe out 1-2-3-4.  Bring your awareness back into your body – you can try focusing on your feet, becoming aware of them on the floor; or of your body sitting in the chair; or of the feel of your clothes against your skin.  This will also help to bring you into the present moment and away from any racing, fearful thoughts and images in your head.

This practice can help you in the moment.  If you would also like to explore more long-term ways to support yourself you could try:

  • mindfulness and meditation – these allow you to explore your feelings and to regularly practice relaxation so that it becomes a part of your muscle memory and is therefore easier to recreate, even in moments of stress
  • journaling – this is a great way of exploring feelings and the thoughts that underlie them. It often brings deeper understanding which is a great way of developing self-compassion and insight into our deeper needs and how to provide for these
  • EFT (emotional freedom techniques or ‘tapping) – this is a very effective way of releasing traumas and deep-seated fears that are no longer serving us. EFT is easy to learn, in order to practice on yourself and is something that you can use any time, anywhere.  It’s good to start off working with a practitioner until you are familiar with the technique, and for some issues it can be best to work with someone subjective and experienced.
  • Reiki – again this is something that you can learn to practice on yourself, or you can book a session with a practitioner. It helps to rebalance your energy, grounding you and enabling you to release long-held tensions.
  • Hypnotherapy – another great therapeutic tool for helping us to deal with issues that can be buried deep in our subconscious.
  • Trauma release exercises (TRE) – when we hold a trauma over a long period of time it actually becomes ingrained into our muscle memory. One of the main muscles for holding emotional memories is the psoas, however it is deep within our body and often cannot be released with simple massage.  These exercises allow the psoas, and other muscles, to let go of tension which in turn helps us to release trauma.

If you would like to know more on any of the above, please contact me.  I offer sessions which draw on some of these techniques and can refer you to some wonderful colleagues for the areas that I don’t cover myself.

As a first step, you might like to take a look at this article on Mindfulness.

I’d love to hear from you.  Please post any comments or questions below.

 

 

A Perfect Storm

perfect storm is an event in which a rare combination of circumstances drastically aggravates the event. The term is used by analogy to an unusually severe storm that results from a rare combination of meteorological phenomena. (Wikipedia)

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where one thing after another seems to be going against you?  It can really zap your energy and optimism!

Recently it’s felt a bit like that here.  When we moved to this beautiful part of the world, we knew that there would be some work to do on the outbuildings, and managing the land, but we thought that the house was sound and all we needed to do was move in and we could do any necessary repairs, etc, at our own pace.

However, this has turned out not to be the case.  Of course, this summer was one of the driest on record – even here in Wales.  But the day we moved we had storm Callum, and then in this last week we had storm Diana.  All that wind and rain tested the solidity of the buildings and revealed leaks that weren’t apparent on our earlier visits.  We’ve found that water is coming in, in several places – through roof, doors and walls.  All of this of course means extra expense, which is scary when you’ve just moved house!  There are also leaks in several outbuildings, and the roof on the cabin was threatening to lift off.  We lost a panel off the side of one of the storage buildings and several items were blown into the stream.

The winds also turned poo picking into quite an adventure!  One afternoon I lost my hat, barrow, rake and poo skip – all blown away from me.  The horses were rather spooked by the waving branches and the sound of the wind in the trees and hedges.  Dax quickly settled once he got some hay, but Rika was more uncertain.  She seemed to gain confidence, though, when I stood next to her and reassured her.  She pushed in a couple of times for a scratch and it was lovely to think that my presence put her more at ease.  Thankfully both have still been keeping warm, despite the weather.

Added to this is the fact that we still haven’t been connected to the internet and phone.  TV is also part of the package that we’ve ordered, so we don’t have that either.  This has been a big challenge in many ways and my husband is finding it particularly frustrating.  I was managing reasonably well, using WiFi in a local café as and when I could, but when hubby was away with work for the night of the storm, the sense of isolation from a lack of contact with the outside world, hubby’s frustrations and the fact that he is very unhappy that we’ve moved here, concerns about the effect of the weather on the horses and financial worries, all piled up, and I suddenly felt hopeless and just wanted to rage at the world!

This made me think about what I could do to support myself, when I felt I had run out of energy and resilience.  These were my tips to myself:

  1. Remember to breathe! A simple thing, and it might seem small and insignificant in the face of the storm, but it helps you to be more grounded, to find balance and perspective when the storm is threatening to blow you away.  Also it can be heartening to know that you are still holding on.  When you look back and see what you’ve managed to come through, it can build your confidence and awareness of your inner strength.
  2. Take one step at a time. When you’re in a ‘perfect storm’, everything seems overwhelming.  Each issue appears to be too huge to manage.  We can feel lost and uncertain of where we’re going or what the future might hold.  But keeping moving, even at the slowest pace, means that we’re taking action rather than getting stuck.  And again, we can discover an inner strength and resources we were unaware of, which is a great boost to our confidence and esteem, and contrasts against the things that seem to be knocking us down.
  3. Don’t make any big decisions. When you’re struggling, feeling lost and out of your depth, it’s not a good place from which to make important decisions.  If others are pressing you for an answer, it’s ok to say that you need some time.  You need to be able to restore your sense of balance, perspective and hope, reconnecting again with your inner sense of who you are and what matters to you – your inner compass – before you can hope to make a choice that will serve you.
  4. Spend time with those who lift you up. When you’re struggling to find anything positive or hopeful inside of yourself it can be good to spend time in the company of people, music or books that soothe and encourage us.  I’m very fortunate to have some wonderful friends to call on.  I rang one the night that my ‘perfect storm’ hit, and she immediately suggested getting together.  We’ve arranged to meet up tomorrow and having this to look forward to, I suddenly felt a little better, almost as if I was drowning and had found a rock to rest on allowing me to catch my breath and have the space to regather myself.  It’s said that we become like the 5 people we spend most of our time with, so pay attention to the people – and the energy – that you hang out with.  Are they uplifting?  Encouraging?  Supportive?  Reassuring? Optimistic?  Do they build you up?  Encourage you?  Believe in you?  Reignite your passion?
  5. Take time to rest and reflect, and be gentle with yourself. When everything seems to be yelling for your attention, it’s important to take some time out for yourself. Peace and quiet are invaluable for helping us to recharge and think about where we would like to be once the storm has passed.  For me I noticed that getting outside into the woods, or into the fields with the horses, helped me to put some distance between myself and most of the things that were stressing me.  It helped to restore my balance and sense of positivity.
    Also, don’t be too hard on yourself for being in this situation.  Life can throw us curve-balls.  Finding yourself in the middle of an emotional storm is not a poor reflection on who you are.  It’s our responses to our situation that show our true character.
  6. Take good care of yourself. In the midst of the storm, everything seems to be demanding your time and attention, leaving no time for yourself.  But this can lead to draining your batteries, leaving you exhausted and even ill.  At times like this it’s important to eat healthily – including lots of fresh, preferably organic, produce, including fruit and veg of a wide variety of colours to boost your vitamin and mineral intake – and to get as much sleep as you can.
  7. Hang in there and remember that even the worst storm passes. Suddenly something will shift, or it can be a slow and gradual change that you don’t even notice at first, but then, one morning, you look up and there’s a glimpse of sunshine poking through the dark clouds.  For me, I arrived home yesterday to find a strange car in the driveway.  When I went into the house, I found hubby talking to a lovely bloke who turned out to be, in my husband’s description, “a jack of all trades, and master of all of them”!  In short, it appears that we might have found the guy to help us put our place in shape and get us through the winter intact.  Of course, it’s going to cost money, but those financial concerns seemed to fade into the background when presented with this solution to our other worries.  Also, the fact that hubby was now in a much better mood lifted my spirits immensely!

So, what about you?  What are your tips for dealing with a ‘perfect storm’?  I’d love to hear from you.  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

If you ever feel like the ‘perfect storm’ is building, and you need a break away to think, take stock and recover your balance, you are very welcome to book a session here at Equenergy.  I offer Reiki, Emotional Freedom Techniques (‘tapping’), mindfulness through reconnection with Nature, and workshops on rediscovering that sense of ‘Flow’ in your life.  Please contact me for further information:

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