We are trained for many things through our upbringing, however very few of us were taught what we are truly responsible for. Our understanding of responsibility usually comes from a bunch of judgments we have created by observing our parents and environment. As a result when we grow older, we either:
(a) Operate as a ‘Parent’ to everyone, feeling overly responsible for other people’s well-being, trying to fix things for others, and doing beyond what’s necessary.
(b) Operate as a ‘Child’ where we are not responsible for anything and rely on someone else to take care of us, fix our problems, and clean up our messes.
Interestingly these two personalities tend to find each other and often end up getting married or becoming best friends where one is constantly rescuing the other; after all they need each other to keep their role alive! Consider the distinction that operating as an ‘Adult’ means that you are fully responsible for all the choices you have ever made and the consequences of them, nothing more! You do this by taking accountability for all your choices, actions, interpretations and feelings, without judging yourself. Instead you are aware of your behaviour, and are willing to learn from it if it doesn’t work.
Invitation for this month: Think about where in your life have you taken on being accountable for other people’s actions, or avoided being accountable for your own actions? What would be different if you took complete responsibility for your own part?
With so many paths available for personal and spiritual growth, I find many people confused about which route to take and question whether they should follow Art of Living, a Guru, Hypnotherapy, Vipassana, Coaching, NLP, Buddhist chanting, or something else. My natural response to that is consciousness keeps evolving and different things will resonate with us at different points in time, so flow with what feels right at the time without rules of what you “should” do.
There are as many paths available as there are people on this planet, and our ultimate role is to get that there is no superior or correct route to enlightenment. We will all figure our own path of getting there using the wisdom from the various different workshops we’ve done, masters we’ve met, and books we’ve read as beautiful tools to add to our own personal toolbox.
If we do this, we can begin to see that we are the source of awareness that has the power to discern what tool is needed at what situation. Sometimes what’s needed is compassion, sometimes it’s understanding that we have the capacity to interpret events of our lives, and other times it’s the ability to surrender and flow. When we dissociate our identity with one specific modality, we could accept that we are aware beings with a consciousness that can differentiate between what works for us and what doesn’t, and find out own path to freedom.
Simply put, each therapeutic modality represents a certain vibratory state, there is no superior way, and our awareness can help us understand what we need most at each point in time. I invite you to embrace all the tools that you have so far, and know that you have the power to choose which vibration will serve you best as you evolve.
Whenever something happens that is not in alignment with what we want, we usually judge the situation as “there’s something wrong”, feel upsetting emotions, and then unconsciously find ways to cope with it to feel better. These coping mechanisms usually come in the form of 1) Maintaining your upset with the world and becoming aggressive (the blamers) 2) Pleasing others in the hope that you won’t feel bad or disappointed again (the pleasers) or 3) Withdrawing from the world and building a wall around you to protect yourself from feeling hurt again (the numb & detached).
In all three cases the upset hasn’t left our system and our strong defence mechanisms slowly become a part of our identity – we become known as ‘the angry one’, ‘the reserved one’, or ‘the pushover’. The issue is that none of these coping mechanisms truly work to make us feel better, because they are born out of an upset. Instead they become self-sabotaging, and keep bringing us the same upsetting situation over & over again and makes our defence even stronger! The only way out of this rat race is to acknowledge the original part of you that was upset, and allow that part of you to re-interpret the initial painful situation through the lens of acceptance instead of judgment. This subtle but powerful gives us immediate relief and can collapse our entire defence-mechanism, so we can be more present to life without the need to protect ourselves from our own mental projections!
The more I work with people, the more I am convinced that all that is required when healing any aspect of our lives is giving acceptance to those parts of us that we have judged in the past. All our issues are caused by us judging something, be it ourselves, other people, results, or situations. By judging I mean labeling something as ‘bad’ or ‘good’ (yes, judging something to be ‘good’ can also contribute to issues, because when we judge something positively, we are reinforcing that something else will need to be ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ in contrast).
In light of this, the only way to be free from any type of issue or challenge is to recognise that we have choice in how we interpret things. We can choose to keep judging things and live life by oscillating between feeling like a victim and feeling momentarily elated, or we can choose to understand that life offers us a plethora of experiences that will be both easy and challenging, and our job is to look at both through the same lens of acceptance. It sounds simple, and yet it’s a very tall order when you apply it.
I invite you to pick one thing you are challenged about right now, and begin to accept all the things you are judging about it (be it other people’s behaviour, your own behaviour or the situation). As you do this you will see that the more you accept, the lighter you will feel and you will be freeing yourself from the mental toxicity of the past.
Have you ever noticed that people tend to love others in a way that feels good and convenient to them? Some may like to show love by cooking and create amazing culinary experiences – just forgetting to check if their loved ones are hungry or feel like eating! Some may feel good counselling and tend to offer coaching/advice, when their loved ones just want to vent or aren’t ready to hear it. Others may buy beautiful presents as a way of showing love, when perhaps what was needed most from them was their time.
I’m not trying to blame or point fingers here as we all do this by default; we tend to love people in a way that makes us feel good for loving them without checking if it makes them feel good! Being aware of this concept can be a game changer, it allows us to check what the people in our lives need from us. Have you ever thought of what makes your partner, child or best friend feel loved? It may be very different from what you are doing. If you don’t know, you could simple ask them and it could be the start of an interesting conversation that creates more intimacy.
I invite you this month to pick one person in your life, discover what truly makes them feel loved, and begin to love them in that way. The law of reciprocity says that once you start giving in this way, you will also begin to receive love in a way that makes you feel loved too (from the same person or someone else)! Please feel free to share your feedback and let us know how this worked for you.
It might sound like I’m talking about ice cream, but what I’m really talking about is what version of “I’m not good enough” are you most used to feeling? You may notice I’m not even asking if you’ve felt not good enough, I’m pre-supposing that you have, and I’m inviting you to see what your personal “flavour” is (you know, the one that hijacks your thoughts most often). It could be “I’m not attractive enough, not rich enough, not smart enough, not thin enough, not liked enough, not popular enough, not capable enough, not normal enough, not successful enough”, and the list goes on.
Since judgment is such a big part of our lives, self-judgment is bound to come up, and hence feeling not good enough in some way is an inevitable part of life. It’s what we do about it that will make a difference. Most people are conditioned to believe that it’s wrong to feel this way, and develop coping mechanisms to try and deal with it. One such coping mechanism is denial; pretending to the world that we have never had a self-deprecating thought and overcompensating by trying to prove to everyone how wonderful we are – sadly everyone else can see this illusion except us. Other times we may take these judgmental thoughts as ‘the truth’ and believe that we really are not good enough, which makes our self-esteem spiral down and we attract situations that give us more evidence to believe it. In both cases the self-critical thoughts are still governing our actions.
Perhaps another way out would be to accept and understand that these feelings are a ‘normal’ part of life, and when they do come up, look at that part of you with compassion and acceptance. Accept that “a part of me feels this way because I have judged it, and I give that part of me love and acceptance”. Doing this immediately takes away the power of those thoughts, plus you don’t have to believe in them or overcompensate for them, just watch and accept. Above all know that despite all this mind-chatter, you are good enough!!
We all know that life is a ride of up’s and down’s. Some days we’re pinching ourselves to see if the beauty around us is real, and some days everything feels like it’s falling apart. It’s easy to accept when things are good, however when things seem not-so-great, do you allow yourself to acknowledge that without judging or needing to fix it?
Most of us have an unconscious tendency to judge ourselves when we feel sad or frustrated. We tell ourselves that we shouldn’t feel anything that isn’t ‘good’, and moreover when someone else says they are feeling down we say things like “don’t feel like that”! Have you ever stopped feeling down because someone has said “don’t feel it”? The feeling doesn’t go away. In fact, it makes you feel something else on top of down – now you are down plus guilty for not being okay, or down plus angry at them for judging you. In this sense judging yourself for feeling upset is just going to add another layer to the upset, and this package gets stored in your subconscious mind and body.
I am not suggesting to indulge your story that’s making you feel like a victim so you feel more righteous about it. Instead, I am inviting you to observe your feelings without judgment, acknowledge that you are feeling a certain way and have space for that, and finally give that part of you some love and acceptance.
This allows us to feel safe so we can finally release the uncomfortable feelings from our system and be complete with the experience. Next time when you hear someone saying they are upset or angry, I invite you to just hear them out from a place of understanding (without indulging their story or trying to change how they feel).
People often connect February with ‘Valentines Day’, and all the associations that come along with that.
As children, we would enjoy our birthdays and special occasions because we had no expectations around it. We would be present in the moment and bask in the glory of whatever showed up. As we got older, we began to judge and create conditions such as “only if I received flowers, that means he loves me”, or “only if I am wished at midnight, then I am special”, or even better “the price of the gift shows how much I am loved”. All of these lead to expectations that cannot be met all the time, and instead, these special occasions end up reminding us that we don’t have what we want.
The underlying issue (as always) is our interpretations and expectations. What if this Valentines Day we give up wanting to be in a certain type of relationship with a partner, and focus on being in a loving relationship with ourselves?
Over the next two weeks, I invite you to drop your “should’s”. If you are single, drop any notions of “I should be in a relationship”. If you are in a relationship, drop any notions of “s/he should behave like this”. Set some time to do one loving act for yourself, and be present for whatever else shows up in the day!
I look forward to hearing some of your stories!
Happy New Year to you and welcome to a new beginning!
I know that the last year seemed challenging to many people; it required us to step up and face difficult situations, as well as reassess our health, finances and relationships. If this applies to you, please acknowledge that it’s over now! The year now belongs to the past along with all the pain and drama it may have caused. The only thing you have left is your memory, which contains your interpretations and emotions of what happened.
If any of these memories are bringing back emotional charges that are uncomfortable, get that these interpretations are not serving you. Somewhere in there, you are probably still judging that things are unfair and not ‘right’ towards you. One of the biggest gifts you can give yourself is to shift that perspective by accepting what happened, and looking at what you have learned from the situation. This will free yourself from any emotional pain you are carrying forward from 2018, so you can welcome 2019 with a fresh perspective and be inspired to create what you want.
I invite you to think of one thing from last year that is still disturbing you, and ask yourself if you can drop your current perspective, and instead look at what it has taught you and take it as an opportunity to grow. Here’s to leaving our baggage in the past where it belongs, and choosing to be peaceful over being right this year!
We have an exciting year lined up with fantastic new practitioners in the centre, and lots more workshops and training! I look forward to seeing more of you at our space and being a part of your journey.
As we bid farewell to another year, many of us have the tendency to reflect upon the year and review our achievements (or lack of), and set goals for the new year. Whilst this is a nice exercise, have you noticed that sometimes the same things appear on your list again and again?
For instance if losing weight, getting out of debt, or spending more time with family keeps appearing year after year, chances are you will repeat the same pattern – feel bad about it in December and let it roll over to another New Years resolution in January! Patterns keep repeating until we become conscious about them, realise that doing the same things will NOT produce different results, and begin to do something different to before.
This difference can be as subtle as having a different perception about the goal, feeling different when you think of it, or focusing on what you need to believe to get the goal rather than how bad you feel now when you don’t have it. Since our minds are stuck on the same track, doing any small thing differently changes the track in your mind about the topic, and suddenly you may find that we are moving closer to what we want!
This December, I invite you to review your goals and set them differently; ask yourself the following questions:
- Deep inside, do I really want this? (If you don’t, it’s okay! Perhaps it’s something you thought you should want it but don’t.)
- What unconscious benefits am I getting from not achieving this? (It usually is feeling of being “right”, or not having to be “responsible” for the result.)
- What’s more important to me, getting what I want or keeping that benefit?
- How will getting this goal make a difference to my life in 2019?
- What will life look like, and how will I feel when I achieve this?
- What do I need to believe in order to achieve this?
- Can I imagine myself believing that?
- What is one small step I can take now toward that goal?
I hope that these questions give you some insight towards you goals so you can adjust, recreate or reaffirm them.
Wishing you a beautiful end of the year and loving wishes for 2019!