Every time Grace, a loving single parent, took time for herself, she returned
home with an awful sinking feeling. She didn’t understand why. “I had so much fun, and I'm proud of myself for making time for myself,” Grace thought to herself. Rather than expand from the joyous experience, or receive the delight and enthusiasm of her self-care, she contracted.
Grace’s contraction comes from the experience of shame, a poison that keeps us from experiencing our own joy and disconnects us from the aliveness within and around us. Whereas guilt is associated with a particular memory or situation and having done something wrong, the feeling of shame is about being wrong at our core. It is a debilitating feeling we have about ourselves that comes from a core belief that we are fundamentally flawed.
Sources of Shame
The poison that is the root of shame is absorbed in early childhood. As a
result of not being seen and loved for who we are, we develop the belief that we are...
Harnessing Subconscious Behavior to Move Into Conscious Leadership
With our constant stream of text messages, emails, meetings, conference calls, and so on, it is a minor miracle that any of us can accomplish anything. With our smartphones surgically implanted into our hands, our time is sliced so thinly that we never have room for error, focused time to develop big-picture perspectives or the time needed for an action plan, let alone the time to execute it.
“Ineffective daily routines, superficial behaviors, poorly prioritized or unfocused tasks leech leadership’ capacities—making unproductive busyness perhaps the most critical behavioral problem” in our lifestyles today.
For so many of us—whether CEOs for major corporations, small business owners or solo-entrepreneurs—there is a fundamental disconnection between knowing what needs to be done and actively taking responsibility for it. Calling this disconnection the “knowing-doing...
Exploring the Strengths of Seeking Help
Long before there were hypnotherapists, there were family members. Aunt Helen listened or gave us advice, or sometimes Granny Annie just told us to toughen up and move on. If our family couldn’t help, there were friends or a clergy member. However, most of us were likely warned not to broadcast our troubles, and this led to people feeling they had to suffer through their problems silently.
Times change, and so has society’s acceptance of seeking help. The old stigma of being seen as weak or incapable is primarily gone, helped by many well-known writers, actors and politicians being open about their struggles with, and treatments for, everything from depression to chronic shoplifting. Going to a hypnotherapist is now seen as a positive step in most people’s lives.
Hypnotherapy is a unique collaboration and what makes it valuable sets it apart from family associations, friendships, working partnerships, and even love...
How do people turn what we say they want into what they actually get?
Many articles, books and workshops advise us to conduct one's self “as if.” Behave as if you already have your dream job. Act as if you’re successful — function from confidence.
If we support the theory behind our actions, it means that we behave in alignment with the intentions we desire, and we’re more likely to achieve it.
Problems will arise when we don’t genuinely want the life we think we want. For example, we may say that we want to find a loving partner, be at our ideal weight, or start our own business but if we honestly don’t want the added responsibilities of behaving “as if,” your effort will be an empty exercise.
So what’s the solution?
Here are some ways I suggest you begin.
First, I recommend you begin slowly. When we decide to make a significant change in our lives, we often try to do too many things at once and find ourselves...
Vengeful, easily victimized, lazy, bad, untrustworthy. Excel at hopelessness and rage, an expert on greed. Not creative. Never finish what I start. Stupid, a loner, damaged goods. Nurture evil thoughts. Certainly unlovable.
No one wants to admit to a dark side—it can be a frightening and shocking experience to our self-image. We spend vast amounts of energy denying and repressing this unwanted inferior self.
What many of us don’t realize is that the shadow can be a helpful aspect of ourselves that holds the key to transformation—a loyal friend bearing the gifts of depth, integrity, vitality, and wholeness—if we choose to meet it and love it.
“Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once, beautiful and brave,” said poet Ranier Maria...
"What will you do with your precious life?"
Suppose I stopped you in the middle of your day to ask you this question posed by psychologist and poet Mary Oliver. What a beautiful opportunity to respond that you would spend your life exactly as you spent your day.
Your answer could be anything: doing work you love, caring for and giving love to your family, contributing to your community or the world, creating art, building a business, climbing mountains, making music. The key is that how you lived today is how you would choose to live tomorrow and the next day and the rest of your future.
For some, the life they live day to day is not the life they would describe if they were asked Mary Oliver's question. Instead, they might use phrases such as: "As soon as I can quit…" or "I'd like to lose…" or "I used to dream about…" while explaining a daily life tangled up in too many demands and never enough time or energy to achieve the experiences that matter most to...
Believe it or not, stress is not the villain it's made out to be. In small, short-term doses, stress can give an athlete the competitive edge or a public speaker the enthusiasm to project optimally. It can even boost the immune system.
However, chronic stress over time—the kind commonly encountered in daily life, such as work overload, financial difficulties, marital problems—can have significant adverse effects on nearly every system of the body, suppressing the immune system and ultimately manifesting as an illness.
The danger occurs when stress becomes persistent and consistent, a way of life. Chronic stress raises the risk of viral infection and diabetes. It can trigger severe problems for asthmatics, lead to gastrointestinal issues and cause high blood pressure, which brings an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
To get a handle on this silent adversary, you want first to recognize that you are chronically stressed. Here are four kinds of warning signs:
When unfavorable situations, actions and emotional conflicts happen again and again in your life, you may find yourself in the same scene, with different characters, more often than you care to admit. If so, there’s a good chance you are in the presence of a negative “pattern.”
Some examples: constant conflict with co-workers, people-pleasing, or picking unsuitable partners/lovers.
At best, these negative patterns cause frustration. At worst, they create undue suffering, uphill struggles, sometimes even death.
The good news is: you have the power to change these negative patterns. Allow me to share with you some ways to begin disrupting your dominant negative patterns so that you can start laying down new, more positive habits. It's also helpful to keep in mind; "When you know what you don't want, you know what you do want."
Practice Your Presence.
No matter how entrenched a pattern seems, the act of noticing begins the shift away from damaging thoughts or...