Why Meeting Yourself With Love Is So Important

Sad girl is holding heart symbol by her finger and looking at it. Love and relationships concept

Nourishing your heart involves making a practice of loving every aspect of yourself. This is about embracing all of your inner world too. This includes those parts of you that are responsible for some of your greatest challenges. Many people have parts of themselves that are closed down to love, push away opportunity and sabotage their best attempts to make positive changes in their lives. It can be tempting to attack these parts of your mind, making them wrong and blaming them for everything that is difficult in your life.  Unfortunately that only makes matters worse. If you do have parts of yourself that seem set against you, they are working on some level to serve you. They always are. Yes, those parts may be serving you in wholly destructive ways, underpinning any number of terribly limiting behaviours and beliefs but those parts will be doing that with your best interests at heart. Somewhere in the middle of their motivation is a desire to keep you safe.

Changing behaviour only works in a real and lasting way if we can get every aspect of ourselves into alignment. It is about negotiating with yourself so that every part of you comes into agreement. Then it no longer involves any will power. Will power is when one part of you wants one thing and another wants something else and you go to war against an aspect of yourself.  True transformation comes from realising on a deep level what truly serves you. This is not a chore, a duty or a loss. It is a gift of love. From there, there is no more struggle or effort required. So, how do you bring those parts of you into agreement?

Alignment comes with love, respect and faith.

To do this try the following negotiation exercise. Once you become familiar with this exercise, it is possible to do very rapid negotiations with yourself. However, sometimes I f you are working with something big, you might want to take a long time over this, spending time getting very deeply relaxed before you begin. Sometimes, negotiating with yourself can involve a few rounds of internal discussion. To do this close your eyes, relax your breathing, become still and then invite this part of yourself to come into your awareness. This could be a part of you responsible for smoking, over-shopping, overeating, never stopping, angry outbursts etc. You may see this part in your imagination or you might just sense that you are talking to yourself on some deeper level. Either way is fine. You then first of all thank this part for everything it is doing to help you. You let it feel that you have faith that it is trying to help you. Do your best to feel sincere gratitude for this part. Then let it know that you are not here to force it to change. You are here simply to invite it to think and feel differently about this behaviour or habit. There is a more loving way of living and loving yourself and you are here to give this part a chance to find even more beautiful ways of loving you.

Sometimes we can happen upon an aspect of ourselves that seems absolutely dead set against us, that wants to pull everything down and ruin all hope. That part more than anything needs your love not your hatred. It will simply be trying to hold you responsible for everything that went wrong in your past. It will be protecting you from painful thoughts and feelings that you once couldn’t bear to be conscious of. If you find that part in you, let it know that you are finally here to help it. You are finally here to feel the feelings and to think the thoughts that you were once too afraid to think and feel. By meeting every part of us with love, the battle and the blame begins to dissolve. Peace moves through our choices and a sense of adequacy transforms the pain of imagined inadequacy and failure that drives all of the behaviours that cause damage and pain in our life. From there what we truly want gets exciting, we act in healthy and harmonious ways because we really want to. No will power is required. We are no longer battling against some sense of something being wrong, something needing to be different. That primary resistance simply isn’t there so we naturally find balance.

Meet every part of yourself with love.

Bring every choice into your conscious awareness, trusting that you will make the perfect choice at the perfect time when you can relax into the process of simply bringing more love to life.


Valuing Yourself In Business (& Why It’s So Important)

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Having a healthy sense of self esteem and self value is important in all areas of life, and your workplace, whether you are working for someone else or running your own business, is no exception.

So what does valuing yourself in business mean?    Well, it’s helpful to break it down:

One of the most important ways we can value ourselves in business is financially.    Whether this is fighting for the payrise we deserve or ensuring that we are charging enough for our services, time and products, it’s absolutely essential.   In today’s economic climate it’s easy to go into fear, overcommit ourselves financially and timewise, but if you can’t afford it then it’s counterproductive.     When running your own business sloppiness around financial details will undermine you faster than anything else, whilst we don’t always have time to do all of this ourselves at the very least it’s important to keep a close eye on the details, or have someone you trust taking care of this.

The same goes for time.    Time is, of course, money and if you’re continually giving away your time for free, or undercharging for projects it will ultimately lead to underearning.    If you’re starting up it’s often helpful to take on pro-bono projects in order to make contacts, build your reputation and hone your skills, but it’s important to set boundaries around it.   Of course pro-bono projects can be highly enjoyable, especially if for a worthy cause, however it’s essential to ensure that you plan accordingly, and allow paying projects to fully support these.   The same applies when you are an employee, it’s easy to get caught in a ‘people-pleasing’ loop in a desire to get ahead, but it creates what I call the ‘domino’ effect in that you are continually playing catch up, struggling to get out of bed due to the late nights at work and, again, ultimately it is counter-productive as you under-resourced and simply cannot perform to your best ability.

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Abandoning Yourself….Are You Guilty?

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What does abandoning yourself mean?

Well it means saying yes when really you feel no, it can also be described as people pleasing, playing small or giving away your power. It’s when you override the protestations of your inner voice and allow yourself to be overly influenced by others opinions, evaluations and verbalisations. Or it’s when you give yourself up to avoid rejection or the fear of it. Turning to a myriad of mild, or not so mild, addictions is another all too common way of avoiding painful feelings and therefore abandoning yourself.  Many of us are guilty of some or all of these at some time or another, but for many it’s become a deeply ingrained habit, or worse still a way of life.

So what does it cost us? Well continuing to abandon yourself is deeply corrosive to your self worth as you are not only giving yourself the message ‘I don’t trust myself’ but you are also compounding it with ‘what I think and feel doesn’t matter, even to me’.

Ultimately, continuing to abandon yourself will leave you dis-empowered and resentful.

If you have abandonment issues from childhood then this subconscious wounding unfortunately increases the likelihood of abandoning yourself in adulthood – we often do to ourselves what was done to us – until we bring our attention and healing to this. The reason for this is twofold: firstly the subconscious seeks out what is familiar, no matter how uncomfortable and painful, in an attempt to resolve it and secondly if there are unresolved childhood abandonment issues self worth will have already been eroded, meaning you are much less likely to trust and listen to yourself, until you do the work to do that.

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Are you your own personal bully?

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I imagine most people would agree that bullies are a nuisance, and that’s putting it mildly. I’m sure at some point in our lives, we have all experienced being bullied, intimidated, coerced and victimized, and I think we would also agree that it doesn’t feel good. In fact, it can stir up some very uncomfortable feelings, ranging from indignation, fear, sadness and hurt. Some of us will come out fighting, and other’s may retreat and just hope that the person responsible will eventually leave us alone. As a way of coping with the stress posed by this external threat, albeit an individual or group, we may try to be overly nice to compensate, or seek ways of remaining safe, by being hyper alert and trying to anticipate their behaviour. In doing so, we end up compromising ourselves, creating incredible stress and living in a state of anxiety. If our exposure to this level of anxiety continues, and panic ensues, then our self esteem is compromised and damaged. Once our self esteem starts plummeting, then most areas of our lives are negatively influenced. Over an extended period of time, we become a shadow of our former selves, unless we find a way to cope by seeking support, help and advice.

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Are You A Validation Addict?

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When we feel the need for constant external validation, maybe it is time to start asking ourselves why that is. This applies specifically to women, who may regularly elicit attention from men to feel special, worthy and attractive. In fact, some of us can take this to an extreme, where we seek validation, using our feminine charms and sexuality to be ‘seen,’ noticed and approved of. This feeling of power gives us an instant feel good ‘hit,’ which never lasts, because ultimately it doesn’t reach in and validate who we are as people. So, we are off on our search again, longing and yearning for that magical person to give us something that for some reason, we are unable to give ourselves. That search will eventually lead us back to ourselves, because it is a dead end on a road going nowhere. We are solely responsible for determining, deciding and creating our level of self esteem that doesn’t require anyone’s stamp of approval.

Being centred and grounded in our authentic selves is not easy if we have low self esteem, we need propping up, we need to be noticed, and this need originates from a core wound that no amount of validation can heal. However, that doesn’t stop us jumping from one relationship and sexual encounter to the next, in the hope that this person and ensuing distraction will take our pain away. We are living on the periphery of our lives, orbiting our core wounding with an astute cleverness that has become our default defence mechanism. Unfortunately there is not a man walking on the earth who has the power to reach in and love all the hurt away, that belief belongs in the fairy tales with the likes of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. In real life, Sleeping Beauty would wake up out of her 100 year stupor, dust herself off and tell Prince charming to take a hike, while she gets on with the business of discovering the Queen that she is, and not the ‘princess’ that she’s been conditioned to be. True, authentic transformation evolves out of the pursuit of self discovery, an innate potential that resides in us all. Low self esteem, with all its highs and lows, does not feel good. This offers a momentary reprieve, but it will never offer the one thing that we truly need, and that is healing. We can become so immersed in our story that it is hard to imagine that life could take on new meaning, that we could create a reality that would be deeply satisfying, in a way that drama, addiction and another pair of shoes, could never match and never equal.

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When You Risk Nothing, You Risk Even More

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When I started my career as a Therapist, I was always on the lookout for a model of therapy that was safe, effective and relatively fast. I wanted to find a way to work with clients that didn’t require endless costly hours of psychotherapy. I knew there was intrinsic value in talking therapies, for self reflection, support and awareness, but in terms of deep healing at a core level, I was unsure. In my own experience I know how enticing it can be to ‘talk story.’ Talking story allows you to stay in a safe, familiar place, without risking vulnerability, exposure and feeling those difficult challenging feelings that, let’s face it, we would all rather avoid.

We can go to great lengths to avoid feeling, from overeating, taking drugs, alcohol, drama, dysfunctional relationships and fast living. Our bodies can be in a constant state of fight or flight, causing untold stress, challenges to our self-esteem and wellbeing and in some cases, physical illness. Somewhere down the line, something has to give. You have to drive yourself pretty hard to keep one step ahead of any deep seated issue that has remained hidden up till now. However, these deep issues are never quiet; they are like old tapes constantly running their programmes in the background of your life.  Erica Jong said “When you risk nothing, you risk even more.” I believe her. I believe there is profound value in taking the risk to delve into your feelings, into a new way of being and addressing difficult issues at a subconscious level. This is where those deep issues ‘hang out.’ The subconscious runs your life by default, and your level of self esteem, as you remain unaware on a conscious level. Your conscious mind is the part of you that likes to avoid, that can reason and justify allowing you to live in a state of denial. Therefore, your conscious mind cannot solely be relied upon to make significant and profound changes that will give you the relief and results that you deserve.

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Additional Credits

Video by Weeks360.

Photography by Liz Bishop Photography.

Production by Mark Norman at Little Joe Media and Joanne Brooks.

Hair by Jonny Albutt.

Make up by Olly Fisk and Nabeel Hussain.