Is Your Love Story A B-Movie?

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As a concept, it’s a fantastic script. Two star crossed lovers wounded by a past littered with one failed relationship after another. Life gives them one last battle to fight: the battle to find each other.

It’s a sweeping, soaring, tear-fest of two people hampered by fate and shackled to a future they can’t yet see but which they both know lies somewhere just beyond their immediate reach. It’s Gable and Leigh, Bogart and Bergman, Tracy and Hepburn. It’s Keira Knightley and Andrew Lincoln in that scene in Love Actually. Except in your version, Keira doesn’t let him walk away.

You have the script and, because this is your love story, you have a ready-made cast. It’s an epic romantic blockbuster destined to smash all box office records.

The only problem is that your subconscious has been tasked with job of directing it.

As the director of your personal movie, your subconscious is more Quentin Tarantino than, say, Steven Spielberg. It’s opinionated and often comes with its own agenda, drawing on your past experiences to inform your present and future. If you grew up in a house of drama, your subconscious is more likely to push you toward dramatic love and tempestuous hit-and-run run hook-ups. 

More potent – and therefore emotionally dangerous – is that your inner Tarantino is also usually trying to resolve what is unresolved from your past. Your parents may have been emotionally unavailable, and so your subconscious will propel you towards unavailable partners in an attempt to heal the wounds of the past. And guess what? That just creates more pain.

It’s not uncommon for me to see clients who prove to be subconsciously trying to address abandonment issues by going out with a narcissist – the perfect representative cause of their traumatic or unfulfilling childhood experiences.   

So, your subconscious doesn’t necessarily see the script in the way that you do. In his (or her) version, there are high speed chases, car crashes, jealous rivals, angry protagonists, high drama and arguments. Lots of arguments.

Your head may be filled with an exotic, pulsating romance set in the Orient or the glittering nightscape of New York, but what your subconscious will instead make is a drama-documentary set in the ordinary context of real life. Your real life.

You see a Hollywood ending. Your subconscious sees the opportunity to resolve the unresolved. And what you get is a B-reel destined to go straight to video (or, in today’s money, straight to download).

Hollywood loves to sell us the 90-minute dream. We’re conditioned to believe that love really can be forged in the time that it takes to consume a big bag of popcorn. But the reality is that good things take time and if the relationship you’re in is heavy on drama then the chances are you’re not starring in the main feature.

Very few of us go into a relationship knowing it will end. What’s the point? Most of the time life’s too short. The sex might be great, but contrary to what your hormones might be saying at the time, it doesn’t necessarily buy permanence.

In the main, we commit to other people because we think there’s a future in it.

Forget the first few dates when we’re flush with excitement and promise. In those early days, we’re all walking adverts for ourselves anyway. We say, do and wear the right things. We crank up empathy, sympathy and compassion, while tenderness and consideration get dialled up to 11. But in the end, it always takes time to find out who the other person really is.

Problems in relationships often come when they start fast. You meet someone, and it feels like you’ve been hit by a train. You’ve found ‘the one’. I call these ‘cosmic relationships’ – but intensity is not intimacy and while fast-forwarding the future can be a fix for the emptiness of the present, true love rarely happens in two  days, even two dreamlike days. 

There’s also a danger that in putting the other person in a box labelled ‘Soul Mate’, you create a high level of expectation very quickly – and when that person fails to live up to it, the disappointment is that much greater.

When commitment is too fast the relationship doesn’t have the chance to develop the trust that’s needed for both people to be able to reveal their shortcomings and imperfections.

We all have those – the inability to see our role in past relationship catastrophes, our short temper, tendency towards guilt-tripping and other less than glossy aspects that we tend not to reveal in the first couple of months.

As British philosopher Alain De Botton says: “A standard question on any initial dinner date should simply be: ‘So in what particular ways are you crazy?”

In cosmic relationships launched on fantasy, the eventual appearance of our less-than-charming characteristics means the other person can feel as though they’ve been victims of false advertising.  

Intensity is like Styrofoam – it takes up lots of space, but it lacks substance. There’s no room for authenticity or intimacy. I see many clients who continually mistake intensity for intimacy, but intimacy takes time. By contrast, intensity is often instant – just as it is also often unavailability, too.   

The key elements of a B-Movie are drama, intensity, breathlessness, no boundaries, self-abandonment – the perfect ingredients for a super toxic relationship soup.

The antidote? 

It’s important to look at the subconscious issues at play and resolve them and that means understanding that it’s not down to being ‘unlucky in love’ or ‘not having met the right person yet’ or any of the other twaddle we are fed by the media

If you are continually attracting the ‘same’ kind of unhealthy relationship the chances are you’re playing a part in effectively re-creating your trauma in your relationships, and it’s vital to put an end to that negative pattern. That means finding a way of clearing out toxic beliefs about love and self in your past.  Yes this does take both work and time, but the alternative is an existence of emotional pain.

Ultimately, it’s about learning to love yourself because the stronger we get, and the more we fill our lives with love, joy, and positive actions, the less we will enter these combustible liaisons. The more solid our sense of self-esteem and sense of self, the less we feel we need to fill an emotional void with the ‘fix’ of another person who comes on like a freight train in less than a hot minute. 

Trusting in our path and worth should give us the confidence and grounding to know that taking things slowly can and will yield everything we desire, eventually. And the more solid our sense of self-love and worth, the more likely we are to recognise who will be a good life partner, and have a relationship that really works 

But it requires the willingness to look at our own part in what we are re-creating,  setting the intention to make different choices combined with the patience to walk mindfully through the initial clumsy bit of dating to find out who we’re really giving ourselves to. 

If you’ve been lucky, you’ll end up with that Hollywood ending. If not, you may well just have to re-write your movie script.


How ‘Therapied’ Is Your Hypnotherapist?

Medical hypnotherapy

In the grand scheme of things, you know something might have gone wrong when you’re heating something up in a microwave and there’s a sudden loud bang, a shower of sparks and the house is plunged into sudden darkness.

Like most ordinary people, I know what electricity does, but not how it does it. I can change a lightbulb and, if the circumstances are right and there’s a diagram to work from, a plug. When there’s a normal power cut – in other words, the sort that isn’t accompanied by loud noises and sudden fireworks in the kitchen – I also know where to look to see if a fuse has blown (though what to do next would elude me).

But that’s pretty much as far as my expertise goes and you’ll probably agree that when the Fourth of July is going on in the middle of your kitchen, that probably isn’t quite far enough.

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The Silent Agony Of Grief

The Silent Agony Of Grief

All of us have, at some time or another, experienced grief. While it’s an emotion we most commonly associate with death, it’s not limited to the loss of a life. We can grieve for friends or family who move far away, for a lost item that had powerful sentimental worth or for an opportunity we should have taken but didn’t.

As children many of us have lost treasured pets or older relatives. And as we get older, death’s footsteps fall closer to our daily lives, claiming friends, parents, siblings and others we cherish.

Grief in all these circumstances is entirely normal. In fact, it’s also entirely healthy. And most of the time it’s transitory, a process with a beginning and an end that we move through on the way to reclaiming emotional equilibrium at some undefined near-future point.

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All New Things Are Weak & Tender – A Word On Recovery

All New Things Are Weak & Tender - A Word On Recovery

All new things are weak and tender. This can include the beginnings of a romantic relationship or friendship, a business partnership, a new creative project, a move to a new location, job or country or even the learning of a new skill. Whenever we make a change it is important to also recognise that even positive changes are often challenging. It takes time, energy and focus to adjust. So in a way we could say all beginnings possess a delicacy that is important to respect.

However the beginnings I am particularly focused on here are the beginnings of recovery; recovery from heartbreak, anxiety, divorce, addiction, trauma, depression, an abusive relationship, chronic illness, grief. Recovery from whatever it is that has pole-axed your soul and left you wondering whether your world will ever be the same again, let alone whether you even want to be a part of it anymore.

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Are You Wasting Your Life Living Other People’s Programs?

Are You Wasting Your Life Living Other People's Programs?

Did you know that we live 95% of our lives led by the beliefs of the subconscious mind, and that 70% of those beliefs are negative? By the time we reach the age of 7, we have downloaded and installed a set of programs and beliefs from our parents that become our software for the entirety of our lives, unless we change them. Our subconscious is the part of our mind that stores our emotions, memories, skills, instincts and behaviours, as well as running biological functions.  If we are trying to change anything in our lives with the conscious mind, and it goes against our previous unconscious conditioning, then we might as well conserve our energy. Basically, to be blunt, those early programs will direct the course of your life, whether you like it or not. The Matrix movie was totally on the game, either we follow the program that has been previously ordained, or we opt out and become a self aware and conscious participant in our destiny. Unless we do, we exist within the matrix of other peoples programs, if they’re not working for in our favour, it is time for some new, and life enhancing downloads.  With the conscious mind we can only hope to achieve limited change, as we rely on willpower, reason, positive thinking and motivation. It is a bit like making those New Year’s resolutions; the determination factor has a short shelf life unless it is aligned with the embedded beliefs held within our subconscious. They affect every area of our life, health, self esteem, relationships, prosperity and deepest spiritual understandings. If those beliefs are self defeating, de-valuing, fearful and create stress, then we are running a negative program that will reflect in our lives, it has to, because anything that is not an accurate reflection of our internal reality will cause our subconscious to disregard it and we will be cut off at the knees, it is devoid of compassion or humour, just like a computer. It will just do what it is programmed to do. It see’s the world literally, through our 5 senses, and houses all our memories, every single experience has been filed away in the archives, even the basic ones, like how to walk! The subconscious thinks in the present moment, so the most effective way to communicate with it, is to make a present tense statement that a 7 year old can understand. Re-write the software of your mind and you change the printout of your experience.

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Family Hand Me Downs – When The Issue Isn’t Yours ….

Family Hand Me Downs - When The Issue Isn't Yours ....

We are all familiar with the treasured items that get passed down through a family from generation to generation, perhaps a piece of jewellery or a painting, they can possess great financial or sentimental value. These items are family heirlooms and can become part of the lives of consecutive generations, paying homage to our perceived roots.

However the same applies to the non-physical – and not-so treasured – familial patterns.  These are the unconscious burdens and inherited belief systems we carry from generation to generation.  We can inherit not only their genes but also their self-limiting beliefs, their psychological shadows, their anxieties and much more across generations.

You may see this in the way you have worked extensively on your issues but they simply refuse to budge. You probably have a great awareness of your issue which makes it all the more frustrating as whilst you are acutely aware of it’s presence and subsequent restrictions on your life, it’s showing no sign of dissipating anytime soon. If this is the case it’s well worth asking ‘is this baggage even mine?’ It’s no secret that a lot of behaviour is learnt behaviour from our parents and caregivers. But perhaps it’s lesser known that there is also behaviour which is the result of the unconscious absorption of the emotional burdens that were simply too big for our parents and caregivers to carry all by themselves.  In this case you may have unconsciously agreed to take some of this on to help them carry it.

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If You’re Going To Make One Resolution This Year……

If You're Going To Make One Resolution This Year......

Make it this:

Trust yourself.

It’s simple, yet admittedly not always easy. Trusting and acting upon your intuition can be frightening, yet if we don’t we end up buffeted about by the winds and wills of others’ desires and advice. If we continue to ignore or override our inner voice we will end up feeling dissatisfied at best, deeply resentful and unwell at worst.

Your intuition is actually an unflinching truth-teller committed to your well-being; it’s your own best friend. If you allow yourself the time and space to practise listening to, and most importantly acting upon, your intuition you can begin to rely on it as the most incredible vehicle to navigate you through life’s waters.

So how do we access this potent form of inner wisdom? Well, it’s not about the intellect or logical conscious mind, rather it’s the still, small voice inside. It’s accessible to us all and because the voice of ‘quiet’ gut is exactly that, we need to allow the space in our lives and within our selves to be able to ‘hear’ it.

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The Law of Reversed Effect – Are you trying too hard?

The Law of Reversed Effect - Are you trying too hard?

There are many physical laws that we live by. Jump off a building (that’s not a suggestion!) and you’ll experience the physical law of gravitation. As we have physical laws there are also mental laws. These laws are just as real and we can use them for either our benefit or detriment. When it comes to the mind, especially the subconscious mind, one of the most important mental laws to get to grips with is ‘The Law of Reversed Effect’:

The Law of Reversed Effect states; “The greater the conscious effort, the less the subconscious response” or understood another way “Whenever the will (conscious mind) and imagination (subconscious) are in conflict, the imagination (subconscious) always wins.”

It’s helpful to understand that the subconscious is infinitely more powerful than the conscious and it is your ‘inner protector’. Its primary function is to prevent you from getting hurt and it learns and remembers rules and behaviours in order to do exactly this. These rules and behaviours are created from emotional responses to events which, more often than not, occurred in childhood. Each situation that reminds the subconscious of the childhood event gets treated according to the rule that was created back there, back then. This rule is then reinforced and becomes a habit, something you just do automatically without thinking.

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The Law Of Attraction & Hypnotherapy

The Law Of Attraction & Hypnotherapy

Ever wondered why the Law of Attraction is not working for you in your life? No matter how many times you ‘think’ about your ideal life, somehow nothing changes. Do you believe that magic seems to happen for other people and not you? If only it was as simple as they all make out, all you have to do is think, daydream, be and act happy and your life will change! So after consistently trying over a period of time, you may still find yourself at the starting post, with nothing but a new pair of shoes to show for your deliberate effort. Eventually you may lose hope and decide that all this positive thinking doesn’t work for you. However, there is a reasonable and logical explanation. When it comes to creating significant change in our lives, it is essential that we have our subconscious minds on our side. Wanting with our conscious mind is one thing, but our subconscious may have a totally different agenda, holding at bay, everything you desire.

We come to understand that the most important part of creating our reality is being in the right place emotionally to let whatever it is we want, IN. We can spend our lives deciding and defining what we want. But if we are still caught up in the past by holding onto those negative feelings and beliefs, our lives will remain the same. Our energy is somehow stuck, swallowed up by something that no longer exists. The past is therefore creating our reality. All those positive, well meaning, thoughts cannot override that. Your subconscious and the beliefs you are holding within your being are defining your life as it is right now, in this moment. This is a state of being that shines the spotlight on the fact that there is no space for old beliefs, bitterness and resentment, if feeling good is our ultimate goal. Hypnotherapy changes old beliefs and clears out obsolete, negative programmes that no longer serve us in the present moment. The Universe reveals the truth to us, in a way that we can finally get real, and stop trying to force life to work for us from a past paradigm.

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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.