…or go back to the woods
Stop taking pictures of everything, it is giving yourself permission to live in the past. A night out in February with 39 blurry snaps of half cut acquaintances, some faux arty pictures of drinks and the odd plate of food is hardly worthy of enshrining for ever. If you must, pose for a nice one then put your phones away. Also, no-one else cares, no one is enjoying seeing your glass of pinot noir.
I’m a little Victorian in my tastes. Quality over quantity. So, a picture to capture a day on the beach with the kids or a night with old friends that you haven’t seen for years…I can allow that (which I acknowledge is gracious of me). I will widen the net and also allow you to keep beautiful pictures or meaningful pictures. Technology is enabling the mass murder of creativity. It bothers me.
This volume of photographs are false memories. So are the majority of tweets and Facebook posts- overwhelming data, numbing your senses and diluting experience. I suppose it’s the same with Spotify, Netflix and Snapchat. I have tens of thousands of songs to listen to and, overwhelmed with choice, I rarely bother listening to music at all. We are hoarding. We’re investing in warehouses full of unremarkable memories and choices. No wonder most of us get in from work, order a takeaway and watch insidious television until we pass out.
If your life is that boring why are you trying to capture every painful thought and moment for ever? If your life is interesting then live it fully, NOW. Don’t video the school play on your phone, watch the bloody thing.
I like Facebook and Twitter. I am addicted too. So even though I’m a bit of a hypocrite, I’m working on it.
This is how we learn things- we consciously repeat a thought or an action until it patterns in to our unconscious processes.
Actors break scenes in to units and give each an objective. A unit of text is more manageable than a whole scene. An objective is what the character wants in that moment. They write ‘I want you to notice me’ or even, ‘I want to open the window’ alongside the text. The objective informs how you speak the text. A good objective always contains action. The character always wants something and playing this leads to clear and powerful acting. Without intentions, acting becomes vague. You are no different yourself in your life. Without clarity, your life gets mushy.
We get to choose what we want- we are the author of the play of our own lives. I have been asking myself this question.
‘What do I want?’
This is the beginning of change. It's easy to list what we don't want and because the unconscious mind is non judgemental, we often end up getting it. We get the things we focus on. If you tell yourself, ‘I don’t want to feel anxious’ then you are focusing on the problem rather than the solution. So, what do you actually want?
I’ve got a good memory, people are always commenting on it. I’m proud of it, I can remember details of childhood days out and reams of song lyrics from things I haven’t heard for twenty years. Lately, I can feel things changing, I’m finding it a little harder to recall the minutiae of ancient conversations or nights on the tiles.
Rather than beweep this change, I’m celebrating. When I was younger I couldn’t see a future for myself. I was comfortable being spontaneous in the present and nostalgic about the past but I was scared of making goals and dreaming of success. I didn’t even realize that it was through a lack of confidence or feeling like I didn’t deserve success.
Well, I have some goals now and I needed help to get there. On my own I would have just given up. Having someone to bounce off, to be honest and gentle with is important. Friends aren’t ideal coaches, they give you advice and guide you in to doing what they’d do themselves. Self hypnosis is a great way to make sure the goals you set really sink in.
Goals need updating and reassessing regularly. In fact, I am going to spend an hour today asking myself ‘what do I want?’. Then I’ll have a cup of tea, then I’ll go and change the world. Yes, that’s what I’ll do today.
When somebody leaves your life, be it through a relationship breaking down or them dying, it's difficult to know how to treat their memories. On one hand, you want to keep the good times preserved and on the other you don't want to feel so much pain that you can't live your life.
I lost a family member this weekend and I've been thinking about my coping strategies and my choices. I'm...well. Before I started with NLP and Hypnosis I had a habit of being totally open to every moment of joy and agony that came along. You could say that I have become colder but I know that I am choosing detachment. Missing him and loving his legacy without identifying too much with the pain.It exists but it is outside of me.
In moments of great despair it's not always apparent that how we feel is a choice. If you feel like you don't have a choice then get help. It's okay to feel down, but I can choose not to feel down and out.
'Philosophy is all well and good but it doesn't get the dishes done' said the wonderful David Nobbs in one of his Reggie Perrin books. It's one of my favourite quotes. I am convinced that, as a culture, we are asking the wrong questions. If you've got kids then you'll probably be used to the constant streams of 'why?'. If you're still asking this in adulthood, maybe you're stuck.
People die and get ill and ask 'why me?' or 'why her?'. Well, why not?. Even if you get a good answer, it's usually too late. I understand that we may not always understand and I am comfortable with that. We think too much and I know this because I have a gold medal in thinking too much (the wrong stuff). It was my closely held belief that this was the way to a successful life. I don't think so much now. I'm over the debating and enraging and trying to change people. I'd rather help them change themselves.
I saw a beloved former student of mine in a play last week. It was challenging, emotional and sometimes confusing. I liked it even though I didn't understand it all in the same way I can like a painting or piece of music without knowing what it means. It's not good to be so binary about everything, especially art or human beings. It's good to feel as well as reason. Some things are unknowable.
When it comes to feeling bad, asking 'why?' can be interesting, but it doesn't change much. Instead, accept it and ask 'how can I change this?'. You can take yourself from the problem frame to the solution frame in a heartbeat.
We all hear voices. This is a fact that I only realised quite recently and they have been talking to me for my whole life. Some of them sound like me and some like my mam and dad (and some belong to people who I really don't like..thankfully none of them sound like Iain Duncan Smith). They are a part of us and they tell us how to feel. Mostly they tell us to feel bad. If they get really, really, really bad then you could have a psychosis and I recommend you immediately go to a doctor, otherwise you're pretty normal.
I used to be in a relationship with a girl who talked to herself out loud and now I'm sorry that I made fun of her about it*. These voices are thoughts that we 'hear' inside our head and they can be compelling, she just chose to verbalise them. I'm surprised they got a word in edgeways with me in the room.
The point is, there are ways to control them. Listen to the voices in your head that tell you you're stupid or boring, that you'll never lose weight or that everybody hates you. Bulemics hear voices telling them to be sick and addicts hear voices telling them to take drugs. There are ways to take control. Those voices can be quietened, moved, even reasoned with and they lose their power over you. We can even create voices that tell you that you're attractive and succesful, confident and intelligent. Voices that make you feel good.
Spend a few moments listening to yourself and if you fancy, get in touch. You're not crazy, just chatty.
* I'm not really, sorry Charlotte.
There is a story I like. A woman asks her friend, who is in to yoga and meditation, 'How often should I meditate?'. Her friend replies, 'Once a day. Unless you're really busy'. 'I am really busy!' says the woman. Her friend says, in that case, 'twice a day'.
If you feel like you don't have time to look after yourself then you need to double your efforts. Even thinking that you may not be in good physical or mental shape almost certainly means you need to act now. Of course I'd advise you go to changeyouract.com immediately, but perhaps you just need to spend more time with your kids. Or join a gym. Or join the circus, I don't know, we are all different.
I've had a few clients book appointments lately and cancel at the last minute. This is annoying for me but it really just flags up that the person in question really needs help. They can book an appointment and they can almost get themselves out of the house and through my door. Just not quite. Not quite will keep you miserable all of your life. Putting things off for whatever reason can hurt you. One of these days I'll get round to putting that picture up is one thing, one of these days I'll get round to dealing with this crippling anxiety is another.
If this sounds familiar, I'd suggest you stop thinking and act now.
I love the work of Neville Goddard. I first read 'The Power of Awareness' when I was about nineteen and I appreciated it very much. It's not a fancy book, filled with long words but I still didn't really get it. I know now that there is a difference between understanding something on a surface level and really possessing it. It's a book about making things happen. It's a book about consciousness. I am ready to learn now.
Do you ever feel like you’re ready for a change? Sometimes you’ve just had enough and won’t put up with something anymore. Think about the moment you finally decided to leave your job or give up smoking. Was there an exact moment that you decided to leave your partner? Or get over heartache? Sometimes we need help to change. Seeing yourself in a better situation and feeling better every day sounds good doesn’t it? In a session with a coach we can explore your options then work with your mind to install new beliefs and behaviours.
You can change your beliefs. You’ve done it thousands of times in your life already. You change the belief and then your behaviour follows. If you suddenly deeply believed that smoking cigarettes was disgusting then you stop smoking them. That’s different from knowing that smoking is horrible on an intellectual level. You need to believe it. It’s the same with success. If you deeply believe that you always get the job, you go in to that interview room at your very best. I wish I’d known this when I was an actor.
I can help you set fantastic outcomes that really drive you forward. I can help you to choose new, empowering beliefs. Exciting isn’t it? Get in touch. If you live far away we can even work via Skype. Just like magic.
I have no idea about the context of this quote. I used to assume it meant…because I can think, I am alive. Now I think about it, that barely makes sense. It’s taken me a while but I know what it means now. It means, the quality of my life is decided by the thoughts that I think. What I think, I become.
It seems so obvious to me now.
Somewhere in the bible it says ‘Let the weak say “I am strong”’. Think strong to be strong. If you think happy thoughts then you will feel happier. If you think that you always catch colds, you will. If you think that you deserve to be unhappy…
I needed help to understand this both consciously and on a deeper level. It feels good to be taking control of my life and over the past few years I have begun to choose my thoughts more carefully. I have started to creatively make plans for the future and to believe that I can be happy and successful. There’s that little voice that whispers negative things in your ear. It tells you that you aren’t good enough. When I realised that this too was one of my thoughts that had grown in to a habit I chose to let it go.
I have started to make choices. I spent too long cruising through life. I did okay. I’m going to do much better from now on.
Do you spend or invest? It’s worth thinking about this for a moment. Spending is like living in the moment at the expense of the future. Your resources quickly disappear.
Some people are reluctant to invest in themselves. The consumerist world we live in screams spend, spend, spend!
You could spend £100 on a couple of coaching sessions that could help you find inner peace, new opportunities and fresh insights on life. That same £100 would also buy you 40 fags, ten gin and tonics and a kebab. I’m all in favour of a good night out but not at the expense of all else. Not if every day you’re unhappy at work or in your relationship and the only steps you take are getting drunk to blot it out. Not if you’ve £100 at your disposal with a handful of problems and this is what you do every week, blindly hoping that things will magically change. They won’t.
The same goes with investing in time. My lovely mother tells me that she absolutely has no time to read and then watches fifteen hours of soap operas every week. Time enough, across a year, to learn a new language.
We spend most of our waking hours thinking of this or that. Do you actively choose what to think about or do you let your mind think idle or negative thoughts? With some coaching and some dedication you can invest in your future by choosing your thoughts, rehearsing happiness.
Stop spending your time, your thoughts, your money. Everything must be an investment.
Part of the reason I trained as an NLP coach and Hypnotherapist was to straighten myself out. I didn't have any big, obvious problems but I was interested in delving inside myself to see if there was anything that could do with some love. I even spent a few weeks wondering whether I'd suffered some major trauma and buried it deep inside. I think it's the trainee therapist's version of thinking you're adopted when you're a teenager. I didn't find anything traumatic, just a handful of unwanted beliefs and habits that were holding me back.
I am thinking of this today as I have a day off and am doing a little work on myself. Today, it's timeline therapy. I am setting some outcomes for things that I'd like to have happen. It's important to do that every few weeks, to keep the unconcious mind processing positive thoughts and focused on the right things. If we aren't careful we can find ourselves working off old treasure maps, still pursuing things that stopped being meaningful to us a long time ago. This causes negative energy to build up and lethargy can set in.
So today is a quick mental spring clean, with a couple of inspiring new goals. When was the last time you did a stock take on what you want?
It can feel like a defeat to give up. Like you've lost. Pushing on at all costs can be more damaging though, the win at all costs mentality can bring pyrhiic victories.
As January kicks in, many of us look to get better by giving things up. From alcohol and cigarettes to chocolate and bread, people give up things for a while to feel better about themselves. The problem is that addictions can creep back when the motivation fades. If you make a commitment to changing the structure of your thoughts then you can give up things for good. And it's not just food and drink we can eradicate. We can restructure our thoughts so that old behaviours and beliefs disappear, putting in their place things that are motivating and positive.
If you don't know how to change things yourself, get some help. A couple of hundred pounds buys you a few sessions with a coach. This could be your year after all...
Some people are fond of saying, 'I have no regrets, if I did I wouldn't be the person I am today'. I'm not having that. I regret loads of things because if I'd have made better choices I could be much more free today. When I say that I 'regret' things, this doesn't mean that I gaze agonisingly back over my life, sighing and moping. I'm not judging or blaming either. I am totally keen on not repeating the same mistakes over and over. That's all. It's today that counts.
I regret spending so many days waiting for the phone to ring instead of getting out there and making things happen. I didn't set goals because I didn't have the confidence. I wanted success but I was frightened of imagining it just incase it didn't happen.
Things have changed for me now. I know that life works inside out and to change someting I have to feel it first. I take some comfort in the fact that I am driving my own bus.
I regret that last piece of cake I just had on the train as I now feel a bit sick. But, like everything else, this will pass.
Our mind does what we tell it to do.
Our lives, us getting what we want, is dependant on two things. The pictures we make in our minds and the words we tell ourselves. If you say to yourself, 'oh life is so hard, I can't cope' over and over then the mind will form a pattern of thought that becomes normal. In other words, that thought will be come a part of your unconcious thinking, running in the background of your mind. And then life will feel so hard and you really won't be able to cope. Choose to say 'I feel great, I can do this' over and over again and see the changes.
Conciously choosing your thoughts is the only way to feel good and get what you want. By changing the words that you say to yourself and by upgrading the pictures you make in your mind, then real changes can happen.
PS. Still no fizzy drinks for me and I feel better for it. Sadder, but better.
I used to be addicted to soft drinks. I told myself it wasn't so bad as it was only a can or two a day and how terrible can that be? I have been drinking soft drinks like this for about twenty years and I've done nothing about it. I suppose I found a way to justify it. I told myself that it could be worse, I knew some people who were downing a couple of litres a day. So I gave myself a free pass to have all of that sugar (and there is a LOT of sugar in a can of coke). Until last week. That's right, I quit soft drinks last week.
How did I do it? Well, I hypnotised myself into not liking it. I repatterned my thoughts into associating the taste with something very unpleasant. I nearly made myself sick (not quite but there was some retching). The next day I was passing a shop on my way home and the thought crossed my mind to go and buy a can to have with dinner. I stopped and...just...didn't fancy one. I hadn't realised before but what I usually do before buying a can was to 'taste' it in my mind, like trying on what is to come when I take my first drink. I found that I couldn't recall that old taste, it was now replaced with something I wasn't keen on.
Anyway, it's been a week and no soft drinks. And I am pretty pleased about that. If I can give up soft drinks then I wonder what else I can do to change the habits I have that I don't like...