The other day I caught up with an old school friend, whom I hadn't seen in years. She told me that her love life was a disaster. She felt that she always attracted toxic men. Now this is a very common issue that I often help people address in my BNE sessions. So, in this blog post, I would like to give you a few simple, powerful tools that will help you shift your perspective to address the issue from a place of empowerment.
Let me first say that the most powerful step you can take for yourself is to turn your focus inwards, which ultimately is the surest way of addressing the cause of your problems. This may or may not be new to you, but the circumstances in your lives are, in fact, the effect NOT the source of your sorrows. That simple shift in perspective can work wonders because as a great mentor of mine says: "When you can see what you were unable to see before, you can act in a way that you previously thought you couldn't."
Before I delve into this, let's get clear from the get go: I am no relationship expert. However, what I am very good at is helping people see their patterns and what they can learn from their ("toxic") partner. For starters, if you ask me, there is no such thing as a "toxic" partner. What we are dealing with here are dysfunctional patterns. And, it takes two to create a dysfunctional relationship. It's a very important point that is often overlooked. What I teach people is to take ownership for their side of the coin, which is a way of empowering them into action.
Seeing the other person as a mirror, gives people the possibility to understand how they are contributing to the dysfunctional pattern. This, in turn, allows them to make changes that will improve their lives. For, as Marcus Aurelius, very wisely said: "If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment".
And, how do you assess your estimate of it? Well, there is a very simple trick that you can use to see what the other person is teaching you. First, get very clear and specific about what they are doing that is triggering you.
What is a toxic person? Toxic is a broad term that people assign a different meaning to. If we want to assess our estimate, we need to get specific about the behaviour we believe to be the cause of our problems. My friend, for example, might feel that her partner doesn't respect her. A specific example of that may be that he regularly cancels plans with her to spend time with his friends and/or has cheated on her twice.
Now that we are clear on the specific behaviour, let's take a look at the mirror and reverse it. The first simple step is to talk about the other person in relation to ourselves. For example: How am I disrespecting myself through him? How am I cheating on myself through him? For instance, remaining in a relationship with someone who repeatedly cheats on you, can be a way of betraying yourself. And, constantly putting your partner's needs first, can be a way of disrespecting yourself.
The second step is to ask yourself two simple questions with regard to your partner's specific behaviour: What are they doing that I am not allowing myself to do? Or, In what other areas of my life do I behave in the same way? For example, my friend might default to waiting to hear about her partners plans before agreeing on spending time with her friends. She doesn't allow herself to think of herself first. In that case, her valuable mirror is teaching her to think of her own needs more, without feeling the urge to always wait around for him. And if she delves a little deeper, she might come to realise that she repeatedly cancels plans with her best friend, when her partner calls. Therefore, she also acts like him in other areas of her life. Ultimately, she has attracted the perfect match for her growth. Once she has understood the lesson, she can take appropriate action in order to start respecting herself.
We always judge in others what we are unable to see in ourselves and that is where the most valuable lessons are. These are powerful questions that can really help us navigate our relationships in a mature, responsible way and give us simple answers and solutions to our problems. As I mentioned earlier, if we truly want to evolve as people and become the masters of our own lives, turning the spotlight inwards is a must. That's when we truly understand that every single experience is rooting for us to grow, and that the answers lie within, never without.
Ps: if you need a further hand to delve into a relationship pattern you feel stuck with, BioNeuroEmotion (BNE) is a wonderful method that will help you shift your perspective, so you can foster meaningful changes in your life, by transforming your conflicts into stepping stones for growth. My mission is to help you move beyond your perceived limitations, tap into your intrinsic wisdom and make conscious choices so you can live your life fully. You can find out more about my work and book a session here.
When assessing your actions, your performance etc. do you tend to be highly-critical of yourself? Or, on the contrary, are you the kind of person who focuses on the good and finds it hard to take an honest look at what you could improve?
Self-evaluation is an important part of growth. Whether it be for professional or personal reasons, assessing what you did well and what you can improve is crucial to learning and growing as a person. And, as with everything, it’s about finding a healthy balance in the way you look at things. However, most people tend to be polarised, i.e. they are excessively self-critical or the complete opposite.
As part of my training as a Bioneuroemotion practitioner and my work with Enric Corbera Institute, I am required to periodically evaluate my sessions. It’s a must and a great exercise to keep improving my services, as well as highlighting areas I can improve in my own life. As the saying goes: the way we do anything, is how we do everything. So, a professional self-evaluation is also a great personal assessment tool. Personally, I tend to be overly self-critical and it is a trait that I have been increasingly aware of and that I am looking to learn from. Wherever there is an imbalance, there is a growth opportunity, right?
Therefore, a few weeks ago I discussed this issue with a good friend of mine, who also struggles with self-criticism in her self-evaluations as a coach, despite being a very successful one. As a result, we ended up watching a training together, which I loved and wanted to share with you to give you some extra mindset tips for self-assessment.
Most of us have come across a boss, superior, teacher etc. who we disliked for the way we felt they treated us. I’d like you to think about that person and write a list that best describes their behaviour and why you think they were a “bad boss”.
Now I’d like you to think about a boss, superior, mentor etc. you feel really helped you grow and thrive. Now, draw another list next to the first one and outline their “good boss” qualities.
Now I would like you to look at both lists and think about what kind of boss you are to yourself. What qualities have you projected in either of those two bosses? Which ones do you want to start taking on and which one do you want to drop or do a little less of?
And next time, you find yourself assessing anything you do, think about what kind of boss you want to be. Then, say to yourself: how can I help myself grow from this situation? If you tend to be unforgiving or harsh towards yourself, soften your gaze. If, on the other hand, you are reluctant to see your mistakes, ask yourself: how am I stunting my growth by refusing to look at what is? How can I be kind to myself, by facing my mistakes and learning from them?
This simple projection exercise is a powerful tool you can incorporate in many aspects of your life. When you understand that the way you perceive others is a projection of your own internal state, you can stop focusing on the effect of your problems and address the cause that lies within you. That’s when true growth happens.
Are you ready to start taking ownership for your growth and act as a true boss?
Ps: if you need a further hand to look at your projections from an objective perspective, BioNeuroEmotion (BNE) is a wonderful method that will help you shift your perspective, so you can foster meaningful changes in your life, by transforming your conflicts into stepping stones for growth. My mission is to help you move beyond your perceived limitations, tap into your intrinsic wisdom and make conscious choices so you can live your life fully. You can find out more about my work and book a session here.
Trauma as it is understood by many, can be an overloaded term often associated with helplessness. In this blog post my goal is to bring its wisdom to the forefront so you can start to take your power back.
It is important to understand that It’s not what happened that matters, but how what happened made you feel inside. In that sense, trauma can be anything that made you feel negatively about yourself, and that you were unable to fully process and cope with. Therefore, a way of healing trauma is to understand what pushed you to respond in a certain way, and why you keep responding similarly to date. The goal is not to relive traumatising events, but rather to re-interpret them, so you can respond differently.
In his wonderful book Waking the Tiger - Healing Trauma, Dr. Peter Levine explains that, as a result of trauma, the body stores trapped energy. Therefore, in order to release that energy the brain seeks to recreate similar situations so we can respond differently to them. It uses metaphors, i.e. current representations of people, places etc. from the past. and then assigns a similar meaning to these metaphorical experiences (your interpretation of what is happening).
For example, as a child your mum might have constantly confided in you about your Dad’s behaviour, or sought your support during fights. In many instances, you might have felt helpless and also learned to keep your problems to yourself not to worry her further. You learned to put your needs second because it got you your mum's attention and love, and kept you safe. It became your coping mechanism. At the time, you didn’t have the tools, possibility or awareness to let her know that this was upsetting you. You didn’t know how to set healthy boundaries for yourself, express your own needs and seek support.
This could have been traumatising to you because, as I said earlier, trauma is not what happens, but how what happens makes you feel. The good news is that trauma is an incredible source of growth, if we are prepared to learn from it.
Therefore, you will be given plenty of opportunities to heal, because the brain will make sure to recreate those same circumstances in your current life, through how you perceive your experiences. For example, your boss could be a current metaphor for your mum. She might be going through a rough divorce and has been sharing her concerns with you. As a result you have reluctantly been accepting more workload, to take the weight off her shoulders and can’t bring yourself to tell her that you really need a week off to go to your best friend’s wedding. Sound familiar?
The wisdom comes from seeing the experience as an opportunity to act differently, by taking responsibility for the role you are playing and allowing the adult in you to take over. By re-interpreting your childhood experience, you might understand that your mum did the best she could with the tools she was given herself as a child. Therefore, from that place of understanding, you will be more in touch with your own needs and can allow yourself to do what nobody had taught her either: value yourself, set healthy boundaries, listen to your own needs first and learn to express them.
That’s why the purpose of a BNE session is not to erase past programs and beliefs, but rather to help you re-interpret them so that the adult in you can take its power back and choose to act differently, in the face of adversity. The goal is for you to see the bigger picture, connect the dots and understand what this is happening to you for.
If you feel stuck and need an extra hand to see the bigger picture, BioNeuroEmotion (BNE) is a wonderful method that will help you shift your perspective, so you can foster meaningful changes in your life by transforming your conflicts into stepping stones.
My mission is to empower men and women to move beyond their perceived limitations, step into their best selves and make a difference in the world. You can find out more about my work or book a one on one online session here.
Did you know that throughout your life you are likely to spend more time at work than with your own family and friends? And, actually, to your unconscious mind your workplace is your family! That's right, it makes absolutely no distinction between your nuclear family and your "work family".
So, the conflicts that appear at work are often a projection of what is going on in your own family and vice versa. Work conflicts like all conflicts, especially if they repeat themselves time and again, are growth opportunities in disguise.
Whaaaat??? Do you mean that annoying work colleague and my "awful" boss could actually be the answers I am looking for?
Yes, absolutely! It really boils down to how you choose to look at things. You can either decide to be a victim of your circumstances and blame others for your predicament, or choose to see the story you are projecting on your outer world through different lenses. The first option leaves you defenceless, the second one empowers you to evolve and grow. Which one do you prefer?
Spoiler alert: I am not about to discuss the first option! If you are curious about the second, please read on. You will find out why your work environment is so closely related to your family environment, how you can spot those repetitive conflicts, and start handling them differently.
FAMILY AND THE WORKPLACE
You might still be thinking: wait how can my "work family" and nuclear family be the same? So, let me put this simply.
In this world nothing is a coincidence, it's all just information and resonance.
Your belief system, which you largely adopted at an early age and even inherited, shapes the way you see the world and how you interact with others. All day long you are broadcasting/projecting those beliefs (information) into the world. And, you resonate with people and situations that match those beliefs (either in a similar way, or as polar opposites).
Your original family (mother, father etc.) provided the "seed environment" in which most of those beliefs were planted, and every person you meet from there on, resonates with that environment, at some level. Your relationships, including those you develop at work, are an expression of your own internal beliefs.
By extension, conflicts are just the expression of unconscious beliefs that need to be brought to light, so you can understand them, transform them and choose to act differently. Your conflicts are rooting for your evolution! I know this may seem hard to grasp at first, but it really is THE ONLY WAY THROUGH.
There is a reason you unconsciously chose that work environment, so pay close attention!
SPOTTING NEGATIVE PATTERNS AT WORK
Work is not just a physical place, it is also a mental space, where self-awareness helps us thrive. And, understanding the link between personal space and workspace is an added bonus for anyone who wants to lead an empowered life.
Since you probably spend more time in your work environment than with your family, it makes sense that any unresolved conflict that comes up in one "family" would show up in the "other". This happens through the exact same projection mechanisms as the ones I have been exploring throughout my blogs.
Negative beliefs invariably lead to excessive reactions. You might find yourself in a work relationship with someone whose actions and presence make your blood boil, repeatedly irritates you, or sends you in despair, for example. Pay close attention to those clues as it is a sure sign that the person or situation is triggering some valuable information in you.
Start to notice the way you react and the judgments you make about that person or situation. Pay attention to how it feels in your body and just take note.
You might then start thinking of other similar conflicts and situations you have had in the past with different people at work. The people and workplace might change, but the conflict remains the same. That's how you get to spot a pattern.
Possible examples of patterns may be:
Obviously these are just examples. Anything that triggers you and shows up time and again is a clue that there is a negative belief running the show. It is, therefore, a source of potential growth for you.
TIPS FOR HANDLING CONFLICT DIFFERENTLY
Truthfully, it is not really what the other person might be doing or not doing that is triggering you, but the story you have created around that and what it means for you. That story stems from your beliefs.
It doesn't imply that others are necessarily in the right or that their behaviour is justified. This is not about being right or wrong. It's about understanding what a particular situation is showing up for, why you are resonating with it and how you can handle it differently, so you can move on.
Here are a few golden rules you can apply to start seeing things clearly for yourself:
1. NEVER SPEAK ABOUT OTHERS, BUT ABOUT YOURSELF IN RELATION TO OTHERS.
For example, you might be in a conflict with your coworker and you make the following judgment: "This person doesn't listen to me and doesn't take me into account ever."
When you focus your attention on the other person, you are focusing your attention away from the solution. So learn to reframe things in the following way:
"How am I not listening to myself and not taking myself into account through that person?"
See the difference? Now the solution is in your hands. Is that person perhaps a valuable mirror, teaching you to listen to yourself and take your own needs into account?
2. THE PROBLEM ISN´T EXTERNAL TO YOU, NEITHER IS THE SOLUTION.
You cannot change others. It is neither your job, nor your place. You can, however, change yourself and choose to solve your conflict differently, by acting rather than reacting.
Sometimes, it might be about setting boundaries and walking away, but always with the understanding that you had something to learn and that everybody played a perfect role in that situation. When you truly get that, you realise that there isn't anybody to blame and there isn't even anyone to forgive.
3. START BECOMING THE OBSERVER OF YOUR OWN REALITY
We largely live our lives interpreting the world through our own set of lenses and playing out "the story in our head".
Stepping out of that story is learning to move away from interpretation into description. The end goal is to dissociate our story from what actually happened. As a BNE practitioner it is my job to accompany people through that process. However, you can learn to apply this in your daily life as well, by striving to be very descriptive of the situation at hand (no qualifiers, interpretations etc. just pure descriptive facts: what happened?).
Here is an example:
Interpretation/story: My boss looked really angry and I know he is disappointed with me.
What happened: My boss walked in the room, sighed, stared at me, spoke to my coworker and walked out.
When you look into your own conflicts try to be very descriptive as well. it might help you understand things further.
4. PAY ATTENTION TO WORK CONFLICTS AND THINK ABOUT HOW THE SAME INFORMATION MIGHT ALSO BE SHOWING UP IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE.
Let's use the first example of a person realising that they are not listening to themselves and their needs, through their co-worker. That information is most likely to show up in some area of their personal life as well (parents, relationship, children etc.). The solution lies in acting differently based on that newfound awareness.
Here is a series of helpful questions to get you thinking:
1. Pick a work conflict.
2. Is it an isolated conflict, or is it something that has been repeating itself?
3. Does it involve a man, or a woman? A superior, or an equal?
4. Describe what happened.
5. Now look into the story: What triggers/bothers you about that person/situation? (What is your perception/judgement?)
6. Look at that judgment, reverse that mirror and bring it back to you (How am I/am I not doing (X) through that person?
7. Think about other areas of your life where this might be showing up.
8. Ask yourself, how can I see this differently? And, act accordingly.
Learning to handle conflict in a responsible and mature way is essential to our wellbeing and health. That means always focusing on our side of the coin and understanding that the situation is not there to curse us, but to evolve us.
Nothing is ever a coincidence and you are in the right place, at the right moment. If you are experiencing a work conflict, it is an opportunity for you to see things differently and to nail some of those negative beliefs (whether they be learned or inherited), so you can move forward with your life. Putting all the blame on external circumstances, not only robs you of your power, but condemns you to repeat the same situation over and over until you actually get it!
For as Carl Jung said so beautifully: "Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate."
So, are you willing to welcome in that conflict, and start to self enquire?
If you feel stuck and need an extra hand to unravel the beliefs behind your conflicts, BioNeuroEmotion (BNE) is a wonderful method that will help you shift your perspective, so you can foster meaningful changes in your life by transforming your conflicts into stepping stones.
My mission is to empower men and women to move beyond their perceived limitations, step into their best selves and make a difference in the world. You can find out more about my work or book a one on one online session here.
Biocentrism by Dr. Robert Lanza
The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton
Power vs Force by Dr. David R. Hawkins
Do you care as much about your environment as you do about your mind, body and soul? I suspect that if you are reading this, you are a mindful person who strives to make a difference.
As you declutter your mind, you might feel the natural urge to declutter your space as well. Perhaps you are moving homes, or you might be downsizing. Whatever the case may be, it's an opportunity for you to make a conscious difference in the world and have some fun in the process.
When we practice self awareness and self-enquiry we become empowered to take responsibility for our thoughts and shift our perspective. Likewise, becoming aware of how our actions affect our environment puts us in a position of power again. We understand that by changing our habits, we can become part of a bigger solution.
Small steps compound and make a huge difference in the long run. This is a subject close to my heart and one I will continue to explore. It is no coincidence that the first post I wrote was about how to favour minimal waste over recycling.
Today, let's look at simple and creative ways to mindfully get rid of unwanted items, deepen our bond with this beautiful blue planet of ours and create new opportunities for human connection.
ALL YOU NEED IS THE 3RS RULE: REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE
If you are decluttering, you probably have taken the reduce part in your stride already. And, if you are moving it is a great opportunity to get rid of any excess and start afresh.
When I decided to move to London a little over two years ago, I got rid of practically everything I owned. The whole process was a self discovery journey in itself! It made me realise how little I actually did need in the first place. Since then, I have really learned to be mindful of the objects I bring into my space and only include those that add joy and value to my life.
It also means that I am more mindful about buying new items. I generally produce less waste that way. When you reduce, you are actually freeing space for yourself to evolve. Think of it as an overthinking mind vs. a peaceful one. The more thoughts you have, the less you can actually "think straight".
The same goes with your space. Your environment really matters and plays a big role in your state of mind. A cluttered space is inviting you to let go of some excess baggage. And since your outer world is a projection of your inner world, you will inadvertently be doing some great soulful work as well. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo is an excellent read, if you want to delve into this deeper.
Once you have determined what items no longer belong in your environment, why not find them a new home? Always remember: one person's "trash", is someone else's treasure. If it works and is in decent condition, it will find new owners.
There are many online platform where you can put your things up for grabs.
The Freecycle Network is made up of 5,313 groups with 9,266,666 members around the world. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns and neighbourhoods. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.
I have met some lovely people that way too. And, it's always a great feeling when others benefit from your clearing. I once gave away a collection of foreign coins and notes I had accumulated during my backpacking years. They were just sitting in a pot, collecting dust! The boy who answered the add collected coins with his dad as a hobby. He had them organised in a folder and put so much attention and care into it all. He was over the moon! It was so special to be able to add something extra to that father-son bond they both had created around those coins.
And get creative! The more you start to show interest in disposing of items consciously, the more opportunities will arise. You might have a bulk shop nearby that needs extra containers for their clients (jars, Tupperware etc.), a retirement home might love to have your plants, your local library may need some of your books etc.
In London, some train stations have designated areas where you can leave books for other commuters, and there are plenty of street libraries around as well. Look out for those opportunities in your area. the more you are open to seeing, the more inspiration you receive.
If it cannot be reused and the bin is the only way forward, prioritise recycling. Remember: recycling is always the last option.
Most of the items we put in the recycling bin are not even recycled! So, it is a good idea to bring them to the right place to help reduce the odds.
Look up your local council and find a nearby household recycling plant you can bring your things to. You will be surprised at the extensive list of items and appliances some of them cover. Everything is sorted for you and makes the process easier for everyone.
As an example of what is possible, here are some of the items I can bring to my local recycling plant:
here is a short clip I took last time I was there:
As far as computers, mobile phones and other electronics are concerned there are companies who specialise in buying old items. They wipe them for you and will use the pieces. Just ask Mr Google: there are plenty of options from which to choose.
Your outer world is a reflection of your inner world. Both these aspects of you are inseparable. At this point in time, it's a fact!
Decluttering our minds, taking responsibility for our thoughts and really making sure we become emotionally responsible adults is crucial to our own wellbeing and health. And, it also contributes to our world being a better place. For, as we reclaim our power by owning our responsibility, we also start to take greater care of our outer world.
As Eckart Tolle wisely writes: "The pollution of the planet is only an outward reflection of an inner psychic pollution: millions of unconscious individuals not taking responsibility for their inner peace." (...) "Are you polluting the world or cleaning up the mess? You are responsible for your inner space; nobody else is, just as you are responsible for the planet. As within, so without: if humans clear inner pollution, then they will also cease to create outer pollution."
And as we consciously grow, evolve and peel off those layers, we get to notice that our bond with this beautiful blue planet we are so lucky to live on gets tighter and tighter. That is when the right solutions appear! The current situation might be challenging, but I have faith that we can turn this around one step at a time. And, a good mindful declutter is one of those conscious steps.
As always, the power lies within each and every one of us! Are you ready and willing to exercise your power?
If you feel stuck and need an extra hand to declutter your mind BioNeuroEmotion (BNE) is a wonderful method that will help you shift your perspective, so you can foster meaningful changes in your life by transforming your conflicts into stepping stones.
My mission is to empower men and women to move beyond their perceived limitations, step into their best selves and make a difference in the world. You can find out more about my work or book a one on one online session here.
I am of those who believe that learning how to love, respect and appreciate ourselves is an all encompassing cure. Shame, depression, conflict, betrayal, violence, war, you name it, all of these are rooted in some level of unworthiness.
As Sean Stevenson explains in his brilliant TEdx talk The Prison of Your Mind: “Every human being just wants to be loved. Even if they are tough, even if they are scary, even if they are vicious. You get them in the right position at the right time, they’ll tell you the truth. You know who they want love from most? Not their mums, not their dads, not their wardens… none of those people. They want to be able to look in the mirror and love themselves. And if you figure that one out, then you are going somewhere.”
We all want to be able to love what we see in ourselves. Yet, we tend to place our worthiness in the hands of external factors and people. We often think that our worth is determined by how others value us. And, sooner or later we end up finding out what a slippery slope that is, right? That’s why it is so important to develop the skills to value ourselves from within. By doing so, we are reclaiming our power to thrive on our own terms.
So today I’m taking you through a series of confidence booster tips to help you develop that worthiness muscle. Alright, let’s delve in!
And, as Gabrielle Bernstein would say: trust that the universe has your back. There is a bigger picture and the dots do all end up connecting. Trusting and allowing that intelligence to unfold through you is crucial to understanding your own worth and value.
On a side note, Perfectionism is a clear manifestation of someone's insecurity and lack of self-worth (believe me I've had plenty of experience with that myself). Learning to be kind, flexible, tolerant and understanding with ourselves, will allow us to be happier and more fulfilled people in general. It will help us to stand in our true worth!
To quit continuously comparing the present to the past or projecting it in the future, is an act of self-kindness and appreciation. What happened in the past is done and dusted. It has brought you where you are at, and NOW is what matters. Likewise, you cannot predict the future, but you can choose how to experience the present moment. That’s you power!
And, if you cannot avoid reminiscing about the past or projecting into the future, do it from a place of gratitude. TRUST that every single experience is leading you to the moment where you will eventually reconnect with your deeper truth.
Practicing gratitude on a daily basis is a great way to prime your brain for a more positive outlook on life as well. I personally love to use Alex and Mimi Ikonn’s 5 minute journal. You can also get creative and make your own version!
We all want to be able to love what we see in ourselves and when we do, we also show up in a better way for others. Just like a flight attendant will tell you to put on your own safety jacket, before helping anybody else, it is our duty to learn to love and understand ourselves, before we can truly extend that feeling to others.
And since, our external reality is a reflection of what is going on within. The more people make it their priority to value, respect and love themselves first, the better the collective reflection will be in the long run. In a nation of self-secure, self-loving individuals, there would be no room for divide, conflict and violence. That is why self growth and self development are so important.
And yes it is a lifelong journey! A beautifully empowering one that is.
Remember: you are worthy beyond words. No matter who you are, what you do and where you come from, you bring value to this world! You made it here against all odds. Now be kind to yourself and make it count: go shine that light bright!
If you feel stuck and need an extra hand to achieve greater inner peace & wellbeing, BioNeuroEmotion (BNE) is a wonderful method that will help you shift your perspective, so you can foster meaningful changes in your life by transforming your conflicts into stepping stones.
My mission is to empower men and women to move beyond their perceived limitations, step into their best selves and make a difference in the world. You can find out more about my work or book a one on one online session here.
7/29/2019 0 Comments
Have you ever thought that it’s not actually what happens to you that causes you to suffer, but what you think about it that does?
As the saying goes: “pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.” Your suffering is just the by-product of a series of thoughts and beliefs. If you took those away, you’d soon find out that there is no reason for you to suffer.
Your beliefs determine how you choose to show up in life. They ultimately can make a huge difference in the quality of your experience. In other words, the quality of your experience is not so much determined by the experience itself, but by your mindset (how you choose to perceive it).
If you want to thrive in life, you’ve got to have the mindset that matches your will. And, if you are unsure of what needs your attention, take a look at your results. Results speak volumes when it comes to mindset.
In this article you will find out what beliefs are and how to question your thoughts, and take responsibility for them in order to cultivate the mindset that will help you thrive.
WHAT ARE BELIEFS?
Our beliefs are just a set of goggles through which we happen to perceive the world. They are the result of a series of hardwired thoughts and feelings that we mostly adopted during childhood. As Dr. Joe Dispenza puts it: “beliefs are thoughts and feelings (attitudes) that you keep thinking and feeling over and over again until you hardwire them in your brain and emotionally condition them in your body.”
They are largely unconscious and based on past experiences. One could also see them as the map that helps us to navigate our world. Everybody’s map is different and is often a distorted depiction of reality. To quote Dr. Joe Dispenza again: “Scientific experiments have shown that you don’t see the reality as it truly is. Instead you unconsciously fill in your reality based on your memories of the past, which is what is neurochemically maintained in your brain.”
In other words, how you perceive the present is based on beliefs your created in the past. And, the surest way to uncover your beliefs is to question your thoughts.
IS IT TRUE? THE POWER OF SELF-INQUIRY
If you want to get to know yourself better, then take a good look at your judgements. The way you speak about others says more about you than about them. That’s because your judgments are just your perception of what is going on.
The judgment itself is not a problem. We judge in order to practice discernment. The problem arises when we identify so much with our judgments that we are unable to accept other truths. When we believe we are right and that others should think like us because they are wrong, we are on the brink of "war". In fact, that’s all wars are about: people attaching to their respective set of goggles, refusing to take them off to see another truth.
That’s why self-inquiry is the most powerful tool that exists, it can literally stop wars. And, as I explain in more detail in my post on the Jungian mirror effect, to your unconscious mind the other person does not exist. He or she is just a projection of you. So if you want to change your world, the only thing you need to change is yourself because as Wayne Dyer said so beautifully: if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
So how do I do that? I hear you say.
First of all, accept that whoever or whatever is triggering you is your greatest teacher. Nothing is ever a coincidence. The people who surround you and the events that unfold FOR you are pinpointing you towards your own set of goggles. You can either choose to remain a victim of your circumstances, or take responsibility for your side of the coin and reclaim your power to change what you do not like. That means being prepared to take those goggles off at some point.
Pay attention to your own judgments. Behind every single judgment there is an underlying belief. Think about that triggering person or situation. Grab a piece of paper and write everything down without censoring yourself. Go all in and judge hard.
Then look over each statement and question it. Byron Katie’s powerful, yet simple questions are great for doing this work alone.
Below is a list of the main questions you can ask yourself:
Now, let’s take a hypothetical example:
Judgement: My partner shouldn’t be cheating on me.
TAKING RESPONSIBILITY: RECLAIMING YOUR POWER TO MOVE FORWARD
Now nobody is saying that self-inquiry means putting up with incoherent situations and becoming a doormat. Quite the contrary, it gives us the self-awareness to do something about our situation, rather than remaining helpless in the face of it.
So many of us have been brought up with a victim mindset, whereby we tend to believe that the cause of all our suffering as well as of our fulfilment lies without. “I’m miserable because of my marriage, job, parents”, “I’ll be happy when I lose the weight, have a partner, new job etc.”, “I was just unlucky”, “she was just there at the right place at the right time.” Do some of these sound familiar? They certainly felt familiar to me and they got me absolutely nowhere!
I believe that way of thinking belongs to the dark ages of “emotional teenagehood”. The Truth is that we might not be in control of what may or may not happen to us and we will most likely experience pain as we go through life. However, we are in complete control of how we allow it to affect us. That’s just a matter of choice. Being prepared to question our beliefs, by owning our responsibility and taking those goggles off, gives us the power we need to move forward. It implies stepping into emotional adulthood.
It might not be comfortable at first and it might go against everything you were taught so far, but why not consider this alternative way of looking at things and give yourself the tools to actually move past your story this time round?
In her awe inspiring and soul touching book: The Choice, Edith Eger shares the life changing advice her mum gave her on their way to Auschwitz: “we don’t know where we’re going, we don’t know what’s going to happen, but no one can take away what you put in your own mind.” That mindset is the greatest reason why Edith survived the camps and went on to live an incredibly inspiring life.
At age 90 she wrote her first book and acclaimed best seller. In a recent interview with Oprah she says: “I discovered God in the (death) camps.” Now, if you prefer, substitute God for myself, my strength, my purpose etc. and let it sink in. What a powerful example of how the most testing moments in our lives can become our greatest teachers, if we allow them to be, don’t you think?
Bottom line is that THE CHOICE is always ours. Are you ready to self-inquire and uncover your intrinsic power?
If you need an extra hand to see things crystal clear for yourself, BioNeuroEmotion (BNE) is a wonderful method that will help you shift your perspective, so you can foster meaningful changes in your life.
My mission is to empower men and women to move beyond their perceived limitations, step into their best selves and make a difference in the world. You can find out more about my work or book a one on one session here.
Trust me I am becoming a resistance expert! As I grow my mindful business and choose to show up to make a difference, my resistance gets louder and louder. I suspect that If you are reading this, you probably have a pretty good idea of what I am talking about!
Now let me tell you, there is a non negotiable rule for whoever wants to grow as an individual and make a difference in the world: YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE NOT TO GIVE INTO THE RESISTANCE. That’s what will set you apart from the crowd. Skills and talent alone will only get you so far. Your Mindset is what will break you or make you!
It applies to every single area of your life. Starting my own business journey has really shed light on this very simple truth: your results are a reflection of your mindset. And the more you choose to grow, the more those ugly limiting beliefs will show up in the form of resistance. In this article I take a look at why this happens, how to spot the resistance, and how to move through it.
Alright then, let’s delve in. Shall we?
WHY DO WE SELF-SABOTAGE?
So why is it that when we are about to do something completely different, something that will actually add value to our lives through a decision, a project, a speech etc. resistance invariably kicks in?
Because by choosing a new path/map for ourselves, we are throwing our unconscious mind off track. Our primitive brain is simply freaked out! In his excellent book Linchpin, Seth Godin goes into great detail in explaining how our Lizard Brain tries to keep us safe, by keeping us small. I highly recommend you read his work.
For now, let’s take public speaking as an example. It is one of the highest ranked fears! Is the prospect of being judged and criticised really the worst thing that could happen to us? Well given that once upon a time being rejected by your tribe was a sure death sentence, to your unconscious mind (your 95%) public speaking effectively still puts you at risk of death.
The reason your Lizard Brain wants you to fit in and go unnoticed, is because it is trying to save you. Anything that can potentially lead you to stand out like presenting a new project to your boss, standing up for your values, speaking your truth in a family meeting, asking your new crush on a date etc. is going to produce some “unconscious resistance”. And, that is when self-sabotage comes into play. Feel familiar?
Your 5% (your conscious self) obviously knows there are no lions ready to jump on you anymore. But unless you make your unconscious fears conscious by observing and detaching from them, you WILL ABORT all meaningful changes. Chances are the risks you take by doing that are far greater in the long run.
Times have changed and fitting in is not keeping you safe anymore. The world now requires you to have the courage & vulnerability to speak up, follow your heart and expose yourself! It’s about being creative, putting yourself out there, innovating and making a real impact. The only way forward is on the other side of resistance.
SPOTTING THE RESISTANCE TO OVERCOME IT
Notice I said spotting, not judging. this means cultivating self-awareness and simply getting good at noticing what is going on. So we can learn from our thoughts and detach from them. It requires compassion. It’s not about adding resistance to the resistance. Understanding and accepting where you are at is crucial to overcoming any negative behavioural pattern. Now that you know that it is a form of unconscious protection, you can see it for what it is and choose another outcome.
A lot of the time, the issue is that we are unaware that we are acting out of fear. Learn to pay attention! Below is a list of common self-sabotaging behaviours that all indicate that RESISTANCE is creeping up.
1. Ever had a project to hand in, an email to write, an important phone call to make and all of a sudden you find a million things to do instead? You check your social media and emails a zillion times, clean your desk, flat, cat’s bowl, spend hours doing research on the internet, phone your mum, help your best friend with her work etc. PROCRASTINATION is another word for FEAR/RESISTANCE and usually comes and in hand with perfectionism (fear of judgment, albeit lions).
2. You make up all sorts of excuses to talk yourself out of something. Watch out for those BUTS. They are not a good sign. Here are some typical ones: “I don’t have enough money” (really? trust me you’ll find a way). “I don’t have any good ideas” (sure you do. It’s acting on them that you are really worried about). I don’t know what to do (No one really does! How about just starting with something and taking it from there). “I don’t have the right education, degree etc.” (how about you check the web and your local library?), “I was not born with a silver spoon, I’m too old, young etc.” (What??? please go check the web again and find yourself some examples of people who didn’t let resistance get in their way - And no it’s not because they got lucky… it’s because they showed up and didn’t feed into the resistance. All of these excuses are not objectively true. They are just opinions getting in your way and keeping you small.
3. When given an opportunity to speak, do a presentation, work on a new exciting project, go to a great event, you say no. Alternatively, you unconsciously do everything in your power to prove that you are not really worthy of that opportunity.
4. You always put yourself and your work down: believing it’s about gifts and talents, not skills. And, think you have neither.
5. You suffer anxiety about what to wear to an event, date etc or use your appearance as an excuse not to show up.
6. You talk a lot but don’t put anything you boast about into practice, or you never finish what you start and move on to the next idea instead.
7. You spend your time criticising people who are taking action, instead of taking action yourself.
8. You are constantly seeking approval and worrying about what others will think of you. You read your work 50 000 times, edit it a billion times, and compulsively check your social media for approval. Bottom line is you don’t speak your truth & follow your purpose, because you are afraid people won’t like it and you choose to conform rather than to stand for your values.
9. You don’t meet your deadline. Late is the first step to never.
Do any of the above resonate? Come on be honest! Next time you catch yourself doing any of these, you know you are on the right track to moving forward.
MOVING THROUGH RESISTANCE
As mentioned earlier on, moving through the resistance is what will set you apart. Because, the truth is most people don’t get that far. In his thought provoking book, You Are the Placebo, Dr. Joe Dispenza refers to it as crossing the river of change. Crossing that river is not fun, but boy is it worth it! And, anyone can do it if they put their mind to it. If you are finding it hard, I recommend you read Dr. Dispenza's book.
For now, here are some tips that have helped me along the way.
1. EMBRACE RESISTANCE AS A SIGN YOU ARE ACTUALLY ONTO SOMETHING GOOD! The greater the resistance, the greater the “risk” and therefore the greater the possible outcome. Keep that in mind and use it as a prompt to move forward. Follow Seth Godin’s advice: “when resistance tells you not to listen to something, read something, attend something, Go. Do it!”
2. HAVE COMPASSION FOR THAT SCARED PART OF YOU AND DETACH FROM IT. Here are two really good techniques to help you achieve that:
3. EMBRACE FAILURE. Get rid of that outdated belief, most of us were taught at school, that failure must be avoided at all costs! Perfectionism will get you nowhere in life. If you are not prepared to fail, you will never truly expand your horizons and improve. Yes, you will fail at some point and no you will not die in the process! Being prepared to make mistakes is the number one habit to cultivate, to learn and succeed at anything. Take, Thomas Edison who invented the light bulb. He failed thousands of times before getting it right. This was his attitude: “I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” It’s just a matter of perspective! Adopt that attitude.
As a recovering perfectionist, I’m always having to keep that tendency at bay. If you want to read more on how to overcome it head over to my post on the subject .
4. USE ACTION TO COUNTERACT PROCRASTINATION. I recently heard a great line: “get addicted to action over procrastination.” Your goal is to get things done, focus on that! Limit distractions to a minimum. In the case of a project, once you have set yourself a deadline, your focus should be on completing and that means not getting yourself distracted. I personally put my phone on airplane mode and I love using the Pomodoro technique. You set a timer for 25 minutes and work through. Then you get a 5 minute break to walk around, have some water etc. Repeat for a total of 4 times, by the end of which you are allowed a longer break with a reward. Then repeat.
5. COMPLETE AND SHIP! Set yourself a deadline and stick to it, no matter what. Try and make it short. No excuses, when the deadline is up, the project is done. It’s also something the American coach Brooke Castillo refers to as the B- technique. Don’t aim for an A, aim for a B- so you can get things done and other people can benefit from your project. The same would apply to so many other areas of your life. Take your appearance. The objective is to get out the door and attend that event, regardless whether your outfit is perfect. What we want is others benefiting from your company!
6. CHOOSE TO FIT IN OR STAND OUT. You can’t do both. You will never please everyone. Besides, People pleasing is just another way of lying. The intention behind what you do is what matters, what others might think of it is out of your control. Moreover, what you perceive people might be thinking about you is just a reflection of you. The more you believe in yourself, the more others will too. And, those who try to put you down won’t offend you as easily. By all means take constructive criticism into account, but do not waste your energy on the haters. Treat them as you would the resistance: a reflection of your own insecurities and a sure sign that you are on the right path!
7. UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS YOUR DUTY TO SHOW UP AS YOUR BEST SELF. The world needs you to stand in your truth and embody your full potential. Keeping yourself small does not benefit anyone. I believe this famous quote by Marianne Williamson says it all, Don ́t you? “Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.” Someone once told me that false humility is the ego at work, keeping us small. I believe it to be a great piece of wisdom!
8. BE KIND TO YOURSELF. Know when to stop, take breaks and allow that creativity to come to and through you. It's not all hustle. We need space to clear our minds and detach from the outcome. Spend time in nature, include pleasant activities in your to do list and make space for play. Trust the process. You do not have complete control. Allow for the bigger picture to unfold.
And there you have it! Although your mind might be wild with fear, know that you can absolutely handle resistance and use it as a stepping-stone to show up as your best self!
Think about it: how would you act & what would you do, if you were no longer afraid of being judged? Picture yourself at the end of your life: how would you like to be remembered? For making a difference or playing safe & staying small? What is stopping you from going ahead and living your life to the full now?
Life is too short for regrets. And you know what they say? People often regret what they didn't do most.
Transform Self Sabotage to Success; Hypnosis to Release Limiting Beliefs and Subconscious Blocks
Hello beautiful soul! Today let’s talk about the difference between growing older and ageing, and why one is a natural process of life and the other is simply cultural and not a necessary part of growing older.
I don’t know about you, but I feel that the thought of growing older does stir a certain degree of fear/ anxiety/sadness in many people. In fact, if you pay close attention you will notice that there is a set of pretty negative beliefs around the passing of time and what it is meant to imply for us all. As if instead of looking forward to the wisdom we gain through experience, we should be fearing the "inevitable decline" that comes with age. And, judging by many advertising campaigns, It also seems as if eternal youth is the ultimate recipe to happiness. And that, my dear friends, is mission impossible! The problem is not the passing of time, the issue is what we do with it and how we choose to look at life. Once again, it is about choosing power over helplessness, because I am here to tell you that there is another way to look at this.
Now the fact that most people seem to think that growing older equals to decline & failing capacities, does not make it true. May I remind you that at some point in our obscure past MOST PEOPLE THOUGHT THE EARTH WAS FLAT! right? Ok, now I’d like you to look at the current theory of ageing as if it were a representation of flat-earth-landia, because it is! And, you gotta stop having those crazy thoughts if you want to live a long, healthy & fulfilled life. Mindset really is key!
I personally want to live well into my hundreds so I can experience life to the full, and have time to give back all the wisdom and love I have acquired through my journey. It is my way of contributing to this world becoming a better place with time. So for quite some years now, I have been looking into how I can do that. And let me tell you, there is a complete other way of looking at this.
This post aims to give you a new perspective, as well as the tools you need to kick start your healthy centenarian mindset and live the long, vibrant, fulfilling life you deserve. Most of this article is based on the findings Dr. Mario Martinez exposes in his book: The MindBody Code, because it has had such an impact on my own life. Dr. Mario Martinez is a clinical neuropsychologist who has been studying the wellness of growing older for decades and if you haven’t read his work yet, I recommend you go grab yourself some of his material pronto. It is groundbreaking, thought provoking and life changing.
Alright then, let’s go debunk some good old ageing myths!
GROWING OLDER DOES NOT EQUAL AGEING/DECLINE:
“There is a difference between growing older and ageing. The first one is a normal process, the natural result of the passing of time. The second is not and is cultural.” Dr. Mario Martinez.
His way of looking at it, is that ageing is what you do with your time based on your cultural beliefs. Each culture has different “portals” around ageing. Think youth, middle age, retirement, senior citizenship etc. Those portals depend on culture, not genetics and vary from one society to the next. As Ghandi once said himself “You tend to become what you believe” so be careful what you choose to believe. If you want some science to back up that quote, try reading about epigenetics and how your emotional environment affects your biology. Oh wait my last blog post speaks about that. Have you read it yet?
Now one of the most ludicrous beliefs out there, if you ask me, is the notion of middle age. First of all good luck on determining when that is. Do you know when you are going to die? I personally prefer not to be let into that secret too soon. Oh and the implications that after you reach that imaginary/arbitrary mark that it is all down hill, are not only really disheartening but also detrimental to your health. A study conducted by Harvard Sociologist Ellen Langer, examining why some people looked much younger than others, showed that people who looked significantly younger than their age believed that middle age started 15 years later than those who looked significantly older. As you can see, the markers we set influence our biology. It makes you think right? That is how powerful your beliefs are.
So, let’s start to change that. Yes, you can grow old, be fit and healthy, and that, beautiful soul, largely depends on you, on your lifestyle and, above all, on your beliefs.
As with everything it is a matter of perspective. One of the points Dr. Mario Martinez makes in his book is that gerontology mostly studies the pathology of ageing rather than the wellness of growing older. And, that is not a very positive way of looking at things in the first place. Luckily, over the last decades serious studies have started to come out on the wellness of growing older and there is a lot of hope for us all.
It turns out that not everybody declines with age, on the contrary, and just as well since centenarians are the fastest growing segment population in the US, for example (15% of those people live alone). They account for 75,000 citizens and It is expected that by 2030 there will be 4.5 million of them in the .U.S alone. And no, that does not necessarily mean more work for hospitals and retirement homes, because if we shift our beliefs these people can actually bring tremendous value to our society. And, you and I can learn how to become like them one day too.
According to recent studies on healthy centenarians there is usually no real genetic factor involved. What truly sets all of these people apart is the way they choose to look at the world and the supportive communities they build around them. These studies span all social backgrounds and cultures. No matter where healthy centenarians come from, they have a definite mindset that keeps them healthy and fulfilled: a growth mindset. The older they get the healthier they become. According to a New England Centenarian Study by Harvard Medical School, men in their 90s were found to have better cognitive abilities than men in their 70s or 80s. That means that as you grow older healthy, the probability of you getting better goes up.
Centenarians do not die of long, deteriorating diseases. There are no cancers registered in the studies conducted. Most of them die in their sleep or from a sudden accident.
So what exactly is the secret to their mindset?
HOW YOUR MIND & CULTURE AFFECT YOUR BIOLOGY:
To grasp the centenarian mindset, you also have to understand how much your thoughts & culture affect your biology and be prepared to take full responsibility for that.
The mind is very powerful and studies are showing that one can age by observation, through simply being around people who are ageing themselves rather than embracing life and growing older.
One of the studies cited in this book blew my mind and really highlights how our beliefs do in fact shape our biology.
This study examined a group of 80 years olds, dividing them into two groups. Group A was told that they were going to a place where they would live as if they were 50 again. They were given name tags with pictures of themselves at that age and during their entire stay, they were immersed in an environment where they got to act as if they were 50 years old again, whether it be through the music they listened to, the activities they did etc. Group B on the other hand, were told they were going to a place where they would reminisce about how it was to be 50 again. All they did was talk about the good old days for 5 days.
Before the 5 days both groups were put through medical tests, measuring muscle tone and other physical parameters used to monitor ageing. Before and after pictures were also taken. At the end of the 5 days, Group A showed significant improvement in all their medical tests. Their photographs were presented to an objective panel of people who perceived them as looking years younger by the end of the experiment. And what about Group B? Well they got worse, because they were put into nostalgia mode and that also affected their biology in a negative way.
This is pretty thought provoking huh?
Another Harvard study performed on the Tarahumara indigenous tribe of the Sierra Madre, in Mexico, shows that thanks to the cultural belief that their hearts get stronger with age, people over 60 in those tribes had better cardio vascular capacities than people in their 20s. These tribes are known as runners. They are so good at running that the way they hunt is to exhaust their prey by running after it. They believe that as you grow older your heart gets stronger and you become a better runner, and so it is.
Ageism .i.e the prejudice that failing capacities are normal for the older is a toxic belief. And, if you think that the way your culture handles the passing of time does not affect you, think again!
However, this is actually very empowering information because with the right attitude you can absolutely override the status quo and create a life of prolonged wellness on your own terms. You create your reality!
The book is truly fascinating and I won’t give everything away in this article. My objective is to get you thinking about this, so you can do your own research and take it in your stride. If you want to look into it, there is plenty of material out there and I shall also leave a list of useful resources below.
THE HEALTHY CENTENARIAN MINDSET:
As I said before, what really sets those people apart is their way of handling and looking at life. They do not necessarily have better genes than you and me, they do not necessarily come from privileged backgrounds and they most certainly have not had a life void of obstacles.
However, the way they look at things makes all the difference: they choose to grow older rather than age. Rather than being afraid of the passing of time, they look forward to the years to come. They are negotiators and co-creators who take responsibility for their decisions. When they see a doctor they take active part in their recovery. They do not simply hand over all the power to him/her, expecting a quick fix like most people do. They listen, do their research and based on the information, take the appropriate advice and action. In fact, due to their proactive stance, most of them rarely go to the doctor at all. Their philosophy is: how can I get help, so I can help myself.
They are usually fearless about challenges as well. They take them in their stride. Again it is that sense of responsibility for one’s own life that gives them that power. They tend to have a good sense of humor and don’t take themselves seriously. They forgive easily and are optimists. They believe they are in charge of their lives and usually have a degree of commitment and involvement within a community. They are healthy narcissists (they love themselves but not at the expense of others).
They have no notion of middle age and do not talk about age in general. Most look and act much younger than their age. They tend to associate with young people or “young people at heart”, which keeps them healthy and vibrant as well.
Now here are a few wellness commonalities that emerged from those studies:
2. Take pleasure in rituals
Centenarians enjoy their rituals. They might smoke a cigar or have a brandy at the end of every day, but again they come from a place of pleasure, not from addiction. That is why it does not affect their overall health. A ritual is something that allows them to identify with their joy and to celebrate. It is not a routine.
3. Live a healthy, happy, empowered lifestyle
The brain and the mind do not deteriorate together: a healthy mind depends on the kind of lifestyle you choose for yourself. It is not what happens to you that matters but how you perceive it that does. A challenge with the right mindset can be exciting and growth inducing. Remaining in a disempowering job on the other hand, can wreak havoc on your health. You get to choose if you are in charge or not. Healthy centenarians take charge of their lives by taking responsibility for were they are at and changing what they do not like. They usually have a purpose, they love being of service to others, although they do not live for others which is an important distinction.
4. Loose the ageing portals
Centenarians have no sense of ageing. They are present centred and remain optimistic about the future but they do not live for the future. They do not waste their life away in a disempowering job, waiting for retirement for example. They have a sense of purpose and simply move from one stage of their lives to another.
5. Surround yourself with the right people
Healthy centenarians live in subcultures that revere their elders and support their beliefs. If you do not have immediate access to that, create your own by reading books, watching talks, attending seminars and going out of your way to meet people who will support and validate your beliefs.
6. Believe in something greater than you
Amongst the recorded healthy centenarians there were no atheists. It doesn’t necessary mean that all healthy centenarians are religious, but they are spiritual in the sense that they believe in something greater than them, in a benign force/universe/god etc.
As you will have gathered from all of this: mindset in an important component of health. And the good news is that it can be learned. So, here is your own checklist to get you started:
YOUR CENTENARIAN COMMITMENT CHECKLIST (there is no age to start, you can adopt these at 14 or 75):
And there you have it beautiful Soul. I hope this article has made you think a little and that you are contemplating adopting some of those healthy behaviours yourself. In order for our world to be a better place, we also need to shift our perception around how we make use of the passing of time and how we treat our elderly. I, myself, have committed not to disclose my age for over a year now and have felt freer as a result. This is just a new way for me to truly show up as my authentic self without pegging myself into someone else’s box.
As we have seen the less you let outdated cultural beliefs shape you, the healthier you will be. I really dream of a day when questions like what do you do? and how old are you? will be replaced by the likes of: what excites you most right now? What experience has been most growth inducing for you? What do you love about your life? and … fill in the blank.
Arbitrary factors such as your age do not determine who you are as a person and what you can do. The world is your oyster, learn to live it on your own terms.
May you live a long, fulfilled and healthy life!
With all my love,
As a BioNeuroEmotion (BNE) practitioner, I empower other Soul Seekers to move beyond their own limitations so they can take charge of their lives and embody their full potential. Should this resonate, you can find out more about my work here.
Podcasts and inspiring videos for you to start your own subculture:
Hello beautiful Soul. Today let’s delve into the fascinating topic of conscious parenting and how you can make a difference in your child’s life by making a difference in your own, first.
Although I am not a mother yet, I understand just how powerful that role is and I want you to take that power in your stride as well. This post does focus primarily on motherhood. However, by no means is it undermining the importance of fatherhood during those early stages. So fathers, or fathers to be, feel free to read on. This will be helpful for you as well.
You will learn how emotions, beliefs and behaviours can be passed on from generation to generation, why that happens and what you can do to provide the best emotional environment for your child before & after birth to kick-start his/her journey on this beautiful blue planet of ours.
If you understand that major changes start at home, this article is for you. In fact this post is for anyone who strives to be a better version of themselves, so they can have a positive impact on their world regardless of their gender or relationship status.
Are you in? All right let’s dive in then!
EPIGENETICS AND WHY ENVIRONMENT MATTERS
Epi- what? I hear some of you say. Let me explain in simpler terms.
Science is rapidly evolving, embracing new paradigms and ways of understanding the world. Epigenetics is in itself one of the greatest, empowering scientific discoveries of our times. If you are not familiar with it yet, by definition it means beyond or above genetics.
Not so long ago, we believed that our genome or DNA pretty much controlled our existence. We thought that it was all written in our genes. And, that, my dear friend, could not be further from the truth. Recent research suggests that flawed genes cause less than 1% of all diseases. This is such an empowering realisation, because it means that we have much more control over our health than we thought up until now
To put things simply: think of your genome (DNA) as the hardware of your computer and of your epigenome (the chemical components surrounding your DNA) as the software that tells the hardware what to do.
Without the software, the hardware is pretty useless right? Well the same goes for your DNA. In other words, your epigenome determines which genes are expressed and which are not. Under the right circumstances, some genes will be expressed and in others, they will be silenced. Simply put: your software scans your environment before telling your hardware how to operate.
Take identical twins who are born with the exact same genetic makeup, for example. As they age, their environment begins to differ and their epigenetic information changes. In adulthood, they become increasingly different from one another and, in some cases, they can end up looking like day and night as they grow older (this short clip will give you a good explanation).
As you have probably gathered by now, environment is key. By environment I am referring to both the physical and the emotional. In other words your diet, lifestyle, thoughts, feelings, emotions and beliefs greatly affect your biology.
ON INHERITING EPIGENETIC INFORMATION
Now, it is important to understand that epigenetic information can also be passed down from generation to generation. In other words, you do not only inherit some of your ancestors basic hardware (genome), you also inherit some of the software they used to navigate their own complex world (epigenome). Yes, that's right, emotions, beliefs and behaviours can be passed on as well.
Both the sperm and the egg come with their own “software information”, that is to say “tags” that have turned on and off certain genes, for the purpose of adaptation. This is done through a process known as methylation. Through this process inherited emotional trauma, for example, can leave molecular scars, which are literally tagged on to the DNA.
Therefore, as much as you can inherit your grandmother's physical traits, you can also inherit the depression she suffered as a result of being abandoned at birth. Similarly, if she was adopted by loving and caring parents, you might inherit the positive traits she gained as a consequence of that experience.
This is nature's intent to help us adapt to our environment and survive as a species. We inherit the strengths our grandparents and parents acquired through experience and we also inherit some of the emotional trauma they were unable to overcome, so we can overcome it.
To the unconscious mind (your 95%) and from a biological standpoint, there is no such thing as a good or bad experience. An experience is just an experience. This is not a curse, but a way for the family clan to grow and strive. It is key to our evolution as a species.
Understanding all of this, is also becoming aware that the way we choose to live our own life and deal with our own difficulties, will have an impact on future generations.
LIFE PRIOR TO CONCEPTION:
Your baby’s journey starts even before that magical night he/she was conceived.
That means that as you go through life and evolve, the epigenetic information you are potentially passing on evolves with you. Simply put: you have a say in it all. So, when you choose to self-actualise and grow through awareness, you are not only doing yourself a favour, you are benefiting your child as well.
The tools you use to face your own difficulties, your degree of self-awareness, how in touch you are with your emotions and needs, the relationship you establish as a couple plays a crucial role in your future child’s personality.
As cell biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton puts it in his wonderful book, The Biology of Belief: "Research reveals that parents act as genetic engineers for their children in the months before conception (...) In the final stages of egg and sperm maturation, a process called genomic imprinting adjusts the activity of specific groups of genes that will shape the characteristics of the child yet to be conceived. Research suggests that what is going on in the life of the parents during that process has a profound influence on the mind and body of their child (...)"
Pre-conception experiences can affect the non DNA information that is being passed on and can manifest later on in life as behavioural patterns such as relationship issues, money issues, problems around conceiving and difficult social interactions, as well as physical symptoms and illnesses.
At this point, I would like to stress that this not about judging yourself for the “mistakes” you might be thinking you made at that point. I know how critical parents can be towards themselves. Please do not fall into that trap. Remember that understanding is key to transcending and I will be talking more about that too.
For now, let’s look at what happens in the womb, shall we?
THE WOMB: OUR VERY FIRST ENVIRONMENT
Gone are the days when we thought the foetus was a blank page and that its history would be written after birth.
As we have seen, not only does the baby inherit genetic information at conception, but it is also given its parent’s epigenetic information through the methylation process. It is interesting to know that methylation patterns are largely reprogrammed during the very first stages of pregnancy. That is why it so important to understand what our parents’ emotional circumstances were when they conceived us, to better understand ourselves.
How they felt, and especially how our mother felt, will largely determine the software we downloaded as a result. And, the same will apply to the information your child will receive from you. By being conscious and aware of your own emotional environment, you can re-write the information your child might have received otherwise.
Recent studies are showing that the foetus' nervous system registers all the experiences it goes through whilst in the uterus and these can make up for up to half of the baby's personality at birth.
I cannot stress this enough: as a parent it is important to understand how your emotional environment affects your child’s wellbeing. It is not just what you do on a physical level that matters.
As Dr. Bruce Lipton puts it: “The developing child receives far more than nutrients from the mother’s blood. Along with nutrients, the foetus absorbs excess glucose if the mother is diabetic and excess cortisol and other fight-flight hormones, if the mother is chronically stressed.”
In a conference of his I recently attended in London, he played an impactful video from an Italian conscious parenting organisation. In the short clip, you could see two parents having a loud argument, while the mother was going through a sonogram. The foetus jumped when the argument started and it literally arched its body and jumped up, as if it were on a trampoline, at the sound of shattering of glass.
The baby feels and experiences absolutely everything the mother is going through. That is why her role is so important. However, the father’s responsibility is just as crucial. To quote Dr. Lipton again: “Mothers and fathers are in the conception and pregnancy together, even though it is the mother who carries the child in the womb. What the father does profoundly affects the mother, which in turn affects the child.”
The father’s role is to make sure the mother feels safe, supported and protected so she can provide the best emotional environment for her child. If he is unable to do that and the mother starts questioning her own ability to survive, this will profoundly change the interaction between the mother and the unborn baby.
I suspect this has already given you room for thought and I will not extend myself in details. There is plenty of available material out there for you to continue delving in to all of this and I shall leave a list of helpful resources below.
UNDERSTANDING IS KEY TO TRANSCENDING:
Dear parents out there, once again please note that this is not about feeling guilty for how you may or may have not acted up until now.
There is a clear distinction between the word blame and responsibility. Taking responsibility is empowering us to change what we don't like or didn’t know beforehand. And, the best gift we can give our children is to learn from our mistakes and use them to transcend our current paradigm, by taking care of our own emotional environment, which is theirs by extension.
Just to give you an Idea, BioNeuroEmotion (BNE) practitioners rarely see children. If the child has an issue, we always ask to see the parents, because after thousands of case studies, we have seen that the root cause lies in their emotional environment. Your child’s emotional environment is the one you provide for them, through the way you choose to experience life and deal with the difficulties that come up for you.
Any improvement you make in your own life will automatically benefit you child at whatever stage of their childhood.
It is about being mindful of how we choose to experience our lives at present. A "mistake" is just another experience that gives us the opportunity to grow and learn. The more we give ourselves those opportunities, the greater humanity will benefit as a whole. This is not about being perfect. This is about being honest and real with ourselves, so we can blossom and our children can grow up in a better world.
If your adult child asks you about what was going on when you were pregnant and it was not as rosy as you would like them to think, be honest with them so they can understand why they might be feeling a certain way. Don’t hide those truths from them, as painful as they might feel to you. Transcendence can only happen through awareness. Also have that conversation with your own parents. It’s incredibly cathartic.
And if right now you are pregnant, really make sure you nurture yourself and listen to your needs first. If you do not feel supported and/or safe, ask yourself why? Take responsibility for where you are now, so you can empower yourself to change what you do not like by being coherent, expressing your emotions and needs to your partner, allowing him/her to support you and seeking the appropriate help if you feel the need to. Do it for you first, knowing that your child will be happier as a consequence.
Dearest mothers out there, please bear in mind that your role is of vital importance. Motherhood is a powerful gift as well as a responsibility, and the universe chose you because you are more than capable of pulling it off.
So, when it does get hard, always remember that nature gave you the right tools to do a great job. And those tools, beautiful soul, are to be found within. Be kind and honest with yourself at the same time. Take care of yourself and respect your boundaries. Your children will be the first to benefit from your coherent choices because, to quote Dr. Lipton one last time: "conscious parenting is a new step in the evolution of our species."
And there you have it dear soul. I hope you enjoyed the read and if you have any questions or thoughts you would like to share, please do not hesitate to pop them in the comment section below. I would love to connect further with you that way!
With all my love,
As a BNE practitioner I help consciously aware people identify the emotional root cause of any re-occurring pattern, issue or physical ailment they might have, so they can shift their perception and show up as their best selves. Should this resonate, you can find out more about my work here.
Hi, I´m Dannie
A fellow soul seeker, blogger & certified BioNeuroEmotion® (BNE) practitioner who is passionate about growing, self actualising & learning in order to lead a more coherent/conscious life and help others do the same.