One of the best gifts you can give your children is teaching them how to see life from a positive mindset. Being able to see things in a positive light is at the core of being happy. In effect, teaching gratitude is teaching your children how to feel happy, no matter what is happening or not happening in their lives. As they learn the lesson of seeing their lives in a positive light they can more easily see themselves that way too, enabling them to love and accept themselves as they are. Children will not learn any lesson you teach them unless you are a living example of it. Therefore the best gift a parent can give their children is to be a positive, happy and grateful person themselves. I teach my clients a practical exercise which trains their brain to have more grateful, happy thoughts. This can be turned into an enjoyable game which parents and children can do together. A parent’s job is not to look after their children, but to teach them how to make their way in the world. Teach them the gift of gratitude and positive thought by learning and practicing it yourself.
The reason most diets don’t work is that they don’t address the emotional contributors to your eating habits. Some people over eat or comfort eat when feeling bored, upset, or feeling bad about themselves. The reasons for using food as a coping mechanism vary greatly from person to person so it’s important not to use a ‘one size fits all’ approach for weight loss. As with all EFT, it’s the detective work that is the important part.
For example, one man I worked with was overeating and felt like he could never get enough food. One of his contributing emotions was discomfort any time he didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know what to do often, so was overeating often. To clear the need for constant food we had to use EFT to make him feel OK about himself when he didn’t know what to do. This isn’t always an easy issue to self treat yourself for as it can have quite deep roots and detective work is needed to find the expectations and beliefs the person has about themselves. Often clearing these issues can take more than one session as there may be more than one contributing factor to their eating habits.
Many people (women especially) have an unconscious block to being slim and attractive because of the male attention they might attract. Some women don’t quite know how to respond to such attention, especially if there was an event in their past that disturbed them. If there is a part of you, however small, that doesn’t want to be slim and attractive because it doesn’t feel safe, then you will likely self sabotage or not achieve your healthy eating goals.
Ask yourself what food means to you. Is it a friend? A comfort? Is it a way of giving or receiving love? An experienced practitioner will find the emotions and beliefs behind your eating habits and clear them, creating both emotional freedom and food freedom.
People’s innermost thoughts, beliefs and emotions can be reflected in their outside world. For instance in their body shape, the state of their home, or the type of situations they attract to themselves. One man I worked with was a hoarder and as we started to work on how he felt about himself he was able for the first time in many years to start clearing his home. I noticed that when a challenge arose in his life that affected him emotionally, he reverted to his old ways. The more we cleared the negative feelings the more his house reflected the work we’d done. It can be the same with weight gain as it very often happens at a time of great emotion in our lives. Any attempt at willpower will fall short if your innermost emotions are negative, even if they are deeply buried in the subconscious mind. Take a look at your home, your car, your physical body and ask yourself whether it reflects emotional health?
The way we see life, whether positively or negatively, whether with gratitude or with disappointment, is a learned behaviour. Because it is a learned behaviour or mindset it can be unlearned. One of the things I do is teach my clients tools they can use to permanently change the way they think and therefore the way they see the world.
When you think a thought it creates a neural pathway in your brain. Think that thought or think that way again and the neural pathway gets thicker. Every time you think a certain way the neural pathway thickens, so after a while it gets like a super highway up there. Then your brain is automatically thinking that way without you even consciously choosing to do so! To change this you have to think a different way for many weeks or months before the change becomes automatic. When the new way of thinking becomes automatic you don’t even have to try to be positive, you just are. You don’t even have to try to be happy, you just are. Even though it takes a bit of time the tools I give my clients to use are really easy and can be practiced during their everyday life. They then have these tools for life and can share them with other people. One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is to teach them how to think positively and have the mindset of a happy person. Children of course don’t do what you say, they do what you do. The best gift to your child therefore is to be a role model of positive thinking.
The reason that life’s events seem to many people to be in the way is that many people have no idea where they’re going. They do not know that on the path they were intended to take, there are no obstacles. The obstacles that people are encountering have not been plunked down suddenly and ruthlessly by Life, right in the middle of the path they’re travelling. Rather, the path they’re travelling is the one with obstacles already on it.
The above is a quote by Neale Donald Walsch from his book The Only Thing That Matters. It reminds me of what Abraham (Esther Hicks) says about ‘paddling upstream’. When life seems hard and it seems like you are paddling upstream, its because you are not going in the right direction. The best thing you can do is let go and float downstream. This seems incredibly scary because we have spent a lot of time trying to get where we are. Many people are not prepared to let go.
I completely agree with Neale that often the obstacles are a signpost to us that we are not on the ‘right’ path. One of the things I do is help people to identify the path that would give them the most happiness and fulfillment and remove the emotional barriers that are currently preventing them from taking it.
How do you know when it’s time to quit a relationship, a job, or anything else in your life? We often don’t know the right decision because the answer is obscured by emotions such as fear, guilt, worry or anxiety. Many of us actually do know the right decision deep down – we have an inner knowing – but we can ignore that feeling or not be in touch with it at all because of the emotions clouding the way. Sometimes there is a part of us that doesn’t want to know the answer because of the implications that come with it. We are afraid of the answer, so we pretend it’s not there at all. Often professional help is needed to enable clarity. One thing you could try on your own is to imagine your life in the future – say in two, five or ten year’s time. Explore in your mind where you would be if you took each option and more importantly, how you would be feeling. Which option seems to have the least happiness attached to it? Its only when you clear the emotion around a situation that you create a clear head and a clear heart. From that space the way forward is nearly always obvious.
To me success isn’t a destination, it’s a journey. The closer you get to ‘who you want to be’ as a person, then the more successful you are. In has nothing to do with money or power and everything to do with being the best version of you that you can be.
Success comes from knowing you made the effort to become the best that you are capable of becoming. You and only you will know whether you have done that. There will always be others who are smarter, more talented, more articulate, or better in some way, but there is one way in which you can be second to none, and that is being the best version of you that you can be.
It’s hard to look at others and say “they are successful” because I don’t believe it’s something we can measure in others, except by our own standards. A person who is recognized as being top of their game and earning a huge income might not have any time for themselves or their family and no time to enjoy life. By my measurement of success therefore they are not even close. Their measurement of success however might say “I’ve made it”.
I have a little ritual that I practice around success. It’s important that we celebrate our successes, so if I achieve something big I allow myself to feel proud and feel great about myself. At the same time I say to myself “even if you hadn’t achieved that Karen you would still be good enough”. This means that next time I fail, don’t achieve what I aimed for, or make a mistake I am pre-programmed to think “I’m still good enough”.
Often people are unhappy with their lives but when I question them about what they want instead, they say they don’t know. They know what theydon’t want, but are very unclear about what they do want. They often feel stuck and depressed because it’s impossible to make a change in your life if the path forward is unclear. I believe that a deeper part of ourselves does know the change we want to make and does know the right decisions, but that ‘knowing’ is obscured by our emotions. There may be a mix of different emotions obscuring our ‘knowing’ and these need to be identified one by one and cleared, a bit like layers off an onion. For example, someone who is unhappy in a relationship will commonly have a fear of how they will cope financially or emotionally on their own. There may also be guilt for the effect leaving will have on their partner or on the children and perhaps a sense of shame for what others might think. Perhaps they have been in the relationship a long time and their sense of identity is tied up in it. Those emotions may make them feel that change is impossible, or may be obscuring an obvious step they could take to initiate change. When we clear the mix of thoughts and emotions, what we are left with is a clear head and a clear heart. From that place of clarity we can proceed with confidence into a better life.
In relationships we can clearly see the other person’s ‘issues’ and how they are hampering the relationship, but often cannot see our own. One client told me about his wife who was overworking, stressed and had no time, energy or patience to put into him, making him feel unsupported. Although almost ready to call off the marriage, he felt unable to discuss the issue with his wife and let her know how serious the situation was. He felt more comfortable with the thought of calling off the marriage having said nothing about what was wrong, than he did with having a serious discussion with his wife.
He had good reasons (in his view) for this reluctance, believing that she would get her defences up straight away, would back off, close down and not be open to the discussion. I sensed however that there was more to this reluctance than that and probed a little deeper. During the course of our session he was very surprised to realise that the reluctance to initiate the discussion with his wife was actually all about him. It did not feel safe to have one of ‘those talks’ because in the past honest talks with other family members had led to being cut out of their lives permanently. Without even realising it, this fear that the same thing would happen was holding him back from having serious discussions with anyone he cared about. In my work I see time and time again where relationships have broken up because one person called it off, seemingly ‘out of the blue’. The other party is often confused because they never knew there was a problem. Lack of communication is often the main cause of relationship breakups. Everyone will have their own subconscious blocks to communicating effectively with their partner and we need to address these first, before looking at the changes we believe our partner needs to make.
A friend asked me why someone he knows keeps creating dramas and actually seems to purposely provoke people, especially her partner. The answer is in two parts. Firstly it can have to do with our childhood. If our childhood was full of drama and anger and argument then that can become our ‘normal’. We seek to create what for us is normal and don’t often know how to operate outside of it. The second answer encompasses the first and is the real truth of the matter. We reflect, attract and create that which we are inside. This lady obviously wasn’t at peace within herself. She probably had anger, hurt and resentment inside which reflected her outer life. My favourite quote of all time is by Dr Wayne Dyer: “How do you get world peace? You get world peace through Inner peace. If you’ve got a world full of people with inner peace, then you have a peaceful world.” A similar one from the Dalai Lama: “Any vision of peace starts with the individual, in a process of ‘inner disarmament’. I think peace must come through inner peace.” I love my job as a coach and EFT practitioner because I get to bring people to a place of inner peace.