Archive Category: Blog

Sometimes when we have an accident it is life’s way of telling us to stop.  There are usually signs that life wants us to slow down, or stop and change paths, way before the accident happens.  Little signs at first, such as feeling tired, unmotivated, stressed, unhappy.  Or maybe the signs are aches, pains or something physical.  These are all the body’s way of communicating with you, but often we don’t recognise the message.  So, the message gets louder (we feel worse) and when we still don’t listen it gets louder still.  Or sometimes we do get the message but we tell ourselves “I can’t slow down/change now!”  I have this to get through first and that to deal with first. When I’ve done that I can make changes.  But life has a way of stopping us if we don’t do it ourselves.  We get that accident or that illness that forces us to stop.  If you are ever in that situation, please listen and take action.  If you don’t the next stop could be a dead stop.  Literally.

  1. If you don’t want to do it don’t. If it involves a sense of guilt or obligation don’t do it. If you think either “I should” or “I shouldn’t” then forget it. Make a goal to please yourself this Christmas. If someone else gets pleased along the way that’s a bonus, but not your goal. If you are not used to saying “no” to people read the chapter about how to do that in my book Heightening Your Happiness (shameless plug sorry).
  2. When you go on holiday don’t pack your worries. Leave them behind. If they are real ones they will be there when you get back.
  3. Don’t give presents or send cards. That might sound very ‘bah humbug’ but I’ve been doing it for years. I love it. My Christmas is truly and completely about family. There is no commercial element. My friends and family don’t need a card because I see them all the time. If I want to say “thinking of you” to someone I haven’t seen for a while I will ring them. That means far more these days. To pick up the phone and give your time and energy to an actual conversation! As for presents if you really must, do an anonymous family draw. Each person draws one name and buys for that person only. Everyone gets a gift. The benefit is you only have to shop for one gift.
  4. Get everyone to bring a dish for Christmas dinner. Even if you are hosting it you can provide one dish just like everyone else. Choose the easiest one. For me that’s usually meat. Throw it in the oven and your job is done.   Let the others bring the dessert and the veges/salad etc. If you like to have a lot of different dishes, then everyone brings two. Make sure you choose first what you want to contribute and not last as it might be the hardest thing. For me the hardest is fruit salad because you have to go out in rush hour traffic the day before to buy fresh strawberries or raspberries. The shops are horrendous and the drive there and back takes three times as long.
  5. Which brings me to item 5. Shop well ahead of time. Definitely don’t leave things until the last minute or during peak times.
  6. Lower your usual high standards and cut yourself some slack. That can be your Christmas present to yourself. Ask yourself “will the world fall apart if I don’t do this”? If the answer is “no” then don’t do it. Yes, this is a kind of repeat of No.1 but it’s so important I wanted to make sure you got it. Do less! For instance, if you don’t want to do the dishes or clear up then don’t. If you don’t do it one of two things will happen. (1) someone else will do it (2) no one will offer in which case you ask for help.
  7. Christmas is the time for love. Love yourself first. Think only loving, accepting, kind thoughts about yourself. Don’t pull yourself down for anything. That is the greatest give you can give – the gift of loving and accepting yourself. Give it now.

I subscribe to a number of daily quotes that help me stay in the right mindset (happy, positive and expecting the best from life), and the following quote came in from one of those by Mike Dooley.

There are thousands of reasons to be happy if you go looking for them. Mike wrote:
“They may be hidden behind circumstances, people, or light poles. Challenges, closed doors, or lost keys. Camouflaged, dovetailed, or whispering. Purring, kissing, or hissing. But more often than not they’re lying about in the open, under a clear blue sky, in plain view. Absolutely. Guaranteed. You’d throttle me otherwise.”

The ‘me’ he refers to is The Universe. Or God if you prefer that word. May you get better and better at finding reasons to be happy.

Research has found that emotional tears have special health benefits for people. Tears are protective and they lubricate your eyes, remove irritants, reduce stress hormones, and they contain antibodies that fight pathogenic microbes. Tears might decrease arousal of distress and make people feel better. Reflex tears are 98 per cent water, whereas emotional tears also contain stress hormones which get excreted from the body through crying. Emotional tears shed these hormones and other toxins which accumulate during stress.

Crying stimulates the production of endorphins, our body’s natural pain killer and feel-good hormones. Crying makes us feel better, even when a problem persists. In addition to physical detoxification, emotional tears heal the heart. Researchers warned against dissuading people from holding back tears, saying that holding back tears was a form of bottling up emotions that could trigger stress and other problems. “We are in a society that tells us we’re weak for crying, in particular that powerful men don’t cry.” said Dr Uthman Mubashir, Public Health Physician of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital. “The new enlightened paradigm of what constitutes a powerful man and woman is someone who has the strength and self-awareness to cry,” he said. “It is good to cry, it is healthy to cry. This helps to emotionally clear sadness and stress.” Crying, he pointed out, was also essential to resolve grief when some someone lost a dear one. “Tears help us process the loss so we can keep living with open hearts. Otherwise, we will be depressed if we suppress these potent feelings.”

Thanks to and abstracted from an article by Vanguard
Read more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/09/crying-good-health-says-expert/

Whenever I ask my clients why they can’t be happy I tend to get the same five answers. They have nothing to do with what is or isn’t happening in their lives and more to do with belief systems. Here are the top reasons for I’m generally given for not being happy:

  1. I don’t deserve it

  2. Many people have a belief system that they have to deserve happiness. That they have to be a good enough person before they are allowed to be happy. That happiness is for ‘better’ people than them.

  3. It’s not safe to be happy because the happier I am the harder I will fall when something goes wrong

  4. For some people something bad has happened shortly after they were in a really happy place emotionally. They see this as ‘proof’ that bad things always follow good. The better the good the worse the bad will be. None of this is rational of course but it just feels that it is true. They believe (incorrectly) that the happier they are the further they will fall when life throws them a challenge. They prefer to feel average at the most as a form of self protection.

  5. I’m only allowed to be happy when everyone else is

  6. Many of my clients see their role in life as making others happy. When they have done a really good job, or others are happy with them, only then they can feel happy. Of course they are never able to keep everyone happy all of the time or reach their own high standards, so happiness remains something they won’t allow themselves.

  7. I haven’t achieved enough

  8. Way too many people think that happiness has to be earned. They think ‘When I’ve achieved X and X (and I haven’t yet) then I it will be okay to be happy. They put conditions on their happiness and are very strict with what they are allowed to feel.

  9. I don’t know how

  10. Happiness is a learned skill. It is true that many people haven’t yet learned it. They honestly don’t know how to think or feel any differently. That of course is where I come in (and my book Heightening Your Happiness – how you can develop the skill of enjoying your life).

I help people to change their belief systems so they can give themselves permission to be happy now. Have a think about what your ‘rules’ are in relation to happiness. Are they the same as the ones above or do you have some different ones? I’d love to hear what your criteria for happiness is, so do get in touch and let me know.

I am often asked by clients “How do you know the right time to be physically intimate with someone for the first time?” They ask “How will I know I’m ready?” often because they’ve been intimate in the past for many of the wrong reasons with not so good outcomes. I just came across this answer that I really like, thanks to Neale Donald Walsh.
“Intimacy means more than sex. It is about the connection of souls. It is the true union of two beings. You are intimate when you are fully with another, no matter what. In fact, this has very little to do with that which is physical.” So there’s your answer; when you feel that emotional intimacy and are fully with another you are ready for physical intimacy. I underlined the words ‘fully with another’ because I think this means being fully present. Being fully yourself. With no mask on. With no wall up.

“Ha ha” many of you are probably thinking, “If I’d waited until I had no wall up or until I was truly being myself I’d have been celibate my whole life!” That may be, but that’s what true intimacy is. The question is whether you want to have sex or whether you want to be physically intimate. The two are not the same. You can’t be physically intimate without being emotionally intimate.

If the thought of being intimate scares you in any way I can help.

More than 1.5 billion people on earth don’t have electricity. A higher number, over 1.6 billion, have no access to clean water. A much higher number still, over 2.5 billion, don’t have basic sanitation. That’s right, in the first quarter of the 21st century over a quarter of the world’s people are without toilets.

But these are simply inconveniences. Some 19,000 children die each day on this planet from preventable health issues, such as malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia. Even worse, over 650 children die every hour on Earth of starvation.

Here in the Western world we have such amazing lives that we completely take them for granted. When was the last time you sent out happy, grateful thoughts because you had a toilet to go to? When was the last time you sent out happy, grateful thoughts for the fresh water you have, just by turning on the tap? I’m guessing you probably haven’t. We tend to look at what is wrong in our lives instead of what is right. We go on anti depressants because we just can’t seem to find joy in life any longer. One of the things I do is help people to retrain their brains, so they start seeing the good in life instead of the dissatisfaction they are used to seeing.

Recently I was lightheartedly complaining to a friend at the gym about a problem I had. My water bottle had leaked in my bag and my shorts were damp. I had decided to wear them anyway and was regretting that decision! He said to me “Karen, that is a first world problem”. I loved that reply. When I thought about it I could honestly say that all of my ‘problems’ (though I tend to not think of myself as having problems) were first world ones. No-one in the third world would consider anything in my life a problem. Not having any shorts might possibly be a problem, but having damp ones would certainly not be. Since then I have used that phrase in my thoughts a lot. “It’s a first world problem”. That helps me to have perspective.

Recently a friend told me that she had a good life and nothing to complain about, but she wasn’t happy. She felt quite unhappy and had for some time, even though she knew there was no reason for her to feel that way. From the clients I see, I know she is not alone. If you feel dissatisfied with life or have lost the joy, even though all of your problems are first world ones, contact me. I have the tools to permanently heighten your happiness.

I have talked before about that evil word should and its partner in crime shouldn’t. If you have read my book ‘Heightening Your Happiness’ you will know that I suggest banning those words from your thoughts and your speech. Many people have now become quite good at noticing their ‘shoulds’ and not acting on them. Shoulds have aliases such as ‘I must’, ‘I have to’ etc, but did you realise that shouldn’ts have aliases too.

If you aren’t aware of this you won’t realise that you are living your life according to your shouldn’ts. For instance one of my clients used the phrase “I allowed myself” a number of times during our session. “I allowed myself to have a holiday” or “I allowed myself to buy a new car”. The problem was that there weren’t very many things she did allow herself. Without realising it until we worked together (because our list of shouldn’ts or not allowed are mainly in the subconscious mind) she had quite strict rules about what was and wasn’t okay. Her mother had worked very hard, putting herself last and doing things for other people. My client picked up the belief therefore that she must fill all of her time and be busy, otherwise she had no value. Her father gave her the unconscious message that she didn’t deserve anything. Those beliefs stayed with her and if she didn’t believe she deserved to have time for herself of course she wouldn’t ‘allow’ herself to have it.

The trick to living the life we want to live; the life that will make us happy, is to do what we want and not what we feel we should or shouldn’t do. Take some time to become aware of the aliases you might have for your shouldn’ts. If you don’t recognise them you can’t change them. Do yours masquerade as ‘alloweds’ or as something else? Maybe they show up as thoughts like ‘it’s not okay’. The first step to changing is being aware. Start noticing your thoughts today.

I have written before (in the blog titled Embracing our amazingness) about the power of Marianne Williamson’s quote. If you haven’t read the quote before, scroll down and do so, because I’ve had some new realisations about it.

She writes about ‘playing small’ which so many of us do. I myself had been playing small, but realised it, worked on myself and stopped.  I no longer play small.   I’ve only recently come to realise however that not playing small is VERY different from playing it big.

In recent months I’ve been purposely playing big.  That might sound arrogant, and if it does it’s a sure sign you have limiting beliefs around this subject.  If you think playing it big is wrong then you are likely playing small yourself, which severely limits abundance in every area of your life.

If you were playing big how would you do it? Take some time to think about that and then take some big action.  Act as if huge success is your normal.  Act big and you will get big.  Abraham (Hicks) says “”It is as easy to create a castle as a button, it’s just a matter of whether you focus on a castle or the button”.  What Abraham is explaining is that it takes no more to create a castle (something big and very much wanted) than to create a button (something small and less desired). The process is the same. The energy available can handle both equally. If you want to create a million dollars in your life, it is no more difficult than creating $100 (except that we believe the $100 is easier, and therefore we focus on that (playing small).

Marianne Williamson’s quote:  “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

 

Nearly all of us wear masks.The mask differs depending on who we are with because of what we perceive they want to see. Most people have a mask (or persona) that shows them to be happy and confident.  Some of the people who seem the happiest are just playing the role they think their audience wants, and can actually be depressed.  It takes a lot of energy to play that role.  Energy that could be better spent in other areas of your life.  One of the things I help my clients with is being able to take off their masks and be completely themselves.  This can take a bit of work because I need to get people to love and accept themselves as they are first.  When we love and accept ourselves as we are we don’t need that acceptance from others.  When we feel we are good enough as we are we are no longer impacted by the judgement of others.

Occasionally I come across a different type of mask.  A sad mask.  Consider the situation where someone has lost a loved one to death.  We think that ‘Society’ expects us to grieve.  Perhaps our grief is processed fairly fast, but we feel we can’t show that we are over it just yet.  What would people think if they saw us happy?  They might thing we didn’t care.  We create rules in our head about how long we ‘should’ grieve for.

I asked a client of mine whether she gave herself permission to be 100% happy now.  She realised that she didn’t, and recalled being told by a counsellor that it can take five years to get over the suicide of a loved one.  That ‘five years’ stuck in her subconscious mind.   She was not at that five year mark yet, so was not allowing herself to be happy.

We create ‘rules’ in our head about how we are supposed to be.  These self imposed rules stop us being ourselves and stop us being happy.  Happy people don’t wear masks.  Happy people have found a way of feeling good about themselves no matter what.  If you need help with feeling that way, or with being completely and genuinely you, I’m here to guide you there.

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