Learning From The Past… And The Future

Isn’t it funny the things you remember from the past? Of course, some things are valuable and profound, and others seems to be completely random.

I always remember being in assembly in my primary school and hearing our head teacher giving a talk about learning from your mistakes. We’ve all heard this right, but he went on to say that not only can we learn from our own mistakes, but why not learn from other people’s mistakes too?

This made total sense to me. Why wait until we make the mistake to learn the lesson? Why not find value in other people’s mistakes too.

Although I still think this is valuable, I’ve realised that life doesn’t work out that way. How can it? We see so much pain and destruction across the globe but yet seem to think that’ll never happen to me.

Children are disappearing, horrific accidents steal lives, homes are being lost, loved ones are taking their last breaths. And yet, we will moan and groan about the silliest things, hold grudges and deny ourselves and those around us the love and joy we all deserve. If only we knew.

After my brother died so suddenly, I remember being so scared that every night, as I put my kids to bed, it might be the last time I get to kiss them goodnight. I remember every day when my husband went to work, it could be the last time I kiss him goodbye. I worried that anything could happen to us at any point. My parenting became a lot more relaxed and I learned to let go of petty arguments. It just didn’t seem worth it anymore. Did I really want my last conversation with my husband to be my moaning about crumbs in the kitchen?

I felt I suddenly had such clarity in life and I wanted to share it with the world. I tried. People around me were having family problems and siblings were not talking over silly things. Of course, there was a part of me that was angry. You don’t even realise how lucky you are to have your sibling at the end of a telephone and yet you’re throwing away that relationship? I would give anything to trade places with you!

Of course, I know that my loss didn’t erase or invalidate their feelings. How could it? But even when I’d try to share my new profound clarity about life and how blessed we are, a lot of the time it fell on deaf ears.

You learn from your own mistakes because they hold so much emotional attachment and you’re emotionally invested. But you can’t learn from other people’s mistakes because you’re not as emotionally invested as they are.

By all means, take heed from other’s lessons and life events, but you may need to experience something first-hand before you can fully learn from it.

This is a simple adaptation of an NLP technique that you can use to learn from certain events.
Think of something you are worried about happening in the not too distant future.
Now close your eyes and imagine floating ahead into your future self to a time shortly after this event has happened.
What do you notice? Can it be prevented? Can it be an easier process? What does your future self know that you don’t yet know? Perhaps some information you can use once you float back to your present-day self? Is there something the present-day you that can alter or change in order to give a more favourable outcome in the future?
Use everything you can learn from jumping into the future and apply it in your present day life in order to create a future that’s more in line with what you want. The future hasn’t happened yet so you can decide how you want it play out.

When Your Current Situation Holds You Back

Do you ever feel that the odds are stacked against you? Or that you don’t have it as easy as those born with a silver spoon in their mouth?

Do you ever think ‘why bother trying? People like me don’t get to do things like that.

If you do, you’re not alone. Most of us never even attempt to turn our dreams into reality because we believe our current circumstances reflect what’s to come in our future.

Of course, I’d love a big house and a cool million in the bank, but when I’m eating tuna out of a can and wrapped in multiple layers because I can’t afford to turn the heating on, what do you expect me to believe?

It’s interesting that we’re so quick to stick our heels in when it’s about ourselves, but when others can’t see past their current situation, we seem to have much more perspective.

When our children try to take their first steps but stumble and fall, we don’t say “Too bad. I guess this one’s not a walker.”

When our best friend comes crying that her boyfriend has broken up with her and she’ll never find love again, we don’t pat her on the head and say “I know, it’s such a shame.

We keep ourselves in our comfort zone for two reasons.
1. To keep safe and not put ourselves in situations that can harm us physically or emotionally.
2. So that we have a reason as to why we can’t and then can be right as to why we didn’t.

Let me tell you about about prisoner 19476/62 who was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1962 for conspiracy and terrorist charges. Those are some bold labels. He was later labelled the president of South Africa and a peace activist. When he was sentenced, Nelson Mandela didn’t let his current situation define the rest of his life, nor did he let other people’s opinions and labels of him hold any value in his heart. He stayed true to who he knew he was.

Did you ever hear about the homeless Canadian family of five living in a Volkswagen van surviving on canned food? One of the sons not only dreamed of living in a house and perhaps having his own bedroom and privacy, but decided to look past his current situation and chase his dreams. Jim Carrey went on to become a multimillionaire after starring in so many blockbusters of my generation and quickly became one of Hollywood’s hottest names.

In 1930, a young African-American boy was born into an extremely segregated country. His dad didn’t stick around and his brother died when he was five. Shortly after, he developed Glaucoma and started to go blind. As if that wasn’t hard enough, he had to endure racism and was expected to live a life of poverty due to his skin colour and his disability. When we was 14, he was life all alone when his mother, his only relative suddenly died. Ray Charles could have chose to give up at any one of his traumas, but he decided to follow his dreams and he became one of the most iconic musicians of all time, often being referred to as brother Ray or the genius.

Believe me when I tell you that I know life can be difficult. It can be so shit at times!But, please, for the love of god, don’t allow a difficult patch to define the rest of your days. Let it fuel you. Let it light the fire inside of you. Let it light the torch to led the way.

Ok, so some people have it easier than you. So what? There are many, many people who are born into wealth, good health or fame, and they reject it, lose it or throw it away.

Work for what you want, because you deserve it. You know what they say, keep your eyes on the prize.

What do you want, that you’re not currently reaching for?
Write it on the top of a sheet of paper.
Next, brainstorm all of the things you can think of that stand in your way
Now, identify each one and come up with as many solutions as you can to help you overcome this hurdle.

Choose one thing you can do right now that will help you get one step closer to what you want and without thinking too much or talking yourself out of it, do it now.

Emotional Wounds

Recently, I started watching this documentary series on Gaia called Sacred Powers with Caroline Myss. One particular episode really grabbed my attention and I want to share it’s message with you today.

When you cut your finger (for argument’s sake, let’s say it’s not too deep), you don’t have to consciously do anything to help the healing. Your body naturally tends to the wound. I’m no doctor but I know that, at a basic level, the platelets in our blood help to clot the wound and form a barrier (scab) to stop infection from entering. Then under the surface, your white and red blood cells, along with other chemicals in your body work in their own individual, specialized way to heal, remodel the area to return your body back to good health.

Healing is natural and automatic.

Caroline Myss said that the body’s natural state is good health and wholeness.
Yes, sometimes things happen that can alter this state, but good health and wholeness is our natural state, and everything within our being is working to return us to this state.

When a wound occurs, everything we have rushed to the wound to heal it because we were never meant to be wounded forever.

So what about emotional wounds?

This is where a lot of people will not like what Caroline had to say but before we get into it, let’s look at physical wounds again.

I have many scars on my body. All from wounds where I have tripped, fallen, had things dropped on me and some I can’t even remember. Each scar tells a story and each scar has become a part of the person that I am today. However, not one of my scars define who I am. Not one of my scars determine what I can and can’t do. Not one of my scars hold me back in life.

We seem to deal with emotional wounds differently.

An event happens at a point in time and we seem to suffer with it for months, or even years. We attach to the story and use to to shape our future. It doesn’t matter how many wonderful things happen in our lives, we keep coming back to our emotional wound. We identify as our wound.

Caroline talks about people sharing their wounds when meeting new people and in circumstances that are completely unrelated. I have to admit that I’ve done this. For some reason I’ve felt it’s necessary to share my pain so that people can ‘get a full picture’ about me.
But why? It’s none of their business and I also didn’t feel the need to mention all the wonderful blessings that I currently have or have experienced in my life.

For some reason, we live in a society where struggle seems to equal noble. The more we suffer, the more we deserve. I don’t know where this notion has come from, but let’s go back to Caroline’s statement.

The body’s natural state is good health and wholeness.

We carry past traumas and wounds into the present and allow our past to limit and decide our future. We allow our emotional wounds to determine who we are, what our personalities are, what we deserve in life, what we can achieve and how we behave.

We keep picking the emotional scab and never allow it to heal.

As Caroline says, this is not about dismissing how you feel. This is not about ignoring your past. I also want to stress it’s not a time for blame or shame. It’s just about allowing yourself to heal from past wounds and deciding not to carry their heavy load anymore. Don’t allow them to define or limit you.

Your natural state is good health and wholeness.
You deserve peace.
You deserve freedom.

Think about what you’re carrying around in your life that it’s time to let go of.
Write a letter to whatever or who ever it is that caused this wound.
Now, we’re going to do a Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness called Ho’oponopono.
At the end of your letter write these four statements. After each statement you write, take some time to feel into each one before moving onto the next one. Repeat them as many times as you need.
I’m sorry
Please Forgive me
Thank you
I love you.

Hitting Rock Bottom

If you read my blog, Two steps forward one step back, You’ll know the importance of allowing yourself to ‘regress‘ slightly in order to progress.

What I didn’t talk about in that blog was when all you seem to be doing is regressing. When you seem to keep falling further and further down.

Have you ever been there? Have you ever experienced rock bottom? Are you there now?

Not many people will admit to this, or even see it this way, but hear me out because there’s a lot of good stuff here.

Have you ever heard this saying?

When you’ve got nothing to lose, you’ve got nothing to lose

It’s saying that when you’re at rock bottom, you actually have an advantage! You can afford to be bolder and take more risks because the potential payoffs are so much higher than the potential pitfalls.

We hear and see it constantly in our day to day lives as well as in films and televisions programs. The guy who is desperate to declare his love for the girl because, without her, he ‘has nothing.
Or someone loses their job, their partner, their home and they have to rebuild their lives from scratch, but this time, they end up even more happier than before. Why? Because this time, they got to start from scratch, learn from past mistakes and are now clear about what they want from life.

Most of the time, life is…. ok. It’s not terrible, of course it could be a little better, but we are so scared to rock the boat and ask for more because we fear we will get less, so we learn to settle. This means that so many of us are walking around with less than adequate lives, too scared to ask for more and just making do with what they have.

When you are not living up to your full potential, and you’re not living as your true authentic self, life takes hold of the steering wheel and that’s when everything seems to be ‘going wrong‘, but what’s actually happening is someone is pressing the reset button for you.

When the reset button has been pressed, you now get to redesign your life in a way that is more in line with who you really are and what you really want.

Hitting rock bottom can seem like such a curse, but it really is much more like a blessing. Yes, it’s difficult. Yes, things seem uncertain but in the end, it will all work out better than you could have ever imagined.

Imagine for a moment, that you have nothing to lose.
What would you want to achieve in life?
What steps would you take to get there?
What resources could you take advantage of that you’re not currently utilizing?

3 Lazy Ways to Rewire Your Brain for Happiness, Success and Manifesting Your Dream Life

*DISCLAIMER* This blog is just a small snippet of the free eBook that I have created. If you want to get your free copy and find out the other 27 lazy ways to design the life that you want, you can find it here

If you look online for ways to become happier, more positive and more successful, you will find different versions of the same list.

All giving you a list of even more things to do in your day. Yes, they are helpful and, yes, they will help you become happier, more positive and more successful but come on, who has the time to meditate for 20 minutes and exercise for an hour before you even go to work in the morning?

Life is busy! Well, at least, mine is. Yes, I like to meditate and journal and even do some yoga now and again, but I don’t want to dedicate 3 hours and a whole lot of energy to activities that, to be honest, I really don’t have time for. I don’t really watch TV, I don’t scroll on social media, I don’t even have as much sleep as I’d like, so don’t try to tell me I could find those 3 hours if I tried.

I don’t want to over-work myself to feel happier. Sounds a bit counter-productive, right? I want things to just be effortless and do it for me. I mean isn’t that what technology is for? 

Who would choose to hand wash their clothes when the washing machine can do a much better job?

In Neuro-Linguisitic Programming (NLP – are you bored of me talking about it yet?) We create (and collapse) things called ‘anchors’ but they are also known as ‘triggers’ that are basically when an emotional response is created by a stimulus. For example, when you hear a certain song and it reminds you of school because it’s what you sang with your friend at a talent show. Or when you smell rolling tobacco and it reminds you of your grandad as he used to put it in his pipe when you were little. Or that angelic picture of your kids when they were little always gives you that heart-warming feeling of overwhelming love and pride. 

You have a very real emotional response to something that you’ve either remembered or has come through one of your five senses. That’s an anchor.

You can create your own anchors that constantly remind you of how awesome you are, how beautiful you are and how worthy you are. You can also set up your own anchors to help manifest your desires into your life. I’m just going to say it. I like feeling good. Feeling good feels good and I want to make sure everything (or as many things as possible) in my environment support my happiness.

Anchor #1

How many times a day do you enter a password into your phone or computer? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably “a lot”. Why not take advantage of that and make your password something that you want to remind yourself of? Instead of your password being something like the name of your pet from 15 years ago, why not make it something like ‘IamHappy’, ‘IamLoved’, ‘1amEnough’, or ‘Feeling5exy’? Or you can create a password that represents what you want to manifest into your life, for example ‘Buisne55Owner’ or ‘sexySize14’. Even the pin numbers on your phone or debit cards can represent something. Everytime you type ‘0-8-0-8’ you can make each number match the syllables to “I.Am.So.Great”. 

Everytime you consciously enter in your password or pin number, you will unconsciously send a reminder to your subconscious and tell it “this is how it’s going to be around here from now on” and over time, you will develop these things as beliefs about your identity. 
The Reticular Activating System (RAS) in your brain will then go on to look for evidence related to your anchor to reinforce it’s value and strengthen it’s believability. So when you keep putting in your password ‘1feelpretty’ and your pin number is 0-0-3-3 (Oh.So.Pret-ty), the next time someone pays you the compliment “You look really great today”, you’re going to start believe it rather than think they’re obviously delusional or they’re just being polite. You will even pass a mirror and think “Oh hey, beautiful!

Anchor #2

It is believed that the average human receives around 11 million pieces of information per second through our five senses, but this would be too much for our conscious mind to handle. So, our Reticular Activating System (RAS) filters this information and only delivers the pieces which it believes to be relevant to our conscious mind. So, rather than 11 million pieces of information, we are only consciously aware of about 50 pieces of information. That means that our brain is receiving approximately 10,999,950 pieces of information per second that we are unaware of

It makes sense. If you’re watching TV or working at your computer, you tend to have a tunnel vision and are only aware of that which you are focused on. You don’t notice the colour of the walls or the feel of the desk. You don’t notice the sound of the birds tweeting outside or how fast you’re breathing. You don’t notice the feel of the clothes on your skin or that you’re shaking your foot and driving someone else crazy. There is information flooding into your five senses every second without you realising it. Let’s take advantage of this

By posting your favourite quotes or mantras on a sticky note or a print-out on your desk, near your TV or somewhere (safely) in your car, you are allowing your peripheral vision to pick up on this achor and plant yet another seed into your subconscious mind. 

Even when you are unaware, you’re conditioning your subconscious mind to work for you.

Anchor #3

This is a bit science-y, so I’m going to try and keep it simple. 

Dr Bruce Lipton said that there are only two ways to reprogram your subconscious mind. The first is through repetition. By repeating thoughts and behaviours, we train our subconscious mind to run these automatically. As the subconscious mind is habitual programming, it only knows what we teach it. So the more we consciously run these thoughts and behaviours, the more we will unconsciously run them.

The second way, is to plant the desired programming when you have direct access to the subconscious mind, which only happens when the brain is in the theta state. The theta state, in adults, can be accessed just before falling asleep and just before awakening. 

By listening to a hypnosis audio or subliminal music (Music with subliminal messages that can only be heard by the subconscious mind and cannot be heard consciously) when you are drifting off to sleep, you will pour in the programming during the entire time the brain is in the theta wave state. 

This is the ultimate lazy way to reprogram your subconscious mind. This is MY way.

This is probably one of the most powerful things you can do to manifest happiness, success or your desires into your reality.

You can find hundreds, if not thousands of subliminal and hypnosis audios on YouTube, or, you can create your own. 

Write a quick script (so you don’t freeze on what to say) of things you want to be true for yourself (list all the things you can think of), on things you want to manifest into your life and emotions you want to feel. Remember to keep the statements in the positive (eg “I am happy” instead of “I don’t want to be sad”). Then grab your smartphone and record yourself saying these statements in a slow, quiet, relaxing and soft voice – remember you want to be able to go to sleep. You can even play relaxing music in the background to sooth you and help you unwind. I’d suggest making the audio around 30 minutes long (or longer if you can). You can repeat your list over and over for the whole 30 minutes but remember not to rush it, take your time and put some belief into those statements. 

Then, each night, pop some earphones into your phone and play the audio you have created while drifting off to sleep. No one has to know what you’re listening to or the statements that you’ve recorded. You’ve done your bit, now let your pre-recorded words do the hard work.

Think of something you’d like to be, do or have in your life right now and brainstorm all the ways you can apply these three anchors to help condition your subconscious mind to work for you.
To read more and get your free copy, click here.

Keep Safe

We are currently experiencing something that we’ve never been faced with before in this lifetime. At least not to this scale. I’m not usually one to feed the fear, and I’m still not going to do that now, but I would like to offer my thoughts on how to keep safe as well as sane during this time.

In the UK, we have been told to practice social distancing and although I think this is good advice, it can be very detrimental to our mood and our mental health.

We have not yet been put on lock down and still have some freedom. So use this time to take a walk in a park or in the woods or areas that do not have a lot of people. Get our in nature as much as you can, even if it’s just in your garden or on your balcony. Open the windows and let some fresh air in as much as possible.

If we are eventually put on lock down, use that time to give your home a good spring clean, declutter your wardrobe, any papers or rubbish you have lying around. Give yourself a good facial, get some paints out and get creative, try out some new recipes and get baking with your kids. You could use the time to sort out some finances that you’ve been meaning to get round to or start reading that book you’ve wanted to read for weeks.

Of course you could just binge watch the latest box set, but you could also get the board games out, converse with your loved ones, give everyone a chore to get involved, create a home-made obstacle course or work out how you can make a meal out of any food that needs to be used up.

Let’s use this time to connect back with one another. I’m not just talking about the people we live with either. Let’s Skype or Facetime with loved ones, especially those that may be self-isolating alone and feeling extra lonely during this time. Catch up with friends and family across the globe and see how they all are. Call your elderly relatives or Email your favourite cousin.

Now is also the perfect time to eat really well. Eat lots of fruits and veggies to give your immune system the best possible chance to fight off anything that may come your way and watch YouTube videos for workouts or yoga practices. Make this fun and do it as a family or as a group. Even if you are all completely rubbish, and just spend most of the time laughing at how bad you all are, it will lift your spirits. Have you ever heard that laughter is the best medicine?

My wish is that you’re all keeping safe and also reach out to someone if you need something. Now is the time where we should all pul together and help each other the best we can. If you are going food shopping and you know one of your neighbors is elderly and vulnerable, offer to do a bit of shopping for them. If someone you know lives alone, give them a call.

Lastly, I’d just like to say, let’s all give so much gratitude and respect for all the NHS staff who are pushed to their limits at the best of times, but right now they are keeping our country going. They don’t have the luxury of self-isolating as a precaution. We are so incredibly lucky in the UK to have free healthcare and know that if we were to get sick, we would be cared for regardless of our financial situation.

Thank you to all the NHS staff who are working so very hard to ensure that our sick and injured are being cared for!

Brain storm, right now, any possibilities you can think of that you could do at home.
Imagine you were given a few weeks off of work to sort your home and yourself out, what would you do with that time?
Where would you want to focus your time and energy?

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Speaking from experience, I know how true this statement is. Actually, sometimes you feel like you’re going one step forward and two steps back.

It can feel really discouraging and frustrating, especially when you feel like you’re just starting to build some momentum and get somewhere, you regress and are suddenly a few steps behind where you’ve worked so hard to get to.

I wish there was some way I could sugarcoat this. I wish I had a secret formula to just go forward without having to go back a few steps now and again.

But there’s not. Or at least not one that I know of.

I’m not telling you this to become morbid or tell you to give up hope. I’m not telling you that there’s not point in trying. In fact, I actually want to tell you the opposite.

I want you to look at your life as a journey. No matter what or where you’re current destination is, I want you to approach this next part of your journey knowing that you will go two steps forward and one step back.

Let me explain why.

For the sake of ease of explanation, let’s say you’re currently starting from square one. Maybe you know that your goal in life is to get to square 10 or perhaps you just know it’s a certain number of steps in front of where you currently are. If could be five steps, or it could be 50.

Let’s say you decide to take this journey knowing full well that there will be times when you succeed and make progress (two steps forward) and there will also be times that you will make mistakes, learn lessons and course-correct, AKA ‘fail‘ (one step back).

One month from now, you make a bit of progress and take two steps forward. You’re now standing on square three.
One month on from that, for whatever reason, you take one step back and you’re now standing on square two.
Another month passes by and you make some more progress and take two steps forward onto square four.
Again, after some time, you find yourself back a step onto square three.
Then again, you find yourself creating a little momentum and suddenly you’re at square five.

It wasn’t really too long ago that you started on square one, and now you’ve made some real progress from where you once stood and you’ve made some mistakes and learned some valuable lessons along the way for the future too.

Now imagine if you’d never have tried. you would still be standing on square one and moaning about it. You can understand, then, why they say:

The only time you ‘fail‘ is when you don’t even try.

I’m learning to embrace my set backs and look at them as way I can either improve upon or learn from even more.

If you’re loving life one day on cloud 9, I mean square 9, and the next day you find yourself on square four, don’t sweat it. Don’t beat yourself up. It’s not an opportunity to discount everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve and it’s not the time to reject yourself. It’s a a chance to redirect yourself. The good news is that you already know how to get to square 9, because you’ve done it before. This might just be an opportunity to find a more sustainable way there.

You’ve overcome and managed to get through every single one of your bad days. You’re a pretty big deal! Stop trying to be perfect and acknowledge right now that life isn’t linear. We all have to take two steps forward and one step back.

What have you been putting off in your life because you’ve been too afraid to even start?
Is it to learn a new skill or habit?
Is it to confront some difficult emotions?
Is it to have the courage to admit what you want in life?
Whatever your heart is calling for, write it down now and brainstorm some ways that you can make it happen.

Then, I want you to brainstorm some possible back steps and for each back step, look at ways to either prevent it happening or a solution to bounce-back from it.