Will I, Can I?

yes i can

Worry, confusion and delaying. The big price of anxiety.

We often feel worry, fear, nightmares and overpowered with anxiety, but I think the more unnoticed problem of holding-back is the bigger issue. Here’s why:

With difficulties such as fears, social anxiety, stress, IBS, insomnia and phobias, we are more likely to be aware there is a problem and do something about it. But holding back has an in- built flaw.

You probably have guessed it, that’s right, when we avoid things they don’t get done so remain undone.

There are two things going on. Firstly you instinctively what to stay away from what make you feel bad and thus our mind starts to focus on the problem and not the solution

Thus we see and feel failure before success and feel more and more trapped searching for distractions which inevitably keep us on the merry-go-round of negativity.

We still have hopes and dreams about our ambitions , or education , our relationships and so on but they are just in the distance, the mercurial peach – just out of reach.

It is when we see this difference between where we feel we are, and where we imagine we’d like to be, that we experience even more bad feeling. Yet we continue to hold back from moving towards success in what we wish for and just feed the fire of bad feeling.

Procrastination, putting-it-on-the-long-finger, the classic Spanish for tomorrow, “manana”. Call it what you like, is a huge problem. It really means that the thing that can help is deliberately avoided, thus continuing the problem.

Here are examples that might ring true to you:

The great, unique business idea that will help people and also make lots of money yet there it is still on the shelf, in the pipeline years later still on paper but not a reality.

Getting over a failed relationship, losing your job or a bereavement – not being able to accept that things have changed, waiting for the right moment , when “I’m stronger”, “when “I’m able to deal with it”. However all that is happening is avoidance , sometimes referred to as “Freeze and endure”. Like a rabbit in the headlights frozen hoping the traffic will miss you.

Similarly we sometimes actually prime ourselves to the point of change, but just don’t push the button like someone who wants to get fit but never gets around to it. You probably know someone who bought all the cycling gear: The lycra shorts, the pump and repair kit, the helmet, but who doesn’t actually have a bike.

We often trick ourselves with this: “I’ll get all the gear first, then I’ll start”. We can do this with anything in life. Finding one more reason not to start just yet, is easier when we’re spending money, getting things, feeling involved. That’s still a long way from taking real action. We can hold back expertly when we have activity around the issue that achieves nothing useful.

Feeling a bit uncomfortable reading this? Well done for still being here. A lot of people have clicked away already.

Noticing what it is that we want to accomplish and being aware of the distraction that’s getting between us and our dream, is huge.

Focus on the feeling. That’s what’s driving this. What is that feeling? A nervous tension, pressure on the bladder, knot in the stomach, tight or weight on the chest, lump in the throat? These are the feelings to address and resolve to succeed. A better plan, idea, getting more organised etc., are illusions to keep us busy and don’t address the real issue – the feeling that holds us back!

Tackle these and start to build real success. I can’t count the number of people I’ve seen who’s lives just took off once they began to break past the holding-back!

I’m always happy to chat with people about how to break through the holding-back, so feel free to comment, mail, or call.

Hear to listen – Here to help.

 

A Metaphorical Salad

salad

You know I was making a salad the other night so I laid all my ingredients out on the worktop – crisp iceberg lettuce, luscious red tomatoes, sweet yellow, orange and red peppers, long spring onions, purple red onions and a large Spanish onion; a hard boiled egg, a block of mature Irish cheddar cheese, a stick of celery, a pink lady apple and a handful of walnuts.

I carefully washed all the fruit and vegetables under the running tap the ice cold water making my fingers go numb. I then roughly tore up the lettuce, cracking and ripping every leaf. I cut up the tomatoes into quarters and finely chopped the peppers and onions. My eyes wept as I did so. I quickly chopped the celery, peeled and cored the apple then sliced it as was the hard boiled egg, Finally the cheese was cubed and  the walnuts crushed.

I got my large salad bowl from the cupboard above my head and throw all the prepared ingredients into the bowl. A pinch of salt and black pepper and a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil were poured over the salad and then all the ingredients were gently tossed and mixed around the bowl. How tempting it looked all those fresh vibrant colours, reds, yellows, orange, green, white and brown. All those fragrances and aromas, woody and sweet, young and old wafting into the air.

Then I looked closely at the salad and thought isn’t it funny that I would gladly choose any of the ingredients by themselves yet together how better they become working together to complement each other in their own unique way.

Unique as despite my best efforts of tossing them high into the sky and mixing them up in and around the bowl they still remained the same –still a piece of lettuce, tomato, pepper, onion, egg, cheese, celery, apple and nut. Yes they had a bit of seasoning and dressing but that is like a uniform that could be removed for beneath this they continued to be themselves providing the flavour and aroma they always did but now even better in so many ways.

 

4-7-8 Breathe

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Follow these steps to relaxation:

The 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Exercise

This exercise is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.

  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  • Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
  • This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power overtime, this exercise is subtle when you first try it but gains in power with repetition and practice. Do it at least twice a day. You cannot do it too frequently. Do not do more than four breaths at one time for the first month of practice. Later, if you wish, you can extend it to eight breaths. If you feel a little lightheaded when you first breathe this way, do not be concerned; it will pass.
  • Once you develop this technique by practicing it every day, it will be a very useful tool that you will always have with you. Use it whenever anything upsetting happens – before you react. Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension. Use it to help you fall asleep. This exercise cannot be recommended too highly. Everyone can benefit from it.
  • Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply.The 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Exercise

    This exercise is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.

    • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
    • Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
    • Hold your breath for a count of seven.
    • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
    • This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power overtime, this exercise is subtle when you first try it but gains in power with repetition and practice. Do it at least twice a day. You cannot do it too frequently. Do not do more than four breaths at one time for the first month of practice. Later, if you wish, you can extend it to eight breaths. If you feel a little lightheaded when you first breathe this way, do not be concerned; it will pass.
    • Once you develop this technique by practicing it every day, it will be a very useful tool that you will always have with you. Use it whenever anything upsetting happens – before you react. Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension. Use it to help you fall asleep. This exercise cannot be recommended too highly. Everyone can benefit from it.
    • Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply.

 

 

 

 

Mindful of the January Darkness

thought power

January can be a tough month in the northern hemisphere. It is dark, can be cold, as it is as I write and wet which it has been considerably over the last few weeks.

We also challenge ourselves, perhaps a little too harshly, with commitments to resolutions that maybe are a bit too much of a stretch to achieve.So we give up on them, blame ourselves and dwell on the gloominess of January.

Now I can do nothing about the weather  but I can make realistic changes about how I feel about it. Nothing is forever even January and Winter will pass, bringing Spring and brighter days and weather.

Every sorrow has a new beginning, every day a dawn beyond the darkness. Hope is always in abundance as we focus on being mindful of the little things that reminds us we are alive. We may not all have the power to change the lives of many but we all the power of One to change something in ourselves.

Be the light in your life that brings life to light.

 

The Bowie Effect

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I remember when Elvis died, I was just a kid and knew my parents were big fans, I can’t remember them playing any of his music again.

Now I was not a big fan of Bowie although was always interested in what he did. I saw him live back in 1990, he played all his old stuff from the seventies, the memory will always stay with me as will the first time I heard “Heroes”, in English and German. A WOW experience without mistake.

Indeed I was listening to “Darkstar” this weekend of its release and was taken with how good is was, I mean the guy was 69 and still making powerful music. Not knowing of course his ill health and the album was him writing his own epitaph.

Fair play to him and indeed his family and those who knew about his terminal condition to keep it going; not to just give up but perhaps in some kind of mindful way to accept and acknowledge the situation and produce one last piece of work that as he put it,

” They will remember me know”.

But there again even in this snapchat age where nothing last beyond the next paragraph, I don’t think he would have been forgotten given his influence on so my music and art genres and thus groups and bands throughout the world. Although interestingly enough I was speaking to a few people from India recently and they had never heard of him!

So what is my point here?

Can we take from his death, the inspiration of his work either directly or indirectly through those influenced by him and see the potential in ourselves not to give in to adversity and bloody well get off our ass and make something of our lives.

Or is it just another day in the life… until we join David in the eternal sleep.

I rather hope we can all be inspired to do something, even one thing, that will make a difference to ourselves and others. No matter what age we are, every day is a potential school day, so let us all do something. Whatever it is no matter how lame it may seem to you, if it makes a difference then be the difference that makes the difference.

Bowie did not stop even when some said his creativity was gone, he was past it. He kept going and even when he knew his time was up, he gave us “Lazarus” to remind us even in death we can all live through the legacy of what we give to the world.

 

 

There is going to be a resolution

exercise

But will it last?

New Year resolutions can be like as Mary Poppins suggested , “piecrust promises. Easily made, easily broken.”

However if you are sticking to them then well done.

If you are beginning to falter then stick to it. It’s only normal to have doubts.

If you have given up then maybe you were too ambitious but no harm in trying again.

My number one tip when it comes to resolutions is this-

Don’t try to do it all by yourself. Get support it will make it a lot easier and when you can achieve one goal who is to say you can’t achieve another and another and another…