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Category: Mind Matters

  1. Just a Thought

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    thinking

    To say JUST a thought is probably the biggest undersell going.  Your thoughts are the most powerful influence you will ever encounter and most of your random thoughts tend to be negative and repetitive.

    A thought is the only thing separating you from who you want to be!

    And that's ambiguous because you can change the limitations that are holding you back or you can change the thoughts about who you want to be or in fact who are currently are.

    Your thoughts come in layers.  At the deepest level it is estimated that up to 80% are negative.  These are mainly thoughts that you are not really that aware of, the mental chatter that is constant  and of a subtle drip, drip nature so that you do not consciously listen.  Even at this level where the thoughts do not necessarily intrude into your consciousness you can begin to understand how very powerful your thoughts are. 

    One level up or therabouts and your thoughts are a little more accessible but still pretty subtle and random.  These are the thoughts you use to' big you' up.  Even if you are lacking in self confidence these thoughts bring you some superiority.  My hair is better than hers (even though shes more confident than me), my kids would never do that (even though that family seems more together than mine), I'm more likeable than them(even though they're more popular) etc etc  This type of thought is your defence talk like the corner man in the boxing ring, championing you on as you get pushed back out there to face your world. 

    You're not terribly aware of these thoughts either but when you do catch yourself thinking that way it reinforces any negative feelings you have about yourself and you feel a subtle shame or guilt - but also safe in the knowledge that only you know.

    Other thoughts you are more aware of:-  Making plans for the day, I must do's included.  Frustrating thoughts about being unresourceful and unmotivated.  Pleasant thoughts about a planned day/meeting/event.  Thoughts about what you could wear and the impression you want to make.  These kind of thoughts are  much more in your consciousness and you have more conscious control over them.

    For those who are working on themselves there may also be another layer.  This is the positive thinking, self-affirmation, self talk in the mirror thinking.  It's the  force feeding of thoughts, stuffing in what you think is good for you.  You need to be sure you are giving yourself the correct message and you have to do it regularly.

    Guess which of your thoughts are the most powerful?  And remember we are talking about the most powerful things you will ever encounter.

    You might think it would be the positive thinking affirmations that would be the most powerful ....it would be very convenient and empowering if it were that way.  How fantastic would that be - to be in control of your own thoughts.

    But no, think again.  It is the drip drip 80% negative thought that are the most powerful and influencial.  So to compete with them you would need to  invest 80% of your waken time consciously thinking positive thoughts.

    Positive thinking can't do anything other than help providing you are thinking the right thoughts.  Your unconscious thought have a way of masking what you could be thinking and setting you up with a less ideal alternative.  So t's a good idea to spend a little time relaxing and being aware of your thoughts and your reactions to them. 

    If a thought makes you fell a bit wobbly then sit with it for a while and examine what  the wobbly feeling is about.  There may be something else you need to address first.  Allow your deeper thought room at the surface and see what messages you are getting.  Don't be afraid of your thoughts.

    Determine also to stretch your comfort zone every day by doing something a liitle challenging physically at first if you need to take it slowly then psychologically like smiling at a stranger or saying boo to a goose..  It helps to also influence and expand the comfort zone in your thoughts.

    Next time you think it's JUST a thought, think again.

  2. Peace, Light and Love

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    Peace, light and love
    Lets all show some respect for each other.
    1063h0086
    Times of uncertainty and change can bring out the worst in people.  Why?, Well they have fixed ideas about how they see things and how they want things and they think they know best.

    It is good to be confident in your opinions but just like in  a lot of other situation it is also good to respect that others have their opinions too and allow them room for that.

    Until we find out that there is a digital cloud system  scoring our behaviour and choices the result of which will send us up to heaven or down to hell, though we may have great faith in our judgement, we will never truly know which choice/opinion/belief is actually right - if any.  Somehow I don't think that's gonna happen .. but I could be wrong!

    We live in a democracy and some people don't seem to know the meaning of that.  Democracy means that the choice goes with the majority opinion and even if that is only greater by a fraction  - that's democracy.

    I personally believe that whatever happens, it has happened for a reason.  Whether that is a political vote that goes the wrong way for me, or a potentially life changing vote that could make a big difference to how we live in Great Britain.  Now that we have left the EU there will be a period of disruption and resettlement and things will settle into some sort of order.

    In my humble and non judgemental opinion i think that there have been voices crying out to be heard for the last 20 years or so and maybe the vote reflects that - I could be wrong of course.
     
    There are those in the EU who are being led at the moment by their emotional responses whereas if they have a bit of breathing space they will begin to look at the situation a little more logically and put their professional heads back on. (if they have any)

    It's not just politically that this rationalisation is important.
     
    I also believe that every time I break my ankle or get a virus or illness of some kind it is a time for me to reflect on the message I am getting.  I believe it happens for a reason.  You can either take the time to reflect and think about what the message is telling you or you can get grumpy - why is this happening to me kind of attitude.

    People seem to only consider themselves when they are so adamant about their beliefs.  Is it not time that we started to respect one another and allow people freedom to think their own way without being subject to  denigration we get enough of that with some bickering politicians.

    Lets learn to give each other respect even though we might think differently to them, let's not expect them to think like us and trust that we will do the best that we can for each other.

    We have been running a business on Bolton Street now for many years and have come across all sorts of back stabbing and dirty dealings.

    You may recall that we used to run Mind Body Spoirit fairs in the Drill Hall (Castle Armoury) for a few years.  Now you would have thought, at least I thought, that everyone  who took a stall would be considerate and fair and non judgemental,  Although we met some lovely people and some who we still have contact with now, there were an awful lot who were hard-nosed business people with little regard for others.  I was actually blamed at one point for someone being stuck in the snow in the street outside as they were queuing to unload.  This attitude by the majority was a great shock to me at the time.

    We have had several attempts to sabotage and disrupt our business by others in the area although we have made many friends.

    Rachael from Gronn only wrote last week about waiting for an appointment in a salon and overhearing bitchy comments amongst the staff  about her business.

    We have had people from other centres and cafes  coming into ours  just to see what is going on and on the menu so that we find them copying  dishes.  What is wrong with letting us know that they are just popping in to have a nosy and would we mind if they took a menu. That's more respectful.

    The worst is when people come in on the pretext of asking about a services then without a by your leave start mingling with the guests (without even buying a drink) promoting another event elsewhere.  What's wrong with asking if they can let people know about the event?  That's showing a little respect to us and our business.

    Its all just so underhand and disrespectful.  However, I am tolerant of their behaviour.  I really don't care to sneak into other establishments and see how they are operating.  I'm not saying I wouldn't pick up ideas whilst I am out and about, that is just unavoidable in an active and creative mind, but I wouldn't go out and deliberately make a point of it.

    I believe in Karma and trust in serendipity so those who don't,  carry on with your sneaky and disrespectful ways and hopefully you will come to understand eventually.  - That is if I am right.

    Peace love and light to all - lets spread it.

  3. Stretching Your Comfort Zone

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    Stretching your comfort zone

    1620h0063

    What is a comfort zone?

    Literally a comfort zone is an area where you are able to feel emotionally comfortable and unchallenged. If you compare it to muscles it is the area in which you can move your muscles without feeling any strain or stress at all.
    Things that challenge your muscles are clearly defined and common to everyone.
    Things that challenge your emotions are much more complex, varied and individual to each person.

    What is a challenge to your comfot zone?

    anxiety1

    Walking into a roomful of strangers may challenge some people.
    Standing up and giving a presentation others.
    Asking for direction from a stranger may be a stretch for some.
    Making a decision without running it by someone might be a real stretch too.

    We all have limits to our personal comfort and things that would be a challenge for us or make us think twice.

    Why do we need to stretch our comfort zone?


    Just like muscles if your comfort zone is not stretched regularly then it begins to shrink and seize up.  But just like muscles when you excercise them by stretching they get stronger and the things that were once difficult now seem much more manageable.

    However, left unchallenged, emotional stagnation means that you start to withdraw and go within yourself, shutting yourself off from other people and life experiences.

    How do I stretch my comfort Zone?

    anxiety3

    To stretch your muscles and keep them toned you would go to the gym or exercise regularly.  It's not so easy to stretch your comfort zone, but equally you don't have to devote a lot of time to it by taking time out to go the the gym or exercise physically in some other way.

    To stretch your comfort zone you just need to be more aware of your limitations, comfortwise, set yourself very simple and easy targets and start to expand them.  You really need to be looking at a daily challenge workout.

    This is also quite difficult to monitor because people tend to be drawn to where they are comfortable and indulge in a complimentary activity which might be good for some things but not stretching them

    For instance if someone was shy and they wanted to work on it.  Stretching your comfort zone would be ensuring that they a) struck up a conversation with someone every day b) smiled at a stranger every day c) joined a class alone, or any number of similar things. Doing any of these actions or a mix would eventually lead to you feeling comfortable with that activity as it becomes your comfortable norm.  Then you would need to find another area that would stretch that zone thus over a period of time more things are available to you within your comfort zone and you also know that yet more things are accessible with a little effort.

    Yet that person might well be drawn to meditation or affirmations each morning in front of the mirror.  While these are methods of improving yourself and working on problems they are not stretching your comfort zone.  That's like rubbing cream into your muscles and maybe even having a massage it's indirect action  and not getting you anywhere.  Maybe even taking you further away from your goal.

    Quick guide to stretching your comfort zone:

    a) Chunk it down
    Think about something small that would not be too much of a challenge for you and do it daily until you have 'stretched' into being comfortable with it.
    b)Move on
    Once you have become comfortable with your first activity think about another  that would be a slight stretch but within your capabilities and work on that.
    c) Don't stop
    Keep stretching and moving on with new focus

    Before you know it you will have a much bigger zone in which you can feel comfotable.

    Andrea Lowe Senior Hypnotherapist at the Mind & Body centre

    Course Tutor, Hypnotherapy Practitioner Course

    www.andrealowehypnotherapy.co.uk

  4. What is Self-Hypnosis Anyway?

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    What is Self-hypnosis Anyway?

    sleep1
    Self-hypnosis is a much misunderstood phrase.  Some of that is because 'hypnosis' is  very much misunderstood too.

    Let's see what this hypnosis thing is all about

    If you imagine a spectrum stretching from you being fast asleep and gone to the world to the other extreme where you are bouncing around full of life, anywhere along that spectrum is a possibility for you.  More than  that, every point on the line is something that you pass through every day unless you have some restrictions that stop you like ill health or physical restrictions.

    Hypnosis does not take you away from that line and in fact the point at which hypnosis occurs is part of your everyday life.
    Just before you go to sleep and just after you wake up you pass through a hypnotic state.  For some it is a mere nano-second and for others it can be a few minutes.  Have you ever been drifting off to sleep and heard someone or something that you are aware of but that sounds far away and/or you feel just too tired to respond?  That's hypnosis.  Similarly upon waking do you ever experience a lack of coordination and orientation for a brief second or even longer?  This is especially true if you are not in your normal surroundings.  That's hypnosis.
    reclining chair

    So if we do it every day and that's all it is how come we have to learn to do it?

    Ah well you see this is the magic about hypnosis.  It's not how to do it, better to say how to use it for your benefit.  It is not the actual hypnosis that you are using but tools that you can include in your experience in order to make that self-hypnosis impact-full for you.

    A self hypnosis course will teach you how to access that hypnotic state at will.  So that if you feel a 'power nap' would be beneficial you could use hypnosis to give you that restful period.  And when you are in that very relaxed state in a controlled way i.e. choosing to go there then it is far more refreshing than an actual 15 min nap.

    Wish fulfillment

     
    Self hypnosis is also useful when you want to plan ahead and aim for the things you want to achieve.  Unfortunately most people either wish for something without putting enough thought into it and taking the bigger picture into account or they wish for what they don't want. i.e. I don't want to eat cream cakes. which is focusing on the negative rather than the actual aims.

    So a big part of a self-hypnosis course would be to understand what you want, check it out and explore the consequences of this wish coming true.  If it is all okay then it is about learning how to embed that wish into your 'self'-hypnosis session.

    It is truly amazing that so many people use self-hypnosis wrongly and are reinforcing the things they want to leave behind or hoping for something without preparing the road effectively.

    Self hypnosis when carried out acturately can help you to:


    • Relax and be calm

    • Enjoy better quality sleep

    • Improve your confidence & self-esteem

    • Be a better public speaker

    • Improve your memory

    • Enhance your performance at work and sports

    • Become healthier and fitter

    • Promote rapid healing and recovery

    • Control or reduce pain without drugs

    • Learn faster and pass exams

    • Enjoy pregnancy and wonderfully natural childbirth (women only of course!)

    All that's left now then is to find a course and register.

    A Quick Word about Hypnosis Recordings

    You can of course buy or download a recording that gives you a guided visualisation or a gradual muscle relax.  Often they are themed.  This can sometimes be a problem as one size never fits all.  However, the biggest problem with these recordings is the skill of the people who made them.  If you are buying a recording you need to buy it from someone who has a reputation like Paul McKenna for instance and not someone who has just run a few recording off.  Paul McKenna, love him or loathe him will not risk his reputation by making mistakes in his dialogue.

    If you choose this option and play it regularly you will probably find that as you start to get used to the story you seems to drift off into your own world at a certain point and it is almost like you have drifted off to sleep but you have not as you awaken immediately the recording ends.  That is quite normal and you could imagine it as you mind getting fed up of hearing the same story and wandering to explore elsewhere.  This is not a problem as the recording is still registering in the correct place.
     
    My clients have told me about and brought to me several recordings by qualified therapists where they have given ill-though-out suggestions,  The client often eventually spots the mistake themselves and stops listening to it.  Sometimes it has caused a set back for the client that might take some time to reverse.


    Andrea Lowe
    Senior Hypnotherapist
    Course Tutor on Diploma Course in Hypnotherapy
  5. You are What you Think

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    freedomThis week we heard about yet another person who has given up a safe job with regular money to plunge into the depths of self-employment after trying to manage a job and what could only be described as a hobby which will now be her source of income.  This follows not long after Rachael left the confines of working in a salon to branching out with her own place.

    It is a brave step to take - we know this and it is not easy - we know this too and you work longer hours that you would for an employer - oh yes we know this.

    However, the mental freedom that you gain from being your own boss, creating your own business, using your many latent talents and discovering the need to learn even more are exciting, challenging and rewarding - we know this.  They can also be daunting and downright heart stopping scary when you enter the big bad world.

    Of course it all depends on how you look at it.

    It is very telling that during the peak years of the  recession more people than ever (at least in our circle) left well paid high pressured jobs and went it alone.  They decided that they could forego a few foreign holidays and camp in Ashworth Valley in the rain instead and believe it or not it can be just as good fun if you look at it in the right way.

    So it is about the way you look at things and when you look in a positive way you are open to opportunities that come your way.  However, when you look at it from a scary position than you see all the possible dangers and threats and miss the opportunities.

    Whether it is about leaving your job or about your approach to life, finding a partner the positive and opptomistic outlook is always best.

    Stopping this positive outlook are memories and learned behaviours from the past.  You feel guilty about enjoying your life, you believe life should be a struggle, youthink you don't deserve to be happy, you feel responsible for others.

    As the Froxen songs says 'Let it go'.  Be happy

    If you want to talk about some of these issues informally I offer free consultations so just emails for an appointment.

    Andrea Lowe
    Senior Hypnotherapist and trainer

     

  6. Where is Serendipity

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    Have you ever been to serendipity?

    brambley hedge

    Let me guide you there. 

    As soon as you walk into serendipity it feels like one of those magical enthralling places that captured your heart in story books from childhood, like Brambly Hedge and other favourites.  Those magical memories remain and stay with you in adulthood.

    Serendipity feels different  for everyone but for me it mmediately reminds me of beautiful illustrations of  wonderful little cosy homes hidden amongsts the roots of the trees.  As soon as I step through the door into serendipity I feel like I have stepped into a fariytale whisking me to the wonderful memories of those magical stories that are always there,  waiting to be accessed and brought to life once again.  Even adults deserve a little fairlytale magic.   Once you enter there are interesting corners of magic to explore and cosy  places to nestle down and relax. 

    Then all you have to do is relax and wait for serendipity to happen ... and it always does .... though you have to be patient and dedicated.  Ask all the people who have encountered 'coincidences' and got just what they needed in serendipity.

    Serendipity is a place called Zen