A Healing Journey: How Does It Begin?
A healing journey begins when you discover that you are ready to make a move. There are two ways to move along the path of healing:
1. The Journey Away From Pain:
You may be finally ready to make a move away from something deeply painful that already exists in your life, such as an unsatisfying relationship, a meaningless job, the endless stress and anxiety of people-pleasing, disgust with your own lack of follow-through or motivation or sense of purposelessness.
2. The Journey Towards Pleasure:
Or you may be ready to make a move towards something that holds the hope of pleasure.
You can see the promise of a rich, vibrant life with love, passion and intimacy, and abundance that flows from a sense of purpose in your future.
The Journey Away From Pain:
Breaking the Cycle of Negative Thoughts
Negative Thoughts are a painful and all too common experience. Many struggle with an ever-present inner critic that sits in judgment of every perceived flaw, mistake, or weakness that emerges in your every waking hour. A lover's tone of voice, an employers glance, or a parents words can take you from feeling like a confident woman to a shame-filled child or rebellious adolescent in a millisecond. You can say and do things that sabotage relationships or promotions out of irrational self-doubts and fears.
Finally, enough is enough!
You are ready to challenge the destructive voice. Start with these questions from Byron Katie: author of The Work:
Is it True?
Do you absolutely know that it is true?
How do you react when you believe that thought?
Who would you be without that thought?
Allow yourself time to sit in the question and allow the feelings to arise along with the answers.
You do not need to stay trapped in the untruth; you can step into the new reality and choose to live consciously in the awareness of who you would be without the negative thought. Meditate on it, breathe it in.
Breaking the Cycle of Negative Relationships
Déjà vu is the feeling of having already experienced a situation. Are you in a relationship déjà vu hell? You find yourself with the same needy friend or dating the same partner, or you are going in an endless loop of fighting and making up over and over again in your marriage.
To break the cycle of negative relationships, you need to move away from the idea that you can fix the other person. The "fixing" starts within. You need to take ownership of your part in the partnership. You are playing your role in this. There is a reason why you are drawn to your "soulmate" and they to you.
You have attracted who you are and exactly what you need to work on. So, forgive yourself and them and dig in. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean reconciliation. You don't need to put up with disrespect or abuse.
Leaving is sometimes the answer, but not always and you can find that out when you can clearly listen to your inner voice.
Learn to go within, and trust your own voice. Work with someone to help you get to the source of the matter, and heal the original wound. I take people on a journey called the Inner WorkoutTM, a beautiful practice back to their emotional body, their inner child where you re-discover your light, love, inner strength and truth. Discover the confidence to build the most essential relationship first: the one with you. Then you will attract healthier, respectful relationships with others.
Breaking the Cycle of Negative Habits
Whether you are a struggling couch potato, binge eating, or addicted, it is not easy to let go of habits you love. And let's face it, even if you know they are killing you, you love it, or you wouldn't be doing it. That is the problem with addictions; the pain/pleasure wiring is screwed up. Take a drug addict, for example; to get their fix, they have to do things that most people find repellant: inject a needle into their body for one. Most of us find the thought of a needle unpleasant, but to a heroin addict, the image of a syringe sends a feeling of anticipation of pleasure through them. You might be thinking, "that's crazy, that's not me", but what about when you picture a big, greasy piece of pizza, or a glass of ice-cold beer, or a cigarette, or the bad boyfriend? What is your habit? The one that you know is bad for you, but you do anyway, over and over again and then feel shameful immediately after? You have your pleasure, and pain wiring screwed up.
To fix it, you need to not just stop the habit; you need to re-wire. Yes, stop eating the greasy piece of pizza. But, you need to know that what you replace it with will give you the same feeling. The fact is the thought of the salad doesn't generally do it all by itself. You have to help it along. You know that when you eat the pizza, you feel a rush at the moment, but you feel awful after.
When you eat the salad, you feel meh at the thought of it, but you feel amazing after. Like, so, F-ing proud of yourself.
So, use your imagination and link the afterthought and feeling you get before. Visualize the salad and say to yourself: I feel so f-ing proud of myself. I feel amazing. I know that this is the best food for me and I am so pumped that I am choosing to eat it.
Close your eyes and see yourself eating the salad and feel the rush of pride that you feel when you make the right choice. Let it wash over you. Hear yourself say the words out loud, see yourself looking the way you want, and feeling healthy, happy, glowing, proud. Then go eat whatever you want.
Use this technique with food or any habit that you are moving away from. Whatever choice you make, don't beat yourself up. Just continue to celebrate healthy options in a big, big way.
The Journey Toward Pleasure
Creating Positive Thoughts
Once you have broken the cycle of negative thoughts, you can replace them with positive ones.
Reframing is a powerful technique to challenge your current perceptions to open up new, more positive ones. For example, when you believe that "you aren't good enough", a coach can help you consider what "do you mean by good enough?" "What are the criteria?" "whose criteria is it?" You can consider ways that you are good, have been good and what that might mean?
If you are open to the possibility that good is a feeling, you might want to experience now. What might that feel like? What would good enough feel like?
Affirmations are another technique that can propel you to think positively about life and yourself when they are created in the present and are personal. Check out my previous blog to learn more about making the right affirmations for you.
Creating Positive Relationships
You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Think about that for a moment. It makes sense to be conscious about the people you surround yourself with and share your time and energy with. Seek out like-minded people who share a desire to be positive and productive. Find groups that offer support and resources and hold each other accountable as you strive to achieve your goals personally, professionally, and globally.
In your intimate relationships, communication is a crucial component. Learn to listen actively and speak with respect so that conflicts are dealt with continuously and resolved quickly. Every relationship has disagreement from time to time. Healthy relationships are kept positive when they are kept free of lingering hostility or contempt.
Whether the relationship is a friendship, colleague, family member, or lover, they all need boundaries.
When you know your worth, you can clearly state what feels ok and what doesn't. Don't make assumptions or try and mind read. You don't understand why they did or said what they did until you check it out. When one person steps across a line, it is vital to speak up and describe the situation, how it feels and what you need. Be assertive, be firm, and be flexible. There can be room for negotiation in relationships, but that doesn't mean that you abandon your boundaries or yourself. Remember that it is not a war; the best outcomes are win-win.
Creating Positive Habits
New habits take some time and consistency to develop. You are moving toward something you want to do or someone you want to be, so commit: making a firm decision. If you're going to be a non-smoker, decide you are now, and from this day forth, a non-smoker! Not, you are trying, sort of to not smoke, and you are cutting down. That is so wishy-washy; you are leaving room for failure, not making your way toward success. Declare boldly to the world, to the universe: I am a non-smoker! I am a morning person! I go to the gym! I am a saver! I am a healthy eater! I am a meditator!
Do not tell me what you don't do. Our mind will focus on what we focus on. If you say, I don't want to be poor. Guess what our mind hears: poor. I don't want to be fat: fat. Etc.
Focus on what you DO want.
Start somewhere, start now. Remember earlier the pain/pleasure thing. You have to link pleasure to what you are doing now. If you are no longer smoking, what are you doing instead? You have to do something else. Smoking is an oral thing, and a lot of people replace it with food.
That's not ideal. They end up gaining a lot of unwanted weight. Gum is fine, but gum doesn't give the same sense of pleasure that the inhale and exhale of a cigarette has. So, link the joy that breathing in has with the gum. Every time you want the cigarette, take a big expansive breath and hold it.
Feel your lungs fill, and imagine the high. Imagine floating. Exhale.
Then have your gum.
Be consistent. You can't just get up one morning if you want to be a morning person. You have to decide to get up every morning at a set time. Every morning. Set up an alarm on the other side of the room, get up, go across the room, then go to the next step, and have the coffee that makes you feel amazing. Sit and breathe in the smell of it. Experience it. Even better, develop a morning routine. I get up, meditate for 10-20 minutes, visualize my life and how I want to be and feel setting my intentions, do my affirmations, study for 30 minutes and journal. There are some days when I cannot do the lesson until later in the day, but the rest is carved in stone. If I miss it, I feel off; I know it, and so does everyone else in my life.
Start with a morning meditation and build from there.
If you want to learn more about healing from within, contact me and let's talk in a free 30-minute session.