Fact or Influence? The Importance of

This morning I heard that today is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year.  It’s 2 weeks into the new year and around this time people get their credit card statements from Christmas and that’s what contributes to the general low feeling, apparently.  Then I heard it again on the radio this evening.

My own feelings have taken a tumble this evening and I’ve just knocked over a cup of peppermint tea.  It’s got me wondering – has the idea of it being the worst day of the year influenced my mood?  Has my unconscious mind gone “oh, right – most depressing day of the year – let’s make that happen”?  Or is it a fact?  Is it something that is true and my mind is just processing fact?

I don’t know.  But the idea of our unconscious minds being influenced is an interesting one to ponder and I think it’s a very important one.

I find the unconscious mind fascinating but I also find the influence others can have on our minds equally fascinating – and a little scary.  I’ve come across a few examples where minds have been influenced for negative reasons.  First, I’ve been reading Paul McKenna’s “I Can Make You Rich” and it’s been showing me just how much advertisers manipulate our unconscious minds to get us to buy things.  Second, after work today I saw today’s Sun newspaper front page trying to make Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn look farcical in his attempts to reduce nuclear weapons and wondered how many people’s opinions of him have been manipulated by such strong opinion pieces.  Then finally tonight I was watching the “Making of a Murderer” series on Netflix and I watched the police unfairly influence a young, impressionable person’s mind and have him do what they wanted (I won’t give the details in case you want to watch the series).

How much control do we have of our own unconscious minds?  Because it’s unconscious, we can never really know.  But doing our best to notice when others are trying to influence our thoughts, feelings and actions is crucial to our personal fulfilment, happiness and spiritual growth.

How can we make sure we get as much control of our own unconscious minds as possible?  Well, I think that (perhaps counter-intuitively) it’s about reconnecting with our Inner Child.  I believe our Inner Child is the gateway to our authentic selves – our souls.  This is because it was largely in childhood that our minds were shaped by outside influences and cut us off from our authentic selves.  Spiritual teachings call this the creation of the ego.  But underneath all of that ego conditioning, our authentic selves (our souls) are still there waiting for us.  Our task is to connect with that greater part of ourselves as much as possible and release anything that blocks our connection to it.  As long as we stand firm in our truest selves, we are less likely to let others negatively influence our thoughts, feelings and actions.  Connecting with our Inner Child can be the bridge between the ego and the soul and can help us invite more of our soul into our everyday lives.

Imagine the future world we’d create together if more and more of us stood firm in our truest selves.  Free from influence by outside factors.  Free to make love the bottom line in all our decisions.

Little Victories for Living Consciously

How much do you live consciously?  Are you aware of what thoughts, emotions and sensations become present as you experience life?  As you may well be aware, the more we can get conscious of our responses, the more control we have over them and the better we can make our lives.  When we see what’s going on, we can notice when things need changing or healing and take action to sort them out.  Likewise, it means we can notice little victories that show our consciousness is shifting for the better.  In this post, I’d like to share with you a little conscious victory I had.

As I posted about previously, I’ve been going deeply into my money story this year to improve my relationship with my finances.  In coaching and healing, you soon learn that nothing is as it seems. Our relationship with our finances is rarely just about money – it’s fascinating what else in our minds is tied up in our money story.

One of my hobbies that I’m just getting back into, is playing the bagpipes. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with them and it dawned on me that there were crucial insights and lessons related to money and my business.

When I was in primary school (elementary school), I started playing the bagpipes. I’ve had a bit of a love/hate relationship with the bagpipes since that time.  It was all unconscious so I had no idea what emotions were going on.  The biggest problem for me was that I’ve also been a chronic people pleaser for most of my life and the bagpipes are very much an instrument that divides opinion.  Some people absolutely love them and some people absolutely hate them.  As a people pleaser, the latter used to be really hard for me, so I would minimise my impact as much as possible to avoid upsetting people.  It didn’t feel safe to have others’ disapproval even though I would get a lot of admiration too.

Now, how this links with my money story is that I used to earn quite a bit of money from playing the bagpipes in Southern England.  Bagpipers are rare in the South and people who want a bagpiper for a wedding or New Year’s Eve will pay quite a lot of money.  I also used to get days off school playing on the QE2 cruise ship before it set sail from Southampton and would get some money for doing that, too.

So, that was the background to the unconscious “stuff” going on.  Back to my little victory.  I offered to play the bagpipes at the special needs school I’m working at.  I took them in having done little practice (so knowing they wouldn’t sound as good as I can make them) and played in a music lesson.  Special needs kids don’t do people pleasing – they will give you the reaction straight!  Most of the young people in the class enjoyed or became interested in the bagpipes, but one balled her eyes out!  This was the victory.  For the first time, I really felt it was OK that she didn’t like it.  I didn’t feel guilty that I’d upset her like I would have done before.  It might seem like a small shift and an obvious point for many, but for me it’s the fruit of many years of hard work to change my responses to situations in empowering ways.

I think I just might go ahead and practise more so I can offer my services for weddings and New Year. 🙂

Are you a people-pleaser?  Have you had any consciousness shifting victories lately?  How have you managed to make the shifts?  I’d love to hear!

Inner Peace from Emotional Honesty

2 weeks ago I signed up to an online course in tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique or Meridian Psychotherapy) for financial success and personal fulfilment.  I’ve known about tapping for a couple of years but for some reason it’s really resonating with me now.  I’m feeling so much inner peace after I do the tapping exercises and I feel much calmer inside.  It’s also taught me that despite all the inner work I’ve done to raise my vibration, modern life really is stressful and we need to take time to have a daily stress detox.

If you’re not familiar with tapping, it’s basically a fusion of Eastern Medicine and Western Psychology.  You gently tap on certain acupuncture points on the body which represent each of the meridians where the “chi” or “ki” universal energy flows through.  Plus while tapping on these points, you say out loud the thoughts that are bothering you and express the emotions coming up underneath those thoughts.  Here’s a link to The Tapping Solution website where you can find out more.

I love how the tapping process encourages us to be honest about where we are and how we feel as we tap on those acupuncture points.  I’ve always found the truth to hold a lot of power.  Blocking the truth for any reason causes an enormous amount of internal stress and takes our energy systems out of harmony.  But expressing the truth, no matter how awful it may seem at first, allows energy to flow naturally – particularly when we are emotionally honest with ourselves.  Expressing our truth is incredibly healing and the great thing about using tapping as you express the truth is that the gentle tapping is sending calming signals to the brain as well as encouraging the “chi” or “ki” to flow through the body better.  Thoughts and emotions are also made of universal energy, so they need to be restored to natural flow too.  Once we get back to the natural flow, that seemingly awful truth loses its power and we can relax into life more.

Getting in touch with our emotions is a difficult process because as a society, we don’t know what to do with them.  They’re generally seen as “bad” or “good” and it’s a criticism to be “emotional”.  But at the same time many people have an awareness that Emotional Intelligence is a great skill to have.  Emotional Intelligence basically means being conscious of emotions and bringing them into awareness so that appropriate action can be taken.  I’m a highly emotional person and feel others’ emotions too, so for years I struggled with overwhelm from emotions and the energetic charges they hold.  Energy healing practices have helped a lot and so has journalling (where I write out my thoughts and feelings with complete honesty.)  But over time, I just kept getting overwhelmed by other’s “stuff” during the day.  Tapping doesn’t eliminate this – it’s part of modern life.  But it’s proving to be a powerful tool for letting go of that accumulated “stuff” quickly and effectively so I can get back to the real me.

And life is giving plenty of opportunities to see for myself how emotional honesty promotes better connections.  Privately and professionally, emotionally honest conversations have brought about a much deeper level of connection with others.  At the moment, I’m working in a special needs school a few days a week and am really seeing how giving emotions space to be expressed can help so much with connection, cooperation and give students more space for learning.  When our brains aren’t overwhelmed with trying to deal with emotions,  they can relax into learning, creativity and inspiration – much higher cognitive abilities.

Meditation, mindfulness, journalling, inner child work along with tapping are all ways that we can be more emotionally honest in productive, peace-producing ways.  I do wonder whether we could prevent so many tragedies in this world if we taught everyone how to manage and handle emotions in ways that promote connection, authenticity and harmony.