What do you see when you look in the mirror?

Woman looking in the mirrorWhen was the last time you had a good look at yourself in a full length mirror?

When was the last time you looked at yourself with no clothes on in the mirror?

Nowadays, how we feel about the way we look has got out of proportion. Old people want to make themselves look young, people with big bits want smaller bits and people with small bits want bigger bits! If some aliens from out of space or even tribal people observed our culture I feel certain they would find it strange!

We are surrounded by images of beautiful, slim people who appear to have it all (at least all that counts in our culture!).

So what happens when we, Joe Public (or more usually Jane Public!) look in the mirror. Often we feel less-than the images that are imprinted in our minds of how we should look. This less-than feeling can affect the way we dress, behave and the choices we make.

Fat AmySo for example, if Jane Public feels she is overweight, she may dress to hide her body which may cause her to feel uncomfortable in situations where she being seen. This may affect the choices she makes and she may miss opportunities that could lead her towards her goals eg a partner, a particular career etc.

When people feel comfortable in their skin and their body, they look more attractive whether they are young, slim and beautiful or not as their beauty radiates from within. One woman I think is totally gorgeous and does not fit the slim mould is Rebel Wilson who plays Fat Amy in Picth Perfect!

If you would like to feel more comfortable in your own body without nipping, tucking, lifting, augmenting, dieting or doing exercise, here is an EFT tapping routine to follow:

Tapping for Body Image

If you would like to feel more comfortable in your body, come to A Woman’s Journey Retreat in June  where we will be exploring our beliefs about our bodies and start learning new ways of being with ourselves.

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Are you to busy to read this?

Are you inundated with an overwhelming number of emails?

Are you procrastinating on facebook at work or while you should be making the dinner?

Are you wishing you had more hours in the day and days in the week to fit everything in?

Do you wish you could just stop?

Busy People

Life is getting busier and busier for many of us. We spend more and more time doing and less time being. When was the last time you switched off the TV and mobile phone and spent time meditation, mindfully walking in nature or simply contemplating life?

Most people need to schedule down time in order to create space in their lives.  Without this they keep going on and on until illness or burnout sets in.

When people choose a simpler, slower pace of life they create the possibility of more presence, peace and stillness.

Women are blessed with monthly cycles that create an opportunity to slow down and retreat during their periods. When a woman can embrace her bleeding time to go within and nourish her mind and body, she creates harmony with the nature of her cyclical being. But most women nowadays ignore them creating tension which may result in period pain, PMT and other symptoms.

We weren’t designed to fire on all cylinders every day of the month. We live in a naturally cyclical world – plants grow in Spring, flower in Summer, bear fruit in Autumn and die off in Winter only to repeat the cycle again next Spring.  Our energy levels ebb and flow with the phases of our cycle with most women experienced more energy during ovulation and less during menstruation. But in the main we ignore them.

If we want our plants to thrive, we generally plant in the Spring not the Winter. Our menstrual phase is like the Winter. A time to be still, rest before the business of Spring and Summer.

Here are some tips to create more space in your life and within your cycles:

For the super busy:

  • Look in the mirror and tell yourself you love yourself (this will create more compassion for yourself thereby enabling more desire to take care of yourself)
  • Give yourself a hug (again, creates more compassion)

For the moderately busy:

  • Massage your feet for 5 (or more!) minutes in bed before you go to sleep
  • Soak for 20 minutes in a warm bath with a cup full of Epsom salts
  • Do a daily round of EFT on business and lack of space. It might go like this:

Tapping for BusY People- Setup (2)

For those wanting to give themselves a complete reboot:

Treat yourself a weekend away in the beautiful rolling hills of the Chilterns on A Woman’s Journey Retreat

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Surviving a Family Christmas

Do you celebrate Christmas?
Are you looking forward to it?
Are you attending a family gathering?

Christmas is usually a time for family gatherings. It often involves seeing family you haven’t seen for a while or even since last Christmas. Nowadays people are more dispersed from their families living in another part of the country or abroad. Many people I speak to don’t relish the idea of spending a day or few with relatives they avoid during the rest of the year.

Being together at a family gathering can invoke old family dynamics and patterns that can be avoided the rest of the year.

For example a successful business woman might lose her voice when confronted by her ageing father and feel like the little 5 year old being scolded again.

family Christmas

Some people might consciously avoid these family situations by going on holiday or prefer to be with friends or alone. And others might have been excluded from the family unit due to unresolved family issues.

Yesterday I attended the lovely Red Tent in St Albans and shared a small but powerful  process using family constellation concepts to help get clarity about family dynamics. In this version I have added some EFT to the mix:

  • Choose a family member you have a challenging dynamic with or you may want to choose your family as a complete unit
  • Write the family member name on a piece of paper or the simply write “family” on the paper
  • Place the piece of paper on the floor in the place that feels right to you.
  • Spend ideally 5-10 minutes exploring how it feels standing in various positions, distances and directions in relationship to the family member or family unit.
  • Find the place where you feel most comfortable in relationship to your family member
  • Say to him or her: “I am xxx (your name). I am your xxx (your relationship to them). You are my xxx (their relationship to you). We belong to the same family” For example: “I am Tamara. I am your daughter. You are my father. We belong to the same family” or “I am Tamara. You are my family and I am belong to it/ you.”
  • Add any other words that you need to say to them or would like to hear from them.

At any stage of the process, if any physical or emotional discomfort arises, do EFT on that until there is no intensity left. If you have not done EFT before, you can download a free manual here. Here are some example setup statements for various scenarios:

  • Even though I can’t stand any nearer to you than this and actually if the room was larger I would be even further away, I deeply and completely love and accept myself
  • Even though my heart feels heavy when I look at you, I deeply and completely love and accept myself
  • Even though I can’t say those words, I deeply and completely love and accept myself
  • Even though I just want you to accept me the way I am, I deeply and completely love and accept myself
  • Even though I can’t be the person you want me to be and am tired of trying, I deeply and completely love and accept myself

To finish off the process do a round of Positive EFT on however you would like to experience your Christmas eg peace, joy, acceptance, connection, belonging.

To get going straight away, download a free EFT manual or attend an EFT training.

Wishing you a very peaceful, joyful and loving festive season.

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5 Steps to Turbo Charge Your New Year Resolutions

According to Journal of Clinical Psychology:

  • the percent of people who are successful in achieving their new year resolutions is a meagre 8%
  • People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions
  • Resolution are maintained through first week  75%
  • Only under 50% are still keeping their new year resolutions after 6 months

I don’t know about you, but when I have tried to use will power to try to change my behaviour, it can do it for a while but then I tend to swing back in the opposite direction!

Here are 5 steps to turbo charge your new year resolutions which don’t involve will power:

Step 1: Choose the right new year resolution

You might already have an idea about what you want to achieve or avoid. Here are the top 10 new year resolutions for 2014 according to the Journal of Clinical Psychology :

Top 10 New Years resolutions for 2014 Journal of Clinical Psychology.  Image courtesy of instagram.com/artastrophic

Top 10 New Years resolutions for 2014 Journal of Clinical Psychology. Image courtesy of instagram.com/artastrophic

Lets look at number one – losing weight and some of the possible emotional benefits:

  • have more energy and fitness leading to feeling happier
  • feel more self-love and self-accepted
  • feel more love and acceptance from others

Wanting this intention, may imply that one does not already feel much happiness, love or acceptance so maybe the deeper intention is to:

  • feel happy
  • love and accept myself
  • feel more love and acceptance from others which is more likely to happen if you love and accept yourself

Step 2: Find your inner resistances to your New Year resolution

So lets take an example from the above of wanting to love and accept oneself more. Your reaction might be:

  • but I already love myself, its just that I need to change my body in order to love myself more
  • or its conceited to love myself so that is not my intention!
  • or of course I want to love myself – why would I resist it!

Lets go with the thread that you do want to love yourself more. You could at this stage do some Positive EFT on loving yourself.

Another way would be to ask yourself these questions such as these and write down the first thing that comes to mind without censoring:

  • I don’t want to love myself because…
  • I can’t love myself because…
  • I mustn’t love myself because…
  • I want to love myself because…

Some answers might be:

  • …I’m not good enough
  • …I don’t deserve to love myself
  • …I’m too bad to love myself
  • …I want to be happy

There will probably  be several answers to each question so keep repeating the question to yourself. It is important to ask why you want to love yourself as well as don’t want to because whenever there is an attachment to one of the answers, it may be holding you back from simply allowing the intention into your life.

Step 3: Release your resistances

Once you have all your answers, rate them on a scale from 0 to 10 where 0 is that you don’t really believe it at all and 10 is that you totally and completely believe it. Pick the answer with the highest number and either do some classical EFT on each resistance which is a simpler, general and usually slower approach. Do this on each answer from step 2.

So for example here is what you would say to tap on if you were tapping on not feeling good enough:

Tapping on the karate chop point say three times:

“Even though I don’t feel good enough to love myself, I deeply and completely love and accept myself”

Tap on these points (go round twice) and say repeat the reminder phrase “I don’t feel good enough”

  • Top of head
  • Start of eyebrow
  • End of eyebrow
  • Under eye
  • Under nose
  • Under lower lip
  • 1 inch below collar bone and 1 inch across from breast bone
  • Under arm (on bra line for women and parallel to nipple for men)

Check the rating and keep going until the rating is zero.

Alternatively find an (ideally early) event in your life that underpins this belief and do the EFT Movie Technique on that event until the rating is down to 0.

Go back to the belief and check the rating on it. If it is not zero, find another event and keep going until it is 0. Do this on each answer to each resistance.

Step 4: Visualise the new you as if you already have achieved your new year resolution

According to the Law of Attraction and the film The Secret, the more you can visualise or create an image and feeling of what you desire to already present in your life, the more aligned you will be with that goal or intention.

So here, my suggestion is to make a picture or sketch or vision board or simply cut out an image that makes you feel good with respect to your New Year resolution and look at it regularly or put it up on your wall. Or you could write some inspiring affirmations and put them on cards around your home. In the example of loving yourself, you might write:

  • I am beginning to love myself more and more each day
  • Today I choose love with every breath
  • I love and accept myself today just the way I am

Do Positive EFT on a title of the image or picture or on the affirmations you have created while visualising or imagining this has already happened.

Step 5: Celebrate your journey to achieving your new year resolution

In a gratitude journal, write and celebrate the blessings that life offers you that are in alignment with and moving towards your New Year Resolution.

If you would like to deepen your experience of manifesting your New Year Resolutions, we are holding a one day New Year Retreat on Saturday 3rd January in East Horsley, Surrey.

If you can’t make the retreat and would like to learn more about EFT to use with your New Year Resolutions, you can download a free EFT manual

I would love to hear how your New Year resolution journey unfolds – what worked, what didn’t and other ideas, tips and suggestions.

Wishing you a wonderful 2015 filled with joy, love, health, laughter, abundance, bliss and magic.

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EFT for Periods

Three years ago, Kayliegh came to me for EFT because her periods were irregular. She had 2 sessions and I didn’t her from her again until recently when she booked another session. At the start of the session, she told me how her periods had been regular ever since 3 years ago. Now she wanted to work on recent mood swings before her period.

At the start of the session, I invited Kayliegh visualise or imagine or get a sense of a circle where the 12:00 position represents menstruation, 6:00 represents ovulation, 9:00 represents moving towards menstruation and 3:00 represents moving towards ovulation. I then suggested that she imagine herself moving in a clockwise direction in a circle and notice what she sees/ feels/ senses. She was very surprised to that around 6:00 (ovulation) there was a brightness but around the area of 12:00 (menstruation) there was blackness and although she could see what was going on there, she couldn’t feel anything.

bleeding cycleI told her how our menstrual cycle can be mapped onto the cycle of seasons where Winter is at 12:00 (menstruation), Spring at 3:00,  Summer at 6:00 (ovulation) and Autumn at 9:00. The qualities of Summer and ovulation is movement, energy moving outwards. excitement, passion, sex to name but a few. During the Winter or menstruation phase, qualities included stillness, withdrawal, energy contracting and reflection.  Our culture functions in the energy of Summer.

We love, actually we are obsessed with, busyness.  

Time out, stillness, meditation, mindfulness are becoming more fashionable but many people still believe that there is strength in soldiering on however one is feeling.

So when women work in full time office jobs, they are expected to be functioning on all cylinders no matter what part of their cycle they are in. As an aside, I read recently in an article in the Daily Mail called Forget maternity leave – women should get PAID menstrual leave every month that menstrual leave is recognised in some countries in Asia, such as Japan and Indonesia! Anyway, back to my point!

When women ignore their need for stillness or slowing down during menstruation, in my experience, it can give rise to period pain or difficult emotions during that time.

Kayleigh resonated with the idea of needing to soldier on and felt that she was always doing that in her life. When I asked her what she was avoiding, she said she was scared of being vulnerable because if she was vulnerable she could get hurt. So I asked her when the first time she felt vulnerable from being hurt, she mentioned an incident in which her mother put her down for expressing her femininity that happened when she was 15 years old that from moment on she felt she repressed her femininity.

On a scale from 0 to 10 where 0 means she doesn’t believe it at all and 10 means complete belief, I asked Kayleigh how strongly she believed she could not express her femninity and she said 8.

So I did some EFT tapping on both the adult and teenage Kayleigh. We then tapped while she expressed to her mum how she felt as a result of that incident. What emerged was that Kayleigh had a yearning for approval from her mum so I suggested that she say to her mum “Please see me”. Kayleigh seemed angry and said that it didn’t feel right because her mum should already be able to see her so I changed the sentence to “Mum, I’m angry” and that felt true although she had not been aware of this before. Simply acknowledging her anger towards her mum, she was able to start allowing and releasing it which brought relief.

At the end of the session, Kayleigh felt ready to express her femininity and her belief in “I am not allowed to express my femininity” was down to 0. I asked her to have another look at the circle of menstruation and this time she was able to see and feel around the whole circle and felt more peaceful.  I look forward to hearing how she feels during her next cycle.

If you are experiencing period problems and would like to experience EFT to support you, download a free manual, have a one-to-one session by skype or in person or attend a monthly Red Tent Retreat.

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The Humbleness of Being a Beginner

Imagine being wrenched deep into the ocean by overpowering currents, being swirled and tossed around by the forces of the water, desperately trying to find your way up but not knowing which why up is. Up from the depths of the unknown. Up to the water surface where you could draw air and fill your lungs with much needed oxygen.  This was the image I had when I revisited the feelings arising as I felt into the sensation of what I experienced in the moments I did not know what to do and felt stuck when facilitating my first family constellation workshop.

I have facilitated many workshops in my time using EFT, EFT with family constellation processes, creative processes but never relying solely on my family constellation skills. Having just completed my foundation training, I naively thought it would not be that challenging.

Image courtesy of luigi diamanti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of luigi diamanti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When I think about facilitating EFT processes, I feel I am an experienced surfer, skilfully navigating the waves on an EFT beach for surf experts. Somehow I thought that if I surfed on a Family Constellation beach for surf experts, the waves and currents would be similar. But unfortunately I was faced with a whole new set of challenges that I was not prepared for. So, when the power of the ancestral current tugged me under, I lost my balance, fell off the board and was drawn deeper into the ocean. Luckily I had with me an experience family constellator, Kim Goode, and a colleague to come out and rescue me if I ran into trouble.

Being an EFT trainer, I now have a lot more compassion and sensitivity to my students, having had a very real experience of being in lost in the beginners mind.

Although the feedback from the participants was very positive – here is one from Rachael: “Honestly, it was amazing, such deep healing going on in me and through me. Feeling so honoured to be a part of it all. “  – I felt traumatised so I did some EFT (with the help of my husband and EFT trainer, Peter Donn) on the image I had and when I looked back at the image, after doing EFT, it had changed. It started to soften, appear more distant and I became more buoyant so that when I was tugged under, my body could not stay down there as it was lighter and floated up to the surface where I could catch my breath, pause and check the scenery to see where I was and what needed to happen next. Time ran out so some more processing to do but suffice to say that I am looking forward to running my next Family Constellation workshop!

To find out about upcoming workshops, go here for women’s workshops and here for EFT workshops.

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I Belong. I am Safe.

Today I completed the foundation family constellations course with the Centre for Systemic Constellations. Many people ask me what Family Constellations is and the best answer I can give is that if you have a headache and go to the doctor, she will examine your head and give you appropriate medication. If you go to a holistic therapist with a headache, they will take you whole being into account – mind, body and spirit. If you go to a family constellator with a headache, they take the holistic approach even further and take your whole family system into account. The idea behind this is that everyone in one’s system is interconnected and that just like a baby’s mobile, pulling one side of the mobile will cause an imbalance in the mobile as a whole and affect other sides of the mobile. The aim of a family constellator is to restore balance into the family system with the intention of bringing about more wellbeing and harmony to the individual with the problem (eg the headache) which then influences the family system as a whole.

I have been introducing some of the family constellations concepts into my EFT work for some years now but wanted to deepen my understanding of the work for both personal and professional benefits.

As I reflect on the course, one of my biggest challenges highlighted was one of needing to feel safe within the group. When I first met the group and we started working, it would have been inconceivable to me that by the end of the course, I would be able to feel safe enough to allow myself to be vulnerable with an old belief of not feeling good enough.  As I allowed myself to deepen into these feelings rather than push them away, I allowed shame and inadequacy to arise and invited the courage to welcome them and have compassion towards that vulnerable part of myself. 

One of the processes we were invited to take part in was to stand in the room where we felt our place was within the group with a cushion placed in the middle to represent the centre of the group. I almost rushed to the door feeling unbearable yuckiness! And allowing myself to be present with it. With the skilful, gentle and compassionate support of our trainer, Chris Williams, I was able to face my deepest fear of facilitating a constellation to the whole group of my peers with the support of him and a team I dedicated to be my panel.

Even though I stumbled quite a few times, I felt so supported and loved by the group at all times. I was able to allow my feelings of not good enough to be present without them taking over and lovingly stay focussed on the task in hand. At the end of the process the group offered feedback which was positive which I found hard to take into my heart. One participant suggested I put my hand on my heart and say I accept and receive which I found very moving.

At the closing of the course, we each shared our last reflections and I felt proud to say “I belong, I am safe. I feel seen.” If you would like to know more about my upcoming workshops which will include more and more aspects of family constellations, go here.

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