Category Archives: acceptance

Brain Fog, Chronic Fatigue, Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra and Acceptance

Ladies and Gentlemen, in the spirit of more honest living and more honest communication (both hallmarks of the best life coaches, after all 😉 ), let me introduce you to my constant companion at present, probably the most frustrating of all the symptoms that come with Post Viral Fatigue/Chronic Fatigue: Brain Fog.

Well, it’s difficult to describe actually – probably the brain fog doesn’t help!  It’s like my brain is full of treacle and every thought has to tramp through to be heard. It’s forgetting most of what you read by the time you get to the end of the page, particularly if it’s complex scientific stuff. It’s putting off organisational stuff like calling parents to say your daughter can come to the birthday party because they just seem overwhelming.  It’s forgetting the names of people you have known for years.  It’s frustration, because you know you should be able to comprehend a certain piece of information, but you just can’t get your head around it.  It’s mental fatigue, in that sometimes you can just be too tired to think at all.  Sometimes I feel like my brain exists in a constant state of blaaaaa.  Please leave a message after the beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. It’s doing things on auto pilot rather than having to put your mind through the trouble of thinking about them. There are good days and bad days and on the bad days it feels like being in a perpetual haze.

I could go on, but I think you get the picture (not that you can see much of it for the fog).  Now any exhausted mama will have experienced some if not all of the above – I know I have, even before all this started. When you get some sleep and a good meal, maybe even a break for a day or two if you’re lucky, it goes away and you have your brain back, ready and willing.  In Chronic Fatigue/Post Viral it doesn’t seem to matter how well you eat or how much you sleep, your brain just won’t comply. Even writing my blog is much harder than it was. My mind wanders, I forget what I was talking about, I just can’t seem to get in the flow.

I feel compelled to write though, partly because it’s part of my big dream, and partly because I’m just sitting here in bed.  Aside from getting my children ready for school, feeding them when they’re hungry and taking their education on cleaning up after themselves to a whole new level, because I simply can’t do it all myself, and it’s about time they learnt anyway, well aside from that, I’m not doing much.  I tidy up a bit sometimes when I’ve got the energy. Nothing grand.  Even sorting out a drawer seems like a major challenge. Before I conked out I was doing 2 high pressured responsibility -laden wellbeing and psychology-related jobs, as well as tutoring, as well as seeing clients if they sought me out (though thankfully I had no one current when I got sick).  Most of those options are closing out on me, some have closed already, and besides I just don’t have to ability right now to pick up the reins and do what I was doing before. Actually to do much of anything, if I’m honest.  Part of my brain says ‘This is ridiculous woman! Buck up!  Get back on your horse, push through it like you always have.  Get back to work, YOU CAN DO IT!!!!’ and the other part of my brain says ‘blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa’

So I figure I will change the world through my keyboard instead. One foggy thought at a time.

Ever read ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle? Excellent book, changed my life.  I learnt from Eckhart that pushing away uncomfortable feelings and refusing to admit that certain things are happening to you are a sure way to stay stuck.  Often the only way out is through.  The Power of Now will tell you to sit with your feelings, and validate them.  Not to wallow endlessly in them, but to give them recognition – they’re there for a reason.  Often once heard, the feelings disappear, and you can move on unfettered to the next thing.

Rather reminds me of something I once heard from Deepak Chopra. If you have a headache, you can sit down and allow yourself to actually feel your headache, rather than running from acceptance of it.  You can talk to your headache and say things like ‘I feel you, I hear you, what do you want me to know?’  Often the headache disappears.  I know this to be true.  In my experience either the headache goes, or I at least get some useful information, such as that I haven’t eaten or drunk in too long of a time and that I need to take care of my body a bit, or perhaps that someone in my life is actually really sapping my energy and stressing me out and that I need to redress the balance in that relationship.

Brain fog I hear you, I see you. Well actually not much of you because it’s really foggy in here, but I know you’re there. What do you want me to know?

I’ll let you know how it works. And I’m slowly reducing, maybe cutting out wheat too.  That’s meant to be good for brain fog.  Read ‘Wheat Belly’ by Dr William Davis. There, that’s two book recommendations in one blog.  Not bad, brain-fog babe!

I think I need to stop fighting myself and just roll with it for a bit. Some sources say you can recover from Chronic Fatigue, some sources say you never recover and some sources say you sort of recover, but you can never do all of what you used to do.  Well I create my own destiny.  I’m going to recover.  Besides, I don’t want to do what I used to do, running from one thing to another, barely a moment to breathe, sapping all my strength and energy and getting no closer to my life goals … that wasn’t a life anyway.  I’m making a new life slowly but surely, retuning myself, becoming more of myself.  Come along for the ride if you like.

Have a fog-free Sunday, coupled with ever increasing awareness and acceptance in your life 🙂

Rivka

And Start Again at Your Beginnings – Behind the Mask Series

Behind the Mask

Gaaah!  I am SO frustrated. So many things I want to do and I am stuck in bed with barely an ounce of energy to do any of them.  My blog is usually a chirpy enlivening thing, but today I am feeling heavy.  I don’t know where I’m going to go with this today.

It has been years since I regularly wrote.  I last published on August 19th 2012, after a break of some time, and then I broke off entirely. Regular readers will know that I mostly published on a Wednesday, come hell or high water. My work was about the inspiration I found in life around me, sent out on the wing, in the hope that readers would thus be more inclined to find inspiration in their own lives, having accompanied me on my own meanderings round Tesco, childrearing, working on my goals etc

But then I separated from my husband of 8 years and two years later we got divorced.  I had to stop writing, because everything I wrote was related to observations of the little world around me, and the things that moved me.  I just didn’t want to hang my dying marital knickers out in public.  Whilst it would have made good sensationalist tabloid style reading, I’m just not THAT kind of reality star …  what happened during those times shall remain forever locked in the black box that accompanied that particular craft to it’s death – at least as far as this blog goes.

Now you know why I vanished.  Over the years I have many a time been tempted by world events to jump start the blog again, get back on my soap box and let the world know what I think about some burning topic or another, but of course these grand thoughts would come to me in the shower, and as soon as I was out, life took over, and who has time to write?  As a single mother I now had full financial responsibility for my household and that meant working harder and longer hours.  Increasingly over the last few years I have barely had time to turn around, never mind sit, contemplate and share.

So, whence this return to the keyboard?   Well guess what? In the midst of all the Jewish festivals which this year straddled September and October, events which I thoroughly enjoy and really got stuck into, I got the flu. Not some two-bit sniffly sniffly flu, but the real thing, complete with full body shaking, roaring temperatures, aching everything and complete and utter exhaustion. After two weeks it had abated somewhat but I still wasn’t better, so off I toddled for a check-up, and then another and then another … long story short I apparently have Post Viral Fatigue.  This is when you come out of a virus (cold, flu, it can be anything) and for some reason it leaves you utterly and totally wiped out, in such a manner that you can barely get out of bed.  Sometimes it lasts a few weeks, or it can take months.  If it takes longer than that, and if my understanding is correct, they get all fancy and call it Chronic Fatigue. With all this sitting about in bed, there’s finally time for writing! So now you know why I returned.

So I’m currently knocked out, spend most of my time in bed apart from getting my children up dressed and to the school coach in the morning and then feeding them when they come home, and getting them to sleep.  As to what the prognosis is, who knows?

On contemplation (if there’s one massive benefit about all this, it’s finally having time to think) I think I have been operating under exhaustion, maybe even mild CF for years.  And my body has finally said STOP.  I was going to crash out sooner or later, it was just a question of how.  I’ve been running around for years, and serving everybody’s goals but my own (worthwhile goals, true, but not my own), just exchanging hours for money (which if you’ve read anything on finances you’ll know is a recipe for never financially succeeding).  Also lately I’ve been getting further and further from my own long-term goals.  I’ve been in a position of having to work harder and harder to bring about one goal after another, all the while getting torn up inside because everything I achieved just took me further from what I actually want to do.

What do I want to do now?  Write to change lives, and take telephone and skype life coaching clients.  There’s more to it than that of course, but those two things would definitely align with my big dream, and they’re both things that the life I’ve been leading would never have allowed me to do.

So I suppose (and there always is a silver lining – the fact that I can usually see it is part of what makes me a life coach I guess) having crashed out like this has done me a big favour.  It’s taken me off the treadmill, out of the rat run.  It’s giving me a chance to reinvent myself.  Will I ever climb a mountain again? Go camping again? Gosh even play football with my son again? I don’t know.  I’d like to think so.  I’d like to think I will be back to rights quickly, that perhaps this was just a warning shot across the bows to force me to take care of myself.  I do believe I will get better faster once I know that everything I now do is aligned with my long term goals.  We will have to see on this one – I am just going to have to get comfortable and cosy with not knowing.

Why call the series ‘behind the mask’?  Well you know, I’m sick and tired of squashing myself, squashing my feelings, being something that I’m not. Even working to be perfect so that I can be a chirpy and happy life coach inside and out.  I think my life in recent years has made me grittier, more realistic, more honest.  I am still annoyingly happy and optimistic a lot of the time, but sometimes I’m not.  Today is one of those days.  I’m working for more integrity in my own life, and that means having the courage to be real and express what I really feel, what I really think.  Yes with dignity, yes with courage, yes with respect for others – always.  It’s ok to be honest.  You might have grown up with this hardwired into your life, but I didn’t, so it’s not easy for me.  I grew up to suppress everything.  I’m undoing it now – I’m slowly taking off the mask.

I’m still very much a life coach, and I can help you change your life.  I’m just changing my approach.  I’m going to be more real.  I challenge you to do the same.

It’s nice to be back home readers, let’s see how this gig goes.

Rivka

You’re Never Fully Dressed …

You know what I just woke up singing (in my head obviously … and I’m about to betray my age here, not to mention my hitherto taste in movies …)

So Senator, so Janitor so long for a while

Remember you’re never fully dressed without a smile…

http://youtu.be/w4r758-uBbU

Brings back memories?

So as I progressed in a cave womanly fashion down the stairs to write this (having tea, have evolved back to the present!) I was thinking to myself: “Hmm, what’s better, to always put a good face on it and say you’re happy, whether you are or not, or to be honest and say so if you’re not feeling that great?

There are two camps aren’t there? The ‘Cosmetic Smilers’ would say that you smile no matter what, keep a tight hold on your emotions, never tell anyone how you’re actually feeling because it’s not professional, or not socially acceptable and you would bore people …

And then of course there are the ‘honesty bunnies’ that will go on and on telling you about one dreadful situation after another that they are enduring, every single time you see them without fail, so that if you haven’t got 40 minutes to spare you have to make sure not to say ‘hi, how are you’ in greeting, or boy do you get an ear-full!

Decisions, decisions … plasticized chalky smile, or social bore…

Of course there is a 3rd way … BE HAPPY!

Life has its ups and downs, sure, but for most of us, there’s plenty to smile about.  Some times it’s good to remind ourselves of all the things we have to appreciate:

Do you and the people you love have a roof over your head and food to eat?

How many people do you have in your life who love or care about you in some way?

How many people do you love and care about?

Do you get to have fun, relax, see beautiful things and places on occasion?

Do you get to contribute your gift to the world in some way, big or small?

See, there’s plenty to smile about already.  And when you add to that the idea that we all rest in this beautiful soup of energy that is the Universe, that was designed to give us all our needs, and everything we need to succeed, then you begin to understand more and more that we attract challenges to ourselves so that we can grow and master those challenges. That we have on tap everything we need to do well and achieve our desires, we just have to be open to the opportunities and ‘special offers’ that come our way …

The problem is never ‘out there’, always ‘in here’.  It doesn’t matter what comes your way, good or bad, happy or sad, easy or challenging.  It’s what you do with it that counts.  Attitude is everything.  And you know what? That often starts with a smile …

So this week gather your wits, count your blessings and know that if your plans are wholesome and in line with the development of the Universe, you will succeed. It’s as simple as that.  That’s something to smile about!

Feel good 🙂

Rivka

Turn Away – My New Mantra for the Year

You know, being a life coach, I practice what I preach, so every year I sit down, reassess the past year, look at my lifelong goals and plan for the year ahead.  The boundaries between one year and the next are a little blurry for me, as being Jewish, I also have a Jewish New Year, so in practice it tends to be a new year ‘period’ that runs from sometime in September until the end of  December!  So unlike many I’m already thinking about my New Year’s resolutions…

I’ve recently started to have a mantra or slogan for the year – something that’s simple yet digs deep and affects everything I do.  Last year it was ‘Compassion, Not Judgement’, which I’ll probably write about at some stage.  This year it’s something out of a Rhonda Byrne book …*shuffles off to go find the book and get the quote right*…

Ok, here it is…

“… with anything you don’t love, simply turn away from it without judgement and you won’t include it in your life”

Rhonda Byrne – The Power

Now I know I’m writing for an educated audience here, most of whom are aware of the Force of Attraction – that the more attention you give something the more of it you bring into your life.  What I used to have a problem with was the other side of things.  It’s all very well focusing on wealth, health and  all the other good stuff, but what do you do when something nasty ups and smacks you in the face?  Life’s not all rosy-sunny all the time is it? And if you then say to yourself ‘this thing is bad and I hate it’ you’re just giving it all the focus it needs to turn into something bigger.  A lot of people will tell you – “focus on the good stuff, don’t focus on the bad stuff”  but how do you ‘not focus’ on something?   When you ‘not focus’, you’re actually focusing on it!

So those two words in the above sentence – ‘turn away’, really solved a problem for me.  When it rains on my parade, or someone disrespects me, or the traffic just won’t move, and it’s a situation I can’t do anything about, I just turn away.  Physically if I can, mentally if I’m bodily stuck there.  I turn away and find something more productive and enjoyable to think about or do. You can’t fight the rain, force someone to respect you or snap your fingers and magic away the traffic, so what’s the point of resisting it?

Which brings me to another point – Acceptance.  I’ve written about this in a previous blog (https://rivkadavid.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/38/ ) so I won’t delve into it here, I mention it only to point out that accepting a thing you can’t change allows you to drop your obsession over it, and get on with your life instead. So I think it’s relevant here too.

With that in mind, here’s my new 3 point plan for dealing with what appear to be adverse circumstances, and at the same time keeping a hygienic ‘Force of Attraction’:

1-      If you can do something about it, in whole or part, then Take Action – every little positive action always bears fruit, if not in the situation at hand, then in the future.

2-      For things you are currently powerless to change, practice Acceptance (and do please see https://rivkadavid.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/38/  so you understand what I mean here). These things happen, it isn’t personal.  Heavy traffic isn’t personal, and neither is the intention of someone who disrespects you – even if they think it is!  Their disrespect for you is about their journey.  What you do with their disrespect is about your journey and is the only thing you’re responsible for.  Actually I would say practice acceptance of the things you do change too – acceptance always comes first – once you accept something challenging, you remove the negative energy that surrounds it, leaving you free to act with a clear head.

3-      Then once you have accepted and dealt with what you can, Turn Away from the rest – and Turn Towards something positive.  Turn your attention to something creative and constructive.  Think about the people you love, and the people who love you.  Think about your favourite projects and the things you intend to materialise in your life. If you can physically move away from the challenge, go do something fun – take a walk … scare other adults by going on the swings and be sure to balance on a low brick wall on the way! Go spend some time working to bring good things into your life … make some money, send an email to a friend, take your kids out for ice cream.

Well that’s my plan anyway.  Actually it reminds me of The Serenity Prayer (see here for the rest of it http://www.drnadig.com/serenity.htm )

G-d grant me
the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the Courage to change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference;

With an action point at the end – Go Do Something Cool!

This year I shall Turn Away from all things unchangeably heavy, and so TURN TOWARDS all the beautiful, wonderful, delightful things – and there are so many your heart could positively burst into flowers at the thought of it!!!

I invite you to join me – let’s all harness the Force of Attraction together and make life even more beautiful!

You know what else?  I’d love to hear YOUR mantra for the coming year – come on peeps, give it some thought – and share in the comments section below, so that everyone benefits.

Have a stupendously fantastic week 🙂

Rivka

Feel Good Already!

Using pain as punishment for wrongdoing? A bit of an old chestnut. Since the dawn of time people have been inflicting pain on themselves or others as a punishment for doing something wrong.  Research now finds that this seems to be hardwired into our psychology.

 A paper published in Psychological Science by Brock Bastian et al in January 2011 found that people asked to write about a time when they rejected another person left their hand in icy water for longer than those who just had to write about an everyday interaction.  Of those who had to write about rejecting another person, they later scored much lower on a guilt questionnaire if they had put their hand in a bucket of ice than those who had put their hand in a bucket of warm water.

In other words, those who had punished themselves felt less guilty afterwards about having rejected another person!

So how’s that for a solution? You can do what you like, and then punish yourself afterwards and you don’t have to feel guilty. Hmmmm.

I prefer a different Feel-Good approach. The approach of doing one’s best.

Yup.  As simple as that.  If at every juncture you do your best, then what have you ever got to feel guilty about?  And if you don’t feel bad about things you’ve done, or not done, then you’ll never feel psychologically obliged to punish yourself or let anyone else punish you. Instead you can feel good that you did your best.

Of course this only helps with things you do willingly and with intention.  What about all the actions where you’re not sure about what to do and you take the wrong action, or you make a mistake?  What about those times where whatever you do you end up doing damage in some sense?  Well in those cases there’s still another option – the opportunity to say sorry and do what you can to put things right.

Punishing oneself is destructive.  It may be hardwired in, but don’t you get the feeling that it’s a bit of an old-world approach to doing things?  Like caning naughty children … we don’t do that kind of thing anymore. Punishment weakens you and lessens your ability to do the next thing. Whereas caring passionately enough about your world to make better decisions upstream, putting things right if they go wrong and if all else fails saying sorry and finding a way to forgive yourself allow you to continue moving forward in life.  You can have a lighter, happier attitude and go forth and achieve everything you desire. Forgiving yourself and others when things go wrong allows you to cut ties with negativity and heaviness and focus on the good stuff.  It allows you to start again and get it right this time.

Have a fabulously productive week – in which you forgive yourself and others!

Rivka

 Ps: This post was meant to self-publish on Wednesday and as you might have noticed, it didn’t … so Ive fixed it, and here it is.  I certainly did my best though, so I’m not going to give myself a hard time about it – in fact I’m forgiving myself and  moving on to the next thing!

Reference:

Brock Bastian, Jolanda Jetten, and Fabio Fasoli

Cleansing the Soul by Hurting the Flesh: The Guilt-Reducing Effect of Pain

Psychological Science January 2011 , first published on January 18, 2011

http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2011/01/18/0956797610397058.citation

The little steps make all the difference

There I am, feeling a right nincompoop, half way up a mountain somewhere in Wales, aching feet, out of breath, ridiculously heavy backpack, tearful with effort, wondering what the heck I thought I was doing when I put myself up for this. Mountain Leader Training?!! Hah. Just cos I love being in the mountains, doesn’t mean I need to volunteer to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with two ex army guys, and three hefty outdoor adventure guys, all of whom are secretly or not so secretly wishing I wasn’t there so they can go bounding over the earth like mountain goats instead of waiting for little slow coach to catch up … Character building? I’ll give you character building. You try chasing those chaps up and down rock faces … when we finally got back to the bottom, and I trailed in, an hour after the first mountain goat had arrived, they all stood up and slow clapped me. And I’ll tell you something else too … several years later when my brother went to the same training company they were still talking about me! Talk about notoriety … Ah well, at least I’ll have a story to tell my grandchildren…

Anyhow, I’m glad I went, because I learnt something. I learnt (now pay attention …) that when climbing a rock face, you never underestimate a foothold or handhold. What I mean to say is, say you see a small foothold and it’s only 10cm or so above the one your foot is on, if there’s nothing else available you take it. And something astonishing happens. Your point of view changes. And you see other footholds and handholds that you couldn’t see 10cm lower down, or that weren’t available from slightly lower down. You work out your next move from where you are at the time (though of course you keep an eye on your general direction so that you don’t climb yourself into a bush or something), and you find that there’s always a way up, even if its 10cm at a time.

I think life can be a bit like that. Sometimes it really does feel like an uphill struggle, and there are times when the only available options are less than inspiring. The thing is to pace yourself, take one step at a time, and use those little options, if they’re all you’ve got. And your point of view changes. You begin to see other options that you couldn’t see before. You gain experience. You gain a sense of mastery. You get to feel great about pushing your limits, when you discover you can go farther than you expected. You can start to take joy in the moment too – joy in just being, joy in the privilege of having got this far. Once you begin to enjoy the process, the load seems lighter, and as you relax and start to smile your muscles loosen up just a little so the climb gets easier. Then at a certain point, you notice that you’re actually quite near the top. Your step quickens, and you’re happy to push yourself even harder. You clamber over the last few bumps and … you’re there.

If you’re climbing a mountain you get to survey the view. A beautiful lake glinting in the sunshine. Maybe a few little clouds huddled round a neighbouring mountain top. The deepest blues and the most verdant greens. Waltzing grass and patient rock. A tiny lone figure in the distance. A cooling breeze caresses the smile on your face as you stand there and just be. Nothing else exists but this moment.

If it’s life that you’re scaling, you can also let yourself celebrate those wins – there’s nothing quite like putting in everything you’ve got, and getting results you only ever dreamed you could achieve. When you go for something you truly want, that’s always been a part of who you are, and you get it … don’t you just think to yourself “I could die happy right now!” I love those moments. You feel like you’re stepping more deeply into being yourself. You almost glow, and the feel-good is infectious. People around subtly get the message “If you’re willing to do what it takes, you can achieve your desires”. And so your success becomes a beacon of possibility, lighting the way for others.

In either case, all the blood sweat and tears you put in are forgiven and forgotten as you rejoice in just being … after all, what else is there?

This week live in the moment. Take little opportunities that come your way. Know that you will get there … and rejoice in the process as you move closer and closer to your next summit.

 

Happy Trails!

 

Rivka

Running on a theory

Every morning, as I brush my teeth, like a trigger the dentist’s voice rings in my ear ‘electric toothbrushes are always better than manual ones’. And every morning I say to myself ‘how do they know?’ Well ok I suppose electric toothbrushes can be better relied upon to brush more strongly, provide more brush strokes and thereby remove more plaque … but how do they know that more vigorous brushing won’t wear away your tooth enamel … or maybe the vibrations from the toothbrush might, I dunno, rattle your teeth about too much and make them fall out earlier … who knows? Yet we’re all willing to accept the dentist’s recommendation to use an electric toothbrush…

Well, as my mind was pondering this bland conundrum the other morning I followed the thought along to ‘Just think how many other things we take as fact, which are actually just theory’. That we’ll be well and healthy tomorrow, that nuclear war won’t break out, that we are actually the child of our parents (hospital mix-ups do happen you know!), our religious or spiritual standpoint, or the lack of it, that when you see something red, and somebody else sees something red that you actually both experience red in the same way … the list goes on. It’s a little unsettling when you first think about it … that a lot of what we base our lives on is theory. What if the theory is wrong? What if I get to 70 and all my teeth fall out because I’ve used an electric toothbrush for so long?

I like living on a theory though. For one thing, life is never dull and you never quite know what tomorrow will bring … but I think it’s more than gratuitous excitement. You see if you live in a world of theory, the possibilities are endless. Once you realise that pretty much everything is unstable, if you can find a way to place yourself ‘at cause’, i.e. be a force that makes things happen, or holds them as they are, or stops them happening, then you can do anything.

I think that’s a real key to life. Being comfortable in instability. A lot of people like things to remain stable and when elements of their world change unexpectedly that’s unsettling for them. Instead of being rattled by the change though, you can see it as an opportunity. To create something new, to be the most updated version of you, to understand something in a deeper way.

Embracing the possibility of instability allows you to be truly alive. If we always wait for ‘absolute facts’ before we make decisions, we delay and delay in taking action, and often those opportunities go stale and pass us by. If, on the other hand we’re willing to act on an estimate or a 70% likelihood, we get to take action more frequently, and get to live life far more on our own terms. The ride may be a little choppier, and sometimes we’ll make mistakes, but we’ll get more of what we want and boy will the process be exhilarating!

So this week embrace uncertainty, live on the edge and push the boundaries of possibility – it will be the ride of your life!

Rivka

Ps: A quick shout out to my colleague Sara Jane Tepper (http://www.facebook.com/sarahjanetepper), who gives a fantastic full body massage amongst other things. If you’re living on the edge you need to take good care of yourself and this is one way! – check out Sara Jane’s website http://www.hertsholistic.com from where I copied the following:

Herts Holistic is run by Sarah-Jane Tepper and is based at Elstree Film Studios in Hertfordshire. She is ITEC and VTCT qualified and has Diplomas in Anatomy & Physiology, Massage, Indian Head Massage and Reflexology . She trained at the Central London College of Reflexology and the Middlesex School of Complementary Medicine. She is also qualified in Reiki I and II. Sarah-Jane writes Being Holistic, a column for At Home magazine online and is an independent distributor for Forever Living. She is fully insured and a member of the Association of Reflexologists and the Federation of Holistic Therapists.

Why Anyone Who Gets Anywhere is a Stubborn So-and-So!

I’ve got a thing for stubborn people.  Sure they can drive you crazy, but you know what, they don’t stop till they get what they want, and you can’t argue with that for a skill!

As you may have heard, my colleague Ronit Gerber and I were on Salford City Radio on Monday for a show entitled ‘Harness the Power of You’.  To sum up the show in a sentence the message was: When you are authentic to yourself, you attract a life that fulfills you.  If you want to hear the show you’ll find links to the right of this page under Newly Added Resources.  Anyhow, on that show we took questions live by email.  Several listeners spoke about how they’d lost their job or relationship and found themselves looking for something new.  They were looking for motivation and strength, and more than anything looking for a way to change the way they felt about life so they could move forward.  And where did my mind go?  Finding Nemo.  You can see what I do in my ‘spare time’!

In Finding Nemo (for those readers who actually get to watch movies for grownups!!!) the lead character, a young clown fish called Nemo is captured in the Great Barrier Reef and taken to Sydney.  His timid father, Marlin, then travels all the way to get his son back.  Many adventures ensue (which I’m not going to recount, you might be relieved to learn!) and there’s a point where Marlin accompanied by his scatty, amnesiac friend Dory, feels like he’s never going to make it.  And she starts singing “Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming …”

http://youtu.be/CmyUkm2qlhA

I love that line.  Cos sometimes life is tough. Sometimes you can’t see any way forward.  Sometimes every route seems to be blocked, and you don’t want to be upbeat about it!  Sometimes you’re angry and sometimes it’s overwhelming and all the motivation and ‘happy happy’ cheering up in the world isn’t going to help.  Let’s admit it – we’re human and we all feel like that sometimes.  So in those situations I say to you ‘just keep swimming, just keep swimming …’.  Sometimes it’s just a matter of keeping on, until you perceive an opportunity to change things.

That’s where stubborn people win out. They just keep on keeping on, and eventually they get what they want.  We can learn something from that.

I’ve found that if you do keep going it’s as though G-d/The Universe takes notice of that.  It’s almost as though a proclamation rings out “Heavens! This person is actually serious about their goals! Let’s give them a helping hand …” and then as if it was happening by itself, things start to turn around.  You get the loan you need, you suddenly realise that you know exactly the person to help you or perhaps whatever was pressurizing you eases off and vanishes.  Persistence pays and it seems The Universe likes those with a stubborn streak too! Just look at evolution if you need evidence for that – the most flexible, persistent life forms are the ones that survive to thrive.

So this week if there’s something getting you down or a situation that doesn’t seem to have a solution … you know what I’m going to say… JUST KEEP SWIMMING!!!

Have a great week!

Rivka

What to do with all that darkness?

What do you do with the dark times?  You know, like visiting a house of mourning? Or when September the 11th comes round? Or hearing of some human tragedy – (even the ‘UK Riots’) on the news?

Well now, some people lap it all up.  They love a bit of tragedy.  I think in a way they kind of get high on it.  They’ll be the first to call you and say “Did you hear what happened to …. isn’t it sad?” Isn’t it miserable, hard, deliciously depressing… Then you’ve got those who feign complete composure.  You know, the ‘pass the salt’ types.  They’ll sit there and say things like “Well it was par for the course, wasn’t it really, I mean what did you expect?” Sometimes they’ve gotten so cold in the practice of not feeling, that I think they actually don’t feel it anymore.  Then you’ve got the channel switchers.  You know, the people who change the channel when the ads about abused or starving children come on because they can’t bear to watch.  And here I have to put my hand up and admit: That’s me.  Well at least it was…

I know this one from the inside. I do watch the news, because I like to know what’s happening, but I’ll never read sad books and hate watching drama.  Don’t talk to me about horror movies – even the film ‘Titanic’ kept me awake for a week, thinking about all those people dying.  Funny disposition for a life coach/hypnotherapist.  I get to hear about a lot of the dark things that have happened in people’s lives – sometimes things that they themselves haven’t faced up to in years. And it grabs me by the throat every time.  I don’t think I’ll ever be immune to feeling it, and I don’t think I want to be.  Lucky for me I’m adept at ‘turning down’ the sensitivity enough at least to help my clients get themselves out of the pit, but I feel it first.  I’ve always got time to ‘feel’ along with my clients, but when I get home, you’ll never catch me chasing the misery shows – life’s serious enough!

So what do you do with it? It seems I’ve not been alone in trying to ‘protect’ myself from the dark side of life.  There are plenty of people – some of them pretty big in the personal development world – who actually don’t watch the news at all because they don’t want to be brought down by the world’s misery.  There are therapy techniques that have you ‘rewrite’ your past so that the dark things supposedly never happened or so that people apparently didn’t hurt you.    And there is some pretty powerful evidence that ‘what you focus on, you get’, so there’s a growing industry out there to help you focus on the good things, so that you get more of them.  It’s powerful stuff and I believe in a positive focus with all my heart.

But here’s the sting in the tail.  In ‘trying’ to protect yourself from the darkness, what are you doing? YOU’RE FOCUSING ON IT.  Think about that.  I’m not talking to the misery wallowers here, you’re focusing on it and you know you are, so you’ll get plenty of it to keep focusing on, if that’s what you really want for yourself.  I’m talking to all of us personal development junkies who read all the positive books, and laugh with all the funny people, and wake up and tweet “It’s a beautiful sunshiny day!!!”  How many of us can’t face the darkness, and run from it?  Well guess what baby, you better never look back, cos it’s right there chasing you!

What’s the answer?  I’ve just read it.  In a book by Gregg Braden, entitled ‘Walking between the Worlds’.  I’m probably still not going to watch the tear jerkers, but I won’t be switching channels every time the sad ads come on any more.  I’ve found a better way to deal with it and I’m ready to share.  Here it comes:  Accept the Darkness.

‘Watttt?????” You might say.  “You mean I have to like the dark side??? You mean I have to want it??  Why did I just spend all those years training my brain to ignore it??? Don’t be silly, the dark side is bad, its evil, it pulls you down, it makes you sad, why would I want it???”

I didn’t say want it.  I said accept it.  Allow it.  Maybe forgive it.  Mr Braden even has us bless it.

To quote Gregg Braden:

“To live in the absence of fear and pain, you must allow for their possibility.  That is it.  Simply allow for their very existence.  In the “allowing” for the possibility, is found the removing of the charge.  Please be clear regarding this subtle yet powerful chemo-behavioural code.  Allowing for the existence of something does not mean that you are choosing for something to happen.  It does not mean that you condone it or like it.  It does not mean that you would ever wish that something upon someone else.  Allowing simply means that you acknowledge its existence and the role that the “something” plays within the overall context of life.  That is all, no more and no less.”

Why allow it? Because then you can leave it behind.  Once we accept that these things happened, that they exist, that they play a part in life, once we find a way to truly make peace with the dark side, the fight is over.  It can’t chase you if you don’t run.  It won’t suck your energy anymore every time you strive to ignore it.  And then you’ll finally be free.

Once you’ve made your peace with the darkness and found a way to view it with compassion this allows you to deal with the situation compassionately and successfully, ensuring the best possible result for everyone involved. And so we see that acceptance does not mean impotence.  Far from it.  Once you accept, you are no longer compelled to a ‘knee-jerk reaction’.  Instead, if a response is possible, you will be able to respond in a measured, appropriate and compassionate way – and you will be far more effective.

Furthermore, the power that you’ve freed up through no longer being obsessed with heavy feelings you can now put to use to accomplish everything that’s important to you.  To really live a life of abundance, and blessing and brilliance.  Then we can fully turn to the brighter side of things, with all our newfound vibrancy and zest and drink in deep!

Rivka

Ps:  I’m now starting a running collection of useful information, both on resolving our issues with the dark and of course on the all important positive focus side of things.  You will find these in ‘Newly Added Resources’ to the right of this page, and in the ‘Resource Bank’ page – link at the top and to the right.   Please do contribute, and here’s to all of our brilliance – go forth and shine bright!