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Posted on 5 Jun, 2017 | 2 comments

Who Are You Listening To?

At school they usually teach us this: Figure out where you are (I am in class 1), see what you need to do (I must learn to read), set a goal (Reading), decide how you are going to get there (I will practice my letters), and then take the appropriate actions until you get there (Learn my letters and look at words until it starts making sense).  It’s pretty rational. You want to get to X, so you do Y and you’ll get there.

But then you get the kids who struggle to learn their letters or read. They try and try and it still doesn’t make sense. Or the goal isn’t so clear – the child is reading but why isn’t she getting good marks? Or the goal changes…

The traditional rational training is often useful but it really gives no tools whatsoever to deal with the situations where I try my best and fail. Or where I think that the goal is ‘right’ but when I get there it isn’t. Or when what I really want is not what I’m ‘supposed’ to want. Basically it doesn’t help me when I stray from the beaten path of ‘mainstream’ thinking.

Recently I realised, for the 9,097,653rd time, that the only way I can live my life in any kind of deeply satisfying way is if I let my heart guide me. This time though, I had a flash of what that might FEEL like. It was so weird. It’s not like I don’t listen to my heart – I do… a LOT. It was just that this time I sort of gave my head the space to step back entirely and let ONLY my heart say.

It was a combination of things that made this possible. First, someone suggested that my training as a psychologist disadvantages me in the feeling realm because I am trained to run feelings through my head. How’s that for a thought? Goggled my brain for a bit, it did. Then the second thing was that I had been exploring self-worth and how much this is connected to my honouring my feelings. The third thing was that I found out something I was really aiming for and had put a lot of energy into was not going to happen.

All of these things together led to me sitting down to process my painful news and saying to myself, “Well, if it’s not going to happen in the way I planned, how would I like it to happen – if at all? What would make my heart feel joyful?” And that’s when it happened. My happy heart took over and showed me how much off the beaten track it would like to go. I mean, it didn’t even acknowledge the beaten track! It was a non-factor.

My head went, “Whoooaaaa!” and I felt a crack appear in my foundation – the one that says, “You know what you want, you make a plan and work towards it, etc, etc, la la la, then other people approve and you are successful.”

My heart apparently doesn’t give two hoots if other people approve. My head hastens to disagree. My heart argues back, “What is the point of anything if I don’t do what feels joyful to me? Who am I living life for? What good will I do in the world if I am dishonest about who I am?” It’s hard to argue with that.

As I deal with the after-tremors of this inner earthquake that has occurred, I also think of my children and what I am teaching them. My child’s school project; “Ok love. Sit down, think what you want, plan for it then take action until it’s done in a way that others will approve.”

Aaaargh! I’m passing on the plague!

How about, “Dearheart, what is most important to you about this project? What would you like to portray? What will make your heart happiest while doing it and after? How can you get to that? What will make this project an experience of joy for you?”

So.

No more.

As my friend said to me, it is becoming less and less bearable for me to live anything but honesty and authenticity.

I am going to take those words and apply them to myself. Right now. Then I’m going to give myself the gift of living out my answers as best I can.

Try it for yourself now too.

“What is most important to you about this project? What would you like to portray? What will make your heart happiest while doing it and after? How can you get to that? What will make this project an experience of joy for you?”

 

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Posted on 31 Oct, 2016 | 0 comments

Monthly Not Weekly

sending love out there

Precious readers, I am working on a writing project at the moment which  I look forward to telling you about but for now, writing the blog weekly is taking writing time that I need for that. So I will be posting once a month instead of weekly for the next little while and hopefully I will soon have a completed project under my belt. For now here is a reminder in the form of a longer than usual post to tide you over.

You can also pop by the blog every Monday (or anytime) and read some previous posts. There are a lots to choose from. Browse away.

Warmest wishes

Eilat

————-

A while ago I woke up grumpy and looked in the mirror and said, “I do not like waking up to being in service first thing in the morning.” Right from the get-go as I wake up I need to cater, referee, feed, clothe, brush, chase, cajole without regard for what I might prefer to be doing right now.

This reluctance is familiar to many of us – at work, or in our family, or with ourselves. “Oh I don’t FEEL like doing this. Why do I have to do all this stuff? Where is the freedom of which I dream…”  If you whine about it though, most people will tell you to just grow up and get on with it; life’s hard and all that. And yet I have never really accepted that “Life is hard” crap we get fed if we question why there is so much suffering in the world. I have always flinched when I hear the sects of religions that begin with, “You are a sinner and you must suffer for your sins”. I just don’t believe that we are inherently bad in any way. I may be an idiot but I really believe in people. Seeing as I find myself regularly surrounded by humans, this belief makes me, more or less, a happy idiot. I think humans are a quirky species and their spirits are jaw-droppingly, magnificently, miraculously amazing and beautiful. I am astounded and awed daily by the human spirit.

So that morning I said to

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Posted on 22 Aug, 2016 | 4 comments

Are Your Thoughts Self-Loving? – Part 2

Last week we started to explore the idea that we can choose our thoughts and that when we choose the things we think, it either increases or decreases our love for ourselves, for our children and our general well-being.

But how? HOW can we choose these things, I’m usually asked?

How

Let me use an analogy of radio stations. Radio stations transmit their frequencies all the time – regardless of whether you have tuned into them or not. So they are available to you all the time. All you need to do is tune to that specific frequency and you can hear their music and their message. If I’m listening to one station it’s legitimate. It doesn’t mean the others aren’t also there at the same time and available to me if I turn my dial to their frequency.

So back to where we began. Our thoughts and feeling are all streaming at the same time.  They are all available to you all the time. If your thoughts and feelings are your choice

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Posted on 15 Aug, 2016 | 0 comments

Are Your Thoughts Self-Loving? – Part 1

Did you know that all thoughts and feelings are available to you at all times?

If you were to start thinking of something sad you heard about you would start to feel sad. If you now think of something funny that happened you would start to smile and giggle. Your brain doesn’t much distinguish between what is happening and what you think is happening. So laughing at a joke and remembering laughing at that joke will stir the same feelings. If you really get into remembering exactly how it was in the moment you were laughing at the joke you will feel pretty much exactly the same as you did then. You can change your thoughts and feelings simply by choosing what to focus on.

Thoughts

When I recently said this to a group I work with they became very upset with me. They seemed to feel I was telling them their ‘bad’ feeling were not legitimate and that they were doing this thinking thing wrong.

We are very attached to our patterns of thinking because our brain has

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Posted on 1 Aug, 2016 | 4 comments

Parenting Is A Marathon Not A Sprint

I went along with a friend on a cycle up one of Cape Town’s esteemed beautiful mountain passes, Chapman’s Peak. I’m no great cyclist nor particularly fit but I knew if I needed to could climb off the bicycle and walk. It was a chance to exercise in a beautiful place outdoors so why not?

It is a long slope that climbs up the mountain and becomes steeper as it goes. I was in the lowest gear pretty much from the get-go and my focus was set intently the top of that hill (aka mountain! What was I thinking?!) I really pushed myself – to the point that I had fleeting worries it might be the last thing I do – but I was all psyched up for that top and kept on pushing.

So much for exercising in beautiful surroundings – I was completely unaware of the beauty all around me. I was focused only on

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Posted on 11 Jul, 2016 | 4 comments

If I Can’t Also Look At My Dark Stuff, Then I’m Just Faking It

Being a parent can either be a distraction from the goal of becoming the shining, glorious beings we inherently are or it can fast forward you towards it. I learned this when I became a parent and lost my mind and my self-control a good few times. It all depends on what you do with it. The clay is there, what are you going to make from it?Going Mad

Knowledge is power, said Foucault famously. The way I see it is this; everything in my life offers me insight into myself. It offers me

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Posted on 4 Jul, 2016 | 12 comments

Follow The Big Reactions

Untitledz

I had a dream about my Facebook page last night.

Really? That’s what I’m dreaming about? Don’t I have better things to use my unconscious time for?

Apparently not.

Apparently there’s something about my FB page that is hitting a nerve for me. So here it is – my strong reaction to something. And of course by now I know that to follow the clues offered by my strong reactions means to find my liberation.

I dreamed my Facebook page “So You Think Parenting is About The Children?” had been

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Posted on 27 Jun, 2016 | 2 comments

Do You Trust? – Part 2

(Click here to read part 1 of this article)

If an illness or disaster or betrayal happens and you ignore your truth during and after it unfolds you are bound to feel totally terrified, alone and unable to handle it. Then of course you can’t trust yourself – and you sure can’t trust life or other people! But that’s only because you are not using your amazing tools. You are walking right past your tool box and pretending you can’t manage the task at hand.

Your tool box is within you and, believe me, anytime you turn inwards and ask, “If I loved myself what would I choose now?” you will be handed the precise tool you need in that precise moment – if you listen with your heart, that is, not your head. Our head is a big part of what misleads us.

When the answer you receive is your truth it comes with a boost of hope. You will suddenly feel an

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Posted on 20 Jun, 2016 | 2 comments

Do You Trust? – Part 1

Do you trust

Sometimes after being hurt people will ask me, “How can I trust other people again? How can I trust life?” My answer is, “It’s not people or life that you need to learn to trust, it’s yourself.”

Life, as we know, has an unnerving habit of changing and throwing us curveballs – some of which whack us hard and hurt a lot. When someone asks, “How can I trust life?” what they generally mean is, “How can I relax, let go and feel safe if life won’t keep still, not change, do as I want and guarantee me only nice experiences?” Come to think of it, that’s what they mean about trusting other people too.

As usual, here I am, writing a snippet on a huge topic BUT sometimes the most complicated things can boil down to a simple message. If you trust yourself, you don’t have to worry about anything that may or may not happen in your life.

We each have areas in which we trust ourselves and others that we don’t. When you trust yourself in an area it means you don’t stress about it. You might think about it or plan for it, but it doesn’t get you in the gut with that gripping fear feeling – not even mildly. You can see other people really struggling with it and even while you acknowledge how difficult it is, it doesn’t frighten you. For example someone who trusts themselves to be able to handle illness doesn’t have regular or specific fears about getting ill. They may have illness or be aware they are at risk but it doesn’t frighten them deeply. Their attitude is, “I will deal with that if it ever happens. Until then I’m going to get on with my life and not give it much thought.” The same attitude is true for people who trust themselves to cope with an off day, a barking dog, a traffic fine, a natural disaster, an accident, a crime or relationship betrayals. It’s a relaxed kind of, “It would suck but I would cope with it. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen. Now let me enjoy my morning” attitude.

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Posted on 13 Jun, 2016 | 4 comments

Is This Self-Love Or Avoidance?

Sometimes it gets a little tricky to know if what you are doing is really self-loving or avoidance of something that will be good for you to face.

I recently went through a patch of overwhelm because I had too many projects on the go, too much work, demands from home and family and self… you know, modern life. Feeling overwhelmed made me look at some patterns I have of giving too much and of measuring my self-worth and loveability on whether I am valuable and useful to others. When I asked, “If I loved myself what would I choose now?” my truth answer was, “To try to learn otherwise”. I realised I almost never gave myself time to just be, so I gave myself permission to say no and to withdraw from my work and projects more and more and just take time to sloth about. It was exciting and scary and very challenging to do it. As I learned to do it more I felt good and satisfied. At times I felt confused and anxious while not doing anything and that led me to explore what fear-based beliefs were driving my need to be productive. It was good and helpful to me. I learned more about doing nothing and how I see myself and my value. I felt listened to and cared for by me – and this made me feel safe. Hooray!

Then it all changed.

I began to notice that

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Posted on 9 May, 2016 | 4 comments

How Is Your Give-Take Balance?

give take balance

Those who know me will have heard me say, “I don’t say yes if I don’t want to do it.” Those who worry about burdening me or asking too much of me are reassured, “Trust me to look after myself. I won’t say yes if it’s not ok for me.”

Most of the time this is true for me. I love being able to say no if something doesn’t suit me and yes when it does. It’s such a liberating thing to be able to do. This didn’t come naturally to me, I’m a people-pleaser by nature. It gives me great joy to see others happy so I’ve had to do some serious internal renovations to get to this place. It helps me to know that if I falsely agree to something when inside I’m reluctant, neither I nor they will be happy in the long run and it will damage our relationship. So it actually fits into my ethos of bringing happiness to others if I say no to them when what they desire from me doesn’t feel good to me.

In my Reiki courses I teach about

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Posted on 2 May, 2016 | 2 comments

When You Don’t Accept Something You Give It Your Power

power

Is there anything you would like to change about yourself?

If yes, what would you change and why do you want it to be different?

What are your answers?

I come up with: I would feel better about myself; Life would be easier for me; I would like myself more; I would be a nicer person…

The thing about our answers is they show us what we worry about and what we think isn’t good enough about us right now as we are. Then we FIGHT to try to make what isn’t right about us go away somehow, to fix, it, change it so we don’t have to live with this thing we don’t want.

Depending on your style of being in the world, you may find this

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