Thursday, 20 October 2016

My Key To Wholehearted Living

There’s a story behind this stone.

One that taught me more than I could have imagined.

You see, ever since I can remember I’ve been an optimistic person naturally able to re-frame events. I’d be the one drawing a cheeky smiley face for a friend in need, making an extra batch of soup for a heartbroken housemate or helping others see the positive side of things. I felt their pain so strongly and would try with all my might to help them feel better.

Naturally this developed into my profession too.

It’s been one hell of a journey though and I can see looking back how out of balance I was at times. Sometimes the kindest thing we can do is allow people to walk their own path in life - even if it means them hitting rock bottom so to desire change and connect with their full potential.

Before I discovered NLP I’d learnt like many to ignore my emotions - a way of survival from a young age. Though in the long term that behaviour was actually doing more harm than good. Thankfully self-awareness skills I discovered, taught me ways to manage how I felt and let go of things at a deep unconscious level to promote healing.

However in the early days of my NLP journey, there was still something out of alignment… I saw myself as something broken, needing ‘fixing’ on a daily basis.

I had an overwhelming list of limiting beliefs and unwanted emotions rising to the surface. Luckily my teacher Jessica Robbins, wisely reminded us “You don’t need to remove every limiting belief, only the ones which stand in the way of achieving a desired outcome”.

Phew! That’s a relief then.

I steadily learnt to be less judgmental of myself, created techniques like the ‘I Feel…’ page (FREE download below) to help acknowledge emotions and release them. I regularly tune into what my body and intuition is communicating to me, listening intently for the next steps to take. However I too need reminders occasionally, as there are always opportunities in life to shed another layer towards a more wholehearted, authentic way of living.

It was my intuition that took me to a National Park in Menorca for a short trip. There I made new connections, welcoming another experience and opportunity for growth. Of course, there were doubts and fears; changes needed to be made to my work schedule, and opening up to new people can be scary after heartbreak. 

It's essential though, that our hearts remain open regardless. 

My profession doesn’t magically remove my Inner Critic forever; I simply intend to connect to what I love on a regular basis, using techniques to ease the process if any fears arise. 

Back home on the beach I watched the waves eating their way across the shore, observing the wet stones glistening in the sand. One caught my attention; it was a beautiful oval, grey, sparkly stone, which reminded me of a dear friend from my recent trip. I bent down to pick it up when a huge wave came, when the wave retreated the stone was gone. Disappointed, I looked around though it was nowhere to be found. Still thinking of that friend, another stone caught my eye. Little did I know then what this beautiful heart shaped stone would truly represent.

Listening to my gut instinct, I took another trip to Menorca a few months later. Eagerly anticipating what adventures lay ahead. For the first time I’d be doing a full test run of working remotely. It was on this recent trip when I began to realise the true meaning of my stone.

At times in my life I was still so far from wholehearted living, only seeing the positive side of things and what needed to change.

I found it super easy to talk about the light.

This will remain a huge part of me I’m sure. It allows me to see and remind clients of their true potential when they’ve lost all hope. Though in the past I saw myself as something that needed ‘fixing’, fearing pain rather than embracing my whole self with love when letting go of what was no longer useful.

Looking at my stone, its meaning clicked. 

It represents the light and dark within everyone. The importance of embracing our whole selves, using this as a foundation to make necessary shifts in our lives with compassion and presence.

Imagine a parent holding their sobbing child... eyes closed, a loving calm breath, whilst embracing the hurt with 100% presence. Later to ask the child, ‘what did you learn here for next time?’ 

This is how we need to embrace hurting parts of ourselves. I knew this concept before, though to experience first-hand my friend in Menorca comforting a child in pain, I understood and valued this at a much deeper level.

The KEY is the intention and perspective we hold when we look within. Choosing out of LOVE for ourselves and our future to make changes, rather than out of fear of feeling pain.

We can either…

A) See problems, ourselves as broken individuals that need fixing, run to techniques or vices out of fear, unwilling to really look within and learn from past experiences, judging ourselves in the process for not being perfect enough.
Or we can…

B)  Embrace ourselves in spite of pain, learn and transform at a deep unconscious level using techniques like NLP* stepping each day closer to embracing our whole self in each moment. Knowing that there may be fear, pain and suffering at times… that's ok. We can experience a huge amount of joy and love when we truly embrace life. If we notice painful beliefs or emotions arising, to have the courage and self-love to fully see and learn from them, choosing to lovingly transform them without judgement if needed.

“I notice ___(observe feelings)___, it's ok, everyone has felt that at some point in their life, wonder what I can learn here?"

We can miss valuable opportunities for growth if we skip straight to ‘this is bad, get rid of the pain’ with a judgmental perspective that we're not perfect enough compared to others. If we don’t fully integrate these insights and heal the belief that we need 'fixing' there’s a chance we may find ourselves repeating the pattern.

Not always easy I know.

It’s human nature to move away from suffering and often we seek comfort from alcohol, food, unhelpful habits etc. Remember these only give us short lived pleasure, when in reality long lasting happiness is desired. And anything less than embracing all parts of ourselves with love isn't being exquisitely human too though, isn't it?

Here I am on a journey, shedding another layer, stepping a little bit closer to wholehearted living. I invite you to join me and many others on this journey.

We’re each at the point in our life that’s perfect for us.

Time to ditch the label ‘we're broken’ and let go of comparisons. If there are bumps along the way may we have the courage to breathe into any pain a little deeper, learn from it a little more and embrace our whole selves, whilst lovingly continuing to grow and make changes if needed.

Now I’d love to hear from you! Comment below what you found most useful from this post and why. 

Have a friend who would be interested too? Offer them a helping hand and share this post.

EXTRA: 'I Feel...' page Download HERE. And for a FREE boost your Self-Esteem pack head on over to my website

*Or any other method that helps you to heal at an unconscious level removing the root cause with love.