When you squeeze toothpaste from the tube do you just grab it and scrunch the tube to release the toothpaste or you do always squeeze very neatly from the bottom? If you were spreading jam onto bread do you use the butter knife and over load the knife with jam or do you use a clean knife or spoon and measure out the exact amount needed?
Do you analyse most things that you experience, deliberating with yourself and spend time logically working through a particular course of action or do you just trust your instincts so that if it feels right you let it happen?
When you play golf do you spend hours practising, analysing and work methodically through a routine before each shot or do you quickly approach the ball think of the end result and hit the ball without thinking it through at all?
When we are in ‘left - brain mode’ we think and behave logically, sequentially and methodically. We plan and analyse - sometimes to destruction. When we are in ‘right - brain mode’ we think and behave intuitively with feeling and imagination, going with our hearts but maybe not paying quite enough attention to the goal. It is generally said that men are left brain dominant and women right brained. Pedantic male versus intuitive female.*
1st September 2019. Pinch punch and all that.
As the new school year begins so comes my new start. Not in a born again ding dong* kind of way but in an explanatory where the hell have I been and what am I doing kind of way.
If you have read my blog or articles before you might remember I have had on-going back problems that resulted in surgery to fuse my sacroiliac joints. Unfortunately the surgeon pushed one of the surgical screws into a lumbar nerve and it has caused a mishmash of issues that include continuous pain, nerve damage with its accompanying nonsense, foot drop, muscle wastage around my ankle and lower leg and sometimes my leg disappears itself. The dodgy grammar stays because it is such a perfect description.
Life is challenging. After exhausting local pain management services my GP suggested I find a new consultant and start again. I did this and with some creative self-advocacy and charm (fluke) I ended up in the care of the amazing team at Southmead Hospital, Bristol.
Who are you? What do you do?
Who am I? What do I do?
How do you describe yourself? By your name, role in life or your job? How do we define ourselves? Do we even need to?
There are books written (usually for women) about finding yourself. The strap is something like; daughter, sister, wife, mother… now it’s time to be you.
But, who are you? As the Caterpillar asked Alice.
When I became a hypnotherapist in the early nineties I happily called myself that even though I usually had to follow it with a description or listen to comments like, ‘oh best not look into your eyes,’ or ‘bet you can’t hypnotise me.’ Because that's what people say to hypnotists. Still.
As my practice grew I added in other things ranging from coaching and speaking to hosting workshops, teaching, to being involved in the more esoteric subjects. Later on I became an author and publisher. So many job titles to list on a business card I decided to bundle them.
Holistic therapist and muse seemed to cover it. Or, so I thought until Jane Alexander wrote, while reviewing my book, ‘she describes herself as ‘a holistic therapist and muse’ which would, under normal circumstances, make me narrow my eyes and pick up my foot.’ Oh! She does go on to say I’m alright but…
Defining what we do can be challenging because what we do defines who we are.
Who we are defines what people think. Of course, it doesn’t matter what people think. Unless they are wrong.
Maybe I asked for it by calling one of my books, The Psychic Way, but assumed (ha, never do that!) that having ‘way’ in the title suggests method/option and that the sub-title would clear up any possible misconceptions; as in Fine-tuning Your Intuition. I’d be wrong then.
I have lost count of how many times, recently, I have said, “I do not work as a psychic” The reply is mostly, “Oh, but you are psychic aren’t you?”
I then feebly mutter under my breath and change the subject.
Here is the conversation that triggered this musing – I am B and the questioner is D:
D - Is he going to leave me?
B - I don’t know.
D - Of course you know, you’re a psychic. Just tell me. It’s your job.
B - No it isn’t.
Soggy lumpy squidgy bits
Saggy flappy floppy tits
Constant nagging tighten your core
Sod right off while I eat some more
Carbs to numb and fatten the bum
Add some weight and then some
The perils of pain can be weight gain
Being over stuffed yet under nourished
Does not encourage the body to flourish
The other extreme is the anorexic look
When the thought of food turns one crook
And there’s nothing to them ‘cept skin and bone
While the constant pain makes the body groan
For many years I was a vegetarian who ate fish (I know…). Then I slipped off the veggie wagon and one day a bloodied steak on my plate triggered something deep inside – not in a good way and I became a veggie again but still ate fish (I know…). I also ate dairy and eggs, yes… still know…
Pain, stress and anxiety attacks affect our breathing. If you get injured or experience an extreme situation the natural inclination is to breathe in sharply and hold your breath.
Over time the stress caused by ongoing pain or anxiety creates an extra state of anxiety which can lead to shallow breathing or fear of slower deeper breathing.
Gently try out these two techniques. Never strain or over-hold.
1. In your mind, count (see, imagine, sense) backwards from 100, rhythmically in time with your breathing, and relax a little with each number. You might like to say to yourself after each number, 'relax', 'deeper and deeper', 'calm' or a word that you associate with being relaxed. Do this until you lose count or forget where you've got to and can't be bothered to start over.
2. Count to yourself: 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 over and over and try to prevent thoughts nipping in between the numbers. If they do manage to squeeze in, say the numbers quicker so they are closer together. The aim is to only have the numbers in your head with big gaps between them, but it may happen that you forget where you are or forget to remember to count.
With each just practice for a little while. More will follow plus different techniques and modalities for you to try.
Clicking on the image above will take you to Barb School for you free breathing mini-lesson.
You have probably had days when you can’t manage to do much and personal grooming is way down the priority list but you still have to go out so you spray dry shampoo on your hair and hope for the best.
You get the feeling that everyone you see, including your doctor, thinks you look daggy and unkempt. Lazy even.
“She’s let herself go. She’d feel better if she tried harder.”
Another day you can manage better and shower, bung on some slap and head out.
“You don’t look poorly. You look good therefore you must be better.”
“You have pain all the time? All the time? I never knew. You never said you should have shared.”
And then, “All she does is moan. No wonder she hurts”
Saying, “I hurt” is not deemed bad enough because being uncomfortable or a bit sore does not warrant any kind of help.
Can you imagine all the benefits of a spa visit without the paper panties or having to be coated in a sticky brown substance that has none of the pleasures of chocolate?
What if you didn’t have to think about how to modestly cover up with a towel, or even have to shave your legs and worry about stragglers near your lady garden or man field first. Where is this magical spa of freedom and pleasure? Can it really exist? Can I buy a voucher?
You don’t need to - this is Your Mind Spa and all you need to do is summon up your inner therapist so you can reap the benefits without a blush in sight. Most people visit spas in the quest for inner peace and relaxation but in reality bliss is already yours and I’m going to show you how.
If you like, you can make your inner spa experience more enjoyable by dimming the lights, lighting a candle and playing some restful music.
Make yourself comfortable and cosy ensuring you’ll be undisturbed for the duration of your 'spa visit'.
Here is one of my past lives that came to me after I self-regressed about 20 years ago. It didn't all come in one go, but during the regression and for a few dreams during the week that followed.
My sister Lizzy and I lived on the outskirts of a village. I knew the year was 1590.
Our mother had died some years ago, quickly followed by my father who died of a broken heart. His last words were, 'I'm sorry to leave but I need to be with your mother, you have each other. I leave you both our home and my love.' He then slipped into a peaceful sleep from which he did not wake.
Lizzy and I lived a happy settled life for a few years, growing flowers, making and selling bread. We had been schooled by our parents in herb lore and tended to the sick. Many visitors would come for healing potions. We helped at births and used herbs and prayers to ensure those who passed went in peace.
One day in October, the village men had a meeting. From that day our lives changed dramatically.
We never found out what the meeting was about and who exactly was present, but from that day the people in the village averted their eyes and whispered to each other whenever we passed by.
A lot of my work is with people who have injuries or suffer with chronic pain. As someone who lives with this I know the challenges and desperation this can cause.
Some years ago I was working at a golf club with a group of nine and there were two people with shoulder and neck pain, three had low backache, one had a headache and one suffering with IBS.
The two people remaining who didn’t have any pain felt quite left out. If you ask around most people experience discomfort of one sort or another quite frequently, especially, backache, headaches and the ilk. It might be just general aches and pains, pain following injury or surgery or a stress related problem in the form of tensions in the body.
And of course, pain leads to stress which leads to pain and so on. It can be a seemingly never-ending downward spiral and when this happens it is called chronic.
Written by Herself
I write as the muse takes me and here is a blend of blog posts and articles.