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 Daisy's House where you can get your 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?
In this spa you do not 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. Where is this magical spa of freedom and pleasure? Does 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'. I suggest a few minutes to begin with and build up the duration as you please.
Create in your mind a choice of rooms. Begin with a cool one that you can visit if your thermostat is running a little high.
Follow this up by adding peaceful, sensual and sensory rooms. The beauty of this spa is that it is exactly how you would choose it to be.
If you fancy deep red drapes with golden sashes in your sensual area so be it. Maybe you like the sound of trickling water while it caresses your skin in your cooling area. Or, how about a variety of colours and textures for your pleasure in the sensory room?
Words to Yourself
In your meditation you can use suggestions, affirmations and mantras in your mind or gently say them to yourself. They can always be the same or you can ring the changes to suit your mood and desires.
Here are a few:
Today is a good day
All is well
I am calm
I am soothed
I enjoy good health
The idea is not to trick yourself but to encourage your subconscious mind to take the ideas on as fact. When you create your own, always be in the present and use positive words or phrases. Using one word can encompass all such as, “peace”.
The Inner Massage
Here is a relaxation exercise for you to try.
Become aware of your breathing without altering it while thinking about the sensations and feelings that you associate with inner peace and calm. As you acknowledge the flow of your breath the rhythm will gently slow a little.
If you have chosen to play music allow it to wash over and through you. If you are revelling in quietness be aware of the silence in your mind. Should any thoughts float by just casually observe them and let them pass.
Choose your room - you can change it about if you like. It’s all yours free from rules.
Spend a few moments noticing where you might have any tension in your body. We can experience tightness for a variety of reasons ranging from anxieties and fears to anger and irritations. However, as with your thoughts, it is about casual observation and gentle awareness.
Imagine you are massaging and soothing every part of yourself from the inside out to the rhythm of your breathing and this process will relax away where most needed.
If you like you can imagine your perfect Adonis or Adonis-ess stroking your weary limbs and then lose yourself in a fantasy of bliss.
If you are using suggestions or affirmations now is the time. If you are not then relax and just be..
In your own time rest until you are sated. Each time you visit your spa the experience will be enhanced and, quite possibly there will be new rooms.
You may drift off to sleep or you can set an alarm before you begin so you only need to focus on you and not the time.
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.
I am simply known as ‘healer’. People, in my and the surrounding villages, call on me for a variety of ailments. Daily I walk the hedgerows gathering flowers, barks and roots to make my lotions, potions and tinctures. I return to my kitchen to brew, grind and whisper the incantations to infuse the medicines with the intention of good health.
I help people with pain of the body, mind or soul sometimes all there if someone is deeply harmed. Often a broken heart from an unhealed injury or bad relationship can not be mended without compassion and regular infusions of healing. The grief of a life that was might drive some from taking to their beds and this can often lead to difficulties in them getting back up.
Together we stop excessive inflammation from spreading and turning in on itself with the bark of willow to cool the heat and the leaves of valerian to soothe demons in the mind. Finishing with milk of poppy to quieten the noise of pain.
We know of the way pain burrows deep, determined to stay put, and without correct measures can take hold as a permanent lodger.
It’s one of those lovely days again and you’re off to play golf. You feel good and all is well with your world.
You tee off at the first and think to yourself, ’So what was that all about?’ ~ as you watch the ball disappear nowhere near the place you wanted it to go. You decide it’s first tee nerves and try again.
But oh dear, another rubbish shot followed very quickly by another. With each successive shot you feel your stress levels rising and your confidence falling.
As if that isn’t bad enough the harder you try the worse it gets. You find your jaw tightening, your neck and shoulders tensing and the first suggestion of a headache coming on. Your swing goes more off line and you begin to really dislike playing golf. Your brain goes into overdrive as you try to analyse yourself and you dread the remaining holes.
What’s going on and why is it happening? Why is confidence so elusive?
"It just shows what can be done by taking a little trouble," said Eeyore. "Do you see, Pooh? Do you see, Piglet? Brains first and then Hard Work."
The House at Pooh Corner
Yet another person has told me how lucky I am because my husband and I have just returned from a Greek island.
Many times luck is mentioned when I talk about writing. One person actually said, “You have a publisher? A real one? Gosh, you are lucky!”
I, apparently, have tons of luck that has resulted in my wonderful family, delightful friends, flourishing career and beautiful home in the country. How did it all happen?
Well, I was strolling about one day minding my own business when ‘wham’ it all fell out of the sky at my feet! Imagine that. Yes, dream on.
The process of writing and having a book published is like giving birth with all the same feelings. True, you can be a bit calmer after surviving the first as you know how the process works but although each experience is unique the similarities are there. As labour starts you get an instant wave of, 'Oh, I remember now!'
It goes something like this:
Foreplay – I want to write a book
Climax – I’m going to write a book. Are you with me ;)
Conception – The idea for a book has gelled
Incubation – I’m writing a book
1st trimester – I’m good at Solitaire
Worries – My book is rubbish
Recovery – My book is brilliant
2nd trimester – I’m also good at online Mahjong
Worries – What if they say no, get a real job
Mid-way – The publisher said yes
3rd trimester – My book is being edited, proofed and printed
Worries – What if they change their mind
Close to due date – Excitement and fear in a bundle
Closer still - Little shows and teasers
Labour – Might come early. Keep breathing
Birth – Push it out there and hope no one thinks it’s ugly…
I’ll keep you posted should I get any twinges x
Written by Herself
I write as the muse takes me and here is a blend of blog posts and articles.