Zen and The Art of Life Maintenance

“The same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg. Life is about what you are made of, not the circumstances.”

– Zita

Each and every one of us is a composite of things we do and do not do. Those things define our actions and how we formulate our thoughts into actions. Sometimes we have bad habits and a mindset that we are not even aware of.

Life has become fast paced and frantic, that is how the majority of people live, that does not make it a good thing it just means that many people are more inclined to follow what other people do rather than find their own truth, discover what really works for them. This is fear based living and the price people pay is far greater than they realise.

Here are a few simple guidelines you can follow that will bring your life into healthy focus, balance and harmony. The only thing that prospers and grows in a stressful environment is dis-ease. Life is nothing without good health to enjoy it.

* Stop comparing. When you compare yourself to others you rob yourself of your own unique talents and abilities, the importance of being individual is diluted. Through comparison one or the other is diminished and in a world that already tells you that you are not enough it is usually you that emerges as the lesser of the candidates your mind will present you with. Subsequently your sense of self worth takes a beating. Remember you are wonderful because of your unique traits and characteristics.

*Stop competing. The competition of bettering yourself and being better than yesterday is a wonderful goal to aspire to, however competition is more effective when it is governed by awareness. It is okay to know what other people or other companies are capable of, however when approached as a cold blooded game you will eventually lose.

*Let Go of Anger. Holding onto anger is like holding a piece of hot molten lava in your hand and denying the pain. Anger is destructive. There is no other way to explain how toxic this emotion can become when it is not managed. If you are not able to manage it, it will make you say or do things that you may regret for the rest of you life. Every single day the papers are filled with stories of people with anger that has gotten way out of control, such that it has become rage. Given the huge availability of therapists, myself included available there is absolutely no excuse for it any longer. When you can manage and express anger in healthy ways your whole life will improve beyond measure and so to will the lives of people around you.

*Let Go of Regrets. Having regrets is an absolute and total waste of time. Regret has absolutely nothing to do with anything. Regret is a self serving form of guilt for a mistake. Mistakes are useful, they are a great opportunity to learn and grow. Everybody makes mistakes all the time.

*Stop Worrying. Worry causes stress, stress compromises your health, well-being and peace of mind. Worrying is just an imagined fear and you are far more likely to make that fear a reality by focusing on it. If you are worried about your children then the best thing you can do is be proactive otherwise you are causing them unnecessary emotional and psychological harm which is potentially far worse than the the thing you think might happen.

*Let Go of Blame. Blame is a losing game, nothing good comes of it. Principally because people who want to blame others are struggling with their own feelings of shame. Blame is just another way of passing shame which is far more toxic then any virus you can imagine, it will come back to you again and agin until you stop doing it. The most constructive thing you can do is address what it is that you are ashamed of in yourself. What are you hiding?

*Let Go of Guilt. Guilt is a form of arrogance, a self serving form of sacrifice, it does not bring peace to anyone. Better to fix the problem, make amends if necessary and then move on.

*Let Go of Fear. Fear is a stimulant and like most stimulants it is toxic. There is a distinct difference between fear and danger, one is imagined, the other is real. A flawed perception of life lies at the root of fear. For the most part fear is learnt, be it from someone else or from listening to or watching far too much non-sense on TV. Fear is always about what will happen next, which means that fear is about things that do not even exist. Which is rather irrational if you think about it logically. If your life has become crippled by fear it is a very sad and lonely way to live. I would urge you to seek the assistance of trained and compassionate professional. Hypnotherapy and NLP are amazing ways to remove fear from your life once and for all.

*Lighten Up! Life is supposed to be fun. At the very least have a giggle about how many things on the list you struggle with. People with healthy thought patterns have the ability to laugh at their problems and keep them in perspective. Good luck! Remember, every little helps.

If you are struggling with any of the issues mentioned feel free to call me for a Coaching session.

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The Limitations of Time

The Polar Bear

A Polar bear lived in a circus. He lived in a very small cage and could not even turn around, in fact he could only walk two steps forward and then two steps back.

The owner of the circus gave him to a zoo, where the polar bear had an open space in which to roam. Still, he walked two steps forward and two steps back.

One of the other bears asked him. “Why do you do that?” The polar bear replied, “Because I had to live in a cage for so long.”

Remembering and forgetting are inseparable, much like life and death sooner or later we must become cognizant of the fact that all life comes to an end. Our ability to adapt to the ebb and flow of change in life allows a certain freedom. For many people there is a tendency to hold on to things that are past – memories of both good and hurtful experiences. When someone holds on to something that should be over they not only hold back themselves, everyone in the family group is held back too. Everyone is held captive to the past which will then go on to effect the present in inappropriate ways. Because the old cannot fade away, the new has difficulty in establishing itself. It requires great discipline to extract yourself from these kind of systemic family entanglements, to let go of everything that deserves to be finished. All members of a family group need to let go of things, both positive and negative as soon as their effect for good has been realised.

If you are struggling to let go of the past and live peacefully in the present Hypnotherapy can help to alleviate the old recordings of a past story from continuing to be felt. The relief not only feels wonderful but is beneficial in that it clears the way for new and greater opportunities to be experienced.

Call me now to hear how Life Therapy can support your change and growth.

Nazi war criminal’s black granddaughter, a hidden family past.

Jennifer Teege is the granddaughter of Amon Goeth, the notorious Nazi commandant of Plaszow concentration camp depicted in Steven Spielberg’s ‘Schindler’s List’. Yet it was entirely by chance that she discovered this truth. A chance visit to a library looking for information on how to cope with the depression she was suffering set in motion a series of discoveries that had quite a dramatic impact on her life.

This story is an excellent example of the importance of our family history (ancestors) and the often mysterious, intelligent workings of the family need to restore peace, balance and harmony.

You can read more of the story here: When a black German woman discovered her grandfather was the Nazi villain of ‘Schindler’s List’

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If you feel that you may be experiencing the effects of a difficult family past or secrets that may be affecting your life today please do contact me. Systemic Coaching is a wonderful way to heal old family wounds passed from one generation to the next. The cycle of suffering can end with you.

Mindful March.

“When you are not fully yourself, living truly in your present moment, you lose everything” Zita

Mindfulness: Buddhism without the spiritual bits.

It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much. Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental wellbeing.

Some people call this awareness ‘mindfulness’, and you can take steps to develop it in your own life.

Good mental wellbeing means feeling good about life and yourself, and being able to get on with life in the way you want.

You may think about wellbeing in terms of what you have: your income, home or car, or your job. But evidence shows that what we do and the way we think have the biggest impact on wellbeing.

Becoming more aware of the present moment means noticing the sights, smells, sounds and tastes that you experience, as well as the thoughts and feelings that occur from one moment to the next.

Mindfulness, sometimes also called “present-centredness”, can help us enjoy the world more and understand ourselves better.

What is mindfulness?

Mark Williams, professor of clinical psychology at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, says that mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment.

Professor Williams says that mindfulness can be an antidote to the “tunnel vision” that can develop in our daily lives, especially when we are busy, stressed or tired.

“It’s easy to stop noticing the world around us. It’s also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living ‘in our heads’ – caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour,” he says.

“An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience. This means waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment. That might be something as simple as the feel of a banister as we walk upstairs.

“Another important part of mindfulness is an awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen moment to moment.

“Awareness of this kind doesn’t start by trying to change or fix anything. It’s about allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. When we do that, it can positively change the way we see ourselves and our lives.”

How mindfulness can help

Becoming more aware of the present moment can help us enjoy the world around us more and understand ourselves better.

“When we become more aware of the present moment, we begin to experience afresh many things in the world around us that we have been taking for granted,” says Professor Williams.

“Mindfulness also allows us to become more aware of the stream of thoughts and feelings that we experience and to see how we can become entangled in that stream in ways that are not helpful.

“This lets us stand back from our thoughts and start to see their patterns. Gradually, we can train ourselves to notice when our thoughts are taking over and realise that thoughts are simply ‘mental events’ that do not have to control us.

“Most of us have issues that we find hard to let go and mindfulness can help us deal with them more productively. We can ask: ‘Is trying to solve this by brooding about it helpful, or am I just getting caught up in my thoughts?’

“Awareness of this kind also helps us notice signs of stress or anxiety earlier and helps us deal with them better.”

Studies have found that mindfulness programmes, where participants are taught mindfulness practices across a series of weeks, can bring about reductions in stress and improvements in mood.

How you can be mindful

Reminding yourself to take notice of your thoughts, feelings, body sensations and the world around you is the first step to mindfulness.

“Even as we go about our daily lives, we can find new ways of waking up to the world around us,” says Professor Williams. “We can notice the sensations of things, the food we eat, the air moving past the body as we walk. All this may sound very small, but it has huge power to interrupt the ‘autopilot’ mode we often engage day to day, and to give us new perspectives on life.”

It can be helpful to pick a time – the morning journey to work or a walk at lunchtime – during which you decide to be aware of the sensations created by the world around you. Trying new things, such as sitting in a different seat in meetings or going somewhere new for lunch, can also help you notice the world in a new way.

“Similarly, notice the busyness of your mind. Just observe your own thoughts,” says Williams. “Stand back and watch them floating past, like leaves on a stream. There is no need to try to change the thoughts, or argue with them, or judge them: just observe. This takes practice. It’s about putting the mind in a different mode, in which we see each thought as simply another mental event and not an objective reality that has control over us.”

Mindfulness is something you can practise anywhere and everywhere.

For more information book an appointment now. Call Zita on 07709046643

Thich Nhat Hanh: Our Ancestors

In this video Thich Nhat Hanh explains how we always have access to our ancestors through the practice of meditation and mindfulness in the present moment. Despite his insights being rooted in Buddhism, his vision is deeply complementary to systemic views on children’s connection to parents.

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Addiction.

In this TED talk ‘The Power of Addiction and The Addiction of Power’ Gabor Mate discusses addiction challenging the typical thinking around this issue. He searches deeply for the roots and the wisdom of any addiction, arguing that we shouldn’t be asking ‘Why the addiction?’ – we should be asking ‘Why the pain?’

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Shifting Perspective.

 “The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.” – Chinese Proverb

The therapeutic healing you experience in Life Therapy is not an all at once thing that blows you out of the water. There are many small often seemingly imperceptible shifts that occur along the way and each one takes some time getting used to. Basically you are un-learning a long-standing habit of behaviour, belief, experience and relearning the real one, yours.

Most people are used to living with suppressed fear, denial and anger as a sort of survival mode comfort level, to cope they tend to use strong fixed beliefs, opinions, and habits, to mask feelings of core rage, panic, and pain. The coping aspect requires that you will be more inclined to live in your head, on autopilot. There is significant research and study available now that clearly states to do so will eventually compromise your health and well – being and that much like a chronic low level of depression, medication simply cannot address. There is nothing in your life that requires you to look closely at the core driving mechanisms within, other than your own life. The overwhelming majority of my clients came to me because they realised that if they wanted their life to be more satisfying and fulfilling, something had to change. Seeking the support of Life Therapy with Zita at this point, was the wisest thing they could have done. In order for any kind of lasting and meaningful change to occur you have to dissolve the fears and heal the emotional wounds that are in the way by understanding them. That means you have to face them, feel them, and decode them, which most people dread. The trick is to observe the hurtful patterns of your life. Then, find a new perspective so that don’t repeat them.

Each time an emotional shift occurs you may or may not experience symptoms within your body as the cells in your body adjust to new, healthy thought patterns, and authentic behaviour dislodge suppressed fear from your subconscious mind. For some people this can feel a bit uncomfortable as you gently ease yourself out of limiting comfort zones that kept you stuck. Emotions, which are just thoughts in-motion start to move around and in many instances leave the body altogether as tears, minor ailments, headaches a healing crisis. It is quite common for people at this point to think that therapy is making them worse rather than better, some people may become more defensive as they unconsciously try to sustain the status quo. The effort of avoiding and re-suppressing subconscious blocks will eventually wear you out, and the exhaustion can cause you to feel disillusioned, unmotivated and hopeless. The good news is, this is a good indication that you have reached a turning point. It is usually at this point, when you are finally so tired of resisting and controlling, and so overwhelmed by complexity, that you stop and come to the realisation there is nothing more you can do.

The whole Life Therapy experience of healing leads you to a place where you simply come to terms with what is happening. You come to a place of peace with what it is to be with yourself and with the fears and the pain. This is an important part of the healing of your life, a simple, natural, healthy way to evolve emotionally. Once you can experience the state that you are directly in without having to judge it or act on it everything becomes much easier, simpler. You are strengthened in a way that will last you for the rest of your life.

By simply ‘being’ with Life, letting things be as they are, you return to an experience of your own ‘being’  which was always present behind the veil of distractions and illusions. And when you live from this place life becomes as it is meant to be blissful, fun, clear.

Hypnotherapy supports you to engage with silence and look deeper within where your real strengths are waiting to be discovered by you. As you tune in your intuition becomes more finely tuned. Your intuition is one of the most extraordinary and powerful skills you posses, the store house of wisdom. Your intuition becomes even more purposeful when it is balanced with your rational side. Too many people are living difficult lives simply because they rely too heavily on their sense of rational and reason, this makes life rather complicated and a struggle. You know this already, it’s why you are reading this. You already know that something needs to change. That is a good thing it means that you are ready for change, ready for personal growth. What a wonderful thing that is! If you can get along with your intuition you will unleash a force within you that has the capacity to allow you to create the life you want. Your mental acuity increases to a capacity that most of what you may have struggled with in the past becomes so much easier to navigate. Most people report back a sense of peaceful clarity. Understanding and compassion dissolved their fears. There is a gentle release, relief and a return to joy as your whole being is allowed to soften into accepting that suffering is no longer a required part of your life experience. You will feel so much better!

Life Therapy precipitates the end of a stagnant life. Your mind is now free to make the right choices for you, and since your mind has been freed of fearful choices it starts to make choices that are rooted in love, the most essential form of love, self love. By achieving greater compassion for yourself you will naturally extend the same to others. It’s a win win situation all round.

I am ready. Are you willing? Call or mail me now, to book an appointment. 07709046643

Vulnerability.

A wonderful, wonderful talk. When you have a few minutes sit and watch this. Amazing. Brene Brown is a Sociologist who was doing research into what makes people feel connected, truly connected and what makes others feel alone. Fascinating!

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The Bonds of Love.

“Enlightenment is intimacy with what is” Zita

Every single day all over the world parents teach their children the rules of the game. They teach their children how to conform, how to fit in. They teach their children the rules of their tribe. Parents teach their children that to be loved and belong; “this is how ‘we’ behave”, “this is how ‘we’ think”.

Children, for even as an adult you remain the child of your parents, are extremely loyal in love to their family, especially their parents. Even those who say they live completely different lives to their parents, the patterns will remain the same. Children will get sick for their parents, children will even die for their parents so deep is the love and the bond. People follow their parents because to not do so would threaten their existence, they have been taught to believe by inference that they will be excluded or are unlikely to survive if they stray too far from the family fold. Quite often you will hear someone say words to the effect of; “All my family vote Labour so I vote Labour.” “All my family are professionals so I became a Lawyer.” “My Mother and my Grandmother always cooked the Turkey this way.” and so on. Parents judge their children to be ‘good’ when they follow the family code. In fact for the vast majority of people breaking the family code would be experienced as a profound emotional and psychological trauma. We often witness this when marriages irretrievably breakdown and the strain of following the partner’s family beliefs and traditions is just too difficult to adjust to. And so partners are blamed for not loving you the way you are familiar and comfortable with. Every day you demand of others that they break these profound bonds of love to satisfy your own wants, desires, needs and judgments whilst refusing to give up your own.

Imagine, if you will, that for a person who is following a family tradition where men are expected to take a back seat in the affairs of the household, or a woman who experienced her father as absent, it will be quite a challenge for this woman to adjust her perception of a household and family that runs against a said truth as she has learnt and experienced it. Imagine a man who was sent away to boarding school at a very young age, or who was raised by a father who taught him that working long hours was the honourable way to earn a respectable income to support his family and teach his children a sound work ethic, that his natural reaction would be to work endless hours or remain detached from the family he creates. Whatever the differences may be they remain powerful bonds to which we are all tied.

Marriage in and of itself requires a great deal of maturity, a willingness to surrender part of your connection to your roots in order to establish new ties, create new bonds in the branches of an extended family tree as two different family systems blend and unite. If each partner can willingly let go of some of their family of origin ties to support the new, then we see a strength in the bond that can sustain a marriage and the demands it makes of each everyday. If you yourself can bring yourself to the level of understanding of how it would feel to dishonour your parents, your family, your tribe then perhaps you yourself have already taken a step closer to understanding what is required to really empathise with the other. If you expect or demand that your partner give up these invisible bonds of love and attachment they have to their family of origin the more vehemently they will fight to defend them. The only judgement you have over whether it is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ principally coming from what your parents have taught you. Mothers have the greatest influence over children and it is the same love you were unconsciously seeking when you chose your partner. The rejection of a partner is not just the rejection of the love you received from your Mother it is also intrinsically a rejection of yourself. This is why love is so painful. That which remains unresolved with your mother is carried over to be resolved with your partner, husband or wife. You are no different from your partner who loves their family with all their heart and who fears being excluded if they stray.

We have become so fixated on looking at life from a superficial perspective, making judgements based on early conditioning that we never really consider that behind much that we deem to be ‘bad’ ‘wrong’ in the other is actually a hidden loyalty of great love for that which they came from. You can’t change your life and your world from a place of judgement, blame and hypocrisy. You can only change it from a place of understanding, forgiveness, compassion and a willingness to change yourself first. As you change, your world changes with you. If it comes to a point that it is not possible to continue your life with your partner, the very least you can do is honour the love that existed between you. Acknowledge with love the seeming differences between you and graciously, gracefully move on.

When Ms. Paltrow and Mr. Martin announced their ‘conscious uncoupling’ much mockery was made of the idea, an indication of the prevailing attitude that separation and divorce is naturally about conflict and a lack of compassion for our soon to be ex-love. The truth is, there is no off ramp in love for if there was you were never really in love in the first place. A rather sobering thought if you think about it… particularly if there are children involved. The damaged caused by such an immature notion is profound, incomprehensible and essentially rather cruel. There is no need to stamp out every ember of love to justify a decision to change. One or both of you has made a choice, accept what is and be kind about it.

When peaceful resolutions are not reached the negative fall out reaches far beyond court judgements and legal documents, they stay with you, carry over into the next relationship and have a profoundly negative impact on the generations that follow. Children are loyal to their parents after all.

If it is your heartfelt intention to live a happy, peaceful, joyful life then it is worth considering gaining a new perspective, a kind and loving perspective, a perspective that is for the greater good of all.

To bring love and harmony into your life such that you might prosper, book an appointment now. Call Zita on 07709046643 My door is open to the willing.

When Silence Speaks

“Don’t just do something, sit there, in silence.” Zita

In an art show called “The Artist Is Present,” Marina Abramović sat in the museum’s atrium for 700 hours (6 days a week for 7 hours a day) inviting the crowds of viewers to sit directly opposite her in silent dialogue.

The video below shows Abramović, sitting and waiting for her next silent interlocutor. At the end, Ulay who was her lover and collaborator for 12 years when they were young, approaches and takes a seat. Until that moment they had neither seen or spoken to each other in over 20 years. Marina Abramović looks up to what was probably the most unexpected sight of the night. Their reunion touchingly reminds us that we do not always need words to speak and communicate our most sincere feelings.

We live in a world of rapid, constant communication and input where our attention is always pulled somewhere else and we experience a seemingly endless cascade of thoughts swimming in our head.

What happens when we stop to listen to what is spoken in silence?