Saturday, December 21, 2013


I don't think many of us are neutral in how we feel about Christmas, it can bring up all sorts of memories and feelings. I was listening to an Irish psychotherapist on television giving advice to people having issues with their family, with Christmas coming they were feeling worse about any issues or conflicts. What struck me most is the difficulty that many of us have in being honest, with ourselves and with others. And even if we are honest with ourselves, it is not always possible to share that honesty with others, for lots of different reasons. Christmas has a way of either reminding us how connected and loved we feel, or how lonely and diconnected we feel.

However, I do believe that none of us are successful in hiding how we truly feel, it usually comes out in various different ways, not the least of which can be snide, mean and unkind comments or actions (even if we feel justified). By coincidence I came across this quote by the great Alice Miller: If it is very difficult for you to criticise your friend [or family], you are safe in doing it. But if you take the slightest pleasure in it, that is the time to hold your tongue.

Anything that reminds us of how we truly feel is an opportunity to get clear and heal. It is in times of stress that how we truly feel about ourselves and others comes to the fore. If a belief makes you feel bad, horrible, unlovable or unacceptable, consider the possibility that you do not have to believe this belief, even if you have had it your whole life. Just because it is a deeply entrenched belief does not make it the truth, it makes it your truth, or what you have believed to be true, which you can change.

I wish everyone a peaceful and joyful Christmas and New Year, hope it's your best year yet!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The importance of willingness

The old saying, where there is a will, there is a way, has a lot of truth to it. I believe being willing is absolutely essential on our healing journey. When we're willing, it means we're ready to take responsibility for ourselves and acknowledge what's there, even though it might be difficult and even excruciating sometimes.

If we find we're not willing for whatever reason, we can tap on it. We can tap on ANYTHING, that is the beauty of tapping. Even being willing to admit that we're not willing is a huge step and can set the ball rolling. Try the following script to help you, please customise for you and your unique circumstances.

Even though I'm not willing to change, I completely accept that that is how I feel right now

Even though part of me is willing and another part is not (because ... fill in the blank, GUESS if you don't know) that is perfectly ok, I acknowledge this conflict

Even though I don't feel willing because I'm scared of ... I accept my fear

Top of head: I'm not willing
Eyebrow: And that's ok
Side of eye: I'm just not ready to make any changes
Under the eye: I feel scared
Under the nose: I refuse to budge
Under the mouth: Until I'm ready
Collar bone: And even if I never feel ready
Under the arm: I can accept myself anyway (watch out for any tailenders [objections] here and tap on them if there are any)

Top of the head: I acknowledge my hesitancy
Eyebrow: To ...
Side of eye: It's ok to feel afraid
Under the eye: The familiar is comfortable
Under the nose: I don't like uncertainty
Under the mouth: It makes me feel ...
Collar bone: And that's ok
Under the arm: I'll make changes when I'm ready

Top of the head: And only then
Eyebrow: That makes me feel ...
Side of eye: I honour how I feel about all of this
Under the eye: Even if it's difficult
Under the nose: Even if a part of me wants to change
Under the mouth: And another part is afraid of change and all that it might mean
Collar bone: I honour my fear
Under the arm: I honour the fact that I'm willing to tap on all my feelings about this

Top of the head: That is a huge step forward for me
Eyebrow: I acknowledge all of my feelings
Side of eye: Even the difficult ones
Under the eye: The feelings that are hard to feel
Under the nose: I'm willing to admit that I find it hard to feel certain emotions because ...
Under the mouth: I'm tapping through this
Collar bone: Even though I find it difficult
Under the arm: I honour my willingness to admit I'm not willing in some areas of my life

The willing, Destiny guides them. The unwilling, Destiny drags them ~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The "problem" child

The language we use is so telling. The truth is no one behaves well or badly in a vacuum. We are responding to our environment and everything in it and it is all relevant and needs to be taken into account.

Whenever help is sought or given for a "problem" child, help is needed for the entire family. It can be all too easy to scapegoat, blame and project. What is needed first and foremost is willingness and accountability, particularly on the part of any adults in the situation. Children do what we do, not what we say and they are excellent students of the adults in their life.

We were born with four words engraved on our bodies: "love me, hold me". We always knew we wanted that, though we may not have had permission to say it out loud ~ David Richo

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Why the human response to threat is so important

How we respond when we feel threatened is hugely important. I believe a sense of threat can only be truly measured subjectively. What matters is that the threat feels or is perceived as real.

When we feel threatened and/or frightened we can enter what is called tonic immobility (also called the freeze response) and/or we can peritraumatically dissociate. If a threat is not defused and we internalise it, trauma results. That's how important our response to feeling threatened is and why we need to listen to what people say and feel and take it seriously.

I would strongly argue that trauma cannot be measured objectively and my recent thesis for my MA in counselling and psychotherapy was all about these very topics. I argued that there is an inherent link between tonic immobility, trauma and dissociation (peritraumatic and posttraumatic). It is a subject that I find fascinating and is very close to my heart. Over the next few weeks I will post excerpts of my thesis here.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Wanting to forget

Wanting to forget something painful is understandable. On closer inspection though, it is another form of resistance. Resistance doesn't work in the long run, as a recent article from says "Many individuals who have survived a traumatic life event wish to simply forget about the experience, hoping that forgetting will be synonymous with overcoming. However, it is not possible to erase pivotal life experiences or to truly forget about them. The human mind and body remember and clamor for healing". My colleague Puja Kanth Alfred has written a great article on the need to forget or disown our stories by rewriting our memories.

I sometimes wonder whether the need to forget or disown our stories is stronger in others rather than in ourselves. Let's be honest, the pressure in society to be "positive" and "move on" is strong, even if that sense of positivity is feigned or forced. We therefore receive a lot of societal support in disowning, pretending, forgetting, dissociating, distracting and avoiding. It takes a huge amount of courage to face our pain and sometimes we can feel very alone in doing so.

Our need to forget can also ensure our survival in many cases, but again this sense of survival is short term. Surviving only gets us so far until the cracks start to show. Sooner or later, we need to address and heal our pain. What usually happens is physical and psychological symptoms worsen so they get our attention. We can see this in various different ways, I prefer to see these symptoms as a way of making us take our pain seriously. Serious enough so that we do something about it so it doesn't hurt so much, or at all. 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Your confusion is not pathology, it is path

I'd like to share this article that a friend shared with me from sounds true by Matt Licata.

It's certainly not the easiest of paths but it's the one that resonates with me as being the most true and honest. While our resistance is so understandable, it just doesn't work. And I know that from experience.

"There are movements of somatic wisdom arising within you that contain very important information for your journey. If you will provide shelter for what is burning within, you will see that these are no ordinary messengers. They are harbingers of integration, sent from beyond to reveal the wholeness that is the signature of this dimension. Nothing is missing, nothing is out of place, nothing need be sent away. Inside your body, in the center of your emotions, in the core of your somatic experience the sacred world is wild and alive. Feel it, friends. You have been brought to right here and right now, for this". Read on

Love is the absence of anxiety ~ Wilhelm Reich

Monday, October 28, 2013

I am enough

A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don't function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick ~ Brené Brown

Feeling acceptable, wanted, worthy, enough and feeling that you belong are all related. And it starts with our caregivers right at the beginning of our lives. The question is can you feel this way even if your parents didn't want you, found you unacceptable or didn't think you were worthy? 

When we love and accept ourself it is impossible to make someone else feel unworthy, undeserving or unacceptable. You didn't know it as a child, but these issues weren't yours. Whatever we believe becomes our truth, even if it isn't true. Try tapping on these phrases and make sure to change them to suit you.

Even though I don't feel that I am enough, I accept how I feel

Even though I don't feel I belong, I accept myself anyway

I need ... to feel that I'm enough

I need ... to feel that I belong

I need ... to feel acceptable

I need ... to feel accepted

It feels possible to feel I belong

It feels possible that I can be enough

I am worthy of ...

I am not worthy of ...

The truth is: Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you're enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect ~ Brené Brown

Monday, October 21, 2013

Freedom from emotions

I think there are some misconceptions as to what emotional freedom really means. It does not mean freedom from emotions, it means the freedom to feel emotions without any shame, anger, guilt or any other barrier that prevents us from fully feeling them.

Any emotion (or anything or anybody for that matter) can have an energetic charge for us. It is that charge that we are looking to dissolve with EFT so we can have freedom or peace around whatever it is. We will still remember it, but it doesn't have any charge for us. That's real emotional freedom, or peace.

You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level ~ Eckhart Tolle

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What are you used to?

Whatever you're used to will feel comfortable. If you're used to being criticised and disrespected you might feel uncomfortable if someone treats you well. You might find yourself pushing that person away, because you just can't handle someone being nice to you.

In that sense, love, kindness or respect might feel like a "negative" thing in your life. Even though you desperately want these things, you can't let them in, you can't let yourself be loved because you don't want to be hurt, again, or you might feel you just don't deserve to be loved or cherished. Any emotion will feel "negative" if we don't allow it to pass through, in and out. Just like we do with our food. We become emotionally constipated when we don't allow ourselves to feel our emotions fully.

Until you deal with your hurt and pain you will find it nearly impossible to forgive. I believe there is too much emphasis on forgiving in the spiritual literature. Give yourself a break and deal with you for the time being. If you're not ready or willing to forgive, it simply means you are still hurting. Take that seriously, respect and trust yourself enough to know that there is more you need to heal. Take your time and be patient and kind with yourself. When you've healed your hurts, you won't even need to forgive, you'll just accept things the way they are, or the way they were. Accepting something however does not mean putting up with it.

I love the quote below, because you have to trust and respect yourself enough to know what is unacceptable for you. It all comes down to what you know to be true. And that knowing comes with trusting yourself and your feelings. If you don't feel your feelings, you won't be able to learn to trust them.

Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable ~ Denis Waitley

Thursday, October 03, 2013

What to tap on?

In my experience there is absolutely no point in tapping (or doing any emotional work) if you are not going to be as honest as you possibly can. At least with yourself.

Many times I hear the question "Why do we tap on the negative?" and I wince. Why is feeling sad or angry or fearful "negative"? It might certainly feel that way. But there is probably a very good reason as to why you feel that way in the first place. When we block our emotions and don't feel them, they feel "negative".

What I know for sure is fighting or resisting the way we feel keeps us stuck. So do yourself a favour and tap on the TRUTH of how you feel. There is no better way to correct the short circuit in our energy systems that can create so much havoc, heartbreak and exhaustion. You will feel enormously relieved when you tell the truth and tap on it. Even if only to yourself.

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off ~ Gloria Steinem

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I belong

Do you feel you belong? Do you feel you have a right to be here? Do you feel worthy and deserving of having good in your life? Try the following script, please customise it for yourself.

Even though I don't feel I belong and that makes me feel ... I deeply and completely accept how I feel right now

Even though not belonging feels ... I am completely okay

Even though it hurts not to belong (to ...) I completely accept how hurt I feel

Top of the head: This hurt
Eyebrow: This emptiness
Side of the eye: This yearning
Under the eye: To ...
Under the nose: To be loved
Under the mouth: To belong
Collar bone: To feel comforted
Under the arm: To feel warmth

Top of the head: To feel sheltered in every sense
Eyebrow: To feel safe
Side of the eye: To feel okay to be who I am
Under the eye: Whoever and whatever that is
Under the nose: I have a right to be here (listen out for any objections)
Collar bone: But others ...
Under the arm: I need others' approval

Top of the head: Before I can belong
Eyebrow: Before I can feel at home
Side of the eye: Before I can feel worthy
Under the eye: Before I can feel enough
Under the nose: I need others to feel I belong
Under the mouth: I can't belong without others
Collar bone: I yearn to be loved (by ...)
Under the arm: I long to be loved (by ...)

Keep tapping until you feel a shift, or you get an insight. This a core issue so it might take a while. Be patient and kind with yourself.

That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you're not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Anxiety and stress protocol by Silvia Hartmann

This is a really great article on anxiety and stress by Silvia Hartmann which has some really useful and simple exercises 

I've been doing them for the last few days with some great results!

Last night as I was sleeping,

I dreamt—marvelous error!—

that I had a beehive

here inside my heart.

And the golden bees

were making white combs

and sweet honey

from my old failures.
~ Antonio Machado

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

We attract what we are

We don't, we attract what we think or believe we are. If we believe we're not good, or good enough, not worthy, or worthy enough, not deserving, not lovable, not acceptable, that's what shows up in our lives. Not because it's true but because we believe it is, which is an entirely different matter. Look at Bruce Lipton's book The Biology of Belief for example.

When a child grows up believing that they're not lovable, sadly they'll live that so-called truth out by not respecting themselves and allowing others to disrespect them in many different ways. But it doesn't have to be that way, we can examine and question our beliefs and dissolve the beliefs that don't serve us with tools such as EFT.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The gift of anger

There are too many emotions that are considered negative, but probably one of the most vilified is anger. I really like the work of Karla McLaren on emotions, she calls separating emotions into positive and negative lists: 'valencing'. You can read some excellent articles on her site on anger and all of the other emotions. For example she has a list of the gifts that anger has for us which are:

Identifying the gifts of anger

I have a series of questions for you, and I want you to think about them in the present moment — in relation to your current relationships and your present-day skills. These answers can change over time, so let’s focus on your situation right now.

As you answer these ten questions, please grade your responses from 1 to 5: 1 (No – Never); 2 (Rarely); 3 (Sometimes); 4 (Often); and 5 (Yes – Always).

I feel heard and respected in my interpersonal relationships
I am comfortable speaking up for myself, even during conflicts
I take good care of myself
I know who I am
I can make clear distinctions between my own needs and the needs of others
I can say no to demands on my personal time
I can make clear distinctions between my own emotions and the emotions of others
I can remain present and focused when others are angry
I am sensitive to issues of social justice
I work to make the world a more just and loving place for everyone

It's easy to see how anger can serve us after reading this list. The problem is most of us either repress anger or express it when it's gotten to the point of rage because we've let it build up. The trick is to acknowledge your emotions AND any judgements you may have for having them in the first place. The most important thing is to feel your emotions so they don't get stuck, you don't necessarily have to express them if you don't want to or don't feel safe in doing so.

Personally, I would never work with a practitioner who spoke about emotions being either positive or negative as I'd find it very hard, if not impossible, to be emotionally honest with that person, especially if I were feeling any of the 'negative' emotions on their list, which would make any work we'd do together futile. Why is being honest about how we truly feel such an issue with ourselves and others? Something definitely worth tapping on ...

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Sitting quietly with yourself

Sometimes this is the hardest thing to do because we can feel like we want to climb out of our own skin. But if we can have the courage to stay with those difficult emotions and sensations, we increase our capacity to feel them. By feeling them, they dissipate of their own accord naturally. Anxiety is usually years and years and years worth of not feeling our pain.

There is a very good exercise which you can download for free called the 12 second chill from Dr Suzanne Le Combe It is not a relaxation exercise, but an exercise in increasing your capacity to feel difficult emotions and physical sensations, initially starting with 12 seconds and gradually increasing as and when you feel comfortable.

I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me ~ Herman Hesse

Sunday, July 21, 2013

How much can you tolerate?

Self-regulation will always be a challenge, but if somebody's going to be in charge, it might as well be me ~ Daniel Akst

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Some interesting articles on trauma

I haven't posted in a while, I'm so busy with my lovely 7 month old son and finishing my thesis :-) But I wanted to post some links to articles I've been reading for my thesis on trauma. This is an excerpt from an article by Diana Fosha (Fosha, D. (2002). Trauma reveals the roots of resilience, Constructivism in the Human Sciences 6(1 & 2): 7–15.):

"I want to tell you a story, that focuses on the importance of therapeutic affirmation. The patient, I’ll call her Ellie, is a woman in her 50s who has been through more than she cares to remember. But, unlike others, she remembers. At age 5 her father died, and a series of incidents of abuse, neglect and deprivation followed. In the last 10 years, she lost a breast, she lost a husband, and as of September 11, her job lies beneath what was the North Tower.

But this day, her mind is on an incident that took place more than four decades ago. In the telling, it is as vivid as if it had happened yesterday. An eighth grader with a active imagination, she decided to relieve her depression by having an adventure. Like Toad in The Wind in the Willows, she decided to escape from her prison, i.e., her room, by climbing out the window. She fashioned a rope out of rags, she tied them together, she threw the rope out the third story window of the family house (she did not want to tear the sheets on her bed to shreds and get into even more trouble). She climbed out her window and started to shimmy down the improvised rope. There she was, hanging out her window, when the rope of rags broke. She was hanging by a thread. Literally. She screamed for help, she screamed for her mother. No one came. As in a grim Hans Christian Andersen tale, she could hear the rest of the family laughing and talking on the ground floor, the noise of laughter and talk and silverware clinking against plates mixing with her screams for help. It became apparent to her that no one would come and rescue her. She thought she was going to die. She remembers rapidly trying to figure out the best way to fall so as to maximize her chances of survival and determined that it would be best if she jumped. Jump she did: she broke her arm but she did survive, as she just barely avoided rolling off the roof". Read on

Here are a few links to people whose work on trauma I admire, the links will take you directly to their articles.
Diana Fosha
Jennifer Freyd
Peter Levine
Robert Scaer
Ellert Nijenhuis
Onno van der Hart
Bessel van der Kolk
Pat Ogden

The human response to psychological trauma is one of the most important public health problems in the world ~ Bessel A van der Kolk

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Robert Scaer has some really fantastic material on his website His book, The Body Bears the Burden: Trauma, Dissociation, and Disease is also a fantastic read. This is an excerpt of an article from his website:


In his book, Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self, Allen Schore has outlined in exquisite detail the psychobiology of early childhood development involving maturation of orbitofrontal and limbic structures based on reciprocal experiences with the care giver. (14). Dysfunctional associations in this dyadic relationship result in permanent physicochemical and anatomical changes which have implications for personality development as well as for a wide variety of clinical manifestations. An intimate relationship may exist, with negative child/care giver interaction leading to a state of persisting hypertonicity of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems that may profoundly affect the arousal state of the developing child. Sustained hyperarousal in these children may markedly affect behavioral and characterological development.

This phenomenon has its correlation in the adult traumatic experience and its effect on the autonomic nervous system. Although this effect has been described extensively in Viet Nam veterans and other groups of traumatized individuals, one of the more fascinating models of the physiology of the traumatic experience had been developed by Peter Levine, PhD., (7,8) based on the ethological model of the fight/flight/freeze response seen in animals in response to life-threatening experiences. In the wild, the preyed-upon animal will flee or attempt to fight, but if trapped, will enter a freeze response where it assumes a state of immobility while physiologically still manifesting high levels of activity of both parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. If the animal survives the attack, it will go through a period of discharge of this high level automatic arousal through the motor system involving trembling, running movements, shaking, diaphoresis and deep breathing. Following this, the animal will return to its prior state of calm alertness. Interestingly, game keepers in Africa interviewed by Levine who capture animals for examination or tagging routinely note that if the animal does not go through the shaking/breathing response after release, they will inevitably die in the wild, possibly due to the inability to initiate appropriate self- protective behavior. Read on

Traumatic reactions occur when action is of no avail ~ Judith Herman

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The importance of a 'relational home'

We need others, we need to be loved and we need to feel connected. This is especially true when we've been traumatised, in fact it's essential, we can't do without it at the best of times, never mind the worst.

Robert Stolorow in his book, Trauma and Human Existence, calls this a 'relational home' and I really really get what he means. Probably because I haven't always had it and I really appreciate it when I do have it. It's someone (including ourself) we can say the 'unsayable' to, the things we're ashamed of, feel guilty about, feel we're bad people for feeling/thinking them. How we truly feel deep deep down without having to dress it up, sugar coat it, or indeed, to make others feel better.

When we can give this to ourselves, we can give it to another. Even if you don't have someone to open up to or connect with, open up to yourself, give yourself what you need. Take your own feelings seriously, validate your own experiences. Respect who you are, where you've come from and where you are now.

I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship ~ Brené Brown

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Taking your power back

In the book Infinite Love and Gratitude, Darren Weissman talks about what is essential for healing. Besides clean water, good food and exercise one of them is: taking your power back.

This can be difficult, especially if we have issues such as learned helplessness, freezing on the spot for no `apparent' reason, wanting/needing to be liked or approved of. But there are few things more important than taking your power back and standing in your own strength.

Try tapping on the following sentences:

Even though It's hard to stand up for myself because ... I love and accept that part of myself

Even though I'm too afraid to be myself, because ... I accept how I feel right now

Even though my power feels ... I accept how I feel about that

Even though being powerful feels ... I accept myself anyway

Try listing all your associations with power and see if any of them have an emotional charge for you and start tapping on them.

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any ~ Alice Walker

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Love and belonging

The absence of love, belonging, and connection always lead to suffering - Brené Brown

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The limits of talk

This is an excellent article by Mary Sykes Wylie on why Bessel van der Kolk thinks it's essential to include the body in talk therapy for trauma. She writes:

For more than 20 years, Bessel van der Kolk has been in the forefront of research in the psychobiology of trauma and in the quest for more effective treatments. Now he’s touched off an intense debate about the role of scientific evidence in finding ways to alleviate suffering and the future of the traditional talking cure itself ...

Bessel van der Kolk likes to introduce his workshops on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with medical film clips from World War I showing veterans diagnosed with what was then called "shell shock." In these dramatic and riveting clips, one soldier sits hunched over on his hospital cot, staring blankly ahead, responding to nothing and nobody until the single word "bomb" is said, whereupon he dives for cover underneath the small bed. Another man lies almost naked on the bare floor, his back rigidly arched, his arms and hands clawing the air as he tries, spasmodically and without success, to clamber onto his side and stand up. Yet another, who once bayoneted an enemy in the face, now opens his mouth wide into a gaping yaw and then closes it, and opens it and closes it, over and over and over again.

The images are disturbing, heartbreaking, and all the stranger because these particular men, technically speaking, are physically unharmed. Their physical symptoms--paralysis, violent trembling, spasmodic movements, repetitive facial grimaces, zombielike demeanor--look exotic to our eyes because PTSD generally doesn't show up like this anymore in most clinicians' offices. Time and Western cultural evolution have changed the way traumatized people express their distress in a therapist's office. Now, trauma patients may look fine on the surface, but complain of nightmares, flashbacks, feelings of numbness, generalized fearfulness, dissociative symptoms, and other problems that aren't as visible to the world at large. But to van der Kolk, these old images still represent what he calls the "pure form" of PTSD. The appearance in these World War I film clips that the veterans are possessed, mind and body, by invisible demons still captures the fundamental truth about PTSD--that it can reduce its victims to mute, almost animal-like, creatures, utterly isolated in their fear and horror from the human community. Read on

Monday, April 08, 2013

Is the world a friendly place?

Einstein asked this question saying that it is probably the most important question we can ask ourself. It's not as simple as that though, it's both friendly and unfriendly. What really matters is how we feel in the world.

Do we feel safe or not? Do we feel safe in our world, do we feel safe in our own body, which is our world? Stephen Porges says "safety is the body's response to the environment". This sense of safety goes way back, right back to our time in the womb. Safety is one of the biggest and most important issues we can tap on as it underlies so any issues. If we don't feel safe, we won't feel friendly towards ourself or anyone else, not in a true sense. When we feel safe we can trust, we can open up and protect ourself at the same time.

Try tapping on:

My body is the safest/friendliest place for me to be

and see what comes up ...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Perfect Health

I'm doing the 21 day meditation challenge again. They are really really good. Following a community meditation like this is a great way to stay focused and inspired. The subject is on perfect health and the last 4 days have been very peaceful. It's well worth signing up for and it's free (and you'll be able to see the last 4 meditations).

A bodily disease, which we look upon as whole and entire within itself, may, after all, be but a symptom of some ailment in the spiritual part ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

Monday, March 04, 2013


I've been watching Des Bishop's Under the Influence on TV (he's an american comedian living in Ireland) and it's very funny and so true. He does know us well as he jokes in his show.

The programme is about the amount of alcohol drunk in Ireland and the attitudes of most Irish people to alcohol. There's a lot of peer pressure in Ireland to drink and it doesn't end when you reach your twenties, thirties, forties or beyond. We do have a problem with drink in this country but unlike what the programme was saying, I don't think that it's the availability and price of alcohol that makes people drink more, it's our attitude that needs to change. Making alcohol more expensive and less available won't change things, let's be honest the money will go to bail out the banks and bond holders, it certainly won't go into education and health.

I lived in Italy for three years and alcohol is cheaper and more available and yet you don't see people falling down drunk, getting sick and getting into fights. Why is that? Well, their attitude for one, it's not cool to drink or behave like that, whereas in Ireland, it is. You're no 'craic' (Irish word for fun) if you don't drink here you see. What we need to do is change our mindset around alcohol, even if we don't consider ourselves to be alcoholics our general attitudes aren't healthy around alcohol.

But let's ask why do people really drink? I think it's to feel good (or to at least not feel any pain by numbing), to not feel embarrassed, shy, awkward, anxious, depressed ... So that's the goal: to feel good. What we need to do is find healthier ways to feel good. There's nothing wrong with a few glasses of wine but when it becomes a crutch, when you can't feel good without drinking alcohol, then it becomes a problem. I know people can become physically addicted but it's the psychological addiction that's the real driver, and that's what really needs understanding, compassion and healing.

Not all addictions are rooted in abuse or trauma, but I do believe they can all be traced to painful experience. A hurt is at the centre of all addictive behaviours. It is present in the gambler, the Internet addict, the compulsive shopper and the workaholic. The wound may not be as deep and the ache not as excruciating, and it may even be entirely hidden—but it’s there. As we’ll see, the effects of early stress or adverse experiences directly shape both the psychology and the
neurobiology of addiction in the brain ~ Gabor Maté

Monday, February 25, 2013

Chasing the emotion

There is a well known procedure in EFT called chasing the pain. You 'chase' or follow where physical pain leads you. It may lead you around your body in the form of different sensations, or an emotion may come up as might a memory. Things usually daisy chain together until you find relief from the physical pain and/or you gain insight into an emotional issue that has contributed to or even caused the physical pain.

You can do the same thing with your emotions. You can follow where anger may lead you, for example it could be hurt, sadness or fear. This is akin to different aspects coming up. Very often if someone taps on their anger and it's 8 out of 10 and it decreases to 0 but then sadness comes up and it's a 10, they might feel EFT didn't work. What has happened is they have come across another aspect of the same issue, in this case; sadness. Chasing emotions like this is like peeling an onion, and of course it might make you cry too!, but it's worthwhile in the end.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Website down

Apologies for my website and email being up and down over the last few days, hopefully it'll be back up again permanently over the next day or so. You can also email me at noreen(dot)barron(at)gmail(dot)com

Thanks for understanding!

Monday, February 18, 2013

What's your self talk

... when you're really really stressed? Do you say things like:

Life is unfair
I'm jinxed
I am a failure/I feel a failure
Things never go right for me
I am a bad person/I feel like a bad person
It's hopeless
Good things never last
This always happens to me
Bad things always happen

These beliefs are what you are affirming, they are what feels true for you in your life. When things are going wrong and we ask our self this question, our answers tell us how we really feel about our self, life and others. There is no point in sugar coating something if underneath we feel entirely differently. Affirmations can be either positive or negative, for an affirmation to be true, it has to feel true. Whether or not it is true is another matter, what's important is that it feels true for you. A better question might be, does this belief/affirmation serve me?

You can take one of your statements when you do this exercise and ask yourself what evidence do you have for believing it to be true and then start tapping. EFT short cut diagram and procedure.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Be your own best advocate

Perhaps this is most true when it comes to looking after your health.

I gave birth on the 15th November 2012, I was 42 weeks and 3 days pregnant and under severe pressure from the hospital to be induced. I didn't want to be induced, I had researched it and spoken to many women who had been induced, and knew it usually ended up in a cascade of interventions with a cesarean section being the end result far too often. The drugs they use for induction are off label and have numerous side effects, or direct effects as I like to call them.

I had been transferred from midwifery to obstetric care on October 5th because of three high blood pressure readings and +1 protein in my urine. When I met with the obstetrician he immediately diagnosed me with pre-eclampsia, or toxemia as he called it, and then proceeded to tell me that “pregnancy is an illness” and “women who want home births usually end up with every intervention in the book”. He then informed me he wanted me in hospital until the birth, which was October 29th, over three weeks away. My husband and I left his consulting room shell shocked. I had just secured a home birth the week before so this news was devastating.

The next six weeks were very traumatic as we advocated for our voices to be heard. They weren't. I didn't go into hospital (apart from a two day stay to check the protein levels in my urine, which were fine), but I did go for almost daily check ups for the baby. Most of the time, all I heard was I could convulse, seize and die at any moment or the baby could be still born and so on. I had to sign a release form on more than one occasion. Trying to explain that I understood the risk factors and didn't need them explained to me every day for six weeks fell on deaf ears. I wasn't the 'expert'. I felt harassed and traumatised by this form of 'health care' and tried to explain how I felt on numerous occasions, some lovely people did listen but in general I was ignored and even sneered at for informing myself.

I did not go into labour, our baby's heartbeat fell and I had an emergency cesarean which was the last thing I wanted, but it was a true medical emergency so that consoles me somewhat. Do I wonder could I have done things differently? Of course I do, I should have gone for chiropractic adjustments, I should have worked more on my psychological state which was full of fear, thinking of going into hospital to give birth. At the end of the day we have a beautiful healthy son but that still doesn't negate traumatic feelings around his birth and the last month of my pregnancy which needed to be worked through.

Too many women have traumatic experiences during pregnancy and birth and it really is time to take back our own power and be our own best advocates.

For every effect there is a root cause. Find and address the root cause rather than try to fix the effect, as there is no end to the latter ~ Unknown

Monday, February 04, 2013

Why listening is so important

What does it mean to be listened to? It means to be heard, validated and witnessed. Research shows that children who receive little to no affection don't thrive and can even die and adults can develop mental and physical dis-orders that seriously impact the quality of their life. Because we need each other -we're social beings after all- one of our most important needs is to be listened to. We interpret being listened to as being important in someone's life, they're present to what we're experiencing and are accepting us without wanting to change us, make it better or reframe things. Being listened to is like a warm mental hug, we feel connected in a way that feels good and nourishing, it is essential for our mental and emotional health, which of course affects our physical health. I think it is one of the greatest skills we can learn in this life.

When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen ~ Ernest Hemingway