Blinkered existence ...
Life has become busier, there’s no doubt about it, not more productive, just busier. What used to be our downtime has now been filled with endless phone checking, responding to things that really could have waited , flicking through TV channels, binge watching online shows etc etc. We get so caught up in our day to day lives that we live unconsciously and allow ourselves to be swept along, sometimes until we reach crisis point; we wake up just as we arrive at the top of the waterfall with the white waters roaring around us and the rocks looming below and then we have to come up with an emergency response out of nowhere.
When was the last time you stopped and really thought about where you are in life and if it’s really were you want to or have to be?
How many times have you reviewed the direction you’re taking to determine if it’s going to take you where you want to go?
Do you hate your job but still get up and show up week after week? How many years have you given away doing that?
Do you want to lose weight and get healthier but keep putting it off until next Monday, or are you on a repeat cycle of Diet/Blow Out/Diet?
Are you still smoking, knowing everything that you know about how damaging it is, never mind how expensive?
Is your relationship faltering, stagnating or even becoming Toxic?
Do you engage in draining friendships?
Have you forgotten your dreams?
Are you out of touch with your emotions to the extent that your response to certain triggers is as much as surprise to you as it may be to the people around you?
Do you know where to find joy in your life?
Life's most important investment strategy...
Take a few minutes now to do this exercise. Get a piece of paper and draw a line on it. Draw yourself as a stick figure at the start of that line and call that “now”. Let’s assume you’re going to live to be 90 for the purpose of this exercise (you can amend that to comply with your own estimate), write me at 90 at the end of the line. Break the line into 5 and 10 year increments. Now from your current perspective make a note of where you think you’d like to be and what you’d like to be doing at each of those increments. Think about what you need to do to get to hit those goals, and consider if they’re achievable.
Now let’s look from another perspective. Work from the other end of the line where you’re 90. Imagine yourself at the age of 90, at the end of your life looking back. Are you happy about how you spent your time, do the priorities look the same? What changes if any would you make?
Now close your eyes and just let your finger land randomly at any point on that line. Imagine that that for some reason turns out to be the end of your line. How does it look now? How do you feel about how you’ve spent your life? How do you feel about how you’ve distributed your time between loved ones, work, accumulating wealth, connecting with other people, finding joy?
Sit with whatever if anything you’ve learned from this process for a moment. Notice how time is non-refundable; once it’s spent it’s spent. What if anything do you need to change?
No returns no refunds....
Time has the strictest most universally enforceable no returns policy on earth. It is also only available on live stream. You may have an underlying assumption that you can set some aside for later in your life, but no you can’t. If you miss something now e.g. 5 minutes to listen to your kids story about kinder or a half day off work to go to a school play, you don’t get to redeem that later when the kids have grown up and are getting on with their own busy lives. If you can’t be bothered walking that faithful dog, or stroking that cat, one day they will no longer be there patiently waiting for you. If you become so caught up in the daily grind that you withdraw from your partner, they don’t sit on pause until you see the light, time keeps moving on for them too.
The only influence we may have over our time is in how we care for ourselves. If we take care of our physical selves through healthy diet and exercise and avoiding unhealthy behaviour and habits we may earn extra time credits. If we take care of our emotional and mental health we may earn additional credits too; these credits have the added bonus value of allowing us to remain more present in our time and to maximise the value of the time we have e.g. to spend with loved ones. Taking care of our mental health enables us to notice what we have, learning to appreciate what we have creates a compounding interest which then feeds back into our quality time bank. If we maintain mental health we can remain aware of possibilities, which incidentally continue to exist even when we may not be in the right frame of mind to notice them.
So if you think you may have been coasting or blindly wandering through life, now may be a good time to stop, do the exercise above and take stock.
What do you need to change today in order to live the life you want to live?
If you’d like help making some changes, or becoming unstuck, please don’t hesitate to give me a call on 0435 923 817. Whether you're dealing with Depression, Anxiety, weight loss, would like to increase your confidence or need to quit a damaging behaviour I'm confident we can work together to design a program tailored to meet your needs.
If you'd prefer to contact me via email you can do so using this contact form
*results may vary from person to person
Some of us were dealt a tough hand; maybe we grew up in loveless environments being put-up with rather than parented by distant damaged grown-ups, or maybe we grew up with a lot of pressure, unfair comparisons and criticism. Consequently we entered the adult world unskilled emotionally, and ill prepared for life. For a few years we may have seemed to wing it by being the life of the party and/or the people pleaser, unconsciously doing what it took to stay out of trouble and harvest a few grains of approval. We may even have managed to get a decent education and outwardly appear confident and successful; but somehow inwardly we never felt like the real deal.
Patterns & Sabotage...
In time we notice recurring patterns; we attract the same kind of people again and again, although they may appear different at first; we repeatedly find ourselves being drained of our resources both emotional and material. We may eventually lament that the world is full of users and abusers, envy the ‘lucky’ people, or simply bury our heads in the sand and keep pressing the repeat button.
Or we may chose to change the pattern by recognising that we learned from early childhood to neglect ourselves and that through the course of our lives we've risen through the ranks to become our own number one enemy, specialising in unconscious self-sabotage.
Learning new behaviours...
The benefit of recognising this is that we can remove the chains of victim-hood and begin to do something about it. We can begin by building our own self-worth and getting back in touch with our instincts, the gut feelings that we've learnt to suppress. This takes time, patience and compassion. We may struggle with dealing with the pain of recognising our emotions and this may require the help of a therapist in order to feel safe to do so. Learning to love ourselves for the first time as an adult is a challenge because instincts drive us towards what’s familiar even when it’s painful and damaging; moving towards healthy attitudes and behaviours will take some practice in order for them to become our new familiar default.
Start by calling a truce, no more self-criticism and self-loathing, let’s lay down the Arms. Learn to meditate and practice mindfulness. Through regular practice we can develop the skill of meeting ourself at the centre of our being and doing so with good intentions. As with any truce it’s recognised that wrongs have been done, but there is hope. We don’t go there to rake over the past we go in the spirit of creating a better future. We acknowledge that we are a multi-faceted human being, we’re not perfect and nor are we meant to be. We acknowledge that we can take control of the person we want to be, and work constructively on being the best version of us that we can be. We listen to our own inner voice with new found respect, compassion and empathy.
Claim our territory...
The first call to action will be to build our boundaries. Understand where we end and others begin and own our own territory. Our values become our laws, we can explore what they are and if necessary shift our self into alignment with them. This becomes our best line of defence, when someone sets off the alarm by trying to impinge on our values; we know now that these people are not for us. That uneasy feeling we get sometimes when we’re around certain people, that’s the alarm going off, we’ll now learn to listen to it, it’s very rarely wrong.
When our boundaries are in place we are safe to explore more deeply within. Self-Hypnosis can be used to explore our inner-being in order to reconnect with our inner child. When we are ready to connect with our inner child we are truly ready to extend our truce into a long lasting and meaningful peace. If we accept that all children deserve to be loved, we can no longer withhold that love from ourselves. Understanding that our inner child has patiently waited for our acknowledgement, acceptance and love and opening our hearts to her is an incredibly cathartic process. When we connect with that child our instinct to care for her, protect her and respect her is triggered and we can finally integrate with her.
Our consciousness alters and moving forward we see ourselves differently, we understand that we have something precious within that needs to be nourished and loved. Our life choices now carry that consideration. How much more natural it will feel to make healthy choices when we are considering the impact to our precious inner being. How much easier it will be to recognise the importance of protecting ourselves against abusers. We no longer need to suffocate in toxic relationships because we are terrified of abandonment; we have reconciled within and know at the deepest level that we are enough.
Once reconciled we operate at a different level, we are fully integrated beings and we therefore begin to attract different kinds of people into our lives. The predators that seek to pick out the vulnerable now leave us alone because they instinctively recognise that we are impenetrable to them.
When we reach this point we are at peace and our borders are secure.
* As a therapist I often guide people along this journey of deep inner reconciliation, resolving unfinished business and recognising not only the inner child but the now resident adult that can take care of that child. If you'd like some help in navigating this journey using Hypnotherapy combined with Psychotherapy please don't hesitate to give me a call on 0435 923 817, or you can contact me using this contact form
Melbourne Hypnotherapist Georgina Mitchell of Hypfocus Therapies has a practice in Mentone, South East Melbourne , Skype appointments are also available.
* Results may vary
The last day of 2015 is here, more than any other year this has been a year I’ve heard people around me describe as turbulent and tough, and I would concur with that although there have been many highs as well.
Farewell old friend....
I lost one of my dearest friends this year after a long brave battle with Brain Cancer. It was quite a journey with her from the day she was diagnosed years earlier, to her last days in August. Her diagnosis put a lot of things in perspective for me. As hard as it was, it was above all else an honour to accompany her on her final journey.
Live life fully..
It was another reminder of the importance of living each day of our life as authentically and fully as we can. She was a great advocate of that, as was my sister who passed away 11 years earlier, they were both very supportive women. I feel a greater responsibility to carry on and do the things that truly matter to me, and to maintain perspective. I am dedicated more than ever to not letting stress overtake my life and blind me to all the good things that I have to be grateful for. I’m also passionate about teaching others the skills to manage life’s stressors through Hypnosis and Mindfulness. The distinction I make between Hypnosis and Mindfulness is that I consider Hypnosis to be a “turbo charged” version!
I have a lot to be grateful for and as cheesy as it sounds I am grateful for the awareness of the importance of gratitude, not just the cursory “I guess I’m lucky” but the practice of really taking a moment to truly appreciate things. I can recall large chunks of my life when I thought I was too busy to do so and that’s a mistake I won’t repeat.
So on to 2016! I’m excited at the prospect of a new year, with so much more to learn and experience. I’m excited to know that during the course of the year I’ll help people, whether it’s to Quit Smoking, Lose weight, overcome Anxiety or Stress issues or any other habit or issue that’s impacting negatively upon their quality of life. I’m very happy to know that I will be utilising my experience as a therapist, all the skills I’ve learned and continue to learn to empower people. I don’t fix things for people I simply help them shine the light on their own inner power.
So to all my former and current clients and to the clients I've yet to meet, may you have a wonderful and peaceful 2016, and may you continue to discover more of your potential every day of the year! I don’t think we can ever reach our full potential because each day provides another opportunity for growth, but we can certainly wring the most out of life trying!
*What are you ready to change?
If you’re ready to make the changes you want to make and would like to work with me using Hypnotherapy, NLP and Counselling techniques to help you find the way, please don’t hesitate to contact me. If 2016 is going to be your year of getting to your goal weight, becoming a non-smoker or Managing Stress – give me a call on 0435 923 817, or use this contact form to get in touch.
I’m located in Mentone, South East Melbourne and can also provide Skype Sessions for those further afield.
* Results may vary
Time to reflect..
As the year draws to a close it’s often a good time to reflect upon our lives and review the direction we’re taking. If a dramatic or traumatic event has occurred it can be easy for that to overshadow everything else that has happened to us. Our minds can become stuck on the impact of strong emotional disturbance and this can then have the effect of colouring our view of the rest of our year.
For this reason I’ve gotten into the habit of keeping a record of family things by writing them down on pieces of coloured paper and keeping them in a jar. Little outings and events are recorded and dated and then folded up and put in the jar. At the end of the year it’s surprising and often delightful to recall all that has happened. I use this method to recall our family stuff, for my own things I use a gratitude journal. This journal is used to record my life from the perspective of gratitude. It doesn’t always contain happy events, for example I lost one of my oldest and dearest friends this year, but I could certainly document how grateful I am to have known her and have her in my life. Every experience we have can teach us something and the lesson, even if it was a hard one is something to be grateful for.
There are usually many pleasant things to be grateful for, many more than we realise until we take the time to notice them, sunny days, cool breezes, safe environments, a free country, a good cup of coffee a task well done etc. As I wrote in a post earlier this year, science has proven that the act of searching for things to be grateful for is good for our brain and lays down neural pathways which make us more resourceful and generally more content people
Create your Vision...
When you’ve had a chance to look back it’s good to look forward. How would you like 2016 to be different? I wrote some questions to help you design your Vision Board for 2016 in this month’s Newsletter; you can go to this link and have some fun setting your intentions for the year to come
*How to make the changes you want...
Do you recognise you need to make a change but find it difficult to do it alone? If you’ve been struggling with Anxiety, Stress, Depression, Weight, or habits such as Smoking and you’d like 2016 to be the year you say goodbye to them ruling your life I can help. Hypnotherapy is an effective way of making long lasting changes in your mindset which consequently redirects your actions and perceptions to create more positive outcomes for you. It is a subtle process, and you are in full control the entire time. Hypnotherapy harnesses the power of your imagination to create the experience of change in your subconscious mind, it’s often said that all Hypnosis is Self-Hypnosis and I believe this is true, as a Hypnotherapist I simply guide you to the place in your mind where you need to make the change and help you access it.
If you’d like to try Hypnotherapy you can call me on 0435 923 817 I’m located in Mentone, South East Melbourne. If you have Private Health Insurance benefits may apply.
* Results may vary
How to chose a Hypnotherapist...
If considering Hypnotherapy always ensure that the therapist is properly qualified and a member of an Australian Hypnotherapy Association. This ensures that their training is comprehensive and up to date and that they are professionally supervised and bound by a code of conduct. I’m a member of both the AHA (Australian Hypnotherapy Association) and the ACA (Australian Counsellors Association) and am listed on the National Hypnotherapy Register of Australia.
Welcome to the final instalment in this three part series. I hope you've enjoyed thinking over the questions from your own unique perspective so far and that you've been finding them constructive. Now for my last 10.
I’ve found it invaluable in recent years to take some time to assess my life, check my progress towards existing goals, ensure that they are still the best option for me and to come up with some new dreams and aspirations. It’s an aspect of mindful living that’s continuing to lead me towards living a fuller richer and more authentic life.
*If you’d like some help in getting back in touch with your true self, therapy will help. As a trained and accredited Counsellor and Hypnotherapist committed to ongoing professional development, I can use the latest Psychotherapy, NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and Hypnotherapy techniques to help you get on track to live your best life. I’m located in Mentone, South East Melbourne, call 0435 923 817 or use this contact form to arrange your appointment.
* Results may vary
Welcome back to part 2 in this series of 3 blog posts about evaluating your life to see where there may be room for growth. As with the 1st blog, these are intended as a trigger for some self-examination and a catalyst for positive change. You may find one or two useful in validating what you already know to be the case.
Trying to work out what needs to change for your life to improve? Ask yourself these questions (part 1 of 3)
* Did any of these questions ring any bells for you? It's of course not a fully comprehensive list but rather food for thought. If you'd like help in making any of the changes that you feel are necessary to get or keep your life on track, whether it's managing Anxiety or Depression, increasing your confidence, staying on track with your goals, losing weight or even to quit smoking I can help. Call Hypfocus Therapies on 0435 923 817 now, or use the contact form at this link. I'm located in Mentone, South East Melbourne, Skype appointments are now available for people that can't get to my consultation room in person. As an experienced Hypnotherapist, Counsellor and Life Coach I can help you get to the bottom of the thinking patterns and behaviours that are preventing you from living your best life. In just a few sessions I'll help you create new more productive patterns that will see you begin to blossom into your full potential.
* Results may vary
Have you ever considered that through your appearance, behaviour and words that you generate a brand for yourself? Sometimes this can occur in the first moments that you meet someone. You create such a strong first impression that in their mind (often unconsciously) you are pigeon holed as a particular type of person with a particular set of attributes. What can then occur is that they feed that impression back to you thus reinforcing it.
So for example, if you are prone to self-deprecating humour as an ice breaking technique when meeting new people, this can have the consequence that they may not take you seriously when you’re making a serious point. Sometimes we try to play down our talents and achievements because we’ve been brought up to believe that modesty is a virtue, we try to put other people at ease by being light hearted often at our own expense. The problem is that a lot of people on the receiving end of this behaviour don’t see it for what it is. They chose to take what you’re saying as a literal evaluation of your abilities; sometimes they do this unwittingly and sometimes deliberately because they themselves have low self-esteem issues and they need to see you as “less than” to feel better about themselves. They then perceive you as someone that’s not that good at this or that, and when you suggest that you’re going to attempt it they quickly remind you that you’re doomed to failure and your confidence takes another knock.
To give one of many examples from my own experience I once booked in to do a course, and due to an unforeseen change in my circumstance I had to withdraw. I jokingly related this to my partner at the time, in an ”oh oh typical me” fashion. It wasn't “typical me” at all, I was actually very disappointed about not being able to complete it and I was downplaying my disappointment; however he took this literally. Thereafter any time I mentioned wanting to re-enroll in that course or do any other course, he would laugh and say “oh you’ll never do it, you always quit” and then tease me ad nauseum about even thinking about it (yes his own insecurities were a major factor !). This created a fear in me, a fear that if I attempted it and failed I’d be proving him right and that I’d never hear the humiliating end of it, so to avoid that risk I didn't do any courses!
We create a perception of ourselves; people receive it in accordance with how they view the world. Everybody views the world differently, largely according to how they feel about themselves. They then feed this perception back to us. If we’re not cognisant of how their own feelings about themselves are influencing this feedback, it can create a kind of cognitive dissonance, and ultimately a one dimensional type casting syndrome for us that we become trapped in. We can fall into the habit of living up (or down!) to other people’s expectations of us rather than being true to ourselves.
So how do we avoid this? By becoming more conscious about being our own Brand Manager! This doesn't mean that we can never make a joke at our own expense again, but it does mean that we become aware of the consistency of the message we send out about ourselves. We don’t continue to go along with a joke that applied to a specific situation in our life when we find it’s being applied to others. We don’t let other people steer us into a one-track behaviour based on their perception. If necessary we re-brand ourselves, we actively promote the aspects of ourselves that we feel best represent us, not the aspects that are most acceptable to the company at hand. We do this by firstly
Think about the aforementioned items, write down your answers and read over them. Use the answers to write a mission statement about who you are and how you want your life to be.
Now with those answers in mind, sit quietly with your eyes closed. Take 3 slow deep breaths, and get a clearly defined impression of yourself as the person you want to be. Absorb the words that you've written. Feel how it is to be the person you want to be. With each intake of breath breath in more of that person; with each exhale get rid of the labels that no longer fit you. Adopt the posture of the person you want to be. Feel the confidence of knowing who you are. Feel the confidence moving all the way through your body. Feel it right through to your centre. Sit with this for a while.
This is who you are. From here you are evolving and growing every day, but this is the essence of who you are. This is the person you will present to the world.
When people misrepresent you back to yourself, you will recognize it for what it is, simply their view of you in the world as influenced by how they feel about themselves. You will address it by being true to yourself.
If you would like assistance in exploring who you are, finding your confidence and reducing the anxiety and stress associated with change, Hypnotherapy can be of immense help. Please give me a call at Hypfocus Therapies and Training on 0435 923 817.
Getting out of your comfort zone is never easy, but a comfort zone is a little like a seedling pot, if you stay in it for too long, you become root bound and you stop growing.
Taking on a new career area, relationship or personal challenge can seem overwhelming, fear magnifies things and distorts our thinking so that fear itself become our sole focus. Breaking those challenges down is the key.
Establish goals for yourself; think about what you want and where you want to get to. This may not be easy at first; if you've been in a rut for a while it’s easy to forget what possibilities there are. If this is the case, start with something small. Ask yourself the miracle question "If I could wave a magic wand and wake up in the morning living my perfect life, what would that look like, feel like, sound like, be like?" you may need to go through this process a few times before you begin to get a feel for the life you want to live and the goals you want to set.
When you decide on your goal, break it down in to smaller parts. If your goal is to lose weight, start by cutting out one high calorie item, if your goal is to meet someone for a new relationship, start with saying hello to the person next to you in a cue and build on your social skills.
Instead of thinking about how scary it feels, think about what you need to do to achieve that goal. Fear and anxiety may be present, but instead of letting them inflate and stand in your way, acknowledge that yes you feel afraid, but put that fear to the side, yes it’s there but it’s not in the way. Fear may have you tricked into believing it has the power to paralyse you, but that’s a bluff, everyone experiences fear, but some of us just forget that we have the power to re-size and relocate it in our awareness. Yes you have the power to do that! Cool eh?
It may seem that the work required to achieve your goals is too much, however every body of work is made up of smaller component tasks. Prioritise these tasks and tackle them one at a time. Little by little you’ll edge closer to your goal. Each small step you take is empowering, it’s growth. Not every endeavor you take on will turn out as you may have wanted, but everything you tackle will make your experience of life richer and it will teach you something.
Action is the nemesis of anxiety. Let go of “why me” and learn to ask “what do I need to do”
Walking with the dog along Mentone beach this morning, enjoying the sunshine and the light breeze while my dog ran ecstatically along the sand ahead of me and around me, it occurred to me what a fantastic opportunity it was to make a deposit in my resilience bank.
The ups and downs of life are inevitable, how we budget for them emotionally can make the difference between staying in the black or falling below the emotional poverty line. If we let life’s moments of pleasure pass without saving them by savouring them, they’re so much harder to draw upon when the bleaker moments occur.
It only takes a few seconds to pause, observe our response to our own enjoyment, and be fully immersed in the experience. In my example above, how does the sun feel on my skin? How does the breeze feel against my body? What are the sounds? What are the sights? How am I feeling? I Pause and I am fully present in the moment. As in mindfulness, I now bring the focus to the breath and when I've scanned the senses and absorbed the full experience I take an emotional snapshot. I then take a look and feel of the snapshot in my mind’s eye and emotional centre, I use my enhance function if I feel I need to, then save it. If it helps to make it more tangible, I pinch a point on myself, perhaps a knuckle on my hand, so that I have a physical reminder switch when I need to redraw those feeling in the future.
If I'm feeling overwhelmed and I need to get some respite from anxious thoughts, I can take myself back to one of those moments and allow myself some time to breath, calm myself and regain clarity and peace. This shift in focus from troubled to calm, allows me to maintain a more balanced perspective.
Melbourne Hypnotherapist Georgina Mitchell was born in Ireland, moving to Australia in 1989. Georgina Specialises in helping people with Anxiety Disorders and is an active member of the Melbourne Hypnotherapy Community. In Melbourne Hypnosis is being accepted as effective tool for anyone wanting to achieve a positive change in Mood, Behaviour and Habit.
Melbourne Hypnotherapy Blog
Please note as with all therapies, Results for Therapies delivered by Hypfocus may vary from person to person