On the move….

We’re on the move. This blog is now available at New Life Starts Here. All of the content and comments have been moved to there.

Please do click on the link and tell me what you think of our new look.

This current site will remain in place for a short time. If you are visiting for the first, then ‘hello’ and please do pop over to the new site.

I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to our subscribers and look forward to seeing and hearing you at the new New Life Starts Here.

Finally, my thanks to those very helpful people at wordpress.com for their support over the last few months. 🙂

The Greatest Pyschological Secret Never Told….

I want to share some really exciting news! The latest Mind-Empowering online course from by good friend Steven Aitchison is now in pre-launch. It was my great privilege to proofread this latest course and so I know first hand that you will find the content and approach just fabulous (otherwise I wouldn’t be recommending it 🙂 ). The best way to get an idea of what this is all about is to let Steven and his new-found buddy, George, tell the story:

Meet George

Please be sure to leave comments at the bottom of the video once you’ve watched it. Steven will reply personally to all comments. Or if you prefer, leave your comment here with me and I’ll pass them on to Steve.

Where are You going?

‘Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the cat.
‘I don’t much care where….’ said Alice.
‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the cat. (Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll)

I wonder, are you at least a bit like Alice? Or do you know which way you ought to go?

For me, those are two very key and associated questions, crying out for essential responses: focus and action.

You see, without focus on an outcome or burning desire, how the heck do you know which way to go? It reminds me of the traveller that arrived on an island that had no signposts: he would reach is destination eventually, after many wrong turns and retracing of steps and starting over. But at least he knew his destination. Do you? Of course even without signposts, our traveller would have done better if he had a map. If know know your outcome, then a map can come in handy. You just need to list or sketch out the route; at least the start and end points. Or use the subconscious GIS/ sat-nav which came with your model, free of charge, on delivery. That’s right, at birth. Your subconscious mind will guide you if you give it a desired destination.

But of course, knowing where you are going is only the start point. You need to take action. You need to step out on your journey. That means breaking your routemap up into achievable chunks or breakpoints, if you like, that enable you to measure your progress. Of course, even with a map or using your sat-nav, you will take wrong turnings (make decisions that turned out not be the best). But that’s life. And what happens when the road ahead is blocked or you get diverted because of roadworks. Well, the key is to persist, remain focussed and take the diverted route till you get back on track.

So, where are You going?

Will your anchor hold?

“Will your anchor hold in the storms of life” is the rousing song of the Boys’ Brigade, an organisation with global reach that gives youngsters a disciplined, yet creative, and fitness-conscious start in life. Its motto is ‘Steadfast and Sure’ from the second line of that song and its emblem is an anchor with capital B’s either side.

It occurs to me that ‘will your anchor hold’ is also a phrase that applies equally well to one of the key approaches in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). I won’t go in to an in-depth study of ‘anchoring’ just now, but I thought the following little exercise may be useful whether you are new to NLP or just to serve as a reminder.

Okay, make yourself comfortable and calm your mind and let it be filled with silence. Just let all of your current thoughts drift off; observe them and watch them move on. Relax your body as well as your mind and get comfortable.

Then, imagine a time when everything seemed stacked up against you and just wasn’t going your way. You feel anxious and frustrated and angry. Picture yourself in that scene. Hear the angry words. Tap the back of your right hand to anchor this state (anchor #1).

Okay, break state, turn your thoughts elsewhere, on to anything else or just let your mind go quiet.

Now, imagine a time of great elation: of happiness. Feel your muscles relaxed and hear your uncontrollable giggling. You feel on top of the world; relaxed and full of energy: ready to take on any challenge. Tap the back of your left hand to anchor this state (anchor#2).

The key learning here is that you have anchored an unhelpful state of mind (anchor#1) and a very useful resource (anchor#2).

So next time things are going against you just tap the back of your left hand to fire that useul resource.

It works for me; tapping the back of my left hand makes me smile, relax and be ready face any challenge anew.

You should also be aware that you can set different anchors instead of the tapping examples above; by, for example, clicking you fingers in either hand. Choose whatever works for you.

With practice, I’ve found that even just thinking about anchor#2 helps me to smile and lighten my mood.

Go on, try it: and let me know how you get on.

The heart of the matter

‘And Now Here Is My Secret, a Very Simple Secret; It Is Only with the Heart That One Can See Rightly, What Is Essential Is Invisible to the Eye’. –Antoine De Saint-Exupery

I love this quote from ‘The Little Prince’. For me it represents the very essence of humanity – a world full of emotion and dependent on the beating heart. Courage is related to a strong heart. Sadness brings a ‘broken-heart’. Your heartbeat quickens with excitement and, arguably, the ‘thinking’ heart (it has its own ‘brain’) helps you to intuitively know right from wrong.

It also reminds me of the 5 basic principles of Reiki, where:

Just for Today,
Do not anger;
Do not worry;
Be grateful;
Work hard; and
Be kind to others.

For me these are all essential matters relating to the heart:

    be present, live for today, focus on the power of Now;

    do not become emotionally distracted by anger or worry;

    be grateful for and content with all that you have and make the most of your opportunities, even when things don’t quite work out as you planned;

    give of your best at all times; no-one can ask any more of you. Be content that you always give 100% effort in all that you do;

    look after your ‘neighbour’ and show respect. Help the needy and vulnerable. You will feel contentment in your heart if you do – guaranteed!

So, now that you know this very simple secret, learn or continue to live with a heart filled with contentment, compassion and the courage to take the next steps that you understand (in your ‘heart-of-hearts’) will help you achieve all that you desire.

One man Disney

Nick Pitera is a very, very talented guy. I’ll let him tell you a little bit about the video clip below:

Music from Disney films has made a huge impact on me, and has been the source of inspiration for many years. Since I was 5 I have dreamt of voicing a character myself, and this is me doing my best to pay homage to a few of my favorites. I had so much fun making this video and I hope you enjoy it!

Get Nick’s music at Amazon or on iTunes

Let me know if you enjoy this Disney video 😉

Procastination – tomorrow’s another day…

I thought I would write about Procastination – but maybe I’ll do that next week 🙂 Just kidding – so here goes…

Why put off till tomorrow what you can do today? Well, maybe you’re not sure if it’s the right thing to do. Sound familiar? Maybe you suffer from Procastination. Here are some of my favourite quotes which may help you put this in conext:

I’m going to stop procastinating, once I get around to it. – Anonymous

Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week – Anonymous

You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you’ve collected a lot of empty yesterdays.  – Professor Harold Hill (The Music Man)

All things come to those that wait, but when they come they’re out of date. – Anonymous

I’m sure you can think of a few more.

Dictionary.com defines ‘to procastinate’ as “to defer action; delay: until an opportunity is lost“. That’s right, another lost opportunity. So seize the day, seize the moment, in fact seize any time other than tomorrow or next week or month or year…

And what does that mean for you? Well, you need to take action. Of course action can include planning – in fact that’s a very good place to start (remember the 5Ps – Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance). Knee-jerking from one task to the next will lead to a similar outcome to Procastination – you don’t or won’t get what you want. Nevertheless the point is that you need to get going, without delay, otherwise, as the Korean Proverb suggests, ‘put off for one day and ten days will pass’. Imagine what a focussed effort can achieve in 10 days. Taking Action.

So what are you waiting for?

Just imagine….

Try this. Imagine you are on a beach. Look up and see the clear blue skies. Listen to the waves rolling in. Feel the warm sand on your feet and the cool breeze on your skin. Smell the sea air. Taste the refreshing ice-cream or water melon. Relax. Let yourself go. Close your eyes and play all of this again, just for a few moments, then open your eyes. Are you feeling relaxed… Okay, break that state – think of something else, anything, then read on.

This opening paragraph ‘tested’ a couple of things – your imagination and ability to relax and let go. How ‘real’ was the beach for you? But it also helped you test out your ‘available’ acuities or representational systems – Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Olfactory and Gustatory (VAKOG – see, hear, feel/touch, smell and taste). More correctly, it may have helped identify your keenest sense(s). Maybe you could ‘see’ the blue skies but didn’t ‘hear’ the rolling waves as clearly.

No matter how well this worked for you (it can take some practice), there is also another concept at work here. Your subconscious mind can’t really distinguish whether you were on a beach or not, if you really get into the ‘movie’. And that is pretty important in a number of respects. For now, I’d like to share an experiment that Claudia Hammond outlines in her book, Emotional Rollercoaster that highlights this point further:

Try this. Stand up and then move your body as though you are laughing uncontrollably. Bend forward, clutching your sides, with your shoulders shaking. You could even introduce the occasional knee slap. Now try to remember exactly what this feels like physically within your body. Then stand up straight again and imagine that you’re doubled up with laughter, but this time don’t move, just think of these movements. Don’t think of a funny occasion or a joke. Simply imagine that your body is experiencing uncontrollable laughter and then see how you feel.

Go on, try it. You see, with practice you can feel happier just by imagining the movements of laughter.

Are you onboard?

You can think of your subconscious mind as the storage room of everything that is currently not in your conscious mind; it stores all your life experiences, your belief system, your memories and your skills. So pretty important really. In fact, it is probably at least 9 times more influential and powerful than your conscious mind.

You can also think of your subconscious in terms of:

Impulses/ emotions
Physiological control

that is, Your SHIP. You are in charge when you are on the SHIP and you can choose to take complete control. The SHIP, therefore, allows you to take complete control of your life. But let’s not get too carried away (like a SHIP without and Anchor 🙂 ) just yet.

You see before you can set out to sea on your voyage of discovery, you need to get to grips with the component parts.

Whether you are aware or not you play out strategies for everything including what to wear, have for breakfast, who to talk to, friends to keep and so on. You just can’t help it. These strategies, in turn, are likely to be built on your habits; favourite shirt, always have coffee and toast etc. But as we will explore in later posts you can change your habits and therefore live by new strategies.

Are you impulsive? Your emotions play a key role in defining who you are and how you respond and as you may know, I’m an advocate of the influence here of the heart-brain. Similarly, your gut-brain is responsible for physiological control, including on the one hand intuition and on the other the automated control of your life systems.

So having a sea-worthy SHIP is pretty important really. That way, when you head into strong winds and rough waters you have a far better chance of staying afloat.

But of course before you leave the harbour, it helps that you have plotted a course (your outcome), have up to date maps to help avoid rocks or shallow water and taken on all the necessary provisions or resources.

So, are you onboard and ready to set sail? Or maybe it’s a case of ‘any port in a storm’?