Love and Acceptance

heartDespite the fact that we all want to be loved and accepted for who we are, some of us struggle when it comes to accepting ourselves.  We can be much more critical of ourselves than we are other people.  Often we have an inner voice that berates us, criticises our behaviour and complains we could have done it better or differently.    In fact, if anyone else spoke to us the way we speak to ourselves, we would have stopped talking to them years ago!

 Some of you reading this will have been taught EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) by me and will know that I often ask you to use statements that include phrases such as “I completely love and accept myself”.  For some people, this is the hardest part of the entire process.  The idea that they could completely love themselves, let alone say it out loud, is terrifying.  Despite being compassionate and understanding towards others, they are unable to show themselves the same level of acceptance. 

 Part of the reason is that some of us don’t even like ourselves much, let alone feel able to accept ourselves!  Perhaps we don’t feel deserving of love or perfect enough to be accepted.  Perhaps we feel we are too much a work in progress and to accept ourself will somehow imply we think we are perfect already.  We feel we are not good enough, perfect enough or loveable enough right now.

 The trouble is that we live in a world of reflections, everything we give out comes reflected back to us.  For example, when we feel good and smile at everyone, people smile back, when we frown and complain people are short with us, things seem to go wrong and we find we have more to complain about.  When it comes to love, in order to fully love someone else we have to accept them as they are.  Love can’t exist at the same time as negative emotion such as anger.  If we want to experience more love (and who wouldn’t?) we need to give out more love, including towards ourselves.

 So I ask you to consider this, just as you would you love, accept and forgive a child who made a mistake, accept that you too make mistakes and are still deserving of love and acceptance.  We all have failures and struggles, we all mess things up from time to time, say or do the wrong thing, we even have moments of hate or spitefulness – all of which merely shows that we are human, fallible, vulnerable.  

 Everyone is on their own path, going at their own speed, learning, growing and transforming on a continual basis.  Wherever we are on this journey each of us is  doing the best he or she can right now.  No one intentionally messes up.  So my challenge to you this month is to accept that wherever you are on your path is exactly where you need to be.  You are the best version of you that you can be right now, so love, accept and if necessary, forgive yourself.  

 Those who love you do so because they see the authentic, beautiful, inner you – so celebrate that and realise that you are deserving of love.  Become your own best friend, quiet that critical inner voice and tell it you will only listen to positive messages from now on.   Treat yourself with love and kindness and look after yourself.  The more comfortable you are being you, the less you will care what others think and the more confidence and freedom you will experience as a result. 


As always, if there is something you would like to discuss, or you would like more information on any of the subjects raised, just give me a call, I’d be happy to help.


Relationships … knowing who is good for you

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Most of you reading this will have had a time in your life when your heart skipped a beat and you were excited around someone else.  Perhaps it didn’t last that long but whilst it did, you were acutely aware of how your body felt when you thought about or were near that person.

We all notice when someone makes us feel excited to be with them, but often we don’t really pay attention to what our body is doing when we are around everyone else.

Many years ago I had a friend and neighbour who I liked very much and would sometimes spend time with.  She would tell me that she loved being with me and always felt so much better afterwards.  However, although I enjoyed her company, I always left her feeling totally drained and exhausted.    At the time I didn’t realise what was happening.  In fact it was someone else that pointed out that there was a transfer of energy going on between us – from me to my friend.

It is not just people that affect us this way.  Places and things can do so too.  In order to enhance your wellbeing it is important to be able to identify who or what adds value to your life and who or what detracts of brings unhappiness or stress.

Unfortunately, when it comes to identifying who is life enhancing and who isn’t, it can be difficult because most of the people you come into contact with, affect you in a very subtle way.  In fact, sometimes things are not at all as you would expect.

I have a technique to help tune you into those subtle messages.  It is fairly simple but can reveal some surprises…

Find some time when you won’t be disturbed for a few minutes and sit comfortably and quietly.

Step 1:  As you sit, close your eyes and uncross your legs.  Relax and concentrate on noticing how your body feels.  Pay attention to how the chair supports your back, how your legs feel, the weight of your hands in your lap, your breathing, your heart rate and any other sensations your may feel.

Step two:  Now think of a place that you love – this could be at home, somewhere you visit on holiday or went as a child.  It needs to be somewhere you feel completely positive about.  If there are any negative associations, think of another place.

Step three:  When you have thought of your place close your eyes and continue to think of it, noticing how your body feels.  What is your heart rate like? What about your breathing? What other sensations can you feel and where do you feel them? Just notice how it feels.

Step four:  Return your thoughts to sitting in the chair and allow your body to settle again

Step five:  Now think of something that is a problem for you.  This could be a problem at home or at work, or a problem with a person.  Again, close your eyes and notice what your body feels like.  How is your heart rate now?  What about your breathing?  Is there anything else that you notice?  Where in your body do you feel it and what does it feel like?

Now you have a base line for how your body feels for something you love (good)and something that is a problem (bad).

Often we use our heads to determine what we think about something, rather than fully appreciating how we feel about something on a deeper level.  You can now use this base line to identify how you feel inside about a whole range of issues and people.

Step six:  Close your eyes and think of one person in your life.  Notice how your body feels.  Does it feel like the good feelings or the problem ones?  How extreme is it? The sensations will be similar, even if consciously we are unaware that the person makes us feel this way.

Do this for a range of people in your life and notice the results.

What I found doing this exercise myself was, much to my surprise, that a few of my close friends were actually not good for me.  Thinking about them gave me those uncomfortable sensations despite there being no problems I could think of in the relationship.  Conversely there were other people I spent less time with but who caused lovely sensations when I thought of them.  My inner knowing or intuition was quite different to the conscious thoughts I had about those people.

Now you know who in your life is good for you and who may be having a negative impact.  So what’s the next step? 

You can now use this information to make decisions about how much time you spend with who, or find ways to lessen any negative impact.  I appreciate that sometimes the people who bring stress can be close friends or family and I’m not suggesting that you never see them … however, you may choose to find ways to spend more time with people that enhance how you feel and less with those that pull you down.

It is also important to remember that there ARE ways to transform how you feel about certain people or situations.  If you want to change how you feel about something or someone then get in touch today.

The more you are able to enjoy positive influences in life, the happier and healthier you will be!  Increase your own feelings of wellbeing by boosting the positive and transforming how you feel about the negative influences in your life.

Happiness is a state of mind

Happiness is… one of those things that everyone wants.  We all feel happy some of the time and most of us want more of that feeling.  So how do we get it?

We often attribute happiness to things that are external to us.  For example:

  • things that happen to us – I was so happy because I won my race/got a promotion/ found my long lost item/ saw a dolphin …
  • other people – I was happy because she said I looked great in that new outfit/ because he was nice to me/ because my partner was in a good mood…

Sometimes we even have an if only attitude to happiness – if I win the lottery then I’ll be happy/ when I retire then I’ll be happy or when I have a new job/ own a sports car/ have a baby/ write a best seller etc etc THEN I will be happy!

The reality is that happiness is only a state of mind and it really isn’t dependent on anyone or anything else.  Events themselves don’t make you happy, it is the way you interpret them and add meaning to them that makes you happy or unhappy. 

Take a look around you.  There are poor people with nothing who are happy, there are people in poor health that are happy, there are people with difficult or unpleasant jobs who are happy.  There are also plenty of people who are blessed with good health, loving friends and family, decent jobs, a good standard of living and yet are unhappy.  So although making our lives more comfortable, the stuff we often attribute happiness to, really isn’t what makes us happy.

Happiness is an emotional state and like all emotional states, it has a range of sensations that go with it.  As an experiment, try the following exercise:

Start by noticing on a scale of 1-10 how happy you feel right now.  Then close your eyes and recall a time when you were really happy.  Imagine yourself back there, feel how it felt and notice what sensations you are aware of in your body.  Notice what your heart, breathing, stomach, head etc feel like.  What does happiness feel like for you?  Enjoy the sensations and feelings of happiness.  When you are ready, open your eyes.

When you open your eyes notice on a scale of 1-10 how happy you feel now.  Is there a shift from before you did that?  For most people there will be a shift towards feeling more happy, as the state generated by the memory remains for a while afterwards. 

We can influence our emotional state in a number of ways and recalling past happy events is one simple method anyone can use.  Smiling also helps, as does laughing as there seems to be a feedback loop between emotion and facial expression.  The face you pull affects how you feel just as much as how you feel affects your expression!  In fact smiling and laughing have also been shown to give pain relief too as both are reported to release endorphins!

There are other ways to help you feel happier, for example in difficult situations where you feel unhappy, you can try taking an alternative perspective.  Seeing things from another point of view can be really helpful in shifting how you feel.  

Gratitude and appreciation are also powerful tools in the search for greater happiness!  By finding things to be grateful for and things to appreciate in the world you are focusing on the positive and this can lift your mood.  You will also tend to notice more of what you focus on.


Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or Tapping as it is sometimes called) can also help shift negative emotions and transform them into positive ones.  Many of my clients have found this to be an invaluable tool. For more information about this or any of the other techniques mentioned, please give me a call on 07962 896422 – I’d be very happy to explain more and answer any questions you may have.   

In the meantime, practice smiling, find things to appreciate and to laugh at, revisit your happy memories and enjoy your day!