Inner strength of lioness

Inner Strength

When we are faced with external stress, pressure and demands this is the time when we need to tap into our inner strength.

Generally what we currently have to deal with, we have faced before, but maybe in a different guise.  The issue may be different but the emotions and feelings are what we are familiar with.

We have so much inner strength and resources but we can often forget or ignore them.  We can allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by emotions which can lead into a panic cycle and not know how to respond.

Over the years, however, we have experienced, and gathered, inner strengths such as reflection, determination, calmness, trust in self, belief and motivation.  We have accrued skills such as problem solving, listening, delegating, sharing (with the right people) and the ability to ask for help or to recognise when to let go and accept.

If we can bring our strengths and resources to the fore than our ability to cope, to bring down stress levels and to gain confidence will expand and grow.

To do this we need to be in a place of calm. The brain, as we know, registers uncomfortable/distressing situations as a danger and triggers off the fight/flight/freeze response.  When we are in this state our ability to think logically and rationally is impaired.  The body is focused on survival rather than cognitive problem solving.

The most important thing you can do is to get to a state of calm.  You can do this through relaxation, Reiki, meditation, walking – whatever helps to switch off that alarm system.  Once in this preferred state think back to another time when you had a similar emotional reaction or problem.  How did you react? What was most helpful at that time? What did you learn from that experience?  From this reflection pick out the most helpful action, strengths, skills and consider how you could apply them to your current situation.

Take control of the situation which may mean in essence choosing how you wish to respond.  What is best for you? Trust yourself to make the right decision at that time.  We can do no more than our best.  Use all your past experiences to tap into what is already there – your inner strength.  Move from an external need for support, approval and assurance to an inner belief of trust and strength.

If you struggle with this concept or have difficulty getting in touch with your inner strengths and abilities then you may wish to consider an EFT (Tapping ) session as  a gentle way to bring down intensity of emotion and reframe and strengthen your inner resources.

“Go within every day and find the inner strength so that the world will not blow your candle out.” ―Katherine Dunham

Stress

Stress Awareness

Stress affects everyone and April is Stress Awareness month.  At times stress can be energising, positive and motivating but when demands upon ourselves exceed our perceived ability to cope then stress can become a problem.  The effects of stress are different for each person, for example it may affect our sleep, eating habits, relationships or concentration to do our job.

It is is rarely contributed to just one thing but to many factors over a period of time.

When stress becomes prolonged or excessive and we perceive that we cannot cope with demands then the impact upon our lives can be detrimental.

At times it is others that first recognise that we are stressed rather than ourselves.  It can be easy to keep our head down, keep going and ignore warning signs.  Sometimes we only recognise how stressed we are after the situation has gone!

The starting point is to increase our awareness of how we are feeling, what our body is telling us, notice changes in our behaviour and hear what others are saying. Only when we are aware can we do anything to help ourselves.

What are those warning signs?  This will obviously differ for each person but here are a few that may be familiar to you:

Physical – increased muscular tension, headaches, feeling nauseous, sweating

Emotional – feeling anxious, increased irritation, frustration

Behaviour – decreased or increased sleeping, lack or increase in appetite, withdrawing, increased alcohol/coffee/smoking, lack of tolerance

Cognitions (thoughts) – blaming others, everything appears negative, increased worry about everything, not being able to switch off thoughts

So what can we do?

Identify what is causing the stress and determine whether:-

a) it is under your control and you are able to do something to change it

b) it is something that you cannot change and therefore find a way to accept the situation

c) you can just let it go, as in the long run or in a few weeks time, it really won’t matter or it isn’t that important

Share your concerns and seek out the right people that will be able to support you or be able to make changes with you.

Look after yourself physically by having a healthy diet, get enough sleep, take exercise, engage socially with others and actively do relaxation eg have a bath, listen to a mediation tape, have ring-fenced quiet time.

Talk to yourself as if you are your best friend; be kind, compassionate and caring to yourself.  Praise and compliment yourself on how you are doing and how you are coping.

End the day by giving gratitude for what you have in your life – family, friends, home, health, faith, work etc.

Keep in mind that the stress will pass and spend each day focusing in the here and now.  Turn worries into problems and look at how to solve them.

So how can I help?

Book yourself a Reiki session which promotes relaxation, re-balancing and restoring of energy levels.

Book an appointment to learn Emotional Freedom Technique (or Tapping) as a self-help tool that decreases intensity of emotions and promotes a different way of looking at situations.

Book a day on a retreat especially designed for healthcare workers – 11 May 2019.

There is nothing to be ashamed of feeling stressed and the more we understand our early warning signs and do something to help ourselves the more in control we feel thus decreasing our levels of stress.

goals

Goals – where next for 2019?

As we start the New Year does it leave you feeling energised and excited about the months ahead or flat and unmotivated?

The date of 1st January is irrelevant as it only represents the limitations of time that we have put in place.  However there is something to be said about having ideas of what you want to get out of life.  At times it may be okay to go with the flow and drift through life although there is a danger that others will then influence your choices.

When we set out our own aspirations, dreams and goals then we are more likely to achieve them.  It has been proven that if you write out or share your goals then success of reaching your goal is greatly increased.

Just keeping a thought in your mind is probably not going to be enough; action needs to happen along with support and encouragement from others.  It is easy to get side tracked by internal doubts and worries and these can be used as an excuse to either not get started or to give up on your dreams.  As explained in my video here – when we reach the end of our life it will be the things that we haven’t done that we will regret.

There are several ways to help support the first part your achievement.  Write them down and put them somewhere that you can see them every day.  Instead of writing, depict your aspirations visually in a vision board placing it as a screen saver or a poster.

If you are not sure what you want to do you may like to do this exercise of listing what you want/have/don’t want and don’t have by using this template.  Once you have completed the columns turn the “don’t want” into what do you want instead?  This will help you to start identifying your goals.

Create a Be/Do/Have list – without judgement or preconceptions keep adding to your list over a few weeks.  Are there any themes?  Is there something in there that you have always wanted to do?

Are you somebody that starts and then gets stuck?  Remind yourself why this goal is really important to you – what are you going to gain from it, how is it going to affect your life?  Remember 90% of achieving goals is knowing why it is important to you, 10% is how you will achieve it. If you are a champion procrastinator lean how to use EFT or Tapping to break down those blocks.

These are just a few suggestions that will help you get on your way of creating a year that you can look back on with pride, contentment, enjoyment and satisfaction.

Have an adventurous, exciting, fun-filled and challenging 2019!

Tapping Tree

Tapping Tree

What is a Tapping Tree? Tapping can be used for almost everything that is causing you a problem.  That may be physical pain, an intrusive memory or past trauma, current anxiety, weight loss the list goes on!

We can also tap on the different levels of the issue and the Tapping Tree as explained by Nick Ortner  in The Tapping Solution demonstrates  the different aspects of an issue.

The Tapping Tree or any other kind of tree is made up of four parts – the leaves, branches, trunk and roots and each of these can correspond to what we can tap upon and I have put together a video to explain each part.

The Leaves

These represent the symptoms that we feel from our issue or problem.  It may be physical pain that we are experiencing or symptoms of anxiety such as tension in shoulders, busy thoughts, upset stomach.  By tapping on these symptoms we can alleviate them or eliminate them.

The Branches

The branches are our emotions or feelings.  Every issue or problem will bring with it an emotion about the situation whether it is sadness, grief, anger, stress, frustration or fear.  This is where tapping can really help to reduce the intensity of these emotions thus making us feel more in control or a sense that we can cope with the situation better.

The Trunk

The trunk is an actual event or situation.  It may be a situation that has yet to happen or a current event that we are involved with but by tapping on what is or has happened will help clear the impact that it may be having on us.

The Roots

The roots hold the tree together and they represent our underlying beliefs about ourselves.  We know that beliefs can both be empowering and limiting and can be formed from a very early age and are taken into our adulthood.  Beliefs are the fixed rules that we live our lives by and very rarely question whether they are still helpful to us.  We have beliefs about ourselves who we are, what we do, what we don’t do and are an integral part of our identity.  However these beliefs can keep us stuck and hold us back in our lives.  Tapping on these can produce the biggest shift in our progress to change.

We can tap on any of these parts but we know that the tree will continue to grow and live if the leaves are taken away, or the branches are cut off or if it is felled at the trunk.  It is only when we take the roots away do we totally clear out the issue for it not to return.

To get right to the underlying cause of the issue we need to tap on the beliefs and you can do this for yourself or have 1:1 sessions with an EFT practitioner.

Tapping or EFT

Tapping as a Self-Help Tool

Tapping or Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a gentle, non-invasive and effective way to bring down intensity of emotions.  It has been used since the 1970s and more research is being done on this intervention indicating the effect it has on the brain and body.  As it is easy to learn and apply it can be an incredibly powerful technique that once learnt can be applied to almost anything and anywhere.

The basic theory behind EFT or Tapping is that all negative emotions are a result of disruption to the body’s energy system.  So by tapping on these energy systems, Meridians, the energy is re-adjusted and restored to bring about a different emotional state, reduced pain and a change of perspective on beliefs and thoughts.

EFT works on the emotional cause of such issues as:-

Pain, depression, anxiety, phobias, post traumatic stress disorder, panic, confidence issues, weight loss and cravings, stress, headaches, self-esteem to name just a few!

A part of the brain, the amygdala, is our alarm detector and any stressful, distressing emotion or thought triggers this alarm off to release such hormones as adrenaline and cortisol, keeping the body on fight/flight alert even with low grade persistent stress.  This can also link back into long term memories which continue to raise the intensity of emotion.

So by tapping on certain points the brain starts to relearn that although the thought/memory/emotion is distressing the alarm system starts to switch off as it is no longer feeling threatened.

A good example is post traumatic stress disorder where after Tapping is applied, the memory of the event remains but the emotion that was attached to it is no longer intense – it has reduced or completely disappeared.

Once you learn where and how to tap you can tap on symptoms such as pain, headaches, muscular tension.  You can tap on emotions such as anger, sadness, anxiety, fear, grief.  You can tap on an actually event such as going to the dentist, speaking to new people, public speaking and you can also tap on the limiting beliefs that underlie perceptions about ourselves and memories from childhood that have formed those beliefs.

There are many good examples of using Tapping on the internet such as The Tapping Solution and EFT Universe.

If you would like more information about how to use Tapping please feel free to contact me.

Inner self

Working with our Inner Self

Working on our inner self can be difficult, uncomfortable and yet ultimately life changing.  As I do more and more holistic work on myself I am shedding past ways of doing and thinking and turning my focus to my inner self.  Over 30 years in the NHS led me to be more external in my approach in working with people.  My role was to listen and support them in making sometimes very practical changes that could enhance their life.  As an Occupational Therapist I was always aware of the many facets of our physical environment, interaction with others, self awareness and psychological health that made up our holistic wellbeing.  What I wasn’t so aware of was our spiritual health and the inner wisdom that we have to deeply heal ourselves.  This has come later into my life and I am still very much on this path.

What I have learnt recently is that answers to our problems and dilemmas, lie within us and we need to really explore these areas of loss, grief, anger and avoidance. There is a need to “go within” and converse with our bodies and our higher self to explore our missing parts and to discover what we need to do to replenish and fill it.

Amy B Scher has written bestsellers on how she helped herself heal from chronic illness and suggests that we ask of ourselves the following questions:-

“What are my symptoms keeping me from doing?” In other words what is your fear/avoidance.

“What am I feeling about my illness?” eg guilt, sadness, anger etc

“Therefore just before my illness what was I feel (sad, angry guilty) about?”

These powerful questions can uncover the true cause of illness and why it is manifesting itself physically.

Using Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) tap on the feelings that arise from these questions to help bring down any intensity and allow forgiveness and acceptance to come in.  The best place to tap for this is on the Thymus gland, just a couple of inches down from the notch on your sternum, below your throat.  Tap here saying “I now let go of these (feelings) as I start to accept and forgive myself”.

This is just one way of exploring your inner self and addressing the often unknown causes of what holds us back.

If you have any experience or thoughts about this blog please feel free to contact me.

Welcome to Golden Oak Therapies

I hope to bring you thoughts, musings and ideas regarding energy work and healing.  My two areas of particular interest are Reiki and Emotional Freedom Technique or Tapping although I am currently doing a two year apprenticeship in Shamanic Healing.

I am by no means an expert and am constantly learning and gathering further understandings from many different places and sources.

I would be delighted if you feel able to join in and share your own knowledge and experience of energy healing so we can all learn from each other.