Belly Bump – SU MO

I have some of my family staying with me at the moment including my 2-year-old grandson, who is a little monkey and an absolute joy in equal parts.

The other night he wouldn’t go to sleep and rather than continuing the battle my son brought him down and we played for an hour before he finally gave in and went to bed.

I can honestly say it was one of the most joyous hours of my life as we played belly bump SUMO (sumo has to be shouted loud and in a deep voice)

This involves him lifting my t-shirt to look adoringly at my belly and slap it a few times to see it wobble and laugh a lot and then him lifting up his own top and running at me so that our tummies impact with a slapping sound, whilst loudly shouting SU MO.

Now at the age of 60 and with a large belly, it has been a long time since someone looked at my tummy adoringly and with the simple in the moment joy of a 2-year-old who hasn’t learned what is and isn’t beautiful from others or the media yet.

So for him, nannas belly is a thing of beauty, how it feels, how it wobbles and how warm it is, if only we could all love ourselves the way a child sees us (he likes my singing too!!)

Bodies are meant to be enjoyed and his joy was absolutely infectious, his laughter irresistible, he taught me something invaluable in this simple game and I’m still smiling now!

Twenty Twenty

I was thinking back over 2019 as I was driving home (that’s where all my best ideas come to mind!) and wondered if I had one word that would sum up the most important value for me for the year, what it would be?, and the word ‘connection’ sprang to mind.

There is something wonderful that happens when one has been practising as a hypnotherapist for a good number of years, and that is that the skills and techniques of this work become almost automatic, like driving, leaving me free to hone in on what is even more important and that is the connection between me and my client.

We call this rapport and this allows us to work at a deeper level, so that out of this connection, we are able to release old beliefs and learnt behaviours which are no longer useful or serving us well in a way that feels very organic and natural, almost easy.

This ‘connection’ has also extended to amazing conversations between friends and colleagues and allowed me personally to grow and learn so much over the last year.

So Id like to thank each and every one of you that has touched my life and added to this sense of ‘connection’ over 2019.

I wonder what 2020 will bring? I’m already focussing on ‘kindness’

Snow globe

Sometimes it feels like everything is mixed up and swirling around and inside, so many thoughts and often overwhelming, like being in the midst of a snow globe.

If you can find a way to sit with those thoughts, recognise that they are just that…. Thoughts, not real things, but constructs of our imagination, based on our past and projecting out into the future and not always in a good way! Then sometimes its possible to let them settle and see them for what they are…. to be able to allow calm in, to allow the nervous system to settle.

Christmas seems a good a time as any to remember that as babies we are born into the world deserving of love, it is our birth right and though hard to hold onto sometimes, I still believe that to be true as we grow into adults.

So whether the thoughts are swirling around and inside you, or whether you have managed to slow down and recognise them for what they are, there you are In the middle of the snow globe, perfection without the need to do anything at all.

For all of my clients past, present and future I hope that you find the time to connect with that feeling of love, of self-love this holiday season.
Dani

YES or NO

Currently I am torn between loving the idea of saying Yes to things, challenging, pushing myself out of my comfort zone and embracing all life has to offer and also having the confidence to say NO, because there are things I just don’t want to do for whatever reason.

Modern psychology seems to sway between the benefits of both camps and yet doesn’t address the idea that we don’t always have to move towards something or steer away from something, sometime we are just OK where we are in the moment and with what we have or want to do.

In our society, especially in the UK we do this ridiculous polite thing where instead of saying NO to something we skirt around the issue, giving reasons and excuses and generally trying to justify why we either cant or wont do something we are asked or invited to.
And yet when we look to the more ‘can do’ American style idea, there can be an obligation to say YES, even when in our hearts and minds we are screaming NOOOOOO!

We can say NO and moreover it is the whole answer, there is no need to qualify our response with excuses, I watch my 2 year old grandson and he’s really good at saying NO, we laugh at him but he knows instinctively when he doesn’t want something and equally offer him an orange and you soon know that the answer is ‘YES’, usually followed by ‘MORE’

So how about putting yourself first, stopping to think ‘What do I want’ and how do I express that in the best possible way so that I can be authentic, neither a doormat or negative, just you.

It may seem easy and logical to say but I suspect that all of us have struggled at some point with both answers, not wanting to offend anyone but at the same time not communicating very effectively what we really want or need.

Also sometimes no answer at all is the best answer, or just taking the time to step out of the problem so you can look at it more objectively.

One of the ways I help my clients, whatever their reason for coming to me is to put them back in touch with who they really are, what they really want or need and how to take control of their own thoughts so these kind of answers can flow from a place of confidence in giving the answer that really conveys what is important to them.

Are you planting seeds or weeds?

I was listening to a podcast last week, where Russell Brand interviewed Jay Shetty and it was full of great insights, there were two words that have stuck with me since listening to it and that is that when you wake in the morning (or at any time when you have a moment to reflect)

Be aware of your thoughts about the day and as you acknowledge each one, ask yourself ‘Are they seeds or weeds?’

If something is a seed, feed it and find a way to help it to grow, if it is a weed, ask yourself how you might turn it into a seed (some weeds are beautiful!) and create something from it that is useful, or just let it go.

I love anything that is simple to remember and use, so that I can pass it onto my clients and friends and more importantly that I can use it myself.

…….as an extension of those thoughts….
‘The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit. Be patient. Be humble. Keep moving forward and know that all this hard work you’re putting in day in and day out WILL produce the results you’ve been looking for. Your time is coming. Do not give up.’ Anon

Promise

Over the years I have had many clients who were told information from well-meaning therapists and psychics, about themselves, anything from what their life goals should be to the meaning of their dreams and even who they were in a previous lifetime.

I will never presume to hand out any such information to my clients, I am not psychic and have absolutely no idea what your life purpose is and what your dreams mean!

So the only promise you’ll get from me is that I will ask lots of questions to help you to find your own answers to the questions you bring to me.

I will use all the training I have had to help you find your core strength and focus to whatever goal you seek, to help you realise that you have choices and understand why your formative years may continue to have an impact on your day to day life.

There are no magic pills here, no psychic readings and I do not hold the answers, and that’s OK; because if you are looking to understand yourself better and take those brave steps towards a life that is meaningful for you, then I am absolutely the right person to talk to!

Our job is to be authentic

My heart in my throat

Recently I was talking to a friend about an experience that I had many years ago that challenged me in ways I could not have anticipated, took me right out of my comfort zone; but was subsequently transformative. I described it as my heart being in my throat.

This was especially meaningful today as I have had some challenging experiences over the last few weeks, and when I try to talk about them, I am overcome by those same feelings, so that I am literally choked up with the emotions and find it almost impossible to express myself.

These feelings often have the sensation of going round and around my head and heart, with no way out, so that even with everything I know about how to reduce the emotional hijacking, and the knowledge that I have a choice about how I react to them, it often takes some time to bring that emotional arousal down and for my body to catch up with my new thoughts and make the chemical changes that mean I can feel calmer physically.

I now realise that this experience is so often all about things that are totally outside of my control, that once I have stepped back from them, the feelings start to subside. I can breathe once more and start to look at the situation from a different perspective.

It is more useful to remember that they rarely last long and that like a wave or the ebb and flow of water on the beach, they come and they go. I can breathe easily once more and calm returns.

Carefree for 5 minutes?

We spend so much of our lives contorting ourselves to fit the idea of who we should be, the daughter, son, mother, father, sister etc because we want to fit in, be heard and be loved, which I understand to be our birthright.

The ironic thing is that what we really want is to be accepted for who we truly are and yet in the process of trying to fit in we often lose sight of who that person is.

Is it the child, daughter, 16 year old, 21 year old, sister, mother, grandmother?

The reality is that we are all of these life experiences and yet so much more!

Drilling down through the layers of our existence, we can discover the ‘ME’ that is experiencing all these parts of our lives and what we are learning about ourselves and the part we also have to play in the lives of those around us.

Do you ever stop, and simply listen to all the stories you tell yourself about what you believe, what you think and how you feel. Because I don’t know about you, but when I do that I realise that a large part of that is simply not true.

Yet it is often the part that is most troublesome, the part that contains the anxieties and fears for example, the things which haven’t happened, the what ifs….!

So much time spent telling oneself a story, that we miss the moment we are in. So busy with the what ifs that we forget to enjoy the moment. And yet if there was one thing that my clients can agree on, its that it would be wonderful to go back to those days in childhood when we were carefree.

Those wonderful days when we got bored, made daisy chains, played on a swing or roundabout and rolled down the hill.

If you do one thing for yourself today, go do something carefree or even silly, something that brings joy into your heart, let go of the need to fit in, let go of the story, the fears and anxieties, even if its just for 5 minutes…. and simply breathe and be. You might enjoy it enough to bring more of that into your life on a more regular basis.

Heal

When we get a papercut or accidentally cut ourselves preparing vegetables we know and trust that our body knows exactly what to do to repair itself, and if we remember to notice then we could watch as our skin knows just how to knit back together to retain its ability to protect us.

Two months ago, I had surgery to replace my right shoulder, it took a little bit to get my head around the idea of such a replacement, but now I can only marvel at the surgeons handiwork and my body’s amazing ability to recover from this operation in such a short time.

Its easy to observe such healing from the outside, there are obvious scars and physiotherapy etc, but when we carry wounds from childhood or the scars from the things that simply living can throw at any one of us, its not always so easy to understand how and why we respond the way we do to life, or admit that we may need help, or even that help can change the way we respond at all…. And that we can heal from these too!

Our minds are the most amazing part of our body and they are able to review the past in such a way that it is possible to know a thing happened but that it doesn’t have to trigger a negative response….in the now.

We can heal our minds and our bodies and we can trust and allow that healing to occur with the right kind of help, for my shoulder it was a surgeon with the correct skills and for the mind it can be a therapist who knows where to tap to create the most effective and long lasting change.

For my shoulder, they say that this will last for at least 10 years, though I am hopeful it will be longer than that; and for the mind, once it is capable of seeing and recognising that change has happened, it is for life.