I was delighted to see BBC1 tackling the global stress epidemic during its Truth About Stress programme that aired Thursday 4th May 2017. Yet, despite 60 minutes of primetime TV spent on it, BBC missed one truth about stress that, once known, can help millions of us become free from the more harmful forms of chronic stress - for good.
It is easy to fall into the trap of making relationship conflicts about the other person. What they said or didn’t say. What they did or didn’t do. What they meant or didn’t mean. But to be proactive about moving from conflict to connection, you’ll need to focus on cleaning up your side of the fence.
For the best relationships, look to heal whatever is happening within you, instead of trying to fix, change or improve other people so that they are loveable. It is not anyone else’s job to make you happy or feel loved, it is yours. How you feel is down to your relationship with the particular relationship, which is a perfect reflection of your relationship with yourself.
Lots of ‘relationships’ mentioned then, but the only relationship that I would recommend focusing on healing is the one with your self. Whatever you are feeling in relation to someone else is caused by what’s happening inside you, so that’s where to look to resolve any issue that may be standing between you and more kind, connected and loving relationships.
Here are the top 10 habits that hinder loving relationships. If you find you are doing any of them, I recommend using the Calm Cure technique (shared in my Calm Cure book), to help heal them:
In this video I talk about how you can experience true financial freedom with the right attitude and relationship with money. My strategy for financial freedom may not be what you think, so check out this video to find out how you can be free without working harder...
Money: the root of all kinds of evil or a route to enlightenment and personal freedom? With the right attitude and relationship with money, I believe it’s the latter. If we define money in terms of physical currencies such as bank notes, coins and cash deposited in bank accounts, there’s currently around $80 trillion kicking about. Whereas if we include other forms of nonphysical money – including digital currency Bitcoin and funds invested in financial products like derivatives – then the total runs into the quadrillions (that’s 15 zeros!).6 This means that money is both a physical and a nonphysical entity. The reason I raise this is that the nature of money is very relevant to how we relate to it. We all have an objective (physical/outer) and a subjective (nonphysical/inner) experience of money. Said slightly differently, we have the objective reality of how much money we physically possess and a subjective inner experience of how it feels to have that amount of money.
Collectively, we have come to rely upon money to define our sense of self and to feel safe, secure, valuable and free. This strategy will never work because if we seek these subjective experiences from outside means, then they will forever be dependent on fluctuating financial conditions. This dependency on money again creates conflict, so it therefore pays dividends to invest in improving our subjective inner relationship with money – if we want our financial experience to improve. In short, millions of people have made money way too important and a rebalancing of power is needed to return to a more sane and serene coexistence with it.
This 14-minute guided meditation is for cultivating the attitude required for experiencing peace with the full spectrum of your emotions.
This is the key to emotional freedom because emotions become problematic if there is resistance to experiencing certain ones or any attachment to only experiencing the ones that we’ve been taught are positive. By healing your relationship with your emotions you are learning there is no need to try to fix, change or improve them.
This comes from knowing you are not your temporary emotions, that emotions are not caused by the external life events that you believe are making you feel bad, but by feeling your thinking about life. That peace is not the absence of emotions but instead, peace is what the awareness that’s aware of all of your emotions feels like, and ultimately, the more emotions the better.
A FEW YEARS AGO I WAS INVITED TO WORK AS A THERAPIST ON A DETOX HEALTH RETREAT IN SOUTHERN SPAIN... With no idea of what to expect (at that time I thought detox was only for drug addicts!), I packed my bag and headed off for a week in the sun. It rained heav- ily the entire time! I’m not sure if it was the lack of sun that week or what, but my therapy schedule quickly became fully booked.
In more ways than just the location, I found myself in unfamil- iar territory. Many of the detoxers were investing in their health because they were suffering from physical problems. That week I was to meet people suffering with migraines, irritable bowel syn- drome (IBS), infertility, bulimia, obesity and psoriasis. This meant that not only was I suddenly working in the field of ‘health’, but also, due to my schedule, that I only had a couple of hours with each of them.
A Fortunate Coincidence
Two weeks prior to going to Spain I had been invited to a talk by a specialist in the mind–body connection called Dr David Ham- ilton. During that inspiring talk (come to think of it, on another very wet day, this time just outside Glasgow), he shared many scientific studies that have investigated the power of the mind, including the mind’s ability to heal the body.
With his message springing to the forefront of my own mind that day in Spain, I knew I had to update my therapeutic ap- proach, fast. I suggested to my first client that we explore wheth- er there might be any mental or emotional issues from their past that could be causing their physical problems today. With their agreement we proceeded.
Hmmm, To My Next Question...
I had no idea what to ask! I remember looking down at my blank notebook and then up again to meet the expectant eyes of my client. I decided to keep it simple by asking if there was an event in her life that might be causing her health condition, such that if we were to resolve it, the body would heal.
To both of our amazements, she immediately had an answer; a specific event had just “popped into her mind”. With only a few more questions, we could see a possible link between the past emotional event and the current physical condition. Once we had established the possible cause, we worked on releasing any negative emotions associated with it and the session was done.
The Healing Power Of Peace
Time after time, in session after session, this happened with great success. Over the coming months I regularly witnessed instantaneous remissions from health conditions; I saw skin conditions clear up, chronic pain vanish, and digestion prob- lems disappear, to name but a few. Along with this, I also witnessed the healing of many other emotional issues and life problems – all from helping people to make peace with their past.
News about my method, which by this point was becoming known as “Mind Detox”, then spread internationally when I was shown on three separate television series documenting people going through a mind–body detox retreat. The TV exposure and subsequent book deals led to the opportunity of working with hundreds of people at my clinics, workshops and retreats around the world.
It’s a Miracle! (Or Is It?)
Over time I became curious. Was I bearing witness to miracles? Was I some kind of gifted healer? Or had I simply stumbled across a method of healing that could be transferable and used by others?
For the next year I started using the same therapeutic ques- tions when working with clients at my clinics and retreats. Very quickly it became clear that the power of the method was the method itself, and the possibility of training others was real. Soon after I had realized this, I ran my first Mind Detox Mas- terclass and Practitioner Certification Course and started train- ing people from around the world via my academy.
Using the Mind Detox Method to Heal
The Mind Detox Method is a very effective way to discover and heal the hidden causes of physical, emotional and life problems. Quite simply, if something negative is happening in your body or your life and you don’t know why, then this method can help. By making peace with your past, chronic stress is reduced, allow-ing the body to heal, and by clearing your self-limiting beliefs, you can use your mind as the incredible tool that it is to create the life you want. It’s a genuine win-win. So be courageous and go for it. The possibilities are truly infinite!
None of my achievements could ever relieve the eternal itch that something was missing.
One of the main reasons why so many people miss out on the exquisite experience of their conscious awareness is that they’re having an identity crisis. Quite simply, they think they are someone or something they’re not. They think they are the voice in their head and, as a result, rely on what it says too heavily for defining who they are and what they’re capable of. They think they are what they are feeling emotionally. They think they are their body, having identified with it from an early age. Or they think they are their relationship status, job title, religious affiliation or the long list of other labels that they’ve found to help define who they are.
It is normal to be on the search to find meaning from all of the potential sources listed above. Whether aware of it or not, there’s a big chance that you, too, have been exploring the answer to life’s big question: Who am I? Without guidance it is extremely easy to fall into the understandable assumption of thinking that you are the temporary and transient traits that so many others think they are, too:
I must be the voice in my head because it sounds like me.
I must be my emotions because I feel them inside me so intimately.
I must be my body because it’s been with me since I was born.
I must be my job title because that’s what I tell people I am when asked what I do.
I must be my relationship status because my marriage certificate says so.
I must be my religion because it is what I believe in so strongly.
The list goes on and on. But none of these things are ultimately you. Yes, they contribute to your personality and what you tend to do with your day, but that does not make them you. Why? They are all temporary, come and go and change. Therefore attempting to find your Self in these transient labels is a bit like trying to stay still in the ocean without an anchor. It’s not going to work and you’ll find yourself drifting. Moving from one mental construct to another can be very confusing – not to mention highly stressful – if you attempt to define who you are from the things in your life that constantly change and are, to a large extent, outside your immediate control.
What if you are not who or what you think? Are you willing to explore a new way of perceiving and experiencing your Self?
To suppress emotions is to lower your inborn ability to allow health, wealth and happiness to flow.
Excessive worry is a very common problem. Worry can distract you from your daily activities, make it hard to get to sleep at night and negatively impact your health and general happiness. To help bring an end to worry dictating your day, here's 4 top tips to make worry work for you:
1) See the worry thoughts, don't be the worrier
The first thing you want to do when you notice that you've been lost in your mind worrying about something is to have a moment of self-awareness. Do your best to step back inside yourself to see the worry thoughts, instead of being the worrier. In my book Mind Calm, I talk about how you have a mind, but you are not your mind. Instead, you are the calm conscious awareness that is aware of your mind. So if you ever find yourself worrying, you can benefit greatly from stepping back from being fully engaged in your thoughts, to instead be the awareness that's aware of them.
2) Acknowledge that the worry is positively intended
I find it useful to remember that my mind is always doing its best to keep me safe and help me to be happy. Having started observing your mind, you can begin to see that the intention of the worry is actually positive. Your mind is trying to help you to be safe, pay the bills, experience more love or whatever. When you acknowledge the worry is positively intended, you naturally stop resisting the thoughts and in turn, create more calm within yourself again.
3) Thank the worrisome thoughts for trying to help
Leading on from tip 2, I find it helps massively to actually take a moment to actively thank the thoughts for trying to help. I know this may appear to be the opposite of what you may think you want to do i.e. get rid of the thoughts, but again, by thanking the thoughts for being present within you, you stop resisting, reduce stress and can even begin to feel more positive again.
4) Get our of your head and back into the moment
Finally, I encourage you to get out of your mind and get back into the present. This is because when you are more self-aware and present, you create a space within your being that allows you to access your intuition, creativity and wisdom - which all necessary for you finding creative solutions that will help you move forward in a peaceful and productive way. To get back to the now, I find a simple reality check will suffice. Tune into a sound that's been happening that you were previously ignoring, notice what you are physically touching that you were not aware of, or look to notice things in your peripheral vision that you hadn't previously seen.
By seeing the worry thoughts, not being the worrier, acknowledging the antics of your mind are actually positively intended and even thanking your mind for trying to help, you naturally stop resisting the tendencies of your thoughts and learn to live in harmony with your mind. Instead of being used and abused by your mind, this healthier relationship with worry thoughts can help you to discover the solutions you need to overcome any challenge you may face.
TO RESIST LIFE IS TO RESIST MIRACLES
The moment you stop resisting what is and start accepting the moment you’re in, all your perceived problems instantly start helping you.
Everything that happens each day does so to help you move towards and create the life you want. Granted, this is not always obvious at first glance! But if you suspend judgement for long enough, you will see how miraculous life always is. Remain open-minded and you can discover that every life event is a signpost pointing you in the direction of what you need to learn to love in order to experience your heart’s greatest desire.
To resist what happens is to resist the very things that you need in order to get what you want!
GOOD OR BAD, WHO KNOWS?
Once upon a time there was an old wise man who owned a lovely horse. Then one day, out of the blue, his horse broke free and ran away. A neighbour who heard what happened said: “That is terrible news that your only horse ran away.” However, the wise man replied, “Good or bad, who knows!”
Miraculously a week later the man’s horse returned, bringing with it ten wild stallions. Witnessing the spectacular scene, the neighbour said, “That’s great news that you now have ten new stal- lions.” To which the wise man replied, “Good or bad, who knows!”
A few days later the son of the wise man was out training one of the new stallions when he was thrown off, landed badly and broke his leg. The concerned neighbour said, “That’s terrible news that your son broke his leg.”The wise man responded just as he had before, saying, “Good or bad, who knows!”
Two more weeks past and then the army came to town, enroll- ing all the young men to go fight in the war. The son couldn’t fight because of his leg. And yes, you guessed it, the wise man had the same open-minded response: “Good or bad, who knows!”
I love this parable because it so beautifully illustrates what this part of the book is all about. When things happen in life you never know for certain at the time if they are good or bad. And if you are patient, you will more often than not appreciate when look- ing back on events that they were the best possible things to hap- pen. Or put a different way, miracles are always happening, even if at the time we don’t always recognize them as such.
“Sometimes not getting what you think you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” — DALAI LAMA
ACCEPTANCE SPEEDS UP YOUR EVOLUTION
If life must only happen how you think it should, then you limit life from being any other way. Evolution needs you to be open to be things you’ve never been, know things you’ve never known and do things you’ve never done. Resisting what’s happening because it doesn’t match what you think should happen holds on to the past and fears the future; the unexpected. Evolution loves the moment you’re in and embraces the unexpected. Accepting life in whatever direction it flows enables you to grow, explore and deal with events as they happen, efficiently, effectively and effortlessly.
Let the loving hand of the universe guide you to embrace your evolution.
To be self-aware can mean many things, with one of most important being to be aware of the aspect of your SELF that is AWARE.
During literally thousands of hours of meditation, I’ve explored the big question of Who Am I? and come to conclude: I am simply the Self that is aware. Everything else is a mind- made creation or life circumstance that comes and goes. But that which is aware does not. So who are you? You are the conscious awareness that is aware of the voice in your head and all the other thoughts and emotions happening daily. The awareness that is aware of your body and all the physical sensations and conditions that occur. The awareness that’s aware of all of your relationships, bank balance, the jobs you do, the houses you inhabit and the hobbies that you happen to love.
Awareness is the one facet of you that has been with you your entire life and you've never for one iota of a moment existed without.
Conscious awareness is inherently still and silent. A sign that you are aware is that you experience inner stillness and silence. It is my hope that reading my books (THUNK! and/or MIND CALM) is an eye opener for you. Not solely from a conceptual perspective, but that you experience what I refer to as the ‘Infinite I’. Spoken about by countless spiritual teachers over millennia, the Infinite I (or ‘infinite-eye’, if that makes more sense to you) is the awareness that is observing life unfold and the consciousness that all of life exists within. You have front-row seats at this glorious adventure called your life. It is time to say ‘bring it on’ and welcome whatever happens with wide-open arms.
What kind of world do you see? What emotions do you regularly feel and how to you tend to behave? If you ever want to know what’s going on in the hidden territories of your mind, then you need look no further than what’s regularly happening in your body, emotions and life. During countless Mind Detox consultations I’ve witnessed the universal impact of beliefs. Individually, beliefs can create vitality or disease, encourage emotional well-being or stress-infused struggle, massive positive action or destructive behaviours, financial abundance or lack, relationship bliss or ruin… with the list long and the impact truly epic.
On a global scale, toxic beliefs play a big role in allowing starvation to exist in a world full of food. The endless stream of wars – as nations and religions fight over differences of opinion, the preservation of what they believe is ‘right’ and opt to make the ownership of land, resources and the selling of arms more important than human life. While toxic beliefs also incite the potentially irreversible environmental harm happening to our dear mother earth, as individuals running big corporations place profits as more important than the hurt they are doing to the planet or its people.
Beliefs are determining the decisions made and the actions being taken each and every day. In a similar way that your life success is suppressed or supported by what you believe as right, true and possible for you. The state of the world is an external manifestation of the most commonly-shared beliefs held within the collective mind. To change your life and the world, therefore, we must be willing to look within our own hearts and minds.
This need not be a pressure or an opportunity to be hard on yourself. Quite the contrary. It is an invitation to embrace your inborn power to transform that which is not congruent with what your heart knows to be right. So what kind of world do you want to see? How do you want to feel and behave and what kind of world do you want to live in? As temporary guardian of a magnificent body, mind, life and world, I believe that if we make it a priority to change our beliefs, then the choice can be ours.
When you throw a pebble into a pond, the ripples go out for a while until they reach the shore ... at which point they come back, multiplied in both size and quantity. The same is true for when you give in life. The more you give, the more you receive. It may seem an odd concept – to give away what you want – but you get more of what you want by giving more of what you have away.
People can live their lives by 'what comes around goes around' – by not giving until they receive. For instance, they postpone doing their best at their job until they get paid more. Or they don’t show love towards other people until other people show love towards them. However, this is an ineffective strategy. By holding on to what you’ve got, you have no room for more to flow into your life. You end up holding back the natural flow of the universe. But if you live with a more 'what goes around comes around' attitude, by giving what you want, then you will end up enjoying a far more abundant and fulfilling life.
Decide what you want and find ways to give it away!
Feeling unsatisfied with parts of your life usually means you aren’t giving away what you want in these areas of your life. If you want affection, give your affection. If you want encouragement, give encouragement. If you want money, then share some of yours. It’s as simple as that. What you give will tend to come back. It is all about the flow of giving and receiving. And remember, giving in order to receive is not giving. It’s about giving without concern for getting, in the knowledge that you can afford to give it away because the universe is infinite and the universe exists within you.
Insomnia is experienced by millions of people worldwide. Not only can be frustrating to not be able to get to sleep. But due to the lack of good quality rest, insomnia can lead to a whole host of physical conditions as the body is given little opportunity to do its maintenance and repair projects. In one study carried out by the University of Southern California, it was found that across two groups involved, the people that meditated showed improvements in sleep quality compared to the control group that didn’t meditate. While in another randomized controlled trial of meditation and chronic insomnia, 45 adults were asked to meditate over an 8-week period. The results again showed that the ones who meditated reported significantly greater reductions in ‘Time Awake Time’ and ‘Insomnia Severity’ when compared to the control group who didn’t meditate.
These studies and others reflect what I have observed teaching meditation. Time after time people who’ve found it difficult to sleep have reported enjoying the best sleep they’ve had in years. In my experience, it also appears that meditation helps you enter sleep at a deeper level and get more rest from the sleep you get. Normally it takes around 5 hours to eventually enter the deepest levels of sleep. However, with meditation, the body is resting before entering sleep and once you do drifted off, the deeper realms of rest are more quickly experienced.
TOP TIP: SLEEP WITHOUT COUNTING SHEEP
As an added bonus, one of the reasons people find it hard to sleep is because they can’t switch off. The longer they lay awake not sleeping; the more concerned they can become around how tired you might be the next day. However, if you meditate yourself to sleep using Mind Calm or Body Calm, you won’t engage in thinking as much and find it easier to drift off when your body and mind is ready. Not only that, but with the knowing that your body gets ample rest of meditation, you can change your relationship with sleep and may even find you are actually happy to have the chance to get a few hours of meditation in before the next day.
My publisher Hay House posted the above quote on their Facebook page the other day and it's quickly clocked up over 9000 likes and 3500 shares! It's so great to see this quote resonate with so many people because I truly believe a successful life is one that is loved by the person living it.
Let's say there are two people - one has lots of money, lives in a big house, drives fancy cars and lives a five star lifestyle, BUT they are anxious, unhappy and unsatisfied with their life. Compare this to someone who may not have as much, but is calm, contented and loves their life. Who would you say is more 'successful'. In my opinion, the person loving their life. The great news is that it costs nothing to love your life. The key is to judge less and let 'what is' be enough, exactly as it is.
To play with what I call 'Courageous Contentment', play the following game (taken from the upcoming Body Calm book). If you ever find yourself out of love with your life or feeling discontentment because you haven't got something you think you need to be happy, then take a moment to think to yourself or say aloud: 'I can want this without needing it'.
Pause for a few moments taking on board the sentiments of the statement before considering what your inner experience of life is like when you let this moment be enough, exactly as it is. If you do, you may notice there will be more calm, contentment and completeness within you, along with a greater sense of love and appreciation for the many gifts the present moment is always giving.
Please let me know how you get on using this Courageous Contentment game by commenting below. Thanks and enjoy! S:-)
Why do celebrities like Sadie Frost and Liv Tyler turn to Sandy for meditation guidance?
A remarkable way to bring about inner calm, freedom from worry and present moment awareness.