Monday, May 31, 2010

Feeling your feelings

Nicole's many feelings by allyaubry

I love this post on Feelings from @hiroboga (you can find her on Twitter). It's all about ... you guessed it, feelings - the language of the body.

People often laugh or cry in a Kinesiology session ... these are just two ways we release the energy associated with feelings. Both are equally good as an emotional release but it's fair to say that many of us favour laughing over crying. Rest assured ... crying is definitely a good thing. So much better than holding onto our emotions! As Hiro says,

All feelings are energy. Energy is vibration—in its natural state, it moves freely. When feelings are stifled or suppressed, or when you cling to them or make up stories in your head about them, you run into problems. (Emotions are feelings with a thought or thoughts attached.)

It's not the feeling itself that causes the problem.

Of course, we often know this. But the reality of our response doesn't always reflect it. If we feel joy it is natural to laugh ... however emotions such as anger or sadness are not so easily or socially appropriately expressed.

We tend to squash them down, suppress them, ignore them. If we do admit to them we tend to view them as bad, it can be almost like we see it as a failing that we have ALLOWED this negative emotion to come about.

Our feelings and emotions can also get mixed up with those of other people. And often our experience of emotions is heightened through links to experiences from our past, through the amygdala part of the brain which drags up similar emotional memories to helpfully aid our survival.

Kinesiology can be particularly helpful in this case, allowing you to discover the original stressful situations that may have locked into your body ... and to help diffuse the stress around them so you're not bound to whatever options or choices you had at that time.

Surrogating emotions (taking on) the emotions of eg your parents is particularly common in children. Sometimes we carry emotions for years without the conscious awareness that they're not even ours.

Feelings and emotions obviously exist to give us important information that enables us to survive ... to learn and to grow ... to experience life.

If you ignore the emotions you don't want to feel for long enough you can start to become confused about HOW you feel ... this is often the case with depression. Unpleasant feelings unexpressed or unacknowledged tend to end up in a big uncomfortable mess of yuck that feels hard to deal with.

Suppressing our emotions often leads us to feeling stuck.

Hiro encourages us to be playful with our feelings, to be curious about them. It reminded me of the way feelings and emotions are approached in a Kinesiology session ... as interesting and rational pieces of information that we try to unravel and feel compassion for ... rather that ignore.

Identify a feeling you’re feeling right now ... Notice where this feeling is located, in your body. What is its texture? Its flavor or color, its density, its shape? Does it feel prickly or cold? Small, hard, lukewarm? Like a jelly bean? Is it sour or dry, juicy or squishy?

How easy is it for you to feel your emotions in your body? Sometimes in a Kinesiology session I will encourage clients to focus on where they feel eg anxiety in their body ... this can be hard to start with but you do become more aware over time.

I love this part of the process here, which involves feeling the emotion of anger - an emotion that most of us have particular problems expresssing.

Once anger is flowing freely, notice how it feels, and how you feel. Then—in the spirit of exploration and experimentation—stop the flow of anger in your body. Shut it down, suppress it, argue with it or rationalize it—your choice. Notice how you feel when the flow of anger-energy is interrupted or stopped.

What an opportunity ... to consciously feel an emotion flowing freely ... and then to deliberately stop it and to really observe what this does to your body.

Soooo ... come play. You can read about the whole process here ... I'd love to hear how you go if you try it!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Transition essence comp!

Change ...

Sometimes, when we're feeling stuck, real change seems impossible to achieve.

This month I'm giving away a Bush Flower "Transition Essence".

Flower essences are vibrational remedies that can have subtle yet powerful effects on your energy. Transition essence is a blend designed to assist you during times of change.

To win, just leave a comment by the end of Monday 31st May sharing ...

  • a quote about change
  • a comment about a transition time you're going through
  • how you feel about change
  • something like that ...

Willingness to change often comes up in Kinesiology sessions, especially at the start. Often we think we're ready for change ... but what we really want is for things around us to change ... we want a new job, or our health to improve, the anxiety to be gone, to have better relationships ... or whatever it is.

We just want things to be different, with minimal effort on our behalf.

Unfortunately, imbalances in our lives often reflect imbalances within. Changing the external and forgetting the internal will often just 'solve the problem' temporarily. We get the new job and a few months later realise we're not sure about that either ... attract new relationships with similar issues ... mask the anxiety with a pill or drinking ...

We have to start with ourselves. And we have to be willing to put in some work. Something like Kinesiology or yoga helps you to make changes from within ... and over time you learn to see your own patterns and create balance within yourself.

* Subscribe to follow up comments to read what other people write and to find out who the winner is! I'll then get the winner to email me and post the essence out to them! :)

There's also the Yoga and Kinesiology Getting Yourself Unstuck workshop on July 10th!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Get unstuck!

We all get stuck. Things become cloudy. Nothing flows. We WANT change. But it feels completely out of reach. Decisions, choices... it all feels too hard.

Come join Nadine and I for the Unstuck workshop!

Workshop includes a strong yoga practice and elements of Kinesiology, including acupressure and visualisation.

Learn how to tune in to your ‘stuck’. Use yoga and acupressure to create balance in your body. Get things flowing again. Feel calmer, clear and more at peace. So you can shine!

The Hub, 17 Waterview Walk, Docklands
Saturday 10 July 2010, 2 - 5.30pm, $75
Book here.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Epiphanies are Stoopid

raindrops, leaf by Вася Артёмов

The trouble with epiphanies is that when you GET it? Seems so obvious. It's almost crazy that that you didn't get it earlier.

And pretty common in Kinesiology.

You won't always get them, but there is something about the way that the information comes together that can allow you to see what you're doing - your patterns - in a whole new light. And all of a sudden you can have a whole new realisation. Amazing.

And you might find that when you try and put that ASTONISHING new insight into words, or try and explain it to someone else, it just seems kind of obvious. Like - yeah, of course. So hard to convey the life changing awesomeness of this new thing you get. And not just 'get it in your head' but really, truly understand it in your body and what it means for you in your life moving forwards.

Let's try some examples from clients.

"So I'm always seeking recognition and acceptance from others. And yet when I do get praise or acknowledgement I refuse to accept it. That's NEVER GOING TO WORK!"

"I'm really sensitive and I pick up on everybody else's feelings and emotions and then I get overwhelmed and confused and think that my own life is falling to pieces when really I just need to get some clearer BOUNDARIES!"

"I put others first and try to protect other people from how I feel but now I'm the one who feels sick or upset or angry. I'm protecting them but hurting ME!"

"I feel isolated and alone and depressed at this time of year because subconsciously it reminds me of that time in high school when all my friends turned against me because it was 'my turn' to be bullied ... right before the school holidays. But that's so not true NOW!"

Sometimes just the recognition of what's going on and the understanding of how it's impacting on you now is enough to let it go. And the Kinesiology helps to move the energy of it.

Boring old me and my pet kangaroo*

So I stole the title of this post from one of Havi's. Oh and that heading too. I read her blogs - Fluent Self and Shivanata - just about every day and her ideas have been so influential in the way I think about pretty much everything, especially in relation to my business.

One of the biggest things I'm really, properly learning is that it is ok to be completely yourself*. Oh look! Another epiphany that is completely obvious when written down. I mean, that's pretty much my whole work.

But it's about really owning that, being ok to do that in a visible way and getting clear on what is important to you. In every area of life. Even as things grow and change. Especially as things grow and change.

So I guess I have a mentor! On the other side of the world, who I've never met and who has no reason to know that I exist. Sometimes she even teaches me stuff in my dreams which I will definitely admit is kind of weird. I guess it is just my subconscious processing what I've read.

Ah, the power of the internets.
So anyway, what about you? Any epiphanies you'd like to share?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Living Creatively

Crayola Lincoln Logs by laffy4k

I was talking about work with another of the girls at Sakura Lounge recently. She asked,

"Do you get stressed by your work?"

Truthfully I don't get stressed by seeing clients. As you can probably guess, I love what I do.
Sometimes the first session in particular can be very emotional for the client and at the start the list of things that Aren't Going Well is often rather long.

However I've had so many experiences of seeing those same clients come back a week or two later looking different; lighter, and feeling much better already. And I've repeatedly seen how quickly things start to move forwards from there ... so I know that things will change. It's awesome. And I balance Kinesiology with the other work I do, including some work in an office environment.
"I can't imagine you in an office job!" the girl told me,

"I can only see you as Kerry the Kinesiologist!"

Isn't it funny how things change.

It reminded me of how just a few years ago, I felt so stuck in teaching. I knew I didn't want to be a teacher for my whole life. But I had no idea what I wanted to do. No idea where to begin.
Nothing was jumping out whatsoever. And I was also really busy. That's what I remember about teaching. The constant rush of too much to do, not enough time to do it properly and how will I avoid getting burnt out. Pressured and so structured.

Though I'd been seeing a Kinesiologist, I didn't even consider it as an option for me til after I'd had a pretty extroadinary session - the one where we worked on the depression stuff that had been around for years.

It was in a Kinesiology session soon after that it came up that I was 'bored'.

"I am NOT bored, I am WAY too busy," I said.

However, when we looked into it, yep I was bored. And when we went looking for what it was that I did want? I recall it was hard to get to. And then the word creativity came up. Which made me cry! I had no idea why. But creative I was definitely not.

Creativity comes in many forms.

Creativity is obviously not just drawing or writing or creating some other form of art ... you can be creative in the way you live your life and express yourself.

I've noticed the (very) occasional person in my life wondering where I'm taking all of this ... do I have a goal to work full time as a Kinesiologist, do I have a preference for one aspect of what I do. I can see the variety is confusing for them. Perhaps to them it would feel unstable. It's not the standard way to approach your work life.

But truly - the balance is what works for me. And I find it creative. I may not continue to work in an office forever but the doing a million things? It suits me. As much as I love Kinesiology, I also love it because it's not all I do.

It is so amazing to have the choice.

Some of my clients are at that stage of wanting to make the move into something new ... yet not knowing what that is. I've missed out a few steps here. It wasn't easy. There were plenty of steps along the way and often I couldn't see where I was going.

If I had? I probably would have gotten in the way, creating walls and limitations through my own fears that it wasn't possible.

Looking after myself

I'm not complacent, I consciously continue to look after myself. I restrict the number of clients I see in a day and schedule breaks. I make sure I do things for myself like have massages and Kinesiology sessions and go to yoga and do meditation. I do quite a bit of self Kinesiology too - holding points, working with chakras, using flower essences and cards.

We'll be looking at some of that stuff at the (fully booked) Getting Yourself Un-Stuck workshop next Sunday (though there's another next month!)

Balance - at last!

So yes, I've been through some very unbalanced times to get here but now my life is working pretty well. I work casually in an office job related to my background in education and am incredibly fortunate to be able to do as little or as much as I am able to with that. And I also do some online work related to education and web 2.0ish stuff from home. Plus of course I write my blog and now I'm doing workshops and so it goes.

I like variety and am comfortable with different roles and I have a balance of working with others (I do like having colleagues), in groups, by myself and one-on-one, working deeply with emotions and just focusing on a task, complete freedom and some structure.

So there we go. I didn't have a clear picture of what I wanted, but I was committed to change and working on myself and trusting my instincts.

If you're also looking for big change in your life I would say this:

Dream big. And trust yourself. It is possible.

Monday, May 3, 2010

On grieving

Velvet by »dolfi«

I can't say that I knew much at all about grief until this year, and compared to many, I still don't.

The first

You might remember that I wrote about the experience that Laurence and I had the weekend we got engaged. That was really my first close up experience of death. It was traumatic and graphic, though not personal, as of course we didn't know the man.

Earlier this year, I had my second experience. My 21 year old cousin, full of life and fun, was in London for the first time, a place that I lived for several years. Within 24 hours he was dead, unwittingly elecrocuted crossing train tracks. Such a vibrant, fun person ... someone I remembered most as a child; blonde hair, rough and tough through growing up on a cattle station and so good natured. The type of child that falls over and rather than crying, immediately laughs. Attending that funeral was among the worst experiences of my life. Such obvious unfairness.

On energy

When you work with energy like I do, it is interesting to observe how what happens in your life impacts on your work. After the funeral, I didn't have any new enquiries for about three weeks ... my energy kind of shut down for a bit - I had enough to work with existing clients, but apparently noone new.

Around this time I had a Kinesiology session. The Kinesiologist I saw is intuitive and commented that there may be a third.

And there was.

The third death was my Grandfather. I mentioned him over here. He really had such an enormous impact on my life and my childhood in particular. He was a true adventurer, and a visit to my Grandparents farm inevitably involved go-carts, teepees, canoes, boats, fishing, yabbying, water fights or some form of action. He didn't necessarily deal so well with the ageing thing and the not being able to be the adventurer anymore. His death was not completely unexpected, and in many ways, as he now lived in hospital, it was a blessing that the situation had not persisted for years longer.

This was my intellectual reaction.

My body did not experience it that way.

Philosphical initially, I found that the death impacted on me in ways I hadn't anticipated. Old anxieties, sadness, worries, fears, insecurities, memories, even a little bit of depression, came back up to the surface again. Things I thought I'd dealt with were suddenly back. I felt terrible.

What is going on?

Extreme and unconsciously controlled emotions, like grief, come from the amygdala part of the brain, where emotional associations related to particular events are stored. These are the emotions that can seem to come from nowhere, the ones we don't expect and can't always explain. These are the emotions we're going back to when we find signficant times and events from your past.

'Once emotional memory is lodged in our subconscious amygdala, a stimulus can trigger these emotions and feelings to enter our consciousness, often with the same power and impact of the original event'

Dr Charles Krebs, A Revolutionary Way of Thinking

In my case, feeling the grief, sadness, insecurity and worry I felt with the death of my Grandfather, along with the knowledge that he'd battled depression for the past twenty years, brought back up to the surface countless other times I'd experienced those emotions over the years. I guess the depth of the emotion brought more examples to the surface that usual.

It was like my Grandfather was one of the cornerstones of my life - one I didn't even realise was quite so foundational. Losing him made me all of a sudden feel unsafe, unstable, insecure. And of course, there was also the little girl in me who still knew that she was loved and adored by her Grandfather, and that he could not be replaced by anyone.

Has that ever happened to you?

I've realised this is what happens for many of my clients too, and in many cases it is probably what has brought them to Kinesiology - grief of some kind - whether relationship loss, death, trauma, job change, a major fear, whatever it may be, has suddenly brought all their stuff to the surface. What was previously bearable now needs to be looked at.

Sometimes people say - I can't understand why this is all happening now.

Though I'm not going to suggest it's a good thing or that you'll see it that way, it can be an opportunity to work through some deeper issues and improve the way you view your life and yourself.

Life keeps happening of course, you're never 'sorted'. But once you've actually worked on your stuff, when and if it comes back up to the surface, it usually moves through more quickly and smoothly.

And that's what I found. I allowed myself to feel how I felt, accepted it, reminded myself that I would feel better soon, did some self Kinesiology, had a few Kinesiology sessions ... and things soon felt more stable again. However that was me, dealing with this particular situation, in the best way that I could. There are far more extreme forms of grief and it goes without saying that different situations require a different approach depending on the individual.

Extreme emotions

Feeling extreme emotions is part of life. You don't have to cut off or deny them. Sometimes we make it worse for ourselves, especially if the reason for our emotion is less obvious, or in our eyes 'acceptable', by thinking that we shouldn't feel this way, we shouldn't be in this position. Many of my clients are harsh on themselves in this way.

What you feel is what you feel.

But you don't have to get stuck and continue to go downhill either.