Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Change doesn't have to be hard

Doing things the hard way
Isn't it interesting how often we choose to do things the hard way. Especially when it comes to change. And even more so when it comes to changing ourselves. Do you? We don't mean to, it just happens like that. Often doing it the hard way means doing it alone and/or being really hard on yourself in the process.

That was definitely true for me, in those (ahem) 14 years of on/off depression, which I wrote about briefly here and sort of over here. Clearly I need to revisit that whole story. I was sure I'd told it. I mustn't have been ready yet.

For me, doing things the hard way meant blaming and criticising myself for how I felt, feeling annoyed at how I felt and angry at myself for not being more in control. For making mistakes. For - the horror! - not being perfect.

And wherever possible, denying, blocking and suppressing my feelings and emotions. Often with busyness, which was generally quite effective. Until I stopped, of course.

Big mistake!

I often felt worst when I thought I should be feeling better, such as during the holidays. And as a teacher, there were plenty of holidays. I had no idea what to do about this. So I just tried to be busier. Even after the depression left, this was a hard habit to break.

Another thing I did, without even realising, was cut off from my heart. I guess my heart was giving me messages of pain that I had no idea what to do with. It was like I couldn't trust myself to feel. I knew where that would finish up, with me feeling stuck and miserable.

I had to use my will and my mind to keep myself from the ever present threat of depression which I felt could sneak up on me at any time if I wasn't vigilant. And then take me days or weeks or months to get out of.

Feeling my heart was a luxury I could not afford.

I could think happiness, joy and love. But it got to the point where I really couldn't feel them.

What I could feel in my heart area was heavy, blocked, stagnant, tight, uncomfortable. Empty.

Good times.

When I first started seeing a Kinesiologist it was mostly because all the external factors of my life were pretty much as I thought I wanted them, but I still felt lost. I was still searching. I couldn't feel. I had no idea what I really wanted. I was barely managing to keep myself afloat.

There was nowhere left to go but within.

This was where it started for me and Kinesiology sessions. Lots and lots of stuff related to the heart. Loving and accepting myself (huh?), feeling connected to myself and others and just lots and lots of emotions stuck in the heart - fear, anxiety, melancholy, anger, sadness. All the things I did not want to feel.

Kinesiology brings what is hidden to our conscious awaress where it can be healed and the energetic side clears the energy around what is stuck or blocked.

I remember how strange it was to start feeling my heart. It felt lighter, there was warmth. I started to actually feel my emotions again. Good emotions - not just unpleasantness.

That was the beginning.

This is the thing with Kinesiology. It's about looking at your stuff properly - and yes, it does cut straight to the point. But it's also about being really gentle and kind with yourself during the process and not getting stuck in the hard.

Allowing flow back into your life.

I remember at the end of her first session, one client who'd had many sessions of more traditional therapies admitted she felt better but said:

"I don't get it. That wasn't hard enough. Weren't we supposed to really go into everything from my past ... re-live it ... feel all the emotion again? Really describe every detail? Shouldn't it feel more painful? It just feels like that was too easy."

Here's the thing. The hard way hadn't worked. And we joked about that. I still see this client now, a year later and she's definitely past that. There is always going to be stuff and there might be strong emotions of fear or sadness or anger.

But that doesn't mean it has to be hard.

I've noticed that for most people, it seems to come back to self acceptance. Really accepting yourself, even with whatever is going on for you. Even with the emotions you wish you didn't have. This is what works, what creates real change.

If you're used to being hard on yourself it doesn't seem possible. But there we are. Nearly always, part of the change that people need to make is to start to be more gentle with themselves.

I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that I often attract girls with anxiety and depression - even if they don't know my background. I can tell as soon as they walk in the door. They look drawn, anxious, flat. They are smart, lovely girls and women with everything going for them. But they still feel miserable.

And I love that I have a strong suspicion that it's about to change.

I suppose this on my mind today for two reasons. One of these girls wrote this lovely review on google maps:

'Initially, I went to see if Kerry could help me with a deep, dark depression that I had been stuck in for 10 years. Even though countless other therapies had not helped at all, Kerry has made it disappear completely!

I am so amazed at the benefits of kinesiology that I've even decided to study it myself!‎'

And I saw a new client last week who like me, couldn't feel her heart at all. She joked that even in high school, people had remarked she had a 'cold, black heart'. And this week?

'I feel so much better on the inside. I think its starting to show because yesterday at work, four separate people told me that I looked "vibrant", "shiny" or "glowing". And today 2 more people said there was something different about me. It's just so wonderful to feel better and more positive about the future.

Meeting you is definitely one of the best things to happen to me.'


Image: Bendo silhouette by cvanstane


  1. Oh. My!
    That's just how I've been feeling about my yoga! It doesn't have to be hard: it can be old lady yoga with a cup of tea to hand and it will probably be more effective than sweating and gnashing of teeth yoga. Things can just flow, softly, gently.

    You rock, Kerry!

  2. Great post gorgeous!

    I'm in the throws of change myself at the moment, and I think probably making it quite hard for myself by not accepting the reality of what is - and constantly trying to make it change, spectacularly unsuccessfully!

    By opening up and accepting 'what is' I'm hoping that I'm opening up some space for stuff to flow as it should, rather than stuffing that space full of anger, hatred and frustration, and ultimately whirling around in a circle!

    Thanks for another thought provoking post :)

  3. This was such an impressive post - thanks for your honesty.

    I certainly relate to trying to "do things the hard way". I find when I'm going through change, my mind chatter goes crazy. It is really hard to settle my thoughts and I can try to think through things which is exhausting.

    An amazing tool that helps settle this chat and make me feel more grounded during change (and life in general) is to meditate daily. Switching the mind off for even a few minutes and realising that when you're not trying so hard, things start to flow more easily was a big step for me.

    Thanks again for a great post.

  4. Thanks Kerry, I am loving reading about what you are doing over there. Sounds fantastic, well done and congratulations for following your heart and dream. xx

  5. Oh Nadine, I love the idea of the old lady yoga with tea in hand. Or was it to hand. Either way, I'm off to do some of that in a sec.
    It's soo hard when you're right in the middle of change as you are Lynn and things won't flow. I think you're right, accepting a situation for what it is can help. Sending you *wishes for flow*.
    I definitely agree that meditation helps. I always feel better afterwards! I also agree that trying to think things through can be completely exhausting. I've done LOADS of that in the past and sometimes still do.
    And hi Dale! Thanks for your lovely comment. Your new blog is looking fab :)

  6. Here via Green Inkie Phil. Enjoyed your post...those 14 years sound familiar!

  7. Ooh hello Rachel, I've added you to my reader, can't wait to read more on your lovely blog. xx