What I Learned From an Astoundingly Bad Therapy Session: And 5 Qualities We All Crave in a Good Mentor

What I Learned From an Astoundingly Bad Therapy Session: And 5 Qualities We All Crave in a Good Mentor

Have you ever had a bad therapy session where you've come out feeling worse than when you went in? Here's my story of a bad therapy session and the 5 things we're all actually craving in order to heal and move forward #therapy #badtherapy #goodtherapy #counselling #healing #coaching #lifecoaching #kindness #kindnesshealsIn my early thirties, I was going through a really tough time. I was suffering from chronic fatigue and lingering illnesses while trying to hold down a high-pressure career as a Consulting Engineer. I would wake up in a state of dread about the day ahead; deadlines, meetings, and seemingly endless demands on my time and energy that I couldn’t keep up with. I couldn’t understand why my health was suffering so terribly or why I was so messed up.

 

I was fed up with feeling sick, exhausted, and highly strung out. I needed answers.

 

A close friend of mine recommended a therapist who had helped her navigate her way through her own huge challenges. I was willing to try anything and anyone. I just needed to find some relief from my pain – both physical and emotional. So I booked a session with the therapist.

The first session seemed to go well. She seemed to understand my predicament with empathy and had some strategies to help me process things and move forward.

 

She wasn’t afraid to challenge me when I needed to be challenged. And I appreciated that because as hard as it is, I’ve always been willing to own my role in my difficult experiences.

 

The sessions were going well until one day, in about our fourth session together, I was telling my story about a situation that was playing out in a close relationship in my life (with someone who also happened to be going to this therapist – probably my first big mistake right there). I was explaining my perception and how I was feeling about it, albeit quite tearfully when she interrupted me abruptly and said very forcefully:

 

“That’s not your spiritual truth!”

 

Have you ever had a bad therapy session where you've come out feeling worse than when you went in? Here's my story of a bad therapy session and the 5 things we're all actually craving in order to heal and move forward #therapy #badtherapy #goodtherapy #counselling #healing #coaching #lifecoaching #kindness #kindnesshealsI was quite taken aback and didn’t quite understand what she meant. I didn’t know if it was my ‘spiritual truth’. But in that moment, the words I was speaking were my personal truth as I understood it. I was talking about how I was feeling and those feelings felt very real in that moment.

She continued to challenge me forcefully and I started to feel like a naughty school child. It seemed like she was angry with me and I spiraled into a cloud of shame and guilt. Why was I in trouble? What did I do wrong? Was I wrong to be feeling what I was feeling? Why was she so upset with me? How did I get myself into this situation?

 

Needless to say, I never went back.

 

I felt so hurt by that episode that I never booked an appointment with her again. The last thing I wanted was to feel more shame and pain about my situation. I left her office feeling much worse than I did when I entered. Why would I pay big dollars to feel even more crap about myself? As if I wasn’t feeling bad enough to seek therapy in the first place?

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand that Coaches and Therapists have a duty of care to challenge their clients when they’re stuck in victimhood and blame. I’ve since done a lot of work on myself – and also completed my own Life Coaching Certification – and I can (kind of) understand what she might have been getting at back then. But I wasn’t ready to see it at that time. I was stuck in so much emotional pain and trauma that it was impossible to see things logically.

 

I needed her to be gentle with me. I needed her to validate my feelings. Maybe after that, I would have been more open to seeing things from her perspective.

 

I’ve since had the privilege of working with some wonderful therapists who have (thankfully) been able to guide me gently back to emotional sanity and a state of inner peace and harmony. But it was a process, and it took time. Now I’m able to see that my incident with the ‘bad therapist’ was part of my necessary journey of cultivating deep empathy and kindness for all of my coaching clients who I now work with.

I don’t have a background in counseling or therapy, so I can’t speak to the professional requirements of therapists. I’m speaking below simply from my personal experience with different therapists, both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ (which of course is always open to interpretation and personal experience). Below are the qualities that I personally crave from a therapist. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below if you agree or disagree with me.

 

 

THE  5 QUALITIES I CRAVE IN A GOOD THERAPIST

 

Have you ever had a bad therapy session where you've come out feeling worse than when you went in? Here's my story of a bad therapy session and the 5 things we're all actually craving in order to heal and move forward #therapy #badtherapy #goodtherapy #counselling #healing #coaching #lifecoaching #kindness #kindnessheals1. Validate My Feelings.

So often, I don’t feel ‘seen’ or ‘heard’ by the people closest to me, and part of the reason I go to see a therapist is to have my feelings validated. After that, I can more easily move onto solutions and strategies, but I first need to know that my experience is real and “I’m not crazy”. A feeling of unworthiness is often at the core of my emotional pain, so I need you to validate my feelings as a first step in developing my own sense of self-worth and self-love. Then I’ll be able to move more effectively towards healing.

 

We heal through unconditional love and acceptance. And sometimes, our therapist is the first person we’ve received it from.

 

2. Practice Deep Empathy.

I can usually tell when a therapist doesn’t ‘get’ what I’m feeling or going through. And it’s hurtful when they brush things off or suggest “Perhaps it’s not as bad as you think”. Yes, it is as bad as I think, or I wouldn’t be in therapy. It’s your role as a therapist to find empathy for my feelings and try to understand how I might be feeling what I’m feeling. And once know you ‘get it’, I’ll be much more willing to listen to your suggestions about how to move forward.

 

3. Challenge Me When I’m Ready – But Not Before.

I know that I need to be challenged and learn to take responsibility for what I’ve created in my life, where appropriate. Therapy wouldn’t work without a healthy dose of challenge. But nothing good comes from being told to “Stop playing the victim”, particularly when I’m still very much feeling victimised and I’m in need of empathy and validation. Don’t challenge me until you’ve worked through steps 1 and 2 above. Or I’ll go into shame and guilt and never come back.

 

4. Listen Without Taking Sides.

As a human being, I can have a tendency to go into blame and victimhood when I’m feeling wounded. And as a therapist, I know that you don’t do me any favours by agreeing with everything I say, or complaining with me about how terrible the other person is; that just keeps me stuck in my ‘story’ and is not helpful. Please allow me to speak my mind about my experiences. Listen, empathise, and maybe challenge me, but never take sides. In the session I described above, it felt like my therapist was taking sides with the other person in my relationship struggle. In order to heal and eventually move out of victimhood, I need you to hold a gentle but completely neutral and unbiased stance. Otherwise, the trust is broken and there can be no healing.

5. Be Gentle and Kind.

If I’ve come to see you, it’s because I’m suffering and I really want to do something about it. I don’t want to feel bad. I’m not willingly feeling crap just to get attention. But I’ll be much more able to find my own healthy perspective when you treat me with respect, kindness, compassion, dignity, and appreciation.

 

 

What are your thoughts? Have you had any experiences with therapists, both good and bad, that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.

If you’re in need of some emotional support to get through some difficult times, I encourage you to take a look at my related articles:

The Healing Code: How to Reclaim Your Health & Well-Being in Three Powerful Steps

Peaceful Heart: 7 Powerful Steps to Cultivate True Inner Peace

Soul-Care: 10 Ways to Comfort Yourself in Times of Overwhelm


In service to helping you live your brightest life,

Kate De Jong, Ph.D
Global Career Coach for Thriving Professionals
Inspired Careers International

www.katiedejong.com
katie@katiedejong.com

 

The Gift of Self-Awareness That Will Make You Soar in Business & Life

The Gift of Self-Awareness That Will Make You Soar in Business & Life

Did you know that 95% of people think they’re self-aware? But only 10-15% actually are? Find out why, and what you can do to become one of the rare ones who is able to enjoy genuine and lasting happiness, greater levels of success, fulfillment, and better relationships. Give yourself the gift of self-awareness today. #selfawareness #emotionalintelligence #success #happiness #authenticity #fulfillment #mindset #gettoknowyourself

‘Self-awareness’ is the ability to see ourselves clearly, to understand who we are, how others see us, and how we fit into the world. It’s the conscious knowledge of one’s own personality, character, feelings, and individuality.

 

Did you know that genuine self-awareness is the greatest gift you can give yourself, your business, and the people in your life?

 

Here’s why. People with a high level of self-awareness have been shown to be:

  • More fulfilled.
  • More creative
  • More competent.
  • Better communicators.
  • More promotable.
  • More effective leaders with more profitable companies.
  • More powerful and better negotiators.
  • Happier and more successful.
  • Perform better at work.
  • Have stronger relationships.
  • Less likely to lie, steal, and cheat. (Tasha Eurich, TEDx, 2018)

 

Those are pretty compelling reasons to become more self-aware don’t you think?

Self-awareness researcher and expert Dr Tasha Eurich calls self-awareness a ‘meta-skill’ because:

“Self-awareness is the underlying foundation to all of the skills that are required to succeed in the 21st century. It affects your emotional intelligence, influence, persuasion, sales. If you are not self-aware, if you do not understand who you are, how others see you, and the role you play in the world, you are going to come up short.”

 

According to Dr. Eurich’s extensive research on self-awareness of thousands of people over several years, there are two types of people:

  1. Those who think they’re self-aware (95% of all people).
  2. Those who actually are (10-15% of all people).

That’s a staggering statistic!

 

Around 85-90% of us are either lying to ourselves, in denial or just not seeing ourselves clearly.

 

This is why ‘360-degree reviews’ – surveys that allow your managers and colleagues to provide feedback on how you behave in the workplace – can be shocking for many people. Because often, it’s the first time they realize that others do not view them in the same way that they view themselves.

Did you know that 95% of people think they’re self-aware? But only 10-15% actually are? Find out why, and what you can do to become one of the rare ones who is able to enjoy genuine and lasting happiness, greater levels of success, fulfillment, and better relationships. Give yourself the gift of self-awareness today. #selfawareness #emotionalintelligence #success #happiness #authenticity #fulfillment #mindset #gettoknowyourselfbetter

Can you picture someone you know who might be lacking self-awareness? Perhaps they’re easily triggered and prickly, or over-controlling of situations and people, or simply difficult to relate to or to work with. Perhaps they don’t seem very happy.

Now try to picture someone who seems self-aware. Perhaps they’re easy to get along with, accommodating, understanding, consistently positive and able to apologize when they’re at fault. Isn’t it so much easier to work with someone who’s self-aware? Deep self-awareness makes us more rational, more open, more intelligent, and more thoughtful.

According to Ray Van Gilst, the key qualities of someone who is self-aware in the workplace are:

  1. They understand their emotional impact on others (they have high Emotional Intelligence)
  2. They recognize their weaknesses and aren’t afraid to admit them or get support for them.
  3. They lead with their strengths.
  4. They know their limits.
  5. They’re able to anticipate reactions and respond effectively.

 

But if it turns out you’re one of the 85-90% of people who aren’t self-aware, all is not lost. Self-awareness is a skill that can be learned. If you want to grow your own and/or your team’s self-awareness, you can. You just need to know how.

 

3 Ways You Can Become More Self-Aware

1. Take at Least 3 Different Personality Tests

Personality tests work by asking you questions about yourself, and then they use your answers to tell you about yourself. Realizing where you fit into the broad spectrum of human behavior can be very enlightening. Knowing yourself intimately gives you more authentic power.

No matter how hard you try, you can’t excavate your subconscious thoughts, beliefs, and feelings on your own. And because so much is hidden from your conscious awareness, you end up inventing answers that feel true, but are often very wrong. Personality tests act like a mirror, reflecting your subconscious world back to you, and bringing it into your conscious awareness so that you can work with it.

There are many personality tests available online, many of them with a free version that allows you to do your basic typing. In my experience, the most helpful tests are The Enneagram, The Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator, and the DISC Model of Human Behavior. You can learn all about these tests and find the links to the best free versions online in my free E-Book The Happiness Key: Three Free Personality Tests that Demystify Your Unique Path to Happiness.

2. Request Feedback from Friends and Colleagues

This is critical. You can’t become more self-aware by yourself. You need feedback from other people to help you see the things you can’t see about yourself; your ‘blind spots’. They’re called blind spots for a reason – you can’t see them.

Did you know that 95% of people think they’re self-aware? But only 10-15% actually are? Find out why, and what you can do to become one of the rare ones who is able to enjoy genuine and lasting happiness, greater levels of success, fulfillment, and better relationships. Give yourself the gift of self-awareness today. #selfawareness #emotionalintelligence #success #happiness #authenticity #fulfillment #mindset #gettoknowyourselfbetter Requesting feedback can be a big, scary step. You might not want to hear how you’re perceived by others, in both positive and negative ways. But this is why 360-degree reviews are so powerful in the workplace; they make people aware of their patterns so they can adapt them and become more effective, relatable, and competent.

If you’re ready to be brave and take the step of requesting feedback, Dr. Eurich recommends these criteria:

  1. Ask the right people. Don’t ask your ‘unloving critics’, or people who are ‘loving but uncritical’ (those for whom you can do nothing wrong.) You need to find ‘loving critics’; the people who have your best interests at heart and are not afraid of telling you the truth you need to hear.
  2. Ask specifically what kind of feedback you want. Which kind of behaviors do you want to know more about and in which area? Give them something tangible to answer rather than a vague question like “What am I like?”
  3. Use the right process and give them context. For example, you could say “I received some 360-degree feedback from my colleagues and I really want to understand it better. Could you give me some honest feedback on the following areas?”

 

3. Change the word “Why?” to “What”

After researching thousands of people and finding the 10-15% of people who actually are self-aware, Dr. Tasha Eurich noticed a very striking pattern. People who were not self-aware were tended to always ask the question “Why?”. For example, “Why me?” or “Why does she behave that way towards me?” or “Why does that person always behave like that?” Their attention is on the other person and their perceived faults.

Instead, the people who were self-aware looked at themselves and asked how they could adapt in order to improve a situation. For example, “They are really adamant that their way is the only way. I wonder what I can do to help them see other options.”

This finding was so striking that Dr. Eurich did a whole TED talk on the topic: Increase Your Self-Awareness With One Simple Fix.

Did you know that 95% of people think they’re self-aware? But only 10-15% actually are? Find out why, and what you can do to become one of the rare ones who is able to enjoy genuine and lasting happiness, greater levels of success, fulfillment, and better relationships. Give yourself the gift of self-awareness today. #selfawareness #emotionalintelligence #success #happiness #authenticity #fulfillment #mindset #gettoknowyourselfbetter Armed with these three strategies, you’ll have a much better chance at becoming more self-aware. What is it costing you to remain in the 85-90% of people who are not actually self-aware? Greater levels of fulfillment? More happiness and success? I urge you to try these three steps. They won’t be easy, but they will help you beyond measure. Give yourself the gift of greater self-awareness and watch your life and business soar.

In service to helping you live your brightest life,

Kate De Jong, Ph.D
Global Career Coach for Thriving Professionals
Inspired Careers International
katie@katiedejong.com
www.katiedejong.com

Tired of Procrastinating? Try These 6 Powerful Tips to Overcome it Now

Tired of Procrastinating? Try These 6 Powerful Tips to Overcome it Now

Are you tired of getting stuck in procrastination? Find out the real reasons why you're procrastinating and learn 6 powerful strategies to overcome it. Start stepping up to your full potential and hitting your milestones out of the ball park! #procrastination #procrastinating #effectiveness #productivity #efficiency #motivation #inspire #empower #liveyourbestlifeThis is a timely article for me to be writing because while I’m a generally a very action- and results-oriented person, I’m also at times a good procrastinator. And it seems I’m not alone. In a survey I sent out recently to find out more about people’s real challenges and struggles, procrastination came in as one of the top responses when I asked the question “What do you feel is the biggest obstacle holding you back from making breakthroughs in the areas you desire?”

‘Fear’ was the number one response (and will be the subject of another blog post that I’m currently procrastinating about), followed closely by ‘procrastination’. I felt compelled to write about procrastination first because I know it’s a big challenge for most of us. I struggle with it on a daily basis. There are certain things I know I ‘should’ be doing in order to grow my business or to keep on top of things at home, and I often find it really hard to just get on and do them.

And it got me wondering – Why? And what can I do about it? Because it frustrates me and I’m aware that it’s a form of self-sabotage.

I was heartened to find out that I’m only a ‘mild procrastinator’ when I did the Mind Tools ‘Are You A Procrastinator?’ test. But I was told “You need to understand better why you procrastinate – there are several reasons for it, and more than one may apply to you. And you need to learn the steps you can take to stop doing it.”

Exactly. So what exactly are those reasons and what can I do about them?

Firstly, it was nice to know that procrastination is not the same as laziness. As the Mind Tools article on Procrastination says:

“Procrastination is an active process – you choose to do something else instead of the task that you know you should be doing. In contrast, laziness suggests apathy, inactivity and an unwillingness to act. Procrastination usually involves ignoring an unpleasant, but likely more important task, in favor of one that is more enjoyable or easier.”

I find that a great description. I know I’m not lazy because I’m very willing to act. But I definitely have been known to ignore the unpleasant, but more important tasks, in favour of ones that are more enjoyable or easier.

To overcome this pattern of behaviour, Mind Tools suggests that the first thing we need to do is:

Recognise That You’re Procrastinating

 

As with everything in life, the first step in being able to ‘fix’ something is to notice that you’re actually doing it. I highly recommend the Mind Tools Procrastination Test to find out where you are on the scale of procrastination –  Are you a true procrastinator, a mild procrastinator, or not a procrastinator at all (congratulations – lucky you!)?

And once you know where you fit on the scale, you can start to figure out why you’re doing what you’re doing and how to change it. There are many reasons for why you might procrastinate. Here’s a list of the most common ones.

 

Are you tired of getting stuck in procrastination? Find out the real reasons why you're procrastinating and learn 6 powerful strategies to overcome it. Start stepping up to your full potential and hitting your milestones out of the ball park! #procrastination #procrastinating #effectiveness #productivity #efficiency #motivation #inspire #empower #liveyourbestlife

6 Reasons You’re Procrastinating and What You Can Do About Them

 

 1. You’re Not Organised

I know this one definitely applies to me. Even though I’m generally quite an organized person, as a home business owner there is no structure in my day unless I enforce it. It was different back in my old corporate career where there were certain ‘non-negotiable’ obligations like important meetings, deadlines, or required administrative tasks. Having a schedule and deadlines means that you have no option but to do those things. But when you work for yourself, that’s much more fluid. If you don’t feel like doing something, you don’t have to do it. But the guilt and shame that you feel as a consequence of not doing what you know you have to do is very detrimental and can lead to a downward spiral of negativity and inertia, which can be very hard to pull yourself out of (speaking from experience!).

This is why it’s so essential to get organized. One thing that’s worked for me in running my own business is to create a schedule that forces me to do certain things on certain days. Things start going pear-shaped when I don’t keep to the schedule and instead focus my time on the things that are shiny and exciting, easy or fun.

 

Consistency, routine, and effective prioritizing are essential in overcoming procrastination.

 

Accountability can help you get things done too. Ask someone to check up on you and regularly remind you of what you promised you would do. This is why coaching relationships are so effective and why I work with a coach regularly. They help you understand what’s important for you and they hold you accountable to the things you say you’re going to do. And we all need that!

 

2. Poor Decision-Making and Lack of Clear Priorities

Have you ever had those days when you can’t decide what you should actually do, so you just drift through the day being ‘busy’, and at the end of the day you ask yourself “What did I actually do today?”

That’s a day without clear and focused priorities (and is slightly different from not being organised). If you can’t decide what to do, you just end up jumping on the first thing that feels good and suddenly you’ve spent 6 hours doing things that really are not a high priority and you know it.

The best question I’ve learned to ask at the start of each day is Gary Keller’s famous question that he describes in his #1 bestselling book The One Thing which is this:

 

What’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

 

Are you tired of getting stuck in procrastination? Find out the real reasons why you're procrastinating and learn 6 powerful strategies to overcome it. Start stepping up to your full potential and hitting your milestones out of the ball park! #procrastination #procrastinating #effectiveness #productivity #efficiency #motivation #inspire #empower #liveyourbestlifeI recently put together a video explaining The One Thing and how you can apply it (you can watch the video here).  Asking that question has been a true game-changer for me and when I get stuck, this is the question I turn to. I highly recommend trying it out.

 

3. It’s Boring

This is an obvious one and possibly the most common. I’m constantly putting things off because, frankly, they’re boring. Why pay the water bill or spend time writing the legal contracts for your clients when you could do the fun website changes you’ve been wanting to do or make pretty social media images?

The best technique that’s helped me make myself do those boring tasks that need doing is this:

 

Focus on how good it’s going to feel when you’ve finally done those boring tasks and you can tick them off your to-do list. Keep tuning into the feeling of relief and satisfaction you will feel and use it to get you through the task.

 

Another thing you can do is promise yourself a reward. If you complete a boring but necessary task on time, reward yourself with a treat; maybe a slice of cake and coffee from your favourite coffee shop. Or if it’s a really big, important task, reward yourself with a massage or anything else that feels like an absolute treat – because you deserve it.

 

4. You’re Worried About Failing

This is simply ‘fear’ disguised as procrastination. And the only way to overcome this one is to schedule the time to do it and push through the fear. As the famous saying goes “Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.” All the things I’ve been really scared of doing (live videos, leading group calls etc) only became less scary when I finally plucked up enough courage to just do them. And through doing them they became much less scary and even enjoyable.

The more you do something you fear, the more enjoyable it becomes.

 

There’s a certain adrenaline boost that you get when you overcome your fears that can become addictive with time, to the point where you actually really start getting hooked on doing the thing you once feared.

 

5. You’re a Perfectionist

Perfectionists are often the best procrastinators. You’re so dedicated to getting something perfectly ‘right’ before you put it out there that you become paralysed with inaction. This was once a big trap of mine, and the only thing that helped me work through this was repeatedly saying the mantra:

Imperfect Action Beats Perfect Inaction.

 

If this sounds like you, print out this statement in big letters (make it pretty if you have to) and hang it above your desk somewhere where you can see it all the time. And make the commitment to yourself to choose imperfect action above perfect inaction at all times. Watch how this simple mantra changes your life!

 

Are you tired of getting stuck in procrastination? Find out the real reasons why you're procrastinating and learn 6 powerful strategies to overcome it. Start stepping up to your full potential and hitting your milestones out of the ball park! #procrastination #procrastinating #effectiveness #productivity #efficiency #motivation #inspire #empower #liveyourbestlife6. You’re Worried About Succeeding

You might even be worried about doing something really well because it means that you’ll suddenly be swamped with requests from other people and you’ll get overwhelmed. Maybe you don’t want to be known as someone who gets things done because you’ll end up being their go-to person. In that case, you may just need to be up-front and set some clear boundaries with people. Let them know what you’re willing to do but let them know you have limited time because you have your own tasks to get on with. This may require having some uncomfortable conversations but the effects will be liberating.

 

I hope this list has given you some insight and helpful strategies to overcome your procrastination patterns. The top one for me remains staying organised in order to overcome my procrastination demons and something I’m working to improve each and every day.

And be sure not to beat up on yourself. Don’t let yourself get dragged into the spiral of shame and guilt that procrastination can draw you into. Be gentle with yourself and congratulate yourself for always doing your best and for actively seeking ways to improve. That in itself is worthy of a little celebrating.

In service to helping you live your brightest life,

 

Katie De Jong, Ph.D
Global Career Coach for Thriving Professionals
Inspired Careers International
www.katiedejong.com
katie@katiedejong.com

7 Powerful Strategies to Help You Get Through Those Days When You Just Want to Give Up on Your Dream

7 Powerful Strategies to Help You Get Through Those Days When You Just Want to Give Up on Your Dream

Those days when I just want to give up on my dream of running my own business - and 7 ways I manage to get through them #smallbusiness #resilience #perseverance #grit #whenthegoinggetstough #businessstartup #dontgiveupI’m not usually one to focus my time and energy on things that aren’t working because I’m acutely aware that “What we focus on grows” and all of that.

 

And yet, I also think there’s enormous value in sharing our vulnerability and real-life struggles so that we know we’re not alone and so that we can help each other through them. And sometimes we have days where it all just feels really hard. Running your own business can feel like a lot of hustle for little return at times. Sometimes it sucks. And it’s OK to feel that way every now and then. It’s part of the natural cycle of things.

Today I had one of those days when I sat down at my desk and I couldn’t find my ‘mojo’. I’d had a couple of deflating incidents; some people unsubscribing from my email list, very little engagement on an offer I put out that I’d been really excited about. All a very normal part of doing business, but sometimes those things feel deflating nonetheless. My head was full of thoughts like “Who’s going to care if I don’t coach or publish or offer anything today. Maybe I should just go back to my old corporate job.” … and a tirade of other unpleasant thoughts.

It can be hard to pull myself out of those moments.

 

Because starting your own business is hard. And there are days when I just want to give up on my dream.

 

My dream for the past six years has been to run my own thriving coaching practice from home, while being a Mum to our two young boys. I quit my previous corporate career in 2011 after more than fifteen years in the field of water process engineering. I’d chosen my field of study for mostly the wrong reasons; trying to please my parents and live up to the expectations they had for me to be a successful professional woman in the technical fields. And I chose it for the stable financial future that everyone told me I would have if I followed Science & Engineering. Which I did have, but that financial freedom failed to make me happy. I had mostly ignored the gentle pleads from my heart to follow my natural joy; languages, social connection, and writing.

 

Those days when I just want to give up on my dream of running my own business - and 7 ways I manage to get through them #smallbusiness #resilience #perseverance #grit #whenthegoinggetstough #businessstartup #nevergiveup

But in 2011 I was finally forced to my knees and I had no other option than to step out of my profession.

I’d been through a very long ‘dark night of the soul’ (which I write about here Authentically Me: My Journey of Coming Home to Myself). I could no longer ignore the whispers in my heart that had now turned into a loud roar.

I remember the mixed emotions I felt when I finally made the decision to quit my job after almost 15 years of intense sweat and tears poured into my profession. Enormous relief, exhilaration, freedom, joy. Followed closely by lots of fear, self-doubt, and anxiety about what others would say and think. And many questions and doubts about what I would actually do going forward. I had never contemplated ‘going it alone’ before or being a business owner or entrepreneur. Those words had never even been inside my head in relation to ME.

 

But I’d been through so much struggle and inner turmoil to get to that point that I was determined to make my own way on my own terms.

 

After much soul-searching, I decided I wanted to save others from the struggles that I had been through, feeling off-track and miserable in my career for so long, to help them find their authentic and joyful professional path. I was determined to make it work.

I was lucky (or was it synchronicity?) that at the time I decided to quit my corporate consulting engineering career, my husband was offered a job overseas and I had finally fallen pregnant with our first baby boy. And so I took that to be a ‘sign’ and decided to throw myself wholeheartedly into pursuing a coaching certification while simultaneously becoming a mother twice over (our boys are now aged 3 and 6). In 2014, I finally became qualified as a Certified Coach and I’ve been busily working away at building my business ever since.

I feel fortunate that I’ve had so much passion and purpose to fuel me through the start-up phase because it hasn’t been easy.

 

Those days when I just want to give up on my dream of running my own business - and 7 ways I manage to get through them #smallbusiness #resilience #perseverance #grit #whenthegoinggetstough #businessstartup #dontgiveupIt’s not an easy task going back to ground zero, starting out in a new field in which you know nothing, building connections in a field that you have none, developing new skills and competencies completely outside of what you’ve always known.

 

Not to mention the difficulty of setting up the actual nuts and bolts of a business, or the many costs of setting up and running one. There are so many little things that add up over time; business name registration, domain name purchase, building a website and everything that goes along with that, branding and logo design, purchasing graphic design tools, email list building software, online course platforms, social media/content scheduling tools, business insurances, legal documents, office set up … and the list goes on.

One of Sydney’s rising start-up entrepreneurs Jon Westenberg said recently:

 

“If you don’t have a plan to make money, all you have is an expensive hobby.”

– Jon Westenberg

 

And sometimes that’s what it’s felt like, an expensive hobby. Especially in those early years. Over the past six years, I’ve completed countless courses and programs from some of the biggest ‘gurus’ in the industry, trying to figure out MY plan to make money. Everyone seems to have a different idea or opinion on what it takes to “make it happen”. And I’m slowly realising that there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach and each business and person is entirely unique and as such requires a unique approach. I’ve tried several different approaches; some have worked, some haven’t. But with time I guess you could say I’m slowly figuring out the best business model for my personality and services.

I’ve been extremely fortunate that my husband has been able to pick up the slack financially, especially in the beginning, because it certainly takes a long time to develop anything near a ‘sustainable income’. It takes time and a lot of patience to build a sustainable, functional business foundation. And it takes a lot of time and patience to build visibility and a platform of followers interested in your message and your work.

 

There is no quick fix, no overnight solution. It takes a lot of consistent, hard work before you begin to see the fruits of your hard labour.

 

And some days it feels like I’m putting my work out into a vacuum. Those are the days when it’s hard to get motivated. It’s hard going it alone. It’s hard being the sole person responsible for generating income from your business. If you slack off, no money comes in. I’ve read all the promises of the 4-hour work week and ‘passive income’ and while they sound great, it’s much harder to implement in reality.

If you ever get into one of those downward spirals of despair and negativity, here are some tips on how to pull yourself back up and out of it. These are some of the things that help me on a regular basis when I get into a funk.

 

1. Force yourself to step away from the desk and take a short break.

Because any action you take while in that negative frame of mind is not going to be productive or inspired. It’s important to get yourself back into a good frame of mind before attempting to do anything at all. Do whatever it takes to re-center and re-align yourself.

 

2. Get yourself out into nature and do something nourishing for your body, mind or soul.

Get outside into the garden, or go for a walk, or do something uplifting, comforting and nourishing for yourself. If you need some inspiration on how to do that, I wrote about 10 ways to do that in my blog article:
Soul-Care – 10 Ways To Comfort Your Being In Times of Overwhelm.

 

3. Focus on what you love about working for yourself.

Take some time to remember the reasons you decided to work for yourself. Write them down. For example, I remember how much I love the complete freedom and flexibility of my schedule and my pure freedom of creative self-expression. I love the ability I have to work from home, to be there for my kids, and to focus my time on what I want, when I want. What is it that you love about working for yourself? I wrote about mine here: Quitting the Rat Race: 5 Reasons Why You Should Break Free and Follow Your Heart.

 

4. Remember WHY you’re doing it. And get inspired again by your goals.

When you’re in this state of mind, it’s important to reconnect with your PURPOSE – your ‘big why’. I remind myself how much pain I felt when I couldn’t find my professional purpose and joy for the longest time. And I think of all the people who have told me how desperately they want to find their joyful career path and to live a life more aligned with their heart and soul. I take the time to go back and read my Business Inspiration and Vision.  And then I go back to the exciting goals and vision that I set for my year ahead, which I do each year through Quest with Jeffrey Davis at Tracking Wonder.

 

Those days when I just want to give up on my dream of running my own business - and 7 ways I manage to get through them #smallbusiness #resilience #perseverance #grit #whenthegoinggetstough #businessstartup #dontgiveup

5. Re-read some of the positive feedback from your clients and appreciate the areas where you have traction in your business.

Go back and read or simply remember some of the positive things people have said about your work and the impact you’ve made on them. And spend some time appreciating those areas of your business where you ARE experiencing flow, traction and momentum. Find a way to remember that your work matters and that people need and appreciate what you have to offer.

 

6. Remember that you’re making progress, even when you can’t yet see the fruits of your labour.

Building a business requires us to continuously plant seeds and they don’t always germinate when we’d like them to, or sometimes they don’t germinate at all. Some days I can feel disheartened when I feel like I’m not seeing any results of my hard work. But then I experience an unexpected surprise or breakthrough and I’m reminded that progress is ALWAYS being made, even when it doesn’t feel like it.

 

Those days when I just want to give up on my dream of running my own business - and 7 ways I manage to get through them #keepgoing #startup #hanginthere #smallbusiness #resilience #perseverance #grit #whenthegoinggetstough #businessstartup #dontgiveup

7. Don’t give up. You just may be on the verge of making a breakthrough!

No matter how bad your day is feeling, don’t give up. You might be just about to make a touchdown. Keep your thoughts and energy focused on the vision you hold and how good it feels to be living your dream, on your own terms. If you need help staying tuned in to positive energy and the flow of abundance, take a look at my article How to Attract More Abundance & Joy Into Your Life.

And if all else fails, take a day off, go and do something you love and tomorrow is another day. But most importantly, hang in there. The world needs your precious gifts! And if you ever need to reach out for some moral support, I’d love to connect with you. You can reach me at katie@katiedejong.com.

 

 

 

In service to helping you live your brightest life,

 

Katie De Jong, Ph.D
Global Career Coach for Thriving Professionals
Inspired Careers International
katie@katiedejong.com
www.katiedejong.com

Need help finding your unique professional path and purpose? Get your FREE copy of my E-Book PATHFINDING: HOW TO FIND YOUR UNIQUE PATH AND PURPOSE here.

How to Create More of What You Want Using the Law of Attraction – Part 2

How to Create More of What You Want Using the Law of Attraction – Part 2

Find out to create more of what you want through using the Law of Attraction #lawofattraction #abundance #cocreation #manifesting #thesecret

 

The following article is a continuation of my original article How To Create More of What You Want Using the Law of Attraction – Part 1

I recommend reading that one first so that the information I present here is in context.

In the video below I briefly summarise the major scientific breakthroughs that have confirmed a very important discovery – The existence of our HUMAN ENERGY FIELD and how we can impact our own human energy field through our thoughts and focus of attention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The key points to understand so far are:

 

  • You are more than just your physical body. You’re surrounded by an energy field (commonly called your ‘Aura’) that emanates within you, around you, and out into the world around you. Your energy field is interconnected with the invisible web of energy that connects all of life. Einstein called it ‘The Field’, the Chinese call it ‘Chi’ and the Indians ‘Prana’. Gregg Braden calls it ‘The Divine Matrix’.
  • You can impact your energy field through your thoughts and beliefs. The quality of your energy field (and hence your health and your life experiences) can be directly improved through improving your thoughts, your beliefs and your focus of attention.
  • The Law of Attraction is the governing law in our Universe. It’s sometimes also referred to as the Law of Mirroring, because it operates on the principle that what you feel and believe internally, must be reflected (mirrored) in your external reality.
  • Manifestation = Clear Desire  +  Belief  +  Trust  +  Inspired Action.
    ‘Inspired action’ is action that feels joyful, exciting, and uplifting; you must feel inspired and excited by your desired end goal.

 

At the end of the teachings in Part 1, I recommended a number of tasks, including setting an ‘Abundance Goal’ in an area of life where you want to feel more abundance or joy. I explained that the goal should be something that gets you excited when you think about it and feels like a challenging but reasonable stretch from where you are now. The goal needs to make you feel good! And we discussed how the goal should be specific and clear, to activate the Law of Attraction more effectively.

 

How to Activate Your Abundance Goal Through Gratitude

 

Gratitude is the rocket fuel that turbo-charges the Law of Attraction!

Yesterday we talked about how our emotions have different ‘frequencies’, and the fact that positive emotions like love, joy, optimism, and excitement vibrate at a higher frequency than negative emotions. And since ‘like attracts like’ in the Law of Attraction, this means that positive emotions and feelings will attract more positive experiences into your life.

Find out to create more of what you want through using the Law of Attraction #lawofattraction #abundance #cocreation #manifesting #thesecret #yourbestlife #dreambelieveachieve #dreambelieveachieverepeat

And there is nothing more powerful than GRATITUDE for helping you tap into positive emotions!

 

Have you noticed how good it feels when you take a moment to quietly reflect on the things in your life that make you feel really grateful? Just picturing something or someone you love and feeling gratitude for them instantly lifts your energy. Just as the opposite is also true – when you focus your thoughts and energy on someone you don’t like or who you feel has wronged you, you can feel your energy drop.

The whole process of manifesting what you want is made possible when you’re able to hold what they call ‘a vibrational match’ to that which you desire. When you really desire something and you hold it consistently as your focus of attention, you begin naturally attracting it towards you. And the more effectively you’re able to keep your thoughts and attention focused on the excitement of your desired goal, the more quickly the manifesting process is going to happen.

 

Gratitude gives you an instant boost of positive feelings and emotions, which in turn attract the positive experiences you’re seeking.

 

It’s easy to get distracted by the things that aren’t working so well in life. But even amidst your troubles and worries, try to keep your attention focused on the things that ARE working well and the things you can be grateful for.

 

Because what you focus on grows.

 

If you keep your attention focused on your frustrations and challenges, you will continue to experience and grow them. And conversely, if you keep your attention focused on the positive things in your life, you will continue to expand and grow those positive things.

Find out to create more of what you want through using the Law of Attraction #lawofattraction #abundance #cocreation #manifesting #thesecret #yourbestlife #dreambelieveachieve #dreambelieveachieverepeat

 

If you want to attract more of something into your life, you need to start focusing your attention on where that quality is already appearing in your life.

 

We’re often so focused on the LACK of something, that we fail to see where we’re already experiencing what we desire in smaller, more subtle ways.

For example, say you want to attract a partner into your life. What are the qualities that a partner would bring to your life? Perhaps a sense of connection, mutual love, respect, and adoration for each other. Where in your life are already feeling those qualities in your life, right now? Perhaps you have a wonderful relationship with your children, or another member of your family. Keep your attention focused on all those areas where you already feel connection, mutual love, respect, and adoration, and practice feeling extreme gratitude for those things, knowing that the more you focus on gratitude, the more you’re growiing those qualities in your life experience through your focus of attention.

One of my favourite Abundance mentors, Jeanna Gabellini, tells a story of how one of her students wanted to attract more money into her life. She was completely broke without a cent to her name. When Jeanna asked her to focus on where she was already experiencing wealth in her life, she found it impossible. All she could see was the lack of it. But she made the commitment to keep her attention focused on wealth and one morning she found a 10 cent piece on the ground outside her home. She picked it up and felt extreme gratitude that this sign of wealth was appearing. As she kept her attention focused on wealth and her desire for financial freedom, small signs of money started appearing, such as an unexpected refund from a store she had shopped at, and eventually she was offered a job she had previously been turned down for, and her abundance started flowing the more she chose to focus on financial flow.

 

You need to make a conscious choice to keep your attention focused on the evidence that your desired goal is already on its way.

Today’s Tasks

In this series of articles I’m showing you the steps you need to take in order to create more abundance in your life. The tasks below are tasks that you’ll need to continue doing each day. It should become a part of your daily life and a standard part of your morning routine if you are going to claim the life you want. It only takes 5-10 minutes a day but is absolutely critical to creating an abundant life! I do this myself each day, and if for some reason I forget, I can usually tell. Without the clear alignment each morning, my days become much less effective and flowing and I veer off-track from my joy and goals.

 

TASK 1 – Start an Abundance Notebook and commit to spending 5 minutes each day to write in it.

Get yourself a notebook that looks and feels good – i.e. you enjoy writing in it. By dedicating a notebook and 5 minutes a day to these exercises below you are claiming your right to more abundance and you are expecting that it’s already on its way.

Find out to create more of what you want through using the Law of Attraction #lawofattraction #abundance #cocreation #manifesting #thesecret

 

TASK 2 – Practice extreme gratitude

Every morning, write the first heading “Today I am grateful for…”. Write down a minimum of 10 things that you’re currently grateful for in your life. Gratitude immediately dials your energy into a higher frequency which is necessary for activating the Law of Attraction. Your internal positive emotions will be reflected in your outer reality.

 

 

TASK 3 – Write down your Abundance Goal each day

Under your list of things you’re grateful for, write down your desired ABUNDANCE GOAL. For example, “I have found my perfect life partner who loves and adores me. We feel deep connection, mutual love, respect, and adoration.”

 

TASK 4 – Gather evidence that your desired goal is already appearing in your life

Under your Abundance Goal, write down the title: ABUNDANCE EVIDENCE LOG.
Then write down every single way in which you are ALREADY experiencing the qualities you desire in your Abundance Goal. For example, if you’re wanting to attract a life partner because you want to experience deep connection, mutual love, respect, and adoration, then start recognising and acknowledging where you are ALREADY experiencing those feelings somewhere in your life, no matter how small and insignificant they may seem. For example, you may be feeling love and connection with your child, or with a good friend. Focus your attention on those feelings and give appreciation for them.

Remember:

 

What you focus on grows and expands.

 

Jeanna Gabellini often says that in the beginning, you may have to “Fake it ’til you make it”. What’s important is that you consciously CHOOSE to put your focus of attention of where things are already working in your life. Because this attracts GROWTH and EXPANSION in those areas and more.

 

TASK 5 – Think of 3 inspired actions you can take today towards your Abundance Goal.

It’s essential that you accompany your inner alignment and positive emotion with consistent, inspired action! You must take action each and every day towards your goal for the whole process to work. And the actions must feel ‘inspired’ – i.e. joyful, uplifting, exciting and meaningful. If it feels like a burden and a struggle, then it’s not ‘inspired’ action. The criteria for inspired action is that it FEELS GOOD!

 

That’s it for your daily ritual. It should only take 5-10 minutes a day and you’ll soon realise that it’s the BEST investment of your time you can possibly make! Try to be consistent and don’t skip a day!

 

TASK 6 – Get your positive juices flowing by writing short answers to the following.

 

  1. I love that …
  2. I am excited for …
  3. I am open to receiving …
  4. Today is the day I …

 

Consistency and commitment are key to effectively harnessing the Law of Attraction.

 

Commit to doing this journalling exercise every morning for a month and observe the shifts that start happening in your life. This is really a ‘personal energy alignment’ that you’re doing each morning – aligning your energy with the positive feelings and frequencies that you want to attract, and therefore making yourself a ‘vibrational match’ to the things you want to manifest. And as we’ve learned, the Law of Attraction can only bring you things that are an energetic match to your own energy field. So when you’re continuously focused on the positives in your life, and the great feelings of having those things you desire (even when they haven’t manifested yet), you’re allowing your desires to come to you in the easiest, most effortless way.

 

Personal energy alignment  + Consistent, inspired action  =  Manifestation

 

This is not to say that you’re never allowed to feel negative or down. Of course you can, and you will. And you must – it’s part of the natural cycles of life. It’s impossible to feel ‘up’ all the time. And your feelings are there to be felt, so you need to turn towards your feelings and honour them. Give them the recognition and validation they’re seeking (just as mothers do for their young children). You have to feel it to heal it.

But when you’ve spent sufficient time honoring your feelings, return your attention to the questions outlined above to get your energy back on track and re-align yourself. Take as long as you need, but don’t allow yourself to stay ‘down’ for too long.

If you have any questions at all, please leave a comment below or send me a private email message. I’m always excited to connect with you and to help you where I can!

In service to helping you live your brightest life,

 

Katie De Jong, Ph.D
Global Career Coach for Thriving Professionals
Inspired Careers International
katie@katiedejong.com
www.katiedejong.com

Bridging Science and ‘Woo-Woo’: Two Scientific Discoveries and Five Great Leaders Changing How We View the World

Bridging Science and ‘Woo-Woo’: Two Scientific Discoveries and Five Great Leaders Changing How We View the World

Explaining the closing gap between Science & Spirituality - and how they're not as far apart as many people think #science #spirituality #scienceandspirituality #quantumphysics #energy #spiritualbeings #humanexistenceScience is now helping us emerge from the cultural trance that haves us believe we are just our physical bodies and there is nothing beyond the physical senses. Scientific breakthroughs are confirming what ancient spiritual teachers have been saying for thousands of years:

There is more to you than meets the eye.

 

I feel compelled to write this article because the insight I’ve learned from discoveries in Quantum Physics that have been made in recent decades is so profound, that I believe everyone should know about it. Knowing about these discoveries has the ability to radically transform your life and help you tap into far greater levels of peace, happiness, abundance, and success.

I’m officially a Scientist by background and I was fascinated with science from a young age. I can still remember my Year 10 Science Project when we had to grow Penicillin by taking a swipe of mold from an old orange and grow it in Petri dishes containing prune-flavored agar which we made up. I thought it was amazing that this naturally-growing mold had the ability to save millions of people’s lives worldwide as an antibiotic.

I later chose to study Biotechnology at University which meant taking a deep dive into cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, fermentation biology, chemistry, thermodynamics, process engineering and more. After completing my Ph.D. in 2002, I worked as a consulting process engineer in the water industry for almost ten years.

 

During the final years of my Ph.D. research, my health started declining.

 

What started out as continuous physical and mental exhaustion, eventually turned into a mystery illness that doctors could only diagnosis as ‘chronic fatigue’. My immune system became so depressed that I was constantly battling chronic illnesses, digestion problems, and sleep distortions. Medical doctors weren’t able to help me and told me repeatedly that it was “all in my head”. But I knew there was something very wrong.

A person I met one day in the waiting room of a doctor’s clinic handed me a copy of Louise Hay’s famous book You Can Heal Your Life. It was a big turning point for me and the first time that I’d considered that my emotions and outlook on life could be causing the ill health I was experiencing.

 

Up until that point, I had believed that poor health was just something that ‘happened’ to us.

 

Explaining the closing gap between Science & Spirituality - and how they're not as far apart as many people think #science #spirituality #scienceandspirituality #quantumphysics #energy #spiritualbeings #humanexistence #lawofattraction #thesecretI had never stopped to consider that perhaps I needed to pay attention to my emotions or that my physical symptoms were my body’s way of bringing my attention to imbalances in my life. That all seemed far too ‘woo-woo’, and being a Scientist, that was not something I felt comfortable with. I was a proud believer that Science could explain everything and that if something couldn’t be measured, then it didn’t exist. I was forced to challenge those beliefs pretty quickly.

I continued to suffer terribly, waking each morning in a fog of exhaustion and chronic illness, dreading the day ahead. Around that time someone suggested I try Reiki, the ancient Japanese system for stress reduction and relaxation that also, coincidentally, promotes healing. It’s administered by “laying on hands”, allowing an unseen life force energy to flow through to the patient, facilitating healing and well-being. This seemed like a huge stretch to my fact-based, logical mind and I really struggled to get my head around it, let alone believe that it could work. But I was so desperate to feel better that I was willing to try.

 

 

But lo and behold, over time I started noticing a marked improvement in my stress levels, sense of well-being and overall health.

 

I struggled to understand how this seemingly passive technique of laying on hands and relaxation could actually be helping me heal, but it was. All I knew was that I definitely shouldn’t discuss any of this with my left-brained, rational-minded engineering colleagues at work!

I was so fascinated by what I was beginning to discover about emotions, health, and healing in my early twenties that I started reading any book I could find on ‘alternative’ healing practices. My mind was opening and I was astonished at how much of this ‘woo-woo’ world had actually been confirmed by science. Eventually, I found the Tara Centre in my hometown of Perth, Australia, who used a number of non-conventional techniques to measure and treat all the imbalances in my body. I also did regular meditation, journaling and emotional therapy (which I describe in my related articles The Healing Code: How to reclaim your health & well-being in three powerful steps and Soul-Care: 10 ways to soothe your soul in times of overwhelm). Within a period of around six months to a year, I slowly returned to optimal health and energy levels.

 

After my five-year struggle with chronic fatigue, it was such an enormous relief to finally feel healthy again. And I was now a firm believer in the power of ‘alternative’ healing practices and the power of the mind to heal ourselves.

 

And so I’ve continued to stand with one foot in the world of facts, logic and science, and the other foot in the world of spirituality and ‘woo-woo’ – bridging the gap between science and spirituality. But it’s not an easy bridge to uphold. So many people are still firmly entrenched in the cultural trance that says “You are just your physical body and therefore you can only be treated and healed through physical means. Poor health is just something that happens to the unlucky ones among us.” There is often a very large gap between those working in science and conventional medicine, versus those working in alternative therapies. People on different sides of the camp hold remarkably different worldviews and beliefs.

 

But this bridge between science and woo-woo is gradually closing through major scientific discoveries and breakthroughs, particularly in the field of Quantum Physics, which are gradually confirming what spiritual leaders have been teaching for thousands of years.

 

The two most mind-blowing discoveries in Quantum Physics from my perspective are:

1. Your thoughts influence the environment around you and shape your future.

As I understand it, matter can exist either as a wave or a particle. Things in the past have become particles, but future possibilities exist as waves or particles and have the potential to be influenced by our thoughts. Our thoughts have an energy field that impacts the potential form of matter. During experiments in Quantum Physics, it has been found consistently that the behaviour of waves and particles is influenced by the observers in the experiment. This has led Quantum Physicists to claim boldly that we have the ability to influence our reality through our thoughts and beliefs. Every thought and belief impacts the field around you. You can change your reality and all future possibilities through changing your thoughts.

 

Quantum Physics expained - waves vs. particles and your ability to influence future options through your thoughts and beliefs

 

2. There is one intelligent consciousness that permeates and connects the whole Universe.

Known by many names, like the quantum mind, Unified Field Theory, The All, God, universal consciousness, ‘Ki’ in Japanese, ‘Chi’ in Chinese, ‘Prana’ in India … whatever you want to call it, it is no longer just a philosophical, unproven theory on the fringe of metaphysics. It is now proven that there is one intelligent consciousness that permeates the whole Universe this all-powerful, ever-present, omniscient force also exists within each of us, including you.

I refer to it as the Universal Energy Field. We have the power to access this field through meditation, quiet time and reflection, prayer and connection to nature. Accessing the field can have these profound impacts (from the EOC Institute):

• Super powerful ability to self-heal
• Feeling more connected to all living things
• Better memory & enhanced learning abilities
• Access to life solutions, and a well-tuned “life navigation system”
• Profound levels of creativity
• Easily understand and root out all unnatural fear
• Super lucid clarity of thought
• More success in all life endeavors
• And many more universal mind benefits.

Explaining the closing gap between Science & Spirituality - and how they're not as far apart as many people think #science #spirituality #scienceandspirituality #quantumphysics #energy #spiritualbeings #humanexistence

But the ability to access this Universal Field of Energy through meditation, solitude, and prayer requires the suspension of all beliefs that say this isn’t possible, or that this whole concept is a bunch of ‘woo-woo’. I do believe that it’s only a matter of time before it becomes widely accepted that this is in fact how our Universe operates.

More and more doctors and scientists are coming forward with stories of their own intense spiritual experiences that have completely altered the way they view the world, and they are now leading the way in teaching and revolutionizing the way we think about our bodies, mind, and spirit.

 

Here are just a few of the world-leading doctors and scientists who have broken the mold of our cultural trance and are now leading the way, showing us how to harness spiritual laws and practices to enhance our lives:

 

Dr. Lissa Rankin, MD.

Lissa was a senior Obstetrician/Gynaecologist delivering up to twenty babies a day, working crazy, long hours, dealing with life and death situations and incredible stress all day long. During her ‘dark night of the soul’, she broke down completely and was forced to quit in order to save her own health. She went through some intense spiritual awakenings in the following months that completely changed her worldview. She is now a New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over MedicineThe Fear Cure, and The Anatomy of a Calling. She’s also a physician, speaker, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute, and mystic. Passionate about what makes people optimally healthy and what predisposes them to illness, she says she “is on a mission to merge science and spirituality in a way that not only facilitates the health of the individual, but also uplifts the health of the collective.” Bridging between seemingly irreconcilable worlds, Lissa is a connector, collaborator, curator, and amplifier, broadcasting not only her unique visionary ideas, but also those of cutting-edge visionaries she discerns and trusts, especially in the field of her latest research into “Sacred Medicine.”

 

Lissa Rankin's Whole Health Cairn - the building blocks of a happy, fulfilled and inspired life

Dr Lissa Rankin’s whole health cairn concept

The key message I’ve learned from Lissa

Lissa developed the ‘Whole Health Cairn’ concept. She says “Research all over the world has shown that it’s not only that it’s critical, but the health of your relationships, your professional life, your creative life, your spiritual life, your sex life, your environment, your finances – in essence, the health of your mind – impacts your health far more than your diet, exercise, smoking, drinking, sleep habits, or how many vitamins you take”. She has a brilliant TEDx talk HEREFind out more about Lissa’s work HERE.

 

 

 

Dr. Bruce Lipton (Ph.D)

Bruce is a recognized leader in bridging science and spirituality. Originally a stem cell biologist, he’s also the bestselling author of The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles and recipient of the 2009 Goi Peace Award. He’s been a guest speaker on hundreds of TV and radio shows, and keynote presenter for countless conferences. He’s known for his scientific work proving the impact of a person’s beliefs on their genes, DNA and hence health. He asks “What would your life be like if you learned that you are more powerful than you have ever been taught?”

The key message I’ve learned from Bruce

Your thoughts and beliefs have a very real and measurable effect on your health. Change your thoughts and beliefs, and your body will change to match them. Find out more about Bruce’s work here.

 

 

Dr. Brian Weiss, MD.

As a traditional psychotherapist, Brian was astonished and skeptical when one of his patients began recalling past-life traumas that seemed to hold the key to her recurring nightmares and anxiety attacks. His skepticism was eroded, however, when she began to channel messages from “the space between lives,” which contained remarkable revelations about Brian’s own family and his dead son. Using past-life therapy, he was able to cure the patient and embark on a new, more meaningful phase of his own career, helping others understand how to tap into the ‘space between realities’ in order to find healing, peace and happiness. He’s the author of the amazing book Miracles Happen: The Transformational Healing Power of Past Life Memories and many more.

 

The key message I learned from Brian’s work

There is overwhelming scientific evidence to show that we live multiple lives and it is possible to access information about past lives through past-life regression therapy in a safe environment with a trained psychotherapist. Past-life therapy has the ability to create massive breakthroughs in healing, inner peace, and happiness. Find out more about Brian’s work here.

 

 

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, MD.

A famous neuroscientist, author, and inspirational public speaker, Jill is famous for her international bestseller My Stroke of Insight. She began to study severe mental illnesses because she wanted to understand what makes the brain function the way it does, following her brother’s ongoing struggles with mental illness. She was working in a lab in Boston in 1996, mapping out the brain to figure out which cells communicate with which cells, when she suffered a large and severe stroke when a blood vessel erupted on the left side of her brain. She had been able to witness her own brain begin to shut down within a span of four hours, and soon after she could not speak, read, walk, write or remember anything from her life. It took eight years to recover fully. She gave the first TED talk that ever went viral on the Internet, after which her book became a NY Times bestseller and was published in 30 languages.

 

The key message I learned from Jill

Our brain has two hemispheres that control different functions in our body. The left hemisphere controls our logical and rational thought and ability to function in the world. The right hemisphere is our creative, intuitive, thinking-in-pictures hemisphere. During her stroke, the left part of her brain shut down completely and for years Jill perceived the world only through her right brain, during which time she felt in complete bliss, peace, and happiness. She had to train herself very hard to re-develop the abilities of her left brain so she could function again. She believes that our right brain is directly plugged into the Universal Field of Energy and we can access it for greater health and happiness. Find out more about Jill’s work HERE.

 

Gregg Braden

New York Times bestselling author Gregg Braden is a pioneer in bridging science and spirituality. Following a successful career as a Computer Geologist for Phillips Petroleum during the 1970s energy crisis, he worked as a Senior Computer Systems Designer with Martin Marietta during the last years of the Cold War. In 1991 he became The First Technical Operations Manager for Cisco Systems, where he led the development of the global support team assuring the reliability of the internet in its early days. For more than 22 years, Gregg has searched high mountain villages, remote monasteries, and forgotten texts to uncover their timeless secrets. To date, his work has led to such paradigm-shattering books as Human By Design, The God Code, and The Divine Matrix: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles, and Belief.  Gregg’s work shows that the key to our future lies in the wisdom of our past.

 

The key message I learned from Gregg

We are all connected by a continuous field of energy that we cannot see, but nevertheless exists (with scientific proof to show it) and has a powerful influence on our lives. Gregg refers to this field of energy as The Divine Matrix. His central messages and themes are very consistent with those of the other scientists I mentioned above. Find out more about Gregg’s work HERE.

 

Explaining the closing gap between Science & Spirituality - and how they're not as far apart as many people think #science #spirituality #scienceandspirituality #quantumphysics #energy #spiritualbeings #humanexistence

Have I managed to convince you that there is more to our world than meets the eye and that you can harness the Universal Energy Field to drastically improve your life?

 

 

One of my great passions as a Life Coach now is helping you tap into (proven) Universal Laws to improve the quality of your life. I’ve put all my knowledge of these Laws into a series of blog posts that I would love to share with you because I know they will cause so many positive changes for you!

Get a cup of tea and head over to my very first article of the series and learn how to turbo-charge your life with abundance, peace, and prosperity!

HOW TO ATTRACT MORE ABUNDANCE INTO YOUR LIFE – PART I

Until next time, in service to helping you live your brightest life,

 

Katie De Jong, Ph.D.
Global Career Coach for Thriving Professionals
Inspired Careers International
katie@katiedejong.com
www.katiedejong.com

How to Create More of What You Want Using the Law of Attraction – Part 1

How to Create More of What You Want Using the Law of Attraction – Part 1

Find out about the exciting discoveries made in Quantum Physics made in recent decades and how to harness the Law of Attraction to create the life you want #lawofattraction #manifesting #cocreation #thesecret #abundance #joy #liveyourdreams #livefromyourheart #quantumphysics #scienceandspirituality #spiritualityBefore we get started on this journey of understanding and harnessing the Law of Attraction to create more of what you want, there are a few things worth mentioning up-front.

 

Depending on your beliefs and background, what you’re about to learn might challenge you to stretch beyond what you currently believe about who we are and how the world works.

 

I know that I personally had to shift my own perspective and beliefs in order to embrace what the great spiritual leaders have long been teaching us about Universal Abundance Laws and how they work. My journey into challenging my own beliefs started when I was in my early twenties. I developed the mystery illness ‘chronic fatigue’, which I suffered for many years. It was a debilitating condition that made me feel continuously exhausted and unwell, affecting my whole life. When medical doctors were unable to help me, I was forced to approach the ‘alternative’ healing sector, which challenged my own beliefs about health and the mind-body-spirit-connection. The key message I needed to embrace in order to heal myself was this:

 

You are more than just your physical body.

 

We all have a field of energy around us – which I will refer to as the Human Energy Field. This energetic field extends several feet to several metres beyond our physical skin. All of our physical problems begin with a distortion in this human energy field, predominantly through dysfunctional beliefs about ourselves / others / life, and the longer these distortions persist, the more likely we are to develop a physical symptom. Blockages in our energy field eventually become blockages in our physical bodies. And many of the ‘alternative’ healing methodologies rely on ancient wisdom and knowledge that has been passed down through the generations, which work on improving the human energy field (releasing blockages), in order to heal the physical body.

When I was ill with chronic fatigue I was amazed and surprised at how much benefit I received from alternative healing techniques like Reiki, Tai Chi, energy work, hypnosis and Bioresonance (a technique where distortions in your energy field are measured and corrected). These techniques were so effective for me, which I found hard to rationalise with my logical mind. I now understand that these healing modalities are effective because they work on healing the human energy field, and this healing eventually filters down into the physical body. I also discovered that I was able to impact my own energy field directly through my thoughts, beliefs and my focus of attention, to eventually heal my physical symptoms.

 

Consistent, negative thoughts become blockages in our energy field, which eventually become blockages at the physical level. And the opposite is also true. Consistent, positive thoughts expand and nourish your energy field, resulting in not only improved health, but also increased levels of abundance, ease, and flow.

 

In my introductory video below, I talk about major scientific breakthroughs that have confirmed the existence of our human energy field and how we can impact the energy field through our focus of attention.

The key points to understand from my video above are:

 

  • You are more than just your physical body.
  • You are surrounded by an energy field. The existence of this human energy field has been confirmed through MANY scientific experiments and discoveries (some of which I talk about above in my video).
  • The quality of your energy field (and hence your health and your life experiences) can be directly improved through improving your thoughts, your beliefs and your focus of attention.
  • You have the power to create more health, vitality, joy, ease, and ABUNDANCE in your life through shifting the quality of your thoughts, beliefs and focus of attention. And in the following three days I’m going to show you how.

 

Bruce Lipton, Ph.D, has played a key role in raising our awareness of the links between the physical world and the energetic/emotional world. He wrote the famous book THE BIOLOGY OF BELIEF in which he proved that our beliefs impact our health and our DNA.

Here’s what Bruce says::

In The Biology of BeliefSpontaneous Evolution and The Honeymoon Effect I discuss ‘invisible forces’ influencing our lives. Young people who have been exposed to the mind-bending tenets of quantum physics throughout their lives may underestimate the revolutionary nature of its findings. I on the other hand was trained in conventional medicine, which separates the invisible from the visible, the spiritual from the non-spiritual, matter from energy, the mind from the physical body. The truth is that all of those dichotomies have been proven false by quantum physics, which has found that the universe is not as Newtonian physicists or pharmaceutical researchers or atheist scientists have imagined it. Instead, the Universe is as the ancient wisdom of aboriginal cultures conceived it. Aboriginal cultures do not divide the world into rigid categories like rocks, air and humans, for they are all imbued with Spirit, with invisible energy. Matter and energy are completely entangled just as aboriginal cultures knew instinctively and quantum physicists proved. To quote Albert Einstein: “The [invisible] Field is the Sole Governing Agency of the Particle.”

Dr Bruce Lipton, Ph.D.

Cell Biologist, Specialist in Epigenetics, Author of the International Bestseller THE BIOLOGY OF BELIEF and more

So much about your journey into abundance is about being open-minded and allowing yourself to experience life differently. I invite you to keep an open mind and trust that what I am about to share with you really works!

Did you know that the single governing law in our particular Universe is the LAW OF ATTRACTION?

 

If you want to understand Abundance, you need to understand the LAW OF ATTRACTION. And there’s been a lot of misinformation out there about how this Universal governing law works.

Do you remember all the hype surrounding the movie “THE SECRET” when it came out all those years ago? The movie was all about the Law of Attraction. I really liked the message in the movie, but despite their best intentions, I do feel it comes across a little simplistic and materialistic, telling people they can have whatever house or car they desire if they can just imagine having it. Many people miscontrued the movie to be promoting the idea that “If you want a Ferrari, you just need to visualise yourself owning a Ferrari, put it on a Vision Board and look at it every day, and eventually you will own a Ferrari.”

But I’ve since realized that there’s a little bit more to it than that.

 

The Law of Attraction teaches you how to be a co-creator in your own life.

 

The Law of Attraction is basically this: Like attracts like. Whatever you hold in your thoughts, beliefs, and focus of attention, ultimately becomes your reality. So within, so without.

Medical Intuitive Teal Swan calls it the ‘Law of Mirroring’, which means that our reality is simply a mirror of the thoughts we hold internally.

Teal says regularly: “If you focus your thoughts on something, it must show up in your reality.” It’s a Universal Law.

This is how I’ve come to understand that the Law of Attraction works:

 

Clear Desire + Belief + Trust + Inspired Action = Manifestation

How to activate the Law of Attraction to create more of what you want #LOA #lawofattraction #abundance #create #dreambelieveachieve #thepowerofthemind #scienceandspirituality #liveyourdreams #dreams

 

The key is to let your imagination run wild and to feel into what you would really, really like to manifest in your life. And here is the catch – most of us are trained to think a certain way. We have so many beliefs about what we think we can and can’t have, and when we focus on what we would really love to create in our life, we come up against all the internal, negative programming that tells us we can’t have that.

 

We’re not trained to dream big.

 

In fact, most of us have been taught to keep our dreams small. But you can strengthen this ‘dreaming muscle’ and over time and it does get easier, especially when you start seeing the signs of what you desire appearing in your life!

When you’re able to imagine having, being or doing something you care about deeply, something that feels joyful and exciting, you create an energetic ‘blueprint’ for what you desire. That blueprint emanates out into your human energy field – setting forth the forces of attraction that bring an energetic match to that blueprint into your reality.

Acting and behaving as though you already have what you want is a surefire way to activate the Law of Attraction, because as Wayne Dyer always said, we attract into our life things that match our current energetic frequency.

Find out about the exciting discoveries made in Quantum Physics made in recent decades and how to harness the Law of Attraction to create the life you want #lawofattraction #manifesting #cocreation #thesecret #abundance #joy #liveyourdreams #livefromyourheart #quantumphysics #scienceandspirituality #spiritualityWhen you step back and surrender, and (importantly) believe and trust that you can and will have the thing you desire, then quite miraculously, what you desire starts turning up in your life somehow. Not always straight away (although sometimes it does!). But the steps to reach it will start appearing right in front of you. And when you commit to taking inspired action to make it happen, you help it to manifest in your reality.

 

It’s called CO-CREATION – intentionally creating what you want through harnessing the Law of Attraction.

 

‘Inspired Action’ is action that feels fun and joyful. It’s important to pursue actions that feel light, fun, and meaningful because your emotional state is what determines how effective the Law of Attraction will be.

Did you know that different emotions carry different frequencies? There is now scientific evidence that shows that emotions like kindness, love, compassion, and joy cause our human energy field to ‘vibrate’ at higher frequencies than emotions like boredom, sadness, listlessness. And emotions such as anger, hate, and rage vibrate at very low frequencies.

 

And since ‘like attracts like’, emotions of a higher frequency will attract in life experiences of a higher frequency.

 

A lot of us have a strange relationship to our desires.

Find out about the exciting discoveries made in Quantum Physics made in recent decades and how to harness the Law of Attraction to create the life you want #lawofattraction #manifesting #cocreation #thesecret #abundance #joy #liveyourdreams #livefromyourheart #quantumphysics #scienceandspirituality #spirituality

We try to suppress them or keep them small because we believe we shouldn’t want too much and we’re afraid that if we allow ourselves to want something, then we’ll be disappointed if it doesn’t show up.

Getting clear on what you want is not easy for two reasons:

1. You might not know exactly know what you want;

2. You might believe it’s not possible to have what you really want.

 

However, before we go any further, you must understand this:

1. It’s OK to have big desires! You have them for a reason. They contain the seeds of your most fully expressed life.

2. You’re allowed to have big desires and more importantly – you deserve them. Abundance is your birthright and you’re supposed to claim it.

3. You have FULL permission to desire everything you desire.

 

If you feel any resistance to the above three points, don’t worry, that’s completely normal; it’s the unconscious programming that has generally taught you the opposite throughout most of your life. Just allow the resistance to be there. But don’t let it deter you!

 

If you want to intentionally bring more of anything into your life, you first need to get clear on exactly what you want. The clearer you are, the more effectively you can harness the Law of Attraction.

 

Did you know that we usually have our goal setting process around back-to-front?

 

When trying to figure out what we want, we usually devise goals that (unconsciously) we think are going to make us feel a certain way. But often it turns out that the goals we devised didn’t actually end up making us feel the way we thought they would. For example, perhaps you feel that when you get a promotion and become a manager and a higher salary, you’ll be able to buy the home you want and finally feel happy. Except when you finally receive that promotion and you have the new home, you realise soon after that you still feel empty and restless inside.

 

To be more effective in your goal-setting, you first need to uncover how you want to feel – and then devise goals to more intentionally help you feel the way you actually want to feel.

 

If you’re feeling stuck and you’re not sure how you want to feel, please take a moment to browse through the library of images contained in the Core Desired Feelings Library that contains more than 100 FEELINGS (based on Danielle LaPorte’s original concept of Core Desired Feelings). Getting clear on how you want to feel can be a very powerful way to set goals that really get to the heart of what you want to experience.

 

Ready for more flow of abundance into your life? Try this!

Choose ONE area of life in which you’d like to experience more abundance, and get very specific about exactly how you want it to manifest.

 

Clarity of intention is everything in the Law of Attraction.

 

Task 1 – How do you want to feel?

Think about how you want to feel  within the next few weeks/months. If you need help figuring out how you want to feel, be sure to have a browse through the Core desired feelings library.

When you get clear on how you want to feel, write it down. Use 3 – 10 words to describe how you want to feel.

 

Task 2 – Visualise a goal you would like to manifest

Take a few long, deep breaths and breathe into your belly. Feel it moving in and out.

Now close your eyes and imagine a GOAL that will help you FEEL how you want to feel. Write it down.

 

Task 3 – Make the goal specific and make it feel good!

Make the goal very specific. If you want to experience more financial freedom, write down how much money you want to make and BY WHEN. The goal needs to feel like an exciting stretch – not too much of a stretch that it feels overwhelming and impossible, but one that would be really fun and exciting to achieve.

If you want to attract someone into your life, get very specific on what that person looks like, what their personality is like, what you love about them and what they love about you. Where do they live and what do they do?

If you want to experience more flow and abundance in your business, what would that look like specifically? How many clients would you like each month or how many programs would you need to sell, and how easily would you find those people? Get specific on how your business would look and feel.

 

Remember, the more specific, the more effectively this will work!

 

That’s it for today. I hope you’ve learned something new and have been able to come up with a clear and specific GOAL to focus on; the first critical step.

I’ll be continuing this article in my next post called How To Create More of What You Want Using the Law of Attraction – Part 2, where we’ll be focusing on the power of GRATITUDE and how to FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION to activate and turbo-charge your abundance experience!

In service to helping you live your brightest life,

Katie De Jong, Ph.D.
Global Career Coach for Thriving Professionals
Inspired Careers International
katie@katiedejong.com
www.katiedejong.com

The Art of Unlearning: 5 Powerful Myths I Had to Unlearn to Build a Life I Love

The Art of Unlearning: 5 Powerful Myths I Had to Unlearn to Build a Life I Love

Learn how to 'unlearn' and uncover the seed of your true authentic self. Here are the 5 powerful myths that I personally had to unlearn in order to live a life I love. #authenticity #unlearning #artofunlearning #makeyourmessageamovement #findyourpurpose #liveyourlife #livelifeonyourterms #freedom #livefromyourheart #personalgrowth #personaldevelopment #inspiration #motivation #inspirationalquotes #beyourself #betruetoyourself #followyourheart

In 2017 I was fortunate to work alongside 10 powerhouse female entrepreneurs to create the much-anticipated anthology THE ART OF UNLEARNING: CONSCIOUS CHOICES FOR EMPOWERED LIVING.

This beautiful book collaboration explores the art of ‘unlearning’ all the explicit and implicit messages we hear as we grow up, in order to be ourselves fully and to live life on our own terms.

 

The book is a collection of inspirational stories by women who have thrown off the shackles, rewritten their own life rules and overcome difficult obstacles to find a way to live from their heart and thrive.

 

When the two instigators of this beautiful collaboration – Lisa Marie Pepe and Divya Parekh – put out their call for authors early in 2017 with their title ‘The Art of Unlearning’, I knew I had to be a part of the project. ‘Unlearning’ has been the central theme of my life journey so far and is now at the heart of my work as a Personal & Professional Freedom Mentor.

 

What is ‘Unlearning’?

As we’re growing up, we unknowingly absorb a multitude of messages in the form of parental and societal expectations about what it means to be ‘a good person’, or ‘successful’ or ‘morally correct’. Sometimes these messages are in alignment with our own personal truth, and sometimes they’re not. When we try to conform to those expectations that don’t feel true for us, we stray from our authentic selves and we end up feeling frustrated, empty or unfulfilled as a result. And if we stray far enough from our true self, we can end up depressed or unwell. Prolonged negative feelings and emotions are our own internal guidance system, designed to alert us when we’re out of alignment with our own personal truth. As you’ll find out in the book, the more I personally tried to suppress or ignore my own negative feelings in my journey of life, the more miserable and unwell I became.

 

It wasn’t until I started acknowledging, listening to and acting on those emotions that things started to change for the better.

 

There is most definitely an ‘art’ to figuring out what is true for each of us, and it is equally an ‘art’ to live our life in accordance with that truth. ‘Unlearning’, as the word suggests, requires that we first unlearn everything we already know, in order to learn a new way of thinking and behaving.

To embrace new ways of viewing the world and to re-shape our lives inside of those new beliefs, we first need to unlearn any limiting mental models, false internal narratives or beliefs that we’ve developed and embraced throughout our lives.

 

And because this requires us to change, it can feel uncomfortable.

 

Learn how to 'unlearn' and uncover the seed of your true authentic self. Here are the 5 powerful myths that I personally had to unlearn in order to live a life I love. #authenticity #unlearning #artofunlearning #makeyourmessageamovement #findyourpurpose #liveyourlife #livelifeonyourterms #freedom #livefromyourheart #personalgrowth #personaldevelopment #inspiration #motivation #inspirationalquotes #beyourself #betruetoyourself #followyourheartIn the foreword of our book, Literary Strategist Ann Weber uses a great analogy for unlearning: learning to drive a car on the ‘other’ side of the road. When you go to a country that drives on a different side of the road to what you’re used to, it takes a lot of effort, small mistakes, feelings of discomfort and persistence before you can forget how to drive on the side that you’re used to, in order to drive effectively on the ‘other’ side.

And the same goes for adapting any new belief or behaviour; we first have to forget about how we used to think, and really consciously and proactively CHOOSE to believe and act in a new way. And it’s so easy to slip back into the ‘old way’. Which is why we all need guidance and support during any period of change – to keep us on the path we truly want to walk.

In our book THE ART OF UNLEARNING, nine different women share their own stories about what led them or, in many cases, forced them, to unlearn outdated ways of thinking, in order to shape their own lives in accordance with their personal truth and heart. The book is an uplifting, inspiring read that will – I hope – inspire you to dig deeper to find your own personal truth and to make conscious choices to align yourself more closely to it.

 

Below I share the 5 powerful myths, messages, and beliefs that I personally had to UNLEARN before it was possible for me to step into a new way of living for myself, in alignment with my heart and soul. You’ll have to get yourself a copy of the book in order to find out what happened to me – and 8 other women – as a result of believing our societal myths … and how we found ways to rebuild ourselves and our lives from the ashes of these false truths!

Do any of these sound familiar to you?

THE 5 POWERFUL MYTHS I HAD TO UNLEARN

 

1. The things you love doing and that feel easy are for ‘hobbies’; not for a real job.

In high school, I loved languages, literature, and the humanities. They felt so natural and easy to me, it was as though my brain was wired for them. I could sail through exams with relatively little effort, in comparison to the maths and sciences subjects, which felt hard and tedious and required huge amounts of effort to get decent grades. And yet, when it came time to choose a study at University, the well-intentioned people around me advised that I choose financial security by studying science & engineering, which I pursued for 15 years, at the cost of my overall personal happiness and health, as you’ll find out more about in the book.

THE REAL TRUTH: The things that you love doing and that feel easy form an ESSENTIAL and very central part of your most joyful and abundant life path and purpose.

 2. It’s not practical or responsible to do what you love.

 

Learn how to 'unlearn' and uncover the seed of your true authentic self. Here are the 5 powerful myths that I personally had to unlearn in order to live a life I love. #authenticity #unlearning #artofunlearning #makeyourmessageamovement #findyourpurpose #liveyourlife #livelifeonyourterms #freedom #livefromyourheart #personalgrowth #personaldevelopment #inspiration #motivation #inspirationalquotes #beyourself #betruetoyourself #followyourheart

It’s not hard to understand why our parents and teachers might have cautioned us into choosing ‘security’ over ‘joy’. For many of our parents, their families had been busily trying to rise up out of the first two layers of the famous psychologist Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Emerging out of the post-depression era, many of our Baby Boomer parents knew nothing but hardship and struggle growing up, which they passed onto us. But fortunately for many of us today (particularly in the developed world), we’re experiencing unprecedented times of prosperity and we’re at a stage in our human evolution in which self-esteem and self-actualization are now possible.

THE REAL TRUTH: When you engage in activities you love, that you’re good at and that you’re passionate about, you become magnetic and unstoppable and you find ways to make an abundant income no matter what the circumstances. Doing what you love ensures that you’re the happiest and most balanced version of yourself, which has positive ripple effects to everyone in your life, both financially and emotionally. In actual fact, it’s irresponsible and not practical TO SUPPRESS your genuine desire to do what you love.

Learn how to 'unlearn' and uncover the seed of your true authentic self. Here are the 5 powerful myths that I personally had to unlearn in order to live a life I love. #authenticity #unlearning #artofunlearning #makeyourmessageamovement #findyourpurpose #liveyourlife #livelifeonyourterms #freedom #livefromyourheart #personalgrowth #personaldevelopment #inspiration #motivation #inspirationalquotes #beyourself #betruetoyourself #followyourheart3. Others know what’s best for you.

As children, we start out being very connected and in-tune with our own hearts. And yet many of us are taught from a young age that our parents and teachers know what’s best for us and that we can’t trust our own inner impulses and desires. We’re told that they aren’t possible, or realistic or practical. Over time we learn to disconnect from our hearts as we’re forced to suppress the internal whisperings we hear, pushing them into the background as wishful thinking.

THE REAL TRUTH: Learning to connect to and trust the pure intelligence from your heart is the fastest path to living an authentic and joyful life.

4. You’re not supposed to enjoy work. If it was fun, they wouldn’t call it work.

I truly used to believe this one and I do believe it’s the reason I stuck it out in my career for so long, even though I felt so empty and miserable. As I was growing up, I understood work to be a necessary evil to help pay the bills. As I looked around me, it seemed that everyone who was ‘successful’ was working incredibly long hours and sacrificing much of their personal life for the demands of their job. And it seemed natural that I would have to do the same. But can you think of someone you know who absolutely loves their work and how they seem to just naturally THRIVE, emotionally AND financially? That’s because we experience abundance in all areas of our life when we commit to doing what feels joyful.

THE REAL TRUTH: You ARE supposed to enjoy work. When your work is accompanied by feelings of joy and positive emotion, you tap into an unlimited reservoir of creativity and potential that has limitless positive ripple effects. If you really don’t enjoy your work, it’s a sign you need to do something else! You’re doing yourself and everyone else around you a disservice by sticking it out in a job you really don’t like. Of course, every job has parts we don’t like. But if you don’t come home with a genuine, overall feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction at the end of each week, maybe it’s time to start doing some deep self-reflection to find out how you can start realigning your life with your own personal truth and happiness.

Learn how to 'unlearn' and uncover the seed of your true authentic self. Here are the 5 powerful myths that I personally had to unlearn in order to live a life I love. #authenticity #unlearning #artofunlearning #makeyourmessageamovement #findyourpurpose #liveyourlife #livelifeonyourterms #freedom #livefromyourheart #personalgrowth #personaldevelopment #inspiration #motivation #inspirationalquotes #beyourself #betruetoyourself #followyourheart5. Success means owning your own home, driving a nice car and earning lots of money.

This was certainly something that seemed true to me while growing up; that my success would be measured by the material possessions I’d be able to accrue. It certainly seemed to be the way everyone else measured each other’s success. Unfortunately, the more money I seemed to make, the more miserable and empty I felt inside.

THE REAL TRUTH: The definition of ‘success’ is personal for everyone. For me personally, it’s having mutually nurturing relationships and connections, being able to spend time with my precious friends and family, being able to make a positive impact through my work, loving the work I do and the people I work with, having time to travel and experience the world and feeling a deep sense of joy and gratitude each and every day.

To find out about some of the other very real and POWERFUL MYTHS that other women have struggled with in life, and how they’ve managed to UNLEARN them in order to live a life true to their hearts and THRIVE, get your copy of THE ART OF UNLEARNING: CONSCIOUS CHOICES FOR EMPOWERED LIVING today!

Please leave a comment below if something resonated with you! And if you liked this article, please share using the social share icons below!

In service to helping you live your brightest and fullest life,

Katie De Jong, Ph.D
Global Career Coach for Thriving Professionals
Inspired Careers International
www.katiedejong.com
katie@katiedejong.com

Letter to a Novice Expat Wife: The Surprising Truths of Expat Life That No-One Warns You About

Letter to a Novice Expat Wife: The Surprising Truths of Expat Life That No-One Warns You About

Are you embarking on an expat adventure or you're in one already? In this article I share some insight that I hope will help you on your journey! #expatlife #expat #expatlife #geoje #paris #expatwife #truths #surprisingtruths #enjoyexpatlifeExpat life can be a wild ride filled with fun, laughs, adventure, good times and perhaps most of all – challenge.

 

It’s guaranteed to push you out of your comfort zone, confront you with your own shortcomings and force you to grow in ways you hadn’t expected. I realise now in hindsight how naïve I was coming into the whole experience six years ago when we embarked on our expat journey. It would have been helpful to get some advice from a seasoned expat wife beforehand, hence my reason for writing this letter (below), in the hope that my words might help other women setting out on their new adventure.

I’ve travelled extensively throughout my life and lived and worked in several different countries, including Paraguay, the USA, Italy, the UK and The Netherlands.

 

So it’s not that living overseas is new to me. But being an ‘expat’ is …. different … for reasons I’ll explain.

 

Expat experiences vary greatly and it seems the kind of experience you have depends very much on the company your family is relocating with and the size of the project. We left Australia six years ago for our expat adventure involving two years in Paris, France followed by four years in Geoje, South Korea. Our first two years in Paris were very different to the past four years in Korea, not only because the countries are so different but because in Paris the project was still in the design phase and therefore the foreign staffing requirements were much smaller. The work was being done predominantly by French staff with a small number of expats like ourselves. We found a rental apartment in central Paris and set about immersing ourselves in French life, language and culture, grateful for the opportunity to experience French life firsthand.

In Korea, the project moved into its construction phase and hundreds of expats were brought in to complete the mammoth project. To provide enough accommodation for all the foreign employees and their families, the company had no choice but to rent out whole apartment blocks in Geoje. As a result, it’s felt at times like living in an expat bubble on the fringes of Korean society, in a microcosm of the United Nations together with families from all different cultures and nationalities. At times you could even forget you’re in Korea, until you go into town to do the grocery shopping and remember that you can’t read the packaging on anything and often have to guess what you’re buying, you can’t ask questions or communicate with shop staff and can’t read any of the signposts (challenging when there’s big red letters and you don’t know what they mean!). While all this can be overwhelming at first and you feel like a fish out of water, it gets easier with time as you adapt and adjust.

After spending 6+ years as an 'expat wife', here's my advice to any woman starting out on her expat journey - it's the advice I wish someone had given me before we started our expat journey! #expat #expatlife #expatwife #Geojeexpat #Parisexpat #expatjourney

The opportunity to live as an expat is truly a privilege.

 

You’re able to experience another way of life, travel to countries you might otherwise never visit, make friends with people from all over the world and expose your children to a truly international community at a young age, helping them cultivate understanding, compassion, and inclusivity.

And yet as an ‘expat wife’, things are particularly challenging. I must admit I don’t like that label; like so many women these days I’ve always taken great pride in having my own independence, my own career and my own salary.

 

And yet when you choose to temporarily leave your career to follow your husband’s work, ‘expat wife’ inevitably becomes your new identity.

 

Many families choose to be expats at a time in life when the children are young and more flexible with schooling, and the wife is either happy to take some time off to care for the children full time, take some time away from her career to complete studies in a new direction or work from home (which is becoming more prevalent in this digital world). In some cases the wives are fortunate to be able to work on local projects too, if their skills match a project need. In a few rare cases, it’s the husband who moves overseas for the wife’s job and takes on the primary child-carer role, however they’re definitely the rare minority (yes gender roles are still very traditional in this demographic).

 

Things become particularly challenging when…

 

  • All families live in the same few apartment complexes available, sharing the same facilities and open spaces;
  • All the children go to school together and share the same school buses, teachers, social and sports activities;
  • The wives share the same limited number of English-speaking babysitters;
  • The husbands work together on the same project and often bring their frustrations home to the wives;
  • Most people are connected by Facebook and other social media channels, which adds another layer of interaction on top of the already intense social situation;
  • Due to the difficulty of communicating with the locals, it’s very difficult (if not impossible) to integrate into local society or expand your social circles beyond the expat community.

 

Your life becomes inextricably intertwined with the other expats.

 

The radical intensity of day-to-day interaction with people you barely know leads to some difficult and often very challenging interpersonal situations. It can bring out both the best and the worst in people (myself included). Having been through some challenging and often very painful situations myself, I felt compelled to share this insight in the hope that it helps other expat wives as they set out on their journey. So here goes…

 

Letter to a Novice Ex-Pat Wife

Dear friend,

Congratulations on your decision to embark on your expat journey!

What a wonderful decision you’ve made for you and your family. You have an exciting adventure ahead, one where you’ll get to discover a new culture and way of life, meet people from all different nationalities and backgrounds and expose your children to a beautiful international community with different cultures and lifestyles. It’s a unique and rare opportunity; an experience that I know you’ll treasure forever. You will learn a lot, possibly more than you bargained for. It will test you in ways you probably couldn’t have imagined. You may experience not just wonderful highs but perhaps many deep lows as well.

And that’s the part nobody tells you about before you leave.

When you move overseas, you leave all your friends and family behind. And because we’re social beings, it’s in our nature to want to find new friends quickly. When you arrive in the community, there’ll be many different social circles forming or already operating. Try to float among different groups and activities in the beginning. You’ll perhaps feel an enormous urge to fit into one of them as soon as possible, but try to resist that temptation. It will become apparent over time who your people are. Just be patient, friendly and approachable and start getting to know the people around you. If someone invites you over for a coffee or lunch and it feels right, be sure to go along. But don’t divulge too much too soon and keep your guard up politely until you’ve had a chance to get to know them properly.

It takes time to build trust and intimacy in friendships.

Friendships often form (too) quickly in the expat environment. You can end up sharing your lives at a very intimate and personal level without having had the chance to get to know each other. It’s in my nature to be very open and I’ve had to learn the hard way that it’s important to build trust first before you open your thoughts and heart to someone. As you float among different groups and people, be observant and try to get an understanding of the different groups out there and who’s included in them.

In this phase, be sure to listen to your gut and trust your intuition.

Don’t ignore those little alarm bells in your head for the sake of trying to fit in somewhere. If you have an ‘off’ feeling with anyone, be sure to listen to it. Don’t judge them for it and cut them off, because sometimes our judgments can be wrong, but be extra vigilant. Don’t share anything too personal before you’ve taken the time to get to know the people around you.

The expat community would make an interesting study in human psychology, because when a group of strangers ends up living together, working together and socialising together, it creates an unnaturally intense social situation, and well – strange things can happen. When social situations become stressed, it’s natural that our insecurities surface and we fall into default coping strategies. As women. we often unconsciously play out a certain ‘role’.

Over the past six years I’ve experienced, observed and witnessed particular roles that emerge in stressed social environments (and I’m sure I’ve been guilty of falling into some of them myself). To avoid potentially difficult situations, be aware that you might come across these characters (they’re exaggerated in some cases, but you’ll get my drift):

 

The Queen Bee

The Queen Bee likes to be at the centre of social circles and control who is included and not included. They’re often the ones organising many events and get-togethers as they thrive on social influence and control. They demand loyalty and respect and will do anything to get it, even if it means spreading untruths about others. While they’re charming and often very social extroverts, just be careful as they can have a nasty sting if you upset them or threaten their position somehow.

 

 

The Charmer

The charmer can appear seemingly out of nowhere, suddenly showing a lot of interest in you and wanting to spend lots of time with you. They’ve seen something they like about you and decided they want to befriend you. Although it’s very flattering and feels great to our humble little egos, just be careful. Charmers can reel you in with abundant attention, affection, and kindness, and then drop you like a hot potato when you don’t live up to their expectations or someone better comes along. This is hard because they made you feel special and it hurts when they move on. You might end up wondering what you did or what’s wrong with you and beat yourself up. But chances are the flattery caught you off guard and you didn’t have appropriate boundaries in place. Remember, it takes time to build genuine friendships and as tempting as it is, be sure to take your time to get to know someone before you open your life and heart to them.

 

The Smiling Assassin

Unfortunately, the intensity of the social scene in the expat environment can heighten the insecurities of many women. You might unknowingly trigger jealousy and resentment in certain people and find yourself suddenly on the receiving end of passive aggression. It’s confusing and upsetting when someone is lovely, smiling and friendly to your face and then you find out later they’ve been quietly assassinating your character behind your back, especially if it’s someone you considered a friend and it’s completely unexpected. This is another reason why you must form friendships slowly and carefully.

 

The Fair Weather Friend

Often in the expat situation, people end up unknowingly getting drawn into conflicts that cause all kinds of drama and tension they hadn’t expected. In future, they might try to avoid conflict at all cost, which means they won’t stick around if you find yourself unwillingly drawn into a conflict yourself. If you end up going through a challenging situation and turn to your friend for help, you might find they’re not there for you. This can be very disappointing if it’s someone you thought was a good friend. However, remember that in the challenging expat social environment, people go into survival mode and will do everything they can to protect themselves. You even might find yourself doing the same in future (I know I have to some extent). While of course, it’s painful to realise you can’t rely on a friend in a time of need, just use it as an indication that this person might not be friendship material in the long term and remember to build your friendships slowly.

 

The Ice Queen

One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn on my expat journey is that it doesn’t pay to stand up to what you perceive as bad behaviour. While you may feel noble, indignant and a little self-righteous in confronting someone for how they’ve treated you or someone else, it never pans out well.

They’ll probably vehemently deny what you’re calling them out on, tell all their friends how unreasonable you’ve been, and then target their hostility towards you instead. They might turn into the Ice Queen, openly ignoring you at every opportunity, throwing you ice daggers with their eyes and perhaps even turning others against you in an attempt to isolate you. If you see someone behaving badly, just take note and keep a safe distance. You can always show your support for the person who’s being treated badly by meeting with them privately and telling them you’re there for them if they need you. But otherwise, avoid confrontation and retreat.

 

‘My-Child’s-Never-In-The-Wrong’ Mothers

It can be very challenging if your child is involved in a conflict of some kind and you have to deal with a mother whose child is never to blame. Most of us know conflicts arise between children as a natural part of growing up, and sometimes our child’s to blame and sometimes it’s the other child. Or sometimes it’s just a misunderstanding and no one’s to blame at all.

But if a situation arises where your child is very upset and you try to talk to the other mother about it, you might be confronted with the default position of “My child is never in the wrong” (perhaps not in those words). There’s no opening for discussion, your child will be given the blame and you might even be labeled a bad parent. I’ve seen many a friendship break up because of this type of conflict and it’s sad when mothers let this ruin an otherwise good friendship. Again it’s particularly hard when it happens with someone you thought you could count on as a friend.  

 

And of course, there will be many genuine, truly lovely people who don’t have an insecure or unkind bone in their body and are just fun, beautiful people to be around. They will be the ones who take delight in building you up and encouraging you to follow your dreams, not tearing you down. Those are the keepers.

 

Advice for a Peaceful and Harmonious Expat Journey

Remember that it takes time to find your ‘people’.

Resist the urge to rush into friendships. You can let your guard down once you’ve gotten to know people over time and they’ve proven themselves trustworthy to you. Trust your intuition and simply retreat from anyone that feels out of alignment. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself and especially those whose eyes light up when you talk of your goals and aspirations. Some women will take delight in building you up and encouraging you, while others might feel threatened.

In finishing, here’s the most important advice I feel necessary to pass onto you:

  • Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see.
    Things are not always as they seem and you never know what’s going on in someone else’s life. Never make assumptions and always take everything you hear with a very large grain of salt.
  • Avoid gossiping.
    In small expat communities where everyone knows everyone, gossip is sadly inevitable. It usually gets embellished with small (sometimes large) untruths that the person at the centre of the gossip has no chance of denying or defending. This can be very damaging to their integrity and reputation. As tempting as it can be at times, never engage in gossip. If someone starts talking negatively about someone else, just smile politely and make an excuse to move away.
  • If you hear something bad about someone else, reserve your judgment.
    There are always two sides to a story. Resist the temptation to believe what you hear about someone else and continue to give the person the benefit of the doubt. It’s not fair to treat them differently, because you have no way of knowing whether what you heard is true (it probably isn’t).
  • If you’re the target of gossip yourself, hold your head high and let it go.
    As painful as it is, you’re often not in control of your own reputation in small expat communities. If people decide to spread untruths about you, there’s sadly nothing you can do and it will test every inch of your self-worth to not react and hold your head high. We all make mistakes and sometimes do things we regret, but gossip makes us pay for them unfairly and in excess. Be gentle with yourself and with others, and extend the benefit of the doubt wherever you can.
  • Guard your privacy on Facebook and social media.
    While it’s wonderful to be connected with others through social media, in small expat communities it can add another dimension of invasion into your privacy. Based on my experience, I would recommend being careful of 
    your privacy on Facebook until you’ve gotten to know someone well. You can be ‘friends’ but just limit what you share with people through your privacy settings until you know someone well.

On a positive note, having warned you of some of the less enjoyable types you might come across, this article wouldn’t be complete without recognising, acknowledging and appreciating all the amazing women who have made my expat journey so rich and wonderful (thanks Jane Fitzer O’Shea for the inspiration for some of these types!).

There are The Rocks (the ones who are always there for you no matter what), The Warriors (the ones who go through extremely challenging situations and come out the other side positive and strong), The Funny Girls (the ones who make you laugh so hard your sides ache), The Dancers (the ones who can rock out all night and have endless energy and dance moves), The Helpers (the ones who are always there for everybody in times of need), The Girls Who Took Up a Cause (the ones who dedicate their time and energy to abandoned pets, orphanages, hospitals and any other cause that breaks their heart) and the No Nonsense Ones who aren’t afraid to offend and tell it like it is.

These types will be your saviour and get you through many a challenging period!

Treasure them as they will become your friends for life.

It’s my sincere hope that this insight and guidance helps you have a harmonious and fun-filled expat journey, and avoid much of the struggle myself and others have gone through!

Being an expat is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you will treasure forever.

Sit back and enjoy the ride!

With love,

Katie

Katie De Jong, Ph.D
Global Career Coach for Thriving Professionals
Inspired Careers International
katie@katiedejong.com
www.katiedejong.com

The Healing Code: How to Reclaim Your Health & Well-Being in Three Powerful Steps

The Healing Code: How to Reclaim Your Health & Well-Being in Three Powerful Steps

Learn the exact steps to harness the power of the Healing Code - a revolutionary self-healing process used by thousands to heal from all kinds of chronic illness, injury and disease. You can turn around your life in just six minutes a day #thehealingcode #healingcode #selfhealing #healing #emotionalhealing #selfcare #selflove #truthstatements #healinggates #health #healthandwellness #wellness The Healing Code proposes a revolutionary concept of health and healing: That the majority of our physical symptoms, illness, and disease are created through our emotions.

 

While the concept of healing your body through healing your emotional pain is certainly not new (for example, Louise Hay’s ‘You Can Heal Your Life’, Bruce Lipton’s ‘The Biology of Belief‘, Dr. Lissa Rankin’s ‘Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof that You Can Heal Yourself‘ to name a few), the Healing Code provides a simple yet powerful methodology that has been used by many thousands of people worldwide to heal their emotional pain and subsequently heal themselves of illness and disease.

I first read The Healing Code (2010) by Dr Alexander Loyd & Dr Ben Johnson (MD) in 2015. My sister put me onto it after we’d been discussing how much painful emotion I was feeling about a certain issue in my life. She suggested I try the Healing Code, claiming that it would resolve many things for me without me even realizing it. I was a bit reluctant to read yet another self-help book (I’ve read hundreds in my lifetime and I was in the middle of a temporary self-imposed self-help hiatus). But I was so feeling so miserable that I decided to buy myself a copy.

While subtle at first, I’ve most definitely noticed a real change in my mood, energy levels, and inner peace since using The Healing Code. It’s as though a curtain of fog, anxiety, and heaviness is slowly being lifted and I’m starting to tap into my inner well of joy, optimism and health again. I was so inspired by the changes I felt compelled to share this with you all.

The book has a 4.5-star rating (out of 5) on Amazon out of 1500 reviews, and while it’s received a decent amount of backlash and criticism, this is counteracted by a resounding amount of positive feedback and literally hundreds of thousands of testimonials from people who have healed significant issues in their life.

Learn the exact steps to harness the power of the Healing Code - a revolutionary self-healing process used by thousands to heal from all kinds of chronic illness, injury and disease. You can turn around your life in just six minutes a day #thehealingcode #healingcode #selfhealing #healing #emotionalhealing #selfcare #selflove #truthstatements #healinggates #health #healthandwellness #wellness

The Healing Code was created by a doctor called Alex Loyd whose wife suffered severe depression, to the point where she contemplated suicide several times.

 

They tried dozens of different therapies, both conventional and alternative, and read a library full of self-help books over ten excruciating years, but nothing seemed to create lasting change for her. In desperation one day he sent a prayer out to the Universe to please help save his wife. That night, Alex had a dream about certain hand positions that could direct healing energy to the body at the four main ‘healing gates’ of the body. His dream showed him the steps of a healing process that would completely cure his wife’s clinical depression, and as it turns out, has now helped people all around the world heal all kinds of physical problems, sometimes even diseases as severe as cancer.

 

It sounds a bit ‘out there’, but the fact is it cured his wife of clinical depression and has subsequently healed thousands of people from all kinds of illnesses worldwide.

 

The Healing Code is a short healing practice that can be done by yourself, to yourself, in around six minutes, three times a day. It involves saying a prayer/request and then directing the energy in your hands to the four main healing gates of your body in a certain sequence (30 seconds on each healing gate), while focusing on ‘Truth Statements’. I’ll describe each of the three components of the methodology for you.

 

1. The Four Healing Gates

The four ‘healing gates’ of the body that Dr. Loyd was ‘shown’ correspond to the master control centres for every cell in your body. For a short 8-minute demonstration on YouTube of the hand positions you can go here. They appear to work like a hidden fuse box and when the correct switches are flipped on, they will allow healing of almost anything. Directing energy at the healing gates, while focusing on truth statements, removes stress in the body that had switched off the fuse switches. The four areas that are targeted by holding the four specific hand positions are.

Bridge (between the eyes)

The pituitary gland (often referred to as the master gland because it controls the major endocrine processes of the body) and the pineal gland.

Temples

The higher functioning left and right brain, the hypothalamus.

Jaw

The reactive emotional brain, including the amygdala and the hippocampus, plus the spinal cord and the central nervous system.

Adam’s apple 

The spinal cord and central nervous system, plus the thyroid.

These four centres cover the control centres for every system, organ and every cell of the body. When directing energy towards these ‘gates’, healing energy flows from these centres to everywhere in the body.

Using your own hands to direct energy for healing is not a new concept, it is indeed what underlies all ‘alternative’ healing techniques such as Reiki, Tai Chi, Qi-Gong, acupuncture, emotional freedom techniques (EFT) etc., which all aim to harmonise and correct destructive energy patterns within the body.

 

The Healing Code appears to heal the destructive energy frequencies, thereby healing both emotional and physical issues. While I have to admit I was a little skeptical at first, using these hand positions while focusing on my truth statements has given me noticeable improvements in my own mood, health, and vitality.

 

2. Truth Statements

Truth Statements are sentences you say out loud to yourself, or listen to as a recording (I recorded mine as voice memos on my iPhone), that heal the areas of life where you feel emotional pain or trauma. The Truth Statements break through what he calls ‘three inhibitors to healing’:

1) Unforgiveness
2) Harmful actions (things you keep doing even though you know they’re bad for you)
3) Negative beliefs.

As Dr. Loyd says “These three issues must be addressed and removed from your heart if permanent healing is to take place. If they remain, they will block or inhibit your heart’s ability to heal the rest of the issues in your life”. You can use the truth statements they provide to heal these areas, or you can make your own truth statements that feel more resonant and relevant (I have used a mix of my own and theirs). You can get a copy of their example truth statements on their website by following this link here.

There are also 9 virtues that need to be instilled in your heart to enable healing in all areas of your life, which he calls The Core Healing System:

1) Love
2) Joy
3) Peace
4) Patience
5) Kindness
6) Goodness
7) Trust
8) Humility
9) Self-control

So in total there are 12 ‘healing code categories’. To find out which areas are the best ones for you to focus on, you can use their HEART ISSUES FINDER, which is a questionnaire that helps you pinpoint the emotional issues that are biggest in your life at the moment. You can work your way through all of the virtues eventually, but they recommend starting with the most difficult ones.

 

3. The Opening Prayer/Request

This is the prayer that you use to open your healing session. If the word ‘God’ doesn’t feel appropriate for you, you can insert whatever name you choose for the Universal force or energy that connects all of us. It does require that you believe (at least partly) that there is an unseen field or higher power that we can tap into for healing. Some other names people use are Spirit, Source, the One, the Divine, for example.

 

“I pray that all known and unknown negative images, unhealthy beliefs, destructive cellular memories and all physical issues related to _______________________ [your problem or illness] be found, opened and healed by filling me with the light, life and love of God. I also pray that the effectiveness of this healing be increased by 100 times or more.” 

 

Asking to increase the effectiveness of the healing by 100 times is telling the body to make healing a priority. The whole premise underlying the Code is that our physical symptoms and illnesses are caused by what they call the ‘issues of the heart’; emotional pain that we carry with us because of negative experiences we have endured in our life. Each time we experience something negative, we create a picture in our mind of that experience, or a ‘destructive memory picture’. These destructive images create stress in the body. Stress puts the body into ‘fight or flight’, a physiological response that puts all bodily systems on high alert, which is a necessary response to save our lives in emergencies but should not be maintained for long periods of time.

The problem is that the average person in today’s society stays in fight or flight for long periods of time. When that happens, there is one inevitable result; eventually, something breaks down and shows up as a symptom. I can personally vouch for the terrible effects stress have had on my body. In my twenties, I gradually developed chronic fatigue syndrome (where you get overtaken by viruses and experience complete adrenal exhaustion, among other symptoms) due to the high level of chronic stress present in all areas of my life at the time.

 

When we develop too many symptoms on a prolonged basis, the symptoms develop into disease, which is simply where the weak link in the chain broke under the pressure called stress.

 

To help you understand their process, I put together a graphic that helps to summarise and explain how the healing code works.

 

Emotional Pain and Stress

The codes appear to heal all problems – relationships, mental health, career, performance issues etc. – because they propose that all of these problems have the same source: stress caused by emotional pain in our lives, that led to destructive cellular memories in our unconscious minds. Up until recently, it has been very difficult to heal the emotional issues in our heart for three reasons:

  1. People don’t generally want to admit they have them;
  2. If they have emotional pain, they don’t want to talk about it, and;
  3. We haven’t had a way to effectively deal with emotional pain on a medical level.

Learn the exact steps to harness the power of the Healing Code - a revolutionary self-healing process used by thousands to heal from all kinds of chronic illness, injury and disease. You can turn around your life in just six minutes a day #thehealingcode #healingcode #selfhealing #healing #emotionalhealing #selfcare #selflove #truthstatements #healinggates #health #healthandwellness #wellness Emotional pain is stored in your cellular memory, which is memory stored in your cells – all of your cells. For many years, scientists believed that memories were stored in the brain. However, we now know that memory is stored all through our body, which explains why organ transplant recipients sometimes start taking on thoughts, feelings, dreams and personality traits of the organ donor.

 

To have permanent, long-term healing, we need to heal destructive cellular memories.

 

We all have memories in our lives that are full of feelings like anger, sadness, fear, confusion, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, worthlessness… the list is endless. You know how when you recall a certain situation in life that was very painful, you can actually feel it in your body? You bring the image to mind, and immediately you can feel the effects in your body, the anger, rage, betrayal or other heavy feelings. We can often feel them as a physical sensation. That’s because recalling the ‘destructive cellular memory’ has immediate physical effects on the body.

Trying to find ways to ‘cope’ with these negative memories only makes things worse. Suppressing our destructive cellular memories requires a huge amount of energy, and it’s constant. What is desperately needed, and (the authors claim) will change the face of health forever, is a way to heal the destructive cellular memories as opposed to merely coping with them and trying to suppress them. Once you’ve healed the memory, you will not feel the negative beliefs associated with the memory, your body will not be sent into fight or flight mode, and you will feel greater levels of inner peace and improved health.

The whole book is based on two propositions:

  1. To heal your problems you have to heal the stress. Stress is defined as “any situation that makes you feel frustrated, angry or anxious. What is stressful to one person is not necessarily stressful to another”. Any time we’re feeling strong negative emotions, our body goes into fight or flight mode;
  2. To heal the stress you have to heal your destructive cellular memories, which are the images stored in your unconscious mind from emotional pain that generate negative emotions and hence, stress.

Learn the exact steps to harness the power of the Healing Code - a revolutionary self-healing process used by thousands to heal from all kinds of chronic illness, injury and disease. You can turn around your life in just six minutes a day #thehealingcode #healingcode #selfhealing #healing #emotionalhealing #selfcare #selflove #truthstatements #healinggates #health #healthandwellness #wellness

So how do you do the Healing Code?

To start the Healing Code process, you bring to mind an issue that you’re struggling with. This could be ‘my migraines’ or ‘my relationship with my mother’ or ‘I’m constantly being over-looked at work’, for example. While holding this issue in mind, you then say the opening prayer out loud. You then let go of the problem, and start to focus on your truth statements out loud or listen to your recording, while using the hand positions they show you in the book, spending thirty seconds on each healing gate, for a total of six minutes. While doing the Healing Code, I can literally feel my energy lightening and lifting.

 

The truth statements are so powerful because we often know the truth in our heart the first time we hear or see it. It resonates and uplifts us and we feel it to the deepest core of who we are.

 

That’s because we have a mechanism inside of us called our ‘conscience’, whose sole purpose is to help us find these truths. When there are too many lies in the heart related to a given subject, the voice of the conscience is drowned out, or at least confused, by competing and disagreeing voices. The key is clearing out these misunderstandings of the heart, and that can be done by reciting the ‘truth’ out loud.

If you’re also intrigued by the potential and possibility of the Healing Code, I urge you to get your hands on a copy of the book and start implementing the simple methodology. Enjoy the power and beauty of the truth statements – the ‘honeycomb, sweet and comforting to the soul’ that can be felt as you relax into your meditation. And let me know how you go. I would love to know if you feel a positive shift, as I have done.

In service to helping you live your brightest life,

 

Katie De Jong, Ph.D
Global Career Coach for Thriving Professionals
Inspired Careers International
www.katiedejong.com
katie@katiedejong.com
____________________________________________________________

As an interesting side note on cancer, the co-author of the book Dr Ben Johnson has spent his career specialising in cancer research and treatment. In his opinions, cancer is caused by four issues:

  1. Emotional issues
  2. Heavy metals
  3. Acid pH/oxygen deprivation
  4. Viruses

There are increasingly effective medical techniques to deal with issues 2, 3 and 4 in the conventional medical system. However what has been lacking is a way to deal with emotional pain. Could it be possible that this simple methodology for healing emotional pain could be part of the answer to dealing with this? I pray so.

Peaceful Heart: 7 Powerful Steps to Cultivate True Inner Peace

Peaceful Heart: 7 Powerful Steps to Cultivate True Inner Peace

One of the keys to enjoying life to its fullest and experiencing lasting happiness is our ability to maintain inner peace, even in the face of challenging or hurtful situations. Find out how to cultivate this life-changing ability in this article #innerpeace #peace #relationships #painfulrelationships #conflictresolution #selflove #selfcare #innerchild #innerchildwork #healing #emotionalhealingOne of the keys to enjoying life to its fullest and experiencing lasting happiness is our ability to maintain inner peace, even in the face of challenging or hurtful situations.

 

Do you find yourself getting knocked off-centre regularly by different people and/or situations? Or do you often feel hurt by the actions or behaviours of others towards you? If so, you’re not alone. It’s difficult when someone else’s behaviour leaves us feeling hurt, sad, angry or upset, particularly if it’s someone we consider a friend, a close colleague or partner.

But most often, someone else’s hurtful behaviour is a reflection of their own inner turmoil, and nothing to do with your own value as a person. Instead of feeling hurt and unworthy in the face of someone else’s negative behaviours, what if you could be so grounded in your own sense of self-worth that you don’t take their behaviour personally? What if you could remain calm and resist the temptation to react or get drawn into unnecessary drama?

 

Your ability to stay calm and unaffected in what feels like a hurtful or negative situation is directly related to your level of self-love and acceptance.

 

I’m about to share with you the most powerful technique I know for developing the essential quality of self-love, which allows you to become more resilient and less knocked around by the people in your life.

 

Imagine if you could feel so secure and in love with who you are, authentically and at your core, that nothing can disturb your inner peace and you no longer see outside events or situations as a reflection of your own self-worth or value.

 

One of my favourite teachers Panache Desai talks about the way we see someone when we’re completely, head-over-heels in love with them. Remember how delicious it feels when you first fall in love? Or when you meet a new friend who you think is just amazing? Even if friends or family try to warn you to take it slow, you don’t take any of it on board because you love this person so much that you just refuse to see anything bad about them.

 

Imagine if you could feel that way about yourself?

 

Imagine knowing without a shadow of a doubt that you’re a valuable, wonderful, precious person that the other person would be privileged to have in their life. This is the level of radical self-acceptance and self-love I believe we all need to develop and maintain as part of our mission in life.

One of the keys to enjoying life to its fullest and experiencing lasting happiness is our ability to maintain inner peace, even in the face of challenging or hurtful situations. Find out how to cultivate this life-changing ability in this article #innerpeace #peace #relationships #painfulrelationships #conflictresolution #selflove #selfcare #innerchild #innerchildwork #healing #emotionalhealing

Because when you develop this level of self-love, you’re so at peace with yourself  that nothing can disturb your sense of well-being. And this has a positive impact on everyone and everything around you.

 

You’re like the rock in the middle of the storm, exuding nothing but peace and tranquility outwards to others, like ripples in a pond. Unflappable. Wrapped up in your own self-love.

 

Sounds great, doesn’t it? But how do you reach this level of self-love and acceptance? As you can probably guess – it’s not easy and can take a long time, depending on how far you’ve drifted from your natural state of unconditional love due to the environment you grew up in. I still struggle with it regularly myself and it’s something I have to constantly work on.

If you’re like most of us, you probably grew up being bombarded with all kinds of negative messaging that led you to believe that you’re not OK just as you are. You probably needed to work harder, be smarter, achieve more, do more, change the way you look, find better friends or whatever it was you were told. As a result, you probably developed a very good inner critic who beats you up and criticises you before anybody else can. And if you’re like most people, that inner critic takes up a lot more space in your mind than the loving, caring voice who tells you that you’re wonderful and perfect as you are, who is forgiving and understanding when you make mistakes and comforts you with kind words when you need them.

 

But somehow you need to find ways to start giving that loving, caring voice more time and space in your own head and heart.

 

Panache describes this level of self-love that I’m talking about as the ‘liquid gold’ that lives deep within you. It’s your true essence; it’s who you were when you came into the world, before you started becoming bombarded with societal conditioning and negative beliefs about yourself and life. And finding that liquid gold is a little like the mining process itself; you have to dig and excavate through the layers of stories, pain and untruths that you’ve accumulated in life, before you can access it.

I did a lot of this digging and excavating in my mid-thirties during a life crisis that caused me to reevaluate my entire life. With the help of my counsellor and various therapists, we peeled back many layers of emotional pain that I’d accumulated. While I realised at the time that I wasn’t ‘done’ in any sense, I thought we’d worked through the majority of obstacles to self-love that I had within me. And for a few years I cruised along in a fairly harmonious way, feeling quite peaceful and satisfied. But it’s almost as though life lets us off the hook for a little while and when we move to a new level of self-love and acceptance – BAM!

 

Life continues to bring us new, difficult situations that show us where we still harbour old wounds and where we haven’t yet reached peace and acceptance within ourselves.

 

This is the dynamic that’s been happening to me this past year. I’ve been confronted regularly with situations in relationships that have been very challenging and painful. There have been many times when I’ve been thinking “What’s wrong with me?”. Slowly I’m coming to realise that it’s life showing me the next part that’s up for healing – another part of myself that I haven’t yet learned to embrace and love; another situation in which I’m affected by the opinions and behaviours of those around me, because I haven’t yet learned to love myself unconditionally.

Of course, we always need to carefully look at our own role in difficult situations and take full ownership of where we’ve contributed to it going ‘wrong’. But in some cases, it’s not about us. Sometimes just by being yourself, you will trigger reactions in someone else because of emotional pain they’ve accumulated in their own life.

In Michael Brown’s book The Presence Process, he describes the difference between ‘reacting’ and ‘responding’. Reacting is when you retaliate with anger or drama. Responding is when you simply notice what’s happening, observe, and then take the appropriate measures. Perhaps you need to find better ways to communicate with this person, or have stronger boundaries with them in future. Or maybe you need to find a way to step back and create some loving distance. But before you decide anything, you’ll need to remove yourself from the situation entirely, so you can process what’s happened and figure out the appropriate response.

It’s very difficult to remain unaffected in the presence of someone else’s anger or passive-aggressive behaviors that are directed towards you.

One of the keys to enjoying life to its fullest and experiencing lasting happiness is our ability to maintain inner peace, even in the face of challenging or hurtful situations. Find out how to cultivate this life-changing ability in this article #innerpeace #peace #relationships #painfulrelationships #conflictresolution #selflove #selfcare #innerchild #innerchildwork #healing #emotionalhealing

Learning to be peaceful and non-reactive in the face of negativity and drama is the biggest gift you can give yourself and others.

 

Rather than adding to the drama, you’re able to diffuse potentially difficult situations. You can always tell when you’re in the presence of someone who feels very comfortable in their own skin, right? They exude a kind of peace and tranquility that’s infectious and lovely to be around.

 

They make us feel good about ourselves, because they feel good about themselves.

 

And how do we get to the point where we feel really good about ourselves? It’s an ongoing process that we’ll find ourselves working on our whole lives if we’re committed to the process of cultivating inner peace. There are many different techniques and therapies available for helping us heal our emotional wounds and develop genuine self-love. The process I describe below is often referred to as working with your ‘Inner Child’ and has been the most powerful exercise I’ve found in my own life to help liberate me from my own triggers and patterns. Next time you feel hurt by someone else’s behaviours, try these simple yet powerful steps:

 

How to Comfort Your Inner Child to Develop Greater Levels of Inner Peace in 7 Steps

 

Step 1: Remove Yourself From the Situation

If someone has just done something that feels hurtful or unfair, avoid reacting immediately (if you can) and take a deep breath. Feel the emotion rising within you and try to sense where and what the feeling is. Is it sadness? Is it anger? Is it in your chest? Or in your solar plexus? Or your gut? Try to breathe into the feeling and be with it for a moment. This is hard if someone else’s behaviour takes you by surprise and you’re triggered into a default response. If you’ve reacted, don’t worry. Find a way to excuse yourself as quickly as possible and give yourself some space and time to process what’s just happened.

 

One of the keys to enjoying life to its fullest and experiencing lasting happiness is our ability to maintain inner peace, even in the face of challenging or hurtful situations. Find out how to cultivate this life-changing ability in this article #innerpeace #peace #relationships #painfulrelationships #conflictresolution #selflove #selfcare #innerchild #innerchildwork #healing #emotionalhealing

Step 2: Name the Feelings You’re Experiencing

Find a quiet spot as quickly as possible and close your eyes. Try to sit with the emotion that’s been triggered in you. If you can, try to name the feeling. Sometimes just naming the feeling can be very liberating. Say it out loud: “I feel so hurt” or “I feel so let down” or “I feel so angry” or “This really hurts, here in my heart”. This step is powerful because as the saying goes, “You have to feel it, to heal it.” 

 

Step 3: When Have You Felt This Feeling Before?

Try to recall when you’ve felt this feeling before. Perhaps it was recently or perhaps it was a long time ago. Go back as far as you can and try to recall your earliest memory of this feeling. For example, I have a pattern of feeling hurt if I feel I’m being ‘left out’ of certain situations. When I sat with this feeling of being left out, I was able to trace it back to many situations that I experienced with my two sisters as I was growing up, when it felt as though they were excluding me. My earliest memory was when I was about five years old.

If you can only remember a recent situation, that’s OK. With time you’ll be able to access your earlier memories. But most psychologists agree that all large emotional triggers we feel now are caused by an original ‘wounding’ event that happened once or multiple times in your youth. And this pattern will keep surfacing in other lives, through other people, until we recognise and resolve the emotional pain attached to the original wound.

 

Step 4: How Did Your Younger Self Feel When it First Happened?

Bring that original or earlier event to mind and picture your younger self sitting in front of you. How ist that young self feeling? Sad? Hurt? Disappointed? Angry? Ashamed? Humiliated? Try to tap into all the feelings and see yourself feeling them. When I first tapped into mine, I could see my younger self sitting on her own, sobbing with sadness, big tears rolling down her cheeks, shoulders heaving up and down.

 

Step 5: Wrap Your Younger Self Up in Unconditional Love and Acceptance

Now in your mind, wrap your younger self in your arms and cuddle him/her as you would your own child. Tell them you’re here for them and you understand how they’re feeling. Tell them it’s OK to feel the way they do. Hold them in your arms as long as you need to for the strong emotion to pass.

 

Step 6: Remind Your Younger Self of Their Perfection, Worthiness, and Wholeness.

Now, remind your younger self of all their positive qualities. Remind them that they’re perfect, whole and complete just as they are. Do this several times, or as many times as you need. Stay with your inner child as long as you need to, and when you feel ready, let them know you’re going now, but that they can call on you anytime they need some love and attention.

 

Step 7: Take Some Deep Breaths and Complete the Meditation.

Open your eyes, take a few deep breaths. You have just conversed with and comforted your inner child. Know that you can do this every time you feel hurt or triggered. Do it as often as you need to.

One of the keys to enjoying life to its fullest and experiencing lasting happiness is our ability to maintain inner peace, even in the face of challenging or hurtful situations. Find out how to cultivate this life-changing ability in this article #innerpeace #peace #relationships #painfulrelationships #conflictresolution #selflove #selfcare #innerchild #innerchildwork #healing #emotionalhealing

The Inner Child technique is one of a number of important tools and techniques to help yourself cultivate self-love and acceptance. To help you on your own path of greater self-love and acceptance, there are a number of other techniques and ideas you can implement. I suggest that you also read these related blog articles:

There are also several great resources and courses I would also recommend:

  • Bethany Webster’s 7 week course “Heal the Mother Wound” which can also be applied to healing any other relationship in your life, and does not involve the other person – this is an inside job, with powerful effects on your life and your ability to stay grounded in self-love and acceptance.
  • Claire Zammit’s 7 week course Feminine PowerThis course was life changing for me and a huge turning point in my ability to make peace with my past, to embrace who I am and to start creating the future I love.

 

Books – these books will help you immensely on your journey to greater self-love:

  • Homecoming: Reclaiming and championing your inner child – John Bradshaw
  • Healing the shame that binds you – John Bradshaw
  • Healing the child within: Discovery and recovery for adult children of dysfunctional families – Charles Whitfield
  • Inner bonding – Becoming a loving adult to your inner child, Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
And finally, if you need help in discovering your ‘true path’ – the work or vocation that makes you want to jump out of bed each and every morning – please claim your FREE copy of my E-Book PATHFINDING: HOW TO FIND YOUR UNIQUE PATH AND PURPOSE.

In service to helping you live your brightest life,
Katie De Jong, Ph.D
Global Career Coach for Thriving Professionals
Inspired Careers International
katie@katiedejong.com
www.katiedejong.com
Finding Your Inner Compass: The Most Powerful Guidance You’ll Ever Need is Right There in Your Heart

Finding Your Inner Compass: The Most Powerful Guidance You’ll Ever Need is Right There in Your Heart

Finding your inner compass: The most powerful guidance you'll ever need is right there in your heart. #innerguidance #innerwisdom #innerGPS #listentoyourheart #livefromyourheart #followyourheart #meditation #stillness #mindfulness #presence #heartwisdom

If you’re feeling stuck or confused about a particular life challenge, it’s easy to feel even more confused when you start looking for answers, because everyone has a different opinion about what you ‘should’ do.

 

Friends and family have their own opinions based on their perspective and life experience, and well-intentioned people will offer you their advice if given the chance. It’s in our nature to want to help others when they open up about their struggles. But the problem is that you can end up feeling confused and completely unsure about what to do if you don’t take the time to access the one-and-only truly reliable source of guidance – your inner compass.

One of the most powerful things my counselor said to me back during my ‘dark night of the soul’ – the term I use to refer to my period of extremely challenging and difficult circumstances in my mid-thirties – was this:

 

“You need to stop seeking the answers outside of yourself and realise that you have them right there inside you.”

 

The problem was, by the time I started seeing my counselor, I’d strayed so far from my true self and become so disconnected from my own inner guidance, that I had no idea how to access the answers that I apparently had within me. I’d spent my life people-pleasing and trying to live up to the expectations of others – I didn’t know how to access my inner knowing.

And I know that this is true for most of us. As we’re growing up, we’re taught not to rely too heavily on our own gut instincts, but rather to trust the advice from our parents and older people in our environment, because they’ve lived longer and therefore know better. And if we feel a strong urge to move in a certain direction, often the people around us make us question the decision, so it’s easy to start doubting ourselves and our own judgment. And when we become disconnected from our own inner knowing, we’re rudder-less and anchor-less – flapping about in open seas in the wind.

 

If you’ve become disconnected from your own inner guidance, the good news is that you can reconnect to it – and most importantly, with time, learn to trust it.

 

Listening to my own inner guidance is an ongoing process and something I have to work on constantly, but the good thing is that the more you practice connecting to your own inner guidance, the stronger the ‘knowing’ becomes and the more automatic and second-nature it becomes. It really is the only way to make good decisions.

Below I’m going to share with you the process that my counselor suggested I use to reconnect to my inner guidance. It takes less than ten minutes a day, and it works.

 

What is Your ‘Inner Compass’?


Finding your inner compass: The most powerful guidance you'll ever need is right there in your heart. #innerguidance #innerwisdom #innerGPS #listentoyourheart #livefromyourheart #followyourheart #meditation #stillness #mindfulness #presence #heartwisdomYour Inner Compass is synonymous with your inner wisdom, intuition, inner GPS – whatever you like to call it. It’s your true essence; the part of you that is all-knowing, all-powerful, creative, loving, and limitless – connected to the infinite part of you. It’s not limited by fear, anxiety, or self-doubt. It knows the path of your fullest expression.

 

Connecting with your inner compass brings you into alignment with your highest and most fully-expressed potential.

 

The trouble is, when life is busy and chaotic, you’re not able to hear the gentle guidance constantly coming from within, particularly if you’re not paying attention to the signs. To hear your inner guidance, you need to have a specific intention to converse with it. And then you need to create enough space in your life to be in a receptive state, to receive its guidance. It speaks to you during those peaceful, contemplative moments when the hyperactive mind is quiet enough for it to be heard.

 

An over-busy mind drowns out anything that your inner guidance might be trying to whisper to you. You need to get quiet and find ways to cultivate stillness inside.

 

You might not always like the guidance you get. Maybe it doesn’t fit within the picture of where your ego wants to go – the part of you that’s bound up in expectations of others, or the image you want to project to others. The guidance might push you out of your comfort zone and require you to stretch and grow in ways that feel uncomfortable. But your inner wisdom is never wrong. It will always strive to bring your outer world into alignment with your authentic desires, your personal truth, and your true priorities.

 

How to Connect with Your Inner Compass

 

The following meditation is the fastest way I know to connect to your own inner compass. I give all credit for this process to my mentor Gina Maria Mele who introduced me to this specific process. It’s saved me countless times.

1. Sit quietly with your eyes closed (I prefer sitting because then you’re less likely to fall asleep!). Put your hands on your belly and take deep, slow breaths through your nose, all the way down into your belly. Feel your hands move in and out as you breathe. Breathe as long as it takes to feel your body and mind relax. Keep focusing all your attention on the breath.

Finding your inner compass: The most powerful guidance you'll ever need is right there in your heart. #innerguidance #innerwisdom #innerGPS #listentoyourheart #livefromyourheart #followyourheart #meditation #stillness #mindfulness #presence #heartwisdom2. Bring your attention to your chest. Feel it rise and fall with each breath in and out. Do this until you feel all your awareness in your chest. You can even try to feel your heart beating if this feels right for you.

3. Think of a time in your life when you felt real joy, love, and/or happiness. Maybe it was holding your first puppy? Your first kiss? Holding your baby in your arms for the first time? When you finally visited a place you’ve always wanted to go? Think of any experience that invokes strong feelings of joy and love.

4. Take yourself back into that experience and re-live it in your mind. Remember how it felt, how it sounded, how it looked, how it felt. Really take yourself back there and feel all the feelings and sensations you felt in that moment.

5. As you sink into those feelings, imagine a big white light radiating outwards from your chest, up to 1-2 meters around you.

6. As you hold the happy memory in your thoughts, bring this white light all the way up to about a meter above your head. As you breathe deeply, now bring it down to about a metre below your feet and all around you, until you’re completely surrounded by a large bubble of white light. You may not be able to visualise this and instead just feel it (depending on your dominant sensory mode).

7. As you sit in the memory of your experience in your bubble of white light, bring your focus back to your chest and ask a question that you really want to know the answer to. For example, “What should I do in this situation?”, or What do I really want?” or “What is my unique gift to give to the world?”, or “What steps can I take right now that are in alignment with my highest truth?. Ask whatever question is most relevant to you right now.

8. Sit quietly and wait for any images, sounds or feelings to come to you. Don’t force anything, just sit quietly and listen in an open, receptive mode. If nothing comes, that’s OK too. It will come later. If your mind drifts, bring it gently back to your question and be open and receptive to any guidance.

Sit in this state for as long as you need. Enjoy the experience. You have just connected with your heart. You just felt its energy.

 

The act of connecting to feelings of joy, happiness, and love while focusing on the area around your chest is the fastest way I know to connect with your heart and receive its guidance.

 

If nothing comes during the meditation itself, rest assured that it will come to you in some way as you go about your business in the next few days or weeks.

Finding your inner compass: The most powerful guidance you'll ever need is right there in your heart. #innerguidance #innerwisdom #innerGPS #listentoyourheart #livefromyourheart #followyourheart #meditation #stillness #mindfulness #presence #heartwisdom

You may not notice anything different initially, but if you commit to doing this for 5-10 minutes every day, you’ll notice your life starting to shift in a subtle but very tangible way.

 

You’ll start receiving insights seemingly out of nowhere. You’ll start feeling more optimistic, inspired and joyful. You may suddenly just feel a lot clearer about where you want to go. Or you may notice certain relationships are easier and less strained, and you may notice you feel more compassion.

 

 

If you take the time to do this visualisation regularly, you’ll notice that you start feeling a gradual reconnection to your true essence and an emergence of real clarity. Take the time to slow down and hear your inner whispers. You won’t be disappointed.

If you’d like help in identifying that unique calling that’s yours to live, be sure to download my free eBook PATHFINDING: HOW TO FIND YOUR UNIQUE PATH AND PURPOSE and learn all the tips and strategies you need to build a life you truly love.

If you're sitting on the fence about whether to quit your day job to pursue your heart's calling, these 5 reasons may be just what you need to make the decision to break free and follow your heart #ratrace #quityourdayjob #careerchange #career #careertransition #motivation #followyourdreams #findyourpurpose #purpose #liveyourdreams #dreambelieveachieve #inspiration

In service to helping you live your fullest and brightest life,

Katie De Jong, Ph.D
Global Career Coach for Thriving Professionals
Inspired Careers International
katie@katiedejong.com
The Gift in the Struggle: How to Find Your Purpose in the Pattern of Your Most Difficult Challenges

The Gift in the Struggle: How to Find Your Purpose in the Pattern of Your Most Difficult Challenges

How to Find Your Purpose in the Pattern of Your Most Difficult Struggles. The questions I explain in this article were the missing piece that I had been seeking in my role as a mentor who helps people find their true professional path and purpose. If you need help discovering your purpose, I urge you to try them out. #purpose #passion #followyourheart #findyourpurpose #findyourpassion #calling #truecalling #purposefulliving #whisperingheartAre you still trying to find your professional purpose? Try these powerful questions – they may just give you the answers you need.

 

Recently I learned about a powerful set of questions from the visionary thought leader Jeffrey van Dyk, a man who’s on a mission to help people change the world through business and entrepreneurship. These questions felt like the missing piece that I had been seeking in my role as a mentor who helps people find their true professional path and purpose. Those of you who know my work will already know that I believe there are four main pieces to discovering your purpose as shown below.

How to Find Your Purpose in the Pattern of Your Most Difficult Struggles. The questions I explain in this article were the missing piece that I had been seeking in my role as a mentor who helps people find their true professional path and purpose. If you need help discovering your purpose, I urge you to try them out. #purpose #passion #followyourheart #findyourpurpose #findyourpassion #calling #truecalling #purposefulliving #whisperingheart

I have in-depth techniques to help people get clear on their True Nature, and their Natural Genius, and it is not usually too difficult to figure out what people will gladly pay for. But I was missing a powerful technique to help people uncover their passion. Of course, there are the usual questions such as “What triggers an emotional response in you when you’re watching a movie, or hearing the news?” Questions like that can usually give a good indication of what someone is passionate about. But I didn’t yet have a technique that could help people drill down into the specifics of their particular passion, and how that relates to their purpose.

 

Until I discovered Jeffrey’s questions.

 

His questions are a powerful way to either confirm that you’re on the right path or to help you get clearer on the specific mission that you feel called to fulfill in this lifetime. Jeffrey’s approach requires you to look at the ’emotional wounds’ that you’ve suffered over the course of your life so far. This may seem like a strange place to start looking. But it just happens to be the approach that brings the most powerful insight to people in the search for their unique purpose.

The big underlying assumption – which I believe is the magic key – is this:

 

The one thing that you have struggled with the most in your life is the one thing that you are most qualified – and most passionate about – giving back through your work.

 

The other underlying assumption is that if you’re someone who feels as though you have a specific ‘calling’ to fulfill, it means that you care about your contribution to the world. You’re not just concerned about money or status or image. You feel as though there must be some way that you can contribute your unique gifts and talents in a way that is meaningful and impactful, and allows you to make a positive difference.

When you discover the nature of your largest emotional wound, it’s enlightening and empowering, because most often this is the one thing that you want to help other people with. You feel passionate about preventing other people from experiencing the same pain that you went through. In order to understand Jeffrey’s approach, we first need to understand the answer to the question:

 

What is an ’emotional wound’?

 

We’ve all been wounded in some way over the course of our lifetimes, despite the good intentions of our parents or caregivers who tried to protect and nurture us. You may have experienced an acute wound (in the form of the death of a sibling or loved one for example, or physical or emotional abuse) or an experiential wound that was not intended by anyone to cause pain, but nevertheless caused you emotional pain, and caused you to take on certain behaviours to protect yourself into the future.

As painful as these wounds were (and still are for many of us), you can choose to view these wounds as sacred because in some way they changed who you are at a core level. They taught you valuable lessons and forced you to develop certain positive qualities. And they contain the seeds of your unique purpose.

 

Allow me to introduce you to Jeffrey’s process.

 

Follow these steps in order to uncover your specific purpose.

  1. Write down the top 6 – 8  emotional wounds you experienced as a child. This could be anything from “My best friend moved to another town” or “My Dad never wanted to see me” or “A mean boy at school called me names” – or anything at all that stands out in your memory as causing some kind of pain to you as a child.
  2. Next, write down the top 6 – 8 wounds that come to mind during your adult years. Remember, these could be acute experiences or long-standing patterns (e.g. “No one understood me”).
  3. When you’ve finished, reflect on all the wounds you’ve written down. You might begin to notice that there’s a predominant theme running through them. Not all wounds will fall under this theme, but many will relate to it. Try to see if you can find one thread that links the majority of the wounds together.
  4. Once you’ve been able to identify a theme running through the emotional wounds, try to answer the following questions.

How to Find Your Purpose in the Pattern of Your Most Difficult Struggles. The questions I explain in this article were the missing piece that I had been seeking in my role as a mentor who helps people find their true professional path and purpose. If you need help discovering your purpose, I urge you to try them out. #purpose #passion #followyourheart #findyourpurpose #findyourpassion #calling #truecalling #purposefulliving #whisperingheart

6 Questions to Help You Uncover Your Unique Purpose.

 

1.       What happened? – What happened to you that made you feel so sad or wounded? Was there a common theme in these experiences?

2.       How did you feel? – How did these experiences make you feel? Try to find the words to describe it.

3.       What did you crave? – In those moments when you felt so wounded, what was it that you craved to be given? Or how did you crave to be treated?

4.       What did you do? – How did you start behaving to try to give yourself the things that you were craving?

5.       How did you develop as a result? – How did those experiences change you and what kind of person did you become as a result?

6. How might your answers to these questions relate to your unique path and purpose?

 

To help you along, here are the answers to my questions that helped me get closer to understanding my purposeful path.

 

Here’s how I found my professional ‘purpose’ in the pattern of my life struggles.

 

WHAT HAPPENED?

I felt pressured to walk a path that didn’t feel authentic for me – Science & Engineering. I loved writing, languages, and theatre and I knew that those were my natural gifts. But I felt very pressured to excel in technical subjects because the people in my environment only valued those subjects. As I entered University I felt I had to follow a technical academic path in order to be loved and approved of as a person. I ended up spending almost 15 years in a career that was not aligned with my authentic desires, my natural skills or my true nature. As a result, I ended up feeling empty, unfulfilled and spent many years feeling lost and off-track. My health and relationships suffered severely as a result.

How to Find Your Purpose in the Pattern of Your Most Difficult Struggles. The questions I explain in this article were the missing piece that I had been seeking in my role as a mentor who helps people find their true professional path and purpose. If you need help discovering your purpose, I urge you to try them out. #purpose #passion #followyourheart #findyourpurpose #findyourpassion #calling #truecalling #purposefulliving #whisperingheartHOW DID I FEEL?

I felt pressured, trapped, stressed, and anxious when I was younger. I didn’t enjoy learning all the difficult technical subjects at school and University, they were a struggle for me. Success in these areas required hard work and sacrifice. I had to ignore my heart, which wanted to be immersed in creative pursuits. During my professional years as a corporate consulting engineer, I felt inauthentic, misaligned and as though my true nature and natural genius were suppressed. I felt unseen for who I was and simply not heard. I did not feel loved for who I am – my authentic self – at my core. I felt disconnected from my truth and my essence.

WHAT DID I CRAVE?

I craved approval and permission to be who I am. I craved to be loved, seen and heard as my true, authentic self. I yearned to follow my heart and pursue things that bring me alive and allow me to unleash my natural gifts in service to others. I craved joy, freedom, abundance and full creative expression.

HOW DID I DEVELOP?

In order to fulfill my longing to be seen, valued, and loved, I embarked on a lifetime of over-achieving to gain the approval I desperately wanted. I became something that in my heart I knew was not me. I became a wonderful actor, pretending to have it all together and to be living a successful life. Sometimes I even fooled myself. I over-achieved at the expense of my health and relationships. I believed life was a struggle and meant to be difficult. I neglected myself and my needs, I self-abandoned, all to try to be something I am not. This had disastrous effects on my emotional and physical well-being and my relationships suffered terribly too. Eventually, I was brought to my knees and I was forced to realise that no-one was benefiting from me living an inauthentic life. I needed to give up the false pretenses, let go of everything that felt misaligned and instead tune into my heart to follow my authentic desires. When I gave myself permission to do this, everything changed.

 

How to Find Your Purpose in the Pattern of Your Most Difficult Struggles. The questions I explain in this article were the missing piece that I had been seeking in my role as a mentor who helps people find their true professional path and purpose. If you need help discovering your purpose, I urge you to try them out. #purpose #passion #followyourheart #findyourpurpose #findyourpassion #calling #truecalling #purposefulliving #whisperingheart

HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO MY UNIQUE PATH AND PURPOSE?

I feel called to help people find their own authentic voice and to find a way to bring their unique gifts and talents into the world in a way that has a positive impact and feels deeply fulfilling. I help them find work that allows them to express themselves fully. I long for everyone to feel seen, heard and appreciated for the beautiful being they are, and to help them bring their whole self into the career and into the workplace.

 

I feel called to help people let go of everything they’re not and find a way to embrace everything that they are.

 

Do you get the idea? I hope so. If you have half an hour to invest in trying out this beautiful technique, have a go and let me know what you think! I’d love to hear whether you found this useful for you.

If you’d like help in identifying your unique calling, please be sure to download my free E-Book PATHFINDING: How to find and start living your unique calling and learn all the tips and strategies you need to build a life you truly love.

how to find your purpose

In service to helping you live your brightest life,

Katie De Jong, Ph.D
Global Career Coach for Thriving Professionals
Inspired Careers International
katie@katiedejong.com
www.katiedejong.com

The Art of Being Yourself: 5 Ways to Embrace Authenticity as Your Way of Life

The Art of Being Yourself: 5 Ways to Embrace Authenticity as Your Way of Life

Discover The Art of Being Yourself - the ability to live in full alignment with your personal truth and to live authentically. Discover the joy and freedom of embracing authenticity as your way of life #authenticity #beyourself #authentic #shineyourlight #selflove #selfawareness #celebrateyou #innerpeace #personalgrowth #healing #personaldevelopment I spent the first 35 years of my life trying to live up to the expectations of others, trying to be what I thought others wanted me to be.

 

I struggled and pushed myself relentlessly through studies and a career that wasn’t aligned with my natural strengths, but rather what I thought would win me the validation and approval I desperately craved. I became a master of shape-shifting, able to adapt myself to the perceived expectations of those around me.

Up until my mid-thirties, I played small and dimmed my light, trying to fit into groups who couldn’t see or appreciate the real me. I didn’t feel as though the world could or would accept the real me.

 

It didn’t feel ‘safe’ to be me, and if the truth be told, I didn’t know how to be me.

 

And while I’ve come a long way since those days, I still need to very consciously choose to be real. I often catch myself not saying or doing something because I’m worried about how it could be perceived. And while I want more than anything to be true to myself and my values, in reality, it’s not always that easy.

 

We’ve been conditioned by our culture and society to believe that it’s more important to be liked and to fit in than it is to be who we truly are.

 

Discover The Art of Being Yourself - the ability to live in full alignment with your personal truth and to live authentically. Discover the joy and freedom of embracing authenticity as your way of life #authenticity #beyourself #authentic #shineyourlight #selflove #selfawareness #celebrateyou #innerpeace #personalgrowth #healing #personaldevelopment Why do we find it so hard to be incredibly proud of our unique personality, warts and all? Why is it so difficult to shine our light brightly and show everyone the perfectly imperfect person that we are? How do we courageously and unapologetically be ourselves? These are questions I’ve pondered over the past several years on my journey to living more closely in alignment with my personal truth.

Below are five guiding principles that I know will help you if you’re serious about walking the path of genuine authenticity.

 

5 Guiding Principles of Authenticity

 

1. Cultivate Genuine Self-Awareness

‘Self-awareness’ is the ability to see yourself clearly, to understand who you are, how others see you, and how you fit into the world. It’s the conscious knowledge of your own personality, character, feelings, and individuality.

 

Self-awareness is the first and most critical step for embracing authenticity as your way of life.

 

In a recent study conducted by Dr. Tascha Eurich, her team interviewed thousands of people over several years and tested their level of self-awareness. Her study showed that there are two types of people:

  1. Those who think they’re self-aware (95% of all people).
  2. Those who actually are (10-15% of all people).

That’s a staggering statistic! Because it means that around 85-90% of us are either lying to ourselves, in denial or just not seeing ourselves clearly. There’s a reason for this: Genuine self-awareness is not easy to develop. It requires a willingness to be brutally honest with yourself, to acknowledge and observe everything about yourself, including your blind spots; confronting the parts of yourself that you don’t particularly like or would rather avoid – you know, those bits that we might be a bit ashamed of, but nonetheless form a part of who we are and how we think and behave.

Being aware of your blind spots and understanding them is the first step in being able to transform them. And they’re called blind spots for a reason – we can’t see them. So we need others to help bring them into our awareness. That’s why 360-Degree Reviews are so powerful in the workplace, and why we need to request honest feedback from others about ourselves. For tips and strategies on exactly how to cultivate this essential quality of genuine self-awareness, check out my article The Gift of Self-Awareness That Will Make You Soar in Business and Life.

 

Discover The Art of Being Yourself - the ability to live in full alignment with your personal truth and to live authentically. Discover the joy and freedom of embracing authenticity as your way of life #authenticity #beyourself #authentic #shineyourlight #selflove #selfawareness #celebrateyou #innerpeace #personalgrowth #healing #personaldevelopment 2. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

If you’re used to fitting in with the group or you don’t like to ‘rock the boat’, it can feel very uncomfortable expressing your true opinions or taking a stand to live in alignment with what feels true for you. It can be really scary to put your real self out into the world. The first time I wrote a blog post I experienced an enormous level of fear and to be honest, I still do each time I publish something that reveals something personal or vulnerable about myself. There will always be people who love and appreciate what we have to say, and there will always be some who dislike or despise it – and that’s OK.

 

But if you spend your life being fearful of being real, you’ll live in the shadows of your true self and miss out on the joy of true authenticity.

 

The magic happens outside of your comfort zone. Be prepared to get uncomfortable if you’re serious about being authentic.

 

3. Express Yourself Freely

Authentic self-expression is one of the most fundamental needs and joys of being human. Expressing yourself freely is the cornerstone of authenticity. It means speaking up about your views when appropriate and having the courage to challenge others respectfully when you disagree. It means having the courage to express ‘the real you’ through your work, appearance, activities, home design and any other aspect of life that is an expression of you. When you’re willing to passionately and boldly show up and express your true self and your true ideas and beliefs, you tap into your authentic power. And you become an inspiration and a positive role model to those around you who may also be longing to express themselves more freely.

Look to role models of authentic self-expression such as Ellen DeGeneres, RuPaul, and Elizabeth Gilbert who went against the ‘norms’ to be unapologetically themselves – and received considerable backlash because of it – but now enjoy the freedom and joy of living their truth.

 

4. Cultivate Genuine Self-Love

Imagine if you could feel so secure and in love with who you are, that you no longer see other peoples’ opinions or behaviours as a reflection of your own self-worth or value. You’re so wrapped up in your own self-love and aligned with your own truth that you’re completely unaffected by how people respond to you.

One of my favourite teachers Panache Desai talks about the way we see someone when we’re head-over-heels in love with them. Remember how delicious it feels when you first fall in love? Or when you meet a new friend who you think is just amazing? Even if friends or family try to warn you about this person, you don’t take any of it on board because you just refuse to see anything bad about them. Imagine if you could feel thay way about yourself? That’s the kind of radical self-love you need to cultivate if you’re going to live your truth freely.

Panache has a great short video called You’re Not Here to Be Liked in which he says:

 

“If you’re trying to be liked, you’re suffering. Public opinion and approval are inconsequential when you’re living your truth.” – Panache Desai

 

Appreciating yourself is a wonderful way to strengthen your ability to express yourself authentically. When you’re no longer motivated by the approval of others, now you are finally free to express yourself freely and unapologetically. For strategies on how to to develop this essential quality of genuine self-love, check out my article Peaceful Heart: 7 Powerful Steps to Cultivate True Inner Peace.

 

5. Celebrate Who You Are

When you’re living authentically, you’re not only in love with you who you are and feel at peace with yourself, but you actively celebrate your uniqueness and perfect imperfection. Focus on the beauty and originality that you bring to the world by being yourself. Celebrate the wonderful person you are, and forgive yourself lovingly for the areas where you think you fall short. You’re only human after all. We all are. Embrace your imperfection and celebrate everything about you!

 

Mike Robbins suggests in his book Be Yourself, Everybody Else is Taken that being authentic includes the following elements:

 

Being authentic means you…

 

  • Live true to your values, expressing yourself, taking risks, focusing on what matters.
  • When you have a conflict with someone, you talk with him/her about it directly.
  • When you need help or support, you reach out and ask for it.
  • You know what matters most in your life, and you live consistently according to your priorities.
  • When you don’t understand something, you admit it and ask for clarification.
  • When someone challenges or disagrees with you, you don’t back down if you know it’s your own personal truth.
  • You are not strongly influenced by the opinions of those around you – your heart is your most important guiding compass.
  • You usually feel safe speaking up and sharing your true feelings, even if they’re negative.
  • You don’t worry about making mistakes and letting people down – you certainly don’t let that stop you doing anything.
  • You are aware of your strengths and feel grateful for them.
  • When you make a mistake, you have compassion for yourself.
  • When you don’t want to do something, you say no.
  • You go after what you want and you’re willing to take risks to get it.
  • You’re willing to admit when you’re wrong and apologise accordingly.
  • You embrace all your feelings, even the ones you don’t like.

 

And here’s something that feels really liberating to do! Robbins suggests that if you’re serious about stepping up and being authentic, why not write a letter to the old you and tell them you’re moving on – a sort of break up letter to your old, less-than-real self. It can go something like this.

 

The Break-Up LDiscover The Art of Being Yourself - the ability to live in full alignment with your personal truth and to live authentically. Discover the joy and freedom of embracing authenticity as your way of life #authenticity #beyourself #authentic #shineyourlight #selflove #selfawareness #celebrateyou #innerpeace #personalgrowth #healing #personaldevelopment etter – This is Where I Leave Me

 

(I’ve written my own specific parts of Robbin’s recommended letter in italics below. If you’re tired of playing small and hiding your true self from the world, write out this letter and substitute your own words in the italic sections!)

Dear Fake Me,

It wasn’t all bad. We had a good run. I know you were trying to protect me when you kept me from admitting that I wanted to break free from the life I had created for myself, that I wasn’t living in alignment with my heart and soul, and that I wanted to make radical changes in my life. And I know you were trying to protect me when you got me out of saying no to that voice in my head that really wanted to drop everything and follow my heart, which would have made life really uncomfortable. (Remember? We just quietly seethed inside instead. Good times!)

Plus, there were all those times we spent running around after other people, doing things we didn’t really want to be doing, to please others. And you stopped me from following my heart, by making sure I was too afraid. That’s what’s really held us together all this time, you know? Fear. Of being seen. Of being disliked. Of not being loved for who I amOf not making my parents proud. Of not being seen as ‘successful’.

But now – and I hope you won’t take this personally – we’ve grown apart. Remember that time you said I couldn’t show my real self to the world? That’s it’s not safe to be me, fully, that’s it’s not safe to shine my light … even though I wanted to so much? I always thought you were looking out for me. But really, you were controlling me. I was too scared to tell the difference.

And now here we are.

We’re through. I’m ready to start speaking up. I’m ready to be the version of me that shares and shows what’s REALLY going on inside of me, that never says or does anything to try to appease others. I’m ready to stop being inauthentic and start being myself fully, brilliantly, as flawed as I am, in all my imperfect glory. I don’t want to keep my feelings bottled up when I’m with my family and friends, and when I feel as though someone will be uncomfortable with what I have to say, and every time someone tries to shame me.

But most of all, I plan never again to fake it – to pretend I’m somebody I am not, or to pretend I’m OK with superficial, inauthentic conversations when really I just want to be real, and for everybody else to be real.

You served a purpose in my life, but we want different things. It’s not you, it’s that you’re not me.

So take care of yourself, you won’t hear from me again.

Signed,

THE REAL ME xxx

 

Wow – it feels so good to write that! I feel the power surging within me already. It feels amazing to take a stand for nothing less than becoming your true, authentic self.

So come on, let’s start with an intention to be real, genuine and unapologetically authentic. Are you in?

 

To read about my own personal journey of finding my own truth and authentic life path, check out my article Authentically me: My Journey of Coming Home to Myself.

 

In service to helping you live your fullest and brightest life,

Katie De Jong, Ph.D
Global Career Coach for Thriving Professionals
Inspired Careers International
katie@katiedejong.com
www.katiedejong.com
On the Topic of ‘Toxic People’ … and How to Make Sure You’re Not One of Them!

On the Topic of ‘Toxic People’ … and How to Make Sure You’re Not One of Them!

In this article I discuss the topic of 'toxic' people - the reasons behind their behaviour and the 7 shadow emotions that - if left unchecked - can cause all of us to behave in a toxic way if we're not aware of them. Find out how you can do the work to be a positive influence in the lives of others. #toxic #toxicpeople #shadow #shadowandlight #lightanddark #shadowwork #embracetheshadow #healing #personalgrowth #personaldevelopment #inspire #motivate #uplift #empowerIf you do a quick Google search on ‘toxic people’, the overwhelming advice you’ll find is to cut these people out of your life.

 

But that’s easier said than done in most cases, especially if these so-called ‘toxic’ people are family, colleagues or other people we live or work closely with. We’ve all been around those people who can leave us feeling drained or a bit ‘off’ after an encounter with them. Some people can leave us feeling agitated or annoyed or even just feeling really bad about ourselves.

The first thing to realise if you’re dealing with someone like this is:

 

Their behaviour towards you has nothing to do with you.

 

Psychotherapist and Life Coach Jodie Gale says “Often the person is deeply wounded and for whatever reason, they are not yet able to take responsibility for their wounding, their feelings, their needs and their subsequent problems in life” (click here to see the full article). So it’s not that these people are inherently toxic (no-one is inherently bad unless they’re a diagnosed sociopath) – they’re wounded. But the way they unconsciously act out their wounds towards others can be labeled ‘toxic’ because this behaviour can be hurtful and damaging to others.

 

‘Toxic’ people feel an unconscious need to bring others down to boost their own feelings of self-worth.

 

They’re usually completely unaware of their unconscious need to hurt others and ignorant of the fact that they do that because they don’t feel good about themselves. They will find ways to bring others down – intentionally or unintentionally – because it feels like the only way they can lift themselves ‘up’. And the effects on those around them can be damaging. Some of these people go to extraordinary lengths to hurt others as a way to make themselves feel better, which can be really painful if this person is a family member or someone who you thought was a ‘friend’.

 

The fact is these people don’t yet have enough self-awareness to take responsibility for their own negative feelings and unfulfilled needs, so they look to the outside to release their pent-up frustration.

 

If you happen to be the target of someone’s subversive, toxic behaviour, it’s quite likely that you trigger one of the following emotions in them.

 

In this article I discuss the topic of 'toxic' people - the reasons behind their behaviour and the 7 shadow emotions that - if left unchecked - can cause all of us to behave in a toxic way if we're not aware of them. Find out how you can do the work to be a positive influence in the lives of others. #toxic #toxicpeople #shadow #shadowandlight #lightanddark #shadowwork #embracetheshadow #healing #personalgrowth #personaldevelopment #inspire #motivate #uplift #empowerEnvy / Resentment / Bitterness

Perhaps you have or are something that they want to have or be. They may not even be aware of it; in their eyes you probably just ‘get their hackles up’, but underneath their irritation may be feelings of envy, resentment or bitterness that you have what they want but feel they can’t get.

 

Threat

You may threaten their position somehow. Perhaps they’ve worked hard to create feelings of safety and superiority (to cover up their feelings of inferiority), and you threaten this position in some way. If this is the case, they’ll need to hurt you to try to get you out of the way and to retain their sense of control.

 

Rejection

Perhaps they feel you aren’t paying them enough attention, or aren’t making them feel special enough, which triggers their own feelings of unworthiness. So they might try to hurt you back to make themselves feel better (even though you probably weren’t aware you hurt them in the first place).

 

The fact is, whatever the dark feelings are that you trigger within the other person, it’s up to them to take responsibility for these feelings and to do the inner work to clear them.

 

You’re simply acting as a mirror, reflecting back to them where they’re wounded and unhappy.

 

We all know how painful and unpleasant it is when we’re the target of someone’s toxic behaviour. That’s why it’s so important that each and every one of us have the courage to face our own ‘shadows’. By shadows I mean the not-so-nice parts inside of us, the dark and the ugly parts, the parts we would rather deny, disown or push underground. If we don’t face these dark parts of ourselves, own them and do the work to transform them, our darkness ‘oozes’ out towards other people in the form of toxic behaviour. And since you know how awful it is to be on the receiving end of that behaviour, you don’t want to be one yourself!

Mark Matousek (Author of Sex, Death, Enlightenment) talks about seven ‘shadows’ that hide our inner light, obscuring our pure and original essence of love and compassion. We’re all born as pure love; we know this to be true when we’re with a baby. We all love babies because they’re pure and not yet been wounded by life. Here are the 7 Shadows explained below.

 

The 7 Shadows That Hide Our Natural Essence of Love and Compassion

 

1.   Shame

Somehow in our childhood we’re all made to feel ashamed of something. I felt ashamed of my strawberry blonde hair as a child after someone called me a ‘carrot top’ in school. I was ashamed of the fact that I didn’t grow breasts until many years after my girlfriends did; and later I was ashamed of many of the reckless things I did in my teens when I was trying so hard to be cool and accepted. Many of us harbour shame but we don’t really know it.

When I first started seeing a therapist during a very difficult phase of my life many years ago, the first thing she said was “I can see you feel shame around many things”. My first reaction was “Shame? I don’t feel any shame”. But as she probed deeper, I started to cry as I realised just how much shame I had been holding onto. This was the first critical step in my own healing, to acknowledge my shame and to love and forgive myself for all these things I felt shame around – I’m only human after all. If you don’t recognise and release your own shame, it can unconsciously leak out onto others in the form of ‘toxic behaviours’.

 

In this article I discuss the topic of 'toxic' people - the reasons behind their behaviour and the 7 shadow emotions that - if left unchecked - can cause all of us to behave in a toxic way if we're not aware of them. Find out how you can do the work to be a positive influence in the lives of others. #toxic #toxicpeople #shadow #shadowandlight #lightanddark #shadowwork #embracetheshadow #healing #personalgrowth #personaldevelopment #inspire #motivate #uplift #empower2.   Rage

We’re told from a young age that anger and rage are bad emotions. We’re told, “Don’t get angry, it’s not nice”. But in fact, anger is a very necessary emotion that tells us where we feel our boundaries have been violated. It’s telling us something important about ourselves. Perhaps it’s telling you that you need more privacy, or that you need to articulate your boundaries more clearly, or that you need people to respect your needs.

If you feel angry about something that’s happened to you, what is the anger caused by?

 

Usually, there’s grief or sadness underneath the anger.

 

If we were all taught to listen to and honour our anger as children, and to ask what it’s trying to tell us, the world would be a different place. We wouldn’t be ashamed of this valuable emotion and we would know how to process it properly.

“It’s humbling to admit our anger. It gets us off our self-righteousness, off our soapboxes, to admit I have anger, I have shame, I have rage, I have greed and the rest of it. It makes us human. It brings us into contact with the rest of the human race. Compassion is to feel with the suffering of a person. If we don’t accept our own suffering, we can’t possibly have compassion for the suffering of others.”
– Mark Matousek

 

3.   Envy

Again, we’re told that we’re not supposed to feel envious, but instead appreciate what we have and be joyful for others. But again, envy is a helpful emotion that can teach us about what we really desire ourselves. If you feel envious of someone, it’s because they have something that you dearly want. Rather than become bitter and resentful towards that person, let it tell you where you desire things in your own life. And then take responsibility for creating those things in your own life. Envy is very useful for helping you understand how and where you want to improve things in your own life.

 

4.   Greed

Greed is another ‘shadow’ emotion that can cause you to act out in toxic ways, if left unacknowledged. If you feel insatiable in some areas of your life, Mark suggests “Ask yourself, why do you feel like you’re not enough or like there is never enough? Where do you feel like there is not enough in your life? Why when you get what you think you wanted, are you not satisfied? Why is that? What is that?”

That’s greed. Don’t judge yourself for it. Just acknowledge it, because what that greed is telling you is that your desire cannot be satisfied if it’s coming from external things.

 

True satisfaction has to come from within.

 

Unless you’re coming from a position of wholeness and sufficiency within yourself, greed will always be active in your life.” True fulfillment comes from knowing yourself deeply, from clearing your wounds and learning to love and accept yourself. It also comes from orienting yourself in service to others; becoming someone who gives rather than just takes. To be able to receive in life, we must also learn how to give.

 

In this article I discuss the topic of 'toxic' people - the reasons behind their behaviour and the 7 shadow emotions that - if left unchecked - can cause all of us to behave in a toxic way if we're not aware of them. Find out how you can do the work to be a positive influence in the lives of others. #toxic #toxicpeople #shadow #shadowandlight #lightanddark #shadowwork #embracetheshadow #healing #personalgrowth #personaldevelopment #inspire #motivate #uplift #empower5.   Lust

Most of us are afraid to even admit to feelings of lust. As Mark says, we’re terrified of lust because we believe that it’s stronger than we are, we’re scared of where it’s going to lead us. But if you can admit to your lust and try to understand what it’s telling you, you diffuse the power within it, and begin to see that it’s connected to passion, which is a wonderful, life-affirming power.

Mark says “Remember that passion is key to our own well-being and to our spiritual awakening. We need our passions. They’re part of what give our life meaning. It’s part of what gives us our humanity”.

 

6.    Fear

All of the above emotions are connected to fear in some way – fear that we aren’t enough, fear that we won’t have enough, fear that we’ll be consumed by our dark emotions. So we push them underground where they become toxic. Ask yourself, where is fear holding you back? Where is fear preventing you from fully enjoying your life? What are you afraid of in desiring what you truly want? Acknowledging your fears and embracing them, rather than suppressing them, is the only way to diffuse their power and to move back towards love. As my therapist used to always say:

 

“We can only ever act from fear or love. Choose love”.

 

7.    Grief

Another emotion that we often work hard to suppress is grief. Grief can be a beautiful thing if it isn’t pushed underground and subverted. It’s a precious emotion because as Mark says “it’s proof of your heart, it’s proof of your caring, and it’s proof of your compassion. The wound is proof of humanity”.

Inside most of our wounds, we find grief at some level. So ask yourself where you feel grief in your life. Where have you suppressed your grief so that it’s turned to sadness, bitterness or depression?

 

None of these 7 shadow emotions are ‘bad’. They become harmful when they’re denied, disowned or suppressed.

 

We all have these emotions; it’s part of the human experience. But instead of trying to push these bad feelings aside, we need to move towards them, embrace them, ask what they’re trying to tell us, and where we need to allow ourselves to heal. The more we try to ignore them and pretend they’re not there, the more they leak out unconsciously in toxic behaviours towards others, harming or hurting those we spend our lives with.

 

The next time you’re in a situation where someone has triggered a shadow emotion in you, pause for a moment and ask yourself “What is this emotion telling me”?

 

Which feeling has been triggered in you? Is there somewhere in your life you feel you need or want? Does this person trigger your own feelings of unworthiness? Where do you need to heal yourself so that you can feel more whole and peaceful?

It’s not easy navigating our own emotions. If you’re stuck in negative emotions triggered by someone else, reach out to someone who is trained to help in this area – a therapist, a coach or a healer. Heal the wounds that lie underneath your shadow emotions. Try not to lash out at others with your negative reactions. Otherwise, you run the risk of hurting others, perhaps someone you love.

 

You owe it to yourself, and to everyone in your life, to own your own shadow feelings, to process them and to take radical responsibility for creating your own happiness.

 

As a final note, when dealing with a toxic person, be sure to set and maintain healthy boundaries with this person. Don’t be afraid to say “No”. For more help on the topic of setting healthy boundaries, check out my article: Open Heart, Big Fence – 5 Strategies For Strong Boundaries in Life.

And finally, try to be a positive influence in the lives of others – that’s where you’ll find lasting, genuine happiness and fulfillment.

 

In service to helping you live your brightest life,

Katie De Jong, Ph.D
Global Career Coach for Thriving Professionals
Inspired Careers International
katie@katiedejong.com
www.katiedejong.com

Family Drama! Three Ways to Survive Those Dreaded Family Reunions

Family Drama! Three Ways to Survive Those Dreaded Family Reunions

Do you dread or look forward to your family reunions? If it's the latter, read on to find out three ways to make the experience more enjoyable for yourself. #familyreunions #difficultrelationships #familydrama no #stress no #conflicts #peace #family #selflove #selfcareFor many of us, Christmas and other festive celebrations can be a joyous occasion where we reunite with loved ones to celebrate, relax, unwind and enjoy each other’s company with good wine and good food in a relaxed atmosphere.

 

And yet for many of us, it can also be a time of dread and anxious anticipation about reuniting with certain family members with whom we have ‘strained’ relationships. We might have good intentions about staying positive and bright and to not let others knock us from our centre, but somehow in the presence of these family members, we find ourselves being triggered into all our old insecurities and behavioral patterns that we thought we’d left behind years ago. I guess that’s why the saying goes:

 

If you think you’re enlightened go spend a week with your family.
– Ram Dass

 

Very true. There’s nothing like a family reunion to show us where we have unhealed emotional pain.

Part of the challenge is that as family we can lock each other into boxes that no longer represent who we are and who we’ve become. The same old stories might get told over and over again (“When you were little you always ….[insert family story about how you were]…” – ugh). When those stories are still used as a definition of who we are, it feels restrictive and annoying because in reality we’ve moved on and grown so much since our childhood years. We’re not the same person we were back then.

Do you dread or look forward to your family reunions? If it's the latter, read on to find out three ways to make the experience more enjoyable for yourself. #familyreunions #difficultrelationships #familydrama no #stress no #conflicts #peace #family #selflove #selfcareAnd as family, we often ‘trigger’ each other into our old childhood wounds. At an unconscious level, we remember painful situations that occurred in the past, how a family member behaved towards us or how they made us feel, and those experiences are imprinted in our memories such that we can find it hard to perceive them now through a different lens. And the slightest thing can trigger us back into the original pain.

As a result of those past painful experiences, some of us ‘put up walls’ and create distance between each other as a means of protecting ourselves. We don’t want to put ourselves in the situation where we feel the same pain or bad feelings again, and as a consequence, we might find ourselves drifting further and further apart, to the point where we have only sporadic correspondence and know very little about each other’s lives. Then this emotional distance only makes the relationship even more difficult when we reunite.

In many cases, we experience ongoing patterns of bitterness, resentment, jealousy or judgment between different family members which makes the whole situation difficult to navigate.

 

It’s virtually impossible to have a light-hearted, flowing and joyful conversation when we have unresolved emotional pain standing in the way.

 

 

It’s different with family members with whom we share a close bond; those relationships in which we talk regularly, we share the details of our lives, the ups and the downs, we reach out to each other for support and advice and we connect with each other simply for the joy of it, for the love and connection it allows us to feel. As a result of this frequent and intimate contact we really know each other. Nothing we say or do can be misinterpreted because we know each other’s motivations and intentions.

Yet one encounter in a ‘strained’ family relationship can completely knock us off-centre, through a simple off-hand statement, joke or facial expression. This can immediately (and usually unconsciously) trigger us back into our old defence and behavior patterns, confirming the other person’s opinion that we’re still the same person we were at the time of past conflicts; in this way keeping each other locked in the old behaviours that led to the conflict in the first place.

The difficulty in strained family relationships is that at the time the original wound occurred in our relationship, we felt something fundamental about ourselves that was painful – perhaps “I’m unloved”, “I’m unworthy”, “I’m misunderstood” or “I’m a bad person”.  Then we perceive all future encounters with this family member through this filter, being sensitive to anything that might trigger those old feelings of separation and unworthiness, making it hard to rise above the situation and remain neutral or unaffected.

 

It can be a vicious cycle that leaves us feeling frustrated, misunderstood and deeply sad that we can’t move beyond the old wounds to a new place of understanding and compassion for each other.

 

So how do we gracefully navigate these strained relationships, in a way that’s beneficial to both parties, giving each other the possibility to experience a new way of being together that is kinder, more open-hearted and forgiving?

Here are my three suggestions to try this Christmas.

 

Do you look forward to or dread family reunions? If it's the latter, read on to find out three ways you can make the whole process more comfortable for yourself. #familyreunions #difficultrelationships #familydrama no #stress no #conflicts #peace #family #selflove #selfcare1. Fill Yourself Up with Self-Love.

The only way someone else can make you feel bad about yourself is if they trigger your own feelings of unworthiness and separation. If you know in your heart that you’re beautiful, lovable, loving, and loved, then nothing can make you feel otherwise – not even an uncomfortable family encounter. We all need to find a way to love and accept ourselves as we are – fully and wholly, including all our lovable faults, idiosyncrasies and imperfections. Only once we’re able to love ourselves unconditionally and fully, can we become immune to the triggers in uncomfortable family relationships. Unconditional love of ourselves means that nothing that anyone says or does can make us feel bad about ourselves. This pulls us out of the old cycle of engagement that creates more conflict. It becomes like ‘water off a duck’s back’. I provide more help and insight on this in my blog article Peaceful Heart: 7 Steps to Cultivate Deep and Lasting Inner Peace.

 

2. Acceptance.

Acceptance can take the pressure off the situation, making it easier for us to navigate the relationship. By acceptance, I mean accepting the fact that some relationships are as they are: difficult and challenging. And it’s OK not to have a perfect relationship with everyone in our family and life. We’re all different and we’re not going to have a close bond with everyone in our family. And perhaps it’s OK that some family members never understand or accept us. Perhaps they will never know us intimately or interpret our words or actions accurately, leaving us with the feeling that we can’t do or say anything right. Letting go of expectations that we will one day have a perfect relationship with this person might create space for a real opening and possibility for a new way of relating in the future if that’s part of our path together.

And shifting our own internal expectations of the relationship can shift the relationship itself. Acceptance also means letting go of judgment about the other person, which can be difficult, but it’s also critical for creating space for improvements in the relationship.

 

3. Allow Yourself to Feel the Pain, and When You’re Ready, in Time – Forgive.

I’ve always found forgiveness a tricky concept because too often we’re made to feel bad if we don’t forgive someone quickly and move on. But when I came across Colin Tipping’s process ‘Radical Forgiveness’, it shifted everything for me. I write all about Colin’s process in my article Struggling to Forgive? Try a Little Radical Forgiveness. Colin’s process explains that there are five steps that are necessary to move through the forgiveness process in a way that honors our own feelings, giving ample space and time to our feelings to allow ourselves the chance to heal and move forward.

 

Do you dread or look forward to family reunions? If it's the latter, read on to find out how you can make the whole experience more comfortable for yourself. #familyreunions #difficultrelationships #familydrama no #stress no #conflicts #peace #family #selflove #selfcareGenuine forgiveness is only possible once you’ve allowed yourself to truly feel the deep pain you felt and to honour and validate those feelings.

 

It’s not healthy to ignore or attempt to sweep those painful emotions under the carpet. That will only lead to superficial ‘forgiveness’ and you may find yourself still harboring resentment and bitterness that continues to harm the relationship.

Colin’s process also introduces the suggestion that perhaps this strained relationship has appeared in your life to help you heal a certain part of yourself or to grow somehow. Colin has designed specificForgiveness Processes for healing rifts with siblings and parents which I can highly recommend (this is an ongoing process for me).

If you still find yourself struggling after trying all of the above, perhaps it’s time to start implementing some healthy boundaries with the person you have difficulty with. I discuss how to do this effectively in my article Open Heart, Big Fence: 5 Ways to Maintain Strong and Healthy Boundaries in Life.

And finally, realise that you’re not alone with this. So many of us struggle with the pain of unresolved conflicts which all resurface at family reunions, often leaving us feeling disempowered and at a loss to know how to move forward so that we can look forward to these reunions with joy. If you have any success with the tips above please let me know, I’d love to hear! I’m with you on this one, working hard to make Christmas a more loving and joyful occasion.

In service to helping you live your fullest and brightest life,

Katie De Jong, Ph.D
Global Career Coach for Thriving Professionals
Inspired Careers International
katie@katiedejong.com
www.katiedejong.com
Are you Struggling to Forgive? Try a Little ‘Radical Forgiveness’

Are you Struggling to Forgive? Try a Little ‘Radical Forgiveness’

If you're struggling to forgive, this article walks you through the 5 powerful steps of Colin Tipping's Radical Forgiveness process, to finally release the pent up pain and anger, and transmute it into genuine and lasting forgiveness #forgive #forgiveness #heal #peace #innerpeace #healing #peacefulrelationships #selflove #selfcareI’ve always felt a definite resistance to those who advise that the key to happiness and inner peace is to simply forgive all the people who have wronged or wounded you.

 

It sounds noble and virtuous and I’m sure all of us would love to be able to release our painful emotional wounds through forgiveness in a heartbeat. But it’s surprisingly difficult to do and feels somewhat like an emotional bypass when you try to sweep away your deep and painful feelings with a magic wand.

Simply trying to forgive others has often left me feeling worse despite my best intentions, when I feel the same old painful feelings of pain and anger arising, leaving me feeling like a ‘bad person’ because I’m unable to just forgive everything. After many years of working through my own layers of emotional pain, I think I now finally understand why it can be so difficult to ‘just forgive’.

Recently, I came across Colin Tipping’s Radical Forgiveness philosophy, which summarises beautifully how we need to work through the forgiveness process in order to feel true, authentic and lasting forgiveness.

Radical Forgiveness is a five-step process to move through the different stages required to release yourself from your story of pain and hurt, and to move into a state where you’re able to see the bigger picture and even understand the value and gift that the situation has given you.

 

This requires a willingness to hold an open mind to new possibilities of viewing the situation, which may take time, patience and courage. But the rewards are beautiful and well worth it if you’re able to take the time to do this.

 

 

The 5 Steps of the Radical Forgiveness Process

Each of the five steps to the Radical Forgiveness process are critical, they need to be worked through in the right order and the process won’t work if you skip a step.

 

1. Tell the Story

It is important to have your story heard, witnessed and validated – and this is the first step in being able to let it go. Personally I have always found this step to be very healing when done with either a coach, therapist or good friend, however, you can also do this step using a Radical Forgiveness worksheet that Colin makes available on his website for free. It works just as effectively working through the worksheet to write out your story.

 

If you're struggling to forgive, this article walks you through the 5 powerful steps of Colin Tipping's Radical Forgiveness process, to finally release the pent up pain and anger, and transmute it into genuine and lasting forgiveness #forgive #forgiveness #heal #peace #innerpeace #healing #peacefulrelationships #selflove #selfcare

2. Feel the Feelings

For me, this had been the missing piece!

In order to be able to release and forgive someone, you first need to get inside and really feel every single emotion that wells inside of you when you recall the situation. As Colin rightly says:

 

“You cannot heal what you don’t feel. When people access their pain, this is the beginning of their healing”.

 

This is why the forgiveness process hadn’t worked too well for me in the past. Attempting to sweep away my negative pain and feelings under the mask of ‘forgiveness’ is skipping the most crucial element needed to heal: Feeling.

 

3. Collapse the Story

As Colin says “This is where you make a conscious choice to withdraw the energy you have given the story and begin to realise that the story is mostly your interpretation of events based on your limited perception of reality, and since there is more to it than meets the eye, it is largely an illusion”.

Yes! This has been key for me too, realising that there are so many angles from which to view a situation, and we have chosen only one; constructing our own story about how the other person wounded us and why. But what if there is the possibility that this is only our perspective, and there are actually other possible ways to view the situation?

 

If you're struggling to forgive, this article walks you through the 5 powerful steps of Colin Tipping's Radical Forgiveness process, to finally release the pent up pain and anger, and transmute it into genuine and lasting forgiveness #forgive #forgiveness #heal #peace #innerpeace #healing #peacefulrelationships #selflove #selfcare

4. Reframe the Story

This is a big one. Take a deep breath, and consider…. that maybe, just maybe, the situation was not a tragedy or cruel twist of nastiness on behalf of the other person, but rather it was exactly what we wanted (and needed) to experience for our personal growth and highest good – and in that sense, was absolutely perfect. Could it be so?

Can you feel the sense of lightness and peace that starts percolating inwards as you consider this possibility? This step has personally been an immense sense of comfort to me on my own journey – being able to view all my ‘woundings’ as beautiful, sacred events that have helped me evolve and become the person I am today.

Could your painful experience with this person have been a perfect sequence of events that you experienced to bring you closer to the person you long to be?

 

5. Integrate

This means letting this possibility filter into your being, allowing it to reach you at a deep, cellular level, such that it can re-program your heart and mind and begin the true process of authentic, lasting forgiveness. This may take a moment, or it may take several weeks or months, but if you’ve worked through the steps, you will eventually experience the lightness and inner peace that true forgiveness brings. The beauty of this process is the way it allows you to reach in, touch and feel all the emotions you’ve been harboring inside over all the years. By leaning into your feelings and giving them space to be seen and heard, instead of trying to sweep them away with your magic wand, you open yourself to the possibility of healing and emotional release.

 

Opening your heart and mind to the possibility of viewing the situation differently allows you to release your story of victimhood and to see the higher purpose and gift in the wounding, in all its perfection.

 

So if you feel the burden of being unable to forgive someone, try a little radical forgiveness. And please let me know how you go, I would love to know!

In service to helping you live your brightest life,

Katie De Jong, Ph.D
Global Career Coach for Thriving Professionals
Inspired Careers International
katie@katiedejong.com
www.katiedejong.com
Embrace the Chaos: How to Survive When Life Throws You a Curve Ball

Embrace the Chaos: How to Survive When Life Throws You a Curve Ball

First published May 2014

Sometimes we're sailing along smoothly in life and then all of a sudden - boom! - something happens that changes everything. Here's what to do when you find yourself in the midst of chaos or an unwanted situation #chaos #embracethechaos #hanginthere #resilience #youcandoit #thistooshallpass

At six months pregnant with a toddler starting at daycare a few days a week, I was finally about to enjoy some long-awaited peace and ‘normality’ before the arrival of number two.

 

Until … my two-year-old fell off his scooter and broke his femur bone in two.

Yep – I wrote about the trauma of that horrible episode in my recent blog post Looking For That Silver Lining: How to Find Goodness in the Difficult Times.

The poor little thing was promptly put into a full body cast to give his femur the best chance of recovery. But it meant that he was bed-ridden and stuck in the same position for five long, whole weeks. At the age of only two years old, they were five looooong weeks. There were two positions he was able to lie in; either on his stomach with pillows propped under his chest, or on his back with pillows propped under his leg. And he needed us to turn him over each time he wanted to move from one side to the other.

For a little toddler who loved the joy of independence – he could run around by himself, play football, fly around on his scooter, feed himself, play with whichever toys he wanted when he wanted – this sudden reversion to complete dependence on us to do everything for him again, including moving and feeding him, was a big shock to his little system and a big frustration for his young little psyche.

 

Jack in hospital in his half-body cast to allow his broken femur to mend itself

How do you explain all of this to a toddler so that they understand what’s going on in a way that makes sense to them?

 

We were overwhelmed in the first week by all the support we received from our little community here in Korea. Our friends brought in home-cooked meals each night to the hospital, we had many visits from Jack’s little friends who brought along new toys, to Jack’s temporary delight. This buoyed our spirits and helped us get through that tough first week of shock and disbelief at the situation we were now confronted with.

 

And then the long recovery period set in.

 

Each day seemed eternal and was spent watching movies, playing with toys and gadgets, in between turning him from one side to the other. Nights were horrendous, the poor little thing couldn’t get comfortable and woke every two to three hours in discomfort from not being able to move and needing us to help ease his discomfort. My husband and I began to feel like parents with a newborn baby again, surviving in a haze of sleepless nights and stress.

 

My mantra became “This too shall pass”.

 

Each night I would collapse into bed and sigh with relief that we were one day closer to the end. We still received the occasional visits from friends, but as with all chronic, long-term illnesses or situations, people have to get back to their own busy lives and you’re left to wallow in your own miserable situation alone. I’ve experienced this before in life with losses; the high of friendship and support when something bad happens, and then the loneliness and desperation when everyone gets back to life while you’re still stuck with your suffocating grief, with nothing to do but endure it alone.

 

It was just Jack and I at home alone while my husband was at work, toughing it out together, crying and sometimes laughing together, like two mad hatters; riding the extreme emotional roller coaster that it was.

 

Sometimes we're sailing along smoothly in life and then all of a sudden - boom! - something happens that changes everything. Here's what to do when you find yourself in the midst of chaos or an unwanted situation #chaos #embracethechaos #hanginthere #resilience #youcandoit #thistooshallpassWe had good days and bad days. And let’s face it, the bad days really sucked. Some days he would have an outburst of anger and frustration that could last up to an hour, desperately trying to release the negative emotion that had pent up in his little body. He would throw things and bite, hit things and scream with flailing arms and legs. The more I tried to comfort him the angrier he would get, so I would just sit next to him and cry myself, feeling completely powerless to help him, except try to explain again that he would be better soon and to let him know I was here for him. It was always a matter of letting him ride it out, express his anger and frustration, and be there for him to cuddle once he calmed down, which he always did, like a duck that’s shaken off the frustration after an angry encounter with another duck.

 

I learned a lot from his ability to rage and rant, express the furious emotion he was feeling, and then revert back to happy acceptance shortly after. Amazing.

 

It’s now seven weeks after the incident and he’s wearing a full leg splint now, the awful cast has been removed and his hips and other leg are now free, giving him some mobility again. His mood has improved out of sight since he’s been able to roll around on his own, crawl and even walk a little. His little face lights up with delight when he manages to stand up by himself, it makes our heart melt. He’ll be so happy when he’s able to walk again by himself.  Each week at the check-up with the surgeon we secretly hope the surgeon will say he’s ready to walk freely again. And then at the sound of “perhaps one or two more weeks” my energy drops, I cry inside, and then I muster up the energy to get through another seemingly eternal week. With any luck, they’ll be able to remove the splint this week and he’ll be back to normal, with a little rehabilitation.

Here’s Jack finally in his full leg splint after 6 weeks in a half-body cast and unable to move #hooray

In the midst of all this, I was unable to do any work or any of the many things I’d planned before the incident. At first I resisted this enormously, trying to squeeze in a work module while he was watching a movie, even though I would be interrupted every five minutes when he wanted a cookie, or a different toy, or just to feel my presence and not my distracted half-presence.

Eventually, I had to give up hopes of achieving anything and surrender to the situation. I was being asked to let go and be with what is, as hard as that is for many of us.

 

When we get thrown a curve ball, we have to let go of the ideal goals or future we had in mind and accept the situation that’s right in front of us.

The easiest days in this past seven weeks have been those where I’ve surrendered to the day ahead and embraced the chaos. There were days where I screamed into my pillows myself and beat the hell out of them in sheer anger and frustration, or where I spent half the day in tears feeling so sad and powerless to make Jack feel any better. And then there were days where we both felt peace with the situation and even had fun together, laughing at silly videos or his dad’s funny evening dancing episodes. The more we embraced the chaos, the easier things seemed to be. Perhaps that was my lesson in all of this? Don’t fight it. Surrender and go with the flow, as undesired as that flow in life may sometimes be.

Sometimes we're sailing along smoothly in life and then all of a sudden - boom! - something happens that changes everything. Here's what to do when you find yourself in the midst of chaos or an unwanted situation #chaos #embracethechaos #hanginthere #resilience #youcandoit #thistooshallpass

Is surrendering any easier? Not really. It’s tough and challenging too and frankly just sucks sometimes. But it’s also strangely liberating when we realise we can’t actually control any of this, so why bother?

As Elizabeth Gilbert says so well:

“If you can get some stuff done in the chaos sometimes, God bless you. If you can basically hold it together, propping yourself up with duct tape and glue, rock on. If you can manage to stay upright even one hour a day, you’re doing pretty great, as far as I’m concerned. And if you can be kind to the other stumbling fools around you half the time — well, that’s just heroic.”

 

Amen to that.

If you enjoyed this article, please leave a comment below or use the social media icons below to share!

 

In service to helping you live your brightest life,

Katie De Jong, Ph.D
Global Career Coach for Thriving Professionals
Inspired Careers International
katie@katiedejong.com
www.katiedejong.com
Open Heart, Big Fence: 5 Strategies for Strong Boundaries in Life

Open Heart, Big Fence: 5 Strategies for Strong Boundaries in Life

Strong boundaries are essential for your happiness and well-being. Over-giving and people-pleasing is a recipe for eventual overwhelm and resentment. The best thing about knowing when and how to implement strong and healthy boundaries is that people will RESPECT you for it. It's a win-win #boundaries #strongboundaries #happiness #well-being #relationships #liveyourbestlife #selfcare #selfloveHow do we keep an open, loving heart, while also protecting our own well-being?

 

‘Healthy boundaries’ is a term I only became familiar with in my thirties. Becoming aware of the whole concept of ‘boundaries’ was a revelation for me, particularly when I realised that all my years of struggle, depletion, exhaustion, overwhelm, and anguish had been because I didn’t know that I was allowed to – and supposed to – have boundaries. I had always allowed the needs and desires of others to dictate my life.

Somewhere along the way I had learned that it was not OK to put myself first; that it was more important to meet the expectations of others, and underneath all that… I felt that I was not worthy of putting my own needs first. I was so busy trying to be what I thought others wanted me to be that I actually didn’t even know what I wanted or needed – let alone have the courage to take a stand for that. Needless to say, that was not a joyful way to live.

 

For the past five years or so I’ve been learning, albeit slowly and at times not so successfully, how to set boundaries in my life.

 

Sometimes I’m really tuned in and I can take a stand for myself and my needs. And it feels great when I’m able to do that. To my surprise, those around me adjust quite easily when I’m able to communicate my boundaries effectively and lovingly. And it usually does them a favour too; it helps us all avoid situations that are likely to cause stress and tension when strong, clear boundaries are communicated and protected.

 

It feels empowering to set a boundary and have it respectfully met.

 

But there is definitely an ‘art’ to setting and maintaining healthy boundaries and I’m still learning how to do it. Unfortunately just last month, on a holiday with extended family, I experienced again what it’s like to let my boundaries be crossed and to lose control over my well-being because of it. There are some situations in life that we know are going to cause stress and tension. When we willingly put ourselves in those situations without clear and healthy boundaries, it’s guaranteed to cause trouble. My step-father calls those situations “putting your hand in the mincer”. That’s what I did last month, again – ugh.

Strong boundaries are essential for your happiness and well-being. Over-giving and people-pleasing is a recipe for eventual overwhelm and resentment. The best thing about knowing when and how to implement strong and healthy boundaries is that people will RESPECT you for it. It's a win-win #boundaries #strongboundaries #happiness #well-being #relationships #liveyourbestlife #selfcare #selfloveWhy did I willingly put myself right in the middle of a tense and predictably difficult situation? I think because I had naively hoped that maybe this time things would be different; that maybe by now we’ve all moved on enough to be able to handle things differently. But childhood wounds run deep. Despite our best intentions to stay grounded and unaffected, certain family members can trigger us right back to our six-, ten,- or fifteen-year old self and before we know it, we’re behaving just as if we were that age again. If we haven’t been able to work through past family or relationship conflicts through therapy or fair, open discusssions with each other, there’s always going to be residual pain in the relationship, just below the surface.

 

 

Unless both parties have been able to work through the issues to the point where unconditional forgiveness is possible on both sides, the relationship will remain strained.

 

 

I’m a big believer in always looking at our own role in conflicts and trying to understand how/where things have gone wrong in the past and where we can do better next time. We need to try to understand what we can personally do differently and how we can be more effective at preventing stressful situations or conflicts in future. Perhaps there’s a difficult conversation we need to have to resolve an issue. Or maybe we need to work on our own preconceptions and judgments about other people and cultivate more loving acceptance within ourselves towards others. And yet sometimes we just need to accept that no matter how much we wish and hope that certain relationships could be different, the reality is that the most difficult ones may never change.

 

It takes two people to build a bridge, and if only one is committed to working through the emotional pain to find resolution, the bridge will never be whole.

 

Strong boundaries are essential for your happiness and well-being. Over-giving and people-pleasing is a recipe for eventual overwhelm and resentment. The best thing about knowing when and how to implement strong and healthy boundaries is that people will RESPECT you for it. It's a win-win #boundaries #strongboundaries #happiness #well-being #relationships #liveyourbestlife #selfcare #selflove

We need to learn how to make peace with that and instead of always trying and wishing we could change things, the challenge instead is to learn how to manage these situations more effectively.

 

How do we know if our boundaries have been crossed?

 

Psychologist Dr. Dana Gionta says that we can recognize when our boundaries have been crossed by tuning into our feelings. There are two key feelings that are red flags or cues that we need to enforce more healthy boundaries:

1. Discomfort

2. Resentment

If someone or a situation is causing you discomfort or feelings of resentment, Dr. Gionta suggests asking yourself “What is causing that? What is it about this interaction, or the person’s expectation that is bothering me?”

Dr. Gionta says “resentment usually comes from being taken advantage of or feeling unappreciated. It’s often a sign that we’re pushing ourselves either beyond our own limits or because we feel guilty (we want to be a good daughter or wife, for example), or someone else is imposing their expectations, views, values or judgments on us.”

 

In all these cases, we’ve let the other person’s needs, expectations, views, and judgments interfere with our own values and priorities.

 

 

Protect Your Boundaries by Checking Your Personal Engine Light

The way we feel around someone else can also be a big cue to strengthen our personal boundaries. Life coach Britt Bolnick says you should always “check your personal engine light” when you’re around different people. How does it feel in your body when you’re with someone? How does it feel in your mind? How does the presence of this person affect you? Imagine that your body is like a car, with a dashboard full of warning lights. You have your very own “check the engine” light for your personal boundary system. Your feelings are a security warning that your personal energy field has been breached, and you’re letting in stuff that isn’t yours. This is exactly what I unwillingly allowed this past holiday; I was letting in all kinds of ‘stuff’ that wasn’t mine to take on. My personal boundaries were weak, unguarded or unclear, and I was giving away my personal energy unconsciously.

Strong boundaries are essential for your happiness and well-being. Over-giving and people-pleasing is a recipe for eventual overwhelm and resentment. The best thing about knowing when and how to implement strong and healthy boundaries is that people will RESPECT you for it. It's a win-win #boundaries #strongboundaries #happiness #well-being #relationships #liveyourbestlife #selfcare #selflove

So how do you set stronger and more ‘healthy’ boundaries for yourself?



Here are five tips and strategies that will help you protect your emotional well-being in difficult situations.

1. Know your limits

You can’t set healthy boundaries if you don’t know what your limits are. What is it that you need to protect yourself physically, emotionally and mentally? What is it that knocks you off-centre or leaves you feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, resentful or just plain irritated? What are you able to accept and tolerate, and what are the things that make you feel uncomfortable and stressed? Dr Gionta reminds us that feelings of stress and discomfort help you identify what your limits are.

 

2. Make self-care a priority

By making self-care your priority, it means you’re giving yourself permission to put yourself first – the first critical step to setting and maintaining healthy boundaries. When you recognize the importance of your own feelings and honour them through prioritizing self-care, “your need and motivation to set boundaries becomes stronger” says Dr Gionta. She says putting yourself first also gives you the “energy, peace of mind and positive outlook to be more present with others and be there for them”. And we all know that when we’re in a better place, we can be a better wife, mother, husband, colleague or friend. If I haven’t made the time to do my yoga or swimming workout, I can become quite the grumpy mum and wife! No one benefits from me not taking care of myself and my needs.

 

3. Be assertive

Dr Gionta says that even though you know intellectually that people are not mind readers, you still often expect others to know what hurts you. But since it’s most likely that they don’t know, it’s important to find a way to communicate clearly and effectively what you need from any interaction or situation. Being up-front about your needs and expectations and being able to communicate them clearly means there’s much less room for stressful situations to arise.

In the past, I’ve sometimes been a little hurt by someone else’s assertiveness when fiercely protecting their own boundaries (and that was possibly because at the time I didn’t know that I was worthy of asserting my own boundaries), but afterwards I was often grateful for their assertiveness because when everyone’s expectations and needs are clear, it avoids all kinds of uncomfortable situations.

 

4. Practice makes perfect


Communicating your boundaries assertively is a skill and takes lots of practice. I’ve been practicing for years now and given my recent difficult experiences I realise I’m still far from getting this right. “Setting boundaries takes courage, practice and support. It’s a skill we need to practice and master” says Dr Gionta. But it’s worth taking on the challenge to change, because when we’re able to set up and maintain our own healthy boundaries well, it’s a great feeling.

5. Ground and protect yourself as preparation for maintaining boundaries


Strong boundaries are essential for your happiness and well-being. Over-giving and people-pleasing is a recipe for eventual overwhelm and resentment. The best thing about knowing when and how to implement strong and healthy boundaries is that people will RESPECT you for it. It's a win-win #boundaries #strongboundaries #happiness #well-being #relationships #liveyourbestlife #selfcare #selfloveLife Coach Brit Bolnik talks about using the technique of grounding to help maintain your boundaries. I’ve been practicing this one lately and it really helps. I love the way she describes grounding: “Grounding is akin to the way a tree sinks her roots into the earth to stay secure in a storm. It’s the first tool in creating healthy boundaries – nurturing a connection with ourselves, our centre. When we’re grounded it keeps us from being blown around in other people’s winds. It gives us a way to focus and still ourselves to connect with our heart and our intuition. That’s what keeps us steady and connected and focused. There are as many ways to ground as there are people. I like to take five minutes to actually imagine my root system connecting me into the earth, like a giant oak tree”. This simple oak tree meditation has really helped me stand my ground and stay centered around people who tend to knock me off centre. I’ve started building this into my daily practices.

It’s impossible to avoid all difficult situations entirely. But when you know you’re about to enter one, take a few minutes to ground yourself and then imagine breathing a bubble of protective energy or light around you. Think of it as space that will only allow in love and positivity and deflect anything else. Really see it and feel the force of it around you. This really works too if you believe it does.

 

Healthy boundaries are all about getting to know yourself and your needs intimately. It’s about developing enough self-esteem to know that you are worthy of setting and maintaining your own boundaries.

 

FInd out what is that you need to stay centered and balanced; know the things that maintain your sense of well-being and comfort and fiercely protect those things. Don’t let other people’s expectations or your own naïve hopes stand in the way. If you’re not sure whether a certain situation will ruffle you, take the safe route and build in measures to protect yourself anyway. This is not selfish or unkind; it’s essential to avoiding stress and tension for everyone involved.

So dig deep, have a chat with yourself and find out what you need to stay happy, balanced and grounded. And let me know if you have any breakthroughs in the comments below!

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In service to helping you live your brightest life,

Katie De Jong, Ph.D
Global Career Coach for Thriving Professionals
Inspired Careers International
katie@katiedejong.com
www.katiedejong.com
You’re a Hero! How to Find Meaning & Purpose in Your Life with The Hero’s Journey

You’re a Hero! How to Find Meaning & Purpose in Your Life with The Hero’s Journey

How to find purpose and meaning in your life with Joseph Campbell's archetypal template of The Hero's Journey. Read on to discover how this template changed my life! #herosjourney #josephcampbell #purpose #meaning #theherosjourney #findyourpurpose #findmeaning #writing #storytelling #myth #archetypesIn my mid-thirties I was in a very dark place. Life felt heavy, overwhelming and hopeless. My heart ached constantly and every morning I struggled to get out of bed, tired of the continuous sadness, depletion, and exhaustion that plagued my life.

 

Nothing made sense and life seemed cruel and meaningless.

 

As I forced myself to put on a brave, smiling face every day to go to work and face the never-ending deadlines and meetings, inside I felt like I was dying. It was exhausting to put on this facade, day in, day out, to pretend that I was happy, coping and succeeding. While inside I was desperately sad and exhausted – emotionally, physically and spiritually.

As often happens when we’re in these dark places, I prayed for help; for some small sign that there was meaning to all of this, and a glimmer of hope that things would get better. Shortly after, an email landed in my inbox from the visionary thought leader Dr. Jean Houston. The email was about her upcoming course Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. To this day I still don’t know how I got onto her e-mail list. I didn’t know who she was or anything about the work she had been doing in the field of Human Potential. But somehow her email landed in my inbox and caught my attention. After years of feeling like I was on the wrong path and of asking myself “How did I end up here?”, Jean’s call to finally uncover my purpose felt like an absolutely essential and urgent thing for me to do. So in spite of my head telling me I didn’t have the time or money to do this course, my heart urged me to sign up immediately.

Jean Houston’s course – among other serendipitous things that happened soon after I sent out my S.O.S call to the universe – was the start of a slow but massive shift in my life. One of the key elements in her teachings is the power of story and myth to create meaning in our lives. One of the assignments we had to do as homework was to describe the story of our in lives in the context of the ‘Hero’s Journey’.

 

The Hero’s Journey is a pattern of storytelling identified by the famous American scholar, Joseph Campbell, that weaves through many human stories, movies, drama, theatre, and myth. It describes the typical adventure of the archetype known as The Hero, the person who goes out and achieves great deeds on behalf of the group, tribe, or civilization.

 

How to find purpose and meaning in your life with Joseph Campbell's archetypal template of The Hero's Journey. Read on to discover how this template changed my life! #herosjourney #josephcampbell #purpose #meaning #theherosjourney #findyourpurpose #findmeaning #writing #storytelling #myth #archetypes

Since becoming aware of this pattern of narrative in our storytelling, I’ve noticed it running through many films and stories in our entertainment world; the most famous and obvious ones being Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I now recognise it when I see it woven into children’s movies or stories when reading with my young boys.

When I was asked to write my life journey so far within the framework of The Hero’s Journey, I was skeptical at first about the significance that this task could have. But I dutifully sat down and started. I made up a fictional name for myself and started writing about my life in third-person, describing the key events and relationships I had been through. As I wrote about the different phases of my life, amazingly I began to see how my life has roughly followed this basic theme.

I can’t explain the uplift and joy I felt after recognising my life story within the archetypal pattern of the Hero’s Journey.

 

Suddenly my pain and suffering felt meaningful and a necessary part of my life’s journey to greater happiness and peace.

 

To help you understand the various stages in The Hero’s journey, below is a short summary of the 12 stages in (mostly) my words. I have adapted some text from Dan Bronzite’s article ‘The Hero’s Journey – Mythic Structure of Joseph Campbells’s Monomyth’.

 

The Hero’s Journey

 

1.    The Ordinary World
You’re bumbling along in life, unconsciously reacting or responding to events, people, and situations. You’re blissfully ignorant of the limits of your societal conditioning and messaging that you’ve grown up with.

2.    The Call to Adventure
At some stage, you hear a ‘call to adventure’. You hear a whisper in your heart; a rising desire to do something that feels out of place. It doesn’t fit within the straight lines and boxes of your current existence. And yet it feels exciting and appealing.

“The call to adventure signifies that destiny has summoned the hero.”
– Joseph Campbell

 

3.    Refusal of the Call
As exciting and appealing as the call sounds, you refuse it. It would be crazy to consider such a thing. You might get rejected by people. People will laugh at you. And anyway, you feel like you don’t have what it takes to do that. You wish the desire would go away. It’s irresponsible. It’s crazy.

4.    Meeting with the Mentor
And then you meet someone. They change your perspective and open your mind to new possibilities. They’ve answered the call themselves and they’re passionately living their truth. They inspire you to move closer to your own truth and to consider that maybe those desires you’ve been feeling aren’t so crazy after all? This person is a positive role model and their courage, faith, and strength rub off on you. After some time, the little voice inside your heart is getting louder and more urgent and finally, you decide you must cross the threshold. You can’t go on living in the ordinary world.

5.    Crossing the Threshold
You summon all your courage, faith, and optimism and you step across the threshold. You’re so excited that you did it. It feels exhilarating.

6.    Tests, Allies, and Enemies
And yet it’s difficult – really hard. Surely it isn’t meant to be this difficult? You’re confronted with challenge after challenge and you start doubting whether you made the right decision. You discover enemies you didn’t know you had. Your faith is tested. You wonder if you should turn back. And yet you know you can’t. Thankfully, you find allies who support you and encourage you to keep going. You forge ahead.

7.    Approaching the Cave
You can see a cave ahead of you with a beautiful treasure inside. You know that the treasure is the elixir that you have been seeking. But the entrance to the cave is guarded by fierce protectors who will not allow you to enter the cave easily.

8.    The Ordeal
You must face a dangerous physical test or a deep inner crisis in order to survive or for your new world to continue to exist. Whether it be facing your greatest fear or your most deadly foe, you must now draw upon all of your skills and experiences gathered upon the path to the innermost cave, in order to overcome this most difficult challenge.

Only through some form of ‘death’ can you be reborn, experiencing a metaphorical resurrection that somehow grants you greater power or the insight necessary in order to fulfill your destiny, or to reach your journey’s end. This is the high-point of your journey where everything you hold dear is put on the line. If you fail, you will either die, or life as you know it will never be the same again.

How to find purpose and meaning in your life with Joseph Campbell's archetypal template of The Hero's Journey. Read on to discover how this template changed my life! #herosjourney #josephcampbell #purpose #meaning #theherosjourney #findyourpurpose #findmeaning #writing #storytelling #myth #archetypes9.   The Reward (Seizing the Sword)
Somehow you defeat the enemy, you survive death and finally overcome your greatest personal challenge. You are ultimately transformed into a new state, emerging from battle as a stronger person and perhaps with a prize.

The Reward may come in many forms: An object of great importance or power, a secret, greater knowledge or insight, or even reconciliation with a loved one or ally. Whatever the treasure, which may well facilitate your return to the Ordinary World, you must quickly put celebrations aside and prepare for the last leg of your journey.

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”
– Joseph Campbell

 

10. The Road Back
You must now return home with your reward but this time the anticipation of danger is replaced with that of acclaim and perhaps vindication, absolution, or even exoneration.

But the Hero’s journey is not yet over and you may still need one last push back into the Ordinary World. The moment before you commit to the last stage of your journey, there may be a moment in which you must choose between your own personal objective and that of a Higher Cause.

10.  The Resurrection
This is the climax in which you have your final and most dangerous encounter with death. The final battle also represents something far greater than your own existence, with its outcome having far-reaching consequences to your Ordinary World and the lives of those you left behind.

If you fail, others will suffer and this places more weight upon your shoulders and fills you with fear and trepidation. This is more than just about you. This is about a higher service. Ultimately you succeed, you destroy your enemy and you emerge from the battle cleansed and reborn.

11.  Return with the Elixir
In this final stage of the Hero’s journey, you return home to your Ordinary World a changed person. You have grown as a person, learned many things, faced many terrible dangers and even death, but you now look forward to the start of a new life. Your return may bring fresh hope to those you left behind, perhaps a direct solution to their problems or perhaps a new perspective for everyone to consider.

The final reward that you obtain may be literal or metaphoric. It could be a cause for celebration, self-realization or an end to strife, but whatever it is it represents three things: Change, success, and resurrection of some kind. The return home also signals the need for resolution for the story’s other key players. Your doubters will be reprimanded or forgiven, your enemies punished and your allies rewarded.

 

Ultimately, as the Hero, you will return to where you started but things will clearly never be the same again.

 

 

“If you follow someone else’s way, you are not going to realize your potential. You must follow your bliss.”
– Joseph Campbell

By choosing to answer my own personal call and to step across the threshold over the past 5-10 years, I’m now on my way to ‘returning with the elixir’, tapping into the joy, flow, and abundance that comes to us naturally when we align with our heart and soul.

 

The road hasn’t been easy and I’ve been tested and tried, as the journey says we will be, but it’s the only road that makes sense to me now. Going back is not an option.

 

Sometimes my inner skeptic tells me the Hero’s Journey is just something we tell ourselves to help ourselves feel better. And then I think – so what? If we find meaning, comfort, strength, and motivation by seeing ourselves within this context, as the Hero within our own lives, surviving trials and tribulations on our path to finding the treasure, then isn’t that great? And isn’t that all that really matters?

I hope you find comfort in realizing your own life journey within the context of the Hero’s Journey. And may you slay your dragons, undergo your personal transformation and return with your very own elixir!

In service to helping you live your brightest life,

Katie De Jong, Ph.D
Global Career Coach for Thriving Professionals
Inspired Careers International
katie@katiedejong.com
www.katiedejong.com
Soul-Care: 10 Ways to Comfort Yourself in Times of Overwhelm

Soul-Care: 10 Ways to Comfort Yourself in Times of Overwhelm

Learn about these ten powerful strategies to soothe and comfort your soul in times of overwhelm #soulcare #selfcare #selflove #nature #healing #healwithnature #healthroughnature #overwhelm #reignitethepassion #livefromyourheart #youdeserveitThese are the strategies I wish I’d known about back when I was in the middle of my challenging, dark years of fatigue and overwhelm.

 

When I was in my mid-twenties to early thirties I suffered from a mystery illness that could only be explained by medical doctors as ‘chronic fatigue’. The doctors told me it was all in my head when their blood tests didn’t reveal any hint of a problem.

 

But I knew there was something seriously wrong. It started out as a very heavy fatigue and gradually turned into a living hell as I became overtaken by numerous viruses and infections.

 

I tried countless therapies and healing techniques while spending all my time (and money) going from one doctor, healer or therapist to another. Nothing helped. I kept working during this period, but every day I woke up feeling drained, unwell and exhausted before the day even started; it was an extremely unpleasant way to live. It wasn’t until someone suggested I go to the Tara Health Centre in Perth (Australia), where I was living at the time, that I finally found the help and support I needed. Thanks to their cutting-edge diagnostic techniques and treatment methodologies, they were able to help me recover my energy and vitality in less than a year.

 

During the treatment process, it became apparent that I was and had been under high levels of emotional stress, which has a profound impact on our physical health.

 

The therapists told me I needed to pay attention to my emotional well-being and that I should find ways to soothe and nourish myself emotionally, to support my physical recovery. Up until that point, I had never prioritised my own emotional well-being. Aside from doing regular yoga and meditation, I’d spent my years partying hard, studying hard and working hard trying to establish myself in the professional world and keep up my social life. I’d been stuck in a perpetual cycle of over-achievement, people-pleasing and self-neglect, all trying to seek the approval and validation that I so desperately craved. There had been no time to seriously consider the needs of my soul.

But I now see clearly that that’s precisely why I developed the chronic fatigue in the first place. I made a commitment to nurturing my own soul and emotional well-being, and with time I started to really feel and appreciate the deep connection and interdependence between my emotional well-being and my physical health.

 

I’m now passionate about helping people find ways to nurture their own emotional well-being in order to thrive physically and emotionally.

 

One fantastic method that has profound positive impacts on your emotional well-being is The Healing Code, which I share in another blog article called The Healing Code: How to Reclaim Your Health & Well-Being in 3 Powerful Steps. I recommend having a read through this article to learn how you can heal illness and emotional pain using Dr. Alex Loyd’s simple yet very powerful process. It’s a technique I revert to time and time again when I experience illness or an emotionally painful situation. Recently I came across Anthony William’s book.

More recently I came across Anthony William’s book Medical Medium, that describes ten beautiful ways for coming to a place of deep rest, connection, and nourishment, to enhance and maintain your emotional well-being. William, a medical psychic who has devoted his life to helping people overcome illness and disease, was four years old when he shocked his family by announcing at the dinner table that his symptom-free grandmother had lung cancer. Medical testing soon confirmed the diagnosis. Anthony is now the go-to healer for well-known people such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Naomi Campbell, and Christiane Northrup. Several of the techniques he describes in his book were new for me and I hope they provide you with some new ideas and inspiration to bring some more soul nourishment into your own life, as they have for me.

 

Anthony William’s 10 Ways to Comfort Yourself in Times of Overwhelm

Learn about these ten powerful strategies to soothe and comfort your soul in times of overwhelm #soulcare #selfcare #selflove #nature #healing #healwithnature #healthroughnature #overwhelm #reignitethepassion #livefromyourheart #youdeserveit

1. Meditation

With all the focus and attention on the benefits of meditation these days, I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you that meditation is first on Anthony’s list of methods to soothe your soul. You may be familiar with traditional forms of meditation, which involve sitting quietly and choosing a single thing to focus on, perhaps a mantra or a lit candle, or a recorded voice that guides your thoughts. In all cases, the intention is to quiet the ‘monkey mind’ that’s caught up in endless thoughts, to reach a state of stillness and to be able to access the intuitive guidance available underneath.

I like to think of it as being like a big lake that’s stirred up by river streams (thoughts) pouring in and out. When we stop the turbulence by stopping the flow of water in and out and allow our thoughts to become still, suddenly the water becomes quiet, the sediment starts to settle to the bottom and the water on top becomes crystal clear. These moments of stillness and clarity have profound positive effects on your body, mind and soul.

If you’ve tried meditation and felt frustrated by the inability to free yourself from thoughts, you’re not alone. Meditation is a ‘spiritual muscle’ we have to strengthen, and like any muscle, it gets stronger with time. The benefits of meditation include better sleep, greater inner peace, greater feelings of trust in the flow of life, better relationships and greater productivity. I find that meditation soothes my soul and in times of overwhelm, it’s my go-to tool to centre and re-balance myself. One of my favourite meditations is one I learned from one of my mentors Gina Marie Mele for connecting with your heart – your body’s centre of love and peace – to immerse yourself in its energy and receive its gentle guidance. I These days there are many great Apps available for smartphones that have beautiful music or guided meditations, such as

One of my favourite meditations is one I learned from one of my mentors Gina Marie Mele for connecting with your heart – your body’s centre of love and peace – to immerse yourself in its energy and receive its gentle guidance. I These days there are many great Apps available for smartphones that have beautiful music or guided meditations, such as Calm or Buddhify. All you need is 10 minutes a day (longer if you can, but ten minutes is a very good start) and you will start noticing the soothing effects of meditation on your soul).

 

2. Waves on the Beach

If you’re fortunate enough to be able to get to a beach regularly, according to Anthony “it’s possible to maintain a superior meditative state of healing by watching the waves on a beach – if you know how to tap into them.” Anthony says he’s seen countless clients heal themselves of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), pain and suffering using the following technique: As you sit, stand or walk on the beach, envision every wave as a surge of soul-cleansing energy. When a wave comes in, imagine it bathing any pain and scrubbing loose any damaging emotions or thoughts. As the wave recedes, watch it take away all those impurities. With each new wave, let yourself be cleansed of poisonous memories, injuries from past lives and stains on the soul. See them all wash out to sea. When you feel purified, let each new wave bring strength and renewal to your spirit and soul.

 

3. Surrounded by Trees

Getting out in nature is of course very healing in itself, but for the most healing and soothing effect on your soul, Anthony suggests taking a moment to appreciate the peaceful environment around you and to pay special attention to the trees. Turn your mind to their root systems. Think about the minerals and water they’re drawing from deep within the earth, up through their trunks, up through their branches. As you let yourself feel surrounded by this deep earth energy, envision roots growing out of your feet and into Mother Earth’s soil, down into the centre of the earth.

Something I like to add (thanks to a technique taught by Amy Oscar) is to imagine my energy merging with the molten core of the Earth, and then receiving her energy back up through the soles of my feet. This is a beautifully grounding experience. When you intuitively feel it’s time to end the grounding, imagine that you’re leaving your roots protected and preserved in the earth as you break free and walk away. These roots remain a part of you. Wherever you are, transcending time and space, you can draw healing energy from the earth when you need it.

I do a grounding technique each and every morning called Connecting Heaven and Earth by Donna Eden, which is another great way to begin the day feeling fully grounded and in your body. It’s also incredibly soothing for the soul. Grounding techniques fortify every aspect of your being. They strengthen your root chakra which reinforces your will to survive, invigorate your spirit to receive positivity and ward off negativity, and create a strengthening frequency for body and soul.

 

4. Free as a Bird

As Anthony explains, bird-watching is a healing and soothing activity simply because it takes you into nature and into a state of presence and mindfulness. When you truly focus on seeing and hearing the birds, you elevate it to a very enlightening meditative experience. Birdsong, Anthony says, is the most sacred form of music; it mends a fractured soul and can reverse disease. Apparently, this is because the frequency of these melodies resonates deep within your DNA, allowing it to reconstruct the body on a cellular level. If you listen to birds with respect and appreciation, your life will begin to transform. Observing birds is powerful too. Anthony says that here on Earth our souls can feel caged and our spirits suppressed. When we witness a bird’s freedom in flight, it “ignites and unleashes the spirit and breaks the cage of the soul.”

 

5. Bee Watching

Bee watching is a secretly miraculous meditation according to Anthony. As bees dance from flower to flower, absorbing the sun and distributing pollen along the way, they emit a healing frequency that reverses disease and promotes soul and emotional restoration. This is something we can’t understand on a rational level, but our cells understand. When you make yourself aware of the bees and ask your body to tune its channels to their frequency, all of the cells in your body will start to resonate with this healing vibration.

 

Learn about these ten powerful strategies to soothe and comfort your soul in times of overwhelm #soulcare #selfcare #selflove #nature #healing #healwithnature #healthroughnature #overwhelm #reignitethepassion #livefromyourheart #youdeserveit6. Collecting Stones

When you want to cleanse yourself of negative emotions, Anthony suggests taking a walk in nature and keep your eye out for small stones that call to you. Over the course of your stroll, select three that feel good to hold in your hands. Name each stone by the label of whatever feeling you’re harboring that you’d like to leave you. For example, you might name the stones Guilt, Fear or Anger. Anthony suggests that you keep the stones on your bedside table. Develop a relationship with them; become friends.

The healing frequency of the minerals will act as an antidote to whatever ails you, whether emotional, spiritual or physical. When the time comes that you feel the stones have done their job and you’re ready to let them go, carry them back to nature and release them into a body of water such as a pond, ocean or lake, river or stream. The living water will purify them of the venom they’ve drawn from you, and you’ll walk away purified too.

 

7. Sunbathing

Anthony suggests that it will be centuries before scientists discover all of the healing benefits that the sun provides. Not only is it calming and warming, but “the sun’s rays contain mystery elements and promote biochemical reactions in our bodies that produce more than just Vitamin D”. No wonder I can feel so miserable in cold climates if I haven’t seen the sun properly for months! He says just look at pets and how they instinctively find a warm, sunlit patch on the floor to bask in. All animals love to sunbathe; they know it’s a powerful healing tool. Anthony suggests spending time each day to allow your skin to absorb sunlight, if possible. He suggests acclimatising to 15 minutes a day, taking care not to get sunburned. If it’s a cold time of the year, find a peaceful spot where the sun comes through a window. He says to make the meditation most powerful, call upon the Angel of the Sun to help the rays enter into your being to soothe your soul and heal your body.

 

Learn about these ten powerful strategies to soothe and comfort your soul in times of overwhelm #soulcare #selfcare #selflove #nature #healing #healwithnature #healthroughnature #overwhelm #reignitethepassion #livefromyourheart #youdeserveit

8. Picking Fruit

Picking fruit, Anthony says, is one of the most powerful meditations in existence. He says it is a sacred act of respect and gratitude to Mother Earth for the miracle of food. Even if you only do it once in your lifetime, it will be an experience you can reignite over and over, just by thought, to activate the healing in your soul. Anthony explains how each piece of fruit on a tree is living food that’s connected, via the plant’s roots, to living water deep within the earth. When you touch the fruit, your cells will resonate with the fruit’s grounded nature, spreading peace throughout your body. On top of that, fruit picking forces you to stretch as you reach for the fruit. These natural stretches apparently supersede any human created exercises.

On the topic of stretches, I adore Donna Eden’s 5 minute Morning Energy Routine, which is a series of delicious stretching exercises that wake up, energise, heal and harmonise the body. This is another one I do religiously every morning because it feels so good and my health feels so much more resilient when I remember to do it. Picking berries or wildflowers has the same effect as picking fruit, apparently. Since humans have existed on the planet, berry picking has been a celebration of abundance. When we follow this millennia-old tradition, it ignites the ancient celebration of life within our soul and promotes healing. As you pick the fruit, meditate on all the months of development that led to this moment. First the plant started as a seed and grew to fruiting size. When it reached maturity, it didn’t start bearing fruit every month of the year; rather, it developed with the seasons. Our lives go through similar cycles. When we take the time to focus on nature’s rhythms, we activate trust and faith within our souls that our efforts to live a good life will be fruitful.

Picking berries or wildflowers has the same effect as picking fruit, apparently. Since humans have existed on the planet, berry picking has been a celebration of abundance. When we follow this millennia-old tradition, it ignites the ancient celebration of life within our soul and promotes healing. As you pick the fruit, meditate on all the months of development that led to this moment. First the plant started as a seed and grew to fruiting size. When it reached maturity, it didn’t start bearing fruit every month of the year; rather, it developed with the seasons. Our lives go through similar cycles. When we take the time to focus on nature’s rhythms, we activate trust and faith within our souls that our efforts to live a good life will be fruitful.

 

9. Watching Your Garden Grow

I think most of us these days have heard about the therapeutic effects of tending to a garden. Anthony says “Getting your hands in the dirt for the sake of growing new life grounds your body, strengthens your spirit and rejuvenates your soul. Further, the soil carries the soul of Mother Earth. Getting (literally) in touch with that puts you in sync with divine natural rhythms.” As you garden, you’re also absorbing the sounds of nature and if you pay attention, you can observe the chirps of the birds, the buzzing of the bees and the wind rustling in the trees. Weeding can have a profound effect too, Anthony says, if you envision each weed as an ill thought, negative emotion or painful memory. When you pull it out, you’re “simultaneously removing it from your soul and mind, making room for more abundance in your life.”

 

10. Gaze Beyond the Stars

Anthony suggests that to reclaim your soul, you can spend time each night gazing up at the sky. “First get familiar with the stars; your soul has a direct telepathic connection to them. Let their light and the wonder of their existence resonate for a few moments. Then shift your focus to beyond the stars. Envision that your home lies way up there, in a place free from suffering. Tell yourself, This is a home I belong to, and will someday warmly return to… You can stargaze for just three minutes a night and find that your soul rejuvenates in dazzling ways.”

When reading Anthony’s suggestions, I realised that in many ways he’s suggesting we return to the ways of our ancestors and indigenous people, who naturally honour and respect nature’s rhythms. They intuitively know that the way to a happy and healthy life is to live in sync with, and pay respect to, nature. They live in a state of wonder and awe at the intelligence of nature and all natural systems. In Australia in the 1980s, the government rolled out a scheme to provide housing for our indigenous Aboriginal people. They were outraged when the Aborigines would remove the mattresses from the houses to sleep out on the street. From the Aborigine’s point of view, they needed to be connected with nature and the stars while they slept and couldn’t understand why we would want to sleep inside.

 

Somewhere along the way in our modern mode of living we’ve grown disconnected from this sacred connection to nature. This could easily help explain why so many people today suffer from depression and chronic disease.

 

So please enjoy these techniques for reconnecting and re-tuning yourself to nature, to soothe and nourish your soul. I’ll definitely be trying to implement more of these in my life myself these coming months. Please let me know if you feel any difference or improvement in your mood, health or vitality, I love hearing from you!

 

In service to helping you live your brightest life,
Katie De Jong, Ph.D
Global Career Coach for Thriving Professionals
Inspired Careers International
katie@katiedejong.com
www.katiedejong.com