Emotions

Daily Affirmations For Dealing With Anxiety

I was at a rebirthing/breathwork workshop on the weekend, and we did an exercise called Primal Law. Our Primal Law is our most negative belief about ourself. I started out with the usual list of negative thoughts about myself that I've come up with in workshops a million times before:

  • I'm not good enough
  • I'm bad
  • I'm wrong
  • I have nothing to offer
  • I will fail
[caption id="attachment_1784" align="alignright" width="263"]No Wonder I Feel So Anxious No Wonder We Feel So Anxious[/caption] But the one that really resonated with me was something somebody else came up with:
  • I'm not safe
Well, no wonder I feel so anxious with a Primal Law like that. The next step was to convert the Primal Law into an Eternal Law that represents the truth of our existence; even though it seems like a lie at first, given what we've been telling ourselves for so long. (more…)

By Graham, ago
Emotions

How To Be Unhappy

There are a lot of happy people in the world today. Sure, we all have difficulties now and then, but for the most part we live at a time when we have more opportunity, greater personal safety and a longer life expectancy than any time in history. So many of us have the potential to be quite happy. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="269"]Smiley Learn To Turn This...[/caption] This is a big problem for advertisers and companies marketing products at us that we don't really need. Most advertising targets areas of dissatisfaction in our lives, suggesting that we fill the void or distract ourselves from our pain by purchasing products of little intrinsic value. The happier we are, the harder advertisers have to work to convince us that we need that new car, can of cola, or aftershave in order to attract the people we want into our lives. And major pharmaceutical manufacturers would go out of business if we all felt happy and didn't need to rely on the latest round of antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications. Wealthy shareholders are suffering as a result. To help address these problems, here are my tips on How to be Unhappy:

(more…)

By Graham, ago
Emotions

Share The Love

Have you ever noticed that in any reasonably large group of people, there's always one person who you just don't seem to get on with? One person who gets in your face, and just doesn't seem to agree with you or like you, no matter what you say or do? How do you deal with them?

Earlier this year I went to a Shamanic Practitioner's training course, up near Byron bay. The purpose of the course was to learn shamanic healing techniques for dealing with spiritual, emotional and sexual problems. I had been lured by the promise of dealing with three of my biggest bugbears: guilt, fear and shame. It was one of those courses where you just know everyone's going to wind up getting naked.

This was a residential course lasting 6 days, in the beautiful, warm Byron hinterland. There was a lot of stomping, pillow-hitting, tantrum-throwing and … Continue reading…

By Graham, ago
Emotions

Path of Love

I went to Path of Love hoping that it would help me deal with a constant feeling of mild anxiety that I was experiencing. Whenever I wasn't engrossed in some activity, I felt anxious and I just couldn't seem to shake it.

David Guetta's "When Love Takes Over" (Featuring Kelly Rowland) always reminds me of my Path of Love Experience. Play it as you read along:

There were some obvious contributing factors: I had been ill with Chronic Fatigue for over two years, and although I was gradually recovering, my limited energy and feeling constantly unwell for such a long time was a constant source of frustration. I was also lacking direction generally: it had been about six years since I'd had a full-time job, and I was unsure how to find a new vocation earning money doing something that I loved again, especially with the added burden of illness. … Continue reading…

By Graham, ago
Emotions

The Dance of Fear by Harriet Lerner

The main thing I got from this book is that fear and anxiety aren't just individual problems; they totally affect the way we relate with each other. Anxiety is contagious and gets passed around between us whenever we interact with anxious people. Families, companies, organisations, churches, countries and social groups of all kinds can become infected with anxiety that affects everyone in the group. When a social system becomes fear-based or shame-based, everyone in it suffers.

Since anxiety causes suffering, we naturally want to escape. One way of escaping is to dump our anxiety on someone else. Being a sensitive person, I've always been susceptible to having other people's anxiety dumped on me, but it's only now that I'm learning to recognise when this is happening.

This book helped me identify such a situation recently when I volunteered to lead a public speaking training course run by my Toastmaster's … Continue reading…

By Graham, ago
Emotions

Into The Wild

Spoiler Warning: This review gives away the ending. If you don't want to know what happens, stop reading now!

Listen to Eddie Vedder's cover of Hard Sun written by Gordon Peterson from the Into The Wild Soundtrack as you read along:

I was profoundly moved by this film telling the true story of Christopher McCandless's journey of self-discovery into the Alaskan wilderness. Directed by Sean Penn and starring Emile Hirsch as Christopher McCandless, this film hit me hard and I found it hugely cathartic. Despite a packed cinema, it was as though there was just me and this film connected to each other; I cried almost the whole way through.

Part of the reason I connected with it so strongly was that I first saw it while on a journey into the wild of my own: a solo 2,500km motorcycle road-trip of self-discovery from my home town of Sydney to … Continue reading…

By Graham, ago
Emotions

Escaping Toxic Guilt by Susan Carrell

Five Proven Steps to Free Yourself from Guilt for Good!

I came across this book while scouring the library shelves for something on topic of dealing with shame. Guilt and shame are close relatives. This book defines guilt as feeling bad about something you've done, and shame as feeling bad about who you are. Hmm... I could relate to that.

Firstly the book distinguishes between good guilt, which reminds us when we've violated one of our own personal values and prompts us to make amends or to act differently next time; and bad guilt, where somebody else's agenda is at work causing us to suffer unnecessarily or to fall under their controlling influence.

In the second section, the author outlines some common guilt-inducing situations, like relationship break-ups, divorces, and dramas over where we will have Christmas or Thanksgiving this year.

Then once you've identified your guilt as unhelpful and … Continue reading…

By Graham, ago
Emotions

Shame

I recognize shame in myself as the fear of what other people think about me. While many people feel shameful about a specific event that has happened to them or something they've done in the past, for me it's more a general fear of what other people are thinking based on my own feelings of unworthiness. It makes me feel self-conscious, restricts my movements and actions, leaving me feeling trapped. It's common for many people to feel a sense of shame about themselves. At an anger management workshop I recently attended, I felt free to dance uninhibitedly at the end while I noticed the girl next to me being much more constricted. Healing shame is a process, and she was slowly releasing her inhibitions as she was making progress. Shame is still one of my main areas of frustration with myself, but I have come a long way when it … Continue reading…

By Graham, ago