We spoke to Cathy Dixon a therapist, but not as you know them. She is a coach and a mentor who founded Energy Roots after being trained in several healing modalities including Shiatsu, acupuncture, Chi Kung and hypnotherapy.Cathy came to our studio and we spoke about the narratives imposed on our lives by institutions, by others and even by ourselves. We learned of the wonders of the energy nodes in the human body, how beliefs are attached to emotions and the myopic mistake of talking about good and bad energies. All in all, a stimulating and cathartic converstion which now you can listen to. With Andre López Turner and Juan Toledo
I was recently introduced to Carol Dwek's work on Growth versus the fixed mindset. Firstly the mind is not set at all, it is plastic and can make all sorts of connections through the neural pathways. It only becomes fixed through education and attitudinal conditioning.
A fixed mindset focuses on results rather than the process. It sees life in black and white terms of winners and losers. It has an uneasy relationship with failure. It is best summed up with these sayings:
Either you have got it or you don't ,
You either win or your lose,
You can't teach an old dog new tricks
Results are all that matters
You are born smart or you aren't
A growth mindset is concerning with learning and understanding. It welcomes feedback. It realises that attitude and effort determine our results. It sees failure as part of the learning process.
It prefers sayings such as:
I can't do this..yet
Tell me where I can improve
What have I learnt today
Where there is a will, there is a way
There is not failure, there is only feedback.
A healthy mind is a growth mind because it fosters adaptability, flexibility and non self judgement. It innovates, and changes day by day. It focuses on how we can improve, how we can growth and how we can enable and therefore is intrinsically connected to mental and emotional resilience.
The other day someone came to see me in my office in Central London. . As we talked and it was very evident that deep down she knew what to do. The things was she needed to do was get on with her creative project and keep up her effort each and every day. She knew that too. Anything less than this would be a version and distraction strategy.
As we discussed, it suddenly dawned on both of us that all she really needed was a witness. She wanted someone to be accountable to. She wanted to say to someone, "I have done this." She wanted to say, I have worked on the project today. Most of all, she needed her effort to be noticed.
It occurs to me that is sometimes all we need. We just need someone to witness frequently if not every day that we are doing the right thing by ourselves and for ourselves, that our efforts are noticed and that effort is part of a growth mindset. Growth means, I have not done it yet. I am in the process. Growth says my learning is organic and I am committed to small steps and I am committed to nudging my way along and learning along the way. We liven commercially and outcome driven environments that don't really notice this. Credit is given to the the hard result. It works or it does not. Achievement is all that counts.. Efforts are ignored and if you can be smart and do it quick and dirty, all the better. The problem with this approach is that it ignores the steps of every day effort along the way. It ignores that creative projects of innovation need encouragement even when there is not very much to show. Simply we need acknowledgement for making the effort at all.
What we need from another human being is a witness that I am actually doing this. I do not need a lecture, I do not need advice, I do not need their way of doing it. I just need them to notice my effort,That is enough.
When we provide this support for each other, we contribute to their creation. We don't need to take credit for anything that they produce, we just enjoy the process of contribution towards the supportive environment and witnessing someone else flourish.
Is there someone in your life that needs you to be their witness?
I have used the tapping technique otherwise known as Emotional Freedom Technique for many years now. Many claim that it works when nothing else will. I have found out after treating hundreds of people, that this is really the case. I am not entirely certain why it works, I know that it does.
The points that are tapped are simple to learn. You interpret your experience. It means what it means to you. You are given full agency to say exactly what you chose. There is no censorship of this material, no one to colour or filter your expression, no suppression of any thing at all. You are able to talk about your pain, upset or whatever you want. Somehow the witnessing of this and the tapping allows you to release whatever it is you need to release. It might not happen all at once, yet it can happen more often than not, surprisingly quickly.
You get the opportunity to talk through your experiences. You find that very quickly you "drop through" to deeper levels which leads you to the roots of why you feel the way you do. Then you start to unravel the pattern.
When we start working with a presenting issue, it can feel like working through a maze. Yet as we uncover the layers that cover up your pain, it usually reveals deeply held beliefs that have been enshrined in evidential experience for so long, We become self fulfilling prophesies.until we start to chip away at these layers and deconstruct the programmes that often were laid long in childhood..
EFT can do that, surprisingly quickly. Too often, practitioners quickly want to install a positive belief and sometime this will be rejected on an unconscious level if we have not gotten down to the root level of why we feel the way that we do. It does not have to make logical sense. If does not have to be fair. It does not have to be. What is need to be, it the truth, for you, from your perception. Working consistently and persistently with EFT neutralises these corrosive, negative beliefs and takes away their power.
EFT uninstalls these negative programmes so that we are free to chose the programmes that we want to run instead.
I called my site Energyroots because of my recognition that if we don't change our habitual ingrained conscious and unconsciously held root beliefs about our self and our world, then nothing really changes.. The change needs to begin within before it can be experienced externally.
We may paper over the emotional cracks, we may make valiant efforts to be different. We can repeat affirmations day after day. and enlist all the therapeutic support imaginable to no avail. Unless we deal with the underlying root belief that limits us, we will continue our habitual thinking which results in manifesting similar external unwanted patterns . For example, we may have spent years reinforcing a corrosive belief that we are not good enough in some way, that to succeed would betray our family lineage. We may believe that it is noble to suffer or to be a martyr to some cause. To change deeply rooted, destructive programming we need to work with our shadow self, with what has been rejected, denied and suppressed within us.
We need to bypass the critical gatekeeper of the rational mind that tells us, it has also been so, here is the evidence. We need to work at a much deeper level. I remain committed to practising EFT, chi kung, hypnosis and mindfulness because these approaches help us access those levels to make positive transitions.
The first step is in understanding what we really believe about ourselves. How does it govern our life? What kind of circumstance present to prove to us that our limiting beliefs are right? What impact has that had to date? Are you ready to challenge your beliefs and assumptions?
Noticing is the very first step to change because it broadens our awareness and makes us pay attention to data that we may have been ignoring or surpassing. Sometimes an "accident" has to turn up for us to pay full attention. When we commit to some form of meditation practice it gives us a chance to notice. Noticing is planting the seed of transition.
I recently was invited to an event, I was in two minds whether to go and something inside of me said, just go. My friend asked me to arrive at 6.30. on a Sunday evening. When we arrived at the event the day was coming to a close. Somehow, there was a misunderstanding about the start time. Yet we arrived for a reason. My reason was not the event, it was meeting different people and in particular a person who was going to remind me about the value of cultivating an attitude of gratitude.
The members decided post the event to have tea and a talk together. It was during this that I met Peter. We stuck up conversation. He told me his journey and his commitment both to wellness and to himself after a difficult journey of self sabotage and annihilation.
The next day he emailed he a list of all the things that he was grateful for in his life. The first day I was puzzled why he sent them to me. He continued to email me on a daily list his 10 reasons to be grateful with his life. As I read, I realised that he was starting to notice all the things that life was offering him, all the possibilities and all the gifts, even the subtle ones. I realise that many people, including myself recognise the value of begin grateful. and at understand at a cognitive level this is a good thing to do. Writing the list and posting to other people, is a way of sharing your appreciation and also having your list noticed and acknowledged.. We need to notice and we need to let some people in our life witness that we are doing things differently..
So an attitude of gratitude is a simple daily list of all the things that you feel blessed with. Some days this is going to be easy to notice. There will be other days when this is really challenging. . The practice itself creates the transformation within our psyche.
Get into the habit of affirming what you have noticed. Email some friends your list and maybe they will reciprocate with their list.
Notice what you experience. Notice what experiences you bring into your life with this very simple and profoundly life affirming practice..
This blog is dedicated to all the things that matter.
We can get distracted from the things that matter. We can get caught up in all the things we have to do. and think we have to be We make commitments that zap our energy and time. We can reach the end of the day, or working week feeling tired and off centre..
Have you written a list of the things that really matter to you? Is your life about these things? The first thing that matters is YOU. What you feel about yourself. How you relate to yourself. I am not talking your curriculum vitae list of achievements and accomplishments. I am talking about your identity beyond the persona. This is what matters ultimately.. What matters to you ultimately will bring a sense of inner joy and peace and if we don't make space and time for those things,
What are the things that really matter to you?