Relationship Essentials is here…

Relationship Essentials ThumbDid your last Valentine’s Day not quite go according to plan?

We all remember what it’s like to be in a new relationship. Those early days of feeling loved up and starry eyed.

When it was all romance and possibilities.

Anyone who has been in a long term relationship knows that the honeymoon phase wears off, life gets in the way and the person who used to be at the centre of your world becomes the stranger in the other room.

With 1 in 3 Marriages ending in divorce, and even higher numbers for long term relationships that never made it official, if you’ve had that moment of wondering how did things get so off track then Relationships Essentials is for you.

Click here to find out how Relationships Essentials can reignite the spark and bring your relationship back to its honeymoon phase potential.

Join Relationship Essentials using our special Valentines Day code and receive $20 off – enter REValentine at the checkout (valid this week only). 

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Choose Love

Sometimes it is so much harder to be good in this world
Success takes longer
You’ll get kicked harder
You’ll be ridiculed, bullied, hurt, dragged down.
You’ll lose to liars, be beaten by cheats.
And somedays you’ll question why be good at all.
It would be so much easier to quit, find an easy way out, let somebody else fix it.
But the world doesn’t get better that way.
Evil isn’t stronger or better, it cheats because it’s NOT strong enough to take the long way.
Evil acts tough but the TRUTH is – Evil is afraid.
Its afraid of being found out. It’s afraid of what is different. It is afraid of being wrong.
And that is evils weakness because Fear never wins. Fear can’t because like darkness, it can always be penetrated by even the smallest flicker of light.
Of Goodness.
Of Hope.
Of Love.
Evil is a matter of perception and closed minds. Love takes curiousity
And courage.
It takes courage to respond with curiousity instead of judgement.
Ultimately, Love wins. Always. Because Love is not the opposite of fear and hate, it’s the decision that there is something so much more important.
We are.
Our Children’s Children are.
Humanity is.
Fear is universal, but so is love.
Fear is a survival instinct, Love is necessary for survival.
Fear shrinks, love expands.
So be aware but not afraid of Evil.
Its easy to react with ever increasing levels of evil in the name of good. It takes real strength to choose kindness in the face of angry. Love in the face of fear.
Both are a choice.
Use the anger at evil acts to decide enough is enough.
Use the sadness at evil acts to bring compassion.
Fear breeds more fear, love breeds more love.
Choose love.💞

Logical Levels and the Secret to Lasting Change

Have you ever wondered why sometimes bad habits just keep coming back to bite you? Why you can have the best intentions – great new years resolutions, really smart S.M.A.R.T goals and yet still you end up falling back into old routines after a few short weeks?

Have you ever tried to start something or quit something and found it such a struggle, requiring so much effort it just doesn’t seem worth it, while other people seem to just snap their fingers and its done?

Why is that?

Well the Logical Levels of Change model from NLP is one of the best models I’ve found to explain what is actually going on in our brains when we face changes, and for me, once I understand something I find it a damn site easier to make it happen, don’t you?

Logical Levels of Change
Logical Levels of Change and our Language

The NLP Logical Levels of Change Model was inspired by Gregory Bateson, a well known cultural anthropologist, and developed by Robert Dilts and the pioneers of Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

Many traditional therapies focus mainly on the doing aspects of change, the bits they can see – external problems and behaviour – but the problem is that if you only focus on changing what you see on the surface, it’s like chopping the top off a weed and wondering why it grows back.

Every gardener knows that the part of the weed you can see is just the symptom of a much bigger root system below and until you deal with the roots, you’ve never truly solved the problem.

In Transformational Meta Coaching, we deal with the thinking beneath the behaviour, the skills, beliefs, values and identity buried deep in the unconscious mind, and know the external problems and behaviour simply as an indicator of where to start digging.

Let me explain how we use the Six Logical Levels of Change in coaching:

Logical Levels of Change in Coaching
Logical Levels of Change in Coaching

 

If you stop and reflect on the problems you experience in your world, you’ll notice that even though the external environment you’re in has changed many times over, there are patterns that have repeated throughout your life.  For example – bullying in the workplace or clutter in your home or challenges in relationships.

The same is true for the things you excel at – reflect for a moment on the areas that you are most effective at in life and notice that no matter the environment, you’re “a natural” at certain things. Eg parenting, health and fitness, your successful job.

Fulfillment and happiness comes from the experience of living in congruence with the calling in our hearts but this only occurs when all 6 areas are in alignment. So many people experience frustration in their life because they know their external environment doesn’t match up with the mission or calling of their heart and who they say they are, but get stuck in that place because they only change the environment or behaviour and so the problems keep reoccurring.

When you notice these reoccurring patterns, you can choose to be frustrated or excited as they are the most valuable indicators in teaching you the biggest lessons about you. When you recognise a pattern, it’s time to celebrate and look within to change it to “be the change you want to see”.

You can change any in any order but if you only change the surface the change will be less effective, each layer below the surface will make the change more effective

When working with a Meta Coach, our focus is first and foremost on identifying which level is causing you to be stuck then supporting you through the most effective first techniques to shift the block in your thinking or actions to allow you to move forward.

That said, Just changing one area, does not guarantee change in another. When change occurs in a hypnotherapy or Meta Coaching session at the transformational levels, then it is instant, permanent and more likely to impact and stick in the doing levels.

However, just because the transformation has occurred, the evidence may not appear immediately in your external world and so ongoing support and accountability is recommended until the new behaviour’s become habits and the new results start to appear.

Which should I choose first?

Logical Levels and the secrets to lasting change
Logical Levels and the secrets to lasting change

Environment – Changing the external environment should be a last resort because everything you are experiencing in your current external environment is simply a reflection of your internal environment. (ie don’t quit your job or leave your relationship thinking the next one will magically be better – it wont unless you change)

Your environment is the one area that can be changed by others without warning or desire eg. Through redundancy, so if that happens, you can choose to see that as scary or a gift, an opportunity to consider if it really was as good as you remember, in which case recreate it, OR if perhaps it just seemed good because it was comfortable. Revisit the Six Core Needs on how to handle uncertainty

Behaviour – simply a symptom of everything below it so “doing change” requires constant focus, effort and accountability to maintain. It also requires a lot of energy and motivation which tends to fade quickly. Consider an accountability buddy to help it stick.

Skills & Capabilities – this is a pivotal part of any lasting change because it impacts up and down the scale. When you learn something new, the new awareness and perspective can change beliefs, values and even what you believe about yourself and the world around you. It is important to bring a level of child like curiosity to any learning though, not the school rote memory nonsense because true learning requires you to apply it to be effective.

It is also vitally important to remember there will always be a learning period taking you through the Conscious Learning Cycle after any transformational change work because even though you have the new belief, that wont instantly give you the years of practice you missed out on with your old beliefs. Eg Transforming a limiting belief of “I’m not creative” to “I am infinitely creative” does not necessarily you’ll be able to paint like michalangelo at the end of the coaching session. You need to take your new belief into new situations, art classes, and go through the learning cycle from basics to Mastery.

Beliefs and values – “transformational change” This work can happen naturally through learning and periods of change in your life, but if you’re after rapid results without years of continuing to repeat the same mistakes, we recommend working with a Meta Coach who understands how beliefs are formed and has the skills to instantly maximise the effectiveness of the Neuro-Plasticity of the brain to give you a jump start in your progress.

Identity – Any identity statement comes with a subset of values and beliefs, loosely based on generalised stereotypes but specifically unique to you eg, “I am a parent/ wife/ lawyer/ doctor/ sick/ healthy.

Significant emotional events tend to be the most powerful catalyst for change as they usually impact multiple areas at the same time, particularly something like the birth of a child and shift one “I Am” statement to another.

If you have experienced a significant emotional event, or want to make changes without waiting for one, then that is the best time to work with a counsellor or coach to help you clarify how the changes in your core belief about yourself will impact in your world, and what you can do to make it a smooth and enjoyable transition.

Spirit Purpose – This is the core truth we’re all working to get back to. A Course In Miracles says “Your goal is to find out who you are and live that”. Many spiritual teachers agree that we’re all born with our purpose in our heart, then our life experiences are designed to guide us to live that purpose. For some people, that is experienced through their faith/religion. For others it is the unconditional love of a child. Or even the awareness that the most rewarding experience is to give freely to others in need.

When you’re trusting the mission in your heart, when you’re on Your purpose, then there is a wonderful feeling of “Flow”. It is as if everything is easy, working in your favour. Carparks open up at crowded shopping centres, opportunities come beating down your door for you to choose at your preference, true abundance flows to you in all areas – health, love, wealth and with it, the complete certainty of knowing you are on the right path.

A Rose, does not compare itself to a tree and try to be that – it simply grows every day into the most beautiful version of itself it can be.

Listen to your heart, get help to clear out the clutter of “Should’s” and enjoy the incredible richness of your life that will follow.

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is you’er than you.”

– Dr Seuss –

fiona@figured.com.au

Reason, Season, Lifetime friends

People always come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.

The author of this poem is unknown but I am forever grateful for the insights it brought me over the years.

I used to worry that I didn’t have any friends from high school and that the “popular” kids seemed to have such happy lives….. turns out popular doesn’t always mean happy…

Sometimes it’s ok to let people go.

When you go though a test of life, they say that’s when you know who your true friends are. And sometimes the power of great friendships can be diminished simply because of the “where are they now” effect later in life.

But that doesn’t actually mean that the friendship you had wasn’t real, it just may have been meant to be for a reason or a season, not a lifetime.

Reason, Season or Lifetime

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly.

They have come to assist you through a difficulty, or to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or even spiritually.

They may seem like a godsend to you, and they are.

They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.

Sometimes they die. Sometimes they just walk away.

Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand.

What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.

The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn.

They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.

They may teach you something you have never done.

They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.

Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

And like Spring turns to Summer and Summer to Fall, the season eventually ends.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.

Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people (anyway); and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas in your life.

People will come into your life every day for a reason, season or a lifetime – just make sure you keep open to all friends.

And when you find them, when you feel the connection of a new friendship, embrace it, enjoy it for all the depth and richness it will bring.

But keep in mind that while all friendships are necessary and happening along your journey, the lifetime friends are the ones that seem to matter the most in the ends. They’re the “true friends” everyone tells you about.

They’re the ones that are always there.

They may start as reason or season friends – but they have the power to cross the divide. When you still keep in touch after the season ends…

when you can sustain conversations about more than just the reasons….

then you may have just found yourself a lifetime friend.

They’re the ones who love you for all of you. The good, the bad, the downright ugly. That ask what’s wrong and want to know the answer. They pick you up when you’re down, ground you when you’re flying out of control.

Whatever temptation, whatever distraction, whatever the reason or seasons that come along the way – nothing, not work, not money now short term wins, nothing is worth sacrificing a lifetime friend.

You’ll hurt them, they’ll hurt you and no matter what, it will all be forgiven, water under the bridge because at the end of the day, nothing matters more than the lifetime of love.

Thank you friends.

F.E.A.R

Fear is the most debilitating of human emotions.

It’s critical for our survival but with that part of your brain on constant surveillance for anything that could be dangerous it can get to a point where the definition of “dangerous” is simply “anything that is different”…

Now this was really useful when our RAS (the bit that filters in what is important to be aware of, and keeps out the rest aka the gatekeeper for your conscious mind) was used to scanning thousands of acres of African Savannah looking for the subtle movement of a sabre tooth tiger, but these days – with less animals waiting to eat you and with more rapid change and new things everywhere it can get a little out of control….

Even that wouldn’t be a problem if the fear part of us was rational and logical because it would make sense that of course things are newer more often because we’re inventing things all the time, but it doesn’t matter that there’s a new technology breakthrough because it’s obviously not life threatening – sabre tooth tigers are extinct now so there’s nothing to worry about….right?

Wrong.

See the modern “advanced” human brain actually has 3 different parts that have evolved over years of mutation under the Darwin principal -survival of the fittest. The newer neocortex areas of our brain allow us to reason and use logic, and are what has given us the ability to create such an range of tools and resources far beyond our needs for pure survival – one of the distinguishing features of human society over most other species.

Unfortunately the newer, analytical parts of our brain operate a little slower than the original “Croc Brain” which is the part responsible for all things survival.

This is the part that is deeply unconscious and controls all the things that if you needed to think about them before you did them would be too late. Like breathing, keeping your heart pumping and – reacting to life threatening danger.

When it comes to reaction speed, emotional instinct trumps logical analysis every time.

See while our brains evolved, our fight or flight response to danger remained the same.

The problem is that sometimes the fear sensor triggers the fight or flight response before we have time to rationalise that the danger isn’t really life threatening. In fact, thanks to our mirror neurones, sometimes we’re in fight or flight before we realise the danger isn’t even real! (Ever had a nightmare?)

When that response goes off, chemicals flood your body, preparing you to run away or punch danger in the face – And When you’re in real mortal danger, this response can save your life (cue Mick Fanning’s shark punch)

Most of the time it’s not a big deal but in times of heightened stress, the RAS kicks into danger hyperdrive and you can find yourself caught in the fight chain of Anger,when the last little thing causes you to lash out at someone either verbally or physically in a way that is a complete overreaction to how logically your response should have been.

Anger is the second core human emotion that we need to survive because it’s the one that defines our boundaries and fuels our strength when those boundaries are crossed. Unfortunately it is stored in a chain, like a string of pearls, and if we don’t deal with them as they come up the chain gets longer until finally the tiniest pearl at the end sends all the anger flying at whoever is closest.

Cue sadness, the third of the fundamentally human emotions that allow our society to function because it is what gives us the compassion to care for others. And with it remorse, regret and asking for forgiveness.

This compassion drives us to want to learn from our mistakes for the good of our loved ones, our community, our world. It drives us to seek the ultimate fulfilment through contribution to the good of others.

But if we’re too afraid to expand what we know to be safe, or say what needs to be said to change what needs to be changed – then we just stay stuck still, a “victim” in tears, waiting for the danger to get us and feeling powerless to stop it.

The more powerless we feel, the more we crave safety, certainty and the less willing we are to leave the familiarity of our comfort zone.

Unfortunately the more you try to keep things the same, the more anything new looks dangerous to your fear sensors.

Your whole body goes on the defensive, high alert, ready to react instantly to the first sign of danger. But when your comfort zone shrinks, that first sign of danger is often nothing more than a look, a tone of voice, an innocent question from a loved one that was never meant with judgement but you feel is an attack on your safety.

So you react with anger, sadness, fear and so the cycle continues.

There is a way to stop unreasonable fear ruling your life though, and the first step is awareness.

Let’s put aside the real dangers In Life for a moment and talk about the threats that trigger the other kind of F.E.A.R. – False Evidence Appearing Real.

If you know and accept that no matter how much you don’t like it, we’re still – and always will be in our lifetime at least – emotional beings, then you can learn to master your emotions rather than wishing they’d go away.

Fear, Anger and Sadness are not something to ignore, suppress or get rid of because they will always come out at some stage – they have to, it’s evolution baby!

While you can’t always take control of your fear response, you can take control of your RAS, or at least what it is searching for, and you must because If you don’t tell it what to look for then everything new is danger.

So when you feel the Fear, Anger or Sadness about to overwhelm you and explode, just STOP.

S- Stop. Just stop whatever your saying or about to say, doing or about to do because the only possible outcome of a fight or flight response is that someone gets hurt. Either someone/thing hurts you first; or you hurt it first – that’s the point. Whether it is physically or emotionally – fighting always hurts. Even flight hurts – it hurts you. So just stop and take the time to…

T- Think
– you need time to force your rational brains to kick in and override the danger signal. You need to notice it’s not really life threatening. Take a moment to suspend your emotional response and think that just maybe there is another perspective. Take a moment to put yourself in their shoes and…

O- Open your heart
– Love is the only antidote to fear. Love is the opposite side to the coin, they cannot exist at the same time, love will always win out because the core of fear is lack of love. So if you consider that the other person may also be reacting from an emotional space of fear then you can be open enough to hearing both sides of the story. It does not make them right but without being open, the real truth can never be told. And without the real truth, then there can never be a common ground to stand on to start to move forward. For some people, their love for you is not worth moving forward together so you simply need to get to a solid ground for you. But for others, for important relationships this is a must because it is usually these people we take our fear out on the most. They have to safest ground to be tested because you can push further with each other before giving up. Parents, husbands/wives, children, close friends – the stronger the love the stronger the tests it can withstand but there comes a point where the testing must stop. Where you must stop trying to win against them, and truly embrace the common ground to stand together so you both can win against the world. The true danger is out there, not in here, and we’re always stronger together. When you realise that then you can start to look for the…

P- Positives
. There is always a silver lining, there is always a positive in every situation because love and light always exists even in the darkness and it is so much more powerful. A single candle can shed more light than a single shadow can shed dark.

If you trust that everything happens for a reason and look for the positives, even in the potential worst case outcome, then it makes starting the thing you’re afraid of easier. If you trust that there is always a way then you will find it together.

But you must consciously look for the positive because your RAS is set to default to negative. Looking for the positive is and always will be a manual override function. Even for the most optimistic person, their default setting is to survive and that means be always on the lookout for danger. Look for love, and practice patience and gratitude as a stepping stone to love.

Remember there is no universal truth and no single common danger. Even the universal truth that the sun will come up tomorrow is not true in many parts of the world.

Our truth is simply that which we believe to be true based on all that we’ve experienced so far, and our RAS will continue to look for evidence to remind us of that truth because that is our safety, our beacon of certainty in an otherwise uncertain world.

All possibilities exist in the world in every moment. Doubt or trust. Lack or abundance. Fear or love.

The more positive universal truths we accept, the more positive our world will be as our RAS uses these as guidance to filter in and out everything else.

So look for love and trust that you are loved. And every time you find someone who loves you, hold onto that truth and never let yourself question it. Look for evidence that makes it true instead.

“Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the decision there is something more important than the fear”

RAS – click here for the science
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reticular_activating_system