HOW TO HAVE GREAT TALKS AND PRESENTATIONS

What makes for a good communicator, teacher or speech maker? While talking, personally, I’m never at a loss for words. I know some people who know me are probably shaking their heads a bit, saying, “You certainly can say that again Steve, because you certainly do talk a lot! I hope they mostly say it in jest but I probably do talk too much sometimes but most of my conversations are two-sided, which is good thing.

As a kid, I was as hush-mouthed as a mute. I kept everything inside and never spoke from my heart or my deep feelings. I found it hard to talk. But once I found my voice, I bolted out of the gate and I haven’t stopped since! I’m kidding a bit here, because truthfully, it was a slow process for me to talk to people on a deep level but now I do it pretty much every day with pretty much everyone I meet.

Recently, I had three group-presentation talks. The first one was with college academics—professors. During that talk which was on personal safety and security where I bring up some emotionally packed examples about being a victim, I saw that two people had tears in their eyes. At the end of my scheduled 60 minute talk the chief administrator told me that she didn’t want the presentation to end. That during most staff presentations, everyone, including her, usually wanted them to end quickly, but not today.

And in another talk, a few weeks later, I was told that everyone’s attention stopped and stayed with me during the entire talk. That talk was mainly about caring, trust and camaraderie. And just recently, I had the privilege to talk to another group of men and women where one person told me that he had goose bumps during the talk.

Now granted the topic areas that I talked about were important ones for people and I know the topics well but there’s another important factor that made these talks work. All three of those talks came right from my heart. And please do not gloss over what I just said. Because that is the secret to a rock-star talk or presentation. An interesting example that I’ll never forget is the story of the math teacher. I once taught next to a college math teacher for several years. Our classrooms were right next to each other but we never talked to one another. Well, one day, I received an award at the school for having the best retention rate of the teachers that year. This basically means that I had the least amount of dropouts from my classes.

After getting the award the math teacher came up real close to me, and for the first time ever, started talking to me. He told me that I had it much easier than him to win that kind of award. Expounding, he said the subject matter I taught, Criminal Justice, lent itself to interesting and motivating possibilities, much more so than math could ever be. He said that one could not make math too interesting or motivating. I kind of went along with what he said not wanting to rock the first conversation I ever had with my neighbor teacher, but I wholeheartedly disagreed with him.

The only way to teach really well or do a presentation well is by instilling passion and reality into what you are teaching or talking about. If my math teachers would have done that with me and which is certainly possible to do, I might now be able to add more than just two plus two and get it right.

Not everyone, in fact, most presenters (and I include teachers in this group) will not do this in their communications. They’ll do some of it and many will be good teachers but the majority will not, at least not day in and day out. I understand that many do not communicate this way and I’m not too judgmental about it, but I do have to say that not everyone should be a teacher or a presenter. I feel that if you’re going to stand up and pontificate or teach, do it well. Get into it and get your listeners into it. You owe it to them. And if you’re not giving that to your group do not be surprised if they don’t like you, or that they day-dream as you talk, or perhaps drop out of your class or do poorly if you’re formally teaching them.

I say, talk or write from your heart to everyone out there who believe it or not, is JUST like you. Believe in your audience. Believe that they are grand human beings waiting to be a part of you and everything around them in life. Everyone wants to be better in their lives. Everyone. Make your presentations just that. True, positive, passionate, one-on-one talks, even if there are hundred that you are talking to. Make their lives better off, if just a little bit perhaps but better off nevertheless and they’ll listen to you. Do it with real passion and real concern coupled with your knowledge and you’ll be a rock star presenter. If you cannot muster real passion and real concern for the people that you are going to talk to, stop presenting and let someone else do it. Listeners, deserve quality.

Don’t worry about the few snobs who think that verbal communication should consist of long drawn out and rigid by-the-book, academic conversations. They are wrong and should matter little to you. The vast majority of rock-star teachers or presenters are just like you with a great knowledge of their craft shared with their passion and heart.

It is a huge privilege to talk to groups of people. What a fantastic opportunity of communicating one-on-one with so many people! Be truly yourself and be delighted to talk to them. They’ll sense that you’re real and that you’re there with and for them. And when that happens, you are off and running like a champion race horse and doing it like a star!

 Guest Author2

Steve Kovacs is the author of Protect Yourself: The Simple Keys Women Need to be Safe and Secure. He is the host of the Internet Radio Talk Show, The Kovacs Perspective http://www.thekovacsperspective.com/ where he interviews experts and interesting people. Steve’s background is in law enforcement, security, investigations and teaching. In addition, Steve was a political and current events radio commentator for several years and also a college Criminal Justice instructor. He is also the president of a small specialty security and investigation company along with being the owner of an Ohio self-defense studio: ALL SOURCE SECURITYThe Mayfield Academy of Self-Defense. Contact Steve any time at:info@thekovacsperspective.com

Guest Author End

5 THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN YOUR CHILDREN HAVE LOST THEIR WAY

Parenting can be stressful, difficult, and complicated. You become responsible for the life of your child and you’re expected to raise them up as a responsible citizen of the country. It’s no easy feat and you may find yourself questioning your capabilities and parenting skills if something goes wrong.

While it’s natural for us, parents to be disappointed of ourselves and think of giving up, we have to keep in mind that our Parent in heaven never gave up on us. So if you’re struggling right now as you encounter challenges with raising a God fearing child, here are five important things our Parent above wants to remind you. 

You Are Imperfect

Like your child, you are still a work in progress. You’re bound to make mistakes. So don’t beat yourself up too much because of what happened to your child. When things go wrong, don’t blame yourself as blaming never gets you anywhere from point A to point B. Instead, continue to be accountable for the life of your child. Continue to pray according to God’s will. More importantly, entrust their lives to the perfect One who understands and shows Himself faithful to those who hope and rely on Him. 

Your Child is His Child, Too

He knows how you feel. He understands your pain as you see your child get lost because they won’t heed your instructions. They chose another path which they think is best for them but in reality, it leads to the path of destruction. You may be panicking and driving yourself crazy thinking of how you can get your child to realize the error of their ways. God sees and knows about it. Continue to get on your knees and pray for your child, who’s also the child of the Most High. Trust His plans and hang on to your faith for He knows what’s best and He’s got your best interests at heart. 

His Timing is Always Right

You may have been praying for your child for some time now but you may not see any result yet. You may have even wondered if God can hear you and doubted whether He really cares enough to hear your pleas day and night. You may think your situation is hopeless and that your prayers fell on deaf ears. But still, hang on. God’s timing has never been wrong and we can trust Him to make things beautiful in His own time. 

He is in Control

It can be heartbreaking to see your child not acknowledge God in their lives. One thing we can take comfort to when we’re struck with difficult circumstances with our relationship with our child is the fact that God is in control. We may think that things become complicated more than ever as days pass by. But sometimes, God takes us to the long route of life so that we’ll realize how He’s in control and how He’s faithful to provide all our needs.

He’s With You Whatever Happens

God knows what’s in your heart. He is faithful to carry out the plans He has for you, your child, and your family. As you go through the difficult circumstances, continue walking by faith and not by sight. The circumstances may show you the opposite of what God said. Nevertheless, believe God’s words and not what you see. That’s why it’s called faith. You don’t see it but you believe in it. But I say don’t just believe God’s promises. Embrace them and declare them in your life no matter what you see happening in the life of your child. Whatever happens, stay in His love. It’s a choice you will never regret.

As parents, our children are the most important gift we could ever have in life. Our love for them is unmatched and unequalled. And so is God’s love for us, our children, and the rest of His children on earth. When we anchor our life in Him, we will not be moved. No circumstance can ever shake us.

So hang on tightly to your faith in Him. Do not give up. He will see you through this most trying time of your life and your struggles too, shall pass.   Continue reading “5 THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN YOUR CHILDREN HAVE LOST THEIR WAY”

GRACE

Have you ever had a secret? One that you had to keep from everyone? One that was surely worse than everyone else’s secrets?

I carried the weight of a secret, and it wore me down. It kept me turning in bed when I desperately needed sleep. It masked the bright flavors of my favorite foods. It dulled the colors of my world.

My secret made me ill. My head throbbed. My bones ached. I wanted–no, I needed to tell, but I couldn’t bring myself to say it aloud. I was too afraid of what people would say. What people would think...

I couldn’t bear the judgment, so I told myself I could handle it.

I’ve already processed through it.

I’ve made it right with God.

It wasn’t completely my fault anyway.

I’ve repented. I won’t be doing anything like that again.

Over time though, the longer I kept my secret, the heavier it became to carry.

The harder I worked to hide it, the more it festered within my heart.

Eventually, one secret lead to more secrets. A little lie as a cover-up. A piece of evidence buried inside the trash can. An excuse about the circles under my eyes.

I lived with my guard up, afraid that someone would learn what I had done, and that what I had done would make me unlovable, unworthy.

I recently went away to a spiritual retreat where a bold and honest pastor spoke to me about the virtue of grace – of unmerited favor.

Unmerited, and unconditional.

He told about his daughter in her troubled teenage years, of the heartache she caused for him and his wife. She ignored her father, scoffed at him for years, yet when she finally came back to him, his arms willingly received her as his spirit soared.

I thought of my own children, the mistakes they make, the dozens of times they goof up every day. And yet, I am willing – no, I am EAGER, to give them grace. To offer another chance. To whisper, I know you’ll do better this time. I forgive you. I believe in you.

Toward the end of the retreat, participants were given the opportunity to confess wrongs to a spiritual leader. This was a new thing to me. I was raised in a Protestant church, and to be honest, I’ve often thought the sacrament of penance, or “confession,” unnecessary. What I did was between God and me. Why did I need a middle man?

Yet when the opportunity came, I was first through the door. I deeply desired to excavate the crud that had accumulated in my soul over nearly two decades.

I looked that pastor in the eyes and whispered to him both the wrong things that had happened to me and the wrong things I, myself, had done.

With tear-brimmed eyes, he whispered back to me, Stacy, I am so sorry those painful things took place, and that you have made choices you now deeply regret. But by the grace of God and the blood of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven.

Forgiven. Just like that. In a moment, a decade’s accumulation of shame disappeared.

I had expected to feel worse after telling another human being what I had done. Instead, I felt as though the Secret, the Worst-of-All-Things, had lost its power and hold on me as soon as I had named it.

I walked in the door of that room crippled with sadness, pain, and regret, and came out clean on the other side.

I’ve never experienced freedom like that before.

***

Now, my husband knows my secret. My best friend knows my secret. And yes, when I told them, they were disappointed. Hurt. But more importantly, they shared in my despair. They cried with me.

They know that my mistake is not a representation of who I am.

And they never, EVER stopped loving me. If anything, they love me more now, as they better understand my heart.

This morning, as I got into my van, I noticed that it was flat-out filthy. We’ve just had a serious thaw in Michigan– almost all the snow and ice melted in a few days, leaving sand, salt, and dust all over the roads and boulevards.

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With my three sons in the back of the van, I headed for the automatic car wash.

They squealed with delight as the high-powered sprayer blasted a layer of salt and dirt from the car…

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They stared, mesmerized, at the soapy lather that bubbled down their windows…

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and watched streams of clean water rinse it all away…

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We trembled in our seats as the dryer blasted away the last drops of water from the windshield.

On the ride home, we marveled at how clean the van was, how clear our view, how “Space Shuttle Harrison” glistened as we zoomed along the highway through our small town.

Sure, we’ll get dirty again. Dust will blow and accumulate on our surfaces. We’ll get all marked up with fingerprints. But it’s nice to know the car wash is there when we need it, ready to strip away the build-up and release us, clean– fresh, out the other side.

Perhaps you have a secret too. Something from long ago, or from yesterday. Something you’re sure would make you unlovable. Unworthy.

Believe me when I say this is a lie.

Unlovable is a lie. Unworthy is a lie.

Secrets are lies that cloud your view. They bury you with dirt from the inside out.

To name a secret is to take away its power over you. To say, I did something, but I don’t want to do it anymore, takes guts, but it puts us on the path to healing and opens the possibility of true freedom.

You don’t have to tell everyone, but tell someone. The same God, the same Mentor, the same Lover or Friend to whom you’ve extended GRACE will likely be eager to return that same GRACE to you.

Secrets are lies, my friends, but grace is real. Grace is truth. And truth is the only path to freedom.

Guest Author2

Stacy Harrison is an amazing writer and a great motivator. She is the owner of an amazing site called: Revisions of Grandeur.  This article is originally posted in her website HERETo know more about her visit her ABOUT page.

Guest Author End

WHY DO WE DESTROY THAT WHICH WE LOVE?

What is Life? If you really think about it, you’ll realize that life is a series of distractions. We were never really meant to toil and moil and somehow survive and our real purpose was never to succumb entirely to the human experience. You see, we are not just mortal beings crammed into a corner of space as flesh and bones. We are more and we have always been more. We just forgot our “more-ness” somewhere along the way. The purpose of life was to rediscover our “more-ness” through this journey and create ourselves anew to unite with our true selves.

But as mentioned, we’ve been living a series of distractions. From the time we are born till the time we die, we distract ourselves every moment. From learning to speak the first word to cramming every bit of information under the sun to holding on to a job so we can not only survive but drown in abundance. Funny thing is our Earth gives everything we need and more without asking anything in return. Yet, we suck her dry without respite, store for apocalypse , hide and steal from one another, fight and kill for it, deprive the powerless and ignorant or sell it for a piece of paper that validates securing stuff that we get for free in the first place! We have lost ourselves in that which does not represent us or our purpose entirely and have forgotten a whole other chunk that makes us whole.

Why do we do this to ourselves? The most simple, almost primal, reason for this is one singular thought, “THERE ISN’T ENOUGH.”

There isn’t enough Food. Water. Oil. Power. Money. Land. This thought does not stop here, it transcends further into there isn’t enough Love. Happiness. Beauty. Peace. Security. You see what we’re doing here? We have turned this THOUGHT into a BELIEF, which is now our REALITY. It has moved down generations, across nations, cultures, religions and everything we do and feel is based on this underlying belief.

How did we get off thinking like this? The human experience is driven by two and only two emotions, LOVE and FEAR. Think about it, everything else is just a variation of these two parent emotions and when it comes down to making decisions, they stem from fear more often than love. It is so because we were raised under a system that enabled a fear-based psyche. Remember ‘survival of the fittest’, ‘every man for himself’, ‘success of the cleverest’ and what not. I don’t intend to defame these sayings except express that these are states that we created out of delusion but thankfully this was not the only kind of influence that shaped our world into it’s present state. Time and time again there have been a few enlightened beings who knew the truth and have risen many a times to open our eyes and yet we forget their words, their passion and their magnificence. They tried to forge us into creating a more peaceful and cooperative environment based on truth learnt from within. Unfortunately, their efforts did not succeed in maintaining it as such.

We can and must let go off our deep- seated fears, unlearn ideas that incite them and whenever in doubt look within because that is where you will find truth. Almost all the violence and wars that take place today are because of the thought that somehow something isn’t enough. We are literally killing each other and destroying the planet over this. We need not live and feel like this anymore because “THERE IS ENOUGH.” Yes, there really is enough. The universe, our earth supplies us with enough to support everyone; all we have to do is SHARE! Same is true for love, money, peace and everything else. For one to share, he must let go off fear and let in love. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to give when you love someone? If we know and believe that there is enough for all, and give more, it would liberate us. It would change us inside out and bring us closer to our true inner identity. The act of giving releases all other attributes associated with fear like greed, insufficiency, jealousy, dissatisfaction etc.

We all have this invisible circle that we draw around ourselves within which we include those few who we love and care about. Any act we think is beneficial, we do it for them and that fulfills us, we give more and it doesn’t feel like a loss but gain because we think of ourselves as a unit, we believe we are “One”. Imagine if we all bring more and more people into this circle until we can’t see it anymore. Our world would be nothing like it is now. This is possible today and this moment if we realize this simple truth.

Love one another as you love yourselves because in reality we are not our bodies or separate entities, we are our souls and we come from the same Source. Do that which nourishes the soul and the body’s needs will automatically be fulfilled. Let’s make a conscious effort, as the New Year unfolds, to be more compassionate, more giving, more kind and needless to say, there would be a time when there are be no more wars, violence, insufficiency or fear, only LOVE.

BLESSED NEW YEAR YOU ALL!

Continue reading “WHY DO WE DESTROY THAT WHICH WE LOVE?”

DEALING WITH CRITICISM

At some point in our lives we have all been criticized. Sometimes the criticism is based in fact, while at other times it is not. The difficulty can often lie in telling the difference between the two. After all, unless you’re a public figure of some kind, much of the criticism most of us receive comes from people who actually know us, so at least a small piece inside of us believes that what they say must be true.

Part of the difficulty comes from believing our loved ones are saying something for our own good, and wouldn’t be willing to hurt us unless it were the truth. That isn’t always the case, though, is it? Not every family member has a positive impact on our lives. Not every friend is wishing us the best. We don’t always know that their motives aren’t pure, either. 

To really understand criticism we do have to understand the source. You’ve probably heard someone say, “Well, look where it’s coming from,” but maybe you haven’t really thought about that as anything more than a cliché. In truth, it’s absolutely necessary to do this. We have to understand exactly what the person is criticizing, why they’re doing so, and what makes them feel that way. 

If someone is criticizing you for being overweight, maybe they have emotional issues related to how they view their own body. Maybe they wouldn’t be comfortable at your body size. If they’re trying to tell you that your weight is unhealthy, do they really know whether or not you live a healthy lifestyle, and if that lifestyle is any less healthy than their own? After all, a very thin person may not exercise and is starving themselves for appearances. Maybe they’re in a constant state of unhealthy stress because they can’t break down and enjoy their life for fear of gaining a few pounds. Maybe they don’t realize you walk every single day, eat fresh fruits and vegetables with lots of whole grains, and you simply have more weight on you. People who talk about fat and health often don’t realize that there’s very little correlation between the two. 

Perhaps someone is criticizing your lifestyle. They don’t understand why you live the way you do, and wouldn’t be happy with it themselves. Maybe you’re single, and have no desire to compromise the way you live just to be in a relationship. Maybe their own insecurities make it impossible for them to be happy as a single person. 

You can see from the two examples that there can often be hidden agendas behind a critique. Quite often the agenda is even hidden from the person who is doing it. Why would a person be so desperate to be thin or married that they would pass off those personal desperations to someone else? Well, pretty obviously they are not happy with themselves at their core. They look to external things to find happiness, like a relationship or their appearance. Or maybe they find fault with others, and often particularly in very public ways, in order to bolster their self-esteem, as if to say to everyone around them, “You see? I’m much better than this other person.” 

When a person criticizes other people, they aren’t always doing it for the right reasons, even if they think they are. Once we understand that we can decide whether or not to put any trust in what they’re saying. 

Of course, there’s also the flipside of that issue, because sometimes people really do care about us, and are only looking out for us. How do we know? Well, if you can look at the criticism from every angle, and know with absolute certainty that they had nothing to gain from hurting us, and if we can see for ourselves that there might be some truth to it, then we can start to examine its merit. 

The criteria for that comes in several ways. For instance, if the person speaks to you privately and there’s nothing false or malicious in their tone, that’s a good start. People who love you and truly worry for you, are not going to try to shame you in front of others. Also, if there are concrete instances that bear out the truth of what they’re saying, then the criticism is probably based in reality rather than just their perceptions. If you’re overweight and remember times when you hid in your closet to eat a cake, and they’re worried you might have an eating disorder, there’s a reason they’re worrying about you. If they see you living a healthy lifestyle, and all they care about is your health and happiness, your weight will not be an issue for them. 

(Picture Source: http://www.hongkiat.com)
(Picture Source: http://www.hongkiat.com)

Our subconscious is a sneaky devil, however. We can often think we’ve handled a criticism in a healthy way, but the moment we have peace and quiet to think – like when we lie down to sleep for the night – those words come back to haunt us. They play over and over in our minds, and suddenly we’ve memorized them. Because of that they take on the air of truth, even when we’ve determined there was no substance to them in the light of day. 

Or we suddenly get far angrier than we were earlier in the day. We feel cheated because we didn’t get a chance to say something back, and we assume that the time has passed because we weren’t witty enough to fire right back at them while we were stunned and hurt. It’s never too late to say something. The smartest thing you can do is wait until your anger cools. It’s no longer a comeback, but rather a way to hash things out with someone so that you don’t swallow your anger. If you don’t say something to them, you will feel resentful every time you see them. You can give yourself a few days, relax a bit, and then talk to them about their tendency to criticize you in front of other people, or about something that should really have no bearing on their lives so there’s no reason for them to get involved – in other words, something that’s none of their business. 

Just don’t let the criticisms of others become hard and fast truths, because they’re not. Every critique comes from that person’s feelings, experiences and perspectives. We all come to the table with a bias of some sort. Not one of us is perfect, and we often take internal issues out on others without knowing we’re doing it. Stop for a minute and think of how you were feeling the last time you criticized someone where you felt a bit guilty for it afterward. If you can find your motivation for doing so, you’ll be a step closer to understanding why someone else has done it to you.

Continue reading “DEALING WITH CRITICISM”

WHY YOU NEVER HAVE TO PANIC AGAIN

So it’s 4am, I have to be up for work in exactly 3 hours (Or 2 if I make the incredibly bold decision to wash my hair today) and I cannot sleep. Since sharing my blog post I’ve had so many people telling me that they are struggling with anxiety and panic, that they haven’t really told many people and feel like they are trapped. WHY ARE WE NOT TALKING TO EACH OTHER? Why do we think it’s acceptable to suffer in silence, with absolutely no idea what’s happening to us, and just desperately meander through life, forcing a smile through gritted teeth as though this is how it’s supposed to be. Why do we accept that this struggle is normal? It’s not! Life is meant to flow. It’s meant to be easy. Have you ever seen a flower grow towards the sunlight, then hit a fence and try to break through it? No. It doesn’t say “Er, sorry mate you’re in my way.” And then start a full blown argument with it. It takes the most natural route around the fence. No stress. This is what nature intended for us.

Now, we learn fears in two ways; by example and by experience. It’s that simple. If as a four year old child you witnessed your own Mother crying hysterically, arms flapping, cowering in the corner of the living room, all because she saw a daddy long legs… there’s a strong chance you’ll now associate spiders with Satan himself. You quite literally soaked up her emotions like the tiny little sponge that you were, and adopted them as your very own.

Alternatively, when we physically experience a traumatic event, we then quite naturally assume all future experiences associated with such an event will play out in the exact same way and thus develop the fear of it happening again. From personal experience this is exactly how I am with the tube. The tube stopped underground once, I was alone (Yet sandwiched between 450 sweaty bankers) and I started to panic. It honestly felt like I was drowning in a sea of suits and beards. Now every time I go to get the tube, my brain immediately reminds me of this event and I start to imagine it happening again. Not cool when you’re already 10 minutes late and end up doing an Irish jig at the top of the escalator, unsure of whether or not you might actually die on your commute to work.

When experimenting with different ways to handle my fears & panic attacks, I found personification to be an extremely useful tool. Each time you pick up a fear of something, imagine that fear as a person. A really annoying little gremlin child who just won’t leave you the hell alone, and follows you around asking if you have any games on your phone. Eventually he jumps on to your back and clings on for dear life, chatting away in your ear and weighing you the fuck down whilst you try to fight him off. The more fears you have, the more annoying little gremlin children you pick up along the way, until you’re too exhausted to get out of bed in the morning because you quite literally just feel TOO HEAVY and you haven’t slept because you’re sharing your bed with 19 small green men who will not. shut. up.

This is how we see our fears. Annoying, little, green, evil, man-children.

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But when we actually stop for a moment and consider what our fears are really trying to do, we can see that they are not little gremlins that want to wind us up until we eventually explode. They are actually trying to save our lives. WE ASKED FOR THEM. We sensed danger, and they came running. Fears are actually on our side, who’d have thought it? Now consider it from this perspective. Each time we pick up a fear of something, imagine that fear as a person. A big, strong man on a horse (Ryan Gosling riding naked & bareback plz) with a huge sword, ready to save the day. Only when he arrives, there’s absolutely nothing for him to do. (Although I could think of a few things, ifyougetwhatimsayin’) Why? Because whatever ‘fear’ you’re imagining doesn’t exist. You did exactly that – Imagined it. And your body responded with those wonderful surges of unnecessary adrenaline. You see – your imagination is bloody powerful.

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Essentially what you are doing  is a form of ‘creative visualisation’ and you are literally tricking your brain in to believing that whatever ridiculous scenario you’ve thought up in your mind, is actually happening in real time. Do you ever picture yourself tripping and falling flat on your face and feel that surge of embarrassment at the mere thought? That emotion you feel right there, that is energy. As is absolutely everything else in the entire Universe. The chair you’re sitting on, your toothbrush, the sun, the moon, a badger, your Grandma. It’s all just energy.

Here’s how it works.

Thought is a very fine, light form of energy and therefore can be changed very quickly and easily. Consider how easy it is to turn one single thought in to feelings of utter dread, and convince yourself you’re ‘having a heart attack’ or ‘about to die’ within the space of about 0.001 second. Now thoughts and feelings have their own magnetic energy which attracts energy of a similar vibration. This is physics lol. (I’m terrible at science so bear with me.) A great example of this energy in action would be those moments when you ‘accidentally’ run in to someone you’ve  literally been thinking about all week. YOU KNOW WHEN YOU JUST KNOW. And then it happens and you’re all weirded out like “I KNEW IT. What a bloody coincidence”. It’s not a coincidence. It’s energy.

Now when we create something (like panic – yay!) we always create it first in the form of an idea which acts as a sort of blueprint for what you’re about to experience in real time. This idea literally guides the energy flow into that form and eventually manifests in the here- and-now. I’m pretty sure 96% of you will have read about the ‘law of attraction’ in an attempt to get a brand, spanking new car on your drive. Well, this my friend, is the exact same thing. Whatever you think about, you attract. So if your mind is constantly living in the future rather than this exact moment right now (Where by the way, you are 100% safe) then you are actively choosing to go down the path of fear and anxiety. You and only you are in control of your thoughts. And I know that this fact alone can be pretty god damn scary, because you often think you could quite possibly be going bat shit crazy, but you’re not. You can train your brain to think wonderful, happy, anxiety-free thoughts all day every day, but it takes practice. Impatience will get you nowhere, so I beg you to stick at this.

It’s important to know why this takes so much practice and patience. And the answer lies in the science behind how our brain works. When I began to research in to and learn more about the inner workings of the brain, I could finally begin to comprehend exactly what was happening to me on a scientific level. (And it’s surprisingly comforting.)

The fact is, we live the majority of our lives on auto-pilot. We do the exact same shit every single day. Wake up at 7am, (press snooze), drag yourself to the bathroom, brush your teeth, strip down, stare at your boobs in the mirror, jump in the shower, get out, frantically blow dry your hair upside down, go to work (late), worry about life, come home, make dinner, watch 3 episodes of Dinner Date, trawl through Instagram while eating crumpets, genuinely wondering why you don’t have abs yet and then off to bed you toddle, only to repeat it all the next day. Inspiring stuff, I know.

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Anyway, by demonstrating the exact same behaviours every single day, we end up having the exact same thoughts, choices, experiences and feelings…every single day.

In his AMAZINGLY simplified book “You are the Placebo” (for people who aren’t that great at Science but are interested in brains and ting) Dr. Dispenza says this, (It’s quite brilliant):

“Now take a look at your life for a moment. What does this mean for you? If you’re thinking the same thoughts as yesterday, more than likely, you’re making the same choices today. Those same choices today are leading to the same behaviours tomorrow. The same habitual behaviours tomorrow are producing the same experiences in your future. As a result, you’re feeling the same every day. Your yesterday becomes your tomorrow – so in truth, your past is your future.”

So basically, you’ve trained your brain every single day to act in a certain way without you even having to think about it. If fear and panic are part of this daily routine, then they are happening on a subconscious level. When we consider that 95% of our brains work on this subconscious level, choosing our thoughts and feelings for us based on past experiences, then that teeny weeny little 5% of your conscious mind that says “Oh don’t be stupid, there’s no need to panic” Is actually at a bit of a loss, don’t you think?

Let’s take for example the horrendous fear that you might be about to have a panic attack. You had one once, twice, a hundred times before, it doesn’t matter. The important point here is that you have a strong memory of a really bloody awful past event. Now when this particular really bloody awful past event happened, you actually changed the chemistry in your brain. Your thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, feelings and perception of reality were all transformed through neurological rewiring and chemical re-signalling. (Fancy, eh?)

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Now the more you think these thoughts, the more the brain fires its neurons which activate its wonderfully complex neural networks in the exact same sequences, and so the stronger they become. (Think of it like a gym for your thoughts.) Your brain is learning to act on auto-pilot, so worrying and panicking is literally becoming a natural, automatic response. In order to change this response, YOU MUST FIRST CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS.  By reinforcing your new ways of thinking through constant practice, your brain will begin to activate new neural networks, which will weaken the older, negative ones. Got it?

My previous post about Fear & the Ego can be accessed here and describes my favourite meditation techniques for overcoming anxiety.

Panic attacks are a little different. Let’s look at a few little tricks you can do to dissolve the fear quickly and easily, and how you can keep practicing these techniques until one day you wake up and realise you’ve not had one for weeks – and you’d been so wonderfully happy and preoccupied that you didn’t even notice. Can you smell the freedom? Woohoo.

Okay so…

Remember earlier when I compared our fears to Ryan Gosling riding naked & bareback on a horse?  I’m gonna run through this with my tube fear so you can see exactly how it works.

I’m sitting on the tube, and all of a sudden it stops underground in a horribly dark, smelly, rat infested tunnel. It’s the height of summer; everyone is crammed together and my face is dangerously close to a strange man’s armpit. I immediately assume that the train has malfunctioned and we will inevitably be stuck here for the rest of eternity. I have no water in my bag and rations of food will quickly become sparse. I have no phone signal down here, so I can’t call my parents and let them know that I am dying a slow and painful death. I’m vividly picturing my death certificate which reads, “Cause of death: suffocation by sweat patch.”
The more I try not to panic, the more the impending sense of doom wells up inside of me, and adrenaline is being pumped through my veins to help me fight or flee the scene which my body can only assume is  Meg Vs. an untamed, hungry lion. Only I’m stuck. Well and truly wedged, with nowhere to go. Suddenly I hear hooves in the distance, the entire tube gasps with delight as Ryan Gosling somehow manages to make his way down the tunnel, opens the doors,  fights his way through the crowds of people  until he’s finally standing, by my side, sword in hand, ready for battle. WHAT BATTLE? The tube sets off again, the adrenaline slowly drains away and I’m left with clammy hands, a rapid heartbeat and a knight in shining armor that I quite frankly didn’t need.

It’s pointless!! There is NO danger. There is nothing to fear but the fear itself. You are NOT DYING. Panic attacks cannot kill you. NO ONE HAS EVER DIED FROM HAVING ONE! And if it’s only the fear that you really fear… then the panic attack is literally as bad at the situation is gonna get.  And if you’ve survived one before, you’ll survive a hundred more. Only you don’t bloody have to.

A few more wonderful tips for surviving panic:

  1. Fill your mouth with spit. (Gross I know, but the brain associates dry mouth with panic. So when you fill it with spit, it magically tells the brain everything is okay.)
  2. BREATHE AMIGO. When you focus on your breathing you are present in the moment, so fear of the future cannot bother you. Focus intently on deep, slow breaths. Rapid breaths take in far too much oxygen and this just contributes to the panic.
  3. Tense your whole body as much as you can, hold for 10 seconds and then let it go. When you let it go, it’s like all the tension has just been squeezed away. Works wonders.
  4. Say out loud “I am safe.” Another great one that Wayne Dyer taught me (God rest his wonderful soul) was to say “I want to feel good!” out loud. It really works.

Anyway, let me know how you go. If Ryan Gosling isn’t your type feel free to replace him with which ever man/woman you wish, and if you’re not in to horses you can always substitute my guy for a goat. Get creative. Make yourself laugh. Stop taking life too seriously.

You can do this. HEART YOU A LOT. x

Continue reading “WHY YOU NEVER HAVE TO PANIC AGAIN”

CHOOSE LIVING, FORGIVING AND LOVING OVER ANGER AND BITTERNESS…

When the journey is hard, when the walls are closing in, when life makes no sense, when all around makes you feel like you are not even there, like you no longer matter, when life try to make you believe that no ones cares, when your last source of strength is dried out by disappointments, by failures, by simply being human, remember, HE WAS AND IS THERE ALL ALONG THE WAY..
 
Not one single act of glory of failure in our walk goes in vain, even though we get to choose every step we take, and where it lead us God still will use every pain, every scar to mold the person in which He originally made us to be, even when we are broken and dead inside, it is than that He comes alive and strengthen us in Him who is all sufficient, all perfect, all pure and Is LOVE!
 
Live like you were dying, die like you were living, don’t wait till someone is gone to forgive to let go, to forgive, to say how you feel for them, there is no grace in anger or vengeance, but there is life and everlasting mercy in forgiveness, life is to be lived with a purpose greater than our own, and not to be survived by a result smaller than our efforts…
 
Are you a believer? There are so many crying out for help, so many wanting to believe in something more than life, some stuck behind their own brilliant mind, and blind heart, refusing to believe in what deep inside they knew to be true all along, is it really worth to continue to compare Faith to Science when your life is on the line and man can no longer do anything for you? Faith will always carry what the world simply can’t, and trust, believe in God is the only answer for an eternal life, what do you have to loose, take a chance, DARE GOD to make Himself known to you, and hold on to your heart for the most indescribable journey life can give…

Continue reading “CHOOSE LIVING, FORGIVING AND LOVING OVER ANGER AND BITTERNESS…”