I Appreciate Myself

I Appreciate Myself

 

The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.

Carl Jung

The last few weeks have been full of changes as I have moved house, which is an interesting experience with an energetic toddler at your side. And yes I’m using the Marie Kondo method! Meaning I’m discarding anything that doesn’t bring me joy so no more holding onto things just for the sake if it. It’s amazing just how much stuff I’ve accumulated. And you know what a lot of it is? Journals I’ve kept! I love self development work and I have completed some wonderful courses in lots of different modalities. Through it all, journaling has been a constant.

I had a thought while I was clearing through all my journals, photos and sentimental items. Like everyone there have been so many changes in my life, different houses, relationships and experiences. Reading those journals I realised how painful some of those transitions have been for me and how sometimes I have been so tough on myself to just push through it and not express how I’m really feeling and what I need. The other thing that struck me was how lucky I am to have been so loved in my life. Did I really appreciate it at the time or was I caught up in feeling angry because maybe that person wasn’t supporting me in exactly the way I wanted at that time? Or perhaps I didn’t have the tools to communicate clearly?

What would it have been like if I could have held myself in self compassion during those times of change. If I could have been curious and been able to ask myself: Anna what do you really need right now? What are you hungry for? What would it have been like to communicate my desires to other people in my life without any drama or blame? And what would it have been like to appreciate and love myself and those people in my life, with the knowledge that we are all only ever doing our best with what we have available at the time?

Practice

Whilst clearing through my journals I was reminded of a brilliant practice for you to try. Get a pen and some paper or a journal and set a timer for 5 minutes. Begin each sentence with I appreciate myself for…. Keep doing that for 5 minutes and if it feels tough, dig deep, there are always masses of things that we sometimes struggle to recognise that we can appreciate ourselves for. Believe me, like a gratitude list, this is a simple but life changing practice especially if you commit to doing it every day.

New Course

Giving birth for a woman is like hurtling off a cliff in the dark. Many of us prepare thoroughly for the birth but how many of us prepare for our role as mothers adequately?

In lots of cultures around the world women have a different experience of the post-natal period. Family members move in with the new mother and father and the new mother is not expected to do anything else expect rest, recover and feed her baby.  As we know a woman has gone through a life changing journey, mentally /psychologically she’s different and of course the physical changes that have taken place.

Sadly that is not usually the experience for the majority of new mothers in this country. Trauma from birth, stress and depression, feeling isolated, trying to ‘do it all’, and sleep deprivation do not bode well for a positive start for the new mother, baby and family.

I’ve created a new online training programme for new mothers who have given birth in the last year. What would it be like during this time to gently take yourself by the hand and give yourself the care and compassion you need right now?

What the F*ck?  – Fourth Trimester to First Year

Who am I?

What does it feel like to be me?

What do I want?

What am I hungry for?

When do I feel at home in my body?

What do I believe about myself?

What am I here for?

This six week online training programme is for mothers in the first year after giving birth who are interested in exploring these questions. At the heart of this course is our relationship with ourselves. We’ll be using a series of self-enquiry tools and resources that build our capacity for:

Self compassion

Self care

Self confidence

Self worth

Self awareness

What you get:

– Weekly teaching video with supporting notes

– Live Q&A’s sessions with me twice a week

– Daily home practices to integrate what you’re leaning.

* No longer than 5 minutes a day

– Private Facebook group to share your discoveries and   support each other

Bonus

Live weekly interviews and Q&As with experts on mental health, movement, nutrition, energy healing and more

Date

The course will launch on Monday 13th May

Cost

£111 paid in 1 instalment

£37 paid in 3 instalments

Special offer

Refer a friend and if they sign up you get 20% off

I believe that when we are connected to ourselves we pave the way for more meaningful relationships with others and we are more in integrity with our values and purpose.

If you would like to join the programme or have any questions, concerns and/or would like more information please connect with me on Instagram or email. I am always happy to connect and answer questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making Friends with Fear

Making Friends with Fear

When I found out I was pregnant I was thrilled and then I quickly became terrified about the birth. I had a fear of hospitals and doctors, which was caused by the treatment I had received by a doctor in my early twenties after a traumatic incident. It felt like being traumatised twice. Fifteen years later and pregnant, I was still holding onto the fear. Imagining anything associated with my impending birth was enough to propel me into a state of anxiety and panic.

Although I had an understanding of where the fear came from I also felt angry at my fear. Angry that this potentially beautiful, life-affirming transition into motherhood would not be realised because I would be paralysed by my fear. Feeling at the mercy of fear felt so disempowering and hopeless. If I had named it I would say it was like a damp, dark, black swamp that I was stuck in. I felt it rise in my chest to my throat every time I read a birth story and within minutes I would be sobbing.

My fear had a definite source and that’s true for lots of the women I work with. Sometimes though we don’t know where the fear comes from. It’s a genralised anxiety that has potentially grown as a result of stories about birth we’ve heard in the mainstream media or those our traumatised sisters have told us. Wherever the fear comes from the impact is the same and the messages we tell ourselves are:

I can’t do this

I’m not strong enough

This will break me

I’m going to let myself and everyone else down

Why can’t I get past this?

I won’t be able to handle the pain

It will overwhelm me

This will break me

The fears and limiting beliefs we experience, however all encompassing or fleeting are a barrier to our potential to have a positive, calm birth experience. But here’s the thing: our fear about birth or anything we may find ourselves afraid of in life: public speaking, making decisions, ageing, dying, relationships, does not go away. How about then we make friends with the fear? And start to entertain the idea that fear is looking out for us. From fear’s point of view, it’s like hey what’s up? I thought we were buddies; I’ve always had your best interests at heart….

I’d like to propose then that contrary to what we feel like doing to our fear ie banishing her to a dark cellar, to never see the light of day again, we instead pull up a chair, sit down and make friends with her. I’m not going to pretend that’s easy but the results are well worth the effort it takes, believe me. So how do we begin?

  5 ways you can start to get to know your fear:

  1. Close your eyes, connect to your breath and start to sense where you feel the fear in your body and describe the sensation. For example I can feel a bright red heavy ball in my stomach
  2. Personalise your fear. Give her a name, an appearance, what does her voice sound like? 
  3. Write a letter to your fear telling her how you feel and write one back from your fear to you. You may be surprised what comes up!
  4. Try Morning Pages which is explained in Julia Cameron’s iconic book The Artist’s Way. Every morning you write three pages of A4 unedited internal monologue. Essentially it’s a massive brain dump
  5. If you notice fear starting to talk to you during your day and it’s having a disempowering effect, find a way to thank her and stop listening. You can let her know you’ll give her some time later to voice her concerns. Perhaps using one of the tools above. Remember fear is doing her best to keep you safe!

This process is the first step in managing our fear and moving from a place of pain to power. My own experience has been that once I really made room for fear, looked her in the eye and acknowledged her role and thanked her, things started to change. She let go of her grip on my throat and I stated to feel ok about her being there. I recognised that in fact she would always be there but the difference now is I’m the one in the driver’s seat, not her.

And of course there are more steps. And that’s what we keep doing. Taking steps and taking action. It’s all part of the process. And in the case of giving birth, we may just look back on the experience and see that it was when things felt unbearably hard and the fear felt insurmountable, that there was the growth, our opportunity for a beautiful transformation.

I’d love to hear how you get on with this first step. Let me know! And if you would like support on your journey, contact me to find out what options are available for working together.