We NEED to control our conscious awareness!

In Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s 1992 book, “Flow – The Psychology of Happiness”, he traces the way that agencies that seek powers for specific purposes – states, churches, employers, retailers and many more, exploit human consciousness and control human behaviour to their own ends.  His definition of stress is that it occurs when the individual looses control their life, resulting in a belief that they are essentially powerless.  His solution is for the individual to regain their perceived loss of power. Many of us try to do this by changing our external life circumstances, perhaps by, getting a new job, moving house, having children or getting married or divorced.  Unfortunately, Csikszentmihalyi says that this will not remove the source of stress, because by fulfilling what are probably our “heart’s desires” we are actually further “buying in” to the system that is controlling us and was the cause of our stress in the first place.

We NEED to control our conscious awareness he says! For him the solution to our problems lies in our ability to control our own consciousness awareness.

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Break free of control!

Regarding control, he says:-

“The most important step in emancipating oneself from social controls is the ability to find rewards in the events of each moment. If a person learns to enjoy and find meaning in the ongoing stream of experience, in the process of living itself, the burden of social controls automatically falls from one’s shoulders. Power returns to the person when rewards are no longer relegated to outside forces”…

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Freedom without control …

Flow and the Foundations of Positive Psychology: The Collected Works of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (25 Jul 2014) is available from Amazon

There are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”.  Download chapter 1 free now! There are helpful free downloads at: sue@suewashington.com

The Psychology of Happiness

About happiness, and following on from the previous entry, it is useful to consider what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1992) says on the subject in his book “Flow – The Psychology of Happiness”. In his book about happiness, he traces the way that agencies that seek powers for specific purposes – states, churches, employers, retailers and many more, exploit human consciousness and control human behaviour to their own ends.

His definition of stress is that it occurs when the individual looses control their life, resulting in a belief that they are essentially powerless.

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  His solution is for the individual to regain their perceived loss of power. Many of us try to do this by changing our external life circumstances, perhaps by, getting a new job, moving house, having children or getting married or divorced.

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Unfortunately, Csikszentmihalyi says that this will not remove the source of stress, because by fulfilling what are probably our “heart’s desires” we are actually further “buying in” to the system that is controlling us and was the cause of our stress in the first place. He takes, and frequently reiterates the view that it is not external fortune or misfortune that determines how a given individual will cope, but the inner resources and ultimately the belief system of that individual.  If we believe that we are the victims of our circumstances, we will experience our lives as exceedingly stressful.  Gaining power or control over our lives is not however enough to remove the negative effects of stress.

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Pursuing the positive or ‘flow’ of human experience – that experience during which awareness of self and time are lost, Csikszentmihalyi throws light on the reasons we experience the events or circumstances in our lives as stressful.

There are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”.  Download chapter 1 free now!

There are helpful free downloads at: sue@suewashington.com

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1992) “Flow – The Psychology of Happiness” (1992) is available from Amazon

Reducing stress

Reducing stress

Regarding stress reduction, enough has been written on the subject to fill more than one sizeable library.  The fact that many companies now employ ‘Stress Busters’ to help their employees cope is a positive step forward, but is also in itself a sad indictment of the state we find ourselves in.

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In many respects, stress has recently been ‘discovered’, and there are not many who would now argue the figures put out on a regular basis claiming enormous percentage loss in profits to companies due to the effects of stress on employees.

As stress is clearly one of the great obstacles to peace of mind, it is necessary to consider it here, under a separate heading, although even without specific attention being paid to it, stress levels automatically reduce when life is lived more effectively and peacefully.

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All of the various aspects presented within Peace of Mind have an impact on the level of stress experienced by the individual.  When personal, internal stress is reduced (via relaxation) and psychological tensions are reduced (via self-hypnosis, visualisation and affirmations) and interpersonal stress is reduced (via more effective communications and positive relationships) ‘stress’ as a separate entity no longer exists.

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There are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”.  Download chapter 1 free now!

There are helpful free downloads at: sue@suewashington.com

Peter Blythe (1925 – 2013) A personal remembrance by Sue Washington

I met Peter Blythe in South Preston  in the summer of 1968 and started my psychotherapeutic journey.  I was 21 and he was 42.  I was preparing for my first job as a schoolteacher at an independent girls’ school in Southport, Merseyside.  He was working as an established hypnotherapist – a position unheard of in those days.  I was fascinated. He said that if I WAS really interested I would stick to him like super glue and not let go! I did just that!!

I moved to Chester two years later, the city that Peter chose. It did not take long for him to start teaching there. I went to all his workshops and spent many many hours and years training with him. He was a master of knowledge and of presentation. His strong model was such that sometimes I see myself with his stance and hear myself saying his words. Soon after he started to teach and work in Sweden. Super glue still applied, I would go with him … We were together for ten years.

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Looking back over those 45 and a half years I see things in a different perspective. I think of Evelyn Waugh’s “Brideshead Revisited”. The author talks through his young hero Charles Ryder, the narrator of the story and a History student at Hertford College, Oxford. He longs to be with the ‘in crowd’ at the University and talks about ‘the low door in the wall to which there was no key’ and through which he yearns to go. He is by accident befriended by Lord Sebastian Flyte, the younger son of the aristocratic Lord Marchmain and an undergraduate at Christ Church. Sebastian introduces Charles to his eccentric and aesthetic friends and he knows that he has moved through that keyless low door in the wall. During my relationship with Peter I was aware at the time and marvelled about it, that he took me through that low door in the wall to which there was no key; into that same magical space. I was in my twenties and supporting him in all sorts of ways on an international scene when, chronologically I should have been barely on a local one.

I am told that when Peter Blythe addressed the National College conference a few years ago he asked that people ‘remembered their roots’. He was asking you all to acknowledge him – and perhaps you would do that and remember this ‘mover and shaker’ with affection as do I. I think he must have written this obituary (published in the Daily Telegraph) during his long illness. It reads thus in part:-

“During his time in the Navy, Huxley-Blythe discovered that he had inherited some of his father’s skills as a hypnotist. Convinced that the technique could be developed as a clinical tool, in the late 1960s he founded the Blythe College of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy (now the National College of Hypnosis and Psychotherapy), wrote two books, Hypnotism – its power and practice (1971) and Self Hypnotism — its potential and practice (1976), and was invited to train doctors and dentists in the use of hypnosis in Sweden and Britain. His interest in the relationship between mind and body led him to take a PhD in Psychosomatic Medicine at an American university and to the publication of other books, including Stress Disease: The growing plague (1973) and Drugless Medicine (1974).

An invitation to deliver a lecture on reading difficulties (a subject of which he admitted he “knew nothing”) started a trail of discovery which led to the setting up of the Institute of Neuro-Physiological Psychology (INPP) in Chester in 1975, which he established as a private research centre concerned with the role of the central nervous system in learning difficulties and behavioural problems in childhood.

According to the institute its method of assessment and intervention, now known as the INPP Method, involves reconnecting body and mind by “taking back” the body to an early stage in life and retraining it, and has transformed the lives of thousands of children .

Huxley-Blythe continued to work as a consultant to INPP until a year before his death. His other works include An Organic Basis for Secondary Neuroses and Educational Difficulties (1979, with DJ McGlown).

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/10380814/Peter-Huxley-Blythe.html

 

The last time I saw him was April last year when I visited him in hospital. He looked the same – just older. We caught up for an hour and I did the business I needed to do with him before I kissed him goodbye. I had no idea it would be the last time we met. I learned of his death by e-mail from his address as a ‘bounce back’ in January this year – some six months late (I was writing to invite him for lunch!). I spoke to our old colleague DJ McGlown in Chester as soon as I heard. He, too, had heard about Peter’s death only in December. I was sorry only that I did not know of it so could not attend his funeral in Chester Cathedral. But there we are …

I loved his father the great Henry Blythe. I loved Peter Blythe. Through all those years I know that I had the worst of him. I also had the best of him.

There are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”.  Download chapter 1 free now!

There are helpful free downloads at: sue@suewashington.com

 

 

Affirmations: Each day in Every Way I am …

An affirmation may confirm a belief that is already held, or it may seek to reinforce a belief that is preferred to the one that is currently held. If we have no confidence in ourselves, and the merest thought of talking to a stranger makes us quiver, we do so because we believe that we are basically worthless.  We may choose an affirmation something like, ‘With every passing moment I feel more and more confident’ or ‘I am a valuable and unique person’.

We will look at the specifics of the way we can use affirmations to enhance our lives later …

Even though Stuart Wilde proposed the definition of affirmation quoted yesterday:-

 “An affirmation is, in effect, a statement either of word, thought, feeling, or action that underlines or confirms a belief pattern that you hold. There are negative or positive affirmations.” ,

this is by no means new.  Those of us who have either read John Galsworthy’s “The Forsyte Saga” of which the first novel was published in 1906, or who are old enough to remember it on British television, will remember the rather lovely child of our hero, Soames Forsyte.  As a mother-to-be (ignorant of what we know of modern genetics) she wanders around saying to herself, repetitively and monotonously, “Each day, in every way, my child is becoming more and more male”.  The French Doctor Emile Coué, who wrote “Self Mastery Through Autosuggestion” (1922) was in fashion at the time, and purported that the monotonous repetition of desired outcomes in this fashion would have the desired effect.  He advocated a string with twenty little knots in it, on the way to sleep at night and first thing whilst waking up in the morning to use the phrase ‘EACH DAY IN EVERY WAY I AM GETTING BETTER AND BETTER’.  He has it printed like this, in capitals, to emphasise the importance of his suggestion.

There are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”.  Download chapter 1 free now!

There are helpful free downloads at: sue@suewashington.com