About feelings …

The material in this series of 24 x blogs with this similar format were originally published by the now late Ivan Sokolov and his wife Jacquie Pearson under the auspices of The Parent Network.  They are re-published with the permission of the authors for which we are most grateful.


Feelings can be uncomfortable. This is true of the feelings we have ourselves as well as the ones other people show us.  We often find feelings difficult to cope with because we were not allowed to show them when we were little.  Keeping  feelings locked away is not healthy –  it is much better to be able to show them in ways that don’t hurt others. It is also often valuable to help others express their feelings too – especially those closest to us, like our familes.

Feeling good about ourselves

We can’t help anyone else feel good about themselves if we don’t feel good about ourselves.  We need to like who we are and what we do.

We can help ourselves by making sure that we do things we enjoy and that make us feel good.  Those close  to us can also do nice things for us and help us, but we can’t expect them to mind read, so telling them what we like and want is important.

Another way we can improve the way we think about ourselves is by replacing the voice in our heads that tells us off with a voice that says encouraging things, and by imagining ourselves strong and competent.

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We never grow up 

Part of making sure we feel good about ourselves is looking after the child that is always inside us. However grown up we may be, there is always a young part somewhere inside that needs to be loved and to come out to play again.

Accepting the way others feel

Many people find it hard to cope with feelings – their own as well as those of other people.  Often when we are near someone getting very upset or angry, or perhaps even being very joyful, we feel uncomfortable or awkward. Sometimes another person showing their feelings triggers similar emotions that we usually manage to keep locked away inside ourselves – often feelings that it was not all right to show when we were little. Our discomfort NOW may be related to the discomfort we felt then, when we learned to deny or `put away’ the way we felt.

Keeping our feelings locked away is not only uncomfortable, it is also not very useful.  At best it  makes it more difficult for us to relate to what is going on around us, and at worst, we can be so out of touch with our feelings that we don’t even recognise what is going on inside us.

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It is important to acknowledge the feelings those around us – those they express as well as those they try to hide.  By listening to those around us, and when we  acknowledge their feelings, we send out a message that says `you are important’. We make them feel the way we would like to feel ourselves.

When dealing with children, it is even more vitally important to acknowledge the reality of their feelings, because the way they are treated in the present affects not only how they feel here and now, but also lay down patterns of response for their later adulthood.  If we deny children’s feelings, and criticise them for showing them, not only may it teach them to bury their feelings, it will also affect the way they think about themselves.  If you acknowledge a child’s pains, worries, fears and tempers, you are acknowledging them and their right to feel. If you deny them and their right to feel, you will make it difficult for them to feel good about themselves.

Most children, and many adults find it difficult to express their feelings appropriately.  In these cases we can help them recognise the way they feel by saying it the way it looks to us – for example: “You look upset”, “You seem sad”, “Boy, you sound angry.”

Destructive feelings pose a slightly more difficult problem.  Feelings need to be expressed, and not denied – but sometimes creative solutions are needed, for instance: “You sound really frustrated. It’s okay to show it, and I think it’s unfair to take it out on us. How about going and shouting somewhere else?”

Or:  “I can see that you’re very angry, and I’m sure you must have a good reason to feel that way, but perhaps if you went for a little walk outside you’ll come up with a more constructive way of resolving this issue.”

When we were forced to deny our feelings as children, we never learned positive or alternative ways of coping with them, and this pattern can persist into adulthood. The emotions our parents had difficulty allowing us to express usually become the emotions we struggle to deal with in others. Examples of these situations:

  • A father who is frightened of his own anger may have difficulty dealing with his child’s temper.
  • A mother who was never allowed to run, tumble or climb freely, may have difficulty in accepting her child’s physical energy.

Manipulation of Emotions

The patterns of response we have as adults were probably taught to us by our parents while we were children.  For example,  a dislike  of insects probably came from the reaction of a parent or a significant other in our lives when we were young.

We watched others react in a certain way, and because of our love and respect for that person, we `believed’ their reaction, and adopted it as our own.  Some of these patterns were very subtle, while others may have been quite overt, and in the form of clear messages.

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There are two things to be learned from this.  In the first place, if we have children, or deal with children in any way, we can cultivate an awareness of the way we influence their feelings, and the way they express their feelings.  We can consciously `allow’ them to have their own feelings, and not `give’ them ones they don’t have.

Secondly, by gaining an awareness that our original patterns of response were learned in the first place, we discover that we are able to change the ones we don’t particularly want or like, and we can keep the ones we do like.  We become aware of the powerful fact that we have the freedom to choose, in many cases, how we feel about things.

Accepting your own emotions

As you start to get into the habit of accepting other people’s feelings, it is also important to become more accepting of your own. Just as we suggested  you acknowledge  the feelings of others, you could usefully do the same with your own at times.

Saying “I’m fed up” or “I feel great”, even without any explanation is a good way to let others know what is going on. It will not only get you more in touch with yourself, but send the message that it’s okay to say how you feel, and those around you will begin to feel more comfortable about being honest about the way they feel. 

Labels and expressing feelings

Some people tend to label other people’s behaviour because they don’t find it easy to express their own feelings instead. They might say : “You are rotten” when they really mean “I really feel hurt by what you’ve just done.” So when they try to stop using labels and just describe behaviour they feel frustrated.

When Jim’s secretary didn’t type an important letter he needed desperately, he bravely controlled his exterme irritation and said “You still haven’t typed the letter” instead of shouting and calling her ‘stupid’ as he would have liked to have done.  But he found that he grew even more angry and frustrated.  He hadn’t been able to express or give vent to the way he felt either by labelling the secretary or by saying how he felt …

He would probably have felt better if his response had been:

“That was an extremely important letter, and the delay at getting it in the post may havwe serious consequences for the business.  I feel very frustrated and angry at the moment!”

A sad but very true thing about labels is that they tend to be self-fulfilling.  If you tell someone often enough that they are stupid, they will doubtless become stupid before too long.

The act of labelling does offer some relief to the one doing the labelling.  That is because labels are usually negative, and expressed in anger. Being able to label or name something  can therefore have the effect of relieving some of the stress, anger or tension in the person who feels wronged, but it invariably creates great distress in the other party.

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The most desirable outcome is for the angered or upset party to express how they feel without labelling or causing distress to anyone else.  At first this may seem quite difficult, but the dividends in terms of improved relationships makes the effort at creativity worthwhile.

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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

The material in this series of 12 x blogs with this similar format were originally published by the now late Ivan Sokolov and his wife Jacquie Pearson under the auspices of The Parent Network.  They are re-published with the permission of the authors for which we are most grateful.

Please listen to this anti-war protest song from Don McLean

On the centenary of the start of the 1914-18 war please listen to this anti-war protest song from Don McLean
Don McLean
“The Grave”

The grave that they dug him had flowers
Gathered from the hillsides in bright summer colours,
And the brown earth bleached white at the edge of his gravestone.
He’s gone.

When the wars of our nation did beckon,
A man barely twenty did answer the calling.
Proud of the trust that he placed in our nation,
He’s gone,
But Eternity knows him, and it knows what we’ve done.

And the rain fell like pearls on the leaves of the flowers
Leaving brown, muddy clay where the earth had been dry.
And deep in the trench he waited for hours,
As he held to his rifle and prayed not to die.

But the silence of night was shattered by fire
As guns and grenades blasted sharp through the air.
And one after another his comrades were slaughtered.
In morgue of Marines, alone standing there.

He crouched ever lower, ever lower with fear.
“They can’t let me die! They can’t let me die here!
I’ll cover myself with the mud and the earth.
I’ll cover myself! I know I’m not brave!
The earth! the earth! the earth is my grave.”

The grave that they dug him had flowers
Gathered from the hillsides in bright summer colours,
And the brown earth bleached white at the edge of his gravestone.
He’s gone.

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

More on altered awareness …

As pure science gained in power and popularity, so we began to move away from belief in the usefulness, or even the existence of an altered state of mind.  Studies that were conducted were basically flawed from the start, because it is impossible to experience a mind state in the physical sense, and the debate began, attempting to locate the mind in the physical brain.  Ancient practises of meditation were discredited as belonging to heathen religions and research such as there was into the scientific basis for altered awareness hung on the fringes or respectability.

And in spite of huge advances in scientific study, in the minds of many this is still a fairly basic belief.  Let us now, with the aid of some layman’s science, attempt to explain what has been discovered about ‘altered awareness’.

EEG (or electroencephalograph) readings have shown four basic types of brainwave pattern in the human brain.


These are patterns of electric discharge by the neurones in the brain.  Over many studies they have found that certain waves are most often associated with certain activities.  Alpha and Beta waves occur mainly during waking, and Theta and Delta waves occur during sleep.  Beta waves are the fastest, and show up as short spiky squiggles on the graph.  Delta waves are the slowest, and occur during deep, unconscious sleep, or unconsciousness.  Between these two extremes lie Alpha and Theta waves.  Of the two, Theta waves are slower, and are found during sleep.  Alpha waves occur during the threshold period between ordinary wakefulness and regular sleep.  When practising altered awareness, the EEG measures Alpha waves, and the slower the wave, the deeper the state of mental relaxation – or usually the ‘more pleasant’ the experience of altered awareness is reported to be on a subjective level.


Other changes occur to the physiology when in this state that have been proved to be most beneficial, and of the order of increasing the body’s ability to deal with external stresses.  One of the key elements of altered state awareness, which will be discussed further in a moment, is an alteration in breathing rate.  Now without going into an unnecessary lesson on the biological structure of nerves and the nervous system, it is enough to state that as breathing becomes slower, there is less exchange of gasses in the lungs, and the level of carbon dioxide in the blood stream increases.  Nerve impulses are transmitted along a series of nerve fibres, which are long stringy fibres running through the body, and massed in the brain.  There are little gaps between the fibres, and these gaps are filled with chemical substances called neurotransmitters.  A nerve impulse is a change in the small electrical polarity of the outside of the nerve relative to the inside of the nerve cell.  When a nerve impulse starts – in other words, when this wave of polarity change starts along the length of a nerve – it cannot stop until it reaches the end of the nerve.  This is where the little gaps between the nerve fibres come in.  If there were no gaps, it would be impossible to have relief from pain for example, because the transmission of the pain impulse would race along these nerves and be experienced as pain at the other end.  When the change in polarity reaches the gap between nerves, it has to hop across, literally on the back of the chemical carriers.  If for some reason the body (or the doctor, via the introduction of a chemical) does not want the nerve impulse to be transmitted, it changes the nature of the chemical in the gap.  Some chemicals act as inhibitors of the nerve impulse, while others act as transmitters.

At the risk of simplifying to absurdity what is a vastly complex chemical process, we can say that a change in the gas levels in the blood – in this case increased carbon dioxide – sets up a chain of messages that results in nerve impulses being blocked or retarded…

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

Altered awareness …

Altered Awareness

First of all, how can altering our awareness be useful to us – how can that help us achieve greater Peace of Mind and help us cope with the circumstances we find in our lives?  The best advice is to adopt a ‘suck it and see’ approach.  Each person must and will choose their own path for themselves. The information given in this volume is based on the collective experience of a group of similarly minded people, who have gained great benefits from these ideas and techniques over many collective years of living and therapeutic practise.  I offer it with the assurance that it has worked well for me.

Making use of techniques of altered awareness has two distinct benefits.  In the first place it enables deep relaxation of both body and mind, and relaxation at this level is a powerful antidote to the stress of daily living.  When the body is able to cope with stress, it does not need to display the host of symptoms we have given the collective term ‘dis-ease.’

The second profound benefit of altered awareness work is that it allows access to deeper parts of ourselves, and because it partially by-passes the ‘critical factor’ in our personality – the computer operator/programmer that we referred to in Part I, it becomes possible, by the use of affirmations or positive statements about ourselves, to influence many of the attitudes and beliefs we so often hold.  This is a very pragmatic and useful way of influencing our general well being.

When our belief about ourselves changes, our behaviour changes, and the new behaviour reinforces our ‘new’ belief, which accelerates positive change in an upward spiral way, just as the original negative beliefs were reinforced in a downward spiral.  In many cases these negative beliefs were established while we were young – before the ‘critical factor’ part of our personality was fully developed.  Indeed, a large part of this ‘critical factor’ owes its existence to the very negative attitudes that cause us discomfort in our daily living.

So what exactly do we mean by ‘altered awareness?  A good way to gain some perspective on what has different names (all of them emotive!) is to consider it in an historical context.  The study and practise of altered awareness is one of the most ancient of human practises.  Traditionally it has been associated with religions or cultural belief systems.  In societies that we sometimes call primitive, ‘special’ members of communities were either taught during the course of a usually lengthy apprenticeship to achieve a state of altered awareness from which would emerge benefits for the community at large.  Sometimes this process was assisted by consuming mind altering plants or plant extracts, and sometimes it was a process in which the whole community participated.  The ability to enter an altered state, or even to appear to enter an altered state conferred great power, and in many cases this resulted in ‘power over’ the masses, with ‘information’ being received from the current divinity while in this state.  In some cultures there was a greater devolution of this power, and individuals were able to work towards achieving this altered state ability.  In many North American Indian cultures, for example, it was the norm for each member of the community to seek out their own truth on a ‘vision quest’, sometimes assisted by mind altering substances.  This vision quest almost always included many of the aspects of self development covered in this volume – exploration of the self, both the self from the past and the self in the present.

In the East, the tradition turned more to the establishment of groups of students or disciples who studied under a Master or teacher – quite literally someone who had mastered all states of being.  In the West we initially adopted this approach as well by following the teachings of one or other Master teacher.

As pure science gained in power and popularity, so we began to move away from belief in the usefulness, or even the existence of an altered state of mind.  Studies that were conducted were basically flawed from the start, because it is impossible to experience a mind state in the physical sense, and the debate began, attempting to locate the mind in the physical brain.  Ancient practises of meditation were discredited as belonging to heathen religions and research such as there was into the scientific basis for altered awareness hung on the fringes or respectability …

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

For people with unsuitable relationships – male or female

Whether you are a man or a woman, do you go for unsuitable relationships?

I make clients laugh when I tell them I interviewed my husband for the position (as husband).  It’s true!  I did!!

unsuitable 1

Having had unsuccessful liaisons over many years and put myself in unsuitable situations I never would’ve been able to make right no matter what, two or three people had mentioned a certain book title to me.  Before I give you the title, let me underline that of course the author wanted to sell her books – of course she did!  She gave it a sexist title to appeal to women.  It IS sexist because the model works both ways round – it is as applicable to men as to women: men do this too!  I have had as clients and met socially many abused men. One was a well-known and world-leading doctor.  Intellect seems no safeguard to blind love!

unsuitable 2

Anyway.  I got to page 10 where the authoress had written 15 points that people who do this did.  Oh my giddy aunt.  I had got or had them all.  They are printed below – so see how many apply to you!  I have left the title to small print at the end so that maybe you’ll do this in a ‘clean’ fashion …  See how many you get out of 15 … If the number is high, over 10, I suggest you buy her book!!


  1. Typically, you come from a dysfunctional home in which your emotional needs were not met.
  2. Having received little real nurturing yourself, you try to fill this unmet need vicariously by becoming a care-giver, especially to men who appear, in some way, needy.
  3. Because you were never able to change your parent(s) into the warm, loving caretaker(s) you longed for, you respond deeply to the familiar type of emotionally unavailable man whom you can again try to change, through your love.
  4. Terrified of abandonment, you will do anything to keep a relationship from dissolving.
  5. Almost nothing is too much trouble, takes too much time, or is too expensive if it will “help” the man you are involved with.
  6. Accustomed to lack of love in personal relationships, you are willing to wait, hope, and try harder to please.
  7. You are willing to take far more than 50 percent of the responsibility, guilt, and blame in any relationship.
  8. Your self-esteem is critically low, and deep inside you do not believe you deserve to be happy.  Rather, you believe you must earn the right to enjoy life.
  9. You have a desperate need to control your men and your relationships, having experienced little security in childhood.  You mask your efforts to control people and situations as “being helpful”.
  10. In a relationship, you are much more in touch with your dream of how it could be than with the reality of your situation.
  11. You are addicted to men and to emotional pain.
  12. You may be predisposed emotionally and often biochemically to becoming addicted to drugs, alcohol, and / or certain foods, particularly sugary ones.
  13. By being drawn to people with problems that need fixing, or by being enmeshed in situations that are chaotic, uncertain, and emotionally painful, you avoid focusing on your responsibility to yourself.
  14. You may have a tendency toward episodes of depression, which you try to forestall through the excitement provided by an unstable relationship.
  15. You are not attracted to men who are kind, stable, reliable, and interested in you.  You find such “nice” men boring.

Women Who Love Too Much by Robin Norwood the Amazon link …

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

See also www.cringedump.com


Development for yourself by study and change

You may well have got a system inside yourself of checks and balances in terms of  how you moderate your own behaviour. This post flags up continual development by study & change.

time for devlopment and change

Let us always remember that in human affairs there is no possibility of success without continual development, and that not to walk is to fall.

Frederic Ozanam 1813 – 1853

The Oxford dictionary defines ‘change’ as “An act or process through which something becomes different”


You can develop yourself constantly by study and change … There are SO MANY tips, strategies and learnings in the Peace of Mind programme that will assist you.  Download chapter 1 of “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living” free by leaving your email address and downloading now.

Do you have deep emotional scars? (ii)

More about How To Heal Deep Emotional Scars

from work by , additional material by Sue Washington

With regard to scars, do you recall every event in your past that you know had nothing to do with you? How many events have you gone through, for example bad weather on your holiday, that you do not have a long term emotional inhibition or bitterness about? That was a terrible event, but you do not hang on to it like you do for things your parents did.

The difference is that you do not feel the bad weather was specifically created and intended to attack you personally, but you do feel that about your parents actions.

When you will give enough thought and acceptance to the reality that your parents were just responding to the events in their life, and most importantly that you are really totally irrelevant to those events or their actions, then your pain will end.  They have scars too.

You must release the need to feel important, the centre of the universe and cause of all actions and events, which is ridiculous if you consider the events in your life right now and how they make you act and treat other people.

The key is to accept that you simply are not all that important. This is the work of mastering your ego, and in a word, humility.

Life is just a chain of events. You behave the way you do in your relationships, work, emotional inhibitions, emotional outbursts, reactions and fears due to the events that happened to you as a child. Some of these events were the actions of your parents who were reacting to the events in their life. They reacted as they did due to the events in their parents life that moulded them, and this goes back generations.

The chain of emotional suffering must be broken, and it is your personal responsibility to break that chain for yourself and your children and people you interact with.

Nothing in this world that happens has anything to do with you. You personally are not even a speck of dust in the universe.

The more you build up the concept of individual personal importance, which is exactly what the new age movement and society in general is working towards, the more important you try to feel which means the stronger you build up the lower ego. The stronger that ego becomes, the more you feel that the negative events in your life were all meant to hurt you. The more you feel that, the harder it becomes to release the pains that you endure today which are based in the past.

If you want to become emotionally free, then come to the objective reality which is that you are simply not that important and that things happen which have nothing to do with you. When you see life this way, you can have compassion for everyone, even those who do bad things, or at least almost everyone because there are always exceptions to every concept.

However, as long as someone has not committed such evil acts, and you consider the events in their life, and you accept the difficulties of being human in this world and how hard it is for anyone other than Superman to just let it all blow by, all the pains you endured, the beatings and abuse, turn into events that inspire love and compassion in your heart rather than resentment and all sorts of pain.

See more at http://www.peaceofmindwithsue.com/heal-deep-emotional-scars 

Do you have deep emotional scars?

How To Heal Deep Emotional Scars

Many people suffer from the past of what their parents did to them, the negative events of their childhood etc. The purpose of this article is to present the reason why it is hard to release the past & end the perpetual limitations and suffering.

The first step is to see where the problem really lies. The pain is always related to the thought that these things happened to ME!  Because of this view, we cannot let go of the past and these memories trigger painful feelings.

I have found that the problem is not really related to the events we attribute it to, but rather it is the need of recognition: acknowledgement.  There is much about this in the free download of Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living.  Download part 1 free NOW!

Everyone needs to be recognised, to be acknowledged of course. This is common to all humans of any age starting from the ‘terrible two’s’.   Acknowledgement was, fundamentally, what my granddaughter wanted in http://www.peaceofmindwithsue.com/do-people-tell-you-what-to-do in the blog a few entries ago.  This need brings with it the perception that you are the centre of the universe and all things you are involved in somehow have a special reason to happen just for you.

You may believe that your parents treated you the way they did because of what you did, or your parents divorced because of you, or the meteor fell to earth and crushed your new car all because God hates you and He has very good aim.

The problem of course, and why we cannot let go of these painful feelings, is that it is not really about you, it really has nothing to do with you personally. With the ego centred view, we look in the wrong place for the problem and thus keep missing the target of healing.

When we stop thinking that we are the centre of the universe and realise that nothing that happened to us actually has anything at all to do with us personally, we can be free.

This is relinquishing the ego. We must see the world for what it is, a series of random events that each person or thing is responding to, and these reactions will effect anything in the near vicinity…

A tree will fall in a strong wind. The tree did not decide to fall on your car. The tree was responding to the strong wind which blew it down, and it just happened that your car was parked beside the tree on the downwind side. The tree was blown over in that direction and your car was parked in the spot that the tree fell when it responded to the wind. It had nothing to do with you or your car.

tree fall os car

Likewise, a child goes through tremendous emotional distortions due to the actions of their parents who are just responding to the demands and trials of life that adults face. All people, especially  parents, sometimes snap or do things out of the stress, which then effects the children since they happen to be in the same house and family.

People respond to current situations due to the events of their past. The past events continue to effect people through their whole life because they feel the events were meant for them, directed at them. If we see the events that touched us as random in this way, we no longer have the ego centred view. Rather, with this objective view, the event loses all long term emotional impact.

Do you spend your life reacting to other people (reactive)?

We often spend much of our lives reacting to how other people are.  This can be crystallised down to the argument between being PROACTIVE versus REACTIVE.  We can spend our time waiting around (reactive) when really we wanted to go off and do our own thing (proactive) I want to encourage you to be proactive and stop reacting to others!

The writer below shows us beautifully a way of looking at our lives and gives us one of the earliest Cognitive Therapy lessons into the bargain!  See what you make of him.  He really underlines the difference between being proactive and reactive …

If a man is crossing a river

And an empty boat collides with his own skiff

Even though he be a bad tempered man

He will not become very angry. But if he sees a man in the boat,

He will shout at him to steer clear.

If his shout is not heard, he will shout again.

And yet again, and begin cursing.

And all because there is someone in the boat.

Yet if the boat were empty,

He would not be shouting and angry.

If you can empty your own boat

Crossing the river of the world,

No one will oppose you,

No one will seek to harm you.Man in boat

The writer is the Taoist sage Chuang-Tzu is a Chinese writer from the 4th Century BCE (Before the Christian Era).   I hope that it underlines for you the constant debate – do we do what WE want (be proactive) or go around reacting to other people (reactive).

There are many other lessons from life in “Peace of Mind – Pathways to successful Living” writing and CD programme.  Download chapter 1 free NOW!