‘More and more’ syndrome

Needs or Wants

My mother told me years ago I had too much ‘stuff’.  She was right of course.  There is great personal ‘cleansing’ for me in having a massive clear-out!

Our society is characterised by a sort of ‘more and more’ syndrome. Some would say that it is not only our society, but the nature of the universe itself which is expanding, always getting bigger, and more. We always seem to want something, and when we get it we do not feel satisfied, so we focus our attention on wanting something else. The key to understanding this phenomenon lies therefore not in finding the object or outcome of our desires, but in investigating the process of our desiring.

According to Maslow, once we have achieved the fulfilment of the needs on one level of the hierarchy, we can begin on the second level. In practise there is a degree of flow between levels.  We may find ourselves unemployed and in serious danger of not meeting our physical needs, while simultaneously being concerned with the level 4 needs of recognition, acceptance and a sense of competency.

Hierarchyofneeds

There is also the possibility that although we are in possession of a healthy bank balance, and have totally fulfilled level 1 and 2 needs, that we continue to strive for greater success and financial security, even to the detriment of the higher level needs that Maslow suggests should now be enjoying our attention.

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 free downloads at www.suewashington.com

Do you need to do something because of external pressure?

Hierarchy of Needs

The nature of human needs has been theorised upon by many, but perhaps the most well known classification of needs is the Hierarchy of Needs as defined by American psychologist Abraham Maslow.  He placed human needs in a hierarchy not of importance, but of priority.  Only when the needs on the lowest level have been fulfilled can we begin to put energy into getting ‘higher level’ needs fulfilled.  For example, if we are hungry and have no food or way of obtaining food, we may enter a space of physical danger to fulfil our physical need. In so called ‘primitive’ societies hunting for food placed the hunter in physical danger (negating the level 2 need for safety and protection).  In the same way a relationship (level 3 need) may be sacrificed to fulfil physical needs for food and shelter if the need arises.

Behaviour is very much determined by both needs and wants, and many of the problems we experience in relationships come from the needs or wants of one impinging on the fulfilment of the needs or wants of another.  This will be discussed more fully in the next few entries ….

Peer pressure is an example of a need forced from the outside.  Needs of this type are obvious in children or young adults, when ‘everyone else’ has or does what we want.

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The desired object in this case is not the real focus of the need – the need is for peer approval and acceptance.  The object is wanted to fulfil that need.

peer pressure 1

It is easy to see the difference between a need and a want in a case such as this.  There is more about this in the next post! There are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”.  Download chapter 1 free now!

Peer pressure: are you getting that car to impress the neighbours?

” Keeping up with the Joneses’ has been a phrase in use seemingly forever in out language.  Peer pressure is an example of a need forced from the outside.

Keeping-up-With-the-Joneses

Needs of this type are obvious in children or young adults, when ‘everyone else’ has or does what we want.  Children regularly come home from school wanting this, that or the other because a friend has it and would not be ‘seen dead’ in a make of trainers which is a lesser one.  My parents were not well off and I didn’t pressure for things, I just internalised: I remember feeling inferior at Grammar school in the early 1960s when all the girls had Slazenger tennis racquets and mine as ten shillings of Preston Market!  Peer pressure can seem enormous.  The desired object in this case is not the real focus of the need – the need is for peer approval and acceptance.

Jomeses 2

The object is wanted to fulfil that need.  It is easy to see the difference between a need and a want in a case such as this.

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

Do you live in role; Don’s wife, Jo’s mum/dad? What about YOU?

Do you live in role; Don’s wife, Jo’s mum/dad, the boss at the office? What about YOU?  Are you more than the wage-earner?  You CAN feel that you have lost your individuality and don’t matter!

role 1

When we know ourselves only from the outside, it is difficult to know our needs, as they are experienced internally.  When this happens, we place the needs of our role above our individual needs. This devalues us, and makes us feel that our needs ‘don’t matter’.

role 2

As we grow within ourselves and come to realise that we are important and valuable people, it becomes easier to express our needs and to take the necessary steps to fill them.

role 3 role 4

It is important that we learn to differentiate between those needs which are genuinely our own, and those needs we experience as a result of the influence exerted by the outside world.

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

How do YOU work out exactly who you are?

How do YOU work out exactly who you are?

Who are we?

Before we can express our needs, we must be aware of them ourselves, and tied up with this, is the issue of personal identity.  The question ‘Who am I?’ is such a difficult one to answer that it has become subject of a philosophical debate which has occupied the greatest human minds throughout the ages. The need for a personal identity is however an immediate one, and one which we often resolve by identifying ourselves in relationship with others, or in terms of our function in the world.  We are ‘a mother’ ‘a father’ ‘a lawyer’ ‘an accountant’ ‘John’s wife’ ‘Sally’s father’ and so on.

who am i

Our identification with social or externally determined roles can be so profound that it can at times rob us of our very lives.  The position of women in many societies is a good example of this.  We need only to consider the extremes of physical or emotional mutilation, or even death, to which women have been subjected to appreciate the extent to which this is true.

who am I 2

Historically, women in Western culture have identified themselves by their role as wife or mother, and all other concerns have been subservient to this function.  Although it is fair to say that these stereotypes are changing, many of us, men and women alike, are still only able to define ourselves in relationship to the external world.

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

Do you hide things away in your mind?

Do you hide things away in your mind? Our programmer has sorted all our internal files in a way which only the two of you understand.  The things we like are easily accessible while the things we don’t like are put in a place that we seldom go, and there are files that are so secret that we’ve even forgotten about them, and there are files that need a special password to access.  In all probability parts of our child are in these files. inner child 3

The important thing to know is that our programmer arranges things the way they are so that we can function in the best way possible. What happens when we enter an altered state, is that this programmer is by-passed to some extent.

inner child 2

If we reach an altered state via sleep, we could perhaps surmise that the programmer has left a junior person in charge, and some of the secret material gets out – but usually in coded form, and we experience it as dreams.  If we reach an altered state via meditation, we enter this state with the consent of the programmer.  We get to browse the files with the programmer watching carefully.  It may happen that our programmer dozes off briefly, and we get a glimpse of something in a secret file, but always the programmer is there either to censor or edit the material quite quickly, or to integrate the information in a harmless or better still, a useful way.  Still following this analogy, the process of learning to meditate can be compared to a process of gaining the trust of the programmer.  Slowly, little by little, the programmer allows us deeper and deeper into the secret files, and helps us to integrate what we have learned from there.

inner child

 

Another way to reach and altered state, and thereby access our inner child, is via hypnosis.  This is by far the quickest and most direct route.  The skilled practitioner lulls the programmer to a state sometimes mis-labelled as sleep, and allows us to access the secret files without having to de-code them.  What must be remembered about this state is that the programme still runs, so it is not as though there is instant access into every part of the system. The programme determines which files are nearest the surface, and which are more deeply hidden, and also which are filed together.  If anything goes wrong, and alarms start going off, the programmer returns to his or her post, and access to the system is denied.

Inner child 4

This analogy makes it clear that using altered state to access your inner child can be difficult or even traumatic, because a great deal of previously hidden information may surface, and if the programmer isn’t there to help integrate it, damage to the system can occur. Search diligently for the hypnotherapist that makes both you and your child feel comfortable.  When you find one, this method of working is greatly recommended, because you can make tremendous progress with the skilled help of another person.

Peace of Mind™ has a partner, and the Mnemodynamic Register website has a list of therapists trained in its own method, Mnemodynamic Therapy.

Mnemodynamic logo

Whichever way you make a connection with you inner child, give that child the most important message you can give any child.  Let that child know that you love him or her, and that he or she is not alone.  Wonderful and important as relationships are with other people in our lives, the one relationship that will always be with us is the relationship we have with ourselves.  We will always be there, and as we work towards making that relationship a positive one, whereby we love and honour and approve of ourselves, we will find that our lives will assume a new dimension, and we will begin to have a sense of the sun coming through the clouds after a very long, dark winter.

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

Did looking at a picture of yourself ‘take you back’?

Did looking at a picture of yourself ‘take you back’ to that time?

Another powerful technique that Louise Hay recommends is to use a photograph of yourself as a child to try to re-connect with the part of you captured frozen in time in the picture.  The exercise below describes how to do this.  Ten to twenty minutes should help you get a long way …

Altered Awareness

You can reach your inner child is by altering your awareness – accessing the memory as it is stored.  This is a powerful and direct method, and in most cases is a journey we are advised to take only with the aid and support of someone professionally trained.

To explain why we say this, let us use an analogy that can be easily understood.  We can compare our minds/brains to a very complex computer system.  To run our computer selves properly, we employ a computer operator who is also a very skilled programmer.  Over time this individual has worked out the programme that we know as ourselves – the personality we show to the world and the way we feel inside.  Our programmer has been with us for a long time, and together we have figured out how this system works.

1. Find a photograph of yourself as a child.

child i

 2. Look carefully at the photograph, and try to connect with what you see.  If you have several photos of yourself as a child, better still.  Try to connect with the part of you that was frozen in time in each photo.

3. Another very powerful way to do a similar thing is to seat yourself in front of a mirror, and look deeply into your own eyes, and find the child hidden in there.

4. Talk to yourself while you do this.  Talking to your child, perhaps using something other than your present name, like a childhood nickname helps to initiate communication.  Speak to your inner child as if it were a real child. It helps if you had a nickname as a child.

5. Note what it feels like when you use a name like this.  For many of us there is some slight gut reaction, because a child nick-name is something that we “grew out of” and its use may well take us a little distance back to where we once were.  This is good, because it means that we are a little closer to communicating with our inner child.

6. Whether or not there was a nick-name, begin talking to your inner child as if he or she is a physical child.  Ask what the child would like to do, or what the child feels about any situation.  A particularly nurturing thing to do is to take some time – say a weekend, or a day, or even a few hours when external demands can be ignored, or at least minimised, and prepare your house as if a child was coming.  Take your child to the supermarket, and ask what type of food they would like in preparation for your ‘special time’ together.  Or plan an outing – something the child would really like.

7.Again ask the child what they would like to do – and as the loving parent of the child, do all you can to make it possible.  It may be something you’ve always wanted to do as a child, but were never allowed or able to do.  Give   yourself the treat.

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

 

Louise Hay’s Drawing with your Inner Child

Louise Hay’s drawing with your Inner Child: my old (now late) teacher Peter Blythe would have called her method ‘drawing with your Unconscious Mind! Writing or drawing is one way of connecting with your inner child. Louise Hay (1991) recommends using your non-dominant hand to draw a picture.  This exercise provides you with an opportunity.  Five or ten minutes is enough to make a start!

child 2

The inner child is very much associated with creativity, and has been related to the activity of the right half of the brain. It makes sense therefore to think that by accessing what is popularly called ‘the right brain’; we are coming closer to communicating with our inner child.  Louise Hay recommends using your non-dominant hand to draw a picture.

child 3

If you allow yourself to do everything with your non-dominant hand, including the choice of colours, and just relax into the process, amazing insights can be achieved. Even more so if you can suspend judgement about the quality of the picture that emerges, remembering that it is a young child doing the drawing.

  1. Sit with your unlined paper pad on your knee in front of you. 
  2. Hold your pen or pencil in your non-dominant hand.
  3. Choose colours also with your non-dominant hand.
  4. Relax.
  5. Ask your inner child to draw a picture about a certain event in your life, and just allow it to happen.  You could ask your child to draw a picture of you, or to represent your life path – the things that happened to you, or a picture of your family, or the significant people in your life.
  6. Without looking at your paper, let your writing implement draw. 
  7. How are you doing? Amazing insights can be achieved.
  8. So much the better if you can suspend judgement about the quality of the drawing, remembering that it the young child from inside you doing the drawing.

If a physical child presented you with the drawing that you see emerging from beneath your hand, you would accept it without judgement. You would appreciate the skill of the child, given its age, and may even experience a sense of love in your heart.

child

If you can have this sense of love for your inner child in your heart, the process of opening to yourself will proceed in leaps and bounds.  It may feel strange, or even a bit silly, especially at first, so you will probably want to be quite private when you do this. (In reaching for your inner child, don’t alienate your parent or adult – they are part of you too!) Notice if you feel any differently, or whether the way you feel is perhaps coming from a slightly different place within you.

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

Are you rather restrained? Learn to be playful again!

Are you rather restrained? Learn to be playful again!

I’ve mentioned Louise Hay before in a previous blog.  One of Louise Hay’s statements that I use as an antidote to my own negativity is “I choose to make my life light and easy and joyful  If you can learn to live life this was it is easier!  Now I am writing this blog some time after the original ‘Peace of Mind’ manuscript I can testify  that ‘easier’ has become EASY AND JOYFUL!! Yippee!!!

Louise Hay’s web-links are below: Your Body Is Asking for Help by Louise Hay – HealYourLife and

Louise L. Hay – Internationally renowned author and Hay ...

 Play is a powerful means of communicating with children, and we can apply it to the inner part of ourselves, our child part that lives inside us all as well.  How about a project in an expressive medium? : –

drawing 2

 An Art based one on paper:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Charcoal
  • felt-tips
  • pastels

drawing 1

Something which may take a little longer such as:

  • sewing
  • three dimensional collage work
  • clay work at a pottery class

sewing

How about selecting an ongoing project?  Spontaneous things can be very helpful:

  • sand play (this does amazing things for children)
  • digging in the dirt
  • gardening and is also very therapeutic, as any gardener will tell you

 gardening

Remember, the more structured and goal oriented the activity, the less the child part of you will be able to express itself spontaneously.  A short dig in a heap of soil or sand would also be most acceptable.

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

Have you sat on your playful self for years?

Have you sat on your playful self for years?

Communication

It seems both obvious and strange to suggest communicating with our inner child.  One way of doing this is by becoming aware of the little voice within, but if we have been spending a great deal of time denying our child, this may be quite difficult to do.

images

Play is a powerful means of communicating with children, and we can apply it to our child as well.  Expressive media such as art – drawing or painting, sewing, three dimensional collage work, and so on, are obvious choices, as is clay, sculpting or sand play.  Playing with sand and in the sand does amazing things for children.  It’s no accident that some people have violent reactions to sand. Some people dislike sand because it’s ‘messy’, while others don’t like the texture.  Gardening and digging in the dirt is also very therapeutic, as any gardener will tell you, although the more structured and goal oriented the activity, the less the child will be able to express it self spontaneously.

sand 2

The inner child is very much associated with creativity, and has been related to the activity of the right half of the brain. It makes sense therefore to think that by accessing what is popularly called ‘the right brain’; we are coming closer to communicating with our inner child.

sand

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