Reiki and Dementia Dreaming

Reiki and Dementia dreaming boat Reiki

Reiki and Dementia

As a healer it’s very hard to watch someone you love grow weaker and more demented every time you see them, knowing there is nothing you can do to make them better.  It’s hard for anyone, healer or not: the helplessness watching a beloved elder relative, who used to seem so strong and powerful when you were a child, become a child themselves.  And it can only get worse.  Dementia is distressing; it’s draining; and it’s exhausting.

My mother is dreaming of making her last journey: she talks of taking a boat trip.  She’s taking this boat trip increasingly and telling me all about it, as if she has really taken the journey and returned from it.  How she gets on the boat with nothing but what she is wearing and crosses to the other side.  At first on these dream journeys, she stayed on the boat.  Apparently the other side looks like France, which is full of French people, obviously, who don’t speak English.  So she stayed on the boat until it turned around and came back.Dementia dreaming boat Reiki

Now she has taken to disembarking on the other side, since apparently everyone there has learned English.  But so far she hasn’t met anyone she knows, so she reboards the boat and comes home again.

It is as if the Divine is helping her to try out crossing over to the other side in a gentle and non threatening way, getting her used to the idea, without forcing her in any way to take any steps she doesn’t want to.

Apparently it’s not unusual for elderly people to start talking about taking this kind of trip towards the end of their lives.  Knowing this gives me the opportunity to reassure her that her family will miss her when she goes, to ask questions about who is there with her, who is looking after her, where she will live and how she feels about being in this “foreign” country – in effect to explore her death and the journey to it in symbols.

She gave me permission several years ago to send her Reiki whenever I felt like it, so I send Reiki to her often now and when visiting, will also often sit with a hand on her – a loving touch that helps to calm her and keep her focused on our conversations.  I know this Reiki helps her, whether or not she says anything about it – she mostly doesn’t because these days, due to the dementia, her memory is so very bad that she can’t retain anything for more than a few minutes.  However, when I send Reiki she is calm and cheerful when we next visit … and when I haven’t, she isn’t.

Do I do any particular Reiki for myself?  Not really.  I have been self treating daily for 15 years (Author's note: it was 15 years at the original time of writing, but a lot longer now) and although there are times when I sit with my mother and the emotional symbol and think about her when I’m doing my daily Reiki, it’s not often that I do special Reiki for this particular experience.  It seems the Reiki I have done and am doing is giving me the strength to face this journey to “France” with her that in the end she has to make alone.

I am so grateful for Reiki – when life’s trials come, Reiki is always there to support, clarify and focus on what needs to be done.  I don’t think I could have faced this situation without it.

(Another Author's note: my mother died in November 2011, at the end of a two week coma.  During those days, I remembered that there is a part of the brain that hears and recognises music, so I sang to her. 

The first time, she opened her eyes and looked at me.  After that, I sang to her often, but she didn't respond again.

Make no mistake, though.  Singing to the dying is a great comfort to both them and to you - they hear you ... and it makes you feel that you're doing something.  You can also hold their hand, read to them, talk to them, let Reiki flow to them. 

They say that you enter and leave the world alone ... but that's not true.  At birth, your mother is there - as well as quite a few medical personnel these days! - and at the end, when you hold someone's hand and sing to them, you let them know that in their last moments in this plane of existence, they are not alone - that you are there with them.)

  • October 29, 2019

On Saying “No”: Dealing With Stressful Situations101

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"Being nice" isn't the same as being a doormat | Dealing with stressful situations

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On Saying "No": Being Nice Is Not The Same As Being A Doormat

If you're female, you were probably brought up with many of the same values I was:  be kind; if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all; be compliant; honey catches more flies than vinegar ... and so on.

It can be summed up as: Be Nice.

​Problem is, that can make dealing with stressful situations ... even more stressful!  

We all want to be liked.  Back in Neanderthal times, it was important that you were liked by the tribe.  To be despised was to be expelled from its protection and nurturance.  Not being liked meant death in a very real sense. 

Being liked was what kept us alive.

But that was a long time and many, many generations ago. 

And here we are, "being nice" as if our lives still depended on it.

All too often, "being nice" translates to being a doormat.  We don't get our needs met, our voices aren't heard ... and our boundaries are not respected.

A recent experience has helped me - and I hope it will help you, too - to redefine what "being nice" means.

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I have for many years shopped at a big store called John Lewis, experiencing a high level of customer service, efficiency and surprisingly low prices.

Imagine my delight on discovering that John Lewis is now offering broadband packages!  I lost no time in signing up.

There followed some lovely John Lewis emails and one letter, keeping me updated on how things were going, including the switch over date, which would inevitably result in a couple of hours' downtime.  This is to be expected: so far so good.

On the day, around lunchtime, our internet and phone dropped out.  Again, as expected. 

However, around 5pm, the phone was still silent and the broadband only noticeable by its absence.

Not having a landline, I called the customer service number on my mobile (cell), only to be told that the switchover would take TWO DAYS, not 2 hours.  John Lewis uses a company called Plusnet to provide the service they (John Lewis) relabel as their own.  Plusnet is quite famous for their customer service.  But not in a good way.

I want to be liked.  If I am liked, then Plusnet will make my broadband work.  I was nice to the call centre guy. 

By this time, I am using mobile data to access my emails - and not a lot else, because, well, broadband not working.  The call centre guy raised a ticket indicating that my issue was that John Lewis hadn't revealed that Plusnet provided their broadband service. 

This was not my issue.  You will note that my issue had not been heard by the call centre guy.  Even though I was nice to him. 

​Being nice to the call centre guy had not worked.  And I felt like I was dying. 

​When Being Nice ​Doesn't Work

A bit of an exaggeration.  But still.  Being nice.  Not working.  Two days.

Have you noticed that when your body is flooded with adrenalin (ie when you experience stress), your brain won't make sentences?  This is because all the blood is rushing to your muscles, getting ready to fight or run.  Unfortunately, in a situation like this, neither fighting, nor fleeing helps.  The third alternative is freeze, play dead.  And, frankly, that doesn't help either. 

The freeze response in many of these types of situations in the modern world has, I think, been transformed, into "being nice". 

In this situation, I need my brain to work - I need the adrenalin response to subside so that I can come up with a solution to this problem.  While still being nice, obviously. 

This is where I unpack my tools.  Just doing a few EFT tapping rounds in this type of situation - even when you're unable to articulate what the problem is, or even say anything - is enough to calm you down, reduce the fight/flight/freeze response, get the blood circulating properly again and as a result, you start being able to think clearly once more.

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So, obviously, I wrote a nice email to the CEO of John Lewis.

The next day, I received an email (more mobile data) from a helpful young man, who said he had rung my landline but had received no reply and would I please get in touch.  He rang me on the land line.  Which was the thing I had told them wasn't working.

More tapping, more calming.  Because, you know, it's not nice to be cross with people.

He offered me an engineer in two days' time. 

I was nice.  Persuasion will often get you a call back from a manager.  Who calls you on the landline that isn't working.  Rinse.  Repeat.  Emphasise the need to call on mobile, which is working, as opposed to landline, which isn't. 

​EFT Tapping Helps Clarify and Focus

More EFT tapping, articulating the fury with incompetence, with  having to wait, with my trust in the John Lewis brand being utterly destroyed, with not being heard ... and with the feeling of powerlessness that comes with not being in control. 

I was still annoyed, though.  And as I examined the annoyance while continuing to tap, it became obvious that this annoyance was an indication that something was very wrong.

Did I want special treatment?  Yes, I did.  I wanted the special treatment that usually comes from John Lewis in relation to all their customers.  And this was not an unreasonable expectation.

As women, any objection to not being heard, our expectations not being met and the refusal to accept our powerlessness is seen as "making a fuss", "overreacting", "being a bitch" or "being totally unreasonable".  Not being nice, that's the thing.

Bad. So bad.

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The engineer turned up the next day, fixed the landline and broadband and went on his way.

The manager again called - on a landline that was working, this time - offered apologies and a compensation payment.  I agreed it was the very least his company could do.

He then asked if I was happy.  Now, both he and I probably both expected me to comply - to be nice.

"No," I said.  "I am not happy.  I have been three days without broadband, when the switch over should have taken less than two hours.  This is my first impression of John Lewis broadband and Plusnet ... and no, I am not happy with that impression."

"But ... but ... how can we bring this to a happy resolution?"

"You can't.  I'm not happy.  I hope the broadband will continue to work now, but no, I am not happy."

​Words, Actions and Emotions in Alignment

It felt comfortable and right to express how I felt, without the fear of being disliked, dismissed or oppressed.  My tone was calm and kind, ​and my words were an honest expression of my feelings on how this situation had played out.

In order to be seen, heard, to have our needs met and our expectations and values respected, we have to be honest, rather than compliant.  Being honest and "nice" are not mutually exclusive.  It takes practice and efficient tools to overcome millennia of breeding.  The compliant ones survived to breed, the non compliant ones didn't.  It requires training in using the tools and practice to reach for those tools when ​dealing with stressful situations. 

If you're interested in how EFT tapping can work for you in all areas of your life, here are some other articles you can take a look at:

​The  experience of your words, actions and emotions being in alignment is a structure for life that brings freedom, authenticity and the feeling of being comfortable in your skin,.  I'd love to share this structure for achieving peace with you, if you feel we're a good fit.

Would you be happy in ​the above situation?  Would you say you were happy in order to "be nice"?

EFT Case Study: “I Just Want Three More Clients”

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​EFT Case Study | Personal Trainer

​"I Just Want Three More Clients"

​EFT Case Study: Personal Trainer

This EFT case study addresses a recurring theme in women who work, whether it's running their own business or some kind of employment: they experience their work as secondary to something or someone else.  They often feel they need to make compromises, that it's somehow "not womanly" (whatever that is), not appropriate ... or that it's something they should apologise for.

 All three themes are covered in this ​EFT case study​.  It discovers where these belief structures came from and how women who work can adjust their perception in these circumstances to see themselves as the everyday heroes they truly are.

​Case Study Background

This client - let's call her "Judy" (not her real name) - is a personal trainer, specialising in helping elderly clients retain their mobility.  Normally, she has around 3-5 personal clients per week, visiting each one of them weekly for hour long sessions in their own homes. 

Unfortunately, three of her personal clients had ceased to employ her for various reasons, ranging from finances to illness.  When I met her, she was beginning to panic about her own finances, which relied on her clients to keep her afloat.

We arranged a package of three EFT tapping sessions to address the themes that had emerged during our initial phone chat:

​Case Study Themes

  • ​She approached her personal training enterprise as a hobby.  She liked doing it, but didn't really take it seriously.
  • ​She saw her income as secondary to her partner's.
  • ​She came across as a little apologetic when mentioning what she did.

Pin Money

Judy is a middle aged, middle class British woman.  She was brought up in a middle class home and, although her parents died many years ago, she still retains the beliefs and approaches of a certain class of British woman, involving their place in the world (secondary to their husband), the trappings of success: wife as child rearer, career support, household and event manager; a husband who earns well, drives the right car, owns a house in the right area and children who achieve the right grades in the right schools and universities. 

Any work done outside the home by the wife in this scenario is seen as a hobby.  Any money earned is seen as "pin" or pocket money. 

Unfortunately, all this had come to an end when she and her husband divorced a few years before, and what had been "pin money" then became one of her main sources of income. 

Judy wanted three more clients as the outcome of the three session package she had booked.

Session 1: Resistance to Change

Our first session together focused on resistance to change. 

You may be surprised at how many people go into denial in the face of change.  There have been so many changes to women's lives in the past 70 years that it might seem strange that some of us still live as if nothing had changed.

The resistance here focused around her expectations in relation to marriage, her ex husband and her own role in the world now that she was a divorced woman. 

Her self image, in fact, which directly affected her confidence.

We started easing in to loosening off the resistance with some setup statements like this:

You might wonder what the above has to do with attracting more clients.  The truth is, however, that when you reach what feels like a dead end, the answer generally lies in the deep seated beliefs you hold from the past that may, at first glance, appear to have nothing to do with the challenges you're facing right now. 

Judy's resistance to attracting more clients arose from her belief that she shouldn't have to fend for herself.  That was what her husband was for, divorced or not. 

You need look no further than your parents' partnership to understand any deep seated beliefs you may have about relationships, how income works, what family means and how any challenges are met and overcome. 

That is what stepping out of your history means.

Session 2 - Non Pushy Marketing

Our second session focused on how Judy could market herself to her target market without feeling pushy.  This is a challenge women often face when they're running their own business. 

I hear these answers all the time when asking clients "What do you do for a living?"

​What do you do for a living?

  • ​Oh, I work from home
  • ​Oh, I have a little side business for pin money
  • ​Oh, I'm not a captain of industry or anything ...
  • ​Well, I ... er ... um ...
  • ​Oh, you know, I help people ...
  • ​I wrote a little book ...

If someone said these things to you at a dinner party, you might utter a "that's nice" ... and change the subject!

Judy wanted three more private clients, but didn't know how to express herself to potentially interested people in a way that felt comfortable.

She came across as embarrassed by what she did, rather than proud of her achievements.

Where did all of this come from?  On closer questioning, Judy admitted that it felt to her like she was doing something wrong when she told people what she got paid for.  Many of her contemporaries spent their time volunteering for good causes, including helping the elderly.  It just didn't sit right with her that she was helping the elderly maintain their strength and flexibility - and getting paid for it. 

Again, this is a feeling that many women in "helping" roles have, particularly in the UK.  They feel that their services should be freely available, like health care, shop assistants and many other services.

When I pointed out that people who work in health care get paid salaries for their services, despite people not paying for those services directly, she began to look thoughtful. 

We began to address her feelings about being paid, again gently easing in from the outside and working our way to the main issues:

​EFT Setup Statements For ​Marketing

  • ​"Even though I'd feel better volunteering my services ... "
  • ​"Even though I really don't want to be pushy ... "
  • ​"Even though I don't want to charge people for doing what I love ... "
  • ​"Even though I do great work at accessible prices ... "
  • ​"Even though I'm embarrassed  that I need the money ... "
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    ​"Even though I feel like I'm begging when I need the money ... "

And there we have it: needing the money, rather than doing it for fun; keeping up appearances, while feeling short; a proud woman in a financial bind.

At the end of the session, I asked Judy what she did for a living. 

She replied: "I help elderly ladies maintain their strength and flexibility through personal exercise training."

She left so happy.

EFT Case Study: Outcome

After a few days, she called me to cancel the third session.  Out of the blue, three new clients had appeared "out of nowhere" - she hadn't had to find them.  They found her.

Did I refund for the third session?  Nope.  And she didn't ask.  She knew the money she had spent on her three session package would come back to her multiplied because of the work we had done together.  We could have gone further, but she decided she had the outcome she wanted and didn't need to.  We agreed that we would keep that third session in reserve, if she felt the need to take advantage of it.  So far she hasn't needed to.

I help women step out of their history ... and become the energy they want to attract. 

  • June 1, 2018

Be the Energy You Want to Attract

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Be the Energy You W​ant to Attract

​Be the energy you want to attract.  Simple, huh?  Just get into the vibe of being rich - and then you'll be rich, right?

Until the credit card bill comes in ... and then you're brought down to earth with a bump.

And the extra emergency expenses.

​The vibe you're giving off is often met by the world with the opposite of what you want!

So how can you be the energy, ​when you're not actually being the energy?

If acting as if you're rich tends to bring more credit card debt and less money ... what's the answer?

In a previous post, I've outlined how the Law of Attraction works - how we're pulling in two opposite directions at the same time over anything we care about. 

Think about it: the reason we care about something is because we feel a lack somewhere.  The lack we feel around it is the reason we care about it.

  • ​When we feel broke, we want more money
  • ​When we feel lonely, we want more friends
  • ​When we're unhappy at work, we want to find a new job

So if we hate our boss, but make the effort to be super friendly and nice, while hating his guts underneath ... is our boss going to be anything other than uncomfortable and defensive in that situation? 

We're not "being the energy".  On the contrary, we're being false - lying to our boss and attempting to lie to ourselves. 

Have you ever had this happen to you? 

You find another job, where you think the whole ambiance is different to the one you left ... only to find, after a short time, that your current job has pretty much the same effect on you that the last one did? 

What's the answer? How do you be the energy?

How can we, while unhappy at work, begin to appreciate enough about it to attract a better situation?

How can ​you "be the energy you want to attract" at the same time as being unhappy?

We can't.  We have to shift the balance

Shifting the Balance

Well, by now you know me well enough to guess what​'s next ... 

​"In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect, whole and complete" - Louise M Hay.  

​Start the day with the above EFT tappping round and before you know it, you'll be experiencing life as "perfect whole and complete" yourself.  

Once that phrase becomes part of you, ​track down some more quotes to tap in to your system.  ​

Here's a daily affirmation from Louise Hay.

Or find some of your own from the Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King or someone else who inspires you.  

When you start the day with positive affirmations, you're ​literally changing your system to embody or ​be​ the energy you want to attract.  Try it for a week ... and notice how well your day goes, your week, your month ... after a while this kind of start to your day becomes as natural as drinking your first cup of coffee.​

​It lifts your spirits, puts a spring in your step and spreads the kind of vibe around you that smooths your day and spreads a little happiness wherever you go.

​And when you add something similar to the end of your day, you may find yourself sleeping better, waking up more refreshed - and eager to face the day.​​​​

​To share how you embody "be the energy you want to attract" leave a comment below.

Below are a few more Law of Attraction posts you might enjoy.

  • May 29, 2018

Strict Paleo: Breaking the Rules

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​Strict Paleo: Breaking the Rules

​Strict Paleo Rules: OK - Except When It Doesn't

Obsessive rule following is not my thing, as anyone who knows me personally would tell you.   

This blog post outlines where the rules of strict paleo can be bent ... and where you should probably stick to the rules.

Strict Paleo: What is it?

The Paleo diet isn't just about diet - it's a lifestyle.  Yes, I hear you groaning at the back there.  But, the thing is ... Paleolithic people had a lifestyle that really doesn't look like the one you have right now. 

Of course, they starved a great deal, they had quite a short lifespan - ​around ​35 years, according to some - and they tended to eat things we wouldn't dream of eating now.

​              Strict paleo is more of a modern phenomenon than a historically accurate one

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​Fiona McCallion

What is Paleo?

Today's version of paleo is really two branches: diet and exercise.

Yes, exercise.  Nobody told you that, did they?

The Paleo diet emerged from the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) community.  HIIT is those brief explosive exercises that take about 20 seconds, followed by a 10 second breather.  The media would have you believe that's all there is to it with headlines implying that less than a minute of exercise is enough to get you fit! 

Um ... no.  You have to repeat that 30 seconds for about 30 minutes in order to get the benefits.  And you have to do it a lot.  I mean, over several months. 

But, you know, it works ... if you're into that kind of thing.

I'm not.

The Why of Strict Paleo: What You Can Expect

When you start eating paleo, your body will be so grateful, you will begin to feel better almost immediately.  Even if you didn't know just how bad you felt before starting, the increased energy, better skin tone, rising motivation and upsurge in well being that emerges over time, together with the surprisingly fast weight loss will come as a delightful ​bonus. 

Strict Paleo Diet

It's easier to list what you can't eat, than what you can.

  • ​No grains - particularly gluten containing grains (wheat, rye, barley).  Not even ancient ones.
  • ​No factory oils - particularly those labelled as healthy (they're not): rapeseed, vegetable, corn, any oil you would need a factory to produce.
  • ​No processed foods - particularly not processed food labelled as paleo.  Everything needs to be cooked from scratch. 
  • ​No dairy - whey, milk, cream, butter, cheese ... or anything else that saw a cow, sheep or goat.  Although you can eat the meat as long as it's grass fed and/or organic.
  • ​No legumes - peanuts are legumes, as are any form of beans or peas. Including corn and soya.

Urk!  That's all the food in your cupboards and freezer!  If you can't eat that ...

What Can You Eat on a Strict Paleo Diet?

  • ​Nuts and seeds - any nut that isn't a ground nut.  Nuts can be used to make nut butter, nut milk, flour - all the things you thought wouldn't be part of a paleo lifestyle - even cheese!
  • ​Vegetables - any vegetable that isn't a legume, although nightshades are a grey area
  • ​No processed foods - particularly not processed food labelled as paleo.  Everything needs to be cooked from scratch. 
  • ​Fats that really are healthy - coconut oil, ghee, olive oil
  • ​Fruit - dried, fresh and frozen
  • ​Meat - as long as it's grass fed and/or organic

But ... But ... All that Cooking!

Yes, it's a lot of cooking (more on that later).  The trick is organisation and it took a while to get my head around what that meant.  I thought it was hard.  But as it turns out, it isn't. 

And if you've heard that eating paleo is expensive, think again.  As long as you're organised, you'll save money.  Partly because it's more nourishing, so you'll eat less.  And partly because cooking from scratch is less expensive than processed food.

How do You do Paleo

For a couple of years I was very strict paleo, due to a physical condition I won't go into here.  What it taught me is that my body is sensitive to some foods but not others.

​And I didn't discover that until I stopped eating them - ​and tried to reintroduce them later.​​​

Red Lines

  • ​Well, no one is ever going to persuade me that coffee=bad.  I know it's a legume, but I don't care.
  • ​Ditto chocolate.  As long as it's very high cocoa butter and no soya!  Green and Blacks 85% cocoa butter is my go to.  The emulsifier they use is sunflower lecithin, not soya.
  • ​Kale. Is. Not. People. Food.
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    ​Oats.  Oats are grains.  I like them for porridge in the winter.  And have been known to grind them into flour for baked goods.  Not paleo. 
  • thumbs-up
    ​Almond flour is surprisingly versatile.  This coffee cake by Elana's Pantry is a winner.

What's the Most Painless Way to Go Paleo?

First, learn to cook.  If you've never cooked before and didn't learn how to at school or at home, you'll need a program designed with you in mind.  Paleo Cooking School by Camile Macres is a great place to start - try the basics course first.  Then move on to the Masterclass.  Camile's courses are worth every penny, even if, like me, you learned to cook at school (or at home!) and have been cooking all your life. 

I don't spend an entire day cooking.  However, I often make a batch of cauliflower rice and shove it in the freezer.  And, since you have your food processor out anyway, dice that entire bag of onions in it, divide them into portions and those go in the freezer, too.  Don't try and keep them in the fridge - they'll go mank very quickly.

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When I'm making something like burgers, I make a whole lot at a time and put them in the freezer.

It's just as easy to cook 10 chicken portions as 2 - the rest go in the freezer.  Yes, cooked chicken ready and waiting when you don't want to cook.  Make sure they're fully defrosted before you eat them. 

Breaking the Rules of Strict Paleo

As mentioned above, I am never going to give up coffee.  Or chocolate.  But I use a mix of 1/4 cup nut milk, 1/4 cup coconut milk, 1/2 cup water to achieve ​a similar "mouth feel" for my morning latte.

Heated up in the microwave.  Which isn't paleo either. Or is it?

But then again, strictly speaking, you wouldn't find electric ovens in paleolithic kitchens, so there you are. 

How Long Do You Have to do Strict Paleo?

I was very strict paleo for two years - with the exception of coffee and chocolate.  During that time, my health improved dramatically - and I dropped right back down to my set point weight. Fast.

These days I have been known to cheat a little - but am instantly aware of what it's doing to my body.  When you eat reasonably clean over a long time period, your body will tell you which foods it's not keen on - and which it considers poison.  You won't want to go back - and you'll realise just how crap you felt before you made the change.

  • ​Paleo isn't really paleolithic. 
  • ​Strict paleo includes HIIT exercise. (HA!)
  • ​When you take out all processed foods from your diet, you have to cook from scratch otherwise you'll starve.
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    ​Cooking from scratch isn't hard, it just requires some thought and organisation.
  • plus
    ​Avoid processed food labelled "paleo".  It isn't.  It's processed.
  • plus
    ​You can break the rules of strict paleo once you've made it a lifestyle.
  • plus
    ​This is a very long rambling post.  Congratulations for getting this far.

Thoughts?  Leave a comment below to share your own approach. 

  • May 19, 2018

Vision Board 2018

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How 3 Cats and 2 fish showed me the power of focusing on what I wanted the most

It caught my eye: a piece of artwork depicting one big cat and two smaller ones flying about in a starry night sky over water, under the surface of which two fish swam in opposite directions.  I loved that piece immediately, took it home and straight away hung it on my wall.

Over that first year, I found my gaze drifting to that artwork whenever I was meditating or EFT tapping, thinking or searching for the right word or phrase for a blog post.  Everyone who saw it remarked on it – it was such a fun piece, with bright colours and eye catching composition.

At the end of the year, guess what I – finally! – noticed …

Yup, I’d acquired 3 delightful cats – one big one and two smaller ones.

And the fish?  Not real ones.  No.  But, unfortunately, it became obvious by that Christmas that there had been something fishy going on in my extended family, hidden from sight under the surface.  That bit wasn’t so good, by the way.

But when I finally noticed the similarity between my favourite print and what was going on in my life, it really brought home to me the power of focusing on an image, even when I no intention of bringing it into my life.

Vision Board: How to Construct Your Plan for the Year

I was never particularly arty. It may be that you enjoy the whole cutting out magazine pictures and gluing them on to large pieces of cardboard.  I tend to get the glue everywhere and the arrangement is never something I’m happy with – it all seems so random and untidy, like apostrophes in the wrong place.

What I wanted was some kind of structure on which to hang my images, important words and affirmations in a way that made sense and didn’t end up more distracting than helpful.

So I chose the Feng Shui Bagua as a template for my vision board – it has a pleasing flow, includes every area of life, and manifests in a pattern I know and feel comfortable using.  Watch the video below for the first part of your journey around the Bagua as a basis for creating your own personalised vision board.

You can find a download link below for a free Bagua you can use as a starting point for your own vision board.

​How to Make a Vision Board with the Feng Shui Bagua 2018: Part 1: The Journey

Click here to download your copy of the Bagua

Why is life so stressful? Stress in the modern world

Why is life so stressful image

​Why is life so stressful? How to Deal with Stress in the modern world

Stress - Why is life so stressful image

Stress.  We all experience it.  We laugh about it.  We discuss it endlessly.  And we get together with our friends to complain about it on a regular basis.

We also - and this is less talked about - self medicate stress with alcohol, drugs and sex. 

How did we as a culture - as a species - come to a place where stress is so much a part of everyday life that most of the time we don't even notice it?  Until we get sick, fall apart, or do something so totally out of character that we can barely believe it of ourselves?

What is stress?

Merriam-Webster defines stress as "a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation".

"Bodily or mental tension" doesn't quite cover it, does it.

Let's think about stress as a reaction to power - or more specifically, abuse of power.

The philosopher Michele Foucault in his book "Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison" (1975) talks about power as all pervasive in any given culture.  According to Foucault, power - and the exercise of it - is interwoven through culture, education, the legal system and government in ways that those who experience its effects don't even notice: the perceived truth of any given scenario is based on power rather than objective scientific fact.  

When looked at from that point of view, subjective stress arises from the effect of living with a structure of power relationships.  This means that stress not only arises from what is in front of you, but also from the underlying stress of living with the exercise of pervasive, invisible cultural power. 

Let's think about stress as a reaction to power - or more specifically, abuse of power.

​Consider this scenario:

You have applied for a promotion.  Your superior left some time ago and you have been doing the job effectively and with ease on a temporary basis.  The messages from the hierarchy above you are positive - even flattering.  You are doing a great job.  So when the opportunity arises for you to formally apply for the job you are already doing, complete with pay rise and title, of course you expect to get it.  Why wouldn't you?

You apply for the job, ace the interview, receive some very positive feedback and sit back while the Board goes through the motions of interviewing others for the position, safe in the knowledge that the job is pretty much yours. 

The day finally comes when the appointment is announced. 

The Board has decided that what they really need is "new blood" in that position.  You are introduced to your new boss who, although experienced in the level of management, has no experience at all in your commercial area.

Disappointing, yes? 

And then the bombshell.  You are expected to train this person into the job that you have already been doing for all this time, with no promotion, no salary increase and no acknowledgement that you have made any contribution to the company or its profits. 

You may even take it further up the hierarchy or to Human Resources.  Their reaction is less than helpful. 

They're dismissive.  You're overreacting or even hysterical.  Stop making a fuss and be glad you still have a job.

This type of scenario is happening all over the Western world.  If you are gay, female, non white or trans, you may recognise this scenario, either because it's happened to you or to someone you know. 

It's easy to dismiss the above as an example of white male patriarchy.  It kinda is.  However, those people wielding that white male patriarch power are often as unaware of what they're doing as you were until the above scenario happened.

Hard to believe?

Let's go back to Foucault: accepted truth is a function of power rather than scientific fact.

Accepted truth is shrugged off as "the way things are". 

From the Board's point of view it's totally reasonable to employ someone's son in law's cousin's college friend in order to create a favour owed.  Several favours owed, in fact: from the person employed, the son in law and cousin involved.  The creation of the favour owed is the point of exercise of power from that point of view. 

How that scenario affects you or anyone else not involved in the creation of this cascade of favours is totally invisible to those on the top end of it.  To you, it feels like an exercise of power specifically aimed at you.  To them, you don't even enter the equation.  

​Really - you are invisible to them.  And when you start becoming visible by attempting a formal complaint, the bemusement and/or hostility you are met with arises not from your position in this network of power, but from theirs.  How dare you?   It's nothing to do with you.

It's really not about the young black woman who thought she had a promotion in the bag. 

And yes, the person who is not even considered in this situation is usually female, gay, black, trans or a combination of the above. 

And it feels really personal to her.  It is the point where she gets an inkling of the invisible network of power that she is not a part of.  And in her then thoroughly demoralised state, she begins to believe she will never be able to fully participate in that network.

However, from Foucault's perspective, she is already a part of that power network, just not on the winning end of it.

What to do? What to do?

You may think there are only two choices here: either leave, or eat shit.

But in truth there are more choices.  But the priority is to deal with the stress hormones.

This kind of stress releases hormone messengers in the body that redirect blood flow to the most primitive part of the brain and body.  That means you're not thinking.  The frontal cortex isn't getting enough blood for that, because your system is concentrating on survival.  The most efficient bloodflow is to the reptilian brain and to your muscles.  Which is why people often get digestive issues when feeling stressed.  They can literally feel sick to their stomach under stress, or get heartburn ... or in some cases, a stroke or heart attack. 

Stress is exhausting, can create heart palpitations, panic attacks and various results that may or may not be familiar. And then you feel like you're really ill, which leads to more stress.  

Deal with the stress hormones first. How?

​Get my First Aid for Stress Audio and transcript download.  Do what it says and in moments you'll be feeling more like yourself.

If you're an exercise freak, go running, do your workout, do whatever it is that you do to make you feel strong.  If not, get a mini trampoline and jump up and down on it as soon as you enter your home for several minutes - even before that first drink or cup of tea.  Do this every day while you're in the planning phase.

Your body needs to metabolise those stress hormones in order for you to be able to think clearly and plan your next step.  You do this by exercise.  Ever see those nature programs where a deer is chased by a big cat?  The stress hormones released give the deer the extra energy it needs to run away.  If it gets caught, it will go into "freeze".  If by some miracle the big cat loses interest, you'll notice the deer getting up, shaking all over and particularly shaking its legs ... and then wandering off back to the herd as if nothing has happened. That is your aim - shake off the adrenalin and get back to normal.  

Next, strategise.  Make a plan.

Update your CV.  You've been doing that job in all but name so use it.  How much did financial turnover increase on your watch?  What were the efficiencies you introduced and their outcomes?  How did you develop your staff?  How about that boost in staff morale your implementations made.  List them all.  They're important.

Call in a few favours of your own.  Use your LinkedIn contacts.  Ask your friends for help.  Find out who's hiring in your area of expertise. 

Take back your own power by creating your own positive exit strategy. 

While you are dealing with the stress and creating a plan, you may still have to do the training up of your new boss.  This is not an easy situation to be in.  However, do not undermine him, no matter how tempted - you still have to pay the bills and you want a great reference.

  • Be pleasant and apparently helpful.
  • Do what you are asked.
  • Volunteer nothing, but answer questions fully and frankly.  Then stop.
  • When your co-workers sympathise with you, agree it's disappointing, but do not say or do anything that might come back to haunt you.  This is temporary. 
  • Remind yourself constantly you are on the way to a much better position.
  • Use your mini trampoline every day.


The underlying stress of living in a culture where power is pervasive (that would be all of them, by the way) is insidious.  Everyone is stressed by it and most of us don't even notice how stressed we are just by everyday living.  We notice the stresses in front of us, but not the exercise of power that gives rise to the stresses of those scenarios.

I hope to have given you enough pointers in this post to at least make a start in coping strategically with the stresses you're dealing with right now. 

​​Work with me one to one to pinpoint exactly where your most empowering action lies, ​or try a free sample by completing the form below.

Any thoughts or feedback on this are welcome in the comments below.

​First Aid for Stress

Fill out the form below to get your free download

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​"I still can't quite believe how much it helped me - I was SO STRESSED about doing that journey. ​I am so grateful​ to you."

Some of the links in this post are affiliate - if you click on them and buy something, you don't pay anything extra and I get a - very! - small fee, which helps support my coffee habit.

  • October 24, 2017

How can I use the law of attraction to get my dream job?

law of attraction dream job header image

How to get your dream job with Law of Attraction

Everyone wants a dream job.

Trouble is, ask what their dream job looks like ... and you're generally met with either a blank expression or a salary figure.

Push a bit further and you'll likely get a list of what isn't wanted - a bad boss, a nasty co worker, a dodgy area of town etc ...

Law of Attraction is giving you more of what you don't want, based on what you're thinking about and how you feel about it.​  You feel more strongly about what you don't want, than about what you do want.

A dream job has a lot of components to it.

Often you'll have created it vibrationally over several jobs and quite a few years.

  • Every time a boss yells at you or one of your co workers
  • Whenever anyone else gets a promotion and you don't
  • When your boss "asks" (meaning says it's already been done) for you to take a pay cut
  • When it turns into a go nowhere rut that you can't get out of

You Know What You Don't Want

So you've sifted and sorted and you know what you don't want from your dream job.

But do you know what you do want?

What does your dream job feel like?

Law of Attraction Works With How You Feel

The better you feel, the better things turn out.

So, how do you work out what you prefer? And how do you create it in your life?

First, think about all the contrast in your work life until now. Then ask yourself a series of questions about what you prefer,

Example Questions

  • Do I prefer working inside or outside?
  • With my mind or with my physical strength?
  • With other people or on my own?

Next, move your thoughts to what kind of industry you prefer: for example, leading edge or established, commercial or non profit and so on.

Then, think about what you want in co workers - do you want to work as part of a team or on your own initiative?

I've created a worksheet to help you, which you can download here

How Do You Feel When You Think About Your Dream Job

Do you want to feel valued? Appreciated?

In order to feel valued and appreciated, you must value and appreciate. Appreciate your boss, your co workers, the work you do, your workplace, everything.

As you settle into thoughts of appreciation, Law of Attraction draws to you people, situations and things that align with how you feel.

As you focus on your mood, strange coincidences may begin to happen:

  • A friend calls you letting you know about an opening in their firm or another friend's firm
  • You might meet up with someone who can give you an "in" to a particular company or point you in the direction of someone who can
  • When your boss "asks" (meaning says it's already been done) for you to take a pay cut
  • You might pick up a paper, or notice a LinkedIn update asking for applications

Don't worry about the details of how you're going to get where you want to be - the Law of Attraction will take care of that.

Focus on how you feel and really enjoy the emotions of being where you want to be.

"What?! You mean, I have to feel the way I want to feel in my dream job, while I'm still in my cr***y job? Or not in a job at all? How does that work?"

The Law of Attraction is attraction based.

The better you feel, the better things are ... and the better things are, the better you feel.

If all you're feeling is a reaction to what is, then the more you'll get of what is. That's the way it works.

If you want to feel good about your job, focus on feeling good about your dream job.

Your Path of Least Resistance

When you feel good about your dream job, the universe opens up a path of least resistance to it. Pay attention to your impulses - and how you feel when you get them.

Follow the impulses that come from a good feeling place. It is this that will lead you to your dream job.

You can't control how other people feel about you - you can only control your own feelings.

Download your Law of Attraction Dream Job worksheet

Article hashtags:  #LawOfAttraction #DreamJob

  • July 1, 2017

How to Use the Law of Attraction for a Positive life

#LawOfAttraction how to use for #PositiveLife blog post header image

How to Use the Law of Attraction for a Positive life

​Law of Attraction: Create Your Reality

You've heard a lot about the Law of Attraction - "yeah, that's when you think positive, say things that aren't true ... and then magically get what you want ... "

Not quite.

The Law of Attraction has a long history.

It's a basic law of physics: cause and effect.

To put it another way: there is no effect without a cause.

The Law of Attraction states: Like Attracts Like Unto Itself.

Some teachers have described this using the word: Kharma.

Law of Attraction  can be summed up in this way: You create your own reality.

The work of the clinical psychologist, Piaget, seems to back this up. His work on childhood development focused on how children build their own world view, based on both biological and environmental interaction.

When you focus on what you don't want, you get more of it. Not wanting whatever it is, is the cause that creates the effect.

And when you focus on what you do want, it can't help but flow into your life. Focus on what you do want, with enjoyment of it, creates the effect of what you do want.

Sounds simple, doesn't it? Stop thinking about what you don't want, start thinking about what you do want and then it magically appears.

The problem is, it's hard to stop thinking about what you don't want. If you want a partner but don't have one, how do you stop noticing that? If you want money, but don't have it, how do you stop thinking about that? If you want a new car, but have to drive the old one, how do you stop noticing that every time you turn on the ignition?

Worse - if you're in an abusive relationship, how can you fail to notice it?

The Law of Attraction is not magic. It's a step by step process that can take you out of where you are to where you want to be.

In this post, we'll work through the process together and discover how to use the Law of Attraction for a positive life.

Law of Attraction Step by Step

Let's get to work.

Law of Attraction: Ask

Abraham Hicks puts it this way: Ask and It Is Given. Have you read that book? It's an interesting read, with some processes at the back to help you on your way

Which is all very well, but how do you ask in the best way?

Well, you can't really help asking. That pretty much takes care of itself: when your boss, for example, gives you an earful about something they've done which they're blaming on you, you want a nicer boss, one who takes responsibility.

When you see pictures of starving children, you want them to be fed and cared for.

When you're having a bad day, you want a better one.

Every time you experience something you don't like, you want something better. There's really no need to focus on asking - you're already doing that.

However - and this is the tricky bit - when you ask for something better, you're also asking for what you've noticed.

Law of Attraction works through emotional charge, rather than rational thinking.

It's like this: you see a picture of a starving child. You have an emotional reaction to that picture. That emotional reaction comes in two parts at the same time: pity and/or outrage that children are starving in this world, and a strong desire for starving children to be fed and cared for.

The Universe Answers

Your emotional reaction is like holding out two cups to the Universe and asking for them both to be filled at the same time. The bigger and stronger your emotional cup, the faster it is filled.

So your if your worry about money, for example, is stronger than your appreciation for what is coming into your bank account, your "worry cup" is a whole lot bigger and more robust than your "appreciation cup".

Both are filled to the brim by the Universe. Which do you focus on more?

You are getting what you've asked for, but your emotional energy is split and acting like a tug of war between what you want and what you don't want, pulling in opposite directions. The more emotional weight you put on one end, the more you notice which emotional team is winning the tug of war ... and the more you ask for something different ... and the more weight you put on the end pulling on what you don't want.

Your energy is split, right from the moment of asking. And if you're like most people, the stronger end is the negative one. The weaker end is the positive one.

law of attraction tugofwar

Which begs the question: What's the answer?

Law of Attraction: Be Happy

Yup. That's it. Be happy. Easy.

Moving on.

Only joking. This is where the real work starts.

When you know what you want but observe you don't have it - your bank account is empty (or worse!), for example - it's not the easiest thing in the world to be happy. There's worry, anxiety, sleepless nights and, if you're like most people, beating yourself up for not asking for that raise, spending too much on your credit card or buying stuff you don't need that's still sitting in the cupboard being more of an ornament than a useful addition to your life.

Noticing this lack, reacting to it on an emotional level, according to the Law of Attraction, just brings more of the same into your life. That kind of manifestation is easy - we've all been doing it all our lives. We are practised at looking at the reality of our lives and reacting to it. We're trained to face reality from childhood. Why not? It's real.

The trick is to stop looking at what's real and turn your attention to what you want.

"What?! Stop facing reality and make up some kind of fantasy? You want me to be Walter Mitty?!"


Taking responsibility for your life involves an understanding that your choices have brought you to where you are. If you want your life to change, you'll be making some different choices.

When you choose to redirect your emotional energy away from what you don't want in your life towards what is going right in your life, things will change.

Every time you catch yourself noticing something you don't want, redirect that thought towards something you do want. That's like taking the strong guys from one end of your emotional tug of war and adding their strength to the other end.

law of attraction tug of war 2

That split energy won't disappear. But the positive end of it will become stronger, while the negative end of it weakens.

And the rest of the time? Think thoughts that make you happy. Notice what you're thinking about making you happy, and point that out to yourself. Really. Try it.

Here's an example: "When I think about what a good father my son is, that makes me happy - and it makes me even more happy when I notice that thought!"

It's a virtuous cycle.

Look outside and notice the blue sky. Watch a cat video. Visit - laugh. Lift your mood by going outside if you can. If you're stuck at work, get up and walk about. Smile at or share a joke with a workmate. Think about lying on the beach with all that money that's on its way to you.

Abraham Hicks also recommends meditation for 15 minutes per day. Just sit with your eyes closed and focus on your breathing: in ... out ... in ... out ...

After a surprisingly short time doing all of this, you may begin to feel satisfied with your life ... and then happy.

And that's when the magic begins to happen. Not "magic" like Dr Strange in the Marvel comics. No. Just, as you relax and focus on what you want, you feel better and your life begins to change in positive ways. Small ways at first, then gaining strength and momentum.

Law of Attraction: In the Vortex
law of attraction in the vortex

Hicks describes this feeling ranging from satisfaction to full blown happiness as "being in the vortex". It is from this emotional space that manifestation begins.

How? Well, from here you feel happy. Happy with what is. And happy with what is possible and gaining momentum to present a path to what you want.

A path? You mean I have to do something?

Yup. You have to follow the path of least resistance.

And what does that mean?

When you are in the vortex, the universe conspires to bring you what you want: if you're looking for a job, someone might mention that there's one going that's just right for you at their place of employment; if you're looking for a partner, you might click with someone at a friend's dinner party or a new member of your team at work; if you're looking for more money, you might receive a raise, or a prize or a gift.

The path of least resistance from within the vortex feels easy, comfortable and happy.

When you are aligned with your spirit, there's no struggle, stress or uncomfortable feelings.

It may take a little while to get there, depending on how much resistance there is.

So what is this resistance? I want what I want, so where's the resistance in that?

Resistance generally comes in the form of:
  • Noticing you still don't have what you want.
  • Worrying you're doing it wrong
  • Refusing to be happy because of circumstances over which you have no control, eg terrorism, politics, famine in other countries
  • Attempting to control other people
  • Focusing on what is real, rather than what you want
  • Arguing with strangers on the internet
Law of Attraction: Reality Bites

It really does.

You know your situation. You see it and it's there. So yes, it seems unreasonable to just ignore what's there and focus on what isn't there.

How you feel about what's there is key. When you feel bad, worried, angry, hopeless, whatever, about what's real, you are not in the vortex. Or at least not in the good bit of the vortex. Those negative feelings are just manifesting more of what you don't want.

When you feel happy and/or satisfied with what's there - "I've always managed to pay my bills - this always works out for me", "I may be living in my car, but at least I have a car!" - reality is still there, but you are on your way to a happier one. Or, rather it's on its way to you.

When you have negative feelings about your reality, you fall out of the vortex and have to start all over again with that tug of war.

Law of Attraction: Focus and Affirmations

So there you are, happily living in the vortex. What next?

Oh, yes, this is where I start with the lying affirmations, isn't it?

Not really. Affirmations that totally contradict what your reality is tend to stimulate resistance, which is not what you want.

Start generally. So, for example, if you want more money, you might start with "I feel good when money comes into my bank account" or "I feel great when I discover money I didn't know about". Do you feel how much more comfortable starting there is than "I am totally rich and free"?

The path of least resistance starts with your affirmations. Choose affirmations that are more general to take the edge off where you are now, while working towards more specific affirmations as you become satisfied and comfortable, feeling the energy building towards receiving what you want.

Really? You're going to talk about "energy" now?

What is energy? It's enthusiasm. It's anticipation. It's the way you feel when you're getting ready to meet your friends on a night out. You feel energised, you make an effort with your appearance, you feel the anticipation of being with a group of friends, looking forward to the laughter, the dancing, the interactions that make you happy and confirm your choice of friends.

This is how you build momentum and alignment with your spirit, in order to manifest what you want.

Law of Attraction: Momentum and Alignment

law of attraction momentum image

In terms of the Law of Attraction, momentum means excitement. Excitement creates a physical reaction - a bored child reacts with excitement in response to a suggestion to go out to the park, for example. That excitement brings colour to the cheeks, energy to the body and anticipation to their chattyness. You can see it, you can't help but feel it - and it gives you a lift too.

By the time you get to the park, the child is totally in alignment with having a fun time.

Equally, when you're in the vortex, enjoying your life as it is, then conceptualise something you want, that emotional journey from noticing it to manifestation of it is like the trip to park you and your toddler take before you get there. You go out of your house, then either walk, wait for a bus and get on it when it arrives, or drive there in your car.

There's a delay before you actually arrive at the park, but you have no doubt - and more to the point, neither does your toddler! - you have no doubt you'll get there eventually.

How you get there - and how long it takes - is totally up to you.

To take this analogy further, waiting for a bus might feel like nothing's happening, but in reality the bus is on its route as usual, making its way to you. It will arrive. It's just a question of when.

Could you get to where you want to be any faster? Sure. You could walk, drive or take a cab.

Or you could use the waiting time in enjoyment of the weather, the sunshine and the gardens of the houses around you. When the bus eventually turns up, the rest of your journey will be pleasant - your mood will be good, the travel to the park short and when you arrive at your destination, you (and your toddler!) will be totally in alignment with enjoying the park.

Or you can fret and fume, become irritated, let your child cry and create ... and by the time you get to the park, you would both be exhausted and unable to enjoy it. That's if you don't decide the wait isn't worth it and give up. Or, to put it another way, become out of alignment.

Your choice.

The delay between asking for what you want and actually receiving it gives you a chance to come into alignment with what you have asked for so that you can enjoy it fully.

Let's take this example: You have asked for the perfect partner; you have an idea of what that person might look like, what kind of character they have and what kind of background they might come from.

You know what you want in a partner.

But the partners you've had so far haven't quite come up to your very high standards!

The thoughts you might start with are probably what you like most about your friends: " I like it when we laugh at the same things", "it really feels good when we enjoy the same pastimes and books" and "they always seem to know when I need a hug". As you begin focusing on thoughts like these, you will find more of that in your life. And so you become more appreciative of your feelings, the people around you ... and therefore attract more into your life. This is how momentum builds and how you come into alignment with that special someone being in your life.

Law of Attraction: Receive

It's all about enjoying the journey. As you enjoy the journey more and more, things go well for you more and more, people notice how happy you are ... and start asking how you do it. And you reply ... something like "it's kharma - I changed my mind and so my kharma couldn't help but change with it".

Before you know it, your perfect partner is in your life and you're making more plans, gently and generally at first, then more specifically over time as you both come into alignment with what you both want.

And then you live happily ever after.

How to Use the Law of Attraction for a Positive Life: Takeaways

  • Ask
  • The Universe notices and lines it up for you
  • Get into the vortex by focusing on being happy
  • Create momentum
  • Get into alignment
  • Receive what you want

This is a very long post - well done for reaching the end!

law of attraction sunflower graphic

So who's for some shortcuts?

Sign up below and also let me know in the comments what you want. I'll get around to addressing all of them in upcoming webinars.

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Emotional Abuse | Gaslighting | Family Gaslighting Example

#FamilyAbuse #Gaslighting header image
emotional abuse gaslighting example header image

Emotional Abuse|Family Gaslighting

First, I'd like to express my gratitude to the Millennial generation for promoting awareness of this expressively named form of aggressive control. The expression "Gaslighting" refers to an emotional abuse where one or more person gradually invalidates and undermines another's perception of the world by asserting that the victim's understanding of any particular situation is irrational, delusional and does not align with reality.

Named after the 1944 film starring Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman, the term "gaslighting" refers to the slow undermining of the victim's sanity through gradual manipulation involving, but not limited to, lying, denial and confusion with the aim of persuading the victim that they are delusional.

Millennials generally recognise this form of emotionally abusive coercion as happening in their romantic relationships. However, gaslighting is a domination tool being used within families up and down the country - quietly, unnoticed and unexplored, resulting in mental health issues in children, young people and adults throughout their lives.

Emotional Abuse: Gaslighting Example

Imagine a family where one young child - let's call her "Jane" for the purposes of this example - sees, hears and/or experiences something out of the ordinary at the hands of her mother. Jane is confused enough by this behaviour that she mentions it to her father. Jane's father, alarmed, questions his wife about it.

Jane's mother denies it ever happened and perhaps begins right then to assert that Jane "made the whole thing up", perhaps even going so far as to add "you know what she's like".

Jane's father accepts this, since Jane is only 7 or 8 years old, a time when children are exploring their imaginations and are often making up stories to amuse themselves and their friends.

However, Jane's father doesn't forget, but files the incident in the back of his mind, as parents do, under quirky behaviour that might be a useful funny story for later at a dinner party.

A few months later, Jane again comes to her father with something confusing she observed in relation to her mother. The mother again denies it, adding "you know what her memory's like".

As the years pass, these incidents become more frequent, now being raised at the dinner table perhaps, in front of all the family. The mother's reaction to them is mockery and disdain. Slowly but surely Jane's siblings and father are trained to treat Jane's memory as unreliable, even delusional.

Jane's father accepts his wife's denials, laughs, joins in with the mockery ... and the children follow suit.

Under these circumstances, Jane grows into adulthood in a world where she is never believed about anything.

Childhood Emotional Abuse Affects All Relationships

Jane's relationship with her mother becomes increasingly dysfunctional. Jane develops a progressive dependence on her mother's version of reality, while at the same time becoming more and more angry.

Jane is now dependent on her mother telling her what is real as a result of the mother being the one who is believed.

Of course, Jane marries a man who behaves in a controlling and emotionally abusive manner towards her. Of course no one believes her when she tells them about it.

Emotional Abuse by Gaslighting Affects Lifelong Mental Health

Her mental health is now a major issue. She is institutionalised several times ... and when she is not institutionalised, she is heavily medicated.

Now, having been gaslighted all her life, Jane really is delusional - unable to discriminate between what is real and what is not.

Her husband divorces her. No one is surprised - instead they are sympathetic. How could anyone be expected put up with all that?

The Evil That Men (Or In This Case Women) Do Lives After Them ... (with apologies to Shakespeare)

Even after Jane's mother has died the effects of emotional abuse linger.

Jane - not to mention her children - still live with the consequences of her mother's gaslighting. The death of the perpetrator does not magically break the spell, particularly when siblings are still living the perpetrator's training.

It should be noted that the reality of Jane's siblings has also been affected by their mother's behaviour, particularly with respect to their relationship with their sister.

Overcoming Emotional Abuse

Would it be too late for Jane, now approaching her 70s? I don't think so. In the hands of a trained practitioner, skilled in both psychotherapy and EFT, the layers of emotional abuse by gaslighting can be peeled off to reveal the excited and creative child. But, in extreme cases like these, it's a long process and requires the most delicate of touches

Fiona is knowledgeable, good-humoured, strong and kind. She approaches her work with great sincerity and integrity, and she definitely produces good results. I would certainly recommend her.

Jason Handby
Owner, Corestar Ltd and Computer Software Consultant

You can find some of my published case studies here:

Have you ever been on the receiving end of this type of emotional abuse?  How are you doing - let us know in the comments below.

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Article hashtags: #Gaslighting #EmotionalAbuse #FamilyGaslighting #GaslightingExample

  • January 22, 2017
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