My Quest Hub

The Spin Cycle of Everyday Life

You are here:

Maria Richards

Spring 2016

The spin-cycle of everyday life

Have you ever experienced going on holiday, where you arrive at your destination and as you exit that plane, train or automobile, you’re engulfed by a change from our own seasonal weather conditions, less familiar sights or sounds and those smells that greet us? How our senses tingle with the awareness of our new external environment? A place where we give ourselves permission to let go of our concerns and worries, which as we do, we also recognise internally that it’s time for relaxation, enjoyment or maybe to get excited about a new adventure.

It may take a few days to settle and to shed the stressors of the life we’ve left at home. The pace may slow down or become more exhilarating, but ultimately we end that holiday more refreshed, relaxed – our batteries topped up ready to re-join our daily lives.

Depending on where we’ve been we sometimes experience jet-lag and a real culture shock on our return home. We arrive and step onto our home turf feeling different but being aware of the old familiar place we’re returning to. ‘There’s no place like home’ some people say as the pace of the big city or just re-engaging with our daily tasks, concerns and endeavours kick-in.

For some, pretty soon, it can feel like we’ve never been away at all. We may lay intentions to set aside space for activities that will help us to sustain our energy levels and enjoyment of life; which help us cope with the expectations that others have on us, or that we ourselves know to be important. If only we had more time…

And of course what’s interesting is that whilst we gear up and become entrenched in our daily lives once again, there are other people arriving to holiday in our environment.

It’s all about perspective

So I was thinking about how easy it is to become bogged down in what can seem like the spin-cycle of everyday life. What things some people do to enhance their connectivity with the people and the world around them, and the things we don’t do that could allow us brief moments to let go and bathe in that inner sense of tranquillity, by connecting more to the miracle of life and creativity that surrounds us. How do you do it?

Neuroscience has shown us that the brain is plastic. We can change how we experience our reality AND in the words of Wayne Dyer “When we change the way we look at things; the things we look at change.”

In order to make sense of our world the brain runs an algorithm, which is based on our survival. For example, this could be as simple as getting from home to work, a familiar pattern, which may be littered from the moment we awake with good or bad expectations for the day.

To cope with this some people chose regular exercise that brings up the heart rate, gives strength and endurance in aerobic activity, or healthy muscles in resistance exercise that makes them feel alive and connected with the world and with themselves.

I’m also a great advocate of meditation techniques and as a cognitive hypnotherapist a believer in the use of self-hypnosis as a constructive way to take control in a variety of situations, as well as easing frustrations, it induces relaxation and washing away tiredness and stress.

It’s true that memories can be very evocative – reaching for photos, finding that we still have grains of sand in our luggage or those mementoes that anchor us to those feelings or thoughts we experienced whilst away. A friend of mine mentally replays her visit to the Norwegian fjords every night before going to sleep. Just like her own personal DVD she replays in her mind, the stunning scenery, towering peaks, crashing waterfalls, incredible wildlife and sheer tranquillity…. recalling the smell of the sea and as her body relaxes, drifting off to a peaceful slumber.

Perhaps by creating moments through finding a method of reflective attentiveness, in the midst of our everyday lives, we can link to the calming of our nervous system, or excite ourselves in positive ways by acknowledging that we can tune in to the vibrancy of the environment around us. This could mean suspending our beliefs for a moment of how we’re perceiving the world around us, and taking a fresh look.

Appreciating our existence more within our natural or urban environment.

We’re also bombarded by modern day technology – where natural sounds are consumed or replaced by the ring of mobile phones, sounds in computer games, motor engines and appliances – whilst the eye is distracted by visual feasts of advertising, and new ways to access film or TV technology. Even a visit to the countryside can be high-jacked by the bubble of the car we’re in and the sound of the music player!

So maybe reflective attentiveness is about taking a moment to connect with our natural or urban environment in a different way. Suspending, just for a moment, our beliefs and what it is that corrals our attention, by becoming more open to different ways of seeing, hearing or thinking, just by placing our attention on what’s behind the noise, viewing what parts of nature are growing or changing, how we’re hearing the sound of the wind or any wildlife around us. Taking action by trying an alternative route that opens our awareness in new directions – noticing others partaking in the cycle of life, highlighting to observe only the kindness of strangers – where everything, including ourselves, become ultimately connected.

When you look ahead, around or up, what is it you admire? How the sun reflects on glass, or the rain bounces off the pavement, the ingenuity of architecture or how nature interacts and lives within it – the aromas in the air, the change of wind direction, the flight of birds, the taste of food, all and everything, down to the feeling of the clothes on our body. As we breathe in notice the sensation of the air as it enters, and as we expel, the air oxygenating our amazing bodies that sustain us.

We can take an excursion in our daily lives by focusing our attention just for a few moments each day, on how we are perceiving those things around, those things within and by reaching towards an oasis, which is nurturing by connecting to more positive emotions, whatever we’re doing and where-ever we may be.

‘Reconsolidation’ – out with the old and in with the new!

If you can change your perspective around those everyday things, which could bring general improvements to your day, what would happen if you could extend this change to any personal limiting beliefs, fears, or circumstances that hold you back from being the best version of you?

The good news is that because the brain is ‘plastic’, it’s never too late to get help to change your perspective at an unconscious level, creating powerful change that brings you the confidence you desire or allows you to let go of anxiety or fears. By learning at the level of the unconscious, you could be guided to change what’s no longer appropriate, whilst igniting the potential for better supportive behaviours. This means finding you have the capabilities to grow, whilst letting go of those old things that drove those emotions that once resulted in the unwanted automated beliefs and responses.

Some clients realise that after years of life experience they are able to look back and point out contradictions to old negative beliefs. It’s confusing why the unconscious remains on alert and creates fear or amplifies old worn repetitive thought patterns. Through a process called ‘reconsolidation’ it’s possible to make positive changes to perspectives and behaviours. The mind just needs some help updating at an unconscious level. Cognitive hypnotherapists have helped guide many people to change unconscious patterns; to perceive their present world differently. Small differences can begin to grow and grow and direct you towards unique valued solutions. Clients have reported feeling more confident, validating their worth through a change in thoughts, having improved self-esteem in interactions with others, or in the case of a phobia – amazed by being able to be calm, whilst standing in the same room as… that spider!

“The suspension of belief in what we ordinarily take for granted or infer by conjecture, diminishes the power of what we customarily embrace as objective reality.” Edmund Husserl: philosopher and mathematician, study of reflective self-consciousness