What Is Truth?

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Truth is a funny thing.

It seems to be as malleable as plasticine, able to be bent and twisted into any shape we require. What is true one day can be found in the bottom of the trash bin the next. Truths we’ve held dear and built lives upon can come tumbling down like a house of cards with a mere puff of wind. A truth that seems as solid as rock can turn to dust beneath our feet.

So, how do we know what’s true and what’s not?

Quite often we believe something is “true” simply because it is convenient to do so. This “truth” fits our agenda and serves us in some way. It aligns with our story about ourselves and about others. It matches up with what we expect from ourselves or others.

We literally pick and choose our truths, keeping what fits and doubting or dismissing what doesn’t. Continue reading

Finding Your Tribe

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Who is your tribe?

Who makes up the group you surround yourself with, the group you “belong” to?

Does your tribe consist of the people you grew up with? The ones you went to school with?

Are they the people who live near you?

 

What ties you to your tribe? Do you have similar interests, play sport together or have kids who attend the same school?

 

Lots of factors determine who we spend our time with and who we identify with.

Quite often who we mix with are people who think like we do, who hold similar beliefs and opinions.

Sometimes what we like most about them is that they’re so much like us…..

 

Feeling that you belong is incredibly important to most of us. We have a basic need to feel liked and accepted. We long to “fit” somewhere, to find our place in the world.

 

Some people belong to the same tribe their entire lives. Others spend their lives flitting around the fringes looking desperately for a place to belong and never quite finding it. Some spend a lifetime trying to join a tribe that is never going to accept them into its fold.

And some of us find the need to change our tribe as we grow and change as human beings.

What happens when you wake up one day and realise that you don’t quite fit anymore? That you seem to be headed in a different direction maybe, or simply that your tribe is no longer a place where you can be who you really are?

 

Many of us try to hold on, afraid that if we leave our tribe we will be left alone forever…. (to wander lost and lonely as a cloud…) :)

That terror of being alone is pretty much up there with death on most people’s fear chart.

For that reason many people stay with their tribe long after it no longer feels right. When those people who surround us no longer reflect who we really are.

 

Transitioning between tribes can be a terrifying experience. Knowing that you no longer fit the old but having no idea how to find the new.

Knowing that there must be people out there like you.

People with similar beliefs and ideals.

People who think and feel like you.

People with fresh new ideas.

People willing to embrace you on a whole new level. Continue reading

6 Reasons Why We Should Celebrate The Good Things That Happen To Other People

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Are you one of those people who celebrates the successes of others?

Do you get a thrill of excitement and joy watching a lucky lottery winner claiming their prize?

Do you get goosebumps and a lump in your throat when someone achieves their dreams- even if you don’t know them?

Are you overwhelmed with emotion watching someone being presented an award or a prize?

Do you feel genuine happiness when a friend excitedly tells you about their pay rise/ their fabulous new house/ the trip to Europe they just won with the ticket you gave them for their birthday / or their gorgeously perfect new girl/boyfriend?

You do?

Well guess what?

You’ve just become part of a minority group. Continue reading

Climate Change? I Don’t Believe it…

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I’ve been fortunate over the last 6 months or so to have the opportunity to study with Michael Yapko  Ph.D.

Dr. Yapko is arguably the world’s foremost expert on hypnosis. He has made it his life’s work to uncover all there is to know about hypnosis and how it works. He has written the textbooks on teaching hypnosis and authored many other books.

Despite all of this, he is the first to tell you that the more he comes to discover about hypnosis, the more he realises how little he actually knows…It is a journey without an end point. Along the way he has had to constantly change his thinking in light of new evidence and scientific findings.

Hypnosis is an incredibly powerful tool. It allows people to make profound and lasting change. But the truth is, we are still a way off from understanding how hypnosis actually “works.”

It has been a challenging, enlightening and sometimes difficult experience of being thrown headfirst into a course as demanding as Yapko’s, especially when it has meant that a lot of ideas and facts that I held to be “true” have been turned upside down and inside out. (Some days my head feels like someone has taken an egg-beater to my brain!)

Some of my long-held beliefs have had to be tossed in the rubbish. Some things that I had been taught in the past were “100% fact” (and had passed onto others in good faith!) are simply untrue. Other old beliefs had to be mulled over for a period of time before I finally conceded that they too may be wrong…

(Then there are a few points we will agree to disagree on…and that’s okay too!!)

As I was reviewing some notes today and realising how much some of my “truths” have changed, I thought about how important it is to have flexibility in thinking. How important it is to be able to change your thinking in light of new information or new ways of seeing things- and of how so many of us are unable or unwilling to do so.

Sometimes we get so caught up with what we “believe” that it actually begins to become part of our identity, part of who we are. Sometimes our beliefs become so important to us that we cannot tolerate the thought of anyone not agreeing with us, of not “thinking like we do”. People who have views that do not match our own become threatening to us. We become more determined to hold onto our “truths”, to defend them and to keep them close.

It reminded me of a presentation I went to on climate change about 12 months ago. In our small group there were those who believed, those who disbelieved and those who were neutral on whether climate change existed as a phenomenon. Some held very strong views.

The professor who presented did not tell us at any stage what he believed but some had “guessed” and were already either resistant or supportive of him before we began! The professor simply shared information with us- some information took us in one direction, some in the other. We were able to ask questions, to clarify data and to discuss as a group. Each of us weighed up every piece of evidence for and against. One person however offered the same mantra which grew more and more strident and peturbed: “Well, I don’t believe in climate change and I never will!” By the end of the talk this person reminded me of a small child with their hands over their ears shouting “No, no I don’t want to hear that it’s my bedtime!!”

They identified as a “Climate Change Denier” and they were going to hold onto that no matter what. It was important to them.

When our group met a few months later each of us had experienced some sort of personal change in what we thought, what we saw happening and how we acted in relation to climate. We still all held different beliefs, although they were now not so far apart and they were all continually changing as each of us considered new evidence. The exercise had opened our minds. Even though we still had differing beliefs, all were open to the possibility of our viewpoints continuing to change in light of new information. Our “Climate Change Thinking” had become flexible.

All except one who was proud to announce “Well, I don’t believe in climate change and I never will!”

And in that, of course, they are 100% right.. :)