Oct 31, 2018
To make lifelong change to any Unhappy Habit (to change the way you drink/eat/shop and all the rest), you need to accept where you are now.
Accept that you are lost and confused about what you do, without judgement or criticism. It simply is what it is, nothing more, nothing less, and you want/need/must change it.
You don’t even need to now the ‘how’ of the path you took to get there, that is truly not relevant.
Its ‘how’ you maintain the Unhappy Habits NOW that matters, the rest is just a journey into your ’emotional past’ that has often long since gone, which can be both painful and pointless, when it comes to moving forward, other than it holds valuable information that you can use if you choose to.
So let’s start with taking a little look at at the structure of our Unhappy Habits, of what they would look like if we could actually see them. And for this purpose, the analogy of an iceberg is perfect, as it represents both your physical acts and the emotional intentions that drive them.
Above the water is the smallest part of your iceberg, and make no mistake, that smallest part can be pretty damn big. Its icy tip symbolizes your behaviour and its visible consequences.
It’s what you see reflected back at you in the mirror.
It’s the weight you hate, the signs of your alcohol consumption, the dehydration and anxiety in your dull eyed stare.
It’s in the stress you see so clearly etched on you own face when you have drunk, yet again, in a way you promised yourself you wouldn’t. When you have eaten an amount, you promised yourself you wouldn’t. When you have spent money you don’t have on stuff you don’t need….
As well as the looks of hurt, confusion, and lack of trust that you see in the faces of your children and your loved ones, when you have done again, what you promised them you wouldn’t, as well as the lies, desperation and hopelessness that are the ever present companions of what you DO.
That cold white ice is the what you ‘do’ of your habit – what you put into your mouth, what you spend, and seemingly, very sensibly, when you try to make changes, that’s where we start. I mean, if something you are doing isn’t working, just do something else, right……….
So, you circle our visible iceberg warily, thinking through your options, taking into account what has and hasn’t worked before, maybe there is a new diet plan, a new quit drinking, inspirational, motivational, prayer book even, that might just work this time.
And with your new information, you attack your icy peak with our unprotected hands in an attempt to mold it in to the new, improved ice sculpture version of yourself, which sadly you have learnt to feel we can never really be….. because my God, you have tried before and always ‘failed’ to maintain your new ice shape.
The ice shape that is the slim you, the sober you, the one that just isn’t who you are right now.
And why do you feel you can never be this new version of you?
That’s easy. You have been practising your ice sculpting skills for years and they always ‘fail’ you.
At best you have been able to create a temporary ‘new’ you, but then LIFE and the ice starts to shift and re-arrange itself as you try desperately to shape it back into place, until with bloodied, defeated hands you give up and accept your drunk/fat/broke destiny, without even acknowledging how brave you were to try again.
And I want you to know and accept this now…..the very fact that you keep trying means that you are the bravest of the brave.
Ok, so deep down, long lasting empowering, relief and release giving change does not come from working on your icy peak….. Agreed?
So, logically, the only other part of your iceberg to look at is the huge, submerged and brutally ragged, confused mass that lies beneath the water, you inner world, that supports your visible peak.
Dark and seemingly unknowable, this is the foundation of your iceberg, and it is formed by what you have learnt to believe is the only truth about both yourself, and your habit.
What your habit brings to you. How you will without it, who you will BE without it, what you will lose, how you will cope, and added to that is your experience around your habit in the good times – and there were good times, because if you hadn’t experience the good, before you lost control, you wouldn’t believe in its ‘power’ to make you feel better.
And together, all of the above has solidified, been frozen into what you accept as your reality.
Do you recognise yourself here?
Do you recognise the feelings that come up when you try to approach change, even just in your thinking? Before you take any action?
Do you recognise the discomfort, fear, anxiety that always shows up first in the pit of your stomach simply at the thought of making changes?
Those feeling are the only evidence you need to know that you have a belief about what you do….it is the seemingly freezing cold, menacing, submerged part of your iceberg that you believe will rip at you apart both physically and emotionally, if you get to close to it, and so you flinch from even approaching it, dwarfed and cowed as you are by its unseen but definitely felt, size and power.
Many brave souls who have understood this truth still take up the battle, donning protective clothing and attacking the submerged iceberg with all the weapons in their personal arsenal. They launch missiles of self-hate, recrimination and abuse at its silent mass, they meditate, join support groups, read endlessly on their poison of choice, and hope that one of these explosives will detonate on impact, smashing a tunnel to freedom. And still, no, that doesn’t work either.
So, what does?
To melt any iceberg you simply have to raise the temperature of the surrounding water.
And in the case of your Unhappy Habit, I mean the temperature of YOU.
To choose to bring out your sunshine of compassion, forgiveness and love of YOU to YOU, and let it shine down brightly, warming the air and and in doing so, allowing in the light to the Self-Awareness that is key to any transformation.
Self-Awareness can only be found in an expanded state of you. In your state of harsh Self-Judgement, Self-Criticism & Self-Despair, you shrink yourself down into a tight knot of fear and pain, and no new awareness’s can come in.
You rehash old information, that constricts and confuses you further. You tighten the straight jacket of your mind and completely close down any opportunity to the intuitive learning’s from your heart, that give you comfort, trust and faith in you, and allow you to look at what you DO, when and why differently.
Every new Self-Awareness brings questioning to the boundaries of what you believe and your experience.
It allows for the possibility of a different view of the reality you had previously created, and a different view, is an expanded view, which allows for different strategies and different behaviours, easily.
And as your self-awareness grows, you learn to have confidence in yourself, to pause and breathe before you ACT your Unhappy Habit, to recognise the patterns you run BEFORE you act, and to create new ones that truly do offer the comfort and support you are looking for. That is your always and forever TRUTH.
And in doing so, your icebergs naturally melt BECAUSE you expand your understanding of both yourself and your Unhappy Habit.
As you grow, any confusing thoughts and beliefs, frozen for so long, take on a softer, gentler shape, allowing us the flexibility to gently challenge what you DO, what you believe it gives you as well as finally feeling and accepting what it takes from you without your inner battle, all of which gives you the magical, joyful opportunity to act and be who you were born to be, who you are meant to be, habit free, happy, healthy and HEALED.
And the gift of letting your iceberg completely dissolve, it that you are left with an untroubled expanse of water, peaceful and calm, with no need for us to do anything, just to ‘be’.
I hope this message gives you comfort and insight and hope. I hope it resonated with you – it is my truth, and it is yours too. And I hope that it takes you to looking at yourself and what you DO differently.
The ‘different looking’ is the start of your incredible journey back to YOU.
If you need help in understanding & changing any Unhappy Habit, please contact me HERE today.
My LIFE Recovery Coaching comes from a place of deep understanding and compassion of a former addict, a lost woman and Mother, who now lives in acceptance of who I am, who loves who I am, and who is daily HEALING.
Be kind and gentle with yourself.
PS. if you would like to know more about my personal journey, from Pain to Peace, and from Hurt to Healed, 28 years of alcoholism, to peaceful freedom, take a look at my internationally acclaimed book, This Isn’t Me, described by Ranvir Singh, of Good Morning Britain as “Beautiful and devastating” (click on the link HERE). I wrote it for my son, as an apology for his younger years, and as an attempt to explain the un-explainable and it was where I started my journey back to LOVE
Jun 11, 2018
What does Self-Care mean to you?
And if you do practice Self-Care, what do you do & how often?
For years I thought Self-Care was Selfish…how wrong I was, and if I practiced it at all, if I rested when I needed to, if I made the ‘effort’ to eat more healthily, if I took time out for me, or went for a walk in nature, I couldn’t even have told you that was Self-Care….I have no idea how I would have described it, but I’m pretty sure I only did those things when I had no choice but to do something to make myself feel better……I couldn’t carry on feeling worse……
So when I finally (seemingly miraculously….except it wasn’t a miracle), I stopped drinking, one of the first things that I realized as I stated to understand so many new truths about myself and my drinking, was that I had no level of Self-Care, or Self-Love, or Self-Respect.
Actually, thinking about it now, I had no sense of ‘self’ at all.
Thankfully I learn quick – for good and for bad it seems – and I understood that to give myself the best chance of being the person I wanted to be and to be happy, to be healthy, to be healed and to be whole, I HAD to put in place the ‘self’ bits that were missing.
And Self-Care, as it turned out was the easiest, and with just a little of an emotional cuddle in place, my LIFE changed in the most peaceful, joyful, loving way.
I became the most important person in my life, selfish as that may sound. My eating came first, my rest, my emotional comfort – for that I mean removing myself from stressful situations/people at first, and then later, as my sober muscle grew stronger, understanding how to re-frame the situations/people in a more compassionate light, and owning my own responsibility for my behavior and responses.
Grab that wine? My choice.
Getting angry/stressed and using it as a reason to drink? My choice. And all the rest of ‘my choices’.
Learning and acting on the loving art of Self-Care changes everything. Literally and painlessly.
It taught me I deserved more and so I gave me more and so I became more.
High five me, but how what did I do? Recently I delivered a talk called, ‘You Can’t Pour From An Empty Cup’ to a group of ladies who are struggling with their unhappy, unhealthy, unhealed sense of self.
To be honest, I was surprised to see and hear how well it resonated. And so now, I’m sharing the talk with you.
You Can’t Pour From an Empty Cup
“This is my big cup that I pour from every day. It is not full of water, tea or alcohol (thank goodness), it is full of my energy. From this cup each day I pour my energy into smaller cups, my work, my home, my life. 90% of the time, no matter how much I pour out each day, after a good night’s sleep, it is miraculously full of energy again. No-one can pour energy into my big cup, it is something that comes from within me. We all have these cups, at the moment you are pouring from your big cup into one of my smaller ones as you listen to me.
Every now and again though my cup doesn’t miraculously refill. Life constantly throws unexpected challenges and curve balls at us and depending on what are priorities are at any time, they can empty our big cup pretty quickly. Recently I have had to make some hard decisions about situations beyond my control and whilst I am completely comfortable and at peace with the decisions I made, my miracle cup still drained away.
Two weeks ago I went to a meeting where someone took photos, In most of them I was smiling and ‘being Sonia’, but in one that I was unaware of , I saw a drained, tired devastated woman completely depleted of everything. I cried for her and said “enough”, my cup was empty, I had nothing left to pour.
I cancelled or rescheduled all my meetings with total honesty and went away for four days. I took myself and my empty cup to Devon, I walked for miles, took in the scenery, ate properly, slept properly, made a commitment to myself to check in with business twice a day not before 9 and not after 6. Turned my devices off allowed myself to accept how I was feeling, went through the process and slowly refilled my cup. I came home still sad, the situations that had drained me were still present and my cup wasn’t full, but it was slowly refilling itself and I was ready to start pouring again.
I call this self-care –and is the complete opposite of what most woman do in times of stress both at work and home.
As woman we seem to be conditioned to think that in order to be “good enough” we must put everyone else’s needs first. When challenges come what do we do? Most of us batten down the hatches, isolate ourselves emotionally and just push on,. We do the exact opposite of what we actually need. And at what cost.
Tired and irritable, who suffers? Children, partners? Then we feel worse for being snappy.
Poor sleep and not making enough time to eat? What suffers? Our concentration, productivity? And again we feel bad. Horrible cycles!
Every bit of self-care we give to ourselves we get back in all our important relationships, whether they are family or work or whatever/whoever matters most to us.
So, these are my practices for my self-care. Mine won’t work for everyone, we are all wonderfully individual, but these definitely added in my recovery. And, if they are not for you, please because you deserve to care for yourself and to be your best you, find some that do.
Top 10 Self-Care Tips
- First of all I tell myself every day I am good enough. I am good enough for my son, my loved ones, my clients and most importantly myself. We are all good enough, acknowledge that truth of that and the next steps become easier because you know you are deserving of self care.
- Ask for help before you becomes the crisis. People can’t guess what you need. Ask yourself, what help could I ask for now that would make the most difference to me? Working to a deadline, maybe your child’s friends mum could pick up your child as well that day. Dry cleaning pick up, maybe a neighbour goes regularly into town? Help with preparing a document? ask someone who enjoys that aspect of work, they also get to show off their expertise. People like to help. Be clear and kind in your asking.
- Let go of control. If you ask someone to wash up, or change the sheets or run a presentation for you, don’t look at it critically if it is not done your way – people are not robots that can replicate you. Don’t be irritated and feel it has to be done again. That builds resentment in you and will make the one who tried to help feel useless and less inclined to offer in future.
- Routine, our bodies crave routine, it stabilises and reassures us. We run on the circadian rhythm, so for instance when we fly through different time zones, our sleep is disrupted and it can take a few days to recalibrate. Eat regularly, drink regularly. Make these non-negotiable. Our bodies our our greatest asset and will do everything in their power to support us both mentally and physically if we fuel them properly.
- Even in the midst of the most challenging situations, set aside 10 minutes in the morning to have a quiet cup of tea and breathe deeply. No work, no emails, just you, tea and deep breaths. Get up earlier if necessary. Set yourself up for your day.
- Don’t check work after 8pm. set automatic responses if necessary. What will it achieve to read that a client is complaining? A delivery not received? You can’t do anything about it until the morning and it will upset you and disrupt your sleep.
- Sleep well – go to bed a little earlier and get the restorative sleep you need.
- Switch off all unnecessary stimulus in the evening an hour before bed Try a jigsaw, adult colouring book – I am so rock and roll these days – try baking anything creative. Light candles, listen to music, and take a lovely bath. Do something just for you and again make this time absolutely non-negotiable.
- Learn to say no with confidence and love. Don’t agree to anything out of guilt or obligation, again you risk the chance of becoming resentful and further overstretched. People may not like it to start with, but they will learn to respect your needs and will stop asking.
- Acknowledge how you are feeling. Don’t try to damp the feelings down. Feeling overwhelmed, say so, feeling unloved, tell someone, feeling unfairly pressured? Speak it out loud. Once we have articulated how we feel, these feelings have less power over of us. I told myself when I was away, I am so sad, my house is not a home anymore (my home life is everything to me). Once I said those things out loud though, my natural resourcefulness kicked in and I started to view the situation differently. I even laughed at myself, completely alone, I must have looked crazy!
The more we care for ourselves the more we are able to care for others. The more I pour into my own cup, the more I can pour out to those who I need and who need me.
Everyone suffers when my cup is empty and I see them wilting through thirst. That hurts me personally and affects me professionally. So to me self-care is not a luxury or selfish, it is an absolutely vital part of my life.”
Please lovely, put yourself FIRST, put in place YOUR self-care, no-one else can do it for you, and always and forever, please, please….
And if you are still struggling in your unhappy, unhealthy, unhealed LIFE that feels so much less than it should be, message me, and lets talk….you will only stay trapped, fearful and alone in who you are, and what you do until you reach out and learn a new way of living that breathes with you…
Be kind and gentle with yourself
If you would like to understand more about my journey from 28 years of alcoholism, to peaceful freedom, take a look at my internationally acclaimed book, This Isn’t Me, described by Ranvir Singh, of Good Morning Britain as “Beautiful and devastating” (click on the link HERE).
May 22, 2018
Too many of feel that we are not good enough, not worthy, not deserving. feelings that deprive us of the life of peace and joy we all deserve, and using food and alcohol in an attempt to comfort those losses.
We eat and drink in ways we are ashamed of, that make us feel we have to lie and hide what we do. That cause us sleepless nights of worry. And yet we still continue to repeat the same cycles in our attempts to self-comfort those painful feelings of ‘not enough’ away.
And because it is only ever comfort we are looking for, when we try to change the way we eat and drink, it can be very hard. Especially when we don’t believe we can be, or deserve to be different, thoughts that further deprive us of the comfort we long for.
We are all, always doing our very best to be our best.
We are never trying to harm ourselves or our families, our children, husbands, partners, and yet stopping doing the things we know harms us all most, feels as though it is beyond our power.
It is not.
Imagine a different way of living for you, one you truly do deserve.
- Imagine no longer feeling not good enough, but more than enough?
- Imagine knowing and accepting who you are.
- Imagine letting go of all your old Anger, Hurt, Sadness, Pain, Guilt & Fear in one relaxed, empowering session.
- Imagine how much easier it would be to make better choices and decisions in the moment and future, relieved of old distresses
TimeLine Therapy is a wonderfully, unobtrusive process that gifts you the ability to easily let go of all your past pain, allowing you to move forward with confidence in yourself and your ability to be who you truly deserve to be.
I am a Master Practitioner of TimeLine Therapy, and every client, without exception, has said they feel ’emotionally lighter’, ‘calmer, stronger and more empowered’ before they even leave the room.
We all need to emotionally let go of a past that no longer serves us to be our best, and it something that is entirely within us all.
“I feel so positive with a sense of lightness, I am walking with a spring in my step. There has been a definite shift in my thinking. I have noticed how much kinder I am being to myself – my internal voice is not giving me a hard time. I am feeling so much more at peace with myself. This is quite an amazing feeling. Thank you for helping me to feel like this! J Dickie
I had a TimeLine Therapy session with Sonia which I found to be incredibly profound form of treatment and very successful in treating me with my issue. The experience was enhanced as Sonia has a very warm and lovely manner, which enabled me to get the most out of the sessions in a safe environment. I would highly recommend an Emotional Cleanse session with Sonia to anyone. M Greene
Sonia made me feel relaxed, calm and very safe to explore my emotions. She took me through the process, carefully explaining each step of the way and was so lovely and kind that I felt able to say just what I needed to without feeling self-conscious – quite an achievement believe me. I can highly recommend this treatment as an emotional spring clean to help you to look to the future with a renewed enthusiasm.” J Ellis
“Incredible experience! I feel less anxious and stressed and feel back in control of my life. Sonia you are amazing” N Thompson
I DEFINITELY feel so much better, my old heavy emotional baggage has gone. I feel so much lighter and more capable. I am making better choices in life and that is wonderful. K Morris
TimeLine Therapy is a wonderful addition to my Recovery Coaching process or as a powerful, one off intervention, and can be conducted either face to face, or in the comfort of your own home via Zoom
- A life enhancing 2 hour TimeLine Therapy Session is £600
Click here, if you would like to book a free Recovery Coaching Assessment Call to see how I can best support your journey.
Or to learn more about, my ground breaking Recovery Coaching,
Or myself Sonia Grimes, and my journey, through my book, This Isn’t Me.
Love & respect