Archive for the ‘Overcoming Obstacles’ Category
Psychic Medium Ewan Nicholson explores what formula, if any, is there to finding a loving and fulfilling relationship and how psychic readings may help someone get there.
Throughout my time as a professional psychic, my work has ended up being about helping people through common themes. The most frequent area of life I deal with is romantic relationships.Time and time again clients come up against genuinely stressful and disappointing scenarios in the course of trying to find happiness in there love life. From being involved with a person who can’t commit, to being single and struggling to meet someone special , to falling in love with a married person, to breaking up with a person who you yearn to be together again .All these situations are unique but they also share common characteristics and invoke common feelings and thoughts. What is great about the similarities we share with others, is our common problems provides with the opportunity for a common solution.
I truly believe, that each person has the ability to create and attract relationships into their life which are secure, fulfilling and beneficial. Our desire for closeness is healthy and it is often our close relationship that provide us with the meaning and depth each us yearn for in life. Closeness also brings colour and vibrancy into our lives ,which can be well needed when we are immerse in a society that is often automated and impersonal .Yet when you have genuinely endeavoured to find that closeness and repeatedly fail to do so over a period of years, it is easy to start to doubt the legitimacy of that need . What we once would have deemed cynical and pessimistic we now call this thinking as being “realistic”. We may find ourselves vacillating from somewhat depressed “can’t be bother” which after period of time our need for closeness and connection prompts to make and “effort” in which we venture out with all our past hurts and fears. Wary that if history repeats itself it gets harder and harder to keep trying but the longer we go without the love we are seeking more we may yearn for that closeness and connection. So we are faced with conundrum “I want a close relationship but I don’t want to set myself to feel disappointed and let down”
I find it a great honour to able to support and guide people towards a place where they are able to find that love and peace within themselves and their relationships .In my personal and professional experience, I have no doubt that the fastest way through a problem is to be able to ask for help and support. Although in the end we all have to take responsibility for our life and choices, knowing we are not alone in our issues and that others do care about our well-being, makes the whole process a lot more easier and lot less tiring. It also encouraging knowing other have been where we are and they managed to find a way forward ,into more loving and rewarding relationships.
It’s a theme that I discuss regularly on this blog but its theme that I deal with regularly in my readings, it’s the issue of acceptance. On one hand it’s a simple and straight forward principle to practice , on the other hand it seems to grate and push against our instincts and drives. When faced with a scenario where someone is not feeling the way we want them to feel, we have hard time just accepting that this is the way they feel. We link accepting this with giving up and defeat. We then get caught in polarity that either I am pushing and striving to make the relationship better, or I depressingly throw in the towel and walk away. Yet often we fail to see that our “pushing” and “wanting” for that person to be different, could be a contributing factor that keeps them in the place where we don’t want them to be.
Acceptance is not about defeat, acceptance is solely about acceptance .If a person say, is unwilling to commit, they say upfront that they don’t want too much involvement. Acceptance is just respecting that person’s right to feel that way . Acceptance is practicing not fighting and struggling to get what you want, by trying to change the way another person feels. It can be tough and quite confronting, as our mind if often scheming and plotting to somehow, in some way, get what it wants. This could be more love, more commitment, more time, more contact, less distance, more communication, the list goes on .As we hold an idea in our mind of how we want that person to be and subtlety are pushing them into that place .We think if only they could commit and feel they way I want them to feel then everything would be ok.
The tricky part with acceptance may have to face the fact that the person we want to be a certain way, just isn’t that way. That doesn’t mean we have to water down the things we are desserving of, rather we just fully accept that this person is unwilling or unable to give us what we want at this moment. Choosing to continue with that person is then our choice, a choice we make with a honest understanding of where they are and want their willing to give .If someone decides to continue , whilst just accepting other person commits fears, they then may struggle with the feeling like the other person is now just getting things their way. It may feel like the relationship is now just shaped around their preferences and inability to commit .Yet the reality is, if they are unwilling to give more and really do only want something on their terms, then acceptance takes us away from the hope of a more commitment in the future that allows us to avoid the present.
Easter is here again .I have the important duty of working out where to hide my children’s Easter eggs .Being three and four years old girls, they have to be hidden well enough for them to have fun but not too hard that they end up crying because they can’t find any(I have to make sure I remember to ,so one melted egg does show up three months from now) .As I walked through the supermarket looking for my essential chocolate mini-eggs I was surrounded by rows and rows of chocolate themed eggs . Easter is here and there no getting away from it, literally! Malta ,the island I live in strange mix of overt and celebrated Catholicism and stock standard chocolate coated consumerism of modern Easter. Although I am no longer a practicing Christian, for myself there is powerful symbolism surrounding Easter and central religious focus of the death of Jesus Christ ,his pain, his betrayal, his death and the his eventual resurrection. To me the ritual of Easter possibly has more relevance and bearing to our own lives than we may think.
The story of Christ’s death and resurrection tells us that even in the darkest and most difficult times, when we feel the most forsaken and alone , out of this pain there is the hope of renewal, re-birth and new beginnings. When we are in the midst of this hurting it can be easy to forget this fact. There comes a point where we just don’t see the light, we are enmeshed with our troubles that is hard to see or understand the wider more meaningful narrative that we are part of. Yet in the same way our happy moments pass, so do our bad ones. The pain can often be prolonged not by the problem or event that started it, but rather through our unwillingness to truly let go and surrender our want for things to be different to what they where or are.
The difficult part is some feelings we can’t “partially” let go of. Christ didn’t just partially suffer , he died on the cross .His rebirth and accent into heaven could only occur once that death had taken place. Often in life we are faced with these realities, where the only way to truly have fresh start is to sincerely let go and die to what we are holding on to. Do this we must be willing to surrender our wilfulness, our need for an expected outcome and start trusting in the unseen forces that take hold once we hand over our pain over.
I think that’s the wonderful and lateral nature of how we progress and understand things as people. We potter along seemingly getting nowhere, maybe even feeling stuck, then all of sudden there comes this breakthrough or flash of understanding. One of the things I have been feeling lately is my appreciation of what is in front of me, the immense value of all I have this very moment. As to be content with were we are and what we have runs contrary to the emphasis society places on getting more, having more and being more. Now some of that is just the nature of capitalism and consumer society .Our western society is structured in a way that permits us to be bombard advertisements telling us what we need and why we need it. It’s common knowledge large corporations pay highly qualified psychologist and persuasion experts to tap into our most basic unconscious buttons of greed, fear, security or status. In addition to these social forces compelling to “do more” or to “get more”, there our own human nature of desire. To start with our basic desires for food, sex and security unpin many actions each and every day. Layered on top of that are more subtle drives for control and approval .All these drives them have various means of how they express or manifest in our lives. Yet the interesting thing is after our basic survival needs are meet, it’s seem when we fulfill each of whatever it is we want, very soon after another “want” emerges. Although our desire to improve our lives has lead to wonderful discoveries and inventions that have elevated our quality of living, it would seem on an emotional level we are no more or less happy as a civilisation now as we were 3000 years ago . It would seem the human condition has remain somewhat unevolved as we see the same mythical Greek drama involving, war, lust, betray and cruelty been re-enacted each night on the six o’clock news.
The endless to-do list…
Part of the lack emotional evolution seem to connected the belief that true happiness lies within getting what we want. Although I don’t think we can switch of the desire button and although there some benefits of being driven it is not the only way to approach being happy. It is also liberating thing to feel that everything I need to be happy I have it in front of me. That no matter if I “do” or “do not” get the things I want, it won’t determine or be the ultimate measure of my contentment. Thinking I have everything I need already is not the natural way to think, as most days of moments are spent working out how I am going to get what I want. The function of all these desires we tell ourselves is satisfaction or contentment. The problem arises is when we finally get it, more often or not the need for more of whatever it is, better stuff , more of it all comes up and we are back were we started .The Buddhist call it the “hungry ghost” another term for it is the “hole in the soul”. It’s the endless “to do list” of achieving happiness, that no matter how many items I tick off new ones inevitability appear that now need to pursued and attained.
I have an imaginary bird that sits on my shoulder that I call the â€œshould-do birdâ€. Like my crazy monkey of crystal meth, it is one of the other voices in my head. Before you shout â€œcrazy personâ€ I remind you that we all have voices in our heads, that we commonly refer to as thoughts. A persistent and repetitive pattern of thoughts, I choose to call a voice and give that voice a name. Itâ€™s not exactly a psychological breakthrough, as the use of, or analogy of our â€œinternal voicesâ€ is common in certain approaches of psychology. I personally find it helps to indentify these voices with names and clear understanding of what they have to say and contribute to my life.
The endless commands of my â€œshould doâ€ bird
As the various voices I live with go the â€œshould do bird” is one I end up listening to a lot. Itâ€™s been there perched on my shoulder for as long as I can remember. Its role and function in my life is pretty simple and straight forward. It reminds me of all the things I should be doing, saying, thinking , choosing or taking action on. Itâ€™s the indefatigable and unwavering voice that write and re writes endless lists of what I should be doing. The should do bird honestly never, ever shuts up. Its orders range from basic house hold duties such as emptying the bins, to work related task like sending an email, moving on to creative objective such as writing an Oscar winning screenplay, next relationship issue concerning being more direct in how I communicate, then on to amendments to my personality like being more organised, to wider more global issue such as making a difference in the world, then the spiritual dimension has to be covered with is have a direct experience of the oneness of the whole universe and these are the ones that have been chirped out before I,m out of bed.
Itâ€™s orders never stop..
In addition to ordering me to do these things , the “should do bird’ also has the duty of reminding me of when I havenâ€™t and lets me know overall how bad that is. As you can imagine my “should do bird” is pretty much ticked off at me most of the time as I rarely get to achieve all of whatâ€™s on my daily list of things to â€œdoâ€ and â€œbeâ€. We also have to be clear, its not the should do birds job to praise or acknowledge when I have accomplished things. Its job is to tell me what to do or be and then remind me when I havenâ€™t. Even when I am having a break or trying to take it easy , the “should do bird” is there telling me I should try and relax, thank you should do bird for that reminder.
Finding clarity in life can be a daunting task at times. We live in a world where our attention and focus is being vied for constantly. We are bombarded with information that tells us what we should want, how we should feel and where we should be in our lives. Not so long ago in human history our onlyÂ benchmark were the people surrounding us in villages. Now I have over six billion to compare my lot with. I donâ€™t see this as good or bad, I guess it is just what it is.
The issue I face day to day is how all this choice and information impacts the quality of my day and how I see myself in relation to the world I live. We are swimming in sea of choice (or maybe drowning would be a better metaphor) from which I am meant to be making choices that by and large make me happier, work choices, relationship choices, purchase choices , lifestyle choices. The assumption is, if I want to be happy I make choices that move me closer to that happiness. So my compass is pointed towards happiness and my choices are meant to guide me in that direction .Simply put, good choices bring me happiness, bad choices unhappiness.
How do I determine what is going to give me happiness via my choices? I am lucky enough to have numerous companies, religions, organisations, people, family friends and any old Joe Blo willing to give me there take on what are good choices. Yet I find in the midst of all this choice and opinion at times I find it difficult to get a strong sense of what is best or right for me. I find I end up moving and swaying, bending and turning, this way and that way, gravitating to one direction and then pull away from another. All the time trying to work out what works and what doesnâ€™t, what is true and what is false. In all of this whole process is easy to feel overwhelmed to a point of just shutting off and just going along or alternatively anxiously grabbing and grasping in the hope itâ€™s right. The vacillation between these two becomes my Modus operandi and can end up being the sum of my day, week, month year or lifetime.
I read once that pain in life is unavoidable but suffering is. I interpreted that to mean that suffering is more a mental and emotional attitude to something, whereas pain just is. In my life I have had my fair share of both pain and suffering. Feeling negative seems a natural and normal part of living it would seem, sadness, hurt, despair and despondence all seem to be common experiences for most of us at one time or another. There is a balance on the one hand allowing yourself to feel and experience your pain in a healthy, unrepressed manner, then on the other hand there is the capacity of get entangled, caught and imprisoned by negativity.
How do we know when we positively acknowledging our pain or when we have become victims of self inflicted self pity? For me unless you have reached a certain level of Buddhahood there is a place for pain and suffering. From a theoretical point of view suffering only comes from a conditioned and false set of thinking and reacting, even if that is the case, we have to work with where we are, not where we could or should be.
The first step for this is about being emotionally honest with oneself. Maybe you have been asked â€œAre you ok?â€ With either a sad or angry expression reply â€œIâ€™m fine!â€ when every inch of your tone and body language says otherwise. We can’t work through or go beyond something we are pretending not even to have, unless we are being truthful towards ourselves.
Our emotions have a reason for being there. They tell a lot about ourselves and where we are at inside ourselves.
So a second step can be to try observe how we feel from a non judging point of view, to be a witness to how we feel rather than a critic. We often have conflict that relates to voices inside our head arguing how we should or shouldnâ€™t feel. This is a big part of how negative feelings take root as we donâ€™t truly allow ourselves the right to have them. This starts at early age when as kids we are told by parents how we should feel as opposed to how actually we feel, this is later re-enforced by our society and culture.
For me I would say the hardest part that I face inside myself when it comes to transcending the negative feelings I have about myself or others, is the ability to view how Iâ€™m feeling from a point of compassion and kindness. So I first pretend I donâ€™t have the feelings I have, then if itâ€™s so obvious its undeniable I dismiss these feelings or justify them but what I donâ€™t do is view them from a loving and compassionate perspective. This would be the norm, yet what I can say is I have had times that for whatever reason I have managed to step back, even just a fraction and look at my negative feelings with a feeling of compassion towards myself. When I have done this, these feelings seem to dissolve. Itâ€™s like when they have been acknowledged and allowed to be, they seem them to gently and effortlessly dissipate. Not only that but I have been able to see their value and gain some better insight to myself.
The things I have found helpful in eliminating negative feelings is more consistent practice of mediation and prayer, talking openly to others about how I am feeling, spending more time outside in direct contact with nature, how can one feel negative looking at the night sky or a field of wildflowers. Nurture a more loving attitude towards oneself which I genuinely believe is the key to so much of what we need in todayâ€™s world. So next time you find yourself in a negative place, try being honest, being open, and most of all be happy.
A film I would recommend any one to rent on DVD is â€œThe Choirâ€. Itâ€™s a French, feel good film about a caring teacher who starts a choir in a French boarding school for delinquent boys. Throughout the film, the somewhat mean principal ,has a philosophy to discipline that is repeated with gusto â€œ action, reaction!â€Meaning that every naughty deed committed by one of the boys must be responded to, hence â€œaction, reactionâ€.
In a funny way this a metaphor for how many of us, including myself, deal with life. Stuff happens, then we react. Often the way we react is not conscious, like Pavlov dogs the bells ring and we salivate. We seem programmed to react to certain stimuli in pre-defined way. Not many of us can be on the receiving end of insults and stinging criticism from a person we care about and remain detached and indifferent. We will find those comments hurtful and cutting. We feel justified and warranted in that feeling of being hurt. We could write accurate and long lists formula that say, if A happened I would do this B, if X happen I would probably react with Z.
All this is well and good, but often our reactions do not contribute to the life and relationships we actually want. As an example, someone I care about emotionally distances themselves from me. My reaction is to feel insecure and needy. As they see this reaction they pull away furthering my insecurities. So my reaction has brought the very things I was most afraid of happening. So the question is, how can I react less and respond more? How can I transcend my conditioned reaction and response to feelings, situations and people in way that is more centred, genuine and harmonious.
A start is first just knowing it is possible. One of the most exciting things to understand is our inherent capacity to change and transform. It may not be easy or straightforward but it is definitely possible. So once we know it is possible we then move to the question of how. From my own experience the thing I have found most powerful in limiting my reaction is to become more detached from the part of me that is doing the reacting.
I was speaking to a client the other day about picturing that you have monkey sitting on your shoulder throughout your day. This monkey is demanding, moody, sulking self pitying. It’s like a self-centred ,adolescent, crazy chimp on crystal meth, endlessly barking out should and shouldnâ€™t to you all day. Always wanting more, never happy, never fulfilled, except of course when it gets what it wants, and then it is only ever momentarily This monkey is what is â€œreactingâ€ part in you.
How often do we hear the expression â€œshe/he is in denial”? In my own life I have felt the blinding and crippling impact of denial. Of course we are not talking denial in the meaning of refusing a request, we are referring to its definition meaning â€œAn unconscious defense mechanism characterized by refusal to acknowledge painful realities, thoughts, or feelingsâ€ .Obviously the tricky part of denial is that important word â€œunconsciousâ€ .Itâ€™s easy to look back at an ex that might have been just using us, after the whole drama has unfolded. The issue is how can we be more â€œconsciousâ€ of what is going on, not with hindsight but with the midst of the situation itself. Another important word to observe within the definition is the word â€œdefenceâ€ .You could also use the word â€œprotectâ€ or â€œto safeguardâ€. It is like a part of us canâ€™t handle the truth so we build an almost imaginary reality layered on top of the real reality. We choose to believe, defend and uphold this reality, even though to others it is obvious or even absurd. To us our denial enables us to continue to believe and function. I can see in some cases how denial maybe a way to ensure we stay sane and balanced. .Particularly as children, maybe some realities are too hard for our fragile and vulnerable minds to face, so be build up a layer of denial to protect our psyche from too much direct trauma, particularly if there is little we can do to change the reality. Yet for most of us as adults who are able to deal and change our circumstances, denial then only serves in general to blind us to a reality that either doesnâ€™t suit us or doesnâ€™t serve us. When I look at my own life the areas of my biggest denial relate to problems I have had and my relationships. My denial is my public dishonesty, first with myself, then the rest of the world. When I look back it does seem obvious what I was in denial about but at the time it wasnâ€™t. So if I follow that logic I can only assume that right now there must other things I hold be true that I could be in denial about. So what do I do to work out whatâ€™s true and what is false? To be honest I donâ€™t have a clear answer, this is something I am working on, and probably will continue to be working on the rest of my life. Some pointers I can share with you on some characteristics of denial that can make it easier to indentify. A big red flag and flashing neon sign that you may be in denial is defensiveness, the same word mentioned in the definition. When someone sayâ€™s my employee is taking advantage of me and being lazy, then I get angry and defend them it could mean I am in denial. Maybe I afraid if I admit it that it shows I am a push over, a poor manager. Maybe it means the friendship I thought we had was imaginary and he was just using me .Either way when we loudly defend something it can be sign of denial. Avoidance is another sign of denial. When someone broaches something and I say â€œlook I just donâ€™t want to talk about itâ€ when they ask â€œwhy?â€ and I reply â€œwell I just donâ€™tâ€ in a snappy and curt manner it could be another sign.
Closeness in a Relationship Closeness can be a very tricky thing. Sometimes we find ourselves running away from it, sometimes we find ourselves wishing and wanting it when it’s not there. The truth is that closeness and intimacy are one of the many things which make life special and meaningful. Although it is a cliche, it is true when they say that on your death bed you won’t be looking back thinking “Could I have made more money, had more acclaim?” More than likely you will be thinking “Who was I close to?”, ” Whom did I love?”, “Could I have loved them more”
Closeness as a gauge in relationships…
Closeness is an intangible and precious gift we both give and receive. Yet, for many of us, finding, developing and enjoying it can be part of life’s challenges. This can especially be the case when it comes to romantic relationships. Maybe we had closeness and it slipped away; maybe it was never there in first place and so we look for it even more. Either way, when it comes to romantic relationships the level of closeness, in many ways, is the gauge of the success of the relationship. The closer we are, the more we feel the relationship is working; the more distance, the more we feel things are wrong, things are not working. Often we can feel that things lie somewhere in the middle: we have some closeness but not as much as we would like.
Closeness as a value…
We can look at this issue in the light of values. If we have a partner who comes from a family where distance is the norm and closeness is not something they value, we can’t force that person to be close to us. They care for us in their own way. So, if closeness is the measure of the quality of a relationship and we can’t force our partners to be closer to us, there remains the question of how to we get closer to the people we love.
The process of becoming closer…
A basic thing to understand is how closeness is developed. Closeness is the natural process of being able to be honest, open and yourself with a person. It does not have to be romantic. We could say “I had such a great weekend with my mum; by the end of it we just seemed so much closer”. When we say “so much closer”, what do we mean? What happens to make us “closer”? Sadly we live in a society where much of our time is spent behind masks and different persona. It is not often that we feel naturally open, honest and close to people. Our guards are up automatically and we take time to warm and get close to people. So, part of this closeness is about really knowing people.