Tag Archives: emotions

The Mindful Magic of Doodling

Creative Solutions for Anxiety Relief


Are you seeking a simple yet effective way to alleviate stress and anxiety?

Look no further than the humble act of doodling. Beyond its reputation as a pastime for idle moments, doodling offers a gateway to mindfulness and mental well-being.

Doodling, the spontaneous act of drawing aimlessly, has been shown to engage the mind in a state of focused relaxation. As you let your pen wander across the page, your attention becomes absorbed in the present moment, effectively quieting the incessant chatter of anxious thoughts.


Here’s how doodling can be a powerful tool for combating anxiety:


HexagonMindful Engagement

 Doodling encourages you to concentrate on the here and now, fostering a sense of mindfulness. By immersing yourself in the act of doodling, you redirect your focus away from worries about the past or future, promoting a calmer mental state.

Stress Reduction
Engaging in creative expression through doodling triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. This influx of dopamine can counteract the effects of stress hormones like cortisol, promoting relaxation and a sense of well-being.

Expressive Outlet

Doodling provides a non-verbal means of expression, allowing you to channel your emotions and thoughts in a visual format.

Whether it’s abstract patterns, intricate designs, or simple sketches, doodling enables you to externalize your internal world, offering clarity and catharsis in the process.

Enhanced Focus
Contrary to popular belief, doodling can actually enhance concentration rather than detract from it. Research suggests that doodling can improve information retention and cognitive performance by preventing the mind from wandering too far afield, making it an ideal practice for staying grounded and attentive.
Accessible and Portable
One of the greatest advantages of doodling is its accessibility. All you need is a piece of paper and a pen, making it a convenient tool for managing anxiety anytime, anywhere. Whether you’re at home, in the office, or on the go, doodling can serve as a portable refuge from the demands of daily life.

Incorporating doodling into your routine doesn’t require artistic prowess or elaborate planning. Simply allow yourself to doodle freely, without judgment or expectation. Embrace the spontaneity of the process and let your imagination take flight.

So, the next time you find yourself grappling with anxiety, reach for a pen and let your creativity flow. Through the therapeutic power of doodling, you can cultivate mindfulness, reduce stress, and embark on a journey toward greater mental well-being.

Changing times

In these changing times we may be experiencing a multitude of emotions. Some will be quite unfamiliar to us as we adjust to a new way of doing things. Grief is a common emotion that is being experienced.  There may be many circumstances surrounding bereavement such as loss of income or loss of support or friendships.  If it is a sudden event, shock may be experienced. All of these factors demonstrate a need for the bereaved to be supported as they work through their feelings. The process of grief cannot be hurried. Everyone has their own time frame as to when they will have moved through the various stages of grief.

Maslow's HierarchyIn addition, there may be unresolved issues that the grieving person has to work through during this process.

When their needs have not been met (as per Maslow’s Hierarchy) then the time taken to process the grief will take longer.

At the base of the pyramid is the first of five needs that humans seek.

However the needs must be satisfied from the base up and cannot stand in isolation.

The first need that we must have fulfilled is the physiological need for food, water, warmth, rest and shelter met before the other four needs can be satisfied.

The second need is to feel safe and secure and that can include both physical safety and the security of being able to earn an income. Once these needs are met, then we can begin to experience a sense of connection that the third need will give us when we form friendships and relationships. It is sad that these changing times have created a world where opinions have been polarized and friendships fractured.

The fourth need is where we feel good about our achievements, accomplishments or status and the final fifth need of self actualization, is where we can fully express ourselves, often creatively when we have achieved our full potential.





art and emotionsAs emotions arise from our thoughts, then it is more than likely that they are influenced by events, people, places and circumstances that we have experienced from the time we are born until the time that we die.

By helping you to examine the thought processes around your emotions and looking at the beliefs around the feelings generated and subsequently changing those beliefs, a better understanding of the emotions experienced is possible. Some emotions however, are elicited by an unconscious reaction to a stimulus.

It is my role to help you discover the original stimulus even if it were long forgotten or experienced at a time when you were non-verbal. Art therapy allows you to access these unconscious stimuli through the creation of images and subsequent analysis and interpretation.

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Emotional Intelligence

Strengths and VulnerabilitiesIt is accepted that IQ – the Intelligence Quotient – is fixed. You either have it or not. But Emotional Intelligence can be learned and that is why it is important to differentiate between an inherent weakness and vulnerability. To diverge slightly…. when I was training to become a homeopath, we learned that if you remove the cause (eg: poor sanitation) then health outcomes improve. When there are lifestyle changes made: such as choosing healthy foods, one’s vulnerability to poor health or disease is lessened.  Likewise with Emotional Intelligence Coaching: if you identify the vulnerability and remove or change the contributing factors, the possibilities are endless. There may be some adjustments to be made – both in mindset and in the physical body and it is similar to the aches and pains felt after starting a new workout at the gym as the muscles get stretched and adjust to new levels of fitness.

In my search for Emotional Intelligence related meanings I came across an article  that described four types of vulnerability:

  • Physical
  • Economic
  • Social
  • Attitudinal.

For instance, the dictionary definition of vulnerability states that there is “a capability or susceptibility to being wounded or hurt” which implies that it is a possibility, not necessarily a given that something will happen. Whereas weakness in one definition that I came across,  is portrayed as “a disadvantage or fault” often of character or a lack of determination.

Emotional Intelligence is not only being aware of your own emotional responses to a myriad of situations, but also being cognizant of the emotions of those around you. It’s how you manage your behavior, how optimistic or resilient you are and how you manage your stress. In your relationships, whether they are personal, social or business – it’s about how you communicate, manage conflict, build team bonds or inspire others to lead.

Want to know more?

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Watching the ripples expand across the water in ever increasing circles. Just stepping into the water  – a simple action – started this reaction.

Dr Randolph Stone, the creator of Polarity Therapy wrote “Energy must have a center to  move from and an objective to flow to”. The ripples are energy made visible. Other energies such as thoughts are unseen, but they too can have a ripple effect. Emotions – both positive and negative can wash over us and the ripples can be far reaching. Polarity Therapy subscribes to the belief in 5 elements, but these differ slightly to the traditional Chinese Medicine ones. They are Ether, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. The Water element qualities are receptivity, intuition, nurture and creativity. The flow of water, as opposed to stagnation, nourishes and connects.

Little wonder that ripples on a body of water create such a powerful metaphor  – the ripples as they reach out further and further, begin to flatten out as this subtle energy dissipates and surface tension returns to what it previously was before the disturbance. Yet below the surface or where the ripples or waves have made constant contact, there may be profound changes.

I am reminded of this poem by James W. Foley

Drop a Pebble in the Water

Drop a pebble in the water: just a splash, and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center, flowing on out to the sea.
And there is no way of telling where the end is going to be.

Drop a pebble in the water: in a minute you forget,
But there’s little waves a-flowing, and there’s ripples circling yet,
And those little waves a-flowing to a great big wave have grown;
You’ve disturbed a mighty river just by dropping in a stone.

Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on.
They keep spreading, spreading, spreading from the center as they go,
And there is no way to stop them, once you’ve started them to flow.

Drop an unkind word, or careless: in a minute you forget;
But there’s little waves a-flowing, and there’s ripples circling yet,
And perhaps in some sad heart a mighty wave of tears you’ve stirred,
And disturbed a life was happy ere you dropped that unkind word.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness: just a flash and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples circling on and on and on,
Bearing hope and joy and comfort on each splashing, dashing wave
Till you wouldn’t believe the volume of the one kind word you gave.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness: in a minute you forget;
But there’s gladness still a-swelling, and there’s joy a-circling yet,
And you’ve rolled a wave of comfort whose sweet music can be heard
Over miles and miles of water just by dropping one kind word.



5 Steps to Surviving the Summer Holidays

Summer is just a few weeks away and the festive season is getting closer. Whether you look forward to it or dread it, the holiday season can be stressful for many reasons but it is possible to get through this time by following these steps.

  1. Remember to breathe…… establishing a routine for deep breathing prior to the holidays will result in this becoming second nature to you when you are in a stressful situation. A simple and effective breathing technique, done first thing in the morning and last thing at night, is to lie on your back with your hands over your belly and the fingers just touching each other. Take a deep breath into your belly area and your fingers should separate slightly and then exhale slowly allowing your belly to go flat. Do this ten times. If you find you lose count, then exert a slight pressure on each finger after every exhalation. Do it often enough and it will become a habit, then when there is a stressful situation you can trigger the relaxation by placing a hand on your abdomen and gently counting the breaths and exerting a slight pressure on the fingers.
  2. Stay in the moment…cultivate mindfulness as a strategy. When you are eating…..eat. Avoid distractions such as eating in front of the TV or whilst reading a newspaper. Be aware of the flavour, texture, smell, feel of the food and be especially aware of when you feel full. It’s OK to say “No” to second helpings or to leave some food on the plate. If there is a vast array of food, see this as an opportunity to create a small “tasting plate” and again be aware of the presentation, texture, flavours, smell of the food and whether it is a “friend or foe” to your body. Be curious about the preparation, the combination of flavours or where the food originated from. Listen to a hypnosis CD so that your subconscious mind can help you to make the right decisions about food choices when in social situations.
  3. Give within your means….. this applies not only to presents, but to your time and also what you are giving to yourself in the way of “treats”. If you love to bake, then do so and give away your creations to family and friends. If you are giving your time, make sure that you leave enough for yourself to enjoy the occasion and remember that it is OK to say “No” to demands on your time and energy.  Visualize a bubble around you that allows loving thoughts in and blocks any negative vibrations. If you are intending on giving yourself a “treat”, make it a massage instead of a meringue or a pedicure instead of a pie….
  4. Stick to routines and structure as much as possible…. Have a plan. Most holiday stress comes about from that last minute rush to make everything perfect. Set goals that are realistic. Map out whether there are any obstacles to achieving the goals and work out the best way forward.
  5. Acknowledge your emotions….. the holiday season can be difficult if you have had a bereavement or change in family structure. Spend time reflecting on what traditions you would like to keep and what you would like to change. Have a plan, this may be that you decide to keep the celebrations the way they have always been. Plan B is always a good backup to default to if you realize as you head to a social situation that you need some time alone. It’s quite alright to plan to leave a celebration a little early if you feel overwhelmed. Rescue Remedy is a great help at times like this and if you see a homeopath, ask for some specific grief remedies to help you get by.  Another useful therapy is Hypnotherapy, where you can bypass your conscious mind and use a variety of techniques to help you deal with either difficult people or situations. Smile….. even if you don’t feel like it…. the muscles in your face will send messages to your brain and release endorphins to reduce stress…. Laugh…. a good laugh is contagious and also reduces stress. ….. but above all – be authentic and acknowledge how you are feeling and share how you are feeling.

*article shared with Healthy Energy Summer 2015 Newsletter.


FocusWhich senses do we engage when we focus….. truly focus on something?

We can focus our eyes on something….I’m long sighted but have also developed a strong peripheral vision, which is useful when giving a public talk, wandering in the bush or just being aware of what’s going on around me. It’s kept me safe in dark car parks late at night.

We can focus our hearing… and as I become more aware that I’m losing some hearing in my left ear, it becomes important to place myself so that I do hear conversations. But listening isn’t just about what we hear, it’s also about “listening” to our inner voice or intuition.  When we listen to others it’s important to not only hear what is being said, but what is not. It’s about being present for the other person whilst putting our own inner chatter on hold as the conversation progresses.

We can focus on what we feel….. this could be a simple touch, a brush of a soft silk scarf or an emotion. Some emotions can catch us unawares, like the sudden gut wrenching sadness as we grieve the death of a loved one, a rush to the heart of love as you look down on the sleeping face of a young child. For some people, experiencing strong emotions are taking them into uncharted waters and when they let go and surrender to them, rather than being scared or uncertain, having a sense of wonder as they allow the energy to lead to personal transformation.

Transformation can be as quick or gradual as you allow it to be. It can be a pleasant journey into the future as we set down the burdens or baggage of the past. Forgiveness and gratitude are two companions that make that journey easier. Taking time to rest and reflect are also helpful in your quest to move forward. The letting go of what no longer serves you, perhaps participating in a “cutting the ties” visualization, remembering to breathe deeply and open yourself to new beginnings.

Focus on the breath…… What do you feel?

Close your eyes and breathe deeply again…. What do you see?

And once more…… eyes closed, breathe deeply…… focus……. What do you hear?

Work Experience

Planting seedsSetting up in a Hypnotherapy or Coaching practice takes time. Do the study, then some more and then a steep learning curve on how to market yourself and perhaps find a niche.

“Find a niche an inch wide and a mile deep” was a comment made in one lecture I attended.

All well and good, but a couple of years after graduating, I was still looking for that niche like the proverbial needle in a haystack. Around me were fellow students who seemed to have easily and effortlessly slipped into their niches …Past Life Regressions, Lives between Lives, Style Coaching, Relationship Coaching, Business Coaching, Weight Loss, Stop Smoking… and the list goes on.

The bookshelves are groaning with the weight of recommended reading. The printer spits out marketing letters on a regular basis. I have sat down and written about my ideal client so many times I feel like we are conjoined twins…..

Yes, the clients are coming, but for a variety of reasons.

Mostly for weight with an underlying theme of stress.

Now that’s something I understand!

Perhaps I have stumbled upon my niche, except it doesn’t look an inch wide… more like a mile wide and a bottomless chasm deep.

The interest in stress started when I was still teaching. I noticed that if I kept an appearance of calm, then the students seemed to respond better. Combining a teaching job and parenting 2 young children meant that my meditation practice was made up of incidental moments rather than a half hour session at any one time. Breathing at the traffic lights, mindfulness when on yard duty – appreciating the moments of nature… a leaf…. an interesting cloud….

Leaving teaching for a couple of years, I went to a job where I was able to observe how people with learning difficulties reacted to stress. An interest in how the mind adapts to stress grew from here and CBT based Adolescent Counseling beckoned. Back to teaching and full-time for three years. This time the universe threw me a curved ball. Being back in the classroom with a different perspective on student learning was fabulous, but the staffroom was toxic and not entirely from the black mould growing around the school.

But that’s a whole different story to be told later…

I left.

I took time out.

I studied some more and graduated with a Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy and a Cert 4 in Training. I didn’t complete the Medical Intuitive course I thought was my next journey.

I went and sat in the Simpson Desert.

Then I went back to teaching part-time and a small client list part-time. Coaching studies to augment the Hypnotherapy and I was just muddling along. I didn’t have anything specifically wrong with my health, but just didn’t have the energy that I used to. Palpitations were becoming more frequent, but I dismissed them as a result of the coffee I was drinking. I didn’t notice that I wasn’t meditating any more. I was asked to speak about women and stress for a local council’s Women’s Network.  Scroll back through some of the older posts and you’ll find that speech somewhere and the events that transpired a few months later!

So now it seems that my niche found me, rather than the other way around.

How curious is that?

I’m presenting a workshop next month with the topic “From Stress to Strength – Building Resilience for the Small Business Owner”  and I’m preparing for that with a bit of work experience…

Yep!! I’m STRESSED!!

Just getting in a bit of practice….. some good stress involved this time with the imminent arrival of a grandson…some bad stress with a blind, diabetic aging dog that has to be let out to pee 2 -3 times a night.

Sleep deprivation is not good for stress management!

PastThe body mind connection is letting me know I need to manage the stress a bit better, so the emWave is getting a good workout several times a day.

Last night was a case in point. I dream. Colour. Action… always vivid. Sometimes so full of action I am tired when I wake up. Sometimes, not very often now, the events are too vivid & I have been known to wake with a blood curdling yell. That didn’t happen last night, but I woke as I threw off the covers and went to confront some intruders that weren’t there and who came through a doorway that wasn’t there….. it took quite some time to convince my conscious mind that they and the doorway didn’t exist.  This time the dog waking and going for a wander down the street at 2am was just what I needed as the activity in going looking for him helped to dissipate the stress hormones and I was able to get back to sleep relatively quickly.

A couple of emWave sessions before starting writing showed that I was entering into “Coherence” fairly easily. More sessions scheduled this morning before the afternoon clients.

It’s all about putting yourself first, to better serve clients.

It could be called Work Experience!

Getting the Right Message

let it goWe are bombarded daily with messages …..buy this…..do that…… and whilst our conscious mind can filter out what is important to us at this moment and what is not, our subconscious mind is listening in, filing the information away, just in case it is useful later on……

If you are familiar with NLP, you will know that the filters will

  • Delete
  • Distort
  • Generalize.

Added to that is how we process the information through our senses.

This could be

  • Visual – Sight
  • Auditory- Sound
  • Kinesthetic –Touch
  • Olfactory –Smell
  • Gustatory –Taste

These are our Representational Systems.

These senses also contribute to the words that we process or use, so using Visual based communication would include pictures but also words that are visual such as “looks like…”, “to get a perspective….”, “beyond a shadow of a doubt…..”,  “appears to me….”, “can you see that….”, “it looks good….”, “focus on……”, “show me…..”. And it is similar for the other senses….

How we view the past is coloured by our perception. Five people with the five different processing skills listed above who witnessed a car accident would have vastly different accounts of the event, yet all be correct. Not only is our  Representational System a major factor in how we remember, but our values or belief systems and our emotions also contribute to how our memories are formed.

If you have young children, you might be aware that they go through a stage where they tell lies. It’s part of the maturational process, but they believe what they are saying is true….. much like our current crop of politicians, but that’s another story…..

They are using their imagination, and we are all born with a fantastic imagination. We can create anything in our minds, we can also re-create our memories. This is especially useful if the memories are painful. Using the Hypnotic state, you can return to any time or place in your past and reframe the outcome to make it more positive or less hurtful. You can use the Gestalt process to have those conversations you wished you could have had at the time – this process is quite healing.

So just perhaps, when the past does call – it’s the subconscious mind bringing up something to work with, to reframe, to heal. You just don’t have to live there anymore and can return to a brighter future, bringing back some gems of wisdom or an insight to help you move forward.



Watching the Emotions

The frantic rush of shopping, with tempers flaring over lack of parking spaces and erratic driving as people’s minds are elsewhere.

It seems that nearly every social event is awash with alcohol and this contributes to the scattered feeling.

It’s an emotional time of year at the best of times, with the Summer Solstice and the busyness of winding up school and work projects, Christmas or end of year parties.

The overload of food, laden in fat and sugar places stress on our physical bodies, whilst the overload of social events with the expectation of presents and gaiety overload our emotional bodies. The assault on our senses of tinsel and lights and constant caroling put further strain on sensitive souls.

Family functions are fraught with dangers. Long suppressed slights and perceptions can erupt into nastiness after the throat has been well lubricated with alcohol. To be an interested and disassociated observer at these social functions takes a lot of effort, but can have its own reward in feeling a sense of peace, finding an oasis of calm in the maelström of emotion that swirls about.

So how to go about surviving this time of year?

Choose to simplify – everything.


If buying presents has become a financial strain – set a price limit, organize a Kris Kringle with the family, suggesting that this way each person gets a quality present, and not something that ends up in that secret gift cupboard or drawer to be recycled to someone else.

Alternatively, announce that you are buying each person a charity donation which will help someone less fortunate.


E-cards are not the same as the paper ones, but a handy standby for the last minute seasons greetings. There are now online options where you can choose a card which are printed with your message and  posted out when your order is completed.


Pick and choose your events. If you are an empath  (someone who picks up others emotional states), make a brief appearance and make your apologies as early as possible. Difficult to do with family events, but at these if you can make yourself busy with serving food & clearing the tables, you will be able to extricate yourself from most emotionally laden conversations and observe.


Choose the least rich foods and avoid heavy, fatty food or sugary concoctions which will stress your liver. The festive ham is loaded with nitrates as are most cured meats. Avoid pasta, rice or potato salads if they have sat out for a while as they can cause stomach upsets. The festive puddings, such as Pavlovas, fruit mince tarts and shortbreads are laden with sugar & fats.

Research shows that a diet high in sugar results in premature aging and for blokes, a high fat diet has a negative effect on your reproductive system.

If the food is served as a buffet, you will have greater control over the food you put on your plate and the portion sizes.

Being summer, there is a greater chance of a range of salads included in the meal, so head for those and enjoy the rewards of not feeling bloated.

If your host insists on serving the meal, ask for a smaller sized portion for health reasons.

Find some time for yourself

Even a 5 or 10 minute walk or meditation will help out.

Avoid the alcohol and/or the Valium to keep your head clear.


Rather than react, observe the conversations and behaviours.

Being aware of illnesses or conditions that family members have and looking up Louise Hay’s Heal Your Body, allows you to see them in a different perspective.

For instance, the person with constant aches is probably longing for love or to be held or the one with tics or twitches is bound by fear and a feeling of being watched or judged by others.  

The elderly gentleman with prostate problems may have mental fears about his masculinity, sexual pressure or guilt or a belief in aging.

The relative with the knee problems may be experiencing stubborn pride and ego and has an inability to bend and certainly won’t give in. They almost certainly will have a bit of fear with that inflexibility.

Another relative with vertigo may be experiencing scattered thinking or a refusal to look at their lifestyle, whilst the child who constantly sulks in the corner may just be overwhelmed by the anxiety projected bythe adults who are unable to trust the flow and process of life.

Yet another relative with chronic shoulder problems has lost the ability to experience life joyously. They are making life a burden for themselves. The family alcoholic is laden with guilt, inadequacies and self rejection and the overweight members of the family hide their anger at being denied emotional nourishment.


Feel gratitude for something that the event or these people can bring to your life. Feel the grace and peace that comes with regular gratitude moments.