Category Archives: Self-Help

the fear of joy woman hiding behind happy mask

The Fear of Joy

“The cultivation of gratitude and joy is the way home”  –Brene Brown

Have you ever noticed that inevitably what follows the feeling of  joy is fear of‘ ‘the other shoe dropping’.  This is driven by the fear that tells you  that this joyful feeling  can’t last.  Wham!  Joy evaporates into the wet blanket syndrome.  Gone.  Fear of joy sounds crazy.  But, we really buy into it.   With a feeble attempt at self-protection, we let fear win.  Another way we mask joy is more subtle but powerful.  We don’t feel worthy of joy.  Joy feels so light that it’s almost kind of scary.   “Who am I to feel this good,” guilt scolds.

The new energies that are birthing on earth call us to be our highest expression.  They invite us to birth joy.  And, joy has a soulmate called gratitude.  It’s a package deal.  Joyful people are always grateful people.

I am discovering that the more I practice gratitude for the little things in my life:  a warm comfy bed, hot cup of tea, birds singing, sunshine and rain,  joy seems to slip in also.  Joy appears as a warm and gentle feeling of well-being that calls me deeply into the present moment with the intoxicating contentment of complete fulfillment.  Ahhh, I’m home.

Cultivating joy and gratitude is a practice.  It doesn’t just happen.  I invite you to be mindful of noticing that it is your choice to call in joy and gratitude.  This awareness alone shifts your focus from what’s wrong to what’s right.  It creates a download of feel-good chemicals that make your heart and your brain sync together. This, in turn, reduces stress.  Simply but powerfully It changes your life little by little.

I would like to share  this conversation between Oprah and Dr. Brene Brown with you,  “Joy:  It’s Terrifying,”   Brene is a highly  gifted speaker—one of my favorites.  Listen and you’ll know why.

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is a gentle and effective system of clearing self-sabotage and limiting beliefs from your energy system—this frees you to  create a life you love…
Schedule a complimentary discovery call now, email Laurel Brookes at:  laurelb.EFT@gmail.com

the magic of gratitude heart shaped sign

How You Create The Magic of Gratitude…

Gratitude is a causative energy, not a reactionary emotion~                                                                                                                                                     -Eric Butterworth

This powerful quote by a Unity Movement legend,  is one of my favorites–one that has stuck with me through the years.  Thanksgiving season seems like an appropriate time of year to focus on deepening your gratitude practice.

While it’s normal to use gratitude as a reactionary emotion when someone does something helpful for you, the real power of gratitude lies in using it as a constant mantra in your life.  This practice deepens gratitude’s  power to enrich your life in ways you could never have created through force.  Dr. Joe Dispenza, neuro scientist and metaphysician says that gratitude means that it’s already happened.  As co-creator of your life, in order to consciously manifest your inspiration, you must pair your desire with the emotion of gratitude.  For gratitude is creative magic!

In order to awaken gratitude in your heart, try holding  your beloved pet or a photo of someone you love.  Beam love at them from your heart.  Now, call in the energy of gratitude.  Feel how gratitude feels. Give it love and space.  Expand your gratitude circle daily.  Consistently done, this practice will deepen your appreciation  and joy of life…

A more challenging practice is to express gratitude for the things that you aren’t grateful for.  Having gratitude doesn’t mean that you necessarily like what’s happened, it means that you accept what is.  Used in this way, gratitude can be a means of transmuting your suffering.

I am happy to share a favorite part of my daily gratitude practice with you.  I must admit that it’s the fastest 6 minutes of my day.  Caution:  Tissue alert…

Watch Gratitude Video HERE

Have a happy and grateful Thanksgiving…

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is a gentle and effective system of clearing self-sabotage and limiting beliefs from your energy system—so that you can create a life you love!
Schedule a complimentary discovery call now, email Laurel Brookes at:  laurelb.EFT@gmail.com

couple talking in cafe effective listening skills

The Most Profound Gift You Can Give Another

The most profound gift we can give one another is our attention~

I don’t know said this but I love it.  I recall my first experience of feeling fully attended to.  It was when I saw a counselor in my early 20’s.  I will always remember how he gave me his undivided attention.  I felt like the most important person in his world.  I can’t even recall what he said to me.  His words were eclipsed by his rapt attention.  This experience of being received fully has had a deep and profound effect on my life and the way I listen to others.

In my desire to emulate this skill of attentive listening, I have become aware of

Ineffective Listening Skills:

  • Half-hearted listening for a pause to talk
  • Interrupting—‘the cardinal sin’
  • Listening to disagree or argue
  • Listening to ‘make-wrong’
  • Listening to give advice
  • Listening to one-up
  • And the list goes on and on….

Effective Listening Skills:

  • Being aware of the value of the gift of your presence
  • Making eye contact
  • Giving your undivided attention
  • Letting go of your agenda
  • Pausing before you respond
  • Being in non-judgment
  • Affirming the speaker to indicate that you have been listening
  • Knowing that it is not your job to solve their problem–your

only job is to hold a space of compassion and acceptance for them.

I challenge you to practice the skill of being an effective listener.  Be patient..  You might even notice a positive effect upon your relationships…

Watch “The Power of Listening” by Wm Ury .  CLICK HERE

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is a gentle and effective system of clearing self-sabotage and limiting beliefs from your energy system—this frees you to  create a life you love!
Schedule a complimentary discovery call now, email Laurel Brookes at:  laurelb.EFT@gmail.com

woman on bed rejection trap

How The ‘Rejection Trap’ Affects Your Life

Everyone fears rejection.  We each find our own way of coping with these or similar situations:

  • If you grew up with or are married to a critical authority figure
  • If you were bullied or made fun of in school
  • If you avoid relationships because you were dumped
  • If your supervisor or coworkers demean you

Rejection hurts deeply.  It’s understandable that you will do just about anything to avoid it. But…

  • Imagine feeling empowered even though someone is criticizing you.
  • Imagine not having to react to others’ careless remarks
  • Imagine responding calmly to button-pushers
  • Imagine avoiding taking the bait in the first place

The next time someone says something potentially hurtful to you, here are 5 strategies, outlined by Marisa Peer, best-selling author and motivational speaker, to AVOID the rejection trap:

  1. “Thank you for sharing.  Your opinion is noted.” Calmly deliver this powerful response non-defensively.  You will find that this dissipates the tension.
  2. “I’m sorry, could you repeat that please”  This unlikely response gives them pause to reflect upon their words.  90% of the time they will think about and retract what they said.  Again, don’t take it in. Stay calm.
  3. “Are you trying to be hurtful?”  Again, your non-defensive demeanor will give them pause to reflect and clarify their intention behind their words.
  4. Calmly and simply state, “I’m not going to let that in.”
  5. Evenly reply, “Did you know that critical people don’t like themselves. They are outwardly projecting their own personal dissatisfaction.  When they do this, they are showing everyone that they are their own worse critic.”  This confident delivery empowers you.

Visualize the insults coming at you like a tennis match.  Hit the ball back quickly with skill and confidence before it touches your body.  These techniques only work if you stay non-defensive.   Don’t take the insult in.  If you discipline yourself to respond vs react, you will find the strategies highly effective.

Have fun practicing this new challenge.  Along with being happier and less stressed, it may even save your life, your marriage or your job.  Worth the work?  Definitely.  Try it and see for yourself…

How To Avoid Rejection. Click Here

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is a gentle and effective system of clearing self-sabotage and limiting beliefs from your energy system—this frees you to  create a life you love!
Schedule a complimentary discovery call now, email Laurel Brookes at:  laurelb.EFT@gmail.com

  • If you grew up with a critical authority figure
  • If you were bullied or made fun of in school
  • If you avoid relationships because you were dumped
  • If your supervisor or coworkers demean you

If you find yourself avoiding connection with others as a means of self-protection, that’s a pretty good indication that you have probably internalized other people’s rejection of you.  Rejection hurts deeply.  It’s understandable that you will do anything to avoid it.

The good news is that there are ways to avoid taking in rejection in the first place.

The next time someone says something potentially hurtful to you, here are 5 strategies to AVOID internalizing the rejection:

  1. “Thank you for sharing.  Your opinion is noted.”

Calmly deliver this powerful response non-defensively.  You will find that this dissipates the tension.

  1. “I’m sorry, could you repeat that please”  This unlikely response gives them pause to reflect upon their words.  90% of the time they will think about and retract what they said.  Again, don’t take it in. Stay calm.

 

  1. “Are you trying to be hurtful?”  Again, your non-defensive demeanor will give them pause to reflect and clarify their intention behind their words.

 

  1. Calmly and simply state, “I’m not going to let that in.”

 

  1. Evenly reply, “Did you know that critical people don’t like themselves. They are outwardly projecting their own personal dissatisfaction.  When they do this, they are showing everyone that they are their own worse critic.”  This confident delivery empowers you.

You might visualize the insults coming at you as a tennis match.  Hit the ball back quickly with  skill and confidence.  These  techniques only work if you stay non-defensive.   Don’t take the bait.  If you discipline yourself to respond vs react, you will find the strategies are highly effective.

Have fun practicing this new challenge.  Along with being happier and less stressed, it may even save your life, your marriage or your job.

Busyness Busy City Woman

What Price Do You Pay For Your Busyness?

Busyness is a boast disguised as a complaint…”  Tim Kreider 

Have you noticed how busy everyone is these days?  While it’s absolutely true that we have a lot to fit in to our schedule, it seems we’ve taken our busyness to a whole new level.  We wear it like a badge of self-importance.  The one with the busiest life wins!  It’s as if our self-identity is wrapped around having a ridiculously over-scheduled life.

Busyness questions to ask self:

  • Has busyness gotten in the way of spending quality time with your loved ones?
  • Does busyness keep you in constant adrenaline mode?
  • Do you have trouble being alone?
  • Are you chronically tired and mask exhaustion with caffeine and sugar?
  • Does it keep you plugged into your distractions and addictions?
  • Do you have trouble thinking clearly and making good decisions?
  • Does it affect your sleep?
  • How does busyness affect your health?
  • Do you feel guilty when you’re not busy?
  • Do you believe that doing is more important than being?

The real deal quick fixes…

If you want to be a recovering busy-a-holic, here are a few tips:

  • Become aware of how you’re breathing. Deepen your breath.  Sigh audibly.  This decompresses and resets  your entire nervous system.
  • Walk and speak more slowly.
  • Engage in less multi-tasking.
  • Eat more slowly with intention. Bless and be grateful for your food.
  • Drive like you have all the time and patience in the world.
  • Unplug and enjoy a quiet walking meditation in nature. Leave your problems behind.  You just may be surprised at the clarity you receive.
  • Watch TV very selectively. Do not watch the news before bed.  It contains powerful negative downloads

Giving yourself alone time is crucial.  It’s in these priceless alone and unscheduled moments that you can deeply listen to that still small voice within that is dying to be heard and acknowledged by you.

I challenge you to get really busy doing nothing.    It may feel really weird at first.  But in the long run, you might notice that your ability to enjoy your life increases significantly—just by being willing to say “no” to that busyness monster.

Watch “The Busy Identity” by Lexie Harvey.  9 minute Ted Talk  click here

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is a gentle and effective system of clearing self-sabotage and limiting beliefs from your energy system—so that you can create a life you love! 

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affluent young woman holding credit card money energy

Does the Energy Behind Money Really Matter?

Many folks believe that money is just money.  Right?  Maybe there’s more to this belief than meets the eye…  I am eager to present to you this extraordinary Ted Talk by Lynne Twist, global activist and author of the life-changing book,  ‘Soul of Money’.

My take-aways from Lynne’s profound  book are:

  • To adopt an ‘enough’ attitude. So much of my life has been driven by not enough. From the time I awaken:  ‘not enough sleep, not enough time, not enough money.’  These unconscious beliefs lay the groundwork for high-level stress and anxiety, along with attracting more ‘not enough’ in my life.  I’m gaining freedom by examining my ‘not enough’s’ and changing them to gratitude for ‘always enough’ no matter what appearances may look like at the time.
  • To refrain from labeling folks as ‘poor’. While there are many folks who live in substandard circumstances, these conditions have taught people to be strong and resilient, faith-filled and trusting.  Labeling folks ‘poor’ is demeaning to them and to me.
  • As a global fund raiser, Ms. Twist has worked with the very wealthy. She explains how loneliness, isolation and ‘soullessness’ along with intense feeling of ‘not enough’  is often acutely experienced by this class of folks too.  This was stunning to me. I must admit that it is a challenge for me to include this population in my compassionate thoughts.  I’m not there yet—but I’m working on it.  Great insight!

In the video below, Lynne recounts an amazing story  about how the negative energy of a particularly challenging  monetary meeting inspired her to take courageous action; action that was in alignment with her higher self.  This is one of the most powerful stories I have ever heard.  You might want to pass it along.

I encourage you to make a cup of tea, put your feet up and take a 15 minute power break and Watch Video Here

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is a gentle and effective system of clearing self-sabotage and limiting beliefs from your energy system—so that you can create a life you love! 

If you enjoy the article you’re reading, please share it and sign up for this  newsletter at www.EFTSoulPath.com

creating lasting change neon sign

Five Secret Ingredients for Manifesting Lasting Change…

Being a life-long student of human potential, I am passionate about discovering methods to achieve real change in life versus rearranging deck chairs on the titanic.  In my quest for body, mind and spirit wholeness, I have discovered three teachers that share timeless wisdom.  Neville Goddard,  Dr. Wayne Dyer and Dr. Joe Dispenza all have a similar message regarding  lasting change.

  1.  Begin with the end.  Visualize already having manifested your desired change.  Feel how you will feel   Desire it with full passion.  Train your mind to only focus on what you want—not on what you do not want or do not have.
  1. Add gratitude.  Gratitude is the motivating ‘glue’ that creates the transformational alchemy necessary for change.  Cultivating deep gratitude is the secret.  As Eric Butterworth,  legendary Unity pioneer tells us,  “gratitude is a causative energy, not a reactionary emotion.”
  1. Passion:  Do you desire your desire more than anything?  Is it the driving force in your life?  Can you feel, taste, smell and visualize it?
  1. Surrender: Let go of your attachment to outcome.  Your only job is to design it, visualize it and release it.  “This or something better…”
  1.   Meditate daily on already having achieved your intention.  Consistency is a big time game-changer.   Consistency is key.

What changes do you desire in your life so passionately that you are willing to exercise these 5 steps with consistency to make it happen?  Be honest.  If the answer is “nothing” that’s okay.  Just don’t torture yourself by saying that you really want something but you just can’t manifest it.    You absolutely can –if you follow the steps with consistency.

Watch Dr. Joe Dispenza on “How to Change Subconscious Programs”

This sounds pretty simple.  Then why don’t most folks achieve their desired life changes?  I’d love to hear from you.  Please comment below…

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is a gentle and effective system of clearing self-sabotage and limiting beliefs from your energy system—so that you can create a life you love! 

If you enjoy the article you’re reading, please share it and sign up for this  newsletter at www.EFTSoulPath.com

woman nature walk pet cat self-esteem

How Self-Esteem Can Fail You

Self-esteem always seemed like the gold standard to me.  But it was conditional.  I told myself that I never did anything outstanding in my life—which made self-esteem completely out of reach for me.  It felt like I was always on the outside looking in…

Then, I found self-compassion.  You see, self-esteem is contingent upon success.  Whereas, the only ‘rule’ of self-compassion is to be kind to yourself. Self-compassion’s only demand is that we treat ourselves with the loving kindness that we give to our beloved pets and loved ones.  It sounds easy, doesn’t it?  Then, why is it so difficult?

Unfortunately, many of us were raised to believe that beating yourself up is good for you—that it somehow makes you a better person.  Or, “I screwed up so I deserve to trash myself.”  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Self- degradation is never helpful.  It releases stress hormones in your body that diminish your physical and mental health. It makes you feel ‘less than’ which often creates a cycle of depression and self-sabotage.

If you are new to the concept of self-compassion, I encourage you to listen to this powerful TEDx Talk on Self-Compassion.   Click Here

Happy Tapping,

Laurel

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) is a gentle and effective system of clearing self-sabotage and limiting beliefs from your energy system—so that you can create a life you love! 

If you enjoy the article you’re reading, please share it and sign up for this  newsletter at www.EFTSoulPath.com

woman sitting alone in bedroom shame empathy

Can You Guess What The Most Lethal Emotion Is?

Oprah, talk show superstar and rape survivor, says that for victims of abuse, their trauma is not about the sex it’s the shame that is so destructive.

Dr. Brene Brown, shame researcher, defines shame as that painful feeling that we all have that says we are unworthy of love and belonging.

What empowers our shame is our denial.  Any emotion that we push down into our ‘shadow’ (emotional cage) controls us.  It sabotages our ability to create the freedom and happiness we deserve.

So, what is the solution?  Transparency and empathy to the rescue.  Shame does not want to be outed! It does not want you to flex your courage muscle and admit that shame is in your face.  Shame does not want you to treat yourself like you would treat your beloved child if they came crying to you that they felt shameful.  Would you judge them and withhold love or would you empathize with them?  Empathy is lethal to shame.  It collapses the shame and opens the heart; whereas, judgment closes the heart and empowers the shame.

Here’s my challenge for you:  When you notice your shame rearing its head, invite it forward and give it empathy.  “Oh, there you are, shame.  Thank you for being so vigilant and protecting me. I give you all the space you need.” Counterintuitive as this may seem, it is one small step you can practice to erode shame’s grip.

Next time you catch yourself in an inner battle, turn it into empathy.  It’s the small steps you take with consistency that will collapse shame’s strong-hold over your life.  Ahh relief…

Listen to an amazing 4 minute chat with Oprah and Dr. Brene on Shame. Click here

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and hypnosis are effective practices for opening the heart.  Laurel is skilled in assisting you to achieve freedom  from challenging emotions, to live your life with grace and ease.  Go to:  www.EFTSoulPath.Com to sign up for her blog.

hands creating heart shaped sunset

The EFT “Tapping” Secret to Prevent Heart Disease

Joy is not a feeling.  It is the result of a relationship you have with your heart                                                             -Michael Brown, The Presence Process 

Enslavement by illusion is comfortable.  It is liberation by truth that people fear                                                            -David Hawkins, MD 

Honesty is the gold standard of our relationship with our heart.  The heart longs for honesty, at all cost.  Too often, however, honesty gets hijacked because we’re taught to push down painful, unwanted emotions.  This results in incubating shame and guilt—the grist of heart pain.  It also results in elaborate conflict as we attempt to distance from painful memories.  The heart, longing for simple honesty and acceptance now contracts with the heaviness of dishonesty and shame.  Is it any wonder that heart disease ranks highest in our mortality arena?

It is not the difficult emotions in your heart that cause your suffering.  Rather, it is the judgment or denial of these emotions that creates your pain.  We have so much fear around the territory of the heart that we treat it as a bogie-man.  The truth is that it is your cover up that causes dis-ease—which turns into disease.  Denial is infinitely more damaging than the courage of honesty.

EFT Tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique)  is a safe and gentle method for you to begin to ‘cut the crap’ and explore your heart with respect and compassion.  It is your opportunity to experience those hidden feelings that you have pushed down due to guilt and shame.  With EFT, you get to allow these feelings to surface free of self-judgment.  Finally!

The secret to effective heart work is non-judgment and self acceptance.  You will find that when you are able to accept with compassion whatever you find in your heart—and just let it be—only then will it let you be.  The art of being with challenging emotions is the key to clearing their unrelenting grip on your life.

While this is not a practice for the casually curious, the tenacity of your heart honesty will reap you heart health in body, mind and spirit.

How To Watch Your Feelings here

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Tapping and hypnosis are effective practices for opening the heart.  Laurel is skilled in assisting you to achieve freedom  from challenging emotions, to live your life with grace and ease.  Go to:  www.EFTSoulPath.Com to sign up for her blog.