Light Life Learning had the pleasure of a cupán and a chat with Tralee’s passionate mental health fundraiser, Poshey Aherne. Although he’d rather water than tea. Poshey set up Darkness into Light in Tralee and also Walk for Life, Kerry and when he is not working can often be found running marathons, swimming in baltic seas or cycling – all for the love of mental health charity and prevention of suicide. Here’s what he told me:
What inspired you to get involved in fundraising for mental health and suicide prevention?
Everyone is affected by mental health or has lost someone to suicide. I have lost a number of friends myself. It’s a sad fact that everyone is affected and that ten people are lost to suicide in Ireland each week – eight of these are men.
Tell us about some of the projects you are involved in at the moment.
I’m back at Jigsaw Kerry, where it all began for me. Such an amazing charity, who always made me welcome and at home when I work with them. It’s charities like Jigsaw who appreciate what you do, and that makes it worthwhile. I have a few other things up my sleeve but that would be telling 🙂
What do you find most rewarding about this work?
I have such a passion and fire in me to help charities that need more awareness and extra funding. When all the hard work and long months/days/hours are over, if someone is saved or has reached out for help because of me I feel happy.
What message do you have for people who would like to help too?
I’d never done an event before and didn’t know what was involved, but I got up and did it and it paid off. Charities are out there looking for help, from bag packs, to family events, any event really.
You said in the video (below) about your own experience of suffering anxiety, can you tell us more?
I only got diagnosed around a year ago with anxiety, I’ve had it for years but never knew that’s what it was. I’d feel shocking sometimes – over-thinking a lot of things, sweaty armpits, feeling afraid I’d fall over. Before going out I’d worry that I’d get sick with nerves. I don’t know why. The worst is feeling that I’m not good enough or that some people won’t like me. I’m sensitive. It gets hard at times, but I keep telling myself there are people worse off. Many have depression or have been hit by cancer. Anxiety attacks can leave you feeling helpless, but training and keeping positive definitely helps.
How do you look after yourself? Any mental health tips you can share with us?
About three years ago I got into fitness. I was never fit in my life, but a friend asked me to go running with him. I never looked back. It changed my life for the better. I think diet and exercise are the key to good mental health. Even a daily brisk walk for thirty minutes can do wonders.
What advice would you give to people out there who are suffering?
My message for the last two years has not changed and won’t change. I’ll keep drilling it out and long as I can: Never suffer alone in silence. Isolating yourself is the worst thing you can do, it only gets worse that way. If you had a broken arm you would go ahead and get support to get it fixed.
The same applies to people with mental health problems. When your mental health is bad you need help to get better and fix yourself. There are so many organisations out there who do amazing work. Jigsaw Kerry, Pieta House, Samaritans and lots of individual counsellors who will guide you on the right path to getting better. It’s okay not to feel ok, and it’s absolutely ok to ask for help. Remember that.
What are energy vampires? Well, my understanding of the term means someone who drains your energy. It might not be just you, they might be a ‘serial drainer.’ Pay attention, however, if this is happening to you, there is a learning for you.
I don’t particularly like the term energy vampire anymore, however, I heard it the other day and thought it fun to explore. It’s a label after all. It conjures up negative judgement about the person. Energy vampires are symptomatic of simply not feeling able to access energy by yourself. Perhaps we have all acted in that way at times, to some degree.
So what do we do when we are confronted by somebody playing the role of energy vampire? First, look at yourself, and your energy. If it feels as though your energy has been sapped, zapped or stolen, why is this? Have you got a leak somewhere? A leak is my own term which implies not taking good care of your energy body. Boundaries, as mentioned below, often comes into it.
Well, my learning traditionally was to surround myself in a protective blue bubble of light, perhaps ask Archangel Michael to help shield me from this person. I still like to do this, but I also learned new ways. I don’t need to protect my energy since there is a never-ending supply to which I am always connected. Remember this always:
There is a never-ending supply, plenty to go around for everyone.
Boundaries: Perhaps you are left feeling drained after you meet this someone because you don’t have good boundaries with them. The feeling of being drained is caused by this conflict within you. You know you have let yourself down when you were talking to this person somehow. You have allowed them to put on you, in some way. The learning here is to have better boundaries.
Don’t agree to do favours or jobs that don’t feel right to you. Instead, politely and firmly refuse. You don’t have to explain why.
Don’t allow friends/family/neighbours to extensively offload their problems and woes every time you speak, this is unbalanced. You are not their rescuer. If they need to work with a professional, suggest this to them.
If someone is taking up too much of your time and it’s hard to get away, politely excuse yourself.
If someone makes you feel uncomfortable in your gut when you talk to them, politely move away from the conversation and if possible the area.
Check for energy leaks, as in, what is the learning here for me in taking care of my energy body? Am I being too open with this person when that doesn’t feel right?
Replenish yourself if you are feeling drained and associate it with another person. Do Energy EFT to feel better fast. Set-ups could include: ‘more energy,’ ‘replenish,’ ‘good boundaries,’ or whatever it is you feel you need. Check yourself on the SUE scale and if you are in the minuses you can do a de-stressing round first, such as tapping on the word ‘peace,’ or ‘relax.’
About the author:Susan Browne helps people to feel great in their energy and achieve their goals throughEnergy EFT and she provides 1:1 Counselling, and internationally Energy EFT sessions, and Life Coaching via Skype. Susan is an accredited counsellor with the APCP.Get in touch for more info.
Energy Body Stress: Everyone has an energy body whether or not they ever realise it. Energy body stress is the blockage in free flow of Energy. EFT and Energy EFT work to let the energy flow freely again, and the happy side effects of this is that we feel better.
I have seen clients transform right before my eyes, in minutes, after tapping. Strong emotions, upsetting thoughts are suddenly replaced with smiles of relief and sometimes tears of joy.
Energy must flow in, through and out of our energy body. The diagram below is from Silvia Hartman’s Energy EFT. It shows roughly how this occurs, when energy is flowing freely and how it should.
When we are experiencing stress, energy blockages occur. Our thinking changes. Things seem worse. Solutions seem far away or impossible. Things feel like they were always bad and will always be bad. If you find yourself thinking this, know that these are stress thoughts.
If you find yourself in the minuses of the SUE scale, think straight away of raising energy. Put aside ‘the big problem’ for a moment, because you can’t view it objectively until you have replaced the stress with calm.
6 signs that you are experiencing energy body stress:
Your thoughts are negative and bleak. It feels as though it’s always been this bad (awful etc) and always will be.
Your body is affected (e.g. headache, increase of pain or discomfort, digestive upset, IBS, tension in muscles, change in sex drive).
You are breathing fast and shallow, high up in your chest.
You are restless and can’t relax.
You feel under pressure.
Your sleep is broken or you can’t get off to sleep.
When you feel stressed check in to where you feel this in your body right now. Taking your attention to the body brings us out of unhelpful stress thoughts. Be mindful of where that feeling is in your body. Is it is a heavy dark metallic feeling in your chest? A pulsing red feeling in your head? Tapping with the set up of what that feeling is like in the body now is a gateway to treating energy body stress. You can follow up with tapping on how you would like the energy body to feel right now.
I find tapping on the word calm, peace or any other calming energy that I think would serve the energy body well helps, like in this video:
How do we go on holiday? We have the idea, we browse, we save, we plan, we choose, we book, we get excited, we pack… at least this is my experience of it. Having the idea and imagining being on that holiday are also known as manifesting. In this blog I look at 5 steps to manifesting an amazing holiday.
1) Get it clear in your mind where you want to go and how you want to feel.
Having a vague idea of visiting Paris or going to a Greek island one day is not being clear. Saying ‘I want to stay in a lovely villa on the island of Crete next July for two weeks’ is being clear. Once you are clear, you are in the state of meaning business, the universe will start listening. Also state how you would like to feel, what experiences you might like to have. Do you love the beach? The sunset? The food? Family time? Peace and tranquillity? Would you go sightseeing?
Place a picture or pictures of the place you’d love to go, somewhere you will see them regularly. Perhaps beside your bed so you see them last thing at night and first thing in the morning. Get into the feeling of being grateful for your amazing holiday. Make a vision board with your holiday on it. I place my vision board on my phone and computer background and around the home so I am constantly seeing it.
2) Be Positive about your Vision
If you have nagging doubts about the practicality of this holiday, you need to shake them in order to manifest your holiday, otherwise your beliefs will block you. You need to get yourself on a feeling frequency of having the money/time off etc for the holiday. It’s not about being irresponsible, in cloud cuckoo land, or anything less than what is for your highest good. I have known people who have spent above their means, borrowed lots of money, and that’s not what this is about. It’s about changing your mind and allowing the universal flow to open doors that were shut before.
Funny thing is, we don’t know everything, and we don’t have all the answers. If you are open to it, money can come in in ways you never expected. I have experienced this many times personally and so have my clients.
If negative thoughts come in, immediately change them by focusing on things that you love, that you are grateful for, that you already have in your life now.
3) Use Energy EFT to strengthen your Vision and Improve Energy Flow around this Holiday
In Modern Energy EFT we can go on an energy holiday any time we like. Those of you who have trained with me or others in Energy EFT have enjoyed the feeling of ‘Caribbean beach energy’ or whatever the group chose to tap for. It brings your frequency up in minutes and makes you feel great, because the subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference, and because it helps energy flow better and invites that lovely energy in.
Here is one I manifested earlier using my vision board and Energy EFT, the glorious evening Portuguese sun is in my eyes so I am squinting a little.
So there I tapped on ‘amazing holiday,’ which helps raise energy especially when you are focusing on your idea of an amazing holiday. But afterwards I explain a technique I use, using the future aspect of yourself actually on holiday. So you tap around the points describing yourself being on the holiday, what you are doing, what you love about it. How you feel.
4) Get yourself to Plus Ten on the SUE Scale
On the SUE scale where are you just now when you think about your dream holiday? Tap as often as you can (at least daily) to bring your score up to plus ten. If it seems too crazy, and you just can’t believe that’s possible, then pick one that would be amazing that feels more believable. But don’t bring your standards down too much. The more manifesting you do, the easier it gets as you appreciate your results.
5) If you are new to manifesting, practise manifesting small things as well
You can also manifest small things, such as seeing a white feather, having a lovely smoothie, a day out with a friend. Remember to see yourself already having got this and feeling really grateful for it. You can do this alongside manifesting your holiday.
Attracting Money: Today’s blog is about money, and your role of it in your life. How is your financial situation just now? What would it be just now if you were to measure it on the SUE scale asking the question, how do I feel about money?
If your score was anything less than plus eight ask the question, ‘what do I need to get three places higher?’ So for example if your score when you think about money is minus 1, what do you need in order to move up to plus 2? Of course, the goal is to get to plus ten, but I suggest asking yourself about three places higher is a great start and you can keep going from there.
Traditionally in EFT we looked at negative beliefs around money, getting money, having money, spending money etc., and this is still useful. If you can weed out negative beliefs and self-talk around money this will definitely help to move you up the scale. Limiting beliefs around money include: money is the root of all evil; I am no good with money; money just slips through my fingers; there is never enough money for people like me; rich people are greedy/bad/selfish etc. What difference does it make where I am on the SUE scale?
Quite simply put, the higher you are on the scale, the easier money is for you. People for whom money is a constant battle are experiencing life in the minuses, and these people can easily be earning high salaries and still feel this way. Just as someone who is not currently earning or receiving much money can be in the pluses and feel an ease, confidence and trust around money.
What does life in the pluses feel like and how do I create that for myself? Be grateful: People who are in the pluses around money feel grateful for what they have. Gratitude is a blessings magnet, and the more grateful you feel right now the more good things you are attracting into your life. Receive with grace: I once read that the thought of ‘oh that’s not enough’ when you do receive money is a real money repellent. And so if you win two euros (pounds, dollars etc) be grateful, receive it with grace. If someone gifts you some money, don’t only show gratitude to them but give thanks in your mind for receiving money, even if you feel you would like and need more. Thank the invoicer: When the bills come in, in your mind thank the sender for the service they provide for you, for example electricity, insurance and such.
Invite Money into your life: Say affirmations that invite money into your life such as ‘I welcome free flow of money into my life and I gratefully receive it.’ Here I created a video on attracting €1000 (you can change the amount and the currency as needed) with EFT.
Why not use this Energy EFT exercise daily for 30 days and see what happens?
Stop Saying Should: When you say the word should, how does it feel to you? I should lose weight. I shouldn’t have said that. I should have remembered. I shouldn’t have a messy home. And so on… When we direct the word should at ourselves -and others- we are often in the mindset of judging.
I have all but removed the word should now from my self-talk vocabulary, and instead I say ‘I want to support myself in…’ if I want to achieve something or not repeat something, or words to that effect. I focus on the positive. The words we use are very important, even when we are thinking those words.
Why not call to mind a time recently when you used the word should or shouldn’t about yourself and have a go at replacing the wording with ‘I choose to support myself in improving this,’ or use your own words that fit. See the difference? How does it feel to be supported into improving rather than should-ed?
I know it can be hard when you feel you have repeatedly failed at something that involved self-discipline or something that you ultimately have control over. And I am not suggesting we shed any responsibility for our actions or omissions to act. We are, after all, the creators of our own experience to a large degree. And sometimes I like the sports brand slogan which says ‘just do it’ because that’s what I feel I need to do.
So how do we achieve the balance in helping ourselves move forward with our goals or in being the best we can? Call to mind a time when somebody really inspired you to do something well. What was it about them that inspired you? Think about whether it was a judgement or threat, or if they were being encouraging and nurturing. Whichever one it is you could safely say this approach works for you and so you can try to create that for yourself.
I recall an occasion at secondary school of a teacher giving me such wonderful encouragement, I felt totally inspired to go on and work hard at the project in hand. I also recall other times of being should-ed and not feeling inspired, but rather feeling disempowered. It can be hard to understand if you have grown up with a lot of criticism. It can feel as though this is the only way to motivate yourself, through shaming and blaming. If this is the case I invite you to try out the more supportive approach and see how it is.
In this Modern Energy EFT video I am working on this theme of not saying should, and instead we invite the energy of support. Since if we support ourselves to make positive changes we are more likely to move forward. If you are tapping along and you want to evolve and keep tapping, have a think about what other qualities besides support you could tap on.
Releasing Negativity: We all experience negativity sometimes, but some more than others because of their personality, disposition, beliefs about life and the world and what we saw our parents behave like growing up.
What do we mean by releasing negativity? Well, to me that usually means letting go of negative thoughts and feelings, and replacing these with positive ones. Negative thoughts are ones such as:
I am no good at this (self-depreciating thoughts)
I wish I hadn’t done that, maybe I’m stupid or just bad (guilt and shame)
Life is hard and people treat me badly (victim thoughts)
I’ll never have good things (hopelessness thoughts)
The weather is always so bad (unappreciative thoughts)
The world is such a dangerous place (doom and gloom thoughts)
I miss them so much I can’t bear life without them (grief)
What emotions accompany these types of thoughts do you think? How do they make you feel in your body when you think this way? Reflect on your negative thoughts and beliefs. Get familiar with them in order to change. They can be much subtler and harder to weed out sometimes too, so you have to dig around a little.
Work with a Counsellor or EFT Master Practitioner or other suitable trained professional if you find this too difficult on your own. They will see your blind spots and guide you in the right direction.
You can’t just release things and have nothing, as that creates a vacuum, and inviting in positivity naturally moves the negativity along anyhow. So what would you like to think and feel instead?
From an EFT point of view, negativity is also an energy, just like positivity and so you can invite in positive energy with positive EFT. This in turn can change our thinking as you can’t feel positive and think negative thoughts very easily! Tapping for more: energy, joy, luck, money, adventures, love, friendship, nature, calm, peace, holidays, harmony, luxury, relaxation etc can bring your positivity levels up.
On the SUE (stands for subjective units of experience) scale rate how you are feeling just now. If you are in the minuses it is certain that you are experiencing more negative than positive. At zero it is pretty balanced, and in the plusses you feel more positive the higher you go. Ever notice how much easier your day goes when you are feeling positive?
If you are feeling negative look at the thoughts that accompany/feed this and ask yourself what might the opposite thought be? For example, the opposite of ‘I am no good at this’ might be ‘I am great at this.’ ‘I wish I hadn’t done that, maybe I’m stupid or just bad,’ might become ‘it’s okay that I don’t get it right all of the time, I learn from my mistakes I love to support myself in making good decisions.’
In this video I use modern energy EFT to invite in more positive energy, in order to release negativity.
Tolerating Challenging People: For those of you who are working on being positive, doing your best to see the best in people and in life, it can be tough to keep this up when you are around so-called challenging people.
What are challenging people? Well, to be honest, I try not to label people, but it does help me to note their behaviour. So rather than saying to myself ‘Jill is a difficult (or negative/argumentative/gossipy/untrustworthy/jealous etc) person I can say to myself ‘Jill is behaving in a difficult way today, I wonder how best I can support myself around this so I still feel good.’ This takes the judgement off of Jill and flags the behaviour, as well as seeking out solutions to feeling okay in spite of the challenge.
If you think of other people’s troublesome behaviours as a test to see how well you can handle it, it may motivate you to keep your positive focus and integrity. Complaining to others about the person rarely makes us feel any better, although we may do it to ventilate and let off steam.
In Rhonda Byrne’s book ‘The Power’ (author of ‘The Secret’) she suggests that we should think of these people as PETs, or Personal Emotional Trainers. Every challenge they present, she says, is an opportunity for you to turn away from negativity and blame and choose love. Don’t fall into the trap of judgement, guilt, fear or unworthiness. Instead turn away and look for the things you love in your life. This expands the good. Remember that there are times that we are also ‘PET’s’ for others too.
Beware of wanting to change other people too. Of course we often want others to do better, especially loved ones, spouses or children. But they have a right to be themselves and make their own choices too. A strong desire to change someone usually interferes with this right, and leaves us feeling disappointed and despondent as it seldom succeeds.
In EFT we can do proxy tapping for another person who is behaving in a difficult way. This is where you tap for someone else. Although I think that first of all it’s best to look at how we are affected by it and work with that. If we are calm and positive then other people’s behaviour is much less likely to bother us, and we are more objective.
This doesn’t mean of course that we should ignore bad behaviour that we really ought to act upon, or that we should tolerate mistreatment. Perhaps there is some action we ought to take and we can tap for this too, if we are holding back, for example to confront the person and let them know that they make you feel uncomfortable when they say/do this.
In this video I use Positive EFT, asking you to think of the feeling you get around the person who is behaving in a difficult way. Then to consider its opposite. For example, maybe you have been feeling annoyed around this person, and perhaps the opposite would be to feel happy or peaceful around this person. So for Positive EFT we tap on the positive, inviting that quality into our energy body when we think of this person.
Manifesting is something we do all the time if you follow the law of attraction theory, that our thoughts attract our experiences. Do you remember a time when you thought you would do well at something and you did? Or you thought something would go very well and it did? Alternatively, that you expected to do badly and that is what happened? Well there is a theory out there that what we think is very powerful, and whilst it isn’t the only force at play, we should choose our thoughts wisely.
In EFT we talk about the thoughts coinciding with how the energy body is doing. For example, if you were -5 on the SUE scale it is likely that you are experiencing stress thoughts, can’t think clearly and are experiencing fear. Likewise, a +5 shows up as feeling positive emotions, confidence and happiness. Fortunately, with modern energy EFT it is now possible to change our thoughts remarkably quickly if we so wish.
So, in terms of attracting things, what do you want to attract? Some of the things people work on ‘manifesting’ might be (and there are of course millions of things):
An enjoyable meet up with a friend
A nice outfit for your upcoming special occasion at the right price and that you feel really good in
A loving relationship (or more loving one if you are in one already)
Having more money
A nice holiday
A new car
A job that you love
A tidy home
Publishing a book
And so on. You can be as exotic or as simple as you like in manifesting things. Even just focusing on something you would like more of is a positive step in itself. If you are experiencing some kind of problem or stress, rather than thinking about how you would like this removed, what might you like to experience instead of it? For example, a peaceful relationship with my boss, or money comfort as opposed to ‘my boss stopping being difficult’ or ‘no money worries’. See the difference?
When using EFT to manifest things, I advise getting as high up as you can on the SUE scale when you think about that thing. According to the law of attraction, that makes it almost certain to come about!! There are of course other factors at play, namely the highest good. If something is not for our highest good then it would be very convenient if we did not manifest it, right? And being at +10 on the SUE scale is a great place to be and I like to think in alignment with our highest good. Have a look at this video to see how you might use modern Energy EFT to manifest what you want.
The other thing to remember about manifesting is that when you regularly think about this thing you want, as though you are celebrating that you already have it, this helps to attract it. Vision boards are a very powerful tool in manifesting as well as affirmations.
EFT for Study:EFT (emotional freedom techniques, tapping one energy meridian points around the body to improve energy flow) can help us when we are struggling to study. It can also help parents, by the way, of teenagers who have exams coming up, more about that later in this blog.
So, what are the qualities we need to be able to study? Motivation? I heard an interesting slant on this by Professor Steve Peters, author of The Chimp Paradox. Steve points out that we hear so much about motivation, and yes it is a good thing, however it is also fickle, emotion driven, and constantly requires topping up. Commitment, on the other hand is something we can rely upon as it has a high prediction of success.
How committed are you to study for your exams just now? See if you can rate it on the SUE scale below, minus 10 = as uncommitted as you could possibly be, and +10 is as committed as you can possibly be. If you are in the minuses, EFT can help.
In this video, I begin with a short visualisation where you imagine yourself having just finished your exams and feeling really good about it. Visualisation is a very powerful technique that informs the brain of what is possible and inspires action thoughts to help create that. Afterwards I lead a tapping round on being committed to this vision and of being calm and supportive to self in this desire to do your best.
You can also use Positive EFT using the words of qualities while you tap that you would like to invite, such as:
And suchlike. If your exams are leading you onto another goal, such as getting into a certain college, job or course you can tap on that as well. Positive visualisation about the future in this way is another helpful approach to succeeding.
For parents, being calm and having confidence in your ‘child’ will benefit as opposed to high anxiety and worry. When we worry for someone (and as a parent, I know it can be hard not to at times) it gives the message that we don’t believe in them and expect them not to succeed. This can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy in some cases.
Tapping on the word ‘calm’ for yourself is a great place to start, and you can also proxy tap for the student as well. There are many ways you can do this, even by tapping and saying the words ‘focus for Sarah’, or ‘commitment for Jack’ can be effective proxy tapping approaches.
When we proxy tap there is no real way of knowing how effective it is, but we know that it doesn’t do any harm and can help us feel more relaxed and as though we are doing something. I have used proxy tapping in many situations and found it very useful.
If you would like to work with me, in person in North Kerry or internationally via Skype please get in touch.
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