Welcome to season 2 of the podcast! If you’ve been with me since the very beginning, thank you. I’m deeply grateful you’ve stuck around – especially as the podcast has morphed a lot since the early days.
Today, I’m sharing loads of life updates – and a simple mindset model you can use to transform your life.
Tune in via the link above or subscribe in iTunes.
When I first started chatting to you, I was sharing the things that have helped me make friends with my mind, and ease anxiety. And the guests we had on were brilliant souls sharing their own mental health tools and techniques, too.
Honestly, I had NO idea what I was doing when I started out! I still don’t haha! But it’s been so much fun to go on this journey, and have you tuning in. If you’ve left a review or sent me personal feedback, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Speaking into a microphone alone can make it tricky to know if what you’re sharing is actually useful, so your supportive words and stories mean the world to me. Truly.
And as creative work so often does, the podcast has evolved in its own way – and at the same time, I’ve launched my coaching practice, and gained qualifications including NLP and hypnotherapy. So from the very first episode to here, a lot has changed.
I’ve found a kinder, more loving way to run my business and live my life. And a big part of that has been seeing how my thoughts shape those things – how they create my reality. And how I can choose better thoughts and feelings, to get the results I want.
My husband Dimitri and I have also had some big life changes and challenges in that time. We’re moving to Australia (we met here in the UK, where I’ve been for 3 years), so we’ve been focusing on his residency visa application – and figuring out life while we waited for it to be granted. So we moved out of the tiny flat we rented above a hair salon on the high street in a bustling UK city, and have lined up housesits for the rest of the year. We have 3 suitcases, a little caddy of food and toiletries, and are moving around the countryside taking care of people’s pets and property. So far, we’ve lived in a stone home beside a castle (it used to be part of the castle estate) in Wales…and we’re now in a country cottage atop rolling hills, with a big beautiful garden. It’s been such an adventure – it’s satisfying my travel tingles that I get when I spend too long in one spot. And we’re able to save a lot for our move Down Under, while seeing different parts of the UK before we go. Being out of the city has also helped us slow down…I’m seeing how time really is relative. When I live in a high-paced place, it feels so frantic and like there are never enough hours in the day. But out here in the quiet countryside, life moves to the rhythms of nature…I feel less rushed, less overwhelmed, more creative and carefree.
So, my plan for the podcast is to tie in a lot more personal stories and experiences – because building a beautiful life is about so many things, right? Our relationships, our creative pursuits and hobbies, our physical health, our spirituality, our money, all the little choices we make each day….and that all stems from our mental health.
So making friends with your mind is still the main theme. But we’ll be looking at all the things in your life and world that can help you do that – from meditation to moving house, from ditching sugar to saving for your future. I’ll be sharing my stories, having experts back to share theirs, and inviting you to rewrite yours, so that YOUR life really is YOURS. So you wake up excited about the day and what you’ll create and how you’ll connect…and so you feel inspired and empowered to create the change to make friends your mind and thrive in business and life. If you so choose. We get one life, friends. Just the one. How will you make yours magical, meaningful?
The mindset shift that can change everything
So one of the things I learnt this year – that has really transformed my life and my client’s lives – is a mindset model. It was created by a brilliant woman called Brooke Castillo (her podcast The Life Coach School is wonderful, it’s about self-coaching, so do tune in even if you’re not a coach).
The model ties together EVERYTHING we know right now about how the mind works. If you’re familiar with positive psychology, Eckhart Tolle, Pema Chodron, Byron Katie, Martha Beck, Joe Dispenza, then the model will sound familiar – because all these teachers talk about similar things.
Byron Katie: “There is always a particular thought that triggers any stressful feeling.”
Eckhart: “Unconscious thought alone is the cause of emotional pain.”
Abraham Hicks say: “When you think a thought that is not in vibrational alignment with your overall intent, your Inner Being will offer you a negative emotion.”
Martha: “All human suffering comes from your thoughts.”
Pema: “It isn’t the things that happen to us in our lives that cause us to suffer, it’s how we relate
to the things that happen to us that causes us to suffer.”
What they’re all saying is that our thinking creates our reality. This is something we say in NLP, too. Your thoughts create your world. And the moment you see that – really see that it’s not what happens to you, or what your mother says, or that a-hole driver who cuts you off in traffic – but it’s how you choose to RESPOND to what happens, you begin to free yourself. You become aware of your mind and all the chatter and criticism it throws at you. You see that no matter how crazy or crappy your circumstances get, if you can change the way you see them and react to them, then your life WILL change. Even if the circumstances don’t.
We think we have to change our life to be happy. So we go out there and DO the things people say will bring happiness or success. Maybe we buy new clothes or a new car, or we take course after course hoping someone will tell us the exact way to build our business, or we go on a crazy diet hoping it will help us lose weight once and for all.
The model shows us that we’ve got it all backwards. If we change our actions and results without changing our mind, we’re setting ourselves up for failure. We’re going to keep getting the same results over and over again. We’ll buy all the clothes and still not feel good inside. We’ll keep paying for courses to distract ourselves from doing the work to build our business. We’ll keep dieting and not lose weight – or even gain weight. We go around and around in this spin cycle, because we haven’t changed the thoughts and feelings driving those actions.
When you think a thought—you feel a feeling. When you feel a feeling—you take action or not because of how you feel. Your actions (behaviors) create your experience in the world and ultimately what your life looks like—your results. If your thoughts suck, your life is going to suck. If you aren’t conscious of your negative thoughts, you are enslaved by them.
When I work with my coaching clients, we look at the thoughts that are dominating their mind right now, pull one out, and plug it into the model. Let me give you an example:
The circumstance is: My husband didn’t take the rubbish out.
My thought is: I have to do everything myself around here! He doesn’t care!
How do I feel when I think that thought: anger, annoyance, lonely
My actions (or inactions) are: I take the rubbish out myself, but with a lot of anger and frustration about it, and ignore him all day.
The results will always confirm the original thought. So my result is that I continue thinking I have to do everything myself and there’s less caring and love between us.
We sit with this model for a bit. To make sure it’s a real reflection of how the thought is shaping how you feel in your body, what you do or don’t do from that place, and what happens as a result. This is sometimes all the awareness we need to go “Oh wow, OK. I can see how I’m sabotaging myself here…or my relationship…or how I’m taking this personally…” or whatever is going on.
Then the next step is to create an intentional thought model.
We use the same steps, but we choose a thought or feeling that serves us better. One that would bring the results we truly want.
So taking the example of my hubby not taking out the rubbish, which is the circumstance:
I want to feel: love towards my husband. Maybe I want to feel calm.
What thought can help me feel that way? How about ‘It doesn’t matter who takes it out. I have 5 minutes now, I can do it” or maybe the opposite thought I had before: instead of “I have to do everything myself around here” I could choose to think “I choose to do everything myself around here” or perhaps “I know my husband cares about me – I’ll remind him to take the rubbish out.” You get to decide the thought. The circumstance is the same, but the power to change how you feel is in your THINKING.
My actions (or inactions) are: I love my husband unconditionally, I take the rubbish out feeling calm – or have a loving conversation with my hubby about him taking it out.
The results are: my hubby and I care for each other and the rubbish is taken out.
And that’s the model!
I use this daily – every single day – to manage my thinking. It’s become my number one tool for easing anxiety when it arises in my body, for changing my worried thoughts, even for having a more fun and loving relationship with my husband, my friends, and it’s even changed the way I work.
It’s helped me see that nothing outside of me has the power to make me feel anything. IT’s my thoughts that create my feelings and my experience of the world. I’ve discovered I don’t need to BUY or GET anything more to feel better…I can FEEL better any time I like. And if you’re into manifestation, the model can help you create or manifest ANYTHING you want in your life.
So just to recap:
Circumstances: Things that happen in the world that we cannot control. They are facts – something we would all agree is truth. So “the rubbish hasn’t been taken out’ is something we can all agree on, it would hold up in a court of law. But “my bloody husband never does anything around here!” is a thought, not a fact. That’s a really important distinction.
Thoughts: Things that happen in your mind. This is where you self coach using the model.
Feelings: Vibrations that happen in your body – they’re caused by thoughts, not circumstances. I feel angry about the rubbish not being taken out because I think my husband never does anything around the house. The pile of rubbish is neutral, it’s just a fact. My THOUGHT about it is what makes me angry.
Actions: Your behaviour – what we do in the world. Caused by feelings, determined by thought.
Results: What we see in the world (our lives) as an effect of our actions. The result will always be evidence for the original thought.
So that’s a brief look at the model. I’ll be bringing it into future podcast episodes, but you know now how to use it – so perhaps play around with it today.
How to use the model
- Choose a problem or challenge you have right now.
- Decide if it’s a a circumstance, thought, feeling, action, or result.
- Then fill in the rest of the model.
- Next, change the thought that isn’t working and choose a new thought.
- Then put that new thought in a blank model and fill in the rest with the new details: the new feeling, action and result.
And if you’re having a crappy day and don’t know why, do a thought download. Just write allll the thoughts that are swimming around in your mind right now, get them down on the page, and choose one that seems the most powerful, the most impactful on how you feel right now. Pop it into the model, see what emotion it’s sparking in your body, and what you’re doing or not doing because of that. Then do a new model based on how you want to feel instead. Maybe ‘happy’ is too far out there if you’re currently feeling really low. So perhaps you decide to try on feeling ‘peaceful’ or ‘hopeful’. What could you think to help you feel peaceful? Maybe ‘everything is OK right now’ or ‘I will figure this out’. We don’t want to get in the trap of positive thinking here, trying to force happiness when that’s not where we’re at. The thought and feeling has to feel GOOD, realistic, possible for you in this moment. Even just becoming aware of what feels BAD right now, can be enough to help you feel a little bit better.
Try it out. And as you do, you’ll begin to become an observer of your mind. Instead of feeling stuck inside the spin cycle, the mess, you lift yourself out of it and become aware of who you really are. Your unconscious thinking is no longer controlling you all the time…you begin to step outside of that, to question who you are and who you wish to become, and that’s when things get really exciting. That’s when you start to be less judgemental about your thoughts, and more loving and compassionate and kind to yourself. That’s when anxiety loosens its grip. Because you see the thoughts in your mind aren’t YOU. They aren’t the whole of who you are. They are a narrative, a story you can rewrite.
So, lovelies. That’s a little update for you as we head into season 2 of the podcast. And also a brief intro into the model I use in all my coaching sessions – and have used to start living and working in a way that truly serves me best. My clients are loving this tool, too, and are having amazing breakthroughs.