What Would Your Inner Champion Say?

In my article “Inner Critic – Friend or Foe?”, I gave you some ways of achieving separation from the Inner Critic voice we all have inside of us. In this article, I want to elaborate more and offer you a meditation to develop a loving inner voice.

Let’s first of all examine how we usually react to the Critic. Responses that don’t work very well are to ignore it, argue with it or try to banish it. We cannot get rid of a part of our psyche. Even if it goes underground for a bit, it will come back up again, and most likely with more power. In its own distorted way, our Inner Critic is actually trying to help us. Instead of battling with it, we can discover what it is trying to do for us and make a positive connection with it. We can begin to appreciate its efforts and as it begins to trust us, we can create a cooperative relationship with it and transform it into a valuable resource.

Some of the motivations the Inner Critic has are protecting us from judgment or rejection, trying to get approval for us, preventing damage, keeping us safe from attack or keeping us from acting like a parent who didn’t take care of us well.

Images by Jay Earley & Bonnie Weiss

 

Jay Earley and Bonnie Weiss distinguish between 7 types of Inner Critics:

  1. The Perfectionist Inner Critic tries to get us to do everything perfectly. This can make it difficult to finish projects or to even get started on them.
  2. The Inner Controller tries to control impulsive behaviour such as overeating, drinking, or getting enraged.
  3. The Taskmaster teams up with our Inner Pusher and tries to get us to work hard by telling us that we are lazy, stupid or incompetent. It often battles with another part that procrastinates.
  4. The Underminer tries to undermine our self-confidence and self esteem so that we won’t take risks that might end in failure. It might prevent us from getting too big, powerful or visible in order to avoid rejection or attack.
  5. The Destroyer attacks our fundamental self-worth. It is deeply shaming and tells us we shouldn’t exist.
  6. The Guilt Tripper attacks us for specific actions we took or didn’t take. It makes us feel bad and is unforgiving. It might also make us feel guilty for what it considers to be unacceptable behaviours.
  7. The Molder tries to get us to fit a certain mold or act in a certain way that is based on the values of your family or society. It might tell us we need to be outgoing, caring, intellectual, polite, a sweet little girl or a tough guy.

All our Inner Critics are unique. You might have an Inner Critic that has characteristics of two of the described types or wants to be a called a different name.

A powerful antidote to the harsh and shaming Inner Critic voice is to develop an Inner Champion. The Champion does not try to argue or fight with the Critic, or try to get rid of it. It supports us in being ourselves and in feeling good about ourselves. The Inner Champion is the ideal supportive parent. It helps us to see the positive truth about ourselves. It nurtures and cares for us. The Inner Champion helps us by setting boundaries with the Inner Critic, nurturing, providing guidance and planning actions.

Images by Jay Earley & Bonnie Weiss

 

In response to the seven types of Critics, there are also seven types of Inner Champions:

  1. The Perfectionist

In the face of the Perfectionist Critic, the Inner Champion can support us by pointing out that most jobs just need to be done well enough, not to perfection. It has the wisdom to know that it is also important to go with the flow and let things evolve rather than trying to get everything perfect. It allows us to be a learner who doesn’t need to know everything from the start. It understands what a rough draft is. It reminds us that it’s human to make mistakes and that it’s okay when things are imperfect. It supports us to create balance in our life, to rest and enjoy life.

  1. The Inner Controller

In response to the Inner Controller Critic, our Inner Champion reminds us that our feelings and needs matter and to explore what is actually going on underneath the addictive behaviour. What are we distracting ourselves from and what is it that we really need? Like a yoga teacher, it supports us to be centred and in touch with our body so we can follow our body’s signals, which naturally brings more moderation. It supports our need for healthy pleasure and sensuality in life.

  1. The Taskmaster

When we have a strong Taskmaster Critic, our Inner Champion will help us to work efficiently and accomplish something but without expecting that we need to overwork. It recognizes that we are just perfect the way we are, independent of our accomplishments. It believe that we are Superman or Superwoman and that we can easily achieve what we set out to. It recognizes our strengths and special qualities and gives us self-confidence.

  1. The Underminer

The job of the Champion in the face of the Underminer critic is to discern when there is real danger and when there isn’t. It becomes our cheerleader to venture out and succeed. It understands that we have many more inner and outer resources than when we were a child. It recognizes that we can handle being large or visible. It holds a vision of us being smart, creative and able to make a mark on the world.

  1. The Destroyer

In answer to the Destroyer Critic, our Inner Champion affirms that we have the right to exist, to feel what we feel, to set limits, and to be powerful. The Inner Champion nurtures us, it loves us and cares for us. It has great compassion and wants us to feel good and whole. It holds us close and tells us how precious we are. Sometimes the Destroyer Inner Critic has turned anger or aggression inward. The Champion redirects that anger toward where it belongs. It reminds us that we have the right to be angry when others have hurt or neglected us.

  1. The Guilt Tripper

In the face of the Guilt Tripper Inner Critic, our Inner Champion supports us in feeling good about ourselves and our decisions or actions. It puts things into perspective and shines a light on your intentions and motivations. It reminds us that our intentions were good or that we acted from the knowledge and wisdom we had at a given time. It might remind us that we are a good person at heart and that our past behaviour is separate from who we are.

  1. The Molder

In response to the Molder Critic, the Champion helps us to see that the molder values are not the only way to live your life. It supports us in determining our own choices and ways of being. It reminds us that we are a good person even if we choose to live our life in a way that goes against our upbringing and culture. It supports us in being ourselves and living according to our values and our calling.

The above descriptions and images by Jay Earley and Bonnie Weiss are only meant as an inspiration. The Inner Champion might emerge in whatever way is unique and helpful to you. Your Inner Champion is often modeled by supportive or inspiring people from your past or current life, or by well-known people from the present or from history that you don’t know personally but admire, or even by figures of literature, TV or movies.

MEDITATION TO AWAKE YOUR INNER CHAMPION (Coming Soon)

Join me on Sunday, August 12 for a workshop in Mississauga from 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. You will learn how to work with your Inner Critic and develop an Inner Champion. For more information or to register, please call me.

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

I know your time is valuable and I appreciate you reading my blog. If you are enjoying my articles, you can subscribe to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to enter your email address in the field in the left sidebar. Thank you for your support!

Making Mistakes

On Saturday, I was out to run a quick errand. The white Honda in front of me had slowly crept down the street at 40km/h. Now it was turning right, and so was I. The lane was clear to turn. The Honda started turning and then abruptly stopped. I hit his rear bumper. A gentle bump but still my front license plate scratched his bumper, making repairs necessary. It was my fault for hitting him.

On Tuesday, I got out of my late morning session with a client and found a text and a voice mail from one of my favourite clients who always has a long drive getting to Mississauga. Her text said, “I am here for my appointment, rang doorbell, no answer”. I pulled up the last email I sent to her. It clearly said, “Next appointment, Tuesday, July 4 at 10:00 a.m.”. Yet, I had entered her appointment into my calendar for Wednesday. I screwed up.

I had a week of quite a few things escaping my attention, a week of “screwing up” if you so like. A few important emails also slipped my mind and an important anniversary. A mistake, screw up or failure like the ones I experienced this week is exactly what brings a particular part inside of us to the forefront: our Inner Critic loves to use any mistake or situation of fault as an opportunity to blame and criticize us harshly.

I have been asked in the past, what is the most common limiting belief? As much as we are all individuals and have very individual beliefs which hold us back in life, I would say that the most common beliefs are the ones which make us feel not good enough. At the top of the list is the belief that it is not okay to make mistakes. We learn this early on and our school system often manifests this belief. Our Inner Critic loves to “pounce” on us and really beat us up for past decisions we regret or more recent mistakes that we feel we have made.

mistakes - movie clapper.jpg

What if we could instead see a mistake just as a “missed take”, like in the movies? In most cases, we get another chance for a “Take Two” or even a “Take Three” in life. And in those case where we don’t get another opportunity we really need to let ourselves off the hook, heal the past and forgive ourselves in the process. Any choice we have made in the past was made with the knowledge and wisdom we had at the time. From a place of greater knowledge, we might have made a different decision, yet, we need to be compassionate with that younger self that did not know what we know today.

We are part of the human race, and as humans we don’t always make the strongest choices. We all mess up, miss opportunities or make decisions we regret in retrospect. In fact, we can even take it a step further. It is not “making mistakes” that is often the problem but “not making mistakes”. “If you do not make enough mistakes, that’s evidence that you are not taking enough risks, that you are not growing, that you stay in the comfort of your own safety zone” (Rachel Naomi Remen). Making a mistake can be one of the best things which happen to us because it gives us a feedback. The discomfort we feel when we have made a mistake means that we are more likely to remember what we have learned—unless we allow fear to drive our future choices.

Fear combined with the expectation that the same mistake, rejection or loss will occur again increase the likelihood that we are co-creating that same situation of failure or loss once again. We need to acknowledge the fear and face it. How can we learn from the past without allowing fear to take over our present and future?

What keeps us stuck in a feeling of “unworthiness”, of “being a failure”, is not the mistake but the lack of self-forgiveness and self-compassion. The feeling of “not being good enough” has its foundation in shame. It prevents us from going out and trying again, whether that is going to take another professional risk or healing our losses or relationships. Shame vibrates at a very low level. According to David Hawkins’ scale of consciousness, it’s one of the lowest possible vibrations.

Hawkins Map-of-consciousness

The only way out of that swamp of shame and fear is through self-love and self-acceptance. “There is this place that we all have deep inside us that is untouched by trauma and shame.” (Mark Nepo) There is a deep wisdom inside of us. Our essential self knows that we are perfect and whole, that we are love and light. In meditation or hypnosis, we can experience that place of deep and profound love-ability.

Once we have experienced this, it is easier for us to change our narrative about ourselves. We can change our story from “I am flawed. I am not good enough” to a different inner narrative of “I am human. I make mistakes. And I learned from my past mistakes”. As we change our story, we do not just change our perspective, but we literally change our brain. When we change our story, we change our life.

Often we feel stuck, when we are at a point in our life when our story needs to change. We always have the choice between a victim story or an empowering story. We have the choice to bring up a loving supportive parent voice as opposed to the judgmental voice of our Inner Critic. You are after all not your Inner Critic; that voice is just a part inside of you. Separate from it. We all have the capacity to personify and create a visual image of this part in us. You can even give it a name. Pick a name that is a bit ridiculous to make the separation even clearer and easier.

We want to be able to identify the voice of the Inner Critic. We could communicate with it. Like all parts, it has a purpose. The Inner Critic sees its job in keeping us safe from outside criticism and rejection. You can thank your Inner Critic for how it’s been attempting to help you. You can even find out what that part fears for you. Let it know you appreciate it is trying to protect you from embarrassment.

inner child - little girl

The second step is to bring up a loving parental voice and to connect with our vulnerable inner child that needs to hear and feel support and compassion. If you find it challenging to tell an empowering and self-compassionate story in a given situation, imagine the story someone who loves you tells about you, different from the story you tell yourself. Or imagine what you would say to a friend or a child in a similar situation. The Inner Critic talks to us in a way we would never dream of talking to somebody else, especially not a child. When we speak to others, we know exactly what words are encouraging, uplifting and motivating to do better next time.

Here is an exercise you can do to practice separating from your Inner Critic. Think about a choice you regret, or a moment in which you felt a sense of failure or shame. Imagine sharing this moment with a wise and loving friend. What would that friend say to you? They would most likely first of all show compassion and say something along the lines of “that sounds so difficult” or “I am sorry you had to experience this”. The second thing they might do is empathize and respond with something like, “I know how you feel. We have all experienced something similar.” The third thing they might do is remind you how lovable and amazing you are. They might encourage you not to give up but to try again. You can even write a letter to yourself pretending to be this compassionate, wise and unconditionally loving friend.

Compassion is not so much a trait but an action. I recently came across another interesting suggestion to increase our awareness of being compassionate. Get a pretty glass jar. For each time that you are compassionate with yourself (or others) you place a beautiful stone or colourful marble in the jar. The accumulation of crystals, stones or marbles becomes visual evidence for how compassionate you can be with yourself. When you do something self-critical, you can look at the jar and remember that those compassionate acts are not taken away and that the glass is just waiting for the next colourful token.

Glass Jar 2.JPG

If you are enjoying my articles, you can follow Greendoor to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to click the “follow” button in the right-hand corner of your screen.

Angelika, Belief Change Coach & Relationship Coach

905-286-9466, greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

Self-Compassion – Luxury or Necessity?

Sarah comes in through the door, I pour her a water and I ask, “How are you?” She replies, “Aww, not that great. I have been feeling really down for the last two weeks. So much has been going on with my family, and at work, too. It all feels futile. I have failed in so many ways. I just can’t handle all these conflicts and problems anymore.”

I don’t usually see clients when they feel good or are at the top of the world. Instead, they normally come back when something has happened and they need to work through a conflict, often both an outer one as well as an inner conflict.

Life throws us these curve balls and the Inner Critic voice we all have loves nothing more than to beat us up in the face of adversity. It pipes up especially loudly when we feel we have made a “mistake” or “failed” in some way. We didn’t get the grade we were aiming for, we are being laid off from a job or are not being hired for a position we have applied to, the person we would like to date rejects us or our marriage is struggling, we are experiencing fertility issues or our teenager is acting out, we have received worrisome health news or are trying to lose weight with little success, and the list goes on and on.

self-compassion 1

The “I’m not good enough in some way” story is almost universal. We all struggle with it at some point in some way. How much we struggle is largely based on the experience we had with our caregivers during childhood. Were they compassionate, empathetic and able to love us unconditionally? Or did we have the experience that we were loved when we were “performing according to certain standards and ideals, and that love was withdrawn or guilt was applied” (Dr. Kelly McGonigal), if we didn’t meet the expectations.

The sad news is that most parents did not know how to raise their children with unconditional love. And we cannot even blame them because what we have not experienced ourselves is hard to pass on to the next generation. Sarah, for example, had an emotionally absent father and a harsh mother, who preferred her younger children and had unrealistic expectations of Sarah as the oldest. No matter how hard Sarah tried to please, she could never win her parent’s attention and full love. When she was 18, she married to get out of this cold home. Unfortunately, that marriage didn’t last, as Sarah naturally brought her childhood issues around love with her into that relationship. She tried to be perfect and to please, but never felt that she was good enough. The failure of the marriage, however, added to her list of regrets and mistakes, which all seemed to prove her unworthiness.

Receiving conditional love as a child is the breeding ground for pathological perfectionism and the feeling that we are never quite enough. The good news is that we can still heal those wounds with self-compassion and the compassion of others.

self-compassion 2

Our feeling of lacking in some way is very old. When we go back and remember moments of self-esteem deflation, we realize how early this started. The qualities and criteria, however, which allow the Inner Critic to collapse our self-esteem, have changed through the different developmental stages and can be quite arbitrary. The Inner Critic will always find something to criticize. Ultimately, that critical voice is the internalized parental or societal voice. It has the power to completely deflate us and affect our mental, emotional and physical state.

Smaller or bigger Inner Critic attacks are not only very common but brain research has shown that self-criticism and self-judgment are the default setting of our brain. When we are not focused on doing something specific, the Inner Critic is running its programs of comparison and categorizing into good and bad. Sadly, most of the time that voice is not all too friendly with us, which has direct effects on our health. “We know that people who are highly self-critical, who are never good enough, are obviously at increased risk for depression. And depression reinforces those feelings.” (Dr. Kelly McGonigal)

Nicola Hermanto, a PhD candidate in Clinical Psychology at McGill University, published a study in 2016 that looked at adults in Canada, England and Portugal and the relationship between self-criticism—so in other words a lack of self-compassion—and depression. This study did not just find a high correlation between those two factors, but they also found that the fear and inability to receive compassion from others contributes to depression. Feeling unworthy of receiving compassion, or being suspicious of other people being kind and caring, increases the link between self-criticism and depression.

Dala Lama

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.
Without them humanity cannot survive.
– Dalai Lama

If we all have a default tendency to be self-critical, the one thing that becomes a necessity to counteract that Inner Critic voice is a loving, compassionate Inner Parental voice. Part of that process is the ability and willingness to receive kindness, empathy and loving support from others.

Subconscious belief changes therefore need to address the issue of deserving and receiving, as well as beliefs around making mistakes and embracing failures as part of life, instead of a sign that there is something deeply unworthy and shameful about us.

Once we have changed some subconscious beliefs about our own worthiness, it becomes easier to practice self-compassion or inner compassion. True self-compassion means feeling a “sense of love or self-acceptance or inner acceptance even in the moment of self-esteem collapse” (Dr. Ron Siegel). When we have this sense of okay-ness, or sense of value and worth in the world, we can lovingly re-parent ourselves. With love for ourselves in moments of crisis, we can ask, “What’s good for me in this situation? What is the self-loving thing to do or think right now?”

self-compassion 4a)

Another very powerful piece of work in practicing kindness and gentleness towards ourselves is self-forgiveness. Often the most important work is to forgive ourselves for our past choices and decisions. We don’t need the forgiveness of others nearly as much as we need our own. We can alter our relationship with ourselves by releasing those harsh judgments and self-critical thoughts that keep us imprisoned within that sense of not being valuable, not being good enough. Moment by moment of inner compassion, we are healing our sorrows and wounds and ultimately changing our entire life.

self-compassion 5

If you are enjoying my articles, you can follow Greendoor to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to click the “follow” button in the right-hand corner of your screen.

Angelika
Life Coaching, Belief Changes & Forgiveness Work
905-286-9466, greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

Inner Critic – Friend or Foe?

Listen to this topic as a podcast here, or read about it below!

A member of our family was going shopping. He carefully planned out his route to run several errands and included a grocery shopping list. As we sit down for lunch later I ask, “You bought water, didn’t you? Is it still in the car?” He slaps his forehead. “You won’t believe what I did. I left the six water bottles sitting at the check out!” No big deal, we have a water filter too, but the perfect opportunity for his Inner Critic to rear his head and make a mountain out of a molehill.

If you want to know what his Inner Critic voice might say, just think of what your own Inner Critic has to say when you make a mistake, “screw up” or forget something. It pretty much kicks you – depending on how “bad” and “unforgivable” the mistake rates on your personal scale. It might say “You are such an idiot! How can you pay for something and then forget it! Now you have to go back and see if the cashier remembers you. In fact, you are not just stupid, you are getting forgetful. It must be because you are getting old. Or maybe something is seriously wrong with you. Forgetfulness is a symptom of…” And the Inner Critic is off and running, making us feel like a complete failure and scaring the living daylight out of us.

Our Inner Critic is always playing in the background like a radio which we do not even notice anymore. It is constantly assessing and comparing how we are doing. And certain situations bring on real Inner Critic attacks. When we are stressed, weak, tired, hungry, in an unfamiliar place or in a new situation, the Inner Critic might torture us more than usual. When adverse fortune strikes, when we get bad grades or negative assessment, or lose our job, or an important relationship ends, the Inner Critic will make sure we feel terrible and at fault. All those are typical moments which make us more susceptible to an Inner Critic attack.

How do we know we are having an Inner Critic attack? Usually, the first sign is our emotional state. We might feel depressed, or irritated or angry at ourselves. When we listen closely, we can then hear those negative defeatist thoughts which are making us feel “not good enough”.

Originally, the Inner Critic is the internalized parental voice. Just as our parents had the intention to help us by giving us feedback on where and how we could do better, the Inner Critic voice also operates on the assumption that it is protecting us. The idea is, “If I, the Inner Critic, criticize you first, you can fix what is wrong and you are safe from outside criticism”.

The Inner Critic is generally trying to protect us from embarrassment and shame. But due to the harshness of that inner voice, it causes exactly the feeling of shame and not being good enough that it is trying to protect us from.

Inner Critic 1

The Inner Critic loves certain buzz words like “mistake”, “failure” and “symptom”. If Mary has the goal to lose weight and she goes for the bowl of ice cream in the middle of the night, the Inner Critic is likely to tell her that she is and always has been a complete failure, that everybody else has no problems losing weight, and that her eating is a serious symptom of a sugar addiction or even worse.

I have been meaning to write this blog on the Inner Critic for about three weeks. Usually, my blogs literally write themselves. It starts with an idea and the blog around the idea begins to formulate itself in my head before I even type one single word into my computer. Not so with this one.

What would my Inner Critic like to make out of that fact? It is teaming up with my Inner Pusher which says you should be productive and get something done. It might start to say, “What is wrong with you? You are such a procrastinator! You could have / should have / ought to…” And if I do not stop the Inner Critic right there and then, it might bring out the heavy cannonballs along the lines of, “This is a serious symptom! You have never had such a long blogging pause. You have a writing block! What if you never write a single blog again!”

Never mind that I prepared and taught two weekend workshops over the last few weeks, the Inner Critic will label that sort of rational justification as “an excuse” and try to convince me that I’m really slacking off and losing “it”, whatever “it” might be.

The Inner Critic also loves comparisons: “You never used to forget anything!”, “Did you read the amazing blog Grace wrote the other day?”, “Look how thin your sister is, you are such a failure!” or “Look how comfortable and funny Anna is with everybody; you are so dull and awkward and you will never make friends at university.”

No matter what you do, the Inner Critic can never be satisfied! It will always find someone to compare you to and it will always find something to criticize. And it will even find the exact opposite to criticize.

The other day, I had a client who is in his mid forties. He just started a new job and his Inner Critic is having a field day with him. It’s a new situation, and there are new rules and new processes to learn. The Inner Critic is trying to tell him he is too old, too slow, and just plainly not good enough. One moment his Inner Critic says “Your younger colleagues have an advantage; they only had to learn the new processes and not all those old redundant skills which you possess.” The next moment, the Inner Critic turns around and says “The colleagues who are ten years older than you have an advantage because they have more experience than you!” So which is it now, is he too old and slow, or to young and inexperienced? The Inner Critic does not care!

Inner Critic 2b

There is only one way to win the game with the Inner Critic and that is NOT to play!

The Inner Critic works on two principles:

  1. There is a correct way of doing things.
  2. Other people are going to judge you all the time.

Aren’t those interesting assumptions? We just need to go to a different culture or time period to realize there are many different ways of doing things. Each culture has its own rules and value systems.

The Inner Critic works together with other primary selves which we have. We all have different primary personality parts, for example the Perfectionist (likes things to be perfect), the Pusher (wants us to achieve something), the Pleaser (wants to make others happy), the Rational Mind (great at logical thinking but mistrusts feelings and intuition), the Inner Patriarch (echoes the beliefs of thousands of years of patriarchal society), just to name a few.

Each of them operates on certain beliefs. For example, the Perfectionist part in us believes that it’s not okay for us to make mistakes and to be satisfied with imperfection. The Pusher is relentless and constantly pushes us to be productive and achieve something. The Pleaser is convinced that we won’t be loved/liked/safe or that we will experience other negative consequences if we don’t please others. The Rational Mind disregards feelings and intuition and is convinced that it is necessary to understand and dissect everything. All these personality parts are useful. The danger lies in over-identifying with one or more of them. None of these personality parts support relaxation, trusting and going with the flow, being gentle and loving with ourselves or meeting our own needs.

The Inner Critic is the “cop” of the system. It enforces these rules which are beliefs on the level of the subconscious. In order to achieve some separation from the merciless Inner Critic voice which completely paralyzes us and pulls us into depression, we need to change those beliefs which are not supportive for us.

These beliefs are held in the subconscious mind and cannot be changed by the conscious mind. That’s why affirmations only have limited success. Belief change processes offer a way into the subconscious mind to achieve separation from our primary parts and our Inner Critic.

When we have a strong Inner Critic, it is quite easy for others to manage us. We just need that one look or that raised eyebrow and our Inner Critic kicks in immediately. “Oh, I must have said or done something wrong. He/she is not happy with me. I better make sure he or she is pleased with me again …” And without being aware of it, we are giving our entire power away to others.

So how does one tame the Inner Critic and get that voice to shut up?

First of all, we have to learn to recognize when the Inner Critic shows up. The Inner Critic is invisible and often even inaudible. We can make it audible and visible by sharing out loud with our loved ones what the Inner Critic is saying. Journaling and using a different colour when the Inner Critic voice shows up, is another way of calling it out.

The next step is to examine the basic rules the Inner Critic adheres to and makes a crime of, because it works hand in hand with our other personality parts. So the more separation we are getting from our primary selves by changing the beliefs they operate on, the less fuel the Inner Critic has.

Finally, to achieve even further separation, we can get in touch with the energies the Inner Critic tells us we should disown because they are “bad”. Those energies or traits are called our shadows. Shadow work fosters greater balance, inner harmony, self-acceptance and self-love.

Underneath the Inner Critic is anxiety and fear that we need protection to be safe. Love heals all fear. We need to become an Inner Parent to our vulnerable part inside—which is also called our Inner Child—and bring a loving supportive voice up to balance out the Inner Critic. So if the Inner Critic says “You are not good enough!” the loving parent voice can reply “You are perfect the way you are. You are beautiful, smart and lovable in every way.”

The most obvious criteria of separation from the Inner Critic is humour! When we hear the voice of this Critic and can respond with humour, we are on the way to separation.

So what did we do to help our “forgetful” family member to stop the Inner Critic attack that was brewing up like dark storm clouds? We made the voice audible and visible and laughed at it. That prompted that family member to start singing “It’s a good day to go to Superstore, Superstore, Superstore…” to the tune of “The wheels on the bus”. And with everybody’s laughter, the Inner Critic had lost all its momentum and power over the situation. Instead of ruining the day, or at least the next hour, it brought us amusement and entertainment.

If you are enjoying my articles, you can subscribe to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to enter your email address in the field on the left side of the bar. Thank you for your support!

If you want to learn more about your Inner Critic and embark on the journey of separation you have three options:

– Contact Angelika for individual sessions, 905-286-9466, greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

– Sign up for the next Workshop on the Inner Critic

Saturday, July 9, 2016 from 10:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m

Sunday, May 7, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

 

 

Healing in a Safe Space

NEW SHADOW ENERGETICS WORKSHOP with Darryl Gurney

September 20-23 in Kitchener

September 26 -29 in St. Thomas (near London)

November 14-17 in Toronto (Leslie/Queen)

 

In this four minute long you tube video Darryl explains the Shadow Energetics work

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3kFHOqGsbs

 

I highly recommend this workshop to anyone who is on the path toward self-empowerment. Here is my own experience:

Even though I have been in the mind-body field for ten years and have done lots of inner work on my self one of my relationships was still less than perfect – the one with my father – when my friend Darryl announced his new workshop. I was curious to try out Darryl’s relationship alignment to work on the relationship with my father.

Another male participant stood in for my father as the facilitator muscle tested the seven chakras. All the issues that came up made perfect sense. We worked through each of the chakras that were out of alignment either for me, or for my father. The process was deeply emotional and left me feeling cleansed and vibrating at a high level of heart energy.

Two days later, I called my father. Before I dialed his number, I put myself back into that heart space. I was blown away by how much the energy had changed. The conversation was a completely different one than ever before in my life. It was loving, respectful, supportive and very calm. My father let me speak, instead of interrupting me; he listened and I experienced him as non-judgmental but interested. I felt pure love in my heart, was adapting to his slower pace and delivering my opinion on different topics more softly and calmly. For the first time in my life, he actually listened to my opinion without ridiculing it. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire conversation. Instead of dreading those phone calls, I now look forward to them. We speak twice a week and have long loving conversations full of laughter. He does not trigger me anymore, nor do I trigger him. I can say that the past is truly healed.

We all have people in our lives whom we struggle with. The Shadow Energetics Workshop contains many deeply-touching techniques to become whole and to heal our relationships.

 

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

905-286-9466

The Power of the Parental Voice

Last week, I observed a number of different parents interacting with their children. I saw positive and encouraging examples of parenting, but also several devastating ones. It made me contemplate how we talk to our children, and what messages and suggestions we instil in them. Ultimately, this also made me ponder how we talk to ourselves. What is our own inner voice saying? Is that inner voice possibly echoing messages that we received in our childhood which were less than loving or supportive?

 

In one museum, a boy of about eight was standing at the top of an escalator, lost in his own dream world, just looking around. Instead of bringing him gently back to the present and asking him nicely to pay attention to other people who might want to use the escalator, I heard the father bark, “Get out of the way!” followed by, “Why do you never listen to me?”

It was at the tip of my tongue to say, “Because he is trying to tune out your critical voice. If you were more loving, he would listen.”

Not only does this father send the message that the son is in the way of other people but he also implants the suggestion not to listen.

The son learns, “I am not good enough. I am stupid or clumsy. Other people are more important. I am annoying to my father the way I am.”

 

In a restaurant, I overheard a snippet of another conversation. A father was saying to his six-year-old daughter, “No. You are the problem here!”

I have no idea what they were talking about, if the daughter was trying to communicate her needs or opinions. But no matter what it was, the father’s comment shut her up immediately.

What a depressing message to get! The daughter learns, “In my father’s eye, I am a problem. My needs, requests or opinions are nothing more than a nuisance.”

 

On a parking lot, another father was pushing and pulling his three-year-old daughter along, while the mother walked ahead and ignored them both. The little girl was just being a normal three year old, taking her time enjoying the sunny summer’s day. In passing by, I heard the father say impatiently, “How many times do I have to tell you to hurry up? This is a parking lot! Parking lots are dangerous.”

Another child, another devastating message. The little girl learns, “Not only is life not safe for me, but I am also annoying my parent by being myself and enjoying the moment. I am a bother.”

 

One could argue that the parents are just trying to teach their children to have consideration for others, not to blame others and to stay safe. However, all these life messages could have been delivered with love. Instead, they were delivered with impatience, judgment and harshness. The children did not learn anything but that they are not accepted the way they are. They might even conclude that they are unlovable, especially if their caretakers act like this on a regular basis.

 

As we grow up, we still at times have this harsh parental voice in our head, the inner critic that at times is useful and tries to protect us, but most of the time just beats us up mercilessly.

How do you speak to yourself?

What does your inner voice say when you make a so-called mistake, or when you are in a situation that you could interpret as a failure?

Does it still say “You are stupid and not good enough”, or “You are the problem,” or “Pay attention! There is danger lurking just around the next corner”?

 

Just as children need a patient, understanding, compassionate and encouraging parent, you need to bring out that inner parent who sees you with loving eyes. The inner parent can put your inner critic in its place. That loving, caring parental voice believes in you and in your potential. It’s that part of us that helps us to bring the best out in us. If you want to be happy and feel good about yourself there is no way around self-love. If you want to love others, there is no way around self-love.

If you want to succeed and live a happy life, you have to make the choice to separate from your harsh inner critic, stop being a victim to your own inner voice, stand up for your abused inner child and begin to parent yourself differently!

 

For Life or Spiritual Coaching, Belief Change Work through Psych-K®, Forgiveness Work or Inner Child Work contact me

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

905-286-9466