Here in the Adelaide Hills, Spring is really turning it on, with blossoms bursting and birds singing their little hearts out. I feel their happiness. After a few really cold, dark months, the days dawning sunny and clear-skied seem to lift the spirits for no other reason than it’s a beautiful day.
Witnessing the transition from winter to spring reminds me that it’s a fitting metaphor for the cycles inherent in our experience of life. However, the way most of us approach these cycles has some clear differences.
One of the things that makes the cold and gloominess of winter bearable is the unquestioning knowledge we have that it’s temporary. We simply trust that sunshine and warmth are on the way. We know that deep within the bare branches of the trees, beneath the cold, wet soil, the life force of nature is just waiting for the right moment to spring forth and flourish.
Just like day follows night, spring follows winter, summer follows spring...and so it goes. There’s an implicit trust about all of this, so we don’t fret too much or try to change things.
Our lives have natural cycles too. Not quite so predictable or easily anticipated perhaps, but the cycles are there nonetheless. Change is a constant. We have times when life feels easy, good. And we have other times when challenges keep coming at us like the unrelenting waves of a stormy ocean.
When we’re in the more challenging times, it can be hard to remember that life was ever easy, and just flowed along gently. But just for a moment, try this experiment with me:
Drawing on the full creative power of your imagination (so you don’t just think the answers, you feel them), consider the following questions:
How would it change things if you applied the trust you have in the cycles of nature to the darker times in your own life?
How would it change your perception of whatever challenges you’re going through right now if you believed, without any shadow of a doubt, in the potential to create change lying dormant within you?
How would it feel if you had the knowledge that, provided with the right conditions, you would flourish so effortlessly?
Would it help the winter periods of your life feel more bearable?
Would it fill you with hope and optimism about the good things to come?
How we perceive the natural ups and downs of life is key to having an empowered and positive outlook on life. But it’s not always easy to keep your head in the right space. News corporations rely on generating a level of fear to rivet our attention to their stories. Social media (depending on who you follow) can be a highlight reel of other people’s lives that can have a subtly damaging effect on our self-perception. Compared to the eternal sunshine other people seem to live in, our own lives, in all their everyday reality, can feel a bit lacklustre.
Although we might know, if we were to really stop and think critically about what we’re seeing, that the whole news industry is based on the idea that good news doesn’t sell, we still get flooded with stress hormones each time we watch the nightly news, and we can find ourselves going through our days feeling jittery with a low-level anxiety we can’t quite explain. Likewise, we know, if we really think about it, that the effortlessly elegant influencer on Instagram probably didn’t roll out of bed looking like that, and experiences bad days and heartache just like the rest of us.
But more often than not we don’t think about it, and, left unexamined, the emotions we feel when we measure ourselves and our lives as ‘less than’ or the world as scary can wick inwards, silently eroding our sense of self-worth and belief in our own potential, or our trust that all will be well.
And when we don’t believe in ourselves or good times ahead, we’re more likely to engage in comforting, but insidiously self-destructive behaviours like comfort eating or over-consuming in other ways - shopping, netflix, alcohol...you name it - creating a negatively reinforcing downward spiral that leaves us feeling emptier than before.
The good news is that just a pattern can be created, so it can be undone, and one of the most effective ways to address deep-seated limiting beliefs and thought patterns is to access the subconscious mind. A powerful tool for doing this hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapy takes the mind gently into an alpha or theta brainwave state, where the conscious mind is less resistant to new ideas, and the subconscious mind is heightened and so, more suggestible. In this deep state, long standing negative patterns & beliefs can be reflected on, questioned & replaced with more positive & empowering ones.
The reason this work is so effective is that our subconscious beliefs and patterns guide our emotional reactions and shape our decisions and in a way that literally creates our experience of life. The little choices we make each day, like choosing to flick on the news or scroll socials instead of going for a walk, are largely unconscious, but, repeated often, they have big implications for our overall wellbeing.
It’s our subconscious mind that drives us to feel that the winter periods of our lives will never end, just as it can be a harbour for hope and self-belief and optimism for the future.
Actively working with the subconscious allows you to be the driver of your destiny in a more intentional, more effortless way. Instead of sitting around hoping for the gloomy days of winter to be over, you’ll be busy taking inspired action to make the most of the sunny days ahead. You never doubt for a moment that they’re coming. Rather, you’re so ready to burst into blossom that it shines out of you for all to see.
Samantha is a Wellness Coach & Hypnotherapist specialising in eating psychology, lifestyle change & plant based nutrition. Book a consult with Samantha here.