Tag Archives: holistic psychotherapy

Why fake it when you are Authentically ‘it’?

pie-chart - fake it till you become itThis month’s poll showed an exact divide of 50/50 in the opinions of people as to whether this phenomenon is actually possible. I agree with both sides, yes and no. If you are in awareness of who you Authentically are, then there is no need to fake it because that is who you are at your core.

Before you even begin to answer the question “Can you fake it till you become it?” you need to know what you are trying to fake. This means a journey within to the unconscious mind to find out what aspects of yourself you feel aren’t good enough so would have to fake them in the first place.

No, don’t be ridiculous, of course you can’t fake it till you make it

If you lack authenticity, everything is a lie and you don’t have the right things for the right people in your life.” Anonymous participant of this month’s poll

The law of attraction will say that whatever you pay attention to you attract. That which you think you draw into your reality. What most people forget is that, yes you do attract that which you think, but you also attract the unconscious intention and vibration of your thoughts. If you think one thing, but feel the opposite, you will attract that which you are feeling in the deeper levels of your soul. No matter how much faking you do you will not become it until you truly believe and feel that which you want.

Yes, any one can!

fake it till you become itAmy Cuddy did a fantastic TED talk where she talks about how if you practice something for long enough you will eventually become it. If you ‘pretend’ enough through the use of body language those around you will start to interact with you differently and believe you ‘are that which you want to be’ even if you yourself don’t.

I believe this can be a powerful way of becoming that which you want. Even if you don’t believe your initial thought in the beginning you are still thinking this thought.

If we take a step back to the moment when you first thought a limiting belief about yourself, I believe that at this stage a small trace was formed within your neural network around this thought (Trace Decay Theory, Hebb, 1949). Each time you engaged in that thinking from that moment on, the trace become thicker and stronger. This is why much later on in your life you simply just react to situations and people from these limiting beliefs because they have become programmed on a neural level. If you start to ‘fake’ it, even before you think it, you are consciously choosing to think a new thought. You are now creating a new neural pathway and no longer thinking the thoughts that once limited you. The limiting belief system neurons are weakened and the new neurons start to become those that you react from.

“Who we are is not our belief systems. Who we are is that original being who was born free of any limiting thoughts.”

Both Sidra Jafri and Louise Hay talk about affirmations on a regular bases. Sidra believes that you can reprogramme a new thought by simply writing down the affirmation you are wanting to draw into your reality 21 times each day for 21 days. Louise Hay encourages us to look into the Mirror – look into our eyes each morning – and not only say the words of the affirmation but feel them on a deeper level.

What sets your heart on fire?Who we are is not our belief systems. Our belief systems are only conditioned thoughts that we have taken on through imitation and observation of the society we were brought up in. These thoughts are not the truth of who we are. Who we are is that original being who was born free of any limiting thoughts. We are that original being who was birthed into this world with the awareness that they are good enough. They are, at the core of who they are, pure love.

My encouragement to you is this:  What would you like to become? Do some awareness exercises (contact me if you need support on this) to uncover the belief systems that you hold that make you feel not good enough, observe them as they come up, then change these belief systems to those that are in alignment with your Authentic Self.


Is it possible to combine Spirituality and Psychology?

Woman practicing yoga on pier
Woman practicing yoga on pier

This month’s article was inspired by the thoughts of Dr. Itai Ivtzan, a positive psychologist, in a recent Huffington Post article. Why was I inspired by this concept?

I remember teaching Psychology a few years ago and there was one model called ‘Parapsychology’. I absolutely loved it! The idea of Pseudo psychology fascinated me. It led to the most interesting class discussions as many of the concepts were quite difficult for some students to wrap their heads around, understandably so. What is a pseudo-science? It is a discipline that cannot be falsified (as well as many more specifications that I won’t go into now). One of the participants who completed this month’s poll left this quote, “Hidden or not, God is present” by Erasmus (popularized by Carl Jung). Using this idea, even if we can’t prove certain Spiritual concepts don’t they still exist?

spirituality vs psychologySubjective or not, 100% of the people who completed this month’s poll all said it was possible to combine the two. This is why I believe you can!

Who we are is not just one entity. We are made up of numerous ‘parts’ that continuously dance and flow amongst one another. One of these many parts I call the ego. The ego (the lower mind/the mind) is part of who we are. It is made up of all the belief systems that society has conditioned you to believe over your life span. These belief systems have been thought for so long that they have formed neurological traces within the synapses of your neural network. This is important to understand because a great deal of who we are is an unconscious, reaction to situations. When we are seeing or processing life through the ego we see the world through these reinforced views. This is the part of us that gravitates to Psychology. Psychology has done a wonderful job at helping us ‘understand’ how the mind works. An example is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which helps us understand how our thoughts create our behaviour. Personally, I take this idea one step further by saying your ‘conditioned’ thoughts create your behaviour.

People often hear me echo the words of Louise Hay, “It is only a thought and a thought can be changed”. Dr. Itai Ivtzan says that awareness is freedom. What an amazing idea. I share with my clients and workshop participants that awareness is always the first step. When you are aware of what your thoughts are, then you can change them.

just_married-wallpaper-1366x768Let’s go one step further still. A Course in Miracles and Louise Hay agree when they say, there are only two main emotions, love and fear. On an unconscious level every one of us has two original source thoughts for all our reactions. They are either, “I am good enough” or “I am not good enough”. These initial source thoughts, I believe, arise when we are really young. Someone says something to you or does something to you and you think, “Ah, they must have said that because who I am isn’t good enough” (as a very basic example). This then becomes your source thought. These source thoughts then lead to unconscious belief systems about yourself e.g. I am not creative enough, I am not intelligent enough, I am not heard etc. No matter what the limiting belief system is it stems from an original source thought created when you were young. This belief system then is reflected in your everyday life from then on as your many daily thoughts. All those thoughts you think every day, you are not even aware of, are affecting you. These thoughts then become emotions.

An example:

Original Source thought – I’m not good enough

belief system – I am not appreciated, I get taken advantage of

daily thought – ‘Obviously I get asked to get the coffee because they think that is the only thing I’m good at’ ‘Why can’t I produce work that is as good as my colleagues’

emotion – Fear ‘Scared of being fired, laughed at, looked down on’

i_love_you_with_all_my_heart-wallpaper-1366x768What about the realm of Spirituality? Yes, we are human and part of being human is that we have an ego. However, I believe we are a spiritual being having a human experience and not a human being have a spiritual experience. Which means that at the core of who we are we are Spirit (heart/ soul/ intuition/ Authentic Self). Your Spirit/ Authentic Self knows that who you are ‘Is good enough’. When you use this as your original source thought, the world before you is reflected very differently. Using Holistic therapy techniques helps people identify who they really are and teaches them how to start to move away from their ego and move more towards their heart.

Why has mindfulness become increasingly popular of late? Well, what it does is move you out of your head and more into your body. This is another aspect of who we are, our body. The body is used to communicate with us what thoughts we are having that are out of alignment with our truth. Once we feel a feeling (based on our original source thought), the more we feel the feeling and think the thought the more the energy of that thought starts to effect the body. Let’s look at ulcers.

Original Source thought – I’m not good enough

belief system – A strong deep fear that you are not good enough

thought – nothing is going well, I do not love myself, I do not approve of what I do, nothing is going right

emotion – Fear … the consequence of staying in this cycle is that your stomach constantly stays in a state of anxiety and starts to ‘eat away at you’ (Louise Hay)

Rev. Robert Meagher recently, after posting the quote below, asked the question, “How important is knowing yourself in spiritual pursuits and practice?”

 “Stopping or being present or practicing awareness may be considered the goal of spiritual practice; like relaxation, a desirable state. But for some the goal is more expansive and presence may be considered merely a necessary preparation. You must know yourself well enough to understand your capacity and your nature. So you can say I am a bear or a cat, a tulip or a daffodil, I am a leader or a helper. Knowing your character is vital to spiritual pursuits and practice. You understand the disguise of your nobody-ness.” (p. 171 of Dharma Sky)

After being involved with the ‘mind of Psychology’ for over 15 years, I started to listen more to my heart. I started to make decisions from my spirit rather than my mind. I opened up my Holistic Psychotherapy practice because I believed that Psychology and Spirituality can work hand in hand.

i_love_you_3-wallpaper-1366x768In my practice I follow the following four steps to healing:

Step one is awareness: Psychological and Spiritual tools are very beneficial in helping one become aware of who they are (on a soul and an ego level) and why they think the way they think.

Step two is acceptance: An essential part of the healing process is love of self. Seeing who you are as an amazing person doing the best that they can. We are human after all. I encourage my clients to always go as slow as the slowest part of them feels comfortable with.

Step three is release: Once you understand your ego and that it has an original source thought of you not being good enough, and you understand that who you are is an incredible person who is ‘perfect, whole and complete’ just the way you are, you can start choosing what you would like to let go of.

Step four is reprogramming: Having let go of the mind you are left with a blank canvas. The white canvas of the heart which knows that the only real emotion is love. Love for yourself. The original source thought of ‘you are good enough’!

Share your story with me 🙂


  1. The Huffington Post. (2015). Uniting Psychology and Spirituality: Awareness Is Freedom. [online] Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tim-ward/uniting-psychology-and-spirituality-awareness-is-freedom_b_6981908.html [Accessed 31 May 2016].
  2. Hay, L. (1987). You can heal your life. Santa Monica, CA: Hay House.

How can you realign with your Authentic Self in Paris and thus move out of your depression?

Why do so many people experience depression when they first move to Paris (or any other foreign country)?
What were the results of my poll?
How have people moved out of their depression and some other tools to help you realign with your Authentic Self in Paris and thus move out of your depression?

pie-chartI have to admit that I am in agreement with the 80% (of people who completed this month’s poll) who said they were depressed when they first moved to Paris and the 20% who said their level of depression was at a level 5. The first day I started working in Paris, I was in the supermarket and I fainted. I remember feeling faint for hours before but fell straight into my belief system of ‘being strong’ and just carried on. I was at the counter paying, and the next thing I remember was people standing around me after I had lost consciousness. Are you thinking, “WOW! That seems a bit dramatic!” or “I totally get it!” It took me some time to try and understand exactly what was going on with me at the time and this is what I found.

Let’s start at the very beginning. I hear it is a very good place to start.

pie-chart (1)How does society create value? Often, society starts by first breaking down our initial belief we have in ourselves and then rebuilding it in accordance with what that particular society thinks is appropriate (this is the emergence of our ego).

Innately however, as a human we want to do more then what is required to keep our value whole. What is the wholeness mean to you? To me it is the acknowledgement of your true beauty (your inner worth/ Authentic Self/ soul) that makes you feel whole. When these elements are not present it feels like your world has been shattered. When this happens, one of the defence mechanisms we step into is control. We want to control everything around us to prevent the pain we have felt from our world dissipating. Order and structure become important because of the physical, emotional and cultural change you have to endure around you.

Change makes us feel pressure within about; being Ok, valuing ourselves as being enough and not feeling good enough. Change breaks us down. Our souls know that change is good for us but in reality we may not feel this and there is a conflict felt within the body. So we take this pressure into our experience. We then loose the essence of what it could be or that which it is. We may feel concern that we have accepted something that isn’t good for us but then we judge ourselves for thinking this. Can I relax into this way of life? Is it really me? Is it good enough for me? Or have I accepted it and it isn’t really? Keep in mind that these questions are in your unconscious, until they come into your awareness of course. We keep looking for things that “should be” more and more and more and when this is your question, what the universe does is show you everything that doesn’t make you feel whole. In truth, a lot is an illusion, it is not real. We have to go deeper, into the truth of what it means to be whole and not just the illusion of the mind (the conditioned beliefs that society has told us it means to be whole/ perfect).

Do you believe that your soul chooses lessons to learn? Changing your external world is a choice our souls sometimes choose to learn the lesson that who we are is “good enough”. How do we learn this lesson on a soul level? It’s listening to, paying attention to and allowing rather than the pressure. An easy example to illustrate my point. Let’s say you are shattered (which you probably are if you are experiencing depression) and the French way of eating is to eat at 22h00.

Firstly, acknowledge what does work for you in THIS MOMENT (not tomorrow or yesterday, but this EXACT MOMENT). What may work for you in this moment is to eat at 19h00 and maybe on the week end you can have a late meal.

Secondly, adjust according to how you feel day by day. So that you are honouring rather than pushing. By pushing you are putting pressure on yourself – I have to have this, I have to feel like this, I shouldn’t feel like this. This is the external pressure, this is not real, this is the illusion of the mind has created. It’s what the judgement of the mind has decided that keeps telling you how to think, behave and do things. Bring in a different element – even if you decide – my main meal is going to be at 17h30.

The different element is the awareness that this is “MY body”. You are acknowledging what is happening inside but still celebrating and honouring where you are. Thirdly, bring in the element of creative spark rather than the disciplinarian of all the things you have to do and achieve. You are still going to get there but how you get there, could be more relaxed. It is still going to happen but you get to choose how to experience it. Choose to experience it with more of the natural element.

Imagine you are dancing! Your feet to walk/ gliding across the floor but what about the rest of your body? Look at every aspect of you so that you are whole. Don’t judge yourself from the mind that is telling your body how to think, behave and be but let it be from the other way around. Shifting it.

I was born in Africa and as a consequence it will always be a part of my consciousness (my rhythm, my bas, my heart beat), a part of me and thus is an element that contributes to my experiencing my world as a whole. I have this in me and if I follow that part of me I don’t have to fit in and be how the French are, I just need to be my own rhythm.

Who is that? What are all the elements of who you are? Are you the ‘presence’ of being pearls/ silk dresses/ colourful scarves? Who are you? How do you express your rhythm? When you feel comfortable with that, that is true beauty and that is what people see. Your shape fits into this expression and this is what vibrates – your rhythm. When you have got in touch with that rhythm you are not just telling yourself what it is going to be, you ARE IT. Feel the sense of experiencing all the different parts of you, feeling who they are? Is your true expression; African, Indian, American, Spanish? What is your authentic soul’s voice? What is calling out from within and how do you express this? When you are intimate, speaking, cooking or simply just being – this is what comes out. All the elements of the truth of who you are.

IMG_0412Depression, I believe, is when you are depressing who you really are by fitting into a structure rather than thinking, “This is a structure and I’m living in it but I’m LIVING all the elements of who I am” within in it. What is the living part of you actually about? The structure shouldn’t change who you are. Yes we respect the ways and traditions of the country we are in but we are still who we are. Your spirit would die if you say you can’t be that. It needs to be that expression, where ever you are in the world. You NEED to express that part of your being. This is the true beauty.

Lastly, is the understanding that you have the ability to do this today. What would a world look like where you constantly are in in a state of celebration of who you are? Ask yourself, “What is it for me that is working?” and then choosing to value that, allow that, live that, speak that. A beautiful affirmation you could use could be; “I’m surrendering into the new parts of me that are coming alive and I honour all those that I bring with me from my past”. What is the French element bringing out in you? Allow that, but remember that you bring with you every other aspect that you have every awoken to. All the different parts to you.

How did you express yourself as a little child? Bring them out as an adult. You don’t have to control/ suppress that part of you, it’s a part of who you are. All of them are beautiful. As an adult you carry all these memories. The adult within you needs to feel that he/she can express this otherwise the result is depressed. When you feel alone, it’s because you mind is putting pressure on you by telling you how to think and behave. The pressure is you feeling like you have to speak French, you have to dress like the French, be like the French.

In truth you don’t have to, it’s being in a far less critical way with yourself in these experiences. Doing it in a simple way, not a complicated way. Allow the sense of wholeness to carry you. You are learning, you are going as slow as the slowest part of you feels comfortable with and it is ok that you are in learning. You haven’t perfected that part. We experience so much pressure from the external world and it is this pressure that cause us to feel depressed and experience life in a dull way, where everything is being taken out rather than were life is being put in.

Do things in simple contexts. Do something that is joyful. What inspires you? What makes your heart sing? Notice the small things! Look up at the beauty in the buildings, notice the colours and look at the detail in flowers. Keep a note book in your bag and write down every time you feel and/or see something that makes you feel happy?

pie-chart (2)Healing is a gradual process, go with your natural flow. 20% of the people who completed my poll said that it took them longer than TWO years to move out of their depression. Do you feel less alone now?

Have you figure out why I fainted yet? I’m sure you guessed that it was because I ws allowing so much pressure from the outside in, rather than from the inside out. I now choose to, whenever I am aware, to listen to the rhythm of my true worth and in that heart beat I make decisions.  Would you like to connect to the rhythm of your heart?

Share your story with me 🙂

Hay, L. (1987). You can heal your life. Santa Monica, CA: Hay House.
Personal Reading. (undated). [Recording] South Africa: Melissa Freemantle Life Coach & Healer