In her new book, The Childhood Conclusions Fix: Turning Negative Self-Talk Around, Lisette Schuitemaker describes the five conclusions we come to about ourselves as we grow through childhood into adulthood.
Our childhood conclusions mirror our greatest gifts. Where we feel the most insecure is where we hide our truest treasures.
We all come into this world bearing gifts. Within us as tiny babies lie innate abilities to open our hearts and connect to others, to make people come alive through our mere presence. As divine creations of consciousness in formation we harbor the gifts to feel and excite joy, to laugh and be funny, to experience deep concern and empathy, to be inspired as well as inspiring. We are born with the capacity to feel exuberance, to act autonomously, to relish reverence and gratitude and, most of all, to show and share love.
In the end, our connection with others and advancing their well-being is what makes a good life. Growing up to get to that point of contributing in our very own way, however, bears liking to the game of hide and seek. Through painful experiences we resolve to hide part of our inner riches, as bringing them out in the open feels too risky. We’ll be damaged and hurt or even ridiculed and banished if we show our true colors. At least, that is what we come to believe on the basis of experiences in our young years. Yet, our innate urge to meet our life’s purpose has us seek exactly what we’re trying to hide so we may bring out our gifts and fulfill the promise of our lives.
Do we dare to fully incarnate, assume that we are enough, live our own life, put our trust in others and embrace our quirkiness? We may be inclined to shrug our shoulders as if this is not a big deal. Our life, however, is one big string of choices made moment to moment. These choices are the object of the inner conversations that we are conducting with ourselves.
There is no person in the world we talk to as much as we talk to ourselves.
We may be lecturers or teachers or work behind a counter or a cash register that has people on the other side all day; our profession may be waiting tables, tending bars or being talk-show hosts, we may discuss every little detail of our lives with our partner or garrulous girlfriends – but still, the extent of our talking to others pales compared to how much we talk to ourselves.
Once we start to pay attention to our ongoing inner conversations, we will soon notice that we are not speaking with one voice only. A wide variety of characters take it in turns to claim center stage when they are triggered to come to the fore. We may notice that we whine inwardly like a small child who feels not at all up to the demands of life. Moments later, we can find ourselves in a different mood as another inner voice starts to rant and rave that we need to be in control of our destiny, of other people, of life itself. Another inner part of ourselves may be given to bitter berating of ourselves for not behaving well, having said the wrong thing – again! We are on repeat most of the time, telling ourselves the same stories over and over again, getting into the same inner arguments, blaming the same people, cautioning ourselves to hold together, hold on, hold in, hold up or hold back.
The trouble is that we tend to believe what we think. Our most adamant inner voices shrink our awareness until we think what they tell us is true. Yet, we are not our inner voices, we just have them. Thoughts are just thoughts and there is no need to believe everything we think. Especially not when our thoughts arise from the perspective of the small child we once were who felt they didn’t belong or weren’t good enough. As a child we may have felt we had no power over our life or that we needed to keep life under control and fit in at all times. Even if we have entertained such a thought a thousand times, that doesn’t mean it’s true. There is no need to believe everything we think.
Insight into our basic childhood conclusions provides better understanding of our own reactions as well as those of others. A positive present begins with comprehension of the distinct elements of our negative self-talk and the childhood conclusions they arise from. On that basis, we can turn around self-deprecating thoughts, heal those early wounds and allow our gifts to burgeon.
About the author:
Lisette Schuitemaker founded, ran and sold a communications company before becoming a healer, life coach and personal development author. She studied the work of Wilhelm Reich as part of obtaining her BSc in Brennan Healing Science. She is the co-author of “The Eldest Daughter Effect”. Lisette lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands. For more information see: http://en.lisetteschuitemaker.nl
Are you a pleaser? Do you love the jolt that comes from winning others’ approval? Do you feel your tendency to please others will help you get ahead? If you answered yes to these questions, it’s time to take a long, hard look at why you’re doing what you’re doing. Jack Skeen, Greg Miller, and Aaron Hill say that if you’re a pleaser, you, by definition, can’t possibly thrive.
“Pleasers are people who adapt to the real or perceived needs of others in unhealthy ways,” says Skeen, who along with Greg Miller and Aaron Hill wrote The Circle Blueprint: Decoding the Conscious and Unconscious Factors that Determine Your Success (Wiley, October 2017, ISBN: 978-1-119-43485-6, $26.00, www.thecircleblueprint.com). “Pleasing your boss may lead to a promotion, but when you hide your true self to become the person your boss wants you to be, you never cultivate your unique gifts and abilities that could bring you real success.”
The Circle Blueprint is part of a larger self-improvement program called the Circle Blueprint System, which also includes workbooks and a confidential scientifically validated psychometric self-assessment. The self-assessment is free with the purchase of the book. In The Circle Blueprint, the authors explain that pleasing is a destructive behavior that stops you from reaching independence.
First things first: What is independence? The authors say it’s one of four critical developmental areas that make up your own personal “Circle” and allow you to thrive. Independence is all about taking 100 percent responsibility for your life and the outcomes of your choices, living with freedom from insecurity and self-doubt, and being able to speak openly and candidly in all circumstances. Before you can reach independence, you must recognize your need to please and then stop pleasing others at your own expense.
Here are just a few of the problems caused by chronic pleasing:
Pleasing doesn’t achieve what you think it does. You may hope that by winning the favor of others, they will take care of you. Unfortunately, you’ve found the opposite is true. All it does is make you completely dependent on their goodwill. People come to view a chronic pleaser as more of a problem than as someone who is useful and truly helpful.
Because pleasing takes up all your time and energy, your own life is in disarray. Your deep-seated pattern of doing everything to please others and ignoring your own wants and needs distracts you from more beneficial choices.
You are not being your authentic self. When you are overly focused on pleasing others, your behavior becomes insincere. In trying to make others happy, you lose yourself entirely.
Recognize any of the above issues? Not to worry. Here’s how to stop being a pleaser and reconnect to the real, authentic you.
1. Start by trying to notice when you are pretending to be what someone else wants you to be rather than being yourself. Just taking note is a good way to start the process.
2. Similarly, notice when you are not telling the truth or saying what you really think. Again, just taking note can help start the process.
3. Now that we have taken note—we are ready for changes! Begin with expressing your thoughts and desires even in small things like the movie you want to see or what you want to eat for lunch.
4. Practice saying no when you don’t want to do something someone else wants to do. It is okay to free yourself up, nicely.
5. Notice when you feel trapped or unhappy in a relationship or task and take this as a sign that you might be making pleasing more important than being yourself. Find a way to appropriately change these relationships.
6. Practice expressing yourself more openly, sharing your ideas, thoughts, plans, and dreams.
“Don’t be surprised if it’s initially difficult to stop being a pleaser,” says Miller. “When people are used to your pleasing, they may view your change in behavior as shocking. Take the time to convey your true thoughts and desires to them. Explain that you can’t please others any longer unless it aligns with your own beliefs and needs. You might be surprised to find that most people will support you overwhelmingly.”
“Giving up the pressure to please will help you stop depending on others and gain a real sense of control over your life at last,” concludes Hill. “It will free you from the exhausting burdens of burnout, resentment, the knee-jerk need to be liked, and so much more. Get ready to discover your real power and start using it to change your life.”
About the Authors:
JACK SKEEN, PhD, is the founder of Skeen Leadership, an executive consulting firm. Skeen coaches successful leaders, addressing every imaginable leadership, business, and life issue with wisdom and professionalism.
GREG MILLER, PhD, is CEO of CrossCom, a technology services company. Miller has successfully led CrossCom to become a market leader through process efficiency, technology innovation, and rigorous execution.
AARON HILL, PhD, is the William S. Spears Chair in Business Administration at Oklahoma State University. He has authored a dozen articles appearing in the Financial Times Top 50 business journals.
About the Book:
The Circle Blueprint: Decoding the Conscious and Unconscious Factors that Determine Your Success (Wiley, October 2017, ISBN: 978-1-119-43485-6, $26.00,www.thecircleblueprint.com) is available at bookstores nationwide, from major online booksellers, and direct from the publisher by calling 800-225-5945. In Canada, call 800-567-4797. For more information, please visit the book’s page on www.wiley.com.
For more information, please visit www.thecircleblueprint.com.
The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Breast Cancer: Take Charge of Your Recovery and Remission by Janet Maker, Ph.D.
Breast cancer is expected to rise by 50% by 2030 — National Cancer Institute
When Dr. Janet Maker was diagnosed in 2011, she, like most people, knew almost nothing about breast cancer. What she did know is that she didn’t feel safe simply following her doctors’ advice. She needed to understand for herself all her treatment options, the statistical outcomes for each option, and all the potential side effects, so she could make informed decisions. Because of her academic background and expertise as a researcher, she discovered a great deal about the disease and its treatments that few lay people are aware of.
The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Breast Cancer is the story of her journey and the things she learned along the way. This information helped her to make informed decisions about her treatment, and it also helped her to make the lifestyle changes that she hopes will keep her in remission. This is the book she wished she had before, during, and after her treatment.
Topics that will help readers take charge of their recovery include how to find the best doctors and hospitals; how to build a support system; and pros and cons of surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and hormones. Topics that will help readers stay in remission include how to make the body less receptive to cancer, including changes in diet, exercise, supplements, and stress reduction. Readers may not make the same decisions that Dr. Maker did, but the information in the book will empower them to make the decisions they consider best for themselves and their loved ones.
“The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Breast Cancer” just won the 2017 John E. Weaver Excellent Reads Award in the Non-Fiction: Health category.
“Patients who have read this book will approach treatment from an empowered and much less fearful place”
-Dwight L. McKee MD, CNS, ABIHM, integrative oncologist and co-author of After Cancer Care
“A must-read for any breast cancer patient looking for an insightful and up to date resource.”
– Laura Jimenez, Ph.D., Oncology Research Scientist, University of California Los Angeles.
ISBN: 978-0-9976619-1-0 (Trade paperback) – $16.95 LCCN: 2016914264
ISBN: 978-0-9976619-0-3 (Hardback with dust jacket) – $39.95
ISBN: 978-0-9976619-2-7 (E-book) – $7.99
Breast Cancer/Women’s Health/Patient Empowerment/Self-Help
343 Pages, 6 x 9 Inches (Appendices, References, Index)
Distributors: Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Brodart and All Wholesalers
Someone told me long ago I was a druid in one of my past lives. Contrary to what I should have thought, it made perfect sense, and it still does. I always felt a calling to the Celts’ World, their myths, legends, the way they lived and the way they understood the divine, how they worshipped their gods and goddesses.
As part of Pagan Portals, “Pagan Portals: The Crane Bag: A Druid’s Guide to Ritual Tools and Practices,” by Joanna van der Hoeven, proved to be a good way to explore those ancient root I could have, and a great introduction to the Druids’ myths, their believes and spiritual work. As an introduction, I found it very useful and interesting, although I was left wanting to know more than what the book offers. It clearly opened my appetite for knowledge.
Van der Hoeven has a simple style that makes it easy to understand whatever she explains, providing a light experience, fluent stories and concepts, all of them mixed so the learning becomes funnier, as if she were talking with the readers. The author feels so near you can almost imagine her sitting right beside you presenting her faith.
The Crane Bag gets you immersed in the use of the tools and methods used in the Druids’ magic, a topic that called me since I knew about it. Because of the mystery around everything that is part of the Celtic lore and religion, I found little information, if not at all, about certain themes, one of them being the one for this book.
This book starts with a catchy and curious method: story-telling the origin of the Crane Bag, how it came to be the religious item it is nowadays for the Druids, along with a clear teaching in the story, as we may already know if we’ve read myths and legends. Still, this is not the only story we will find in the book.
Each of the tools has a tale related to it that, before the academic and explanatory part of the section, gives a clear idea of what it is intended to be used, a structure that works well if you’re into fiction and short stories, combining the best of the styles. Van der Hoeven made a good job keeping them short, although I would be interested in a longer book with a deeper analysis of such myths.
Readers interested will see that, although it is just a little part of the structure in Druidry and its rituals, it offers a complete review on what should be done and what should not. Works fine as a guide for the general structure that should be followed, but it leaves you slightly unsatisfied, as it ends right when things start to get interesting.
That’s the only one thing that bothered me for real, how short it was and how summarized it was all the information even for an introductory work as this is intended to be. It feels like Van der Hoeven tried to remain loyal to a page limit, which far from ruining the book, actually didn’t let it explore the full potential.
Another aspect that I loved about The Crane Bag was the fact that it includes beautiful, black and white illustrations to open each of the chapters, images that I’d like to print and have as posters in my bedroom, as prints for a scrapbook, a book of shadows, or anything else. This is not an illustrated book, but it gave it points to see such a good edition.
I cannot be done writing this without thanking the publisher for providing a copy of this great book, one that will remain in my library to consult and refresh the concepts, stories and tools used in Druidry. Also, thanks to the author for her work, as it clarified many ideas and gave an interesting insight on the topic; I’ll surely check her other works.
Print Length: 112 pages
Series: Pagan Portals
Publisher: Moon Books (July 28, 2017)
Publication Date: July 28, 2017
About the author:
Joanna van der Hoeven is a Druid, bestselling author and teacher. She is the cofounder of Druid College UK. Joanna moved to the UK in 1998, where she now lives with her husband in a small village in Suffolk near the coast of the North Sea. She is currently the Media Co-Ordinator for The Druid Network and is also the Director of Druid College UK.
About the reviewer:
Alan D.D. is a writer, blogger and alternative journalist. He has worked with specialized publications on entertainment, comics, witchcraft, Gothic subculture and any other topic that he discovers on the Internet and finds interesting. You can visit him on his personal, bilingual blog: https://tintanocturna.blogspot.com/