Heart Led Psychotherapy
This section is focusing on what you can possibly expect when you start living a heart and soulful life. The overall aim is finding self-love and self-worth which enables you to live an authentic life. For most of us, we have spent a lot of our lives being dominated by our egos. When I refer to egos, I am not implying narcissism or being egotistical because that is different. I am instead referring to our egoic thinking that creates create fear, make us feel powerless, a victim and can form hooks into situations or people as well as generating expectations. More often than not, when we listen to our egos, we keep repeating similar patterns of behaviour or find ourselves in similar situations and we feel stuck. This can then lead to psychological distress, frustration and unhappiness.
The alternative to egoic thinking is to start making new choices that are in keeping with our hearts and souls. This is exceptionally challenging to do, because the ego is very clever and will put up a fight! Sometimes we have become best friends with our ego, ‘better the devil you know!’
Firstly we have to recognise when we are having egoic thoughts. Mindfulness can really help with this process and a brief overview of this is provided in the Resource section and more details on how to do this are provided in Dr Alexandra Dent’s book. If we are not even aware of egoic thinking, we are unable to make the necessary changes. Learning the techniques and resources in HLP can greatly assist in this awareness and find ways to assist you with moving into your heart and soul and make new choices that are heart and soul led. Living through HLP, you will:
- Learn to become the observer to your challenges and gain a broader understanding of challenges more quickly.
- Spend less time in challenges and therefore experience less psychological distress.
- See yourself as a victor rather than a victim.
- Recognise how challenges are opportunities to experience life lessons.
- Start honouring your heart and soul.
- Become more aligned to your authentic self.
This process may involve taking leaps of faith which can vary in size and duration. On a simple level it may mean being able to speak your truth with compassion to others or letting go of situations, activities or friendships that no longer feel authentic to you. Sometimes much larger leaps of faith are required, for example, leaving an unhappy relationship or work situation, changing your environment or moving house. Taking leaps of faith can feel incredibly frightening and the ego will definitely try to stop you. However, when a leap of faith is made from an authentic heart and soulful place, it is much more likely to succeed. In the process you will be learning to develop self-love and self-worth because you will no longer want to live or be around situations or people that don’t value or respect you.
What to expect – awakening symptoms on a spiritual journey
The process of embracing HLP can be really challenging and at times it can be tempting to resort back to previous familiar patterns of behaviour. Below is a list of different symptoms that individuals have reported as they move forwards on their spiritual journey and start ‘awakening’ to their authenticity. These are not exclusive to HLP but more general when experiencing the spiritual awakening journey. Any type of spiritual journey can impact you at a physical, emotional, cognitive and etheric level. It is helpful for you to be aware of such symptoms whilst you adjust to the changes that are happening. These can include:
- Increased sensitivity and awareness. You may notice changes in your tastes such as with food and drink, including alcohol or smoking. What used to appeal to you may no longer be desirable and you may go off certain food types or feel inclined to start eating a more healthy diet. You may also become more aware of your physical surroundings and want to live a mindful life. You may feel driven to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle and take greater care for your environment and surroundings.
- Physical changes. You may notice an increase in aches and pains in your body, especially around their head, neck and shoulders. Practising yoga, Pilates or stretching can help, as can having massages. It may be beneficial to have regular Dead Sea salt baths to relieve aching muscles.
- Mood changes. You may experience mood changes and feel the need to address and resolve any past traumas so that these can be processed and free you up to move forwards. This may require you to engage in some psychotherapy or other healing modalities to assist with this process. As you do this, you may also start to feel more grace, joy and bliss in your life.
- Energy changes. Your energy levels may fluctuate, feeling absolutely exhausted at times for no apparent reason, or buzzing with excess energy. If this happens, try to listen and work with what your body is trying to teach you. Rest when you need to and learn to treat your body with compassion and loving kindness.
- Sleep issues. A very common awakening symptom is changes in sleep patterns. You may have times when you are really struggling to sleep, perhaps waking up regularly or feeling very hot in the night. Other times you may notice that you need to sleep much more than usual. You may start becoming more aware of your dreams, which can become more vivid. Try not to fight this process and be gentler with yourself when sleep is affected, so that you preserve your energy and do not burn yourself out.
- Changes in relationships and friendships. More often than not, as you start to live more authentically, you will notice when people in your life do or no longer resonate with you. What used to be appealing in some relationships is no longer there, interests have changed. This can be a difficult time, and you are likely to feel sad about such losses. Whilst this isn’t a bad thing overall it can be hard to adjust to, or let go of, such relationships. However, clinging on to superficial relationships may hold you back on your spiritual journey. Try to remember and trust that this is a natural part of the healing journey and that new relationships that are more authentic and rewarding will enter your life. You may have less of them but they will feel more fulfilling.
Feeling lost or alone. It is not uncommon to feel very isolated and disconnected from your life or people around you. You may feel abandoned, alone or misunderstood, or feel that no one understands what you are going through. This often happens to encourage you to go within and find that you have everything you need within you, rather than having the need for people or situations to make you feel valued. Once you can learn to tolerate the silence and loneliness, you will find that it doesn’t have the same impact and you will actually start to enjoy these quiet moments. This is an important part of learning self-love, learning to love yourself and be comfortable within yourself so that you will have healthier relationships with others that complement each other rather than based on a need or dependency.