Category Archives: Bipolar Management

Abraham Hicks Part 3: Feeling Thoughts

Following on from my last post Abraham Hicks Part 2: The Emotional Guidance System, I’ve been trying to practice thoughts that raise my vibration up the Emotional Guidance Scale.

emotionalguidancescale

This morning was a good opportunity to do that as I woke up, weighed myself and discovered I’d put on a few pounds. My immediate reaction was panic, which I think is probably as low as 22 on the scale (fear).

“How did this happen?!!”

“I didn’t really eat that much over the last week did I?!”

“Arghhhhhh!!!”

“Are the scales wrong?”

“I feel so out of control!!”

Feeling Thoughts

Abraham Hicks describes these thoughts as “feeling thoughts”: thoughts that create a feeling or emotion. These thoughts immediately made me feel panicky and fearful of being out of control.

So, I thought about what I wrote in my last post- moving up the Emotional Guidance Scale. What thought feels better than this? I consciously spoke to myself as if I were a friend and tried to be supportive of myself:

“It’s ok, I know how to lose the weight, I’ve done it before and it’s actually quite easy once I get into the flow of it.”

“It’s easy to get back in control.”

“I’m still lighter than I was this time last year.”

“It’s been ultra hot the last few days and I’ve been drinking loads. I might have retained water which has increased my weight.”

“Weight is just a number. I am so much more than this.”

“I’ve got something exciting arriving in the post today.”

“I’m looking forward to practicing the flute again. I’m doing really well with it.”

“Teaching my pupil on Monday was brilliant- she’d practiced so hard and I was really proud of her.”

See how my thoughts naturally progressed from being about my weight to being about the things that really matter to me or things that make me feel good? This was totally a natural progression, so much so that I hardly noticed the shift. And yes, I did feel better with these thoughts. It felt easy at first to slip back into the panicky ones, but after a few hours of dog-walking, chores, and TV watching, I am now feeling more secure in these better feeling thoughts.

Awareness & Mindfulness

Awareness of your thoughts is key to noticing what’s going on in your mind.

Awareness comes with mindfulness which really isn’t this big subject that requires you to read books or take courses, like we are perhaps led to believe. Yes, it can help very much, but basically it requires your attention to be focused on the here and now.

Your awareness is on how your body feels, your breathing, the thoughts going through your mind, the room you’re sitting in.

It can be so easy for our minds to wander off into the future: planning, worrying, etc. This is all completely natural, and mindfulness is also about being completely non-judgemental of your thoughts and feelings- just accepting them as they are.

Without this mindful condition, it is difficult to have an awareness of what is going through your mind in the present. Your mental energy is focused in the future- with plans or worries or even excitement and anticipation. Or it may be in the past- remembering something that made you feel bad, or good.

Mental energy may also be focused on distractions which also take us away from the here and now: TV, the internet, work- we are giving our mental focus away to these experiences.

From these energetic positions, we are unaware of our current emotional state, and from that perspective, have no power to change it by creating new good feeling thoughts.

Directing Mental Energy

Mindfulness is about directing this mental energy, that we have projected into the past or future, back to ourselves in the here and now. It is in the here and now that we have the power to change our feeling thoughts and develop a healthy, nurturing relationship with ourselves.

To me this is all a completely new concept, as I’ve grown up with the programme installed in my mind that I’m never good enough, and critical thoughts automatically seem to appear from out of nowhere and often trigger shameful feelings.

To notice these bad feeling thoughts is the first step. It requires focus, intention and effort, but it is not difficult.

Once you are noticing and have the awareness of the thoughts flowing through your mind, you are then in the driving seat, in a position of power, where you can re-programme your mind by creating good feeling thoughts.

Positive Results!

If I hadn’t have tried to change my mind programming today, I may still be stuck at 22. But now I feel at a 4- with positive expectation and belief! That’s quite a big jump!!

I think it’s probably a good idea to record these results that I’m generating, to keep an eye on how successful the whole technique is.

I am fortunate in that I am not going to a busy job, in a noisy environment, and that I have the time and quiet to be aware and be mindful. I don’t always do it, but I’m working on it, and today has been successful so far!

Related Posts

Abraham Hicks Part 1: Bipolar Disorder

Abraham Hicks Part 2: The Emotional Guidance Scale

What Is Bipolar Disorder? Abraham Hicks: A Conversation

You Are Amazing!

Bipolar Management: Mindfulness and Meditation

 

 

 

 

 

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Abraham Hicks Part 2: The Emotional Guidance Scale

So today I’m finding it more of a challenge to feel positive.

Today I’m feeling the effects of the hot weather here in the UK. I’m extremely tired (probably through poor quality, broken sleep) and cranky and my energy feels low.

It is on days like this that I find my spiritual and positive intentions more difficult to achieve.

And I think that is very normal- even though I’ve spent portions of today letting my mind run with thoughts of: “why can’t I just get on with things?”, “why am I so lazy?”, “why am I so unmotivated”, “I feel so useless”.

Okay, so I really am just being very normal. I may have been brought up to believe I should always be grateful, and joyful and have a smile on my face, but this is totally unrealistic, and not a match to who I truly am.

It’s ok for me to feel fed up and frustrated with myself. It’s normal!

But I can feel better if I want to.

And that’s where my post from two days ago fits in (see Abraham Hicks on Bipolar Disorder). I strongly recommend reading this first before continuing here.

At the end of the post I asked a few questions that I intended to answer in further posts. Well, here I am considering the question:

How do we reduce all this bouncing around (emotionally) and allow ourselves to be more balanced?

To answer this a familiarity with The Emotional Guidance Scale as offered in Esther and Jerry Hicks book Ask and It Is Given.

emotionalguidancescale

As you can see, the scale lists different emotions and they are ordered as such that the emotions at the top of the scale are those that will feel good to us, and those at the bottom will feel bad.

There is a continuum implied whereby number 9: Pessimism will feel better to us emotionally than number 10. Frustration/Irritation/Impatience. Number 1. Joy, will feel better to us than number 5. Optimism, which in turn will feel better than number 7. Contentment.

Of course, this is a much simplified perspective of our complex range of human emotion, and what feels good or bad to each person is going to vary.

You might argue that some people feel good when raging at other people, or harming them in some way- they get some kind of energy or kick out of it?! But this may only feel good to them in comparison with how they were feeling before- extremely guilty perhaps?

So too, I would add the emotion of shame to the bottom of the list, and peace to the top of the list. We can all tweak it in a way that speaks most accurately to ourselves.

Moving Around the Scale

So yesterday I shared the experience of mania as described by Abraham:

“If you didn’t eat for about a week and someone turned up with a pizza, we’d see mania.”

I love this!! Suddenly we have the most enthusiasm for pizza we’ve ever had in our lives.

Abraham is talking about pizza as us being in alignment to who we truly are, about being in alignment with Source energy. To us this may be being in the creative flow of writing a book or making art, or feeling a sense of peace, joy and being at one with the world, after a period of us somehow blocking this flow- perhaps due to feelings of unworthiness, lack of self-belief etc. So when we get back into this flow- wow!! It feels so good!

I know this feeling! Suddenly I feel I have purpose in my life again when I allow that stream of energy to flow. When I don’t block it with my beliefs of my own limitation. I feel free and alive and everything feels so right and the sense of euphoria can be so intoxicating!

But if we do block it again, maybe with a belief that this wonderful feeling can’t possibly last, and become scared of losing it- we then plummet into the lower energies and completely disconnect from Source energy, from who we truly are.

So, back to the question I posed earlier:

How do we reduce all this bouncing around (emotionally) and allow ourselves to be more balanced?

Well, to me the answer seems to be to eat pizza more regularly, so we don’t get hungry.

I’m serious!

If pizza represents the actions that align us with who we truly are, with Source energy, then we won’t ever be completely disconnected.

Quite often for those of us labelled with bipolar disorder, our powerful flow of energy goes against the grain of society. We may love to do unconventional things with our creativity for example, but have been criticised for this- which encourages us to stop. Stopping equals being out of alignment with who we truly are, with Source energy. It may be very challenging for us to be who we really are!!

The energy of someone with bipolar disorder I see as a wild, powerful stallion running free. To be able to ride the horse or use it purposefully, the stallion needs some kind of taming and training. The energy is directed. (This is just an analogy and I’m all for horses being wild and free, it just makes sense to me this way!)

We can manage our own energy by learning to take ourselves up the emotional guidance scale. We need to “be ourselves”, allow our creativity etc. often, regularly! We need to feed our hunger for being in alignment with source energy, so that we don’t become ravenous with hunger for it!! If we do this then we will be able to stop and rest, rather than stay up for nights on end writing or creating in any other way. We won’t become so “high”, but our positivity will remain more stable and manageable. Our energy won’t increase so intensely that we want to clean our houses all night or be so manically optimistic that we make unwise decisions with our money. Just examples of course. No doubt you’ll have your own particular manic ways!!

Therefore we are much less likely to dip so low into depression. We will come to realise that we are never truly without Source energy expressing itself through us- we are always living as our true self. There is never any loss of connection with it- which is where depression comes from.

This all makes sense to me, but if it doesn’t make sense to you please feel free to comment and I will try and explain as best I can.

I do realise that these concepts are pretty “out there” in terms of modern-day psychiatry and societal understanding. If it resonates with you- great! If it doesn’t, that’s ok- just move onto whatever does! (Just please don’t tell me. )

The Emotional Guidance Scale

So, instead of us bouncing from a 1 to a 22 on the Emotional Guidance Scale, we can use it a bit more gently and learn what feels a bit better (not a million times better).

We can learn what brings us up from a 1 to a 2, or from a 7 to a 9.

These may be simple action steps such as taking a shower, or chatting to a friend. They may be more profound and involve creating or learning in some way.

I’m definitely still learning this, but over the last 18 years of being diagnosed with bipolar disorder (and yes I am on medication and would never recommend coming off any you are taking without consulting your doctor), things have got easier.

I know I feel better when I go for a walk in the morning with my dog.

I know I feel better if I eat toast for breakfast rather than chocolate.

I know I feel better when my hair is freshly washed.

I know I feel better when I’m playing the flute.

I still have days where I’m lower down the scale, but I think I’m better at getting myself back up the scale again at a more gentle pace. So that means no spending loads of money on my credit card on beautiful things I don’t need- that puts me up to a 1, but only lasts for a short time!! Then I feel worse at the accumulation of debt, and have probably forgotten all about said beautiful things which are now crumpled up at the bottom of my wardrobe. Back down to 22 we go!

I think it’s all about us learning how to use our powerful energy in a way which feels good to us all the time. Not amazingly, overwhelmingly, euphorically good, but a more gentle, fulfilled, positive kind of good, which is way more manageable.

We need to keep asking ourselves “what feels better than this?”, even if it’s just a little bit better.

Related Posts

Abraham Hicks on Bipolar Disorder

What is Bipolar Disorder? Abraham Hicks: A Conversation.

Bipolar Disorder as Spiritual Awakening

Why Depression? (The Law of Attraction).

Resources

Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks

Abraham Hicks on You Tube

Abraham Hicks- Just to Live Your Life With Bipolar Disorder

What is Bipolar Disorder- Abraham Hicks

Bipolar Depression and Suicidal Feelings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overwhelmed!

Overwhelm seems to be happening a lot at the moment.

I can cope with one thing in a day, eg. work, but not 2 or more. Try adding on choir, cooking, seeing friends etc and my anxiety levels shoot up. Being productive with any other activity other than work is just not happening- I can’t concentrate, get easily distracted and restless.

Overwhelm seems to happen when exciting things are happening too. I recently went away to Edinburgh to sing in a choir I’m part of. Most of the members I hadn’t seen for a few months and we were all really excited to see each other again- well, I was excited anyway!!! Couple this with singing awesome music and trips out to shows and tourist attractions and soon I wasn’t coping. Too much excitement!!! I had three panic attacks that week. I hadn’t had one previously for a good few months. I was overly emotional.

I didn’t take this limitation very graciously, and was very angry and frustrated with myself for not being able to join in everything I wanted to. I could try, but panic attacks had already resulted from doing too much.

Accepting limitations is something I’m still working on! Remembering it’s not my fault is important, but also to evaluate whether I’m putting too much pressure on myself or judging myself harshly.

Affirmations that I’m finding helpful from Louise Hay’s companion book to You Can Heal Your Life are:

I have the power, strength and knowledge to handle everything in my life.

I relax into the flow of life and let Life provide all that I need asily and comfortably.

I am enough just as I am.

Louise Hay

 

Christmas- Cooling Off!

Xmas RachI LOVE Christmas- the lights, the carols, the Christmas story, the Christmas films, the food, the general merry-ment.

This year I find myself questioning more and more the concept of gift-giving. Am I really giving a gift when what I am really doing is fulfilling somebody else’s expectation that they receive a gift from me- and vice versa I guess?

I love buying presents! I love the aha moment of- “oh this person would love this gift!” Then I feel I’m truly giving from the heart.

Maybe it isn’t the gift-giving itself, but rather the way I shop that makes it feel a bit mechanical- sounds a bit weird! Maybe it would feel more fun going to small businesses and craft stalls to buy presents. Maybe I’m just giving this too much thought LOL!

Anyway I think I’m getting a bit mind-spinny from all the shopping and could do with some general calming-down. So today I’m going to be meditating, playing the piano and drawing, amidst a bit of present-wrapping. Need some mind-cooling, right-brained, creative activity. If you haven’t read this fab article about the over-heated mind, I think it fits in very nicely with hypomania & obsessive, racey-thoughts in general:

“Your Brain Is Like A Nuclear Reactor. Avoid Meltdowns, Keep It Cool.”  By Word From The Well.

I’m thinking peaceful thoughts from now on and remembering to keep grounded.

Bach Flower Remedies which really help to keep the hypomanic-type mind balanced and calm:

Vervain; White Chestnut; Chestnut Bud; Cherry Plum; Impatiens.

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Related Posts

Crazy-Hypomanic Birthday Shopping

A Christmas Present To Ourselves

Hypomania & Grounding

Bach Flower Remedies

Bipolar Disorder as Spiritual Awakening

ID-10021637This post is based on my opinion as well as extensive research and experience throughout the last few years.

My Spiritual Experiences During Hypomania

During episodes of hypomania I have frequently felt more at one with nature and in harmony with life in general, as well as with spirit. These experiences have had a euphoric quality to them where I have felt “high”, believing that I have energetic powers including healing.

I always assumed this was part of mania and that I was having grandiose delusions. I would have so much energy that I would feel I was bursting out of my skin.

But what if I wasn’t delusional- what if there was some truth to these intense intuitive experiences? It may sound grandiose now- but what if we all have these dormant psychic skills ready to reawaken?

The symptoms of Bipolar Disorder (as well as depression and anxiety in general) are extremely similar to those that occur as we awaken spiritually.

ID-100136585Spiritual Awakening and Ascension

Spiritual awakening is the process by which our spirits are reunited with our bodies and minds. Our higher self is integrated into our lives as we begin to see how we are all connected as one, and that we have higher purposes in our lives.

This process is occurring increasingly in many people, as earth and all its life forms evolve to a higher dimension, whereby we see each other as brothers and sisters and live from a place of love. Psychic abilities will also develop in many. This is known as Ascension.

As we ascend as individuals, we undergo spiritual awakening, which brings about many symptoms in our mind, body and emotions as we clear out old baggage, and mental and behavioural patterns which no longer serve us.

Many spiritual writers and teachers are sharing information regarding ascension. Diana Cooper is a favourite of mine and explains more about the phenomenon here.

Spiritual Awakening Symptoms

As we awaken, our bodies and minds need to shed old patterns and beliefs which no longer serve a purpose in our lives, and keep us at lower vibrational energy. This leads to many symptoms that include the following:

  • depression & anxiety
  • periods of high energy manifesting in our lives as hyperactivity, racing thoughts, creative bursts (sound familiar?!) etc.
  • new sleep patterns whereby we often wake up between the hours of 2-4pm, fall back to sleep, then possibly wake up again.
  • periods of intense emotion & mood swings- crying at the drop of a hat, switching to laughter.
  • life altering events.
  • growing interest in spirituality.
  • a sense of higher purpose or wishing to know what this is.
  • a feeling of being “different”.

These are just a few of the symptoms. For an extensive list please click here.

As you can see quite a few of the experiences listed overlap with Bipolar Disorder symptoms.

There are a few resources, discussion forums and videos on the internet which discuss this phenomenon. Here is a Google search of Spiritual Awakening and Bipolar Disorder.

ID-10035460What does this mean for us?

The tie-in between Bipolar and Spiritual Awakening may have no meaning for you whatsoever! But for me, and hopefully more and more individuals, it is profoundly meaningful and has changed my life.

I no longer feel a victim of my emotions and, through guidance in spiritual and personal development from a wonderful teacher, I am learning to grow and take charge of my life.

Spiritual & Personal Development

For me, spiritual and personal development have meant taking the reins of my life. Where my emotions have frequently felt like an out-of-control horse running away with me, I am now learning to balance myself and that it is perfectly fine and right to live a life that is different from others. It keeps my emotions in balance. I am so much happier after only a year of this work! I have spent much more time in quiet and solitude, and have learnt to protect and value my innate sensitivity. This development work is something we can all do!

I have also come to learn that many of the emotions I experience are not actually my own, but that I am energetically picking up on the emotions of those around me. It is quite possible you do this too! Development work teaches you to discern which emotions are yours and which are other peoples’, as well as how to clear these emotions from yourself and protecting against further experiences.

Related Posts on this Website

Many of the posts on my blog chart my journey through spiritual and personal development with Bipolar Disorder. Here are a few:

Bipolar Disorder: A Spiritual Perspective for 2013

Self-Forgiveness: A Work in Progress

Bipolar Disorder & Depression: Baby Steps Towards a Spiritual Solution

Bipolar Disorder- Towards Healing: Self-Forgiveness

Other Websites & Blogs

Read my guest post Bipolar and Highly Sensitive People on mentalhealthtalk.info.

Spiritual Awakening: doctors label it delusional but one healer calls it magic.

The Underrated Relation Between Bipolar Disorder and Spirituality

Bipolar Disorder: A Spiritual Awakening?

Mania or Spiritual Awakening?

Suppressed Anger & Fears of Abandonment

Does anyone else have difficulty owning their anger? By this I mean do you find that you get angry with yourself when you feel anger towards another person, if that makes any sense?!

Basically I feel very uncomfortable with my own anger towards others and I’m trying to work through this issue.

Any anger I feel towards a friend or loved one I struggle to deal with. I think it might be due to a fear of abandonment: if I’m angry with those I love- I might push them away, which is always the last thing I want!

Black & White Thinking

My thinking around all this is probably very black & white, which is a well known cognitive distortion in those with psychological issues. If I feel angry I judge this as a “bad” feeling. I often transfer this to thinking that I am a “bad” person for feeling “bad” emotions.

Black & White Thinking & Bipolar Disorder

To me, black & white thinking & beliefs seem to merge very well with the idea of Bipolar Disorder. The word Bipolar means two polar opposites- such as hot and cold, or indeed, black & white.

As we develop through childhood, do we learn to see ourselves as all good or all bad?

Do we reject the bad side of ourselves & embrace only the good?- Hypomania/Mania.

Do we accept only the bad and none of the good?- Depression.

Depression is sometimes thought to be caused by suppressed anger– anger that we consciously push out of our awareness or ignore. In an attempt to process these emotions- which never really leave our whole being- we automatically turn them around to ourselves. We may have been brought up to believe that it is safer to be angry with ourselves than with others. Being angry with others may have caused very difficult circumstances in key relationships. A deep fear of abandonment by caregivers is obviously something a child is very likely to feel as their parents are absolutely essential to their existence as they see it.

Traumatic Experiences With Anger & RageID-1007128

If we deal with Bipolar Disorder or Borderline Personality Disorder, we may have had particularly traumatic rages with others, which we felt were so powerful they overtook us completely. This can be a very scary experience and one that we would do anything to stop from recurring.

High Sensitivity

If we are also Highly Sensitive (take the test here) we will likely process seemingly smaller behavioural clues as rejection or abandonment: thereby increasing the likelihood of Bipolar Disorder, Depression & Anxiety occurring in later life.

One of the diagnostic criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder is described as “frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.”

Any anger we experience towards someone we love may then be construed as a threat to our safety and therefore a potential danger in provoking this abandonment.

ID-100156695Bullying as Abandonment

Abandonment can also be seen to be a rejection by our peers. We are isolated as different and therefore a target for teasing and abuse. This creates an intense feeling of isolation and loneliness- effectively abandonment by peers.

Abandonment by God

I often think there is a real link between religion and psychological disorders. If we were brought up to believe that we were “bad” for feeling angry towards our “elders”, or that it was in some way unacceptable, we may have grasped hold of the idea that we could possibly go to “hell” for these feelings. We would therefore be rejected by God and cast out.

It all sounds very extreme and is initiated by such prehistoric religious ideas  (in my opinion) that are still circulating today.

(My idea of God is now very different- a belief in a loving, forgiving God who would never abandon any one of us. It is only us who can abandon Him.)

Suppressing Anger As A Coping Mechanism

We suppress our anger as we view it to be so dangerous to our wellbeing. It is the way we have learned to cope with our deep-seated fear of rejection.

To move forward we need to address and question this belief. Is it still relevant in our adult lives? Are we capable of taking care of ourselves? Do we love ourselves enough to take on challenges ourselves? Why do we feel we NEED other people so desperately for our basic survival?

We could identify situations we have handled on our own and feel a sense of accomplishment in that. Or challenge ourselves to participating in something just a little scary, but fun, to increase our confidence in ourselves.

Inner Child Visualization.

It is also helpful to travel back through our memories of childhood and identify times where we felt desperately abandoned. What happened? How did it feel?

Imagine your little-self and how you would comfort yourself if you could travel back and be with her/him now to support them. As your little self, imagine that love and support coming to you. If spiritual, you may like to imagine a beautiful guardian angel enfolding you in her/his protective wings.

Stepping Into Our PowerID-10021637

We are powerful beings, though it may not always feel this way. We have choices in life- choices in how we deal with emotions, situations, challenges, how we perceive things, etc.

By increasing the feelings of confidence in ourselves, we can rely on ourselves more and feel less fear of abandonment. Potentially we will then have no need to suppress our own feelings of anger as we step into our own powerful selves. We will learn to embrace our own anger as an emotion which can teach us about ourselves, and one that we can eventually become comfortable with. It will not cause our loved ones to abandon us. It is safe to feel angry. It may not feel this way yet, but imagine your own confidence growing as you experience and deal effectively with it. We are powerful enough to take charge of such a powerful emotion and use it to initiate healthy change in our relationships.

Related Posts

Bipolar Disorder- Repressed Anger

Bach Flower Remedy Consultation: Anger and Low Motivation

Take Back Your Power

Changing The Mind- Programming

Little Me and the Angel

Resources & Links

What is Suppressed Anger?

Cognitive Distortion: How Does Black & White Thinking Hurt Us?

Subservient Anger in Bipolarity

What is the Relationship Between Anger & Depression?

Highly Sensitive Person Self-Test.

Borderline Personality: Diagnostic Criteria

Photo Credits: Storm by dan; Sun by graur codrin; Lonely Girl by Sira Anamwong; all via freedigitalphotos.net.