Friday, November 30, 2007

A Sporting Addiction

Soon after writing the last post on the hidden benefits of long standing problems, the English Football Association (F.A) sacked the manager, Steve McClaren, after England failed to qualify for next year's 2008 European championship.

What I find fascinating about the whole scenario is the subsequent feeding frenzy over who the manager should be and why England failed to qualify.

The same ideas get bandied around all of the time, with some variations. There are too many foreign players, English players are not technically skilled enough, English international players are overpaid prima donnas without heart, guts, pride or passion etc, etc. What I find interesting is how long these ideas have been around. Commentators, administrators, players, managers have been saying for years that English players are not technically skilled, this is nothing new. Building football academies was one way to address this, but it doesn't seem to have borne significant fruit.

The last time England failed to qualify for a major competition was the 1994 World Cup and there weren't that many foreigners playing in the Premier League. England had also failed to qualify for both the 1974 and 1978 World Cups when there were very few foreign players so that doesn't hold. The players then were not perceived as overpaid prima donnas either.

After England lost to Portugal on penalties in the 2006 World Cup, I wrote a post about the failure of the national team to win a major football competition in the past 40 years and how this was due to unconscious energetic blocks.

Something similar is going on with the soul searching over the national game.

I think that media, commentators, administrators, players and manager are unconsciously addicted to the problem. I sense that they are comfortable with the problem. It keeps them within their comfort zone. They can tinker with the "problem", play with it and make it look as though they are doing something, without any real intention or feeling that things will shift.

What would happen if England had a world beating football team that actually delivered? I think that this idea would make a lot of people in English (and it is primarily an English issue) very uncomfortable. They'd have to change and shift their thinking and their perception. They are actually more comfortable with the idea of mediocrity. That is what they are used to. It offers a form of protection that they are unconsciously unwilling to release.

Until they do, then continue to see the emotional rollercoaster that is the English national football team.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Alternative Approach to Problem Solving

A few years ago a friend (lets call her "M") told me that she had a friend who was forever complaining about a situation in her life, whether it was her job or living with her mother. My friend used to helpfully offer her solutions about looking for another job and a new place to live, none of which her friend took a blind bit of notice of.

It then dawned on M that her friend didn't actually want to solve the problem(s) at all. She just liked talking about them!

Do you know people in your life like this, who are forever complaining about a situation, but takes no steps to resolve it? Are you that person? Such people can be seen as energy vampires, you mistakenly think that they are asking for assistance, but they are just venting and you are draining your energy in seeking to help them.

But why would they complain about situations they have no intention of resolving? It doesn't make sense. Or does it?

Actually, it makes a lot of sense.

Reasons for long standing or recurring problems

1. Being wedded to the problem

Problems are often a way of protecting you from seeing and feeling a deeper and more profound truth about yourself. When I use the phrase "being wedded to the problem", I mean literally that, because getting a divorce from them feels very threatening. Long standing problems in particular often form part of our identity. We begin to see them as part of us. But they are NOT us. They are mental, emotional and energetic constructs which obscures our true essence and power.

2. Connection by complaint

Some friendships and relationships are based on connecting via problems and complaints. It's what I call "connection by complaint". Bonding takes place for reasons of safety, survival and often via crisis or dependency. If you make the conscious decision to start connecting from a more empowered place, rather than a problem based one, this could mean the end of the relationship.

I've noticed that some older people often connect by talking their age related ailments. This also operates as a form of bonding, something that they have in common. Another example is of an overprotective parent always worrying about an adult child. The worry is subconsciously serving a positive function for the parent, as they may believe that their worry shows that they care and that they are connected to their child, rather than disempowering them.

Another variant on this is connection by conflict. Having a common enemy gives individuals common ground to connect. Scapegoating is often the result. In personal relationships, frequent arguments, fights and drama may be the only way that is known to connect to a partner.

3. Home Alone

Many of us are afraid that true empowerment means that we'll end up alone. It's as if somehow we won't be loved unless we have problems or perceive that we have problems. If we're seen as too self sufficient, people may not gravitate towards us.

We will not be seen as human, as vulnerable or having feet of clay. Problems keep us grounded. So we will often hold onto our problems because we feel that we are loved for having them. Having problems connects us to others and may make us feel more compassionate than we might otherwise be. Problems also provide us with attention.

Energetic resolutions

Resolutions to long standing or recurring problems can often be found in our energetic field and subconscious, where they resist traditional problem solving techniques. If you want to find alternative ways to resolving long standing problems, then look at doing the following.

1. Start asking yourself questions

This is actually the hardest part, because asking yourself incisive questions means that you'll come up with answers that you may not be willing to hear! However, as we shall see, you can use simple energetic techniques to start releasing your resistance. Questions to ask yourself include:

  • What is the advantage of having this problem?
  • What is the downside to not having this problem?
  • What is the problem protecting you from?
  • How safe will you feel not having this problem?
  • What do you fear not having this problem will expose you to?Why have you defined it as a problem?

The answers to what is going on will help you realise how your problem is assisting you. Without knowing what is at the root of a longstanding or recurring problem often means that people try harder to resolve it at a conscious level. But traditional problem solving techniques have been tried on long standing problems, so if they're not working they're is something else going on.

For instance, if repeated attempts to find a job aren't working, you may want to consider that you actually don't want a job at all. It is likely to be that unconscious conflicts are preventing you from finding a job. It might be that the job that you are qualified to do or have been doing is no longer aligned with who you are.

But rather than admit that to yourself or other people, which could well be very threatening, you go through the motions of looking for a job, not getting it, because you are vibrationally aligned with it and then you can say: "Well I tried, but I didn't get it" and people will sympathise because at least you've been trying or seen to be trying.

2. Allow yourself to want to keep the problem

Paradoxically, once you acknowledge that you want to keep hold of the problem (especially if you now know how it is serving you), it often becomes less of a problem, as you can now begin to see it for the illusion that it actually is. Let it be okay to have and to hold. Admit to yourself that your problem is serving you and that,in some ways, you actually enjoy it; it provides you with attention, justification, your ego just loves it. Lighten up around the problem and it lightens its grip on you.

Remember that problems are illusory. They just seem real and often we manifest physical symbols and responses to our feelings and energetic patterns towards problems.

3. Release the energetic pattern of the problem

One way to view a long standing problem is to use your imagination and see it as an energetic pattern which can be released. This is what the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) does, it releases the negative energy and beliefs which the problem consists of. Because we are often wedded to our problems, EFT offers a way for us to detach from the problem by allowing us to state all our feelings around the problems, whilst releasing the energy behind it.

It allows to us to state all of the feelings that we often feel uncomfortable about saying, but are within our belief system and energetic patterning. Try using EFT whilst asking yourself incisive questions about your problem and see what your unconscious brings up. You may be very surprised! Alternatively, visit an EFT Practitioner, at least for a couple of sessions to start getting to what is behind a long standing or recurring problem