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Brave Spirit Blog

by Veronica Santamaria 07 Aug, 2017

Do you ever think about the future? What kind of future do you want to have? Do you want to marry and have children? Would you be able to sustain a child with your current job? Where are you going to live? Do you want to own a house?

It’s kind of obvious to say this, but if you want to have a home and your own family, you will need economic resources to sustain them . Homes are very expensive. Cars, furniture, and other necessary goods are not cheap either. That’s why it is important to plan long term and get your finances right, so that you and your family can live a comfortable life.

I’ve noticed that many people that are into self-knowledge are unemployed, on benefits, or have a low paying job. If that’s your case, that won’t take you anywhere. It is imposible to raise a family if you are on minimum wage , and it wouldn’t look good on your CV if you stay in a low level job for long instead of climbing the professional ladder. I understand why you may have ended there, and empathise with you, but that is a bad place to be. So if you care about your future, you really need to get out , because it sucks to be there, and the sooner you get out, the better.

I know that trying to get a better job may be scary, but you can do it . The world is full of opportunities and will open to you if you have the courage to pursue them. Some people have a lot of trouble getting out of their bad jobs. My therapist used to struggle a lot with that. He spent months unable to make a decision, journalling and overthinking it, until his own therapist told him: " You've thought enough already. Just get a job! Just go do it! ". He finally got a job he loves and became a manager there. Thinking is good, but sometimes you just need to have boundaries with your destructive voices and act.

You can become self-employed if you see a potential market opportunity (and your government doesn’t crush you with taxes and regulations), or you can find a better job working for somebody else. The easiest thing to do is to work for somebody else, which I find less satisfying. What I decided to do is to work for somebody else while I build my own thing, so that I can get a nice flow of income and savings meanwhile.

So if you are tired of your shitty job and would like to get something better for yourself, just prepare your CV in a way that would look attractive (there are lots of advice on the Internet on how to do this), go to jobs websites and apply to as many jobs as possible. Don’t just count on two or three applications and expect them to call you , the more you do the higher the chances that they will notice you. There are many private agencies that specialize on trying to find the best candidates for the job offers they get. My experience with them is that they are very helpful and effective, because they get paid for getting the right candidates to the right jobs.

Be patient and consider not just sending your CV but also calling them. Most people don’t call them, and they really like it when you do, because it demonstrates that you are assertive and that you really want the job. This is especially useful if your CV doesn’t look very impressive, and the place you are applying to values your attitude more than your experience. It may take some time to be offered an interview, just don’t despair and keep sending CV’s. The last time I applied for a job I was applying for 10 positions per day. If they don’t call you straight away that doesn’t mean that they don’t like you. They are often busy, and even if they think you are not qualified for the job you applied for, they will often keep your CV and offer you a different position in the future that they think will suit you better. I still get phone calls six months after having applied for a job.

Once they offer you an interview, prepare for it . Find advice on the Internet on how to prepare an interview and practice the most common questions that they may ask you. You will feel a lot more confident if you have prepared for the interview really well. Journal about the fears that may come to you during the process and try to find a solution on how to handle those fears during the interview.

I think that going for a better job is totally worth it. What is the worst thing that can happen? That they say no? They you will still have your current job. Nothing will change. It can’t get worse, it can only get better. You have a lot to gain and nothing to lose. So if they say no, try again until someone says yes. The satisfaction that you will feel when you get it is unbelievable, you will feel so proud of yourself ! Your life will get so much better if you get a job that is more satisfying and pays better. You can start saving for the future, which is something that you will really appreciate some years later when you need to make big expenses. Also, a better job usually means being around better quality people. Good supervisors and co-workers tend to move up the ladder; the bad ones get stuck in shitty places. You don’t want to be around those people. You want to find a nice company that is profitable and is run by reasonably healthy people. Go for it!

by Veronica Santamaria 31 Jul, 2017

IFS (Internal Family System) is a self-therapy method developed by Richard Swartz. This method views the human mind as a collection of different subpersonalities , each one with its own beliefs, feelings and desires. I think that this is a very clever way of portraying the human psyche, since people’s minds are usually not a consistent unit without fractures or contradictions: they often want one thing and the opposite at the same time, try to hide aspects of themselves, do things that they don’t want to do, feel superior and inferior at the same time, etc.

All these behaviours can be explained if you think of them as conflicts between subpersonalities . For example, let’s say that you don’t want to eat cake but you end up eating loads. How can this be possible? You may have a part of you, called the Food Controller, that doesn’t want to be overweight, and another part, the Glutton, that wants to eat all the time. The Glutton takes over and disregards the other part, and that’s how you end up behaving in ways that are not entirely desirable to you. Both parts hold opposite views and are at war with each other . The goal of IFS is to harmonize your inner world so that the different parts of you work together to help you meet your life objectives.

According to IFS, there are two types of parts, protectors and exiles , and also what it is called the Self . The Self is your core self, the part of you that is accepting, wise, open and loving. It’s like your centre and your anchor, and everyone has one . It’s what you need to access to deal with your other parts. Exiles are parts of you that are in pain and have been exiled, which means that they are usually considered not acceptable or unmanageable. Protectors try to protect the exiles from being harmed, and they often act out, because it's the only way they know to protect their exiles. For example, in our case the Glutton may be a protector that protects an exile that fears to have intimacy with someone. The Glutton may eat a lot to make you overweight and unattractive, ensuring that no one gets close enough to you. That’s how he protects his exile. Our goal is to soothe the exile's pain and help protectors deal with painful situations in more effective ways.

People are usually unaware of the motivations of their parts . They often don’t even realize that they have parts, much less their motivations! But they always have a motivation, they never do anything randomly . And their motivation is always good. They always want to do what they think will be best for you, even if they are wrong or short-sighted (which they often are).

This idea of parts, that the human mind is generally a collection of parts interacting with each other and often in conflict with each other, may seem weird, kooky or even scary at the beginning. You may say “Are you telling me that there are little people inside of me? Come on”. Well, not literally. Metaphorically, it’s true. And it’s the most powerful tool I know to heal unhealthy patterns of behaviour.

 

If you want to know more about how to use IFS you can buy Jay Earley’s book , which I highly recommend, or book a free session with me .


Related articles

- How to journal in 6 steps

by Veronica Santamaria 24 Jul, 2017

I think that keeping a written journal is one of the most useful tools that you can use if you want to change your life for the better. I do it every day, and I’ve written more than 3,000 pages so far!

 Let’s say that you have a problem that has been bothering you for years, or there is a difficult decision that you don’t know how to make. For example, I used to have the following problem: when I had a difference of opinion with someone, usually a political one, I used to argue very aggressively with that person, trying to prove them wrong at all costs, making them look bad, and barely listening to them, just enough to try to refute their points. This would obviously cause me problems in my life so what I would do is journal about it to try to solve the problem. This is how I would do it:

 

1.     I would usually start by describing an incident that triggered an unhealthy reaction in me, or explaining the problem that I want to solve. In this case, I would write:

  Today I was having a walk with my boyfriend when he said x and then I said that x would be bad because of y. We started having an argument, which ended in him not wanting to talk anymore .

 

2.    Then I would describe how I was feeling at the moment, and I would be very honest about it, even if it makes me look bad.

I was feeling very angry about this. My whole vision narrowed and I wasn’t listening to him. I didn’t feel one bit of love for him at that moment. I was very hurt for his opinion and I just wanted to destroy his argument and convince him that I was right. I felt like there was a little wolf inside of me ready for battle.

 

3.    I would start having an internal dialogue with the part of me that was feeling that way, using the IFS method . I would listen to the part and make questions to try to understand why she behaved that way, in a non-judgemental way .

  Why did you feel the need to attack this person? “Because I need to protect my ideas or they will run over them and try to shut me down”.

I would let the part say whatever she wants until she’s finished talking. You’ll be surprised by the amount of useful information that you can get about yourself if you do this.

 

4.    I would ask for more information or make questions about the origin of the problem . The origin of most problems is some past situation that couldn’t be dealt with in a satisfying way.

I don’t think your boyfriend would shut you down, he seems a very reasonable person and he usually always listens to you. Who else would shut you down? Do you have any memory of when people didn’t listen to you in the past? “Yes, my parents. They never listened to me and always tried to impose  their silly vision of the world on me , and when I thought differently and I was right they never acknowledged that. They wanted to be right all the time but they were often wrong. And they got angry and threatened me if I persisted on trying to change their minds”

  So it turns out that this part of me was acting aggressively because it was used to not be listened to in the past and thought that everyone will behave in the same way that my parents did.

 

5.     Once you’ve figured out the origin or cause of the problem, it’s time to re-parent the part . You need to use your intuition to say to the part what you think a good parent would say to a hurt child, in a loving way, and acknowledge the harm that was done to her. It’s also important to give the part a more accurate idea of reality, because parts are often stuck in the situation that originated the pain.

  I’m sorry that they did that to you. That’s a terrible way of dealing with differences of opinion. It’s no wonder that you feel sad and angry for that. I think they should have listened to you and tried to teach you how to figure out the truth together in a civilised and respectful way. But you need to understand that not everybody is like that, and most people would listen to your opinions in a respectful way. I would like you to try to make an effort to listen to your boyfriend next time and have a civilised conversation. Would you like to try that?

 

6.    If the part accepts to change her behaviour, I would try to act as we agreed , continue journaling about it if the result is not the way I would like it to be, or sometimes also if I succeed! It’s also great to reflect on success. This may take time, so be patient. If the part doesn’t want to change her behaviour, I would continue having an internal dialogue with the part and negotiate with her. As a general rule I never force parts to do something that they don’t want to do . I would only force them if there is an emergency and something really bad would happen in my life if I let them do what they want.

 

Do you keep a journal? What is your experience of journaling? What do you do differently? If you would to share your experience or make a question, please leave a comment, I would love to hear it.


Related articles

- What is IFS

by Veronica Santamaria 15 Jul, 2017

I suffered from insomnia for almost two years. It came suddenly: three days before I started in a new job I began to have trouble sleeping. I always slept well, but I suddenly found myself sleeping an average of 4 hours every night, sometimes less and rarely more, for no known reason. I went to the doctor, who could only confirm that I didn’t suffer from any disease and prescribed me with very strong sleeping pills.

After months of suffering and trying all the remedies that I could find on the internet, I realized that my insomnia was caused purely by psychological problems . If you also suffer from insomnia, it’s very likely that yours is also caused by the same disorders. This is what I learned, which you may also find useful:

 

1. The main cause of insomnia, at least for me, was the anxiety caused by unaddressed fears or worries in my life . If there is some danger, you can’t sleep. Your mind doesn’t distinguish physical threats from psychological threats: it treats them all the same way. Your body wants to help you by keeping you alert until the danger has passed. Therefore, it’s useless to try to force yourself to sleep. You need to address the danger first, and once it’s disappeared, your body will feel safe and allow you to sleep. For example, if a pregnant woman suddenly gets insomnia, it may be that she’s fearing having a baby or becoming a mother. She will need to admit why she is worried about that in an honest way.

2. My technique to deal with this is asking myself during the day or before bedtime: what is worrying me right now? You may find yourself saying: “Nothing. Nothing is worrying me. Everything is fine in my life”. That’s because there are certain issues that you don’t want to admit, because they may seem silly, shameful or threatening. But nothing in your mind is silly or threatening. Nothing bad will happen for admitting something, because you don’t need to act on it . You can just be aware of it, and you don’t need to do anything about it if you don’t want to. You can keep it to yourself and no one will know but you. So feel free to admit anything that may be worrying you in an honest, accepting and non-judgemental way, no matter what it is .

3. This is difficult to do because when you have insomnia, especially a strong case of it like mine, the last thing you want to do is to think . Everything that involves thinking takes a huge amount of effort. I felt like I was15 IQ points dumber when I had insomnia. And it’s not only that; your brain also hurts. I worried that after so many months of insomnia my brain could get permanently damaged, of even eventually cause me death. But don’t worry, after your insomnia is cured your mental faculties will go back to normal, and apparently no one dies from insomnia. So if you want to get rid of it, my recommendation is that you hold your discomfort and really make an effort to address your unaddressed issues. I usually do this through journaling .

4.  Try to do this every night, even if you have to stay late. Journal or think about any unresolved issue until you are satisfied. Don’t force you to go to bed early if you are not sleepy. It’s better to stay up late journaling and get 6 hours of quality sleep, rather than doing no journaling and get 4 hours of poor sleep . And by doing this you’ll find out important stuff about your life that you wouldn’t have found otherwise.

5.  If you make this a habit, I think it’s very likely that the problem will start to disappear. Mine didn’t go away immediately : it gradually improved until it was gone. I started sleeping 4 hours, then 5, then 6, 7, 8… The more unaddressed issues I solved, the better it got. Occasionally I unveiled some painful issue that made the problem worse for a night or two. But after that, the nights that followed were much better.

6. Regarding the use of sleeping pills , I generally prefer not to take them, because they have some weird side effects and I always prefer to solve my problems in a natural way. My doctor prescribed me Lormetazepan Normon, and I sometimes took them because, although they made me feel some unpleasant discomfort, insomnia could feel so horribly bad that I preferred to take them, have some sleep and suffer the side effects. But I tried to take as few as possible. Especially when I was getting 6 or 7 hours of sleep the side effects became worse than not sleeping as much as you need, so it wasn't really worth it to take them.

 

 I hope you found these tips useful. Please let me know if they worked for you and feel free to ask me any question! Have you ever had insomnia and found a better solution? 

You can also book a free one on one session with me if you need additional help with your problem! Just email me to verosantamariacirac@hotmail.com

 

key words: sleep insomnia meaning insomnia causes insomnia pregnancy insomnia cure insomnia treatment insomnia help insomnia depression

 

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Brave Spirit Blog

by Veronica Santamaria 07 Aug, 2017

Do you ever think about the future? What kind of future do you want to have? Do you want to marry and have children? Would you be able to sustain a child with your current job? Where are you going to live? Do you want to own a house?

It’s kind of obvious to say this, but if you want to have a home and your own family, you will need economic resources to sustain them . Homes are very expensive. Cars, furniture, and other necessary goods are not cheap either. That’s why it is important to plan long term and get your finances right, so that you and your family can live a comfortable life.

I’ve noticed that many people that are into self-knowledge are unemployed, on benefits, or have a low paying job. If that’s your case, that won’t take you anywhere. It is imposible to raise a family if you are on minimum wage , and it wouldn’t look good on your CV if you stay in a low level job for long instead of climbing the professional ladder. I understand why you may have ended there, and empathise with you, but that is a bad place to be. So if you care about your future, you really need to get out , because it sucks to be there, and the sooner you get out, the better.

I know that trying to get a better job may be scary, but you can do it . The world is full of opportunities and will open to you if you have the courage to pursue them. Some people have a lot of trouble getting out of their bad jobs. My therapist used to struggle a lot with that. He spent months unable to make a decision, journalling and overthinking it, until his own therapist told him: " You've thought enough already. Just get a job! Just go do it! ". He finally got a job he loves and became a manager there. Thinking is good, but sometimes you just need to have boundaries with your destructive voices and act.

You can become self-employed if you see a potential market opportunity (and your government doesn’t crush you with taxes and regulations), or you can find a better job working for somebody else. The easiest thing to do is to work for somebody else, which I find less satisfying. What I decided to do is to work for somebody else while I build my own thing, so that I can get a nice flow of income and savings meanwhile.

So if you are tired of your shitty job and would like to get something better for yourself, just prepare your CV in a way that would look attractive (there are lots of advice on the Internet on how to do this), go to jobs websites and apply to as many jobs as possible. Don’t just count on two or three applications and expect them to call you , the more you do the higher the chances that they will notice you. There are many private agencies that specialize on trying to find the best candidates for the job offers they get. My experience with them is that they are very helpful and effective, because they get paid for getting the right candidates to the right jobs.

Be patient and consider not just sending your CV but also calling them. Most people don’t call them, and they really like it when you do, because it demonstrates that you are assertive and that you really want the job. This is especially useful if your CV doesn’t look very impressive, and the place you are applying to values your attitude more than your experience. It may take some time to be offered an interview, just don’t despair and keep sending CV’s. The last time I applied for a job I was applying for 10 positions per day. If they don’t call you straight away that doesn’t mean that they don’t like you. They are often busy, and even if they think you are not qualified for the job you applied for, they will often keep your CV and offer you a different position in the future that they think will suit you better. I still get phone calls six months after having applied for a job.

Once they offer you an interview, prepare for it . Find advice on the Internet on how to prepare an interview and practice the most common questions that they may ask you. You will feel a lot more confident if you have prepared for the interview really well. Journal about the fears that may come to you during the process and try to find a solution on how to handle those fears during the interview.

I think that going for a better job is totally worth it. What is the worst thing that can happen? That they say no? They you will still have your current job. Nothing will change. It can’t get worse, it can only get better. You have a lot to gain and nothing to lose. So if they say no, try again until someone says yes. The satisfaction that you will feel when you get it is unbelievable, you will feel so proud of yourself ! Your life will get so much better if you get a job that is more satisfying and pays better. You can start saving for the future, which is something that you will really appreciate some years later when you need to make big expenses. Also, a better job usually means being around better quality people. Good supervisors and co-workers tend to move up the ladder; the bad ones get stuck in shitty places. You don’t want to be around those people. You want to find a nice company that is profitable and is run by reasonably healthy people. Go for it!

by Veronica Santamaria 31 Jul, 2017

IFS (Internal Family System) is a self-therapy method developed by Richard Swartz. This method views the human mind as a collection of different subpersonalities , each one with its own beliefs, feelings and desires. I think that this is a very clever way of portraying the human psyche, since people’s minds are usually not a consistent unit without fractures or contradictions: they often want one thing and the opposite at the same time, try to hide aspects of themselves, do things that they don’t want to do, feel superior and inferior at the same time, etc.

All these behaviours can be explained if you think of them as conflicts between subpersonalities . For example, let’s say that you don’t want to eat cake but you end up eating loads. How can this be possible? You may have a part of you, called the Food Controller, that doesn’t want to be overweight, and another part, the Glutton, that wants to eat all the time. The Glutton takes over and disregards the other part, and that’s how you end up behaving in ways that are not entirely desirable to you. Both parts hold opposite views and are at war with each other . The goal of IFS is to harmonize your inner world so that the different parts of you work together to help you meet your life objectives.

According to IFS, there are two types of parts, protectors and exiles , and also what it is called the Self . The Self is your core self, the part of you that is accepting, wise, open and loving. It’s like your centre and your anchor, and everyone has one . It’s what you need to access to deal with your other parts. Exiles are parts of you that are in pain and have been exiled, which means that they are usually considered not acceptable or unmanageable. Protectors try to protect the exiles from being harmed, and they often act out, because it's the only way they know to protect their exiles. For example, in our case the Glutton may be a protector that protects an exile that fears to have intimacy with someone. The Glutton may eat a lot to make you overweight and unattractive, ensuring that no one gets close enough to you. That’s how he protects his exile. Our goal is to soothe the exile's pain and help protectors deal with painful situations in more effective ways.

People are usually unaware of the motivations of their parts . They often don’t even realize that they have parts, much less their motivations! But they always have a motivation, they never do anything randomly . And their motivation is always good. They always want to do what they think will be best for you, even if they are wrong or short-sighted (which they often are).

This idea of parts, that the human mind is generally a collection of parts interacting with each other and often in conflict with each other, may seem weird, kooky or even scary at the beginning. You may say “Are you telling me that there are little people inside of me? Come on”. Well, not literally. Metaphorically, it’s true. And it’s the most powerful tool I know to heal unhealthy patterns of behaviour.

 

If you want to know more about how to use IFS you can buy Jay Earley’s book , which I highly recommend, or book a free session with me .


Related articles

- How to journal in 6 steps

by Veronica Santamaria 24 Jul, 2017

I think that keeping a written journal is one of the most useful tools that you can use if you want to change your life for the better. I do it every day, and I’ve written more than 3,000 pages so far!

 Let’s say that you have a problem that has been bothering you for years, or there is a difficult decision that you don’t know how to make. For example, I used to have the following problem: when I had a difference of opinion with someone, usually a political one, I used to argue very aggressively with that person, trying to prove them wrong at all costs, making them look bad, and barely listening to them, just enough to try to refute their points. This would obviously cause me problems in my life so what I would do is journal about it to try to solve the problem. This is how I would do it:

 

1.     I would usually start by describing an incident that triggered an unhealthy reaction in me, or explaining the problem that I want to solve. In this case, I would write:

  Today I was having a walk with my boyfriend when he said x and then I said that x would be bad because of y. We started having an argument, which ended in him not wanting to talk anymore .

 

2.    Then I would describe how I was feeling at the moment, and I would be very honest about it, even if it makes me look bad.

I was feeling very angry about this. My whole vision narrowed and I wasn’t listening to him. I didn’t feel one bit of love for him at that moment. I was very hurt for his opinion and I just wanted to destroy his argument and convince him that I was right. I felt like there was a little wolf inside of me ready for battle.

 

3.    I would start having an internal dialogue with the part of me that was feeling that way, using the IFS method . I would listen to the part and make questions to try to understand why she behaved that way, in a non-judgemental way .

  Why did you feel the need to attack this person? “Because I need to protect my ideas or they will run over them and try to shut me down”.

I would let the part say whatever she wants until she’s finished talking. You’ll be surprised by the amount of useful information that you can get about yourself if you do this.

 

4.    I would ask for more information or make questions about the origin of the problem . The origin of most problems is some past situation that couldn’t be dealt with in a satisfying way.

I don’t think your boyfriend would shut you down, he seems a very reasonable person and he usually always listens to you. Who else would shut you down? Do you have any memory of when people didn’t listen to you in the past? “Yes, my parents. They never listened to me and always tried to impose  their silly vision of the world on me , and when I thought differently and I was right they never acknowledged that. They wanted to be right all the time but they were often wrong. And they got angry and threatened me if I persisted on trying to change their minds”

  So it turns out that this part of me was acting aggressively because it was used to not be listened to in the past and thought that everyone will behave in the same way that my parents did.

 

5.     Once you’ve figured out the origin or cause of the problem, it’s time to re-parent the part . You need to use your intuition to say to the part what you think a good parent would say to a hurt child, in a loving way, and acknowledge the harm that was done to her. It’s also important to give the part a more accurate idea of reality, because parts are often stuck in the situation that originated the pain.

  I’m sorry that they did that to you. That’s a terrible way of dealing with differences of opinion. It’s no wonder that you feel sad and angry for that. I think they should have listened to you and tried to teach you how to figure out the truth together in a civilised and respectful way. But you need to understand that not everybody is like that, and most people would listen to your opinions in a respectful way. I would like you to try to make an effort to listen to your boyfriend next time and have a civilised conversation. Would you like to try that?

 

6.    If the part accepts to change her behaviour, I would try to act as we agreed , continue journaling about it if the result is not the way I would like it to be, or sometimes also if I succeed! It’s also great to reflect on success. This may take time, so be patient. If the part doesn’t want to change her behaviour, I would continue having an internal dialogue with the part and negotiate with her. As a general rule I never force parts to do something that they don’t want to do . I would only force them if there is an emergency and something really bad would happen in my life if I let them do what they want.

 

Do you keep a journal? What is your experience of journaling? What do you do differently? If you would to share your experience or make a question, please leave a comment, I would love to hear it.


Related articles

- What is IFS

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