TSHP385: The Colours of You!

What’s Coming This Episode?

The one gift that Covid has given us is the opportunity for self reflection. For many of us life is generally so busy that we have little time to think about ourselves or our wellbeing. Those people that get involved in mindfulness learn to take some time to observe themselves and the world around them and are subsequently more likely to be attentive to their own needs as well as the needs of others.

When looking at these colour, or facets of your self, you may find that some are more important to you than others. In fact some may have no importance at all. The magic of being a human being is that we all have all of these colours within us.

Enjoy the show and take care, it’s The Self Help Podcast!

Show Notes and Links

Resource of the Week

  • Sean linked to his epic blog post
  • Ed has recorded a podcast with a local shop owner – have a listen if you can!

Stay in Touch

We’re all over the web, so feel free to stay in touch:

Leave us an Honest Review on iTunes

We’d be amazingly grateful if you could leave us a review on iTunes. It will really help us to build our audience. So, if your like what you hear (and would like to hear more great free content) then visit our iTunes page and leave us an honest review (all feedback gratefully received!).

The Colours Of You!

In modern psychology we tend to look at people from three aspects. These are thinking or cognition, feeling or emotion and behaviour or doing. In the Ayurvedic system people are seen to have eight aspects or facets, that are denoted by the chakras or colours of the spectrum, red to violet plus magenta. This blog is an audit of these different faces or colours of you and a chance to consider each part of yourself and decide what you might need or like to do about each or all of them.

The one gift that Covid has given us is the opportunity for self reflection. For many of us life is generally so busy that we have little time to think about ourselves or our wellbeing. Those people that get involved in mindfulness learn to take some time to observe themselves and the world around them and are subsequently more likely to be attentive to their own needs as well as the needs of others. 

When looking at these colour, or facets of your self, you may find that some are more important to you than others. In fact some may have no importance at all. The magic of being a human being is that we have all of these colours within us. If you think of them as lights then the colours that are working strongest will shine with the brightest light while those that are not used so much will be a dim light. As these colours mix we can see that although we are all composed of the same facets they are mixed in such a way that we have individuality. In the Ayurvedic systems when all of the lights are shining at their brightest so that we are full of light we would be described as ‘enlightened’. 

Because some facets or colours shine brighter and are more natural for us to access the Rishis, or scientists, developed the eight paths of Yoga one for each colour. Yoga means to yoke or gather together. All yogic paths are designed to lead, eventually, to the same place of enlightenment. The yogas are Karma Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Mantra Yoga, Raja Yoga, Tantra Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga.

What are the colours of you?

So here are some questions to ponder and decide which colours are strongest in yourself. It is important to remember that you can develop any, or all, of the facets or colours of you, at any time if you wish to. When you look at yourself in this way there may be things that you can see that you need to change or develop. It may be that you need help to do this from a teacher, coaches, therapists and so on. 

During lockdown and covid restrictions paying attention to our needs on every level or facet of ourself is very important.

Red – Physical – Karma Yoga

Your Red world is about what you do and how you act. Karma is the consequence of how you have acted. Karma is neither good nor bad just simply the consequence. The counterpart to Karma is Dharma. Dharma is to do the right thing or to act in the right way. Those that act Dharmically do not create so many negative Karmas. Related to the body, the greatest Karma that we all have to face is how have we treated our body? What we eat, how we exercise, how we work and so on will all take a toll on our body and in the end will dictate how we live, how long we live and how we will die. For the Karma Yogi their body is the temple of their soul that they treat with great respect and gratitude. Related to our body are other bodies. How do you treat you own body, how do you treat other people’s bodies, how do you treat the environment and the world around you? These are all aspects of the Red facet.

Self Audit

  • Are you fit, are you healthy?
  • What exercise do you do?
  • Do you eat a good diet?
  • Do you look after your immediate environment?
  • Do you consider the wider environment of the world?
  • Do you care for other people’s physical wellbeing?
  • Do you physically bully or intimidate other people?
  • What do you need to change in your red facet to improve your body and your behaviour?

Orange – Social – Hatha Yoga

Your orange world is about vital energy. Red bodies live in groups that we call families, communities, societies, cultures, nations or even the whole of humanity. What holds people together is the ‘glue’ energy. Orange energy is called bio-energy, prana, chi. Ki and so on. When that energy is in tune we have harmony. When the energy goes out of tune we have conflict and problems. The balance of energy starts within us and then moves out to others. Hatha Yoga is the balancing of personal internal energies. Ha and Tha is positive and negative, symbolised by sun and moon, also described as yin and yang or Purusha and Prakritti. Hatha Yoga is the balance of energies. In our families, communities and society we need a balance of social energies to create collective harmony, wellbeing and happiness.

Self Audit

  • When and how do you come together with your family and friends?
  • Do you have enough friend time?
  • Do you have enough family time?
  • What do you do to ensure the happiness of those around you?
  • What do you expect from those around you to make you happy?
  • What do you give to those around you that need your support at this time?
  • How could you help them?
  • What do you need to change in your orange facet to feel more connected with those around you?

Yellow – Experience/Intellect – Jnana Yoga 

The magic of the intellect is its ability to discriminate. If you present the yellow facet with a list of pros it will instantly come up with a list of cons and visa versa. The intellect is the tool of perception unlike the blue conceptual world of thought. Yellow is external observation and blue is internal construction. 

Jñāna yoga, also known as Jnanamarga, is one of the several spiritual paths in Hinduism, which emphasises the “path of knowledge”, also known as the “path of self-realisation”. It is one of the three classical paths for moksha [is a word used in many disciplines to denote enlightenment]. The other two are karma yoga and Bhakti yoga. Wikipedia

In the everyday sense the Yellow world of experience is all about having fun. It is okay going out for a good Orange social jolly but unless you have a good flowing Yellow facet to your personality it may not be that much fun.

Self Audit

  • Is you life fun?
  • When did you last have fun?
  • What were you doing?
  • When did you last have a new experience or go somewhere completely new?
  • What are you reading at the moment?
  • What are you studying at the moment?
  • If you could go anywhere and do anything where and what would it be?

Green – Emotion – Power – Service – Bhakti Yoga

The Green facet is about self power, self esteem and self worth. When you can go to the mirror look yourself in the eyes and say ‘I love you”, and mean it, your Green esteem is shining. This should not be mistaken with arrogance that is when we expect other people to tell us that they love us and that over all we feel that we are better than them. Green is about the ego and how I see me. The interesting fact is that some peoples egos are so large that they can include other people within them. Mother Theresa of Calcutta had an ego that was so big she could include all the poor of Calcutta within it and treat them as if they were herself. That is Bhakti Yoga the Yoga of Service. The obvious famous ones are people such as Gandhi, though they are everywhere all around us doing what they can to help others. When the ego goes the other way it becomes self serving and egotistical, demanding attention, needing to be showered with admiration. This is a problem exhibited by many celebrities and politicians.  

The Green facet for us includes money and power but also the power of emotion. The Matriarch may dominate the family but it is mostly through positive power of green love. Often when we look at love we are looking at Greenness and the easy sharing of emotions.

Self audit

  • Do you have self confidence and self esteem?
  • Do you like yourself?
  • If yes what is that you like and why?
  • If not, why not and what can you do to make this better?
  • How do you know that you are loved?
  • Do you feel loved?
  • How do show someone that you love them?
  • Who do you include in your ego bubble?
  • Who would you look after as though they were yourself?
  • What can you do to increase your sense of self esteem?

Blue – cognition – thinking – organisation – status – Mantra Yoga

The Blue world is the internalisation of the Yellow world. Yellow is built of Percepts and the Blue is built of Concepts. Precepts are what we perceive out there as our experience. Concepts are what we internalise as our thoughts and our memories. Internalisation requires ordering and organising. The mind can be like a filing cabinet. If you have a good Blue facet you will be able to recall events going back many years you will be able to order your thoughts and feelings and present them in a calm and logical way that may baffle those that are more emotional.

The Blue world likes status and position. The honours system was designed to fulfil this Blue need for status and position. For Green the currency is power but for the Blue it is status. When someone calls you and says ‘this is Mr Sean Orford’ they are claiming a simple title and not simple being Sean Orford. If the handle could be bigger than Mr perhaps, Doctor, Director, Manager, Duke, Lord, Lady it would maybe gain more status. When someone asks you ‘Who are you’ we normally respond by giving them a list of what we do and from this list they will give us status. The important point here is that we give ourselves and other people status, not by who they are but by what they do.

Self Audit

  • How would you describe yourself?
  • What roles do you play in life?
  • Do you feel that what you do gives you status in your own eyes?
  • Do you feel that what you do gives you status in the eyes of others?
  • Would you like more status?
  • What would give you more status?
  • How could you do this?

Indigo – Intuition – Meaning – Raja Yoga

For any one of us to feel right and a sense of wellbeing our Indigo facet needs to be at least functioning and preferably shining. Indigo is meaning. What is it all about? Up to this point our different facets are concerned with questions of ‘what’ and ‘how’. When we get to Indigo the question changes to ‘Why?’ Why do you get out of bed in the morning? Why do you go to work? In fact, why do you do anything? When life has meaning we are motivated towards doing things. When the meaning has gone we become depressed or even suicidal, ‘what is the point?’ The currency on the Indigo world is intuition. It is that sense of knowing without needing to know why, you just know. That knowing can include the reason why you are alive or your life purpose.

This intuitive facet is introspective. It can be reached and developed in practices such as mindful meditation. Unlike the previous facets that are often active and even noisy Indigo is often silent. This is a knowing silence in which you can hear the answer to your questions and your problems. The self audit at this level maybe a bit challenging and often creates the need to talk about our deep intuitive feelings and thoughts.

Self Audit

  • Why do you get out of bed in the morning?
  • What is the purpose and meaning of life?
  • What is the purpose and meaning of your life?
  • What do you believe happens when you die?
  • Does the answer to the above question affect how you act or live?
  • Do you meditate?
  • Would you like to learn to meditate?
  • What could you do to create more calm, tranquility and silence in your life?

Violet – Imagination – Creativity – Tantra Yoga

Let me start by saying that when most people hear the word Tantra their first thought is sex! Well, the word Tantra in Sanskrit simply means to weave together or to become as one. The sexual act is a good way of understanding how two people could weave together to become as one. Imagine if a family, society, community, culture, nation, group of nations, or even the whole of humanity could become Tantric and be as one. There would be no wars, no starving, no prejudice, no unhappiness. When I say ‘if we all look after each other we will all be okay’ I am describing this Tantric relationship.

Imagination is the key. In modern psychology we use phrases such as ‘what you think about you bring about’ or ‘what you feel you create’. What we really mean is ‘what you imagine you will create’. When we wake in the morning we will imagine the day ahead, we will see it in pictures on the screen in our mind. These pictures create a forward memory that we then go and play out. The Violet facet is the script writer of our life. When faced with a problem we can imagine ourself overcoming it or we can imagine ourself failing. The image creates the action and the outcome.

Self Audit

Project forward to your birthday ten years from now. Someone is reading out a speech about your life and your achievements. The speech that they read is your forward memory, it is your imagination in action, it is your script. Write that speech now so that the speech says exactly what you would want to hear then, now go and live your life and create what you want it to be.

Magenta – Fantasy – Doesn’t exist

We all dream and we all daydream. None of the dreams are real. The dreams that do become real are really the images of the Violet facet. A Magenta dream is just a fantasy. It may be a good light fantasy or a dark negative fantasy. The whole point is that it is not real it doesn’t exist. Yet, we have the ability to take these fantasies and play with them in our mind and feed them and develop them so that they feel so real that the dominate and overwhelm our lives.

The vast, vast, majority of anxiety is nothing more than a Magenta fantasy.  Our worries and fears about what other people may think about us, how they see us, that they are talking about us, that the plane will crash, the bus will be late, we won’t get the job, we will all…. fill in the blank. Once this Magenta facet becomes activated it has no limits from monsters under the bed to every conspiracy theory you have ever heard. Obviously, some rumours (Orange) will have a basis in truth and some report (Yellow) will be true. However much of what we hear on the news and read on social media is Magenta and needs to be taken with a pinch of salt unless it is backed by research or facts (Blue).

We all have this Magenta fantasy facet, It is really good for informal stress management and you walk away from the boss who has just told you off and you replay the conversation in your head but use Magenta to change it so that you told him where to go and exactly what you thought about him.

Self Audit

  • Keep a daydream and a night dream diary and enjoy what you are dreaming about?
  • If your dreams becomes dark, negative or violent you might be holding unresolved issues and need some psychotherapy.
  • Become an active dreamer or day dreamer and create the fantasies that make you happy and enjoy them.
  • Write a book. Many ideas for books began as a daydream or a fantasy.

During this time, we have a rare chance to examine ourselves in ways we have not been able to before and may never be able to again. Many of us have time and that is when the mind wanders. All the different facets of ourself that we have looked at in this block could do with some attention, some more than others. Take the time that you have to do a bit of positive self examination and develop the bits of you that could do with some attention.

Be whole and be happy.

Take care

Sean x

TSHP384: How to work on your mental health (and get your sh*t together)

What’s Coming This Episode?

Things are about to get real in the UK – serious restrictions for many are in place. Add in the colder, darker weather and things could get tough for many. We’ve just passed World Mental Health Day but Ed and Sean try a different angle here. Time to buck up, take a look in the mirror and get yourself prepared…

Enjoy the show and take care, it’s The Self Help Podcast!

Show Notes and Links

Resource of the Week

Stay in Touch

We’re all over the web, so feel free to stay in touch:

Leave us an Honest Review on iTunes

We’d be amazingly grateful if you could leave us a review on iTunes. It will really help us to build our audience. So, if your like what you hear (and would like to hear more great free content) then visit our iTunes page and leave us an honest review (all feedback gratefully received!).

How to work on your mental health

I am worried, here we go again, another lockdown.

The feeling that there will be light at the end of the tunnel is disappearing to a dot on the horizon. My first reaction is that gut wrenching frustration of ‘oh no’, followed by flat depressive feelings. I know how devastating this is going to be for so many people that I have been talking to online. There is a philosophical oracle called the ‘I Ching’ that makes suggestions on the best course of action that you should take. A common phrase in the Ching is ‘it favours you to have somewhere to go’. This means to me that we each need a goal or a destination, a meaning or a purpose to life. This is what seems to be missing right now. In lockdown with continued restrictions and closures it can be hard to see a future. If we feel that there is nowhere to go, that there is no future, then there is no meaning and it can easily become ‘what is the point?’

Because I know how my mind works and how easy it is for the negative monkey in my head, that I call Eric, to come out and throw negative bananas at me, I am vigilante and at times like this and I do my best to not give Eric any head space. It is the living reality of…

…thoughts become things.

I know that once I start to ruminate on the negative it will grow and get even bigger in my mind. Once the rumination begins I am lost so I either, don’t let it happen or I nip it in the bud as soon as possible.

Mind control

It was hard for me to realise that I was responsible for my mind and for what I was thinking or feeling. Now I know how real this is. Either we are on autopilot and simply accepting and reacting to what we are told by media or other people or we are mindfully observant and respond to events in ways that serve us well. This is the living reality of…

…it is not what happens that is important,
it is how we respond to it that really matters.

You have a choice

How are you reacting or responding to the news of more restrictions?

First time around we faced without knowing what it would be like. We played with ideas of working though box sets and taking training, learning to cook or catching up on that pile of books that need to be read. First time around we were naive this time we have knowledge. For those on furlough what will you do.

Let’s get real

Okay, so have a look at the first lockdown. What went well and what didn’t? What do you need to do this time around to make it better?

When life loses its meaning and we lose our motivation the best thing that we can do is make a plan. In the non lockdown world the days of the week have a meaning that is mainly dictated by what we would do on those days. Most of us would work all week which made Sunday a good day to sit around and do very little, take it easy and not feel the need to do anything. The problem is when everyday becomes a Sunday it can feel like there is never anything to do.

Let’s make a plan

Think of it like this, every morning the universe gives you a time cheque, you now have twenty four hours. How will you spend this free windfall? How will you invest your today. What you do will dictate just how you will feel at the end of today. How you feel at the end of today, when you go to sleep will dictate how you will feel tomorrow when you wake up. How about you make a plan?

Either get some paper, or use your device, and set out a calendar of your week. First entries need to be about sleep, exercise and food.

1: Set your alarm – set your sleep pattern
The first thing that tends to go astray is our sleep pattern. It can be easy to think what is the point in getting out of bed. Then your sleep pattern slips and you are awake until the early hours and getting up at lunchtime. Decide on the best time to get up that is pretty similar to your normal regime, count back eight hours from there, that is your bed time. Don’t take phones, tablets and computers or televisions into the bedroom. Your bedroom is your sleep room. We now know that if you are sleeping for less than seven hours this could be due to worry or stress, feeling anxious and if you are sleeping for more than nine hours this could be due to low mood or depression. Either way exercise can help.

2: Move your body
Go for a walk. Go a bit further each day. Decide on your step count, make sure that you do at least that. At least three times a week, but preferably 30 minutes each day, raise you heart rate. If you can run or dance even better. Find an exercise dvd or check out youtube online to see what resources they have. We know that if you raise your heart rate for at least twenty minutes your brain will release happy hormones and you will feel good.

3: What is going in your mouth and when are you doing it?
So many people put on weight in the last lockdown.

The joke is ‘are you doing the lockdown 5k?’. That is not the 5k race it is the 5k of weight that you can put on if you are not careful. One problem that we have identified with people who do manage their steps each day is that they then often feel justified in eating whatever they want. Sadly it doesn’t work that way. Weight is like a bank account. If you deposit more calories than you spend the balance just keeps on growing. It is so important that we all maintain regular meal times and avoid snacking. We now know that when you eat carbohydrates your brain secretes serotonin, the happy hormone, and you feel better. So when you are craving those carbs you are really self medicating to make yourself feel better.

So, the deal is that to survive another lockdown we all need to get organised, plan what we going to do and create a purpose and meaning to each day. In the next podcast I want to look at the seven levels of our human egos and personalities that need to be tended to maintain our sanity.

Take care and get that weekly diary sorted.

Sean x

TSHP383: We can’t change history

What’s Coming This Episode?

History is history, right? What’s done is done. We can’t change it, so move on. BUT (there’s always a but, isn’t there?)… we do tend to hung up on things, don’t we? Whether it be a relationship or a war that killed millions, we struggle to move on. Should we linger and remember or forgive and forget?

Enjoy the show and take care, it’s The Self Help Podcast!

Show Notes and Links

Resource of the Week

Stay in Touch

We’re all over the web, so feel free to stay in touch:

Leave us an Honest Review on iTunes

We’d be amazingly grateful if you could leave us a review on iTunes. It will really help us to build our audience. So, if your like what you hear (and would like to hear more great free content) then visit our iTunes page and leave us an honest review (all feedback gratefully received!).

We can’t change history

What is done is done.

During lockdown and the COVID restrictions I have been listening to the themes that people have been sharing with me. I have noticed that time to ruminate has, for many, been time to go over old, raw and unhealed wounds. This reliving of unresolved past events can easily poison the present and become the seeds of depression and future anxiety. We say that the devil finds work for idle hands. I say the idle mind find space for negative rumination. In Covid many of us have had too much time to think. Unless you are able to mindfully control your thoughts and feelings the monkey in your head will go bonkers and throw negative bananas at your thoughts and feelings.

I see this being played out across the board by various people from around the world.  It becomes so easy to criticise and blame for past events. From racial discrimination, through to the Holocaust, bad Covid decisions, to current failing relationships. We can never change what has happened and we cannot change what will happen, we can only change what is happening right now.

I understand that many groups of people feel, and rightly so, that they and their ancestors have been badly done to by previous generations. This is real and requires both that we acknowledge what has taken place as a real part of human history. But it would be wrong for us now to grab a German teenager off the streets of Berlin and blame them for the Nazis misdeeds, the Holocaust and the Second World War. They may be the right race but they are out of that time, it is nothing to do with them.

Equally we cannot blame a teenager in the streets of London for the misdeeds of ancestors building the British Empire. The Common Wealth Organisation went some way to normalising these negative events as did the United Nations after the Second World War. Yes we need to learn from history but we do not need to keep reliving it.

I realise that this works both ways and that the deniers of bad events are also responsible for keeping the past alive in the current human awareness in the moment. Through the development of human kind there have been bad and wrong things done by one group to another. This was not only the European Empires it was equally local groups. The atrocities that stick out most is the way that the whole of Africa was mistreated by the European Empires, the abuse suffered by Native American Indians, the Aborigines and Maoris. But it goes on today in every case of ethnic cleansing that has taken place on every continent from Yugoslavian right up to the present day, Myanmar and the ethnic ‘re-education’ of Muslims in China. Even the Celts in the UK would have a case for reclaiming the whole of England as their land that was token from them by the past conquest of the Angles and the Danes.

The same attitudes still prevail in smaller groups and communities. As a Londoner I am aware of the antipathy between those born south or north of the River Thames, or those from West or East London. The same thing is true in family groups whether they are extended or nuclear.

Whatever the group that we are looking at, when we allow the unresolved issues of the past to intervene in the present we are lost. This is where vendetta and the holding of grudges develops and may last for so many generations that we forget why or how it began and why we don’t like a particular group of people we just know that we don’t like them.

With Covid and the governmental decisions there will probably be recriminations for many years to come about who should of done what and who is to blame. The arguments have already begun and are partisan as we seek to blame whoever we can for the current state of things. When Trump describes Covid as the Chinese disease he may be talking from some inner knowledge that we do not know. Equally it could be that the pandemic could have originated in any particular country. It often suits the human mind to have something or someone to blame for how we are feeling for what is happening to us.

When we look in the ‘Now’ the past has gone, we cannot change history. We also cannot or live in the future it has yet to be. However, we can play a large part in what happens next. This is called creativity… thoughts become things. However if we are to create a future, positive or negative, we can only do so by starting to own the now. It is the thoughts, feelings, actions and attitudes that we manifest in the now that will create what happens tomorrow. Today we plant the seed and in the future we can reap the crop. The harvest will either be luscious and abundant or weak and failed depending on where we planted the seeds and how we tended to the crop while it was growing.

This is true on every level of human experience. We do have some control over the pollution of the planet and my favourite topic is our over use of single use plastics. We also have control over the air quality and what we are breathing in and is Eds favourite topic ‘get out of your car and onto your bike’. We can blame whoever we want for the state of the planet, we can only act in the now to make it different. We can blame whoever we want for the mistreatment of one human group by another, we can only act in the now to make that different in the future and value each other. We can blame who we want for the state of our families or how we are feeling. We can only act in the now to put it right.

Live in the present, be here now. In the end that is all that we have. As soon as you read this it has become the past. Living in moment requires precise concentration. The last breath that you took was your past and the next breath that you take will become your future. It is only the breath that you are taking right at this moment that is your now.

As my resource for this weeks Podcast I have chosen Elkhart Tolle ‘The Power Of Now’. This is a fascinating read that goes some way to explaining that all we have is in the present moment.

Take care, be happy in your present, let the past go and stop worrying about what will happen next.

Sean x

TSHP382: How to stay positive

What’s Coming This Episode?

We all know that being positive and upbeat is important, so why do we sometimes struggle to keep smiling? Sure, there are issues we all face but still, with so much to be grateful for, why do we struggle to stay positive?

Enjoy the show and take care, it’s The Self Help Podcast!

Show Notes and Links

Resource of the Week

Stay in Touch

We’re all over the web, so feel free to stay in touch:

Leave us an Honest Review on iTunes

We’d be amazingly grateful if you could leave us a review on iTunes. It will really help us to build our audience. So, if your like what you hear (and would like to hear more great free content) then visit our iTunes page and leave us an honest review (all feedback gratefully received!).