‘Always seek out the seed of triumph in every adversity.’
Not long after I entered my forties, my life changed dramatically. Ten years earlier I had married an airline pilot, given up my job as an air stewardess and was enjoying bringing up my two young children. I felt loved and supported by my husband, lived in a large beautiful house, and believed I had everything I wanted. Suddenly my life was turned upside down when I learned that my husband had been having an affair, which meant for me that our relationship was over. To make matters worse, when the family home was sold I found he had arranged his finances on paper so that there appeared to be no equity to share, and soon after he disappeared overseas leaving me and our two very young children without any financial, practical, or emotional support.
I learned to take responsibility for my own life
As a result of these events I had some very difficult years but I’m telling you about it not because I feel I am a victim, but because from the whole experience, I have actually gained so much. I have learned to love, value and respect myself, and to take responsibility for my life, rather than depend on, expect, or allow, someone else to do these things for me.
My first step forward was to go back to college, where I studied psychology, then practical philosophy, and then I trained and qualified as a counsellor. I initially worked in the voluntary sector and the NHS to gain experience in my field, before going on to qualify as a Psychotherapist, Hypnotherapist, Life Coach, EFT practitioner, and NLP practitioner, and in 2005, I felt very proud and delighted to set up my own private practice.
‘No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent’
Since my life changing experience, I have been on a path of personal growth and a journey of self-discovery. I have learned that we act and react to what is going on around us, not necessarily because of the reality of the situation, but because of our belief systems, past experiences, and expectations, mostly developed as a result of negative childhood messages which have programmed our powerful subconscious minds, leading to the development of self-doubt, fear, and limiting beliefs.
I have learned that we all need to take full responsibility for the way we think, feel, act and react and know that no-one can ‘make’ us feel anything unless we choose to give away our personal power. We need to be in control of our thoughts and feelings, rather than feel we are ruled or controlled by them, or blame others for how we feel.
My work and mission in life is now to help others change their lives by sharing with them the many lessons I have learned. I use a combination of Hypnotherapy, NLP and EFT techniques to help my clients re-programme the conscious and subconscious parts of their minds, and Life Coaching to help them create more balance in their lives, achieve their goals and desires, and reach their full potential.
‘If you think you can or you think you can’t you’re right.’
Whether or not we succeed in any area of our lives has much more to do with our beliefs than our abilities. Everything begins in the mind – if you think a negative thought, you create a negative feeling, and when you feel negative you create negative experiences and self-fulfilling prophecies.
We all have an ‘inner voice’ which for most people is almost constantly going over what happened in the past, or worrying about what might happen in the future, and at the same time creating all the negative emotions that go with those thoughts!
The fact is, the past has gone and only exists if we chose to think about it. Instead of having regrets, feeling guilty, resentful, or badly done to in the past, (all of which can create disease, or ‘dis-ease’ – but that’s for another article!) we can choose to recognise our experiences as being our lessons in life and use them to learn, grow, and become stronger and wiser.
The future doesn’t exist, it is yet to come with all that it has to bring, and instead of worrying about what might go wrong, we can choose to use our powerful minds to focus on, visualise, and imagine what we want in our lives, rather than what we don’t want, and in doing so create positive self-fulfilling prophecies.
Only the present moment is ever real and you can handle anything in life by letting go of the past, being ‘in the now’ and just taking one step at a time towards creating your desires for a positive future. When you do this, you will find inner peace and feel in control of your life.
The Serenity Prayer: ‘God give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’
Toni Mackenzie is a fully qualified Psychotherapist, Hypnotherapist, Life Coach, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique/Tapping) Practitioner, and NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Practitioner, helping people to change their lives for the better by changing the way they think and feel. Toni is happily single and independent and lives in Altrincham, Cheshire, with her 23 year old son and 21 year old daughter. website: www.innerdepths.co.uk