“There seems to be a commonly held mindset, or some ingrained societal belief, that when something else happens in life, we will finally be happy. Certainly that was the expectation I had before I came to Penninghame……I’ll be happy when my partner finally commits, I’ll be happy when we have a nice house, I’ll be happy when I change my job, when my friends listen to me more, when my family respect me etc etc!  *You can fill in your own expectations of life*.

I was frustrated, and quite frankly, miffed with the deal life was serving up to me. How was it that it seemed to be everyone I knew was finding happiness, getting married, living a ‘perfect’ life? What did I do wrong? What is wrong with me? Even some people who I thought weren’t very nice managed to achieve all these things, so surely I deserve all that too?

So, I just needed to figure out what I needed to do to get all of those things to change, then I would be ok with life.

As righteous and comfortable as all this was to believe, the reality was that all of these ideas and expectations were actually only serving to frustrate and hinder me in life. They certainly weren’t helping me to achieve any of my goals. But I still couldn’t let go of them. I had heard before that happiness doesn’t come from the outside, that you have to love yourself before someone else can love you, that you create your own destiny, and I figured there must be some sense in all that given that my current way of thinking clearly wasn’t working for me. But I was struggling to really believe these new ideas because there was still no difference turning up in my life or in how I felt.

I can’t really explain what happened on the Penninghame Process that helped me to truly see and embrace the power of personal responsibility. Maybe it was the countless times the teachings were shared with such patience, understanding, and unwavering faith. Maybe it was the fact that I could really see that whatever these people were all talking about, it was truly working for them in their lives. Maybe it was something that dropped in as a result of one of the many processes during which I was so safely held while I expressed and unpicked all of the nitty gritty I really believed about myself and the world. I have a feeling it was a combination of all of those uniquely special things.

But something really did shift in me, I truly understood that the power to be happy is always within me, that it is always my choice, my personal responsibility. No one else is, or even could make me happy, its all about what I choose to think, feel, and do, and that is all up to me and me alone.

I truly did not expect this. How could me taking MORE responsibility for my life and my feelings result in me feeling more empowered, more free, more happy. I had spent so long being great at showing a strong independent face to the world, but really feeling sorry for myself that I had supported myself emotionally and financially for so long, I was sure the answer laid in someone else finally taking care of all of that for me. But at last I was able to see how dis-empowering and frankly ineffective all of that story I had been telling myself was, and what a relief that was! Suddenly whatever laid ahead of me seemed a lot brighter and easier, as my new understanding immediately took the pressure off of everything else in my life to make me happy.

Of course, I still want to create all those things in my life. But now that I am now not approaching achieving them from a sense of neediness, the whole process of life feels much more natural and enjoyable. And of course, that rubs off on the people around me, my relationships, my work. As  I am stronger and yet more at ease, it allows people and opportunities to come into my life more easily, helping to create more of the very same things I wanted before but from an authentic place, with ease, rather than force, expectation and neediness.

This is just one of many unconscious beliefs I had that were not serving my life, which I managed to unpick and let go of through the Penninghame Process. It was literally like a re-wiring of my brain. I did have my doubts whether I would have the inner strength to maintain these new beliefs. But for me, what I took from the course, has not only stuck, but it has strengthened and gradually completely changed how I experience my life. It was like once I saw what I saw, I couldn’t un-see it, and it actually hasn’t’ been hard to hold on to, because my new understanding has continued to serve and support me in my life.

So I really do thank the Penninghame Process for not fixing me, for the gift of not spoon feeding me the answers, but for gently showing me the way for me to realise what I needed to by myself. ”

 5 mantras to help you to take back your own power

1. I have a choice

Notice whenever you feel challenged, disempowered, or low, and remember that you have a choice. How to act or react, what thoughts to think, even how you feel. No matter how unfair the situation seems, how helpless, how much it seems like someone else’s fault, never give away your power, there is always a choice.

2. I let go of expectation

I want what I want, I want it my way, and I want it now! Thinking this way only creates negativity and resistance to creating what you want in your life. When you let go of expecting things to be a certain way, you get out of your own way, you stop spending time on wishing things were different, which means you are back in the game, your energy can be spent on taking effective choices and actions to get you what you want rather than being stuck in an unfulfilling waiting game.

3. I am grateful for all the blessings in my life

When we spend time really appreciating all there is to be grateful for in our lives, our outlook naturally becomes more positive. As we then spend more time focusing on the things which are valuable, meaningful and good in our lives, our energy is being spent on creating more of these things, rather than wasting it on negative or unhelpful thoughts.

4. I am powerful

Whenever you are feeling powerless, wishing someone would do something for you, wishing life was easier, just remember all you have achieved in your life so far. Whoever you are or whatever you have achieved, you have overcome many challenges, and created everything you have in your life. You may still wish things were easier. But in these moments, even just choosing the remembrance that you have the power in your life will help to shift your thinking back from resistance to how things are, which will have no positive impact on your situation, to moving back into your sense of feeling empowered to get on and do what needs to be done.

5. I love myself

As cheesy as it sounds, this works. Whenever you feel like you are needing love from someone else, say this to yourself. Don’t just say it though, really feel the warm comforting feeling that comes from giving this to yourself. It’s ok to want to feel loved, we all do, and we are all worthy of love. It’s just that it doesn’t come from others by expecting or needing it to be given. Once we realise that we are truly loveable, and treat ourselves that way, then others can sense that, and they will then be more able to show you love too. And the bonus is, we can then truly enjoy feeling the love of another, rather than clinging onto it to fill a void in ourselves.

Blessings, empowerment, and love

The Penninghame Team