Dreams Are Real!

It’s an accepted fact, that your brain does not differentiate between what you actually experience and what you only imagine; what happens outside your body versus what happens inside your head.

It’s what allows you to feel real emotions when you watch a film or listen to a piece of music and to recall and refeel an event from your memory. It’s also what makes your dreams seem so real, and if you’ve ever had a nightmare or seen someone else experience one, then you know how life like they appear.

Now scientists have found a way to demonstrate the effect on the brain during dreams, using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans and other sophisticated equipment; to prove the point.

Their studies showed quite clearly that the area triggered in the brain by a real action, squeezing a fist, was also triggered when the dreamer dreamed they squeezed their fist. So to the unconscious, there was little, if any, difference between the two.

 “Our dreams are therefore not a ‘sleep cinema’ in which we merely observe an event passively, but involve activity in the regions of the brain that are relevant to the dream content,” explains Michael Czisch, research group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry.

This helps to explain why techniques like visualisation and hypnosis, therapies like Time Line Therapy™ and other self development tools like dream boards, well formed goals and affirmations work so well; because your unconscious accepts them as real. As far as your brain is concerned, the scenario you just imagined in your head is real. So when you worry about what might happen, you experience all the dread, fear and other emotions as well as the chemical processes within your body, that would arise if it really did happen – for nothing! Just one great reason to focus on positive things and occupy your mind with happy endings!

As well as helping to explain why the techniques which use an element of active imagination work so effectively, this also gives us carte blanche to daydream! So next time you get caught ‘miles away,’ ‘away with the fairies,’ or with your ‘head in the clouds’ you can smugly explain that you are merely dreaming your future into reality!


To read a full report on the findings of the study carried out click here


 Time Line Therapy TM is a registered trademark of Tad James, licensed exclusively to the Time Line TherapyTM  Association, Inc.  

Is Your Mind Making You Ill?

I read a really interesting piece today on what ‘s called the Nocebo effect, whereby people suffered real side effects when given placebo drugs. In other words, they had a real reaction to something which could not cause this reaction. The nocebo effect occurs when people experience unpleasant side effects, from medicine or a medical intervention, after being told to expect them. It’s a bit like the opposite of the placebo effect, where the patient has positive results from taking something inert and differs from hypochondria, or health anxiety, whereby the sufferer imagines his or herself to be ill.

This has been known about since the 1970’s, when a man told he had a few months to live due to a liver tumour died as expected. Less predictable was the fact that the post mortem revealed that his tumour was actually much smaller than had been diagnosed and the cancer was not in fact serious enough to have been fatal. It was as though he’d died because he expected to.

A study more recently conducted has now shown, that you are more likely to suffer the possible side effects of medication for example if you know in advance what they are.  Reactions from headaches to nausea, dizziness to skin rashes were seen in the study. Pretty much anything you might find listed in a packet of pills.

What this shows is that the mind is able to create real and unpleasant physical symptoms from mere suggestion and pessimistic expectation. The article went on to suggest that many modern day ailments may be caused in part by this phenomenon. Things like headaches usually attributed to electronic equipment and PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome) it suggested, may be due in part at least to your negative expectation. In other words, you create a self fulfilling prophecy. You expect to feel ill and so you do!

Personally, I never read the contra-indications or possible side effects on medicine before I take it! and interestingly, I’ve only ever reacted badly to one – an allergy to an antibiotic.

I had a client however, who seemed to get every possible side effect, regardless of what the medication was for, and yes, they did read the list before they started and fully expected to suffer the consequences! Perhaps I am just made of resilient stuff, or maybe I am just not giving my mind the unhelpful suggestions to feed on and manifest from….

I’d love to hear what you think of this…..



Spring Clean Your Mind

Spring is well and truly upon us, always a welcome herald of the Summer we hope will follow and a time of new beginnings. Quite a few of my Facebook friends have posted this week that they’ve started, and in some cases finished, their Spring cleaning and that got me thinking.

Many of us, when the temperatures become more appealing, empty out cupboards and clean behind things that haven’t been out since last Spring. We spend hours polishing and wiping out, hoovering and re-ordering to ready ourselves for I’m not sure what. For many it’s just something we do because our mums did it!


So, my question today is, when is it the right time to Spring clean your mind? What one thing could you choose to leave behind, a worry, a resentment, disappointment or guilt that would free you up and make room for a bit more happiness or peace of mind?

We all carry far more mental baggage than we need to.

We worry about things that may or may not happen in the future – but worrying alone about something never changed anything did it!

We feel guilt about things from our past – what’s done is done and feeling all the guilt in the world won’t change it.

We suffer disappointment at either our own or someone else’s action or inaction – again, no amount of stewing on it will change it.

So instead of cleaning out under the stairs, or the shed, or wiping the tops of the kitchen cupboards, why not Spring clean your mind this year?
We harbour resentment like a scalding iron to burn our hearts with and let it lead us down the paths of anger, sadness and all the other painful paths I could mention – it won’t change what happened.

Think of all the things that you carry about that pain you. How many could you let go of if you choose to today?

Forgive those who’ve hurt you, not because they deserve it but because you do. Forgiveness is just a way of clearing out that painful memory and freeing yourself. It doesn’t mean you have to give them the space to do it again or that you are saying what they did was OK. Just take that stone out of your pocket and leave it behind. Think about how you can make sure history doesn’t repeat itself and protect yourself for the future.

Forgive yourself for when you’ve messed up. Again, think about what you can do differently next time and then it won’t have been in vain. If you think you’ve hurt someone else, take your courage in both hands and say you’re sorry. That doesn’t mean ‘giving in,’ ‘letting them win,’or ‘saying they were right and I was wrong.’ It just means that you have taken responsibility for your part in the situation and are big enough to acknowledge it. Then you get to let it go! How cool is that. If they are not ready to let it go, that’s in their head not yours.

Change the way you look at things and go into situations and you’ll literally transform your life. You’ll always get the kind of things you expect. Not exactly perhaps, but if you expect things to be a struggle and people difficult, that’s pretty much what you’ll get. It’s unavoidable because of the way your brain works to create your experience and perception.

If you took just one or two things out of your mind and made an effort to be even the tiniest bit more positive or optimistic for just a few weeks, I guarantee you’d notice a difference.

There are lots of exercises in my books to help with this and volume 3 deals with how your unconscious creates your world. Why not download the free extracts available on my website and give it a go. Or, just give yourself permission to make a change today. You have nothing good to lose and when compared with clearing out the shed, a bit of thinking gets my vote every time!

Enjoy the sunshine too!

Are Computers Catching Up With Our Brains?

You just have to love progress don’t you? Well, not always perhaps, but today I am loving this!

This is a scanable (does that word even exist??) QR code for my blog site. I find this kind of technology fascinating. This series of blanks and black spots can be ‘read’ by an app on my iPhone and then take me straight to the web page! So clever!

What’s perhaps even more amazing is that this is not even a fraction of the capability of the human brain. Your eyes can scan a room full of people and pick up all sorts of information about them and your environment. It will then run that instantaneously through your internal filters and decide how you feel and how you are going to react and behave and you’re not even aware it’s happening!

The only problem is that many of your filters were set up such a long time ago that they might no longer be relevant or helpful to you and they might not interpret the information in the best way for you. A bit like scanning this code and it sending you to my Facebook page by mistake!

I’m currently writing my third Self Help Bible book about communication, which looks at the internal processes involved in communication and so finding this code today has given me the inspiration for the next chapter. I don’t believe that these things happen by chance so I’m grateful for this nudge today.

When’s the last time you checked on your internal filters? What if they are making you miss out on some great opportunities? Hmmm, food for thought!

Coincidence or the Law of Attraction?

I have been noticing the circles in life for sometime now, you might call them co-incidences or patterns, I call them circles 🙂 They never fail to delight me no matter how many I spot and this week has been no exception.

At the end of last week, my beloved GHD hair straighteners failed. AGAIN. Julian has managed to repair them several times, but it seemed this time they’d had their ninth life. I was reluctant to spend £100 on a new pair, so as I love the law of attraction, I thought I’d use that instead!

Julian determined that they needed soldering – like last time – but he doesn’t have a soldering iron, hmmm.

To begin with, yesterday morning, I get an offer from Groupon with a vastly reduced pair of ceramic straighteners.

Law of Attraction scores 1. Now, I don’t want to appear ungrateful, they were much cheaper than new GHDs, but they weren’t GHDs – girls I know you’ll understand what I’m talking about! So, I thought I’d see how much a soldering iron would cost. That way I could give Julian a present and he could mend my straighteners, that’s 2 to me  I think!

I found a soldering iron for less than the Groupon offer, but, in my usual fashion ummed and aah’d about spending the money. Then, I decided that I’m worth it and went to get them.

Now that’s quite a good story in itself isn’t it? Well, the icing on the cake for me was that the lottery ticket I had in my purse was a winner too! Not the jackpot yet but enough to pay for the soldering kit!

Now you can say that this is just a series of ‘co-incidents’, but for me, it was a lovely example of how circular life is and how our thoughts attract solutions, opportunities and wonderful gifts; and that in itself is a gift.

Add to that that my straighteners are now fully mended and Julian was pleased with a new gadget and everyone’s a winner 😉

The Self Help Bible Volume 2 Free Preview

If you like to try before you buy, or even better get something for free, then you’ll love the new preview of Volume 2 of my series, The Self Help Bible, that I’ve added for you.

All you have to do is pop your name and email address into the form at the side of this page and I’ll send you whichever preview you are interested in. You can even have both if you want to!

Volume 1 deals with self esteem and confidence and how to improve them in either yourself or someone else.

Volume 2 is about using your mind differently, controlling your reactions and emotions and changing the way you feel about things from your past.

Of course I hope that you will then go on to buy the full version and that’s why I have included an exercise in each preview, so that you can see how I write and also how easy self help, self improvement, personal development, or whatever else you like to call it, really is.

I think, that if we all felt great about ourselves, took full responsibility for our lives and were able to communicate really well, that the world would be a much happier place. I’ve written these books to give you an easy way to start to make the necessary changes in your life to do just that.

The exercise in volume 2 is one I’ve developed myself whilst working with therapy and coaching clients and it works really well. So why not give it a go today!

The Self Help Bible Summer Sale

Autumn is definitely approaching here in England. The leaves are turning colour and the warmth of the day disappears with the sun, so why not grab yourself a bargain to read in the evenings and begin to make those changes you’ve been thinking about?

For a limited period, the Kindle versions of Volume 1 (About Self Esteem and How to Be Confident) and Volume 2 (How to Change the Life You Have For the Life You Want) of The Self Help Bible are both practically free!

If you’re buying on Amazon.com it’ll cost you just $0.99 and if you’re using Amazon.co.uk it’s just 97p (plus VAT)

If you haven’t got a Kindle, you can download an app for your PC, Mac or Smartphone. It’s free, easy to do and works just like the real thing.

So what’s your next excuse for not starting to spend a little time on yourself and your personal development?

I guarantee that a little effort goes a long way where your mind is concerned….


Failed Exams?

Not succeeding at anything in life is disappointing but it doesn’t have to be the end. At the very least there is always a lesson to be learnt from the experience that you can use somewhere else in your life.

Exams are no different.

Not passing an exam comes down to one of three things. Either

  1. you didn’t understand the subject in the first place
  2. you didn’t work hard enough or
  3. you just don’t have a good recall and exam technique.

The good news is that in all three cases you can do something about it! Please read my article on what to do if you fail an exam

The Power of Focus

Did you know that what you are focusing on will determine what you attract into your life, the direction you move in, how motivated you are and influence your overall mindset or frame of mind significantly?

Everything you want and like has an opposite equivalent and often we are much clearer about what we don’t want than what we do want. Ask yourself or anyone what is important about their job, house, relationships etc and you will often get a long list of the things that mustn’t be included or that they don’t want before they give you any of the things they do want to be present. This means that the centre of the focus is a repulsion rather than a compulsion and as the name suggests, is much less motivating or inspiring.

Changing how you focus can make a huge difference to your outlook, lead to much more positive thinking and a sunnier disposition, without any great effort.

This short video explains how easy it is to switch your thinking today.