lovelight holistic health clinic

healing ways - a series of healing stories

Learning - Global vs Specific

When her husband died, the elderly widow decided to move from her large family home to a small country cottage. She took some of her treasured furniture and sold the remainder. She also took her cat, whom she adored. In the new cottage kitchen there was a wood burning stove for cooking and heating which was not used during the summer months after they moved. The stove was positioned so that the sun shone onto it through the window and it became the cat's favourite sleeping place. Each day he would spend the morning sleeping on the stove, out of the way of the old woman's feet but able to survey his domain from his vantage point.

Autumn came and the days cooled down. The old woman started feeling the cold and bought some firewood from the local farmer. One cooler than usual evening she lit the wood burning stove in the kitchen and found that it was amazing. Not only would it heat the whole house, but it could also burn overnight so that she would have a warm kitchen in the morning. The cat didn't know. Next morning, the cat as usual came out to the kitchen and jumped up onto the stove - it was hot! With an almighty yowl he jumped off the stove, hobbling on his burned paws. That winter he found somewhere else to sleep, but even after spring had come, followed by summer, he never again slept on the stove in the kitchen, even when it was unlit and sunlit all summer long.

So what did the cat learn? Never to jump up onto the stove. Even when it was cold and quite safe to jump on, even though it was his favourite summer daytime sleeping place, he would never again jump onto the stove and enjoy what used to be his favourite perch.

What was the actual learning available from this incident? The cat could have learned that sometimes the stove can be hot and it is a good idea to walk near it to see if it is burning before jumping onto it. That way he would avoid pain.

Many people are just like the cat. They often have favourite places, activities and other things that they enjoy. They also often have painful experiences while they are doing these things. What they learn from them is a choice they make. If they learn globally, like the cat did, they may learn not to do that activity, not to operate that business, not to enjoy that pastime. This can be seen as destructive learning as it prevents a person from doing something that they enjoyed. Examples are numerous - a sportsman is injured playing a game so chooses not to indulge in that sport any more; a horsewoman gets thrown from her horse and chooses to never ride again; a property developer gets 'burnt' in a falling property market so never again undertakes property development; a child answers a question incorrectly in class and is ridiculed by an insensitive teacher so never again offers an answer in class. These situations are often seen as failures by the people involved instead of the learning opportunities that they are, and this in turn is personalised by these global learners so that they then think of themselves as failures, which of course they are not.

Healthier choices could have been made if the learning was more specific. In the above cases, the sportsman could have learned to recognise the possibility for injury and learn tactics to deal with that situation safely; the horsewoman could have remounted the horse as soon as possible after being thrown and taught the horse how to behave in a safer manner while also restoring her confidence; the property developer could have learned how to recognise signs of a falling market so that he could invest more wisely in future; and the child could have been taught that it is fine to make mistakes because that is how we learn and that making a mistake does not mean you are a 'bad' person. All these specific learning opportunities are opportunities for growth.

What have you learnt from your 'mistakes'? How have you set strict limitations on what you can and cannot do? Remember that everytime you state your limitation ("I can't do ....") you are reinforcing it - your body is always listening! As Richard Bach says in his wonderful book Illusions, "Argue for your limitations and sure enough, they are yours." If you must use 'can't' in relation to your own abilities, always follow it with the word 'yet', e.g. "I can't run a marathon yet." That is a true statement, not a limitation, and it allows you to choose to run a marathon or achieve whatever you have stated that you haven't done, without placing artificial and unjustified limitations on yourself. To achieve more, change the way you think, which will change your self-talk.

One very effective way to do this is by using Journey therapy. The Journey process allows you to travel back in time to where you had these painful experiences and where you globalised the learning from them to create your current limitations. You can then understand why you have the limitations and can easily and quickly eliminate them to allow yourself the freedom to achieve your goals. Perhaps you even did more than this - you may have made a vow like "I'm never going to do .... again". Vows are extremely powerful and often are stored at an unconscious level. Frequently I find that in a second marriage there are relationship problems due to marriage vows from the first marriage still being in place. The Journey can easily remove these unhealthy vows and replace them with healthy, positive vows relevant to your current situation.

So when you are ready to achieve to your highest potential and to feel the power of real freedom from old restraints, give me a call and arrange for a Journey. If you are too far distant from Tauranga, visit the Journey website and contact your nearest recommended practitioner.


PO Box 296, Tauranga, New Zealand * Tel (07) 544 3087 * Mob (0274) 809 816 *
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