This has been difficult to write, I am so close to holding back because I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, or to judge me. But that is me, and my ego trying to pre-empt all of your reactions and that is not my business. What I want to do is share my experience because I think it might be useful to others. It may not be useful to all of you, but I hope that this reaches someone who needs to hear it.
I’ve had a block for a while about charging my worth. I am dedicated to offering value for money as I haven’t always had much disposable income. I want my products to be available to those who need them. For a while now I have been building a library of free resources, sharing as much as I can that is useful in the hope that it will reach those in need with ideas to manage stress during these difficult times.
Talking about money is sticky, isn’t it. We are conditioned to think that its crude, or vulgar. As a result, I have spent most of my life pretending that I had more than I did in order to fit in and spent well beyond my means for many, many years. This is a trap that I’m sure is familiar to some of you. We grow up being told that if we work hard, we will gain all the things that are due to us, a house decorated to match the interior magazines we buy, nice clothes to match the fashion magazines we buy, car (or cars) and holidays in exotic locations around the world. Then if we don’t earn enough to be able to afford those things it feels like we have failed. Have we not worked hard enough? Haven’t we played the game right? We keep trying, and striving, and it wears us down. That’s the grind isn’t it.
I remember back in my twenties, while working in the head office of a fashion retailer, earning around £16000 a year, reading a magazine with a bag which cost around £300 and I thought that that was quite reasonable. These same magazines told stories of fashionistas, winning at life by saving money eating noodles from a packet in order to scrape the money for one of these designer pieces. That bag would surely make everything better in our lives.
In hindsight, this is absolute madness of course. I don’t know if this is the message that fashion magazines are still peddling because I don’t buy them anymore. I’m sure that had I had any sense I could have made that wage support me, but I didn’t and I borrowed and borrowed to make it seem like I was living the life I was supposed to be. I didn’t even buy the bag! But I did spend on clothes and eat and drink in restaurants and bars that I could not afford so that I could feel fancy. Like I was living the dream. It’s funny, and also very sad.
I’m sure that not many people are quite as foolish as I was, however, my point is that in many ways we are all sold this idea of how our lives should be, and therefore what things we should buy to fit in and succeed at this life. It might not be clothes for you, it might be something else. And when we struggle there can be a lot of misunderstanding about how we got there.
There is a lot of shame and guilt associated with addressing this stuff. Underlying beliefs that drive the way we behave. Did I overspend to make myself feel like I was good enough to fit in with others when perhaps I didn’t feel like I deserved to be there?
A grammer school boy, my father was deeply working class, with a chip on his shoulder because he neither fitted in with his family, or with the intellectual middle class that he probably could have been a part of if he had really wanted to. I probably soaked up that sense of not fitting in, and the awkwardness that goes with that is easily masked by buying the right clothes, or hanging out with the right people in the right places. Even if that means spending every penny you have on one dinner out with friends. I remember the so familiar feeling of dread and sickness as the bill would come and I would pray that my card would not be declined in front of everyone.
I have done so much work around this stuff over the last year. I felt like it was my duty to address it, as a hypnotherapist, I needed to walk the talk and use the tools to overcome these limiting beliefs and behaviours that were affecting not just me, but my family. With the help of Catherine Morgan, money coach, I have totally turned my way of thinking around. I got help, and it really worked. Changing your beliefs changes your behaviour. But what I am learning as well is that it isn’t necessarily a job that is done once, and ticked off the list. I still have work to do. I want to share this because what has helped me, can help you too if this resonates and sounds familiar. You can change our beliefs and behaviour, and it’s OK to reach out to someone else for help and support. You don’t have to do it alone.
This is a note to self, and to anyone else who is suffering with limiting beliefs:
You deserve it. You deserve it as much as anyone else. You are loving and kind and you care about your work and your family and your community. You have needs too. It’s OK to charge what you are worth.
So, I am increasing my drop-in rate to £8 per session.
And my Yoga membership to £30 for any new members as of next week.
This is your last chance to get the membership at £20 per month.
Founding members will keep the £20 rate forever.
The online course is going up to £24 – last chance to get at £12.
New pricing will take affect from Monday next week.
I've just been doing a really interesting journalling exercise - I've been imagining that money is no object, that I am living in a dream house, which needs no work doing on it. Even the garden is perfect. So I have everything I need, and if I didn't want to work, I wouldn't have to, so I asked myself, how would I spend my time? And I got really specific, like right down to the hours per day.
And, do you know what, it doesn't look that different from the ways that my days go right now. I know, that if money were no object, I would still share the practices that I do now, because I love it
I might take the pressure off myself a bit.
But maybe I could do that anyway
So this is what I do, I teach what I know about Yoga, about moving, about stillness, about rest. About how the tools we have at our disposal to make this one life of ours a joyful journey with all its ups and downs.
You can find me at class, online 4 times a week, or you can book in some 1:1 time with me. Or you can head over to the website and take a look at some of the free resources I have posted.
How about you? How would you spend your days if money were no object? If you were free from worry about money.
Thanks for sticking with me so far on this crazy journey, made even crazier with the current challenges being imposed upon us.
I thought I would just tell you a little bit about myself, for those who don't know me, and explain what I want to create with this Happy Healthy community.
I came to Yoga teaching from a major shift in my life. I had been working in London since leaving university, and now, with 3 kids, commuting to the city from our seaside town four days a week was really taking its toll.
The house was chaos, my marriage was falling apart, and the kids were shunted from different nannies to grandparents and back throughout the week. I was a wreck. Totally stressed out. Working my arse off but never quite making enough money to cover everything. I drank too much and craved escapism. Connecting with the children in a meaningful way was almost impossible as I was so stressed out and irritable. Life was a blur.
And then I had a health scare. I had to have a lump checked and then when it didn’t go away, I was referred for a biopsy. In that moment, I was shocked into re-assessing everything. I was petrified, I didn’t cope with stress well and catastrophised at the best of times. I got straight onto the phone with my Mum and she said, “Franny, whatever it is, you have to change something. You have been running around like a mad woman for years!” And so I quit my job. I called in sick the next day, and never went back.
Like so many others before me, I was lucky enough to fall into my Yoga practice in this time of worry and uncertainty. I was so lucky that my results came back and everything was fine. I’m well aware that many people don’t have it so easy.
Yoga was such a huge support during that time I was drawn to share it with others. I became fascinated with the power of the tools that Yoga offered. Not just the poses, but the practices like meditation, relaxation, intention, gratitude, kindness. Practices that we now know are scientifically proved to be good for our health and make us feel better.
I was drawn to study hypnotherapy and the potential that we have to change our behaviours and habits to further support a happy and healthy lifestyle.
I have a vision of a community space where these resources can be shared in a simple and accessible way. Resources to help relieve pain, suffering, isolation, and stress. Free of jargon and dogma. A place where someone who may have been intimidated by the idea of a Yoga class would feel comfortable.
I started with local classes and created a programme to combine techniques from both Yoga and Hypnotherapy. I then progressed to organising events, workshops and retreats to share these tools for managing stress and anxiety, for finding a way to live happily and healthily.
Since then I have taken my offering online, with this website and Facebook Group, a hub where you can join a live class, and find free resources to support your happy healthy lifestyle: short Yoga videos, meditations, relaxations and workshops.
All the Free resources I share on facebook are also uploaded to the website so No Facebook = No Problem!
My experience and belief is that if you focus on supporting your happiness and your health then everything else will follow.
I can help you to:
So THANK YOU, and I look forward to seeing you this week if you can make it.
A collective Pattern Interrupt - why now is a great time to consider whether your habits are serving you.
This last few weeks has been a rollercoaster, right. Emotions swinging all over the place.
One minute, anxiety and fear from the threat of this new illness which is tragically claiming the lives of so many. Unease about financial stability. Bombarded with messages from the media, all with their own agenda, trying to sift through and find some truth to stay informed.
The next elation, enormous gratitude and heart-warming happiness at having been given the gift of slowing down. Sitting in the sunshine in the garden watching the children play. Reading to them more than I ever have before. Suddenly and strange clarity aware of how very little we need to feel joy.
And through all this, we are trying to adjust to the situation. Many of our usual routines no longer fit into this new way of living which has been asked of us. I don’t know about you, but I found myself during the last couple of weeks desperately trying to maintain some sense of normality and routine to get by.
Our daily lives run on patterns of behaviour, subconscious programs which mean that we can get on with things while still using our conscious minds to ponder. And suddenly these programmes have been rattled and some of them broken, now defunct. When these programmes are deep the change can bring up a lot of resistance.
One of the patterns that I notice in myself is the Being Busy program. The idea that I need to be busy in order to be productive/useful/of worth. It gets interesting when you dig down into this stuff doesn’t it. So, when my usual routines were interrupted by the escalating news of the virus my subconscious continued to drive me into those same patters – stay busy. And even restricted from my usual work patterns I managed to succeed at Being Busy.
The Being Busy program isn’t a joyful thing for me. It is a sense of compulsion, driven from a place of lack. I am not enough therefore I must do more. I don’t have enough therefore I must do more. I don’t make myself busy with stuff that brings me joy, I fall into victim mode and become resentful that I can’t do the things I want to do.
Do you ever feel that way?
Being Busy is just a question of how I currently choose to prioritise my time. About the habits that I have created based on my underlying subconscious beleifs..
There is a technique used in hypnotherapy called the pattern interrupt.
Where our automatic patterns are interrupted and the subconscious becomes more receptive and open to change. The sub-conscious doesn't know what to do next and awaits instruction.
It occurred to me this morning that we have all been given a collective pattern interrupt.
That's why even though this is a terrible situation, it is also an opportunity for many of us.
This is the perfect time to create new programs, to figure out what we want and what to change.
Our subconscious is awaiting new instructions, new programming. What new habits have you always wanted to install into your routine?
Here are a few of the habits that I want to cultivate:
More time with your children
Less screen time
A regular mediation practice
To make healthy, home cooked meals
To learn a new skill
This doesn’t mean that you should feel under pressure to achieve, this is simply a window of opportunity which can be utilised to form habits for the long term which will add richness to your life now and beyond lockdown.
With this in mind I am holding a Free Meditation on Thursday morning to explore this idea further. The meditation will offer space for creative visualisation. An opportunity to contemplate what you want, what brings you joy and what you love to do. To clarify what is meaningful to you, what you value and where to focus your attention.
What do we want to be saying "No" to more in our life, and what do we want to be saying "Yes" to in its place?
Where are the habits that don’t support our vision for our most fulfilled life coming from?
What stories are we telling ourselves over and over again that support these undesirable habits?
Just by following this line of self-enquiry we can begin to make change to the deeply ingrained thought patterns and behaviours. By shining a light on those unconscious programmes we can begin to move forward in the direction that we want to go.
So, I would love it if you could join me! All you need to do is head over and join the Happy Healthy facebook group, and I will be Live at 9.15am on Thursday morning to guide you in the meditation.
And finally, here is a link to a fascinating podcast with Dr Joe Dispenza on the Science of Changing Your Mind, if you are interested to hear more about how we have the potential to change our mindset.
Frances Robertson-Ritchie, Yoga teacher and hypnotherapist