“To laugh you have to be able to exhale & take another breath in quick succession. We know from various (breathing) therapies, that to take a breath causes one to free one’s emotions, that when we wish NOT to feel, we hold our breath instead”.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes from ‘Women who run with the Wolves’ – a fabulous book, by the way, & one that I think will inform all women, stimulate deep understanding & personal growth.

I work with many women who have been holding their breath for a long time, which can create exhaustion & respiratory illnesses or a sense of tightness or pressure around the chest/lungs/heart area as well as constriction in the throat & many other physical symptoms. Letting go can be scary on your own. Sometimes we have been doing it for so long that we aren’t even aware of it, nor do we remember a time when we felt any differently than right now. We accept many, many emotions, feelings & physical discomforts  as just the way things are, part of us, something we cannot change. The results are often chronic illnesses, lots of acute illnesses, a lack of energy or an absence of Joy or any sense of deep happiness or ease.

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A big part of what I do for a living is listening to your Stories. I listen to The Story – the pattern or Timeline of your life & all the major events & circumstances that you have negotiated, survived, or created & that have contributed to who you are today.  I also listen to the many smaller stories that sit in the gaps in between these seminal events & I listen to how you have responded or reacted to them, what patterns of behavior or emotions you may be repeating.

Our ability to tell our Story is a vital part of who we are – our self-expression, our Truth. We have an amazing ability to create, to use our imaginations & construct incredible characters, mythical creatures & whole fantasy worlds. Story telling is a massive part of being Human & of our own unique family cultures as well as our wider geographical cultures. Here in Ireland, Stories are integrally bound in the makeup of the population & an important part of communication – the Irish are fabulous story tellers & musicians.

Stories can be used to deliver uncomfortable or challenging news or lessons & of course Fairy Tales were all about teaching children a moral code or giving them boundaries eg ‘don’t go into the woods after dark, its not safe’, ‘beware of Wolves in sheep’s clothing’ etc etc. I don’t think any of us would claim that any of these ancient Stories are literally true but they enable us to remember better & are embedded in our sub-conscious ready to come out whenever a suitable trigger comes along.

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Our 7th Code both provides us with & is fed on a deep sense of connection, not only to a wider ‘tribe’ or group of like minded souls but to something more universal, a sense of belonging to the world and everything in it. The sense of all of us being connected and able to nourish, support and heal each other on an energetic level. This can only come when we feel this within ourselves and about ourselves – when we feel both nothing and everything at the same time.

I think of this code as being made up of rings of connection all sitting on top of each other – on the inside the personal connections we can have with our partners or friends or family, then the connections we make at school, college, in our jobs or our hobbies. The rings get wider & spread further & eventually some of us get to feel deep connections with people we may just ‘click with’ , who ‘get us’ & become our ‘Tribe’. We form communities that can cross countries, languages & continents, we understand that there isn’t really anything that separates us, we are all the same,  feeling the same feelings, dreaming the same dreams, all doing our best with what we have.

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The 6th code of 7 that govern all our behavior and what drives it. We all need these centers for primal human needs to be in balance within themselves & in relation to the other 6 codes in order to be 100% ourselves at our best. There are few of us these days who manage this totally but with practice & a willingness to evolve & grow we can get pretty close!

The 6th code is all about our need to stretch, to learn new ideas, experience exciting new things, to embrace ourselves & the world around us at a deeper & deeper level. To be excited about the possibilities available to us, to be curious & open to everything. To feel Joy, vitality and a sense of purpose about our lives – what’s next??

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This is the 5th in my Blog series exploring the 7 Behavioural Codes that govern & drive all our behaviour – codes that run in our sub-conscious minds & determine patterns that run automatically for us. We need these 7 codes to be balanced & full at all times & when they are not, all our actions will be driven by a desire to re-balance & re-store these centers of feeling.

Our 5th code is located in our throats & neck and govern our sense of self-expression, our ability to use our authentic voices to speak out, say what we feel & what we know to be true for us individually & for us as a whole & (I believe), ultimately for the whole sentient world. I have worked with many Clients over the years who have come seeking relief from physical symptoms in their throats, or neck area – Thyroid disorders, chronic sore throats, Tonsillitis, Laryngitis or problems swallowing food etc. Too often to be ignored it turns out that these Clients shared a common thread of some kind of suppression of themselves & their ability to express that.

We express who we are through a variety of ways –  language, words, hand gestures, facial movements, body language, touch or not touching, our choice of clothing, make-up, body art, hairstyle, jewellry etc. These choices that can cause so much angst in parents are some of the first indications that we are becoming our own people, forming our own self-awareness & identity distinct from our parents or primary care givers. Ironically this is often the time when these outward forms of self-expression are exactly the time when we most yearn to ‘fit in’, to belong to a tribe, a tribe that ‘gets us’ & we can ‘be ourselves with’. How much this is a problem or not depends on this 5th code fully functioning & also our 1st (safety), 2nd (Creativity/risk) & 3rd (Self esteem/identity) codes also being in balance. I hope that you can see from reading about the previous codes how, for example if we don’t feel that it’s safe (1st code) to speak out, then we won’t, in a bid to feel safe, however that protection device disables this 5th code. Perhaps we have experienced very strict parenting that didn’t give space to creative self-expression or taking any kind of risk (2nd code) or maybe we live in a wider environment that employs censorship of any opinions that don’t conform? If you are a painter, singer or naturally extrovert & these behaviours were discouraged or belittled when you were young, you can see that the potential is there for damage to at least 2 codes? The second code which needs us to take risks & be creative as well as the 5th code which is the ability to be & express who we really are.

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This is the 4th Blog in my series exploring our ‘7 Behavioural Codes’ – the primal, human needs we are all seeking to feel rich in and that we need to feel are in balance with each other. Understanding these codes helps us to get clarity over what may be driving our behaviours – the ones we like and the ones we don’t like so much. These patterns of behaviour are often set up from a young age and unless we can understand what’s driving them, ask whether they are helping us or hindering us, we will find them difficult habits to break.

Our 4th Code is all about our deep need for unconditional Love, to give it and to receive it. If we feel that we are not fulfilled in this vital area, then all our behaviour will be about seeking to feel more love. Unsurprisingly we tend to feel this code & any effects of a lack of it in our chests, heart & lung area. I see this deep need to feel Love as having 3 equally important componants:-

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This is the third in my 7 part series where I invite you to think about the basic (& complex) primal, human needs or codes that we all have as part of our healthy whole. Understanding how the need to fulfill these needs with everything we do & say can give us insight into where

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