Have you ever wanted to feel happier, calmer, more peaceful, confident and have better mental health?
Whether that's in your body, your relationship to food, to navigate a big life change, in how you show up at work and with your children or partner...
I think we all do, right?
And yet, happiness seems to be some elusive concept that wellness apps try and sell us with meditation practices and pretty affirmations...
But what if there was a way of looking at, and relating to, your mind which actually CHANGED everything?
Enter: IFS or internal family systems
The basis of IFS is this: Personality is multiple.
In this model, we don't view the mind as one thing.
Instead, we see it as made up of parts.
There is not one mind, but there are many parts to it, which explains how we can have so many thoughts and feelings at the same time about one thing. Some of you might recognise this when you hear or say things like ‘A part of me feels really excited about this, but another part of me is also not sure what to expect’... etc.
For example, when faced with problem, you might have a 'thinking' or 'figuring out' part who is going to try really, really hard to solve this for you. You might have an 'inner critic' part who is busy judging you for how you acted or what you said. You might have a part who feels really upset and/or angry, even though your thinking part is telling them there's no real reason for them to feel angry or upset.
A client gave me the most beautiful analogy for this.
You're off to the theatre, dressed up in your sparklies, and as you settle down into your seat, glass in hand, and the orchestra starts to tune up.
All of those instruments making disjointed noise at the same time.
Out of tune.
Out of sync.
Doesn't sound great right?
This is what some Buddhist traditions called the monkey mind. It can feel a lot; loud, chaotic. And there's a lot of psychic tension that is generated by all of these well-intentioned parts (because all parts want to help, there are no bad parts!), disagreeing or believing they have the best idea and just going off on each other.
Then, enter stage right, the conductor.
As the lights dim, and the curtains go up, you get the first perfect note of music hitting the air, setting the scene and you get chills up your spine.
If you were to peer into the orchestra pit now, you'd see the conductor there, working in sync and in harmony with all of those musicians and their instruments to produce together the most beautiful music. Each instrument is valued, each has its place, and all together, they now all work.
You, my friend, are the conductor in all of this.
You are not your thoughts or your feelings. You are not your parts.
With internal family systems, we learn how to be the conductor of the orchestra so your parts can sing in harmony. Your parts learn that there is indeed a conductor and they don't have to fight it out among themselves like kids at the back of a bus.
And that can feel like such relief.
It can feel so much clearer.
It can make so much more sense.
So if you're feeling like the orchestra tuning up right now, I invite you to check out the free 'Belief' workshop I did recently (it's part of the Summer Shake Up series, and you'll get the other free replays straight away too). I go way deeper in teaching you about IFS and how the mind works, and invite you to bring a belief and map out all your parts.
You can catch the free replay here.
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