Madame Motivator has changed my life
LUCY BENYON describes how she discovered the secret techniques for tackling everyday
Whether it’s having the willpower to stick to a diet, finding the time to organise our finances or having the confidence to launch a new career, most of us have a motivational blind spot in at least one area of our lives. For me, it has always been exercise. Over the years I’ve tried everything from a personal trainer to running round the park but my aversion to physical exertion is so severe that my fitness frenzies rarely last longer than a week.
Lately though this lack of energy and enthusiasm seems to have spilt over into every other area of my life: I’m leaving bank statements unopened, dithering over deadlines, the fridge is empty and I never quite get round to calling my friends. Worried, I decide to seek help from Meira Shore, a hypnotherapist and master practitioner of neuro linguistic programming, who claims she can motivate me by speaking directly to my unconscious mind.
We meet at her treatment room in north London where she instantly puts me at ease. She explains that over the years she’s helped people in all sorts of areas from patients struggling with phobias, fear of childbirth and a dread of public speaking to those dealing with weight loss, addiction and intense pain. “A lot of people come to see me because they can’t lose weight,” she says.
During the first consultation, Meira talks to them and tries to get to the root of their problem. “Some might associate food with feelings of happiness or security, perhaps others were rewarded with food in childhood and unconsciously they don’t want to break that link,” she says. After three weeks, the majority of Meira’s weight-loss clients have lost a stone. “I talk to the unconscious mind because it is our best friend and wants to help us,” she says.
“The brain doesn’t hear negative messages such as ‘don’t eat that second slice of pizza’ but under hypnosis the unconscious mind is able to absorb positive messages free from rational thought.” She explains that by getting in touch with the “authentic” self, she can challenge faulty belief systems that have developed over many years.
“I once had a client who always spoke in a whisper,” Meira recalls. “When I asked her about it she told me she’d always spoken like that. It was only when I probed further that she eventually told me her mother had told her off for shouting when she was little. She’d grown up with the belief that it was bad to be loud. “She’d come to me to lose weight but after I treated her she not only shed the pounds but she found her voice, too.”
As we chat Meira tries to get to the heart of my problem of procrastination. As far as the aversion to exercise is concerned, I tell her I’m just lazy. She nods and says we can leave that subject for another session. Then she asks me why I’ve stopped calling my friends. I assumed it was because I was too tired and busy but I realise there’s another reason. “I think I’ve become boring,” I whisper, red-faced.
I explain that while I was once sociable and unpredictable, my life is now calm and contented and, as a result, I feel there isn’t much to talk about. Next she asks what might have caused the inertia in other areas of my life. Again, I’m not sure so she asks me to draw a mind map and write in the middle what I really want from life. The results surprise me. As well as feeling more motivated and in control, I want to feel passionate and energetic.
Meira then asks me how I can achieve my life’s purpose in every area of my being: physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially and mentally. She gives me the mind map to fill in at home and I feel excited about setting myself some fresh challenges. After our consultation, it’s time for Meira to hypnotise me. As my eyes close, my mind switches off and I relax.
Meira’s voice tells me that I’ve had enough of putting things off and not getting round to what I’ve set out to do. She says I’ll start to approach life with a greater sense of urgency, not just doing the things I have to but also the things I want to do. Her messages are peppered with motivational mantras and I hear: “I am a successful, confident, goal-orientated winner.”
After half an hour Meira brings me out of the trance. I feel tired but positive. She gives me some positive affirmations to say when I get out of bed and a couple of CDs, one geared towards getting things done and the other targeted to my true sense of self. I can’t say I feel suddenly overwhelmed with a new found energy but as I drive home, a strange sense of urgency fills me. My car is an absolute mess and I’ve been meaning to do something about it for ages. As soon as I get home, I clean it out. The job I’ve been putting off for weeks takes only 10 minutes to complete.
The next morning, when I get out of bed, I try an affirmation: “I am motivated and in control,” I mutter three times. The message is surprisingly strong because before the day is out I’ve made an appointment to see a financial adviser and have added some new software to my laptop – two boring jobs I’ve been putting off.
As the week progresses, I spend time working on my mind map. I vow to go on long walks in the countryside and compile a list of books I’ve never got round to reading. Every morning, I utter a new affirmation and write myself a list of achievable goals. Everything I do is geared towards helping me feel more passionate, energetic and in control. It is this incredible focus that slowly frees me from my motivational malaise.
For more information visit www.meirashore.com or call 020 8961 6257.