Wednesday, 25 January 2017

What makes you happy?

Happy New Year lovelies,

I can't believe it's nearly February already!

I’ve just bought some books on feelings to read to my two year old twins. One of them is gorgeous and teaches how it feels inside to be happy, to be sad, to be angry and to be excited. It teaches that all feelings are OK and valid and normal.
I was shocked that one of the books teaches that happiness is achieved by being nice to other people, by focusing on making them happy and not being mean. As I read it I became acutely aware that there was no mention of being kind to yourself, of loving yourself and being as generous to yourself as you are to other people.  If this book was published 40 years ago I could understand it, but it wasn’t, it was published only ten years ago and it’s so outdated.
Pretty much every adult I know is currently, or has been in the past, so tough on themselves, so scathing, so intolerant and, even if they are lovely to other people, it does not lead to happiness. Being generous, kind and caring to people around you, to family, friends as well as strangers is just part of how to be happy. Learning to be as generous, kind and caring to yourself if absolutely key too.
How generous, kind and caring are you to yourself?
What could you do today that would be even more generous, even more kind or even more caring? How about stopping that inner critic and accepting that you didn’t meet the deadline, that you forgot to do something, that your children were late for school, that you aren’t as prepared as you want to be for the meeting, that you had a second piece of chocolate cake? Try it and see what happens.
How about letting stuff that happened in the past go, just let it go, you can’t change it now? Try it and see what happens.
How else could you be generous, kind and caring to yourself today? What about tomorrow and the next day?
Much love,

About Kate Gare

I have been teaching the Lightning Process since 2007 and, as an Advanced Practitioner, have supported hundreds of people to make changes in their lives.
I work at the Phil Parker Lightning Process head office in London and also in Brighton, Sussex.
 I am also an examiner and mentor to new practitioners. I run regular Lightning Process courses. If you would like to speak to me about whether the Lightning Process is the right approach for you, contact me:
07964 844375

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Pain Explained

We had the Lightning Process Continued Professional Development (CPD) two day conference recently. It's always so great to reconnect with our colleagues throughout the world and, as ever, so inspiring to hear about their great work and the changes their clients have made. This year Ian Cleary ( who teaches the Lightning Process in Australia and New Zealand gave an amazing lecture on the Neurology of Pain. If you follow us on Facebook you may have already seen posts that talked about Ian's lecture and also links to find out more. If you haven't seen them yet, and you have chronic pain, then here are some great links to find out more:
TED Talk by Lorimer Moseley "Why We Hurt":

Friday, 17 June 2016

Influencing our inner peace

I've just started a Mindfulness course for parents and it's already amazing. Taking time out to increase your awareness of a single thing, whether it's your environment, how your body feels (if appropriate), noises, squirrels playing in the park or your children giggling can help to create a stillness and peace. It's like pressing 'pause' on a manic day and that 'pause' makes everything feel calmer.
It's ten years since I did the Lightning Process and nearly nine years since I started teaching it. But even as a Lightning Process trainer, with all of my knowledge and experience, it's so good to be reminded to press 'pause' or 'stop' by someone else.
There's one rule in my Mindfulness class and that is to always have both feet on the floor, to help with feeling grounded. Why not try it for a week?
Phil Parker has produced a wonderful seven minute guided meditation, why not give it a listen? Don't force anything just allow your self to increase your awareness.
What a lovely way to set yourself up for the weekend, even though it's thundery in June (in Brighton at least).
Kate x

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Self-Love and Compassion

There’s a reason why so many well respected people talk about loving yourself and showing yourself compassion… because it’s important. How many times in our lives do we hear that self-love is important, and how many times do we ignore it and think  it’s just relevant for other people?  Well, it’s time to start listening!
If you’ve learnt the Lightning Process, you can show yourself the utmost compassion as your coach. If you haven’t learnt the process, taking some time out to appreciate yourself is suck a good practice to get into.
Here are some experts who agree (taken from
You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love & affection. ~Buddha
Loving yourself…does not mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic, or disregarding others. Rather it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion.- Margo Anand
You can’t build joy on a feeling of self-loathing. ~Ram Dass
It’s not your job to like me…it’s MINE! ~Byron Katie
Your task is not to seek for Love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. – Rumi, thirteenth century Sufi poet
Love is the great miracle cure. Loving ourselves works miracles in our lives.
- Louise L. Hay
Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting.William Shakespeare, Henry V.
I celebrate myself, and sing myself.- Walt Whitman
Find the love you seek, by first finding the love within yourself. Learn to rest in that place within you that is your true home.- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
I love myself for I am a beloved child of the universe and the universe lovingly takes care of me now.- Louise Hay
Whatever you are doing, love yourself for doing it. Whatever you are feeling, love yourself for feeling it – Thaddeus Golas

About Kate Gare

I have been teaching the Lightning Process since 2007 and, as an Advanced Practitioner, have supported hundreds of people to make changes in their lives. I am also an examiner and mentor to new practitioners. I run regular Lightning Process courses. If you would like to speak to me about whether the Lightning Process is the right approach for you, contact me:

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

How our brain responds to threat

My fifteen month old twins and I were dancing to Jess Glynne yesterday and Harry, one of my twins, discovered the volume button on the stereo for the first time and turned it up, very high, very quickly.  He froze, just for a moment, then cried very loudly (louder than the music). My little girl, Edie, joined in. He stayed as far away from the stereo for the rest of the song, scared.  This response to threat and fear is so universal, whether it’s a tiger in the room, a sudden loud noise or it could even be a vivid imagination about an event that hasn’t even happened yet.  The amygdala plays a key part in this response (see below).
To understand more about how the brain works I love the site ‘The Brain from Top to Bottom’ ( If you are interested in finding out more about how the brain works, this is a great place to start. It covers different aspects of the brain’s function form a social, psychological, neurological, cellular and molecular level and in three different levels of difficulty. It received funding for ten years by The Canadian Institute of health Research Institute of Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addition.

The amygdala is a brain structure that is essential for decoding emotions, and in particular stimuli that are threatening to the organism. As a result of evolution,many of our body’s alarm circuits are grouped together in the amygdala.
Consequently, many sensory inputs converge in the amygdala to inform it of potential dangers in its environment. This sensory information comes to the amygdala either directly from the sensory thalamus or from the various sensory cortexes.
But there are several other regions of the brain that project their axons to the amygdala; examples include the hypothalamus, the septum and the reticular formation of the brainstem.
The amygdala also receives numerous connections from thehippocampus. Since the hippocampus is involved instoring and retrieving explicit memories, itsconnections to the amygdala may be the origin of strong emotions triggered by particular memories.

The hippocampus also specializes in processing sets of stimuli (as opposed to individual stimuli)–in other words, the context of a situation. Hence it is because of the hippocampus and its close connections with the amygdala that the entire context associated with a traumatic event can provokeanxiety.
Major connections to the the amygdala also come from the medial prefrontal cortex. These connections appear to be involved in the process of extinction, whereby a stimulus that triggers a conditioned fear gradually loses this effect. This happens if that stimulus is repeatedly presented to the subject without the unconditional nociceptive stimulus that was initially associated with it to produce the conditioned fear.
The prefrontal cortex also seems to be involved in the final phase of confronting a danger, where, after the initial automatic, emotional reaction, we are forced to react and choose the course of action that can best get us out of danger. In people whose frontal cortex is damaged (people with “frontal syndrome”), planning the slightest task is very difficult, if not impossible.
Thus, the ability that our superior mental structures give us to voluntarily plan an emotional response suited to the situation is a wonderful complement to our system of rapid, automatic responses. The connections from the prefrontal cortex to the amygdala also enable us to exercise a certain conscious control over our anxiety. However, at the same time, this faculty can create anxiety by allowing us to imagine the failure of a given scenario or even the presence of dangers that do not actually exist.
Copyleft: The Brain from the Bottom to the Top

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Music helps reduce pain and anxiety during surgery

The Lancet reported that playing a patient's playlist during surgery, even during a general anaesthetic, can help to reduce pain and anxiety.
In another discussion I confessed to having Dolly Parton's 'Jolene' on my ultimate playlist yesterday - surely I'm not the only one?! Music 'reduces pain and anxiety' for surgery patients