We’ve been interviewing so many wonderful, wonderful people to help you around this subject of growing your wealth over the last few months.
We know that when we talk about growing your wealth, one of the biggest blocks that gets in the way is ourselves because we know some of the practical steps: we know that we want to be investing, we know that we should be spending less than what we earn, we know we need to be putting money aside in our business for tax and profit and VAT, we know that we need to be protecting our wealth. We know all of these things, but often what gets in the way is ourselves and our relationship with money.
Often the relationship we have with money is really a reflection of the relationship that we have with ourselves.
Today I’m interviewing a lady who is an expert in the realm of journaling. It was really important to me during the series of growing wealth that we did touch upon this subject of journaling, because one of the most powerful things that you can do for yourselves is to bring some conscious awareness to what your beliefs are around money. Some of those sneaky little blocks, some of those sneaky little voices that are telling you, you’re not good enough, you’re not worthy. Because you are.
You are incredibly worthy of wealth. You are worthy of making changes in your life. You have that ability to dig down deep into your true voice, to understand what it is about you and what is the powerful shift that you want to create for yourself, your family, your legacy, and on the world.
We’re going to be exploring the power of journaling. How you can start to use, what my guest refers to as coding consciousness, the power of journaling, to reprogram your self limiting beliefs.
My guest today, Claire, is a coach, a meditation teacher, and a journaling expert who teaches and coaches her clients to not only see through the illusion that the brain so often creates, but also how to create the life experience and belief structure that you want with precision and accuracy.
Journaling has been a huge part of my own journey in the last four years. Today I share some of the blocks that got in the way of me even beginning my journaling and self reflection journey. This is something that I now go on to teach in my Financial Coaching Training Programme, because it’s incredibly powerful to listen to that inner voice, that intuition, that gut feeling that you have in certain situations, and actually understand whether that part of you is there to protect you, or whether that inner voice is there to listen to, to be heard, to help you to find the right path in whatever challenge you’re feeling right now in your life. Whether that’s to do with your finances. Whether that’s to do with relationships, your health. This can apply in the context of so many different aspects of your life.
Claire was actually one of our guest experts in The Money Circle a few months ago. She delivered an exceptional master class on the power of journaling. Today we’re going to be talking about coding consciousness and how the power of journaling is so incredible in terms of reprogramming and even understanding what some of our self limiting beliefs can be.
Thank you so much, Claire, for coming on the podcast today. How are you doing today?
I’m really well, thank you for having me.
Claire, for those people who haven’t come across your work before, tell us a little bit about the work that you do right now in helping ladies to uncover some of their self limiting beliefs through the power of journaling.
There are two levels of journaling that I teach. The first is the entry level for people who perhaps haven’t experienced journaling before used as a tool. In that instance, it’s incredibly helpful just to quieten that mental noise and the busy-ness and the circular arguments and the conflict that we can have in our minds.
So by using journaling on a daily basis, not only does it just skim the top and the top level noise off, what that does is it enables us to come underneath and work out what’s actually going on, that’s causing all of this noise to be there in the first place.
That’s when some of the deeper tools can come in to not only start to explore where those voices are coming from, what their motivations are, but also start to then rewrite them so that the noise is a) more peaceful, b) more purposeful, and then can start to shape our life experience and our reality and how we go about our day to day.
What impact has journaling had for you personally on your journey?
Oh my goodness. We’ve only got half an hour! The reason I know it’s so powerful is because the mental noise I used to experience, it was deafening.
I was diagnosed with anxiety when I was 17 and had used journaling sporadically over the last few decades. When I started using it daily, when I started as daily as possible, what I noticed was I had such a better understanding of myself. Why I was behaving the way I was behaving, which made me able to then take a stop and go, that’s not actually what I want to do. That’s just the noise being reactive.
It stopped me being reactive and being a slave to what my mind was doing and actually being in charge of my behaviour. It enabled me to stand firmly in who I was and be conscious about what I was choosing to do rather than being reactive and in all of that frisson.
At that age, so you were journaling at 17. How did you even know about journaling at that time?
I’ve always loved writing. I’ve always had the little pen callous on my finger. At that point, it was more like a teenage diary and I grew up on my own, it was me and mum growing up. I guess it was a way to communicate with someone, something. A way to relate to myself.
What I hadn’t appreciated at the time was how it was doing the same thing. Getting to know myself on a much deeper level because it’s a place to hear your inner most thoughts. There’s no judgment in a diary or a journal because no one else sees it.
The reason I ask that question, Claire is, I used to keep diaries all the time as a kid. I’ve probably got about 15 or so diaries. I remember writing diaries when I was seven or eight. Then I had this block of time where I didn’t write anything. I started writing again when I was 13-15, and then into my twenties.
When I first heard about journaling, my first initial thought was, Oh, I can’t possibly do that because it’s like a diary and other people are potentially going to find it and read it. That happened to me when I was a teenager. I had a big falling out with one of my sisters and I found her diary and read her diary. So she went into my room and got my diary and started to read it out in front of the family. I remember the trauma of, Oh my gosh, you’re reading out all this stuff. I’m sure I deserved it!
So there was this big block for me. If I was to even start to write anything again, there was this huge fear that somebody was going to find that information. I wonder how many other women feel like that. That there’s this fear of writing about what is, essentially, in our unconscious minds, but consciously writing. I wonder how many women feel like that when it comes to journaling.
Do you find that when you’re working with people?
Massive, massive fear. Generally what I find is it’s actually fear with themselves. They’re scared of going to that place because before somebody else looks at it, they have to look at it.
The other really important thing to mention is that 98% of what goes into the journal is a lie. It’s not the truth anyway. It’s what our brain is making to mean from a certain trigger that’s a lot deeper. Which is why the internal conflicts come because you’ve got lies trying to outlie lies and that’s where all of this internal battling comes from.
It’s all story. Which is why, when we realizing it underneath all of that, it’s possible. People say, Oh, write your own story. You can literally do it. You are already writing your own story. Once you can get to the truth underneath, the lies disappear. Like I said, that’s a different level. The first stage is hearing the lies out. That’s why the combination of the more conscious streaming journaling coupled with the underlying programming journaling works so well together.
Where did you learn about conscious streaming?
That was originally via One of Many. I did their leadership program in 2017. That was my first foray into personal development really. They introduced me to this concept called Morning Pages. That was when I really started to get underneath that mental noise, realised that the mental noise doesn’t have to be where you live. Oh my goodness. There’s another way!
Living in this space of just intense, internal overstimulation for such a long time, that the concept that there was another way to operate. Like you’re kidding me. Oh my God. This idea of conscious streaming and just following what your mind wants to say and following and following, no matter what it is. When you’re talking about the fear of other people reading it when I can’t, because it might go to a really horrible place, but who cares? It doesn’t matter if it goes to a really horrible place because it’s not true.
One of Many is an organisation who are a really incredibly powerful community of women who are bringing together grassroots leaders to create powerful change, paradigm change in the world. Both Claire and I have done their Lead the Change project, which is a 12 month project.
During that, as Claire explains, one of the tools that we use is about the power of morning pages. This comes from the principles of The Artist’s Way, which is an incredible book by Julia Cameron. It’s a 12 week program in a book.
In fact, I’m actually working through it for the second time as we speak. When I first read it, I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready to, as you were referring to there, Claire, to actually hear what my unconscious wanted to tell me, because there was so much fear there about how painful would that be to feel those emotions again.
That’s been part of my Lead the Change project is understanding how to deal with emotions that can be painful and what happens when you do feel them. Actually we know that it can sit in our bodies, it can harbour lots of mental health issues and physical ailments.
Claire, I know that you’ve had a personal experience of something that happens for you personally, where you had this complete shutdown of your entire body. What was your experience and how did that lead you into the power of journaling?
I was diagnosed with anxiety when I was 17 and I went through a bit of therapy. I was on medication, came off the medication and was dealing with it. Or so I thought.
Then around four years ago, I was on my second maternity leave, driving the whole family up to get my daughter a car seat. The short version is my body went into anaphylaxis. No warning didn’t really know what was going on. Didn’t know it was anaphylaxis until the lady at 111 said that the ambulance was coming.
I was driving on the road and thankfully there was a services just to the left. We pulled off, phoned 111, ambulance is coming. They told me that it was an anaphylaxis and allergic reaction. So put the IVs, the anti-histamines. The first one didn’t work. The second one didn’t work. So they went straight for adrenaline. I spent the next couple of days in hospital.
The fascinating thing is that I’m not allergic to anything. They did the tests a couple of months later. I remember saying to my consultant, looking at the results, saying I’m not allergic to anything, unless it says something about hay fever. She was very brusque and very direct. You can’t have hay fever because you’re not allergic to anything. Okay. Definitely not allergic to anything. So my body literally just went, no, I’m done.
I’d been in a job that I had been moaning about for years. Knowing what I know now, all of that negativity that I was just perpetuating was almost self-indulgent. The struggling paralegal, the woman who hates her job that has become who I was. It’s how I related to people. Constructing an identity around that level of negativity, got to the stage where my body went, well, if you don’t value this, then I’m out.
As it turns out, it wasn’t just the job I was doing that in. So the last four years have seen some incredible changes in my life. But it was that one incident, the metaphysical slap round the face. What are you doing? What are you doing with your life? If you’re that miserable, change it.
I did a life audit and started with the job. I was just about to go back to work, was absolutely dreading it. I started looking at ways in which to make change. I’d been in that position, that perpetual motion for such a long time, I literally had no idea what else I wanted to do or what I could do. I was so here, this is my life. It was just invisible. I couldn’t see it at all.
So I got some help. I went to what I thought was a careers workshop and thus began my delightful foray into personal development. I can’t believe it was only four years ago, so much has changed. I absolutely love it. If you told me four years ago, I would be where I am now and how empowered I feel at the ability to create anything I want to create. I would have sworn at you.
Wow. To hear that story of, in a very short period of time, going from that place to where you are now to hear you say, I love my life. I love my work. It just sends goosebumps down my spine. I just think how amazing that you made that choice, how amazing that you made that decision for yourself, that this needs to change. Your body physically told you that this needs to change.
What was really inspiring, Claire, is how you shared about how you just went into that victim mode or that martyr mode of, Oh, well I hate my job. I’m sure we’ve all done that at some point in our lives or we know somebody that does play that role. There’s lots of different roles. We’ve got the martyr, there’s the victim, there’s the superwoman, all these different roles that play out in our lives. But the fact that you physically made that choice and your body told you this needs to stop Claire. Something needs to change.
When you look back at that situation now then what do you think was the biggest lesson that you learned about yourself and for someone in that situation, what would be your advice?
Don’t wait. Don’t wait for the pain to get worse. We all have like our pain tolerance. Oh, it’s not that much. Oh, it’s not that bad. Oh, it’s not that bad. Oh, it’s really, really bad. Now I need to make a change. Don’t wait for it to get bad.
You don’t even have to wait for any pain in order to make a change. You can make a change simply because you want to. I waited until it got so bad that my body wanted to exit over a job. I knew years ago that I didn’t like that work. I didn’t even need a reason to change it. I don’t want to work in this job. Go get another job.
There was so much other stuff in the way that made me believe I couldn’t because I needed my uncle’s approval. I needed my mum’s approval. I needed the status of the job. I needed the money that came with the job, all of these things and that’s all a lie. None of that is true, but I believed it. Then bemoaning the job, bemoaning a lot of things is how we generally, unfortunately relate with each other.
How often do you start conversations about how rubbish Corona is right now? It’s the common way to relate to somebody. Coming back to your original question, the biggest lesson is that you don’t have to wait for something to suck before you either leave or change it. If you want to make a change, make a change because you want to.
Taking that lesson, then Claire, from what you experienced and now in the incredible work that you’re now doing and feel so fulfilled around.
Talk to us a little bit about coding consciousness because this is a phrase that you use with your work. So talk to us about what does coding consciousness mean?
I first discovered and started playing with this towards the end of last year. The job that I hated was in the semiconductor industry. So it’s technology and all about coding and computers and microchips that go into phones. So the way I view it is very much like that.
Our brains are like a Silicon chip and onto that goes the circuitry. If the circuitry is built on false beliefs and lies and whatever, that we’ve collected or accidentally picked up or made decisions when we were kids and that circuitry is still there operating by default, then our life experience, the output of that, so you put the programming in, you put the stuff in.
The moments and the things that happen goes through the programming and our life experience comes out as an output the other side. What coding your consciousness is, is looking at this circuitry and coding it, designing it, writing it on purpose so that the same event will go through a different set of programming so that your output, your life experience is very, very different and exactly what you wanted to be because you’ve designed the code.
Some of those things you’ve mentioned in there, Claire, some of those beliefs exist because they’ve just existed there since the moment we were born. They’ve been inherited beliefs. They’ve been inherited patterns, inherited codes, almost like a blueprint of which we operate.
Absolutely. Decisions that you make when you’re four years old, that made sense when you were four years old because you were four and you’ve reaffirmed that decision so many times that your psyche believes it to be true. It might have been a decision born from really deep shame that you got told off.
When you’re four or five, you feel massive emotions. So when you make a decision from a massive emotion, it goes right to your core. All of this mental noise is protecting you from that wound, that decision that you made when you were four.
So many of the fears around money come from a place of protection. Your brain is protecting you from feeling pain of an experience or something that somebody said to you.
One of the things that I had to work my way through; when I was six I remember being in primary school I used to put my hand up all the time. I was always the person “I know pick me. I know the answer, I know the answer”. My mum actually pulled me out of that school because the teacher said to my mum, we don’t do competitiveness in this school. My mum said, okay, well, I’ll take her out and I’ll put her in a different school.
The unconscious belief for me then was that I wasn’t heard. Being the youngest of four as well, I always did genuinely feel like that. I felt like I just wasn’t heard. Or if I was heard, it was like, Oh, just be quiet, Catherine. There’s too much noise with four other children talking. So for me as an adult, when I started to be vocal and communicate my mission and my purpose, it felt wrong because I was always told to be quiet or you don’t put your hand up if you know the answer or there isn’t competitiveness allowed.
I had to reprogram that whole belief that it’s okay to share your vision and your purpose and your mission and your value with the world, without it meaning something negative. That’s where I think a lot of ladies who will be reading this will be thinking, okay, so how do I reprogram what has already existed there for me as a four year old, five year old, six year old version of myself?
You don’t necessarily have to go and unpick and debug and un-programme all of this stuff. You can literally reprogram it on top. That’s not to say that if what has happened in the past was particularly traumatic or very, very hurtful. It doesn’t mean that there’s not some work there to do in terms of having that heard and having that healed.
It is possible to rewrite on the top. I said I’d carved an identity around the struggling professional who hated her job. You can construct a new identity. There’s a particular tool that I’m teaching in my course coming up where we look at different facets of the identity and designing. If you ever a thought, I really wish I was a morning person. Okay. Well, put that in. I really wish I was the kind of person who enjoyed going to the gym. I really wish I could stick to eating well. All of these little characteristics that we generally fail on or beat ourselves up about not being able to do, you put that in and design it on purpose.
Then once you’ve done that, life will throw you all of the little tests to see if you’re serious. It’s one thing doing the theoretical work, right? The reprogramming, and this is who I want to be, this is what I want to do. The real test comes in actual real life when we’re presented with opportunities. You can decide, I want to go and do this thing. I want to get through this fear that I’ve had. Even if you weren’t aware that you had this fear, that you didn’t want to put your hand up or be seen, or whatever. You had to desire to start this business and be seen and market, etc.
The magic comes, the transformation comes when you meet that fear and you go, Oh, this is a thing. Then you decide, okay, how bad do I want it? Am I furious enough? Yes. Okay. Here we go. It’s key to have an understanding of what happened in our past, but the only way to truly heal it is to deal with it now.
I love the words there. Purposely making that decision that you are going to create that change.
Often people will say things like, well, I’ve been telling myself this for years and I still haven’t taken any action. I still haven’t done anything. Often it’s because you’re not motivated enough.
People talk about accountability a lot in the coaching world. I’m not a big believer in accountability, because if you want something enough, you will goddamn do it. You will come up with a reason to do it, but you’ve got to have that internal intrinsic motivation behind it in order to make that change.
Sometimes we just have to listen to, is this the right time to make that change? Are you ready to make that change from telling yourself that you’re not good with money, from telling yourself that you’re not worthy of wealth. From telling yourself that you’re going to continue to live this cycle of repeated, going into debt, getting the motivation short term to get out of debt, then go back into debt. It becomes a reoccurring cycle. You’ve got to be ready for that change to happen and listening and watching for signs.
Your sign, Claire was huge.
That’s because I’d ignored all the little ones.
Do you think that journaling can help people to listen and observe and watch and see and feel what changes are available to them right now?
In a way. Not in and of itself. However, what journaling does is it starts to cultivate this relationship. Once we start to cultivate a deeper relationship with ourselves, we get to know ourselves on such a deep level that we can then start to distinguish between our true voice and the lie.
When we know what our true voice sounds like, that’s when we can start to navigate from a place of intuition, rather than a place of reactive shadow that just causes a bit of a mess. I’d heard my intuition. I didn’t know what it was then. It was, I don’t like this job, I want to do something else. Yes but I ignored it and I ignored it. Right. She’s ignoring it. We need to do something really big.
Listen to that voice. It’s there for a reason.
We have the capability to give what we need to ourselves.
So many times when I talked to women who are in situations and there’s fear, there’s guilt, there’s shame, there’s judgment, there’s status. There’s all these emotions and titles we give ourselves about money is, we have that ability to give it to ourselves, is inside all of us. We’ve just got to listen to that voice. In some instances go back to the four year old, five year old, six year old version of yourself and give yourself what you need now.
You’ve got it inside you to give it to you, right? It’s not about external motivations and living up to other people’s expectations.
We interviewed one of the One of Many trainers on this podcast a few weeks ago, Annie Stoker. We were talking about the perfectionist and how the perfectionist can come out to play that can either protect you or be a way of trying to self sabotage. I think journaling is a really powerful way to get started with understanding what is that inner voice for you?
For anyone who’s interested in beginning this journey, Claire, to find that inner voice for themselves, where would be the best place for them to start.
I’m going to be opening a new community, so if you follow me on social media, you will get a signpost to that.
In terms of the immediate future, I have Rhapsody coming up, which is the course where we will go through designing your identity, designing how you want to show up in the world so if you have said, I really wish I could do that. I really wish I was the sort of person to do that. We’re going to start with that. It works at such a deep level. It’s surprising and delightful because you end up finding that, Oh my God, I can do this now because it works on such a subconscious level. You’ll find your behaviours changing.
When you listen to your intuition and your voice, you find yourself in situations where you just show up and go, Oh wow. I didn’t even have to try. It’s a group program we’ll be doing at masterminds to draw upon the wisdom in the group. We’ve got group coaching. There are some guests speakers. It’s going to be so much fun.
Thank you so, so much Claire, for sharing your story, it was just incredibly inspirational. If Claire can go from literally collapsing in her car to where she is today in four years, that is more than enough inspiration, if you’re reading this and thinking, I want to change my life and I don’t know where to get started. So thank you, Claire. You’ve been a huge inspiration to our readers today. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom.
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