Most of the time our, self-communication, is negative. Our, negative self-talk, is different from the way we talk to our friends for example. So we need to tell ourselves “I don’t like the way you talk to me”
My guest today all the way from the UK is Cheyne Towers. Cheyne is a hypnotherapist and, self-communication, expert and we are going to be talking today on, negative self-talk, and, mindfulness.
Listen to the full interview here:
Cheyne Towers. London-based hypnotherapist Cheyne Towers has been helping people to transform how they speak toward themselves for the best part of two decades. Through simple yet profound understanding he has successfully helped many who have suffered trauma, abuse, depression, and anxiety. Now the co-founder of The Dialogue of Self Liberation, Cheyne is sharing this practical transformational system online, helping people to develop The Mindfulness of Self-Communication, and nurture self-forgiveness and self-compassion. Always willing to connect Cheyne can regularly be found hosting the TDSL Global Community Calls, where he provides continuing support to people around the world who wish to improve and enhance the quality of their self-communications. As a lifelong martial artist, Cheyne has also developed seated Qigong for people with mobility challenges, and also teaches workshops at Sword Punk traditional weapons-training festival in the UK.
Does being a martial artist help with self communication?
Myrna – You are a martial artist and a, self-communication, expert. Martial art is a very controlled sport, so it lends to having control of your, mind. Can you share your journey from martial art to, mindfulness? You mentioned that you’re helping people who have suffered, trauma, or, abuse, and depression.
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Cheyne – From an early age, I had an interest in, inner development, self-development, meditation, and those kinds of practices. I started practicing martial art around 17 years old. I’m currently 55 years old and that’s been a constant throughout my life.
I never wanted to become a therapist, but through mutual friends, I was introduced to it by a very experienced, hypnotherapist. I studied with him as his personal student for the last four years of his life and during that time he took me through a process that totally transformed my life on every level for the better.
How I let go of my Negative Self-talk and repetitive patterns
Unbeknown to me, I’d spent 20 years of my life engaging in very, negative repetitive patterns of, self-talk, giving myself a very hard time, beating myself up, blaming myself for not being good enough, for having been a failure in relationships and many other things.
I didn’t realize that I was doing it. I hadn’t got a clue and he helped me in a very clear and methodical way to identify those unhelpful habits and, negative beliefs, that I’d picked up along the way about myself.
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Myrna – Did he put you under under, hypnotherapy, or did he just talk to you?
Cheyne – He used the methodology of developing the, mindfulness, of, self-communication. The very first thing he had me do was to develop the skill of monitoring the dialogue I was speaking to myself. Moment to moment what are you actually saying to yourself, about yourself now in this moment is very important to stopping, negative self-talk.
How to Listen to your Self-talk
You need to develop the skill of listening to what you’re actually telling yourself and your, negative self-talk, from moment to moment. I bet you will discover that you don’t like the way you speak to yourself.
What are the stories you picked up along the way that no longer serve you? There’s a responsibility that we have toward ourselves, with regards to, how we speak to ourselves about ourselves. We program ourselves through our, self-communications, but then we begin to utilize the more creative aspects of the imagination which is more the formal.
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Hypnosis, or, self-hypnosis, is sometimes necessary to stop the, negative self-talk. Let’s say somebody can’t stop the, negative self-talk, about themselves because all their life they were hearing things like:
- you’re not good enough.
- you’ll never be nothing.
- you will never amount to anything.
- You will never be a success in life.
Myrna – Now they’re mindful of it because they’re listening. Can they stop without, hypnotherapy?
Can we stop the negative self-talk without Hypnotherapy?
Cheyne – I don’t like the term, hypnotherapy, or, hypnotherapist, because I think it’s a loaded term and people have many misconceptions about what, hypnotherapy, actually is. So I tend to describe that aspect of the work as I help people to harness the creative power of their imagination, so that they learn how to work with it, rather than be a slave to it.
Myrna – Hypnotherapy, migrates and it changes, so now you’re using the term, creative imagination. How did the martial arts piece fit in to your, negative self-talk?
Cheyne – That’s a great question. I use a lot of metaphors and symbolism in this work because the metaphors and symbols convey things to the, subconscious mind. Which is where we need to make the alterations in the trigger mechanisms that are built up because of our experiences.
There’s a saying a very old Chinese saying the mind leads the chi
This is true of everything in life. If we fixate our thinking in a particular way, if we imagine a particular scenario that is what we attract into our lives. The mind leads the Chi!
When we think about those negative imaginings, our energy, our Chi, gets poured into those molds and we kind of become that shape.
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Negative self-talk – I am not good enough
Myrna – I’m a, Life coach, I know that I’m not good enough is one of the top, negative self-talk, or, self-communication, that we partake of.
Cheyne – True, we torment ourselves and beat ourselves up and come up with all kinds of cruel variations on that theme. We would never dream of speaking to another person the way we speak to ourselves. I Don’t Like the Way You Speak to Me.
We would never dream of putting another person down and yet somehow, we’ve become conditioned to believe that it’s somehow okay for us to talk to ourselves like that.
I’m going to title this “I don’t like the way you speak to me” because we don’t say nice things to ourselves. It is always, negative self-talk. We never say things like:
- you’re so pretty.
- you’re so beautiful.
- you are going to kick ass in this job.
- I am good enough for this promotion.
No, the, self-communication, is always negative.
Cheyne – I did that for 20 years of my life totally unconsciously until my teacher helped me to to spot it.
Self-liberation is a program to help us with, negative self-talk
Myrna – That’s amazing, so he pointed you to your purpose. That helped you create the, self-liberation, program. Tell us about it.
Cheyne – The dialogue of, self-liberation, is the name that I’ve given to the methodology of understanding the principles of, negative self-talk. I also call it the “rinse and repeat.”
People have come to see me in all states of, brokenness. I’ve worked with many people who’ve been raped, who’ve had experience of, sexual abuse, violent, abusive relationships, all kinds of, trauma.
Yet when it’s explained clearly to a person that there is a way for them to begin to change literally the stories, they’re telling themselves about themselves.
Just because we’ve had certain experiences in our past, those experiences don’t need to define who we are today. What defines who we are, is what we do with the experiences we’ve been through.
How do we process those experiences? We can learn from those experiences and choose to no longer communicate about the past as if it were the present or the future. We can chose to stop the, negative self-talk.
Self-liberation is a freeing experience
This is an incredibly freeing and liberating experience, so the dialogue of, self-liberation, is process of learning how to communicate toward ourselves. In a way that has nothing to do with, positive affirmation, nothing to do with fake positivity or anything like that. It allows us to stop communicating to ourselves in, self-abusive, self-limiting, self-pitying, ways in the present tense and the future tense.
Myrna – I’m listening very intently to what you’re saying, because someone who’s reading this wouldn’t understand the depth of what you’re saying. What you’re saying is someone who has been, broken, they’re a victim, someone has done something to them and yet the, negative self-talk, that they’re telling themselves is saying that because of this, you are nobody. Because of this you’re not worth anything.
I was in this same situation for a long time myself, I didn’t get out of it until I was in my 40s. I was, sexually abused, as a child and I carried shame with that. I experienced that, self-liberation, myself once I started talking about it. Now I don’t have any shame attached to it because I was a victim, I was a child. A child can’t give consent to anything.
What does, self-liberation, look like on the other side of shame?
Cheyne – Guilt and shame are really common themes in, trauma. We all commonly normalize the behavior and then end up blaming ourselves. We communicate to ourselves, well I must have deserved it for some reason or another.
When we uncover what we’ve actually been communicating toward ourselves, then we can utilize the use of the, creative imagination, to change the dialogue. We have online programs that we have via the website that we’re teaching the dialogue of, self-liberation. We have various audio materials, some of those are what we refer to as guided contemplations.
These are spoken voice exercises to encourage the person to speak out loud with their own voice in an unconditionally open, self-supportive, and non-limiting way. We have these suggested spoken voice exercises we call guided contemplations plus audio exercises of guided visualizations. The guided visualizations are designed to help people to take old memories of experiences that were upsetting or traumatic or just incredibly challenging and then to use their, creative imagination, to begin to change how they choose to view the memory.
Myrna – One of my most favorite quotes from Dr Wayne Dwyer
Change the way you look at a thing and the thing you look at will change
All we have to do the work. I love Byron Katie, she has a book called “The Work. Change does not come without us doing the work!
We have to do the work to replace our negative self-talk
If you don’t do the work, you will continue to be with your bottom feeder emotions. The guilt, the shame, the anger, the blame. You will play the blame game. I’m not going to do well in life, because my parents abused me, or somebody abused me. In my book “Out of the Snares, a story of Hope and Encouragement” I call this stop being a victim and become a player. When we are in the, game of life, and we get bad cards, we have to learn how to play to win with those cards.
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Tell our readers how they can get more information on your work.
Cheyne – thank you very much Myrna, my website is www.learntdsl.com.
TDSL means the dialogue of, self-liberation.
We have an audio program which is in the form of an app which you would download to your phone with five audio lessons with accompanying audio exercises in the form of guided contemplations.
We also have a live program which consists of drip-fed PDF material over a five-week course with accompanying audio exercises plus one live zoom call with a small group of people once a week at the same time each week for five weeks. We’ve been running this with people around the world now for the last year and we’ve had some just wonderful feedback from the participants.
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