Author and spiritualist, Judith McAdam explains to Amanda Cassidy why the greatest power of all lies within...
It is easy to eye-roll when it comes to that very American term ‘finding yourself’. After all, how damaged do we all have to be to need all the healing we read so much about?
But it is timely.
This year (and very coincidently, this week), I’ve started thinking about love again – the kind of love that overrides the tacky pink hearts over the supermarket chocolate aisles and the soppy bears sitting glumly in store windows beseeching passers-by to ‘Be Mine’. It’s the love we put last. The love we shy away from - that woo-woo act of self-love, and I’m pretty rusty.
I’ve newly emerged from the haze of early motherhood and the terrain is surprisingly unfamiliar. The children are no longer as dependent on me. The timing feels right. I'm trying to get back to who I was before my life was turned upsidedown.
I finally make headway on one of my 2020 resolutions – I engage a nutritionist to educate me on the benefits of eating things other than lasagne and chocolate. I book a facial. I poke my toe into the gym again. Better late than never. And then I speak to Judith McAdam.
The source of happiness
“I help people figure out what we are actually creating, consciously," she says simply. Judith is a reiki master and has been practising for 22 years. She describes herself as a theologian, kinesiologist, life coach and inspirational speaker. Her book, The Source: Connect with your inner power and create your own reality is the culmination of her vast knowledge of spirituality, life and theology.
It’s packed with case studies of inspirational Irish people who have been on this journey with Judith to achieve incredible results in their lives. Rosanna Davison is also a fan.
I start by asking Judith why people need ‘finding’.
“People have health issues, fertility problems, relationship concerns, new businesses, fears over sexuality, repressed anxieties over something in our lives. We all have something that we are creating negative loops around unconsciously. I help people to release old things and to introduce the new.
"I show them how to figures things out, to release those issues that they live through fear or insecurity or low self-esteem. It is all there underneath but so many of us heap so much on top, we can’t access it. I get surgeons, couples, teachers, children, members of the LGBTQ+ community, lots of women and now, increasingly men”.
So why do we need so much healing?
“It takes between 28-90 days to create a new neural pathway. In other words, a habit. Say, for example, you are learning to drive a car. In your first lesson, you are in a heap, you cut out, you get nervous. But when you practise over time, your conscious mind takes the information and hands it over to the subconscious mind. All of a sudden, you can listen to music, chat and drive without even realising how you got somewhere. That’s how we form all these types of pathways.
"When we are children we pick up everything. We form lots of good neural pathways but sometimes some that are not so good. We carry them, stored in our subconscious. Let’s say when you were little your family had money worries. As a child, your subconscious is absorbing those feelings of anxiety.
"You grow up and in your 20s, suddenly you find that money is triggering you and your anxieties. You have stored it in your conscious awareness. It is a negative loop. You start to think, I’d never be able to earn that. I can’t afford those things. You are now going on the experiences of your parents.”
Let’s identify it, comfort it and lead it to a better place
But how would you go about breaking something like that?
“Well, the trick here would be healing to understand why you are the way you are. You become consciously aware, listening, tapping into your conscious mind. We make it easier by using your inner child.
"You tap into that place and start noticing old patterns. You let go of it and create a new pattern. Healing is to recognise that and to mind that little boy or girl inside of you when you get triggered. You lead them to a different direction. You banish the negative chatter.”
Judith says it is important to realise that the negative chatter in our heads is going somewhere – it is a continuous loop you have in your neural pathways. "You can go on and on or else go into that little girl inside of you and start healing her. The tools you have to help you do this are meditation, reiki, visualisation, music, art, inspirational speakers, things that are positive and that you can bring your awareness to. Use those tools to create something different."
Judith’s mantra is all about moving it forward. “Let’s identify it, comfort it and lead it to a better place."
"Allow your confidence to grow to be that sparkly person that you are within and your children will flourish too.”
But isn’t this just another version of positive thinking? “Yes, this is my technique of helping people to do it,” points out McAdam. “Sometimes when we form these patterns they are very ingrained, we really believe in them. We need to create the best environment to move people out of that. Fear blocks us. Fear of being that person.”
I ask her how, as parents, we can start working on our children from as early as possible to prevent these negative loops.
“The more work a parent can do on themselves to allow them to shine as brightly as they can, their children will just copy them. But if a parent is going on in a negative pattern, they learn from their parents and it becomes generational or societal conditioning. The unawareness continues the negative pattern and children will grow up copying that.
“Identify what you want to change. The best thing you can do for your child is to lead by example. Allow your confidence to grow to be that sparkly person that you are within and your children will flourish too.”
I explain to Judith that I find self-love very hard. She reassures me that everyone is in the same boat. “We are always berating ourselves. Our parents probably didn’t love themselves, and their parents probably didn’t either. Through church, religion, the world the way it was told people to humble themselves, be small rather than to use talents and shine.
"In today’s world, there is a new message and it isn’t much better. With Instagram and social media, there are new challenges. I work with young girls who self-harm, who hate all parts of their bodies. They are on social media, comparing themselves constantly.
"If it takes 28-90 days to condition ourselves, this is going in on a subliminal level, these messages are programming minds to believe we are not good enough. I have to introduce new neural pathways. I have to tell them that they have talents and gifts. The reason we don’t love ourselves are many and varied. But the most important thing is to listen to yourself. Listen to the chatter in your head. We are so used to it that we don’t pay attention.”
Judith calls it creating positive loops.
“Nine times out of ten this inner voice is critical. You look in the mirror and you think I look awful. Then you verbalise it. Then it seeps inside you. The pattern repeats. You have an argument with the children and you feel like the worst mother ever. You think, they are psychologically damaged, and there you go again, you’ve just built another pathway around your fear of being a bad mother.”
Stop listening to the negative chatter. Look for the positives.
Judith is reading my mind, I tell her, half-jokingly. But what can we do in scenarios like this?
“Put your hand on your heart. Do not give out to yourself. Do not say I’m a bad mother. Say, hey, it is ok. In fact, it is great – because now I’ve identified something I need to work on. Now, give me two positives about myself. I get these children up and washed every morning, fed and happy into school. There might be a few things I’ve to tweak but I’m open to it and I’m moving forward.”
Judith offers these acts of self-love we can all of us start practising today, just in time for Valentine's Day.
“Stop criticising yourself. Stop listening to the negative chatter. Look for the positives. Ask yourself what do you really want to create around yourself. It ripples from the inside out. What do I want to create in my family? I will love myself so much and be so kind to myself that I will let all the right kind of love in. Breathe.”
Image via Judith McAdam
The Source by Judith McAdam is published by Gill Books and is available from Dubray, Easons and Amazon.
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