I am a lover of life and all that it has to offer.. Rachel Gotto
In the world of self-development, there’s a lot of talk about journeys. And I think I know why. Deep down we want to connect with others’ stories - to find our shared humanity, to seek hope for our own struggles by hearing that someone else has come through theirs.
I share my journey so that others might start to feel that they too can transform the life they’re unhappy with in some way. Each of us has a journey - a life story - that is uniquely ours. Here’s mine.
My incredible journey took me to places that left me struggling to hold onto sanity and my life. In early life I lived the experience of emotional abuse. Then in adulthood, I fought furiously to save the lives of my brother and husband only to lose them both. And just two years after my daughter was born, illness left me paralysed, wheel-chair bound and needing full-time care, my mind clouded by medication.
I could see no way forward. I was numb, shocked, sick, not thinking, just existing on a very elemental level. I didn't recognise myself.
But somewhere inside I knew I was still there, and slowly a glimmer of hope appeared. I knew there was something more for me. I’d lost my husband and my control over my body, but I still had my little girl. I needed to survive to help her grow up and live a good life.
This, coupled with my innate optimism and strength, became my motivation to recover and create a life worth living. Time after time I rose, fell and rose again. Wanting a future of freedom and meaning, each time I found the strength to keep going by focusing my eyes on a new horizon. Reaching out to loved ones for support, and engaging some wonderful therapists, helped me along my way.
It was only later that the really profound changes began to happen. As I learnt more, I began to understand that I could alter my responses internally to these horrible tragedies and traumas - that the meaning I attached to these events affected how I mentally and physically responded to them. Slowly, it dawned on me that I could take control of my life.
This was such a liberating feeling! I set about becoming the creator of my own destiny by identifying what needed changing and, most importantly, by altering the way I regarded myself. Until then, no-one was more critical of me than me. I’d blamed myself, so I set about changing that thinking, with the aim of becoming my own best friend!
Neuroscience shows that when we repeat a thought, we create what’s called a neural pathway - a pathway in the brain. Over time, as we repeat that thought over and over, we make that pathway wider. At the initial stages of thinking a certain thought, then, it’s a bit like using a machete to hack out a trail through the jungle. If we don’t think that thought again, or often enough, the jungle closes in and the trail disappears.
But if we think the same thought over and over, dwell on it, give it life, it’s more like driving a combine harvester through a hayfield. We get something closer to a dual carriageway. Our thoughts can literally race along, unchecked.
So the question became, how can I strengthen only those thoughts that will help me? And let the damaging ones wither away? It occurred to me that if I could create new neural pathways and learn to use my limbs again then I could make similar changes to my emotional responses. There, I had it, my eureka moment!
So I became immensely careful about what I allowed in, what I allowed myself to think and say inwardly, choosing only to be positive and use words that promoted inner well-being. I encouraged myself constantly, becoming my own mentor. It became fun reinventing myself, learning to love and accept myself. Hope became my mantra, and step by step I guided myself towards a new way of being in the world.
This was no quick fix. These changes took time and great perseverance but my efforts have paid off because today I am fully recovered, full of life, strong, happy and healthy. Obviously I’d rather not have suffered so, but I’ve grown stronger due to overcoming the challenges life has presented, and I like and respect the person I’ve become.
Through all my losses, I’ve gained much more and for that I'm grateful. Best of all I found the incredible tool that is Rapid Transformational Therapy, which essentially fast-tracks the same process I underwent: shaping new thought patterns that are positive, life-giving and life-changing.
Through healing my own pain and finding new meaning in my life, I have found my life’s purpose: working with others to help unlock their inner potential and to heal themselves through using RTT. This is my journey now and I love it.
Obstacles do not block the path they are the path - Zen Proverb