Tag Archives: self esteem

ConsciousCafe in the News!

“A SKIPTON-based group which sees members travel from all over the north to discuss life issues and share opinions has gone from strength to strength, say organisers.”

ConsciousCafe Skipton has been featured in The Craven Herald, the local newspaper for of Skipton and the Dales. Our wonderful Skipton host Gina Lazenby was interviewed for the article – she had a lot of high praise for her growing and thriving group.

“A really vibrant discussion group attracting people willing to reflect and share on issues that are important to all of us, like relationships, making a new start, finding work you love, and creating connection. It’s very participatory and people say they appreciate the warm atmosphere we have created. People are craving the opportunity for thoughtful dialogue and to have their opinions and feelings shared and heard by others.

Read the original article here.

How to Feel Good about Yourself

In April we had our biggest event ever in the two-year history of Conscious Cafe Skipton. It could have been the speaker, Nick Haines of the Five Institute joining us from Nottingham that was the big draw, or it could gave been Nick’s subject of “How to Feel Good About Yourself”. Either way, nearly 40 people joined us for a brilliant evening. We have three videos of the event to share with you, along with a full transcript and summary available to download.


The basics of Chinese philosophy, how the 12-year cycles work, and the key dates that will impact us

This first video tackles the premise that the more you know about yourself, the more likely you are to feel good about yourself. We look at the cycle of twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac and, according to Chinese philosophy, how each year affects us, particularly what has happened in the last 12 and what the next 12 years will be like for us, individually and globally.



Looking at the Five Energies, what they say about us, and what we might be here to do in the world at this time

In this second video, Nick Haines explained the Vitality Test and how it helps you to understand more about how, according to Chinese philosophy, the five energies are balanced or emphasised within you. Each of those five energies presents a KEY PRIMARY QUESTION that will likely endure in your life. Knowing this, and knowing the questions that drive us, is very helpful for relationships and understanding what drives others. When you know your Primary Question it’s easier to understand the gift, and challenges, that it gives you. Take the Vitality Test to find out which of the five energies dominates your life and the enduring question that guides you.



How family dialogue makes an impact on us in childhood and why it is virtually impossible to emerge out of it into adulthood with robust self-esteem

The 3rd video is where Nick Haines hypothesises why it is virtually impossible to come out of childhood with robust self esteem. Neuroscience now indicates that questions have more power over us than statements. Statements with power and force, like scolding ones that are negative in childhood, have greater impact and staying power than ones spoken with gentler, loving tenderness. Your unconscious mind is programmed to answer questions. You best serve yourself by asking Conscious Questions. Conscious questions that leverage our imagination and command the unconscious mind to respond can be constructed with a “WHY?’” or a “HOW?”. These will generate more positive, creative responses and will help us feel good about ourselves. Being kind to ourselves is key, and questions about good self care will make us more sustainable and of course happy.


This post was written by ConsciousCafe Skipton host Gina Lazenby.

A Very Thought-Provoking London Discussion on Self-Love

Tamara Alferoff facilitated a memorable discussion at ConsciousCafe on the topic of Self-Love, on a freezing cold snowy night in London, at the end of February.

She started by telling us that when she googled the words ‘self-love’, there were 54 million results for it. Such a huge number.

Why are so many people wanting to explore the meaning of self-love at this time?

Tamara posed a number of ideas which we explored together.

She suggested that society’s obsession with the topic reflects back to us what is happening in our Western world today.  Many people no longer experience the loving stability of their family as in previous times. The women’s movement has raised womens’ self-esteem but men now feel destabilised. Elderly people no longer feel part of the family unit while too many children are in care. Western society has lost its respect for mothering and for the importance of nurturing. Even people in solid relationships feel unworthy, not good enough in some way.

In addition we have few leaders and role-models in all walks of life who we respect. We live in a time of great change and upheaval and comfort ourselves with shallow gossip from the media. Positive politics does not seem to exist.

The topic of self-love in magazines focuses on pampering ourselves in spas with wine and selfies. But is that what we mean by self-love? Is it what we really want or need?

Where is the mirror that mirrors back to us that we are worthy, good human beings?

The group were fascinated by the deep connection of the ideas around self-love and its alignment with the changing social values in our contemporary Western society. It left us all with many important questions to reflect on.

After this powerful introduction, the group began to share their ideas and their wisdom.  There were divergent viewpoints about the meaning of self-love.  Does a lack of self-love illuminate our shadow? How do we love people and their shadows? Perhaps the real challenge with self-love is to find our own shadow, meet it and integrate it?

Is our lack of self-love also caused by a lack of meaning in our lives? Does too much material wealth cause people to lose their humanity and compassion and respect for themselves?  Do we struggle with self-love when we do not have a powerful purpose in our lives to get us out of bed in the morning?

Perhaps the key to self-love is being totally present with ourselves on all occasions even though that is not always possible to achieve.

After much more discussion and exploration, we ended the evening with one of the participants sharing Elizabeth Jennings’ poem Delay and a gorgeous song which Tamara had downloaded for us: I Love Myself the Way I Am  (Jai, Alice Altink)

Tamara’s parting gift was this lovely quote from a friend:

Self-love is the acceptance of who I am in the given moments. This means both times I see things I like about myself and those times when I am not a big fan.

Huge thanks to Tamara for her deep reflection and sharing on this powerful topic and to everyone who contributed to this memorable evening.

What your Self Image says about you (or not) …

Following our very powerful September event facilitated by Claudia Roth of Soul Luxury, when we explored the new way of doing business which is learning to ‘allow’, Claudia has shared this blog with us:

My reality was shaken when I was in Auroville in the south of India last November! For many years (even decades) I created this special self-image called Claudia Roth, a successful global business leader who much enjoyed a career in luxury hospitality. I was very proud of my self-image which I curated with passion and careful attention.

Something profound happened!

No doubt you’ve heard people saying, ‘This is who I am and I won’t change!’ Leaders who maintain this position are unconsciously admitting they can’t see beyond their self-image.

To be fixated by self-image means to be non-creative and, in essence, limited to a defined set of often rigid thought processes and beliefs; this has consequences for all aspects of life.

Without realising it, many of us have created identities – or self-images – of ourselves.

Perhaps you have an image of yourself as important, as a successful businessperson, as ambitious and competent, or as someone who has all the answers. This sort of identity, built up over years, governs your view of the world more than you realise.

Jim Morrison – lead singer of The Doors – said: “We’re locked in an image, an act – and the sad thing is, people get so used to their image, they grow attached to their masks. They love their chains.”

Holding onto this adopted identity is like wearing a professional mask; with it in place, either in business or in life, you are not allowing yourself to be truly authentic and importantly, you are limiting yourself to new awareness so as to evolve as a business leader and individual.

Is it possible to maintain a professional identity or self-image for years and not even be aware of it? Trust me, I speak from experience – I only realised that ‘the other’ persons were there (yes … you read correctly …. we have not only one self image but several!) when I began to question why I thought and reacted in the ways that I did.

Indeed, it is only when we start exploring our genuine thoughts, reactions, emotions and ways of living that we can begin to live in the truest sense of ourselves. And if you have reaffirmed and energised a mask successfully for many years, it can be a painstaking process to dismantle it to discover who you really are!

So, why would you want to move beyond this learned identity – your cherished self-image – especially if it has been serving you well for many years as in my instance?

The more authentic you become, the more you step into your ‘space of greatness’. You no longer pretend to be somebody else, running on ‘patterns’ or be guided to uphold your self-images. Instead you connect to your inner wisdom, which then guides you throughout your life.

As you explore your self-image, you will start challenging certain beliefs and removing others that may be limiting you. You will find yourself wanting to know the world for what it actually is, rather than what you believe it to be. You will become curious again. Creativity and inspiration will flourish as a result, becoming assets both in your life and your business. Unimaginable opportunities are unfolding!

Embarking on this process isn’t easy. It won’t provide a quick fix to all of life’s challenges. But it is a powerful experience that will connect you to your truth and inner wisdom, where you will find contentment, joy and guidance, and your next level of personal and business success.

I will be returning to Auroville soon again …. The story continues.

Self-Image Assessment Exercises:

1.    Start off by naming the labels you give to yourself. For example, “I am a successful, highly in demand, creative and outspoken manager.” Write down your labels.

2.    Identify the labels you wish to dissolve and make a commitment to move closer to your ideal life situation.

3.    Create some time for reflection, to explore what lies behind the labels you identify.

4.    Pay attention to the story you create when you look in the mirror: do you create a negative or a positive self-image, or an over-inflated self-image guided by ego?

5.    Observe your opinions: what you say, how you say it, the likes and dislikes you use to reinforce your self-image. Do you judge fairly or based on pre-conceived ideas?

6.    Explore how tied you are to your memories: whether good or bad, acting in response to memories can lead to inauthentic results, from irrational fears to rose-tinted actions.

7.    Take time to assess how your story, opinions, actions and reactions would be if you created them anew based on what you actually see, think and feel.

Enjoy discovering yourself! Awareness creates choice.

A little about me: I am grateful to look back at a successful, global and hugely rewarding international career in the luxury hospitality & travel industry. I have learned what luxury is and what it is not. I understand service excellence, and I know what it is not! I have travelled the world in style and had many enjoyable moments of living a corporate career. 

Having now moved on from corporate life, my network describes me as a global pioneer in luxury and consciousness. People are seeking increased meaning and connection – in their lives and the brands they align with. But whether an individual or a company, true connection can only come from within: from an exploration of awareness and an unwavering commitment to authenticity and integrity.

I am the founder and Managing Director of Soul Luxury, a company operating globally that helps businesses understand these evolutionary shifts and create their own new currency of connection within themselves and with their clients. 

I write articles from time to time. There is no right or wrong, it is only a view. Up to now largely my silent view.

Claudia Roth

 Copyright © 2016 Soul Luxury.

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I love Conscious Cafe- It was created by Judy Piatkus with passion, intelligence and love. Whenever I need a place to restore my spirits and hang out with like minded others, Conscious Cafe is my first port of call. There is a powerful sense of community and openness.Long may it run .

Malcolm Stern, Psychotherapist, Co- founder and Co-Director of “ Alternatives “

ConsciousCafe is such a wonderful concept and some pretty amazing people gravitate towards it.

Jessica Richards

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