Cheryl Hitchcock Author of “Just give your head a shake” and Conscious Diva Expert

What inspired you to write your book “just give your head a shake?”

The book is a compilation of years of experience of going through my own blocks, as well as my education and training which I have used in my practice over the years. People had been telling me for ages that I should write a book, but I had my own resistance to that, which was holding me back. I got past those blocks, by looking at them, and asking myself why am I being blocked and how can I move past this? When I implemented the strategies and changed the way I thought about myself and my capabilities it was easy to write the book. My life had taken a totally different and wonderful direction and so I passed those messages to my clients and their lives changed too. I just knew that I had to somehow reach the masses with the message that you can absolutely change your life for the better!

Why is your book different to other spiritual books on the market?

Just Give Your Head a Shake is different for a couple of reasons. I have read many spiritual books and therapeutic books as well. The one thing that I have not read is a book that combines both spiritual and therapeutic practices. Also, I wrote this book to appeal to everyday folks, not to professionals in the business so I left out a lot of research and jargon that can become confusing and takes away from the essential messages and strategies in a book. One other element that I think is extremely important which I centre my book on is the ‘how’. When I read a self reliance book I look for the concepts but more importantly I look for how to implement them so that they fit practically into my life. I don’t find that very often. The strategies that I outline in my book I have used. They work well and they work quickly when you incorporate them consistently into your life.

Through your experience what are the biggest challenges facing women today?

Firstly, I want to say that women are shining like never before and I am so grateful for that. I see that a lot of the barriers of what women can achieve are being taken down like never before. Women have already elevated all women cancers to the forefront and they have come together to fight it, through their desire to see death from cancer eradicated, and they are seeing positive results.

As women’s roles change and we are getting more and more accomplished, this has brought with it the stress of trying to get it all done. We now need to understand and recognize downtime and personal time is also important to allow us to step into our greatness. We have to give ourselves permission to do nothing and be still and do it without guilt. Women are also trying to redefine their traditional roles as women and mothers. Perhaps it’s because we take our roles as nurturers of life very seriously, and are not quite sure if men are fully up to the task.

What do you identify as steps that women can do to allow them to step into their greatness?

Giving us the permission to banish the excuses and the guilt about stepping into our greatness. Banishing those stereotypical roles of a woman, and removing the “should do” that we feel we have to live up to. Giving yourself permission to step into your own greatness and shine independently is something that I think many women still have difficulty with, whether it is because of cultural or religious beliefs, traditional or societal roles that we play, or simply because of antiquated beliefs that state that women should be submissive in their roles and leave the ‘real work’ to men.

Women still make excuses for themselves based on these belief systems and some still feel that if they assert themselves or take time for themselves that they are somehow slacking in their duties to their partners, children, families, or careers, or that they are ‘bitchy’ or aggressive. We still live in a world that values constant productivity over downtime but what we should be working towards is a balance of both. Many studies and one recently done in Canada confirm that we are working harder than ever and our quality of life and health are paying the price in a very negative way. There is more stress now due to our technological advances that now keep us ‘available’ and ‘connected’ for longer hours than previously thought. Technology was designed to help alleviate our workloads but is proving to do just the opposite, leaving even less time to spend with our families. With this in mind it is more important than ever for women to take back their downtime, and this goes for men as well.

Women can have it all. We can be parents, wives, partners, friends, career women, do charity work and still have downtime and time for leisure activities. It’s up to each of us women to set the stage for our own life and how we choose to live it. We only have one life to live and it doesn’t go on forever. You create the terms and conditions of your life.

What makes you fabulous?

I have done a 180 degree turn in my life on my own, and I sought out the support and guidance I needed when I needed it. I have come from a dark place and have stepped into the light, despite negative people and negative situations around me. I knew intuitively that there was more for me to do and I had something powerful to share. I have an abundant love for life and am inspired each and every day to be of service to others and always live my passion. I think for myself and don’t give up on my dreams or myself.

What are your daily practices that help you realize your potential?

I meditate daily, usually twice a day. I practice mindfulness throughout the day. I reframe anything that comes from a negative perspective and reframe it positively. I also believe that everything happens for a reason according to the Universal Laws.  Because I view situations and circumstances in this way, it allows me to look for the opportunities and options in each situation, and I ask myself, “what can I do about this, what power do I have in this situation and what strategies can I use”? I also take full responsibility for all my behaviours – what I think, say and do. I can then go about choosing how I want to be, or react in any situation. I practice gratitude and loving kindness for all that I receive, positive or negative, because everything happens for a reason.

I have always been the kind of person who looks at the straightest path to my goals even if it’s not going through the ‘proper channels’. I have been told that there are channels one must go through in order to speaking with certain people or to achieving a goal but many times I have gone right to ‘the top’. So I guess what I’m saying with this is be open to everything and attached to nothing. Open your mind to all possibilities and don’t attach beliefs or judgments to anything.

What is your greatest life lesson?

My greatest life lesson is that we as spiritual beings are capable of infinite possibilities. The power of meditation practices and expanding my consciousness allows me to become more than my ego mind. To understand that there are forces and energies beyond my limited cognitive capacities, that I can use to create my ideal life, has been one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned. This lesson has literally changed my life from one of negative influences designed to keep me down, to one of profound love, joy and abundance.

I have also learned how to work with the Universal Laws and not to fight against them. The Laws govern and guide us and are at work all of the time, and they work exactly how they should. It’s just that our ego minds get in the way and work against them. When we recognize how the Universal Laws work, we can then get in the flow of their energetic forces and become one with them. In my book, “Just Give Your Head a Shake…and Change Your Life for the Better” I explain a bit about the Universal Laws.  I liken our struggle against these Laws to paddling a canoe upstream against rapids. We dig in constantly but really don’t get anywhere and if we stop paddling we soon find ourselves back down-river to where we started. When we get into the ‘flow’ of the Universal Laws it’s like paddling effortlessly with the current and moving towards our destination quickly.

As a Mother what advice have you given your daughter, that you feel has had the biggest impact on how she lives her life?

To understand she has the power within herself to create the life she desires, without limits and that she is responsible for creating her own outcomes. She does like to fight me on this from time to time, but when she steps into her power it is as a creator and not a victim to life. We have the ability to create whatever we want to create, but there will be temporary moments when we succumb to the ego (drama) and that is OK because we need to feel the range of emotions, and then we know what they are about and it gives us clarity about where we are at. From this place of clarity we can take a look at our awareness’s and our belief system and make the changes that we need to make.

I’ve also taught my daughter that she should practice loving kindness and generosity of spirit towards others and look at all human beings as being equal because we are. It is only our judgment of others that puts them into hierarchies, castes and classes. We are 99.99% the same on a cellular level, it’s only .01% of our cells that make us appear different. My position is that we just have differing behaviours, we know different things and we do different things but that’s what makes us so unique and exciting.

Define for us in your words, what Diva means to you?

I guess for me a Diva is a woman who lives her life passionately and without excuses. She has an idea or dream and turns it into her reality, always in gratitude for those who helped her along her path. She treats all living things with respect and love. To me a Diva is a woman who truly has stepped into her greatness.

Tell us something that we may be surprised to learn about you?

You might be surprised to learn that I suffered from paralyzing panic attacks for over a decade. With the use of my own mind and divine guidance I overcame them and have not had a panic attack in almost 20 years. My body would literally become paralyzed and the only thing I retained was my vision and my hearing but I could not move. This paralysis would last for hours at times and end up in hospitalizations. The doctors were stumped and could not tell me why this was happening so they gave me very strong anti-anxiety medication that left me feeling kind of “high” and “out- of –it” most of the time. I knew that if my mind was creating this then it was my mind that was going to eliminate it. I worked my strategies and refused to let this take over any more of my life. Today I still feel nervous at times (like just before a public speaking engagement) but its excitement now rather than panic. So believe me when I say that I am an expert in the area of stress management. The strategies I learned as a therapist and used for myself, I also use with my clients and the results are wonderful.

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Written By Julia King

Julia is a qualified Life Coach, Reiki Master and Psych-K facilitator. Having emigrated from England to Vancouver Canada in 2006, she dived into the world of spirituality and personal inner growth, which took her on a journey of self-discovery and culminated in her achieving her Life Coach Certification and co-founding Conscious Divas. Having left Conscious Divas in December 2011, her passion and priority is her 2 children and husband, and increasing her breath of knowledge in all areas of Metaphysics, and inspiring and empowering others to live a life of higher consciousness, which she does through Coaching and her Reiki/Psyche-K healing. Living in West Vancouver, Julia loves to indulge in lots of exercise and nature. Her other loves are fashion, food and entertaining.