Kirsty's Blog

How to Let Go of the Blocks to Healthy Relationships, Intimacy and Love

How to Let Go of the Blocks to Healthy Relationships, Intimacy and Love.

Virginia Satir was widely known as the ‘mother of family therapy’. Her work was revolutionary in so many ways. Working from the 1950’s onwards, she was a psychotherapist who was a pioneer in family therapy and relationships.  One of the first therapists who believed that the presenting problem was rarely the issue, she first focused instead on what was really going on deeper under the surface for her clients.  Much of my training as a Cognitive Hypnotherapist and NLP master practitioner stems from her original work.


Virginia Satir


It is those deeper unconscious drivers that ripple under the surface of a person’s experience that impact everything we do and in every way we relate. And yes, it is most common for people to present with the surface issues that they are experiencing because those are the ones we see. But as much as those unconscious patterns can help us, they can also hinder what it is we consciously want to achieve, who we are and how we relate to the world around us. In short – they stop us from loving without clutching, appreciating without judging, joining without invading, etc.

It is in childhood that we develop our own particular set of unconscious patterns, and then we add to them and carry them with us throughout life. But they are elusive demons and angels – they are masked to us by layers of ‘shell’ that we develop to get by. It’s tricky stuff!

So let’s take a moment to think about you and your relationships. What is it that you see happening that you would like to change and what could be the deeper issue that’s actually happening? What is it that by it being brought into your awareness and let go of could really make the difference in your life and in your loves and let you meet your partner in a beautiful, open, healthy way?


“I want to love you without clutching, appreciate you without judging, join you without invading, invite you without demanding, leave you without guilt, criticize you without blaming, and help you without insulting. If I can have the same from you, then we can truly meet and enrich each other.”  ~Virginia Satir


When we recognise and become free of the under-the-surface patterns we then have the opportunity to relate in a beautiful, healthy way. To truly ‘meet’ the other rather than trying to get any needs met through them. Do you blame, accuse, point the finger towards the other? Do you feel guilt, shame, hurt? Perhaps you aren’t having the sex you would like and see it’s their fault, maybe you are feeling put-upon or nagged, maybe you are wanting more freedom, perhaps you have a deeper longing to feel loved, is it that you crave a deeper intimacy, or perhaps you aren’t attracting a partner at all. Or maybe something else?

Have a think about it: what behaviours are you presenting on the surface of your relationships that are masking other needs and desires and shielding unresolved unconscious patterns? What is it that you hold on an unconscious level that is getting in the way of healthy relating? For some of my clients, these things show themselves as getting angry or arguing about things that your partner does or doesn’t do, for others it’s demanding more time, love or attention than your partner is willing to give or exhibiting avoidant behaviours yourself, for some it can be blaming. If you were to dig deeper what would be the belief or fear that drives the behaviours that get in the way of you having richer, more healthy loving relationships?

Take a moment to close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then slowly read these statements and feel into them. Allow your body and mind to rest with each one. What happens? It is neutral, or does something happen for you as you dive into the statement? Allow any feelings, thoughts and memories to come up. You will know if they apply to you as you’ll have some kind of reaction. It might be identification, a strong feeling or even a strong resistance. Both are good information. Both can be indicators that there is something here for you to resolve.

Belief Statements

  • I’m not good enough.
  • I don’t deserve to be loved.
  • I’m not worthy of attention.
  • Happy, healthy relationships are for others, not me.
  • People leave.
  • Love means… (feeling unsafe, losing yourself, etc.)
  • Sex, and desire is bad/wrong/unacceptable etc.
  • Intimacy is unsafe


What happened for you? Perhaps write it down. Spend some time with the experience. Without judgment, just observe. And feel free to send me your thoughts and feelings on what came up. it can be useful to share your experience. You can drop me a line here. 

Remember that all hold limiting beliefs like these. If you identify with the above you certainly are not alone. The secret formula is just to a) Know that it is these that we need to bring awareness to most of all. These are the roots of the tree that by them changing will allow fresh new shoots and leaves to bloom and healthier relating to begin. And b) That once they are clear you can begin to create new positive behaviours and experiences that will make the difference to how you relate to your intimate partners.

It’s amazing how a person can express a desire to connect with another but have a whole heap of stuff under the surface that will be getting in the way of them creating what they say they want. But the good news is that there’s lots that can be done.

Most often people approach relationships from a default position, just reacting to what is happening around them and exhibiting behaviours and patterns of relating that maybe they wouldn’t choose or desire to have in place. This way of being can often be incredibly painful and lead to relationship breakdowns. The alternative is to bring attention to what is actually happening and live to a more created path.

If this resonates with you at all then do know that there is a way through. Cognitive hypnotherapy is an incredible way to shift these things as is movement, breath-work and deep embodiment practices. I use all these together with deep coaching to help my clients create radical shifts in their lives and in their relationships It’s exciting stuff! From this autumn, Yaron Engler and I will be leading an incredible 6-month programme based here in London where we will be supporting 12 men and women on a journey of exploration and freedom around these things and more. If this calls to do consider coming to join us. It will be a fun and exciting journey and could just be life-changing for those who come for the ride.

You. Me. Us. - Relationship program

We are now taking applications for ‘Me. You. Us. – a journey into relationships, intimacy, and love’. If you are interested in applying just click on the link below and send us a message.



And if you’d like to know more about one-t0-one Coaching and/or Cognitive Hypnotherapy just click on this link to send a direct message to me and we can create a time to have a conversation.




Please feel free to share this with anyone you feel may benefit. Healthy relating = Happy living. Give the gift of that to yourself and to others today.

With inspired love,

Kirsty Hanly -




Experiencing Your Relationships as a Catalyst For Growth

Obstacles or Catalysts for Waking Up?
What are you experiencing in your relationships?

Applications Are Now Open for the Me. You. Us. – Relationship and Intimacy Coaching Journey, Starting November 2012


Quote - Relationship and intimacy

Relationship as an awakening. It’s a big concept, isn’t it? For a long time now I’ve described relationships as the final frontier to everything. We can read all kinds of self-help books, listen to spiritual teachings, and take in all kinds of learning, we can feel whole and together and full and wonderful. And then we get into a relationship with that particular person who was sent to push all the right buttons to make us wake the heck up to something else.  It’s both magical and horrible and blissful and painful. Children are sent to us to do the same. It can feel like a universal joke, or the most bountiful gift – depending, in my expereince, on the day of the week!

For some people, they are in the right relationship but don’t know how to navigate what’s going on. Perhaps the sex isn’t as they would like it to be, perhaps there isn’t the intimacy that would make their heart sing or perhaps it just feels a bit dull or clunky. For others, they can’t settle into a relationship that seems to work at all, or maybe have put up so many barriers that they don’t even date. It’s a choice. We can walk awake or shut down to what’s available to us. So what is your path?

Me. You. Us. – Group Programme Starting November 2017

From November, men’s-coach Yaron Engler and I will be running our exclusive small group programme for a maximum of 12 individuals who together will spend 6 months exploring relationships, intimacy and love. Me. You Us. is a powerful exploration led by Yaron and I both in person and online.

Conscious relating is my path as for me it feels like the only true one to walk, and many of my clients work with me because they are choosing the same. How about you? If you’re intrigued or have a sense that this might be for you, if you want to explore, understand, let go of your blocks and dive into creating a way of relating that makes a real difference in your life then do get in contact here and we can tell you more and create a time for a conversation.

Please also feel free to gift this information to anyone you know who you think might benefit from this exploration. The intention of this programme is to make a life changing difference to those who choose to join us. It is fun, stretching and incredibly opening for all who dive in. If relationship is the final frontier, let’s all chart new and wonderful territory!

With love, connection and inspiration,

Kirsty Hanly -



Masculine and Feminine Essence – your environment and you. 


Masculine and Feminine Essence – Your Environment and You.

This film by the wonderful James Mattingley really beautifully describes masculine and feminine essence, how it flows within all of us and also how living in particular environments affects us in different ways. I’d love you to watch it and let me know how you feel yourself to be. And if you’re in Bali at any point do go along to one of his talks, classes or workshops. Beautiful wisdom in a beautiful environment.

I am essentially a feminine identified women who has learnt how to be strongly in her masculine for much of the time. As I’ve dived more fully into the works of David Deida and other teachers in this area I have come to realise that holding a masculine structure in my body really doesn’t work for me – it actually hurts my body to be so fully held. Instead, what I need is so much more feminine flow and softness. Often that feels hard to connect to as I live in a very masculine structured city, I’m a single mother and I run my own business. My life requires me to hold things in a certain way right now. But the more awareness I bring to creating an oceanic flow instead, the better I feel in my body and in my life as a whole. So I have a daily feminine practice that takes me back to where works so much better for me. The answer is always not to get stuck in one or the other but to move through both polarities. This ultimately takes some work but is worth it on every level.

I notice in my coaching and therapy work with people in my home city that there is a common theme that women often are holding the masculine in this way and are experiencing similar things to that described above, as well as difficulty in relationships and in their intimate connections. And the men that I work with often have an underdeveloped ‘healthy’ masculine and are suffering the repercussions of that too. As James describes, the trouble with this is that there is often a lack of polarity and therefore passion in a relationship or in attracting one and people are also finding that their lives often just aren’t coming together as hey would like.

I frequently work with people of both sexes on letting go of the unconscious patterning they hold that prevents them from creating the difference that feels better in their bodies and in their minds. If you hold a deep unconscious level belief that you’re not worthy of love and connection, that you’re not good enough, or perhaps that you mustn’t be ‘seen’ for who you really are, you’re not going to be able to connect to your true essence and will instead quite possibly have developed a ‘shell’ or protection layer that will require upkeep in everything you do. When that is transformed you are most likely more able to relax into your masculine and feminine energies in a much more flowing way and be much more fully present with your partner, in your life and with all the people you come into contact with. This has positive repercussions on an intimate level and in a much wider context as connection in all areas becomes so much more powerful and flowing. It’s a wonderful exploration in so many ways. There are many teachers and writers with whom you can explore this including David Deida, John Wineland and Eli Buren. I really recommend diving in. It’s been a game-changer for me and for so many of my clients.

To enable a deeper exploration of these themes and others connected to relationships, intimacy and love, Yaron Engler, a leading mens work coach, and I are running an exciting exclusive programme in London and online from November 2017. If you click on this link it will take you to more information about Me. You. Us. If it resonates with you do get in touch here and we can talk a bit more about the journey we will be taking you on and see if it feels like the right thing for you or looks like something that might make a difference in your life. Please also feel free to forward the link on to anyone who you think may benefit from joining. Gift it forward. You might just make an incredible difference to someone elses life too! We also havea  Facebook community to discuss these themes. Come and play over there too. We’d love to hear how these themes play out in yoru life.

Love to you,

Kirsty Hanly -


You. Me. Us. - programme for the masculine and feminine to meet.



Thought For Today – Handing It Over.

A thought for today: How good are you at letting go?

Most of us spend a whole heap of energy in trying to control what we actually have very little control over. For today, see if you can find a flow that means you can hand it over and trust that what you need will come.

Just for today – Let what wants to come, come and let what wants to go, go. Just for today.


Thought for the day -



Lorca’s Poetry on Love and the Heart

Lorca’s Poetry of the Heart

I often start my day with music or by reading a poem. Today was Federico Garcia Lorca, the wonderful Spanish poet and playwright. I first discovered Lorca as at student at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) where an incredible director brought Yerma to life for us all. Today, he is one of my favourite poets for his use of descriptive language and ability to portray, through words, a depth of feeling that often eludes people today.

I believe that when you allow it, you always get what you need when you most need it. So when I decide to open a book at a random page, I smile when I see what I’ve got. So today, this post is for you all, and also for me.

New Heart

Lorca's Poetry - New Heart.

As I read Lorca’s poetry this morning I was struck by two things. How relevant these words are to my life right now, and how completely timeless this particular poem is. It was written in June 1918 but it perfectly describes those deep matters of the heart that never change across and throughout time.  How often do we observe the choice – to close down and lock away, or to allow heart opening growth and learning to come instead?

‘Shall I hang you on the wall
of my emotional museum,
beside my dark, chill,
sleeping irises of my evil?

Or shall I spread you over the pines
–suffering book of my love—
so you can learn about the song
the nightingale offers to the dawn?’

What do you do as a default and how does it serve you?  I know that I vacillate but try hard to stay open during times where my body and mind want to close. The reason? Because growth is always better than protection. Continuing to stretch and open and learn and grow means that you are always open to experience; that you get to live a little more fully each day; that you get to experience the full magic of being you. You get to see that life is incredible in all its pain and heartache, and love and loss, deep feeling and vulnerability. You get to experience the deep and wide expansion that can come from all those things when you decide to remain open and learn about the song the nightingale offers the dawn.

As you think about Lorca’s poetry, I encourage you to think about how open you allow yourself to be, how deeply you can connect to your heart and to others, and where you can listen more intently for the birdsong that opens a new dawn, in whatever it is you are going through.

If this resonates with you and you would like to explore how we can work together on these themes and others that you are noticing in your life, just drop me a line here and we can start the conversation that could open up your life in incredible new ways.

And for today – a huge open heart, and love to you.

Kirsty Hanly -


James Cameron on Dreaming Big and Embracing Failure.

James Cameron knows about how to dream big.

James Cameron is known for making pictures that everyone else thought were impossible. Big budget, epics that would stretch available technology and current thinking of what is possible. He embraced the possibility of failure in a big way, with millions of dollars at stake.

How much do you embrace failure in your life or work? I talk about this a lot with my clients. How a person can set their sights so high that failure is inevitable, but that it leads ultimately to more achievement than you otherwise would have had?

Most people aim low so as to impress by getting it ‘right’ or to make themselves feel good for achieving what they set out to do. What if you were to aim way above your comfort zone? What if you were to reach for the stars to get some way to the moon? What does that mean for what you create in the world?

Like James Cameron, I suggest you dare to dream bigger than you ever have before. And reach for that dream. Neither of us can know where it will take you, but I’m pretty sure it will be closer to a more magical life than you might once have believed possible.

James Cameron Quote




The EU Referendum and YOU.

Drama, drama everywhere..! (in the EU Referendum and in Your life too!)

You may very well know that here in the UK we have a referendum tomorrow to decide whether or not we stay in the European Union (if you’re in the UK, you would have had to be hiding under a rock not to!).

What has been so incredibly evident is that the whole campaign, on both sides, has been run through a filter of enormous amounts of drama. No surprises here, you might say. And of course, this is not unusual in situations where politicians are involved. The difference here though is that no one has any real clue of the facts of what will happen either way so the campaign has been entirely played through the ‘Drama Triangle’ (more in a moment).

First, I recently shared this infographic on Facebook. It makes me smile and just about sums up the feeling here in the UK, and probably elsewhere too. Whatever your views, it’s been baffling to watch the way this campaign has been run…

EU referendum

But as ever, I believe that we can learn something from whatever comes our way. So I wrote a blog recently on my Cognitive Hypnotherapy site about Karpman’s Drama Triangle and how we can recognise the states of Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer, how hey can show up in your life, and what you can do about it.


Drama Triangle

In the referendum debate you will see lots of vacillation between these polarities as both sides use them to gain traction in their arguments. Wouldn’t it be refreshing is they all showed up as adults instead? Either way, you don’t have to get into ‘Triangle’ behaviour in your life. It’s easy too, but also in recognising times when you may Persecute, Rescue or play the Victim, or when this shows up in hte organisation you are part of, or lead, you can begin to change your default behaviour and step into a healthier way of relating to others and to yourself, leading to greater happiness, success, sense of personal power and fulfilment.

You can read more about it here.

In the deep work I do with my clients we often spend time working through behaviours that come from being triggered into one of these roles. As the unconscious patterns shift the transformation can be incredible. Within organisations too – change the drama triangle responses and you can positively influence the whole organisational culture.

If you would like to talk to me about what is going on in your life or in your company or industry, and how I can help just drop me a line to and we can begin the conversation that can take you towards a more successful, fulfilling, freeing experience of life.

Oh, and if you are in the UK, whatever way you go, do remember to vote in the EU Referendum tomorrow. This is an important one!



TED 2016 – Dan Pallotta – The Dream We Haven’t Dared To Dream

Dan Pallotta on Dreams.

Dan Pallotta is my friend’s boss. He’s a remarkable man and when I saw him talk at a screening of TED 2016 earlier this year and he really blew me away. And so it was so lovely that when I put a note on FB about this talk and my oldest friend, who now lives in Boston, Massachusetts, sent me a message to say she works closely with him I was so happy and it got me thinking even deeper about Pallotta’s message and about her. And about me and our families and how our lives have unfolded in incredible ways from that time when,as toddlers, we would draw chalk drawings on the pavement outside her house on a hot summers day.

I love the serendipity of life.

I believe deeply in the connection of humanity and in the power of big dreams, and I’m always interested in how we can ‘be’ with one another in a deeper way in order to enhance the collective experience. Ironically I don’t see my friend Sara enough at all these days. We kind of drifted apart over the years due to the twists and turns of life. She won’t really know it, but I really love her and always feel deeply connected to her. When I became a single parent and had to deal with the emotional and practical needs of my family around that, I really struggled for a good while to also give enough attention to the people in my life who I love the most. In all honesty, it’s still pretty hard. So often I have to beam love from afar.

But I  encourage my clients to “dream in multiple dimensions simultaneously” and I like to do that too. So it felt good that I that this connected us just a little bit more than we have been, and also made me realise how disconnected I have been at times, even when having the intention of love and compassion. And it reminded me that I could definitely let her, and other people who I value, know lots more how much I love that they’re in my life, however distant our worlds are for the time being.

And so when we connect more fully and deeply and compassionately we have a richer experience of life and we can connect more fully and deeply and compassionately to our dreams and our potential for creating the extraordinary.

So I’m now sharing this with you. Mr Pallotta talking about who you can really be. So what’s your dream you haven’t dared to dream – yet? What can you dream for you and what would the moon dream for you?





Reinventing Organizations – Frederic Laloux on Flattening Organisations

Are Hierarchical Organisational Structures a Thing of the Past?

Is there a new way for organisations to structure themselves? What happens if the pyramid is flattened out?

In 2014, Frederic Laloux gave a great talk on the future of organisational structure and practice. He outlined examples of how some companies are restructuring themselves around three principles:

1. Self-management.
2. Wholeness.
3. Evolutionary purpose.

Frederick Laloux - Reinventing Organisations

He suggests that the way we manage our companies today is out of sync with where we are at in society and that it’s time for a radical shift in structure and focus.

His research has flagged up disengaged, exhausted employees; people who bring their bodies to work, but not their hearts; people who are tired of the rat race; endless meetings, bureaucracy, internal politics; over focus on targets and budget cycles; and a lack of a sense of meaning and purpose.

He suggests that something new is about to emerge – a flattened structure where empowered staff across the board are self-regulated and self-managed. There is much evidence to back up the theory and many organisations who have already put it into practice with powerful results. This article in the Harvard Business Review outlines some of the successes and reasons why this is working for so many.

Whether you are a leader within a traditionally structured organisation or one that operates a flat, non-hierarchical structure, or perhaps you just have a sense that a different focus of priorities are becoming necessary to address stumbling blocks for and your staff, I really encourage you to watch Frederic Laloux’s talk. It may just open up an enquiry that could make an incredible difference for how you choose to work.





The power of not having a plan (warning: a vulnerable share!)


So, if you know me you’ll know that I quite like to do things well. I like to have a really good plan. So when I was giving a talk in front of an audience and cameras in Los Angeles in the autumn (Fall) of last year I was all ready to re-create my experience at TEDx of preparing something fabulous, insightful and very well prepped that the audience would find inspiring, uplifting and you never know, a little bit world-changing.

If you’ve seen that TEDx talk, you will know that I used to be very afraid of public speaking. I used to keep myself well away from being seen or heard and, as a result spent many years without making the positive impact on the world that I now see to be possible. This is one of the reasons that I am now a great coach and cognitive hypnotherapist: because I understand fear and limiting beliefs deeply, but I don’t let them stand in my way and I know that you don’t have to either. Instead, I’ve learnt to feel the power of who I truly am and to lean in towards the things that scare me in order to touch the magic of life.  I believe that what you can achieve in this world is incredible when you strip away the areas in which you are held back and become free to be YOU in all your glory.

The Trafic Light System for Growth
In our experience of life – what we do and how we relate – we have options of stretch. Green is easy-breezy and safe and a little boring; Amber is where the stretch lives, where we feel a little uncomfortable, where we learn and grow; Red is too much – it’s where we blow out, where everything needs to stop. No one likes red. It doesn’t feel good. I try to live in the amber zone as much as possible and I encourage my clients to as well. Sometimes my quest for growth inadvertently takes me into red and I have to pull back a bit, but amber is a great place to be. I seek amber out – and I encourage my clients to do the same. It is in moving through amber that we get to everything we could possibly want. Another way of saying it is that everything we want is on the other side of our fears.

The power of amber traffic light quote

The Challenge
So as I was planning this talk in LA I visited my coach and talked to him about what I would talk about. As I was speaking he got a cheeky little smile on his face and I started to hear his thoughts loudly. I knew a big amber and maybe a little bit of red was about to be thrown my way. In the way that often happens in a conversation with a coach, I could see that my world was about to be rocked  – and I knew for a while that I wasn’t going to like it. I’m quite used to this feeling. You see, I am only able to be the powerful coach and therapist I am because I continue to do my own work, all the time. Coaches like to keep you in stretch. If you want to be successful you should have a coach, or a cognitive hypnotherapist, or better: both. In the world of sports they know it and wouldn’t dream of doing their thing without a coach. Regular life is just the same if you’re interested in being the best version of you, you can be.

So, “Kirsty,” he said, “your stretch isn’t in giving a polished, rehearsed talk, with a powerpoint presentation. Your stretch is showing up with NOTHING.”

My body shook. I knew he was onto something. I was in amber, touching red. This did not sound like a good plan. At least it wasn’t the comfortable plan I had all worked out.

“Your stretch,” he continued “is in having nothing prepared, nothing rehearsed, no powerpoint. Not a thing.”



I hate it when people challenge me like that because immediately I know that I’m going to do it. I used to think that ouch! was a reason to move away. Now I know that the other side of it is incredible. What we can achieve in our lives when we embrace the ouch! is wonderful. I am living proof, and so are my clients.

I moved into amber when I saw that the worst that would happen is that I would say nothing. I may be revealed as not being polished and perfect and totally in control of my experience, your experience and the whole world’s perception of me, but no-one died from saying nothing and it turns out that we don’t have control over anything at all, really, so that’s a good one to let go of too. So I reasoned that on some level, it would be ok.

So on the day, I stood up on the stage in front of the cameras and the audience with nothing, curious at what would appear. I also took it a step further and wore the clothes that I had just been on the beach in, no shoes, no makeup and hair unbrushed. I was undisguised and had no plan. I knew that the intense sensations (that could have been labeled as terror), that I was feeling in my body was to do with how I like to control your experience of me, and my experience of me, so perhaps that would be a good place to start, but aside from that I was going to just see where I went to in the time I had.

Here’s the result. Have a watch and let me know what you see, think, feel and hear.


I’m actually quite thrilled that I let myself go into that space because I really did touch a little bit of magic that day. I connected to my intuition, to my essence and I allowed myself to be carried and it was beautiful. It’s the space that I live in, but not one that I usually present on a stage. I believe we all have exactly what we need, all of the time, but crazily we forget – I work with people on this all of the time, but still I forget sometimes too. But the more I do things like this, the more I remember and the more deeply I can remind others of who they can be also. Because when we take our feet off the ocean floor we really are carried. The ocean stops battering and instead supports and lifts and carries towards what we need.

Take Your Feet Off the Ocean Floor and Be Held
I would really like to invite you to allow yourself to be supported a little more than you usually would by the power of the ocean. Find moments of amber stretch that shows you the power of who you are when you trust that you are carried – when you take your feet off the ocean floor and are held. Magic is available to us in every moment. What would be different in your life if you stepped into that far more than you do now?

And if you’d like to have a conversation about how I can support you on your journey into the power and possibility for your life just drop me a line here and we can talk.