“It’s not all affirmations is it?” I ask her, cynicism oozing from every pore. She patiently, valiantly holds back even the suggestion of a sigh. “No, it’s not all about affirmations.” “I just feel like I need to do something about my life, you know? But I don’t want to do therapy. I don’t want to do something self-indulgent and endless like therapy, I just want to, I don’t know, change something. My attitude maybe…” I ramble, prattle, stumble on (a bit like my life, really) until she – to my relief – stops me. Kindly, firmly, she is not a fan of wasting precious time.
In truth I would never in a million years have bought Alexia Leachman’s book had I not known her (a joyful, bubbly, sharp girl) in school. I’ve never before bought a self-help book and I doubt I ever will again. It’s not that I have anything against them or even that I think they can’t help me, it’s just that I feel I don’t really have enough time to read them. Adding reading a book to my enormous To Do list would feel counter-intuitive. But when I first happened to see on my social media feed the title of her book (‘Clear Your Head Trash: How To Create Clarity, Peace & Confidence in Your Life & Work’) some part of me bolted upright. It instinctively appealed to me. I’m a decluttering freak (which, to anyone that knows the first thing about psychology, is a giveaway sign of a messy inside of head) and I realised how much I was desperate to declutter my mind too. To lose some of that weighty, annoying, useless rubbish that resides there.
I took the plunge and booked the Clearance Kick Start. I knew I had so much mess in my head that I wouldn’t get anywhere with just one session, so I took a leap of faith. From the first minute of the first call, Alexia made sure we hit the ground running. No procrastinating, no dithering, she took the lead and made sure that the sessions were productive and fast moving – even in the face of my being an indecisive wreck prone to philosophising. The four talks we had were revealing, refreshing, enlightening, emboldening. They made my head spin with new ideas. They gave me a fascinating and unexpected bucketload of insight into how I took life, what emotions ruled me, how I wanted to be and how that contrasted with how I was. During the process I got randomly overwhelmed with emotion, out of the blue. I got goosebumps, I squirmed, I had lightbulb moments. We laughed a lot, and it wasn’t because we were once, as teenagers, mates. Just talking to the ball of positive energy that is Alexia energises you, makes you realise that anything is possible. If the least that had happened was that some of her good attitude to life rubbed off on me I’d have been happy.
Alexia showed me how to use her Headtrash Clearance Method and I definitely saw some big shifts, particularly when I actually did the homework rather than pretending my dog had eaten it. I learnt a vast amount about myself and my attitudes and got to work on squeezing the power out of the negative bits, neutralising the awful hold they’d had over me. Some traumas I hadn’t even realised I’d had were cleared, my belief system was reset and I now – thanks to the work we did – get substantially less riled up by things that had used to send me off in an angry, over-dramatising spin. One of the things we discussed was retaining the passion you have about things without being so zealous about them that you end of ranting, rather than bringing about any real change. That resounded with me and made me rethink how I approached things, now after the headtrash clearance work I’m much more constructive and don’t fall into the ‘angry trap’ – or at least not quite as often.
Alexia is super quick on the uptake – she grasps what you are trying to put into words even as it’s just the beginnings of a fog in your mind and well before you can properly articulate it, it’s uncanny. There’s something magical about the process, but you’ll have to do it to experience it, it’s like stuff shifts in your outlook, that’s the best way I can put it. And the repercussions of the shift are far reaching. Alexia is super direct and very, very irreverent, with a silly, wicked, spontaneous sense of humour. She’s fantastic to talk to – someone you could tell your deepest, darkest secrets to without you blinking an eye. Without you even realising you needed to blink an eye. She makes talking about personal, private stuff feel natural, easy. Whatever you tell her she doesn’t judge (which is handy as it sort of influences you to stop judging yourself) or even (in a good way) care, she just works with you to see how you can move on from the point that you are at, how you can kill the ghosts of your past and move on in life unencumbered. Because really, dwelling on stuff is pretty exhausting and letting go of it feels pretty good. My leap of faith was rewarded and I thoroughly recommend it.
Buy the book here and see what it’s all about.
Book your Head Trash Clearance Session with Alexia here.
Q. Why did you decide to embark on the ‘Clear Your Headtrash’ process?
A. Like a lot of people in their 40s, I had been struggling with feelings of inexplicable discontentment and overwhelm, a kind of general, middle class malaise. It wasn’t really anything specific, everything in my life was ok and I felt guilty even admitting it to myself, but I just knew something was off – it was a feeling I’d had for some time and that I couldn’t shake. When I saw the tagline on my facebook feed (Alexia was an old school friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in 20 years) it jumped out at me. I had never done any ‘self-help’ stuff before, not even read a book, it was all quite spontaneous really.
Q. How did ‘Clearing your Headtrash’ help you?
A. It was exactly what I had needed. I knew that I had absolutely no desire to talk indulgently for an extended period (‘normal’ psychotherapy) about why I was perhaps not feeling as positive as I would expect to feel, were I to look at my life objectively. I didn’t have time for that, to add another thing to my list, I wanted to do something proactive and fast working, to see some change. I felt like I had no space in my head, like I was overloaded and couldn’t get any clarity on anything, my brain felt too full up and it only needed one little thing to make things overspill and cause a freak out. I was being oversensitive and unproductive, and I was frustrated about it.
Q. What did you find the best bits about Clearing your Headtrash
A. For me the trauma clearance process was quite impactful. We all have ‘traumas’ in our life, however mini, and it felt great to exorcise the ghosts, kill off the residue of those. Talking with Alexia was what led me to first identify and recognise these ‘mini-traumas’ – that I hadn’t even known I had! – so that was in itself an enlightening process. Also very useful was the work we did on making me experience feelings less acutely, squeezing out the power of the extremes of some emotions helped me become way less triggered by things that would previously have sent me off on a rant. Again, all this was stuff I hadn’t even realised was happening before my sessions with Alexia. I am still an empath and won’t ever be able to stay completely cool and calm on some subjects, but I definitely get less upset and worked up about some things now.
Q. Would you say it changed your life?
A. Not immediately. I very much enjoyed and got a lot out of sessions 1 and 2 and never regretted starting the process, but it took me until session 3 to really ‘take off’ with the method and also to feel confident doing it myself and that I was doing it ‘right’. I have definitely seen changes in my behaviour and attitude since it all kicked in. I feel significantly less stressed, much calmer, more in control. It’s a method I think I will continue to incorporate into my daily life, for me personally it has worked much better than for example Meditation.