Toni Mackenzie is Self-Empowerment Coach, Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist, EFT Tapping Therapist, NLP Practitioner, Mindset Coach.
What is happiness for you?
I feel happy when I’m stroking my gorgeous cats, when I see the sun setting, when I’m surrounded by stunning scenery, whether on a beach or in the countryside.
However for me, true, lasting happiness is an inside job. It’s about having an underlying feeling of inner comfort, calmness, peace and freedom from negative thinking. I’ve learned to feel a sense of acceptance of what is and feel gratitude for all I have, let go of the past, refuse to worry unnecessarily about the future, live in the present and go with the flow.
How did you come to your current level of positivity and what did you have to overcome to achieve it?
My world was turned upside down over twenty years ago when I went from feeling very happy and secure, living in a beautiful home, with my loving and supportive husband and two very young children, to a place where I was on my own with my children, with no home, no support and no money. I was at a very low ebb and felt very fearful about the future, however, from that all time low point in my life, I gradually learned how to grow my wings and eventually fly solo.
I went back to college and studied Psychology and Practical Philosophy, read many personal development books, and then trained and qualified in Counselling, followed a few years later by Clinical Hypnotherapy, Neuro Linguistic Programming, Emotional Freedom Technique and Life Coaching.
My journey has been something of a long-haul, multi-stop flight and along the way, I’ve changed my life totally in so many positive ways. I’ve read, studied and learned from the wisdom shared by some of the most enlightened philosophers, teachers and writers from the East and the West and I continue to learn and grow more with every single day.
What do you think are the most common factors causing people’s unhappiness?
So many people believe that happiness is something they can only possibly have at sometime in the future, once they have the right circumstances, partner, possessions or money they desire. The problem is, the future never comes, so they go through life searching outside of themselves when the reality is happiness has been on the inside all along, just waiting to be discovered and released.
True, lasting happiness comes from changing the way we think and most of the thoughts that prevent us from feeling happy right now are avoidable, and within our control. They are all too often about trivial things we can’t change, things that happened in the past, or may possibly happen in the future — things that really don’t need to affect how we feel in the present.
Some very common factors that cause people to feel unhappy are comparing themselves unfavourably to others, feeling insecure in relationships for no good reason and having a fear of failing. At the root of all these feelings is a belief that they are not good enough. It’s impossible to feel genuinely happy when you don’t accept and love yourself for who you are.
How exactly do you help people become happy?
I help people become happy by teaching them how to use highly effective tools including NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) exercises and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), which can help them quickly release negative thoughts and limiting beliefs.
Our powerful subconscious minds become programmed during the first 6-7 years of our lives as a result of our childhood experiences. I work with people to release their negative programming by guiding them back to the root of their issues, during hypnotherapy. They are then able to leave the past behind, accept new positive beliefs and be free to move forward and be happy.
In my book ‘Your Flight to Happiness: A 7-Step Journey to Emotional Freedom’, I share the main lessons I learned along my own journey to happiness.
Share your favourite Happy thought
The thought I’d like to pass on to everyone is: If you want to find true, lasting happiness, you need to learn how to F.L.Y. ~ First Love Yourself…