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Practicing Gratitude

Perhaps you are aware that being grateful for everything that is happening or has happened in your life can literally change your life. Or perhaps, like me, you hear someone talk about being grateful and you think to yourself or even say out loud, “What have I got to be grateful for? I’ve got, A, B, C, etc… going wrong in my life and it sucks!” You may even consciously be aware that whatever you think about repeatedly becomes your reality, but you feel like you can’t get your mind to cooperate with you. Or you might think this is all just happy talk. You can’t wish wealth or good health or happy relationships into your life! Everyone knows that.

First, there are probably two things going on here. One would be the conditioning you have acquired from family, friends and society at large that says something to the effect that the only real things that are happening in the world are things that we can bring in through our senses, predominantly through sight. If you can’t see it then it probably isn’t real. The second thing that is probably happening is the involvement of your ego. This is a survival program running in our minds that analyzes everything in our conscious and subconscious awareness and determines if it is harmful, harmless or beneficial. Basically it is a filter, similar but much more sophisticated, to the filters we use on our computers when we search or work with data. This filter lets in or blocks out information or data from your environment based on biases you have developed over the years. I think a good example to illustrate this would be how you may not notice how many of a certain make or model of car exists in your vicinity until you buy one. Then you notice them all the time. You had not set your filter to notice that car until it had personal significance to you. I felt this, as I think many women do, when I first became pregnant. Of course I was aware of pregnant women before then but I didn’t really pay attention, but when I became pregnant, I felt almost overwhelmed by all the pregnant women I noticed.

You may also have read or heard about human beings having vibrational frequencies. All things are made up of energy so therefore all things have vibrational frequencies.This is not something you can see with your eyes, but it has been measured scientifically and even photographed so this is not an esoteric notion. Science has proven this. There are many things that affect this vibrational frequency, but the most profound is our emotions. When you are happy or calm or loving you will be vibrating at a relatively high frequency. When you are angry, depressed or fearful you will be vibrating at a relatively low frequency. Because everything has these frequencies, whatever level you are vibrating at, you will draw to you people and situations that are in the same vibrational level. Therefore, in order to bring happy, calm or loving people or situations into your life, you need to bring your vibration level up to that level if that isn’t what you are experiencing currently in your life.

This is where a practice of giving thanks can be particularly effective. It can help on two levels. First, gratitude is a high vibration emotion, so beginning, ending your day with thoughts of gratitude will raise your vibration. This also kind of sets the tone for the day when you begin your day in gratitude. It also sets the tone for your sleep and dream cycle, which is also affected by your vibrational frequency. On the second level, thinking and speaking your gratitude for the people and situations in your life can and should include those people and situations you would like to attract into your life. For example, when I’m arguing or unhappy with my husband, I practice gratitude for our relationship, particularly our loving communication with each other. What? We were just arguing. Why should I be grateful for that? I want a loving relationship with him with open and loving communication so that is how I am framing my thoughts. My subconscious mind, where most of this is happening, accepts statements of gratitude as a period at the end of a sentence. It is finished. I have achieved it, therefore the signal of gratitude. I have used this practice many times and even though the results may not be immediate, there are positive results. I had to tune myself to become aware of increased loving communication. That is part of the equation as well. We will find what we are looking for. If you are looking for ways of being right or superior, you will find them, usually by way of looking for someone or some situation to blame. Most people spend their entire lives avoiding their own feelings by projecting onto and blaming others. In reality what is happening in our lives, all of it, begins and ends with us. So don’t go to your boss, your spouse or family members to have it out because something is bothering you. Go inside yourself instead. Create the picture you would like to see in your life and then create the gratitude statements that match it. Be grateful for your strong, energetic, healthy body and all it does for you. Be grateful for your loving spouse, children, family and friends. Be grateful for your job, your house, your car or whatever else you enjoy or want to see in your life. It may not all manifest at once or in ways that you predicted, but it will manifest and it will be beautiful.

If this information resonates with you and you would like to go further, please check out my store. You will find a guided meditation to reinforce your gratitude practice. You may also wish to make an appointment to work with me as a life coach or hypnotherapist to create a comprehensive and lasting practice.

Namaste. 

Surviving a financial crisis

To say that the times we live in are uncertain is perhaps an understatement. At least as viewed by us in the year 2020. However, if taken against the backdrop of history what we are going through is, at least so far, a blip on the radar. People on this planet have lived through so much; war, drought, famine, floods, and plagues of all sorts. If we consider our recent history in the United States, even though we have been through a couple of wars since the last world war and other troubling situations, the fact is that as a country as a whole things have been relatively calm and steady. I’m not trying to dismiss the pain that many have felt at particular times over that time period, but as I said for the whole of the country things have been pretty peaceful.

This has been gradually changing, particularly in politics and the financial system over the last few decades. It has been so gradual that people have been able to adapt, albeit that adaptation has mainly been for the poor and middle class who have been losing what ground they might have gained since the war. Now this situation has blown up dramatically with the spread of this new virus COVID-19. There seems to be little else we as citizens can do at this point other than stay at home or social distance if you must be out. To have this continue for more than a month or two is putting a strain on the financial system and supply chains but also on Americans in general. As a people, we are generally all about getting out and getting things done. Even when we can’t agree about what should be done. Some people are agitating to get back to normal, back to work and back to getting out and getting together. Others however feel that we shouldn’t do that until we have systems in place, particularly effective and widespread testing, before we end quarantining. The views expressed by the men and women seeing the worst of it in hospitals and nursing homes are telling horrific stories of the devastation the virus inflicts on some and how traumatic and deadly this is for their own physical and mental health.

Whichever camp you may be in, many people are suffering from overwhelming anxiety concerning how they will live. How they will pay the mortgage or rent, pay their bills or even buy food. Food pantries in some areas of the country have miles long lines. Some have people showing up that have no idea what to do because they have never needed to go to a food pantry before. Even with the government trying to help individuals, businesses and state governments the future looks grim for these systems.

So as you are reading this and perhaps beginning to pull your hair out as you cry, “I know. I know. So what’s the answer?” I have no answer that will solve all of these problems. I don’t believe anyone really does. What I can offer is something that can help you deal with your own emotions, your own anxiety. I’m not saying that what I have to offer will magically put money in your bank account or food on your table. What I have to offer, though, will help you bring a sense of increased calm and serenity at this most uncertain time. In the hypnosis session that I am offering for this financial crisis, is a technique that will help your mind, both the conscious and the subconscious release some of the anxiety and worry that you may be currently holding in your body. For example, take a moment right now and scan your body with your mind. Do you feel tension anywhere in your body? Do you feel tension in your mind? As you think about this, can you say how long that tension has been there? It is one thing to tense up for a few moments or even hours as long as you have a way to release that tension. Some may say, yes I have a way to release it, it’s called having a drink, taking a pill, or watching a movie. That actually isn’t a release of the tension but a way of distracting yourself so that you don’t notice it. When you use guided meditations, or hypnosis, or meditation you are actually releasing the energy that you have inside of your body. This is essential in bringing balance and harmony and eventually happiness back. Unfortunately this is not a one and done solution, as most remedies are not. Our current situation isn’t going to go away quickly as we all would like it to. Therefore you will need to work out a program or plan of dealing with this energy in a way that actually helps you. As I mentioned above, there are several options to work with; meditation, guided meditation or hypnosis and yoga. All of these strategies work on bringing the mind and body into a quiet calm space and alignment with each other. In doing this work you will also be changing the vibrations you are currently releasing into your environment. This will work in two ways. First, it will help anyone around you to become more calm and peaceful which will help in harmonizing your relationships, without even trying. Second, it will bring vibrations of a similar frequency to you. I’m sure you’ve heard of The Law of Attraction. When you are vibrating at a frequency of anxiety, worry or depression, you are signalling to the universe that this is what you are looking for and the universe will be happy to provide. As you work with the strategies mentioned, you will raise your vibration. It won’t go from anxious and depressed to happy and joyful, but you will notice a lightening. You may move to annoyed and then to a kind of neutral feeling. In time, though, it will proceed to those levels you desire if you continue the process.

So take heart, there is something you can do in this crisis that will help not only yourself but everyone around you. Now that you have the time (if you are one who is not part of essential services and are staying at home), use it to develop a practice that will bring calm, peace and happiness to your life. This takes time and patience. Go within and find that everything you really need is already there.

Manage Your Stress

We all have stress. It’s part of being human. It seems to come from many sources; our jobs, our families, society, etc… Learning how to manage our stress is one of our greatest challenges and something that can affect the outcomes that we see in all those areas mentioned above. A lot of people use external sources to help them manage their stress. Some of these strategies are seen as positive and some are seen as negative. For example, some people use exercise to manage stress. Most people would consider this a positive way of managing it. Some people, probably without intention, use things like the internet or video gaming to manage stress. There is some debate over whether these are positive or negative strategies depending on how much time one puts in to them. There are also strategies that involve chemicals we ingest such as drugs or alcohol to manage stress. Most people would consider these to be negative strategies as they usually lead to self-destructive behaviors.

Another category of stress management is something that has become increasingly popular in Western culture over the past 30 years or so and that is the strategy of going within. Most of the strategies mentioned above use external sources to manage stress. Going within, whether through meditation, yoga, guided meditations or hypnosis, is a way of connecting to one’s inner resources to bring about a state of calm and relaxation. Stress cannot exist when one is relaxed and calm. With the repeated use of internal reflection, the state of calm relaxation will in time extend out from the time spent in quiet reflection to larger and larger portions of one’s day and will ultimately positively affect all interactions and relationships.

I encourage you try experimenting with this concept. Give yourself permission to try something new without judgement or preconceived ideas of a desired outcome. Any or all of the aforementioned practices will garner the positive results of calm and relaxation, but those results may not come immediately. Try to have patience with yourself and simply allow whatever happens to happen without judgement. There are many examples of these techniques in books, magazines, the Internet and YouTube, many for free. My contribution to this body of work will be a free download on this topic. Click the picture above to access the file. Please give it a try and drop me a note to let me know what your experience has been.

Namaste, Friends!

Coronavirus Anxiety

There is a lot going on in the world and in our own lives in the best of times. Add to that a pandemic of increasingly alarming proportions, misinformation and disinformation coming from many sources, and we have a situation that will overload many people’s ability to cope well. So what to do? Obviously there are lots of things we can do:

  • Stop watching, listening, or reading news reports
  • Follow the basic guidelines issued by the CDC (washing hands, avoiding close contact with anyone except family members, stay home as much as possible)
  • Begin or maintain physical and mental health regimens including exercise and meditation
  • Don’t go to the doctor. If you feel like you are having serious symptoms or have underlying health concerns or are elderly, call first and have them recommend next steps. Showing up at the doctor’s or hospital could put medical personnel at risk especially if the facility is not prepared for this outbreak.

Okay, so that’s fantastic but being humans we aren’t all going to be able to do these things. I am struggling with not being obsessive in my news consumption. For myself, I try to check in to see if I am consuming the news without being triggered by what I am seeing and hearing. When I start to feel triggered, I turn it off. Specifically what I mean by this is when I start feeling like I need to blame people or governments or organizations for mishandling whatever is going on, I realize I need to take a step back. This is something we see and hear in news coverage (unless you keep your consumption to the traditional “evening news”. I have noticed that they still maintain very little bias in reporting.) all the time. I think taking the blame or shame from the equation helps a lot when looking at anything. This pandemic is something that is happening right now in our world. It is neither good nor bad. Humans are here in the physical world to learn. There are many lessons that we need to learn individually, but as a collective we are here to learn to love ourselves and each other unconditionally. If we can strip away everything else that the human ego has built over the millenia that ultimately has reinforced this idea of separation, it is possible to find that space where we can connect. 

How do we do that? Strangely enough this is not achieved by going out and “making it happen”. It is not achieved by going to church, doing good works, or any other external acts that we have been conditioned over the years to believe will make us better people. The answer is actually to go within. The answer is to take the time to be still, to quiet your mind, to focus on your breathing, and find that bottomless well of silence that we all have inside. This is the place where we will find forgiveness for ourselves and others. This is the place where we will find the answers to all our questions. For centuries most of us have been stumbling around through our lives looking for answers to our questions outside of ourselves. While we have been doing that we have been busy judging and blaming whatever comes along that displeases or inconveniences or hurts us. Very few, if any, of us have found the answers to those fundamental questions outside of ourselves. Some, albeit very few, when they take the time to go within do find answers. They find forgiveness for themselves and others. They also find love, both for themselves and for all of mankind. It is a wonderful experience. It doesn’t cost anything and is a very simple practice. It is definitely not easy, but it is simple. Take the time to do this for yourself. You don’t need anything other than yourself and a place and time where you can be quiet. If you’re a parent, I can relate to how difficult that can be. Just realize that it doesn’t need to be a lengthy or involved practice. Five minutes to start is all you need. Just notice your breath as it enters your body, and as it leaves. This is you. This is your essence. This is our most fundamental need; to breath. Do it consciously, with awareness. Doing this everyday will bring down the clanging alarm bells that may be going off constantly in your mind and body without you really being aware of them. As we continue down this path with the coronavirus, many will find themselves with lots and lots of time on their hands with nothing to do but obsess and worry about things they truly can’t control. Know that you can control your response to this and any other crisis or worry in your life. Breathe and accept that this is happening and you are here experiencing it. Then let the rest fall away. 

One last suggestion; if you find yourself still quite jangled by what is happening globally or just in your own life, I recommend hypnosis or guided meditations for anxiety, worry or stress. These sessions can be found on YouTube and can feel like a full body massage. This is something wonderful you can do for yourself without leaving your home or doing anything more than listening. I recommend using these types of recordings in addition to exercise and meditation. In time, you will feel much lighter and more free in spirit and you might even notice that the flow of good things into your life will increase. I will now begin including my own recordings on this website for that purpose.

Namaste, my friends!


Pain

Everyone experiences pain in some form many, many times throughout their life. Physical pain shows up as bumps and bruises as we are growing up. For many young girls and women it is often a monthly ordeal. For most as we age we tend to feel it more and more often. Emotional or psychological painContinue reading “Pain”

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