March 16, 2013
February 23, 2013
How does one lose weight and keep it off? Just making up your mind usually doesn’t work for most of us. I have met and witnessed so many people who seem to live their lives on diets. Many who are quite overweight and yet have had no success with any diet, or at least not for very long once they go off the diet. Perhaps food is serving some unfulfilled emotional desire for them. However the why is not of particular importance in the schema of keeping weight off. The how, what and when is best to look at if one wants to shift their belief system and change their habits around food. In the depths of our brain is a part called the Reptilian Brain. It functions out of instinct, out of desire, yearning wants; it has no thought process connected to it. When you have an overwhelming urge for a food that will keep weight on you or put more on, it is this part of your brain that is kicking in. Have you been sleepwalking to your kitchen lately in the middle of the night?
So, how to work with this part of your brain? Shifting your behavior is the answer. If you are obese or just overweight than you have developed unhealthy habits that give you pleasure, as with all habits when you repeat them they become unconscious and you ‘just do it’. 1st imagine yourself at a weight that is healthy for you. Clearly visualize yourself at that weight. Perhaps creating a vision board, using other people’s bodies that look to be your ideal weight and attaching your head to the bodies can be a helpful way to reinforce your visualization of yourself at your ideal weight. 2nd, once a week let go of one unhealthy eating habit and substitute it with a healthy eating habit. If you continue this for one year you will have let go of 52 unhealthy eating habits and replaced them with 52 healthy ones. Repetition is what allows habits to hold fast and for us to shift our behaviors. Yes, it really works!
Most of us who are or have been obese would prefer a magic wand, but setting your intention to shift your habits from unhealthy ones to healthy ones and repeating that behavior is the 1st step towards having a healthy body and keeping it healthy. Another technique that works well when the reptilian brain is kicking in and you begin to go unconscious as you walk to your refrigerator to open it and eat something you are having an urge for is to imagine all kinds of huge cockroaches and maggots in your pasta or living inside the bread. Imagine that when you take a bite you will be biting into many cockroaches as they are cooked in the pasta, some are still alive, waving at you with their antenna, beckoning you to eat the pasta…some are waiting for you to take a bite of that bread so they can wiggle their antenna and turn their heads to look at you as you crunch upon their backs. So whatever food you have urges for, imagine cockroaches, maggots and other decaying matter living happily in your food choice.
Yes these techniques really do work. As a cognitive behavioral therapist and hypnotherapist my clients have had great success using the above techniques in losing weight and keeping it off. I myself have had great success as well. Although I have never been truly obese, my tendency in life was to go up and down. I do hope this is helpful and brings you hope!
December 26, 2012
Giving of oneself is a challenge for many people, and often around the holidays it seems to be on our minds. Am I giving enough? Am I giving the right thing? Who do I want to give to? Who do I have to give to? Can I afford to give enough?
At the heart of these questions is usually fear. What we fear may be different for each person. It’s as if by giving, in some way, we believe that we may be disappointing others or letting them down. One thought I have about this is that there are many ways we give of ourselves. And you can find a way that makes you feel good in your heart so that you can feel safe, loving, and positive about whom you are and the choices that you make.
Receiving from others is also on people’s minds during the holiday season more than any other time of year. You may be looking forward to receiving gifts; yet the act of accepting the gifts in your heart can be a bit difficult for you? Feelings of vulnerability are often present when we receive. We may feel that our friends/family are not sensitive to our taste or that they did not take the time to plan for our gifts, which can create feelings of hurt, resentment, being unimportant.
Many of us are uncomfortable with receiving, much more so than with giving as receiving taps into our own feelings of being loved. For many it can be much more challenging to allow love in and receiving allows love in.
A lovely Ritual that you can do to assist yourself in allowing both receiving and giving to take place with ease in your life is the following.
- Light a white candle.
- Sit in front of it for 5 minutes, watching it, letting your mind float.
- Wonder about the first 3 times you received something. Notice how you felt, what you saw/heard?
- Now notice what you feel/think about those 3 times now.
- What are your challenges with giving? Receiving?
December 1, 2012
I have invited my colleague Shelly Rose Charvet of Canada to guest blog on my blog. Shelly is a terrific writer, teacher and speaker.
If you want to read more of this article or any of her other wonderful articles please go to her website: http://www.successtrategies.com
How to Succeed Your Key Moments
Here are some tips on mastering the “moment”:
- Take a look at what you are doing. If your actions were known, how would they affect your credibility? Would people still trust you? Would they still respect you? Would they still like you?
- Assess risks: Sometimes you have to do or say things that risk upsetting others or making you unpopular. Ask yourself, who will benefit from this? How can I say or do this in a respectful way? I recently emailed some colleagues about what I felt was a lack of content in their presentation — I risked hurting their feelings, but I felt the opportunity to improve would be lost if I didn’t say what I felt. And I thought they could do a better job on their upcoming book if they got some input. I will see how they respond.
- Take feedback seriously. The worst mistakes are often made by people who believe they are better, more important or more knowledgeable than others. If we dismiss what others tell us, then we lose the opportunity to continuously improve. People who are highly Internal or Macho (Please see my article the Macho Test) often refuse to consider any opinion different from their own. I hate being criticized, but I know that once I lick my wounds and get over my hurt feelings, there is usually something really useful that I need to incorporate.
- Be what you aspire to be. Social scientist Amy Cuddy revealed the link between body language and your own beliefs about yourself. Want to be more confident? Sit or walk confidently for 2 minutes. That’s all it takes.
- Adopt helpful beliefs. I like to believe that even if they don’t look like it, most people want to have fun. Is it true? I don’t care.
September 7, 2012
August 2, 2012
Life does not NEED to be hard.
It is all about shifting ones attitude by changing thoughts, which shifts feelings, which shifts ones belief systems. Positive thinking really works and yes it does take intention and determination to create a positive life. Now some people might call this work; but I call this process and flow and attitude shifting.
When we catch our negative thoughts and dispute these irrational beliefs i.e. that the cup is half empty (I mean after all if you want to be irrational why not hold the belief that the cup is half full), then you will move forward in life and you will feel great. It is worth disputing negative irrational beliefs so that you can think and feel better. No reason to dispute the positive ones, usually.
If you shift into dreams than you can learn how to achieve your dreams by creating bite size goals and then tasks that will allow you to complete your goals and then eventually create your dream. If your intention is set and you are willing to put the time in, anything is possible. Of course accepting that yes there are limitations and knowing what your limitations are; will allow you to dream dreams that you can reach.
If you are grandiose and your ego is bigger than your brain well, most likely you will make yourself unhappy. So, if you have one leg, dream dreams that a person with one leg can achieve…no you are not going to grow another leg; but you can perhaps get a bionic leg and win the race.
If you find that you are angry a lot at the unfairness of the world consider what you can do to shift your world so that you are treating yourself fairly rather than wishing the world or other people would be different. No one is going to change for you and certainly not the world. It is unfair and so what, if the cup is half full it will not matter…
July 7, 2012
NPR ran a story about Veterans with PTSD. A client sent me this line from it, “ … all people have the ability to reason, unless they’re grieving. So oftentimes I ask the veterans, ‘If you can’t reason, what is it you’re grieving?”
We often believe that relationships are to be permanent, yet loss and grieving is a theme in our lives. Somewhere along our path someone dies or will be left behind. Loss of a relationship plays a significant part in all of our lives. As many of us define ourselves by our relationships, we may believe something is wrong with us if we do not keep our friends for life.
What I have learned is that relationships come and go from our lives. When someone dies, leaves us, moves away or becomes estranged, it may be a double loss: the loss of the relationship itself, and the loss of the relationship as a source of our identity, of who we think we are.
If you have been the dependent partner in a relationship you will find yourself after the loss of a relationship, through divorce or death, forced to undertake tasks that you never dreamed of. It is through these tasks that a new sense of self will evolve. You may have a new career or the education you always wanted but did not have time for.
Whenever we are forced to let go of something or someone a psychological death occurs and we need to grieve for our loss. Death comes in many forms; it may be an aspect of ourselves, our youthful qualities, our health, or a dream that is no more. Or it may be a relationship that is ended.
With every death or mini-death a rebirth occurs; something of value is growing inside us. Through acceptance and allowing ourselves to grieve the loss, we can grow and develop wisdom. How we react to the constant changes that occur in our lives is probably the only aspect of any relationship that we have choice over.
Allowing ourselves time to grieve without justifying or judging our reason for grieving is vital for healing our wounds. Recognizing that you may experience grief very differently than other people is often key to allowing ourselves to grieve. When we try to grieve the way we ‘think we are supposed to’ or ‘the way we have seen others grieve’, we are in judgment of ourselves and this will stop us from grieving and healing.
Elizabeth Kubler Ross lists 5 stages of grieving Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Whether we like it or not, we humans will go through each of these stages in our healing process. To stop them is to stop ourselves from healing.
An exercise I often recommend for grieving is the following:
- Once a day for 21 minutes, sit quietly. Light a candle that you have purchased for this exercise. During the 21 minutes watch the candle and allow your thoughts to focus on what you are grieving.
- Do this everyday for 21 days, and then discard what remains of the candle.
June 23, 2012
Many people think that infidelity is only sexual. The #1 form of infidelity is Emotional Infidelity. It usually stems out of feeling that something is missing in your relationship. You may feel disconnected from your partner. What is best is to talk to your partner about feeling disconnected. If you cannot talk to your partner than seek the help of a couples/marriage counselor.
How do you know if you are emotionally cheating?
- Ask yourself: If my partner were sitting next to me would I be uncomfortable doing this? If your answer is yes, it is a clue for you.
- You flirt with him/her.
- Perhaps you dress in a way that might attract the person’s attention.
- When something happens in your life you share it with her/him rather than your partner.
- You feel excited when you see the person and look forward to seeing them more than you do your partner.
- You have relationship fantasies about that person.
- You find yourself sharing problems you are having at home with that person, rather than your partner.
I recall a man I worked with who was so proud that he had not had sex with his female work friend until after he and his wife had separated. He had been receiving emotional support from his work friend for over 1 year and this is what led to his wife leaving him. He had no idea that he had been emotionally unfaithful in his marriage. Nor did he get that he was cheating on his wife.
Emotional Infidelity is quite common and very difficult for couples to fully address on their own as often the partner that is cheating does not know he/she is cheating.
June 16, 2012
- Any similarity to you or someone you know is just that a similarity. So many people have similar stories
Sara awoke in the middle of the night wondering where Paul, her husband of 7 years was, as he was not in their bed. She thought he might be sick so she went downstairs looking for him and to her dismay found him chatting to another woman on an internet chat website. This was the low point of their marriage. Until this point she thought that they had a fulfilling, spiritually connected marriage and were honest with each other. Sara felt so betrayed, hurt and humiliated that she did not think she could ever trust him again. Paul reported that he felt confused and misunderstood. He did not understand why Sara was hurt, as he had not ‘cheated’ on her, he was just chatting. This is how they began couples counseling with me.
They both loved each other and wanted to regain the trust that for the moment was lost in their marriage. When a couple loves each other, and is willing to commit to working though their hurt feelings, they will heal, and can rekindle what they had before.
Sara and Paul needed to learn how to communicate what they wanted from each other more clearly, as well as heal this particular wound. Through our work together, they also learned what specific behaviors they were using to avoid each other, (we will call these behaviors Exits), and how to make and keep agreements. Once Paul learned how to close this particular Exit, i.e., chatting with other women on the Internet, Sara was able to notice how she watched T.V. at night as an Exit, i.e. a way of avoiding closeness with Paul.
Ultimately, Sara was able to forgive Paul and he was able to feel understood.
It is always nice to be able to watch and assist as a couple regains, trust and heals individual and relationship wounds as they rekindle their commitment to each other.
May 26, 2012
- Any similarity to you or someone you know is just that a similarity. So many people have similar stories.
About two years ago I began working with a couple that began marriage counseling, believing that they would get a divorce. At the point they came to me, their relationship seemed to be based upon a bond of hostility. They consistently argued angrily as their main form of communication. Both said that they loved each other very much after 19 year of marriage; which let me know that there was hope for this couple.
What led them to reach out for my assistance was that the husband (we will call him Peter), confessed to his wife, (we will call her Robin), that he had been having an affair for over 16 months. At first Peter was only aware of feeling shame and Robin was only aware of feeling hurt and anger. Robin, as you can imagine, felt a gamut of emotions, rage, anger, hurt, shame, and confusion to name just a few. Peter, as we became more involved in the work, also began to feel a whirlwind of emotions, anger, confusion, resentment, hurt and shame.
As time passed and we worked on their communication, forgiveness and reconnecting, Peter began to feel quite resentful and impatient that Robin seemed unable to forgive him faster. Both Robin and Peter had the tendency to blame the other for the affair as well as anything that they did not like in the relationship. It took much hard work for them to reach the place where they could truly hear each other without wanting to prove that their version of the truth was correct for all. Once this occurred the couple began to move towards re-connecting and the work of regaining trust within their relationship.
As they moved forward, Robin and Peter began to laugh with each other in my presence as well as report back to me that they were having fun together again and having “hot” sex.
They both shared in a session that they now believed they could and would reach their goal of rebuilding their relationship. It took several more months of intensive marriage counseling for Peter and Robin to reach the place they are now. Robin no longer blames Peter for ‘the affair’. She understands her part in the weakening of the marriage and is willing to forgive Peter. She has also regained a high level of trust in him and for their marriage’s continued growth. Peter no longer feels shame and understands his motivations, actions and the consequences of them. They have come a long way from the couple that came to me thinking that they would get a divorce.