Total Pageviews

Tuesday, 25 December 2012


Most of us start the New Year with great ideas, ambitions and motivation, and as we put all of our thoughts into action, that motivation only last so long. In fact, it peters out pretty quickly...darn it!! After all the good feelings surrounding a New Year and new opportunities, we finally have to face reality and that usually means we actually have to do what we resolved to do! Yikes! I know this from experience and realize that we all need a little help keeping our New Year’s resolutions. So if you are like me, you could use a boost...make those resolutions work for you in the only area of the mind that allows it to happen...SUBCONCIOUSLY. But first, DON'T MAKE ANY 'RESOLUTIONS"! Call the process something else, like, "Taking care of Me list" or "What I want out of the new Year".

I’d like you to consider a motivational story about Elephants.  I would like you to imagine a young girl who is about nine years old. Think of this young girl at a circus with her father. The girl notices a several large elephants at one end of the largest of the circus tents. These full grown animals were being held by only a small chain tied around their front lesg. At the other end of the chain is a small wooden stake driven into the ground. The girl keeps looking at the chain and then at the elephants, comparing the size of the wooden stake and the size of the elephants. Something doesn’t seem right.

The girl asks her father how a chain and a small wooden stake could ever stop the giant elephant from escaping. The father smiles and is proud to realize how observant his young daughter has become. The father tells her how when elephants are very small, they start out with a heavy chain around their leg. The other end of the chain is attached to a metal rod that is driven deep into the ground.

The daughter listens to her father as he explains how the baby elephant would pull and tug with all his might trying to get loose, but the chain was too strong. The girl listened and understood what kept the elephant from escaping years ago, but did not understand how that past experience was affecting the elephants today. Her Father further explains how the elephant had become conditioned to fail. He failed so many times trying to break free that now a that same size chain can be tied around its leg, holding it lightly, and the moment that the elephant feels the slightest resistance, he stops trying.   These animals could, with their size, break free any time they chose. But because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they stood.

Many times as humans we have failed at doing something in the past and perhaps, never given 100% again.  How many of us have held on to the belief that we’d fail if we tried just one more time. 

I have found that most people want to make some sort of change in their lives. These changes may be on a physical, mental, or spiritual level. Whether it's to stop smoking, shed some weight, stop biting your nails, look for new employment, or to manifest the love of their lives,  I believe that we can to make the desired changes; however, we are sometimes limited by our own old thinking patterns which hold us back from making desirable and practical changes in our lives. Sometimes I ask my clients: Are there things in your life which you know you could be doing to make those improvements you desire, but are not able or can't do them at this time?”

Most people answer " yes" to the above question. This is where the powerful effects of hypnosis can become helpful to clients who wish to make changes, but can't bring themselves to make changes consciously. They try to make changes, or force changes to be made, but find that will-power can only take them a short distance toward their goals. Did you know that your conscious logical mind is only working for you 5% of the day? The other 95% of the day you are operating from your subconscious mind, using old programming that you aren't even aware of. And most of you then wonder why you can't stop doing something, or stick to a plan, or 'make' it happen. Hypnosis can be very powerful and effective in aligning your conscious and your subconscious minds. It works by activating all the different regions of your mind and gets them working together, striving towards a common goal. Hypnosis activates your mind power so that you will want to do the things you know you should be doing, to help you achieve your positive goals and dreams.

Sometimes a person may be resistant to change, even if one is not consciously aware the resistance. Let us discuss this a bit further. Will-power is the force of the conscious mind and works by forcing the mind to change a habit. For example, if one uses will-power alone to stop smoking , often the results are short term gains and solutions. For any change to be long lasting, we must work on the root of the problem, or the seat of the motivation. The subconscious mind holds the secrets to long lasting change.

Hypnosis works by facilitating access to the subconscious mind through focused attention inward using guided imagery and then re-educating it with positive suggestions. Hypnosis through guided imagery is simply the picturing of specific visualizations as directed by the Hypnotherapist with our goal in mind. In your own mind, you create the person you wish to become, and your body will follow suit. A key to this is that the inner mind does not differentiate between what is real and what is imagined.  It uses all of our 5 outer senses + our emotions (inner senses) to create the scenario (images) supported by the positive emotions (feelings) to become the power behind our goal (intention).  During a hypnosis session, you are always free to accept or reject any imagery or suggestion you choose. I would work with you to help choose the right guided imagery to meet your specific needs.

If the conscious part of our mind makes up only 5%, which everyone says we use through will-power; then the subconscious mind is the other 95% which is the most powerful determinate of our behavior. It has been called "The single most goal oriented mechanism known to Man". It is the subconscious, inner mind which is the center of our imagination, our motivations, and behaviors. What the subconscious mind believes the individual tends to achieve.

Hypnosis is a safe and effective tool in the hands of a competent and ethical practitioner. I am trained to act as a facilitator in the hypnosis process, and as all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, you can only be taught how to change those things which you want to change.  Learn that you can BREAK FREE and make the changes you want to for YOU.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School

Like the rest of the world, as a Human being, I am horrified by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary  School in Newtown, Connecticut.  As a Mother with her youngest in Grade 6, I am terrified and sickened at the thought of what the Parents and Family of those 20 innocent children are going through, as well as the Parents and Family of the slain Teachers.  My Son has had an inoperable brain tumor since he was 4 years old and the reality is that without Chemotherapy treatments, which he has undergone twice (currently in his second treatment), uncontrolled growth could end his life.  So I do my best to take it one day at a time.  But to have your child, who you feel is safe with his or her Teacher’s in School, is taken so suddenly and violently, is unbearably shocking and appalling to the core.

Adam Lanza, the 20 year old who caused this horrific event, was an obviously troubled young Man.  The media information coming in informs us that he had may have had Asperger’s Syndrome most of his life.  According to medical authorities, Asperger’s does not have any mention, in diagnostic criteria, of a potential towards violence.  It would simply help in understanding the personality and experiences of the gunman.  I wonder what happened in his life experiences that lead him to such a destructive act of violence.  Because he smashed his home computer, I don’t believe we will ever know what drove him to this.  He took his secrets with him on December 14, 2012. 

What we do know is that he was reclusive and shy. I believe he was in pain and filled with suppressed rage.  He shot his Mother, which in his disturbed mind, shows that she may have been a focal figure of his rage.  He stared at the floor when introduced to people which indicated he may have suffered from Social Anxiety, which presents when one has extreme fear, in social interaction, of ridicule and judgment.  He looked average in his photos which may also have added to poor self image.  Interviews friends of his Mother said that they knew he’d switched schools more than once and that she’d tried home schooling him.  This could indicate trouble at school with bullying, not fitting in.  A student in his tenth grade Honors English class recalled he was very quiet, very thin and carried a black briefcase to class, which stuck out when all the other kids carried backpacks. Read more: +Daily News

Most of what I have read puts the spotlight on gun control.  It shouldn’t be all about the easy access to guns of all types.  I think it would be a mess trying to come up with regulations that allow for legal gun ownership and weeding out those that have mental illness that should not be in possession of such.. Difficult but possible to enact some kind of legislation that limits access to guns.  With all the educated minds in the US political system, perhaps they can come up with regulations and limits to gun access.  This also needs to be about mental illness, about kids feeling ostracized by society for being different.  Just a few months ago, Fifteen-year-old Amanda Todd of Coquitlam, BC, near where I live, took her life after years of being bullied.  She, too, changed schools several times, looking for a fresh start, but her troubles followed her.  In the notes underneath a video she posted on YouTube about her depression and struggle, which appeared shortly before she committed suicide, she writes, "I'm struggling to stay in this world, because everything just touches me so deeply.... Haters are haters but please don't hate," said the posting.

Perhaps Adam felt the same way in that being an outcast was a common denominator.  Amanda did not, however, that is known, have a mental illness. Her being bullied began after an unknown man convinced her to expose herself online in front of a webcam. He blackmailed her and spread the photos around, destroying her reputation.  The tweens and teens are hard for any kid in this day and age where being different can mean being cast off.  Where many kids will do anything to belong, to be liked and accepted.  We all have judgments and are quick to exercise them.  We value material things, celebrity, and body image but shun that which does not match up with what society deems “normal”. 

Adam may have had Asperger's syndrome (which I can only assume he was diagnosed with) which is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests (like OCD). It' also indicative of high intelligence for subjects that are analytical (like math and science).   Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and peculiar use of language are frequently reported.  It begins in infancy or early childhood.  Imagine trying to make friends and fit in when by the very nature of his disorder, social interaction is difficult.   It’s a disorder of social communication. People with Asperger’s have trouble understanding how other people are thinking and how they feel. They have trouble reading social cues and making eye contact. They're often obsessed with details and facts.  Perhaps this was the seed that caused him to suppress frustration and anger as the only way to cope?  We ALL do it.  We swallow all those feelings that don’t feel good but the thoughts attached to them remain and our actions are dictated by them, if not regularly, then at the least, with the occasional outbursts.

I in no way condone what he did.  There is NO rational explanation that could justify this heinous crime.  And that’s the point.  This was not a rational act. It was, perhaps, an emotional response to pent up feelings that finally drove him to do what he did.  Perhaps he convinced himself that this was the only way to end his pain.  Perhaps he’d been hanging on to his sanity by a thread for some time.  We may never know. Maybe he was mentally ill, but I imagine that not fitting in was his nemesis; not having strong social bonds with peers, not feeling understood even by those that loved him the most in the world.

I work with Clients who have Anger Management Issues.  And although some have said that in their rage they could "kill" the object of their anger, there are enough restraining parts of their minds that know it is only words.

What society could learn is to find methods to intervene at the childhood level where mental illness is concerned; to have more programs in place to educate children in general about mental and physical illnesses and how this does not make people difference, only uniquelt themselves.  My Son has decided to take it upon himself to talk to different classes in his school to teach them about what he has gone through so that they feel more at ease with him and lifting the shroud of taboo about physical and medical disabilities and how it feels to have an illness.

As a human race, we have to come from heart, to educate ourselves about mental illness and instability so that perhaps, we can see the signs of a troubled mind before it acts in anger and violence towards others.  That’s my hope.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

The Lion Inside

Self-esteem is essential to our ability to function in a healthy way. Without the foundation of a solid sense of self-worth, we are unable to take the risks and make the decisions necessary to lead a fulfilling, productive life. A low self-esteem corrodes our love lives, careers, family bonds, and, most importantly, our internal sense of well-being. A high self-esteem, on the other hand, brings the high level of confidence, problem-solving abilities, and assertiveness needed to achieve what Maslow called "self-actualization"- a continuous desire to fulfill potentials, to be all that you can be. People who have positive self-esteem have healthier, stronger relationships with others. A strong sense of self-worth actually creates a type of self-fulfilling prophecy: the more you like yourself, the more you begin to act in likable ways; the more you believe you are able to achieve something, the more likely it is that you will. And the good news is that we can all take steps to improve our self-esteem. After all, there's nothing more important than the relationship you have with yourself!

In my work as a Clinical Hypnotherapist, I find that the root of ALL issues has a direct relationship to self esteem.  Self esteem is formed by successfully overcoming obstacles that begins in childhood.  Children are born with the need to be loved and provided with safety and sanctuary.  They begin to develop a sense of self and their own self worth experientially.  The events that happen in their lives, especially those which involve their  care givers, shape their idea of what they are worth. 

Children begin with "small" obstacles like learning to walk, potty training, and learning social cues.  A child is learning by perception formed by an awareness of the environment based on feelings and thoughts.  Feelings and thoughts based on an event cause a perception to take place (their idea of what is happening and how it makes them feel) which then forms a belief about themselves and their world.  There is NO rationalization at this time of life – the logical mind isn’t forming until age 5.  So a child forms many beliefs, many of them which are false, about themselves, by default.  An example can be that a child is crying in the crib and needs to be fed or changed or just needing comfort.  If the child’s needs are not responded too quickly, the child often forms the belief that it is not important, that it is alone and no one cares (actual situation experienced with several clients).  This belief becomes the property of the subconscious mind and its job is to protect this belief, whether true or false, because it is not RATIONAL.  The subconscious mind does not judge what we perceive.  The child goes on to believe, falsely, that it is not important and loneliness, as well as self sabotage, follows it into their teens and adulthood.  The subconscious mind is goal oriented without judgement.  In its protection of the belief, it keeps it alive and sabotages the person in his/her lifetime.  The person may not ever feel important enough to have a healthy relationship, or the courage to go for the job he/she wants. 

In a healthy scenario, a child who learns from the consequences of their own actions and discovers how to avoid those consequences with the aid of Parents, Teachers, etc, ends up feeling more self confident and worthy to ask for what they need and better able to handle other problems in the future.

Hypnotherapy is a technique that uses Regression Therapy to access the subconscious mind (the part of the mind that protects the original belief) and to guide the client to the root event that began the false belief in the first place.  It is a gentle and safe way to change old, outdated beliefs.  The subconscious mind is amazing in that it will learn, unlearn and relearn based on information and communication directly to it.  In other words, when you change a believe about yourself while at this deep level of the mind, when you are in the state of mind that allows this to happen (Hypnotic trance), then the new belief is planted, takes hold, and is protected just as strongly, just as surely, as the old one…..PERMENANTLY.  The kitten becomes the Lion who was always there inside.