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Friday, 29 November 2013


"When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be!" ~ Patanjali

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The Dark Cloud of Depression

Many people suffer the effects of depression privately and silently. I did for many years.  I know now that my journey along the dark landscape of depression began in my tween years.  By 23, I crashed, bewildered that I had "lost control".  I had started a new, exciting career, was living in this awesome city (having moved from a small town), and all off a sudden I was unable to cope.  All I wanted to do was hide under my covers and never get up or cry my eyes out till they were swollen shut.  The world was all shades of grey and I walked through my life putting on a happy face which ultimately cost me the very energy I needed to get up every day.  And I kept it to myself, fearing that I would be labeled "crazy", "unstable" and "too emotional".  I feared losing my job , my credibility and even my friends.
I recall walking into St. Paul's Hospital after work on late fall night in 1988 and crying at the registration desk as I didn't even know how to tell the administrative staffer what I was feeling!  Thus began my foray into Out Patient Psychiatry and the  world of medications.
Even with the major strides in society today, many people, including family members, friends, employers and employees perceive depression as a stigma, that it means the depressed person is unstable, imbalanced... mentally ill.   I know that the common statement given by the well intentioned to my clients who have come to me because of depression is that “it’s all in your mind”.  And it is.  I learned that first hand.  However, it isn’t something you can just talk yourself out of or decide to quit one day. 
Depression in and of itself is not an emotion.  It is a state of mind caused by a symptom of an emotion or emotions that affect the mind and body negatively.  It is sometimes described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps.  But we all feel that way at times in our lives.  It’s usually short lived.  Depression that is NOT short lived and continues over weeks, months or years can be debilitating. 

Many suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  I was labeled with SAD in 1991.  It hits around early fall.   SAD is more common in women than in men, often appearing in young adulthood. People who live in northern latitudes, as we do, also have an increased risk of developing SAD.  Source:

Here are cited statistics according to Health Canada and Statistics Canada:

·        Approximately 8% of adult Canadians will experience a major depression at some point in their lives, and around 5% will in a given year. Depression continues to be Canada's fastest-rising diagnosis. From 1994 to 2004, visits for depression made to office-based doctors almost doubled. In 2003, that meant 11.6 million visits to doctors across Canada about depression.

·        Rates of depression are especially high among Canadian youth. A nationwide survey of Canadian youth by Statistics Canada found that 6.5%—more than a quarter million youth and young adults between 15 and 24—met the criteria for major depression in the past year. In a 2003 survey of BC teens, about 8% of students felt seriously distressed emotions in the past month such as ‘feeling so sad, discouraged, or hopeless that they wondered if it was all worthwhile.' But all ages are affected.

·        Depression can affect children, seniors and adult men and women of all socio-economic backgrounds," says Ed Rogers, President of the Mood Disorders Association of BC. The stress of unemployment can make some people more vulnerable to depression, yet many people with depression also have prestigious and highly demanding careers, including former Ontario premier Bob Rae.

·        Twice as many women as men are diagnosed with depression. However, this may simply indicate that men are less comfortable seeking help or do not get an accurate diagnosis since depression in men often manifests itself as a substance use problem.

Symptoms of Depression

  • feeling worthless, helpless or hopeless
  • sleeping more or less than usual
  • eating more or less than usual
  • having difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • loss of interest in taking part in activities
  • decreased sex drive
  • avoiding other people
  • overwhelming feelings of sadness or grief
  • overwhelmed when making simple decisions
  • loss of energy, feeling very tired
  • thoughts of death or suicide

Sleep is critical to both mind and body and is one of the major contributing factors of depression.  It begins with the logical mind becoming overwhelmed with processing too much information at one time.  It is often when an accumulation of events are happening at once.  When life’s circumstances inundate us, such as imminent unemployment coupled with financial obligations such as mortgages, or when a relationship is unstable and there is little or no emotional support, we begin to unravel.  This is when the mind is in the anxiety mode. When the mind is overwhelmed, it begins to shut down (depression) and that affects the body. With symptoms of tiredness, digestion problems, etc.  Typically, people who suffer depression may also have sleep issues. That's because the mind, when anxiety driven with many thoughts, does not shut down enough to rest in sleep. This is the time when the conscious mind vents naturally.  If this anxiety of the mind continues (when you can’t shut down the mind at night or even waking with anxious thoughts during the night), it then goes into retreat over time. Retreat = Depression.  When working with clients with depression, I ensure we deal with the issue of sleep.  Once the mind vents, it resets to its natural processing rhythm.

Hypnosis is a safe and effective technique to relax the mind but to also regress to the event that caused the feelings associated with depression.  Symptoms can be alleviated with hypnotic relaxation techniques but it is through hypnotic regression to the cause that will reframe the event with which the original feelings accumulated and make permanent changes.
 I know it helps people to move from survival mode to thriving mode.  It wasn't until 2006 when I was taking my Clinical Hypnotherapist training, that I began to examine 'my depression".  And as much as it hurt to go into all the sadness that had accumulated over YEARS, I finally came to the place where I felt free.  That I could trust my own mind to guide me positively.  I was able to still the voice that said I wasn't worth much so why try to prove otherwise.  That was 6 years and was also the last Effexor pill I popped.
If you or someone you know suffers from a depressed state of mind, pass on my name.  Because I know how they feel and will do my best to help them be me!


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Practicing GRATITUDE

The Gratitude Process
The secret to true happiness is living in connection with that highest part of yourself, that part of you that knows who you really are – a powerfully creative, spiritual being having a human experience. The fastest, easiest way to achieve and maintain that connection is through gratitude. Gratitude opens our hearts and puts us into direct connection with the highest parts of ourselves and opens the pathway to the energetic of joy and abundance.  It is very simple - the process takes 5 minutes each day and you do it for 21 days, but the impact can be enormous.

Each morning when you first wake up, lie in bed and think of three things that you are grateful for in your life.

As you think about each of the three things, see your heart opening up and feel, truly feel, the gratitude. Feel the gratitude pouring out of your heart. Feel the gratitude starting to expand into your entire body.

If you are having trouble in a certain relationship (spouse or partner driving you crazy, co-worker causing you problems, child, parent, sibling, etc. not seeing eye to eye with you) focus on this person and think about 3 things that you are grateful for about them or 3 things you appreciate about them (yes, even they have some positive attributes, even if you have to start with something like they have pretty eyes). You will be amazed at how the relationship will start to shift as you do this process.

If there is something you are wanting to bring into your life, like a new job, or a new relationship, feel appreciation to the Universe for knowing that it is on its way.

You only need to do this for 5 minutes when you wake up in the morning. The key is to actually feel the appreciation, feel the gratitude and feel your heart and then your whole body fill up with it.

You can add some extra oomph to this process during the day when you are doing something simple like driving or standing in line somewhere and bring the gratitude and appreciation in again. Open your heart and bask in this glorious feeling.

Do this process for 21 days. It takes 21 days to anchor a new habit. You will find that in 21 days, gratitude has become a way of being for you. You will be astounded at the things that have happened, how things on the “outside” have been transformed by what you have done on the inside.

And of course, continuing to do this process each day will add so much to your life.

So commit to doing this simple but powerful process and I’d love to hear from you at the end of it. Let me know what happened and what you experienced.


Thursday, 22 August 2013

The Conscious and Subconscious Facets Of A Phobia

One of the top 5 Issues that I see in my Hypnotherapy practice is Phobias.  It includes, but isn't limited to, a fear of animals (mostly dogs), fear of heights, fear of driving and the fear of flying. Some clients have retreated from living a 'normal' life because they feel debilitated by their particular fear.  And it's sad to hear a client say she has not driven in years and has to diligently plan how to schedule her life around the transit system.  This, to me, with ANY phobia, is a loss of independence and a loss of self trust. 

A fear/phobias, however strange, is a symptom of a deep rooted emotion imprinted in the subconscious mind that goes back to childhood.  And it's imprinted in the Subconscious Mind, which is an extremely powerful and goal oriented mechanism.,  And it has one job and that is to protect you from PERCEIVED danger, emotional or physical.  The Subconscious Mind has found that the fear toward the object (of  fear) is a way to protect the person from danger.  It is a fear based emotion that has NOTHING to do with the object of your fear, certainly not rationally.  It`s just that the fear triggers the memory of another time when the person felt fear due to perhaps feeling unsafe (physically or emotionally) or alone, unloved, helpless, etc. And in that moment in time, a belief was formed in the child's mind.  "I'm helpless, unlovable, incapable, unworthy). And the Subconscious Mind protects this original belief (for some clients, that`s been that they are helpless, unimportant, unloved)  It's not rational, because that's not the job of the subconscious mind.  It is your `feeling mind` and is driven by emotion only.  Many clients have thought that they knew why they felt the way they did on an analytical level (consciously), but it’s the Subconscious Mind that truly knows (it makes up 95% of your mind) and feeds the behavior

As with all the treatment methods that prove to be useful with Phobias, hypnosis strikes the root of the phobic disorder. Hence, it is being practiced with immense success with helping people overcome their fear(s).

Phobias are caused by a powerful link between a fearsome stimulant and a panic response. This linkage is so strong that it overrides all rational behavior whenever presented with the slightest hint of the phobic stimulant. Let us examine how this link gets established in the brain in the first place.

Phobias can broadly be grouped into two categories based on their origin of formation. These categories are direct and indirect phobias. In case of direct phobias, the person has often suffered a traumatizing experience in the past.

As a consequence of the impact of such a painful event, the fear response is deeply embedded in the mind in association with a particular object or situation. Often the person suffering from such direct phobias may not remember the actual event which caused it in the remote past which may very well go back to his childhood days.

The course of an indirect phobia is more complex. Indirect phobias are caused by long term anxiety originating from a number of different factors. The subconscious mind attributes these negative feelings to a particular stimulant which may or may not have any direct association with the actual cause. The patients of indirect phobia therefore, suffer from a distorted form of phobic response.

Whatever the form of your phobia, it is clear that it exists on two different levels – conscious and subconscious. Consciously you are aware of an all consuming fear, its detrimental effect on your life and your powerlessness against it. Subconsciously your mind is protecting you from a deep-rooted trauma.

Hypnosis is natural state of mind that bypasses your logic which allows access into your subconscious self to bring this ingrained causative event to the forefront. Once your conscious mind recognizes what lies in the subconscious, the task is simple. In many cases, a deep hypnotic state called “regression” proves to be useful and effective. Regression therapy (therapy at that deep level of the subconscious mind) probes the subconscious mind to re-examine seemingly forgotten experiences that may be the germ of a phobic disorder. Hypnotic techniques can then replace the negative emotions by reframing the event with a positive perspective as well as with more positive suggestions.

This positive perspective will now change your perception in relation to the problematic stimulant.  When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.  Hence, hypnosis can break the link that is at the root of your phobia. It can do away with negative emotions that have been blocked for so long and free the passage for healthy subconscious functioning.

Repeated sessions can eliminate phobias with ease and surprising quickness. Hypnosis can liberate you from the clutches of your phobia within a short span! Think months versus the years that you could still be living in fear.  This treatment approach refocuses the very origin of the problem in a positive light, spares you all the ill effects of medication and does away with the phobia, often permanently.


Rosa Livingstone, CHt; CI;  “The Mind Coach”

Clinical Hypnotherapist; Certified Instructor

A Load Off Your Mind Hypnotherapy

Mind Coaching 101 blog:

Like my Facebook Page:  Mind Coaching 101

Monday, 12 August 2013

Romance, Intimacy & Sex....It All Begins In Your Mind!


Did you know that your mind is the largest sex organ you possess?  News to many who think the physical “junk” is.  And because body follows mind, it’s the MIND that dictates how your body responds in the intimacy arena.  And it can be fickle!  Hypnosis happens to be one of the most effective ways of overcoming challenges where your heart and body are concerned. 

The mind stores all of your past emotional hurts, whether they are related to romantic relationships (when you heart was thrashed by a lover who betrayed you/lied to you) or to familial relationships (not having felt loved by a parent as a child). And it does not forget A THING!  It protects you from re-experiencing those wounds, without judgment, even when you  are searching for love and think you deserve it …which you do.  I see many clients in my Practice who have challenges in the heart arena, some resulting in physical issues, because they felt unloved as a child, having a parent or parents who did not demonstrate love either in words (saying “I love you”) or in actions (hugs, kisses). 

In order for many couples to maintain a sexual relationship, one or both have to block out those wounds— to turn off their minds in order to be present in the physical act of sex. Because we are emotional beings, and our mind is the creator of emotions which communicates them to our body through sensations and through our thoughts, it regulates our performance.  This is one reason so many people keep their eyes closed during sex. With eyes closed, you block out what’s really happening and pay attention to the inner movie screen playing out various fantasies. to stay in the moment. That’s not exactly a recipe for either intimacy or eroticism.

Our mind can interrupt the intimacy instantly, often without conscious awareness.  It can mean, for a man, that he can no longer hold his erection.  For a woman, it can mean becoming less lubricated which can cause painful intercourse.  It can also happen due to outside forces. Imagine being in the act of intercourse and you hear your child calling for you in the other room.  Your mind changes course instantly and acts like a rush of water putting out as fire.  The creeping in of thoughts generated from past negative experiences acts in the same way, putting a kibosh on the fun.

If someone has been hurt in the past, he may feel that all women are untrustworthy.  This is a perception and not a fact.  This will certainly lead to difficulty in making long lasting commitments.

If someone has been let down by love, she may feel unworthy of it and lead her down the path of loneliness.  This is also a perception but not fact.

And centered in all of this is our own self esteem which translates to worthiness.  It is the root of the issue.  Hypnosis is simply a tool to access your emotional mind that protects the belief you yourself formed when you didn’t have the facts. And the fact is that whatever happened to compromise your self esteem, whether emotionally unavailable parent or a betraying boyfriend or girlfriend, it did not make you unlovable.  It did not put you at fault. It did not make you ‘less than’.   Hypnotherapy, specifically, can guide you to reeducate your own mind to the truth.  It forgets nothing but can be taught a new thought system.

Reframing of past events, through recollecting, in hypnosis, the content of the event(s) can be the healing balm to sexual fear of intimacy and to physical sexual dysfunctions.  As a Hypnotherapist, my role is to help my clients examine the context of what they learned from the negative experience because, every time, without exception, the context was misunderstood.  We can’t change the content, because what happened DID happen.  But we can change the way you look at it.  We can bring you back to what is the truth – which is that you are lovable and need to love yourself FIRST.  I’ve often said to clients what I believe to be true – our outer world is only an expression of our inner world.  If our lives are loveless, it is because we love ourselves less.  And when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Sexual and romantic intimacy are the foundation of relationships.  We all need to belong, to feel love and to love.  If what I’ve written rings true to you, contact me and let’s talk about you can love yourself which will open you up to receiving love in all areas of your life.



Found this list and wanted to share it with you.

Enjoy the sunshine!

Here are 75 relationship quotes gathered from Everyday Life Lessons, to help you keep things in perspective and move your relationships in a positive direction.

1.       In life you’ll realize there is a purpose for everyone you meet.  Some will test you, some will use you, and some will teach you.  But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.

2.      Keep people in your life who truly love you, motivate you, encourage you, enhance you, and make you happy.  If you know people who do none of these things, let them go.

3.      Love is not about sex, going on fancy dates, or showing off.  It’s about being with a person who makes you happy in a way nobody else can.

4.      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring – all of which have the potential to turn a life around.  Read The 5 Love Languages.

5.       The most beautiful thing is to see a person you love smiling.  And even more beautiful is knowing that you are the reason behind it.

6.      Choose your relationships wisely.  It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.

7.       Being alone does not mean you are lonely, and being lonely does not meanyou are alone.

8.      Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.

9.      Love means giving someone the chance to hurt you, but trusting them not to.

10.   You know you’ve found true love when you catch yourself falling in love with the same person over and over again.

11.    Don’t wait for the right person to come into your life.  Rather, be the right person to come to someone’s life.

12.   The one who is meant for you encourages you to be your best, but still loves and accepts you at your worst.

13.   Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.

14.   Some relationships are like glass.  It’s better to leave it broken, than to hurt yourself more by trying to put it back together.

15.    Just because one person doesn’t seem to care for you, doesn’t mean you should forget about everyone else who does.

16.   Someone else doesn’t have to be wrong for you to be right.

17.    It is okay to be angry.  It is never okay to be cruel.

18.   Never do something permanently foolish just because you are temporarily upset.

19.   Silence is often the loudest cry.  Pay attention to those you care about.

20.  We don’t always need advice.  Sometimes all we need is a hand to hold, an ear to listen, and a heart to understand.

21.   It’s not so much what you say that counts, it’s  how you make people feel.

22.  A silent hug means a thousand words to the unhappy heart.

23.  Don’t mess with someone’s feelings just because you’re unsure of yours.

24.  True happiness comes from within, not from someone else.  Don’t make the mistake of waiting on someone or something to come along and make you happy.

25.   Don’t choose the one who is beautiful to the world, choose the one who makes your world beautiful.

26.  If you feel like your ship is sinking, it might be a good time to throw out the stuff that’s been weighing it down.  Let go of people who bring you down, and surround yourself with those who bring out the best in you.

27.   Just because it didn’t last forever, doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth your while.

28.  Say what you mean and mean what you say.  Don’t expect others to read your mind, and don’t play games with their heads and hearts.  Don’t tell half-truths and expect people to trust you when the full truth comes out.  Half-truths are no better than lies.  And don’t ignore someone you care about, because lack of concern hurts more than angry words.

29.  Lies help no one in the long run.  So… 1) Don’t say “I love you” if you don’t mean it. 2) Don’t say “I understand” if you have no clue. 3) Don’t say “I’m sorry” if you’re not. 4) Be honest with yourself and your loved ones.

30.  Tell the truth, or eventually someone will tell it for you.  Read The Four Agreements.

31.   Good relationships don’t just happen; they take time, patience and two people who truly want to work to be together.

32.  Falling in love is not a choice.  To stay in love is.

33.  Love doesn’t hurt.  Lying, cheating and screwing with people’s feelings and emotions hurts.

34.  When it comes to relationships, remaining faithful is never an option but a priority.  Loyalty is everything.

35.   A great relationship is about two things: First, appreciating the similarities, and second, respecting the differences.

36.  Jealousy is the art of counting someone else blessings instead of your own.  Don’t waste your time on jealousy.  The only person you’re competing against is yourself.

37.   Do not become possessive.  The purpose of a relationship is to complement each other, grow together, and achieve your common goals as a couple.  At the same time, you must each maintain your individual identity as a human being.

38.  Don’t ever change just to impress someone.  Change because it makes you a better person and leads you to a better future.

39.  Give, but don’t allow yourself to be used.  Listen to others, but don’t lose your own voice.

40.  Don’t look for someone who will solve all your problems; look forsomeone who will face them with you.

41.   You don’t really need someone to complete you.  You only need someone to accept you completely.

42.  Speak when you are very angry, and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.

43.  Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness.  Let it go.

44.  As we grow up, we realize it becomes less important to have more friends and more important to have real ones.

45.   Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick.  Your friends will.  Stay in touch.

46.  Respect is earned, honesty is appreciated, trust is gained, and loyalty is returned.

47.   Never waste a moment, it may be the last with someone you love.

48.  If you love someone, tell them.  Forget about the rules or the fear of looking ridiculous.  What is really ridiculous is passing up on an opportunity to tell someone that your heart is invested in them.

49.  Nobody gets through life without losing someone they love, someone they need, or something they thought was meant to be.  But it is these losses that make us stronger and eventually move us toward future opportunities.

50.  Never stop doing little things for others.  Sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts.

51.    The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.

52.   A real person is not perfect, and a perfect person is not real.

53.   To the world, you might be just one person.  But to one person, you might be the world.

54.   Just because you have a past with someone, doesn’t mean you should have a future with them.

55.   No relationship is a waste of time.  The wrong ones teach you the lessons that prepare you for the right ones.

56.   The first to apologize is the bravest.  The first to forgive is the strongest.  The first to move forward is the happiest.

57.   If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

58.   Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.

59.   When the pain of holding on is worse than the pain of letting go, it is time to let go.

60.  If a friend is in trouble, don’t bother them by asking if there is anything you can do.  Think of something appropriate and do it.

61.   Sometimes it is better to be kind than to be right.  We do not always need an intelligent mind that speaks, just a patient heart that listens.

62.  Be the friend that you want to have.

63.  There are times when family are like strangers, and strangers are like family.  Both sets of people are priceless.

64.  In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation.  Don’t bring up the past.

65.   Instead of judging people by their past, stand by them and help repair their future.

66.  Don’t try to be everything to everyone.  Be everything to someone.

67.   Let us remember that we can’t force anyone to love us.  We can’t beg someone to stay when they want to leave and be with someone else.  This is what love is all about. However, the end of love is not the end of life.  It should be the beginning of understanding that love leaves for a reason, but never leaves without a lesson.

68.  When things fall apart, consider the possibility that life knocked it down on purpose.  Not to bully you, or to punish you, but to prompt you to build something that better suits your personality and your purpose.  Sometimes things fall apart so better things can fall together.  Read The Road Less Traveled.

69.  Everyone wants a perfect ending.  But over the years I’ve learned that some of the best poems don’t rhyme, and many great stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, or end.  Life is about not knowing, embracing change, and taking a moment and making the best of it without knowing what’s going to happen next.

70.  In human relationships, distance is not measured in miles but in affection.  Two people can be right next to each other, yet miles apart.  So stay in touch with those who truly matter to you.  Not because it’s convenient, but because they’re worth the extra effort.

71.    Never neglect the people who are most important to you simply because you think they will always be there.  Because one morning you might wake up and realize you lost the moon while counting the stars.

72.   True love isn’t about being inseparable; it’s about two people being true to each other even when they are separated.

73.   True friendship and true love do sustain the tests of distance and time.

74.   When someone gives you their time, they are giving you a portion of their life that they will never get back.  It’s one of the most precious gifts you can receive.  Don’t waste it.

75.   Good relationships are not just about the good times you share; they’re also about the obstacles you go through together, and the fact that you still say “I love you” in the end.