Future Pacing

“My future belongs to me. I am the writer, director & producer of my own life.”… Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht
Oh, to be able to visit the future right now, in this very moment. What will I find there? What will it feel like? Better still, what paths took me there and what if I could change direction?

I just had a future conversation with one of my discussion groups about sugar issues and how much is too much. Unfortunately, sometimes we ask the wrong question or formulate a question that doesn’t get us the information we truly need or maybe even want. This is where future-pacing helps out, allowing us to visualize future-outcomes inside the body and what nutrition really means to the cells at work. Yes, the truth is often hard to take and the decision to truly change paths and future outcomes, is one of serious self-responsibility, whether it be for you or others. Understanding that we are currently manufacturing the future is a concept that I work to bring to those who are open to the discussion.

We all make choices and not making a choice is still making a choice. We tend to mimic sailboats….blown this way and that, our directions decided by something that we perceive to be out of our control. In this metaphor, the wind representing life. Unfortunately, this is a very stressful way to travel. In addition, it is next to impossible to reach our deepest desires if we continue to choose this way of living. Again, this is a choice.  A good life sailor can control much of the journey.

In a previous blog entry, I discussed the power of regression. The entry before that focused on tweaking different areas of our life, thereby requesting our subconscious minds to give us suggestions and connected plans for making things better. I’ve been trying to write the blogs in some sort of order, so those of you who might be interested in working with these creative tools could follow along. If anyone is having difficulty, I’m very available online. You can email me here or visit one of my websites where more than likely you can jump right on my desk through the human-click button.

Regression and future-pacing are very valuable timeline tools that are quite easy to commandeer. While it is certainly possible to simply jump on the timeline and go forward, I prefer to do some pre-time-line work beforehand. I will, however, do this pre-work in light hypnosis. In other words, I’ll plan some quiet time, then relax deeply…..slowing my brain waves down below the alpha level. I’ve written about this before. It is  simple to do.

For those of you who need a quick review, here it is:

Find a chair that is comfortable. Settle down into it. Sense the chair holding you up. Now allow your body to sink into it, just as if magnets were pulling you down. You might like to take a few yawn breaths and sense your breath sitting in your lower abdomen, just as if it contained a merry-go-round horse. Pay quiet attention as it goes gently up and down.

Have a journal available or even a piece of paper will do. I rather like journals because they seem to attract the subconscious mind. Make a little map that represents your future. Purposefully think about yourself in that area….. begin with the near future, perhaps tomorrow, then move on to next week…..followed by a month down the road. See/sense a calendar turning gently, noticing that small images of your successes stamped on each date. You don’t have to see them in any detail………just notice their existence.

Some thoughts will be coming into your mind right about now. You might want to write them down or even ask them some questions. It’s important to notice your future as a real thing….not just some nebulous time down the road. That’s why I suggest you draw out some sort of image to represent it. This will give you a mind-focus for respecting it, etc. Never again will you treat it in any negative fashion or disregard it as if it didn’t truly exist. It does exist and will come to pass……. you will guide it gently towards what you want to happen.

We get what we think about all day long. Think in negative terms and guess what you will receive? Of course, you may think this is obvious so why should you spend time reading or thinking about this. Don’t be fooled. You may know it, but there isn’t one of us who doesn’t fall into this mind-trap, myself included. But, the more you future-pace, the less you will find yourself programming your mind for negative experiences.

Once you have journaled and explored some thoughts about your future, start detailing the things you would like to experience. Yes, this does take time. However, your time is much better spent programming what you want, then letting the winds blow you without your direction. That is poor time management, besides making it more difficult to get back in the direction you want to go. For many people, the trip back is perceived as being too much work, so guess what? They stay wherever they end up, thanks to the wind.

Future-pacing is all about planning the details of what you want as if you already had it. Certainly, you can add dates, etc. Make it as specific as you like, but truly image while emotionalizing it. Treat your future-paced images with a host of affirmations. I like to detail my images in writing, then visit them in the theater of my mind, especially before I go to sleep at night. I want my subconscious mind to play with these images during my dream states. This is a powerful time for accessing your deepest levels of problem solving and creativity.

AFFIRMATION:
“My future falls off the end of my pen. I communicate easily with my future-selves. They help me to comprehend what is possible and then to plant it.” …Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

The Resilience Garden

The night I came to understand how frightened I was of my “addictive self”, I came face to face with an image that represented it. It was nothing more than a child, but what a child it was. Over the next few weeks, I was to understand the power it had over me. The “understanding” was only partial because the “origination” went so deep into my psyche. There were places I had no recollection of ever experiencing, many of these empowering this child-self who seemed both innocent and toxic.

While I had experienced the toxicity, I never paid much attention, nor did I ever decide to take it apart and analyze it. When the child realized what my intention was, there was an incredible resistance, rather like running head first into a brick wall. I came to understand that it was going to take both courage and commitment to work through this, and it was most likely going to take time.

When patients ask me, “How long is this going to take?” I remember my own experiences and shudder at the truth. I try to re-frame my answer in a way that will not frighten or discourage anyone, but to stay somewhere in the realm of the truth. We are not all built the same. Some of us have more resilience than others built over the years. Those of us with a stronger amount can take a bigger dose of the truth.

For me, while I was resilient, when it came to my eating issues my resilience was weak. Realizing this, I decided to utilize a technique I’d developed many years ago for my oncology patients. It’s called “transmutation.” I would relax deeply, take myself to my “special place” in my mind’s eye, locate my “resilience garden” and empower myself. Then, I would take that “power” and bring it to my “eating or food behavior garden.”

Building a resilience garden is something we can all learn to do. You can do it through journaling, drawing images, or through mindfulness meditation. I think it’s best to utilize a journal or draw images, THEN…plant these during meditation. When the mind is at a higher focus, the images can go deeper into the subconscious mind.

If you are working with my programs, have a look at the ones designed for building resilience, managing emotions or even those designed for affirmations. There are many of them and all will work for you. Then, open a journal just for this work. I gathered my resilience from surviving following the death of my father when I was three. I don’t remember much before that, but since that event was so seminal in my life, it created a starting point.

This was when I first remember experiencing fear and loneliness. I still have left-overs from those early years. In fact, I was just discussing this with my husband before he passed away three months ago. I was left alone in our house from the age of four. When I see a four-year old I can’t believe how little and vulnerable she or he is, yet when I was four I was considered “old enough” to be responsible to be alone.

Those years were filled with fear about so many things. I remember locking myself in my room and hiding in my closet with some food I would gather from the kitchen before heading up the stairs. While these are painful memories, I was building resilience through these years. My worst experiences were from the age of four through ten. That is a lot of resilience. Resilience is cumulative. The more you experience, the stronger you become IF you choose or remember to utilize it. The good news is that all of it can be “transmuted” and applied to any area of life. More about this in a later blog.

Twitter Handle – ELIZRN

I’m currently reviewing all of my programs, just “as if” I was my own patient…  Here’s what I’m listening to today… I want to improve my memory recall for the purpose of going deeper into my subconscious mind files. I also want to enhance my self-discipline and time management for High-Level Achievement.  I have a lot to accomplish for 2019!

Rules of the Road

If you are following along with me, I just finished reviewing the night I realized my deepest fear…that of “myself.” There is a part of me ( it still exists ) that is cunning and dangerous. Strangely enough, I like this part. She is creative and fun, but also can be dangerous. She is my addictive self and is always ready to suggest some “nonsense” to take me off the Path I’ve committed to traveling.Oh, how I wish I could go off with her and have crazy fun without having to “pay the piper.” What would it be like to eat all the things that smile out to me from the shelves of the supermarket, the restaurant menus, the fast food joints, the liquor store, the endless desire to buy things that appeal to me even when I don’t need them. What fun not to get up with the damn alarm clock, get in the car and just go wherever I wanted without any responsibilities to anyone. What would it feel like to erase the past and just to “escape” from everything? What if I never got sick from eating a gallon of ice cream, an entire pizza or a foot long hero sandwich with all the trimmings?

One day I wrote a list of all the foods I would eat IF I wouldn’t get sick. The list horrified me. I was beginning to know how very sick I had become. Then I made a list of everything I would buy if I had no limits or had to face the bill at the end of the month. I sensed the joy I had when purchasing things, or even ordering a cocktail in a restaurant. Just the thoughts made my mind race to a super-happy place.

Opening my dark place was becoming an enlightening, but frightening experience. So, it wasn’t just about food, but much more that needed tending. My “garden” was full of weeds, despite my being a successful professional, mother, wife and friend. I suppose one might say I was a “fraud.” It’s difficult for me to look at myself through that lens, but then again that is only a judgment that indicates where changes need to be made.

This information is very important for me to heal on very deep levels. This is what this year is about. From my work in the field of nursing and clinical hypnotherapy, I knew a lot about “dark places” of others besides myself. Perhaps knowing my own dark place, and being willing to explore it further, would help my patients as well as myself.

I’m not new to this exploration. I’ve done it for decades, BUT since my son’s death and my husband’s passing,  the exploration has taken on a new “context.” I could only explain it by saying that “I feel like I’m being led to a Higher Place, and that in order to go there, I must clean up some of my dark areas.” I decided ( or to be more accurate ), I’ve been directed to review my own work “end to end”. That means listening to every one of my mp3 programs, and to read everything I’ve written, both in my books and journals. This is a big assignment. I’ve been given no deadline ( funny metaphor ). I’m also to finish writing the books I’ve been given to do. Looks like I’m going to be quite busy!

As I return to the night of my “big fear”, I wrote in my journal that I finally stood up and walked into the kitchen. My journal was on the kitchen table. I sat down and wrote a few rules that seemed to be dictated to me from a voice speaking to me from within. God, I wanted a drink! The first rules were simple. I was not to eat except at meals. The meals were to be at specific times. I could have snacks, but they were to be at certain times. ( Oh, I was not liking this.)

Then came an odd rule. I had to eat “at the table” which was to be set with my best china, cutlery, glassware, linen napkin, and with a fresh flower in a vase. When I packed my lunch for work ( no fast food or food ordered in ), I was to do the same. I was to keep the china, cutlery, glassware, linen napkin, etc. in the office. My food would be packed in “new” attractive plastic containers, and each day I would be serving myself something delightful. “Oh my goodness. This was becoming a real chore.” The truth was I never made plans about anything. I ate whatever was in the fridge. I ate in front of the television if I was alone, if family were home, I ate while cooking, then just sat with them. No one ever seemed to notice.

Now…I had these rules. The child part of me was screaming, BUT….she liked the idea of the formality of the setting. That interested me. Why? As time passed I began to understand…it was a beginning to my inner healing. Today I’m reviewing an mp3 called “The Mountain.” It is a hypnotic journey into my past, and then up the mountain to the “summit.” I love this program. You can find it in my Catalog on my website. The link is below. It’s in the Learn Self-Hypnosis Series.

Fighting My Inner Voice

Fighting my Inner Voice

As I look back at my past relationship with food, I don’t believe I would have changed IF I had not gotten so sick with “hyperinsulinemia.” For those of you who don’t know what that “big word” means, it is pre-diabetes…insulin resistance and insulin overproduction. It is also called “Metabolic Syndrome” and “Syndrome X.”

I couldn’t care less about what it was called. I honestly didn’t know anything about it. I only knew what it felt like and it was very frightening. Throughout my life I had anxiety attacks, never realizing the reasons behind it. “Hyperinsulinemia” isn’t something that happens one time. It happens over time, and symptoms can last for decades. Sometimes they speed up depending on family medical history and personal dieting history, as well as exercise history, but other times they happen “on occasion” when certain foods are eaten out of balance or food timings are out of whack. I had no idea about any of this. All I knew was that I was a compulsive, out of balance eater, preferring to snack and not eat regular meals. I delighted in bingeing, but unlike some who binge, I did not usually eat large portions of foods. I did, however, eat continuously….a bite here and a bite there. I had no idea what kind of impact this had on my pancreas, liver and other organs in my body. I was blind to all of this….unfortunately.

Waking up to the truth was a frightening experience. I didn’t trust myself to be able to control my relationship with food. Food was my answer to all stress….it was my major release tool AND it was deeply embedded in my subconscious mind along with the behaviors/habits that accompanied it. To make matters worse, I had a high level of hyperinsulinemia which meant that I would have problems balancing the amount of food I needed in relation to my exercise and stress levels. Strangely enough, I needed a lot of food, but the right kinds and at the right time. All of this was foreign to me. Asking myself to change everything and keep the changes “in motion” was the base of my fear.

I always considered myself an intelligent, successful professional person….easy to get along with and fun-loving. While all of this was most likely true, there was another part of me that ran my life in a disorderly fashion. This was my addictive self. Through the decades of my life it was my best friend and set all the rules for managing whatever stress came along…and there was a lot of that.

I married at a young age, moved to Europe, had adjustment issues including being lonely and frightened. I answered the anxiety with sugar and carbohydrate foods, over-exercising and other compulsive activities. I was completely unaware of what was happening inside myself. The anxiety and depression, made worse by the hyperinsulinemia went undiagnosed for decades. This became my new normal as the decades moved along. My symptoms were seen as some sort of anxiety/neurosis. I turned to more secret eating, alcohol and prescription medications offered by doctors who strangely enough never asked me anything about my family or personal medical history or what I ate. There were always the usual questions about past surgeries, but nothing more.

When I came upon the information about hyperinsulinemia I was blown out of the water. I was happy and horrified at the same time. I realized how much damage I had done, frightened that I wouldn’t be able to reverse it, and at the same time scared to death of that part of me that would not let me change. That part would rather kill me than help me. When I woke up to this reality I found myself frightened of ME. I remember the moment the revelation was brought to me….I must have sat for an hour in the chair before I could move into any sort of action. The fear was so huge that I was afraid to stand up and go anywhere. I didn’t know what to do. In a way, I was paralyzed.

Being afraid of “who I was” was an unraveling experience. I remember praying. I remember being freezing cold. After a while, I heard a little voice tell me to “move.” I stood up and found a piece of paper. I wrote some simple directions to follow….beginning rules. It was “as if” I had been sent to some sort of rehab hospital and needed to be told everything in a step-by-step manner. I knew there would be many rules, but I would be well again. This seemed to be certain, most likely an answer to my prayer. I felt some energy flow back into me, but not like in times past when I would decide to “diet” or start an exercise plan. This was a very different feeling. I felt like my tired body had been given a new spark plug, but it was going to take a long time to get completely well. My compulsive self had been replaced by a patient self that was willing to walk the path step by step along with “whoever” was leading me in those early moments.

BOOKSHELF

I invite you to review my books on Amazon.com  and on my websites

My Rebellious Self

INSIDE MY JOURNAL

I’m in the process of doing a “life review” for myself and have invited you to come along. My purpose is to introduce you to “self-reflection” and the power it has to heal deep wounds that often lie silently, but never dormant. They are deeply connected to addictions, eating disorders and keeping us at the “wishing well” instead of living the life we want to live.

My eating issues have been with me for decades. There have been times when I thought they were being managed, but to be honest there was never a day when I didn’t think about it. I wish I had all those minutes, hours, days and years back. I think about what I could have done with that time…but then again, I wouldn’t be doing the work I’ve done for the past four decades. In other words, I had to live through my experiences in order to serve others. Now, here we are in 2019 and I find myself still doing this.

Sometimes I think about stopping writing and teaching. Part of me wants to put all of this away. My thoughts tell me that “I’ve taken care of myself. I’ve done the self-reflection. I’ve walked the long road. I’ve fallen down. I’ve struggled to get up. I tended to my wounds and entered an easier way of living….one of health and self-management. So, I should just go home and enjoy my life. Right? “Not so fast,” says my thought processes.

I’m in the supermarket. I look around and feel that old desperation as I pass shelf after shelf of what I call “horror foods.” I notice people placing these in their shopping carts. My eyes travel to see who would do such a thing. I ask myself, “Don’t they know?” Boxes of crazy cereals…aisles of cookies and candy. Two aisles of soda and sweetened water. A complete aisle of bottles pretending to be juice. I notice the bakery is bigger than the vegetable department. “Where’s the fish,” I ask myself. A young man who stocks the shelves with the “horror foods” points me to an area no bigger than my walk-in closet. “There’s our fish department.” I walk over to find out that half of the offerings are not fish at all but artificial “fish” of some sort, mixed in containers with ingredients that include high fructose sugar.

I start looking in people’s carts….an old habit of mine. When I began my “recovery” I wouldn’t let myself check-out until I did a thorough review of what I had in my cart, just in case my “imbalanced child-self” had placed something in the cart while I wasn’t aware. Sound ridiculous? Well, I can’t tell you how many times I had to go and return items to the shelves. Why did I do this? That undisciplined part of me made up stories about why I should/could/will buy whatever she wanted. This was a part of my sickness….a part that was busy killing me, but here I was…assisting the killer and with an underpinning of dangerous laughter at “how I almost got away with it.”

Supermarkets and fast food restaurants, pizza delivery, and bakeries played a big part of my food nightmare. I could write my own version of “war and peace” on these subjects, so my heart goes out to others who just don’t know what’s happening. Food is like a drug. The more imbalanced eating becomes, the more one needs those “horror foods.” Getting free and balanced is a journey…one that excels all others in life. This is not an exaggeration, but one of the most serious truths one has to learn OR experience the consequences of deciding not to take it on.

As I go through my “life review”, my journals and my memory bank I’m horrified at what I’ve done to my mind and body. I would have to add “spirit” to this grouping because I was not acting responsibly in taking care of what is often referred to as one’s “temple.” I was not only NOT taking care of it, but I was also killing it. My rebellious child-self was in charge, and the responsible part of myself was not only under her power but needed what she demanded. My sickness went beyond food. I remember the night when I found myself bingeing on a pint of ice cream in the dark while watching a rerun of The Golden Girls. It was two o’clock in the morning. As I placed each spoonful in my mouth, I delighted at the sensation. In the background part of my self was telling me that I would want to throw up in the morning and I wouldn’t be able to eat breakfast. I would be sick most of the day and most likely have panic attacks. “So what,” answered the rebellious self. “I’m enjoying this, so leave me alone.”

Living with a disorderly eating self is a nightmare. What’s become more frightening to me is that there are even more people with these issues than ever before. As I look around and see not only the obesity

but the children and the number of medications needed in order to manage the precursors of the chronic and killer diseases, I know that I cannot just “go home and relax.” My Higher Self will not allow me to do this.

So…OK…here I am. I’m opening my “truth” through my journal and path of recovery, sharing once more. I know the task is impossible. Perhaps little will change from my endeavors, but I cannot just “go home.” If only one person or one child is helped by what I’ve learned, then I’ve done what I’ve promised to do. When I prayed so many years ago, asking for answers to my illness, I promised to teach others. This was a commitment.

Anatomy of an Eating Disorder

For 2019 I’ve decided to dedicate my blog on publishersmarketplace.com to address the “anatomy of eating disorders”, and the tangents that connect to any type of disorderly eating. These can be addiction related, cognitive, and disease-related.

Unfortunately, most of us walk this dangerous path. While we may not have blown-out eating disorders, my clinical experience, as well as my observations throughout the years have made this clear. You just have to open your eyes and look at the number of people who are overweight, obese, even thin, but eating in unhealthy ways. The diet industry makes this worse.

This is a very personal issue for me. I’ve been a disorderly and compulsive/emotional eater for my entire life….well, at least from the age of three. Yes, I do know the “ins and outs” of the entire spectrum. You might say I’m a personal expert at this.

The seriousness of my eating disorder was a gift. It brought me straight into the fray…as I mentioned earlier, I was knocking at the door of adult-onset diabetes, but that was not all. The anxiety and panic from food stress was making me a prisoner of my life. As a knowledgeable medical professional, I did know that something was very wrong with me, but I didn’t know exactly what that was and no physician properly diagnosed me, nor “asked the right questions.”

THE THERAPEUTIC SELF VERSUS THE UNDISCIPLINED CHILD-SELF

When it became clear to me that I was “on my own” with all of my symptoms, I decided to consider myself “my own patient.” I was always good at getting to the bottom of things when it had to do with my patients and their care plans, so now I had to do this for myself.

When a problem is multi-faceted like most nursing diagnoses, the nurse makes a care plan for all areas. This means asking lots of questions and doing thorough research on the presenting symptoms. I decided to begin my work with a journal and some meditative techniques. I needed a place to go to “center.” Remember, my cognition or mind was as sick as my eating issues, so the beginning was rocky. I had to call on my “Therapeutic” Self to lead the charge and begin the discipline of my very undisciplined child-self.

Getting to know oneself deeply is both interesting and frightening. I kept thinking of the movie “The Exorcist.” Coming face to face with this part of myself was perhaps the most difficult challenge. It’s important to understand that an eating disorder is not only about the food. It has many tangents, it’s own history and anatomy. There is a part, however, that is about the food, but often not in the way one thinks. There are genetic factors to be considered, as well as the damage already present from the over-production of insulin and what is called insulin resistance. There is the amount of fat that has been stored, as well as the small lean body mass that has been slowly destroyed over the years. All of these tangents need exploration, then discipline and motivation of that “undisciplined child-self.”

The level of the task depends on the history of the patient, in this case myself, and how strongly the negative habits have been engraved into the subconscious mind. My background is in Oncology and Medical Hypnotherapy. I decided to treat myself “as if” I was a seriously ill patient, which I was. The Therapeutic part of me had to stay grounded, ready to explore and study the dark recesses of the “anatomy of my eating disorder.” The journey was going to be both arduous and exciting.

I wish I could say that the undisciplined part of me was going to fall into line easily, but that was not to be the case. I was about to become my most difficult patient EVER. MOTIVATION… Besides exploring anatomy, I had to design motivation right from the beginning. No one moves into change without some sort of motivation.

There are two sides to the “motivation coin.” There is positive motivation meaning that one goes towards what one wants. This is where “desire” comes into play. Then there is negative motivation, mainly based on FEAR.

I remember clearly my very first day of walking onto my new path. My undisciplined child-self was walking alongside of me, not keen on any of this. She had been watching me closely, realizing that something was going to happen and she didn’t want any part of it. I could sense the resistance in my body and my thoughts were bouncing off the walls of my mind. Many I call the “yes-no” thoughts. Yes, I should do this, and no I should not do this. You are probably familiar with this way of thinking. It’s connected to what we know as “procrastination.” This is the Therapeutic Self arguing with the Undisciplined Self.

Recognizing this, I used a technique I taught my oncology patients over the years. It is part meditative, part imaginology or visualization. I describe this in depth in my books and on my mp3 programs. We ask the subconscious mind to “wake” us to the thought, and then we detach from it. This is a release tool that works well for thoughts as well as emotions and body sensations.

The best programs I have for this can be found on my websites. One program is called Becoming Aware and the other is Mental Biofeedback. The program for Thought Management also works well. It’s imperative to release or re-edit thoughts that are negative-habitual, especially those that have been hanging out in the subconscious mind for decades.

The Anatomy of the Eating Disorder helps to recognize where these originated. My early positive motivator was asking my Undisciplined Child-Self what it would not like to feel. The answer written in my journal was twofold. “I would like to be free of being tired and anxious.” Wow…now all I had to do was focus on a body/mind that was free of those. This is another hypnotic tool called “Interactive Self-Hypnosis.”

My negative-motivation was a spin-off of the positive-motivation. I “suggested” that not following the plan I was putting in place would cause an “increase in fatigue and anxiety.” Now, we were ready to implement the plan of change. Remember, we had to uncover the tangents, care for the Anatomy and the Physiology of the damaged body and also the mind programs. If you are new to my work, my mp3 Sessions are on my websites. . You can also find my ebooks on http://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Bohorquez-RN/e/B009Q5YLTQ  The ebooks for disorderly eating are in four parts. If you have questions feel free to contact me.

Where to Begin…Always the Best Question!

WHERE TO BEGIN…

For some reason today I find myself inside my disorderly eating history. I questioned my journal, “why,” and the answer appeared, “because.” We learn from where we have been, and “for sure” I’ve been in a life of chaos from a very early age. The chaos was managed subconsciously by what is called an “eating disorder”, so…this is “why.”

We want to begin at the beginning. Sometimes we can identify when binge or a pattern of disorderly eating began. I mentioned that my first binge was around the age of three. This was the year my father died in an automobile accident. It was my third birthday. In those days family were waked from the home instead of a funeral parlor. I wasn’t allowed to see my father in his casket but instead was sent to the garden with a plastic bag filled with cookies.

My next memory was opening the forbidden door to the living room and walking over to the casket. I remember yelling and someone pulling me out of the room. It wasn’t my mother. She was in shock and remained that way for many years. This was the day I lost my childhood and became a caretaker. From that day forward my young life was filled with stress and fear.

I lost my oldest son in 2011. He was a rock climber. At the time of his death he was climbing in Colombia, South America. It took us six months to bring his remains home, but that story is for another blog post. My husband died three months ago. He had been ill for several years and I was his caretaker. So, it is no surprise that my eating disorder decided to stop in for a visit.

Very early on I found solace in food. No one paid any attention to what I was doing. I don’t remember ever being corrected. However, I was criticized by an Aunt who told me that “(I) you always have something in your mouth. You will grow up to be a fat pig.” I’m sure she meant to help me, but I can still remember the feeling that flowed through my body….guilt, and shame. From that day forward I began “secret eating.” I think I was four or five.

While food was my solace, I was also a very hungry child. This was true physical hunger. My mother took me to our family doctor when I was seven because of my appetite. I was not fat…just hungry. The doctor gave me three little boxes filled with pills….amphetamines. They were cute boxes like little matchboxes. The pills were different colors…red, green and yellow. Very appealing. I swallowed them before each meal but still continued to be hungry.

I don’t remember returning to the doctor. I simply didn’t eat in front of anyone. My mother saw the problem as “solved.” I share this because of the importance of a missed diagnosis. From the very beginning, I was sensitive to refined carbohydrates. These were my secret binge foods and they kept me “hungry.” I was a very active child, so I burned off the calories but needed more. This became my “circle of horror.” It was all a secret….that I never shared with anyone until many decades later when I finally understood what happened to me and what was still happening. I was lucky. I almost died.

You may not consider this luck, but the level of my illness from “food” and “disorderly eating” forced me to find out what was wrong with me OR perish. While this may sound like an exaggeration, it is not. As I became older, had children, and continued my food crazies, I found myself looking to alcohol and prescription medications to handle the anxiety….which was caused by the very things I was doing. My symptoms were as crazy as my eating. These included major fatigue, sleep disorder, pain throughout my body, dizziness, poor vision, instability, emotional roller-coaster rides, shakiness, etc. resulting in phobias that kept me paralyzed with fear of leaving the house. Doctors labeled me as “neurotic”, depressed, anxiety-prone, etc. Certainly, this was not a self-esteem builder! I truly feel compassion for that Self who survived so many years ago.

No one ever asked me what I ate or drank. No one asked about my lifestyle behaviors or how I handled stress. No one asked anything… For a time I believed them, but there was always a little voice inside of me telling me to “find the truth.” Through all of this, I was a mother, wife and registered nurse. I hid everything…including the crazy bingeing that was well out of control by this time. I knew I was killing myself, but I couldn’t stop.

By now I was bingeing everywhere. What I didn’t know was that my pancreas was over-producing insulin and I was nearing the door of adult-onset diabetes. I had serious hyperinsulinemia or reactive hypoglycemia. My secrets were going to kill me if I didn’t find the way back to sanity.

I remember stopping the car one day on my way home from work. I pulled to the side of the road and prayed. I bargained. “Show me the way and I’ll do whatever it is and then….I’ll spend the rest of my life helping others.” The answer came in a strange way the very next day. The information came to me explaining what had been happening over the years. But, the way back to food sanity was going to be a rough haul for me. I would have to change everything. Once again I was paralyzed with fear. “What if I couldn’t do it??” I felt the fear melting…it was a very strange sensation. I knew intuitively that help was on the way.

I was now on a quest and strangely enough, had to fight others in order to live my new life. This was unexpected…more than food and secrets had to change if I was to truly live the life I had been given.

Now, here I am in that dark place once again. It is part of my grieving process, but this time it is different. I have insight, knowledge, wisdom and power. I know how to care for myself. Eating disorders are not about food, but out of control habits that attempt to help us through rough passages.

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begin in March, so be sure to leave your email on my website. 

The Therapists’ Couch – The Peach Colored Chair

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In my office, I have a peach-colored recliner. It’s been there for many years and it never surprises me when a patient, old or new, sits down and immediately changes in some way. Patient’s have told me that for some reason, sitting in that chair makes it easy for them to go into a trance state and start their own work. I’d been thinking about the chair when I was home recovering from whatever that was, wondering what effect the chair would have on me. Would I also experience a different level of existence? Would the chair take me somewhere I’ve never been before? Is it possible that the chair actually stores hypnotic energy in the fibers of it’s being? Goodness…better stop these thoughts now and just wait to get back into the office.

I decided to go to work early. I had thought about staying later and experimenting at the end of the day, but then I thought that my mind would travel over areas that were visited by patients on that day, and I preferred to experiment with a cleaner slate. The office building was very quiet and that suited me perfectly. I love quiet and rarely have the opportunity to experience this during my work-day. Entering my office, I already felt somewhat different. In this moment I was not the therapist, but someone else. Locking the door, I set the stage with lighting, just as I would do for a patient, and then sat down in the peach-colored chair. Feet up…slight recline…arms resting comfortably on my lap, just as I’ve seen patients do for decades. Since nothing happened, I closed my eyes, taking a cleansing breath, as if I could hear mySelf telling mySelf to do just that. I peeked out at my therapist’s chair and saw some foggy image sitting there. Oh, I do have a great imagination!! Or do I?

I’m very eager for the experience and for answers. Most certainly, this is part of my compulsive personality. Of course, this goes along with being very impatient. As I wait, I’m very aware of this. Part of me wants to push the fog-filled therapist into some sort of action. Wondering if my patients feel this about me? Something or someone tells me to “cool it” and so I do. Why not have a good half hour of rest? What does it really matter if the experience isn’t any more than this?

Almost immediately, letting go of my expectations cleared the way.
The way down into trance was very swift, as if the peach-recliner was motorized in some way. It was somewhat like an elevator experience, going down, down, down and then we were there. The door opened and the path presented itself. I have been here before, but his time the colors were much more vivid, the workshop much clearer in definition. The door opened as if it expected me. This time my desk was clear. No list…nothing at all. Part of me wondered what I was expected to do, but nothing was expected. I don’t know how I knew that, but I did. It was such a lovely place, clean and organized, beautifully furnished, views from the windows welcoming to my eyes, my body responding in kind.

A table offered me field glasses, inviting me to look out at the wide expanse of my life. It was clear that this was mine and no one elses. I could see beyond my place, to the place of others who share my life experience, but their place was not my place, nor was mine their’s. This ownership of Self felt very good. I understand being self-responsible, but this clear imagery underlined this fact, as well as helping me understand the importance of others also being self-responsible. That includes my family, friends and patients. While the peach-recliner allows me to take them to their place, it is their place to care for. My responsibility as a therapist, is just the same as my responsibility to mySelf and my family. Self-ownership.

I’m asked to put the glasses down and go over to the closet. Oh no…I’m not fond of closets. Breathe says the Self. I have a multi-colored history with closets. I’ve hid in them, been locked in them, hoarded things in them. To me, they hold my secrets and I don’t want to open this closet, certainly not in this place. Oh, why did I come here? My body spelled out resistance, but the fog blew my way, covering me in a gentle hue of blue. I reached for the knob, turning it to the right and gently pulled the door open. A little broom appeared in my hand with an invitation to sweep. Clean and clear was the tune in my head. The fog helped by absorbing whatever was being swept and I found myself enjoying the process. I was now invited to enter the closet where I found another door asking to be opened. Having been reassured by the fog, I simply opened it and was shown a beautiful flower garden.

Gardening shoes, just my size, sat on the brick path. I slipped them on, finding myself skipping like a child again. Light and airy. So happy, peaceful and excited to explore the plants. Shhhh…not so fast. No need to hurry. A watch appeared on my wrist. It had a face, but no hands. “Time does not exist here.”

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” said the watch. “Take all the time you like for it makes no difference. The idea of time simply tightens it’s grip on the plants, making it difficult for them to grow. Loosen and lighten and they will grow.” As I began studying the plants, I realized that each represented something I had struggled with previously, with the belief that I would never complete these things. Of course, the struggle had tightened the growth. That was the message.

I heard some movement in the hallway of my office building. Could I have been here an hour already? I peeked at my watch, noticing the hands had appeared on the face. Oh darn…how I prefer the other watch. But, it was time to return to the day at hand. The peach chair asked me to return in a more dignified way…slow & gentle. No rushing. Promising that I would be returning again, in fact many times, for there was much to know here and this was my life, no one else’s.

Therapists’ Couch

Therapist’s Couch Self-Hypnosis Webinars to begin later this month. Receive my newsletter for the schedules.

I’ve been away…not on vacation, but on my own journey of self-honesty. It’s not something I raised my hand for, but my body & mind decided to shut down business as usual until I took the time & personal space to address some of my own issues. Oh? A therapist with issues? Why not? Everyone else has them!

It’s been several years since my body decided to take a trip into the dark abyss of illness. In a way, I was excited because I knew that once I started to feel better physically, I still had to fully recover & it is in that time-space that an inner journey would take place. I know from past experiences that my mind knows where to go, but living life “as usual”, never affords me the time to arrive at that special destination…the place that holds the questions, as well as the answers.

Two whole weeks away from work, desk, computer, phone & even a meaningful conversation of any length. Days & nights consisting of sleep & more sleep. No need to worry for this is the preparation for the journey that would take place very soon. No preparations necessary. The body would alert the mind when the time was right & I would simply find myself there.

It happened in the middle of a morning at the end of the second week or so I seem to recollect. I didn’t do anything special, just took some tylenol, closed my eyes, waiting for the pain to go somewhere else. Instead, the pain opened, just like a door in the middle of my forehead. I recall a long hallway, dimly lit, but appearing friendly, as if it was expecting me. I sensed a lack of hesitation on my part, a wanting to go in & down the corridor…starting to feel better, a little stronger & clearer despite the pain waving me on. The pain no longer had meaning, other than to be some sort of director to the scene. I didn’t seem to mind it’s presence because it was the one thing that remained familiar to me, rather like a touch-stone. As I moved further down the corridor, I no longer felt a need for it’s presence & so as if it could read my mind, it stepped to the side, becoming part of the wallpaper.

I was not asleep, but instead very much awake. I know this because I opened my eyes & looked around the room where I was resting. Everything seemed the same & so I simply chose to go back. There was no difficulty in getting back to that place. That in itself was interesting because before getting sick my level of concentration had been waning.

I found a chair & sensed an invitation to sit down. There was no one there, or at least no one that I could see or even sense. The chair was comfortable & began pulling me further down into it, not enough to frighten me, but enough to let me know that I was to be there for awhile. 

The next thing I remember was the fog. I’ve lived in England, so I do know fog, but this was a different variety. Very colorful with blurred images that seemed to be lining themselves up & then leaving to the left. I started to become aware of what things were, despite never hearing any voice or instruction. It was simply a sense of inner knowing that was accompanied with a feeling of deep certainty. Things not only needed to leave, but they were simply leaving on their own. No efforting, no decisions to be made, no thinking things through, just peaceful exiting. By body began to feel lighter, as if I was floating upwards. Now, in my usual awake state I would not have been accepting of any of this. My tendency is to hold on & never let go, but that part of me wasn’t present at this time. 

Now I found mySelf standing in back of my body. I placed my hands on my shoulders & could feel them, but I was definitely outside of myself. I walked to the right side of “me”, then to the left & then found I could float up & look down at myself. I was aware of where tension had been stationed inside my body. I also understood that my mind was not in my “head”, but instead in all parts of my body, experiencing the tension as blockages. I was then invited ( I don’t know by whom ) to reach down & remove a block. The blocks were rather small, but when I removed one, it grew in size. I chose another one & this one also grew, but not as big as the first one. 

I was instructed to place the blocks on the table & somehow knew that I would be spending time with these. The answers I was seeking, even though I didn’t know the questions as yet, would be given to me by the blocks.

At this moment I came to the realization that I was hardly alone, but instead, there were many “beings” with me, each one an instructor of sorts. I didn’t see them, but their presence was obvious to me. I also understood that they had been assigned to me, to walk me through my healing & then into a clearing, where my purpose or work would be synthesized by them. I would also become acutely aware of the emotions that would be part of my life from now on forward. 

This was not to be a one time meeting, but would happen frequently to be enhanced in meditation. My body would be welcomed, but I am not my body. It is simply a conduit for moving around the Universe. My focus in this regard would be changing & there was really nothing I had to do.

I found myself opening my eyes, fully returned to the room & my bed. There was nothing else. No fanfare, no lights, no angels, no eureka or ah-ha…just a knowing that change had happened & perhaps for the first time, without any struggle.

Before I became ill I had been working on many different projects, always feeling like I was chasing myself. It’s become clear to me what parts of these have left & what has replaced them. These are not plans that I worked out in my usual way, but instead, an inner knowing of what I am to do.

I invite you to join me in making contact with your own Universal Connections. Sign up for email notifications of free webinars on http://www.mindfulnessbooksandmore.com

Sticky Fingers

The Anatomy of the Inner Self was the name I decided for my personal blog. I probably should have called it “My Inner Self”, but since I’m going to share reminiscences of others who have taught me through the years, I decided to leave it as is.

Yes, I will be writing about my work because this is such a big part of me. What’s interesting is that I’ve become my own patient and the work I’ve written and recorded as come to bring me back to a new beginning, not the place I left. I am grateful for what I’ve been given and even more grateful for having it ready, willing and able to serve me now at this juncture in my life.

Unlike my professional blogs, this personal blog will follow no special rules. Remember the movie “Mermaids?” The character played by Winona Ryder had many similarities to my young self. I wanted to believe that God would come down to save me from my life “as it was.” I played at being a “good girl”, but inside of me there was another part that wasn’t all that nice.

At times I truly believed I was destined to go to hell, and each Saturday when I went to confession Father Joe would peek through the curtain and reassure me that I was right. I was a “sinner”….a seven year old sinner! How ridiculous! As the years went by I lost “faith” …..or did I? I thought I did, but as I look back what I lost was not “faith”, but the Knowledge that fear was not the path for me. Yes, fear is a great motivator, but not for the long term. This is where “Spirit” comes in….

Spirit is always present, always has answers, and a Light to show the way. Spirit provides lessons, some more difficult than others, but all come with rewards for moving through the difficult bumps in the road. In my last blog post I wrote about commitment and the difference between desire and fully committing to a goal “of sorts.” I’m not all that keen on the word “goal”, although I utilize it for myself and my patients. Words are needed to help us identify things, so the word “goal” helps. But, setting a goal is not enough.

There is no energy in just setting it….all things “desired” need energy, some much more than others. Sometimes we need “hot desire” or energy. We may need this for a short term or a long term. We may need to keep it in reserve for difficult moments. As time goes on with a particular “goal”, we may not need it as often, but most of the time it’s a good idea to have a dose ready. I know it’s been this way for me.

I’ve been practicing commitment for decades. I believe my Spiritual Guides have assisted me BEFORE I came to understand how to do this work for myself. I also believe I’ve been given these lessons so I could teach them to others. These beliefs have nothing to do with Father Joe and the confessional or any part of being fearful of God or going to hell. In this blog I will share some experiences with you, then give you tools I’ve been “told” to develop over the years. I believe the things I have learned come from a Higher Source. I have no other explanation.

When I work directly with patients, as I have for over four decades, I can feel the energy flowing through me. Where does this come from? I’ve asked myself this for the same number of decades. I believe it is my Spiritual Self giving me the information that is needed. Now, you might wonder, if my Spiritual Self knows so much, why do I have to go through this “commitment thing”?

I believe we are all in a big school and we get all sorts of lessons depending on the level we are living. I’ve worked through at least six big commitments. What I gained through these trials and tribulations, including near-death experiences, have given me the tools for helping others. Yet, I’m still learning, so I’m convinced this is still a “school.” Most of my work that is available on mp3 downloads and through my books and ebooks comes through my life experiences as a professional clinical RN and Hypnotherapist.

Besides my credentials, I am a survivor of many aspects of my life. Over the years I have learned how to teach/guide others to find this power within themselves. I believe this is my purpose. I’ve had many big fights with myself. Some nearly killed me. My food issues come to mind. I’ve been a binge and disorderly eater since early childhood. I can remember bingeing at age three. I’ve been a secret eater, anorexic and bulimic. I’ve abused alcohol and prescription medications. When I was in nursing school this was commonplace. But food issues almost killed me.

I knocked on the door of adult-onset diabetes many times. I was saved by my Spiritual Self. I’ve shared this story in my books, but maybe I’ll share it here some other time….not today. When Spirit saved me it was in answer to a direct prayer. I didn’t like the answer…..I had to change just about everything, but I had COMMITTED in the prayer. OMG! When I prayed I had no idea what I was going to be asked to do. That was over three decades ago. The prayer saved my life and through my recovery I’ve helped thousands of others to make those changes. It is possible and when one comes out the other side of the dark forest, life is incredible.

I still listen to my own work, because I BELIEVE this work was channeled through me. While my commitment for 2015 has to do with my writing, I still must take care of other areas of my life that have been cleaned and cleared. This includes my eating issues and other compulsive tendencies. I need good, sound stress management. I need to take care of my mind, body and Spirit. When my son died three years ago I found myself sitting at the side of a stream, mesmerized by my own grief. I came to understand that I would be saved by returning to my earlier commitments. Here are two programs of mine that I listened to today…..I was guided by Spirit to choose these and share this with you.

Whenever working on new commitments one needs to refresh old ones. For me this meant dealing with my sugar/food issues and reviewing techniques of visualization….the heart of placing my new commitment into my subconscious mind. If you have eating issues, need help with learning the tools of working with your creative mind, setting up goals or organizing new commitments, I invite you to visit my websites.

Anatomy of the Inner Self

Welcome 2019!  I’ve worked through seven years of grief following the loss of my son and three months of grief following the loss of my husband.  It is time for me now. I’ve been waiting.

Well…it’s the New Year, isn’t it? I’m not into resolutions. That word is not powerful enough for me. I do like to start “again”….to clean and clear up an area of my life. This year I’m taking on one of my biggest areas….my own “creative mind.”

Sometimes we simply don’t see our own chaos. I’m no stranger to this. Right now I’m sitting in the middle of my work of several decades. Most of it lives in my office, but a big part of it resides in my mind. I don’t like it here. Part of me wants to run away, pretending that it doesn’t exist. The other part of me wants to delve into my big mess and explore what is in each pile and file. There are binders filled with blogs, articles, parts of books, some further along than others. There are notes, suggestions, affirmations, links to websites that interested me.

I’m never without a pen and notebook for writing ideas, etc. These all live in my files. They drive me crazy. I can’t let go of them, but they are overwhelming. My emotions are a mixture of confusion, delight, anxiety, anticipation, joy, anger and despondency. This is the “Ying Yang” of my creative mind. I love it and despise it. It has held me captive for most of my life. This is the year I’ve committed to “taking it on.”

Deciding and committing are very different mind states for me. Oh, I have no difficulty in deciding many things, but committing….well, that is frightening. Just the thought makes my blood run cold. I do not commit easily. For me, committing is a Sacred Pact with my Spiritual Self. In the past I’ve been successful with committing.

I think I learned this as a child. Being brought up Catholic, I had plenty of practice during Lent. I remember having to commit to giving up things I loved. I often tried to cheat by choosing things I didn’t care all that much about like giving up “bubble gum.” I was never really into bubble gum, but there was that part of me that knew I was cheating God. Worse, I believed that God knew I was cheating and that scared the “be-Jesus” out of me. I was sure I would go to hell, just like Father Joe yelled at the congregation each Sunday. I didn’t want to go to hell, so, I gave up something I really loved like going to the movies, never thinking that the new Disney flick was coming for one week only. I remember sitting in my bedroom crying at my bad luck. The movie was Dumbo. I still remember how I felt when all the other kids were talking about it. But, I also remember another feeling I had……I had kept my commitment!

That has served me well throughout my life. But…I’m still careful about committing. It always has a price. One of my biggest problems is that I want to do everything. I’m sure those of you who are reading the personal blog post understand this. This is the precursor of chaos. No one can do everything. No one can keep everything. No one can buy everything. This is not how one finds peace and contentment.

Commitment can help, but if we are not realistic, then commitment can work against us. We set ourselves up for failure. So, I think about my special commitment for this year. I really want to do this, but it is “huge.” Of course, this frightens me, but the fear is the creative energy that I will transmute. I know the way, but I have put this off for several years due to the death of my son. My concentration was not where it needed to be to take on this commitment. I’m better now….I’ve transmuted much of my grief into positive energy that I will use to take this project forward. It will not happen over-night. Nothing does.

WHERE I’M AT… It’s already February 14th. A month and a half of the New Year has passed and I haven’t done anything but think about what I want to achieve. I’ve accepted that I will never be able to write all the books that I have planned. This is an impossible expectation. That alone is a big step for me in this area of my life. I’ve always been a prolific writer/producer, but I do have limitations. I carried ten binders to what I call my “direct workspace.” This is like a “holding area” for prioritizing. It is a step in the right direction, but it is still possible for me to stall here.

I’m great at moving things and organizing, but it is still dangerous. I know this about myself. Oh, how difficult it is to know oneself. It’s much easier to live in my creative mind space and just think about what I’d like to do. There is a power in “not thinking and not seeing”. I’ve done that in other parts of my life, ending up shocked at the chaos and clutter that filled areas of my life without my seeing it at all. I’ve opened drawers without noticing what’s in them. My closet holds clothes I haven’t thought about in years. I move them around but don’t see them. There are things in my kitchen that are foreign to me. These are gadgets that I bought for some reason. Now I don’t remember why. I move them around when looking for my favorite mixing spoon, but have no relationship with them whatsoever. I don’t even think to get rid of them. That’s how blind I’ve become in that area of my life.

I believe we all have a purpose in life. I’ve started journaling and meditating, asking my Higher Self to guide me through this commitment. I know I need guidance to move me through the piles of work before me. It’s interesting what happens when I approach my chaos in this way. I tend to lose my anxiety and panic over what I perceive as a mess. The papers seem to organize themselves into some sort of order. I’ve been asked to define my most precious interests and to care for them as I care for those I love, for these are also my children. So…I take these “children” to a special area of my workplace. They include disorderly and secret eating issues, stress and disease prevention, learning self-hypnosis and applying hypnosis to lifestyle change.

I am committed to producing additional ebooks on these subjects to add to those I’ve already written and published. I have also committed to writing a book that has been in process for several years on nail biting and skin picking….issues from my own childhood. And….I have committed to publishing two novels I have in re-write at this time. One is dedicated to my son Michael, and the other is a murder mystery I wrote for my own enjoyment…if murder can be seen as “enjoyment.”

For those of you not familiar with my work in the field of Interactive Self-Hypnosis, I invite you to visit my websites and my Amazon.com author’s page. If you are looking to change what’s not working for you, or if you want to move forward in areas of your life that are “waiting”…I’m sure you will enjoy this unique process of self-development. For the next few weeks I’ll walk you through my “creative mind”. You can look over my shoulder and even climb into my “spiritual body” if you feel so inclined. Here you can “feel” what it’s like to be on purpose, to stay there through thick and thin, and come out the other side….stronger than before….just like I did so many years ago when I was a practicing Catholic. Now…I’m a practicing “Spiritual Being”, no longer afraid because I’m not alone. I wish all of you a very Happy and Successful New Year. Remember…prosperity is carried in both the mind and body…not just in your bank account!