Dream the (Not So Impossible) Dream

How ironic it is to see that a little while ago …. okay, a LOT while ago- I wrote an article about procrastination, and here it is, 7 months since my last post! Hey, I never said I was immune to the seduction of procrastination. It is so easy to let things fall by the wayside. According to a study, we all have about 48 thoughts per minute. That means we have roughly 70,000 thoughts per day. No wonder we forget things to do things that are seemingly so simple- like running to the grocery store after work to get that carton of almond milk, or picking up the dog from the groomer(….oops-sorry Rover, it slipped my mind!) We are all so over-worked and over-stimulated, its a wonder that we get anything done at all!

With such chaos going on in the brain, we also forget to dream.

Daydreaming

I don’t mean the dreams that we have while we sleep ( that’s a whole other subject that I’d like to get into….but maybe some other time.) I’m talking about the dreams that we hope will someday come true. That dream you’ve always had to travel across Europe, to scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef, or the dream to finally meet that perfect person to share your life with. Some dreams seem easy to achieve, while others seem downright impossible!

Sounds pretty discouraging , right? Well, good news! there is a way to achieve those seemingly crazy, off the wall, “that’ll-never-happen” dreams! It all begins with your thoughts. Yes,  those very same thoughts that drive you crazy throughout the day. It’s all about how you manage them.

It also begins with ALLOWING yourself to dream. For some of us, it’s very difficult to “let go.” What I mean is to “let go” in the sense of letting the imagination run free. We often are so caught up in the day to day, that it seems totally unrealistic to cater to the imagination. But when you think about it, that is how dreams are born-by allowing yourself to use your imagination.

The reason why your dreams don’t come true is because you’ve convinced yourself that they won’t.

The trick is to convince yourself that they will. Sounds difficult, right? More good news! There’s are simple (and fun) ways to do that too!

First- dream it! Let’s use the example of landing your dream job. What IS your dream job? Where do you see yourself working? (in a nice office by the beach, perhaps?) What type of people will you be working with? Will you be your own boss? How many hours/days do you want to work? How much money will you make? Allow yourself to visualize it in great detail! Better yet, write it down, draw it- heck, you can even sing about it if that’s what floats your boat! Whatever gets you excited about it. The more  excited you are about your dream, the more likely it is to come true.

Secondly, get support! Tell everyone you know about your new conquest! Everyone that will listen, that is. It is extremely important to have a positive and supportive team of people to cheer you on. One of the biggest challenges that you can face while trying something new, is running into killjoys. Those Negative Nancys who  are absolutely convinced that  you are wasting your time. In this case, the best thing to do is to stay away from those types pf people. If you can’t stay away from those people- whether you work or live with them- simply try saying something like: ” I hear what you have to say and I value your opinion, but at the end of the day, the most important person that I have to answer to is me.” The things that happen to you are mostly what you ALLOW to happen to you.   If you allow negative people to bring you down, then that is what will happen. If you allow yourself to believe that you can manifest the perfect job, then that will happen as well!

Thirdly, be kind to yourself!  One of the biggest obstacles that you from you dreams is YOU. We so often get in our own way when it comes to achieving a goal. We have a tendency of being very judgmental and harsh on ourselves. We put everything we say and do under a microscope and analyze it to death. We compare ourselves to others, and put ourselves down when we make mistakes. The fact is, that we are only human- we make mistakes. Mistakes are often the best teachers we have in life. How else would we learn not  to wear blue sparkly lipstick out in public…..ever. You live and you learn. Done. Beating yourself up about it will never get you anywhere, it actually hinders your progress. So do yourself a favor, forgive yourself for the mistakes that you’ve made and then keep moving forward.

The next step is to BELIEVE IT! This is probably the hardest step for people to do. It’s easy say that you want something to  happen, but it’s another thing to actually put it into action. In order for something to manifest you must absolutely believe that it will happen and that it IS happening.

Oh boy, there goes that word again…manifest. I’m sure we’re all sick to death of hearing THAT word. Ever since The Secret, we’ve been hearing about the wonderful and almost magical powers of manifestation. I’m not here to put the action of manifestation down, in fact, I highly encourage it! The truth is, that even before The Secret, people have been using those same techniques to bring about all sorts events, objects and people into their lives.  One of the most important aspects of manifesting is belief. Belief that the thing that you are wishing for the most will POSITIVELY, WITHOUT A DOUBT happen. It is believing to the point where you know that it is an ABSOLUTE TRUTH. As a good friend of mine put it: “KNOW that your dream will happen in the same way the KNOW that you will have to go pee sometime during the day.” Its sounds pretty funny when you think about it this way, but its also genius! Pretty much all of us will to go to the bathroom during the day- especially if you’re a stickler for getting in your 8 glasses of water. We just know it’s going to happen. No questions asked. When you apply that same knowing to what you want the most, then it HAS to happen, because you’ve already told yourself that it will. Pretty cool huh?

When you apply this type of thinking to everyday life, things become easier. There is not as much resistance to getting the things that you desire the most . Anything really IS possible when you allow yourself to believe that it is. But, as LeVar Burton said on of every episode of Reading Rainbow….”You don’t have to take my word for it!”

Try it yourself! (Bah Dah, Dah!)

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Joy to the World

It’s that time once again. Time to spread joy, cheer and love all around. It’s also time for stress, mayhem and family quarrels. The holidays are very much a double-edged sword for many, but with the right tools….and I don’t mean wrapping paper….you can survive them in one piece.

This is the time of year that our pocketbooks see the most action, but to curtail any unwanted overdrafts on your spending, my suggestion is to do “secret Santa” with the family. This works particularly well  if you have a  large family and just can’t get a gift for everyone. (Sorry Great-Aunt Flo, who was twice removed). You can also make a gift. When tastefully done, a handmade gift gives that personal touch that no store bought item could. 

It sounds terribly cliche, but it IS the thought that counts. The holidays are a time that is suppose to bring people together, but you must remember those who may not have a family to go home to, or even a home to go to. The smallest kind gesture could mean the world to a person in pain or in need. 

This is also the time of year when the potential for depression is very high. Be sure not to overwhelm yourself, if possible, and if you have a lot to do on your list, make sure to take breaks in between.  Try a few 5-10 minute breaks when you’re feeling a bit high-strung. The most important thing you can to for the holidays is to make sure you take good care of yourself- because everyone knows that you are the life of the party!

Procrastination!….I’ll Do It Later.

Procrastination seems like the perfect topic for this particular post…seeing how I’ve not written a word since May. That being said, I can’t help but notice how procrastination appears to be one of the more popular vices plaguing us today.

This observation of mine is somewhat surprising , since most people in today’s society like to have things done RIGHT Getty ImagesNOW! This desire for instant gratification may be what leads us to procrastinate more. My theory is that since there are people who can pretty much do anything that we could ever need- there is no need to do it ourselves. There is a job title for everything under the sun: personal shopper, dog psychologist, laughter therapist, snake milker, wrinkle chaser(not exactly what you think it means) candy taster….blog author. With all of the crazy job titles out there- and the people who actually do the job- why do we need to bother to do anything at all? There is already someone else who can do it for you, and probably 10 times better! With all of the resources that are available to us, there really is no need to lift a finger…ever.

So the issue of procrastination really boils down to motivation, and self esteem. Really! It may sound crazy, but it takes a lot of effort to push yourself to do something that you are unfamiliar with. Take blog writing for instance. I seems simple enough, but when you actually sit down in front of the laptop you get an instant case of writer’s block. Several thoughts start to race through the mind at 100 miles per hour- “What should I write?” “How long should my post be?” “Will anyone ever see what I write?” “Will it make any sense?” and “How do I find the spell check on this thing??”  Once settled down all the mental hullabaloo, you can start to get into a nice creative flow. The writing starts to come effortlessly. Heck, you might even start to enjoy it.

The important thing is to with something that you enjoy, or if you have to do a task that you are not familiar with, do a little research first and then simply do the best you can with the knowledge you gained. Even if it doesn’t turn out perfect in the end, at least you had the courage to try something new. Just knowing that you tried something new can do wonders for your self-esteem. It can also lead you to do bigger things. You may start with a blog, and end up with a novel that makes the New York Times Bestsellers List. All you have to do is take that first step, who knows what will happen? Do it right now and find out!

To see more crazy job titles, take a look at this article: http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2009/08/16/odd-jobs-and-crazy-careers/

How to Enjoy the Small Things (And Make Room for the Big Ones)

Okay, I’ll admit it…every now and then I get a little stressed out…okay, a lot stressed out. There are so many things in our society today that cause stress, and no matter what the situation really is, when we are stressed, our issues seem gigantic. But instead of feeling overwhelmed, wouldn’t it be nice to just be in the moment?

I know what you’re thinking….easier said than done right? Actually, it IS easy to do. All you have to do is breathe. Breathing is something we do all day everyday, and simply taking a moment to focus on our breath is an exercise that can relax the body and clear the mind.

Most people breathe through their chests which is not the most natural or efficient way to get oxygen through the body. The best way to breathe is through the belly. If you’ve ever watched an infant sleeping, you may have noticed that they breathe through their tiny tummies. This is how we naturally breathe when we are born, but conditioning from either our caretakers or society tells us that we are suppose to breathe through the chest. I’m not here to scold anyone, I just want to share the knowledge so that we can all learn to live happier!

Getting back to the stress part of our conversation- stress can be greatly reduced by doing simple breathing exercises. All you have to do is take a deep breath in slowly through the belly, hold it for 3 seconds and then exhale slowly. Like this: i  n  h  a  l  e….1,2,3….e  x  h  a  l  e . Initially, you may feel light-headed when you try this if you are not used to breathing this way. This is simply because you are getting more oxygen than usual. When you breath through the chest, the tendency is to also breathe shallowly and not get enough oxygen circulating through the body.

Want to step things up a notch? Try the technique mentioned above and on each exhale you take, say a positive word either silently or out loud: inhale….1,2,3….”c  a  l  m.”  inhale….1,2,3….”r  e  l  a  x  e  d.” Inhale….1,2,3….”i  n   c  o n t r o l.”

Small things like this make modern life a little more manageable. Another exercise that can be done is a gratitude journal. Its not a new concept, but it does get positive results. Every night, about 30 minutes before you go to bed write down one or two things that you are grateful for. It can be anything big or small like: “I am grateful for my dog being excited to see me every time I come home no matter what mood I’m in.”  Or “I’m grateful they served my favorite lunch in the cafeteria today!” Doing this for at least 21 nights in a row will help you shift your energy to be more positive and you may even start to feel motivated. Once you feel motivated, you get eager to take on bigger goals and reap the rewards.

It all starts by taking a deep breath in.

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If You’re on the Fence…..

Let me jump straight to the big question….so, why should you try hypnotherapy? The simple answer is because it’s easy. Not easy as in it’s an easy escape, but easy as in the process feels completely natural. In fact, it can be downright pleasant. The more detailed answer is that hypnosis is a process that we go through every single day. As I said in my previous article, hypnosis happens in day-to-day lives. We just don’t notice it.

When you’re driving your car to work, do you have to remind yourself to use your right foot to press the gas and the break pedals?  Unless you just got a driver’s permit, chances are the thought doesn’t cross your mind. It just happens naturally. We do the action of pressing the pedals with our right foot so often that it becomes a habit. That habit becomes ingrained into the subconscious and the act of pushing down a gas or brake pedal automatically happens. We no longer have to consciously think about it.

This is how hypnosis works.

When you want to change or get rid of a habit-the hypnotherapist puts you into a state of hypnosis to access that subconscious area of the mind that made that habit a habit. The therapist then tells the subconscious that it no longer needs the habit to survive. The reason why I use the word “survive,” is because many “bad” habits that we form were formed in order for us to survive. It is our primitive instincts that tell us to develop certain tactics in order to cope with situations where we feel we are in danger. An example of this would be a child sucking on his thumb. He may have started sucking his thumb because he was scared of sleeping in the dark  by himself. His parents felt that he was too old to be sleeping in the bed with them, so his only way of dealing with the fear was to suck on his thumb. It became soothing to him, and it became a habit. His subconscious mind recognized  the habit as a way to survive. The subconscious doesn’t register certain actions being  “good” or “bad,”  it recognizes what actions kept you alive.

With this in mind, the hypnotherapist helps you to “swap out” some of your habits that no longer serve for the benefit of your survival for something that helps you to grow and thrive into your full potential.

A change like this can take a little as 1 session. Sounds easy right?

It can be. If you are dedicated to allowing yourself to experience positive change, then hypnosis will seem effortless and things will flow into a new and positive outcome.

So, now when you  ask why you should try hypnotherapy, also ask yourself…”why not?”

Potential Unlimited!

Hello Everyone!

I’m so excited to be writing my very first blog post ever!! I’ve read plenty of blogs, but now its my turn to share my thoughts with the world.

With that being said, let me introduce myself- I’m Erica and I’m a hypnotherapist, artist, (and animal lover) from the Los Angeles area. If someone of you are scratching your head or sneering at the word “hypnotherapist,” that’s okay. Many people are not too familiar with what a hypnotherapist is or what they REALLY do.

No we don’t drag unsuspecting victims on a stage and force them to quack like a duck and bark like a dog. What we do is help people to experience the full potential within themselves.

If you are still not convinced, let me get a little more specific….

Lets say that you want to change something for the positive in your life- stop smoking, lose weight, get motivated to finally start that business that you have been dreaming of. Well, hypnotherapy can help you with that.  Most of the time (not in all cases) when an individual decides to make such a big change they will stick with the goal for a few weeks, get discouraged after a few weeks of little or no results and just drop the effort all together. Its nothing to be a shame of- its just human nature. Its also due to how our minds work.

When we first get  the thought in our mind that we want to change something- stop smoking, lose weight, etc, that thought comes from our conscious mind. Our conscious mind is the part of our mind that we use the most, yet only counts for about 12% of our mind power.  It is the subconscious part of our mind that truly determines whether or not we will follow through with the change that we are wanting. This is because the subconscious counts for a huge part of out mind power and and it holds  what are called “knowns.” Knowns are all the experiences and habits that we know we are capable of and a programmed within our brain. They are pretty much automatic.

The reason why the change that you are wanting in your life doesn’t seem to work is because it is not a “known”- it doesn’t come from the subconscious area of the mind. No need to worry though! All hope isn’t lost, because with hypnosis, you can make the positive change a “known.”

While in the state of hypnosis, the hypnotherapist is able to access your subconscious mind and give it the suggestions of the positive change that you are striving for- “you now chose to eat healthy foods that nourish your body,” “you now are able to breath in clean air through your healthy lungs…” and so on.

The best part of hypnotherapy is that you are in TOTAL control the whole time! You are always aware of what is going on.

So- now that you know a little bit about how hypnotherapy works, why not try a session?