A stress release exercise:
hold your hand up in front of your face so you are looking at your palm and admire it.
Recognize how much good it helps you do.
Next touch your thumb and index finger together, noting how good it feels to relax your thumb.
Now gently allow your pinky and ring fingers to fold down to your palm and relax as well.
Notice how good this relaxation feels.
Now, look at your hand and notice your finger.
(laugh if you want to)
Then allow this finger to relax as well.
One last thing.
Now turn your entire fist sideways so your thumb is on top.
Put your thumb up and smile:)
You did a wonderful job!
Happy less-stress Holiday season!
At times I still marvel at why people want to come to this country at all?
Yes we seem to have it all; houses, cars, malls, natural wonders, etc. but what people don't know is that most Americans have no dream to aspire to. Most are flat out broke, homeless and discriminated against.
Yes, even yours truly has had the pleasure of experiencing decrimination, have been homeless and lived on very little. When I job hunted 4 years ago, I was told everything from: You're to pretty, to qualified, to white, to old, etc.
This prompted me to start my own business and make a difference. Not to save the world - this guy named Jesus already did that, or so people say. The best I can do is make a difference in someone's life, help them live their American Dream, or even to have a dream at all.
Today as my husband and I were making cauliflower pizza I had to laugh because I realized I am living the American dream!
Well my version of it at least.
You see, I own my own business, have a roof over my head, a vehicle to drive and food to eat, thanks to the local food shelf.
My business is in it's third year and I'm lucky to see one client a month. The plus side of this is that I do not have debt since I am have a small amount saved up from the death of my first husband seven years ago.
Widows are not rich! Especially younger widows without children. They throw these widows to the wolves and say, "See you when you are 65, or if you can prove your disabled."
No hope there!
But I am okay since my mother taught me to make the most of what I have. I can sew, so at least I can mend clothing. My winter coat is now in it's 10th years of use! Not bad considering it came from a consignment shop!
The coat was well made to start with, sorta like me. You see, if you start with good materials in the beginning, things will last a long time. I was raised with hard work, homegrown food, fresh air and lots of discipline. Even several spankings and a soap bar or two.
On the plus side, I have lived a life of adventure thus far.
I have traveled living out of my vehicle, eating once a day. Then met a fellow traveler who made life better for a while - more food, a hotel every once and a while, etc. But he was abusive so I left and decided little food and sleeping in the vehicle weren't so bad after all!
Soon doors began to open - a person I knew offered me a place to stay. Living in the library room of an old legal office was nice - beautiful architecture, lots of books and it was quiet. Someone signed me up for a program, which was trying to sell me to the local employment office in the name of Christianity. That was an interesting bunch!
Soon an apartment opened up in an old house. This was a new adventure living in the same building as two registered sex offenders who were mentally unstable!
The bats in the house became my best defence and way to gain respect, seeing how both men were afraid of bats! Amazing how such a small animal can strike such fear in the heart of a man!
But I am grateful for having lived in that old house. You see, it was because I lived there that I learned about the food shelf.
At the food shelf I met people worse off than me and with way less skills - some didn't even know how to do basic self care or make mac and cheese from the box.
The best words of hope I heard in 5 years came from one of the food shelf staff. You see after receiving delicious food the day before, I felt guilty. Others needed it worse than me. I had a little bit of money after all. I went back the next day to meet with a staff member to see how I could give back a bit. I was just a widow after all, but some of these people had much less and had been treated far worse.
I entered the office space and the kind lady D closed the door. After telling her about me and feeling badly about not being able to help, she said, "We are here to help people who need food. We are not here to judge why you need that help. People from all walks of life come through those doors each day, some are well off and others have nothing. You are not alone."
After this talk I became a daily volunteer. Because of volunteering I met another widower and developed a friendship that turned into a marriage.
The American Dream right?
Well, let me continue. By now my business has been around for three years. I love the work I do, but the books don't look positive, another year in the red.
Coming back to today. As I was chopping cauliflower from the food shelf with my husband, I began to remember how other businesses started out. Most had less than me. Some were lucky to eat once a week, and then it was just bread. Many slept in their office space and only had one change of clothing. But from these humble beginnings came the corporate giants of today.
My goal isn't to become a corporate giant, but I do hope to help people, make enough money to have an income and give back finacially to the food shelf, so that it's there for the next me who walks through those doors in search of food.
I truly hope they find more then food. I hope someone takes the time to listen and offer a few kind words. You never know, that person could just be the next business owner who employs your children, allowing them to have big screen TV's, three dogs, a large house, with fancy vehicles and multiple luxury vacations per year!
The American Dream!
As for me, in a couple weeks I will finally recieve my First Dollar Award from the Chamber of Commerce. It seems someone forgot to do that 3 years ago when I became a member!
But for me it means progress. At least I get the recognition, some soldiers who died in battle never even get a thank you!
Another good thing is that I have the honor of speaking at the IMDHA/IACT conference this coming year in Orlando FL.
I am also writting a book and hoping to keep my doors open long enough to help the people who come my way, creating a business out of it.
This is my American Dream.
There is not a tree covered in lights with presents under it, nor will there be. My husband dislikes this time of year due to the war he was drafted into and the unfortunate loss of life that happened at Christmas.
Fancy trees and gifts are not our version of Christmas.
The only presnts we will exchange this year are gratitude in our hearts for being able to volunteer at the food shelf and time with each other.
We most likely will be making cauliflower pizza and playing cribbage.
This my dear readers is The American Dream!
Or at least my Amercan Dream.
Have a joyous holiday season and a blessed new year.
Jessica L Hanson
Stress now and later
(not intended to diagnose or prescribe)
In the coming day make time and take time – 5 to 15 minutes or more each day – for yourself. To be kind to yourself: listen to music you love, take a walk, spend time in silence, sit and do nothing, meditate or do self hypnosis.
The article below is a good reminder of the continual stress we are under in today's world.
70 percent of the presenting issues in a clinical setting are stress related, meaning they started from a stressor in the persons life.
I have personally felt the load of stress via death of spouse and know the physical and mental changes it can bring about in a very short amount of time.
A question I ask nearly client, regardless of issue is, “What happened 3, 6 or 9 months ago?” For some issues I go back even further, depending on how long the issue has been present.
Stress-Proofing Programme by Leon Chaitow, 1985 Thorsons Publishers Ltd
pgs 14 through 18
Stress and Changes in Lifestyle
This scale is based on the work of T.H. Holmes and R.H. Rahe (Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 1967, No.11) and is meant as a guide to the assessment of measurable stress factors, resulting from having to adjust to change. There are many other sources of stress, but it is true to say that a high score on this chart (300 or more) over a short time-span (six months or so), is a strong indicator (affecting 80 per cent of people) of the likelihood of major illness becoming apparent. If the score is relatively high, anything from 150 to 299 points, about 50 per cent of people become ill soon afterwards, and if under 150 points are scored, fewer than 30 percent become ill. The higher the score, the greater the need for stress-proofing.
Changes in Lifestyle Scale
Death of husband of wife 100
Marital separation 65
Jail sentence or being institutionalized 63
Death of close member of family 63
Illness of injury 53
Los of job 47
Reconciliation with marriage partner 45
Health problem of close member of family 44
Sex problems 39
Addition to family 39
Major change at work 39
Change in financial status 39
Death of friend 37
Change in line of work 36
Change in number of marital arguments 35
Large mortgage taken out 31
Mortgage or loan foreclosed 30
Responsibility change 29
Child leaves home 29
In-law problems 29
Personal achievement realized 28
Wife starts or stops work 26
Start at new school 26
Leaving school 26
Change in living conditions 25
Change in personal habits 24
Trouble with employer 23
Change in working hours 20
Change in residence 20
Change in recreation 19
Change in church activities 19
Change in social activities 18
Small mortgage taken out 17
Change in sleeping habits 16
Change in number of family get-togethers 15
Major change in eating pattern 15
Minor violation of law 11
It is known that these scores and positions on the scale vary in different cultures. Different belief systems place the stress of marriage higher in Europe than in Japan.
There is another element in life which often can produce more stress than the events themselves. This is the highly charged area of anticipated problems or events. While losing a job is indeed high-scoring stress factor, the anticipation of the loss presents potentially greater stress by virtue of time-scale involved. Once a job has been lost, the reality of the situation determines that the individual does something about the matter. Looking for a new job, making financial arrangements, etc, are all stressful, but are in fact responses to the event.
Conflicts, real or imagined, between the individual and other people or groups is a further major stress factor.
External stress factors, while easy to identify, are less easy to measure and control. There might include excessive noise (construction), exposure to excessive heat (bakers), cold (working in cold-storage areas) boring or repetitive occupations (assembly line workers) and factors of commuting on an unreliable transportation system or driving in heavy traffic for hours every day.
Over the next few months give yourself the gifts of: extra grace, a laugh or 10 and smile.
Be well, stay well and get well.
Jessica L Hanson CHt LLC
Today as I was volunteering I learned that people are afraid of hypnosis just because of the name’s connotation.
One well meaning person has been asking questions for many months. Today I realized they are afraid of the WORD “hypnosis “ not the process!
You see, hypnosis is something you use every day.
If I were them I’d be more afraid of the other people who are using it against them - advertisers and such, than of a WORD, “hypnosis “.
This person may never set foot in my office because of their own fear of a WORD, but they are justified in keeping their aches, troubles and pains which they continually talk about.
It’s too bad fear keep people in bondage.
When you learn SELF HYPNOSIS you become EMPOWERED to make choices, not disempowered.
But since all hypnosis is self hypnosis, they really are good at keeping themselves afraid of what they are doing to themselves!
Just a thought:)
Seasons of Change
I became a hypnotherapist for three reasons: 1-because a mentor told me I was good at it, 2-to heal myself and 3-to help others heal themselves.
As hypnotists, we are taught that every client has within them the power to heal them self. Our job is to assist them in that process.
Nearly 6 years ago my life changed forever with the sudden death of my husband.
Since then I have been putting myself back together, finding my new wholeness.
Recently, for the first time in years I listened to my favorite music again!
A way to know you are healing is that you can enjoy the things you used to enjoy and feel good about the past as you are present in the moment now.
When you can look back on all the bad experiences and be grateful they happened, is also another sign of healing.
Change is constant but YOU have the ability to choose the majority of that change.
Mainly by HOW you think and WHAT you think.
No matter what you are facing or wanting to heal from, know that YOU have the POWER to choose how you feel.
There is great power in letting go and forgiving.
It FREES YOU!
Bad and unfortunate things happen, but it’s how we choose to respond to them that makes or breaks us.
The most compassionate, hard working people I know, are the ones who have chosen to not be the victims of circumstance.
Yes they have cried and felt awful, but they also picked themselves up and become stronger.
10 years ago, after I was sexually assaulted at work with no recourse from the law. I went home curled up in a ball on the floor and prayed to die. When I picked myself up off the floor I stood in the shower and scrubbed myself till I nearly bleed. I fell asleep from exhaustion, then cried, showered and slept again.
Only after I began talking about what happened did things begin to change. An advocate heard about me and helped me obtain a restraining order and people reached out as support.
The obsessive showers and scrubbing stopped and at some point I felt clean, put nice clothes on again and went back to work.
There are many more things I have lived through, and so have you, dear reader.
Remember to remember this: YOU have the power of choice.
You can choose to remain the Victim or you can pick yourself up and let the wounds (physically or emotionally) heal, and become the Victor!
YOU have the power of CHOICE.
Most people wake automatically at a certain time daily. They have trained their mind to do so over time, to the point of not needing an alarm clock to remind them.
A mother or father can sleep through a storm but wake at the slightest fuss or cry of their baby.
Driving your vehicle- most of your driving habits (good or bad, known or unknown) are self taught and now hardwired.
If you drive the same route to work each day, you are usually not consciously aware of the route unless something unexpected shows up: animal, slow moving vehicles, etc.
Your employment: if you have a job that requires repetition, often times it becomes as automatic as driving.
When your day goes faster than expected: “Wow it’s that time already!”
You’ve been so absorbed in the task or so lost in thought that you blanked out time until it became important again.
“Time to go home!”
Even shopping can be trance inducing! Have you ever unpacked your purchases and wonder why you bought that? You were unconsciously shopping as a song reminded you of this or that and made you feel happy or sad and you purchased the item(s) without knowing why.
And yes, food is trance inducing as well. Have you ever suddenly felt hungry after watching a food commercial?
This may sound scary but don’t worry, you live your life from one trance to the next, all day, every day.
You’ve trained yourself to wake up on time, drive, do your job and many other things.
Why not learn self-hypnosis and learn to change and/or do things better?
It’s your life to live, no more be can live it for you!
A recent trip brought me to the house I grew up in and I was looking through a pile of things I had stored there during the moving process to bring a few more items home with me.
I found a photo board from my late husbands funeral folded in half, tucked between two wall hangings and written on the back was, “Burn after engaged to the next Mr. Right. He must live up to these standards!”
Tucked inside the photo board was the 2 foot by 3 foot valentine card I had given him.
I took a few moments and looked at all the photos recalling the wonderful life we had together, and reflecting on how different I had become. Looking at the photos through what felt like different eyes. Realizing I would have been married 7 years this year.
Then wondered, could I really burn this?
I was already married to the next Mr. Right after all.
Could I let go of the past and fully embrace my new life and marriage?
Using self hypnosis I explored keeping the photos and large valentine card as well as following through and burning them as originally intended.
Moments later I was walking towards the basement to the wood furnace room.
I opened the door separating the house from the furnace room and stepped inside closing the door behind me.
For a moment I paused standing before the furnace and read my handwriting on the folded photo board, “Burn after engaged to the next Mr. Right. He must live up to these standards!”
Then with a silent prayer of gratitude I opened the furnace door and placed it and the oversized valentine card inside.
Immediately after closing the furnace door, the door back to the house unlatched and swung open!
Smiling I stepped through the open door, looking back briefly to see the smoke rising to the sky. The photos and valentine were going to be with him and I will always have the memories.
Was it and angel or him who opened the door?
I’ll never know, but I do know it was a sign for me to fully embrace my new life, marriage and to live my life - that he would always be with me.
“A merry heart works like a medicine” (Proverbs 17:22)
Unforgiveness is now a recorded medical condition, and generally causes chronic anxiety. When we do not forgive, we carry around a toxic burden of anger, hatred, revenge and dislike. These negative emotions create a toxic cocktail of adrenalin and cortisol, which impact our immune system.
Recent studies indicate that 61% of cancer patients have unforgiveness issues.
On a metaphysical level this fits in with the concept that we are all one. The anger/hatred/revenge/dislike is being heaped on ourselves, not just those whom it is aimed at, with negative impact.
(The Holistic Guide to Hypnotherapy by Steve Webster CHt and others. Page 127)
Leaves of healing:
A few weeks ago I did a personal session with a trusted hypnotherapist. The session was to help me release anger around an event that happened 4 years ago.
Before the session I had done self hypnosis to contain the emotions and event until they could be properly dealt with.
During the session of release and reframing, imagery of leaves falling and how trees effortlessly let go of leaves so they can rest and prepare for the next season... was used. It was a simple yet deep session.
After the session I felt release from the event and emotions attached to it.
In the following days every falling leaf brought a smile to my face as I continued to release and let go of the past event, as memories came up.
Recently I was sorting through a box and found a brochure for a place one of the people from the event and I went to. Upon picking up the brochure, 5 presses leaves fell out.
“You are really sorry aren’t you?” I thought to myself as I smiled looking at the leaves. I remembered the good times we had at this place on the brochure and seemed to not recall the bad things much at all.
(The leaves had been placed in the brochure years before knowing this person. Funny how they should fall out just then?!)
Leaves will continue to fall and I will smile each time as I recall more of the good and less of the negative.
Hypnosis is a powerful healing tool, even for the hypnotherapist!
And yes, healing continues long after the client leaves the office.