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How the Holiday Blues Impact You All Year

As the sights and sounds of the season surround us so do familiar feelings and memories. It makes me wonder, what’s the very first picture that pops up for you when it comes to the holidays from childhood? You’d be surprised by how much meaning even the smallest things can hold! From a particular movie, ornament or wrapping paper to a favorite dish or familiar activity- ANYTHING can get you jogging down memory lane.  So it’s no surprise that this time of year is packed with plenty of details that stimulate the senses. For too many people, that means the activation of not-so-nice feelings that overwhelm them year after year. Known as the holiday blues, this powerful emotional battle is incredibly common and highly misunderstood. There’s 1 reason the holiday blues are so common Movies, commercials, billboards, news stories, magazines, music, social media and even email serve to paint fairytale pictures of perfect family reunions, treasured traditions and overall excitement and joy. While many of us do feel connected to these sorts of images and even uplifted by them, plenty of others struggle with sustaining positivity during the holiday months. For many people, the holidays mark the start of a powerful emotional battle that plagues them the entire season, year after year. Sometimes the pain of losing a loved one hurts even deeper than usual during the holidays and replaces what was once a happy time. For others, the season is filled with triggers of a painful childhood in which they didn’t enjoy the holidays or were completely deprived of them. For other people the thought of bringing dysfunctional... read more

What it Really Means to Let Go

A new campaign launched by the Skin care company Sanctuary, is urging young women to just ‘let it go’ in response to rising stress. The campaign includes a video of women in their later years, offering advice to their younger selves. It urges young women to let go of perfectionism, pressure, and self-hatred and to embrace relaxation, presence and enjoyment. In essence, it’s a movement for happiness. It’s an important message for almost 50 percent of women who say they feel ‘moderately or extremely stressed’ and another 40 percent who feel like they’re about to burn out. Chances are, you can relate to the pressure of keeping up with life. But what are we keeping up with exactly? You know it’s a problem. We ALL know it. We can talk all day about the factors that trigger stress including the accessibility of more choice, 24-hour technological resources, more demanding jobs, self-consciousness, pressures that greet us at every turn and mobile phones which we seem to never turn off. We know that we should focus more time on just ‘being’ and less time on doing because that is the space that allows us to breath in what really matters and to get more enjoyment out of life. If you’ve ever taken a break from it all, you know how beneficial it is. But how many of these ‘awakenings’ have you had? How many times have you committed to being more present, smelling the roses and prioritizing your wellbeing? And the even bigger question is- why don’t the effects of these time outs ever seem to last very long? I mean,... read more

How to Break Bullying- Forever

Bullying remains a dark reality for hundreds of people. It doesn’t just impact the 6 out of 10 students who say they are victims of bullying on a daily basis but also a growing number of adults in the workplace. Technology has extended the reach of bullying beyond the confined spaces of school and work into a global arena of 24 hour online accessibility. Bullies can use sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to inflict powerful and personal harm on victims. The emotional damage is clear, impacting important aspects of life even years after the bullying ends. Despite the growing interest and concern, bullying has remained a serious epidemic with no solid solution in sight- until now. New science uncovers the root cause of bullying behavior and reveals how deeply victims are effected on a subconscious level. It’s insight that offers a deeper look at the powerful root cause of our emotional pain, behavior and beliefs and traces a road map towards the ultimate solution. It begins by exploring the amazing inner workings of the subconscious brain and to do that we have to picture ourselves there. We’ll use Ricky’s story as an example:   1 Picture with a million broken pieces Ricky stands in front of his locker early in the morning. There are many things happening around him; many students talking, laughing, and yelling as they walk past him, teachers speaking to each other. The sounds of locker doors closing and opening. The sound of the school buses shrieking as they slow down to approach the front of the school. The different colors of the books in... read more

Why Childhood Bullying Impacts Everyone

There has been a lot of talk about bullying lately – and with good reason. Bullying is a traumatic experience that deeply marks victims and impacts every aspect of their life, long after the harassment ends. In America alone, 28 percent of kids are victims of bullying throughout the school year. Now, new platforms of victimization offered by the digital age means bullies can continue their harassment via text, email, YouTube and social media.  In fact, according to latest stats on cyber bullying, more than 50 percent of teens say they’ve witnessed online bullying of classmates and friends online. This powerful public platform works to compound the feelings of embarrassment, fear and shame associated with bullying and creates new and complex challenges for individuals and groups looking to help victims and put an end to this type of harassment. Bullies Leave Invisible Scars To fully grasp the serious impact of bullying on victims, I wanted to share Danielle’s story. She takes us back to a time when she was 11 years old. For Danielle, getting ready for school stirs up thoughts that instantly make her panic.  She thinks about the hallways packed with other students, her heavy books falling to the floor, the sound of the bell between classes. She thinks about the changing room in gym where other girls whisper mean things about her skinny frame and frail appearance. She thinks about sitting by herself in the lunchroom and the picture of kids whispering and laughing. These thoughts put her stomach in knots and her hands get all sweaty. Her breathing becomes heavier. She is afraid. These images... read more

How Freedom Redefines Routine

Sometimes our life changes in the most unexpected ways! Recently a client of mine shared an amazing shift in perspective that has totally transformed her life! I’m sure many of us can relate to her story: The Drain Game Christina is a married and working mom of 2 small children, embroiled in the non-stop responsibilities and activities of life. She loves her family and job and has a great group of friends that she’s super grateful for. Still- something was stressing her out and draining her energy. She thought that cleaning up her to do list would give her more energy. But it felt like no matter how much she checked off her list, there were a 100 more things to do and not enough energy or time to do them. She felt like she was always playing ‘catch up’. She found herself with very little time for fun, hobbies, and self-improvement and any moments that did appear, made her want to hide away and do nothing! The ’10 year’ plan that she and her husband created years ago to propel themselves forward financially and personally didn’t seem to be blossoming at the speed they once hoped. It seemed life was on ‘repeat’ with each day, week and even year resembling the previous. They always TALKED of wanting and needing more but simply felt stuck. What you believe, you receive The thing is that Christina began to accept and believe that this routine was a normal part of life. “How is it possible?” she thought, “to fit ANTYHING else into our overloaded days without neglecting something else? She also... read more

The past can power your present, if you let it.

I would like to make you aware of an amazing aspect of your brain using the following example: You are driving your car early in the morning. You have to run some errands and visit a store, which is about 45 minutes from your house. While driving, you see the sun come up. It offers a warm and peaceful feeling. Your mind plunges in thoughts of last evening when you had some friends over for dinner. You relive the nice conversation you had with your friends about plans for their upcoming vacation to Europe. She wants you to come along with her to spend some time together. You’ve always wanted to go to Europe – especially Italy! Besides the cultural aspect, which fascinates you, the delicious food you’d heard so much about is a big plus too:). While driving, you weigh the pros and cons and along the way you get more and more excited about the trip to Europe. And then, suddenly, you’ve arrived at the store! Maybe you’re thinking, ‘girl where is this story going?’ Okay here it is :). I’m sure, somehow, you can relate to the story above. So here’s my question for you. While you were thinking about all kinds of things, were you fully aware of what was happening on the road? Were you fully paying attention to all the other cars and upcoming left and right turns OR did you JUST drive and arrive perfectly without missing a light, a cross road or a stop sign? While you were day dreaming about your visit to the Grand Canal in Venice Italy, who... read more

The Power Of Perception

Your perception creates your reality, but what creates your perception? Every new experience is filtered through your core beliefs, your personal past, and unique emotions. Even your mood impacts how your reality looks at any given moment. No 2 people exist in the same perception of reality and it’s why, often, people can see the same situation so differently. I am pretty sure you’ve run into this ‘difference of opinion’ on occasion. J Maybe you felt differently from someone else about the same topic or you remember an experience differently than your friend. It can be so frustrating trying to ‘convince’ someone to see it your way and really, it’s impossible because they are trying to convince you just as strongly!   Picturing perception Maybe you recognize the following example: A friend of yours always speaks highly of her nice neighbor. You’ve seen her in pictures but never met this neighbor in person. Your brain produces an amazing phenomenon that happens when someone is describing another person. You begin to instantly envision images of how this person should react and behave. Our brain is capable of creating mental pictures on the spot, just by hearing a story. How cool is that?! Your brain can do this because of the huge amount of your own subconscious comparison material. Okay- I’m a little side-tracked now so let’s continue with the exampleJ. So, based on your own comparison materiel about nice and helpful people, you created a picture in your mind that meets your criteria of how such a person should behave. One day you’re at the grocery store. You look to... read more

Where Is Your Drive Taking You?

When you woke up this morning, were you all relaxed and able to take your time to start your day? Or did it take you some time to wake up; snoozing a little bit until you slowly felt your whole body energize? Or perhaps you woke up and INSTANTLY, your mind filled with your to-do list. If so, what does it feel like, knowing there is a huge list of responsibilities awaiting you? Does it ‘drive’ you to conquer the day? I’m familiar with those types of mornings in which I open my eyes, instantly see my calendar in my head with all my appointments and get up running at full speed 🙂 Some may view this behavior as being highly driven…but driven by what, exactly? “Drive” in many ways, is glorified and usually described as a respectable quality. Society doesn’t really care WHAT drives you so long as it keeps you going! But what drives you is critical to your happiness and health. Let’s look at an example.   What drives you, directs you You may know someone who is like this or might even recognize these qualities in yourself. Danielle always cares for others. Whenever you reach out to her, she is always there for you. She’s always willing to put her life on hold just to serve someone else. Everything else always seems more important than her own commitments. For some ‘reason’ she just can’t say ‘no’ and feels responsible for others in a big way. For some people this feeling is so strong, that they don’t even feel the right to be happy if certain family... read more

1 Major Problem With The Practice Of Positivity

Are you a naturally positive person? OR do you practice positivity as a way of conquering naturally bad feelings and thoughts? There is a big difference. Of course positivity is much better for us than negativity is. Studies clearly link positivity to better health and more happiness. Motivational gurus “promise” you that positive thinking allows you to see the greatness in your life instead of the pitfalls and remind you of how much you have accomplished. Practices such as meditation, writing, art, and adventure motivate positive thinking and action.   A Real Start During the 1890s Russian physiologist, Ivan Pavlov, discovered the process that is now called “Pavlovian Conditioning.” This video explains how it works in about 3 minutes: The core of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is based on this Pavlovian conditioning. NLP connects your positive experiences to your fears and/or negative experiences. This conditioning creates positive thoughts and feelings about something you did not feel good about originally.     But there’s a major problem with this conditioned positivity that has become more and more obvious: It’s temporary! It has to be practiced every day. Like exercise, it requires dedication, discipline, and constant repetition. Without that practice, the impacts of positivity chip away like a temporary tattoo! So why is the practice of positivity so much work?   The Real Power It’s because conditioned positivity is not nearly as strong and powerful as the pain that resides within us and that impacts our relationships, health, success, and overall happiness. Conditioned positivity can ‘re-program’ and overrule negative thoughts so long as these thoughts originate from what are called “cluster”... read more

What Every Argument Reveals About You

Ever had an opinion about something, or someone, and you felt it in your entire body that your opinion was based on solid facts and therefore the only right opinion? (Read: believe system) Every vessel in your body is telling you that you are so right about this! The only resolution at that point with people who see it differently is that you agree to disagree 🙂 Ever notice how this can lead to endless and frustrating discussions? They just drain your energy and it completely messes with your mood!   The battle of beliefs Some think that heated arguments really serve no purpose. But “weirdly” enough, on a deeper level, they do! An argument often hides conflicts on a deeper level. Some arguments (beliefs) in such heated discussions ‘trigger’ subconscious data that is loaded with negative physiology. It is this physiology that creates powerful, but rigid beliefs and can make you very upset when someone tries to convince you otherwise. You are convinced that the other person has to understand what you’re saying and your arguments and beliefs will support that, even if it means that you have to yell at them. They need to understand and that’s what it is! Bring it on. 🙂 Basically you out-voice yourself because deep, deep down you know that your beliefs are not as solid-based as you would like to think. Just compare it to those other moments in which you had an opinion and explained it to someone that disagreed with you, but without any intensity, no yelling and in total calmness. Whatever the other beliefs were, nothing and nobody... read more

1 Simple Secret for Greater Health

What does physical health means to you? I like staying active, exercising and exploring the outdoors. But I also like going out with my loved ones and/or laying on the couch and watching a movie or one of my favorite shows. Add some snacks and I’m a happy camper 😉 Do you ever notice how many drug commercials you see on TV? For every “problem” there is a pill nowadays.  Even if you feel good, they insist you take certain pills after you reach a certain age, just as a precaution because maybe you could get a serious illness! And maybe it’s the Dutch girl in me that gets even more stunned when they start warning you about all of these nasty side-effects; some of which seem even worse than the original problem for which you’re taking the medication! On top of that, at the exact time that the moderator is describing all these horrors, they’re filling the screen with a series of smiling faces and happy people just blissfully enjoying their life. How confusing is that? And don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying you shouldn’t take medication. Medication can be helpful and even necessary. But I am saying you can also take medication to an obsessive level. But of course there are medicines for obsessiveness too 🙂   Stop Searching For many of us, the pursuit of health is a heavy weight on our shoulders. It can add-up; especially if you are a worrier who commits yourself to all sorts of tasks for yourself and others. Exercise is work. Eating right is work. And most people do... read more

How Ideals Become Reality

I was thinking a lot about ideals lately. We all have them and for some of us, they represent a deeper sense of what we really want from life. These perfected pictures of what life ‘should’ be can sometimes impact people’s decisions, opinions, and plans. But, far too often, I see so many people chasing these ideals without ever reaching them. What’s the point of ideals if they’re not really improving your life? How do they fit into your current reality?   What Does It Look Like? Let’s think about your most cherished ideals for a moment. Which ideals do you envision for your community, your family and yourself? Some people think about the ideal figure (Although the reason why so many people focus on that particular ideal and why it drains your energy is a topic for a different blog!) Anyway, if you had to pick one ideal, what would it be? Do you picture the ideal career, spouse, or house? Perhaps you think about what an ideal society should look like or what an ideal mother is. Out of all these ideals, which would you say is your most cherished one? What is the main thing that you strive for each day? Although it might be tough, pick the ONE ideal that stands out above the rest. Make sure to answer this question to really enjoy the ride. I’m about to take you on 🙂 I’ll share some of the ones that come up often during sessions with clients. Someone told me “I want to live happy”. Someone else said “I want to have an amazing job”.... read more

How To Stop Caring What ‘They’ Think

Children are really interesting little humans aren’t they? I think a huge part of what makes most kids so special is their innocence, complete openness, and drive to learn and adapt to their environment. The minute you meet a child it’s easy to tell if they are shy or outgoing, inquisitive, brave, cautious, loud, quiet, funny, or serious. What type of child were you? What made you special? There is no guessing game with kids. They show you who they are right away and with no apologies! It’s inspiring and refreshing but it’s also kind of sad because often, this changes. Unfortunately, at some point down the line, we begin to cover up who we really are for the sake of fitting the ‘mold’. For many of us, this process of adaptive change started in childhood. It’s not only draining it’s a really bad example for the children that look up to us! So what happens and why?   The Parent Trap Much of it has to do with our parents and guardians. Children are sponges that absorb everything around them- that includes the behaviors of their biggest role models. Your childhood, bad or good, is a part of your story. It really impacts your current perception of life and of yourself. Our caretakers, as our primary role models, always impact us in a huge way, regardless of what type of family dynamic we grew up in. It all creates a powerful subconscious imprint that will still be felt today. You might have noticed that you’ve adopted some of your parent’s traits even if you disliked the behavior! There... read more

How To Plug Into Endless Energy

Even the best-lived life can be exhausting! Responsibilities at home and work, activity filled weekends, an ever-growing list of to-dos and unavoidable stress can make bedtime feel like a well-deserved vacation at the end of a long day! You deserve to relax! But if you take a look at your own life, how much natural energy do you really have? Are you constantly tired and battling to get through the day? Do you rely on coffee, tea, or other supplements to stay energized? While exhaustion is normal and an important sign of much needed rest and relaxation, more serious fatigue has a deeper more powerful source. It’s a problem that can’t be fixed with temporary boosters or even with sleep, exercise, or a change in diet. It requires a strong look within.   You Are More Powerful Than Your Impulses! Inside of your subconscious there is a great struggle taking place that is robbing you of precious energy. This battle is led by the most powerful force in the human body- the “away from pain” drive. This drive is a physiological system known as the Friend Mechanism.While it helps you survive, it also drains you of great amounts of energy as it works to keep you away from deeply stored pockets of pain in your subconscious known as bad clusters. Bad clusters are filled with powerfully negative emotions from past experiences that we usually don’t remember. The most powerful of those emotions is fear. The brain fights to keep us away from fear at all costs. This deep internal battle is the NUMBER 1 reason for our lack of... read more

1 Simple Remedy for Permanent Health

If you could change one thing- right now- about your physical health, what would it be? Maybe it’s joint or back pain that won’t go away no matter what you do or weight that has been challenging to lose. Perhaps you get sick more often than you’d like or suffer from serious allergies. It could be that you’ve lived with a long-term condition like asthma or severe migraines, fibromyalgia, epilepsy, or perhaps are struggling with a disease that significantly disrupts your daily life. It’s all in your head What if I told you that whatever you struggle with physically starts in your head? No, you’re not crazy. What you’re feeling is real! But the reason behind your health issues may not be what you think it is. Science tells us that at least 75 percent of the time, your health problems are a direct result of what’s going on in your subconscious. In other words, the content of your subconscious determines how healthy or sick you are in most cases. But why? It begins with understanding stress. We know that stress can cause serious health problems such as diabetes, fat storage, skin problems, back pain, strokes, premature aging, asthma, seizures, and much more. That’s because of how stress works. Stress is the physiological activation of the fight or flight response in our bodies. This genetic survival mechanism prompts the release of hormones, a rise in blood pressure and a spike in blood sugars. When this fight or flight response becomes over activated, our bodies pay the price. An over active fight or flight response (panic with loss of control)... read more

What Every Parent Needs To Change

Almost nothing compares to the joy and excitement of a new baby entering the world. The freshness of a new beginning and the prospect of a fulfilled life is exciting and inspiring. But the foundation for life begins months before we first enter the world. In the womb, as we connect with our mothers we also began to make connections with the sounds and sensations of the world around us. Mothers begin to parent from the moment a new life begins to form inside of them. Even before you meet your new son or daughter, you are starting to lay the building blocks of their identity. The Building Blocks As soon as an embryo’s cells start to perceive any kind of signal, they begin to code and store information. This data becomes the foundation people continue to build upon for the rest of their life. Unfortunately many experts still believe that babies have no memory of their time in the womb and even insist that what children learn the first 2 years of life completely disappears from the brain. They could not be more wrong! It’s as if to say you built a home and once you added the roof, the foundation disappeared. Sounds crazy right? That’s because it is crazy! Can you imagine just learning to recognize your mother but having no idea who she is the next time you see her? You learn by experience that crying makes this momma person show up to feed and hold you but can you imagine what would happen if those previous memories disappeared and you had no idea who this... read more
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