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A Case for Alternative Facts

Sometimes, I wonder . . .if space aliens are watching the human race, they might think we are actually crazy.  Imagine how they observe all the things that we create causal relationship to.  For example:

“When I eat cheese puffs, I get bloated and they go straight to my thighs.”

“As soon as money comes in, it goes right out the door.”

“Every time I get praise, someone is there to knock me down”

“Calling a guy after the first date will push him away.”

“Menopause causes hot flashes, irritability and low sex drive.”

Our human experience is full of what’s called false-causality – a fallacy based on the mistaken assumption that because one event follows another, the first event caused the second.  We create them, we speak them and worse, we expect them (which from a Law of Attraction point of view), creates more evidence of them.  Then we naturally create behaviors to create even more evidence of them, OR behaviors to protect ourselves from them.

As children, this skill is part of our survival.  From the time of our birth and through the development of our more rational prefrontal cortex, creating a predictable causal map of the world is crucial to our well-being.  Yet, even as children, much of our map is full of FALSE causality.  Consider this:

Baby is learning to walk.

Baby holds on to couch as she walks the entire length of the couch – from one end to the other.

Baby gets to the end of couch and cat (who has been sitting there watching), meows.

Baby is startled and loses balance as she also runs out of couch.

Baby cries and falls.

Conclusion – Cat made me fall.

False Causal Relationship – When a cat meows, I get scared and fall.

Behavior – Avoid cats (and sometimes by extension, couches.)

It’s silly right?  But our subconscious is FULL of stuff like this we don’t even question. Over time, they become facts nested neatly in the “How We Were Raised” bucket.  And as we re-experience these facts, we reaffirm them.  But the truth remains – correlation is NOT causation.  Just because two things correlate does not necessarily mean that one causes the other.  Consider another example:

Just because people spend more on sweets, candy, roses and chocolate around Valentine’s Day, doesn’t mean that Valentine’s Day CAUSES increased spending or that sweets, candy, roses and chocolate causes increased spending.  No brainer, right?  Valentine’s Day doesn’t CAUSE spending. Sweets, candy, roses and chocolates do not CAUSE spending.

Yet, if one wanted to suggest proof of causality of any relationship, it wouldn’t be difficult.  All one would have to do is create an experiment that creates the APPEARANCE of a causal relationship.  How do you create the appearance of a causal relationship?  Easy.

  1. Simply line up the two things you want to relate.
  2. Collect evidence of when the appearance of one correlates with the appearance of the other.
  3. Ignore evidence NOT in favor of the causal relationship.
  4. Reinforce and reaffirm that the causal relationship is real (talk about it, think about it, speak about it).
  5. Anchor the evidence with some emotion (feel about it).

Collecting evidence of a causal relationship is powerful.  Anchoring that evidence with emotion bumps it up the priority scale in the subconscious mind and ensures you will collect even more evidence of it and lock it in as something REAL in your experiment.   The more you believe it is real, the more real it is, the more evidence you expect, the more evidence you enjoy in your reality. This is how facts are made.  It’s an insidious cycle that even big pharma exploits to show causal relationship between drug and cure. Just sayin’.

Consider this:  Every morning you wake up, affirm and replay GOOGLES and GOOGLES of false facts.  Old stuff – stuff that’s NOT working for you.  Yet, what if you were to use the same skill to create and affirm NEW causal relationships – new causal relationships that create more of the life you want – “Alternative Facts” if you will, that actually serve you.  What if:

“When I eat cheese puffs, I lose weight.”

“When I spend money, double comes back to me.”

“There is no getting knocked down.  There is praise and course correction.”

“When I call a guy after a first date, I am expressing my independence and confidence.”

“Being in menopause makes me feel vibrant, vital, healthy and energetic.”

If you feel some inner resistance to this, observe the objection trying to rise up.  It will probably be something along the lines of:

“But that’s not true.”

“That’s not reality.”

“That’s not what studies show.”

“That’s not what my doctor says.”

“That’s not what I read on the internet.”

“That’s not how I was raised.”

Of course, that’s what YOU would say when you have no evidence of this causal relationship in your reality.  You don’t yet have enough data to say that is a fact because you’re not collecting evidence of it.  Not to mention, you are also stacking your results with the data collected from OTHER PEOPLE’S experiment. And this is what OTHERS would say to you when they want you to affirm THEIR version of the facts.

But if you want a life filled with evidence of your own causal relationships – things that serve you, make you happy and cause you to thrive, there’s only one thing to do – create the relationships, collect the evidence and affirm the new facts.

Let me know if you need help with this.  I do it for every-day folks, every day.



As Long As It Takes

My husband and I recently went through a difficult season. We began marriage counseling in the Spring of 16. I’m not embarrassed or ashamed to admit that. Any good marriage requires care, tending and practice to develop the skills necessary to keep it strong. When we engaged the counselor weekly at $150 per session, even though both of us were very frustrated, angry and financially strapped, I never remember a moment when I had a question in my mind of “how long is this going to take?” It was really just kind of an understanding that we were going to work on this until we fixed it or until we realized it was not fixable – because that’s what our marriage deserved. Less than a year later, we celebrated Christmas and New Years with the merging our hearts in our happy household again.

My daughter was diagnosed dyslexic in the first grade. Now, I’m not much for labels, but I understand it’s what the school needed to be able to give her the services she needed to demonstrate mastery in the system. At the time, we engaged tutoring for 3 days a week for $50 per hour. We drove 2 hours up and back after school for 5 years. Yet, at no point during that journey to get my daughter where she needed to be, do I never remember a moment of “how long is this going to take” or “how many sessions this is going to take.” It was just “as long as it takes.” That’s what my daughter deserved. She deserved that kind of focused commitment as long as she needed until she felt she had a solid foundation to succeed. Today, she is a smart, savvy and successful high school senior in AP classes with a stellar GPA looking forward to college in the fall.

A few years ago, I found a lump in my left breast and a few months later, two more lumps in the right breast. I went through all of the traditional approaches to bringing resolution to this issue. Doctor appointment after doctor appointment, procedure after procedure, copay after copay. And again, my focus was “as long as it takes.” Because that’s what I deserved. Today, I am happy to report that one lump was removed and I resolved the other two through hypnotherapy, clean believing, eating, and living. I am stronger and healthier than ever before thanks to a devoted family and skilled practitioners who shared with me the “as long as it takes” mindset.

When I speak with prospective clients, the first question they pose is often “how long is this going to take?” My response – “as long as it takes.”  I usually add that I follow the client and empower them to resolve their issue as quickly as they desire.

Folks who want crock pot results in microwave time have a problem with this response. They want to know exactly how long and how much it’s going to cost before even starting the process – even though there are NO change work modalities out there that can give you this guarantee.  Then they weigh resolving the problem against time and money, and impose expectations on the process, practitioner and the outcome. The result of this mindset? Stress and disappointment.  When it doesn’t happen the way they expect, in the time they expect, and at the cost they expect they now have a problem AND frustration.  Sadly, they give up on the work and grow further and further away from their goal.

People who are serious about creating resolution, understand the “as long as it takes” mindset. They know it places focus on their commitment and continual effort to get to their goal. They acknowledge change as a process, celebrating and honoring every step and every shift (large or small) enjoyed during the journey knowing it’s all adding up to inevitable resolution.

If you are struggling in any area of your life, whether you work with me now or later, I invite you to adopt a “as long as it takes” mindset. Commit to fully resolving what’s going on for you with that same intention, energy and intensity that you would to the most serious issue in your life. That intention, energy and intensity acts like an accelerator – a driver that ignites resources known and unknown to you. The happy byproduct may just be a more rapid resolution than you ever dreamed possible.

Looking forward to working with you soon, and to seeing where we grow.

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. . . .

. . . .but can you teach him to carve?

This time of the year, we do a lot of carving. We carve pumpkins. We carve turkeys. We carve cakes and pies. We carve out time for friends, family and football. We are pretty good carvers. So, what if I told you, you could also carve new pathways in your brain? Not possible, you say? Well, if you buy into that idea that you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, then you are right.

But, if you are willing to consider a new truth, you will celebrate knowing that your brain is like a big ball of silly putty – able to be shaped into a zillion different configurations to serve up your very best you! What makes that possible? Neuroplasticity, according to MedicineNet, is “the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to . . . adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment.”

Why celebrate this? Well, put simply, old dog, it means you don’t have to learn any new tricks. You just have to carve – carve new pathways in the brain. Not only is it possible, but it’s scientifically proven. What’s more, the brain was designed to do it and it’s doing this all the time whether we apply conscious effort or not. The brain’s ability to learn, wire and rewire and re-use pathways is an adaptation that has evolved in the interest of your survival. So, if you don’t like your reality, you can carve out new pathways by simply changing your beliefs, thoughts and behaviors and reinforcing them. It’s that simple.

Check out this video by Sentis and pay attention to the part where the white arrows are replaced by the yellow arrows. This is new pathways overwriting old pathways. This is brain change. This is life change. Think about it. What if this was your brain overwriting old beliefs and limitations, or how you respond to certain people, or certain situations or even how you respond to pie! The possibilities are endless!

So this autumn, create a new reality by carving out some time to carve out some new pathways in the brain. Not sure how to get started?

Step 1 – Breathe, imagine a new reality and believe it’s possible to be in that reality. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Bang. New pathway created. Wasn’t that easy?

Step 2 – contact me and let me help you take it to a whole new level. I’m a living breathing example that even old dogs can carve out a new life.

Happy carving!

Houston, We Have a Filter

October 28, 2014

Like most of us, I enjoy movies and am rarely without an observation about life that hasn’t been characterized in some snippet of a scene from movies both popular and obscure. Some of these snippets conveniently embody entire concepts. So when I find myself at a loss for everyday words to explain the models I work with in my practice, I call upon these snippets for help communicating an idea. In some cases, recounting an entire scene is necessary.

“Houston, we have a problem.” Even if you didn’t see Apollo 13, you will recognize the line. Even if you don’t know that the statement was made in reference to a technical fault in the electrical system of one of Apollo 13’s Command Module’s oxygen tanks, you get the gist of what it means. More important, when you hear those words, or any similar phrase, something is triggered in your body.

The sympathetic nervous system detects the situation and immediately runs the FIGHT, FLIGHT OR FREEZE program. Normal, natural, human response to the problem scenario. After all, your subconscious has repeatedly rehearsed the reaction for situations both real and imagined your entire life, just so it can execute the safest response to the situation. Even if you didn’t see the movie, you could imagine that what followed those 5 words was an hour of nail-biting drama, where the audience was entertained to feel as much fear and panic as the astronauts likely felt back then – (as if we ever could.) Well, if you did see the movie, you know how quickly the focus shifted from the problem to finding a solution . . . making the Command Module’s square CO2 filters fit the round CO2 filters in the Lunar Module. NASA engineers quickly assembled to solve that age old problem — how to fit a square peg in a round hole using only materials the astronauts had on board. As an audience, we were glued and even though there was a solution in sight, our bodies stayed on the hook for the next 60 minutes. What’s up with that?

Just like in real life, when faced with a problem, the simple act of shifting our focus from the problem to finding a solution doesn’t always let our bodies off the hook. Focusing on the solution can sometimes even make you feel worse, because the act initiates the FIGHT, FLIGHT, or FREEZE program for an entirely new set of reasons. Worse, while those programs are running, our creativity is not accessible and we lose any executive function or problem solving that does not facilitate the fighting, fleeing or freeing. So even having NASA level expertise and ingenuity at your disposal, does not do much for you in the moment. This is because the prime directive of the subconscious mind is to run programs to keep you safe and comfortable and it won’t deactivate these programs until it is nestled safely in evidence of safety.

It’s not enough for a solution to be “in sight,” it has to be “in hand” before the subconscious lets your body off the hook. Exactly how long this process takes is unique to every individual. But one thing remains evident – the longer your body and mind stay engaged in the fight, flight or freeze program, the longer it takes you to return to your resourcefulness and the longer it takes to really solve a problem.

So what if you could improve your ability to do creative problem solving in the moment. Stop for a minute and breath in the phrase “Houston, we have a filter.” Let that resonate with your body. Feel the relief, feel the gratitude, feel the hope and optimism that accompanied those words. This is the moment where NASA Engineers triumphantly communicated success in creating a filter solution using plastic bags and duct tape. This is the moment where the body really gets off the hook. And it’s the REAL moment where creativity resides. It’s the moment where your mind opens back up to it’s resources and where your body can vibrate and attract new ideas and insights. Trouble is, it takes place after the fact. So to truly harness the power of your creative problem solving, to be truly resourceful, you need to begin with the end in mind. Borrow that sensation you feel at the end of the process and apply it to the front end of the problem solving process.

Sounds crazy, right? It’s possible, if you can learn that when your body perceives a problem, you can use that “feeling” being communicated to simply default to a new program – a new program called “Trust That I Can Handle Anything.” Whether you believe you are a child of God, sliver of the infinite universe, or a 4 cylinder battery with a finite charge, you have the ability to conceive, believe and receive your problem solving success in advance. When you move into a problem from this understanding, from this knowing, with this confidence, in this trust vibration, you can really solve problems on the fly using the highest volume of resources available to you. Feeling that success also raises the vibration to attract and realize that success. Success becomes inevitable.

Give it a try and then practice (the more you practice, the faster and more efficiently the program runs). Next time you sense a problem, close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths – one for the body, one for the soul and one for the mind. With each exhale, say out loud “I can handle anything.” Then dive right in with your duct tape and baggies and build yourself a filter. . . . or an entirely new life.

Walking Through A Doorway Can Make You Forget

September 20, 2014 – Stop kicking yourself up for getting up, walking through a doorway and forgetting what you were going to do or where you were going.  According to this article, “some forms of memory seem to be optimized to keep information ready-to-hand until its shelf life expires, and then purge that information in favor of new stuff.”

Walking through a doorway apparently facilitates this purging. . .as if to say “Hey, what you were doing in THAT room doesn’t matter anymore.  Get ready for what you need to do in THIS room.”

What if you could change unwanted or maladaptive behavior in the same way? Let’s get in there and walk around in the rooms of your mind and see if we can purge old patterns and habits!  Sounds like fun!
Why Walking through a Doorway Makes You Forget

Dec 13, 2011 |By Charles B. Brenner and Jeffrey M. Zacks

Patterns, Patterns Everywhere

July 3, 2014 – I’ve always been fascinated by patterns. When I was a kid, it would drive people crazy. Put me on a playground, and I was more likely to study the distribution of children across the space or the size and height of the child in relationship to the size and height hopscotch square, then I was to actually play on the playground.

I remember being mesmerized by the two MC Escher prints we had in our living room, lingering endlessly on the critical intersection where one pattern morphed into the next. Imagining myself walking up and down and through the stairs or flying alongside the black and white geese. Becoming one with the pattern.

And in my bedroom – sleeping beneath a hand knitted blanket of alternating green yellow and white chevrons. And in my closet a colorful array of shirts and dresses, neatly arranged and organized by color – of the rainbow. Absent any patterns, a pattern in itself.

Fast-forward into high school, and I excel in geometry and the patterns of math. And for fun join the colorguard – which is really just synchronized movement through patterns, choreographed music.

In college, I am drawn to music composition and theory – patterns in music. And anthropology – the study of patterns in human culture culminating in a senior thesis examining the non-metric cranial traits of pre-Colombian peoples to discern familial patterns in ancient burial grounds. Patterns.

And in Grad school, more of the same. I’m a faithful student of the continual process improvement model, the foundation for creating change through the study of patterns and improvement of process.

And well, now, I’m a certified clinical and transpersonal pattern hunter, living the dream . . .in a world of patterns.

Looking back, at no point, did I ever entertain the thought of having a career helping others break free from some of their patterns and learn to trust others. Teaching, yes. Training Yes. Helping other’s turn on their light bulb. Of course. But getting into the minutia of other peoples stuff to help them with their own patterns? No thank you. Too messy. I didn’t even like getting into my own stuff. I remember the frustration, and anxiety of not knowing my purpose or what direction to take my life – failing to notice that purpose was having its way with my life already. Purpose expressing through a pattern. But the evidence was there all along. I was too caught up living with the effects of being in a pattern to notice the pattern itself.

Sometimes you have to look back on your life, zoom out to see the true trajectory of where it’s really going. Where I used to see a child’s survival adaptation to some . . . how do I say. . .inconsistent messages growing up, I now see the building blocks of a divine purpose unfolding over an arc of time. All because of patterns. Thank God for patterns. My crazy obsession with patterns, may just be the thing, that helps you change your life.

I Can Do Hard Things. . .And So Can You

April 22, 2014 — I recently ventured into the practice of Bickram Yoga.  I practiced Gentle Yoga on and off for about a year and like many, had a positive reaction to it.  It simply feels good.  The poses can be intense, and you need to focus while making tiny adjustments as you go to get the most from the practice.  But the tension is temporary, and as you improve your form, you find the tension is actually lengthening, stretching, and even healing muscles, ligaments, tendons, connective tissue etc.   It’s creating flexibility and flexibility is good for your body.  It’s also a dynamic blend of invigoration and relaxation.   When you get in the zone, it’s like your body remembers how to clear the liquid and musculus blocks to let things flow.  It’s like it remembers the connection to the primordial source energy and essence and receives this light into every nook and cranny with a sigh. . . “Ahhh. . I’m alive and thriving again.”

Today, I decided to step up my game.  A new studio opened up down the street and I was thrilled. (Lazy Dani believes she is more likely to go if she doesn’t have to drive as far.)  This studio offered something I had never done before — Bickram Yoga.  Bickram Yoga is not your momma’s Yoga.  It’s practiced in a heated studio and consists of a series of 26 poses and 2 breathing exercises performed over a 90 minute period.  Let me tell you right now. . . in Yoga, there are never only 2 breathing exercises.  The foundation for the practice IS focus and breath.  So if you are NOT breathing, then the practice really suffers and you can end up suffering throughout the session.  It was both a mental and physical challenge that I met with a little bit of fear and a ton of humility.  The instructor was fantastic.  I told her later that her delivery was drill sergeant meets – meditation facilitator.  Worked for me.  I had the power of positive thinking on my side and my eye on the exit.. . just in case.

Starting about 3 minutes into this experience I sweat.  Let me clarify.  Think about sweating. . . and now jack it up 1000 times.  I didn’t just sweat, I was a human shower.  I was grateful for the space between me and my neighbors.  I never sweat so much in my life.  It was pouring out of ever pore in my body — in places I didn’t ever realize had sweat glands.  Ridiculous.  There was so much sweat.   I hate to sweat but it didn’t seem to bother me.  I guess it’s because I knew that I was purging my body of toxins.  This is good.  Still, I had to laugh.  It was raining on my mat.

I worked hard to release my expectations of the experience and of my own abilities by staying focused in the moment and on my breath.  If a pose was too much for me, I modified, and continued to breathe.  If it was not as difficult, I rotated a bit more into the pose to get more out of it and continued to breathe.  Instead of judging myself for what I couldn’t do, I expressed gratitude for whatever flexibility did come, whatever stamina and strength was available.  As such, it was a peaceful, loving gesture I rarely remember to extend myself — thanking my body for what it is and what it can do. . .as opposed to criticizing it  for what it isn’t and what it can’t do.

90 minutes was tough.  I struggled here and there, but throughout, continued to rely upon my mantra to get me through — “I Can Do Hard Things.”  I was grateful when it ended, taking extra time in the Shavasana pose to express gratitude for the healing that was starting to come, for the mental, emotional and physical integration that was taking place as result of this experience.   I remember breathing a sigh of relief as I was packing up my things, wondering about how I will feel later — if I could do this again in 2 days.  And again, I heard “I Can Do Hard Things.”  I smiled and floated out to my car partly riding on this natural high. . . but also because I wasn’t sure if I could really feel my legs.

As I drove home, I reflected upon the Mantra that got me through the experience.  “I Can Do Hard Things.”  Yes, indeed I can.  I tried something new today and I saw it all the way to the end.  I challenged my body to go places it’s never been.  I challenged my mind to focus in ways I forget I have the capacity to do.   It reminded me of our approach to the mental and emotional issues we deal with in our every day lives.  What would happen if we applied 90 minutes of the same kind of focus and dedication to clearing our mental and emotional blocks.  The tension would be temporary and the happy by product would be flexibility which is good for you mind.  You would tap into the primordial energy your deep inner mind, into the essence of spirit to engage your inner resources — inspiring new thoughts and new connections, emotional strength and insight.  And what if your Mantra in this effort was “I Can Do Hard Things.”  Where could you go?  Where could you grow?

This is why I love being a hypnotherapist.  Hypnosis is all this and so much more . . . .  minus the sweat.  Thank God!