Sorry about the title. I had to start out with that apology, because even I feel guilty about posting something so silly. However, it is Friday and time for my silliness to shine through.

During the past week, I have been so very busy with the launch of my Living the Lucky Life CD and my office visits that I have been remiss on blogging. I admit I have been inconsistent. However, the good news is, I have been very lucky! I listen to my audio each day to be sure I still want it out there and amazing things have fallen into my lap! (Besides the cat, who really just jumps into it. – again, slipping into silly.)

I have had unexpected occurrences everyday. From 4 free tickets to a special event (my friend Claire calls me the Queen of free tickets) to connections with people out of my past, incredible opportunities opening up for me career wise. Right now, however, I am off to a local resort, Innisbrook, for some quiet time poolside to read and renew. (Now that’s lucky!)

Let me leave you with this moment of silliness: (read through and then try this with your eyes closed)

Take a moment to breathe deeply, really feeling the breath entering your lungs, filling them completely and then being released. As you release, allow yourself to relax and let go of any worries of the day. Picture and imagine that you are in a safe comfortable theater. The chairs are plush and you sink deeply into them. Begin to notice how your whole body seems to be slowing down, your heartbeat is gentle, safe and resting…….

In this theater is a huge screen, covered in the thickest of curtains. Slowly, the curtain draws back and appearing on the screen is a bright, colorful cartoon. This cartoon is filled with events that make you giggle, such as pie throwing or silly jokes. The thing you notice about the characters in this cartoon, however, is that you are the one telling jokes or throwing pies. The recipient is a compilation of all the negative events that have occurred during this past week.
I wonder if you can allow yourself to release and let go, so well, that you begin to giggle? I wonder if you can really start to laugh? Imagine if you could fill your body with good, fun, feelings? Allowing laughter to be your medicine, you enjoy a moment of respit, knowing that you can carry your secret weapon (humor) with you into the weekend and every day forward.

As you open your eyes, feel the power of humor and the great release of endorphins rushing through your body.

Happy Friday Friends!

What if I told you that you could be lucky, starting today? Luck is not just the whimsy of fate, but rather, it is a formula. It has been said that luck is when preparation meets opportunity. So, imagine being prepared and ready when happenstance occurs and turning mere chance into huge successes.

Lucky people generate their own good fortune. They use four basic principles. The first is getting rid of that stinking thinking. When you view at a circumstance, trying to understand the lesson or at the very least how this experience will be helpful to you, there is no failure, only success. How often do you hear about the person who is held up by circumstance, only to miss an accident by mere moments.

The second principle relates to trusting your intuition, recognizing opportunity knocking. Lowell W. “Bud” Paxson is a great example of this. He is one of the founders of the Home Shopping Network. He was running a radio station in Clearwater, FL. One of his advertisers had product to sell, but no money left for advertising. The radio station was in trouble. So, Bud told the DJ to sell the product on the air. It sold out! The rest is history as they say, Bud Paxon is a wealthy media executive now and the home shopping industry produces a $2 billion dollar plus annual revenue.

The third principle is simply expecting good things to happen! If you are on the look out for the good, you will be more apt to notice it. Have you ever heard a winning team say, we expected to lose? No, they go out and play as if they are going to win, regardless of the odds or hype around them. I believe that Tiger Woods expects to win every time he picks up the club!

The fourth principle is resiliency. That’s right, transform the negative into a positive. Have you seen the Nike commercial where Michale Jordon states, ” I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot – and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” Lucky people adopt that winning attitude.

Well, your luck is about to change for the better. Today, in honor of St. Patty’s I am launching my new hypnosis program, Living The Lucky Life. There are two great tracks on the CD, filled with information and a hypnotic opportunity for you. Even luckier, I am reducing the price for one week only. So go to my website and check out this Lucky deal today!

Ellie is a prolific writer on the subject of hypnosis. I enjoy her blog so very much. So, when she approached me about the 10 Questions, I was quick to respond yes.

Now she has taken the compliment one step further and asked me to be a guest blogger on The Sunday’s Question.

What’s next? We’re thinking about a game of trading spaces, we’ll let you know more soon!

Enough serious chat for the week. It’s Friday and I am in a great mood. I have had a busy and productive week.

My oldest son has been home visiting from college, Spring Break! The best part of Spring Break, is that we live in the land of Spring Breakers, sunny Florida. So, the kids are all here having fun and I know they are safe. It helps that my son is a Math Major (as well as Chemistry and a Physics minor, but I digress) because Spring Break coincided with National Pi Week. Pi, my favorite number and my favorite dessert.

We have tried to have a pi amount of pies! Only a byte of each however…..

OK, enough silliness here, time to return to silliness with the house full of kids. Let me leave you with this self-hypnosis thought:

After you read this through, close your eyes and imagine what I have written.

Taking a deep breathe, eyes closed. Allow your body to relax, the way you relax when on a warm, sunny beach. You can feel the warm sun upon your face and the gentle breezes blowing on your skin. It feels perfect. The waves are gently rolling up onto the shore and back out again. Up and out again. Perhaps you hear the birds soaring above, singing the songs of freedom. Perhaps it is simply the quiet gentle sounds of the waves and peace of knowing that you are alone on this beach, with your thoughts. Smell the sea air and allow yourself to relax into this wonderful, safe moment. Perhaps your mind will wander back to a time you spent by the shore that was fun, safe and happy. Perhaps it will create a new memory of such an event.

However your mind chooses to work, just allow this moment to be safe, calm and serene. Take this moment to create the perfect vacation for you. A momentary escape from all the expectations in your life, beginning your weekend in a wonderful, relaxed way. As you open your eyes, breathe in the moment and feel the freedom you have created in your life to enjoy the moment.

Happy Friday friends!

The Law Of Attraction states that what you focus on, you create. Well, interestingly, I am finding evidence of that this past week. Writing about rapport over the past couple of days, has made me so very aware of observing others and their interactions. I find that I am observing people in traffic, watching how they relate to their passengers in the vehicle with them. I am watching store clerks interact with customers and the wait staff in restaurants.

Last night I went to an event at the Tampa Bay Technology Forum. Prior to the speaker, there was a time to network. I approached a woman and introduced myself. She responded with a huge smile and our conversation took off. I used my practiced skill of listening. Listening, another vital part of developing rapport. I now know her whole life story. I guess you could say I established rapport.

The reason I tell this however, is not to brag about what I did. Rather, it is an observation I made during our lengthy conversation. The woman is in sales. She is bright, well educated and clearly has a passion for her product. However, she unloaded her entire pitch on me with force. She spoke so continuously that there were no breathes taken. She put her card in my hand and never asked for my information.

She was over whelming. There was no give and take, no pacing, no mirroring of my stance, breathing or any physiological signs. I changed stance, shifted, slowed down and even looked away. She was so on fire, she never noticed.

She has no way to follow up on our conversation now, as she neglected to find out how to contact me. Further more, the whole sales pitch was done without qualifying if I am in fact a good prospect.

I know of another individual who is in sales, recently changed from a phone room to a show room. He has brought his high pressure energy to an industry that is slower paced. Where he works now, you want to “court” the customer. The sales are in the millions of dollars, so it is best to allow the customer to decide there is trust in this particular deal. He presses flesh and expects a sale within an hour. Needless to say, he has not closed a single deal in the over 6 months he has been in his position and in fact has scared away prospective buyers.

Take some time to notice how well you listen. It amazes me how many times people think they know everything about me, because they have told me their life story. If pressed, they couldn’t tell you much about me, but they truly believe they know me well. Why? Because I have listened to them. Funny thing is, the more I listen, the more I learn. Listening allows me to enjoy people so much more, because many times their story really is interesting.

Yesterday I wrote about the NLP concepts of mirroring and pacing. Both are important skills to learn and make use of. After an interesting exchange I had another thought, something more I wanted to add. The tone of your voice is also vital to how well your message is understood and how well you are received. You may be saying all the right words, in all the wrong ways.

In our house, we play a game of Dude. How many ways can the word “dude” be said to communicate a whole new meaning? There is the simple “dude”, then there is “DUDE!” or else “Duuuuude” and so forth. Imagine a parent walking into your bedroom and saying, “look at your room”. That can be a pleasant voice, filled with delight at a cleaning job well done. It can also be an angry statement about a job still not done. It can be a mention of the new furnishings. It all has to do with the tone.

So, take a moment and practice some familiar phrases in front of the mirror. Use different tones and inflections and listen to the differences you are trying to communicate. Keep this in mind next time you are in a conversation where you feel misunderstood. Did your voice speak your true meaning? Were you smiling in your voice as well the smile on your face or were you sending mixed signals. Be clear in your intent, then use your words and your tone as tools for communication.

There was an article sent to me today about building rapport with clients. It is essential for me to build rapport with my clients in order for our work together to be successful. I realize however, that it is essential to build rapport with anyone whom I hope to engage in a peaceful relationship. In Fawn Germer’s book (The New Woman Rules), she discusses how important networking is. Networking is work Germer states.

Over and again, the successful women she wrote about, mention the relationships they build along their journeys. One particularly interesting analogy came from Tara Weiner. She spoke of tribal dances performed by men of the tribe before the hunt or to bring rain. The dance isn’t about making rain or improving the hunt as much as it is about bonding. Building rapport with each other.

Neuro-lingusitic programming offers many ways of creating rapport. If you observe two people conversing who have rapport, you notice how they naturally move in step with each other. It is like a dance, elegant and in unison. In NLP, this is called matching and mirroring. One wants to be aware, however, not to just mimic. People respond positively to mirroring, while they do not like mimicry or the feeling that they are being made fun of.

The other thing to keep in mind is pacing. In order to lead somebody, to influence them with your point of view, remember to really listen to them. You want to fully acknowledge them and truly understand where they have come from. Remember, be patient about it.

This is only the beginning of building rapport, but two very important steps. Observe people while you are out and about over the next few days. Notice if you can tell without hearing a word they speak whether they are happy to be together or angry or even disinterested.

Recently I have had the good fortune of being introduced to an incredible author. Fawn Germer is a Pulitzer-nominated author of two best selling books, “Hard Won Wisdom” and “Mustang Sallies”. Fawn has been recommended by Oprah Winfrey, so how much more can I say? When I obtained my copy of her latest book, “The New Woman Rules” (More than 50 trailblazers share their wisdom) I could not wait to sit down and read it. It has been more like devour it!

This book is the personal stories of extraordinary businesswomen who have more than succeeded, they are at the very top! These women vary in background and education, but they are all leaders. In reading their stories, they seem like my friends, sisters and colleagues. So, what makes them so different? Why did they get to the top when so many don’t? Fawn carefully explains the lessons they share from don’t hesitate to raise your hand to ask others for help.

I think what struck me the most however, was the amazing ability that each of these women had to rely on their inner wisdom. They explored their inspirations and allowed whatever was meant to be, be. I am not saying they ran wildly into the night spending foolishly at the expense of the company they worked for. It is just that they also did not over analyze their instincts. Not every experiment was a success, either.

Cathy Green, the COO of Food Lion tells of an experiment to expand a store she was managing early in her career. She was successful in increasing sales and needed more space for product. So, she decided to add a tent outside. The town council required a $15,000 sidewalk installed for this tent, she had the expense of Muzak, lights and shelving. When it was finished, she says it was debatable if they even made $100 from it. Here is her take on it,”Someone looking in might say it was a failure. But it gave me broad learning about working with town politics, driving business and bringing a vision to life. You learn from everything. Failure is not an option.”

Over and over I read those sentiments in the book. Each of these women had the vision to see what lessons they learned and keep on going. Many of them made lateral moves along the way, some even stepped down in order to step up later. These women were able to “re-frame” the events in their lives in a way that benefited them, their co-workers and their companies.

Fawn sums the lessons up so well in her conclusion. To quote her, “Be your true self. You are your greatest asset, so work it.” Later she states,”See yourself as belonging at the top, and you will belong at the top.” In other words, release fear and visualize the life you desire now!

Thank you Fawn for writing this incredible book!

Oh sleep! it is a gentle thing,
Beloved from pole to pole.
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Do you feel as though you sleep walk through your days? Do you spend hours awake in bed with your mind racing, only to have it shut down during the day? Sleep deprivation sufferers number from 50 to 70 million nationwide! This is National Sleep Awareness Week and no one is more aware than the weary.

Lack of sleep adds weight to our bodies. Insufficient sleep affects growth hormone secretion that is linked to obesity. With a chronic lack of sleep the amount of hormone secretion decreases and the chance for weight gain increases. But wait, there’s more! According to the National Sleep Foundation, “Blood pressure usually falls during the sleep cycle, however, interrupted sleep can adversely affect this normal decline, leading to hypertension and cardiovascular problems. Research has also shown that insufficient sleep impairs the body’s ability to use insulin, which can lead to the onset of diabetes.”

I have a client who was a chronic non-sleeper. I know because her emails to me arrived in the middle of the night, waiting for me to rouse from my slumber to see her frustrations spelled out in black and white. Her battle with the bulge was surpassed by the struggle to sleep. She ached through out the day and ate to comfort herself at night. Double whammy!

We reviewed the practical suggestions of the National Sleep Foundation and then added hypnosis to the mix. We worked in my office on creating the mind set to sleep, allowing that inner voice to quiet. I gave her a recording I created with hypnotic suggestions helping her to fall asleep to. I am delighted to say, she is now “sleeping like a baby” and releasing excess weight.

Sorry, writing this has made me tired, I think I will go take a power nap……

Scientists have confirmed what the overwhelmed have already known. Stress increases aging. Want proof? Just look at the aging that occurs in our presidents after four years in office. Increasing scientific evidence suggests that prolonged stress takes its toll on the body, in other words there is no separation between mind and body. According to a study done at UCSF, our bodies respond to our psychological environment. It was further reported that chronic stress may modulate the rate of cellular aging by affecting molecules believed to play a key role in the weakening of the immune function.

Our DNA is affected by stress. Researchers examined structures inside cells called telomeres, the caps at the ends of chromosomes. These are the molecules that carry genes. In a study at UCSF with two control groups, the findings reported that the telomeres of women with the highest perceived psychological stress showed the effects of the equivalent of approximately 10 years of accelerated aging. This was compared with the women across both groups who had the lowest perception of being stressed.

I have a dear friend who last year went through tremendous stress in her life. She dealt with the difficult illness and eventual death of a friend/mentor. Her teaching career, which had always been her passion, became more about numbers than the sharing of information with a new regime taking over the college. Her family dealt with an upheaval and her health is challenged by a chronic illness. Those of us who love her, became concerned.

She was fortunate, she was able to retire and move to the mountains for 6 months of the year. She spent time hiking and reflecting. She took time to heal. Upon her return, I could not believe it was the same friend. She looks ten years younger and is more like herself once again.

We don’t all have the good fortune of retiring and moving away like that. However, imagine making the choice to change the stress in your life today. Reduce stress by 10% at first and then continue to reduce stress 10% at a time until it is manageable. Begin with deep breathing. It is a physiological impossibility to feel stress and breathe deeply in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Humor is our friend. Through humor we are able to re-frame a situation and quiet the inner critic. This allows you to gain perspective and release endorphins, the feel good chemicals of the brain. Personally, I remind my son every morning on his way to school to find a reason to smile and laugh. I ask him after school, did anything happen today that made you smile?

Hypnosis is an awesome opportunity for stress relief. Picture and imagine sitting someplace safe and allowing your thoughts wander to comfort and serenity. Allow your muscles to relax, releasing tensions and tightness. Then just imagine that everything in your world is right. After all, in this moment, it is. I think I will go relax into a hypnotic state myself now……..

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