walks in the park

This is my story, maybe it will help inspire you, maybe it won’t. What I am not going to do is tell you how you should be dealing with the quarantine. There are plenty of experts who are offering advice. Also,there are a ton of talking heads stirring up your worst fears and then offering ways to calm them down again, until the next headline. Furthermore, there are too many Hollywood stars doling out admonitions from the comfort of their spacious mansions, creating a resentment from their fan base. I am simply going to share what has worked for me and kept my spirits up.

We started early in the quarantine as my husband’s company decided to start work from home (WFH) almost immediately and why not? The company has the technology to do so. This created a change in my living and working as I was already WFH, however, that included most of my clients coming to see me in my home office. Because my husband and I are no spring chickens and because he has a history of heart concerns, we decided that I needed to move towards online work, via Zoom or Facebook Portal or other means.

Initially, I kept busy

with my clients as my schedule always has been, just done exclusively by remote. Then I noticed the palpable fear of the medical professionals and so I added free sessions to anyone in the field. That has taken over a good number of my sessions. I trust that I will be able to get back to a more balanced schedule soon enough, in the meanwhile this is my way of paying it forward.

I like structure in my life. For me, this means I have continued with a routine. Awakening early every morning to walk the dogs and feed them, followed by my normal schedule of cleaning my home and exercise for my body. Next, I ablute and once dressed, head downstairs to my office. If I have sessions scheduled, I begin with those. Otherwise I am working on paperwork and all the background stuff that I do to keep in business.


There is more downtime simply by the nature of this quarantine. That is where it has become particularly important that I use it well. By that, I mean find ways to nurture me. Today, I overheard the backyard neighbors’ little children shrieking with delight as they ran through the water sprinkler. I moved my laptop out to my back porch so I could enjoy the unfettered joy. With my husband home that has given me cherished “water cooler time”. That is time to take a break and just talk about nothing in particular. At the end of our workday, we walk through the park with our dogs. We are in almost total isolation, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature.

I have taken the time to learn new recipes, nothing earth shattering mind you. Still I discovered that enchilada sauce doesn’t have to come from a can. And egg drop soup is relatively easy to make. Claiming a shortage in the meat department, I have even included more plant-based meals into our diet. He is enjoying them!

Although I am unable to physically visit with my sons and their partners, we are fortunate to have the Facebook Portal. Therfore, we have held family happy hours and chat sessions. Most of that time is spent in gales of laughter, just like the old days around our dinner table. Speaking of dinner, we are having our food and supplies delivered. Without the distraction of shiny displays I am saving money! In support of local businesses, we get take-out a few meals a week.

I have had projects waiting for me to have free time. Some of them will still wait, I guess they weren’t a priority. Others, such as going through old photos and scaling back the quantity has given me the gift of recalling some wonderful memories. My plants are happy with the attention given to them now, just like some of my friendships. It is fun exchanging funny memes and thoughts and inspirations with friends and loved ones. It helps me to look for and read what feeds my soul. Selfishly, I am enjoying all the time I have with my husband.

What I am not doing

is overdosing on news. I watch enough to be aware, not so much as to ride the roller coaster that media would provide. Nor am I joining in negativity and trash talking; whether it is social media, texts or phone calls. If a dark moment seems to encroach on my mind or my soul, I do self-hypnosis or meditate. Using the other tools in my toolkit to reframe that moment as well. I am doing my best not to judge anyone else for how they are reacting to this quarantine, no one needs or wants my opinion anyway. Let me note, I refuse to feel guilty if I don’t behave perfectly, these are imperfect times.

Just as I started this, this is my story, it is not meant to “should” on you. I hope it may inspire you. If you have ways of coping that will inspire me, please share! I am always open to new ideas.

Are you one of the New Year’s Resolutions failures? Life has settled back into routine now that the holidays are over, including the old habit you had resolved to change. After all the parties and celebrations came the traditional New Year’s Resolution. According to statistics only eight percent of those who made a resolution will be successful at keeping them. When one doesn’t keep the resolution, it can lead to feelings of failure. I shudder to think that 92 percent of us feel like failures, it brings up images of the walking dead.

I recently had a client tear up as she told me how she has repeatedly failed at her goal of weight loss. She has managed to go down on the scale in the past, only to bring the numbers back up and even surpass previous weights. This year was going to be her year, until she failed again! With that the tears poured down her face. While in trance she discovered that she was sabotaging herself due to old, unresolved family issues. We have worked on forgiveness and learning the lessons from those situations. We have worked on improved self-esteem. What we haven’t worked on is her weight.

Guess what? I am sure you already know; her weight magically has begun to go down. Yep, she is no longer stuffing her emotions or trying to protect herself with those extra layers.

Another woman called me about her desire to quit smoking. She has made it up to 3 months in the past and then always picks the cigarette up again. She told me, “I just can’t fail again, I NEED to quit.” I encouraged her to visit with me, to determine if she was ready to quit. Using ‘muscle testing’ we determined she really did want to stop. Now, we just needed to find the key.

As we chatted, she revealed that she had started smoking with her sister, sneaking cigarettes from their parents. It became a bonding experience for them, one that she continues ‘in memory’ of her sister. Stopping smoking meant she might abandon her sister’s memory. With that we were able to find a new way to memorialize her sister, reminding her that her sister would want her to be as healthy as possible. She stopped smoking in that moment.

A gentleman called me to ask about his son’s nail biting. He desperately wanted to stop biting his nails, made it a resolution regularly, but he would find himself mindless chewing away at his nails once again. The nail biting began during a particularly challenging time for the family, a bad medical diagnosis for mom right as Dad changed jobs due to downsizing. This poor kid felt like his whole world was topsy-turvy.  We addressed what he could and could not control and worked on learning to utilize the coping skills he had and a few new ones learned that day. We didn’t mention the nail biting, however, it has stopped.

There are as many resolutions as there are people making them.

If you find a method that works for you, use it! However, if you are challenged with keeping your goals consider hypnosis. So whether you want to develop an unshakable self-confidence, quit smoking, lose weight or eliminate insomnia, with your amazing inner mind it can be accomplished. Hypnosis is a powerful tool for making lasting life changes. Your mind is very powerful, and you can harness its power for your betterment.

In The Midst Of Chaos

The message was on my phone when I awoke on a Saturday morning about one and a half months ago.  My mother was found on the floor in a fetal position, scared, undressed and confused. When she couldn’t be helped up, the ambulance was called and she was taken to a local hospital. Since then I have spent part of almost every day with her, first at the hospital and now at the rehab center. As anyone who has dealt with an aging parent knows, it can be a rollercoaster of highs, lows and in-betweens. Simultaneously, I have been spending some time with a friend who has her own health challenges.finding balance

My challenge, I found was to maintain balance. Or at this moment, finding balance. You know the balance I so often speak of? Now was a chance to put into practice what I teach. While I am not new to this, ‘crisis management’ is not my first choice of fun things to do. But, I want to live a happy and fun life.

Naturally the first thing to remember is to breathe. What happens in stressful situations? We get tense and experience shortness of breath. Driving to and from, I noticed I was holding my breath and choking the steering wheel. I reminded myself on the way to visit Mom, take deep breathes at every stop light. I found myself enjoying the commute, it was a chance to clear my head and prepare for whatever I was going to next encounter. Cars that raced ahead of mine I noticed often ended waiting at the same lights with me.  Hmmm…..

Finding the humor in every day is vital. Mom was always a funny woman, bright and a great story teller. I had asked her a few years ago to answer in emails a series of questions about her childhood. This was to preserve those memories for my sons. They have come in handy now, as I could remind her of them and get her to laugh with me. We laughed over memories of pets, naughty things my younger brothers had pulled (as twins they were truly double trouble) and ways she had hoodwinked her own beleaguered mother. What she didn’t know was that some of the things she would say in her moments of confusion, I posted on my Facebook account to allow me to save the humor in even this situation.

Facebook Posts

  • Mom: I need a hypnotist

         Me: Mom, I am a hypnotist

         Mom: A real, bona-fide hypnotist?

         Me: Yes, the real deal, I have won awards for my work.

                  What do you need?

         Mom: Oh never mind, I can’t remember.


  • Mom told me her pain pill was confused, it thought it was a computer. I asked her if she could use her programming skills to create a pain free experience. She decided to develop that process.


I do my best to get proper sleep, exercise and eat healthy. It is easy when one is busy to forget those things; still it is very important to remember self-care. If I find myself slipping, I practice self-hypnosis. Taking the time for a session can turn the day around! Sometimes it is as typical a session as releasing the stress, other times it might be allowing my subconscious mind to direct me to how to resolve an issue that arises. Always it is a good opportunity to refresh and return to calm within, regardless of chaos that might be surrounding me.

I can’t rehearse for guilt

Another balance tool is sharing a little time with a friend. Some friends I reach out to by phone, others in person. Sometimes it is to vent or cry, but most times to “catch up” and laugh. Just today I had an opportunity to meet with a friend, unscheduled! I had an appointment on my calendar, but it was rescheduled at last minute. This left me with time that I could dutifully go see my mother, work on paperwork, clean or any of a dozen tasks. I thought about it for a moment and decided all those things were going to continue to call out to me, but I craved friendship and balance. I called a girlfriend who met up with me and we had a marvelous time.

As we were speaking, I said to her that I knew I could end up feeling guilty for the things I didn’t do for my mother when she eventually leaves us. However, I also know that the stages of grief will happen. Therefore, it dawned on me that I can’t rehearse for guilt. That wasn’t going to eliminate the guilt later, only mess up the NOW. Balance means living in the now.

Although it is hard to say no when Mom wants me, there are times I have to. Refusing the woman who I have loved my entire life is a challenge. It is then that I must recall that just as she had to say no to me at times as I grew up, I may have to do the same now. At times I allow the professionals to take over.  She sent me to school and that meant that others watched over and guided me, just as the nurses and caregivers where she is are doing the same for her.

Finding Balance

The search for balance is hard but necessary. With a healthy balance, the guilt will not feel as prevalent. The answer is never obvious.  It is important to keep my mind open to new ways to explore it, balance is never that far away. Balance is within.

Wish you were “feelin’ groovy” as Simon and Garfunkel once sang? You know, able to slow down because you move too fast? It seems as though that plea has been around for as long as mankind, yet the more we create time savers, the busier we become. We watch TV while surfing the web on our iPads, we walk down the street while talking on the phone. We listen to music while driving or tweet and update statuses on Facebook and Foursquare, checking messages at the stop lights.

Now add to that our work can be stressful. The economy, bottom line concerns, fuel us to utilize all of our waking moments trying to be “more productive”. According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 41% of the more than 1,700 respondents say they typically feel stressed out on the job.
Workplace stress is not uncommon, but how we deal with it can have a negative impact on mental and physical health, and can cost businesses a lot of money.

So maybe Simon and Garfunkel weren’t so far off, perhaps it is time to slow down and say “Life I love you!” Slowing down is a conscious choice and not always an easy one. It does, however, lead to a greater appreciation for life and a greater level of happiness.

Here are seven quick tips to help you slow down:

1. Do less. It’s hard to slow down when you are trying to do a million things. Instead, make the conscious choice to do less. Ask yourself, is this really necessary? Focus on what’s really important and let go of the rest. Build in time between tasks and appointments, so you can move through your days at a more leisurely pace. 

2. Be present. It’s not enough to just slow down — you need to actually be mindful of whatever you’re doing at the moment. So, when you find yourself thinking about something you need to do, or something that’s already happened, or even something that might happen, bring yourself back to the present moment. Observe how happy our pets are, they aren’t worried about tomorrow’s meal, they just want to play with you now. Focus on what’s going on right now. Be aware of your actions, your environment and others around you. This takes practice but is so very worth while.

3. Disconnect. If you carry around a smartphone or other mobile device, shut it off. Better still, learn to leave it behind when possible. If you work on a computer most of the day, have times when you disconnect so you can focus on other things. Being available all the time means we’re subject to interruptions, we’re constantly stressed about information coming in and we are at the mercy of the demands of others. 

4. Appreciate nature. Many of us are shut in our homes and offices and cars, buses and trains most of the time, and rarely do we take the opportunity to go outside. Often, even when people are outside, they’re on their cell phones. Instead, take the time to go outside and really observe nature, take a deep breath of fresh air, enjoy the serenity of water and greenery. Exercise and play outdoors when you can. Find outdoor activities to enjoy such as nature walks, kayaking, swimming, etc. Feel the sensations of water and wind and earth against your skin. Try to do this daily — by yourself or with loved ones.

5. Eat slower. Instead of cramming food down our throats as quickly as possible — leading to overeating and a lack of enjoyment of our food — practice eating slowly. Take three deep breathes before beginning a meal or snack. Be mindful of each bite, taking time to appreciate the flavors, aromas and textures. Eating slowly has the double benefit of making you fuller on less food and making the food taste better. 

6. Daydream. Let your mind wander. Most of us have been told daydreaming is a bad habit, but research shows that it actually allows us to be more creative. When we reduce stress, our minds are able to access regions of our brain not available when we’re stressed out. So, close your door, turn off anything electronic and close your eyes for five to 10 minutes. Let your mind wander. Who knows, the flashes of insight that come could be your next million dollar idea?

7. Breathe. When you find yourself speeding up and stressing out, pause, and take a deep breath. Take a couple more. Really feel the air coming into your body, and feel the stress going out. By fully focusing on each breath, you bring yourself back to the present, and slow yourself down. Again, notice our pets and how they breathe. Their bellies go up and down, as the air goes in and out of their diaphragms, babies breathe the same way. Try your best to do the same. 

If you want to take a moment right now to slow down and relax, visit my website here for the free audio: Serenity 

Tampa made a top 10 list, in fact it made it to the number one spot! But, not a list we like to brag about around here. 
Sperling’s BestPlaces, a research firm specializing in livability rankings, has released its new study of major cities with the most and least stress.  The study analyzed a variety of factors associated with stress, including suicide, divorce, crime, joblessness and lengthy commuting. 
With that in mind, I decided to do my part to help reduce the stress. It may not be the cure, but if it even helps change one attitude, I believe the butterfly effect may begin.

 Click Here For Calm

Be sure you have a few minutes to enjoy, uninterrupted. Then please, share with anyone you might know that could use a moment of comfort. 


Written by:
What qualities would you like to be remembered for?

Loving, friendly, creative, steadfastness, warm-heartedness, reliability, humor … what is it for you? Practice those qualities now. 

  • Monitor your thoughts and be compassionate with yourself. 
  • Take time each day to feel the gratitude for simple pleasures in life. 
  • Breathe deeply. (Just by practicing deep focused, breathing for 2 minutes daily you will discover your body becomes used to responding in a calmer, more focused manner.)
  • Exercise daily, it is as good for your head as it is for your body.
  • Turn off the television, internet or anything else that prevents you from getting good rest at night.
  • Eat healthy foods, taking time to enjoy the taste, smells and textures of each bite.
  • Eliminate clutter, it sticks in your head and to your butt!
  • Forget guilt, it is an after the fact, unnecessary emotion.
  • Find a reason to smile and laugh.
  • Find and follow your Spiritual path.

You can evolve into who you aspire to be.  What you practice is what younger generations will learn. So, what will your legacy be?

It was an exceptionally busy weekend with Valentines, a birthday party and a hockey game to attend. Somehow we managed to squeeze that in along with chores and errands. I even managed to go out with two fabulous women for dinner one evening. What became evident to me however, is the importance of balance.

I love my work, I feel amazingly blessed to be able to work in the area of hypnosis. At times I become all hypnosis, all the time. Then my family begins to protest. They keep me aware that “all work and no play makes Debbie a dull girl”. Have you ever had a friend who only talked about their kids or their pets or their illnesses? A steady diet of anything gets boring.

Give yourself the gift of a few moments today to stop and breathe, smile and relax. Think of a way that you can bring balance back into your life. Do you work nonstop, gripe continually or just feel overwhelmed? What might be different about you if you were feeling more balanced?

What can you do today, to create just a little more balance in your day? If stress is the problem, go here for a free stress reducing download.