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Before some of my favorite quotes, I wanted to share with all of you a poem that my daughter shared with me:
I have an amazing and artistic daughter who also enjoys reading poetry. Well, as a matter of fact she pretty much enjoys reading everything, but I’ve asked her to give me one of her favorite poems and here it is:
" Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune
And never stops at all."
— Emily Dickinson
Thank you Shannon.
— and as usual, a few of my
“To dream anything that you want to dream, that is the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do, that is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself, to test your limits, that is the courage to succeed."
— Bernard Edmonds
"It's not what you are that
holds you back,
it's what you think you are not."
"Take care of the minutes,
and the hours and years will take care of themselves."
"Always do right.
This will gratify some people
and astonish the rest."
— Mark Twain
"The happiness of your life
depends on the quality
of your thoughts."
— Marcus Aurelius
"No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow."
"If one advances confidently
in the direction of his dreams,
and endeavors to live the life
which he has imagined
he will meet with success unimagined in common hours."
"Why not go out on the limb?
That's where all the fruit is.”
Welcome to the October newsletter. I hope it finds you all doing well.
The day when the Sun rises exactly east is called the 'Equinox' because it brings days and nights of equal length. The end of September brings such an Equinox. The two equinoxes are a natural time for rebalancing. That may be one reason why in spring we feel an urge to clean and why now so many of us may feel an urge to set our lives straight. This is an excellent time for us to reinforce a sense of balance within ourselves and our lives.
This is also the time when I start thinking about the holidays that are approaching.
I love the holidays, pretty much everything from Halloween up to (but not including) New Year’s Eve; however, I am reminded regularly by news stories and my clients that there are many, many people who suffer from depression and this depression is so frequently worse during the holiday season. Because of this, I am devoting this newsletter to the issue of depression and maybe how to be happy. What it is, what we know, and some ways to help you find your happiness and, of course, balance.
First, I’d like to share an article that S. Kelley Harrell, C.Ht. of Soul Intent Arts was kind enough to send me.
Confessions of a Reformed Depressive
Question: This week the question for my column comes from myself. I haven't featured a personal inquiry in my Q&A before, which after some thought made no sense. I'm on as much a quest for insight as anyone, and somehow in opening myself up to that observation, I decided to share.
I've been wondering why I'm not very emotional lately. In fact, life has been so level that I wondered if I'm depressed. Except that life is good. I'm relaxing into it. I'm challenging myself in needed directions and flowing with the insecurities and jubilation such new territory brings. So why am I not overrun with emotion about this newfound stability? I am feeling. There is no lack of feeling...
Then I considered... what if this is the way life is when your neurotransmitters are finally balanced? What if this balanced state is the way functional polarity feels? Given my history of chronic depression, it would make sense that I don't recognize it. Whatever it is, it's manifesting in livelihood, productivity, motivation, the ability to feel comfortable creating myself as I want to be and not as I feel I should be, for others or for my own trived self. Life really is pretty good.
Realizing that fact, I'm left pondering: how much of depression is habit? How much of it was me getting to this point of balance before, sensing the lack of drama, and creating one to fill the FEELINGS void?
I encourage all of you to visit Kelley’s website http://www.soulintentarts.com; an intertribal shamanic practice for Universal wellbeing. Kelley is an amazing and healing woman and teacher.
Even though depressed people may share a common cluster of symptoms such as sadness, sleep problems and/or exhaustion, suicidal feelings, an inability to feel pleasure and a variety of physical discomforts, conditions and illnesses, this doesn’t mean that these symptoms are the result of the same cause. Mood is affected by dozens of genes, thought patterns and thought habits. You may be asking right now just what exactly thought habits are. I’ll go into this later and how we can take control and change, if we want to, our thoughts.
Most research today is focused on the physiology of depression, yet clinicians have found that approaches which combine medical and psychological treatments are by far the most effective. Therapists have discovered that if they can get patients to probe the unconscious (or subconscious) roots of their problems, finding solutions becomes much easier. Techniques like cognitive therapy teach patients to recognize destructive patterns in their lives and develop practical steps for changing these patterns.
In addition, researchers are pinpointing the genes that are involved in depression. If this work fulfills its potential, patients will receive treatment based on genetic makeup. For more information on decoding depression at the molecular level, read Dr. Miller’s article “Managing Every Shade of Blue” at www.newhypnotherapy.com. Dr. Miller goes on to stress, however, that even with the new sophisticated tools and treatments becoming available, it is important to cultivate a sense of well-being.
As research continues in this area, we are learning that we can develop new interconnections between our neurons. This is an area that I have been spending more and more time studying and teaching. It is the backbone of many of my workshops and is particularly beneficial for those who suffer from negative behavior patterns, thoughts, depression or a sense of helplessness and hopelessness.
According to Dr. Jill Ammon-Wexler, pioneer brain/mind researcher and author of "The Secret World of Brainwaves":-
“Today's research has proven your brain can continue to physically grow -- even into very advanced old age.
You might have also thought that you can’t grow new brain cells (neurons) once you reach adulthood. Whether or not that is true (the decision is still out) does not really matter.
Here's why: You have billions upon billions of neurons. In fact, if your brain neurons were laid out end to end, they would stretch all the way to the moon and back.
The secret to a lively brain is not your number of neurons — it is the diversity of interconnections between those neurons. Researchers like Dr. Marion Diamond who analyzed Albert Einstein's brain found it was different in only one way — Einstein had more interconnections between his neurons.
AND — here is what is really exciting: Such an unusual supply of interconnections is not inherited. No one is born with such a brain — it is created.
Your brain follows the same rule as your muscles —
use it or lose it.
Unused neural interconnections actually shrink and die. But if you engage in regular mental workouts, those interconnections then expand and strengthen.
And if you manage to ‘overload’ your brain with the right kind of sensory information, it is forced to physically reorganize itself and grow. (Such an overload is the mental equivalent of the muscle overload techniques used by body builders to build strong, healthy muscles.)
The right kind of mental overload leads straight into quantum brain growth. This expands your mind power into entirely new dimensions of thought and experience.”
Exciting information to be sure and that is why it is so important to remember that as you change your thoughts you develop and build new and different neuro pathways. It is equally important to remember that unused neural interconnection can actually shrink and die and in time the old neuro pathways can and will atrophy and become ineffective. Think about that a moment. You can use this fact to your advantage. You can take active control of your thoughts and change the way you think permanently by choosing which neuro interconnections you want to strengthen and which you want to atrophy and die.
What we resist will only persist. A catchy phrase but also, unfortunately, so very true. By continuing to worry about not finding a lasting relationship, a fulfilling job, a happy life, that is exactly what you will keep in your life because you are continuously focusing on what you want to run away from rather than thinking about what you most want to run towards.
Here is an exercise to help you create and strengthen new neuro pathways. Pay attention to what you are thinking. When there is negative thinking, take control and force yourself to think the opposite. Reflect on the positive, 100 times more. Take responsibility for your thoughts. Develop a clear picture of what you want. I mean that literally. Try to create a visual image of what it is you want. If you had the life you want, what would it look like in a photograph? When you have a clear image of that picture, use it to counteract the negative thoughts and images that pop into your head. The more you reflect on this positive picture, the easier it becomes and the closer you come to bringing it into your life.
In addition to this exercise, one of the best and most effective ways of cultivating a sense of well being and changing negative thought processes and self-destructive behavior patterns is by working from the inside out, using hypnotherapy to talk directly to the subconscious. By reinforcing within the subconscious positive thoughts, ideas and goals that you have consciously decided you want makes it even easier to focus on this positive picture.
As more and more people are dealing with the effects of depression (20+ million in the United States alone), many people are also realizing that much of their pain, whether it is physical or emotional, is originating on a deeper, subconscious level. If the pain is not dealt with at that subconscious level, it will continue to go on.
There are wounds that do not naturally heal with time. Instead they start hurting again given certain "weather conditions" or trigger points. If this occurs, subconsciously we will withdraw into ourselves, become angry or oversensitive and react in a hurt manner without apparent reason, sometimes we become particularly hurtful or destructive without actually wanting to.
It is when these trigger points occur that we have the opportunity to exorcise a personal demon. We can look at these experiences under the soothing blanket of hypnosis and we can release them. It is in this way that we can more effectively begin the healing process.
Simply knowing something intellectually gives you very little power. When you can take a truth and internalize it, with the aid of hypnosis, so that it can become a part of you on a cellular level, on a subconscious level, you radiate that truth outward and your entire life is changed. “Repeat a positive statement often enough and it will become ingrained in your subconscious” says Adrian Calabrese, Ph.D., " Woman’s World," October 18, 2005.
A client of mine from a few years ago sent me an email a few years after our sessions that simply made my day and put a smile on my face. I want to share it with you now.
"Linda, I know you won't be surprised to hear this, but my depression is gone - totally and completely as far as I can tell... I spent years in therapy with psychiatrists and psychologists - I can't tell you how many sessions - hundreds!! Compared to the two sessions with you. 10 years of medication and disability for it and after your hypnosis - GONE!!
I talk up hypnosis and you/your site as often as I can!! My mother tries to raise her ugly little head from that trash bag down at the bottom of the stairs in the trash room you gave me, but I just push her back in!!
— D in California
Her results were rather amazing, but when the subconscious is ready to be healed, amazing results are found.
Linda Simmon C.Ht.
And now, a few health tips to keep in mind regarding stress and depression:
Fight Wrinkles with This Breathing Exercise
Take a deep breath. Now let it out. Breathe in again. Breathe out. In. Out. Slowly. Evenly.
Feel better? More relaxed? Good. You might look better when you are done, too, because studies show that stress does more than rumple your mood. It may actually help rumple your face, too.
According to RealAge skin expert Amy Wechsler, MD, author of "The Mind-Beauty Connection", stress can cause wrinkles. How? By increasing the production of cortisol -- a stress hormone that also stymies collagen production, one of the natural substances skin needs in order to plump itself, repair itself, and keep wrinkles at bay.
[Note. In addition to skin damage, cortisol is also responsible for damage to your heart and may be a contributing factor to the growth of cancer cells.]
Getting outside on your lunch hour could help keep winter blues away.
Whether you walk to the store, have lunch on a heated balcony, or simply walk around the outside of your office building a few times, spending your lunchtime outdoors could help boost your mood. Research suggests that blood levels of mood-boosting serotonin may increase with increased exposure to sunlight.
- Live Longer with This Red Winter Stew
Put the brakes on the ravages of time with a hearty and delicious bowl of chili. You'll get plenty of zinc, thanks to the rich red kidney beans in the stew. And a new small study showed that zinc may help both prevent and reverse age-inducing damage to DNA. Zinc intake is so important to staying young that when middle-aged men in a study went from adequate zinc intake to zinc deficiency, they showed more breaks in certain DNA strands. And guess what happened when they were placed back on a zinc-rich diet? You got it -- damage to DNA strands decreased significantly, suggesting that injured strands were repaired. Check out these other nutrients the YOU Docs recommend for thwarting Alzheimer's disease.
You want healthy DNA, because damaged DNA can speed the aging process and increase your risk for conditions like cancer and Alzheimer's disease. Zinc isn't necessarily a fountain of youth, but the study results suggest that nearly 12 percent of Americans with a zinc deficiency may be doing their bodies a disservice. So how about that bowl of chili?
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