Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Inside the Healing Zone

There are 4 basic steps or active images for Managing Disorderly Eating. Active means that you will be participating "inside" the images. Here we will be building a working or Healing Zone for recovery. In the future, I'll give you additional imagery to add to the basic steps. As your portfolio of imagery grows, your subconscious mind will become more "in love" with your personal recovery & you will begin to notice how it encourages you in new, positive directions.
When dealing with addiction or imbalance of any sort, the mind can benefit from having special structure & this is what these images will provide. And while they give stability, they are fluid & will change throughout your work. I've been working with my Healing Zone for over two decades & while I can easily recognize them in the theater of my mind, once I enter them I'm continually amazed at how my subconscious mind has added to them over the years. It's like having a personal inner coach who is constantly present.
Here are the 4 areas we'll be establishing. Think of them as separate buildings on a particular street. My Healing Center is in a private park, filled with mature trees & lots of flowers. There is a brick paved road & a stone walking path that leads between the buildings. For me, the stone path symbolizes stepping stones & the child part of me loves to skip over them. I share this with you so you can begin to enjoy the beauty of managing your life issues with Interactive Imagery. Keep in mind that your subconscious mind is a "creative child-mind" & becomes very impressed with this type of playful imagery, that is saturated with emotions of joy & pleasure. Then, it will do everything to make it come true for you. Let me mention here that the mind works backwards; once it senses the desired outcome, it will provide the go forward plan to bring it to fruition.
OK...let me take you inside the Healing Zone imagery:
1. Restaurant
2. Bank
3. Exercise Center
4. Film Studio
Obviously, eating the right foods, in the right amounts & at the right time are paramount to recovery from disorderly eating, as well as any addiction or body-mind imbalance. The image of a restaurant works well for me & many of my patients like this as well. Let me take you through my imagery. Then you can decide if you would like to work with something like this, or choose something else.
As we enter the building, we find ourselves in the lobby where a large painting of myself is hanging on the wall. I'm holding a child, who is also mySelf. This is very metaphoric, indicating that as I care for mySelf, I care for the child within. If I touch my hand in the painting, the image of mySelf awakens & will step down to greet me. Having a positive, loving & respectful relationship with yourSelf is paramount to recovery, as well as building self-esteem. I pay attention to the details of mySelf; of course they are all positive & glowing.
We enter the restaurant & I'm aware that this is a "restaurant of the world." It is filled with people from all over the world; people who are eating wonderful, healthy food. In other words, we are all on the same page. The world is filled with people who are practicing high level health. It is powerful for me to know this because in the life that I observe out of imagery, it is not like this. Yes, I do need a new model & this is perfect. My lonliness subsides.
Because it is a restaurant of the world, it is divided into sectors; breakfast, lunch, dinner & snacks. As I walk around with my painting Self, I notice the healthy foods & amounts that are being enjoyed for all meals. I like to take my time here because in the past, my choices were often narrow & uninteresting. Now this is just the opposite.While I'm viewing these inner images, my subconscious mind is fast at work, making plans & suggestions for what I need to change. These will pop into my mind at a later time as positive suggestions, motivated by a high desire to move out of my rut.
I often stop & chat with the different "visitors" in the restaurant. I ask them direct questions & always get answers. This is another view of the subconscious mind at work. Sometimes I taste things. Involving the senses is a great way to explode your innate creativity. I'm often invited to sit down & join in the conversations. As I become more involved with the socialization & joy of participating in healthy mealtimes, my own mind is once again looking to revamp my old patterns.
I like to visit the chefs from around the world & observe them prepare wonderful recipes that are easy & delicious. In my out of imagery life, I'm often not keen on cooking, having tired of the process many years ago. This negative emotional marinade made it difficult for me to get healthy & so this type of imagery is very powerful in the area of changes that are important to me.
On another occasion I'll take you outside the restaurant to the gardens that include all the body part plants that benefit directly from the restaurant. This area serves as a very important motivator, indicating what happens to our body & mind when we don't provide what is needed.In the next installment, we'll leave the restaurant & walk over to the Bank. There we will utilize imagery for managing thoughts & emotions, thereby building our assets.
Copyrighted 2009 Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht
May not be reproduced without permission of the author.
Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht is the author of Sugar...the Hidden Eating Disorder & How to Lick It

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Our brains work in different ways. In fact, we have at least 7 types of intelligences. Some of us can image along with reading, while others cannot. Sometimes we sense this difficulty as "distracting" or "uncomfortable." I also have this issue, but have worked to improve this part of my intelligence. I used to notice it when reading or studying sewing patterns, or figuring out how to work the DVD, especially hooking it up & programming it. I promise you that the images I'll be presenting here will be nothing like those!!
So, how do we get past this "distraction." I suggest that you read through the image exercise first. That will put the compulsive part of you at rest. Yes, we all have compulsive parts of our personalities & they are especially present in those of us with disorderly eating or sugar addiction, the reason being both physiological & emotional/behavioral. We have lots of nasty patterns to break.Next, relax deeply in your chair. I've given instructions for that. If necessary, break those instructions into steps; read them one by one or write them down in a numbered list. That will help the mind to "organize" or settle down. Disorderly eaters often have problems with rapid thought disorder or what I call "runaway brain syndrome."
1. Sit up in the chair with your finger tips on your lower abdomen.
2. Invite or feel your breath in this area. Just think it there. The abdomen goes up & down. Remember how a dog breathes when resting. Your mind will do the rest.
3. If & when your mind wanders, bring it back to the breath.
4. Your mind may try to push you around, but you are in charge.
5. Stay with the breath.
6. Feel the chair pulling you down gently, just as if magnets were there.
7. Feel the chair pulling you back gently, just as if magnets were there.
8. Just with your imagination, draw or imagine that a golden egg shape is around you & you are inside of it. Your mind may wander & that is fine. Bring it back to the egg.
9. Feel your fingers moving on your lower abdomen.
10. Practice enjoying the sensation.That is a very simple, but very important exercise.
What you are doing is taking some control over your mind & body. You are slowing your brain waves & body functions, bringing it back to healthy balance. I suggest that you practice this at least 6 times a day, just for a few minutes. This practice is called "fractionation" & is rather like taking out the trash more frequently. We all need this.
If you are not used to relaxing deeply, then the sensation will be new to you. There is no reason to be afraid to relax deeply. Why would there be? The body & mind WANT & NEED this. If you would like to control the depth of the relaxation, pretend that you have an imaginary dial. When you turn it to the left the body relaxes more; to the right, body tension returns. Practice turning the dial in both ways.
Oh...well unfortunately that's not the way it works. People with disorderly eating issues are usually looking for a miracle or quick fix. Eating issues are not just about food & that is why diet books or programs don't work on their own. People need to go into "recovery" to become aware of the many facets of the addiction or disorderly eating behaviors. They are different for everyone & only by working closely with the mind & body, will it be possible to climb out of the rut & stay out.
We haven't addressed emotions yet, but I did give an exercise for working inside the "rut." This is a key exercise, because only by bringing "light" to the issues or emotions, can one dilute or escape them. Look at your life as a "theatrical production." The rut is a scene....actually a very important scene that has become the focal point for disorderly eating. For some of us, it is a complicated & dark area. Mine was like that & I'm still cleaning & clearing it out. Recovery takes time & it takes work. In the beginning, emotions may try to stop or block the recovery work. Keep in mind that you are not your emotions. For now, image them as little children, wearing tee shirts with their names on the front. Some are negative & others positive. Negative ones hang out in the "rut" & don't want their environment to change. But, you are in charge now. When you came out of the "rut" I gave you my power through another image. Keep the questions coming....this is what recovering is all about.
The complimentary mp3 program that I have posted on my websites is called Affirmations for Making Changes. You can download the first track or self-hypnosis session there.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Looking Up & Sensing the Dawn

"As in everything else, we begin where we are. If we must begin again & that is a certainty, we begin where we are, for while we may think that we are in the same place, we are not. We have always progressed, even though we may think differently & this is important to know". .. Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht
By way of my words, I'm inviting you to join me on my journey through what I call "disorderly eating." Some of you may need to lose weight & perhaps a large amount of weight, but it's not always about weight. Through my life & professional career, I've met thousands of individuals who have very nasty eating habits & these habits are taking them down the path to the killer diseases. I share this with you because those of us who have obvious weight issues often envy our slender friends, thinking that they can get away with eating whatever they want & whenever they want. This simply isn't true.
I was motivated to put together this FB adventure when I joined Ruby Gettinger's Wall & noticed how many people were out there cheering her on. As a therapist & author, I wondered who all these people were & how many had issues similar to Ruby's. I wondered how many of those cheering were what I call the "window shoppers of the world"; watching someone else march the path to success while they sit on the sidelines procrastinating, wishing they could do the same, but fearful of stepping out. Window shoppers spend their life looking, wanting & wishing, but never taking the action of entering the shop at hand. I know this well, for I spent a good portion of my own life simply window shopping.
For those of you who are not familiar with my work, I'm an RN Educator & Medical Hypnotherapist. Medical hypnotherapy has been utilized in the practice of medicine for thousands of years. This is not the same as "stage hypnosis." In actual fact, we all practice hypnosis all day long. We do this through our thoughts....mind pictures that are marinated by emotions. Sometimes we get lost in our thoughts & lose track of time & reality. This is called altered consciousness or auto-pilot.
In the practice of medical hypnotherapy, we learn to "wake-up" or become aware of these self-hypnotic states & then choose what we might like to do with our powerful minds. There are so many things for you to know regarding how your mind works. I'm sure you have heard of the mindbody connection. Research is more than clear that mind-produced stress effects the body. 60-90% of disease states are stress related. Perhaps you also know that weight gain is related to stress. What we are talking about are actual "stress chemicals" that are produced inside the body by playing certain negative-based thoughts in the mind. So, what you think can cause illness & also store fat. Not exactly what we have in mind. If this isn't bad enough, the mind works as a "servo-mechanism." That means that the mind is like radar. What you think is not only what you get, but the subconscious mind will accept your thoughts as your "goal of choice" & so you will actually get MORE of it. This is great if your thoughts are reflecting what you truly want, but if they are not, then you get the picture.
This being the case, it's paramount to learn how to wake up & then how to change or manipulate the mind programs or thoughts. This may seem next to impossible, but throw that idea out. Remember what I just told you? Just reading the phrase " next to impossible " is an example of a negative mind program & in this case, guess what you'll be receiving? get it. do I go about helping my clients/students? The very same way I go about helping myself, for indeed, I have always been a disorderly eater & I continue to be in recovery. In the quote on the top of the page, I mention about "beginning" & then "beginning again." It's rather like riding a bicycle; we pedal for awhile & then perhaps hit a pebble that breaks our rhythm or maybe a rock appears & we fall off. Obviously we are not going to abandon our bike, but instead we'll attend to our situation or injury & then get back on.
In the practice of self-hypnosis, we work with mind images or inner pictures, also called "metaphors." You might wonder IF you are going to be able to do this & of course, you are because there isn't one person reading this who isn't making images of one sort of another in their mind. You are already working with me & that's exactly right.I'm going to design many, many working images for you to utilize. While it is enough to be reading them, I'd like to suggest that you work with a journal or notebook that you put aside especially for this work. Let me explain why. The subconscious mind is very sensitive about what you truly want & does want to provide it for you. If you dedicate a special notebook & work inside the images as I'm going to suggest, your journey will not only be faster, but much more enjoyable. If you have never worked on getting to know your innerSELF, you are in for a treat....even if you think that you don't like yourself very much. Once again, notice the "mind program." Oh oh... nix that one.
When we work with imagery or our imagination, it's best to take a moment to deeply relax. If you can do that now, great; if not, read through & then decide WHEN you will do this. You might need to make a WRITTEN APPOINTMENT to do this work for yourself. If not, you may end up just "window shopping" & we have already been there. It's easy to deeply relax. Sit up in the chair & place your finger tips on your lower belly...invite your breath to enter your belly, just as if it harbored a balloon of any color you like. Sense the balloon going gently up & then down. Take your time. If you sense yourself rushing OR if your mind is suggesting that you rush, hurry up or any other "demand", simply return to your belly breath. Your mind is NOT in charge.
The Higher Part of you is in charge from now on forward. Enjoy that thought. Now sense the chair gently pulling your down, as if there were magnets pulling you down. Enjoy that. And next, sense the back of the chair pulling you back. Enjoy that. Now, just with your mind, draw a big golden egg shape around you. You are in the egg shape & everything else is outside. are ready now to simply tilt your eyes up gently & locate your mind screen. This is where YOU will place what you want. YOU are in charge from inside the golden egg shape. BTW, your eyes can be opened or closed. You will be utilizing this exercise from now on forward & sometimes you will be doing it "in the moment" & so your eyes will be opened. Other times they might be closed. OK?
I'm going to introduce you to a useful image & give you some suggestions for working inside of it. Most of us live in a rut & sometimes the rut is very, very might even take on the image of a deep hole. Yes, this could be diagnosed as depression & the work we are doing here does not take the place of professional intervention, so make sure that you are taking care of that if necessary. It's possible to become very attached to living in the hole; in fact, we often decorate it with negative mind images that we play over & over again, perhaps even getting some sick enjoyment from them. If you have these, you know what I mean. Some of mine have included feeling sorry for myself, seeing & sensing myself as a failure, especially in my addictive life, feeling unattractive & not good enough. In other words, my hole was decorated in "victim decor."
I'd like you to think about your rut or hole & notice the decor, as well as the emotions you might feel while being down there. Is it comfortable? Have you settled in? Have you looked UP recently, or located the ladder for climbing OUT? How do you feel about CLIMBING OUT?
Know that your feelings are real & need to be honored & addressed. This will be for another "note"... For now, I'd like to suggest that you find out all you can about your hole & locate the ladder & look up. You will see or sense an image of me. I'm in the light of day or "dawning light" & I'm extending my hand to you. Of course, I'm smiling one of my peaceful, knowing smiles & transferring this welcoming energy to you. Sense that... We are now placing subconscious mind programs & these can be utilized over & over.
As you climb up the ladder sense your determination & power. Next, sense my hand taking yours. I'm transferring my power to you, for that is my work as your "special coach." As you reach the top, step out & notice me. Now, I'm inviting you to go behind me & hold me by the waist. Now, step into me. You may need to make a height adjustment, but go ahead & become comfortable. The purpose of this image is to transmute or change you into your own "inner coach." It is from this position that you will go forward on your path towards high level health & performance & all the aspects of both. WELL DONE!
In the next "note" we'll begin to explore your Goal-den Path & the working metaphors for enhancing your life. I invite you to share your thoughts & experiences with me & other readers of this project. I am certainly willing to protect your privacy if requested.
Copyright 2009 Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht
May not be reproduced without permission of the author
Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht is author of Sugar...the Hidden Eating Disorder & How to Lick It