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Happy Halloween

I hope you all had a wonderful time on Halloween, no tricks, all treats. For me, some of that enjoyment goes back to my youth when my mother, a 6th grade school teacher, would share with my brother and me some of her theatrical abilities by occasionally dressing as a witch to hand out candy to the trick-o-treaters, or by reciting spooky poetry to us.

black crow at halloween d034a345fdeb2716294d8d78ac2ee007

The poem she did the best at Halloween was “Little Orphant Annie” by the Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley. I share the poem with you here and encourage you to read it out to your children as we get close to one of the funnest, spookiest holidays of the year. I hope you can create the same wonderful, spine-tingling thrill of that holiday for your children that my mother created for me.


by: James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916)

To all the little children: — The happy ones; and sad ones;
The sober and the silent ones; the boisterous and glad ones;
The good ones — Yes, the good ones, too; and all the lovely bad ones.

LITTLE Orphant Annie’s come to our house to stay,

An’ wash the cups an’ saucers up, an’ brush the crumbs away,

An’ shoo the chickens off the porch, an’ dust the hearth, an’ sweep,

An’ make the fire, an’ bake the bread, an’ earn her board-an’-keep;

An’ all us other childern, when the supper-things is done,

We set around the kitchen fire an’ has the mostest fun

A-list’nin’ to the witch-tales ‘at Annie tells about,

An’ the Gobble-uns ‘at gits you

Ef you




little orph annie thUA33N545

Wunst they wuz a little boy wouldn’t say his prayers,–

An’ when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs,

His Mammy heerd him holler, an’ his Daddy heerd him bawl,

An’ when they turn’t the kivvers down, he wuzn’t there at all!

An’ they seeked him in the rafter-room, an’ cubby-hole, an’ press,

An’ seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an’ ever’-wheres, I guess;

But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an’ roundabout:–

An’ the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you

Ef you




Little%20Orphant%20Annie_png-675x550An’ one time a little girl ‘ud allus laugh an’ grin,

An’ make fun of ever’ one, an’ all her blood-an’-kin;

An’ wunst, when they was “company,” an’ ole folks wuz there,

She mocked ’em an’ shocked ’em, an’ said she didn’t care!

An’ thist as she kicked her heels, an’ turn’t to run an’ hide,

They wuz two great big Black Things a-standin’ by her side,

An’ they snatched her through the ceilin’ ‘fore she knowed what she’s about!

An’ the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you

Ef you





An’ little Orphant Annie says, when the blaze is blue,

An’ the lamp-wick sputters, an’ the wind goes woo-oo!

An’ you hear the crickets quit, an’ the moon is gray,

An’ the lightnin’-bugs in dew is all squenched away,–

You better mind yer parunts, an’ yer teachurs fond an’ dear,

An’ churish them ‘at loves you, an’ dry the orphant’s tear,

An’ he’p the pore an’ needy ones ‘at clusters all about,

Er the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you

Ef you




                      Happy Halloween!

How to Slow The Pace of Life

Beautiful tree at sunset vibrant orange with free copy space.

Have you noticed that we are transitioning from summer into fall? The days are getting shorter, the nights cooler. The hills are ablaze with red and gold. Yep. It’s Autumn and with that change of the season, the pace of life seems to quicken.

I’ve noticed more of my clients are reporting problems with anxiety now too. That’s pretty common as we head into the “holiday season”. I’m not trying to increase your level of anxiety by talking about all the hustle and bustle of gift-giving, big meal preparation, and parties. In fact, let me share a wonderful de-stressor shared with me recently by a friend. I hope you take a minute to read and enjoy:

Slow Me Down Lord

By Wilferd A. Pedersen

Slow me down, Lord!

Ease the pounding of my heart

By the quieting of my mind.

Steady my hurried pace

With a vision of the eternal reach of time.

Give me,

Amidst the confusion of my day,

The calmness of the everlasting hills.

Break the tensions of my nerves

With the soothing music of singing streams

That live in my memory.

Help me to know

The magical restoring power of sleep.

Teach me the art

Of taking minute vacations of slowing down

To look at a flower;

To chat with an old friend or make a new one;

To pat a stray dog;

To watch a spider build a web;

To smile at a child;

Or read a few lines from a good book.

Remind me each day

That the race is not always to the swift;

That there is more to life than increasing its speed.

Let me look upward

Into the branches of the towering oak

And know that it grew great and strong

Because it grew slowly and well.

Slow me down, Lord,

And inspire me to send my roots deep

Into the soil of life’s enduring values

That I may grow toward the stars

Of my greater destiny.

Use Hypnosis For Healthy Living Habits

healthy eating, junk food, diet and choice people concept - plus size woman choosing between apple and cookie over green lights background

 For many people, Labour Day is the last day of summer. The hills are sprinkled with fall colors. Kids are back in school and we’ve certainly noticed cooler days over the last week or so. For all intents and purposes, we will soon be headed into Autumn. And with Autumn come the Fall/Winter holidays. It’ll soon be time to put away your shorts and tank tops, store the lawn furniture, and prepare for colder temps.

Fall means different things to different people. For some the emphasis is on family gatherings, for some it’s parties and festivities. Whatever your area of emphasis, it’s hard to imagine the Fall without thinking about food. Maybe that means canning, dehydrating, or storing foods in some other way. Perhaps it conjures images of turkey feasts, plates piled high with various confections, or time enjoyed with others savoring the delicious smells of the holidays. Or maybe it brings to mind the threat of an expanding waist-line.

Trimlife Hypnosis

This Saturday will be the last day with my current Trimlife group. We’ve spent the previous five weeks using hypnosis to create healthy living habits. Each of us has focused on the unique area(s) important to us, whether that be reducing the amount/type of food we eat, such as excess carbohydates, fats, or sweets, eliminating a specific (nemesis) food, learning to address emotional issues that tend to bring on unhealthy or compulsive eating, or increasing the motivation to increase activity (exercise). There has been lots of education on healthy living habits and plenty of sharing our struggles and successes. For my part, I have really enjoyed working with these women. I learned from them and appreciated seeing them encourage each other and me.

Hypnosis to Stop Holiday Weight Gain

As I anticipate the coming Fall weather, more time indoors, and the importance of food that is associated with the holidays, I am grateful for the healthy living habits I have begun. Using Trimlife hypnosis has allowed me to ditch my addiction to soda that has been with me for more than 40 years. Some of my group members have used hypnosis to eliminate such foods as potato chips, French fries, cookies, chocolate, and more, all without feeling deprived.

Using Trimlife hypnosis has helped me to sleep better, be consistent at increasing time moving (I still avoid using the word “exercise” because of it’s negative connotations), and the hypnosis is directly responsible for my improved mood and attitude about healthy living. This is a weight management program I can live with for life.

Results-Healthy Living Habits

healthy eating, junk food, diet and choice people concept - smiling plus size woman choosing between apple and donut over green natural background

My next Trimlife group will start on October 1st. That will give the new group time to learn all the hypnosis skills to eliminate their food nemesis, learn how to control cravings, begin healing the emotional wounds that are often the basis of unhealthy eating, and get comfortable with the skills needed to navigate the holiday food temptations without feeling deprived or controlled, even when surrounded by the delights of the holiday season.

If you or someone you know would like to take control of your healthy living habits in time to prevent a seasonal battle of the bulge, call me now to reserve your space. I keep the classes very small to increase the sense of emotional safety with this delicate topic.

Learn to use the power of your mind and give yourself the gift of healthy living. Please share this blog with a friend or family member who is ready to take control of healthy living without the use of harsh diets or killer exercise programs. Using hypnosis is 30 times more effective for weight loss than diet or exercise alone. Call now.


Are You A Living Cliché?

Beautiful blonde Wind-Up businesswoman isolated on grey

I’ve been working on a program about how to change limiting beliefs. Our thoughts create our reality and for some of us, that reality is STUCK. Often, it is stuck some place we’d rather not be.

Beliefs and Cliches

As I was working today on the material for this program, I began writing some of the specific beliefs I’ve heard expressed in my counseling office. After the third one, I noticed that the beliefs were often expressed in clichés.

That’s when I thought, “We’re living our lives by cliché!” I don’t mind admitting, that made me stop for a moment. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to be is a walking, talking cliché.

Limiting Beliefs

Changing limiting beliefs is very much like changing a habit. The first step is awareness. One way beliefs show up is oft repeated thoughts or self-talk that describe (and prescribe) our expectations of/for ourselves and others. Consider the following clichés and their possible meaning in parentheses, which reflect how some of my clients have applied them:

It is what it is- (“There’s nothing I can do” or “I’m not responsible.”)

Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know-(I’m afraid of change.”)

What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger– (“I’m really good at suffering” Or “I’m a victim”.)

Ignorance is bliss- (“If I look at it, I’ll have to do something different.”)

Better safe than sorry- (“I may choose wrong.”)

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t- (“Why try.”)

All of these are beliefs that limit a person. Sadly, we tend to believe each of these sayings is true. Sometimes, it is true, but often it is not. And the real problem here is that these beliefs become habitual ways of thinking that go unexamined. These unexamined beliefs can leave us feeling helpless, depressed, and stuck.

lifestyle concept - beautiful happy woman enjoying summer outdoors

Limitless Beliefs

If your self-talk is riddled with clichés, take some time to examine them. If you think your options are limited, maybe a closer look will reveal some limiting beliefs. If you are ready to transform your self-imposed limitations, now is the time to recognize that thoughts can be changed. Accept that the beliefs that seeped in sometime in your life are holding you back now. Choose to exchange the limiting belief with an empowering one. These three steps put you on a path of unlimited possibilities.

Now that you are thinking about letting go of the clichés and making some changes, remember- There’s no time like the present.

Focus To De-Stress

close-up of a grey cat over white background

Baby was the small Russian Blue cat that we inherited when we bought our converted split-level home in Orem, Utah. We quickly learned that she was a highly intelligent cat of diminutive size with lightening-fast speed and reflexes.

One day I observed Baby sitting on the window sill staring out at the flower bed. I assumed that she was simply enjoying the sun. I strode past her with a load of folded shirts in one arm and reached out to stroke her back. She sort of gurgled a purr in acknowledgment of my contact but otherwise did not move a muscle except for the occasional flick of her tail. Clearly, she was engrossed in study of something. I paused to see if I could discover what it might be. Hummingbirds!


Several Hummingbirds were at the feeder hanging near the deck in my backyard and Baby was highly focused on their activity. Later that afternoon, Baby delivered a dead Hummingbird to my feet as I sat reading a book. I’ve had many cats in my life so I appreciatively reached out to stoke my feline friend and thanked her. As I flushed the dead bird down the toilet, I thought, “It must have been sick.” For surely a cat is no match for the speed of a Hummingbird.

The next day Baby gifted me two more Hummingbirds at which point I moved the feeder out of her reach, but as I thought about her ability to stealthily position herself and the speed needed to catch Hummingbirds, I realized what cunning and focus she also had displayed the day she sat in the window sill observing the birds at the feeder. I sure wish I had such focus.


In the fast-paced world we live in, more and more things clamor for our attention. Multi-tasking has become one of the highest goals we seek. So you might be surprised to learn that multi-tasking is not only difficult but it is actually harmful.

It’s easy to convince yourself that multi-tasking is required as you balance work and a personal life, checking emails and cell phones, while spending time with your spouse or children. Yet according to research published by the National Academy of Sciences in 2011, performance is actually damaged by “high cognitive load.” The research stated that as we increase the number of things we need to focus on, the bottleneck of attention blocks our ability to make decisions and limits creative or intuitive leaps. Another study, demonstrated the association between constant multi-tasking and shrunken areas of the brain responsible for cognitive and emotional control. So it may be that trying to leverage your time by doing many things at once actually will lead to poorer results on all of those tasks, as well as harm to relationships and your brain.

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird (archilochus colubris) in flight at a feeder with a colorful background


The bottomline: SLOW DOWN. Do each task well and then move on to the next. You may find yourself less stressed.  You may also find that your relationships flourish, you are more productive, and you enjoy your efforts more.

1Way Hypnosis Heals Depression

lacrimaBertrilla (Berty) sat slumped on my couch, tears drying on her cheeks. She had shared with me several examples of negative interactions between her and her sister, starting in childhood and continuing until last week. Her pain and depression was clear.

As I probed a little deeper to see how Berty dealt with these emotional assaults, I was saddened to hear that she was quite passive and believed that there was no other way for her to respond. I finally asked my client the “miracle question”- “If some great miracle happened when you were sleeping and you awoke to find that things between you and your sister were completely fixed, how would things be different for you? What would you notice?” Berty’s eyes grew wide, first with confusion and then wider with amazement.

Her voice rose and the words spilled out fast. “Wow! I’d be able to talk to her about the things I like and when I’m sad too. Or we could go shopping together and have fun like normal sisters do.” Berty looked like an entirely different person as she spoke. For a few minutes, her mind filled with the awesome possibilities of a changed future. Then she stopped, her expression and voice dropping as she almost whispered, “But it could never happen. She never sees things from my side.” Berty found it impossible to believe that she could make a difference in her relationships, with a sibling or anyone else. How was I going to get past her depression induced negativity and staunch belief in her own helplessness?

Depressed and anxious people almost always imagine negative experiences. Oddly, this causes the brain to change its chemistry as though a negative experience had, in fact, occurred. The brain cannot distinguish between vivid imagination and a real experience. This can perpetuate depression and anxiety or it can be used to dissipate the effects of both depression and anxiety and begin to create a positive new and healthy future.

Using hypnotic relaxation to set the stage, you can use your imagination to invent scenarios in which you interact with people, events, and circumstances in powerful, positive ways. This “hypnotic rehearsal” teaches your brain new ways to think and act, so that when you do encounter the person, event, or circumstance you have already handled it well. It is no longer strange or difficult for you.

Berty hypnotically rehearsed having a tough conversation with her sister in which she expressed the pain she felt at being criticized and put down. Fully relaxed, she asked her sister to listen carefully to her ideas and give her a chance. Before our next session Berty met with her sister and was able to have a frank discussion of their relationship. She reported to me the wonderful changes, including a weekend project where the two of them had helped their aging parents clear out and set up their basement as a student rental-Berty’s idea to help their parents through a financially tough time.

Female friends studying at the local coffee shop

Berty’s smile sparkled as she told me of the fun the sisters had had sorting through years of stored childhood mementos. She and her sister had laughed, worked, and shared like the close sisters Berty had always wanted.

It’s true that Berty had more work to do to sort through her own negative thinking patterns, but hypnosis had given her the gift of a quick start on a whole new path. Berty fully embraced the value of the technique that opened up new understanding and a profound way to use her subconscious.

If you or someone you know feel stuck in the dark, negative thinking patterns of depression or anxiety, consider seeing a hypnotherapist. Healing the pain of the past needn’t take years or add another burden to the pain you already carry. The power of your mind is limited only by your creativity…and that of your hypnotherapist.

Learn to relax, change your beliefs to healthier ways of thinking that support your growth and happiness. Get unstuck fast, call me for an appointment now!

                        Call 801-494-7612

July 4th Your Way

Celebrating the 4th of July

Monday is the 4th of July, a time for parades, barbeques, picnics and fireworks. For many people this means traveling. For some just a short distance, for others longer road time. All the hustle and bustle can mean increased pressure, a faster pace, and crowding many activities into short time spans. In other words, more anxiety.

The Deadliest Days

The local freeway has already seen a number of fatal automotive accidents. We are, after all, in the 100 deadliest days on America’s roads. And the 4th is one of the 2 worst, in terms of fatal accidents. But should that stop us from enjoying the holiday?

Celebrating our nation’s history and spending time with family and friends for this summertime festival is a wonderful bonding tradition from one generation to the next, but it can be difficult for some folks.

Difficulty Celebrating

Those who look around the cheerful crowds and are painfully aware of the absence of a loved one may struggle to engage. If the loss is related to travel or cars, or to guns, then the noise, crowds, and excitement of fireworks displays may be overwhelming.

If attending the parade is too much closeness, the picnic too familiar in view of your loss, or the fireworks too jarring, maybe watching fireworks on television would be more comfortable. Maybe hot dogs on the Bar-B in the backyard with just a few people would feel right.

Celebrate Your Way

If you’ve experienced a traumatic loss that makes the 4th of July difficult this year for full participation, remember that although your reaction to the holiday may be quite different from the way others react, it is completely normal. Give yourself permission to heal in your own time and in your own way. July 4th is a day to celebrate freedom. Be sure to give yourself the freedom to honor your deepest feelings and celebrate in a way that makes you comfortable. Take the time you need to enjoy the holiday in a way that is meaningful for you.


5 Ways To Heal Your Broken Heart

Cuore infranto - Broken heart“What’s your process?” I asked. Kioshi just looked at me, her eyes flat, tears on her cheeks. “How do you move through the pain to the other side?” Kioshi shrugged. Her heart was broken and it was a recent pain, large and consuming. Her healing needed a kick start and she needed support to discover what would help get it going. I tentatively offered a few suggestions:

  1. Try to take some time just for yourself. This person has been a natural part of you for some time. Absence is going to feel wrong and very strange for a while. For now, indulge in things you really enjoy– just for you. Go to a movie, read a new book, or take up a new hobby you’ve always wanted to explore. New experiences cause the brain to secrete endorphins, those feel good hormones. You could use a little “feel good” right now.
  2. Take care of yourself by eating right, getting enough sleep, and plenty of regular exercise. Physical activity gives your mood a boost and increases your production of serotonin and dopamine, more feel good hormones produced by your brain.
  3. Try some laugh therapy. Pretending you aren’t hurt (also known as denial) won’t help, but smiling, laughing, and enjoying humorous movies or time with fun and funny friends, all help restore your sense of optimism and can actually trick your mind into producing a happier mood.
  4. Grow into forgiveness. As you move through your sadness and grief, examine what went wrong with the relationship. Take only your share of responsibility for what went wrong and allow the other person their fair share. Every pain has a lesson in it. Don’t be afraid of the pain or the lesson; you’ll survive. It may help your next relationship be a stellar one. When you are ready, forgive the other person.
  5. In time, move on. Only you will know when it is time, but when your heart has mended sufficiently, be open to new relationships. Remember it takes two years to learn a new job, get comfortable in a new town, and to heal from a painful broken heart.

Broken heart and thread on wooden background

As Kioshi thought about these ideas, she began to smile a little.  Her healing had begun as she let in the possibility of healing.

If you are experiencing the pain of a broken heart, try one, some, or all of these tips. Changes may happen slowly but they do happen.

5 Easy Tips to Reduce Anxiety


“It is what it is,” stated Jane, a client I had begun seeing for serious anxiety that was largely the result of sexual abuse in her childhood. She had done a lot of work on her trauma but her anxiety persisted. We had been discussing how the effect of abuse from her childhood lingered. I had suggested that perhaps the abuse was unresolved for her. She was skeptical. “It is what it is”, was her way of saying that she didn’t believe there was anything she could do about something that had happened in the past. Though she was unhappy with the lingering effects, she had come to believe that she would always be effected by it.

I needed to challenge that belief. I explained to Jane that the brain is a remarkably plastic organ, capable of change over the entire lifespan. I told her how experiences and specific treatment techniques can help to alter brain structures, which then allow different emotional and cognitive reactions in life, including overcoming her anxiety. Jane was curious and eagerly listened as I described a few techniques.

If you experience anxiety or depression, consider adding the following techniques to your daily regimen. Over time, you may find some fairly dramatic changes in both your emotional states and the way you think.

Music-Most people are familiar with the idea of music helping to calm you in times of stress and energize you with a lively beat. Listening to music you like that complements your mood also reduces cortisol, which is a hormone that results when stress or anxiety persist for too long. Reducing cortisol also helps to shape more functional neural pathways in the brain.

Laughter and levity-Laughter and humor are another way to lower your Cortisol levels. In fact, smiling, even fake smiling, for as little as two minutes drops Cortisol measurably. So try to include joke telling, funny movies, or other ways of injecting humor into your life on a daily basis and watch the worry lines begin to disappear.

Social connectivity-Research published in the January 2013 journal Science reported on the effect of bullying on the brain of mice. Both Cortisol and Dopamine were impacted and the bullied mice began to avoid their peers, which led to further increased anxiety. Research on humans has also demonstrated the same downward spiral of social anxiety. It appears that those who continue to be involved with others despite feeling some social anxiety remain healthier and improve more quickly than those who give in to their fear and unease.

Regular physical activity-Most people know that physical activity is good for your heart and lungs. It is also good for your mental health. Regular physical activity is another way to reduce Cortisol and anxiety. Regular physical activity, especially outdoors has been found to be nearly as effective for treating depression as antidepressant medications.


You may have heard of the “fight or flight” response, which is responsible associated with stress in the first place. Physical activities such as kick boxing, tennis, baseball and other sports mimic the “fight” movements and burn-up Cortisol. Activities such as walking, running, swimming, or biking are excellent ways of using the same muscle groups involved in “flight” and again help your body to metabolize the hormone Cortisol. And don’t assume you need to spend hours at the gym either. As little as 10 minutes three times a day, or 30 minutes 2-3 times per week are sufficient to see big changes.

Mental relaxation- Some form of mental relaxation such as mindfulness, meditation, or guided imagery helps to slow your heart beat, relax your breathing, and lower Cortisol levels. Setting aside as little as 10-15 minutes a day for these practices trains your body and mind in calmness and reduces Cortisol.

One of my favorite meditations is Loving-Kindness-Meditation (LKM). It is an especially easy form of meditation in which you sit or rest quietly and systematically send loving and compassionate thoughts to 1) family and friends, 2) a person with whom you are in conflict, 3) all people throughout the world who are struggling, and 4) compassion, love, and forgiveness to yourself. As you see, the process is very simple. I like to play some calming music while I do the meditation.

After I had given Jane a clear picture of what to expect, she was ready to try out the meditation with music. I helped her to settle comfortably and become aware of her breathing and the position of her body. I led her through noticing all the places her body was supported. I could see her body respond as she moved through all four parts of the meditation and when she opened her eyes, she smiled and exclaimed, “Wow! I feel great!” Over the next couple of weeks, Jane practiced the LKM with music every day and at our next appointment she reported feeling very different, calmer, less stressed. And she was sleeping better too.

These techniques don’t fix all the symptoms associated with issues from the past or the present but regularly practicing them can begin to rewire your brain to reduce anxiety and decrease Cortisol, which will help your body as well as your mental health, and increase your sense of optimism and confidence. That’s a pretty big pay-off for such a small investment.

Making Decisions Calmly

wild amazonian hunter hunting in a river

There once was a wise and beautiful warrior princess who led her people into battle. At the end of the great battle, her people were victorious and they began to make their way to their homes. After hacking her way through a dense jungle of ferns, vines, and mosses, the princess chose to take her rest. She was hot and thirstier than she could remember ever being in her life. She searched all around for a water source and finally found a pond that had collected around the base of some trees.

The water was dark and murky. Nearby she found that some enormous coconuts had fallen to the ground and split open. The princess took one of the giant coconut shells and dipped into the pond. She looked at the dark muddy water in the shell and though she was fearfully thirsty, she knew she could not drink it as it was.

The princess took the water-filled shell and sat down near a tree. She placed the shell on the ground beside her and leaned back against the tree. Folding her hands gently in her lap, she stilled her breathing and began to notice the sounds of life all around her. She listened to the monkeys in the trees, the birds calling to each other, and the sound of water dripping from the jungle canopy. She began to notice the rise and fall of her belly as she breathed deeply in and out, and the rhythm of her heart beating strong and regular deep in her chest. For a long while she sat calmly feeling life through all of her senses.

When she finally opened her eyes, she looked down at the coconut shell and discovered that the mud had settled to the bottom of the shell, leaving clear water above. The princess drank to her fill and being refreshed, she continued on her journey home.

Many people struggle to make difficult decisions or take painful actions. Others find it easier to charge in and accomplish their goals. If you find decision-making time consuming and draining, perhaps the lesson from the Parable of the Coconut offers you hope. Giving things time to settle while you rest and calm yourself can open you up to unexpected possibilities. You may find that you return to the task at hand with new ideas and increased vigor.

So the next time a tough choice is before you, take time to sit in a calm, relaxing place, listen to the rhythm of your heart, allow your breathing to slow and deepen, and notice how your thoughts naturally flow in tranquility. Once things have settled, you will come forth refreshed and with a clear view.