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SOUND CHANGES

5 Steps to Facilitate Change

By Ellen Simon, M.S., M. Ed., LPC 

www.imadulation.com

Provided below are 5 simple and easy steps anyone can implement to create positive change in one’s life. As increasingly more documentation becomes available supporting the effectiveness of these techniques, we will continue to see medical communities throughout the world adopting these simple, life changing steps.                                        

1.   Determine what it is that you want to change! what do you really want?

I already know what you are thinking… This is common sense, right? However, what seems like the easiest & most obvious step can and will become the culprit of failure. YOU MUST BE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT! Of all the years I have spent in my practice helping people initiate positive change in their life, the most important step is often overlooked. For example:…because most of us want  2 things that are contradictory, we often tend to choose the voice that is the loudest.

People tend to listen to that little voice in their head saying “oh just this once, just eat this one cookie, bowl of ice cream, chocolate candy, French fried potatoes, tomorrow I’ll start my diet”. If instead we listened to the voice saying “nothing tastes better than being healthy feels” we would turn away with a sense of empowerment and a deeper fulfillment. Saying “No” can be infinitely more fulfilling than eating food. So what do you want? Really? Do you want to maintain an overweight, unhealthy body and attract heart disease, stroke and diabetes? What choice really makes you HAPPY? We cannot control a lot of things in life but one of the few things we can control; is What we put in our mouths. Ok you decide you want to eat it? ARE YOU WILLING TO TAPE IT TO YOUR BUTTOCKS AND WALK AROUND FOR AN HOUR FIRST? YOU’LL HAVE  to walk around a lot longer with it on your rear end if you stick it in your mouth

 Bottom line...know what you want because you will get it! 

2. Ask yourself  why you want to make this change?

What will this change do for you?  How will this change support your highest values and deepest desires List the benefits this change will bring to you. 

3. Visualize your desired outcome ….Imadulate!. Olympic gold medalists do this all the time. This is beyond practicing and when you imagine something in  your mind, your brain and your body respond as though it’s happening in  reality.  Now feel  the feelings in the here & now that you would have if you have arrived at your desired state.

Imadulation is using your imagination  on  purpose coupled with your intention. It’s a great way to practice change!

“ No matter if I was at practice, or about to kick a game winning field goal, I imagined my routine from start to finish over & over again in my head. From the moment the ball left my foot, I saw it go right through the middle of the uprights… Every single time!”  -Todd Pegram, All-Time leading scorer, Texas A&M  

4. Identify the action steps that will bring you closer to your desired outcome. Break it into small steps! Choose a start time and if possible, a daily plan to support your goals.  Do something however small every day to bring you closer to your desired change.

You will develop confidence in your ability to realize your desired change by breaking it down into steps. Initially, change can be quite intimidating and overwhelming, as your  final objective can seem far from your grasp. This feeling alone can cause insecurities in your ability to obtain your desired outcome. Therefore, developing smaller milestones to reach within your overall objective will not only allow you to track your progress and thus keep you on track, it will also build self-efficacy, which is the belief in ones own ability to do something. The more progress you see from your actions, the more momentum you will develop. This will keep you more focused and less doubtful while moving full speed ahead! 

5. Create Accountability. If you have something that  you want  and intend to do, then tell someone  close to you who shares your best interest about the change you are initiating in your life. This person could be a friend, family member, or even a co-worker. Agree that this person will  be like a coach to support your efforts to change and push you if/when needed to keep moving forward! 

Or…… 

5. Remind yourself  what you are working towards. You can do this by posting sticky-notes in strategic locations, or using photographs of people, places, or things that clearly remind you of what you are trying to attain. I’m sure you have heard the old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, this is even more so when initiating change. A visual of your desired outcome will act as a catalyst throughout the entire process. This is because you will have the end result in sight from the very beginning. It will also remind your subconscious mind of your specific intent to manifest positive change in your life.

© 2008 by Ellen Simon www.imadulation.com.  Permission to reprint if left intact.

Ellen Simon is a nationally recognized expert in the field of mind body health. Ellen’s unique brands of audio programs are in use in hospitals and health care facilities across the country.  Ellen is the author of over 25 titles. This article is adapted from Food for Thought®, a 6 audio CD set. For more information visit www.imadulation.com.

SOUND CHANGES

Six Simple Ways to Achieve Your Healthy Weight

By Ellen Simon, M.S., M. Ed., LPC 

www.imadulation.com

What do you really want?  

Do you want a healthy body, vibrant energy and natural joy? If your answer is yes, are you willing to do what you need to do in order to get what you really want?  

When you connect with your natural intuition, your inner wisdom, you will be guided to make choices in alignment with your highest ideals. These choices will be reflected in what you eat, how you eat, how you breathe, how you manage stress, how often and what type of exercise you choose, how you sleep, what you think and how you interact with others.  

The 6 components to wellness and maintenance of healthy weight include doing the following: 

1.   Healthy food choices.  You are naturally created to make healthy choices. Even as a baby or young child you stopped eating when you felt full and ate only when you felt hungry. It’s natural to confuse hunger for food with the need for love, or peace or even novelty. As you look inward and enhance inner awareness the distinction will be increasingly clear. You will remember to stop and FEEL.  Remember this acronym to help increase mindfulness of your true needs.  

·    “F” is for food – Ask yourself, “Am I truly hungry?  Is it food that I really want”?

  • “E” is for energy. If you are tired or fatigued, food will not necessarily give you the boost you seek. Instead, breathe deeply, take a nap if possible or better yet, go grab your shoes and take a brisk walk or do some stretching exercises!
  • “E” is for escape. If you are bored with your surroundings seek another form of entertainment and stimulation rather than mindless eating.
  • “L” is for love. It is natural to want and need love and using food as a substitute for love can certainly create an unwanted habit. Many people and animals needs love so if it is love you seek, reach to those in need, and share.

So the next time you reach for food and you are not really hungry (for food), STOP and F.E.E.L!

2.   Self love.  As you become increasingly aware of the magnificence of your body, then you are more likely to care for it as you would a small child or a beloved pet. Notice how you feel after you make choices. Good feelings result when we follow our higher inner guidance!  

3.   Positive thoughts & beliefs. As you become aware of what does not work you can choose congruent uplifting thoughts, which are in alignment with what you really want. If you consistently focus on what you don’t want, (being overweight, feeling unfit and wearing moo-moos) then you are going to get more of that! If you turn your attention to what you truly want & need and entertain images of your ideal outcome, then you will more quickly bring into existence your ideal weight and good health. One of the things we can choose besides our attitude about life is what we put in our mouth! 

4.   Stress management = consciousness of your habitual patterns + practicing breathing + mind/body awareness. Stress is the main reasons so many of us eat when we are not hungry. And prolonged stress not only exacerbates illness and disease, but it contributes to increased cortisol, which has been implicated in maintaining excess fat especially around the belly.  

There are many effective stress management techniques and 2 primary aspects of effective stress management include how you are thinking and how you are breathing. Poor breathing causes muscle tension and even pain syndromes. Deep mindful breathing can transform your experience of life!   

Where are your thoughts? Are you focusing on what is wrong? Or is your awareness on the solution or even on the blessing that if often revealed down the road? Are you turning your wants into needs? When you NEED what you WANT then you create unnecessary stress. Try shifting your needs into preferences, relaxing, breathing and looking at the big picture.  

5.   Exercise.  The best strategy for attaining & maintaining your optimal weight is best accomplished with regular exercise. And it’s the best way to relieve stress, overcome depression and enhance feelings of well-being. Start with 10 minutes of exercise + 10 minutes of stretching. Find something you enjoy.  

6.   Sound Sleep. Optimal health requires sound sleep. Create a routine for yourself that includes a soothing and calming ritual before bed. Don’t take work into your bed, or food and activities that are non-sleep related. Avoid upsetting movies or news before bedtime. Ideally, read a book, meditate or listen to guided meditation or soothing music prior to bedtime. A spray of lavender is a nice addition to a bedtime ritual.  

Remember….. You can change your life when you change your mind. 


© 2008 by Ellen Simon 
www.imadulation.com.  Permission to reprint if left intact.

Ellen Simon is a nationally recognized expert in the field of mind body health. Ellen’s unique brands of audio programs are in use in hospitals and health care facilities across the country.  Ellen is the author of over 25 titles. This article is adapted from Food for Thought®, a 6 audio CD set. For more information visit 
www.imadulation.com.

SOUND CHANGES

6 Strategies to Stress Less

By Ellen Simon, M.S., M. Ed., LPC

Author of Food for Thought, a 6 CD audio set with guidebook utilizing Imadulation® technology. 


www.imadulation.com

Stress happens in your body but starts in your mind.

In addition to the perception of danger or life threatening events, there are 2 thinking habits that activate the stress response in the body.

  • The first is NEGATIVE ATTENTION or focusing on what you don’t want/like, rather than what is good, right or challenging in a growth producing way. The Law of Attraction will bring into your life that which you focus on and play on the movie screen of your mind.
     
  • The second common habit to induce stress is an INSISTENCE AND NEEDING THAT THINGS BE A CERTAIN WAY, rather than preferring the same.

Insistence on things being a certain way implies an attachment to a particular outcome, and thus sets you up for disappointment. If instead you prefer an outcome, you still identify your wishes and desires, yet this attitude contains an energy of allowingness or letting go. Preferring carries an element of trust in the unfolding of life and the confidence that whatever happens, you have the resources and ability to handle life.

It’s better to have what you need than to need what you want.

The 6 strategies to stress less and enjoy life more follow:

  1. Thinking healthy - focus on what you do want rather than what you don’t want, let go of insisting or clinging to a particular outcome. Where are your thoughts? Are you focusing on what is wrong? Or is your awareness on the solution or even on the blessing that if often revealed down the road? Are you turning your wants into needs? When you NEED what you WANT then you create unnecessary stress. Try shifting your needs into preferences, relaxing, breathing and looking at the big picture. 
     
  2. Breathing - breathe in fully and completely let go of your breathe. Breathing is a metaphor for life. Take it in fully and let go of what you do not need.
     
  3. Moving – stretch your body and keep it flexible and resilient like your mind.
     
  4. Awareness – maintain a consciousness of your habitual patterns. If something is not working, cease the pattern and make another choice. 
     
  5. Communication – be assertive, state your truth with harmless intention and allow another to have a truth that may differ from yours. Respect your needs and celebrate diversity in your loved ones.
     
  6. Sound Sleep - crucial to managing stress and feelings of well being. If needed create a routine for yourself that includes a soothing and calming ritual before bed. If there is something on your mind, talk to a friend or journal - get those feelings out of your body and onto some paper or into a friend’s ear! Meditation prior to bedtime can create a nice transition to sleep. A spray of lavender or nutritional supplements may be considered to support a healthy sleep.

Keep in mind these 6 strategies as you remember that you are the choice maker and one of the few things you can choose is what thoughts you entertain and how you respond to life!!

“You Can Change Your Life When You Change Your Mind.”

What you give attention to becomes manifest in your reality. 
“WHAT IS IT THAT YOU REALLY WANT?”

"We can not change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses”. -Carl Jung

 

© 2008 by Ellen Simon www.imadulation.com.  Permission to reprint if left intact.

Ellen Simon is a nationally recognized expert in the field of mind body health. Ellen’s unique brands of audio programs are in use in hospitals and health care facilities across the country.  Ellen is the author of over 25 titles. This article is adapted from Food for Thought®, a 6 audio CD set. For more information visit 
www.imadulation.com.

 

 

 

 

Take a deep breath. Sigh it out. Clear your mind. Relax. Listen to how meditation rejuvenated Ellen's mind, body and spirit.

Ellen's Story

"I was so scared I wished I could be hypnotized."

I grew up being a sensitive child, and I had various challenges where I learned that if I changed images in my mind, it would change my experience. Then in my post graduate work, which was in counseling, I happened to be doing an externship with a psychologist, and I jokingly said, "I am going to the dentist today and I am so scared I wish I could be hypnotized." He offered to hypnotize me, and in a matter of ten minutes, I had a very profound experience that I had never had in my life.

I had studied yoga and meditation, but I had never had anything so profound and deep. I felt like I was bathed in pure unconditional love. It was so profound for me that I decided I was going to make it a part of my life.

"Hypnotism or guided imagery is not anything new under the sun -- it is ancient, and we are all designed to experience it."

To access a different state of consciousness, you sit and you breathe. You become aware of your breathing, and you shift your attention from the outer world to what is going on inside your body. Just recognizing your breathing stops your stress response, and that alone can stop the progression of all kinds of unwanted aliments in the body.

When you achieve physical relaxation you seek to experience mental relaxation. One tool to experience mental relaxation is to count backwards. I start with 100 and count backwards, with each number that you count back you double your mental relaxation and all of a sudden the mind becomes quiet. Then you have access to your subconscious mind, which is powerful and is connected to universal mind, which is connected to your solar plexus, which directs your body processes, which is how people stop smoking or change the course of an illness in one session.

"It completely changed the way I deal with stressful situations."

Before I started meditating I had a lot of anxiety, digestion problems and chronic tension. I was a high achiever and very self critical. I had weight issues and I had people make fun of me. After experiencing the bliss of being hypnotized before the dentist visit, I applied it to everything. I have five children, and the first one I had with hypnosis and no anesthesia. Then I used hypnosis to lose the 50 pounds I gained with each child. Now I use it in my practice, which I call Imadulation, to help people with everything from relationships to chemotherapy.

"We have all the answers we need inside of ourselves; we just have to access them."

Our culture is outer-focused, and we always look for answers outside of ourselves. Really the answer is within. We need to have the tools to know that when we stop and are quiet and go within, we have access to everything that we need.

"Meditating affects not just our health, but also how we are in the world."

It takes some discipline to say, "I am going to be protective of my time everyday. Ten minutes before I start my day to use the power of my own creative imagination to choose how I am going to live my life, to choose how my day is going to be, to choose my health, my thoughts, the people I am going to attract in my life, the life I want to create for myself."

I am very protective of that time for myself. I take the time during the day or the evening to sit quietly and have my meditation time. It can be 10 minutes, but ideally it's 30 minutes or longer. If everyone took a few minutes every day to relax, there wouldn't be wars, there wouldn't be road rage. We wouldn't be violent, we wouldn't steal. We would be peaceful; we would be in touch with our own divinity and thus see it in one another and be able to connect to people on a different level.

"Being introduced to meditation and having that initial hypnosis completely changed my life."

It affected how I am in the world, what kind of mother I am, what I have chosen to do for my profession. I feel something immediately when I do it, and if I didn't continue it, I would feel the effects of not doing it. We need to take care of our bodies in all kinds of ways; we need to take care of the mind, body and spirit.

 


Guided Imagery Newsletter Archives


Guided Imagery Monthly Newsletter for December
Topic: 
Six Simple Ways to Achieve Your Healthy Weight

SOUND CHANGES
Six Simple Ways to Achieve Your Healthy Weight
By Ellen Simon, M.S., M. Ed., LPC
www.imadulation.com

 

What do you really want? 

Do you want a healthy body, vibrant energy and natural joy? If your answer is yes, are you willing to do what you need to do in order to get what you really want?

When you connect with your natural intuition, your inner wisdom, you will be guided to make choices in alignment with your highest ideals. These choices will be reflected in what you eat, how you eat, how you breathe, how you manage stress, how often and what type of exercise you choose, how you sleep, what you think and how you interact with others.

The 6 components to wellness and maintenance of healthy weight include doing the following:

 

Healthy food choices You are naturally created to make healthy choices. Even as a baby or young child you stopped eating when you felt full and ate only when you felt hungry. It's natural to confuse hunger for food with the need for love, or peace or even novelty. As you look inward and enhance inner awareness the distinction will be increasingly clear. You will remember to stop and be mindful of your true needs. Ask yourself, "Am I truly hungry? Is it food that I really want"? If you are tired or fatigued, food will not necessarily give you the boost you seek. Instead, breathe deeply, take a nap if possible or better yet, go grab your shoes and take a brisk walk or do some stretching exercises!  If you are bored with your surroundings seek another form of entertainment and stimulation rather than mindless eating. It is natural to want and need love and using food as a substitute for love can certainly create an unwanted habit. Many people and animals need love so if it is love you seek, reach to those in need, and share.

 

Self love. As you become increasingly aware of the magnificence of your body, then you are more likely to care for it as you would a small child or a beloved pet. Notice how you feel after you make choices. Good feelings result when we follow our higher inner guidance!

Positive thoughts & beliefs. As you become aware of what does not work you can choose congruent uplifting thoughts, which are in alignment with what you really want. If you consistently focus on what you don't want, (being overweight, feeling unfit and wearing moo-moos) then you are going to get more of that! If you turn your attention to what you truly want & need and entertain images of your ideal outcome, then you will more quickly bring into existence your ideal weight and good health. One of the things we can choose other than our attitude about life is what we put in our mouth!

Stress management is accomplished with a consciousness of your habitual patterns + healthy breathing + mind/body awareness. Stress is the main reasons so many of us eat when we are not hungry. And prolonged stress not only exacerbates illness and disease, but it contributes to an increase in the hormone cortisol, which has been implicated in maintaining excess fat especially around the belly. There are many effective stress management techniques and 2 primary aspects of effective stress management include how you are thinking and how you are moving. Poor breathing causes muscle tension and even pain syndromes. Deep mindful breathing can transform your experience of life!

 

Exercise is the best strategy for attaining & maintaining your optimal weight. Exercise is the best way to relieve stress, overcome depression and enhance feelings of well-being. Start with 10 minutes of exercise + 10 minutes of stretching. Find a physical activity you enjoy and treat yourself; your body's gonna love it!

Sound Sleep helps you maintain your optimal weight. Studies show that sleep deprivation can alter hormone production associated with weight gain while adequate sleep promotes healthy hormone levels of leptin and ghrelin. When you are rested you are less likely to eat due to fatigue and more likely to have the desire to exercise. Create a routine for yourself that includes a soothing and calming ritual before bed. A spray of lavender is a nice addition to a bedtime ritual.

Remember... You can change your life when you change your mind℠    
 

© 2008 by Ellen Simon www.imadulation.com. Permission to reprint if left intact.

Ellen Chernoff Simon is a nationally recognized expert in the field of mind body health. Ellen's unique brands of audio programs are in use in hospitals and health care facilities across the country. Ellen is the author of over 25 titles. This article is adapted from Food for Thought®, a 6 audio CD set. For more information visit www.imadulation.com.

 

Guided Imagery Monthly Newsletter for May
Topic: Breathing

Topic: 
Breathing

“The holistic physician of the future will look at three things: What we eat, how we move, what we think.”

-Candace Pert, Ph.D., research Professor, Dept of Physiology and Biophysics, Georgetown University Medical Center, Author of Molecules of Emotion, leading scientist in the study of the biochemical basis of emotions, behavior and the link between the body, mind and spirit.

Why, you ask, do we devote an entire topic to breathing? Since the cause of many diseases can be related to lifestyle. There is one lifestyle choice you can make that requires no equipment, no cost, and only a little effort on your part, and that choice is: HOW YOU BREATHE.  

Most of us take the process of breathing for granted. Do you?

Are you aware that your breathing directly affects powerful brain centers responsible for your perception of pleasure and pain? 

The periaqueductal gray in the midbrain is an important point where many nerves join together to share information and also where opiate receptors abound. The coolest place to hang out in the brain, I’d say. It is connected the limbic system, the seat of the emotions.

What does this mean to me you may ask?

If you have interest in choosing your state of being and if you choose to have more joy and peace in your life, you may want to begin to breathe consciously now and then.

Conscious breathing gives you access to the periaqueductal gray and allows you to control the release of peptides from the brain stem. Many of these peptides are endorphins, the pleasure/happy peptide. The study of the effect of breathing on our physiology is well documented. 

Have you ever noticed when you are upset, you stop breathing or hold your breath? Have you ever tried to be upset and breathe deeply and effortlessly at the same time?

Try it!

And one of the most important functions of breathing beside helping you feel happy and blissful is to carry vital oxygen to your body, to your muscles and organs and tissues.

Let’s look at muscle tension for example. Did you know that the cause of most muscle pain is lack of oxygen flow to the muscles?

Do you know why a heart attack is painful?

Lack of oxygen to that precious organ.

Please take some time every day to breathe consciously. Ideally this will soon become a new habit, you will notice a difference and so will your friends and family .  And here’s one more benefit I want to share- conscious breathing helps you be present. That means when you breathe with awareness you are in the here and now. It connects you to your body and your emotions and your very core. If you are not sure how to breathe properly, then look at a baby or a dog. They naturally breathe in the belly.

It’s a nice meditation as well to breathe with a dog or a baby. Try it you’ll see what I mean. Ok cats will work too. But avoid breathing with dangerous animals from the wild.

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

-Albert Camus (1913-1960) French Writer

Breath = Life

What would you to have more of in your life? INHALE THAT

What would you like to release from your life? EXHALE THAT

Breathing is life. The universe operates on this principle. We take in, we release.  We are filled, we are emptied. We expand, we contract. We laugh we cry. We are born we die. Our cells build up, our cells break down.

We breathe in we breathe out. 

Listen to your breathing. Choose to take in life fully with each breath. Are you troubled by anything at all? Let it go with each out - breath. You can if you really want to.  Embrace your power to do so.  

"Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart.

Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens."

-Carl Jung

I always welcome your questions and will be happy to post the answer in the “Ask Ellen” section of the web site, and will also answer privately if you prefer. 

I wish you the best of life… abundance, health, prosperity, joy, peace, BLISS, deep satisfying breaths, and mostly love.

Imagining Your Success,

 

 

 

Guided Imagery Monthly Newsletter for March
Topic: change

Topic: change

Change

"We can't become what we need to be 
by remaining what we are.”
 
-Oprah Winfrey

Let’s talk about change, especially since this month brings the powerful winds of change and the hope inherent in the vernal equinox. 

What season is most reflective of change and new growth
That’s right…. SPRINGTIME!!

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive tochange." 
-Charles Darwin

“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
-George Bernard Shaw

Irish literary critic, playwright and essayist. 
1925 Nobel Prize for Literature, 1856-1950

How do you feel about change? Is there anything about your life you want to change? Are you waiting for others around you to change? Or are you waiting for your circumstances to change? What are you waiting for?

CARPE DIEM  SEIZE THE DAY!

Change = Life

What seeds are you watering in your life? What would you like to havemore of in your life? Are you watering the seeds you wish to seesprout? Or are your watering the weeds of doubt?

Unlike other species, we human beings can observe and direct our own process of growth. And we have the awareness and power to changethe direction of our life path.

As co-creators, we are not limited to experiencing change by waiting on others to do something for us, or for circumstances around us tochange in some way. With our potent imaginations, we can construct and manifest dramatic, profound change. How remarkable! What an awesome power and responsibility we have!

  "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."

-Albert Einstein 

How do you imagine your ideal life to be? How would you look and feel physically? What would you do with your time? What thoughts would you think? What words would you speak? With whom would you spend your time?  Create what you idealize in your imagination, feed it with repetitive positive thoughts and act on that which supports your highest vision for yourself and others!

"The impulse to evolve is inherent in the very nature of life."

-Maharishi Mahesh Yogi 

Listen to the whisper within. Accessing and harnessing your ability to create your life, to change and evolve, is done with the greatest ease through subtle means rather than forceful control.

It is the process of meditation, of going within, using guided imagery, or ancient meditation practices, or simply mindful breathing that provides us with the most profound tool for transformation. 

"Be not afraid of changing slowly; be afraid only of standing still." 

-Chinese Proverb

I always welcome your questions and will happily post the answers in the “Ask Ellen” section of my website, yet will answer privately if you so specify. 

I wish you the best of life… abundance, health, prosperity, joy, peace,exhilarating change, and mostly love.

Imagining Your Success,

 

 

Guided Imagery Monthly Newsletter for February
Topic: Love

FEBRUARY
Topic: Love

LOVE

"One word frees us from the weight and pain of life; that word islove." 

-Sophocles 

Let’s talk about romantic love since this month is Valentine’s day. 

What is true love?

True love is present when the beloved shares these values: 

  1. The Capacity and Desire to be kind.
  2. The Capacity and Desire to bring joy.
  3. The Capacity and Desire to remove suffering.
  4. The Capacity and Desire to celebrate the greatest potential in the other.

Fortunate are the couple who want that which truly serves the highest potential for growth in the other.  When two look in the same direction, both wanting growth and the highest expression of love, then anything is possible, a life of bliss, joy and fulfillment. 

Of course that doesn’t mean there will not be problems or issues, but when the core values are in alignment, then personal growth and true love is possible. Celebrating the highest potential in the other may at times involve letting them go.

Holding another captive and wishing or attempting to control their behavior is truly the antithesis of love, and is an expression of fear.

"When you are aware that you are the force that is Life, anything is possible. Miracles happen all the time, because those miracles are performed by the heart. The heart is in direct communion with the human soul, and when the heart speaks, even with the resistance of the head, something inside you changes; your heart opens another heart, and true love is possible."

-Don Miguel Ruiz

          We NEED To Feel LOVE

"Our deepest need is for the joy that comes with loving and being loved, with knowing we are of genuine use to others." -Eknath Easwaran

When you have peace, freedom and love WITHIN, then you will handle any circumstance in your life. You will realize that Love is who you are, it is your essence. It is NOT dependent upon another person, his or her reaction, choice, or behavior.  

Sadly at times a partner chooses not to be loving, and rather than expressing the 4 elements of love mentioned above, they bring the opposite into a relationship. If that person refuses to be open to growth and change, then it is often best for all concerned to release the relationship. We are not here to suffer; there is enough suffering around without creating it in our personal lives.   

What we can control is the development of compassion, joy, understanding, freedom and LOVE in ourselves, then we have done our part in the relationship.

Thich Nhat Hanh teaches the simple wisdom of maintaining a loving relationship. It is simple and beautiful, and if we practice this with each other daily, love will flourish. It goes like this:

Say to your beloved every day in these words or in your own words:

  • “Darling, I am here for you.”   (Be Present)
  • “Darling, I know you are there, And I am very happy” (Show appreciation and joy in the presence of your beloved)

And when needed, yet hopefully not too often, say:

  • “Darling, I know you suffer, and that is why I am here for you.” (Show compassion and the ability to relieve suffering in the other)
  • “Darling, I suffer, please help.” (Let go of pride and be willing to share your feelings and ask for what you need)

It is difficult to practice true love if we ourselves are full of anger, worry and fear. So in order to love deeply and well, we have a responsibility to take care of ourselves first.

"When mystics use the word love, they use it very carefully -- in the deeply spiritual sense, where to love is to know; to love is to act. If you really love, from the depths of your Consciousness, that love gives you a native wisdom. You perceive the needs of others intuitively and clearly, with detachment from any personal desires; and you know how to act creatively to meet those needs, dexterously surmounting any obstacle that comes in the way. Such is the immense, driving power of love."

-Eknath Easwara

 A Poet without Love is a physical and metaphysical impossibility. 

-Thomas Carlyle, Essays--Burns

I am grateful for the influence of Don Miguel Ruiz, Thich Nhat Hanh, Abraham Maslow, and Victor Frankel for their seminal work about the glory of LOVE.

I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I salute that Source in you. Let us work together for unity and love

-Mahatma Gandhi.

I always welcome your questions and will happily post the answers in the “Ask Ellen” section of my website, yet will answer privately if you so specify. 

I wish you the best of life… abundance, health, prosperity, joy, peace and mostly love.

Imagining Your Success,

 

 

Guided Imagery Monthly Newsletter for January
Topic: Manifesting Your Dreams

Guided Imagery Monthly Newsletter for December
Topic: Time

 

 

Guided Imagery Monthly Newsletter for September
Topic: The quest for Meaning in the midst of Suffering

Listen to "Comfort For Difficult Times" this week.

The quest for Meaning in the midst of Suffering…

 

Let’s begin with definitions:

The noun suffering:

  1. a state of acute pain
    Synonyms:  agony, excruciation
  2. misery resulting from affliction
    Synonym: woe
  3. psychological suffering
    Synonyms: distress, hurt
  4. feelings of mental or physical pain
    Synonym: hurt

The adjective suffering:

  1. troubled by pain or loss
  2. very unhappy; full of misery
    Synonyms: miserable, wretched

The noun meaning:

  1. 1.     Something that is conveyed or signified; sense or significance.
  2. 2.     Something that one wishes to convey, especially by language.
  3. 3.     An interpreted goal, intent, or end.
  4. 4.     Inner significance

The adjective meaning:

  1. 1.     Full of meaning; expressive.
  2. 2.     Disposed or intended in a specified manner. Often used in combination:a well-meaning fellow; ill-meaning intentions.

And now I wish to quote one of my heroes, a man who influenced my life and way of thinking, to whom I will always be grateful for his gift to humanity: VICTOR FRANKEL

From (Man's Search for Meaning, 1946): "Everything can be taken away from man but one thing, [the ability] to choose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." 

Frankel viewed suffering as a means to happiness rather than an obstacle.  He saw suffering as the path that leads to deeper understanding and choice- if you chose to see it that way.

Frankel celebrated free will and  the one thing that we can control… our attitude and thoughts in a given set of circumstances.

In the midst of the greatest horror known to humankind, Frankel chose love.


At a time when many of us feel helpless and want to help, the task seems overwhelming when we look at the whole situation.  But, if you look at one person at a time, and do one act of kindness, the whole world shifts because of YOU. We are all connected to each other.

Some tips to help those in the midst of acute suffering:

  • Be present- if possible in person- you don’t have to say anything.
  • Invite the person to talk if they want, just listen.
  • Let them know it’s ok to cry-encourage expression of feelings without judgments or advice.
  • Know that we can never know how another is feeling, each person is unique and precious, and has an experience born of their past and present.
  • Encourage activity that feels normal and routine.
  • Find ways to bring comfort- warm or cool drinks, etc.
  • Remind them of their strengths.
  • Acknowledge the fear encourage staying in the present- one moment at a time.

Symptoms of post traumatic stress:

  • Difficulty communicating thoughts
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Depression, sadness
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Mood-swings
  • Crying easily
  • Overwhelming guilt and self-doubt
  • Difficulty maintaining balance
  • Easily frustrated
  • Increased use of drugs/alcohol
  • Limited attention span
  • Poor work performance
  • Headaches/stomach problems
  • Tunnel vision/muffled hearing
  • Colds or flu-like symptoms.
  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Reluctance to leave home
  • Fear of crowds, strangers, or being alone

I encourage us all to reach out our hand today to just one person. It will make a great difference. Smile instead of frown. Let someone go ahead of you in traffic. Forgive your neighbor or friend who “wronged” you.

Most of all, keep your thoughts loving and kind.  The vibration of your caring will make a difference to those around you whether you or they realize it or not.

It is difficult to give of ourselves in the midst of suffering, yet that is what sets us apart  from some (not all) other creatures.  

We have CHOICE. 

I wish you  the best of everything… Peace, freedom, prosperity and mostly love. 

Imagining your freedom,

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

 

Guided Imagery Monthly Newsletter for August
Topic: friendship

 

How precious is friendship? 

Let’s talk about the health benefits of sharing the contents of your heart with another who listens without judgment, and celebrate the dancing of the heart that feels understood.  The spirit that is recognized and acknowledged by another soars. 

"Two may talk together under the same roof for many years, yet never really meet; and two others at first speech are old friends." 
-- Mary Catherwood 

If you are blessed to have even one friend, then may you nurture the friendship and delight in the multifold benefits of that connection. 

"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather is one of those things that give value to survival." 
-- C. S. Lewis 

If you desire this sort of friendship, ask for it in your meditations and reach out to others. There are always those who wish for the very same as you. As you walk about your day and smile with open eyes and heart, may you be a friend and give that which you seek. 

“Good friendships are fragile things and require as much care as any other fragile and precious thing.”
-- Randolph S. Bourne (1886-1918) American Writer

As always, I welcome your questions and will be happy to post the answer in the “Ask Ellen” section of the web site, and will answer privately if you prefer. 

I wish you the best of life… abundance, health, prosperity, joy, peace and love. 

Imagining All You Desire,

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

 


Lose Weight CD

Guided Imagery Weekly E-Message March 1, 2005 - 
Week 1: Weight Management & Mindful Awareness

Guided Imagery Weekly E-Message March 6, 2005 - 
Week 2: Weight Management & Owning Responsibility

 

This week I will provide guidelines for establishing proper eating habits, covering the "LOSE WEIGHT CD", the first in the “Food For Thought” comprehensive weight loss program.

MARCH

LOSE WEIGHT:” OWNING RESPONSIBILITY

Healthy lifestyle changes will enhance your quality of life, instead of providing you with the disappointments that come from yo-yo dieting. Creating and sustaining optimum weight starts with making healthy choices. Permanent change can only come from commitment to a better way!

GUIDELINES for Achieving a Healthy Weight:

  • Increase your activity. Exercise not only burns excess calories, but tunes the mind and body to regulate appetite and reduce negative effects of stress.
  • Decrease your amounts. Studies have shown an overall improvement in health, well-being, and libido, to be correlated with less caloric intake.
  • Choose healthy foods consisting mostly of plant based ingredients. We highly recommend an abundance of soy products, and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables (5 or more servings). Please choose foods low to medium on the glycemic index. We recommended greater than but at least 50% of intake to be consistent of unrefined, complex carbohydrates, a protein intake of 10-20%, and a fat intake of less than 30%.
  • Eat smaller portions. This includes eating mindfully, like a gourmet. Eat only until you are 80% full, chewing slowly and swallowing before taking another bite.
  • Drink an abundance of water. This is often overlooked, and water is the most vital substance for the body.
  • Learn and practice methods to effectively cope with stress and anxiety, such as meditation, yoga, and cognitive restructuring.
  • Practice mindful BREATHING during eating!
  • Adopt an alternative activity to eating, one that enhances the meaning and quality of your life.
  • It is recommended that you recognize the importance of personal relationships and social ties in your overall goal to achieve total health an well-being. Studies have shown an increase in immune functioning when involved in harmonious social interactions, and a decrease in the natural killer cell activity when negative emotions, depression, despair, isolation and loneliness are present.
  • Eat to live, rather than live to eat

"Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities -- always see them, for they're always there." - Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

Next week we will explore this topic further.

Imagining your Success,

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

 

Guided Imagery Weekly E-Message March  
Week 3: Weight Management & Mindfulness of True Needs

This week I will provide guidelines for establishing proper eating habits, covering the "LOSE WEIGHT CD", the first in the “Food For Thought” comprehensive weight loss program.

MARCH

LOSE WEIGHT:” OWNING RESPONSIBILITY

Healthy lifestyle changes will enhance your quality of life, instead of providing you with the disappointments that come from yo-yo dieting. Creating and sustaining optimum weight starts with making healthy choices. Permanent change can only come from commitment to a better way!

GUIDELINES for Achieving a Healthy Weight:

  • Increase your activity. Exercise not only burns excess calories, but tunes the mind and body to regulate appetite and reduce negative effects of stress.
  • Decrease your amounts. Studies have shown an overall improvement in health, well-being, and libido, to be correlated with less caloric intake.
  • Choose healthy foods consisting mostly of plant based ingredients. We highly recommend an abundance of soy products, and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables (5 or more servings). Please choose foods low to medium on the glycemic index. We recommended greater than but at least 50% of intake to be consistent of unrefined, complex carbohydrates, a protein intake of 10-20%, and a fat intake of less than 30%.
  • Eat smaller portions. This includes eating mindfully, like a gourmet. Eat only until you are 80% full, chewing slowly and swallowing before taking another bite.
  • Drink an abundance of water. This is often overlooked, and water is the most vital substance for the body.
  • Learn and practice methods to effectively cope with stress and anxiety, such as meditation, yoga, and cognitive restructuring.
  • Practice mindful BREATHING during eating!
  • Adopt an alternative activity to eating, one that enhances the meaning and quality of your life.
  • It is recommended that you recognize the importance of personal relationships and social ties in your overall goal to achieve total health an well-being. Studies have shown an increase in immune functioning when involved in harmonious social interactions, and a decrease in the natural killer cell activity when negative emotions, depression, despair, isolation and loneliness are present.
  • Eat to live, rather than live to eat

"Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities -- always see them, for they're always there." - Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

Next week we will explore this topic further.

Imagining your Success,

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

 

Guided Imagery Weekly E-Message March  
Week 4: Weight Management & Taking Action

"Imagine Taking Action”, Listen to CD One this week"

“Do the thing and you will have the power.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

This month we're reviewing “Wants And Needs”, the first CD in the “Food for Thought” comprehensive weight loss program. In April you'll learn how to improve your “Self Love”. Each month a new topic will be explored in depth.

As always, I welcome your questions and will post them at “Ask Ellen”, so everyone can benefit, but am happy to answer privately if you so indicate.

This week includes helpful guidelines for food choices. Interested in the glycemic index, I have provided a list of foods and their ratings. Why we eat and how we eat are important. It also matters what we eat, so I offer the information that follows… 

I wish you the best in life….abundance, health, prosperity, joy, peace and love.

Ellen Chernoff Simon
ellen@imadulation.com

 MARCH

WANTS AND NEEDS:” Week Four: Action

Healthy food choices must take into account good nutrition and your individual needs. Since we are all unique, there is a eating lifestyle that is just right for you. The challenge is to use the scientific information that is available and then go within to learn what works best for your body type. Rather than choosing diets that won’t last, I encourage you to choose a lifestyle that is fulfilling and rewarding for you. There is no one quite like you and what works for many, may not be the right path for you. I invite you to take action, examine your lifestyle and make changes :

Are you:

Exercising daily?

Managing your stress?

Making healthy food choices?

Communicating clearly and assertively (rather than eating to deal with your feelings?

In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, all components are important. For today, I am  focusing on sharing a guide to healthy food choices. 

Please see below some information about the glycemic index. Choose foods with a lower glycemic index. Also, review the food pyramid and choose a wide variety of healthy foods. 

Glycemic Index

*Glycemic Index is a measure of how much our blood sugar rises after we eat a particular carbohydrate. The speed with which the food is converted into blood glucose determines the glycemic rating.

Pure glucose has a rating of 100 on the glycemic index.

Foods with a higher rating than 100 change into blood sugar faster than sucrose. The higher the rank, the greater the effect on your glucose level. The pancreas works to regulate blood glucose levels and releases insulin in response to those levels. If you consume large amounts of food with a high glycemic index, then you can risk developing insulin resistance which is an underlying cause for adult onset, type II diabetes, obesity and unhealthy blood fat profiles.

Foods with a rank over 70 are considered to be high glycemic index foods. Foods that rank as moderate on the glycemic index have a rating of 56-70 and those that have a low glycemic index rank under 56.

Cereals

Snacks

Pasta

Beans

All Bran

51

chocolate bar

49

cheese tortellini

50

baked

44

Bran Buds + psyll

45

corn chips

72

fettucini

32

black beans, boiled

30

Bran Flakes

74

croissant

67

linguini

50

butter, boiled

33

Cheerios

74

doughnut

76

macaroni

46

cannellini beans

31

Corn Chex

83

graham crakers

74

spagh, 5 min boiled

33

garbanzo, boiled

34

Cornflakes

83

jelly beans

80

spagh, 15 min boiled

44

kidney, boiled

29

Cream of Wheat

66

Life Savers

70

spagh, prot enrich

28

kidney, canned

52

Frosted Flakes

55

oatmeal cookie

57

vermicelli

35

lentils, green, brown

30

Grapenuts

67

pizza, cheese & tom

60

Soups/Vegetables

lima, boiled

32

Life

66

Pizza Hut, supreme

33

beets, canned

64

navy beans

38

muesli, natural

54

popcorn, light micro

55

black bean soup

64

pinto, boiled

39

Nutri-grain

66

potato chips

56

carrots, fresh, boil

49

red lentils, boiled

27

oatmeal, old fach

48

pound cake

54

corn, sweet

56

soy, boiled

16

Puffed Wheat

67

Power bars

58

green pea, soup

66

Breads

Raisin Bran

73

pretzels

83

green pea, frozen

47

bagel, plain

72

Rice Chex

89

saltine crakers

74

lima beans, frozen

32

baquette, Frnch

95

Shredded Wheat

67

shortbread cookies

64

parsnips

97

croissant

67

Special K

54

Snikers bar

41

peas, fresh, boil

48

dark rey

76

Total

76

strawberry jam

51

split pea soup w/ham

66

hamburger bun

61

Fruit

vanilla wafers

77

tomato soup

38

muffins

 

apple

38

Wheat Thins

67

Drinks

apple, cin

44

apricots

57

Crackers

apple juice

40

blueberry

59

banana

56

graham

74

colas

65

oat & raisin

54

cantalope

65

rice cakes

80

Gatorade

78

pita

57

cherries

22

rye

68

grapefruit juice

48

pizza, cheese

60

dates

103

soda

72

orange juice

46

pumpernickel

49

grapefruit

25

Wheat Thins

67

pineapple juice

46

sourdough

54

grapes

46

Cereal Grains

Milk Products

rye

64

kiwi

52

barley

25

chocolate milk

35

white

70

mango

55

basmati white rice

58

custard

43

wheat

68

orange

43

bulgar

48

ice cream, van

60

Root Crops

papaya

58

couscous

65

ice milk, van

50

french fries

75

peach

42

cornmeal

68

skim milk

32

pot, new, boiled

59

pear

58

millet

71

soy milk

31

pot, red, baked

93

pineapple

66

Sugars

tofu frozen dessert

115

pot, sweet

52

plums

39

fructose

22

whole milk

30

pot, white, boiled

63

prunes

15

honey

62

yogurt, fruit

36

pot, white, mash

70

raisins

64

maltose

105

yogurt, plain

14

yam

54

watermelon

72

table sugar

64

 

 

 

 

* Actually, the GI indirectly measures a food's effect on blood sugar.

 FOOD GUIDE PYRAMID

  

WHAT COUNTS AS A SERVING?

Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta Group (Grains Group)—whole grain and refined

  • 1 slice of bread
  • About 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal
  • 1/2 cup of cooked cereal, rice, or pasta

Vegetable Group

  • 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables
  • 1/2 cup of other vegetables cooked or raw
  • 3/4 cup of vegetable juice

Fruit Group

  • 1 medium apple, banana, orange, pear
  • 1/2 cup of chopped, cooked, or canned fruit
  • 3/4 cup of fruit juice

Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese Group (Milk Group)*

  • 1 cup of milk** or yogurt**
  • 1 1/2 ounces of natural cheese** (such as Cheddar)
  • 2 ounces of processed cheese** (such as American)

Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts Group (Meat and Beans Group)

  • 2-3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish
  • 1/2 cup of cooked dry beans# or 1/2 cup of tofu counts as 1 ounce of lean meat
  • 2 1/2-ounce soyburger or 1 egg counts as 1 ounce of lean meat
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter or 1/3 cup of nuts counts as 1 ounce of meat

NOTE: Many of the serving sizes given above are smaller than those on the Nutrition Facts Label. For example, 1 serving of cooked cereal, rice, or pasta is 1 cup for the label but only 1/2 cup for thePyramid.

*

This includes lactose-free and lactose-reduced milk products. One cup of soy-based beverage with added calcium is an option for those who prefer a non-dairy source of calcium.

**

Choose fat-free or reduced-fat dairy products most often.

 

#

Dry beans, peas, and lentils can be counted as servings in either the meat and beans group or the vegetable group. As a vegetable, 1/2 cup of cooked, dry beans counts as 1 serving. As a meat substitute, 1 cup of cooked, dry beans counts as 1 serving (2 ounces of meat).

 BMI

 

 

Healthy Weight  BMI from 18.5 up to 25 refers to a healthy weight.  

 

Overweight BMI from 25 up to 30 refers to overweight. 

 

Obese  BMI 30 or higher refers to obesity.  Obese persons are also overweight.  

BMI measures weight in relation to height.  The BMI ranges shown above are for adults.  They are not exact ranges of healthy and unhealthy weights.  However, they show that health risk increases at higher levels of overweight and obesity.  Even within the healthy BMI range, weight gains can carry health risks for adults.  

Directions: Find your weight on the bottom of the graph.  Go straight up from that point until you come to the line that matches your height.  Then look to find your weight group. 


Source: Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2000, page 3.  

"You see things and you say, "Why?" But I dream things 
that never were, and I say, "Why not?" 
-George Bernard Shaw

Imagining your Success,

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

 


Self Love CD

Guided Imagery Weekly E-Message March 27, 2005 - 
Week 1: Imagine Awareness

"Self-acceptance is my refusal to be in an adversarial
 relationship to myself." -- Nathaniel Branden

 Beginning March 27

SELF LOVE:” Week 1: “Imagine Awareness”

Listen to CD #2  “SELF LOVE” this week.

This month I will cover the information from “Self Love”, the 2nd CD in the “Food for Thought” comprehensive lifestyle program.

In May I’ll cover helpful information related to “Positive Thinking” based on the audio program, “MIND MINT”. Each month a new topic will be explored in depth.

I welcome your questions and will be happy to post the answer in the “Ask Ellen” section of the web site or will answer privately if you prefer.

I wish you the best of life….abundance, health, prosperity, joy, peace and love.

Imagining your Success,

Ellen
ellen@imadulation.com

Within you lies the source of your misery and of your greatest triumph. The fist step to achieving self love is having awareness of how you attend to, speak to, and treat yourself.

  • Do you treat yourself with care? Do you provide your body/mind with nourishment or poison?
  • Do you speak to yourself with words of encouragement and acceptance or are you harshly critical and judgmental of yourself?
  • Are there parts of you that are wounded and in need of healing?
  • Are you aware of the greatness that lies within?

This week, take some time to get quiet and listen to how you speak to yourself. 

Observe how you treat your body and mind. Choose to be kind and loving, forgiving, and understanding of all the aspects of your wondrous self. 

"One of the greatest moments in anybody's developing experience is when he no longer tries to hide from himself but determines to get acquainted with himself as he really is." 
-- Norman Vincent Peale

Imagining your Success,

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

 

Guided Imagery Weekly E-Messages April  
Week 2: Imagine Connecting

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” 
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

 SELF LOVE:” Week 2: “Imagine Connecting”

Listen to CD #2  “SELF LOVE” this week.

This month I will cover the information from “Self Love”, the 2nd CD in the “Food for Thought” comprehensive weight loss program.

In May I’ll cover helpful information related to “Positive Thinking” based on the audio program, “MIND MINT”. Each month a new topic will be explored in depth.

I welcome your questions and will be happy to post the answer in the “Ask Ellen” section of the web site or will answer privately if you prefer.

I wish you the best of life….abundance, health, prosperity, joy, peace and love.

Imagining your Success,

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

Have you ever felt guided from within, and after listening to and following that guidance, were grateful for the outcome?

Have you ever ignored your inner guidance and suffered because of it?

Do you want to be more connected to the wisdom that is within you? 

Have you ever felt hurt or ignored and felt sad because of it?

Do you enjoy it when you feel free and spontaneous? 

Do you notice that you sometimes feel stubborn and rebellious and take actions that are not in your best interest, just because you wanted to?

The way to self knowledge is by going within. Endeavor to make it a priority to know yourself and the inner parts of you that influence your behavior. Connecting to these parts with love and acceptance will add a depth and perspective to your life and positively influence how you see and interact with others. 

Ask yourself:

“Am I coming from a place of higher guidance, love and wisdom?”

“Am I reacting like my younger inner part” “How old do I feel right now?”

“Am I being rebellious like my inner teen?”

“Does this behavior help me to accomplish my goals and propel me toward that which I deeply desire in my life?”

If not, begin to develop a relationship with yourself that is positive and loving. It begins with connecting with and loving your multifaceted self! 

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind” -- Dr. Suess, via Elena

Imagining your Success,

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

 

Guided Imagery Weekly E-Messages April  
Week 3: Imagine Understanding

 SELF LOVE:” Week 2: “Imagine Understanding”

Listen to CD #2  “SELF LOVE” this week.

This month as I cover the information from “Self Love”, the 2nd CD in the “Food for Thought” comprehensive weight loss program, you will be encouraged to look and listen within and learn about the wonder and beauty that is within you.

May will cover helpful information related to “Healthy Thinking” based on the audio program, “MIND MINT”. Each month a new topic will be explored in depth.

I always welcome your questions and will be happy to post the answer in the “Ask Ellen” section of the web site, and will also answer privately if you prefer. 

I wish you the best of life… abundance, health, prosperity, joy, peace and love.

Imagining your Success,

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

Have you ever wondered why certain situations and/or people can trigger a response in you that feels uncomfortable and leaves you feeling wounded or offended? 

Have you ever wondered why? Is it the person? Is it what they said? Or does it have to do with what has been triggered inside you? 

Often other people, situations and even music we hear can trigger memories from the past and their accompanying emotions. 

If we are aware that this is a function of how our survival memory works to keep us from danger, then we can be mindful to stop reacting to people and events as though the past is happening in the present. 

Listen to your higher guidance (you inner guide) and ask if this is  simply a conditioned response left over from the past or is this really an issues that needs your attention. 

Check inside yourself to notice if your inner parts…the inner child or inner teen is reacting. 

Just the act of using your imagination in this effective manner can put you back in control of your emotional state because the moment you imagine an inner part and attend to  its feelings and behavior, you dis-identify from it and it then no longer controls you! 

Where you choose to place your attention will determine what kind of life experience you enjoy. 

“A man likes to believe he is master of his soul. But as long as he is unable to control, his moods and emotions, or to be conscious of the myriad secret ways his unconscious factors insinuate themselves into his arrangements and decisions, he is certainly not his own master.” -Carl Jung

Imagining your Success,

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

 

Guided Imagery Weekly E-Messages April
Week 4: Imagine Integrating

 SELF LOVE:” Week 4: “Imagine Integrating”

Listen to CD #2  “SELF LOVE” this week.

Thanks for tuning into to this month’s discussion on "Self Love".  I welcome your questions as always, and will be happy to post the answer in the "Ask Ellen” section of the web site and I will also answer privately if you prefer.

I wish you the best of life… abundance, health, prosperity, joy, peace and love.

Imagining your Success,

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

 

"When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come close to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive thought." 
- Albert Einstein.

Self Love involves loving and accepting yourself with all your many aspects - both the shortcomings & weaknesses, AND the strengths, talents, and unique expressions of your perfect self. You are, after all, an expression of the Divine, and have come here with challenges and gifts that are unique to only you. That is why the path to knowing self is accomplished by going within.

Looking at what another is doing or comparing oneself to another doesn’t serve your self knowledge unless others serve as teachers or as inspiration to your growth. We must take the steps ourselves to go within and re-connect to the well of love and wisdom that is our core.

“We can not change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.” - Carl Jung

We all have a need to love and be loved. To experience and share the energy of love requires that you first love your self. 

Using the 4 step process depicted in the Self Love audio CD:

1. awareness (of your inner parts or aspects)

2. connecting (to those part of yourself)

3. understanding (with love & acceptance) and finally

4. integrating your unique exquisite expressions

You then bring together the parts of you that now create a greater more loving, multidimensional whole. A whole integrated self that is greater than the parts! 

This path is not about being self-absorbed and unaware of others, rather, it is following the wisdom of many from Socrates, “the unexamined life is not worth living” to Leviticus, “Love thy neighbor as thyself”.

Truly to be of greater service to our loved ones, to our family, to the community, we must begin with a love and acceptance of self. When we love ourselves, we realize that we have within us all the love we need. And then it is natural to want to share that love, not because we have to or  because we want to fill a void, but because your cup is so full, it feels really good to share.  

When you are aware of the perfect precious child within, you will not allow others to take advantage of or mistreat you. As you are aware of the wise and loving guidance within, you can then be more mindful of what you truly need (versus what you want) and also more attuned to what others need. 

As you stay connected to your inner guidance you can learn how to best serve your purpose in life. 

“A man likes to believe he is master of his soul. But as long as he is unable to control, his moods and emotions, or to be conscious of the myriad secret ways his unconscious factors insinuate themselves into his arrangements and decisions, he is certainly not his own master." - Carl Jung 

Express your self love by caring for your body, by treating your body with love and respect, by exercising it and feeding it only the best, by avoiding poisons of all kinds… not just substances, but also places and people that do not nourish your soul. 

Self love involves the capacity to first offer love to yourself… through your thoughts, words (self talk), & actions, then experience the joy of sharing your love with others. 

May you be Blessed, and may you experience the perfection and preciousness of your soul. 

Imagining a Loving World,

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do it.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." 
- Harold Thurman Whitman

 


Mind Mint CD

Guided Imagery Weekly E-Messages April  
Week 1: "Imagine Manifesting Your Thoughts”

MIND MINT: WHAT DO YOU WANT?

Beginning Today, April 24: CD #3 Mind Mint

So far this month, we have explored ideas from "Self Love". Over the next few weeks, starting today, I will cover helpful information related to “Mind Mint”, the 3rd CD in the “Food for Thought” comprehensive weight loss program, and the the power of our thoughts and beliefs.

As always, I welcome your questions and will be happy to post the answer in the "Ask Ellen” section of the website, or will answer privately if you prefer. 

Imagining your Success,

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com


"You have brains in your head; you have feet in your
shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know. 
And you are the one who'll decide where to go." 
-Dr. Seuss


Week 1: "Imagine Manifesting Your Thoughts”

*Listen to CD 3 Mind Mint this week*

As you learned in the first CD, “Wants and Needs”, we often confuse emotional needs with real physiological needs; creating within us a desire to fill this emptiness with food or other unhealthy behaviors.  You are encouraged to refer to the first CD to reinforce the lessons you have learned about mindfulness and stress management, and to the second CD, "Self Love", to master the inner part of yourself that often controls your behavior.

What is it that you want? You are asked this question many times throughout this “Inner Fitness” program because without a desire, without a goal, there is no motivation. If you are not clear about what you want, and aren't really, really clear, then sometimes conflicting desires can take you away from your deepest wish... but it need only be temporary.

It’s ok to learn about what you don’t want by occasionally engaging in behavior that has undesirable consequences. We are all human and we all make mistakes. Look at it like feedback. It feels unpleasant... OK this is not what I want, so now I will correct my course. There is no need to continue engaging in behavior that continues to provide you with the same unwanted consequences. Now is the time to change. You can change your belief; YOU CAN DO IT. You are the only one who can do it for you!!!! Seize the day! 

“Take a chance! All life is chance. The man who goes the furthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The ‘sure thing’ boat never gets far from shore.” -Dale Carnegie

Remember you are steering your ship now, not the inner child nor the inner saboteur. All parts of you are now working together for a common goal.

To be your very best, to achieve your goals, it first requires the desire. You have to WANT SOMETHING. When the desire is there, then your motivation to attain the desire is naturally present. Please spend time this week reflecting on what you really, really want. Once you have become aware of what you deeply want then you will be ready to move to the next step: using your imagination to attract and manifest your desire.  

I wish you the best of life… abundance, health, prosperity, joy, peace and love. 

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

"What is the use of running when we are not on the right road?"
-- German Proverb

 

Guided Imagery Weekly E-Messages May
Week 2: "Imagine Realizing Your Power"

Week 2: Mind Mint

Imagine Realizing Your Power 

You spent some time last week becoming more aware of what you truly deeply want in your life. Now the key to manifesting your desires is in your hands.

  •         Go inside by quieting the body and mind,
  •         Visualize clearly what you truly desire, hear it, see it, taste it, feel it, know it, BE IT.
  •         Believe it can manifest by saying a statement of gratitude. This is your way of affirming the power of the universal law of attraction to provide you with what you are resonating. Your thoughts vibrate at a frequency that attracts like frequencies. 
  •         Affirm what you want by repeated listening to this audio program, and by remembering to look at your visual cues, then observe how much easier and more powerfully your desire will manifest!

Now is the time to embrace the unlimited power of your mind by recognizing the power of your thoughts and beliefs to change your life.  

We are often unaware of how we hold on to old, outworn patterns of thinking and reacting, based on negative conscious or subconscious beliefs left over from past conditioning.  

How would you like to utilize the unlimited power of your mind to help you achieve your goals rather than sabotage them? It starts with a willingness to examine your thoughts and their origin in the root system of your beliefs. 

Are you aware of the power of your thoughts? Your thoughts create your reality.

It is not the events themselves, but your interpretation, your perception of those events that are responsible for the quality of your experience in life.

Everything that you see around you was once a thought. Every building, house, dress, airplane, automobile, superhighway, grocery item, and fancy gadget first originated in the creative mind of someone just like you.  

Thoughts create. Thoughts manifest reality, and your body reflects beliefs held by you whether those beliefs exist in your conscious or subconscious mind. 

It is my hope that you REALIZE the immense power of your belief system as it gives birth to thoughts, their accompanying emotions and actions, and ultimately, your life. 

Your beliefs are the operating system of your mind, your thoughts are the software, and the printout is your emotional response and action in this physical world.

The purpose of this recording is to assist you in releasing any limiting, negative beliefs that interfere with your natural ability to experience the joy and freshness of life and the realization of your goals. 

Now is the time to embrace the unlimited power of your mind by recognizing the power of your thoughts and beliefs to change your life.  

Thanks for joining me, I wish you the best of life… abundance, health, prosperity, joy, peace and love.

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

 

Guided Imagery Weekly E-Messages May 
Week 3: "Imagine Realizing the Power of Your Thoughts” 

Week 3: Manifesting Your Thoughts

Listen to CD # 3 "Mind Mint" this week.

"Imagine realizing the Power of Your Thoughts” 

This month I will cover information related to “Mind Mint” and the power of your thoughts and beliefs. Each month a new topic will be explored in depth. I welcome your questions and will be happy to post the answer in the “Ask Ellen” section of the web site and I will also answer privately if you prefer.

I may be too wordy in these weekly blasts, so if you prefer that I send a couple of sentences every week instead, please tell me! I want to share helpful and inspiring ideas that are applicable, and love hearing your feedback!! Here we go… 

By now, I hope you have become aware of what you deeply want, after following the guidance from last week and listening to the “Mind Mint” CD. Now you are ready to move to the next step: using your imagination to attract and manifest your desire.  

"If you don't know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere." -Henry Kissinger

Now that you know what you want, in order to attract it into your life, imagine it has already happened! You may need to spend some time in meditation in order to be clear that what you have chosen is indeed what you want. The power of your intention is such that what you focus on is literally attracted into your life. Like attracts like. This is why it is important that we become aware of our unspoken thoughts and our visualizations and become warriors of the internal kingdom of our mind... so as to energetically, via thought, send out that which we truly want for ourselves and others.

If we do not utter a word out loud, but think and project our intention, it will change our energetic pattern and others can sense the difference. Have you ever noticed feeling different when in the presence of a peaceful loving person, than you do when in the presence of one who is angry and vengeful? Remember to “be” the change you want to live.

If it is a healthy weight and body you want, then see yourself as already having achieved your goal.  See your self fit and healthy, energetic and vibrant. Notice that you eat like a person who is fit and lean and healthy.

"Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved." 
-William Jennings Bryan
 

Now that you have the formula: you are aware of what you truly want, you imagine it vividly and as though it has already manifested.  You now must DECIDE to do what brings you closer to your goal. You must be ready to take ACTION. More on action next time!

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” -Abraham Lincoln

Thanks for joining me, I wish you the best of life… abundance, health, prosperity, joy, peace and love.

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

 

Guided Imagery Weekly E-Messages May 
Week 4: "Imagine Taking Action” 

Week 4: "Imagine taking action” 

Listen to CD #3 "Mind Mint
of "The Food For Thought" series this week.

"One person with a belief is equal to the force of 99 who have only interests."  -John Stuart Mill, Philosopher, 19th century Writer

This past month we have explored information related to the CD “Mind Mint”. You have learned about the power of your thoughts and beliefs, and if you listened to “Mind Mint,” then you have by now, examined the terrain of your mind, recognized the “weeds,” pulled them up, and replaced them with seeds of love, peace, joy and success. 

The final step is to take action in the physical world. Water the seeds of your new uplifting beliefs and they will sprout into thriving, flowering, lush plants. Ignore them and they will surely die. So it’s up to you to decide what you will give your attention to. Are you going to water the weeds of your mind, the negative repetitive thoughts that create internal distress, or are you going to water and nurture the seeds of love, joy, growth, appreciation? 

I welcome your questions, comments and/or insults and will be happy to post my response in the “Ask Ellen” section of the web site and I will also answer privately if you prefer. I love hearing your feedback so please share your thoughts and ideas!!  

“Need I say to you that the height of the mountains you climb is only a function of how high you believe you can climb.” 
-Michael Gorton, Entrepreneur, Educator, Attorney, Scientist 

As you become the surveyor of the territory of your mind, make it a daily practice to “walk” through your inner kingdom, and look for new weeds and the return of any previous weeds”... They can be stubborn and hearty and require a keen eye and willingness to pull them OUT… (ouch). 

You may notice feeling some discomfort when thoughts or behaviors emerge that no longer suit the person you have become. Do not dwell in the suffering; rather notice the experience with an attitude of allowingness. Realize that you are growing, and that growth is not always comfortable at first. We grow accustomed to patterns - like walking a well worn path. It takes some energy to forge a new path, but your view will be fresh and fragrant and filled with adventure!  

Growth breaks us out of patterns that no longer suit who we are and who we are becoming.  Previously unconscious responses, now conscious, cannot be performed robotically. Congratulations on your positive change. There is no turning back now. Keep on walking. 

“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man (woman) can be, he(she) must be.” 
-Abraham Maslow, American Psychologist 

I wish you the best of life… joy, peace abundance, health, prosperity, and mostly love.

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

 

Guided Imagery Weekly E-Messages August  -  
Week 5: “Imagine Forgiveness”

Mind Mint”: “Imagine Forgiveness”

Listen to CD #3 “Mind Mint” this week.

This month I would like to talk about forgiveness, as it is a topic that has health implications and is one we can all relate to.

Have you ever felt hurt by another?

Have you ever felt responsible for the pain or suffering of another?

What could be the solution to those feelings of hurt and remorse?

ANSWER: FORGIVENESS

  • Forgiveness of self.
  • Forgiveness of others.

Forgiveness is beneficial for us physically and mentally.

Holding a grudge or seeking revenge causes greater harm to the one who entertains these notions than to the object of the perceived harm. 

When we forgive we have a healthier body- with lower heart rates and blood pressure. It is common knowledge that hostility negatively impacts our heart. 

It does not mean that a cruel act committed against another is acceptable.  

However, sometimes we cannot see it at the time, that the very action that caused us pain and suffering is responsible for our greatest growth and ultimate joy. 

"If we don’t forgive ourselves for our mistakes, and others for the wounds they have inflicted upon us, we end up crippled with guilt. And the soul cannot grow under a blanket of guilt, because guilt is isolating, while growth is a gradual process of reconnection to ourselves, to other people, and to a larger whole." 
-- Joan Borysenko 

Most often, people respond according to the inner resources they have access to. If someone is mean and cruel, they are most likely suffering greatly and are unable to access their inner joy.

When you do access your joy, it will multiply states of well being, bliss, and peace for yourself and others.  

  • What will you choose today?
  • Who do you want to be?
  • What do you want to feel? Anger? Hostility? Resentment?
  • Or Love, Joy, Peace, Forgiveness.

                      It’s up to you.

  • What kind of life do you want to live?

"I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I salute that Source in you. Let us work together for unity and love."  --Mahatma Gandhi. 

I challenge you to find the blessing in your sorrow, in your righteous anger. HOW HAS IT SERVED YOUR GROWTH?

Well...

Do you want it to? (It doesn’t have to.) You can hold onto it for the rest of this life. It’s your choice. Are you ready to let go and embrace the learning? 

I always welcome your questions and will be happy to post the answer in the “Ask Ellen” section of the web site, and will also answer privately if you prefer. 

I wish you the best of life… abundance, health, prosperity, joy, peace and love. 

Imagining your Success,

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

"You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well."  --Lewis B. Smedes

 


Stress Less

Guided Imagery Weekly E-Messages May  
Week 1: "Imagine Acceptance"

TOPIC: Stress Management / Imagine Acceptance

 

 

Week One
Stress Management
"Imagine Acceptance"

This month we will explore STRESS and the two faces of stress- distress, the aspect of stress that often causes illness and suffering, and eustress-the effect on our mind/body of positive and life changing events. Both types of stress cause our heart to beat fast, our respiration to increase, our thoughts to race and our blood pressure to rise. Can we transform distress into eustress? Let’s find out! 

How do you handle stress? What do you do? What do you think? What do you say to yourself or to others? 

There is a brief moment of decision where your mental response to an event can determine how your body responds and whether your stress becomes distress or eustress. 

Here’s a little secret… it all depends on how you view those events. The “awful disaster” for one person is the blessed catalyst and grand opportunity for growth for another.

"There are only two ways to live your life: One is as though nothing is a miracle, The other is as though everything is a miracle. I believe in the latter." - Albert Einstein  

Are you willing to change your beliefs to realize that all events can serve your personal growth and evolution? As long as you look for the seed of wisdom every experience can serve to uplift you and inspire your growth.  Are you open to change? 

"Change. It has the power to uplift, to heal, to stimulate, surprise, open new doors, bring fresh experience and create excitement in life. Certainly it is worth the risk." -Leo Buscaglia 

One of the greatest stressors we face is our own resistance to life. When we want to change an event that cannot be changed, it causes emotional suffering and stress on the mind/body system. 

"No matter how hard you throw a dead fish in the water, it still won't swim." -Proverb, (Congolese)

Just this week, maintain an attitude of attentiveness and allowingness. Be present, breathe, notice what is happening around you, yet rather than being reactive and resisting life, allow it to just be, and observe it from the perspective of your higher self. Ask yourself, how does this serve my growth? What can I learn from this experience? 

Just this week, practice acceptance of what cannot be changed and breathe.

 Let it go.

I wish you the best of everything. May you be blessed with  peace, joy, health, and mostly love. 

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

 

Guided Imagery Weekly E-Messages
Week 2: "Emotional Intimacy"Week Two - Stress Management: "Emotional Intimacy"

Listen to CD #4 Stress Less

Welcome to our discussion on stress. This topic is vast and pertinent to us all. 

I want to cover all the aspects of the stress response that are near and dear to my heart, and also to answer your questions! So please remember to ask! ASK ME ANYTHING! If I don’t know the answer, I’ll do my best to search and find it for you.

“Reason can answer questions, but imagination has to ask them." - Ralph Gerard 

As we embark on this exploration of the mechanisms, physiology and effects of the stress response on our mind/body system, I would like to stand on my soap box for a moment. (Let’s hope I don’t slip off-oops some literal humor imagery) 

Numerous studies support the positive effects on our immune system and our overall health of the most obvious and blessed experience we can have with one another, that of emotional intimacy

Can you imagine yourself sharing your true feelings with another? What kind of feelings does this thought elicit within you? 

What is now proved was once only imagined. 
-William Blake (1757-1827) English Poet

Of such tremendous importance is emotional intimacy that we sometimes seek physical intimacy in an effort to experience what our heart truly desires… that of a spiritual union with another soul.   

Being authentically present with another person with whom you can share your deepest feelings, your thoughts, your fears, your dreams, has not only positive effects on your health but can provide the greatest fulfillment and reward in life. It further allows us to experience who we are in the eyes of another who hold us in the space of unconditional positive regard and non-judgment. This experience alone can not only inoculate us from the negative effects of stress, but also can be the catalyst for profound personal growth and spiritual evolution.  

Lucky is the one who has this experience in a friend or loved one.  

“Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”
-Martin Luther King

To prepare for this type of connection with another, I recommend this exercise: Breathe mindfully and deeply throughout the day. The simple act of mindful breathing has the capacity of connecting you with your true essence, as well as providing the most potent stress management tool known. 

I wish you the best of everything. May you be blessed with peace, joy, health, and mostly love.

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

Guided Imagery Weekly E-Messages June 6  
Week 3: "Illness & Stress"

Week 3 - Stress Management: "Illness & Stress"

Listen to CD #4 Stress Less

How have you responded to hearing about a medical diagnosis for yourself or a loved one?

How can we find peace from having an illness or from dealing with  illness in a loved one? 

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling,
but in rising every time we fall. ~Confucius (551 - 479 BC)
 

As undesirable as is illness is, it can be the catalyst for a meaningful life change.  It can create an opening to spirituality and an enhanced appreciation for life, or be the beginning of a new path. 

We often cannot know the meaning of an event as it is occurring, but trust in time, when you least expect it, like a firefly unexpectedly showing up on an early summer evening, the meaning is illuminated and we are forever changed by our expanded awareness. 

Illness opens us to the experience of being human, of being vulnerable, and to the tender and raw truth of the one thing we can count on - physical impermanence.

What is it within us that is eternal? What does endure? There is something grand that is eternal what do you think it is?

Our reaction to hold on to things the way we want them to be rather than allow them to be as they are can exacerbate the stress response. 

When we are open to finding the meaning in illness, and willing to see the opportunity it can provide to enhance meaning in our lives, however painful the experience may be, then we are ready to empower our consciousness to seek and find deeper healing. 

"The things which hurt, instruct." -- Benjamin Franklin

The initial news of medical illness can be a shock – and can also cause acute stress to the mind/body system of the patient and their loved ones.

It is healthy and adaptive for the stress response to be activated during a time of initial crisis. Illness threatens our security and that is what the stress response is designed for - to initiate an adaptive response to danger.  The autonomic nervous system is stimulated and the fight/ flight/ freeze response is initiated as the adrenal cortex secretes cortisol and the adrenal medulla secretes adrenalin.

Acute stress improves our brain’s attention and increases our capacity to store life protecting information, however chronic stress reduces our capacity to remember, impairs our immune system, and can lead to many other medical problems. 

After the acute phase of learning about an illness has passed, the method of transcending the effects of chronic stress can take place and are necessary for a healthy body/mind.  Transcendence occurs in your mind and spirit, through your intention and your openness to seek a broader experience. 

The key to transcending experience is love. Love is the eternal energy that gives birth to understanding, acceptance, and peace. May you be aware of the energy of love that is within you and that surrounds you. 

I wish you the best of everything. May you and your loved ones be blessed with peace, joy, health, and mostly love.

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

 

Guided Imagery Weekly E-Messages June  
Week 4: "Stress Eating"

Week 4 - Stress Management: "Stress Eating"

Listen to CD #4 Stress Less

Welcome to our discussion on stress. Let’s talk about stress eating.

As you already know, stress can affect virtually any part of the body and can produce physical, mental and emotional symptoms including functional cardiac symptoms, headache, muscle tension, heart palpitations, back pain, depression, impaired immunity and weight gain.

There are basically two main groups of us human creatures in respect to stress and our eating behaviors. [We can discuss the eating behavior of animals when under stress later if there is an interest ;-)  just let me know.]

Ok, back to the two groups… 

A. Those that eat less when feeling stressed.  

B. Those that eat more when feeling stressed. 

Which category are you in? 

If you are in group A, and eat less when stressed, you may be one of those people who, when faced with challenging times: like losing a job, falling in love, declaring bankruptcy, receiving a coveted award, winning the lottery, landing your dream job, breaking up with a significant other or meeting your soul mate, LOSE Weight! Remember Stress on our mind/body system is caused by both “so called” positiveand negative events - and I say “so called” because we never know the ultimate outcome of an event until sometimes years later. 

"If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment."  -- Marcus Aurelius 

If you are in group B, then when you eat in an attempt to reduce stress, does it work? Do you feel better? Are you more relaxed? Fulfilled? Do you think it helps your body cope with the physiological demands of perceived or actual stress? Do you want to choose another way to deal with stress? Ok. Great. Read on… 

There are many reasons why you eat when you feel stressed. Here are a few possibilities:

  •         It is a habit - it’s just what you automatically & robotically do without thinking - a reaction.
  •         You were given food when you were a child as a way to soothe and provide comfort, and your inner child is quite satisfied by your behavior.
  •         It feels good and tastes good, and you live in the moment.
  •         You don’t really care if you gain weight and you prefer to just enjoy eating. (why are you reading this?)
  •         You are letting your body chemistry control your behavior.

Who is in charge? Is your inner child in charge of you? Can you override your physiology and train your biochemistry?

Well what do you think? I bet you can guess what I think.

You can do whatever you want!

Eat if you want - It’s truly your choice.

If you like to eat when you are stressed, well then keep doing it.

If you want to eat only when you are truly hungry and Not in response to stress, then choose another method to counter the stress response!

Scroll down if you want to get to the techniques NOW…

Weight gain is often associated with emotional eating and/or the hurried and harried lifestyles of busy people who do not make the time for regular exercise and/or meditation.

Researchers are finding that changes in the body triggered by stress, such as elevated cortisol levels, can cause insulin resistance and weight gain.

Under stress, the hypothalamus releases corticotropin-releasing factor, (CRF) which instructs the anterior pituitary to release ACTH (adrenocorticotrophic hormone) which causes the release of glucocorticoids from the adrenal cortex and simultaneously activates the sympathetic nervous system which causes a release of adrenalin. (remember fight/flight/freeze).

Additional sugar stores (glycogen) are released from the liver into the bloodstream, and during periods of chronic stress, creates an excessive need for insulin.

Insulin, part of the endocrine system, is a fat-storage hormone that overrides the stress signal from adrenalin to burn fat. The excess release of insulin gives the body the message to store fat in the abdomen.

 In SUM:

  •         Chronic stress causes an increase in circulating cortisol released from adrenals, and that in turn causes.
  •         Glucose stores to be released from the liver. 
  •         Insulin is then released to handle the additional sugar load and the perpetual cycle continues - stress - cortisol - increased glucose-increased insulin - appetite increase - sugar cravings to give the insulin “something to do”… oops weight gain.

How on earth did that happen? 

If you want to interrupt the cycle, are you ready to learn some stress management techniques?

Great! Then I will share some of my favorite techniques below: stress management techniques just for you!!!!!

  •         My all time favorite and an easy one to remember is mindful, deep breathing.  I recommend yogic breathing which is simply, exhaling twice as long as you inhale.  I also suggest putting the thumb and forefinger or thumb and middle finger together as this can serve as an anchor (classical conditioning… thank you Pavlov) for the experience of relaxation.  After practicing regularly, if you want to experience enhanced comfort as you go about your activities, then simply placing the thumb and forefinger together can facilitate the experience.
  •         This can also be achieved by counting. You may want  to breathe in 2 counts, hold for one, then breathe out for 4 counts. I use this method in biofeedback training and the shift to a relaxed response is dramatic and rapid. 

Dr. Andrew Weil recommends breathing in for 4 counts, holding for 7, then breathing out for 8... and doing that for 5 cycles, then resuming yogic breathing. This technique facilitates a powerful and pleasant shift to restorative breathing.

~~               ~~               ~~                ~~  

  •         The QR, or quieting response, was developed by Charles Stroebel, M.D., Ph.D., a leader in the field of self-regulation and biofeedback. He was a type A personality and found it difficult to sit for 20 minutes to meditate. This technique is perfect for more active, high strung individuals who are not attracted to meditation, yet want to reduce stress in their life.  It is a 6 second technique, that when practiced can become a quieting reflex. Each step counters the natural progression of the stress response.

             The 5 steps are as follows: 

1.      As you experience and are aware of a stressor (usually  by a change in your breathing), then SMILE INWARDLY WITH YOUR EYES AND MOUTH.

2.      Think this thought which becomes a self-suggestion:

“ALERT AMUSED MIND, CALM BODY “

3.      Inhale 4 counts through imaginary pores in the bottom of your feet, up to your head, and as you exhale:

4.      RELAX THE TONGUE, THE JAWS AND THE SHOULDERS.

5.      FEEL A WARMTH AND HEAVINESS FLOWING THROUGH THE BODY. 

  •         The last technique I will describe is called mindfulness meditation, or Vippasana.  It involves adopting an attitude ofattentiveness to every thought, sensation, feeling, event, in each moment, and also an allowingness of every thought, sensation, feeling, and event. So there is an increase in awareness combined with an attitude of non-judgment and letting go. There is an attitude of detached observation that allows for an expansiveness of experience. Just notice your breathing, attentiveness, allowingness, and be aware of your thoughts. No judgment... just allow them to pass like clouds in the sky. Without attempting to control the clouds, (because you can’t!!) just let them be... clouds.  Present moment, beautiful moment.   

Ultimately, we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace, and to reflect it towards others. And the more peace there is in us, the more peace will be in our world.  -- Etty Hillesum

I wish you the best of everything. May you and your loved ones be blessed with peace, joy, health, and mostly love.

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

 

Guided Imagery Weekly E-Messages June  
Week 5: "Imagine Laughter"

Week 5 - Stress Management: "Imagine Laughter"

Listen to CD #4 Stress Less

Welcome to our discussion on stress. Let’s talk about stress and the power of humor!!! 

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter."
-- E.E. Cummings

Humor is defined in Webster’s New World dictionary as “the ability to appreciate or express what is funny, amusing.” 

Joy is defined in Webster’s New World dictionary as “a very glad feeling, happiness delight”, and “anything causing this.” 

Pleasure is defined in Webster’s New World dictionary as “a thing that gives delight or satisfaction.” 

So let me ask you now, what do you want more of in your life, joy laughter, pleasure or sadness, pain and suffering? 

"Nobody trips over mountains.  It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble.  Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain." --Author Unknown 

Silly question, but really think about it.

Do your choices bring you more of what you want or more of what you don’t want? 

Would you rather be right or happy? Stressed out or relaxed? 

When we can see the humor in a situation, we are able to experience joy, even in the face of adversity.  When we laugh and are open to noticing humor, life is not only more enjoyable but there are real health benefits!   

Most of you have heard of Norman Cousins who spent many years exploring and researching the benefits of humor. Cousins calledattention to the potential therapeutic effects of humor and laughter in 1979 when he described his use of laughter during his treatment for ankylosing spondylitis. Cousins believed that negative emotions had a negative impact on his health, he theorized that the opposite was also true, that positive emotions would have a positive effect. He believed that the experience of laughter could open him to feelings of joy, hope, confidence and love. 

We know that stress has been shown to create unhealthy physiological changes. The connection between stress and high blood pressure, muscle tension, immuno-suppression, and many other changes is well known. We now know that laughter has the opposite effect on the body! It appears to be the perfect antidote for stress (right next to exercise of course).

Studies conducted at the Loma Linda School of Medicine’s Dept of Clinical Immunology by Lee Berk and Stanley Tan revealed that laughter lowers serum cortisol levels, increases the amount of activated T lymphocytes, increases the number and activity of natural killer cells, and increases the number of T cells that have helper/ suppresser receptors. In short, laughter stimulates the immune system, off-setting the immunosuppressive effects of stress.  Berk's research demonstrates that laughter can lower cortisol levels and thereby protect our immune system.  

I don’t think we need to review the research to choose happiness, laughter and joy, do we? 

So, are you willing to look at the humorous aspects of your troubles? Do you want to know how? I realize this sounds simplistic, but begin by just asking for more humor!  “Ask” to be able to see things in a different light, from a higher, more humorous perspective. 

What is the funniest thing you ever saw? What is the funniest movie the funniest joke? What kind of humor do you like? How do you feel when you play a funny scene over and over?

Did you see the Dennis The Menace movie when George ate the hamburger that tasted like paint and wood? It was so funny!!!!

"I've never had so much fun as I'm going to have tomorrow!"
-- Dennis the Menace 

When we regularly laugh at ourselves, then we have discovered a powerful tool that can help us gain a higher perspective and let go of unnecessary  suffering. 

Often it’s the little annoyances that tend to cause chronic stress.

Laughter can dispel the tension and help us to see situations in a different light. At the moment we laugh we cannot feel angry or hopeless. Try it and tell me if that’s true. 

Even a smile can change the way you feel and will relax tension in your facial muscles… Remember “smile inwardly with your eyes and your mouth”. 

"The best things in life are silly."
-- Scott Adams, Dilbert 

So why not spread some joy starting within yourself?  You do make a difference to every person you contact!  

"The influence of each human being on others in this life is a kind of immortality."  -- John Quincy Adams

I wish you the best of everything.  May you be blessed with peace, joy, health, laughter, and mostly love.

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

 

Guided Imagery Weekly E-Messages July  
Week 6: Panic Attacks "Imagine Feelings of Well-being"

Week 6 - Stress Management: “Imagine Feelings of Well-being”

Listen to CD #4 Stress Less

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!!
May we all embrace our freedom! 

Welcome to our discussion on stress.  Sorry I missed you last week,  baseball playoffs and birthday parties occupied my time!

Please remember how much I love to hear your feedback! Let me know if there is something you want to talk about!  

"Don't forget that little emotions are the great captains of our lives."   --Vincent Van Gogh 

Let's discuss stress and a fairly common response to it, panic attacks? If you have never experienced a panic attack, good for you.  Chances are if you haven't, you know someone who has or will suffer this unpleasant experience.

A good old fashioned panic attack is caused by over breathing. It is the natural physiological response when the flight/ fight syndrome is activated. We naturally over breathe to run from that saber-toothed tiger.

Here are the symptoms of hyperventilation, over breathing, or panic attack (all descriptors of the same physiological event):

- Light headiness
- Heart palpitation/accelerated heart rate
- Numbness
- Chest pains
- Dizziness
- Shortness of breath
- Dry mouth
- Clammy hands
- Nausea or abdominal distress
- Difficulty swallowing
- Tremors
- Fear of going crazy or losing control
- Fear of Dying
- Sweating
- Weakness
- Fatigue

Please call your physician if you experience any symptoms of a magnitude and duration that cause you concern. These tips are not intended to ever replace the wise counsel of a doctor. 

In my biofeedback practice I use capnometry, the measurement of end tidal Carbon Dioxide CO2, which correlates to blood gas levels. Thecapnometer measures the CO2 in your breath and then displays the level of CO2 in your blood. 

This proves to me what is suspected and often indicated by the endorsement of four of the symptoms above, that there is not enough carbon dioxide in the bloodstream.  This is caused by over breathing, or breathing off too much CO2. When this happens, we feel like we need more oxygen (O2), but the reverse is true. 

"Insight occurs when, and to the degree that, one knows oneself." -- Andrew Schneider 

SOLUTIONS: 

1. Breathe in a paper bag. This may sound counter intuitive, but it is exactly what is needed to restore the body’s Ph. You can find this information in any medical book or look in the Merck manual. The body works to maintain the Ph balance which is vital for proper health and physiological processes. Ph is affected by the balance of O2 and CO2. 

2. EXERCISE!!!  That is what we were created to do to restore balance when the stress response is activated, but in our modern culture we often do the opposite or are not in a position to get up and flee (like during an important business meeting or driving in traffic).  Need I say how important exercise is to manage  stress? Ok, So I won’t.

That leads me to #3 

3. Learn deep diaphragmatic breathing, or belly breathing. (belly dancing would be great too if you are so inclined). The easiest technique to master is learning to breathe out twice as long as you breathe in.  It is also known as Yogic Breathing.  For instructions on yogic breathing, listen to CD #4 Stress Less.

I don’t mean to sound like your grandmother, but this really works and can correct the habit of improper breathing, which is the true physiological cause of panic attack/panic disorder/hyperventilation. 

"The quieter you become, the more you’re able to hear." 
-- Zen saying

OK, yes your thoughts have a lot to do with how your body responds, but we'll discuss that another time.... So now you're armed with information and solutions, and you can be helpful to yourself or others who experience the very uncomfortable phenomenon of panic attacks.

So go forth, spread your joy and peace and inner light!

I wish you the best of everything.  May you be blessed with peace, joy, health, laughter, and mostly love.

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

 

Week 6 - Stress Management: “Imagine Feelings of Well-being”

Listen to CD #4 Stress Less

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!!
May we all embrace our freedom! 

Welcome to our discussion on stress.  Sorry I missed you last week,  baseball playoffs and birthday parties occupied my time!

Please remember how much I love to hear your feedback! Let me know if there is something you want to talk about!  

"Don't forget that little emotions are the great captains of our lives."   --Vincent Van Gogh 

Let's discuss stress and a fairly common response to it, panic attacks? If you have never experienced a panic attack, good for you.  Chances are if you haven't, you know someone who has or will suffer this unpleasant experience.

A good old fashioned panic attack is caused by over breathing. It is the natural physiological response when the flight/ fight syndrome is activated. We naturally over breathe to run from that saber-toothed tiger.

Here are the symptoms of hyperventilation, over breathing, or panic attack (all descriptors of the same physiological event):

- Light headiness
- Heart palpitation/accelerated heart rate
- Numbness
- Chest pains
- Dizziness
- Shortness of breath
- Dry mouth
- Clammy hands
- Nausea or abdominal distress
- Difficulty swallowing
- Tremors
- Fear of going crazy or losing control
- Fear of Dying
- Sweating
- Weakness
- Fatigue

Please call your physician if you experience any symptoms of a magnitude and duration that cause you concern. These tips are not intended to ever replace the wise counsel of a doctor. 

In my biofeedback practice I use capnometry, the measurement of end tidal Carbon Dioxide CO2, which correlates to blood gas levels. Thecapnometer measures the CO2 in your breath and then displays the level of CO2 in your blood. 

This proves to me what is suspected and often indicated by the endorsement of four of the symptoms above, that there is not enough carbon dioxide in the bloodstream.  This is caused by over breathing, or breathing off too much CO2. When this happens, we feel like we need more oxygen (O2), but the reverse is true. 

"Insight occurs when, and to the degree that, one knows oneself." -- Andrew Schneider 

SOLUTIONS: 

1. Breathe in a paper bag. This may sound counter intuitive, but it is exactly what is needed to restore the body’s Ph. You can find this information in any medical book or look in the Merck manual. The body works to maintain the Ph balance which is vital for proper health and physiological processes. Ph is affected by the balance of O2 and CO2. 

2. EXERCISE!!!  That is what we were created to do to restore balance when the stress response is activated, but in our modern culture we often do the opposite or are not in a position to get up and flee (like during an important business meeting or driving in traffic).  Need I say how important exercise is to manage  stress? Ok, So I won’t.

That leads me to #3 

3. Learn deep diaphragmatic breathing, or belly breathing. (belly dancing would be great too if you are so inclined). The easiest technique to master is learning to breathe out twice as long as you breathe in.  It is also known as Yogic Breathing.  For instructions on yogic breathing, listen to CD #4 Stress Less.

I don’t mean to sound like your grandmother, but this really works and can correct the habit of improper breathing, which is the true physiological cause of panic attack/panic disorder/hyperventilation. 

"The quieter you become, the more you’re able to hear." 
-- Zen saying

OK, yes your thoughts have a lot to do with how your body responds, but we'll discuss that another time.... So now you're armed with information and solutions, and you can be helpful to yourself or others who experience the very uncomfortable phenomenon of panic attacks.

So go forth, spread your joy and peace and inner light!

I wish you the best of everything.  May you be blessed with peace, joy, health, laughter, and mostly love.

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

 

Guided Imagery Weekly E-Messages July 
Week 7: Stress Management “Digestive Disorders”

Week 7: Stress Management - “Digestive Disorders”

Listen to CD #4 Stress Less

As you already know, stress can affect virtually any part of the body and can produce physical, mental and emotional symptoms.

The most common stress related or stress exacerbated digestive ailments experienced are Irritable bowel syndrome, (IBS), and stomach ulcers.

Stress directly and indirectly impacts these conditions, which affect millions of Americans yearly.

"We are not what we know. We are what we are willing to learn." 
--Council on Ideas

According to the National Institute of Health National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that interferes with the normal functions of the large intestine (colon).  It is characterized by a group of symptoms—crampy abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. To learn more about this go towww.nih.gov

One in five Americans has IBS, making it one of the most common disorders diagnosed by doctors IBS causes a great deal of discomfort and distress, Most people can control their symptoms with diet, stress management, and medications prescribed by their physician.

Those who have IBS are more sensitive to the effect of stress and emotions on the colon. We all have areas of sensitivity to stress. Some of us when under stress experience tense muscles, or headaches, others, digestive distress.   

"One of the nice things about problems is that a good many of them do not exist except in our imaginations."  -- Steve Allen 

Stanford professor, Dr. Robert Sapolsky, in his book, Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcershttp://www.dr-bob.org, illuminates the rebound effect of the termination of a period of stress and describes how the sympathetic nervous system’s activation affects the digestive system.

He describes how the stress response decreases acid production in the stomach (when you are running from the tiger, you do not need to digest your meal–you need to run run run!) which then affects the mucosal lining of the stomach by thinning and decreasing bicarbonate–because there is no acid, thus it becomes less protective due to the lack of acid secretion. 

Again here is your brilliant body seeking to achieve homeostasis. The body has such sensitive feedback loops and intricate intra-system communication isn’t it amazing! When the stressful period ends and acid is produced again by the stomach…ouch!!!! Here come the ulcers. There are other factors that contribute to the formation of ulcers, such as use of NSAIDs or infection by H. pylori.

All this information points to the need for balance. Physiological, and emotional-BODY MIND balance of the exquisite system that is your body!!!

Candace Pert, Ph.D., www.candacepert.com, in her brilliant research in mind body medicine and discoverer of the opiate receptor in the body, has proven that our imaginings and feelings directly affect our gut. Molecules of Emotion, her outstanding and scholarly text recounts her discoveries and provides a clear explanation of how our emotions affect our physiology

The gut (stomach, small intestine and large intestine has many nerves that connect it to the brain. Like the heart and the lungs, the colon is partly controlled by the autonomic nervous system, which has been proven to respond to stress. For example, when you are frightened, your heart beats faster, your blood pressure may go up, or you may gasp. The colon responds to stress by contracting too much or too little.  So when our little people say that their “tummy hurts” when they are upset, it is real, as are our “gut feelings”.  

"The intelligent person will go inwards first. Before going anywhere else, he will go into his own being; that is the first thing. Only when you have known yourself can you go anywhere else. Then wherever you will go you will carry blissfulness around you." --OSHO 

I wish you the best of everything.  May you be blessed with peace, joy, health, laughter, and mostly love.

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com

 


Go Grab Your Shoes CD

Guided Imagery Weekly E-Messages July  
Week 1: Exercise

Listen to "Go Grab Your Shoes"

Welcome to our discussion on exercise.

Can you think of a reason to exercise besides the fact that it increases your feelings of well being and improves your muscle tone and overall fitness? 

The positive feelings experienced following exercise (and DURING exercise especially for those of you who are regularly engaging!!) are attributed to, among other positive physiological events, the generation of β endorphins and 5 HT, which is also know as serotonin- the neurotransmitter that popular antidepressants serve to increase by blocking its reuptake in the bloodstream.

We have also learned that exercise is the body’s most natural way to reduce psycho-physiological stress by metabolizing those stress chemicals and dissipating the undesirable effects of stress such as muscle tension and rapid thoracic breathing! Regular exercise also strengthens your will.

And having a strong will enhanced by regular exercise certainly does carry over into other areas of life, such as in your food choices and other healthy lifestyle habits!   

So you tell me… Why not Go Grab Your shoes!

“Your body’s gonna like this!!”

I wish you the best of everything… robust health, abundant energy, feelings of well being, and mostly love.

ellen chernoff simon
ellen@imadulation.com