Welcome to the April newsletter. Spring is here, a time to lighten up, be a bit silly and new beginnings.
I’m not going to write about Easter or Passover, I figure you’ll get enough of that from everybody else. Rather, I’ve decided to write about a completely silly holiday, April Fool’s Day.
It appears that the beginning of this tradition can be traced back to 1582, in France. Prior to 1582, the New Year was celebrated for eight consecutive days, beginning on March 25 and culminating on April 1. Charles IX introduced the Gregorian Calendar and New Year’s was moved to January 1st. However, since news pretty much traveled by foot, many people did not receive this change in the date of the New Year for several years. And you thought snail mail was slow! In addition, the more obstinate citizens of that day and age refused to accept the new calendar and continued to celebrate the New
Year on April 1.
These people were labeled as "fools" by the general population and the powers that be and were subject to ridicule, were often sent on "fool’s errands" and generally were made the butt of other practical jokes.
This harassment evolved, over time, into a tradition of prank-playing on the first day of April. This tradition eventually spread to England and Scotland in the eighteenth century and was later introduced to the American colonies. April Fool's Day developed into an international fun fest, with different nationalities specializing in their own brand of humor at the expense of their friends and families.
In Scotland, for example, April Fool's Day is actually celebrated for two days. The second day is devoted to pranks involving the posterior region of the body. It is called Taily Day. The origin of the "kick me" sign can be traced to this observance.
Pranks performed on April Fool's Day range from the simple to the elaborate. Setting a roommate's alarm clock back an hour is a common gag or simply telling someone that their shoelace is untied. Whatever the prank, it usually ends by yelling "April Fool!" Practical jokes have become such a common practice on April Fool's Day that sometimes even the news media gets involved. For instance, a British short film once shown on April Fool's Day was a fairly detailed documentary about "spaghetti farmers" and how they harvest their crop from the spaghetti trees.
April Fool's Day is a "for-fun-only" occasion. Nobody is expected to buy gifts or to take their "significant other" out to eat in an expensive restaurant. Nobody gets off work or school. It is simply a fun little holiday and perhaps a good opportunity to get back in touch with the child that is within all of us.
And speaking of the child within, I’d like to now keep the promise I made in last month’s newsletter regarding specific and concrete ways in which each of you can do your own “spring cleaning” and start to make room for your very own new beginning and the positive energy that is available if you really want it.
My goal is not to tell you what you should think, how you should feel or what you should want, you already know that, my goal is to help you remember and to get in touch with your inner child.
In the normal course of events we all as children understand and experience delight and joy. The world is a place filled with opportunities and miracles. As children, we know no restrictions and place no limits on our dreams. A child can experience pleasure in watching a butterfly, feeling the sun on his or her face, enjoying and laughing when a slight breeze moves her hair and tickles her neck.
Unfortunately as we grow older we do put restrictions on ourselves. Note I said "we". Of course other people also attempt to put restrictions on us, but they are not effective unless and until we allow them to be so. Allowing others to restrict you gives them control over your life and control over what makes you happy and joyful and that truly is sad.
There are many, many self-help theories and lessons out there to help people "find" themselves. It is my belief that there isn't anything to find. We simply have to rediscover what we already know.
We all experience periods of stress and anxiety on a daily basis in one form or another. During these times we become hyper suggestible which is a form of hypnosis. Unfortunately in an uncontrolled and possibly negative environment, anything and everything that is heard or observed becomes much more influential to our subconscious than it normally would be. This is how we acquire "baggage".
I'll give a very basic example. You have a fight with your wife/girlfriend or whatever. The fight itself will cause you to experience a certain amount of stress (levels differ with different people). So you've gone into a light but still hyper suggestible state. She tells you that you are worthless; you don't make enough money, maybe even that you are unable to satisfy her. Then you go out and have a few drinks with your friends. This makes you even more suggestible. Your friends give you support and tell you she isn't worth worrying about and that you need to find someone else. In your somewhat inebriated state maybe you try to pick up a girl, but she can tell you've had too much to drink and you get another rejection. All this reinforces that you're just not worth very much.
So you and the wife/girlfriend or whatever make up. She says she's sorry she didn't mean any of it and you accept that, but buried within you is the feeling or worthlessness. Each time there is another argument this is reinforced. Each time you experience a rejection this is reinforced until one day you come to believe it is a fact and that you really don't deserve that big promotion, that cool sexy sports car or even that you deserve to be loved or happy.
This example is somewhat simplified, but it happens to each and every one of us in one way or another and it happens almost daily. With timeline therapy and with hypnosis in a controlled environment we can start to reverse this pattern. Next month I will explain a bit more about timeline therapy, releasing and SMART goals and how they can help.
And now, I’d like to share with you an article from a fascinating woman I have had the pleasure of meeting. Her name is Jana Hollingsworth and I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did.
What is self acknowledgment? Self acknowledgment is the act of realizing and owning your personal gifts and talents. Why is this important? When we are born, we are all given unique personality traits and gifts that we are meant to share with the world. By acknowledging yourself for these gifts, you are honoring your soul's work here on earth. If you look up the meaning of self in the dictionary, one of the interpretations is "the essential person distinct from all other persons in identity." One of the meanings for the word acknowledgment is "to admit as true." The art of self acknowledgment is literally: Admitting that you are a person who is truly unique from all others!
People today almost always measure themselves by what is popular, what is trendy, or by what is important to whomever they are talking to at the moment. We often look to others to validate us and make us feel good. While getting validation from others is always nice to hear, getting it from within ourselves gives us a more genuine confidence and a greater chance of expressing the part of ourselves that we find most important. If your self-esteem is based solely on what others think of you, then you are continually relying on them to make you feel good about yourself, and that is too much responsibility to hand them.
The best place to start working on your self-esteem is with recognizing the attributes that the Divine has given you in order to fulfill your purpose in this life time. The following are exercises that you can do with yourself and/or with a partner. This is a great way for you to get in touch with all of your amazing and unique talents that make you special.
If you are doing this exercise by yourself, you will want to make sure that you have a nice quiet space for yourself and a time span of at least 20 minutes to make sure you get the most value out of this exercise. Take a few minutes to get yourself relaxed and centered. Think of all the things that make you unique and then make a list of ALL the qualities, skills, passions and values that you possess. Really acknowledge yourself for the gifts you bring to the world. Examples would be: I am a good listener, I am a loving mother and wife, I am efficient, organized, and always helping others, I am artistic, I always have a smile to share, I am sympathetic, etc. Include things you enjoy doing like hobbies, volunteer work, and the things that get you excited in life. After you have completed this list, read it out loud. You should start each statement out by saying "I'd like to acknowledge myself for" and then complete the rest of the sentence. Repeat this list to yourself once a day until you really start to "feel" all the wonderful gifts that you have to offer to the world.
If you are doing this exercise with a partner, start off by acknowledging yourself out loud for five minutes. It may seem like a long time the first time you do it. However, with practice, you may find you need more than five minutes! After you are done acknowledging yourself, your partner will then take five minutes to acknowledge you for what they see in you. Repeat these same steps for your partner so that each of you will have a turn giving and receiving. It's a great exercise to do with your spouse, friends and even your children.
These exercises give you permission to acknowledge and accept your greatness, talents and uniqueness. You are giving yourself the gift of loving yourself which, in turn, will expand your level of awareness and open doors to creating fulfillment and enlightenment. With this awareness you are acknowledging the Divine which is expressed through your existence and paying tribute to your highest purpose.
Have a coaching question? Send it to Jana Hollingsworth at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jana Hollingsworth is a Life Coach and Human Design Analyst www.dreamsnmotion.com
Linda Simmon, C.Ht.
With Spring here and Summer just around the corner, many people start thinking about getting their Winter bodies back into shape for “bathing suit season”. So, here are a few health tips that relate to dieting:
There's a sweet and juicy way to avoid piling on pounds.
Frequent fruit eaters experience less weight gain over time compared to people who report low fruit consumption, a new study concluded. If you're watching your waistline, keep on hand a fresh supply of the season's best apples and pears, which are high in fiber and taste, low in calories, and keep well.
If you work at a desk job, you may need to work harder to ward off extra weight.
Sitting for more than 6 hours per day can significantly increase a person's risk of becoming overweight or obese, a study of 1,500 men revealed recently. Fight back against a sedentary desk job by taking frequent walking breaks, exercising at lunchtime, and walking or biking to work whenever safely possible.
Add a good night's sleep to your checklist of helpful weight-loss aids.
Sleep deprivation interferes with appetite-suppressing hormones, increases stress hormone levels, and decreases a person's glucose tolerance, all of which may contribute to weight gain. Another way sleep loss may help pile on the pounds: late-night munching. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day to help achieve sounder sleep.
A higher protein diet doesn't have to be carb free to help you lose weight.
Severely restricting carbohydrates is not the reason some people experience weight loss with a high-protein diet. It's the protein that sates their appetite and helps them lose weight. In a study, people who ate just a bit more protein each day, while eating less fat and an average amount of carbs, felt sated earlier, ate fewer calories, and still lost weight.
Eating the right kind of carbohydrates may help you lose weight.
Although diets that restrict carbohydrates promote weight loss in the short term, there may be a better recipe for long-term health. A new study suggests eating plenty of high-fiber, low-calorie whole grains helps prevent overeating and long-term weight gain.
Healthy living beats skinny living hands down.
In a recent study, obese women who focused on being healthy, regardless of their size, achieved greater long-lasting health benefits than women who focused on dieting. When you change your eating and exercise habits, make improving your health your primary goal, and take the focus off the bathroom scale.
Skimping on sleep may add inches to your waistline.
Your blood levels of leptin, a hormone that acts as an appetite suppressant, appear to decrease when you experience sleep deprivation, according to new research. Keep leptin levels high and curb overeating and weight gain by getting at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep per night.
Opting for a lower fat diet can help improve your overall health, but don't go too low.
A diet with a moderate amount of fat in it may be best for health. In a recent study, both moderate- and very low-fat diets of similar calories helped overweight people lower their bad cholesterol, but only the ones on the moderate-fat diet maintained their healthy levels of good cholesterol. The caveat: the moderate-fat dieters stuck to unsaturated forms of fat.
- If you're trying not to overeat, steer clear of stressful sounds and noises.
During a recent study in which women were asked to complete a math problem, some of the women were exposed to stressful noises they had no control over, while other women were not. Women who were frustrated by the uncontrollable noises were more likely to snack. They also tended to give up on the problem sooner.
Linda Simmon, C.Ht.