How to find balance in a topsy-turvy world.

July 20, 2015

How to find balance in a topsy-turvy world.

Plus when a life hangs in the balance…..?

I often wonder when we speak of finding balance in our lives what that actually means to us as individuals. Obviously as far as health is concerned it is vital to our over all physical mental and emotional well being being. However, is it not different for each of us?

What does it mean to you?

Do you think it means balancing work and family? In that case it can be quite challenging for both often require so much time and attention. Basically, though not so simply, it most often means a matter of setting priorities; deciding what’s important to you in the whole scheme of things. It might mean letting go of some things in favor of others. Not always an easy decision. Right?

    If its balancing our own needs with those of others, its another challenge, for people all too readily and too often place other people’s needs before their own. It’s been conditioned into their psychology, their consciences; for the idea of giving and doing for self is all too often considered selfish and that’s is totally unacceptable to them. Self sacrifice is so common that many people literally sacrifice their own lives for the sake of others. That is an extreme we see often in the military, and sometimes in situations where there is a crisis. We consider those who give of themselves to such an extent as heroes, and we admire them greatly.

    We see it in every day life when an exhausted person needs a rest and food but denies their needs to give of him or herself to help or nourish another. Or when the last dollar left over after paying the bills is given to a homeless person, or donated to an animal shelter. People donate to the needy, volunteer their time and energies to provide caring for others; its not at all uncommon. We say, “Thank goodness.”

    We have it within us to be helpful, to give aid and comfort, to offer support in whatever way we can. Sometimes tipping the balance in our own lives in favor of another’s.

    Yet when we break it down into its basic elements, there is truly no such thing as a totally selfless act.

Think about that for a moment.

    For some people that’s a hard concept to accept.

We like to feel we give unconditionally. And consciously we do. The fact is that even if we were in an extreme situation, to give up our own life to save another’s, it would be because we could not comfortably live with ourselves if we didn’t. When the choice is to let another die or save our own life, it is the question we must answer with our consciences. We may be acting on instinct, for love, whatever, but the fact remains we would regret it if we did not make that heroic choice. We would forever be tormented with guilt, and shame: I know through my work many who live with having made that choice and suffer terribly because of it.  I.E. Soldiers who suffer PSTD because of having killed to save their own lives or even their comrades. Even in war when taking another life is what you are expected to do for your country, because it is your duty, does not ameliorate guilt and some have told me their guilt makes their lives hell. That is until we have done the healing necessary.

Most of our consciences were educated to consider others first, or perhaps because it is in our natures, as human beings to do so.

Going against our nature often results in deep conflict.

    That does not mean that there is a consciously wholly selfish motive to be charitable, to make personal sacrifices. We don’t think of it in that way in most situations; often we don’t have time to consider it. It simply means that for every good deed we do we are rewarded with a sense of satisfaction; we feel good about ourselves, we feel a sense of personal power. We feel decent and honorable, fully human. We have done what one person recently described her charitable act as “the right thing to do.” Doing the right thing is important to us. We want to be good people, be thought good of. There’s nothing wrong with that. Whatever motivates our giving of ourselves in one way or another, it is always good for the giver and receiver.

    So how do we find the balance between doing right for ourselves, serving our own needs and wishes as compared to those of others? When faced with this question, for so many and in so many situations a tug of war ensues within, for it is a often a deeply complex quandary.

    In daily life I advocate finding the balance by understanding that being utterly selfish means me first, me always, you never.

Being selfless means you first, you always, me never.

    For a while the so called new age recommendation was “numero uno”, take care of number one first. It didn’t go down too well over all in our society, least of all in a culture that promotes caring and kindness.

    The fact is I’ve met, and you probably have met so few people who would fit the absolutely selfish description. I have met though, all too many who fit into the selfless one. They end up being worn out, physically mentally and emotionally exhausted. They are suffering so many maladies of their own as a result. They end up being in need themselves, but are so used to being the doer and the giver they do not know how to reach out to others for help. They don’t know how to say “no” or extricate themselves from the sense of responsibility that demands they keep doing and giving. And because they are always there for others, the strong ones, they never appear to be in need themselves. They have been what are called the “go to” persons.

    Now lets get to how to find balance .

    I recommended, a me also philosophy.

    The most important question to ask yourself, is,

Whose needs are greatest? Yours, theirs or mine?”

    That will take some careful thought and self consideration.

    Ask yourself, “What would be the overall cost of taking care of, or doing what I want or what I need as compared to the cost of not giving that up for someone else?”

    Keep in mind there are gracious ways of refusing to help at the moment, I’m sure you can think of them. If not, ask me, I have many. ( Another blog subject)

    Now this brings to me ask you some more questions. It’s an opportunity to put your imagination to work while you determine how well you are able to balance your prioritizes, personal values and live in peace with yourself.

One question is, whether it is wise and best for you to hold onto all you have or give up some of what you have for the sake of another? Imagine you are in that situation. How do you feel? What comes to mind? Be honest with yourself.

What would you expect of others if that situation were reversed?

Remember, no expectations or obligations or judgments herein. 

    Now, have you ever been in a terrible situation wherein you needed help, and had no where to turn? What if a part of your body was in danger of killing you, so you need, i.e. a new liver. What would you do if the price of saving your own or your loved one was far beyond your ability to afford? What if you are already struggling financially because of missing many days pay for Drs. appointments and being too unwell to work?

Would you reach out and ask for help?

What would it feel like to suffer extreme embarrassment having to ask for and receive charity? How do you balance pride and a need to be independent with the need for charity?

    What if added onto all of that there is the deep sad sense of bereavement in knowing that someone would have to die to  save your life, and another family is in the process of losing a loved one who has already donated a liver? Grief comes to mind and heart, right?

     How do you balance all that with your own needs? How would you respond to that person’s needs?

    How do you balance the fact that in other countries organ transplants are free to all, thank goodness, while in America it is a pay for medical care or die situation?  Sadly  it is a fact of life… and often death here. I feel everyone ought to be given the medical help they need whatever their race, color or creed or financial ability, don’t you? Do you have any idea that the cost of an organ transplant in the US is diabolically expensive, that is if you are lucky enough to get on the donor list and live long enough to get one. Sorry, just had to mention that.

    Now I’m going to reveal something very personal here, balancing the risks of doing so with the possibility of either a compassionate response or criticism. Some might think it inappropriate, but I’m going to share a a real life situation, not an uncommon one, one that is truly a matter of life and death.

    My daughter’s husband needs a liver transplant. His name,Mizan Raheem. Mizan means balance, Raheem means compassionate, merciful. Names well suited to him for he is all those things. Coincidentally  appropriate for this blogs subject!

He never drank or smoked, he is an honest loving gentle hard working man and together with my daughter has raised and home schooled five wonderful children. They have made meaningful contributions to society, have given much of themselves to others in need, yet cannot bear to be the ones needy of help. They have struggled against so many life challenges, financial strains brought about by changes in the economy and illness that put Mizan out of work for a long while. Then my daughter was hit by car, not long after that she had an adrenal gland removed and three  weeks  later had an emergency hysterectomy; then before she could fully recover from that trauma they were T- boned in their car by a drunk driver a few weeks later. All this while dealing with Mizan’s life threatening illness and its subsequent challenges. It seems life is being cruel to them. No? Add onto that burden the financial strains that come with enormous medical bills and you have the makings of a true life drama that has every possibility of an unhappy ending.

    If it had not been for my daughter’s training as a wellness coach, Yoga teacher and herbalist, Mizan would not be alive today. Her tender loving care and vast knowledge, her unrelenting support and constant research have brought him through many a crisis during the course of his illness, including cancer in his liver and serious threats to his kidney health. Now her own health is threatened; the stress, her own recent surgeries, the financial struggles his illness has brought upon them have wrought a terrible toll on her. I fear for her life now too. Of course my husband and I and other family members are helping in all the ways we can. But a liver transplant in America costs more than $575.000, and that does not include the cost of post operative care and the extremely expensive anti rejection drugs he will need.

       Knowing this, what are your thoughts and feelings?

Now I’m balancing my desire to help with the risk of harsh judgement against me for using this medium to solicit help for them.

Am I pleading for a donation to help Mizan get a new liver? Yes but not to me personally, only through the National Foundation for Transplants,* a legitimate organization founded to help the needy afford transplants via tax deductible donations. And through my own fund raising efforts, i.e. workshops I conduct *( see next scheduled one below). The proceeds will go towards Mizan’s new liver if he can get it in time.

    I am not politically inclined, I am a humanist, and a naturalist, I am also practical, I know and accept some facts of life, and death too. You have read my previous blogs. I know in this I risk some criticism for using my blog to make such a plea. However, a wonderful human beings life and his families future hangs in the balance, and would you not, in my place do any less? I’ve balanced that risk with the possible positive responses that come from my readers.

    For you, the balance in this case is that in giving whatever you can  easily and comfortably afford will not only help save a good man’s life,  you will receive his undying gratitude, and its tax deductible too.

                        TTFN from Elaine. wishing you internal and external balance, always.

You can help by visiting

http://patients.transplants.org/mizanraheem

to make a tax-deductible donation to NFT in his honor.

If you have any questions about NFT, feel free to contact the staff at

800-489-3863 .

                                   Thanking you in anticipation of your generosity.

TTFN from Elaine

*The workshop.

How to harmonize mind and body,

conscious and subconscious for health and well being.

While you learn how to have a better healthier life you will help save a life!

Life enhancing secrets will be revealed.

proceeds go to save a life!

AND

you receive a free gift…Dr.Kissel’s Remarkable Relaxation CD

Go to www.kisselhypnosis for more information.

Long distance participation possible.

 


What death takes and leaves behind…

May 29, 2015

Dr. Elaine Kissel:

Because  I am  again working with several clients in grief and the subject has come up a lot lately, as anniversaries birthdays etc tend to  bring with them a renewed  sense of loss, and sadness, I thought I’d update the blog I wrote several years before. There have been more losses since I wrote that blog; Rhonda is no longer with us in physical form, and many others who I have had the blessing of knowing and being close to. Grief lives as long as we do, it changes in face and character, as well as in its impact on us and how we deal with it. It can take the wind out of our functional and spiritual sails and a great deal of our life energy for awhile. However, unless we allow it to,  it does not take away the fact that we still have much to live for, including all the love that was left to us to give and receive.

Originally posted on Insights, all about you and your inner and outer world:

 Death is, as we all know the inevitableat some point, and we usually accept it, albeit reluctantly, at the end of a long life, and hopefully it comes without suffering and fear. However it also comes after a long painful illness, or unexpectedly via accident, sometimes from violence and in other shocking and tragic ways.  However and whenever it comes, it leaves a veil of grief that makes it difficult to see life as we have known it. We are changed by it and so are our lives and our world. In and of itself grief creates myriad emotional and physical reactions; we feel un-grounded, as though we too are disembodied. At times we become caught up in the throes of indescribable emotional hurt; we’re tossed about on waves that come unexpectedly to sweep away our sense of equilibrium, causing confusion, anxiety as well as physical pain.

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A matter of life and death

September 25, 2014

A Matter of Life and Death:

Flossie’s story.

 One of my clients, a cancer patient said to me, “I now believe God has given me the power through my own mind to heal myself.” A few weeks before her death she had begun to doubt that. She had lived two and a half years beyond her prognosis, she had fought for her life and it appeared for a long time she was winning. Now, for so many terrible reasons she had given up.

        I struggled for answers; she struggled for relief.

Why had the hypnosis we had used so well together ceased to be effective? During one visit I paid her in the hospital not long before she died, I got the all-important clues. Flossie looked beaten. I sensed fear that had not been there before. I asked her about it: Her eyes met mine and widened, she seemed astonished at her own thoughts and the words she spoke were, “ Why yes! It’s the pain. Everything they do here hurts me.” She held my hand and looked at me pleadingly.

All her self-hypnosis, the hypnosis sessions I’d done and recorded for her, her courage, her strength had been made to seem futile in the glaring light of the heroic oncological maneuvers. The Doctors and hospital staff had taken over her body and she was once more a victim of cancer.

We talked a for little while, she responded with a smile to my voice as I induced hypnosis, her body relaxed and comfort came back, and some of her faith in herself. But she was still in the hospital; tubes in her nose and mouth, needles in her arm, while monitors told her caretakers about her physical condition. But Flossie wasn’t in charge of all that; somewhere in the brave mind that had extended her life beyond a few weeks prognosis, and given it quality and renewed strength, she believed had lost total control. Whether she had the power to heal was constantly being questioned, even denied by the medical staff and even family members. Sadly the outside voices saying that she has no power over cancer had silenced the internal one who had encouraged and kept her alive and strong for so long.

I called her every day during my dinner hour to help relieve her pain, to laugh and cry, whichever she needed. One day I told her of my plans to visit her again over the weekend, as I had done regularly when she was in the hospital. She said, “No darling, its all right, I have my tapes and your voice in my mind.”

It was then I knew she had begun to let go, because until then even the prospect of my visits were encouraging to her, and she looked forward to them eagerly. I did go to visit her though. She appeared to have shrunk; I saw a tiny frail human- being on that bed, hooked up to machines, while she lay helpless in the fetal position. She was pleased to see me, and brightened somewhat, though she confided in me that some days she wanted to let go, let God take her, but other times she wanted to get well and live. She hadn’t decided yet.

Her husband George called me now and then to report, or I would call him; he needed support too. One day George cried over the telephone, “Why doesn’t God take her?” I replied without a seconds thought, “George, maybe even God doesn’t have that much power.”

My response surprised me. Where it came from I do not know. As I thought about it, I realized that as long as Flossie was, on some level still fighting for her life and not letting go, so she would live on.

A week later Flossie died. George sobbed with relief and grief. Their 50 years together on this realm was ended. He told me she asked him before she took her last breath to join her in the afterlife as soon as possible. He promised he would.

I became wistful. In my own grief, which was of course different than Georges, I sensed within myself a stronger than ever awareness of the power we have over life and death.

Flossie wasn’t the first cancer patient I’d worked with or the last. I had cured myself of six months to live prognosis without the aid of doctors many years before: I knew then as I do now how powerful the mind body connection is. I knew all too well how to handle the struggles and tragedies of life and death. But now there was more confirmation than ever that what constitutes healing is not medicine, nor any kind of therapy; it’s all the aspects of mind, body and emotions and spirit working in harmony. And who is responsible for them? The doctor? God? A therapist? NO, it’s the person, the whole person. All aspects of that person must agree, and then decide to live and be well, or die.

Healing is not a miracle, but a process. Often the external influences compete with the internal ones that would otherwise support life. Doctor’s prognosis and prescriptions and those who believe they are the only trustworthy methods impose their beliefs on the patient. If those who surround the patient have no faith in their ability to choose healing and life, it is hard for the patient to believe in their own powers to heal naturally; or effectively support medical maneuvers. They capitulate to the notion that chemistry does it all; or that it works or doesn’t work.

No textbook formula, medical or other method or device will heal the person. The patient needs to play this by ear as a musician who picks up a tune and plays it without the music sheet. The patient needs to open him or herself up to and  make good use of inherent wisdom of mind and body that can orchestrate healing.

Of course there are ways to formalize the process, structure it. I develop it with the client; the right visualizations, nurture belief in personal power, and teach deep relaxation and use positive suggestion formulations in hypnosis. I help relieve them of pain. I help them heal emotional wounds, and un-stress. I teach them about their natural healing energies and resources and how to access and employ them. The patient learns to be a good the conductor, directing and harmonizing the myriad nature given bio-physiological instruments as well as medical aids for healing. But in the end, it is the patient, the client who does it.

At times I have felt like a lone soldier trying to protect and innocent victim from the onslaught of negative attitudes and fears that prevail everywhere around them. I never give up, because I made a commitment to help. And that’s all I can do. Help.

Yet help in how to participate in his or her own healing may not be what the person truly wants. Sometimes they want a miracle, an instant cure. That’s understandable. No one wants to struggle and suffer. Or they believe that only the doctors have power to heal them and therefore they play no conscious role in the process.

I have  cancer patients referred to me by their doctors and others who know of my work. They come for my  help to deal with their illness and the pain and/or the side effects of allopathic oncological cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation. I have had a few come to me to help them pass away in comfort because they have been told they are soon going to die, and that they stand no chance of healing. Sadly they believe what the doctors predicted: That is until I inform them of their personal powers, then some choose to fight. Most win and live long and healthy lives.

And yes, the patient can get tired of fighting, though they haven’t lost courage; they are simply exhausted in the battle. It is then that taking time out from the fight for brief time to regain energy is a must. It doesn’t mean he or she has given up; they are just resting between rounds like prizefighters in the ring.

One man informed me that he didn’t want to fight for his life, or undergo treatments that he believed would only hurt him more, or delay his death. He told me life was boring. He said, “Don’t try and talk me out of it, I just don’t want to suffer as I die.”

I was told later by family members who were with him at the end that he listened to my recorded voice while comfortably passing away: Exactly within the time range they had given him to live.

Another cancer patient I worked with decided she just wanted to live long enough to see her children graduate from high school. Although she had beaten the cancer working with me several years before; when it recurred she put up a fight until her last child graduated and then the cancer consumed her.

When people say things like, “I just want to live long enough to, for example, “See my grandchildren,” or, “ To see my daughter married.” They do exactly that. They seldom outlive their own predetermined life span.

George did indeed join Flossie only a few weeks after her demise. He had promised to go to her, and nothing could have come between him and his commitment to his wife.

So without a commitment to life, the patient cannot and will not be healed. And those words that sprang from my mouth that day, speaking to George, echo again within; maybe it isn’t all God’s doing: We are given the power to choose life or death.

An important postscript: Of course our lives can suddenly be taken away from us by some violent act, an accident, or a surgical error, and numerous other causes. In those cases we have no opportunity for conscious determination to live or die. However, when we are in a battle with a disease or other life threatening issue, we have enormous power to make the choice to fight to win or succumb. Of course many factors come into play, some known and some not. Life and death hold many mysteries for us. However, it needs to be better known that we have that choice and there are ways you can learn to access and apply the nature given resources to aid you in your endeavor to live and be well.

I wish you well , TTFN and all the best, always fro Elaine Kissel

Ten ways to improve your focus and concentration

August 5, 2014

In today’s world distractions are more prolific than ever. Many people tell me that they go on their computer to do one thing and end up being diverted from their purpose by incoming mail that looks interesting, or the ads that pop up on their screens distracts them. Others tell me that the telephone ringing is hard to ignore. Many people are distracted from their project by thinking of the number of things on the “to do” list. Staying focused on the intended task requires mental clarity and conscious determination. Improved concentration can be developed.

Here are some tips to keep your mind from wandering off course, and refine your concentration.

 ONE:

If you are not on call for crucial information or emergencies, turn off your telephone, and let it go to voicemail unless you are expecting a call directly related to the work at hand. Yes, I know you don’t want to play phone tag, or miss connecting with a friend, however, nor do you want to get involved with something irrelevant to your task. And stop texting while working, and while driving for that matter: Responsible drivers keep their minds on the road. And don’t let coworkers or anyone else start chit chatting around or to you when you are working. When you look available it will be assumed you are.

TWO:

Be prepared: Make sure before you start a task you have everything you need on hand and in front of you: All too often when leaving your desk or computer to get what you need to proceed, something irrelevant could all too easily draw your attention away from your destination.

THREE:

Take a few moments to relax before getting into your project. It’s difficult to concentrate when you are tense, so take a few long deep breaths, do abdominal breathing and be sure to inhale through your nose and exhale completely. Be sure your shoulders are down and your posture correct. Poor posture inhibits natural and adequate breathing, and breath is what helps get oxygen to your brain. Tension drains mental energy.

FOUR:

Train your mind. Here are some exercises that will refine your concentration and at the same time improve your memory. You’ll need a watch or clock with a second hand to time yourself. First find something in the room to focus on. Then, look at the clock and time your ability to stay focused on that object.

Repeat that exercise again and again to see how many more seconds you can maintain attention to that object only. As long as you keep that object in mind, no matter what you think about it, you are still concentrating. The more you practice the better your concentration will get. Another way to improve concentration is to do the above exercise in different ways. For example, see how long you can maintain focus with your eyes open as compared to with them closed. Do your best to increase your focus for longer periods each time. Practice will enhance your ability to concentrate. Change the object of focus often too. Add another dimension to this exercise; see how well you can concentrate while someone else is talking to you, or while the radio or TV is on loudly close by. Find various ways to employ distractions to challenge your concentration while doing the above training exercises.

FIVE:

The so-called “Mozart effect”  for learning can also work for improved focus. Studies have been done to prove that the brain opens up more to new information when listening to Mozart. In fact it has proven to help people with previously impassable developmental blocks. It’s not a stretch of the imagination or logic to assume that it can also aid people in maintaining focus. So not only are they pleasant and relaxing, they can help you in many other ways too. Don’t like Mozart? Check out other recordings that have the same mind enhancing effect.

SIX:

Put a do not disturb sign on your door, or if in an open cubical, somewhere where others can see it. Let others know you do not choose to be interrupted for a given period of time. Allowing others to interrupt you while working on something is bound to delay your accomplishments, and it’s often harder to get back into the work mode again. Set boundaries.

SEVEN: Make sure you get enough sleep. It’s hard to concentrate when you are tired. Inadequate sleep means you will be less alert and less capable of maintaining your concentration. Sleep depravation makes it difficult for your brain to function at its peak performance levels. Go to bed when tired; get up when you feel rested. Be regular in your sleep patterns to help set your biorhythms to their ideal for you. The average amount of sleep required is 7-8 hours.

EIGHT:

Learn to deal with stress effectively. Healthy coping skills enable you to function well in every respect. in every aspect of your life.  Stress steals mind space and psychic energy, making it almost impossible to concentrate well. If emotionally stressed your concentration will suffer. If something is bothering you, address it forthrightly, decide what can and cannot be done at this moment , and if  there’s nothing you can do right now,  decide to let it go for the time being, with the understanding that you will attend to the issue when you have the time and an appropriate place to do so.

NINE:

Stay interested. Boredom is s common cause of poor focus. Adjust your attitude: No matter how many times you have done this task, think of it as the first time you are doing it this time: Because, in fact you have never done it this time before. You can make it a mental game; you can act as if you are teaching someone else to do it. Be creative.

TEN:

Alcohol will soggy up your brain cells, which means they cannot do the work required of them. So when there is a task to complete, don’t drink before starting or during doing it. Think of your brain as the hardware of your computer, and your mind the software. If you do something to damage the hardware, the software won’t work. It’s why we are advised to not drink and drive. The same applies to eating a large meal before setting out on a task that requires your concentration. The brain needs constant blood flow to operate. The soporific feeling you have after a heavy meal is because digestion draws blood away from your brain and impairs the brain’s function. So eat light before starting a job, you’ll have a clearer mind and the energy you need to work and your focus will be good.

 Oh, and one more thing: There are many causes for poor concentration, so you need to be aware of what the contributing factors are in your case. So become aware of what you are being pulled away by: Is it internal or external? External obviously is about being unduly attracted to whatever is going on around you. Internal means you allowing your mind to wander to irrelevant topics; paying attention to the flow of conscious or subconscious thought processes drags you away from the needs of the moment. That’s why I teach thought control to my Mind Mastery students. If you are worried or deeply concerned, there will be a tendency to allow you’re your thoughts about the issues to generate emotions, which in turn will pull you away from employing your intellectual processes: It is difficult to think and feel at the same time. You can, and certainly need to learn to make the conscious determination to keep your emotions from interfering with what is necessary in the now. My Mind Mastery Course teaches conscious control of mind body emotions and behaviors; students and graduates are always amazed at the improvement of their ability of focus, as well as improved control in every aspect of their lives. Also my Self Hypnosis training course is a great tool to accomplish everything related to self-improvement. With those tools you are certain to improve your focus and concentration.

Go to www.elainekissel.com for more information on those powerful life-changing courses.

Until next time, all the best, always, from Elaine Kissel

Next blog: How to live with yourself.

 

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The other ninty nine percent.

July 2, 2014

 

 The old saying that creativity is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration is true, as any writer or artist knows from experience. Not that it’s always an effort. At times, as a writer, I’ve experienced how the words just flow as if coming from an already written text within my subconscious mind. Other times getting the words to express what they are intended to can be quite a challenge. Writers block is a well-known problem for many.  And as if it isn’t challenging enough, now -days we have technology to either help or hinder us in our projects.

When I first started my writing career I had a portable manual typewriter, then as my writing was paying off a bit, I was able to afford an electric one, then upgraded to an IBM Seletric, then a word processor, and then of course, to a computer.

To be perfectly honest with you, before I had a computer I never ever believed in the devil! Then I realized there is indeed a devil, and he lives in computers, or least in mine! Or maybe that Murphy was bent on proving to me over and over again that what can go wrong will go wrong, or at the most frustrating times I thought perhaps Murphy and the devil were in cahoots to sabotage my creative processes and inhibit my progress. Just joking of course.

I know that computers are created by humans and programmed by people and they cannot by the simple facts of life be perfect. It doesn’t automatically relieve us knowing this while in the midst of dealing with software and hardware misbehavior! One has to keep reminding oneself of the facts of life when confronted with what seems to be constant glitches in the techno systems, and be creative as well as knowledgeable  in fixing them.

Actually I had the very first PC made by Tandy Corporation for Radio Shack. In those days I used it mainly for ESP testing and training because it had within it a random number generator; necessary for our scientific purposes. I graduated from there to the more sophisticated machines as they were introduced and now of course I am somewhat up to date with the technology; though in no way a techy.

I have diverted a little in my story here, because this isn’t about my history as a writer, it’s about the nature of technology itself, and how it can positively and negatively impact productivity. It’s a love hate relationship as far as I’m concerned; and also for so many people I speak with on the subject of computers and the technological ways of life we are all engulfed in.

My book The Mind Is Willing was first published in 2005, even then I marveled at how I could send the text via email to my publisher and work via email with proofreaders and editors. Not like the old days of sending manuscripts to publishers and saving carbon copies. Now my book has gone digital, it’s on Kindle and Nook and people can get it in their hands via cyber space faster than you can say the title and author. And you can simply go on-line and order it from Amazon and get it by clicking a button or two on your computer. And my new book Set Backs and Come Backs will be going to readers the same way. Amazing!

Yet there is a paradox in this, as I have no sense of the actual limitations of the human mind, its creativity and inventiveness; so when my students and clients report what they think is amazing things because of my Mind Mastery course or through our work together with my Whole Mind Hypnotherapy, I always say, “I am never amazed, I am always in awe.” I know the power of the human mind and its myriad capabilities and how to access and employ so many of them. I’ve seen over and over what astounds people who have no idea of its potential. So what computers can do ought not to surprise me.

The fact is that I cannot help but be amazed as much as I am frustrated by the technology at my disposal. Do you share with me the same mixed feelings?

I know full well, that almost everything in life is a trade-off, that all power can be used for good or ill, nothing is perfect and all that, and I accept this fact of life too when it comes to technology and computers in particular. I need my computer today, more than ever. It keeps me in touch with my clients; it opens new worlds of knowledge for me that I could not dream of acquiring so quickly and conveniently otherwise, and its allowing me to reach you at this very moment; how neat is that? Yes, it tests my patience and endurance at times and makes the 99 percent perspiration of my creativity a reality more often than I care to calculate. Would I choose to go back to a typewriter? NO.

And in a way I kind of like the fact that it’s truly mind-boggling, how it works at all, no matter how well its all explained to me; rather like when I ‘m in or see a huge jet flying high above the earth; even though I know about the laws of aerodynamics, it still seems, well, honestly, incomprehensible, and yes, amazing! Like the bumble bee, who flies regardless of its supposed inability to do so. I love the mysteries of life, being mystified is a lovely feeling, is it not?

I admire and respect those who design computers and create the software, and I am often in awe of their capabilities. Recently though in writing a book, ironically called Setbacks and Comebacks: How To Prevent and Overcome Stuck States and Set Backs, while also creating a newsletter and getting The Mind Is Willing onto Kindle, Nook and onto AmazonI was just about ready to end my relationship with computers once and for all! Thankfully we have our Mind Mastery skills that kept  us calm and on course with cool determination.

The thing is, you see, I’m not a quitter, I never give up, its one of the qualities my hypnotherapy clients appreciate in me; it comes from the belief that where there is a will there is a way and with a creative open-minded approach, thinking outside of the box, we can achieve what we set out to do. The Set Backs and Comebacks book is so relevant in all this,  and the writing of it and getting it ready for publication proved its point very well:  Understanding what’s wrong how to correct it and pursuing all avenues leads to ultimate success. Its knowing how to work through those issues that the book is all about. and come back stronger. Perseverance has paid off once more and the end products are finally out there. However when people ask when I’m going to write another book, my first thought is, “What, another battle with the computer? No thank you.” Though of course the creative drive and motivation to help people will lead me back to my computer to work on the next book; the idea is already in mind.

My husband Don who is a truly brilliant  and intuitive techy, and other experts did their best to solve the problems that kept coming up during the past several weeks while doing our best to accomplish the goals: Some without any success and often only adding to the problems. We even bought a refurbished Apple to add to the Apple Don uses quite happily, and three PC’s already on our desks and laps. Which by the way none of which would perform according to programs during these projects, whichever system was employed, and many were! It was as if we were being tested by some mean powerful force, as one after the other problem came up to be solved only to be offered another.

Yet, here I am again, sitting here writing to you, reporting on my experiences on a machine that works for and with me, quite efficiently at this moment. Lesson  re-learned, one I’d like to share: We have to take the bitter with the sweet. When the world hands you a lemon, (as one of my computers and some of the software employed turned out to be) make lemonade. That’s, just what we did, we made some very sweet lemonade: Two books ready to be read, a newsletter  written and ready to go out, and now this blog.

TTFN and all the best, always, from Elaine.

P.S.  Sorry,  The Better Living Newsletter newsletter not available yet, more computer issues to resolve first! 

 *  (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LEW22DQ)

 


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