Springtime . . . Renew, Rejuvenate, Transform
By Susan K. Stevenson, DCH
"Rejuvenation Strategies: Forever Young" was the title of a panel discussion at the Whole Life Expo in Los Angeles in November 1997. It was a privilege for me to be on that panel with a group of very distinguished professionals in the healing arts. Each panelist added a unique perspective to the evening including energy healing, chiropractic, nutrition, alternative/holistic medicine, attitude, hypnotherapy and facial rejuvenation treatments.
It's quite clear that wellness, youthfulness and longevity require a holistic approach. Quality food, clean water, exercise and the right attitude are all vitally important. Scientific medicine has given us the gift of "bug-fighting" technology, yet degenerative diseases, chronic fatigue, and a whole host of what is termed "lifestyle" ailments continue to plague the industrialized world. We are learning to protect ourselves from (and hopefully soon rid the earth of) environmental pollutants and toxic chemicals in our food and water supply.
The panel discussion initially focused on regaining health, then steadily examined strategies for remaining youthful, energetic and vital well into our "golden" years. And, although it is clear that no single strategy is a "magic bullet" for everyone, we need to learn to work with our innate abilities to discern the highest and best health-agenda for our individual needs.
It's quite fascinating to observe people's reactions when they learn my age. Sometimes the conversation begins because I mention my daughter who is now 19, or how long I've been married, or the year I began to study hypnosis. When the question, in various forms, inevitably arises about my chronological age, I generally say, "How old do you think I am??" The guesses are almost always 10 to 15 (sometimes even more) years younger. When I disclose my actual age, sometimes mouths drop open in disbelief, others are somewhat more cool and respond with a comment like, "you can't be serious what's your secret?"
So, just what is my secret? Sure, I have taken care of myself all these years, tried to eat right-but-not-fanatically; and, yes, I watch my thoughts and expectations about health and aging. "What?"you say? Yes, I am convinced that my attitude, thinking patterns, internal dialog with my body, and expectations have everything to do with my health and appearance. After all, it is my internal and unconscious patterns that influence my choices in food and activity. I practice self-hypnosis and meditation to transmit healthy energy throughout my mind/body/spirit. The internal conversation I carry on when I wash my face, for example, is continually giving instructions (suggestions) to my skin and facial muscles and my eyes to be smooth and toned, firm and bright. Does this sound strange to you?
Think about the conversations you hold within your own mind about your body, your health, your future wellness and youthfulness. You can probably identify a lot of negative thinking right now if you're really honest with yourself. What do you do when a disparaging thought or fear pops into your head? Do you nurse that negative thought and allow it to grow and expand?
Are you even aware of the potential harm you are directing within yourself? The kindest, most gentle and effective thing to do is to simply recognize it, let it drift away, and then replace it with a thought, image or affirmation that is healing, youthful and supportive. Instead of cursing the lines and bags under your eyes, have you ever thought about praising your eyes for the wonderful job they do for you every day " it doesn't matter if you need corrective lenses, or if they're not the color you've always dreamed of " allow yourself to be lost in the wonder and gratitude of vision for even a few moments.
When you exercise do you visualize firming and toning (sending the correct message), or do you dwell on the bulges, wondering if they will ever go away (wrong image!). Envision the "youthening" you desire. Realize that your cells are constantly changing and assist them to change in a healthier way by sending the correct and energized mental message.
When you bathe, be totally conscious and aware of pampering your skin, and be filled with gratitude for the superb job your body and muscles perform, envision your skin and muscles as toned, smooth and youthful. Give them the permission to be as perfect as they wish to be (almost as if they have a mind of their own!). Deepak Chopra, MD, tells us of an ancient Indian proverb that goes something like this, "If you want to know the nature of your thoughts of the past, look at your body today; if you want to know how you will be in the future, look at your thoughts today."
It's time for Spring Cleaning! Begin today to develop a new relationship with your body by observing your thoughts and unemotionally plucking out each and every thought that is less than healthy and loving toward yourself. This is not self-indulgent fantasy nor egotism, it is not narcissistic or vanity " it is vital to your self-esteem and your future self! Perhaps you could sit quietly and list the thoughts and feelings you are ready to transform in this Spring Cleaning. For every thought, image or feeling you are ready to release, there is a corresponding positive thought, image or feeling to replace it. Allow this to be an on-going process " you might even want to carry your list with you to add and modify a little every day. Then start noticing how your thinking patterns are beginning to change! And your body begins to lovingly respond.
As a hypnotherapist, I utilize these techniques with clients week in and week out. For women and men who want to reshape and re-proportion, lose or gain weight, change unwanted behaviors, and create more harmony and well being in any area of their life, it is essential to examine the inner thinking process. Hypnotherapy is extremely effective in helping people create more harmonious thinking patterns, and better communication within the mystery of the mind/body connection.
And whether I am working with clients in a workshop, private sessions or creating customized self-hypnosis tapes especially addressing their personal concerns, this process can create amazing changes. I have prepared an audio tape expanding on the concepts in this article titled, "Renew Your Mind/Rejuvenate Your Body". (Mention Awareness Magazine for a 20% discount).
The magic is within you " open up to it, turn it on and turn it loose! You deserve it " You can do it!
Susan Stevenson, DCH(c) is a Doctor of Clinical Hypnotherapy, NLP Master Practitioner and Certified Spiritual Counselor. Currently residing in Melbourne, Australia, Dr. Susan offers uplifting programs for individuals, groups and businesses, as well as workshops and audio tapes on a variety of life enhancing topics. For information on any programs, you may contact Dr. Susan by e-mail at: SusanDCH@aol.com.au
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