Saturday, September 19, 2009

Thank you for smoking

I loved that movie. Did you see it? I just thought of it again recently as Aaron Eckhart is starring in a new movie with Jennifer Aniston, this time a love story.

I love smoking cigarettes but I know they are bad for me, therefore, I do not smoke. I would like to smoke, and think fondly of Burgess Meredith in Grumpier Old Men, as he complains about smoking for the vast majority of his long life (at about age 95) with no negative ramifications. Lovely fairytale, yes? I wish it were true.

I have been sharing my love of smoking with my clients who want to quit, and they tell me it gives them hope. I tell them that they don't have to quit all at once, that they can take their time, and that gives them hope too.

Eventually, my clients quit smoking. Some quit right away. They all quit eventually. And as Burgess Meredith's character in Grumpier Old Men found out, God did not forget about him. Let's be gentle with ourselves, but let's stick around here for a while.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fertility and Honoring the Beauty of the Female Body

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard my sisters, daughters, friends and coworkers disparage their female bodies during their period. The curse, the rag, my time of month, the pain, the agony, the suffering. depression, inconvenience, etc. While I know there are some disorders that are aggravated by these hormonal times, many are gently elusive to explanation.

MD , OB Gyn and author, Christianne Northrup, says that years ago, when it was that time of the month, women took to bed for three days to rest and take care of themselves. What an amazing idea. Can you imagine being able to do this? Maybe this is the reason the body yells so loudly. It may be telling us, I need to rest – pay attention to me, give me a break. Acknowledge my existence. Honor me.

It is no surprise, then, when our bodies tell us, well, if you don’t like this, why should I do the other things I am made to do – conceive, carry a fetus/child/fertilized egg – when you curse my existence?

Years ago, when first joining a women’s meditation circle, I learned of another possibility, another concept – honoring all phases of the body and its functioning. I was already blessed with my two daughters, but suffered from cramps and depression during my period.

I gave it a try. During my next cycle, I welcomed the cramps and pain and thanked my body for working so well. I honored my physical and emotional state, let myself rest, cry, had that bit of chocolate and refrained from getting angry with my body.

The most amazing thing happened…my painful cramps subsided. My body no longer had to get my attention in order for me to notice it. Simple as that.

I had a client who had not had her period for over two years. We worked together using hypnotherapy two times. She told me that she had been to a number of doctors who could find nothing physically wrong with her. Doctors put her on Provera hormone trials to try and kick-start her cycle. Nothing worked. She shared with me that she had promised an (by this point) ex-lover that she would not become pregnant. She wanted the relationship so badly that she stopped ovulating. And it stayed that way for two years until we worked together.

She was, in the present time, in a new relationship and now wanted to conceive a child. She was very frustrated and at the end of her rope. I was her last hope. Hypnosis was her last chance. FYI, she was 32 years old.

After we began to talk to her body, release her promise to her former lover and honor her body, her body began to flow as intended. She considered it a miracle, but to a hypnotherapist, it is just another day in the mind/body/spirit realm.

If I can leave you with anything today, please know that I am not saying what your dad or your honey says “it is all in your head”. However, our minds are very powerful instruments that can help us create a reality that supports the life we want and deserve. That might include a child, an easier menstrual period or gentler life. Honor the beauty that is the female body.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Make Something Tasty Today - I Command It!

I love to cook and love healthy food. Here's a great recipe I adapted from two of my favorite chefs, Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) and Maria McQuillan, my daughter Julia's best friend, Melina's mom. Maria makes the best beef empanadas, unequivocally, though I have not yet been brave enough to ask for the recipe. I am just grateful when a few find their way to my table!

This recipe for Shrimp Ceviche is yummy as a veggie dish too. Hope you enjoy, with love, on this Labor Day!

Ina’s Ceviche with Maria’s twist

Ina contributed the orange and Maria’s secret ingredient is ketchup.

Grate zest of 2 oranges
Juice oranges and reserve juice in a medium bowl

Put in medium bowl
Orange zest (2-3 tablespoons)
1 lb shrimp, cooked, shelled and cut in small pieces (already cooked or boil until just done) – let cool (can substitute 1 package (8-10 oz) extra firm tofu cubed and browned in skillet, drained and cooled until just warm)
2 Tablespoons capers
½ cup finely chopped celery (3 large stalks)
½ cup finely chopped red onion
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
(you can also cube an avocado and add it too J )

In smaller juice bowl
Combine orange juice (about ½ cup) with 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar, 2-4 tablespoons Heinz ketchup. Whisk together with about ½ teaspoon ground pepper and 1 teaspoon salt. Slowly add good olive oil (about ½ cup) and whisk until emulsified
Pour dressing over shrimp, etc and toss. Set aside to marinate a bit and chill. Serve over a bed of lettuce in a dessert cup or bowl or plain from the container.

I always love this part - Eat and enjoy. As my sister Jenn would say; "eat and enjoy, I command it". Jenn is not a demanding person. She loves our language and gets a kick out of those directive statements, like "have a nice day (or I"ll make you have one)", "make this day great (or else)", etc.

Store extra covered in the refrigerator - or I'll come over there!