Saturday, April 24, 2010

Flying the Blue Skies - New Fees in Air Travel from Continental Airlines

I flew back and forth from Newark to Orlando this week for a conference. It was an informational get together with a company called Campus Management, aimed primarily at higher ed. We also made side trips to sister colleges in the area, meeting with colleagues and gathering good information.

That being said, air travel is the easiest way to efficiently travel between NJ and FL, unless you are at liberty to take the time to drive, which I am not at this point.

On the way to Orlando, we were offered free Direct TV but we had to buy the headphones for $3 - and we could keep them any use them on subsequent flights - wow! On the way home from Orlando, we were offered free headphones but the Direct TV cost $6.

Aren't the execs at Continental Airlines clever?

I was traveling solo, but a ton of people were with their children, most of whom immediately felt like they needed to watch TV, bringing a general cry of anguish from all children who were denied the opportunity. Meanwhile, said small television screen was staring each of us in the face, playing the entire trip with enticing clips that foreshadowed what could be had by just swiping a credit card.
Lastly, cash is no longer a form of currency on Continental Airlines, only credit or debit cards.

Further, I was given the opportunity to save $2 by paying for my checked bag ahead of time - $23 instead of $25. Show me the money. The way I look at it, I'm still out $23.

Brave new world!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

please stop smoking

So very many people contact me regarding hypnosis for smoking cessation. I often broad-brushstroke smoking cessation, calling it one of the garden variety hypnosis techniques, along with weight loss, though it is sometimes the most critical key for health and wellbeing. Stop smoking and many other benefits fall into place; improved health, social interaction, confidence, peace and a little more money in the pocket too!

Most people I work with have been smoking at last 15 years, but usually at least 20, 30 or 4o years. Even though so many have good intentions to quit, the thing that is the biggest motivator is illness or restriction of normal life. Either they can't breathe, can't move, or don't feel well. Each client I work with is a unique individual who identifies with smoking in their own way.

Conversely, while we all experience the act of smoking and the habit uniquely, there are similar pieces to the experiences which are common to many of us. I say this as I am an ex-smoker.

Most of us have taken many years to become a smoker, and have hung onto the habit or addiction for dear life! Concurrently, most people want to know if they can quit in one session. Some can, but others need to learn to be gentle with themselves and participate in their wellness by giving themselves a chance to quit, an opportunity to be healthy and move on from a long-time habit. Many call it their old friend! There is sometimes an adjustment period.

I encourage my clients to give themselves a break and acknowledge that it may take a bit more time than just one session to quit. For details about how hypnosis works, I refer you to an earlier blog – 10 Misconceptions About Hypnosis.

Ask yourself these two questions:

On a scale of one to ten, ten being the greatest, how great is your urge to quit smoking?

Have you already cut back in anticipation of quitting?

If on a scale of one to ten your urge to quit is at least an 8, you are ready. If you had already cut back, even better!

How about these questions:

Are you afraid you will gain weight if you quit?

Do you feel that deserve to be healthy and can take a little time to restore full health?

Do you acknowledge that smoking is bad for you?

Some of these questions will reveal deterrents to quitting, along with many other possible roadblocks to success. These can be overcome when we uncover them.

For those of you who want to know how hypnosis helps as an aid to smoking cessation, I offer the following structure:

What to expect in a smoking cessation program:

  • Motivation and Confidence
    Learn how to build a strong desire to stop smoking. Reasons to quit and benefits of quitting are covered. You will easily learn tools for permanent release from smoking habit.
  • Overcoming Past Connections
    In order to quit successfully, we must change what cigarettes mean to us and the connections they have in our lives. Patterns that aid in our smoking habit are also re-routed, as are fears about what would happen if we quit, like gaining weight, or losing break time.
  • Creating New, Healthier Connections
    Time to reprogram our minds with healthier choices. Great guided visualization of cleansing our bodies of the toxins smoking leaves behind.
  • Preventing Relapse
    This session cements the value of quitting and provides help with avoiding a smoking relapse. Each hypnosis session is 45-60 minutes in length. Clients reported that not only was quitting easy, but that the sessions were relaxing and helped them with every day stress.
  • Tune-ups post quit date - Into each life some rain can fall. We react to the stress around us, and sometimes fall back on our old coping habits while dealing with stressful life issues. Smoking can be one of those old habits. With daily simple, relaxing practice and acknowledgement of this stress, we can quit permanently. 30 minute tune-up sessions are available to reinforce as needed.

Supplementary Hypnosis Sessions

Along with the basic 4-session set described above, additional 20 to 30 minute hypnosis sessions targeted at these specific issues:

  • Handling feelings without cigarettes
  • Weight management
  • Assertiveness / people skills
  • Energy and concentration
  • Pairing smoking with unpleasant experiences – also known as aversion therapy

I hope this clears up some questions about hypnosis. Make your decision to quit today!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Virtual Games And Real Money

In my last post I discussed Fish World and the impact of social games on people, from the youngest to the oldest of us. I was amazed by how quickly I was sucked into the rhythm of playing a facebook based game and all of the housekeeping, decorating, maintaining and growing that world requires.

While I played Fish World, I was encouraged to "get" more fishbucks by clicking through to that page. When I got there, Offerpal suggested I purchase bucks with my credit card or through PayPal. You can certainly earn fishbucks through play, but you can also buy them with real money.

I have struck a nerve on a number of occasions already with friends and family, most of whom feel that they have witnessed love ones retreat from the real into the virtual world, which concerned loved ones have found alarming.

Here is another facet of social gaming - monetizing for game creators. I was not aware of the statistic, but my husband shared that real purchase of virtual gifts and gear is a multi-billion dollar business.

What exactly does this mean? One example - in facebook, members are prompted to remember their friends' birthdays with a link to their friend's home page. When clicking on the link, the member is encouraged not only to leave their best wishes, but to purchase a virtual gift which they can purchase with their credit card or through pay pal with real money.

Another example - in social gaming, many items are available through soliciting other members, but are also available for the "bucks" that the player can purchase - you guessed it - by depositing those bucks in their account through purchase with a credit card or other real payment source.

Just as the online gambling phenonenon has made real life difficult by draining players' bank accounts, so too can participation in virtual worlds affect an individual's real life bottom line.

Let the player beware, and as my daughter Julia and our friend Melina say, make good choices!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Games and real life

I recently had a young client tell me about her gaming fun in a game, played on the internet with others. She is very attached to this game and meets friends there. They have avatars and it is very interactive and action packed. She spends as much time as she can there and misses it when she is not there. I wanted to understand more about virtual reality and playing these interactive games.

Coincidentally, one of my Facebook friends invited me to a facebook based game called Fish World. About a week ago I decided to play Fish World, which, while it is very simple, it is fun. I am actually surprised at just how much time I wanted to spend playing with my fish, acquiring new fish, training new fish, sending gifts to my Fish World friends. In fact, right now, while blogging to you, I am thinking about going back to feed my fish.

Playing this game has given me some perspective on how internet based games can fill a void, or provide real social interaction in a virtual world. My fish world friends and I send each other gifts and clean tanks and feed each other's fish a treat. I tell my fish world friends how nice their tanks look.

While this interaction cannot replace real life relationships and fresh air, it does provide us an opportunity to interact with others, be kind and thoughtful, and learn strategies for success and problem-solving.

Interesting, but I'm still spending too much time on the fish! Here is a link to another blog that discusses Fish World.