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Q: My husband left me for another woman. I can’t get over it, as I thought we had a happy marriage. How can I get on with my life?
A: I’d approach it like a death, as it was the death of the marriage. A trauma usually is more painful when it triggers past hurts, in your case, abandonment. I’d work with a therapist to clean this out so you have emotional freedom. You’ve probably gone through the stages of grieving so now tell yourself to move on. Of course it takes time to recover—the longer the marriage the longer the recovery period. Picture yourself walking down a beautiful path leading to new adventures. When the old tape starts playing in your mind, imagine immediately taking it out and replacing it with a tape that says, “I am manifesting a juicy meaningful life.” Consider participating in a singles’ group and at least once a week go to an activity where you could meet new people.
Q: I’ve suffered from a lot of anxiety and worry because my boyfriend of several years told me he’d like to have an open relationship. I don’t know what to do.
A: I’d follow nonviolent communication advice to focus on the need. The two of you should try to understand the underlying need with the help of a counselor; does he want more variety? Is he afraid of getting too close and dependent on you? You could role-play different people with costumes and such. Does he need to check out if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence? He may want to act on that need, but you need to be true to your principles. Some people are comfortable with polyandry and some are not. No one is worth a violation of your principles: You’d just end up resenting him.
Q: Life is so busy with kids, a job, and going back to college. How can I get more done with less stress?
A: Bundle tasks. For example, when you take a shower, also shampoo your hairbrush and clean out drain strainers. Avoid going out on one errand. When you see a holiday or birthday gift possibility during the year, buy it and put it in your gift box so you avoid holiday crowds. Deep exhalations calm the nervous system. Schedule in time to exercise and have fun so you keep your batteries charged.
With your family, make a list of all the tasks needed to run your household, including social responsibilities, finances, car maintenance, and so on. Assign points to the tasks; cleaning the toilet will get more points than watering plants. Then, take turns picking tasks until all of you have your fair share. Decide on consequences for not doing a task and rewards. Have a weekend family housecleaning hour with motivating music, followed by a fun activity to celebrate working together to create a clean house. A fun way to clean floors is to walk on them with wet soapy rags.
Q: I have obsessive self-critical thoughts that make me anxious. How can I quiet them?
A: It doesn’t work to say “No” to the out-of-control inner critic, as that just emphasizes the negative thoughts. Acknowledge the judgments as you would acknowledge a child’s nightmare, and then start creating a positive voice. Your critic feels like a teen boy, rather rash and angry. Call forth your wise man to give him kind counsel. It’s fine to make up this new inner voice because the unconscious doesn’t know the different between belief and reality. For example, if a hypnotherapist tells a subject “I’m touching a cigarette to your skin,” but actually uses a pencil, the body will blister. Another example is that people with multiple personalities (dissociative identity disorder) have very different health issues with different “alters,” as do conjoined Siamese twins. One may be diabetic and the other personality not, one wear glasses and the other not. Read about the inner critic from the viewpoint of voice dialogue therapists at http://delos-inc.com/articles/The_Inner_Critic.htm.
Q: I have an entity, I guess you could say a ghost, who won’t leave me alone. I feel him in my body and it’s very annoying. How do I get rid of him?
A: It looks as if he was a Civil War soldier who was madly in love with you and still is obsessed with you. Talk to him the way you would a misbehaving dog. Declare firmly and clearly that he go to his own place. Send him the image of his guardian spirit assisting him to move on to a place where he can find love. Imagine a contract between the two of you; stamp it with today’s date, write “VOID,” and tear it up and burn it. Visualize clearing any energy that’s not your own from each of the seven major chakras. Experiment with visualizing different colors to see which are inhospitable for him, starting with an earthy brown or an electric blue. Then ignore him and focus on your goals and enjoying each day.
Q: I am a vet who did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now I don’t feel safe going out in crowds, so the thought of using my GI bill to go to college is scary. Any hope for me?
A: Emotional freedom technique works well on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Check out this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4hhMm8qsCs. If you haven’t yet gotten counseling at the VA center, make an appointment now as PTSD can be treated. Ease into college slowly by taking one class that really interests you. Come to my energy balancings on Wednesdays for tune-ups. My energy tools workshop teaches basic grounding, centering, and other ways to harness the power of thought.
Q: I’m going out with a high-maintenance princess whom I enjoy in many ways, except for her supercritical expectation that I won’t meet her standards. Can I change this?
A: Give the princess feedback about how you feel when you’re criticized; hold your own integrity. Do not try to resolve any emotional issues by text or email. Remember that 80 percent of communication is nonverbal. You need to see facial expression and body language, be able to hug or have a pillow fight.
Q. I feel very out of sorts, affected by others; it stinks. I’m still trying to get centered and grounded, but I’m really influenced by other people’s energies, even by my computer. I feel it in my gut. What can I do to feel more comfortable?
A: Your first chakra looks too open. Visualize it like an upside-down cone at the base of your spine about 40 percent open. The chakra’s dimension is about the size of your thumb and first finger touching, making a circle. Imagine running your female energy from the ovaries (or the etheric ovaries if they’ve been removed), maybe a peachy pink color, looping up the spine over the head and down the midline of the body. Men can run male energy from the testicles, perhaps red or orange. Male students in my energy tools classes have done this at parties and women always walk over to meet them. The idea is to create a strong energy field that won’t absorb outside energies.
Q: My girlfriend was a yo-yo, off and on, but I still obsess about her and what I could have done to save our relationship. How can I get over her?
A: It doesn’t work to repress obsessive thoughts. Simply acknowledge them and replace them with a positive thought such as “I am ready for a healthy happy relationship.” We tend to repeat a childhood wound until it’s healed, so be clear about the pattern in the kind of women you find attractive. Walk away from women who seem initially very compelling but familiar. Being uncertain creates anxiety that can seem like intense love, but it’s not. In a future non-yo-yo relationship, it may seem boring so be prepared to create excitement in healthy ways, not through uncertainty.
Q: My dreams are remarkably vivid and powerful. What are your thoughts on dreams?
A: Dreams are the best way to understand the unconscious mind. It’s the 80 percent of the iceberg that’s under the water and propels it, so it’s vital to be aware of our unconscious personalities, such as what Carl Jung calls the shadow. If we’re not conscious, the shadow projects on others irrationally, for example falling in love with unhealthy people.
Q: My boyfriend is using meth, but I love him and can’t stay away from him.
A: Read about codependency; go to an AlAnon group. Don’t see him until he’s been in rehab and has a track record of sobriety. You deserve better.
Q: If I bring up something that bothers me in our relationship, my partner thinks I’m being abrasive and argumentative.
A: A relationship won’t last if hurts, disagreements, and small conflicts are gunnysacked. They need to be brought into the light to be resolved. Both of you need to be clear on what this kind of confrontation reminds her of in her past relationships and specific triggers such as a loud voice. It’s important to be aware of the “ghosts” from parents and past partners. Ask for permission to raise an issue, “Is now an OK time?” Use the formula, “I feel___ because___. My solution to put on the table is ___.”
Q: I came up in a middle-class family, have a college education, and raised my two children. After a terrible divorce, everything fell apart. I’m living in a homeless shelter, have nothing. What now?
A: The shelter can refer you to resources to find a job, a support group, and housing. Think of this as a fresh start to create a good life using your experience as a resource that you didn’t have when you were 20. It could be worse if you lived in Afghanistan, Sudan, or North Korea!