Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Metaphysicality parts 3-5;

Metaphysical Counseling, Mediumship and ESP

On my website http://www.hyp4life.com/, I have a page titled
“Metaphysical Counseling and Mediumship”

I have broken that page into 3 separate postings in the Metaphysicality Series.

I felt that the subjects on that page needed more explaination, so I will expand upon three subjects;
-Metaphysical Counseling,
-Mediumship and
-ESP/psychic abilities.

The third posting in the Metaphysicality series titled
Metaphysicality- Part 3; Metaphysical Counseling,
will be posted on Sunday January 4, 2009.

The fourth posting in the Metaphysicality series titled
Metaphysicality- Part 4; Mediumship
will be posted on Sunday January 11, 2009.

The fifth posting in the Metaphysicality series titled
Metaphysicality- Part 5; ESP and Psychic Abilities
be posted on Sunday January 18, 2009.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Metaphysicality - Part 2;

“We Are All Psychic”
This is the 2nd posting for the Metaphysicality article. In this posting I discuss that we are all psychic. How we can lose our ability and how I lost my abilities at five. How we all actually have six senses, not just five and how we are all six sense human beings. How I began to regain my psychic abilities.

Metaphysicality Part 2 – “We Are All Psychic”

“We are all psychic!”
How often have you heard that? Often, right?
Usually it is from someone who is (or claims to be) psychic. Well it’s true. It is as natural as the ability to sense with our five senses. However, many people who are cynical about Extra Sensory Perception feel that if there is no sensory organ involved, like an eye or ear, then what we perceive cannot be “real”, they would attribute psychic perceptions to imagination or fraud and trickery.
My argument would be that our (human) eyes can only distinguish a very narrow band of the light spectrum. We cannot see in the infra-red, for example but that doesn’t mean those colors (vibrations) are not there; it is simply that the human eye can’t see it. A dog’s sense of smell and hearing are much more sensitive than a human’s, but we don’t deny that they can sense better than we do or deny their ability.

So, let’s assume that some of us have a more developed Extra Sensory ability commonly known as ESP. We assume that these individuals are in some way more advanced, enlightened or “special” than we are. They are viewed in different ways, from being “gifted” to being viewed as different or weird. I have to tell you that we are all human with all the same sensing abilities.

You may say that there are ONLY 5 senses because there are only five sensory organs; the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. However, I am a firm believer that we have been unaware of a very important sensory organ. We all have one, but we do not recognize it as a sensory organ. It is located in the middle of our forehead and it is attached to the most amazing and complicated organ on the planet; the human brain. It is even referred to by many as an organ and it is called our “Third Eye”. Through this organ we can perceive more than the five senses we are comfortable with. In the 3rd Metaphysicality posting I will go further into what makes us all psychic.

Children are born with their third eye, wide open. They go through their early lives (birth through about three) with the ability to sense spirit easily and naturally. It is usually the society (and family in particular) the makes the children feel as if it is not normal to communicate with spirit.

As I said in my first posting, I lost my psychic abilities at the age of 5. When I was seeing an old man in my bedroom every night and I can tell you I did not want to be psychic. I would sleep with the pillow over my head, praying that the spirit of the old man would not be there when I awoke.
Then over a period of weeks, he wasn’t there any longer. You may have heard that young children are unaware of the difference between the living and the spirits of those who pass. This is true. I did not want to see spirits any longer and my desire to no longer see them along with the spirits’ acceptance of my desire stopped the visions from happening. The process is called “veiling over” and every one of us who are no longer able to communicate with spirit, have veiled over.

I was very happy from the age of 5 until my early 50’s being a cynic. I laughed at anyone who even mentioned the existence of a soul. I was content in my Darwinian existence; that there was nothing after we die except blackness and our bodies simply turn back into the dust that they came from. Then there came a time when I became curious about ESP. I was watching John Edward on the TV and could not explain how he fooled his audience into thinking and actually believing that he was talking to their loved ones in spirit. But the more I investigated the more convinced I became that my cynicism was unnecessary ant misguided.
After working with Dr. Brian Weiss at a weeklong workshop on Past Life Regressions and meeting a few gifted mediums, I decided to see if I could get the abilities that I ignored and dismissed for so long, back. I soon learned that psychic abilities never truly leave. The ability to communicate with spirit, that I simply attributed to my imagination came back quickly (because I never lost them).

I have only accepted that I am psychic over the last 6 years. I began with basic psychic development classes and was amazed with the images and feelings I was receiving. I was able to “read” perfect strangers with an accuracy that actually shocked me.

In Metaphysicality Part 3- "Metaphysical Counseling and Mediumship", scheduled to be posted on 1/10/2009, I will describe how I feel, hear, see and communicate with the spirits of the people who come to our circle and how I sometimes hear them when I am not really trying to ( in classrooms, and restaurants, etc.) I have been to the many psychic development workshops offered at Metaphysical churches such as the ISD in Sparta ( http://www.isd-sparta.org/ ) and the Journey Within in Pompton Lakes ( http://www.thejourneywithin.org/ ) and will continue to develop this natural ability we all have.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Metaphysicality - Part 1

Part 1 of a continuing article

Please keep in mind that everything written in my blog is my opinion and not necessarily fact. This statement could be an interesting posting all by itself. I could argue that there is no such thing as a “fact”… The fact is that all facts are simply opinions held by the vast majority of a given population, waiting for a challenger to be an agent of change, arguing against a current paradigm and trying to make it “shift”. How about this fact… in the late 1400’s it was a “fact” that the world was flat, all it took was one man who challenged that given fact to turn the world “A-Round”. Think about it. But I digress…

This is the first part (Part 1) of an ongoing article covering a variety of metaphysical topics. The main thread will be about my psychic and medium experiences but I may digress (which clearly, I often do). I am titling the article “Metaphysicality” which, although is not a real word, is fairly appropriate and accurate. According to my dictionary it means things related to Metaphysics. Some areas of Metaphysical interest that I plan on posting will be covering,
- Psychics and Mediums (like John Edward);
- Synchronicities;
- ESP;
- The “Claire” senses;
- Experiences at our “Connecting with Loved Ones” Psychic Circle (you can find more information on the circle on my website http://www.hyp4life.com/);
- How we are all psychic;
- How to develop your latent abilities;
- How I began to develop my abilities;
along with many other topics that are right now in the planning phase.
If you have questions about anything on my blog (or website), please post a comment and I will reply or I will write an article on the subject if a short reply is inadequate.

“Metaphysicality" - Part 1-

If you read my recent 3 part article “A Smokers Story”, which is about hypnosis and smoking, you learned that I have been involved with hypnotherapy for over 25 years and it is a passion. I can say that because, I feel no one would raise an eyebrow about that statement.
So, I am passionate about hypnotherapy…
You could say, "That’s fine, it’s his business, hypnotizing people for a variety of reasons and he loves what he is doing… more power to him."

Then why do I have such a hard time admitting to people about my “other” passion?
In the past, it has been very difficult for me to tell people that I am a Psychic/Medium.

So here goes… I’m a Psychic/Medium!

Wow that wasn’t that hard. Heck, It’s something I am passionate about so why the apprehension about telling people?
Anyway, there it is, I admit to it and not only did a say it but I wrote in my blog for you to read.

I have heard a lot of less than supportive comments, when I did admit to being psychic and perhaps that’s why I am reticent to tell others. I still feel that there are some eyebrows going up out there right now in cyber space. I can almost hear you (because I’m psychic, you know :) ) and I have heard a lot of this before.

“Yeah right! Your psychic… So what am I thinking?”
“Psychic!?... How about Psycho!?"
"You’re not a psychic... you are crazy though. Don't you know, there is no such thing as psychic”
or one I really love...
“I know how those guys work” as you put your hand to your forehead, “I have someone here… an S name, like Sam or Sol… No S?
I mean an R name like Robert or Richard… No R?
OK how about a T name… Somebody with a T name must have died! What’s wrong with you?”

Yes, I have heard it all and more. No wonder I am hesitant to tell people I am a Medium.
Let’s make a golf analogy about psychic/mediums…
John Edward is to Mediumship as Tiger Woods is to golf, both are at the top of their game; Sylvia Browne is Arnold Palmer, still can play but has gotten well… old.

Me? I am a really good amateur golfer. I shoot pars fairly consistently, but I need way more practice to go pro. My goal is to be like Tiger but par golf right now is feeling really good.
Know what I mean?

My psychic awareness started on the first night I slept in our new house. I was 5 years old when my parents bought our home and I was going to sleep in my new room for the first time. Just before I fell off to sleep, I became aware of an old man standing at the foot of my bed. As any child would do, I screamed at the top of my lungs and I do believe my neighbors a block away were woken out of a good sleep. My parents were in like a flash and for weeks told me no one was in my room, yet every night just before I fell asleep, I would become aware of someone in my room, only to open my eyes and once again see this old man.
Eventually, after many nights sleeping with my head under my pillow, I stopped seeing this old man. That is not to say he was not there, I just stopped seeing him.

For all you parents out there. If you child says he or she is seeing “someone” or “something”, don’t automatically assume “imagination”. There are many more psychic children in the world lately. Ask them questions about what they perceived. Ask open ended questions, i.e. “What was this man wearing?” show support, concern and acceptance instead of annoyance, fear or apathy. Just because you don't see the spirit your child is seeing, doesn’t mean your child is imagining it, more than likely he/she is truly psychic, as we ALL are.

I plan on more entries on “Metaphysicality” the next posting will be titled “Metaphysicality Part 2, We Are All Psychic", look for it before Christmas.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

"A Smokers Story; Trying Hypnosis” part 3 of 3

This is the third of a 3-part article, which is about my battle with smoking. In this posting, I describe why I decided to try hypnosis to quit smoking; how I became aware of the part of me that was responsible for smoking. I describe my hypnosis experience and the amazing results; the complete elimination of my desire to smoke.

"A Smokers Story; Trying Hypnosis” part 3 of 3
- My Last Cigarette -
The last cigarette I ever smoked was on February 6, 1985 at 1:45pm, in front of an office building in Huntington, Long Island, New York.

I looked at the directions on the piece of paper that was on the seat of my car. "Long Island Expressway East to Rt. 110 North, Huntington..." During the hour and a half drive from Staten Island to Huntington, Long Island, I had smoked half a pack of cigarettes. Although I was determined never to smoke again, a part of me was very resistant to this healthy decision. I pulled into the parking lot, parked the car and got out. Pacing and smoking in the parking lot, I was all too aware that it was 1:45 pm and my appointment was at 2:00.

The chill of that February wind was cutting through my parka and I thought how nice it would be, not having to go outside to smoke these cursed things any longer. However, until then, I was going to smoke the hell out of them. As I took my last drag from my last Marlboro Light 100, I felt many emotions all at the same time. These were conflicting emotions. The thoughts going through my head were equally conflicted. I felt that I was about to lose my best friend. My cigarettes were always there for me.

They were consistent in a very inconsistent world.
They always looked the same.
They always smelled the same.
They always tasted the same; I could always rely on them.
When I was nervous, they calmed me.
When I was hungry, they took the edge off my appetite.
When I was stressed, they relaxed me.
When I was bored, they gave me things to do with my hands.
They told people not to mess with me, "I’m a smoker, I’m a tough guy".

Nevertheless, I also knew that these "friends" killed my father, who died of lung cancer after years of smoking. I was intelligent enough to know, that given time, my cigarettes would kill me too. I knew that I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without wheezing. I started each day by coughing for five minutes, until I coughed up the yellow mucus that was stuck deep down in my lungs. I knew that I couldn’t handle this ordeal of trying to stop this habit any longer. I knew that the past year had been the worst year in my life and it was all because of my friend, Mr. Marlboro Light 100’s.

However, most importantly, I knew that I had made a promise to my son Aaron and I had visions of the tears in his eyes. Similar to the tears that welled in my eyes, fourteen years earlier as I saw my father die, after lung cancer ravaged his body.
I could picture Aaron in front of my coffin, the same way I had stood in front of my father's.
I could feel his pain… his anger!
His anger with me, that I continued to smoke while knowing it, was going to kill me.
I could feel his anger at me because I chose my addiction to, my love of tobacco over the love of my family!
The same anger I felt at my father for never listening to me, when I pleaded with him to stop smoking.
The same helplessness I felt, to see the strongest man I knew shrivel up like the cigarettes he smoked.

You might ask, how stupid was it for me to witness my father’s death from lung cancer and still became a three pack a day smoker… how do you explain that. I don’t know if there could be an adequate explanation. It is a testament to the ability of the American Tobacco Companies, who were able to get me to become a three pack a day smoker, after seeing what smoking did to my father.

I decided at that moment that this hypnosis stuff must work... would work! I pictured myself driving home to Staten Island, later that day as an ex-smoker. I would not put my son through what I went through. I would quit today. I exhaled the smoke from my lungs, looked at the filter of that Marlboro Light 100, my "friend"… dropped in on the concrete sidewalk, in front of that office and crushed it under my foot.

As I walked up the stairs to the second floor, I did not know what to expect. I had a basic understanding, that hypnosis works with the part of your mind that makes you smoke. I had no idea how the experience would change my life so profoundly and in so many different ways.
The door to the office was open and I walked in and hung my parkas on the coat rack.

The office waiting room was 15’ X 20’. There were a few chairs and a few coffee tables. As I walked around the office, I noticed that the walls were covered with thank-you letters. Some were type written, some hand written all describing the results of their hypnotic experience. It seemed that Al (the hypnotherapist) did more than help people stop smoking; he used hypnosis for a lot more. Although the majority of thank-you letters were from ex-smokers, there were many letters from professional golf players, nail biters, and stutters, along with articles about hypnosis. The information I read about hypnosis made me even more curious and impressed with the subject of hypnotherapy.

This would be my first experience with hypnosis and the questioning and doubt about the hypnosis process started in earnest. The doubt and concern was caused by a part of my subconscious that I now call the “Smoker Part”. This part began to strongly let its presence known, making me doubt if hypnosis would work for me. The inner voice in my head urged me to stop this useless attempt to quit smoking. It was threatened by this process and would do whatever it could to get me to either stop or fail in my quest to quit smoking. I was quite used to my smoker part. Over the past year, I had tried to quit multiple times and it was this smoker part that consistently pushed me back to smoking. That was its job; keeping me smoking and he did it oh so well.

The office was quiet except for the muffed sound of voices from the other side of a door. Behind that door, Al was hypnotizing another smoker and my smoker part and I knew we were to be next. I had mixed feelings with the decision to quit smoking. The logical, intelligent, reasonable part of my mind wanted me to quit, but the smoker in me still refused to let me become the non-smoker I wanted to be. Then the door opened and a woman walked out, thanking Al for all he had done. Al walked out behind her, saying that a thank-you was nice but a letter for his wall would be even nicer.

Al was about 5’5” and 220 pounds. He had a long scraggly beard and wore a “Harvard” sweatshirt. He introduced himself to me after his previous client left and we went into his back office where I was directed to sit. We spoke for an extended period about hypnosis, smoking, addictions and more. He asked me to sit on a recliner with new age music playing in the background. Then it was time for hypnosis.

I pushed back on the recliner and got into a comfortable position enjoying the softness of the leather, as he began to describe relaxing my body, starting from the top of my head. As Al asked me to relax the muscles in my face, my mind had a different idea; it was not going to oblige. Relaxation was not what it wanted; tension was.

“Who is this guy?” the voice in my head said, referring to the hypnotist.
My smoker part was not going to give up this addiction without a fight. As in the past, it threw up more and more walls, trying to make me ignore the truth; that I wanted to and needed to quit.
“Don’t listen to this weirdo!” My smoker part screamed in my head.
“If he is such a great hypnotist, why doesn’t he hypnotize himself into losing some weight?”
“A real professional!” sarcasm dripping from the voice.
“A sweatshirt?”
“How about a shirt and a tie?”
“What if he is a weirdo? I’m not going to close my eyes!”
The sound of the smoker in my head was drowning out Al’s voice.

Then it got even weirder. Instead of one voice in my head; the smoker telling me to continue to smoke and get out of the office, another voice came into my mind.
“Shhhh…” it said,
“You just spent $350 on this. It worked for Nick. You have an opportunity to end your year from hell, right now… and what about Aaron?”
This new voice calmed me; I stopped fighting and doubting.
“Give Al a chance to help you quit; you know it’s what you really want” it said.
This new voice helped me remember what I truly wanted… to finally and permanently quit smoking.

I finally quieted the smoker part of me, and as soon as I did, I felt a wonderful feeling of confidence and resolve wash over me. This new voice replaced the smoker’s voice. It was the voice of my “Healthy Part”, it was very welcome and I embraced it, listened to it and followed its direction.

I quickly started to feel as if I were falling asleep. The more Al spoke the harder it was for me to keep my eyes open. Although I felt a slight tingling feeling and I was slightly cold, I was very relaxed, my thoughts were drifting but I heard everything being said. I found it curious that Al had said that I could not open my eyes and although I tried to open them, I couldn’t. He said I could not raise my arms and again, I tried but couldn’t. I was beginning to believe that it could…. would work.

Being in hypnosis was not what I had expected it to be. I was expecting a feeling like general anesthesia. I expected to feel… different. I expected…
Actually, I did not really know what to expect.

Very soon, I was totally involved in the visual world Al was describing. He had me see a beautiful beach in the summer. I was alone sitting on a chair looking at the horizon.
He then had me see my future as a smoker and it wasn’t pretty.
After what seemed to be ten minutes (which turned out to be fifty) he said that he was going to bring me out of hypnosis. He said that when he said “five” after counting from “one”, my eyes would open and I would be wide-awake.

Amazingly, on the count of five my eyes did open. The process dumbfounded me. I was also concerned that, although I was relaxed and it felt very good, I actually doubted that I was hypnotized; I had heard everything said. I was expecting hypnosis to be a lot more impressive than it turned out to be. I prayed that it had worked, but I was dreading that it did not.

Driving home after the session ended, I was anxious.“When will the urge hit?” I had never driven by myself, in this car without a cigarette burning. Now I was cruising along the Long Island Expressway Westbound, on my way home and I dared to let myself think…
“Can I really be an ex-smoker!” The thought thrilled and scared me at the same time.
“Can it be this easy?” And it was.
“What if it doesn’t work?”
“What if an urge comes? Does that mean it didn’t work?”
The “What-if’s” were being asked all the way home.

I turned onto the entrance to the Verrazano Bridge and as I did a truck without using his signal, cut me off. As my road rage exploded, I felt my blood pressure jump, I cursed, I did a nasty gesture at him with my middle finger and yet, I found two minutes later, that I was laughing.
I looked at myself in the rearview mirror and realized that for the first time in years, I did not light up a cigarette when I was stressed. The urge just wasn’t there! It was not that I was repulsed by having a cigarette; I just didn’t have the urge!

I was an ex-smoker!

Over the next few days I started noticing the ashes, the burn marks on the seat of my car, the yellow haze on the windshield but most of all I noticed the smell in my car. When I got in the car, I realized what I had been subjecting my wife to. I began to realize how discourteous I was as a smoker. I also allowed myself to dream that I actually was an ex-smoker.

That weekend I cleaned my car and the ex-smoker that I am today, was born. To be honest, I had a few urges for a cigarette over the following weeks, but they were easy to resist and by the end of the month, I can say that I did not even think about smoking again. It has been almost 23 years and I can honestly, easily and confidently say that I will NEVER smoke again.

It was my first experience with hypnosis but far from my last. Again, this was before the Internet and I began to read all I could from the library on the amazing topic of hypnosis; the centuries old process that finally cured me of my tobacco addiction.
Little did I know at that time that in fifteen years, I would be going to hypnotherapy school and start a business called,

HYP4LIFE- Improving Your Life Through Hypnotherapy.
If you are a smoker and would like to quit smoking by using hypnotherapy, call me at
(908) 852-4635

Sunday, November 9, 2008

"A Smokers Story; the Smoker’s Wall" Part 2 of 3

This is the second of a 3-part article, which is about my battle with smoking. In this posting, I describe how the decision to quit was helped by my son. I describe what “The Smoker’s Wall” is and my first attempt to quit smoking. Describing my year from hell as I go through a year of repeatedly trying to quit and continually failing. And how, through a synchronicity, a twist of fate, I learned of hypnosis. How I found a hypnotherapist in Long Island, NY who finally helped me to permanently quit smoking.

"A Smokers Story; the Smoker’s Wall and my Year from Hell" part 2 of 3

A wall forms between a smoker and his loved ones each time they raise the subject of smoking cessation. They want him to quit and be healthy because they love him and even if he knows the dangers associated with continued smoking, the part of his subconscious that is designed to smoke, throws up his "Smoker's Wall". This wall is tall and thick, growing taller and thicker with each plea from a loved one to stop smoking.

My wall was reinforced with each fight over smoking between my wife, Chris and I. She was as aware of the dangers associated with smoking cigarettes as I was, but Chris was a non-smoker, someone who never smoked. My "smoker part" was so strong, that no matter who spoke to me about quitting, Chris, my mother (who quit smoking after my father died), my sister, my son, even if it was my own thoughts about quitting smoking, the wall went up immediately.

That wall is strong, immovable, and impenetrable however, in one loving, unexpected, non-premeditated conversation with my son, in the hallway of our apartment; my smoker's wall came crumbling down. I slowly turned to look at my son; his eyes darted from the cigarette, burning in my cupped hand to my eyes and back again.
"But you smoke, Daddy" he said "and if you get cancer and die, I won’t have anybody to play with". He put his small, soft hands on my cheeks with tears welling up in his perfectly blue eyes, looked into my eyes, shaking his head and said, "Please, Daddy, don’t smoke any more."

I found my "Last Straw". I stubbed out the cigarette I was smoking, took my pack of cigarettes out of my pocket, crushed it into a ball and said,
"For you Aaron, I’m gonna quit, 'cause I love you'".

A smile came across his face as he took my hand and dragged me into our apartment and at that moment I truly felt that I was going to quit.
"Mommy!" he shouted enthusiastically to my wife who had just finished cleaning the dishes in the kitchen,
"Guess what?… Daddy is going to quit smoking! He promised!”
Chris dried her hands and picked up my daughter, Amy who was joining in on the excitement gave me the smile that always made me melt. The whole family was jubilant with my decision to quit. Although I thought I saw a bit of skepticism reflected back to me in the eyes of my wife.

Before Aaron went to sleep that night, he ran over to the recliner I was sitting in and jumped up on my lap. It was late so I picked him up and carried him into his room. Amy was asleep already. As I usually did, I tossed him on his bed as he put his arms up for his "kiss goodnight". As I leaned over him to kiss him on the forehead, he threw his arms around my neck and said, "I love you, Daddy… Remember you promised …no more smoking… OK?"
With a kiss to his forehead, I said, "Promise!" and I meant it!

I closed his door half way and walked into Amy’s room. The stuffed animals seemed to be smiling at me as I quietly kissed my baby daughter goodnight. She was sleeping with her thumb in her mouth and I stood looking down at her. A feeling that every father of a little girl knows, enveloped me. This feeling of love, protection and pride filled me as I thought of not being there for her. I had to be there for my little girl, the way that my wife's dad, who died of a heart attack due to his smoking, was not able to be for his little girl.
Going to sleep that night, many things went through my mind.
“I really HAVE to quit…
I really WANT to quit…
I CAN do it…
I will never smoke again!”
This determination lasted 8 hours, until I was in my car driving to work the next day…

-“My year from Hell”-
I had finally decided to quit smoking but I didn’t know how I would be able to do it. The drive to work the morning after my decision to quit smoking was sheer torture. I was thinking of nothing but smoking and that torture continued for a year. The year was 1984, which was not only a very scary novel, but was also what I called, “My year from hell”. That year I became a professional “quitter”, I must have quit smoking 100 times, I was miserable and I thought the misery would never end.

I was at work at Pathmark one day towards the end of my year from hell and was speaking with Nick, the produce manager. We were both in the same situation, smokers who were married with kids and both desperately wanting to quit. We were both in the break room and as I usually did, took my cigarettes from my pocket and offered Nick one. He refused, saying that he had finally been able to quit!

“What!” I said with a shocked look on my face…
He looked at me and with a smirk and a shrug, quietly said, “Hypnosis”.
“What the hell is Hypnosis?” I said, thinking it could be a way I could finally end this painful year.

“My cousin”, Nick began to say, “smoked for 25 years and just like you and me has been trying to quit for years. He heard from his friend, about a guy, who uses ‘hypnosis’ to help people, like us, quit smoking. He said that he went to this hypnotist and he quit smoking in only one session. I waited a month” he continued, “to see if my cousin would go back to smoking, like you and I always do but he hasn’t smoked in over a month and he even said that he’ll never smoke again! So, I got this guy’s number and got hypnotized! And Ga… I swear to God, I don’t even miss them! I haven’t smoked in almost two weeks, but the real crazy thing is that I really believe I won’t smoke anymore!”

I need to digress here a little…
At the time, I had not even heard of a synchronicity, which is, according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synchronicity)
“the experience of two or more events which are causally unrelated occurring together in a meaningful manner. The concept does not question, or compete with, the notion of causality. Instead, it maintains that just as events may be grouped by cause, they may also be grouped by their meaning. In order to be synchronistic, the events must be related to one another temporally so as to rule out direct causation.”
Now, what does that mean? A coincidence may be just that, a curious connection between events, a synchronicity is a coincidence that presents itself to you, for a purpose. That said…

My awareness of hypnosis was stirred, I had heard from a very reliable source, my smoking buddy, that he and his cousin were hypnotized to quit smoking, and it worked. So, my thought process was, if it worked for them, it could… hopefully work for me. However, this was well before the internet. Now you just Google, “Hypnosis + smoking” and you have a thousand hits to choose from. Then I looked in the yellow pages and found nothing.

So, when my niece informed me that she was going to a hypnotist in Long Island, to quit her smoking habit, I almost fell off my chair… What a coincidence! (NOT! No such thing as a coincidence… synchronicity yes; coincidence, no. This was the second.)

My mother won a small NY lotto; her ticket had 5 out of 6 numbers and paid $2000. It was the day after I told her about the hypnosis coincidences and she called and said that she knew I didn’t have the $350 for the session and that she was insisting that I should make the appointment and that she would love to pay for it; it would be my belated birthday gift. It was also the third “coincidence” and I was curiously amused by the weirdness of it all.

The next day at work, I went next door to the pizzaria for a coke and a slice and to look at the magazines Pete, the owner had behind the counter. Waiting for my slice to heat up, I flipped open an old Playboy it opened to a page with a quarter page advertisement which read;
“Learn Hypnosis and get all the girls you want!”
I wasn’t interested in “all the girls”, but the word “Hypnosis” seemed to be twice as large as the other words. I could not believe my eyes. This was the fourth time in so many days that I had been hit in the head by this hypnosis stuff! Now I may be a little thick headed sometimes, but even I had to acknowledge that something I didn’t quite understand was behind this.

I called my niece’s hypnotherapist and made an appointment.

The story continues next week…11/16/2008
"A Smokers Story; Trying Hypnosis” part 3 of 3

Saturday, November 1, 2008

"A Smokers Story; the Decision to Quit" part 1 of 3

This is the first of a 3-part article, which is about my battle with smoking. How and why I became a smoker, the causes of my desire to and difficulties with quitting smoking; The frustration and anger dealing with the process of smoking cessation along with my contempt of the American Tobacco Companies. The cause for my final decision to quit smoking.

"A Smokers Story; the Decision to Quit" part 1 of 3

The decision to quit smoking may very well be one of the most important decisions in the life of a smoker. This decision may also be the start of a horribly demanding, miserably frustrating and a very necessary step, if they want live longer. Every smoker who wants to quit, has had an incident, his “last straw”, which causes him to change his mind about the habit of smoking. Suddenly he wants to quit, his decision is not caused by his mother, wife or child, the decision is and can only be made by him, the smoker. If a loved one of a smoker wants him to quit, but the smoker is not committed to the quitting process, it as a forgone conclusion that the smoker will continue to smoke. The most important part of the quitting process starts quite simply with the decision to quit and this decision must come from the smoker him or herself.

I have found from personal experience as an ex-smoker and from the stories related to me by the many smokers I have hypnotized, that there are very common scenarios when a smoker makes that all important decision to quit.

Whether for physical reasons, such as an inability to catch their breath or emotional reasons as wanting to see their children grow, smokers come to a critical juncture in their lives when the decision to quit smoking is made. Some smokers have no problem stopping the habit of smoking. They make the decision, throw their cigarettes away and never look back… but they are in a very small minority. The vast majority of people trying to become healthy by quitting smoking have an incredibly difficult time. They feel deprived and are angry all the time.

If the smoker, after deciding to quit, cannot, the anger he feels may be directed inwardly, towards himself. He feels that he is weak, with no willpower and is continually angry, frustrated and disappointed with himself. When he does try to stop smoking, "Cold Turkey", his anger and frustration increases, becoming redirected towards the world and unfortunately, towards those who love him and who have been asking him to quit. Therefore, with this decision to quit firmly planted in his mind, the smoker who wants to quit is now in for a wonderful journey of anger, frustration and stress 24/7.

If the smoker is a stress smoker, it is doubly hard to quit, since the stress generated by trying to quit only increases. Moreover, because stress had always been dealt with in the past by smoking more cigarettes… Well, you can see the problem. This situation is a smoker's "Catch-22", Damned if you do (quit smoking) and damned if you don't.

- My Story –
In 1983, I was working as a Customer Service Manager at the Pathmark Supermarkets in the Middlesex Mall in South Plainfield, New Jersey. Long story short, I was a three pack a day smoker and after indulging myself for 11 years, I found that, although I was smoking, I truly wanted to quit. I was all too aware of the dangers inherent in smoking; my father died from smoking related lung cancer, yet my addiction was so strong that I could not picture my life without having cigarettes in it. I was married and had two small children, who were the light of my life. As a smoker in a job that I hated, I did not care if my life was shortened by smoking. However, that feeling had changed after my children were born. Now, that I had the strong desire to quit, I found that I could not stop the addiction designed by the American Tobacco Companies to ensnare me (and all smokers) in this life shortening habit. Although I consciously knew how bad smoking was; I saw my father die of lung cancer nine months before I was married, I couldn’t even try. I couldn't imagine in my wildest dreams that I could function without my Marlboro Light 100's.

- My "Last Straw" –
It took twelve years of smoking before I was ready to consider quitting. I would never let my children see me smoke. Although they could smell it on me and could hear the arguments between their mother and I over smoking, they never saw me actually smoke. One evening after dinner, I was having my "after dinner smoke". As was my habit, I went into the hallway of our apartment with my cigarette and ashtray, sat on the step and surrendered to my addiction. As I took a deep drag, filling my lungs with smoke, I heard the doorknob turn and my son, Aaron unexpectedly came into the hallway. Hearing the opening of the door, I transferred my smoke from my right hand to my left cupping it, out of sight by my left leg. My son walked over and sat on the step next to me in a huff. Earlier that day he had been playing with his friend Mike and Mike's grandfather.

"How come Mickey has two Granddaddies and I don’t even have one?" he asked, questioningly tilting his head and looking a little angry. "Lot’s of my friend's talk about their Grandpa's… How come I don’t have a Grandpa, Daddy?” I believe in telling your children the truth, so when he asked the question, my response was truthful and sincere.
“Well, Aaron, both mommy’s daddy and daddy’s daddy died”.
“How did they die", he asked, looking deeply into my eyes, his expression turning from anger to curiosity. I considered a "white lie" to soften how they died and to ignore the obvious similarities between his Grandfathers and his father. I had never lied to him before and thought better about it, deciding, although it would be obvious and painful, the truth was my only option.

I said, looking down at my feet, trying to avoid eye contact,
"Both your Granddad's smoked, and that’s how they got sick and died… Smoking causes a lot of diseases" still looking down at my feet, I felt the gaze of my seven year old burning into the side of my head and I tried not to look at him. I explained how my father smoked three packs of cigarettes a day and how his mother's father, my father-in-law smoked heavily. I tried to rationalize to him and myself about addictions and how self-destructive they can be;
how they cause children to lose their parents;
how grandchildren can grow up never knowing the love of a granddaddy.

The more I explained to Aaron, how he became grandfather less, the more I realized that I needed to quit smoking. The more I tried to rationalize my addiction the less the argument had any validity. The more I avoided eye contact with my son, the joy of my life, my reason for smiling, the more my defenses fell…

The story continues next week…11/9/2008
"A Smokers Story; The Smoker’s Wall" - Part 2 of 3

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Anger Management and the Adolescent Child

This article is about Jack, a high school freshman who was adopted after years in the foster care system. At 15, he and his adopted family are concerned with his inability to control his temper. Using hypnotic intervention, I was able to assist Jack in understanding why he had problems with the control of his anger. We uncovered that rejection was the cause and that the inability to control anger is very common with the adopted child. I also discovered my frustration, with how many people failed to do what was right for Jack.

Anger Management and the Adolescent Child

The phone call from Jack’s mother started the same as many others had. A mother, concerned about her adolescent son and his inability to handle anger. “My son has anger management issues”, Diane started the conversation with the anxiety, fear and helplessness many mothers of adolescent children have. After talking with her for ten or fifteen minutes, I felt that hypnotherapy could help. I told her that anger management goes with pre-teens as peanut butter goes with jelly. She laughed but after hearing the stories of his overreaction to minor social frustrations, I sensed that there may be more to Jack’s anger management issues than that of a typical High School freshman. We scheduled our first session on Monday, January 7, 2008 at 5:30.

When I meet a new client, our initial conversation is very important; it sets the parameters and gives me the information I need to design the specific hypnotic process that would be the most effective. This initial conversation gives me insight into the cause of the issues that the person has and allows the person to address any concerns they may have. These concerns can include if they can be hypnotized, if hypnosis can help, can I as the hypnotist have the skills necessary to help, etc. Although we spoke on the phone, I did not know any specific information about the problems Jack was having, except that it pertained to his inability to control his temper. I knew that I must find what was causing his excess anger, in order to minimize, eliminate or assist him in controlling it. I say “excess” anger, because as I would later discuss with Jack, there is nothing wrong with anger; it is a necessary part of our psychological makeup, which is actually necessary if we are to survive in this culture. Problems arise when the anger becomes excessive. When a child overreacts with uncontrollable anger, the results can be obviously devastating to those around him and to the child himself. This is where the use of hypnosis can be so beneficial.

“How does this anger manifest itself?” I asked, looking at Diane. She proceeded to tell me how Jack had a problem in school with some of his fellow students. I asked Jack, who was sitting patiently and quietly, to join our “adult” conversation. As our discussion got into more detail, I learned how he reacted to his perceptions of being rejected, which seemed to be a exceptionally sore spot for Jack. In my mind, I decided to explore why rejection was so painful for him.“Does Jack see a counselor, therapist or school psychologist?” I asked, curious if Diane had tried traditional therapeutic intervention. Her response made me even more comfortable with her decision to see if hypnosis could help. “The psychologists I have sent him to have not worked and he is getting worse, not even a little better. He seemed angrier with this therapist. That’s why I wanted to try you”. She continued to relay the results of Jack’s therapies; saying that talk therapy and drugs did not seem to help and only would make him tired and irritable. As we spoke, Jack was intent on our conversation, quietly listening, occasionally nodding with approval; he did not seem agitated at all.

Jack is a 15-year-old, 5’10”, high school freshman with dark blond hair and bright eyes, which were intently focused on me. I knew that I was being evaluated; was I going to be just another adult social worker, just like all the rest? On the other hand, will I be able to help. I decided to turn the conversation around to Jack and involve him in the discussion, but I did not get the chance.
“Those guys [the therapists] didn’t care about me, the more we talked the madder I got,” he said staring at his feet. “They kept telling me that I shouldn’t let the other kids bother me… That I shouldn’t act this way or that way and the pills they gave me just made me tired…” He continued explaining how the past therapeutic methods were useless. I realized that both mother and child agreed that there was a critical need for intervention but had not found the right one…yet.

I was impressed with the mature and rational way Jack was discussing thedifficulty he had controlling his anger. One question puzzeled me… As we spoke, it was obvious that Jack had two supportive and loving parents. I learned that there were issues with his father, but nothing that was abnormally intense. They were the typical altercations between a father and his adolescent son. I asked Diane when she had noticed that the anger issue had started. I wanted to determine if the problems causing his anger might have been formed in his youth, from a repressed traumatic experience that was manifesting now. Yet I also felt that he was too young to have such repressed memories. Diane answered my question as to when the anger issues started…

“He’s adopted… and when he…” She was speaking but I stopped hearing as soon as I heard the word “adopted” that word made many flags go up and I instantly knew the direction I needed to go with Jack. I asked Diane to wait as I began to write down notes to myself as to the questions I wanted to have answered. I asked Diane to start from the beginning… his birth.
Diane told me Jack’s history. His birth mother gave him up for adoption when he was three years old. Jack told me she walked him up to his first of many foster homes, rang the doorbell, turned and walked away. Jack never saw her again and the last memory he has of his birth mother, was of her back as she left him with complete strangers. He was in foster care for 4 years. Jack would relay to me that he was shuffled around for those 4 years (which we call his “formative years”, I would wonder what was forming…perhaps, anger?). He was sent to live with different “nice” families. He told me that he would come home to find his (foster) “sister” had left and he had a new (foster) “brother”. When he was almost 7 years old, having spent 4 years in foster care, he was about to be adopted! He was elated! A family was going to adopt him! However, his new mother after a few months, informed the adoption agency, that she couldn’t “bond” with this little boy and he was sent back to foster care.

Within a year, another couple, looking to adopt, was again considering him. Diane and Joe finally adopted Jack. At 7 years old, he was finally adopted by the loving family he is with now. Now, eight years later, I am sitting with Jack and his mom, trying to find out why he has anger management issues. I thought that I would be much more surprised if he did not have anger management issues.

In the past 5 years, I've had three other clients who had children with anger management issues and all three children had been adopted. Unfortunately, I found that trying to work with adopted children with anger management issues could be a bumpy and frustrating two-way street. Two of the three did not respond well to hypnosis, while one young man was adopted at birth and was younger that Jack. His anger management issues were not related to adoption and were merely coincidental (even though I do not believe in coincidence). The two other adopted children had almost the same backgrounds as Jack and I was apprehensive that we might have similarly negative results. In both previous cases, the young men who were adopted in their early teens were so used to trying to manipulate their life situations, that they could or would not allow themselves to be hypnotized.

They feigned being hypnotized, which I was easily able to observe and after a few sessions, I told their parents that although I would be more than happy to continue working with their sons, the boys were not willing to allow themselves to be hypnotized. Although the boys protested and claimed that, they were hypnotized, I explained to their parents that I felt that they had become so self-protective, that they could not give up their perceived control. I suggested that hypnosis could be an effective method for rapid change, but that they initially needed a professional, licensed therapist for long-term therapy.

Now I had in a very similar situation. An adopted boy with anger management issues, with a very disturbing childhood. The comparison between Jack and the two other boys was obvious and I was not very optimistic that the results would be different. I would learn that the expression “third time’s a charm” has a certain amount of truth to it. There were many similarities between these three children and a few huge differences. Jack really wanted to control his anger. He was not being forced to come to me because his parents wanted him to control himself; he wanted to control his anger. He was sincere, involved, concerned and very involved in the process. He did not use a façade to feign hypnosis while trying to manipulate his environment as the other boys did.

After we had discussed the issue that instigated his bouts of uncontrolled anger, I knew what the common factor was. In retrospect, it was so obvious, but it was only obvious to me. I was not a family member who was so very involved with Jack’s well being, I was an impartial, rational and totally objective hypnotherapist. The common factor that initiated all Jack’s bouts of uncontrollable anger was rejection.

The normal pressures on adolescents are intense. These pressures contribute to rage in even the most well balanced child that comes from a nurturing family life. Mix the pressures of adolescence with the life experiences that Jack has had and when he is rejected in any way, by anyone; whether the rejection is actual or only in his perception… Jack explodes. After Jack, Diane and I spoke a little longer, I felt that I had enough information and I wanted to try hypnosis. I was still concerned that Jack, as the two prior adopted boys, would not allow himself to be hypnotized. Jack was very interested and involved and my concerns began to diminish and very soon would be completely gone.

Jack said he would be more comfortable if his mother were not in the room. Diane and I agreed, but I did tell Jack that the door to the hypnosis room would have to be open. As he settled into the recliner, I knew I needed to begin with addressing the subject of rejection.
“I know that what I am about to say may hurt,” I began, “but realize that I am not saying it to hurt, I am saying it to bring it up so you are aware of the problem…” I looked at him and said, “So take a deep breath, I don’t want you to comment right away, I want you to first think about what I’m about to say and then I’d like you to tell me what you are feeling… OK?… ready?”… Jack nodded and I said,
“When it comes to rejection, there is no one that knows more about it than you.” He took a breath, not really knowing how to react. I described to him what I thought he was feeling. I described feelings ranging from anger to sadness to hopelessness, he agreed with my observations. We began a long discussion on what he felt was the shortcomings of his past therapies. We were beginning to be comfortable with each other and I felt he was willing to try hypnosis. He was now able to trust me, which was a huge leap of faith on his part, considering his past; I was surprised he could trust anyone. After the first attempt to go into hypnosis met with a small amount of resistance, which is normal with boys his age and to my elated surprise on the second attempt he went relatively deeply into hypnosis.

He became a great hypnotic subject, not only going into hypnosis easily and deeply, he was looking forward to our sessions. This is not usually a big deal, but in Jack’s experiences with therapies, which only made him angrier, the fact that he actually wanted to return for additional sessions, demonstrated to me that the direction I was heading was the correct one. While hypnotized, Jack began to open up and understand his feelings about rejection. He was now, remembering his rejection in a different way. In the past, his memories of his rejection were unemotional, detaching from emotions was the way he was able to cope with the excruciating pain of rejection. However, when he was rejected, the energy needed to keep is anger in check was not enough; the result was an explosion of anger. He was also now allowing the emotions associated with those memories to be accessed.

He was able to accept that he had every right in the world to be as angry as he wanted. He started down a new path, one in which he could accept himself for who he is. As I worked with Jack, he began to accept, along with a better understanding of the cause of his anger, that he had no responsibilities for his situation and the frequency and severity of his bouts of anger began to decrease noticeably. I am optimistic about his ability to control his anger. I had been concerned that he wouldn’t allow himself to go into hypnosis. Now he is an excellent hypnotic subject.

In the past my experiences with adoptive children were not successful, now with Jack, I relished his success. The other children in his situation were not willing to be hurt again and thus, would not allow themselves to trust anyone, stagnating their personal health, development and growth. Jack had learned a wonderful life’s lesson; that he can allow himself to trust again.

I noticed a surprising amount of anger in the room, but it wasn’t coming from Jack. I realized that I was very angry! My anger was a general anger not directed at any one in particular. I was incensed that this sensitive child had been dealt a very raw deal, which was wrong in so many ways that I could not even start to list. How many people failed to do what was right for Jack?

Was it, his birth parents?
Yes, of course, if they were a loving average couple, I would not be writing this; Jack would be just the average kid with the average kid-type problems, in the average school, blissfully unaware that his average life could have been much, much different.

Was it the foster care system?
Somewhat, an overburdened system being run by overworked, underpaid, hopefully good meaning bureaucrats. It would be hard to point a finger at people who are working under the difficult conditions that they are. I suppose we could point a finger at politicians, but that would be too easy and would be futile.

Was it the adoption agency?
Sure, an organization that is making a profit from the desire of couples who cannot have a child and want to adopt, along with a child who has no one and wants to simply to be in a family that loves, respects and wants him.

Or was it his first adoptive family?
Let us look at the preceding sentence, “His First adoptive family”. Was Jack a puppy that was too much trouble to bother to “housebreak”? What could they have possibly be thinking? How could a couple who want to adopt a child, make the colossal decision to adopt that child only to “change their mind” and send the child back to the agency? How could anyone be that cold as to raise the hope of a child and then send this young boy back to the shelter as if he had no feelings or any rights?

The strange thing is that although they were at perhaps the top of the list of whom to blame for Jack’s anger management issues, they may have done him the largest of favors. For if he had stayed with these people who were so insensitive that they would have sent him away, Jack would never have met Diane and Joe, the wonderfully loving parents that he fortunately has now.

I am thankful to have met Jack and his family and hopeful that the difficult childhood that Jack has had, will no longer negatively affect his future. It had been a few weeks since our last session and I was curious as to how Jack was doing. I called and spoke with Diane who said that Jack is doing much better; he had an incident, which had caused him to be angry, but he controlled it well. I mentioned that we all get angry, it is part of life, but it is the method we use to control that anger which is so critical. When Jack had that recent angry incident, Diane had asked him if he wanted to make an appointment to see me. He said that he felt confident that he could handle it himself.

His response reminded me of the old addage about the fisherman and the fish. “Give a man a fish you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. After we spoke, I felt quite confident in Jack’s ability to handle his anger and I felt privileged to be the person to give Jack his “fishing pole”.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Reflections on a Past Life Regression Workshop

This article gives you an overview of what happens during a “Past Life Regression Workshop”. My workshop is base on one offered by Dr. Brian Weiss, author of the non-fiction bestseller “Many Lives, Many Masters” and as seen on Oprah.


I presented another Past Life Regression Workshop on Sunday 9/28/2008 at The Institute for Spiritual Development in Sparta, New Jersey. My workshops are usually scheduled for 4-5 hours and I suppose the cliché is appropriate, when I say, “Time flies when you’re having fun”. Today’s was no exception; we had a lot of fun and the time just flew by.

The day was miserably rainy and dark with many people cancelling. Due to all the cancellations, we had a very small workshop with only five participants, which made it warm and personal. All through the workshop, there are many questions and answers and everyone was very involved.

The agenda for my Past Life Regression Workshop is,

  1. There is a brief introduction period, where we meet each other. As we all settle in, I encourage people to share any experience they may have with hypnosis or their views about past lives.
  2. I introduce myself, giving my background and how I became interested in hypnotherapy and Past Life Regressions, including my workshops with Dr. Brian Weiss, Neale Donald Walsch, Paul Aurand, Suzanne Northrup and John Holland. I also share my views on and have a discussion about the subjects of the soul, reincarnation, your life’s purpose, beings in “The Light”, ESP, psychic/mediums and more. I reinforce my belief in all of my workshops, that this entire discussion is based on opinion… not on verifiable facts; that when it comes to metaphysics, no one truly knows the truth. The only way we will truly know the actual “truth” about these subjects is when we are out of our bodies and in “the light”.
  3. We continue with an in-depth discussion about how hypnosis and a PLR work.
  4. Participants view a DVD about the true story of a young boy who experiences memories of a past life as a fighter pilot during WWII and the way his family assists him.
  5. I then introduce the participants to three experiences with hypnosis. The first is a hypnotic induction called “Heavy Hands”, where I have the participants picture a yellow page book placed on one hand while imagining helium balloons lifting up the other. We then discuss that experience. The purpose for this exercise is have the participants feel what hypnosis is and to ask questions about their experience, so that they don’t question hypnosis during their regression. The second is called, “A Deepener”. It is to allow a person to go deeper into the hypnotic state; the more often you are hypnotized the easier you can be hypnotized. The third is having participants experience an actual past Life Regression.
  6. At the end of the workshop, I ask if anyone would like to discuss and share his or her experience.

A few interesting things happened today, that I would like to share with you. During the “Heavy Hands” exercise, all participants hold their arms out, extended from their bodies. People react differently to the experience, but all learn how the mind can affect their perceptions in powerful ways. After the exercise, which lasts a few moments (during which time, the participants are sitting with their arms extended out in front of them), most people feel a tension in their shoulders. I noticed Roger, a participant, was rubbing his shoulder, which seemed to me more than the others did. I asked him if he was all right and he told me that he has bursitis in his shoulder and that the exercise did irritate it. I was concerned and wanted to help, if I could. I asked him if he wanted to try a hypnotic technique to see if it might help with the pain. He agreed and I did a procedure called a “instant induction” and then did pain relief management, using a healing technique called “Reiki”. I am pleased to say he was quite pleasantly surprised with the positive results of the 5-minute intervention.

Then during the third hypnotic experience, which is the actual Past Life Regression component of the workshop, all the participants are hypnotized. I access the depth of the hypnotic state of each participant and decide on the speed in which we go through the life that they were visiting.
Joann, a married woman came to the workshop wanting to understand how a Past Life Regression works. She came to the workshop with a certain amount of healthy skepticism, not cynicism. Being a cynic, a person refuses to change their mind about a current believe, even after undeniable proof to change is offered to them. JoAnn was not a cynic. Because the group was so small, I was able to spend more time in deepening everyone in the group and I observed that JoAnn was having a very powerful experience. At first, during the beginning of the regression she was smiling and happily involved with the images she was receiving. Soon after her expression changed, becoming more somber and very soon tears flowed from her eyes. After the regression ended, she needed a few moments to compose herself. When she felt more comfortable, she shared with us that the regression explained many deep-seated problems and answered many questions that she had been dealing with for years. I thank her for sharing her experience with us.

Although I have conducted dozens of PLR workshops, they are always different and I am always awed by the power to heal that Past Life Regression Therapy can offer.

I want to thank Joann for her email testimony, which she has sent to me and can be found on the testimonial page on my website http://www.hyp4life.com/

Friday, September 12, 2008

9/11 Post Script

This is a postscript to yesterday’s posting “911 a Remembrance and a Sharing”.

Yesterday was 9/11/2008 and I had hoped that there would have been an assembly in our school to remember the tragedy and honor the victims and heroes on that day. Instead, we had what has turned out to be the standard and obligatory “Moment of Silence” at 9:00 am. I am frustrated and angered that seven years have passed and no politician has proposed a National Day of Remembrance. Although I know that we will never forget, we need to honor those 2,948 innocents who died that day. We must honor and acknowledge the heroes… Not only the NYC firefighters, police officers and EMT’s who valiantly gave their lives to save their fellow New Yorkers, but those in Washington DC at the Pentagon and those amazing, courageous, civilians on Flight 93, who sacrificed their lives to stop the fourth attack on our soil, by crashing their plane into a Pennsylvanian field.
For the past two years, I have been teaching US History, so it seemed appropriate that in our US History classes, we would do a memorial to 9/11/2001 on September 11, 2008. I was impressed and quite proud of my students, most of whom were 8 or 9 years old on that day, seven years ago. I shared my experience and those students, who were willing to, shared theirs. I then showed a PowerPoint presentation to the class, who were quiet and respectful. If the government will not designate yesterday as a day of remembrance, I sure will.

During the Christmas holiday 2001, my wife and I went into New York City to see a Broadway play, which has been our holiday tradition since I became a teacher. We refused to allow terrorists to take that tradition from us. I was aware of the fear of terrorist attack in the eyes of the people around me and within my own heart when I saw military personnel in combat uniforms, carrying M-16 rifles in the streets of NYC. We walked through the streets that we both knew so well; being Brooklynites, walking through NYC was a normal experience. However, that evening was different. As we walked by a firehouse, the lights and sirens went on and the large red garage door opened. As the fire truck started to inch its way out of the firehouse, everyone standing, waiting began to applaud the firefighters; our heroes. New Yorkers, who are noted for their impatience, aloofness and abruptness, embraced their heroes and here we were, showering these firefighters in the appreciation they so rightly deserved, an appreciation that was non-existent before 9/11. The memory of being a part of a group of strangers cheering for those firefighters in Manhattan has stayed with me for these past seven years. But then, the feeling faded. The heroes are still there but we went back to our own lives. The cheers stopped… The applause quieted down, like the clapping at the end of the last act of a Broadway play, just faded away. We just stopped noticing and acknowledging them.

Although I am new to bloging, I will attempt to attach some PowerPoint presentations of the attack and the aftermath on this posting, not for those of us who have become more or less hardened to their subject matter. Becoming “hardened” may not be the right description, but I feel, in order to keep from crying continuously, we need to become a little… hardened. The PP presentations I will be attaching are for those children who, like my two beautiful granddaughters, were born after 9/11/2001, whose life, through no fault of their own will be described as the “Post 9/11” generation. The beauty of the web and blogs is that these PP presentations will be around (hopefully) long after we are all gone. So that future post 9/11 generations will have accurate sights and sounds of the attack that changed the world, in order to always remember. And hopefully the old adage will come true… “Those of us who forget history are doomed to repeat it.”
The PP presentation that I plan to paste onto this blog may just soften you and if you are by yourself with no one around, and you feel a tear or two well up… let them flow… it’s OK to cry.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11/2001 - A Remembrance and a Sharing

Whether it was the assassination of JFK or the explosion of the Challenger, there are those experiences in your life that become indelibly etched into your memory. Even more than weddings, birthdays, graduations etc. these life altering, shared, catastrophic experiences stay in your memory, your psyche for your entire life. You remember every detail, every emotion, where you were, what you were doing, who you were with. When a catastrophic event happens, your experiences surrounding the event will always stay in your mind. Even after 45 years, I could tell you, in detail, my experience as a 13-year-old living through the assassination of a president. Those who have had the events on 9/11/2001 be their first experience with a shared, catastrophic event, will realize in their future, just how long the memory will last… forever.
We will always remember that day.
In the sharing of our mutual experiences on that fateful day, we can, along with the experience, share our fear, pain, anger, frustration and profound sadness. In so doing, find that the memories of that day can become a little more bearable.
On that note, I would like to share with you, my experience of 7 years ago, today.

It was a perfect morning; the sky was a beautiful pale blue without a single cloud, the temperature was in the mid to upper 70’s and there was a comfortable breeze.
My day started like any other and ended with the death of the innocence of the American people.
As I drove to my school on Foothill Rd. in Bridgewater NJ, I may have been driving a little fast when I saw the lights in my rearview mirror. The officer was a graduate of the Voc-Tech and let me go with a smile and a suggestion to slow down.
I entered my shop and turned on the equipment and the lights. My shop was the Supermarket Careers Program at Somerset County Vocational Technical High School, where I taught special needs High School students, supermarket skills. Tuesday was the day for our Herr’s Potato Chip delivery and Eddie our driver was right on time, but he wasn’t smiling.
“Did you hear the news? A plane hit the World Trade Towers!” he said as we went into my office. I turned on the radio and my jaw dropped when I heard the first reports of what had happened.
The fear was in the voice of the DJ, but he was in control. “I thought it was a small plane, but I am seeing it on CNN now, it was a commercial plane a big one! Oh MY God! Another plane just hit the other tower! … my God”
I went numb.
I decided to take my students to the library as the announcement came through the PA system into the room. “Please stay in your classrooms we will have information soon.” “Let’s go to the library,” a student said, “there’s a TV there”. I decided to ignore the announcement to stay in class even before my students asked me to leave. In the library, many teachers and students stood, sat on chairs and the floor around the TV. CNN was on and the videos of the explosion in the first tower and the second plane hitting the second tower were playing repeatedly. Then a live, shaky picture showed the first tower collapsing.
Silence… mouths agape and everyone gasped.
I was in shock and distracted by the events that were unfolding and to my responsibility to my students. Seeing the first tower fall made me realize that I had at least four family members working in the shadow of the World Trade Center. True panic seized me. I took out my cell and frantically started calling family members but the lines were all busy. The family members I was able to reach had no news.
The last bell rang and the busses took the students home, the faculty and staff said their good-byes and I slowly walked through the parking lot to my car. I thought that although I had walked to my car the same way for the past eleven years, this walk was very, very different. The school is located under the flight plans for Newark Airport and there are always planes flying overhead. The plane-less sky would greet me for the next few mornings and was an eerie feeling foreboding of the many more changes that were to come.
Driving home, I noticed how light the traffic was and quickly noticed the first American flag on a home next to the school, then another and another. I didn’t know where they had all been stored, but it seemed that every house was proudly flying the red, white and blue. It filled me with a powerful connection with every other driver on the road, every pedestrian, every other American. Yes, they were able to hit us hard. They hurt and killed us, but the sight of all the flags gave me a feeling of closeness, connection and a communion with every other American I passed. We were in this together.
I turned unto the street where I live and my neighbors were out waving flags and screaming at passing cars. It was a surreal feeling, no traffic, no planes in the sky, no one on the roads, until I turned the corner and it would seem that my neighbors had gone completely insane. But these were insane times; I parked my car and went into my home hugged my wife a little longer than usual, called my kids just to hear their voices and let them hear mine and tried to find out if my family working at ground zero were… alive.
Sitting at the kitchen table, I couldn’t eat, I just wanted to go to sleep to wake up and realize that it had only been a nightmare but I couldn’t sleep either. Lying in bed till 3:00 am watching the news, seeing the planes repeatedly hitting the towers, seeing the towers repeatedly collapsing, I could not stop nor did I try to stop the tears and finally, I slept.
The next day at school, the fear continued. The Principal asked me to order an emergency delivery of food that could be stored at the school to feed students and faculty for at least a week. Plans were made to be able to quickly move all students and staff into the gym, where there was plastic and duct tape to seal us inside in the event of chemical or nuclear attack. The food in the supermarket and additional supplies, delivered over the next weeks was stored in the school. The plan was that in the event of another terrorist attack, we (students, staff and faculty) would use the plastic and duct tape to seal ourselves into the gym, where we could survive on the stored water, cup-o-noodles and potato chips. The plan was that we would stay, all together in the gym for the duration. Thank God, it had not become necessary to determine if plastic sheets and duct tape could have saved our lives.
Over the next few months, fears subsided and so too did our pride and connectedness.
That Thanksgiving, our family got together for that most traditional of American holidays. For the prior twelve years, I had made a speech before we all ate our meal. My speeches were always filled with humor, inside family jokes and more importantly, the things we should be thankful for over the past year. As tradition had it, I was prepared with a speech on this less than traditional Thanksgiving… this Thanksgiving was very different. My speech that day was considerably shorter than usual. It started; “I’d like to thank God for allowing ALL our family to be here” and I named those family members whom, we were all so concerned about and who were now sitting around the table. “This Thanksgiving” I continued, “we can be so thankful that all of our loved one are here and healthy. But, I would ask for a moment of silence for the over two thousand families whose Thanksgiving was so cruelly taken away.” We ate our food and dried our tears.

9/11/2001; 7 years and a lifetime ago
I believe there is something cathartic in the telling and sharing of this experience. The fact that others feel the way you do and have similar experiences can lessen your fear and anger. I would love to hear from you and be able to post your experiences in the comments section.
Thank you.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I Hate(d) Labor Day

Well it’s September and I am back at school. I used to hate Labor Day; the end of summer, felt almost like death. Before I started teaching, I was an assistant manager at Pathmark Supermarkets (A supermarket chain in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area). For 12 very long years, I struggled with the pain and frustration of working at a job, which paid the bills (barely), but was not what I wanted to do. The main problem was that I really didn’t know what I did want to do. So that was my life, I was in a dreadful career situation; knowing that I did not want to do what I was doing but not knowing what I did want to do. My only respite from depression (other than my family) was the summer, which gave me the rest, recreation and vacations that took my mind off my depression.
I would look forward to the summer the way a child looks forward to Holidays, their birthday and playtime all rolled into one! Memorial Day was my favorite holiday, it was the beginning of summer and I hated Labor Day, the end of summer; the two holidays that represented birth and death to me.
After leaving Pathmark and teaching for 17 years, the depression I felt towards the end of August, had turned to a sad melancholy, which I still had at the approach of Labor Day. Hey, don’t get me wrong, one of the perks about teaching is having the entire the summer off (more to come about teaching) and I know I get no sympathy (nor do I expect any) about the sadness associated with the end of summer. After all, I did have it off. But, something happened this year that was different. Perhaps the change was due to my daughter’s wedding on Labor Day. Her wedding was as perfect as anyone could have prayed for. The weather was perfect. The anticipation of the wedding and its coming to perfect fruition may have also helped. I don’t know the cause, perhaps it was due to the ability, after 17 years to let the past (Pathmark) go; or the changes that come with maturity (a nicer way of saying “getting older”); or the final realization that I now, truly know what I want to do with my life. Whatever the reason was, the depression / sadness / melancholy I have felt over many years, has seemed to stop.
I have a passion and a love of teaching and I incorporate it in not only my profession as a teacher, but as a hypnotherapist, father, grandfather, husband, uncle, friend, etc. etc. etc…

It’s September and I’m looking forward to working with my new students. At the end of the last school year, I took off my teacher’s hat (I never truly take that hat off) and put on my hypnotherapist hat. I have spent the last two and a half months hypnotizing people for everything from uncovering their past lives to eliminating their phobias; from breaking their addictions to cigarettes to improving their golf games; from helping them understand why they overeat to why they have low self-esteem and much more. Now it is time to put back on my teacher’s hat and keep my hypnotherapy hat ready for evenings.
I now know how to remove depression from your life. It is simple really. Get passionate about something… anything that gets your interest stimulated. My passion started with teaching special needs high school students, supermarket careers. Once I became involved and passionate about what I was doing, every other good thing in my life followed and quite suddenly, I realized that my depression is now, a thing of the past.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Dancing with my Baby at Her Wedding

I love Billy Joel!
His music and lyrics resonate with me, so when he released his "River of Dreams" album http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_of_Dreams in 1993, I couldn't wait to buy it. It was my third year as a High School teacher and my daughter had just turned 13. Which is a tough age as an adolescent or for the parent of one. On the way home from school, I stopped at K-Mart, bought the latest Billy Joel cassette and listened and sang along with my favorite piano man. I enjoyed the first 6 songs and then "Lullaby" came on. At first I listened to the melody, Billy's voice and the musical backgrounds. Then I heard the lyrics; I replayed it 3 times. I did not understand why my vision was getting blurry until I felt the tears in my eyes run down my cheeks. Listening to, memorizing and singing along with it helped me deal with the pressures of raising a 13 year old girl. With one line of the song, memories of holding my baby in my hands when she was a week old; another brought back stroking her forehead before kissing her good night; another calming her after a nightmare. And I was more able to deal with the sometimes, irrational behavior of a 13 year old (she fortunately grew out of that stage relatively quickly). During rational times with her which were actually much more than the irrational times (although it seems that you remember and dwell on the trying times more than the good), we would drive together in my car and my daughter and I would sing to the cassette. She would look at me in the way she does and comment on the sweetness of the song. I am not being boastful to say my daughter has a beautiful voice and after singing Lullaby, I thought at that time, I would be dancing with her, to "Lullaby" at her wedding.

And I did.

I didn't know if I would get through the wedding without crying and the odds in my family were 20 to 1 that I would be a blithering idiot. But, although I did get misty eyed, I didn't cry; my baby cried for the both of us and as I dried her eyes I sang in my head...

"Then in your heart there will always be a part of me"

Those fathers of daughters out there know what I'm talking about and I'm sure you mothers do too. Read the lyrics and see if you don't get misty eyed... I dare you

I double dog dare you...

Tile :Billy Joel - Lullaby (Good Night My Angel)
This is lyrics from http://www.lyrics007.com/
*Verse 1*
Good night my angel time to close you eyes
And save these questions for another day
I think I know what you've been asking me
I think you know what I've been trying to say
I promised I would never leave you
And you should always know
Where ever you may go
No matter where you are
I never will be far away

*Verse 2*
Good night my angel now it's time to sleep
And still so many things I want to say
Remember all the songs you sang for me
When we went sailing on an emerald bay
And like a boat out on the ocean
I'm rocking you to sleep
The water's dark and deep
Inside this ancient heart
You'll always be a part of me

(Musical Bridge)Do do do do...

*Verse 3*
Goodnight my angel now it's time to dream
And dream how wonderful your life will be
Someday your child will cry
and if you sing this lullaby
Then in your heart there will always be a part of me
Someday we'll all be gone
But lullabies go on and on
They never die
that's how you
and I
will be

You cry?

I do

Every time!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Baby is Getting Married

Although I am a novice at "Blogging" I am getting the idea of it. I have recently viewed other blogs and spoke with some knowledgeable friends about blogging (Thanks Bill and Steven). I suppose I'll look back at these early postings and smile at my naivete. In actuality, I am still uncertain as to the direction I want to take this blog. Perhaps a diary of my feelings and experiences of life in general (which may be boring) or more a record of my experiences involving hypnosis, teaching or metaphysical subjects (psychic, ESP, mediumship, past lives etc.). At this point I will reduce my stress by planning to attempt to post all of these choices, for at least a little while.

My baby girl is getting married in 3 days, 15 hours and a few odd minutes; 28 years, 9 days and a few hours after the first time I met her. But, these numbers mean nothing. Your age, your income, your SS#, your phone #, your weight, your height... all pointless numbers. What isn't pointless is knowing a person that makes your heart sing each and every time you see them. That is what "it" is all about. Knowing and being with people who can make your heart sing. Usually they don't try or even know what they do to make you feel that way and that is perhaps why your heart sings so loudly in their presence.

I remember when she was born as if it were yesterday. Being our second child, I was not nearly as stressed as I was when her older brother was born. Now THAT was not a fun experience for me and a whole lot worse for my wife. His was a 20 hour posterior birth marathon. I am surprised that my wife was even willing to have another child, but I am so appreciative that she chose to. My daughter's birth was a easy as her middle name... Joy. Her middle name pretty much sums up my experience with my daughter... a joy.
From the first time she said "Da-da", to her smile that lit up her face and everyone around, to the pain and concern of seeing her off to Kindergarten, to the "Joy" of having her run to the door and jump into my arms after a hard day's work, to the pride we felt seeing her acting and singing in school plays, to the mixed emotions of meeting her "first date" after being pleaded with not to embarrass her, to the heart wrenching feeling of missing her after dropping her off in North Carolina after an 8 hour drive at Elon University and wanting to stay with her to be the overly protective father I was so used to being, to the happiness and pride in seeing her graduate, to the fatigue in helping her move to her apartment, to being introduced to her boyfriend who she told me in confidence, would be "The One"... the love for a daughter simply grows. And then last August, just before her birthday, this very nice young man, asked my wife and I, while sitting at our kitchen table, "I would like to have your permission to marry your daughter" and we were overjoyed. We realized that our family just grew by one. But... Where did the time go? My daughter is engaged to be married! It's so corny, but the song from "Fiddler on the Roof" rings through my head... "Is this... the little girl I carried... Sunrise, Sunset... Sunrise, Sunset... Swiftly fly the years" I never truly appreciated the truth of that song/play; where has the time gone? So, in about 87 hours from now I will walk the Joy of my life down the aisle; but who's counting. I can't guarantee that I won't be a little (lot) teary eyed (crying my eyes out), but I know they will be tears of... JOY!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Your "Path"

Everyone has their own path. This sounds like a very simple statement; a "yeah, sure, so what else is new", sort of statement. But it is not at all simple. What is a path anyway and do you know, first... that you are, in fact, on one and secondly where it will take you? Every time you ask a question like that; "where is the path you are on taking you" and the answer comes from where ever answers come from, you are inevitably going to ask more and more questions. Why is there a path anyway? Does everyone have a path? Are paths different for each person? Can I fall off my path? Who decided that I should be on this (my) path? and on and on...
Our path begins when we are born. Or does it? Perhaps our paths are formed before we are born and we decide to go down this path or that path... to learn along the way.
Lots and lots of questions. And that is what we are all here for... to ask questions, to get answers (from others or ourselves) to learn and then... to ask more questions.
I said in the summer of 2003 at a week long Past Life Regression workshop run by Dr. Brian Weiss at The Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck NY that my life's path had changed. I "saw the light" I realized what I wanted to do (at 53). I wanted to take everyone I knew "into the light" with me on my path. I tried to convert every family member and friend to my new way of thinking and believing and tried to take them with me down my path. The more I pulled the more they resisted. The more energy I expended draging them towards my path, the more they expended resisting. I realized that although I completely believe in this, my new view of what life is all about, no one has the right to force anyone else onto their path. I plan to be writing more on paths, just one more thing... You never change the path you are on for a different path. Your path doesn't change it simply expands to incorporate new beliefs and understandings...
But then again, that's just my opinion :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

First Posting

Hi and welcome to my blog. This is all new to me and to be honest, I have never even been on a blog before, but I believe that the purpose of life is to learn as much as you can, so here I am starting a blog and learning as I go.On this blog, I will be posting interesting facts about hypnosis, hypnotherapy, the subconscious and more. I am in the process of writing a book and plan to use parts of my book as articles I plan on posting. I will also be posting my experiences with more "New Age" and metaphysical topics that will include ESP, psychic development, mediumship, the soul, Past Life Regression Therapy and many other areas that you may be interested in. It is absolutely NOT my intention to try to convince you that my view of what life is like is the right and only correct view or that you should believe what I do. Actually I believe in the opposite, that we all must find our own way or "path" in this world. If what I post makes you uncomfortable, I apologize in advance. My intent is to suggest to you that we all need to challenge our beliefs even those that include religion, in order to grow. No one has the right to tell you what you should believe, only you know what resonates as truth in your own soul. If it feels right, if it makes sense, if it feels truthful to you then believe. Keep your healthy skepticism... not cynicism. Cynics believe only what they have always believed in, even when presented with irrefutable evidence that they may be wrong. Skeptics may be difficult to convince, but they are open to new truths.If you have come to my blog through my website http://www.hyp4life.com/ , you hopefully have a lot of questions about the information found there. You can contact me thru the site or post a comment and as soon as I figure out how, I'll reply. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks to Wayne and Steven for helping me set up my site.