Are YOU making the most of life or do you let little opportunities pass you by?
If so, one consolation is that you're not alone - it's sometimes so much easier to continue the way we are doing, rather than embarking on a new course of action - and the older we get, the more set in our ways we become.
I'd like to share with you a true story about a lady who came to me last year for weight loss. She's given permission to tell her story but to protect her identity, I'll call her Janis.
When Janis walked into my office I realized this wasn't going to be a simple case of teaching her self-hypnosis to re-educate her eating habits. She weight over 25 stone and believe me, she was BIG.
Janis had a big heart too and like many overweight people she had built up a happy-go-lucky exterior to hide behind. But beneath all those layers of fat was a lot of pain and confusion after years of mental abuse from both her parents.
Now Janis was 48 years old, and she wondered how easy it would be to change her lifestyle - to stop binging in the middle of the night and eating everything in sight. She told me that when she ate a packet of biscuits she could remember the first and the last but none in-between. On a good day she got through four packets of biscuits a night. I daren't tell you how many on a bad day.
The long and the short of the story is that Janis blamed her parents for her weight problem. Years of her father's heavy drinking and regular beatings and mother's frustration and aggressive behaviour had taken its toll. Janis felt that she could never forgive them for not recognizing that they were to blame for her obesity, but at the same time she was unusually close to her mother, and still acted in a childlike way with both parents.
After just one session of hypnotherapy Janis felt much more relaxed and positive about losing weight, but obstacles kept cropping up in her mind. We dealt with a lot of the baggage from the past but her parental dependency was very tenacious.
Then one day, about three months after she first walked into my office, Janis arrived with a huge smile on her face and I could tell that something had happened.
Using Janis's own words:
"I was coming home from visiting mum and dad when I felt almost as though something had hit me on the back of the head. It was realization - as though a light bulb had just switched on and I realized how stupid I'd been all these years for blaming them for all my problems. They (mum and dad) are just ordinary people who did the best they knew how. They didn't make me fat - I did it myself. I've wasted years blaming other people but that's all stopped now. After I stopped crying I picked up the yellow pages and enrolled on a Spanish course. I've always wanted to learn but didn't dare walk into a classroom full of people. I've also been swimming four times since then, and exercising more and eating much healthier foods".
Needless to say, that was the last session that Janis had with me.
Today I saw her in town and I have to admit that I didn't recognize her - she stopped me to chat and I was overwhelmed at the change. She had already lost almost half her original body weight and looked fantastic. Janis announced that she and her husband now planned to move over to Spain and were in the process of buying a property there.
The reason I wanted to share this story with you is to show you that permanent change is possible at any age. Janis's story isn't unique, as anyone involved with therapy will tell you. Millions of people have benefited in some way from having a change of mind.
That change first takes place on an unconscious level. Everything in the subconscious mind seeks expression in the physical self. For many, using self hypnosis, that change can occur instantly, others, like Janis, come that realization more slowly, until it suddenly hits them.