Monday, June 29, 2009

10 Coach's Tips for Getting Yourself to Do Something You HATE

We all have things we need to do that we don't want to do. As a coach, I know many of them. I found myself having to put a few to use this morning to get myself to do my bookkeeping (which I hate), and I thought I'd share them with you.
  1. Chunk it down -- Break it into smaller pieces, so it doesn't look so huge. For me, this means saying, I'll just balance one electronic checkbook today.
  2. Time delimit it -- This is a variation of 'chunk it down': you're chunking by time instead of by the task. For example, I'll just work on this for one hour each day.
  3. Set up a reward system -- Reward yourself for doing a set amount of the chore, or accomplishing some goal. The rewards have to come often enough to keep you motivated, but not so often that they mean nothing, or that you get nothing done. For example, for each hour I spend working on the project, I get a 10 minute break.
  4. Set up accountability -- This can be a partner (including a coach) to whom you must report, or it can be a negative consequence for not doing what you promised. There is economic research to show that this works very well. Perhaps a $100 check to someone else's favorite charity?
  5. Remind yourself of the natural negative consequences of not doing it -- for example, if I don't do my bookkeeping (ever), my taxes never get done and I end up with a huge IRS problem. Make this look bigger and bigger, and you'll get it done.
  6. Find a way to make it pleasant -- Can you play music while you do it? Listen to the radio? Watch TV? (I actually listen to daytime TV, which makes me feel like I'm at a coffee klatsch, instead of doing a chore.)
  7. Set up a regular time to do it -- if it's not a one time thing. So I'll just do the bookkeeping at a set time each day. This, btw, is particularly good for exercise, because your body gets used to it, and the day will begin to feel wrong if you don't exercise when you're used to doing it.
  8. Do it with a friend -- This one doesn't apply to bookkeeping, so I'll use a different example. Years ago, I was bemoaning the need to clean out my garage to a friend, who confessed the same need. We decided to do it together, one Saturday at her garage, and one at mine. And that actually made it fun! It went more than twice as fast, and working with someone who is emotionally neutral about the task makes it easier. (I didn't see that ugly umbrella stand as a gift from her long dead aunt, I just saw it as unused and really hideous. That made it much easier for her to give it away.) Plus we exchanged some charity pile items, so working in my friend's garage felt a bit like Christmas to me, as working in my garage did for her.
  9. Delegate it -- You can pay people to do many things! (Honestly, delegating bookkeeping hasn't worked too well for me, so if you've had a good experience, let me know.) And even if you can't afford to pay someone, you might be able to trade with a friend. I was a horrible typist (and am still working on those keyboarding skills -- many blessing to spell check programs), so in college, I used to hem a friend's pants in exchange for her typing my papers.
  10. Remove the underlying resistance -- There's generally a deeper reason why you don't want to do something, and if you remove that, the resistance goes away, and you just do it. If you'd like to do that, please call me, because shifting a deeper level issue is unique to the person and the issue, one size does not fit all.
And then, just do it!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

On (Not) Being a Fan

I really don't get the whole idea of being a fan of someone. I don't mean fan, as in I-really-enjoy-that-music, which I certainly do. I appreciate talent and skill, especially when they come together, in any field, from singing to dancing to figure skating to waiting tables or knitting, all of which can be an art form. I honor and respect anyone who really masters these or any other skills, which is what elevates them from craft to art.

No, I don't get being a fan (short for 'fanatic'), as in I-love-everything-she-does-have-to-have-the-CD-immediately-willing-to-camp-out-in-line-for-tickets-to-every-concert-buy-the-tee-shirt-follow-her-on-Twitter-and-cut-my-hair-like-hers. I don't get it, and I never have. When I was 5 or 6, my Mom (bless her heart) took my toddler sister and me to see the movie, "A Hard Day's Night". I didn't get why all those teenage girls were screaming their heads off. Yes, the Beatles were the hottest thing on Earth, but they weren't even in the theater -- it was a movie.

So when Michael Jackson died, I said as much to my sister, now a very wise woman, who replied, "People see God through these very talented people." Okay, that I get. I do really get that Michael Jackson was channeling energy, at least some of the time, and that that experience can be called 'seeing God'. In an interview on ABC news, Martin Bashir asked him what he thought when he danced, and he answered words to the effect of "I don't think; you can't think, because that ruins it; you just have to be the music". Umm, doesn't that sound like channeling music through the body? And wow, was he a superlative dancer.

I think this second type of fan creates a number of problems, both for the fan, and more obviously for the channel, aka celebrity. It seems to me that if you're a fan, you're probably not honoring your own ability to channel, or to touch God, or have God flow through you, or however you want to say it. What a waste, for the fan and for the world!

The problem for the celebrity/channel is that fans don't discriminate between the person, who is just as human as anyone else (which is probably why one of People magazine's most popular features is something like "Celebrities are Just Like You and Me"), and the channeled energy, which is special. So the channels get treated like deities, and can lose touch with reality, especially if their adulation began quite young, before they even knew who they were. Wouldn't that at least partly explain the meltdowns of Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, and of course, Michael Jackson?

Thomas Jefferson on Walking

"The object of walking is to relax the mind. You should therefore not permit yourself even to think while you walk; but divert yourself by the objects surrounding you. Walking is the best possible exercise."

That pretty much says it for me!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Brain scans show how hypnosis can paralyze a limb -

Brain scans show how hypnosis can paralyze a limb -

Try this at home!

Have you ever felt like someone else's negativity really sapped your energy? It's true -- and you can demonstrate it yourself with kinesiology.

In the last year, I've seen two great lecture/demonstations that use kinesiology. The first was by Donna Eden ("Energy Medicine"), and the second, just last week, by Jack Canfield ("Chicken Soup for the Soul", and many more). They were so wonderful -- clear ad easy to do -- that I want to share them with you, and encourage you to try them at home.

First, a description of kinesiology in case you don't know about it. Version one requires 2 people, the tester and the one being tested (or Testee). The Testee puts one arm, generally the non-dominant one, directly out from his/her shoulder at shoulder height. This can be done directly forward from the shoulder, with palm facing center, or directly out to the side, with palm facing front. I've seen it done both ways. The tester asks the Testee to resist, and then pushes down on the Testee's arm, to see how much force the person can resist.

Version two requires only 1 person, and an appropriately sized weight (this method courtesy of Donna Eden). You determine your appropriate weight by finding one that you can lift with your arm outstretched at shoulder height when thinking a true thought, but can't lift when thinking a false thought. Yes, this really works! For me, as well as 2 other women with whom I've done this, it's a 9 pound weight. [Go to a gym or sporting goods store and try different weights till you find the right one for you.]

Both Eden and Canfield began with things I'd seen before:
  • Testee thinks a positive thought (and can resist tester's push easily)
  • Testee thinks a negative thought (and can't resist)
Here is one of Donna Eden's new twists, whcih she says proves that energy automatically goes from the strong to the weak:
  • Testee is part of a couple, and is strong. Testee can resist push.
  • Testee's partner is weak (upset, ill, etc.), and can't resist push.
  • They hold hands. Testee can't resist push -- but Testee's partner can!
She also has Testees who are weak (can't resist push) do simple interventions, like walking a few steps backwards, and then they can resist! Unfortunately, you have to be able to see clairvoyantly to know which intervention will work, though you can try them all until one works.

Here is the first of Jack Canfield's new twists, designed to show group effects on an individual:
  • He has 4 random people join the Testee in a line, holding hands
  • All think a positive thought, and the Testee can resist a push.
  • One of the line up, but not the Testee, thinks a negative thought. The Testee, who is still thinking a positive thought, as are all 3 others in the line, can't resist a push.
So it's important that people with whom you are working (or living, etc.) are aligned, or you're going to significantly weaken their effectiveness.

Here's the second, which shows that protecting your energy field really does work:
  • The Testee stands alone on the stage and thinks a positive thought. Testee can resist a push.
  • The audience thinks something negative about the Testee. Testee can't resist a push.
  • The audience thinks something positive about the Testee. Testee can resist a push.
  • Testee puts up energetic protection around his/her energy field.
  • The audience thinks something negative about the Testee. Testee can resist a push.
If you work in an unfriendly setting, or need to deal with negative and/or hostile people in other parts of your life, and would like to learn how to put up energetic shields, call me at 888-4-hollis (888-446-5547).


How do you know one of your non-physical friends (aka guides or angels) is around? There are a lot of ways. Some people feel things, some people hear them, some see things and/or the spirits themselves. I'm not much of a feeler, but I hear my guides internally, and I see internally. Lately, I'm beginning to see things externally, too.

I was teaching my Intuition Development teleclass recently, and saw a 'flashbulb' go off in the (otherwise empty) room, just a few feet away from me. It was about the size and shape of a firefly, but turned on and off much faster, at the speed of a flashbulb, which is why I'm calling it that. It could not have been a firefly, as it was broad daylight in the room, much too bright to see a firefly's light.

I have seen these before, and they are generally white or a deep, but bright, blue or purple. And I know they are caused by my guides' presence. Here's the thing -- I saw them for many years, but dismissed them as a figment of my imagination, until someone else mentioned them to me -- and showed them to me on video.

So if you have ever seen these 'flashbulbs', don't dismiss them. They are not figments of your imagination; on the contrary, I believe they are evidence of a guide's presence.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Wow! Manifestation is easy! Let me say it again:
  • be clear what you want,
  • know it will come to you,
  • relax and let it go.
  • Follow your inner promptings.
  • Do your part.
And the universe provides. I had another example today.

In 1997, when I bought my house in Mill Valley, I bought my very first gas grill. It was $79, the smallest model. It came in a tiny box, and I put it together myself, from the directions. I used it every summer (some winters, too), but it didn't come with a cover, and I didn't understand the necessity of getting one. Over the last couple of years, we've lost the knob to one side of the grill, and so have to use pliers to use the entire grill surface. This annoys me enough that I rarely use the grill. In any case, the grill doesn't owe me anything. But I don't have anyone who can fix it for me -- no way to buy a single knob these days, either.

I got very clear what I wanted: a gas barbecue with a side burner, small enough to fit the available space, and under $100. So last summer, I shoppped half-heartedly for a new one, idly looking at different models to see which were small enough to fit, and checking prices. When barbecues went on sale at the end of summer, the model I wanted came down to $99. Since there was only one left, the floor model, it was already assembled, which was the good news and the bad news. I didn't have to put it together, but it wouldn't fit it in my car, either. I put it on hold, and told them I'd be back the next day with a truck and someone to help move it. When we went back the next day, it had been sold!

A few weeks ago, I went back to Lowe's, but they no longer carry the model I wanted, and all the new ones are too big for my space. I wasn't desperate for a new barbecue -- it's not like I went to other stores to check their inventory. So I let it go.


Normally, I use my morning exercise time to run errands. I walk, as quickly as I can, to the bank, the library, the drugstore, the gym, and a few different grocery stores, with different specialty items, so most mornings, I have a destination. This morning, I had none, for the first time in about 8 months.

I remembered the running workout I'd been given last fall by Mike Spino, running coach extraordinaire, and thought, well, today is the day to go up to the old high school and use its decrepit track to work out. [I was following my intuition.] I walked up to the track, and just as I arrived, I noticed that the last house before the high school had a 'free' sign taped to a barbecue -- the exact model I'd wanted! But did it work? Who knew? There were also some used bricks, as well as some lumber scraps and used window blinds.

I'm a sucker for used bricks -- there are a million uses for them. But it wasn't clear if the bricks were free, so I knocked on the door. No answer. I decided I'd do the workout, walk home, get the car, and come back for the bricks, which were probably free. [I took action.] When I got back to pick up the bricks, the garage door opened, and the homeowner emerged! And sure enough, the bricks were free, and even better, the barbecue worked, just needed a tank of propane! I took the FREE sign off the barbecue, put it on the pile of lumber, and arranged with the homeowner to come back later for it, with my husband and his car, which is larger than mine.

Tonight, we went back for the barbecue. There was no way it would fit in the car. So I wheeled it home, 1/3 of a mile or so, downhill and uphill. My husband helped me get it through the house to the back deck. I attached the propane tank from the dying barbecue, and the new one really does work! The universe provides.

Amen Clinics Study on Meditation Using Brain SPECT Imaging

We just received some exciting news here at the Amen Clinics. A study we conducted on the effects of meditation on the brain will be appearing in an upcoming issue of the journal Nuclear Medicine Communications, one of the premiere journals in the field of nuclear medicine.

For years, I’ve been recommending meditation to my patients as a great way to relieve stress, increase focus, and improve relaxation. In our practice, we have seen patients with Alzheimer’s disease or who have had a stroke make great improvements thanks to meditation. With this study, we set out to examine what happens in the brain during meditation to bring about these positive benefits.

We performed the study in conjunction with Dharma Singh Kalsa at the Alzheimer’s Prevention Research Foundation in Arizona and Dr. Andrew Newberg at the University of Pennsylvania. Together, we examined changes in brain physiology during Kirtan Kriya meditation using SPECT imaging.

Here’s what we found. The left posterior parietal lobe, a region known to control spatial orientation, was deactivated during meditation. Consistent with this finding, the participants reported a sense of transcendence or detachment.

The subjects also reported an increased sense of focus and capacity for concentration, although we did not find increased activation in the attentional networks of the brain. This suggests that it is the willful act of focusing, not necessarily the mere act of meditating, that improves attention.

We also found heightened activity in the areas associated with working memory and language. Deactivation in a region called the subgenual cingulated gyrus might explain subjective reports of happiness and a sense of well-being while meditating.

Overall, the results offer evidence that this form of meditation changes brain function in a way that is consistent with the positive benefits we have observed in our patients.

Try meditation in your own life to enhance brain function and reduce stress. Just a few minutes a day may be all you need to see results.

[hat tip, Seth]

Friday, June 19, 2009

Michael Beckwith, Live

A friend invited me to an event in Sf where Michael Beckwith, the minister of Agape Church, and one of the people featured in the DVD, "The Secret", is speaking today. He is a truly inspiring speaker, who spouts great, memorable on-liners about every 30 seconds. He preaches spirituality, as opposed to religion, in the excitable, sliding cadences of the black church. He never mentions any religious dogma, and it takes a while before he even gets around to using the word, "God". It makes me think of Jesus, who was also preaching spirituality, not dogma. And I guess the 'good news' that you are a part of God is inspiring all by itself.

He talks about reincarnation as if it is a fact (which it pretty well is, if you read the works of Ian Stevenson, M.D.). He does some of his preaching with his eyes closed, and I do wonder if he was channeling some of what he said.

I had planned to Twitter from the session, but since I couldn't get onto the hotel's network, here are a few gems from this morning (though my poor notes don't really capture his talk very well):

  • "The facts of matter are not the truth of spirit" - What you see is the congelaing of ideas, some of which are lies.
  • "A lie is law, until it is neutralized" - We are taught to believe in scarcity, lack, limitation, poverty, war, etc. as if they are a fact of human existence. They are NOT. It is up to us to change out paradigm. There is plenty, there is enough.
  • "We are taught to worship fear" - on the nightly news, set to music.
  • "God speaks through inspiration, revelation, insight."
  • "God can only count to one." [my personal favority]
  • "Quantity is only in the mind of man, not of God."
  • "There are no delays in the mind of God." [ Well, of course, if time isn't real, how can delays be? HP]
  • "God is seeking to become more itself through each individual."
  • "You WILL evolve; your only choice is to do it through pain or joy." [Like the affirmation gave me years ago: learn through awareness and joy. HP]
  • "Everything is speaking itself into expression through you -- the Universe is saying, "Tag, you're it!"
  • "I went to bed and fell awake." Followed by a great story of experiencing being God, as expressed through different individuals.
As a trainer, I got some great insights, too, about having people breathe together to increase their unity. He also has each half of the audience appreciate the other half with a standing ovation -- a concretization of "God don't make no trash", as a friend once said to me, or "You have value just because you exist", as my guides put it. Really wonderful! And that was just the morning!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The View from Sacramento

I've been in the Sacramento area for the past couple of weeks -- that's why I've been so quiet. The view from up here is significantly different from that of the Bay Area. I haven't had to spend much time here in the last 2 years. I'm shocked at how many small businesses are just... gone. There are check cashing places in areas where there didn't used to be check cashing places -- always a bad sign. My 2 favorite family owned cafes are gone, along with a Starbucks. A couple of chains, too: the local JoAnn Fabrics closed, as did (of course) Mervyn's, and Linens n Things. The only stores that seem to have any foot traffic are the grocery stores and the thrift stores.

The place is a forest of "For Rent" signs, both residential and commercial. Whole retail buildings, which used to have half a dozen stores, as part of a bigger complex, are vacant. You don't see much residential real estate for sale that isn't a short sale or foreclosure -- and believe me, I'm looking.

The most extreme case is some 2 bedroom/1 bath condominiums in an okay area, that were clearly remodeled with the intent to sell. They came on the market in 2006, and the first sales were for around $225,00. The high price was $245,000. Want to guess what they're going for now? Go ahead, guess.


Ready? $50,000. Yes, that's an 80% loss for that poor bastard who bought at the top. And his payments are probably what, at least $1200/month if he put down 20% and had a good loan, plus HOA dues of $200, plus taxes of $204, unless he's petitioned to have them lowered (which is easy to do). So that adds up to what? In the best case scenario, about $1600/month. Want to guess what they rent for? $825 - 850. This is the heart of the foreclosure crisis. This is the essence of jingle mail. Even if you have a good job, you're going to walk away from this one -- and remember, Sacramento is the state capital of California, the home of the unbalanced budget, lawmakers who won't budge on raising taxes, which means cuts, cuts and more cuts. Everyone knows someone, usually more than one, who has lost a job and/or a home.

On the other hand, people are pretty sanguine. Most of those who have been displaced in one way or another are looking forward to the next chapter in their lives. That's very heartening.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Spiritual Principles in Action

Wow! A President who brings the deep truth that we are all one into very practical words and actions:

Text - Obama’s Speech in Cairo - Text -

Also, a very NLP-ish focus on "what do we want to create?" A must read.