Monday, January 31, 2011

DNA molecules can 'teleport', Nobel Prize winner claims -

Reminds me a little of homeopathy...

DNA molecules can 'teleport', Nobel Prize winner claims -

curiouser and curioser...

Why are you doing this REALLY?

Sometimes there is a higher purpose behind what you do, and it's important to always keep an eye on that. Here's what I mean:

Jini is a single mom of two, living in Marin County, north of San Francisco. She makes a bare bones living as a therapist, and on the side, she fixes houses to sell, which supplements her income. She does a house every few years -- after all, it's not her main work, and she has a teenager and a pre-teen to raise.

She sold a house about a year ago, made some money, moved herself and the kids into a comfortable 3 bedroom rental until she could find another fixer. That took about 6 months, and then it took a few months to negotiate the agreement (short sale, the bank dragged its feet) and close.

The house, originally a vacation cottage, is tiny (2 small bedrooms and 1 bath) and so old that it doesn't have central heat, not to mention insulation. It's also missing many of the comforts she's used to, like closets, a dishwasher and two full baths.

She immediately knew what to do with this house -- besides the obvious heat and insulation, it needed an addition to function well -- a master bedroom with its own bath, which could sit over the newly enlarged kitchen/family room. She figured she could pay a contractor to do the major construction while she lived in the rental, then move in and do the interior finish and other renovations while living in the house, which, while unpleasant and inconvenient, would save paying rent and carrying costs on the house simultaneously, which she could ill afford.

She didn't count on the fact that in the hills of Marin, your neighbors can stop an addition if they don't like it. They may actually prefer something falling down ("character") to something a little bigger and newer. And of course, this is what happened. ONE neighbor decided that, after asking Jini for all sort of (expensive) concessions on size and siting and materials, to which she reluctantly agreed, he still wasn't satisfied. He filed an 11th hour complaint at the planning board, which torpedoed her approvals. Thus a drawn out fight at the planning board loomed ahead.

Even worse, she was going to have to move into the tiny house with the 'evil' (her word) neighbor. She envisioned this as literally moving into the lions's den, with danger all around -- constantly. She dreaded moving into this house. Her dread was so intense that she'd barely begun packing, despite the fact that she was scheduled to move in three days.

As we talked, I pointed out that she probably wouldn't see her neighbor all that much. Even if they were going in and out of their houses at the same time, which probably wouldn't happen very often, their driveways were situated so that they couldn't actually see each other. And there was only the one 'evil' neighbor. Others were pretty cooperative.

As I 'looked at' the situation for Jini, I saw her having a big housewarming party -- to which she could invite ALL the neighbors, as well as her friends and family. It looked to me like this would not only create community in her new location but also like this would eventually create some sort of healing both for her and the neighbor who'd objected to the addition. It looked like there were many spiritual lessons in the situation -- for her, her kids and her neighbor.

Jini agreed with my assessment, and because she saw the spiritual purpose behind moving into the lions' den, she began to see the possibilities. She could use the garage to store all the things that wouldn't fit in the tiny house. She could use some rugs that wouldn't fit on the floors as insulation by tacking them up on the insides of the exterior walls. She could buy some freestanding wardrobes to replace the missing closets. She could make friends with enough neighbors that eventually she'd find a way to the obstructionist neighbor's heart.

And with renewed energy, she began packing.

Friday, January 28, 2011

'Your LIfe, Your Realtionships' (1/26) is up on iTunes and RSS Feed

If you like the show, please subscribe using your chosen service! Then send me emails with questions, or call me on air Wednesdays, 6 - 7PM EST. 

iTunes feed is here.

RSS feed is here.

PC-based feed is here.

Are All Meditations the Same?

Fascinating look at how different types of meditation affect the brain, both during and after meditation:

Are All Meditations the Same?

Monday, January 24, 2011

What Can You REALLY Change?

Last week, one of the callers to my radio show (listen to the podcast here or here) talked about dealing with a mother-in law (who is mentally ill), who, frankly, lies about what's going on in her life, what people have said and done to her. The mother-in-law then requests certain treatment based on these falsehoods.

That's one of life's icky situations, the kind for which there is no good answer. Maybe there are some less bad answers, but certainly no good ones. Thinking about it, there are really three options here, and we'll take each of these in turn:
  1. Leave the situation
  2. Change the situation
  3. Change yourself
 1) Leave the situation - Taking everything into consideration, is putting up with the situation worse than leaving? I don't know the caller's situation, but maybe she has a happy marriage, and her mother-in-law is the one fly in the ointment. Or maybe she has young children with her husband, and mostly, things are okay. In these cases, leaving makes no sense. (I'm guessing this is the worst thing going on in her life, because you don't call a radio show about #10 on your list of problems.)

2) Change the situation - You can't change someone else's mental illness.So that's out.

3) Change yourself - You are always in charge of your own actions and reactions. That's the ticket! You can pinpoint specifically what makes the situation hard for you, or exactly what triggers your emotional reactions, and then work with that. There are a million ways to work with your own emotional landscape, from affirmations to keep you pointed in the right direction to hypnotic processes to reshape internal paths away from the quicksands of childhood imprints to anchors to keep you focused in present reality rather than getting sucked into the past.

You may know a few of these tools -- you just have to remember to use them! And if you don't have tools that work for you, call me at 888-4-hollis (888-446-5547)! I can help.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Podcast of my first radio show is up on ITunes!! It's FREE

Really simple to download, just click on the link & click on download. I'd love it if you'd subscribe! (And rate 5 stars if you like it!)

Your Life, Your Relationships - Download free podcast episodes by Hollis Polk on iTunes.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Podcast of my first radio show on PRN is up!

You can listen online or download to your computer! Let me know what you think! Click on the title of this post to go through to podcast (not obvious, I know).

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gifts of Age

Older people display better ability to perceive others emotions and appear to be more empathetic:

PsycNET - Display Record

Okay, it's not surprising, but it is nice to have some evidence.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Does this happen to you?

or Bad Hypnosis

Last Friday, I had to go to the HMO for my annual checkup -- no big deal, I'm pretty healthy. However, the doctor looked at my electronic records and said, "You know, you haven't had a tetanus shot in more than 10 years, and you probably ought to." It comes with whooping cough and diptheria, and we're having a whooping cough outbreak here in CA, so you know they're pushing the vaccine as a method of outbreak control, which is cost control for them.

I'm not one for the new-fangled so-called flu vaccines, but I remembered being given this particular vaccine a couple of times as a kid and agreed. So I got sent down the hall to the injection lady.

The injection lady, trying to make this seem not so bad, said "It's going to feel like you went bowling after not going bowling for a long time."


"Well, your arm's going to be sore and heavy for a couple of days. It's important to move it around, even if you don't feel like it."

I don't know if it's state or Federal policy, or if it's just this HMO, but they actually give you a sheet with all the side effects, and make you sign an informed consent statement. So I read the sheet before I signed the statement and discovered that yes, the most common side effect is a mildly sore arm -- 2 in 3 people, in fact. But that means that 1 in 3 people don't have it.

I couldn't help myself -- I gave her a brief lecture on bad hypnosis. When people come into a medical setting, they're probably nervous, and that means they are extra suggestible. So her little lecture was helping to create the bad side effect. I explained this and said, "You could say that this is the most common side effect, but you could be one of the people who don't have it."

She replied, "Oh, yeah, when I had the shot, I really wasn't sore at all, except when I slept on that arm. I had to turn over and sleep on my other side, and then it was fine."

Eureka! SHE didn't have the reaction, so she could share that fact. 

Watch what you are suggesting, people! We are all in and out of hypnotic trances all the time. In trance, the words you hear bypass all but your most critical faculties. ('Hypnotic trance' just means that our brain waves, at least in part of our brains, are running at a lowered frequency to common beta waves, which are 12 - 15 cycles per second).

That means that when you are talking to someone, you may well be making a hypnotic suggestion. It's just that most of us don't know we're doing it, and we're not trained, so we do it badly. We make all sorts of negative suggestions and commands all the time. The idea is to state things in the positive. (More on this below.)

And listen for all the negative suggestions out there. Medical ads are great for this -- they're suggesting you have some made up syndrome so they can sell you something to fix it. I have a friend who calls them 'symptom installations', instead of ads.

The conscious mind does not hear the word "not". Quick, try not to think of a purple elephant!

What just happened? If you're like most people, you thought immediately of a purple elephant. Why? Because you have to make a picture of a purple elephant in your mind in order to erase it.

So when you say "Don't do that!", we all hear, "Do that!" Which brings me to one of my pet peeves, nicely illustrated by this sign:

"Don't forget to vote" is tantamount to saying "Please forget to vote". A much better solution is to say, "Please remember to vote."

Please remember to listen to my new radio show on Wednesday at 6PM EST, 3 PM PST on ! (Set an alarm or a computer reminder -- these work even better than memories.)


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Do you deserve this?

I've lately had several conversations with clients who had issues around deserving:
  • One, a compulsive eater, recognized that when she looks at a dessert tray, she says to herself, "I deserve this". (What does deserving have to do with food in a society where you are not rationing?)
  • Another, having found an amazing deal on a vacation home -- so good, in fact, that he only has to rent it a couple of months a year for it to pay for itself -- wakes up in a cold sweat at night because he feels he doesn't deserve it.
  • A third, on the brink of being able to save her home from foreclosure, after literally years of work, is not sure she deserves even that.
Think of 'deserve' as 'de-serve'. According to Webster's Dictionary, the Latin prefix, 'de', signifies "separation, cessation,... or contraction" of serving. This became the French, "de', which has the connotation of 'away from', as in, away from service.  It does not serve you to think in these terms.

Deserving something implies that you are worthy of, or entitled to, it, which implies
  • you know what things are worth
  • life is fair
  • you know what's fair, or maybe
  • you decide what's fair. Who made you, and you alone, God?
Let's take each of these in turn:

You know what things are worth -  Yes, a can opener is a dollar at the dollar store. But how do you know whether your being is worth a vacation home?

Life is fair - Nothing could be further from the truth. Life is not fair, at least not from the standpoint of only one lifetime. If it were, wouldn't everyone have equal opportunities and gifts? Would murderers ever get off scott-free for their transgressions (think O.J. Simpson here, at the risk of offending people** )? We all know that's not true.

You know what's fair - Even if life were fair, given the complex web of life, how would you know what was fair? How would you know that the person who just screwed you over in a business deal didn't do it to raise money for an uninsured child who needed a kidney transplant? Did you deserve to be screwed over then? Does the child deserve the transplant?

You decide what's fair - Given that we are all in this together, in this complex web of life, how do you, and you alone, get to decide what is fair and then 'make it so'? Do you have the omniscience to decide that? If you have that omniscience, doesn't everyone else? Don't they have the right to decide what is fair -- for you?

Let go of the idea of deserving something, being worthy of something, and instead notice what you are choosing -- and be grateful when what you choose manifests.

** I actually think the not-guilty verdict was right, not because Simpson wasn't guilty, but because the LAPD did such a horrible job of making the case.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Why I Do What I Do OR A Letter Every Healer Should Read

Bill Keller was a famous programmer, and a grad student at Princeton. (I guess that's why the story caught my eye, the Princeton Engineering connection.) He committed suicide earlier this week, due to the lingering effects of childhood sexual abuse.

He left a suicide note that affected me deeply. I never met Bill Keller, though I wish I had. I don't know if I could have helped him, but I wish I'd at least had the opportunity. If I have ever, or will ever, stop this needless pain, needless death, even once in my life, then that alone would justify my existence.

Keller writes very clearly and articulately about his predicament -- and why he never chose to talk to anyone about it. It is a pretty good indictment of the medical establishment, as well as fundamentalist Christianity. Every healer should read this note, because this is what your clients are probably not saying to you. It is a clear window into a very troubled soul, and it is good to see the world through your client's eyes.

Warning for non-healers: It is very disturbing, not for the faint of heart.

Dr. Douglas Fields: Rudeness Is a Neurotoxin

Some really interesting info here, including the facts that verbal abuse is more damaging to kids in the long run than physical abuse, and that peer verbal abuse is most damaging in the middle school years because that is when the corpus callosum, the bridge between the right and let brain hemispheres, develops.

Dr. Douglas Fields: Rudeness Is a Neurotoxin

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Big News! Ask any question you want -- FREE!

Is someone driving you crazy? 

Do you have 
  • a cheating boyfriend — or girlfriend?  
  • An ex you can’t let go of? 
  • An obnoxious boss -- or co-worker? 
  • Adult kids who won’t listen? 

Do you feel too much of others' pain? 

Are you taking on others' problems -- and hurting yourself by doing it?
Get help with these issues and more from my new radio show, 

Your Life, Your Relationships,
Wednesdays at 6PM Eastern time, 3PM Pacific on

You'll get practical solutions (including energy level ones) for all sorts of relationship problems. There are many kinds of relationships: romance, marriage, parent/child, other family, work -- and even relationships with non-physical beings, like your higher self and angels -- and I'll tackle them all.

Listen online by going to and clicking on ((ON AIR NOW))

Listen anywhere! Use your a browser on your smartphone to go to and then click on the image of the iPhone on the right hand side of the home page. You can even bookmark it in the browser as a favorite.

Call with questions at 888-874-4888. You can also email me your questions in advance, and I'll answer them on the air. Of course, since you won't be there to interact with, I'll feel free to hallucinate the details of your relationship. :)

You'll also hear the latest in psychological research, especially neuropsychology (how we're wired), and intuition and mediation research. You'll also get info from experts who can help you with your issues. YOU can help shape this show, by calling and listening and emailing -- I want to know what you want, so I can provide more of it.  

If you can't listen live, you can download the podcasts at

The Truth Wears Off

Wow! Very thought-provoking article about the relationship of science and the truth:

"Just because an idea is true doesn’t mean it can be proved. And just because an idea can be proved doesn’t mean it’s true. When the experiments are done, we still have to choose what to believe."

Long, but worth the time.

Read more

The Truth Wears Off

Monday, January 03, 2011

NY: Land of the Human

What no one tells you about NY is that there is no way to escape the reality of other people.

The thing about living in California, or probably any suburb, exurb or rural area in the US, is that you can avoid other people, except those you choose to let into your life. Most of them just float by, hermetically sealed into cars, and so you never have to acknowledge that they are, in fact, human. Or you float by, hermetically sealed into your car, so fast that you can pretend there are no humans in other cars or buildings. You may zoom past the occasional pedestrian, but it happens in such a blur that they seem more like mannequins than people.

But in Manhattan, you are literally elbow to elbow with other human beings the minute you step out your front door. Sixty or so human beings are on that subway car with you, and another few thousand at the museum, not to mention the hundreds you pass as you walk. Behind every lighted window, behind every shop door, there are human beings with hopes, dreams, fears, neuroses, friends, skills, talents, ambitions, proclivities -- each human a universe unto herself.

It makes me very curious -- and a bit overwhelmed.