Janna Colaco Certified Hypnotherapist Blog

Everything listed under: Mindfulness

  • Stuck in the Binge-Watching Loop?

    In this interview, Janna helps shed light on an overlooked cause of low energy, and how hypnosis helps overcome it.

    Could you describe the kind of low energy correctable by hypnotherapy?

    Sure.  It’s like when you run around all day and can’t wait to get home. But suddenly you’re exhausted.  There’s nothing good on TV, but you search frantically for anything, to watch.  There’s a vague, unsatisfied procrastination-like feeling.  You fall asleep, but tell yourself you’ll get up in a minute.  

    Eventually, the soul-nurturing projects you were looking forward to don’t sound like fun.  The beautiful walk you were going to take with the dog doesn’t sound good either.  Everything feels like work.  The dishes and laundry pile up.  The fridge is empty because every day is the same.  

    You blame yourself for always losing your momentum just when it’s time to really enjoy your downtime.

    So why does this happen?  Is it low blood sugar?

    You should check with your doctor, but mostly chronic, low-grade anxiety is the culprit.  Anxiety is the root of boredom and procrastination.  

    Think of it this way: boredom is restlessness and dissatisfaction with the present moment. Do you have a strong urge to escape, to be entertained, or avoid?  Usually, the need to ‘check out’ is strong, like an alcoholic’s need for a drink or an addict’s craving for heroin.  Avoidance is pleasure.  People stuck in this loop usually think they’re tired, not anxious.  They’ve tried will-power, but it’s subconscious.  That’s why I am able to help them.

    How do you help them?

    First, I ask them, “If you knew your future was secure, how would you be spending your time?”  Each person is unique, so I would use a variety of processes based on their situations.  All subconscious minds are highly adaptable when it comes to something we want, like having more energy, confidence, security or inspiration.  

    People want to be healthier.  Low grade anxiety makes you fat because you just sit and eat junk food and sleep.  So we transform their inner feelings to ones of happy inspiration so life becomes a ‘get to’ rather than a ‘have to.’  

    Most of us remember the desired feelings from childhood.  We couldn’t wait to finish our homework so we could go outside and play!  There was always enough energy to play with our friends, ride bikes, roller skate, or do art, no matter how tired or hungry we were when we walked through the door!  In hypnosis, we reclaim those feelings of motivation and inspiration, and energy returns full force.

    What can people expect from working with you?

    Oh, lots of things.  A cleaner house, a skinner body, a happier dog… the list goes on and on.  Enjoying the present moment, making it your friend, rather than your enemy, is available through this work.

    Janna Colaco, C.Ht., is a Transformational Hypnotherapist and Master Therapeutic Imagery Facilitator with an office in Downtown Fullerton.  She also offers FaceTime, Skype and phone sessions for distance clients.  You can reach Janna at (714)269-6908, or visit her website:  mechanicsofgrace.com. 

  • Spring into your Summer Body

    It’s easy to find motivation and enthusiasm when we reset our subconscious programming

    Body image can be a sneaky, tricky thing.  On the one hand, we want to be beautiful, fit, and let’s be honest— skinnier.  On the other hand, aren’t we supposed to love our body as we are, lumps and all?  Isn’t it shallow to want physical beauty?  Is it not more spiritual to be totally self-accepting regardless of our size?


    Certainly beauty is more than skin deep.  Pause for a moment and bring to mind someone you admire who is radiantly beautiful, yet on closer inspection, their beauty has nothing whatsoever to do with flawless skin, boob size, or perfect features.  


    Where is their beauty coming from?  A cheerful disposition, perhaps? A lightness of being, a sense of humor, an easy-to-be-with attitude?  Could it be self esteem, being comfortable in their own skin?— might these be the missing ingredients?


    “A good attitude isn’t enough!  I want to LOOK GOOD!” our inner diva shrieks.  Can we have both?  Yes, yes and emphatically yes!


    Let’s examine our beliefs:


    Thinking Error #1:  “I must love and accept my fat body; it’s what’s inside that counts.” 


    Wrong, wrong and wrong!  Being unhealthy is NOT self-love. Avoiding outdoor activities is NOT healthy. 


    In most cases, a defense against rejection is the culprit.  The most common reason for weight gain is overeating to squash chronic low-grade anxiety or feelings of dread.  


    In NO WAY is accepting oneself as fat a spiritual value, yet more and more of the time, I hear would-be spiritual-types hiding behind their ‘enlightenment’ as a way to justify giving up.


    What is spiritual?  Self care. Loving oneself enough to participate in life. So ask yourself this:  Do I love myself enough to move my body and feed it with love and respect?


    Thinking Error #2:  “It’s going to be hard.  I’m going to feel exhausted and deprived.”  


    That happened in the past.  But in the subconscious mind, anything is possible.  The preparation of healthy foods can be the best part of our day.  Exercise can be re-wired as something to look forward to.  Motivation can be re-wired to feel exhilarating.


    Thinking Error #3:  “I have to give up carbs.”  


    This is a societal collective belief.   So is war, for that matter.  You don’t have to buy in to the popular opinions of culture.  Smell, see and taste a tangerine.  Carbs are meant to be eaten!  If you think they cause inflammation, well, they do if you believe they do.  That’s how powerful your mind is.


    Overcoming chronic, low-grade anxiety is the number one weight loss and beauty miracle.  When anxiety goes, we are more present, radiant and joyful. We are far more motivated to eat well and participate in life, and life truly belongs to those who participate. 

  • The Inner Alchemy of Spring

    Discarding outdated thinking habits can clear our inner closet and make space for compassion and love.


    Last week I found myself spontaneously buying paint for the living room.  The cashier complemented my color choice, and remarked on how many people were spring-painting their walls!


    Spring is our time to remove stale clutter and shed what is no longer needed.  A gentle breeze through an open window, soft sunlight, or the scent of fresh flowers can move us forward with enthusiasm toward a clean new perspective.


    While we clear the garden, pantry or closet, springtime offers us an opportunity to release ineffective beliefs and outdated thinking habits.  


    Some of my favorite habits to discard this Spring include:


    Questioning others’ motives.  It’s inevitable we will encounter difficult people again and again.   The proverb, “Never judge a person until you’ve walked a mile in their moccasins” reminds us we are all here for different experiences, and we shall never truly understand the path of another.


    We can never know for sure “why” someone behaves as they do.  Perhaps they have suffered.  Or maybe they took a vow to forget their own divinity in this lifetime, playing the role of villain so that we might overcome a fear or strengthen a gift. 


    Questioning others’ motives never provides the relief or closure we seek.  If we count up all the hours spent analyzing, labeling or attempting to make sense of others, we notice an increase, rather than a decrease, in our own confusion, frustration or hurt.  


    When possible, assume good intentions.   Hold them accountable by questioning only their judgement.  Their actions are under your scrutiny, not their motives.  This shift in perspective leaves their soul’s dignity and goodness intact.  This practice allows us to move toward compassion and understanding with even the most difficult souls.


    Perfectionism.  When we release perfectionism in favor of excellence, we choose self-love and worthiness.  The perfectionist who hides under baggy clothing at the beach, waiting to lose that last ten pounds, misses out on the joy of swimming and playing in the sand.  Better to shed the cover-up and participate!  Excellence implies living life to the fullest… even when we aren’t perfect.  Foregoing perfectionism takes courage.  Releasing self-consciousness is a powerful choice that frees us to create memories that last a lifetime.


    Being right.  Insistence on being right can derail personal growth.  Being right by definition automatically implies others are wrong.  The heightened energy we feel as we argue, upon closer inspection, derives its fervor and urgency from our deepest fears.


    Letting go requires courage and trust in the universe.  We release the need for things to go our way.  We can calmly offer our opinion while allowing others to do the same.  


    Outdated feelings of urgency, threat and fear are revealed as smoke and mirrors. ‘Let it go!’ becomes our mantra.  Internal windows open, cleansing mind and body, and we move forward with renewed enthusiasm for life.


  • Are Past Life Regressions Real???

    I can't believe I'm actually opening up this whole 'past-life' can of worms.  Oh well.

    As a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, every once in a while, I'll get a phone call asking me to conduct a past life regression.  The requestor is usually convinced their current-life problem stemmed from some old, unresolved issue in a past life.   I have been trained in this area, and I've facilitated numerous past life regressions (PLR's), for both individuals and groups.  I found out early just how passionate and downright angry people get regarding this fascinating topic.  They are either passionately angry for it, or passionately angry against it.

    The Believers in Past Lives (henceforth referred to as BIPLs) are certain, beyond all doubt, that past lives are REAL, dammit, and anybody who doesn't believe as they do are a bunch of old-fashioned, fundamentalist, right-wing, meat-eating whacko's who "just aren't evolved."  (They usually declare this with a Yogier-Than-Thou arch to one of their eyebrows.)   BIPLs want to be right about their own enlightenment.  Many BIPLs are vegan and gluten-free.  I generalize, but you get the picture.

    On the flip side, we have the Disbelievers in Past Lives (henceforth referred to as DIPLs).  DIPLs are just as convinced they are right, and, with God on their side, they are poised for Holy Battle.  DIPLs wonder why this hooey wasn't stamped out once and for all back in Salem, Massachusetts years ago.  To a dyed-in-the-wool DIPL, the topic of Past Life Regression is closed for discussion. Period, end of sentence.

    What BIPLs and DIPLs don't get is that they are mirror images of each other... both are narrow-minded, stuck and positioned.  Many BIPLs have given up their childhood religions to embrace their "spirituality" but have turned that spirituality into a rigid belief system reminiscent of the one they left behind.

    Inevitably, I'm asked by both camps about MY OWN personal beliefs on the topic.  The BIPLs assume I'm on their side.  

    The truth is, I don't know.  The truth is, none of us knows, not really.  We suspect, we hope, but we don't know.  Past lives fall under the heading of "Mystery."  Mysteries are frustrating!  Human beings want answers, not mysteries!  We want to be right about our beliefs!  We want to be seen as enlightened, saved, or both!  But we just don't know.  Not for sure, anyhow.  

    Luckily  NOT knowing is the most positive, most powerful, place to stand.  As a Healer, I must stand in the mystery... the twilight... the in-between... avoid temptation to try to put the fullness and richness of a client's experience into a box with a label.  I must avoid categorizing, conjecturing and pigeon-holeing ideas, experiences, research and beliefs.  Too much "knowing" and not enough "mystery" flattens and robs an experience of it's magic, it's love, it's most profound essence.

    Every major religion in the world believes in "the Mysteries" in some form or other.  Catholics are familiar with the Creed, "We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty... the Maker of Heaven and Earth...of all that is seen and Unseen."   That "Unseen" part refers to the Mysteries.   Mysteries are prevalent in other branches of Christianity, too.  Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and other religions all contain references to the Mysteries.  

    In all faiths, the word "Mystery" is a good thing.  In metaphysics, it is representative of the unseen dimension.  "Faith" is another signpost that comprises mystery.  Faith must come first before evidence is experienced.  From the Latin comes the phrase popularized by the Holy Order of Servite:  "Credo ut Intelligam" which means  "I believe, so that I might understand."

    In the study of metaphysics, suspension of rigid right/wrong beliefs and experiencing the expansion of presence is what reveals the fourth dimension and allows deep peace to manifest. 

    Take the magic of Santa Claus!  The wonderment about Santa made our Christmases sparkle... there was almost an electrical charge to the atmosphere when we were children.  The richness of it, the openness to possibility... that's what was important.  Remember when we found out Mom and Dad put the presents under the tree?  Remember the flatness?  It wasnt that there were fewer presents.  It wasn't that Santa was gone, we'd never seen or met the guy anyway!  We were asleep!  lt was the magic of mystery and wonderment that left.  Our childlike unbridled openness to the mystery... that's what mattered and created joy!

    I'm asked, "Hey Janna, don't you need to believe in past lives to facilitate a past life regression?"  

    And the answer is this:  to make my client's experience effective and fruitful, I must do two things:  one, supply the love and unconditional positive regard for their transformation, for what they want, without muddying their waters with my own belief system; and two, neither believe nor disbelieve... I must stand, firmly, in the mystery.  If I were to burden you with stories of why I believe in past lives, spelling out evidence, citing research, clinical studies and accounts, it would actually flatten your experience and ruin it -- it would be dimensionally reduced for you somehow.  So how can PLR help people?  You decide.  Here are a couple examples.

    Years ago, a man came to one of my teachers and told her he wanted to visit his past lives to rid himself of his fear of spiders.  In hypnosis, he recalled one particular life where he was "murdered" by a large number of spiders.  (Think Ron Weasley in the Forbidden Forrest with Aragog and family.)  Was it real?  Who knows?  The point is, that man was able to move forward without being afraid of spiders anymore... in his own way, he figured out his personal "why" and, with his question answered, was able to deal with spiders easily after that.  Was the PLR simply a subconscious fantasy? Was it a bona fide past life? Does it matter?  NO!  What matters is the poor guy can let go of his fear of spiders now!  That's all that really counts!

    Another client (different case-history) was one of those good-looking, non-committal type of men.  Mid-40's, he'd never married.  He'd had a plethora of steady girlfriends, but always dumped them at the last minute when things got serious.  He went to his hypnotherapist for months.  No matter what hypnotic techniques she used, she couldn't get rid of his fear of commitment.  The guy was convinced a past life was to blame for his non-committal, womanizing ways.  His hypnotherapist (incredulous) figured he was just a womanizer who wanted to stay that way, but she humored him and did the past life regression figuring heck!  Why not?  Nothing else had worked!

    So she hypnotizes him, facilitated the regression, and he remembered a past life in which he'd lived in ancient Rome.  A hit-man for the Caesar, he killed many enemies of the government.  He retired to a farm outside of Rome with his wife and children.  One day, his identity was uncovered and some enemies came to avenge the deaths of their friends.  They tied him up, raped his wife in front of him, and systematically cut up his children, then his wife, into teeny tiny little pieces while he watched.  

    He came out of hypnosis, suddenly "realizing" why he'd been afraid to commit... he subconsciously thought, or 'remembered',  the people he loved would be in danger by being close to him!  Once he decided his fear of commitment must have come from a past-life fear of hurting those close to him, he let his fear of commitment go and, miraculously, got married to his current-life girlfriend six months later.  Nobody was more flabbergasted than his hypnotherapist!

    Was his past life in Rome real?  Was it imagined? Who cares!  He got what he wanted! He got answers!  His girlfriend got what she wanted... a ring! He married her, had a few kids, and is now extremely happy.  

    In other news, every once in a while, something new and unexpected happens in my hypnotherapy office that makes me tingle in wonderment.  Last week, I conducted a past life regression with a young man who suddenly began speaking in a foreign language he did not know.  The session was recorded, and the foreign language was real, and it was fluent. There was no way this young person could have learned that language in this lifetime.  

    This is a phenomenon known as xenoglossy.  I had studied xenoglossy in college but hadn't encountered it personally until last week.  Do I believe in past lives?  After the xenoglossy experience, I lean toward yes, but then I remember... staying in the "Mystery" is the most powerful place to stand.  So my commitment is to embrace the wonder, the unknown, and to hold positive intention for all others to overcome their fears, their obstacles, and to realize their dreams... because that's all that really matters.

    Credo!

    Janna