Janna Colaco Certified Hypnotherapist Blog

Everything listed under: Anxiety

  • Finding Your Miracle Zone


    The following Interview with Janna Colaco was written for Radiance Magazine's December 2019/January 2020 issue.

    What do you mean by the term “Miracle Zone?”

    The miracle zone is a natural portal to the divine.  Most of us have experienced it at least once in our lives.  It is a highly exalted feeling, and it contains deep peace with a heightened vibrational energy of sublime joy.  It’s very emotionally moving, but in a good way.  When you are in it, you can feel your own empowerment as one with universal forces.  It’s both you, and the Universe, and if it were a verb, it would be, “I Generate.”  The Miracle Zone  is the mover and shaker behind the Law of Attraction.

    Can you give a few examples?

    Sure.  A Miracle Zone moment is so powerful it generates a spiritual shift.  Most of us have stumbled upon our Miracle Zone quite by accident during extremely difficult periods in our lives.  A flash of lightening in the dark, or sudden ‘knowing’ arrives.  We feel it in our bones as a profound overload of the sublime.  We are forever changed. 

    John Newton, the Royal Navy slave trader, sent out a call for mercy during a storm, and received Amazing Grace.  He scribbled it down and was forever changed, and the energy of his moment transcended time to affect many who sing that song. 

    Francis Scott Key was in his Miracle Zone when he wrote The Star Spangled Banner.

    The first time I was in my Miracle Zone was a Saturday night in March of 1986 when I experienced a spiritual awakening that resulted in claircognizance and a life devoted to transformational work.

    Is the Miracle Zone achievable at will?  And if so, How?

    Yes.  I facilitate the process with my clients through hypnotherapy.  When we clear their minds of fear, anxiety, self-doubt, and lack, the normal natural state of being can shine through, and they experience the divine connection that is already there, it’s just not clouded over anymore with fear.

    But aren’t certain fears smart and necessary?  Otherwise, we might not take appropriate actions in our lives without them.

    Common sense is smart and necessary.  Fear is not.  We do not need the emotion of fear to make good decisions— just common sense.  We do not need fear of failure to succeed— just a desire to succeed!

    But what if the person you’re working with is going through loss or anxiety?

    They’re the ones who receive the most help— they’re sick of feeling bad, and excited to feel good.  They’re open to a heart-warming, comforting outlook on their world… especially when external situations are challenging.  When they transform on the inside, their situations shift on the outside.  That’s the Law of Attraction at it’s finest.

    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.  

  • 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. 

  • Healing the Child Within

    An Old Book Sheds Light on a Family Mystery

    by Janna Colaco, C.Ht. (Written with Permission.)

    Yesterday, while reorganizing the linen cupboard, I noticed a strange pink baby book wedged beneath a tablecloth.  Abandoning my project, I grabbed some cookies and sat down to read.

    The book was my mother’s.  Grandma Raine (like the weather), had scrupulously documented Mom’s young life and milestones. 

    “January 16, 1945:  Judy was sick on her birthday again,” Raine wrote in her whimsical style, with little circles dotting her i’s.   “All the children and cousins came over for her party, and played pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey and spin-the-bottle.  Aunty made cake and brought ice cream, but Judy missed it all.  She was sick in bed.”

    As I read on, it became apparent my mother had been an incredibly sickly child.  Between birth and five years old, she'd had bronchitis multiple times, pneumonia, mumps, chicken pox, measles, virus X (whatever that was), ringworm, and multiple bouts of the flu.  

    “Her temp ran as high as 105 degrees,” Raine continued, “and she was attended by Dr. McGregor.”  The same thing happened the next birthday, and the next.  

    December, 1942:  Judy didn’t feel very well on Xmas.  She got a lot of nice presents — 3 dresses, slack suit, slip, 2 sets of blocks, 2 dolls, several Holgate toys, and defense stamps.”  

    I imagined any two-year-old’s crushing disappointment of getting sick and being left out (defense stamps notwithstanding).  How disappointing!  How unfair!  Deep childhood emotions become subconscious blueprints for life.

    My intuitive mind ‘saw’ the parade of loving aunties and uncles chortling over my sick toddler-mother.  “Oh, Judy, I’m so sorry you’re sick.  Such a shame, honey…”

    Two-year-olds aren’t logical.  My mother, to this day, craves sympathy— her connection to love and attention.  She never felt included.  She still doesn’t.  She’s quietly uncomfortable at parties, and assumes people don’t want to talk to her.  Despite being brilliant, beautiful and accomplished, she feels she’s an outcast.  Childhood fades, but the emotional patterns remain.

    The puzzle pieces fell into place reading her baby book. This was nobody’s fault.  She had a loving family.  No parent can protect a child from the emotional impact of chronic illness.   I doubt Mom is even aware — she was clearly too little to remember how it all started.

    Nonetheless, deep healing is available.

    As a Certified Hypnotherapist, helping others heal at the level of cause is the most rewarding part of my job.  Every one of us has our own emotional blueprint.  Inner child work is a powerful healing tool.  Even when cause is unknown, inner child healing transforms lives.  If you, or anyone you know experience uncomfortable emotional patterns, I’m here to help.  Reach out, and we can turn things around together.


  • 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.


    The Law of Attraction is an amazing yet elusive tool for most of us.  What would we like to create?

    A healthier body?


    Positive thinking habits?



    Beautiful home/lifestyle?


    If you have ever seen The Secret, or listened to Abraham, the concept of creating your own dreams seems simple.  When it comes to manifesting your desires, there are only a couple of basic skills required: 

    1)  Visualization of the happy outcome, and

    2)  The tricky part... feeling emotionally good... really good... ecstatic even... so that our feelings are in alignment with the positive result, as though it's already happened.

    So I have a question:  How easy is it for you to feel better when you've just lost your partner in life, or lost your job, or had some unexpected curve ball thrown at you, and you need the Law of Attraction the most?  Can you 'climb up the emotional scale' and feel abundant, happy and loved when you're consumed with being worried, afraid, in the pit of despair?  

    It sucked for me too, for the longest time.  Thankfully, hypnosis (or 'the missing link' as I like to call it) came to the rescue for me time and time again.  I like to think if Forrest Gump were a real person, he would probably say that Hypnosis and the Law of Attraction go together like peas and carrots.

    Back when I worried for a living (I kid, I kid!), or rather, jumped like a monkey from one worry-tree to the next, I would regularly confuse angst and yearning, or wanting and needing, with the Law of Attraction.  When I'd meditate on what I wanted, nothing good would come, just more wanting and yearning, wanting and yearning, wanting and yearning.  I just couldn't get my emotions to feel good, and I really tried, so, so hard!  All that trying hard never worked, so the Law of Attraction thing would typically backfire in my face or land squarely on my thighs.

    So I went to my amazing mentor, a hypnotherapist who's been teaching and practicing for many years, and had her put my crying, sniveling self in a deep trance, where I let her work me into a state of genuine great feeling, with my heart bursting with love, and tears of gratitude rolling down my cheeks... I experienced and felt the immense relief, the releasing and letting go of worry on an emotional level.  At which point the results came!  Every.  Single. Time.

    I'm happy to say, life is great.  I continue to visit my mentor every month or two, because things are unfolding and manifesting so quickly I continuously find myself in new and uncharted waters.  And when I get myself in alignment, the Law of Attraction brings me just the right clients at just the right time in their lives for me to help them with the exact same thing.  It's uncanny!

    If you know someone who could use a boost with the emotional side/vibrational energy part of the Law of Attraction, please pass my information along to them.  And if you're in the Fullerton, CA area on the 29th of July 2017, we're having a Law of Attraction group workshop that Saturday evening from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at Purple Yoga on Amerige Ave.  Or you can drop me an email for a more personalized appointment here in the office.  As Einstein said, "Everything is energy and that's all there is to it.  Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality.  It can be no other way.  This is NOT philosophy.  This is PHYSICS."

  • How to Make a Holiday Hypnosis Vision Board

    When I became a Certified Hypnotherapist, I finally learned how to stop struggling with my weight over the holidays.

    I wanted the skinny body AND the cookies too, the coziness, the satisfaction, the clean house, the peace, the holiday spirit.  Once I figured out the secret to having it all, I've been helping clients do the same.  Wouldn't it be great to have the treats AND be thin?

    There following tips are designed to give you your excellent body and your cookies too, without the deprivation. 

    For your vision board, you will need:

    1.  An over-sized piece of card stock or poster board

    2.  A glue stick

    3.  A few of your favorite holiday magazines

    Cut or tear out the pictures that appeal to you the most.  Don't edit this!  Is it that aromatic home-made bread image?  The beautiful turkey?  The clean house?  The cute cookies? The Size 2 woman with the beautiful outfit?  Or maybe you love the images  of crafts, decorations or crackling fireplaces. Again, DON'T EDIT!  You want the most delicious goodies, the most amazing bodies the most well-behaved children, happiest families you can find.  The trick is to only grab what you are drawn to the most.

    Next, how do you want to feel?  cut out positive words... some examples are: 















    These are positive statements of how you want to feel, how you wish you could feel, or how you'd like to feel instead.  

    Paste everything collage-style on the board, both words and images, and put the vision board near your bed, where you will see it before you fall asleep, and particularly when you wake up in the morning.  

    There is a 30-minute window just prior to falling asleep, and a morning time after hitting 'snooze' but before getting up when we are in a natural state of hypnosis.  

    So, before you fall asleep and before you get up, focus on the Vision Board.  Think about the feelings you want.  

    You will do this every night, and every morning for reinforcement.

    If weight control is an issue, reflect on the fact that those who are naturally slender eat everything they want in moderation.  They know that the first few bites taste the best.  The women in your magazine images don't binge. They don't worry or wallow, they don't stress.  They don't deprive themselves.    They feel full of love and satisfaction... and that's where these images pull that cozy feeling into the subconscious mind.  

    Remember, the QUANTITY of food doesn't satisfy you, it's the quality.  The quantity is only there to numb the ache, the hurt, the emptiness.

    So, we use the vision board to put the Christmas spirit into the subconscious.  There's a belly full of joy, a satisfied feeling.  Treats can be eaten, yet you can feel satisfied after two bites of cookie.  This is the meditation you do as you gaze sleepily at your vision board, especially in the morning.  Become committed to the experience.  Allow the comfort in, and dissolve the deprivation.

    You can have your cookies, and eat them too!

    Hypnotically Yours,


  • 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.



  • I Fell in a Vat of Chocolate. A story of survival by hypnosis!

    The Birth of the Best and the Worst Recipe Ever:

    It was 1975, and my Aunt Helen (also known as The Greatest Cook in The World) concocted a new addition to her Christmas cookie selection: Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Balls.

    If you were to eat them, you would understand immediately the name doesn’t do them justice. They should be called something like, “Sex Dipped in Chocolate” or, “Relationship Replacement Nuggets.” My cousin and I declared them our “last meal on death row” food. To say they were good would be the understatement of the century. We would gleefully gorge on them until, like, February.

    Long about March, I would curse my reflection in the mirror, work up enough disgust and self-loathing, and launch into some starvation/exer-kill regimen that would temporarily rid me of my chocolate tonnage until the next holiday season, when the vicious cycle would kick back up again.

    in 2001, Aunty died of heart failure, surrounded by Hershey’s Kiss wrappers. We miss her greatly, but her Crunch Ball recipe lives on. I’d make them for my family, eating about half the batch myself in the process. Little did I know, my 12% willpower was not enough to stand up to my 88% “Chocolate/Peanut Butter Monster” below.

    Doomed to Make Them Forever! How Could This Happen?!

    The only way to stay thin was to forget them, leave the recipe in the box, or better yet burn it. Maybe shoot some silver bullets through it’s heart. Or was it a wooden stake? I couldn’t remember. I could imagine that recipe screeching and disintegrating like a Horcrux straight out of Harry Potter. The solution? Just don’t do any baking, right? Wrong.

    The Devil Balls are in my divorce settlement. That’s right. Laugh! But in 2010, Mike decided to settle our divorce based on the agreement that I would continue to make him that infernal recipe as part of the friggin’ divorce settlement! I’m certain those cookies were the reason he’d married me in the first place, and he wasn’t about to go down without a fight. Exhausted and broke, I caved in.

    Cut to December, 2013

    I was a new hypnotherapist with tools. I’d practiced self-hypnosis zealously for weight loss. Tackle the most important issues first, that’s my motto! I was proud and smug. I was thin and toned. It was the first holiday season I actually felt good about my physical body. I felt great! Then, of course, the phone rang.
    “Hey Jan, it’s me, Mike… I just wanted to remind you about my balls…?”

    “Goddammit!” I muttered. How would I make them without eating them? The only way is with your hands. You squish together the ingredients. It’s impossible with a mixer or spoon. Aunty said so, and she knew everything. Besides, I’ve tried. Plus, you gotta dip them in, like, eight pounds of melted chocolate from Trader Joes. Trader Joe’s wasn’t around in Aunty’s day, but my friend Judy says its the best. (Next to Aunty, Judy knows everything there is to know about chocolate.) It’s impossible for me not to test some of the chocolate to make sure it’s not poisoned. I’m a good person, it’s my duty. I felt my new thin body slipping away…

    Hold the Phone! I’m a Hypnotist!

    A normal hypnotist would have given herself the suggestion that she wouldn’t be tempted. Not me. That’s no fun! That’s just more of that deprivation nonsense. No, I wanted to eat them. It was Christmas. But I wanted to be skinny too. Eat them AND be skinny? Would it work? What would I do?

    And then, just like the Grinch, I got a wonderful, awful idea! “What if,” I thought to myself, “I was able to hypnotize myself to feel as though I’d eaten them, only not really?”

    “But I don’t want to feel bloated and sick,” the more reasonable side of my personality argued.

    “Then why don’t we compromise?” And with that, I concocted a plan. I walked to the couch. I went into hypnosis, and told myself something like this:

    Self-Hypnotic Brilliance

    I put myself into a medium hypnoidal state. I told myself, “Visualize, imagine, pretend, it’s Sunday morning. You walk into the kitchen. You light some cozy candles, look at your beautiful restored 1947 Wedgewood stove, and make coffee.” You are in your pink pig slippers, and you are by yourself. It’s a cozy day, a perfect day for baking, and you are excited and filled with holiday spirit. See yourself putting on Christmas music.

    “You make yourself a healthy breakfast. You sit down with a candle and enjoy eating. When you are finished, you carry your coffee and dirty dishes back to the kitchen and put the plate in the dishwasher. Feel how full and satisfied you are, as you begin to assemble the Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Ball ingredients…

    “You measure out the ingredients into the big blue bowl. As you watch the ingredients coming together, you inhale deeply, enjoying the aromas. The aromas are extra strong today, and each time you see, feel and smell the ingredients, it will be as though you have fully absorbed their essences and eaten them. The smells, fragrances and sounds will be so satisfying that there will be no need to eat any of it. Smelling, touching and seeing are so much more important and satisfying. In fact, the more you smell, feel and enjoy the process, the more satisfied you become.

    “From time to time, you might try to put your fingers in your mouth and taste something, but the harder you try to remember that old habit, the more difficult it becomes. You understand the taste wouldn’t be anywhere near as good as the satisfaction you already feel with the smells.

    “Your sense of satisfaction grows stronger and stronger, and the more you cook, the more satisfied you feel. And now, it’s time to melt the chocolate.

    “As you unwrap the chocolate bars, the smell of chocolate overwhelms you, and you will feel as though you have already eaten all the chocolate you could possibly want. The smell of chocolate is so strong now, that you are completely satisfied and there will be no desire whatsoever to eat anything.

    Each time you look at your finished recipe, it will be as though you’ve already eaten it, and you will be so satisfied, but still feel thin and slender.”

    And that’s what I did. It was one of the best days of my life. I’ve never enjoyed a process more, and I never once took a bite, and never once licked a finger, and never once felt deprived. In fact, it felt better than had I actually eaten anything! “I’m a genius!” I said to myself, and meant it.
    Of course, I didn’t gain weight.

    Cut to Later Sunday Evening, Unable to Sleep:

    I’m usually a good sleeper. But that night, I kept waking up. “What’s wrong?” said my significant other. “I can’t sleep. That chocolate smell is too strong. It’s in my nose and it won’t go away.”

    “What chocolate smell?”

    “My God, can’t you smell it? I melted chocolate earlier and the stench is overpowering! I can’t sleep! It’s up my nose! I CAN’T SLEEP!!!!”

    “What stench?” He said. “Did you make those chocolate things? I can’t smell them.”

    “Crap!” I thought. I overdid the hypnosis again. Better not exaggerate so much next time.

    Before I knew what was happening, he lurched toward the bedroom door, and I heard him stomp through the living room toward the kitchen, and I could hear the refrigerator door open. Then, I heard him making a cup of tea. After a long, long time, he returned, positively reeking of chocolate.

    Here’s the recipe:

    Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Balls
    by Helen Hopper

    2C Chunky Peanut Butter
    2C Powdered Sugar
    4C Rice Krispies
    1C Chopped nuts and/or Coconut
    1 cube (1/2C) melted butter

    German’s Sweet or semi-sweet chocolate for dipping. Tons. You can’t buy enough. This recipe fills your entire refrigerator and every pan and cookie sheet you own, plus all of your neighbors’.

    Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with hands thoroughly & shape into 1″ balls. Refrigerate 1 hour on greased cookie sheets or greased parchment paper. Melt chocolate and dip using a fork and a spoon. Refrigerate.

    Be careful. It could wind up in your divorce settlement.