April 2014 column
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Q: My husband left me for another woman. I can’t get over it, as I thought we had a happy marriage. How can I get on with my life?
A: I’d approach it like a death, as it was the death of the marriage. A trauma usually is more painful when it triggers past hurts, in your case, abandonment. I’d work with a therapist to clean this out so you have emotional freedom. You’ve probably gone through the stages of grieving so now tell yourself to move on. Of course it takes time to recover, the longer the marriage the longer the recovery period. Picture yourself walking down a beautiful path leading to new adventures. When the old tape starts playing in your mind, imagine immediately taking it out and replacing it with a tape that says, “I am manifesting a juicy meaningful life.” Consider participating in a singles’ group and at least once a week go to an activity where you could meet new people.
Q: I’ve suffered from a lot of anxiety and worry because my boyfriend of several years told me he’d like to have an open relationship. I don’t know what to do.
A: I’d follow Non-Violent Communication advice to focus on the need. The two of you should try to understand the underlying need with the help of a counselor; does he want more variety? Is he afraid of getting too close and dependent on you? You could role-play different people with costumes and such. Does he need to check out if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence? He may want to act on that need, but you need to be true to your principles. Some people are comfortable with polyandry and some are not. No one is worth a violation of your principles: You’d just end up resenting him.
Q: Life is so busy with kids, a job, and going back to college. How can I get more done with less stress?
A: Bundle tasks. For example, when you take a shower, also shampoo your hairbrush and clean out drain strainers. Avoid going out on one errand. When you see a holiday or birthday gift possibility during the year, buy it and put it in your gift box so you avoid holiday crowds. Deep exhalations calm the nervous system. Schedule in time to exercise and have fun so you keep your batteries charged.
With your family, make a list of all the tasks needed to run your household, including social responsibilities, finances, car maintenance, etc. Assign points to the tasks; cleaning the toilet will get more points than watering plants. Then, take turn picking tasks until everyone has their fair share. Decide on consequences for not doing a task and rewards. Have a weekend family housecleaning hour with motivating music, followed by a fun activity to celebrate working together to create a clean house. A fun way to clean floors is to walk on them with wet soapy rags.
Q: I have obsessive self-critical thoughts that make me anxious. How can I quiet them?
A: It doesn’t work to say no to the out-of-control inner critic, as that just emphasizes the negative thoughts. Acknowledge the judgments like you would acknowledge a child’s nightmare, and then start creating a positive voice. Your critic feels like a teen boy, rather rash and angry. Call forth your wise man to give him kind counsel. It’s fine to make up this new inner voice because the unconscious doesn’t know the different between belief and reality. For example, if a hypnotherapist tells a subject I’m touching a cigarette to your skin, but actually uses a pencil, the body will blister. Another example is people with multiple personalities (dissociative identity disorder) have very different health issues with different “alters,” as do conjoined Siamese twins. One may be diabetic and the other personality not, one wear glasses and the other not. Read about the inner critic from the viewpoint of Voice Dialogue therapists at (http://delos-inc.com/articles/The_Inner_Critic.htm)
Q: I have an entity, I guess you could say a ghost, who won’t leave me alone. I feel him in my body and it’s very annoying. How do I get rid of him?
A: It looks like he was a Civil War soldier who was madly in love with you and still is obsessed with you. Talk to him like you would a misbehaving dog. Declare firmly and clearly to go to his own place. Send him the image of his guardian spirit assisting him to move on to a place where he can find love. Imagine a contract between the two of you; stamp it with today’s date, write VOID, and tear it up and burn it. Visualize clearing any energy that’s not your own from each of the seven major chakras. Experiment with visualizing different colors to see which are inhospitable for him, starting with an earthy brown or an electric blue. Then ignore him and focus on your goals and enjoying each day.
Q: My elderly mother is going to die soon. How do I handle this loss?
A: Don Juan in the Carlos Castaneda books said that death is over the left shoulder for all of us. Write love letters and put them with your will. Of course tell your mother what you love about her. It helps to have something of hers like a letter or favorite possession to remind you of her. Send her the mental picture of helpful guides helping her make the transition to the other side. You can imagine a green energy cord connecting your heart to hers so you both feel the connection during her transition.
Michael Newton’s books based on his hypnotic regression of his clients explain what it’s like on the other side. Sylvia Browne writes about communication between those of us with bodies and those who transitioned. She says the spirits who love us watch over us and communication is possible. My grandmother opened kitchen cabinets and popped corks to say hello after she passed on.
Q: I am a vet who did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now I don’t feel safe going out in crowds, so the thought of using my GI bill to go to college is scary. Any hope for me?
A: Emotional Freedom Technique works well on PTSD. Check out this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4hhMm8qsCs. If you haven’t yet gotten counseling at the VA center, make an appointment now as PTSD can be treated. Ease into college slowly by taking one class that really interests you. Come to my energy balancings on Wednesdays for tune-ups. My energy tools workshop teaches basic grounding, centering, and other ways to harness the power of thought.
Q: I’m going out with a high maintenance princess who I enjoy in many ways, except for her super critical expectation that I won’t meet her standards. Can I change this dilemma?
A: Give the princess feedback about how you feel when you’re criticized; hold your own integrity. Do not try to resolve any emotional issues by text or email. Remember that 80% of communication is nonverbal. You need to see facial expression and body language, be able to hug or have a pillow fight.
Q: My ex-spouse stole from me, lied in court, how can I forgive her?
A: Imagine a timeline going back into the past. Send your resentment back to its origins. Do a ceremony where you let go, such as burn a photograph of her or throw rocks into water, then write down your goals for the future. If you believe in karma and reincarnation, think about the fact that you’ve probably done some terrible things in the past that require forgiveness. If you have children together, you can focus on your gratitude for them. Ongoing resentment is harmful to your immune system, so focus on the present by thinking of today’s date, and future fun.
- I feel very out of sorts, affected by others; it stinks. I’m still trying to get centered and grounded, but I’m really influenced by other people’s energies, even by my computer. I feel it in my gut. What can I do to feel more comfortable?
A: Your first chakra looks too open. Visualize it like an upside down cone at the base of your spine about 40% open. The chakra’s dimension is about the size of your thumb and first finger touching, making a circle. Imagine running your female energy from the ovaries (or the etheric ovaries if they’ve been removed), maybe a peachy pink color, looping up the spine over the head and down the midline of the body. Men can run male energy from the testicles, perhaps red or orange. Male students in my energy tools classes have done this at parties and women always walk over to meet them. The idea is to create a strong energy field that won’t absorb outside energies.
Q: My husband and I have tried for years to get pregnant. Although the doctor says we’re both healthy, no pregnancy. What can I do to have a baby?
A: Identify ways that you’re different from your own mother. Know that you’ll parent differently than her. Use a basal thermometer to know when you ovulate. Visualize the fertilized egg being embraced and nurtured by the uterine lining, cozy and warm and safe. Imagine talking to the spirit of your baby, inviting her or him into your life. You’ve heard about couples who adopt a baby and then get pregnant because they’re not trying; they’re relaxed. Exercise and meditate to stay relaxed. Let go and let God or higher power.
Q: My girlfriend was a yo-yo, off and on, but I still obsess about her and what I could have done to save our relationship. How can I get over her?
A: It doesn’t work to repress obsessive thoughts. Simply acknowledge them and replace them with a positive thought such as I am ready for a healthy happy relationship. We tend to repeat a childhood wound until it’s healed, so be clear about the pattern in the kind of women you find attractive. Walk away from women who seem initially very compelling but familiar. Being uncertain creates anxiety that can seem like intense love, but it’s not. In a future non-yo-yo relationship, it may seem boring so be prepared to create excitement in healthy ways, not through uncertainty.
Q: Since childhood I’ve been a slob. I have piles of clutter around my house but can’t seem to make them disappear. Have a magic wand?
A: Get a bunch of file folders. Spend a half hour a day at the same time sorting through the piles of papers. Put on your favorite music to motivate you to move. Consider hiring a student to help get you started. Think about the groups that can make good use of your unused clothes, books, etc. You might want to plan a party so your friends can enjoy your “new” home to give you a deadline.
Q: I’ve retired and don’t know what to do with myself. It’s hard to get out of my pajamas.
A: Decide on goals for what you want to develop and learn. Physically, start a regular gym habit. Mentally: take a class, go to the library, and join a book group. Spiritually, if you don’t have a regular spiritual practice, explore the variety of churches, temples, synagogue, mosques, etc. in your town. It helps to have buddies to do these activities with. Also, give yourself rewards for following through. If weight is an issue, explore the various groups that assist people in getting to a healthy weight. Rather than talking about losing weight, which scares some bodies, talk about a return to a healthy weight. Be firm about exercising daily.
Q: I have lots of ideas and need to apply them to make more money. I just get distracted and end up not completing anything. What can I do differently?
A: Get different colored index cards. Write one idea on one card. Colors indicate themes, such as house projects or investing. On the back, list steps to complete that goal. Spread the cards in front of you. Prioritize them. Focus on the top card only. Set aside a specific period of time each day to work on the top card. Don’t allow yourself to do a time waster like social media or TV until you’ve made progress on the top card.
If you have ADD, read a book by an MD with ADD about how he succeeds: Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder by Edward M. Hallowell.
Q: My dreams are remarkably vivid and powerful. What are your thoughts on dreams?
A: Dreams are the best way to understand the unconscious mind. It’s the 80% of the iceberg that’s under the water and propels it, so it’s vital to be aware of our unconscious personalities, such as what Carl Jung calls the shadow. If we’re not conscious, the shadow projects on others irrationally, like falling in love with unhealthy people.
Q: I molested as a child. He told me he’d kill me if I told. In my 20s now, I still carry around some of the bad feelings.
A: I hope you’ve seen a counselor to assist you in sorting through those feelings of shame, anger, and powerlessness.
Q: My boyfriend is using meth, but I love him, and can’t stay away from him.
A: Read about co-dependency, go to an AlAnon group. Don’t see him until he’s been in rehab and has a track record of sobriety. You deserve better.
Q: If I bring up something that bothers me in our relationship, my partner feels I’m being abrasive and argumentative.
A: A relationship won’t last if hurts, disagreements and small conflicts are gunnysacked. They need to be brought into the light to be resolved. Both of you need to be clear of what this kind of confrontation reminds her of in her past relationships and specific triggers such as a loud voice. It’s important to be aware of the “ghosts” from parents and past partners. Ask for permission to raise an issue, “Is now an OK time?” Use the formula, “I feel___ because___. My solution to put on the table is ___.”
Q: I‘m exhausted, dealing with work being messed up and instructions that did not make sense. All my bosses want is to ruin my life. They’re not jus bullies, they researched about my parents and past work experience.
A: Document discrimination and harassment. Put your grievances in writing to your boss with specific remedies that you think are fair. If you can afford it, consult with an employment attorney about your letter or look for local free legal services. Your case is stronger if you can show a pattern; try to find former employees. Contact the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It’s illegal to discriminate because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), and disability. They will set up a mediation. If you get fired because of this, be sure and tell EEOC. You may be able qualify for unemployment benefits.
In the meantime, make your weekends fun; don’t let them control your life outside of work. At work, imagine them as bratty little kids who make you laugh. Look at it as practice in holding your own. Don’t let them win by making you miserable. Your best offense is to be happy.
Q: I came up in a middle-class family, have a college education, and raised my two children. After a terrible divorce, everything fell apart. I’m living in a homeless shelter, have nothing. What now?
A: The shelter can refer you to resources to find a job, a support group, and housing. Think of this as a fresh start to create a good life using your experience as a resource that you didn’t have when you were 20. It could be worse if you lived in Afghanistan, Sudan, or North Korea!