Roger & Patricia Willard©2008 Vol. 3, No. 1
Observations of Life.
I can still say, “Happy New Year!” even though it is a week into it. Like most
people, I think of the new year as a time to do a little planning. Depending
on where you work, you may have already had to pick vacation days that you
want to take in 2008. We have already “inked” in several weeks and there are
some that are just penciled in. I enjoy flexibility, but it is always nice to
have some fixed time off that I can look forward to.
As an entrepreneur I look forward to the coming
year as a time to try new marketing ideas. I enjoy discovering what works for
me and what doesn’t. And the fact that something did not work as much as I
liked, doesn’t mean that I failed or the project failed, it just was not the
right one at the time or could have been better. It always gives me
information from which to learn. Sometimes it has a good ROI, sometimes not.
But whatever happens, I learned something new from it.
The new year, though, is just a reminder for me.
If you think about it, we have a number of “New Year’s Day” moments many times
throughout the year. Going way back in my lifetime beginning around age 5, I,
like most, started some level of schooling. You had your first day of school.
You learned about the first day of the week. You were off weekends and then
Monday happened again and you started a new week. Christmas came and you had
Christmas vacation. You probably didn’t care so much about New Year’s Day then
as you did about the day you had to go back to school after it.
Maybe you had a brief Easter or spring break and
then back to school again. Finally, June and sometime around the end of the
first week or so, summer vacation began. And year after year you would repeat
the process, doing it all over again.
Soon into this process you learned of being
promoted. At the end of the school year you would “pass” to the next grade
(most of the time). At some point it started becoming important to you the
grade you were in. It became part of your identity. From then on, I, like
almost everyone else, was partly known by what grade I was in. Imagine what it
was like when you were a 6th grader and then promoted to the 7th
grade. And with this promotion, you may have thought now you’re a big kid in
middle school. And with this upgrade in your identity as a student, the school
year calendar became more important to you. September and Labor Day meant a
new beginning in that part of your life.
After high school you start to enter the “real
world” in some way. You may go to college, start a job, join the service, but
most of the time, have to deal with adult responsibilities which meant that
your calendar changed. Before you may have just thought about your future, now
you had to start living the life for which you planned. In some cases, you
started living the life you didn’t plan. You now thought more about tomorrow
and the tomorrrows to come. You started to think long-term, maybe it was four
or more years of college. If you went right to work, you began a new calendar
of possible shiftwork, days off and vacation. If college, you might have
thought about breaks and maybe picking up some credits over the summer, but
thinking of graduation. You were definitely thinking ahead.
Your future, your personal calendar was beginning
to take shape. By your mid- twenties, you were really on your own and it was
up to you to decide what you were really going to do. You may say that, “well,
I got a job and had to go to work”, but in reality, it was really just a
choice. A choice to go to work or not get paid, or find another job. But you
were working on planning your days, weeks, months and even years ahead on your
calendar. And that’s life.
Throughout history, the individual has had to
expand his or her calendar. The caveman thought ahead mostly in terms of food
and shelter for today and if time, something for tomorrow. Eventually, seasons
made planning for farming important. Then organized man, civilizations,
nations, countries, and societies in general created new situations for us to
live by calendars. Thousands of years ago calendars were made by stargazers
for man to live by. We make rules to live by with calendars. Calendars give us
organization. And that’s life.
But what if something happened that changed all of
that? What if your calendar changed? What if...? What if something happened to
you to make you rethink your personal calendar?
What I am about to say does not mean one should be
irresponsible, but rather cause you to re-examine your life. And the best way
I can do this is to tell you something about me. At age 41 I had a small heart
attack. Two years later I had to have a second angioplasty. Six years after
that I had triple bypass surgery. I was 49 at the time and now am 56 years
old. Now, “How did this change my calendar?” First, I did not make any real
changes in my calendar the first time. The second time I started thinking
about it. After I had my surgery, I re-thought my life and calendar.
Up to this time I let events and other things push
my calendar and my life in a direction that was not healthy for me. Although I
enjoyed my work, and most of the time I thought I was controlling the stress,
I was not. It was not until after the surgery that I made real changes. It is
one of the main reasons I got back into the serious study of hypnosis. I had
to change my life and my calendar. I had to stop always thinking about
tomorrow. Again, not to say this is an excuse to be irresponsible, but rather
that there are things you can do something about and there are things you can
do nothing about. Concern is natural, worry is a killer. It almost got me.
When I was told I had to have surgery, I let go
then and there. There were events going on in my life that I had to turn over
to others and some to God. I know hundreds of people prayed for me and my
surgery and for this I am very thankful. I was cut on a Wednesday at 8:00 a.m.
and woke up around 3:00 that afternoon. I was home by Sunday feeling not
perfect, but really good. I was not permitted to work for thirty days and had
time to think.
From that time on I decided that my life would not
be stressed by worry about the past, or what is on the calendar for tomorrow.
My calendar is now, although not perfect, one that does not have a place for
stress for things that are out of my control. I do for others as I can. I give
thanks daily for what I have. I know I am human and will falter, but that is
what we all are, human and not perfect beings. I do accept this.
A calendar is part of our lives. Yesterday is X’d
out, tomorrow is going to come and most of the time the stuff we worry about
in all of those tomorrows will probably not happen or not be as bad as we
imagined. And even though there will be things that I hope never happen, they
will. I will grieve, I will hurt and I will cry, but if our Creator still
wishes me to go on, I will. You see since I had my surgery 6 years ago I have
been given an extra day every day since. I have a loving wife for almost 33
years, two wonderful daughters, three fantastic grandchildren and another one
on the way. Every day is a blessing. I have more than I ever imagined and
probably more than I deserve. I have a great calendar. I cannot see how many
days are on it, but the pages that are torn off are filled with notes of an
One of our girls went to college about 250 miles from home. Another at one
time lived about 240 miles from us. At other times Patti and I would take
vacations where we would be on the road for 6 to 8 hours a day. Point is, we
spent a lot of time on the road in our car or van. A while back we started to
get books on tape (now on CDs). Our local library has a great collection and
before one of our trips or visits to our daughters, I would pick up a couple
and we would listen to them on the road.
This month’s book is really a recommendation of a
series of books. Once in a while I will get the Sunday New York Times and read
the Book Review from it. Since I am also a licensed private detective I tend
to gravitate toward mysteries. I had noticed this particular author being
reviewed as a mystery writer and thought her books might be something I would
enjoy. After listening to one myself on a trip I had to take, I got others for
both of us to enjoy together. Diana Mott Davidson has 14 books about her main
character Goldy, a sometimes struggling caterer in Aspen Meadows, Colorado.
With what I find to be a vivid cast of characters, some permanent, and some
that come and go, her stories are ones that keep you mentally stimulated and
involved. Within the series she does eventually marry a police detective named
Tom Shultz. She also has a son from a previous marriage, the only good thing
that came out of a bad marriage. There is also a best friend who also happens
to be divorced from the same ex-husband who adds additional flavor throughout
the series. And with this cast Goldy finds herself realistically pulled into
or thrust into situations testing her culinary skills as well as her detective
capabilities. Sometimes burnt toast is the least of her worries. The first
book I listened to was Sticks and Scones
published in 2002 and later listened to other stories before and after this
The stories are peppered and seasoned with her
making dishes, desserts and main courses which she describes in some detail.
If you read the books rather than listen to the audio version, you will find
that the book will list the full recipe in it. Myself being somewhat handy in
the kitchen and Patti more than proficient, we both enjoyed the culinary
titbits she provides. So if you have the opportunity, check out her latest
book, Sweet Revenge and tell me
what you think. Then go back and check some of the earlier titles and see how
it all begins.
“When you are through changing, you are
through.” by Bruce Barton. By now you probably know that I believe
that it is important to recognize the need for change in your life. Change can
take you in many directions. But, like anything, it can take you to good
places or it can take you to not so good places. With positive change, you are
progressing or moving toward things that are fulfilling and rewarding.
Careless change can take you to self-destruction if you are not careful. It
really is your choice. But one thing is for sure, if you are not changing or
if you are just standing still in life, you are going nowhere. You are waiting
for everything to come to you. Change is movement; change is natural; and
change can be scary. Change just is. So, why not direct your change? Find out
where and what you want to be. If you are 17 or 70, you can still learn new
things and make changes. If you don’t make changes in your life and in your
world, someone else probably will and that probably will not be a good thing.
Embrace change and look forward to it excitedly. Think about it and make the
In talking to people about hypnosis, the term visualization comes up.
Inevitably, a number of people will say they are not good at visualizing
things. If asked to close their eyes and told to try to visualize some
particular item or place, they say they can’t do it. But, to their amazement,
I can show that even though they don’t see clear pictures in their mind as if
they were watching a movie or TV, to some degree they can experience something
in their mind. An easy way to illustrate this is if I asked you to pick a room
in your home, office or some place that you have been in many times that has
windows. Now, tell me how many windows are in that room. Flash; you probably
just counted the windows. Think about it. In some way you probably mentally
looked around and somehow saw the windows. The visualization you just
experienced was probably one of somehow seeing or knowing the walls around you
in the room as you mentally put yourself there.
Most of the time when we say visualize, we will
also say things like, imagine, pretend, feel, hear or otherwise experience the
place, event or whatever it is we ask you to do. Even though you don’t see
bright clear pictures in your mind, you do mentally imagine something that
creates an experience. It is just one of the tools used to help you make the
changes you want to make using hypnosis. Just remember this basic
tenet of change. What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
If the mind, through visualization and other means accepts a concept or
belief about that individual, it accepts is as if it is real. If a person
begins to visualize the change desired and can believe it is possible, the
body and mind will act that way to the best of its ability. If you now begin
to accept that you can lose weight, you will then start acting that way and do
things that will make it happen. But it is just one necessary part of the
process. With each new goal a new thing must be seen and believed. Here’s to a
new you with just a little believing and a little visualization.
This is a publication of the
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That’s all for this month. We look forward to
hearing from you if you have any questions about hypnosis and how we can serve
you. Remember, if you are receiving this newsletter secondhand and want to
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Roger & Patti