Oh how I love each one of you. You are the reason I do what I do. As I sat quietly early New Years morning, after the tumult and chaos of the evening before, I asked my Highest Self, "What am I to create this year? What's this year all about?" My answer came remarkably quickly and clear: 2018 is a year for me to lighten up and to support my clients in doing the same.
What does it mean to "Lighten Up"? I've been pondering that as well. I love the term. It's such a great play on words. To Lighten can mean to let go of excess weight, to literally lesson the load. This may be physical weight, it may be emotional weight, or it may even be generations of spiritual and energetic weight. Whatever weight YOU have been carrying, 2018 is the year to take it off and put it down! Ahhh, doesn't that feel amazing? Doesn't even the idea of it just feel so great?
To "Lighten Up" can also mean to get Brighter! We can shift the dark emotions, put a stop to the darker thoughts, and let the winds of healing and change blow away the dark clouds that have been blocking the Source of all Light. We can remember the light within ourselves and invite it to be seen, to stop hiding our beauty and power.
Another, and dare I say my favorite, way to "Lighten Up" is to laugh more, to stop taking things so seriously, to recognize that all is well, all the time. Sometimes we just have to let the storm pass and remember that the sun is still shining. Let's make a pact, you ready? I promise to stop taking myself and my life challenges so seriously in 2018. I promise to laugh more, to see the good, and to remember that things are OK, they're always OK. If they aren't OK, it's because they aren't finished.
Life is meant to be joyful. If you aren't experiencing joy, take a breath and find something to laugh about. There's something there, in every situation. If you're willing to look, your soul will guide you. Healing doesn't have to be so hard, let's lighten it up. Work doesn't have to be so dreary, let's lighten it up. Life doesn't have to be so hard, let's lighten it up.
You've got this. I believe in you. And I'm here to support you. Speaking of which, please visit our community events page to see upcoming events at South Sound Healing and Wellness. I hope to see you join us. Group experiences are a wonderful way to LIGHTEN UP! Not sure if a group is right for you? Shoot me an email or give me a call and we can decide together.
With much light and love,
Oh how I love each one of you. You are the reason I do what I do. As I sat quietly early New Years morning, after the tumult and chaos of the evening before, I asked my Highest Self, "What am I to create this year? What's this year all about?" My answer came remarkably quickly and clear: 2018 is a year for me to lighten up and to support my clients in doing the same.
A few years ago I was sitting in a room full of people. The people were crying- grief, sadness, despair, fear, loneliness, brokenness, and feelings of abandonment were flooding the room. I was overcome as I saw it. My tears fell as I observed the pain that they were uncovering. I was so sad. And then. . . I was angry. I was really angry.
You see, we were finding the pain on purpose. We were holding space for one another to feel, process and release the painful experiences of our past. This therapeutic retreat was meant for this very thing- to see the crap we'd been through, to really acknowledge it, and to willingly begin fighting our way out of the thick sludge of darkness.
But I found myself angry. I found myself angry at God. I saw these people suffering, people whom I loved. And I started questioning, Why? Why would this be allowed to happen? Why were my dear friends put into these situations where they were hurt so badly? Why was the sludge allowed to land on them in the first place? Where was God in all of this?
The answer didn't come in that moment. I was allowed my anger. I let myself express it and feel it and even swim in it for a day or two. As the retreat neared its close, the anger passed. I felt the light touch into my heart. And with that Light came a message, "Melody, there is purpose in the pain. There is purpose in the darkness. There is purpose in the journey. I am with them always." And that was it. And it was enough. My heart softened. I began asking to see the purpose in the pain, the gift in the struggle, the beauty that was only available through living in darkness for a time. I began to look for the Light. And each time I looked, it was there.
As I sat to type this message this morning, in perfect timing and synchronicity, the picture above popped into my facebook newsfeed. Yet another witness that crap is merely fertilizer for our growth.
Much light and love,
"Tina, what's happening?" I ask.
"He wants to kill me." She whispers, fighting back the tears.
"Who is there?"
"My grandfather," she replies. "I hear his voice. He wants to kill me. He's so mad. He's so mad at my mom for getting pregnant." Tina shifts her body into the fetal position as she relives this subconscious experience from within the womb.
"Take a breath and know that you are in hypnosis to learn more about yourself. When you heard this conversation, what did you conclude about yourself or the world?" I gently ask.
"I'm unsafe. I need to hide." she replies with sadness.
"And how does this relate to what you came in for today, your issues with weight?"
No longer fighting the tears, they come pouring down her cheeks, "I'm hiding in my body. When I'm big, I can better hide inside of myself."
* * *
Abuse, inner pain, false conclusions, feelings of unworthiness, fear, unhealthy emotional connections to food, and so many other issues are lying below the surface, playing out in our subconscious mind and sabotaging our efforts to have a fit and healthy body. We hear, "Calories in, calories out". We hear "eat this or eat that." We believe "this diet will be the one that works". But somehow, these things just aren't ever true for us. Because, there is way more to it.
The truth is, unless our conscious AND subconscious mind are on board, our efforts to have a thin and healthy body will never be as powerful and lasting as they could be.
To address weight, we must take a body, mind, spirit approach. When we don't, we are met with failure, discouragement, and at times even self-loathing. But when we do, we FINALLY begin to experience success, we free ourselves when we align our thinking mind with our feeling mind.
If we desire health, vitality, energy, fun, and JOY in our lives, we need to make sure every part of us gets on board with the plan. And THAT is why I teach Trim-Life. I don't care one bit about helping people get into a size 0 dress to impress their neighbor. But I DO care about helping people heal body, mind, and spirit to allow for optimal health, happiness, vitality and joy.
Please, stop dieting. Stop the never ending battle of yo-yoing your weight and sabotaging your efforts. Stop spiraling into despair, discouragement, or self-loathing. There's a better way. Please join me in the Trim-Life program and discover an easier path to releasing weight and creating the healthy body you long for.
YOU ARE WORTH IT!
Abundance. It’s something I’ve been pondering on a lot lately. What is it? How do we achieve it? Is it even something to achieve? What does it look like? Why do some people seem to live in it while others live in a state of lack?
I am convinced that the only thing that blocks us from living a life of abundance is our own limiting beliefs. These beliefs come in many shapes and sizes: I’m not worthy of abundance. I’m not good with money. Money is hard to come by. There is never enough. I can’t hold onto money. My needs are not met. I can’t be spiritual and wealthy at the same time. Money is evil. Rich people are bad or dishonest.
I’ve witnessed these limiting beliefs and so many more popping up in sessions with clients. I want to just pluck them out and dissolve them away. But I can’t do it for them. It’s up to each of us to identify and release these things willingly and mindfully. I was so very surprised a few years ago when I asked for a hypnotherapy session from a trusted colleague. He guided me within my own subconscious beliefs about money. Much to my surprise, I regressed to a time when I was around 8 years old. My family was struggling financially at the time and some loving “Christmas Elves” had shown up, delivering boxes and boxes of food and gifts to our family. I heard my dad tell my mom, “Well, there are some benefits to being poor.” And that was it. I looked around and saw all the wonderful gifts, the laughter, the happiness in my home in that moment, and my child mind grabbed onto the idea “Being poor is great. People give you lots of wonderful things when you’re poor.” And the pattern was set. My subconscious mind started working toward staying poor, doing it’s best to help me align with the new belief I had chosen for myself.
I chose to release that belief in session that day, and helped my inner child to understand and accept that “Money is great. I can do lots of good things for myself and others when I have money.” And money started to come.
But there were other beliefs that I needed to change. A year went by and I paused one day to again look at my limiting beliefs. I realized I told myself again and again, “We can’t afford that,” still feeling like there just wasn’t enough. I continued living in a state of lack, not even realizing the abundance that I had been manifesting by changing my previous belief. Our income had nearly doubled that year, and I’d failed to even notice. My reality felt the same, the lack felt just as strong as it did with the lower income.
And that was a HUGE moment for me, which I call an “Ah Ha” moment. I realized my perspective was shaping my truth. And my perspective needed to change.
I started expressing gratitude for every dollar that came in. I started writing smiley faces on my checks and on the envelopes of my bills, feeling gratitude for the blessings those things had brought me rather than resenting the bills. I started watching for the gifts that flowed into my life freely. I chose to give freely and happily and trust that the more I gave, the more would come. I prayed to open my eyes to all the beautiful abundance that was available to me, monetary wealth as well as the flow of all others things. And my reality is shifting. My perspective is healing. My vibration is rising into the vibration of flow, abundance, freedom. And it’s really, really great.
I’ve created a very simple, yet powerful meditation. I would welcome you to commit to listening to it for 10 days. Open your eyes to the shifts and flow of abundance that you begin to create in that time. After 10 days, assess where you’re at and if you’d like to continue. Journal the thoughts, ideas, and impressions that come. If there are blocks that come up and don’t seem to dissolve away with the meditation, please reach out. I love working with clients from around the world, helping to identify and heal limiting beliefs to allow for greater health, wealth, peace and healing.
Abundance is more than the flow of money. It is the beautiful flow of all things and recognizing that lack is an illusion. And although this meditation is largely focused on allowing and welcoming wealth, you will also open to seeing abundance in many other forms. I greatly look forward to hearing your stories of healing, shifting, and flow. Please take a minute or two to drop me a note as you progress through your journey.
The world is a tough place to live sometimes. From every direction we're burdened with the heavy weight of being judged and criticized. It feels like our efforts are never good enough. It feels like WE are never good enough. No matter how hard we work, how hard we try- it's just not enough. Pretty soon, we're convinced that these lies are truth. We come to subconsciously believe: "I'm Not Good Enough."
"I'm Not Good Enough" is a universal lie that has taken root in a huge portion of the people on this planet. Look inside- some part of you has fallen prey to this lie, as has some part of me. It's weighing us down. It's hurting our relationships. It's stopping us from connecting with light. It's sucking our joy and spiraling us into despair.
Perhaps the greatest evidence of this deep seated lie is seen in the billions and billions of dollars that are spent in the beauty and weight loss industry. We look in the mirror and no longer see the miraculous vessel that our body truly is. Instead, we see through the lens of "I'm Not Good Enough". Through this lens, we see too much fat or too little muscle. We see hair that is too curly or too straight. We see too many fat rolls or not enough curves. We see black eyes when we wish them to be blue. We see numbers on a scale and determine our value based on those numbers. We see a body that falls short of the world's expectations and the words in our head repeat once again "I'm Not Good Enough."
It's time for this to change. You. Me. Together; we can be part of this change. We can heal the world of these lies, as we work toward healing ourselves.
2017 is upon us. It's my prayer and plea that we choose this to be the year of change. This can be the year that we release the lies and plant truth in its place. You are good. You are enough. You are amazing. And so is your body.
I have a gift for you, one that I hope you will use and love. This short meditation has the power to begin pulling up the roots of "I'm Not Good Enough" and planting a new and healthier seed. As you plant the new seed, truth begins to grow and flourish and light begins to replace the dark.
In addition to this meditation, I'd welcome you to join my "21 Days to Love Your Body" course. The newly updated version was released this week and is being featured exclusively on Daily Om. It's a powerful and healing course; designed to help you shift with your body into healthier beliefs and patterns that will benefit you physically, as well as spiritually and emotionally. And what better time to start these shifts than right now, at the turn of one year into another? I truly am so excited to share this course with you and look forward to your stories of healing and personal growth.
You are a divine, radiant being. You are good. You are enough. Own it. Love it. Live it. And if you ever forget it, give me a call and I'll help you remember.
Drugs. A lot of people use drugs. A lot of really good people use drugs. The more clients I see for drug abuse the more I’m coming to understand something. And I want to share what I’m coming to understand.
People desire to be happy. They want to enjoy their life. They want to feel good. They want relief from pain and suffering, stress and trauma. And, they want a way to connect with God, or to the Divine within themselves.
Drugs provide a way for all of these things to happen. And it happens quickly and powerfully. One quick snort of Crack and they’re on their way to bliss and freedom. One joint of marijuana or shot of heroine and the struggles of life are miles away.
Many clients have expressed to me how wonderful they feel and how much love they experience for themselves and others when under the influence of various drugs. They talk about how good it is to forget about their struggles, grief, or pain. They tell me how close to God they feel and how purely intense the love and light is that washes through them.
Drugs can take us to the bliss, the love, the freedom, and even to the feeling of being with God that we long for. The problem is, they offer only a counterfeit. They offer a quick peek into what’s available without the ability to let us stay. And they give us this peek at a very high cost.
Using drugs disconnects us from our life. It can bring financial ruin and destroy our health. It can tear apart families and friendships. It can end careers and mutilate our chances for success in every area of our life. By engaging in the counterfeit experience of bliss and escape, a person robs himself of the ability to create the authentic experience of healing, connection, and spiritual growth that comes through meditation, prayer, interpersonal relationships, and service to others.
But, the counterfeit is appealing. It’s quick. It’s now. It feels so good. It’s instant gratification for the child within that’s screaming in pain and demanding relief.
A drug user doesn’t need punishment. They don’t need to be thrown in jail. They don’t need to be criticized or judged as evil or bad. They. Need. Love. They need help. They need someone to teach them how to access their broken and hurting child within. They need to learn to hold that inner child, to teach that child that there’s a better way and to help that child heal.
Our country doesn’t need more prisons. It needs more healing centers and healers. If, as a country, we devoted more money and educational opportunities to emotional health and healing, we would thrive.
Until the “War on Drugs” is fought only with love, it will never be won.
I love my clients. Every one of them. I feel so much empathy and compassion for each person who walks in my door. In fact, since entering the world of holistic healing and hypnotherapy, I've developed an increased and intensely beautiful love for all people. I feel so blessed to be able to see into the soul of another human being and to not only see their beauty but to also see their pain. I get to have a glimpse of the weight they carry and the darkness that so craftily clings to them and sneaks into every broken spot and tiny crevice. I feel love- love and compassion. I work with victims and I work with perpetrators. I am blessed to see the hurting child within each of them. I can now see the most horrible criminal and the darkest and most vile individual, and instead of anger and hate, I feel such incredible compassion and empathy. I sense the weight of what they carry and wish with all my heart that I could reach them and offer to them the healing light available.
There are some who would argue that my stance on being against abortion is made out of ignorance or a lack of respect for women and their right to choose what happens within their bodies. With love, I can honestly say nothing could be further from the truth.
I honor every woman for doing the best she knows how. I honor every woman who has made a choice about abortion based on what she believed to be right. I honor every woman who has been afraid and who felt she had no other choice. I honor every woman who believed she was doing what was best for herself and perhaps even what she felt was best for her baby. I hold only love, compassion, and the deepest sympathy for every woman who has faced the decision of whether or not to abort her unborn child. I continue now and always to welcome every woman into my office who seeks healing for a broken heart and solace for pain she does not consciously understand.
My stand on abortion is not based on ignorance. It is not based on hate or discrimination or lack of desire for individual freedom. No, my stand on abortion is based in love; love for the unborn child and an equal amount of love for the mother. As a hypnotherapist, I have witnessed firsthand the souls destroyed by this decision- literally torn apart both physically and spiritually. I've seen children reborn and yet missing huge portions of their soul, carrying darkness in its place, and women who suffer disease, long-term illness, and emotional trauma and depression as a result of these choices. I share some of these experiences in my book, Unbreaking the Soul. Please, read it. Please share it.
It is my hope that awareness will lead to understanding and that understanding will lead to positive change. How much happier a woman will be who embraces life within her with love and shares with the child love throughout pregnancy. How much healthier will be the child who receives this love. A child loved through pregnancy and placed into the loving arms of adoptive parents will always be better off than the child killed, ripped apart, or poisoned. There are other options, incomparably better options, than abortion. The eternal consequences of abortion are very real, and knowing this, I must be clear about where I stand and do my part to spread love and understanding.
Shaming, name-calling, anger, hate, intolerance, and prejudice will never veer our society from darkness into light. Only truth, understanding, and love will ever make a difference for good. Please, be that love and help heal the world.
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Several times I’ve been asked how to cleanse and bless a home. It’s a question I love, because it shows that people understand it’s an important thing to do!
Blessing a home sets it apart from the world. It creates a safety barrier between our family and evil. It helps to cleanse it of old and negative energy or lingering spirits and to prepare it for positive energy and love.
A home cleansing and blessing can be completed anytime. Most often, it’s done upon first purchasing and moving into a home. It can be repeated whenever you feel the need.
Many churches have elders or priests who may perform the blessing. But those without access to such may perform a cleansing and blessing process themselves. I will outline the process that I would suggest.
I would encourage you to read through my process a few times to get a feel for it. Then breathe deeply, fully inhaling and exhaling the air, close your eyes to move into a meditative space, and ask God what changes, if any, will most benefit you and your own situation. Always listen to your inner voice when performing any spiritual process. It will ensure that the process is aligned with your beliefs and in accordance with what’s best for you.
- Pray for divine direction and connection to God.
- Take a small bottle of olive oil and set it apart through prayer. Ask that it be blessed with the purpose and ability to ward off evil and to attract light. A very simple prayer, with positive intention, is sufficient.
- Using your finger or small rag, dab the olive oil at each entrance; across the top of the doorframe. Put the olive oil in a safe place to be used again when the need arises.
- Next, smudge the home thoroughly. I use white sage and sweet grass when I smudge. If you are unfamiliar with the smudging process, you may follow this link to my online class. While smudging, don’t forget to open windows and crack your doors to allow the negative energy to escape from your home. SMUDGING COURSE
- After these cleansing steps, you may dedicate the home to set it apart. Kneel in prayer with head bowed and arms folded, or stand tall with arms stretched out and palms up, face toward Heaven. Whichever pose feels best to you, go with it!
- Address God in the way that feels right to you and tell Him you’re setting the intention for your home to be a place where Love and Light can abound. Ask for His assistance in preparing your home to be a place where your family and all who enter will be safe, protected, inspired, and held in His light. Ask Him to cleanse and purify anything that is negative or dark within the home and to remove anything and anyone; including negative energy, dark spirits, thought forms, negative programming, effects of ritual, and fragments of energy that belong elsewhere; particularly anything that remains from previous owners or events of the past.
- Invite angels to stand guard around your property and welcome them to be fully active in protecting, guarding, teaching, and guiding your family at all times.
- Before ending your prayer, visualize God’s light reaching down from Heaven and entering the center of your home. Invite the beam of light to expand in every direction, gathering darkness and any lingering negative particles, and pushing them out of your home as the light grows and creates a huge bubble. This bubble becomes an impenetrable shield, protecting your home and family from every direction. (Get my free personal shielding meditation below!)
- Close your prayer by expressing love and gratitude, raising the energetic vibration even higher.
- Remember that you are the guardian. Welcome into it only those things that will strengthen your home and family.
Once we dedicate and bless our home, it's our responsibility to be mindful of what we invite into it. Distasteful movies, music, conversation, addictive substances etc can weaken our protective shield. Uplifting movies, music, conversation, and proper care for our mind and body etc will strengthen it. The bubble is impenetrable, but if we open the door for evil, it is allowed in.
At times you may find the energy in your home shifting in a negative direction and contention rising. Perhaps you watched a movie that invited evil in the back door. You might have had a party that ended up being a bit too wild or you may have friends or family visit that brought a whole slew of unclean spirits and negativity with them. Illness may have left you weak and spiritually at risk. These are good times to revisit these steps to cleanse your home and reset the energy.
We are blessed when we do all we can to create a safe haven for our families. These simple steps can make a world of difference. The shifts may be subtle or there may be a palpable change, but either way, it’s worth it.
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I've been there. If you're a parent, I'd bet my last bite of dessert you've been there too. You're chatting away happily with a friend when suddenly screams and end-of-the-world-type sobbing comes from down below. You look to assess the damage- one child in tears and YOUR child clutching the coveted toy in his arms with a look of utter victory. A pang of embarrassment hits you like a brick wall and immediately you demand of your child with your firmest voice, "Say you're sorry. RIGHT NOW." He faces you with a look of sheer defiance so you up the ante, "Say you're sorry right now or you're going straight to time out." Grudgingly, he throws down the toy and in his tightest and angriest voice shouts "I'm Sorry!" His tone and nonverbal communication prove otherwise, but, he did say it. The fight ends and you get back to chatting.
There are two main problems with this common scenario. First, there's no evidence that demanding an immediate apology without the slightest inkling of remorse is at all helpful in correcting future behavior. What is likely, though, is that the child is walking away with pent up resentment and, perhaps, even a desire for revenge. The child becomes an angry victim rather than an empowered individual who recognizes how his behavior created undesired feelings and consequences for himself and others.
The second problem, though, is the real game changer. It's a matter of life-altering consequence. The second problem is a little word in the English vocabulary that holds mountains of power: "Am". Have you ever stopped to think about the word "Am"? I hadn't; not before becoming a hypnotherapist. It's now a word I think of every day. This two letter word has such incredible power it continues to astonish me.
In the Spanish language, there are two words for "Am": "Soy" and "Estoy". "Soy" is used when referring to things that are permanent and unchanging. I am a woman. I am Caucasian. I am a mother. "Estoy" is used with things that are temporary and changeable, such as how you're feeling. One would never say, "Soy enojado" which translated means, "I am angry." Instead, they would say "Estoy enojado", representing the changeable nature of the condition. What a benefit it is when language itself helps to differentiate truth from error!
English doesn't afford us this natural differentiation between what we "are" permanently and what we "are" or "feel" temporarily. Think of the confusion this creates in a young mind. Instead of "I feel angry" (truth), it becomes "I am angry" (false conclusion- translated within the mind as "Anger is a part of me").
"I am" becomes truth. "I am" creates and reinforces beliefs within the subconscious mind. "I am" has power to create amazing self-confidence, self-love, and self-understanding. I constantly help clients create "I am" statements to reinforce positive life change and to embrace a deeper love for themselves. "I am" is powerful. It's now. It's personal. It's present tense and permanent.
"I am" also has the power to create self-loathing, a warped sense of self, and deep rooted negative subconscious beliefs. Ponder on the potential damage we risk knowing that a precious child's mind may accept an "I am" statement as permanent truth about himself. Think back to the word "Sorry". Sorry is defined as a feeling of shame, remorse, sadness, regret, guilt, or distress over an event, action, or behavior. Feeling these emotions when we have done something wrong is part of learning. The potential hazard comes as a result of our language, where we mistakenly accept these passing feelings as truths about our self.
In Spanish, "Soy siento" (I am sorry) would never be spoken. Instead, the language goes a step even better than using "Estoy". One would say, "Lo siento". This, literally translated, means "I feel it". Feeling something is different than being something. If we come to understand this for ourselves, and teach our children to differentiate the two, we will have a much healthier and happier society.
"I am sorry" has the likely potential to enter a child's mind as any combination of the following: "I am shame. I am bad. I am sad. I am regret. I am guilt. I am distress. I am someone who hurts others. I am not good enough. I am unworthy. I am unloved." And when an apology is unfelt and forced, this same child may take on a variety of other beliefs as well, "I am angry. I am a bad person. I am wronged. I am treated unfairly."
These examples may feel like a far stretch to you, but they are common. Constantly, during sessions with clients, I hear these deep rooted negative subconscious beliefs and they begin early in life, from the simplest experiences and statements. "Am." It's powerful.
Let's do better. Let's be clear with our words. Let's help our children understand and process feelings as a part of life, rather than teaching them to embrace these feelings as character flaws. Let's teach them how to reflect on their chosen behaviors and how their choices bring positive and negative consequences. Most importantly, let's teach them that their inherent, divine value never changes.
"I am a good person who made a mistake. I feel sad that stealing your toy made you cry. I apologize for my behavior and I'll do better." Can you feel the difference? Help your child to recognize and feel negative emotions, not become them.
Be careful with your words; they shape reality.
The endless struggle to achieve and maintain a healthy weight seems to be the topic of countless blogs, articles, conversations, prayers, conventions, medical discussions and inventions, as well as classes, courses, seminars, and research studies. I've come to the conclusion that our weight is determined by just one thing. And that one thing is our MIND.
I believe our weight has a whole lot less to do with what we eat and a whole lot more to do with what we think. Before you send me an e-mail outlining all of the reasons that couldn't be the case, let me explain my thoughts. Contemplate for a moment on those people who can eat anything and never gain an ounce. Or the people who do everything "right" and can never lose a pound. Or what about me? My thinnest time of life was a year when all I ate was brownies, ice cream, and an occasional meal that someone else made me. And one of my roommates who ate plates of veggies and lean meats but weighed a hundred pounds more than me? Calorie counters don't have all the answers.
Our mind is super powerful. And it's got one heck of a hard drive. In fact, every experience you've ever had and every conversation you've ever heard and all the non-verbal communication you've ever seen, is stored right up top. It's been kept and filed in your subconscious mind. Our subconscious mind uses this information to make conclusions and decisions and directs our life based on those conclusions and decisions. It's how we've formed our habits, beliefs, memories, and skills. It's where we access emotions and store our emotional responses.
Our conscious mind is the rational thinker, the analyzer, and planner. The subconscious and the conscious are both working really hard to help us survive, and succeed, in life. So what's the problem then? Well, what's nearly always the problem in relationships? Lack of communication! The conscious and the subconscious are each working really hard. But unless they are on the same page, then your two minds can actually be sabotaging your own goals and progress. This can happen in every area of our life, but today I'm focusing on how it can affect our weight. As a hypnotherapist I see these themes over and over again.
Mind Issue- Emotional Eating- From the moment we are born many of us have been trained to eat for emotional reasons. A mother may nurse her infant to comfort him rather than when he's hungry. From those first moments the idea is planted into the subconscious mind, "Food makes me feel better." A father may feel guilty for not being around much because he's working all the time so he leaves money for treats while he's out. The kids make the subconscious conclusion, "When you miss someone, treats help you be happy anyway." And how often have we heard things such as: "Oh honey, I'm sorry you've had a hard day. Let's make some cookies and you'll feel better." or "He's such a jerk, I can't believe he dumped you. Let's go get ice cream." or "Great job on your achievement! Let's go get dinner!" We begin to self-medicate with food. Our mind has a list of things we can do when we are overcome with emotions, both positive and negative. Food is often the number one item on each side of the list. And it's planted so deeply and firmly into the subconscious mind that no matter what our conscious goals are, we find ourselves turning back to food every time emotions surface. Fear, anger, powerlessness, boredom, frustration, loneliness, grief, and the opposites, excitement, joy, happiness, and celebration. Subconscious conclusion: Food is the number one answer for every situation.
Mind Issue- Ignoring Body Signals- "Your mother has been working hard all day to fix that food, you're going to make her sad if you don't eat all of it." Or how about "There are children starving in Africa; you are going to finish your plate before you leave this table." Shame. Shame. Shame. A child feels shame when told such things and what is the answer to a negative feeling like that? Food! The child eats the food to relieve the shame, and of course, so he can get up from the table and get back to playing. The problem: This pattern leads to ignoring body signals of hunger and satisfaction. It also ignores the signals our body sends for which foods it needs for proper nutrition and nourishment. Food is no longer something we eat because our stomach is asking for it and our body needs it, but instead, something we eat because it ends guilt and makes mom and dad happy with us. Subconscious conclusions: "Eat lots of food because it makes mom and dad happy. Eating lots of food helps get rid of shame. If I don't eat all of the food on my plate I am responsible for starving children."
Mind Issue- Resistance to Exercise- Obesity didn't used to be such an issue in the world. One big reason for that is because people lived active lives, it was part of their subconscious programming. They woke up and worked hard every day, that's how they survived. But life has changed. We no longer have to grow our own food or plow the fields or walk ten miles to get to town. Along the way, we have changed our minds. Instead of accepting that being active is an important part of survival, it's become "Exercise is what I'm supposed to do." Exercise. What does that word do to you? For many people, it sends a shiver of dread. Through experience and observation the subconscious conclusion is often made: "I hate exercise!"
Mind Issue- Dieting: The world is full of mixed messages and insane amounts of contradicting advice on what, when, and how much to eat. And so we try one diet after another. One of them will surely work. One of them has to be the answer. We lose weight and gain it back. We gain weight and lose it. We begin to lose and then we plateau. We cut out food groups. We increase other food groups. We yo you up and down and our body has no clue what we are doing. And because we've already been trained to ignore our own body signals, it has no way of communicating with us. And so it holds onto all the fat it can, trying it's best to help us survive. Subconscious conclusion: This person is trying to kill me. I have no idea when they are or aren't going to feed me what I need, so I'm going to hold onto everything I can.
Mind Issue- Negative Talk- "Be careful what you say, because you are listening." I don't know where that quote came from but whoever first said it is a genius. Such a genius. Our mind listens to not only every word we say, but also every thought we think. The world has taught us to look in the mirror and let the criticisms begin. What we may not have realized is that these very criticisms lead to the negative reality. Our mind works really hard to keep us sane. When we say, or think, something negative about ourselves over and over, day after day, our mind will work to make, or keep, it reality. Our words matter, so very much. If our words tell us day after day that we are fat and ugly, our subconscious conclusion will stay: "I am fat and ugly."
Mind Issue- Fear- Bad things happen. Really bad things sometimes. Too many people have been hurt and abused in too many ways. Abuse, emotional, physical, and sexual, can lead to many conclusions and decisions. A person who has been sexually abused often comes to conclusions similar to these. "If I am attractive men will take advantage of me." Then, because of social programming, they remember "Thin means pretty." and they make the subconscious decision: "Being thin is unsafe. I choose to be fat." Or those who have suffered emotional or physical abuse may make other conclusions such as "I want to be big so I can protect myself."
Mind Issue- Shame- Have you ever heard anyone say "It's not fair that you're smart and beautiful." Give that seed some time to grow and it can become "Being unfair is bad. I have to choose just one. I will keep being smart and will gain weight to hide my beauty." Or what about an individual who has been unfaithful to their spouse, who had an affair or in some other way violated vows. Or someone who hasn't been unfaithful but fear they might be one day because of constant attention from others, or perhaps just feel guilty for getting attention at all. Shame and fear can lead them to making the conclusion "Being too attractive is not good. It is easier to be faithful if I'm not so attractive."
Mind Issue- Punishment- Excess weight can often be a self-punishment. We collect all of the bad things that happen to us and that we have done or said or participated in or known about, and rather than forgiving ourselves and others, we hold it inside. We hold this emotional weight and it shows up as physical weight. Our body can reflect the weight of our emotions and painful memories stored inside our mind. Subconscious conclusion "I am a bad person and deserve to hold onto this pain." or even "There is no one I trust to take away these burdens. I have to keep them inside."
The thing that's important to remember is that our subconscious mind is making the best conclusions and decisions that it knows how to at the time. It's not a bad part of ourselves working to sabotage us. It's a beautiful part of us working the best it knows how to keep us safe and alive. It often makes conclusions that rationally make no sense to our conscious mind and so consciously it's impossible to figure out what is going on that's blocking us from achieving our goals.The conclusions I have outlined in this post are merely examples of the vast array of potential subconscious conclusions that are filed inside each of our minds; yours may be very similar or very different. That's where hypnosis comes in handy. Through hypnosis we can come to understand what conclusions are guiding us, where they came from, and how to change them to something more positive and helpful. Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy digs deep to discover the core issues and to help that inner voice switch to one that brings healing and positive change, rather than continuing with negative patterns and false beliefs.
As a client walked away from my office the other day, I had this thought come to me. "We can't force the extra pounds off of our body. But, we can ensure they have nothing to cling to."
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I just got back from another four day experience at The Wellness Institute. I chose the word “experience”, but I could call it a four day training. Or I could call it a healing journey. Or I could call it utter Hell. Or I could call it pure love and enlightenment. Each of these statements would be quite accurate. “Experience” seems to somehow summarize in my mind all of those things. If I really had to choose just one metaphor to name this experience I would say it’s a roller coaster ride. And I don’t mean it’s some wimpy kid roller coaster ride either. It’s like the mack daddy of roller coasters.
If you’ve ever been through a Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy session you’ll have some idea of what I’m talking about. When a scheduled session day comes near, there are parts inside of you that know it’s coming; that healing is coming. And those parts start to fight. They start to have a war right inside your body and you begin to think of all of the reasons you can’t make it to your session. Sometimes you even subconsciously cause accidents to happen or create all kinds of situations that give you justification for skipping out and avoiding the session altogether. These are the broken parts of you. The dark parts. The shadow parts. These are the parts of you that have been hurt and damaged through life experiences and painful awareness of the injustice in our world. These are the child parts who are afraid and who have lost hope and faith that anyone will really be able and willing to help you. These are the negative attachments and entities that are comfy where they are and know they will have to pack their bags and leave if you decide to open your heart to the light which comes through healing. And these parts are really good at manipulating you into staying exactly where you are. You succumb to their suggestions and stay in the darkness, like the legend of the frog in a pot of slowly heated water. You begin to cook one turn of the knob at a time, the water getting hotter all around you. But somehow you think you belong there, slowly cooking to death while the joy and beauty of life begins fading into a memory of the past as your brains slowly boil.
So I know that’s a pretty horrific analogy. The poor little frog. I actually am feeling pretty sad just thinking about a little frog boiling alive in a pot of water. But what’s even more sad is knowing that many of us are truly doing exactly that. We are in that pot of water and one day, one week, one moment at a time our life is going dark. We may begin to see and sense the darkness weighing down upon us but somehow ignore it or rationalize it away. We are so completely blind to the desperate nature of our situation. And equally blind to the beautiful journey toward light and love that we could begin by jumping out of the water.
My decision to become a hypnotherapist was pretty random to tell you the truth. One day I started looking at training options and signed up for a class starting the next month. Some wise part of me knew it’s where I needed to be. But the other parts of me weren’t so wise, or aware. Everything we learn in classes, we also experience for ourselves. The first day that we did practice hypnotherapy sessions with one another we were instructed to contemplate what issues we might want to work through in the session. I thought for a while and then said to my teacher: “Michael, I feel like my life is pretty well put together and I’m here to learn how to help others with their issues. I’m not really sure if I have issues I need to work on right now.” His response totally offended me at the time but now I hold absolutely priceless: “OH HONEY, you have issues and we’re going to help you find them.”
And you know what? He was right. He was more than right actually. I have a whole host of issues that have been weighing me down and blocking my path toward the beauty and love this world really has to offer me. In my first session I was TOTALLY blown away by the intensity of emotion and sorrow I was holding within my body. I was that frog in a pot of boiling water, pretending to be comfortable and feeling fine while the heat was slowly causing emotional and spiritual death. After my second session it was like the blinders came off. I realized that if I want my clients to trust me to guide them toward healing, I had to be open to personal healing and growth as well. I knew it was time to jump out of the pot. I signed up for a two year program designed to not only teach me to become a better hypnotherapist, but also help me to heal along the way. The Wellness Institute has a beautiful intention in all they do and teach, “To Heal the Healers”. And so I continue returning to this place of utter insanity and amazing beauty all wrapped up into one; each time walking away not only a more skilled and experienced hypnotherapist, but also a happier, healthier, and more skilled human being.
Since taking the leap out of the water and onto the roller coaster ride of the healing process I have come to understand a few things. First, it’s really important to take that first leap! We have to choose to acknowledge that we as individuals are not where we really want to be emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Second, we have to decide we’re willing to do something about it. We have to seek help and healing. We have to say, “I’m ready for the ride, strap me in and let’s go.” And third, we need to realize that the ride takes a little time. Our wounds didn’t come all at once and they won’t heal all at once. But they will heal if we stay on the ride; each dip and turn and flip serves a purpose in our journey and as we willingly stay in the seat we are taken to heights and shown beauty we never would have before imagined.
Some moments I want to get off and run far far away. When the ride is flipping upside down and sideways I think about unstrapping the belt and taking my chances with the concrete down below. Occasionally I wish I had just stayed in the water to have my brains boiled. But then the ride offers a thrill of unimaginable awesomeness; a glimpse of beauty and excitement. And when it levels out for a moment or two it brings relief and understanding, hope and peace. The dips and turns are downright unpleasant sometimes, but they are part of my journey and the path that leads to healing and love.
It’s a ride of a lifetime. I am so blessed to be on my own roller coaster ride, my personal healing journey. And I am even more blessed to be able to participate in the journey of others who trust me as their guide.
Our youngest child, Madison, will be six this coming January. She is creative, beautiful, and super energetic. She potty trained just after turning three. My husband and I gave each other a high five when we gave away the last box of diapers. What an awesome feeling it was to know that the diaper years were DONE!
But then one night she wet the bed again. And then again the next night. We put it off for a couple weeks and tried everything we could think of to help her but nothing worked. With extreme disappointment, I bought a box of pull-ups and resigned myself to the fact that our diaper years were back. I still remember the crushed look on my sweet little girl's face when she realized she had to start wearing them at night again. For the next two years she continued wearing pull-ups and hadn't had a dry night since. Until now.
I was in a group of moms several weeks ago and the topic turned to kids and bedwetting. Each of the moms expressed their frustration with the situation and with not knowing what to do. They spoke of how their children were beginning to lose their self-confidence and were even being teased by siblings and others. My heart broke for one girl who is nearly thirteen and has never had a dry night. Slumber parties? Probably not. Unless there were a way to change it, a way to help these kids to teach their bodies to stay dry.
And the light bulb went on! Of course! I'm a hypnotherapist for Heaven's sake, why I didn't figure this out long before now I really don't know. But, better late than never. I went home and decided to write a hypnosis script for bedwetting. My daughter was so excited when I told her that mommy had a recording she could listen to to help her stop wetting the bed. And she began listening to it that same night.
Madison has this thing she does. She likes to sit against the wall and bounce her back in rhythm while she makes up songs. Last week I woke up and listened from across the hall as she was bouncing and singingwith her happiest voice these words: "I am a big girl. I am a big girl. My body listens to me! I am a big girl. I am a big girl. My body is so dry you see! No more, no more, no more pee pee in bed for me!"
Can I get a hallelujah!? Seriously, hallelujah! After the second night of the recording she woke up dry. And it's taken only three weeks of using the recording and repeating positive affirmations to achieve consistent dry nights. I wish I could capture the happiness on her face each morning when she wakes up and knows she is dry. It's way beyond priceless. My only regret is that I didn't try it sooner.
There are many and varied reasons that children wet the bed and hypnosis will not help with all of them. Consultation with a medical doctor is warranted to rule out things such as urinary infection, kidney disease, diabetes, and congenital abnormality of the urinary tract. Emotional stress and abuse can also lead to bedwetting and must be addressed with a competent professional. Hypnosis treatment should in no way be seen as a substitute for medical advice and I encourage every parent to explore potential underlying reasons for your child's condition and to be wise in making treatment decisions for your child.
Hypnosis is a safe and natural state of mind that can be used to help an individual to achieve desired results. It engages the subconscious mind in a way that thinking, analyzing, and goal setting cannot. Essentially, hypnosis can help to get both parts of the brain (the conscious and subconscious) working together with the same goal in mind. And, the result is powerful. As the subconscious mind is the part of our brain that is responsible for body functions and is also the only part of our brain that is awake while we are asleep, it makes perfect sense that hypnosis is effective with issues such as bedwetting.
If you know a child who struggles with bedwetting, click here to learn more. Please like and share this blog post to spread the word. Let's help as many children as we can to wake up dry and give them a reason to sing!
"Heavenly Father, I'm pissed. I'm so angry I don't really even want to talk to you. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of all of this crap. This stupid stupid crappy life we're expected to live through and somehow enjoy. I am really angry. I don't understand. And I don't want to wait to understand. I'm tired of believing that "One day it will all make sense." I am SO angry! How in the world do you expect us to actually live here and get along with people? If we're supposed to be able to have happy marriages and blissful family lives than why in the crap did you make us so different and make it so hard to understand one another and get along? Why are men and women so different? Why did you do that? How in the world does that even make sense? It's like a big freaking joke. I see ZERO reason why this is all worth it. I really don't see how it's possibly worth it or how things could really ever be better than they are. I am so incredibly tired of the same fights, the same misunderstandings, the same tears, the same doubts, the same pain. I am ready to just give up. I would so happily just be done with all of this. I am so mad. And I have a right to be mad. It's a ridiculous mess of a world and you just sit up there and let us live through it. I am done. I am so done. I know I shouldn't yell at you but I am really really angry. I'm so mad I think I might explode. And if I did explode that would probably be just fine, a relief really. There's no way I'm taking one more step forward until I get a glimpse as to why it's possibly worth it to do so. I am too tired and too angry to keep pushing without some tiny glimpse of what I'm pushing toward. I want it now. I need you to show me tonight while I sleep why it's possibly worth all the effort."
These were my words of prayer a few nights ago. I don't make it a habit of using such language or yelling at and blaming God, but that night it all just spilled out. And once it started I decided to just let Him have it. I was like a tiny child screaming to her parents about how unfair things are and how picked on she is, completely blind to the privileges and blessings surrounding her. And I knew it. But I didn't care. I wanted to be that ornery and upset child. I ended my prayer and lay there- fully expecting to feel chastised. But that feeling didn't come.
Instead, as I lay there I had the prompting to go downstairs to see my husband. Still feeling blatantly ornery and disagreeable I argued out loud: "No way! I am going to go to sleep. Just give me a vision while I sleep to answer me."
The promptings kept coming, even tiny thoughts of what I should do once I got downstairs. I argued a few more times, still so angry and feeling entitled.
But then something changed. A feeling of love somehow penetrated the anger. I was expecting, and I think actually hoping, that God would fight back; that He would add wood to my fire by answering me with His own resentment and telling me I was wrong or stupid or out of line. But that's not how God works. His answer is always love. He saw through the anger and recognized my need for validation and comfort. As I felt His love I decided to follow the prompting and went downstairs.
The next hour I spent with my husband was the glimpse I needed; a glimpse into the future that's possible if I just keep pushing forward. But it also opened my eyes to the present and gave me the lens I needed to see the beauty already around me.
I asked for help during a horrible temper tantrum that God could have understandably ignored, but He knew my heart and knew I needed His tender mercy that night. And He granted me that tender mercy.
There are two things that I came to better understand through this experience.
First, God hears us and always answers in Love. His Love is something we can count on unconditionally and without doubt. His love is always present and always enough. We can throw at Him hate and anger, resentment and hostility, accusations and blatant disrespect and His love for us stays the same. His response will always be one of empathy and understanding. What an awesome Father. What an example of parenthood. Our earthly response would be to retaliate, or to react with defensiveness, resentment, and anger. His Heavenly response is to dissolve the anger with compassion and love. Love truly is the ultimate weapon. There is nothing that can ultimately defeat true and unconditional Love.
The second thing I learned is that it's worth it. Life is tough and really painful sometimes. But if we stay close to God and follow the promptings that come, He will guide us to the future that is meant to be ours and will help us see the beauty in the present. He will shape us into the person He knows we are meant to be and will help us see the good within us already. Being pruned really hurts sometimes. But it's essential to our growth.
I will strive to avoid such self-pity and temper tantrums in the future, but if they do come, I know I will be loved through it all. And so will you. God is the only true source of ultimate comfort and pure love. Let's turn to Him and allow Him to guide us to true healing and peace; let's allow Him to shape us into who we are meant to be and trust that He knows what He's doing even when it hurts.
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A while back I visited a dentist for the first time in years. I went in, not because I actually wanted to spend time and money on my teeth, but because I had an incredibly horrible toothache that made it impossible to do anything other than take action. I remember how embarrassed I was when the dentist looked at me and said, "Melody, you could have prevented this from getting so bad you know. I'm sorry you're in pain and that this is going to be an expensive and complicated issue now, but use this experience to make better choices for yourself in the future." I could sense his frustration toward me but I knew it wasn't personal. He was frustrated that he had so much to offer and knew how people could prevent the very situation I was now in, and yet day after day he witnessed his patients coming in suffering the consequences of their ignorance and/or failure to be proactive in taking steps to avoid those very consequences.
A root canal, porcelain crown, and couple grand later, I left the office contemplating how I let myself end up in such a condition. What an incredibly painful experience; physically, emotionally, and, of course, financially. And to think, it very likely could have been prevented with a little better oral care, a few nutritional tweeks, and those darn six month checkups the dentists are always trying to invite us to take advantage of. I saw a billboard a while after with a big bright smile of white teeth and words reading "Dental work is not expensive- Neglect is!" I cringed to know I was the target of that bold statement.
Benjamin Franklin offered us some pretty seriously awesome wisdom: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Despite the fact this wise role model offered us this advice sometime in the 1700s, here we are in the 21st century still living our lives ignoring all signs and symptoms that issues are arising and then acting surprised when those issues hit us full force and cause a lot of pain and drama.
When blood is gushing, we do everything we can to stop it. When there is a fire in our home, we call the fire department. When a child comes home with an "F" on their report card, we ground them or take away their privileges. When we can't breathe, we immediately seek a doctor's care. When someone is standing on the ledge about to jump to their death, we call 911 and beg them not to jump. And when we are in severe pain, we do what it takes to relieve that pain.
We are conditioned, as a nation, to react after things get bad. It's time to do better than that. Let's learn to act, rather than react. Let's learn to think ahead. Let's learn to proactively avoid pain and suffering whenever possible. Let's choose prevention and thwart the evils that are sure to come otherwise.
Since becoming a hypnotherapist I have reflected on my experience with that sweet dentist. I understand his frustration now much more than I did then. His frustration didn't come from anger or haughtiness. It came from love. It came because he cared and really wanted what was best for everyone he was trying to serve. It came from not being able to help people see how much better things could be.
As I observe people now, I have learned to see their inner pain. I've learned to sense the burdens they are carrying. I can feel the weight of the world pressing down on them. And more often than not, I see them carrying those burdens alone.
How many of us live in a world full of people and yet feel alone? How many of us would do anything to help a friend, or even a stranger, but feel unworthy of receiving that same help? How many of us believe we have to carry each burden and trial on our own, that if we call out for help we've failed in some way?
We're dying as a nation because we are living alone in a world full of people. We are not meant to make it on our own. God didn't send us to an Earth full of people in order for us to prove we could make it through life independently and emotionally isolated. We are stronger when we are willing to share not only our strengths, but also our weaknesses, fears, and inner burdens with one another. When we are willing to be real, we can make true connections with people. When we are willing to give and receive, we can become our best, healthiest, and happiest self.
No one bats an eye when we tell them we're headed to see a doctor for our migraines. No one thinks twice when we have surgery for a burst appendix. But what about our mental and emotional health? And even our spiritual health? Why is it somehow taboo to openly talk about our depression or anxiety? Why is it not typical to hear someone discussing their desire to seek therapy for addictions, phobias, sorrows, or fears? Why do we keep quiet about our stress, strained relationships, and emotional pain? Why does seeking help from a professional therapist make us feel like we need to hang our head or keep it a secret? We look around and think everyone else is doing so well and that we are the only one who has issues and secrets. Well, the truth is, everyone is fighting battles. Everyone has pain that no one else sees. Everyone has hidden emotions and trauma. I believe it is evil's greatest victory when we stay silent in our pain; when we continue to isolate ourselves and feel alone in our struggles.
When we wait to seek care until the pain is unbearable, we do ourselves a great disservice. If it were my choice, every person on earth would have a therapist from the time we are little. We would have someone to listen to us without judgment. There would always be someone to go to with our pain and confusion. There would be someone to help us reflect and analyze. We would know where to go when we felt alone and out of control. We would learn to express and experience our emotions in healthy ways rather than burying them inside where they begin the process of mental, spiritual, and even physical decay. We would feel heard and understood. We would develop life skills early on and therefore gain freedom from negative cycles and patterns of abuse and addiction throughout later years. We can do that for our children, we can help them now. And those of us who are already grown, its time to take action for ourselves as well.
It's time to be real. It's time to drop the facade of perfection and show our vulnerabilities. It's time to seek help, and to do so with heads held high. No one on this planet is living here alone, let's stop pretending we are meant to be. No one is perfect and invincible, let's stop thinking we need to be. I am amazing simply because I am a child of God; no pain, weakness, or struggle I have changes that. The same is true for you. Let's stop waiting until we are on a ledge ready to jump before we are willing to be real and seek help. Let's stop reacting and start acting- with wisdom, foresight, and humility.
I don't want to have rotten teeth and I don't want you to either. I don't want to have a mental breakdown or have stress wreak havoc on my mind and body, and I don't want that for you either. I don't want to wear a fake smile while crying and broken on the inside, and I would love if you weren't doing that either. Let's change the world by changing our own perception of seeking care for emotional and mental health. We are physical beings and we need medical care at times. We are also spiritual and emotional beings and need to seek care for these parts of ourselves with just as much vigilance.
Neglect is much more expensive and painful than regular maintenance- this is true for our teeth, our vehicles, our homes, and every part of our self. Let's act now rather than react later. Good ol' Ben had it right, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
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Just a note for my readers who like to analyze: Yes, I know that not all tooth decay is the result of neglect. And I know that not all mental and physical conditions are preventable by early intervention. However, the percentage of those that are is high enough that I feel the comparison is valid. If there's even a chance of preventing deep levels of pain, it's worth the effort!