How to Find Happiness in the Gloom – Vol. 223, October 31, 2013
I was in the supermarket the other day when I struck up a conversation with an African woman from Ghana, who was there with her 3 year old daughter. We were noticing how expensive meat has gotten, something that is so basic to most peoples’ diets and yet, climbing out of reach of many. That is especially true for people who realize how necessary it is to have a balanced diet for health and well-being. The informed public is avoiding meat with added antibiotics and hormones while preferring healthier grain fed beef.
Having just been in Africa, Uganda specifically, with a client of mine, I realized how a simpler life style where people actually enjoy being with one another in person brings a lovely bright spirit to this population. The families work together on their small tracts of land taking care of their livestock and growing their own produce. One of the natives stated to me that so long as they have their little piece of land, that is their true wealth.
Recently one of the congregants of my Unitarian Universalist Church did a lay service based on bringing peace and understanding to the world. The music was performed by people all over the world including a child’s chorus from the United States and one from Uganda. The difference in the demeanor of the two children’s choruses was shocking!
While the American kids stood there stiff and expressionless, the Ugandan children were dancing and smiling through their performance.
Recently I took a couple of great supporters of DVH, Inc to a Doop Hall of Fame Concert as a “Thank You” gift for all their hard work and thoughtfulness through the years. The performers that were being honored were in their 70’s and 80’s now. Yet, so many of them had spritely energy, great vocal strength and a fantastic attitude of gratitude. One of the male elders even did some hot dance moves including a full split, right there on the stage as part of the last group performance. These performers for the most part had many #1 hit records, many never got their fair share of royalties and many were never honored for the outstanding work they did in their day. They all showed graciousness for having their day in the sun, lucky to have lived long enough to see the day.
Dawning Visions Hypnosis, Inc, has also had some very difficult times this past year. Part of it is that the people that we serve are finding themselves challenged to pay their own bills, never mind finding the extra money to invest in their health since the services offered here are not covered by insurance. There are many reasons for this, however this reality has been a forcing a change in the business model, a very over due change in actuality.
Happiness is based on what one focuses on – are you doing the things that bring you fulfillment, a sense of joy and fun, or are you stuck in a feeling of hopelessness because I can tell you that one can easily get mired in the muck of hopelessness if one desires. However, there are always better choices to be made. Let me share with you what I did to work to turn this situation around because it isn’t really about the economy, it is about how I can be of best service to those to whom I serve. That was the turning point in my thinking, which began in the last two hours of the flight home from Uganda this August.
The first thing that I needed to do was to ask myself how it is that these services are covered. Well, as I said above, people are looking for insurance to cover their health care needs, even if insurance doesn’t cover the sort of specialized work that Dawning Visions Hypnosis, Inc, is respected for in the area of releasing addictions, eating disorders and evening out mood dysregulation. So, then I needed to ask, what are the largest most fantastic goals that have kept me on this very long journey that I have been on with this company – 11 years plus, not including the decade before, learning all that I ever wanted to know about the conventional medical model working in mental health and elder care. The answer was to further the work of Richard Grey, Ph.D. who realized that anyone who has an addiction (and I would say anyone with any feeling of being stuck in life and feeling that they have no choices) can be healed when a compelling future is created based on the clients’ desires. Further he proved that no one need be speaking of the pathology of addiction or even speaking the words that one usually does when in addiction treatment. All his work was done with the full belief that focusing on what one desires in life one can indeed find one’s way there.
Further, I realized that because Dr. Gray was working with prisoners of the federal penal system of New York, with a 30% success rate over the seven years he ran his program that he was onto something very important here. This is even more outstanding realizing that this success rate was accomplished with men who didn’t want to be in his program. They were forced to go by the judge who sentenced them. From researching his work and having a couple of conversations with him, I understood that there needed to be an alternative to prison. Penalizing those who are dealing with mental health issues that lead them to addictions in the first place was not a constructive use of our communities taxes. In other words, we need to have treatment centers that actually help the patients heal their old wounds after they are withdrawn from the drugs they are addicted to – without giving them yet another drug to go on without mind altering effects, because once off the drug, with a compelling future, there is zero desire to use again.
Now, until I met Dr. Magdalena R. Naylor of the University of Vermont who is a neuro-researcher of chronic pain and meditative states, as well as a psychiatrist who was out to prove that talk therapy worked better than pills, I didn’t have a way to prove why it was that my clients no longer did their former behavior for years later. With her research it becomes obvious that my clients’ brains change physiologically by growing more gray and white matter. Dr. Naylor is doing deeper research to prove that the doubling of these two areas as seen on the MRIs as a result of her eleven week chronic pain intervention, is indeed gray matter. Dr. Naylor uses cognitive behavioral therapy and guided visualization based in Ericksonian Hypnosis to get these results for her patients.
I came to understand that I am further along on the trajectory that I had started upon my completion of my Trainer’s Training in Hypnosis and NLP back in August of 2007. At that time I realized that certain populations were being maligned and wanted to do something to change that situation. In that regard, I am on a mission to bring real healing to those that our society has chosen to believe are outcasts by bringing my proven treatment method to those who can take insurance by treating the patients that need my particular treatment protocol. It is obvious that our government’s methods of dealing with these populations are failing, not just those who are in the penal and mental health systems, they are failing our entire nation. This is creating angry, hopeless people, living on the government, instead of allowing the healing to help them become happy and productive contributing members of our society, upon which all societies are depend.
However, there are many who have these issues who have little to do with the penal system. Those that we read about in the newspaper and see making idiotic statements when interviewed on programs such as 60 Minutes, Prime Time Live and programming on CNN, who have been ushered in and out of very expensive treatment programs, because the true healing never even began. Until one is able to let go of the self-loathing, the rage and the lack of self-respect and the psychiatric issues that may go hand-in-hand with why one would become an addict or have mood dysregulation. Until true treatment is given, our medical and penal industrial complexes will lead ever more people to choose to self-injure and even kill themselves and others.
In the news, just over the past week (I heard these stories and I don’t even have a television in my home) a 12 year old jumped in front of a train and a high school student killed two people and injured two people at his school in Reno, Nevada with a shot gun. I was speaking to a person that I volunteer with who told me of another suicide of a 17 year old who had not one, but two scholarships to college and no one had a clue why he did it.
I ask you, what is going on in our society where our youth feel so lost that they decide that death is a better solution than figuring out what needs to be healed to have a life that is worth living? Going back to the Ugandans love of life, the lesson is clear. Until we go back to spending time interacting with one another, face-to-face, demonstrating that we are present, care and are interested in those with whom we share this planet, the devastation will continue. If we don’t stop the monetizing of dysfunction with all the needless pill pushing, and shoving people into jails where they are needlessly dehumanized without the appropriate treatment given, our country is going to be in much worse shape.
So, I ask you my readers, what is it that you are doing today to bring a bit of sunshine to the lives of those you claim you love and care about? What are you going to do to help your greater society, as it is crying for assistance, with a warm and non-judgmental heart? What are you going to do to take care of yourself so that you have the energy and positive attitude one needs to show others viable alternatives to the inner suffering that they are feeling?
If you are the one who is struggling now, I ask of you, are you capable of turning off your technology and turning to your friends and family and asking for real help if that is what is needed? Because until you do, no one is going to be able to read your mind. It is up to you, the ones’ who are pained, to ask for help, support and guidance. Taking that action, you will no longer feel alone. With this knowledge you will know that you are able to turn your life around. This so long as you are ready and willing to do “whatever it takes” to do so, because no one can do it but you. Others can be helpful, and it is still on you to make the changes necessary to turn your life around. Concentrate on what you enjoy, concentrate on what makes you feel happy, putting your energies into being with people who make you feel good about being you. You will find that in most circumstances your life will feel lighter and brighter, but only if you reach out and ask for the love and support you require, always remembering that there is no one on this planet who can do it all on their own. Everyone needs helpers, everyone, including myself.
Go forth and find your happiness and contentment. And ,those of you who are doing well, go out and share what you have; love, care most especially your time. If you have the means, throw some cash at those organizations that are doing fine work. For your efforts you will be repaid many times over again in a much better quality of life. This I can promise you.
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