Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Renewal and Restoration

I've been writing a series on Managing Energy as the key to high performance and personal renewal. And I realize more acutely how it takes constant practice when trying to achieve a new behavior pattern. Regarding getting more sleep, I had great success, and then another late night. But the difference is to realize that progress is often very cyclical. I wasn't back sliding, I just had several nights of more sleep than I normally would have!

Tomorrow I go on vacation for a week and that is truly a time of restoration for me. It's a different kind of "vacation" - no walking the beach and sitting in the quiet reading books, all of which I love. I'll be back in my old stomping grounds, Missoula, Montana, visiting a gazillion good friends. These close, loving relationships bring me such a sense of renewal and restoration. They provide much needed energy. The power of the heart and connection feeds me. I will actually be seeing a couple clients, and seeing a packed "agenda" of friends from all my 23 years of living in this beautiful, quiet little mountain town. I'm going to visit my former house, where the deer gather every evening. I'll stay with a couple different friends, and we'll probably stay up late talking about life and catching up with the large and minute portions of the meaning we find in our lives.

These carved, spacious opportunities to sit back and share with friends are what I most cherish. Aside from the silent form of journaling, I find the out-loud sharing to be the most rewarding, nourishing form of hearing and listening to my life. Most often, you don't know how you really are feeling and thinking about the evolution of your days until you hear yourself speak it out loud spontaneously. And friends will reflect it all back to you, with an eye to who you are that is particular to them.

Lately I've been experimenting with one more thing --- thinking before I articulate a comment or story; is this really true? Does this deserve to be said? Can I be willing to stop using extraneous words and just let the truth stand? It will be interesting to apply this to my sharings over the coming week. This paring to the essential seems part of my own restoration. It might just be a gift to others also.

Wishing you renewal and restoration in the blessed, heartfelt connections with those you love, enjoy, like, find stimulating, and celebrate the true nature of you!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Managing Your Energy for Peak Performance - Part IV

Peak Performance: Rest!

Authors Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz introduce how rest plays a major role in maximizing performance.
"This concept of maximizing performance by alternating periods of activity with periods of rest was first advanced by Flavius Philostratus (A.D. 170-245), who wrote training manuals for Greek athletes. Russian sports scientists resurrected the concept in the 1960s and began applying it with stunning success to their Olympic athletes. Today, "work-rest" ratios lie at the heart of periodization, a training method used by elite athletes throughout the world."

The basic concept hasn't changed since it was advanced nearly two thousand years ago. After a period of activity, our bodies must replenish fundamental biochemical sources of energy. "Compensation" occurs during this rest phase and the energy expended is recovered. When you increase the intensity of your training or performance demand, it's necessary ( not suggested, but necessary!) to commensurately increase your amount of energy renewal.

"Energy is simply the capacity to do work. Our most fundamental need as human beings is to spend and recover energy."

How and when are you resting? Do you know the keys to getting the most of high energy performance?

As you know, I've been experimenting the last week with drinking more water and going to bed at an earlier time. The blog immediately preceding this one gives feedback on how it's going!

Today is Sunday, a good day to focus on the rest periods that Loehr and Schwartz recommend for peak performance. My internal observations have been fascinating. First, just knowing that I'm going to take a break in 90 minutes makes it easier to stay focused on my task at hand. I've been able to begin and sustain the energy, looking forward to my new found 20 minute break! Other than a Mac computer class from noon-1:00, I had not scheduled any specific time to get my day's agenda completed. I chose not to visit a church today, since I did have a large amount of things to accomplish before leaving on vacation.

Old patterns have included some very unproductive days of not "starting" because I had a long list of tasks and "all day" to get them done. Many times, all day turned into all day not getting things done and also not playing!

It's been a great day! I've been able to start tasks; stick with them; take a 20' break even when the task was not done; go back to the task easily; finish it; take another break and really enjoy the freedom of these breaks! I'm happy with my day! I'm liking these experiments. The rest periods are energizing me to really get some needed work done. They are giving me great energy in the fun anticipation of breaks and freedom to see what I might create in them. Who knows! I might even be in bed by 10:00 pm tonight! Now that is behavior change to create more productive and satisfying energy in my life. Please join me! Let me know how it's going!

Managing Your Energy for Peak Performance - Part III

Feedback on Energy Experiment – Water, Sleeping, Emotional Freedom Technique -----

I really am learning from Loehr’s and Schwartz’s advice. They know their stuff. As you may or may not know about my experiment since the July 12 blog, I selected drinking more water and getting more sleep as the two baby steps I’d focus on to improve my production energy. Drinking more water helps significantly! Getting to bed earlier is bringing up some challenges! How is this important to you? Read on!

Drinking more water definitely helps! It’s working! My last blog of July 17 addressed my challenges with going to bed at an earlier hour and some thoughts about unconscious blocks to doing so. For now, let me report I actually went to bed at 10:30 pm last night – one and a half hours earlier than my typical very earliest midnight! I was giddily shocked. I do believe it was the EFT tapping I did on the aspects listed in my July 17 blog that helped me to very easily just go to bed. However, I didn’t tap on an unidentified aspect; the desire to plan my next day and tinker with some projects while in bed! So . . . it was 12:30 after all when I turned out the light.

What is important for you in this? Two things: One is that the effectiveness of EFT was what got me into bed by 10:30 in the first place. Normally, it would have been 12:30-1:30 am. Secondly, is the concept of baby steps. In former days, I would have chalked the whole thing up as a miserable failure since I didn’t turn the lights out until 12:30. My experimenting with new behaviors would have come to a screeching halt. With embracing the freedom and compassion of baby steps, I could acknowledge that getting into bed by 10:30 was huge progress for me. That acknowledgment felt great; a "way to go!" pat on the back. Normally I would have turned on a movie or Saturday Night Live or turned my computer on to get some necessary correspondence done. I didn’t do any of that, which is behavior change I want! My feel-good pat on the back is poised to allow me to go to bed earlier again.

I’ll apply some EFT on my “hard drive." I can clear the need to take those project files to bed. I can tap on the “North Dakota” habits in me where working sunup to sundown is just normal behavior. I’ve been doing that since seventh grade. Time to let it go. Time to take those rest breaks, be even more productive and have more fun. I'm already having more fun! Now that’s a combination I can live with!

Below segment excerpted from The Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, page 71:

Physical Energy: Bear in Mind

• Physical Energy is the fundamental source of fuel in life.
• Physical energy is derived from the interaction between oxygen and glucose.
• The two most important regulators of physical energy are breathing and eating.
• Eating five to six low-calorie, highly nutritious meals a day ensures a steady resupply of glucose and essential nutrients.
• Drinking sixty-four ounces of water daily is a key factor in the effective management of physical energy.
• Most human beings require seven to eight hours of sleep per night to function optimally.
• Going to bed early and waking up early help to optimize performance.
• Interval training is more effective than steady-state exercise in building physical capacity and in teaching people how to recover more efficiently.
• To sustain full engagement, we must take a recovery break every 90 to 120 minutes

Friday, July 17, 2009

Manage Your Energy for Peak Performance - Part II

Part II: Resistance- "You Can't Tell Me What to Do!"

(Part I – July 12, 2009)

If you’ve joined me on my experiment to get more personal energy into my life, bravo and welcome! I’m wondering how it’s going for you in the last several days. Remember, baby steps! I’ve most often been an all-or-none person, which can make major changes difficult, if not impossible. I know these baby steps are going to really set us up for some good success.

In my last blog of July 12, my personal choice of baby step changes was to drink more water and get more sleep. I’m not getting hung up on the “64 oz.” per day recommendation, so because of that feeling of freedom, I think I am getting 64 oz. or more a day. Freedom is an important element in making change. If we tell ourselves we should get 64 oz. of water a day, the funniest thing happens in the unconscious (sooner or later) – resistance.

I watch it every day with my clients and with myself. I use EFT with clients to address the resistance which basically says “you can’t tell me what to do!”

The “you can’t tell me what to do!” is all unconscious. Remember, 96.4% of our thoughts and actions are controlled by the unconscious – the mind we are not aware of! The conscious mind, which controls a measly 3.6% of our thoughts and behaviors says, “I really want to drink more water.” (Excuse me while I go get some water.)

Here’s what I love about EFT. It can be used to completely dismantle and eliminate the resistance; the force against the “should” and the "should" itself. Most people call this sabotage and wonder why they keep setting themselves up for failure. I’m not a fan of the word sabotage for these instances. It suggests that somehow you are consciously doing something to trip yourself up. I disagree. More accurately, you are a victim to the power of your unconscious attachments, need for safety and many other factors. Here’s an example: (please use this to examine your own wish and the blocks that may arise for you).

I say I want to get more sleep. I really do need to get more sleep. But I don't do it. I’ve even worked on this with a business coach years ago. We were shooting for me to get in bed by 10:45. I think over the course of two years I did it once! Even when I really want to get more sleep so I could feel more rested and be more productive in my work and play day, I just plain resist going to bed. And right here, as you are my witness, I’m vowing to tap (use EFT) on my resistance to going to bed earlier. There are many aspects to my resistance. One, I’ve always been a night person, even as a child. Who would I be if I behaved differently? Clients often will say things like, “How will I know it’s me if I don’t carry this badge of resentment or hurt on my sleeve?” We become identified by certain things, certain habits of behavior. It is who we think we are. My habit of staying up until midnight or 1:00 am just doesn’t cut it anymore, but it just feels like it is who I am. It’s what I do. It used to work well! I need to download an update.

I’m also going to tap on these additional aspects that occur to me just sitting here thinking about the “desire”:
1. I have to stay up late to get enough relaxed, down time.
2. I love the night time and I’ll miss it too much
3. I don’t get enough done during the day so I need my later hours to get more done – I can’t sacrifice that time
4. I’ve always worked, written, done my best thinking at night so I must continue.
5. I used to watch Johnny Carson’s “The Tonight Show” with my father nearly every night as a child. These are fond memories and I’m “hooked” into them.

If I use EFT and tap, one at a time, on these aspects, I know I will get clarity and clearing on the blocks that don’t serve me. I will discern what’s true and what’s no longer true! I realize already that I don’t get that much work done late at night like I did when I was younger. I’m tired, productivity is low. I’d be much further ahead going to bed, waking up refreshed, getting to the office earlier, leaving the office earlier at the end of the day, and having more fun, free time in the evenings. Tapping is the key element to allowing this clearing to happen naturally, freely.

And the neat thing about tapping is that after the obvious (conscious) blocks to my goal are cleared, the unconscious ones (previously unknown to me) come popping up. It often is an exclamation of discovery on my client’s part. “Gosh, I didn’t know that was in there!” People are thrilled to identify these blocks and to clear them. They clear easily, once we see what they are!

Once I recognize the blocks to my going to bed earlier, the very things that say, “No I won’t go to bed earlier. You can’t make me and I don’t want to!” - well, then, and only then, do I stand a chance of going to bed earlier happening freely and naturally. You will find this happening with EFT – I actually can promise you that. Remember, without tapping and clearing these unconscious blocks, it’s just a desire, a good intention with a 96.4% block to happening!

I’m looking forward to tapping now that I’ve committed to you that I will! I’ll keep you posted! And remember – baby steps! I hope to hear what you’ve selected from the July 12 blog to have a more energetic, productive, satisfied day!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Manage Your Energy for Peak Performance

Manage Your Energy for Peak Performance and Personal Renewal

The book, The Power of Full Engagement, by authors Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, is about getting more energy. Who couldn’t use a bit more energy? Obviously we are looking for it. Check out the plethora of "Energy Drinks" on the market now. I don't think caffeine and chemicals are what the doctor ordered for true, sustainable energy. Since we are in the age of renewable energy, why not take a serious look at how to materialize more energy into our personal lives? Loehr and Schwartz make a clear case that managing energy, not time, is the key to peak performance and personal renewal.

They write about three basics: health, happiness and balance. Their sound advice is the same for athletes, workers, and CEO’s.

“You learn how to stay focused, stick to a routine and eat right. We learned from these athletes you needed a certain kind of energy to perform well,” says Schwartz.

I’ll be writing a series based on Loehr and Schwartz’s book, The Power of Full Engagement. To be honest, I’ve had this book for nearly five years. I look at the cover all the time, knowing it has very important lessons for me (and others). I peak into the text now and then, but have never really committed myself to an action phase. Sound familiar? Right now in my life, having had major change and routine disruption to the max, I’m not managing my own energy properly and I’m getting tired. How about you? Are you tired? Are you feeling physically vital, spiritually fed, emotionally and socially connected, mentally focused? If you, like me, have some “less-than-yes” answers, let’s do this!

What can I say that might possibly get you on board with me in joining this new energy experiment? Here’s what I know – see how it is going for you. My life is good. I have many loving people in my life; I golf with a fantastic group of women every Wednesday evening (and being on green grass really does something for me!); I just attended a really fun jazz event at City Park with a new friend and the atmosphere was a delicious taste of summer ease; my work is exciting and going very well; I have the sweetest gray cat, Jack, on the planet; I enjoy great office suite mates and the weather in Denver is amazing. Expressing gratitude is a very powerful energy boost! This is definitely a must on any energy boosting prescription.

Here is what I also know – see how it is going for you. I’m spending the majority of my days (and evenings) working, thinking about work, planning my work; I’m not getting enough sleep – an age old behavior of mine; I’ve developed some new habit of “down time” with CNN; I’m not feeling rested upon waking; I am mostly separated from the stimulation of intellectual and social conversation since moving to a new city; and I am missing the joy and energy of exercising daily that I consistently had in my life and has been gone since a knee problem six months ago. Phew! That is a lot of energy disruption!

I’m “fine” but it’s not good enough. I want energy and balance and satisfaction in a life well lived. So – I’m on board. I hope you will join me. We can learn and experiment together in applying Loehr and Schwartz’s sage advice in all the areas of life to achieve The Power of Full Engagement.

Here are a few things from their book to bear in mind regarding Physical Energy. Take small, baby steps with me. Let’s set this up for success. Consider 1 or 2 things and do them. See how it goes. I’d love to hear from you! Maybe with you doing this with me I’ll get back to where I was accustomed to living – with physical vitality, spiritual aliveness, mental focus and social/emotional connection! Sounds good, yes?

Below segment excerpted from The Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, page 71:

Physical Energy: Bear in Mind
• Physical Energy is the fundamental source of fuel in life.
• Physical energy is derived from the interaction between oxygen and glucose.
• The two most important regulators of physical energy are breathing and eating.
• Eating five to six low-calorie, highly nutritious meals a day ensures a steady resupply of glucose and essential nutrients.
• Drinking sixty-four ounces of water daily is a key factor in the effective management of physical energy.
• Most human beings require seven to eight hours of sleep per night to function optimally.
• Going to bed early and waking up early help to optimize performance.
• Interval training is more effective than steady-state exercise in building physical capacity and in teaching people how to recover more efficiently.
• To sustain full engagement, we must take a recovery break every 90 to 120 minutes.

Yes, I will repeat that one! We must take a recovery break every 90 to 120 minutes to sustain full engagement!

For these next two weeks, I'm picking the water and getting more than 5-6 hours of sleep per night. Remember, baby steps! I'll let you know how it goes. I hope to hear from you too! Here's to your energetic and more productive, satisfied day!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Performance Anxiety - Getting Free!

The businessman who gets nervous every time he has to give his 30 second elevator speech (yes, there are many); the talented tennis player who feels self-conscious walking onto the court (yes there are many); the gifted violinist who is sure people won't like her performance (just ask her instructor of this prevalence!). These are the people who have the talents to really excel in their passions. And, yes, there are so many people suffering from performance anxiety and not able to share their gifts with ease and satisfaction.

Aaron Beck, a pioneer in the area of "Evaluation Anxiety," described the basic anxiety of performing in front of an audience; of being evaluated. For a lot of performers, no matter if it's business, athletics, or music, the nervous biological disturbances come down to some basic concerns:

1) Will they like me/approve of me?

2) Will they like/approve of my performance? (Often individuals can confuse their own worth with the worth of their performance.)

3) Will I perform "well-enough" to meet my own standards and those of others? Will I perform "well enough" to feel proud and make others proud of me? And conversely, will I avoid embarrassment from others' judgment and my own judgment?

I continue to be amazed, even after 22 years as a practitioner working with a wide variety of people, that we all really want to please people. But it is clear, ALWAYS, that we are our own worst critics. The main person that is nearly impossible to please is us. I work with individuals so they can be pleased with themselves. Sounds simple enough, huh? Oh contraire. There are a host of experiences, beliefs, and blocked emotions all compacted within the physiology of the cell structure. In essence, this blockage can not allow the individual to feel good, let alone “good enough.” It seems to be the core issue to clear -- the rest falls easily in line once we clear these blocking beliefs that create all the self doubt about being good enough.

The "will I be good enough?" is usually expressed by clients as "I'll never be good enough." There is a wide array of experiences that have deeply ingrained this belief into my client's system. But take heart. This belief can and does move out. I see it over and over, often quickly. It's why I love Emotional Freedom Technique as my major tool. It gets this core belief out of the cells' physiology. I see the client beginning to KNOW they are good enough for the performance. And they are. They excel.

The 30 minute elevator speech is given with more enthusiasm and confidence. It is even re-written, since the businessman feels a new sense of himself and what he offers. The tennis player loses her self-consciousness because the evaluation and performance anxiety is gone. The body is calm, self assured, and she is focused and prepared. The violinist has prepared with an absence of pressure. The rehearsals are free and flowing, the fingers move with ease. Many say, after using EFT, "My hands feel really good! I know that sounds weird, but my hands and fingers feel free and really good!" Yes, that's what getting rid of performance anxiety is all about -- getting it out of the physiology of your body. Out of your cells! Possessing the freedom to do your best and feel good about it. Now that's a good thing!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Peak Performance in Sports Performance!

The Roger Federer, Andy Roddick final of the 2009 Wimbledon was, indeed, a display of peak performance in sports performance! Did you see it? Amazing or awesome is not a strong enough word to describe the level of play of Federer and Roddick. The fifth set went 15-13 (no tiebreaker at Wimbledon). It was unbelievable. Anyone could have won that match. They both won that match. But Roddick lost. And Roger Federer surpassed the all time record for the most Grand Slams ever won in tennis history.

The agony of defeat on Andy Roddick's face was deservedly intense. He played his heart out, never losing focus over the course of an extremely intense, long match. He kept firing winners, down the backhand line -- executing defense and offense nearly flawlessly. He had Roger Federer, the greatest tennis player of all time, in his reach the entire match. Federer cold not break him. He was "this close." And he lost.

Agonizing. How do you recoup from this kind of loss? How do you do it quickly and efficiently? How do you get so smart that you notice every possible subtle tail end of that loss that may affect your future play?

Here is my advice to Andy Roddick - and any athlete that has suffered a major loss. Use EFT to clear your entire physiology (remember emotions come from chemicals that have lodged in the cell receptor sites). Clear the chemicals of the disappointment of loss from every cell. Clear every emotion from that excruciating review of the match where you might be saying, "if only I had done that differently, or . . . " Clear every emotion from that difficult loss from your chemistry so that all your practicing and future matches are completely clear of any blockage. This is crucial. You do not need to be hearing John McEnroe speak about, "He's just not playing the same since his 2009 defeat at Wimbledon." "He doesn't seem to have that same fire ever since his tough loss on '09..."

EFT can clear every subtle but powerful blocking emotion and belief. Disappointment, anguish, hurt, exhaustion, "came up short," "why didn't I win?," "lost my chance" . . . the unconscious will make up what seems silly to a professional athlete and grown man. But believe me, it will. And EFT can clear it so that the next matches are free of any negative blocking disturbances. The next practices and matches can be full of the same and even greater sense of vigor, optimism, confidence, assuredness, "in the zone" ability.

Carry on Andy! And congratulations Roger! What a gift to watch the exquisite purity of athletic ability and competition. Thank you for such a splendid display of powerful performance!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Michael Jackson - Gone Too Soon

I've been watching the news of Michael Jackson's death non-stop for a week now. I was-am-a huge fan of Michael Jackson. His magical dancing kept me in awe. The purity of his voice shimmered just like his white glove when he sang "Have You Seen my Childhood?" and "Gone Too Soon." I used to sing "Gone Too Soon" outdoors when no one was around. The lyrics and melody and quality of singing touch me deeply. He wrote it when Princess Diana died. Every word rings true for his life spirit and death.

"Like a comet blazing through the evening sky ... gone too soon...."
"Born to amuse, to inspire, to delight. Here one day, gone one night... gone too soon."

Michael Jackson was amazing - his talent unquestionable. But perhaps the quality most alluring of all was his tender heart. We will never know the truth of all his more questioned actions. But when you hear Michael talk about his love for children around the world, and when you hear his friends and family express their admiration and love for his heart you have to wonder. could it be his heart that was overlooked amidst all the amazement at his talent? His heart, perhaps, too tender for the trappings of his constructed world.

Dear Michael, Thank you. I hear you singing with amazing clarity and heart, "Gone Too Soon." Indeed, Michael.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Afraid of your drives?

I was having lunch today with a young man in his 30’s ( that used to sound old, but now it’s young!). He brought up The Secret as he was asking me about EFT and how I use it with golfers. He is an avid golfer and expressed that each time he walks up to the tee box he is fearful that he will slice the ball. Wow, talk about a set- up for slicing the ball! He has been trying to “talk himself into” just using positive thoughts that he will hit the ball straight and powerfully. He focuses on these thoughts. It sounds good, doesn’t it?

The Secret is a favorite book of many – and I, too, enjoy the book and have loved the many contributors and their wisdom for years. I do find in my experience working with people, and with myself, that there is one big ingredient missing in The Secret. It is one thing to say “change your thoughts and change your reality.” And I know that this is, indeed, what happens. Reality and your sense of peace and happiness does shift once the negative thought shifts to a positive. The trick is in how you truly get that thought to shift.

Trying to convince yourself of anything when you really don’t believe in it is never going to work. Let’s not forget that the subconscious mind controls 96% of our behavior and thoughts. So when the subconscious mind is rehearsing fear about slicing the ball, and that fear is literally a chemical in your cell receptor sites, you can rehearse all you want about hitting the ball straight and powerfully. It is not going to fly!

The beauty of EFT is that you address the NEGATIVE THOUGHT which causes the disturbance in the body’s energy system. When I use EFT with a golfer like this, we tap on the very thought he wants to shove back in the closet and pretend doesn’t exist. When this golfer insists on using his conscious mind to talk himself into “ I am hitting the ball straight and powerfully” the subconscious mind will be saying, “ yeah, go ahead, say what you want. I still know you can’t do it and you’ll slice the ball!” That is how the subconscious mind works. It believes what it believes, until the fear or any other negativity is literally removed from the body’s energy system. I’ve seen it hundreds of times. Maybe it sounds crazy to you, but ask yourself – how has it worked for you, really, to just be using positive thinking to rid yourself of chronic problems that you really want gone?

I am biased. I have seen EFT do amazing things over and over. I still hear clients say, “That is amazing!” 95% of clients use those very words. The reason it is amazing is that it is addressing the negativity that is stored physiologically in the body’s energy system; in the body’s cell receptor sites. So when this golfer is willing to do EFT- to tap on, “Even though I’m afraid I will slice the ball every time I walk up to the tee . . . ” - he will experience amazing results in his fear going down by the mere fact of tapping on the acupressure points and saying some things I put into the equation. As his fear becomes zero, which usually happens quite rapidly, THEN WE CAN tap on, “ I see myself driving the ball straight and powerfully.” “I can feel my body turning in full rotation as I drive the ball with strength and accuracy” and other positive statements to really anchor his ability to do just what he wants.

We want what we want ( straight, powerful drives off the tee) and interestingly enough, the way to get it is not what we thought. Allowing yourself to see what the negative thinking is and applying EFT to those negative thoughts may just be your most powerful way to get what you want – a lower golf score and more pleasure doing it! Happy golfing!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Weight Loss: The Missing Ingredient

Weight Loss: the Missing Ingredient

There’s more to weight loss than exercise and proper nutrition. Ask any fitness trainer worth their salt. They ponder why people just don’t “stick with it.” Most people who struggle with cycles of weight gain and loss have very chronic and complicated relationships with food. No amount of great fitness training and nutrition education is going to clear up the client’s inner demons of thoughts and emotions about food and their bodies. I’ve watched it for decades.

• Food is my best friend; always there in time of need.
• Food is my worst enemy; always haunting me, always grabbing hold of me, taunting me.
• Fat can be my protection from anything I need protection from.
• Overeating calms my frightening feelings, my anxiety, boredom, loneliness . . . [you name it]
• Well, I “blew it” for today, so I might as well eat all I can. Tomorrow it’s “back on the program.” (Those Last Suppers add up!)

Overeaters will out-eat whatever exercise program they’re on if they don’t address the missing ingredient. This crucial ingredient is learning to handle difficult moments without the aid of food. It is eliminating food cravings and seeing all foods as equally satisfying psychologically and emotionally. They must learn to be truly free around all foods. “It’s important to enjoy the freedom to eat and the freedom not to eat!”

Bernadette Hunter, MS, is a licensed professional counselor and EFT Performance Specialist, with over two decades of experience helping compulsive eaters and dieters clear the obstacles to permanent weight loss. Bernadette employs the energy psychology tool of Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) as seen on TLC’s I Can Make You Thin. She offers EFT demonstrations to groups and you can also learn about EFT and Bernadette through her website at

Got Niche?

Lots of marketing professionals – good marketing professionals- have advised me that I must pick a niche for my work. Maybe someday I’ll follow their advice. Everything they say makes sense. It takes 3 years to get known in 1 market; 3 markets take 9 years. “You pick Bernadette. Do you have 9 years? People don’t know who to refer to you, and you’ll never get rich and famous.”

Well, for now, I continue to enjoy working with athletes, performing artists and business professionals. I like delivering my highest spiritual, clinical, intuitive, most humorous and loving self to this wide variety of amazing clients. They are: addicted, abusing food to calm themselves, full of rage, grief, just fired from their jobs, have cancer, are post-cancer, want more success in business. They are opera singers wanting to make it big, golfers looking for better drives and putts, tennis players yearning for a consistent power serve, Parkinson’s patients who know there is a better way to find relief from their symptoms. Many experience chronic emotional and physical pain from accidents, migraine headaches, insomnia. They are filled with old grudges, fears, and hurts that block their writing, their art, their every form of dancing in life. They are seeking the joy of knowing their true, highest, most powerful selves. They come in so many forms - all human, all lovely, all looking for healing, success, freedom.

So for now I’m just an EFT Performance Specialist – and all these people somehow find me. I’m glad they do. Yup, maybe someday I’ll listen to the marketing pros. Right now, I’m busy helping and being witness to my clients making profound changes. They get results mixed with self- acceptance and love. I think it’s a great combination! It’s niche-enough for now.