I was dubious, but hopeful [about hypnosis]. I have meditated for years and I know the benefits of meditation. I am also a very spiritual person, so I was hopeful that I could relax and experience something new.

First, I wanted to stop eating JUNK FOOD. I am healthy, fit and knew that that was not something I wanted in my body, but I seem to have no control over the cravings. Second, I wanted to work on de-stressing and having fears about getting sick. I have a high stress job that I enjoy, but I know that the stress was affecting other areas of my life and I didn't like it. Because we lost a child to cancer, I was, for the first time, afraid of becoming sick. Third, as I get ready to retire and pursue artistic endeavors as part of my retirement, I wanted to learn to let go of my “get it done now” attitude so that the creative and compassionate side of me would open up and flourish.

Goal 1–dropping junk food. Well, this has been an issue for me FOREVER. After the first session with Grace, I began to see my craving thought process interrupted. I wouldn't just jump into a box of cookies. Instead I would think about what was triggering that craving, and perhaps meditate through it. Now the first week, I did have some sweets, but not as many and only one day. That's a success right there! I listened to our session several times during the week—sometimes when I was out on a run. That was a great combination—healthy activity supported by healthy choices. The second session Grace [Smith] created an element of aversion—saying that junk food was poison and helping me to imagine how I needed real food from the earth to nourish my active and stressed body. I have a stubborn little girl streak and this little girl was part of the narrative of my hypnosis. I was going to help myself by helping my stubborn little girl show herself (and myself) self-compassion by eating yummy, whole foods and throwing away the junk food. In my hypnosis, I cleaned out all the junk food in my house. When I got home that evening—I cleared out all my junk food!!! Since that second session, I haven't had any junk food. It's not that I haven't had cravings–instead, I make a loving healthy choice for myself. All this great behavior is happening while at work, I am working 15 hour days—very busy stressful days. But by nourishing my body well—I am managing the stress and we hadn't even done the stress hypnosis yet!!! When we focused on de-stressing, I was then able to destress on command based on a suggestion made during a session. So despite crazy crazy work hours, I was happy, not overly tired and not eating junk food, which used to be my comfort food!! I listen to the sessions that Grace [Smith] tapes for me and I hear new things every time I listen, so it doesn't feel repetitive. We just started goal 3–opening up my channel of creativity. But already, I am seeing common things differently–clouds are not just clouds. The colors of flowers seem to vibrate. And I am thinking about how I want my first days of art in retirement to be–being still, listening and observing. Sitting with my tools–appreciating what I can do with them. Looking quietly at things that inspire me. Observing normal things like cars going by and seeing the energy  in them and allowing myself to imagine how I can become a part of those items–and what it feels like. Suspending my highly active rational brain so that my creative energy flows from me and into me. I have more sessions left and I cannot wait to see how all these practices inter-relate and intertwine.  One benefit I didn't anticipate, but one that I cherish, is that the self-compassion is expanding my awareness of others and leading me to be more compassionate in my dealing with others and with my environment. I try to smile at everyone–and I am finding that I am attracted to positive energy, confidence and love and I naturally seem to push out the poisonous negative energy. That's a thrilling side benefit for me!!!