Monday, December 16, 2013

Why Your Brain Struggles With Your New Year's Resolutions

As the year quickly comes to an end, millions upon millions of people begin thinking about their New Year's Resolution. Finding their motivation, their inspiration for making these changes, they mark the day on the calendar, January 1st, to begin anew.

Although it is well intended, over 88% of them fail. Not because they aren't motivated, but because haven't trained their brain. Willpower is like a muscle, it has to be trained before it can operate at it highest potential. Your pre-frontal cortex is a part of the brain that is responsible for will power. Instead of a broad goal like losing weight, a person needs to break it down into specifics, like exchanging a high fat food, to a healthier choice. Otherwise, it's the equivalent of asking your brain to lift 200 lbs!! Your brain isn't ready for that heavy load yet.

I know people who have decided to start jogging, even though they haven't exercised in years. Their intentions are admirable, but they haven't trained their muscles, mentally or physically. They buy the new shoes, the clothes, put their ear buds in, and head out for their first run. Within a very short time, they have either given up, or hurt themselves by pushing their bodies past their limit, resolving that running isn't for them. Soon they are reverting back to their old habits. The better option would be to start a walking program, and work up to jogging after their body was better conditioned. Any muscle needs to be trained, and this includes your brain!

 B J. Fogg of Stanford University said: “What a mistake – the whole idea around New Year’s resolutions. People aren't picking specific behaviors, they’re picking abstractions.”

Choosing an abstract goal is nearly impossible to achieve. Your brain needs to focus on a specific
behavior in order to be successful. What this means is instead of taking one huge bite, take small
nibbles, which trains the brain to a new behavioral pattern, a new habit pattern.

So if you decide to make a New Year's Resolution, here are a three suggestions.

1.  Make only one and don't forget to take baby steps in training your brain to make the necessary habitual        changes.

2.  Write it down as a daily reminder. Also, psychologically, it holds you accountable for the
     decision you made and can keep you motivated.

3.  Focus on the positive aspects, and not small setbacks that you might experience. Just because you had
     a piece of cheesecake, doesn't mean you have to give up on creating a new eating lifestyle. Remember
     willpower takes time to build, so don't beat yourself up. Just start again. Albert Einstein said " You never
     fail, unless you stop trying".

I wish you all a wonderful end to 2013, and a blessed, happy, healthy and prosperous 2014!!

Until next time....

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Stress and the Holidays~ Created or Imagined?

Whether we like it or not, the holidays are rapidly approaching. At my local grocery store, on one side of the aisle were Halloween decorations, on the other side, Christmas. I understand that this is the 'make it or break it' time for retailers, I was in retail for many years. However, what I am observing from clients, friends, and family members, is the FEAR associated with the holidays, instead of the joy.  Fear that there isn't enough time, enough money, enough, enough.... Is this the reality or an illusion that has been created by the media and by us?

Correct me if I am wrong, but the holidays appear to show up around the same time each year. So it shouldn't be a shock to any of us that Thanksgiving is only a couple of weeks away, and December follows in it's footsteps. Could it be that we are creating our own 'stress', by perhaps generating drama where it doesn't exist? Trust me, I use to be that person. Whenever November rolled around on the calendar, I would immediately go into the " Oh my gosh, there is so much to do", drama. It was a story that I told over and over, and of course others were eager to join me in telling their story as well. And yet, somehow each and every year, it always got done.

The holidays are a time when we become the season of what I call the "Overs". We over eat, we over spend, over drink, and over think! This is a coping mechanism that we have created to excuse our behavior. Good thing we have new years resolutions!  The reality is, very few resolutions are ever kept. In fact, Forbes magazine published an article that said only 8 % of people actually follow through on their promise. So what do we do? We beat ourselves up for not being able to commit. STOP IT!!

As a Board Certified Life Strategies Coach, I have some suggestions that worked for me, and perhaps they will work for you as well.

I know that for many, the holidays are a difficult time, especially if you have lost a loved one, or your life situation has changed. You see, most of us don't live in a Norman Rockwell painting or on a Folgers commercial. The media bombards us with images of family and friends gathered around the piano singing as the snow is falling. Then we look at our life and wonder what happened to us? One of the things that I find useful when I am feeling that way, is to help someone else. This takes the focus off of me, and onto the needs of others. This immediately shifts my perception from victim to gratitude.

Also, I have learned how to say "No", without guilt. I can now decline an invitation, without having to make up an excuse. If there is an event that I must attend, then I set a time limit. I may leave at the designated time, or I might find that I am enjoying myself, and choose to stay. However, if I decide to leave, I thank the host, say my good byes and head out the door. If I encounter someone who says" You are leaving already?", I simply tell them that I have another commitment, even if that commitment is only to myself by going home, putting on my PJ's and watching a movie. It's a win win for everyone.

I also shop throughout the year for family and friends. If I see something that I know for certain they will like, I buy it and put it away for the holidays. It's small bites instead of one large chunk at the end of the year, and much easier to swallow financially.

Another strategy is to create a holiday fund. I have money deposited each month into an account so I don't miss it. Then in November, it is re-deposited automatically into my main checking account. But even if you don't have that ability, you can easily create a container marked Holiday Fund. Put a certain amount in each paycheck, and you will be surprised at how much you save. I also throw extra change in a jar. By the end of the year, I usually have over $200.00!!

The reality is, there is nothing magical about January 1st, other than it's the inception of a calendar year. Your new beginning can start today if you are truly committed to making a change. So let go of the stress as much as possible. Don't allow it to rob you of the beauty that is right in front of you. Be grateful for all the gifts that you have been given, and don't forget to help those in need. We aren't promised tomorrow, and we can't re-live yesterday. All we have is right now, in this present moment.

I wish each and every one of you, a wonderful, joyful, and blessed holiday season.

Until next time~

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Aren't We All Terminal?

In the past couple of months, I have heard from two friends who've been given the diagnosis of ‘terminal’. Their reactions were dramatically different. One is in denial, refusing to talk about it, and is suffering through rounds of chemo and all the side effects that ensue. The other responded with quite a different attitude. He said “I have somewhere between a few minutes and forty + years to live”. He made me laugh even though he was still digesting the news.

Having studied the mind-body connection for many years now, I learn something new every day. The one thing I know for sure is that our attitude about life, will ultimately dictate the ending to our story.

I can speak from experience because I lived a good portion of my life in irrational fear. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was hiding behind a myriad of masks. I wore different ones depending on what situation I was in. I had a work mask, many different social masks, and I became so comfortable wearing them, I began to believe my own false identity. If ‘they’ only knew what I was really thinking, they wouldn't like me. I could easily morph into whatever you wanted me to be. I was lost in a sea of deception.

Now don’t get me wrong, fear can be your friend. It will warn you against dangers, and can alert you when you know something in your body doesn't feel right. Fear can become your ally. It is an emotion and one that we all experience. It can jump start you to take action, or completely devour your spirit until you find yourself in a fetal position in bed. It all depends on your perception.

I had the privilege and honor to spend some time with a very good friend of mine who knew she only had a few months left to live. Once she moved past the fear of losing her life, she truly began to embrace everything, even the pain. She told me that she had left all her emotional baggage at the carousel, never to be claimed. That’s when I realized that life really is a precious gift, and every day we should be grateful for the opportunity to begin anew. Why was I spending so much time deceiving myself and other? I put all my masks in a backpack and left them at the carousel as well. Living authentically was the gift that she gave me. I am forever grateful, and dedicated a chapter to her in “The Wellness Code”.

The reality is, we are all terminal. As soon as we are born, we begin to die. Now I don’t say that to be morbid, but to jolt you into the mindset that you never know when your last day on this planet will be.
We get so engrossed in our stories, be it our past, or our future, that we never fully experience living right now. Give up the notion that you can have a better past. It isn't going to happen, so why continue to re-live it? Our future is shaped by our actions today, so it’s critically important that we show up. There is finality to the word terminal, but we all have a finite amount of days. I thank my friends for reminding me of that. 
Each of us will have an ending to this story that we call life. The only person who ultimately gets to decide what that last chapter will look like, is you.  Here’s to happy endings….

Friday, September 27, 2013

Who Is Creating Your Reality?

How do you create a more authentic life? That is a struggle for millions of people. It’s so much easier for us to slap on a mask and hide behind it, because we have no idea who the heck we truly are.
We have been told for years that we should dress a certain way, act a certain way, drive a particular car, because that is the definition of “Making it”. Well I can tell you that I have many financially successful clients, and happiness has absolutely nothing to do with what they have acquired. They feel depleted, drained, and empty. They are spiritually bankrupt! You see, things come and go, and if you have associated your things with your self- worth, then if you lose anything, you also lose your identity. That is part of what I do, teach others how to change their perception.
I have been told many times that I am one of the most unconventional coaches/counselor, because I don’t subscribe to the “Go Big Or Go Home” belief. Each person has to do what resonates in the heart not in their head.
We think we have to live up to the expectations of our family, our friends, our peers, so we strive to achieve a goal that may not have been ours in the first place. We were told it was living the dream. Well I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live someone else’s dream. I want to live my own!
We live in a media driven society, and it’s a company’s job to convince us that we have to have their product or service. We are enticed to purchase the latest and greatest because without it, we are ‘less than’. That is marketing 101, and I know because I majored in it.
Just look at the pharmaceutical ads on TV. I counted 16, in a 30 minute news show. Here’s the thing you need to understand. After only 30 seconds of sitting in front of a television, you slip into an alpha-consciousness state. It’s a state of hyper suggestibility, one that is associated with hypnosis. That is why we are bombarded with drug after drug advertising. They want to convince you that you have a disorder or disease. I mute them, because I don’t want to subject my subconscious to that type of brainwashing.
We have become a prisoner of the media and now it’s time to be released. Are you defining your self worth by all your ‘stuff’? Pay attention to why you are doing it. Are you following the popular view of the day? Do you feel inadequate without it?
If you want to reconnect with your authenticity, then ask yourself, what really makes you happy? Most people don’t even know! What are your dreams? Is it downsizing your life to one that is simpler?
Did you know that 20 % of the population is on a daily anti-depressant? They need a drug just to get them through their day. Would they still need that drug if they were happy with who they really are, instead of a shell of themselves?
Let go of the fear of what others think you should be. Reclaim your identity or at least start the process of rediscovering who you really are. Don’t allow others to influence how you should live your life. Perhaps they are living in fear, so they are projecting it onto you. What are their motives?
We are all impregnated with a dream, what is yours? You may feel fear and uncertainty at first, but birthing takes time, you can’t plant and harvest in the same season, but at least plant the seed!!
And finally, don’t allow others to stomp on your dreams, whatever they are, even if people call you crazy. Be okay with people calling you crazy, because when you finally let go of what other’s think, you can start taking off those masks and revealing your true identity.
As Lisa Nichols said “Some motivation comes wrapped in sandpaper”. So don’t be afraid to scratch the surface. You might be surprised at what you find.
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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Why Friends and Family Sabotage Your Life

In my practice, after a client’s first session they are excited to have some ‘New Direction”. They have a plan and are ready to go home and share it with family and friends. The problem with that is most people, well-meaning or not, dislike change. When it is someone they care about, their first line of defense is to criticize what they are doing. They will tell them they don’t need to change, or that they have failed so many times in the past, why do they think it’s going to work this time? This is only their distorted version of reality, not the person who is in the process of changing.
 When a client tells me they feel ‘defeated’ (usually in the second session) I know words can have different meanings for each person. It could mean they are finished and want to stop the process, but more often it means that that they are feeling ‘deflated’ and need some emotional CPR. That is why it’s so important to hire someone who has the knowledge to understand the feelings behind the words.
I think most people are surprised at how often friends and family unknowingly will attempt to sabotage your efforts. They will do everything they can to keep you tied in with your old self in order to protect themselves from having to change. Change is scary for a lot of people.
Here are four basic types of behavior that I learned about from Dr. McGraw years ago.
1.       Overprotection.  The underlying message here is fear. “I don’t want to see you get hurt” or  “You are setting yourself up for failure again”. This pattern is very dangerous because it’s disguised as love and concern. Be very aware of their motives.
2.       Power Manipulation. In this type of sabotage, people will attempt to take away your personal power by talking to you like a child. They may say something like: “Who told you that going back to school was a good idea? You are too old.” Or,” Don’t be stupid and throw your life away by changing jobs”. This is a power manipulation move.
3.       Leveling. This is a way that people who feel inadequate will try to ‘level’ the playing field by bringing your down.  Your success poses a threat to them and they will sabotage you anyway they can.
4.       Safety in Status Quo.   People are comfortable with circumstances that they know, even if it’s not ideal. A change for the better is still a change, and a threat to what’s familiar and the status quo. These behaviors are usually subconscious and FEAR is the motivation behind it.
If you want to change your patterns of behavior and move beyond the toxicity in your life here are a few suggestions.
First and foremost, don’t get in your own way. What I mean by that is ‘Stealth Sabotaging” is something that we are all very good at. So don’t say you want one thing, and then go about doing everything you can to ensure it doesn’t come to fruition.
Drop the blame game. The “ He/She doesn’t understand me”, ship has left the dock. Let it sink. They don’t need to know why you are doing what you’re doing, just how to support you. It may seem obvious that going to eat pizza is not the best idea for someone trying to lose weight, so you need to speak up.  Tell everyone how they can support you, don’t assume that they know. If you feel someone is sabotaging your efforts, then think about how you would like to be supported and be clear and direct.
Make the changes you want the world to see. If you quit smoking, declare that you are now a non-smoker. In psychology they refer to this as boundary selection. You have purposefully made a decision based on what you want, regardless of anyone else’s opinion. You have the final say. Done deal!
And last but not least, if none of the above work, your last option is to change the situation. Either take a look at your decision, and perhaps make some minor adjustments with your goals to make them little less threatening, or change your tribe. That means surround yourself with supportive people instead of those who are trying to sabotage you.

It’s your life, and in the end, the only person who has the final decision over your thoughts, feelings and emotions is you, so make them ones you won’t regret. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Can a Belief Change in an Instant? By Linda McCarthy Ph.D

Can a Long Term Belief Change in an Instant?

I often get asked the question by clients: “So how long is it going to take me to change my beliefs?” For some reason, people think that I can give them a designated amount of time, and then at that point, poof, the issue will be resolved. The reality is that YOU and only you can determine how long that will take. Ultimately a belief is changed when you determine that you are ready for the story to end. Some of us hold onto our stories for days, others weeks or months, and still others hold onto them for years. They become such an integral part life that when I ask the question: “Who would you be without your story?” the response that I usually hear is:  “I have no idea”.
I know for myself, years ago I held onto a belief (which is usually someone else’s perception that we claim as truth) that if I got pregnant I would never be the same size again. I was told that story by new mothers who obviously had that experience, and that was their belief. I never took into consideration that I too was able to have my own experience separate from theirs.
After the birth of my daughter, I vowed to get back to my original weight by 6 weeks, and I did. I was wearing my pre-pregnancy clothes and people were amazed. I also had acquired an abdominal hernia from starting sit ups too soon, but that was a small price to pay for proving everyone wrong. Fast forward 9 months later,  and I was once again pregnant, this time with my son.  I was told that because my pregnancies were so close together, that my body wouldn't have time to recover and I might as well give my clothes to Goodwill. After he was born I began my regime and worked out even harder, 2-3 hours a day while the babies were sleeping. Anyone who has a newborn knows that you are sleep deprived, so I lived on caffeine which also suppressed my appetite.
I was once again back down to my original weight by 6 weeks, but something started to happen. I thought I still didn't look thin enough, so just a few more pounds. A few became 5, which became 10, until I was in the 90 lb. range. People began to tell me I was now too thin, which was music to my ears. I felt I had won that battle but ultimately, I was losing the war, the war with my body.
I had no idea the damage I was doing to my body at the time. All I knew was that I had entered the doors of anorexia, and it was closing behind me. No matter what anyone said, all I could think about was not letting go of my story which had been ingrained in my mind.
Then one day I took my children to see their pediatrician. He asked me how I was doing. I told him that I was great, never felt better, and was relieved that he didn't say anything about my weight. He gave them their checkups but as I was leaving he said something that changed my life. He said “Can you do me a favor? Go home and give your kids all the love you can. Write them letters take lots of pictures and videos. Because at the rate you are going, your body is going to cannibalize itself for protein and you will die. They are going to call someone else Mommy when your husband remarries.” He hugged me and left the room.
I stood there stunned, and my beliefs changed in that instant. I knew that I didn't want anyone else to raise my children, and I needed to change my life in order to make that happen. That was 26 years ago.
The only person who could ultimately alter the course of my life was me, but he held a mirror up to my face, and I didn't like the reflection staring back. If I’d had someone to hold me accountable for my actions, perhaps things would have been very different.  That is why I am so passionate about what I do. I want people to understand that by letting go of an old pattern or belief that no longer serves them, a whole new way of life can emerge from the shadows and illuminate your way. Let go of your story, and find out who you really are!

Until next time~

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Side Effects of Being Happy


Ralph Waldo Emerson said " For every minute you are angry, you lose 60 seconds of happiness",
This is such a profound statement, and so true.

Do you know that children smile on an average of 300-400 times a day, and adults average 20,
and that there are over 60 books written on the art of being happy? When did we forget how to be

Happiness researchers ( yes there are happiness researchers) define happiness as " The overall
appreciation for your life". What that translates into is: Do you live with enthusiasm, or is everyday
just another day?

What researchers found was that happier people lived longer more productive lives, sometimes up
to 10 years longer. And even when they were sick, their recovery time was significantly faster, even
from heart surgery, fractures, and strokes.

Martin Seligman, who is the author of 'Learned Optimism', studies optimism and the effects it has
on health and longevity. What he found was that the pessimist view most situations in their life that were negative as permanent, the norm. Whereas, those who were more optimistic, saw negative situations
as speed bumps, or temporary. In following both groups for a number of years, what Seligman found was that by the age of 45, those who were more pessimistic, were already less healthy, and by age 60, had
significantly higher bouts of illness, and twice as many infectious diseases because their immune system
was compromised. That's why it is so important to listen to your inner voice. We are talking to ourselves all day long, and on average, have about fifty thousand thoughts a day. So think about this quote by Robert Allen: " No thought lives in your mind, rent free". I love that quote. There is a price to pay for every thought that enters your mind, good or bad.

Did you know that our immune system depends on the signals it receives from the brain? When we are in a state of joy and happiness we release chemicals like dopamine, oxytocin, endorphins, serotonin, and nitric  oxide, and these have amazing effects on our body when we are happy.

Dopamine is synthesized deep in the brain, and when released, it gives you that feeling of pleasure. It makes people more talkative, excitable. Oxytocin, is known as the 'cuddle hormone', and is released when you are cuddling your child, or falling in love. Its a bonding hormone. A wonderful side effect of oxytocin, is that it also reduces inflammation in your body and stimulates the release of endorphins, which is called ' Natures Morphine'. Endorphins are released by the pituitary gland, when you are exercising ( like the runners high),
making love, or anytime you are excited. It also releases nitric oxide, which is a very powerful vasodilator.
This increase blood flow and allows for a continuance of blood in organs where it may have been previously restricted. And last, but certainly not least, is serotonin. This hormone helps maintain that ' happy feeling', and seems to keep our moods under control by calming anxiety, and even mild depression.

These are all natures chemicals, and studies have shown that our mood has a significant effect on either turning on or turning off these chemicals. When we are happier, our body has time to heal and self-repair. Now I am not saying by just being happy all the time you aren't going to be sick, but I would rather bathe my body in healthy chemicals, than those that are caused by stress. That is what I teach my clients to do, change their perception, because when you change your perception, you change your reality.

One study that I found fascinating was conducted by The University of California San Francisco, and published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. What they found was that those with strong friendships, had much higher levels of health inducing hormones, than those who did not. In fact, the data showed that friendships ranked even higher than spouses, because issues like money, child rearing, and infidelity can interfere in the spouse to spouse relationship. Whereas, deep friendships are there to emotionally support you through good times and bad.

I have a friend who is Greek, and he was telling me that when he goes back to Greece, his parents who are in their late 70's, don't even begin socializing until after 10 pm and it goes well into the the early morning
hours. It isn't uncommon to live into the 90's and even 100!!  In fact, the New York Times wrote an article about a Greek Island called 'Ikaria', and it is known as ' The island where people forget to die'.

They have much lower levels of heart disease, cancer, dementia and maintain very healthy sexual lives well into their 70's and 80's without pharmaceuticals. They use herbs and food like watermelon which contains citrulline. Citrulline is converted into arginine which produces nitric oxide and that is the power vaso-dilator I talked about earlier. And we all know areas of the body that need healthy blood flow to perform at optimal levels!!

So nurture your friendships, laugh as often as you can, find something to be grateful for, and smile. It will do your body good!

If you would like more information, go to my website and under the 'Resources' tab, and there will be a wonderful article by Dr. Wayne Dyer entitled " The 7 secrets of Happiness".

Until next time.....

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Can Stress Give You A Heart Attack?

I ask my clients all the time, " What are the side effects of being you?", and the majority of them
look at me like I have two heads. So I re-frame the question and ask: " If an alien wanted to take
over your body for the day, what emotions would they experience?"
Well, that brought a whole host of answers, with the top five being : Anger, Resentment, Frustration,
Hurt, and Exhaustion. I didn't see a lot of love, joy, happiness, and compassion.

The reason this is so important, is because researchers at Duke University did a study in 2004
that showed people who were otherwise considered healthy, but prone to anger, hostility,
and experienced high levels of stress, produced a higher level of a substance that promotes
cardiovascular disease and stroke.

This substance is called C-Reactive Protein. It's produced by the liver in response to inflammation,
and inflammation has recently been shown to underlie the plaque that forms inside arteries as they clog.

Duke was one of the first universities to link this combination of negative psychological responses
with higher levels of CRP in people without traditional risk factors for heart disease.

People with traditional risk factors for heart disease like obesity, smoking, diabetes, hypertension,
high cholesterol and a sedentary lifestyle, are more likely to have elevated levels of CRP,  however,
a large number of individuals without any identifiable causation , but had anger issues, had levels
two to three times higher than someone who described themselves as laid back or easy going.

Blood samples were taken from 121 otherwise healthy individuals with no known history or pre existing
condition of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or smoking. They were analyzed and
researcher found that those who displayed negative responses were producing much higher levels
of CRP than their counterparts. Dr. Suarez of Duke who conducted the study stated: " Our findings
suggest that the development of heart disease may also be due to psychological attributes that
activate the inflammatory process. And as we all know, most diseases in the body start out as minor

So next time you get your blood checked, if you are concerned, you might want to consider asking your doctor to check your CRP levels as well. Ask for the more sensitive HS-CRP test, which is more accurate in determining a persons risk factor for heart disease.

The bottom line is this. We are responsible for our thoughts, feelings, and emotions and as Dr. Lissa
Rankin said " We write our own prescription". That means we are able to control what chemicals
we  produce, positively or negatively, and our body will react accordingly. Take control of your
emotions, find tools like deep breathing, taking a walk, or even just begin to focus on what is right
in front of you, and name it. That will get you back into the moment, and not allow your mind to
go into a state of high stress. As silly as simple as that sounds, it works because it brings you back into the NOW.

You are the chemist of your body, so mix up some love, joy, and happiness and your body will
thank you for it.

Until next time~
Dr. Linda McCarthy Ph.D

Monday, July 1, 2013

Can you write your own Rx?

Did you know that your body responds to your thought pattern? Every emotion ( E=energy in motion), sends a signal to the cells in your body to respond.

We have over 50 trillion cells in our body and according to Dr. Bruce Lipton: “Receptors are molecular “antennas” that recognize environmental signals. Some receptor antennas extend inward from the membrane’s cytoplasmic face. These receptors “read” the internal milieu and provide awareness of cytoplasmic conditions. Other receptors extending from the cell’s outer surface provide awareness of external environmental signals.”
What does that mean? It means that the cells are in effect, responding to your thoughts. In our best-selling book “ The Wellness Code”, I wrote about how your cells are listening  to your emotions and saying, “Your Wish Is My Command”. 

When you encounter perceived threats your hypothalamus, a tiny region at the base of your brain, sets off an alarm system in your body. Through a combination of nerve and hormonal signals, this system prompts your adrenal glands, located atop your kidneys, to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. That is what it is designed to do, however, we are in a perceived threat modality all day long, be it the traffic jam, stress at the office, at home, or even listening to the news.  Our bodies never have time to power down and regroup, therefore, the cells are in a protective mode unable to grow and flourish. That basically slows down the immune system, and we are susceptible to dis-ease in our body.  

When you understand that you are your own chemist, and can control the hormones in your body, you can then make the ‘CHOICE’ to react differently, or in other words, change your perception of any given situation. When you change your perception, you change your reality. Your body then has the ability to return to growth and heal itself naturally. 
There are a number of things you can do to take care of your body. One is deep belly breathing. This helps calm your central nervous system. Ask yourself “ Is this true?” Many times we exaggerate a situation and the reality is not nearly as bad as our perception. Listen to your body. What does it need?  Do you need to stretch, to hydrate yourself, or have an attitude check?   Your body doesn't know the difference between reality and imagination and endorphins will automatically pump into your body when you smile, so find something or someone to smile about.

 Remember you are the chemist of your body, you make the cortisol and adrenaline,   and your perception of any situation is going to determine the outcome of your health. You literally  are writing your own Rx Which mean YOU are in control, and I think that’s kind of cool. Only 5-8% of disorders are genetic, the other 92-95%   is environmental, and that means you hold the key to how your body is going to respond, either in love or in fear, and both have very different outcomes. Let go of that old story, and start a new chapter.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What Happened to the Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer?

Ahh, summer is just around the corner. It's June and the warmer weather is finally here. The flowers are in bloom, the kids are either out of school or counting the days, and you are ready to enjoy your vacation. Summer is the time to relax, let go, and enjoy the fruits of our labor. Or is it?

With every electronic device imaginable, we are in constant communication 24/7. According to recent studies, we check our messages no less than every 6 minutes. Are you that important, are you on call, or is it that you have this NEED to be needed?  We are on information overload!

We have lost our ability to just shut down. I had a conversation with someone who was telling me how stressed she was and that she needed to decompress. I suggested a warm bath, some candles, maybe a glass of wine, and some relaxing music. She called me to tell me that she had everything in place and was ready to go. Realistically speaking ,we shouldn't have to prepare days ahead to take a relaxing bath. Most of us have at least one bathtub, some candles laying around, and of course our music. But the one thing that she insisted on bringing into the bath with her was her phone. She couldn't be unplugged from the outside world for 30 minutes without feeling serious anxiety. She said " What if something happens and I miss  the call?" I asked her if she had Voice Mail  and she laughed. The idea of being 'unplugged' from the world for only 30 minutes was a scary thought for her. She did it, and after a few minutes and a couple of sips of wine, she was able to just enjoy or live In-Joy for the moment. The realization that she could actually turn off her phone and survive, which sounds silly, but very real for her, was a victory. Now she schedules weekly decompression sessions with herself, without the phone. Even when we are supposedly not working, we are still available.
Cells phones have become the new accessory and all you have to do is look at a restaurant. More people are having a relationship with their phone, than the person sitting beside them.

Our bosses now how the ability to contact us via text messages, phone calls and emails anytime they want. How is that a break from the workplace? It isn't like you can just say " I wasn't home to get the call". We carry our phones with us everywhere. I even have heard women having a conversation in the bathroom at an airport the other day.

There was a study done in 1987 by the Dept. of Labor collecting statistics on the number of deaths by overworking. There is term for it. It is called -karoshi. In Japan the average work day is about 12 hours, and you are considered a good corporate soldier if you don't take vacations, sick days, and work over time. Some employees capped out at over 95 hours of work each week. This is the norm, and tens of thousands of Japanese citizens are dying each years from overwork and it was going unnoticed.  But why should we be concerned about that, after all, it's in Japan. Well, it's not only the Japanese who are dying from overworked conditions. Oxford Health Plan found that one in five Americans come to work sick, injured, or on medication prescribed that day. As far as vacation is concerned, over a third of U.S.  employees don't take their paid vacations which averages 14 days, compared to 26 days for the British, 37 for the French. In addition to that, the U.S. is the only country  that doesn't mandate vacation. Why are we so afraid to leave our desks? Do you think someone else will do a better job? Will your position be gone when you get back? Even on the beaches of California, I saw a good number of people with their laptops, working diligently instead of joining their family for some fun in the sun.

In fact, there is a 12 step program called Workaholics Anonymous, to help with all the stressors. Our body is bombarded with stress hormones all day long and eventually it's going to break down. It may start out as a minor inconvenience like a stress headache, or tight shoulders, but if we don't pay attention, the whisper will eventually become a scream for help. The inconveniences become illnesses like cancer, strokes, or heart attacks because we aren't LISTENING to our body. By ignoring our inner intelligence, we are dis-empowering ourselves, and not honoring our spirit.

Instead of going to the doctors office for a prescription, wouldn't it be great if they prescribed doing the work that you love as treatment for your illness. Finding a career that fulfills you , could possibly prevent or reverse the issues going on within your body. And this applies to the people that you surround yourself with as well. Are you being sucked dry by Energy Vampires?

Here's a secret. You teach people how to treat you, so you need to re-train them. Stand in your power,
not from an egotistical perspective, but out of love for yourself and your spirit.

I'm not talking about just walking away from your job if you can't financially do it right now, but start researching what you would love to do. If you could wake up every morning excited about work, what would that look like? Find an outlet for your creativity, and release it. Its all about you and making your soul happy. I love to dance around my family room, with the music blaring and singing at the top of my lungs. If you saw me you would double over in laughter ( and that is healing as well) but for me, its therapeutic. I am a pretty good dancer, and a terrible singer, but here's the thing, WHO CARES?

Honor who you are, you are loved, and when you are able to love yourself, you can give love to others without expectations. After all, love is the only imprint we leave when we depart this world. Nothing more.

So dance, sing, ask you spirit what it needs, and most of all LISTEN to the whispers.

Until next time~

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Love Is In The Air

                               Happy May Day or Beltane. 

Today is May 1st and everywhere I look, babies are being born. I have 13 quail eggs in a planter in my backyard, and I can't wait for them to hatch. 
The flowers are blooming, new life is being born, a time of renewal, and love is in the air. 

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with a professional Matchmaker, and our conversation was quite interesting. She told me that so many of her clients are looking for love in all the wrong places ( anyone remember that song?) In case you don't here is a link to the song. . These television shows that portray the perfect woman as tall, thin, under 30 and usually blonde, are what the men over 40 are looking for as their ideal mate. Not that there is anything wrong with being tall, blonde, thin and under 30, but for men over 40, they are thinking with the wrong part of their body. They keep coming back to her, disappointed that there was no 'love connection'. Of course there isn't, they are in different stages in their life. If you are only looking for arm candy or a sugar daddy, then they will fit together like a hand in a glove. But if you are looking for a partner, someone that you can share you life with, then you are looking in the wrong direction.
Now women, well they are looking for 'Mr. Tall, dark, and handsome'. I had to laugh when she told me  that the men her female clients ( again over 40) were looking for, had to be around 6 ft tall, great body, full head of hair, made over $200,000 and had little to no baggage. Talk about a tall order! I have yet to meet any man over 40 who doesn't have any baggage. It's called life!

I decided to sit down and write this blog about finding real love. Of course they need to be physically attractive to you initially, but the real attraction comes from within. I know you have heard that before, but if you are honest with yourself, you know that it's a true statement. So before you throw the baby out with the bathwater, I would ask you to think about this question. What are your three non-negotiables?
That's right, the three things that will make or break a relationship no matter how tall, handsome or beautiful someone is. 
One of mine is smoking. I can't be around anyone who smokes. The smell irritates my eyes, my lungs, and to be honest, they smell like tobacco. I personally don't find that appealing. So for me, that is a non- negotiable. 

Too many singles out there have set the bar so high, it's impossible for them to meet anyone that has the potential to be perfect for them. When you are only looking for 10's, you are bypassing the 7's and 8's that could be your soul mate. What I am finding in my practice, is that FEAR is the reason they sabotage themselves. Fear of rejection, fear of being hurt, and fear of opening their heart. They want love so badly, but yet the fear is holding them back. 

Now that love is in the air, I am asking you to step outside your box, feel the fear and do it anyway. Make a list of your three, and only three non-negotiables, otherwise you will have a list a mile long. What does love look like to you now? Don't go back and lament over the past. That is over, and the future is not promised to you. You are a new person every single day. In fact, your cells are dying and new ones are born every second in your body, so you really are a new person. What does love look like for you right now? Really think about that question, and then don't be afraid to go out and find it. 

If you need help in negotiating the waters, I am here for you. Email me or give me a call. I always give 15 min free consultations or will answer you emails as soon as possible. 

May is a time for renewal. So I hope you will renew your life, live in joy, happiness, health, and of course IN LOVE.

Until next time....


Monday, March 18, 2013

What is my Archetype?

How many years have you been attempting and failed to figure out who the heck you really are?  Although we adapt and change throughout of life, we have  basic 'Archetypes' that define our true nature.

So what is an Archetype you ask? Great question.  An archetype is the key to your personal power. Best selling author Caroline Myss, has done it again with her latest book  "Archetypes, who are you?". It is a perfect introduction into the world of discovering the 'real you'. As Caroline so beautifully stated: "Archetypes are are the psychic lenses through which we view ourselves and the world around us." I have discussed in my past blogs about the masks that we so carefully wear everyday, and this book allows you to reveal your 3 basic archetypes, and the role they play in your daily life. What I have discovered, is that when you live from a place of authenticity, the stress of believing that we must portray ourselves to be someone other than who we really are, begins to vanish. Your inner power can now reveal itself, not from a place of ego, but from an strength that has been waiting to emerge.

Did you realize that you have been reading archetypes your whole life, but it was probably disguised as labeling or judging someone? One issue that keeps reappearing over and over with my clients, is how they are 'wiped out' after talking to someone, be it a friend, family member, or at work.
 I have taught my clients to be aware of the 'Energy Vampire' archetype around them. These individuals will
suck the energy right out of you, if you aren't careful. The Vampires always feels so much better after
they have extracted every ounce of energy they can, with their invisible but powerful fangs. You, on the other hand, are barely able to function after the encounter. One of my main archetypes is Caregiver, so energy vampires are drawn to me like a dog to a bone. Awareness and protection is the key.

Before my knowledge of archetypes, I  would notice that after a conversation with a vampire ( AKA someone in need of advice) I would feel like I had been sucker punched. What just happened? I went into Starbucks feeling great and full of energy, and came out like a zombie. No amount of caffeine could help me at that point, except maybe an I.V. directly inserted in my arm! If I had understood about archetypes back then, I can guarantee my health would have been much better. My cells were tuning in to my energy, and they were drained. How could they possibly do their job, when I was battering them with barrage of negativity that I had taken on from others.

Years ago, I learned about Archetypes from a colleague and good friend Meryl Martin.
Meryl is an Intuitive Medical Counselor and a graduate of the Institute of Scientific Medical Intuition, taught by Caroline Myss and Dr. Norm Shealy. M.D.

From that point on, I became more aware of reading the different archetypes in not only clients, but in my own family as well. Understanding archetypes will influence your interactions with others, your love life, your financial spending habits, as well as the patterns that keep repeating themselves.

I am a BIG believer that knowledge is power. After recognizing your basic archetypal patterns, you can take back the reigns of your life and control the direction you want to go, instead of allowing others to lead you.

I will be giving a seminar on Archetypes and dating in the near future, and blogging about the skits that the participants will be performing. This should be FUN.

In the meantime, check out your archetype for free at: and let me know what three main ones show up for you.

As always, until next time...

Linda McCarthy Ph.D

Monday, March 4, 2013

Another Transition, are you kidding me?

I am back, and recovered from 'bloggers block'. I have been going through some personal
transitions, and needed to take a break from writing. I found myself doing more speaking than writing,
which I guess served me for a few months. Both the spoken word and written word are very powerful
in helping one experience transitions in their life.

The real work comes in how we show up during these transitions. Do we hide our head under
the covers and peek out to see if anyone is looking, or do we immerse ourselves in so much
busy activity, that we haven't allowed ourselves to experience the feelings of our ' New Normal'?

I work with many clients experiencing major life transitions. They are looking for guidance on how to navigate the choppy waters. I guess you could say I am their compass, providing them with options depending on the direction they want to go. Their work, is to take the first step.

What I have been noticing lately is that so many people are afraid to reveal who they really are. The changes in their life have triggered old patterns of fear, and insecurity. Releasing the past, whether it be a relationship,
a job, or just taking off the masks that we have worn way too long, can be a very scary place.
The coping mechanisms are usually one of two choices. Either revert back to the old patterns, which is
is a very safe place to fall, or completely immerse ourselves in new activities, relationships, not allowing
for that period of transition. What if we end up exposing our insecurities, and others realize that what appeared to be 'perfect' was nothing more than an illusion? Perfection is exhausting, and unattainable. Let it go!

I like to think of major transitional periods ( which according to research, happens approximately every seven years) as a time to begin anew. With challenges also come new opportunities to grow and spread
our wings. Who wants to live a live a mediocre life? Not me! I may have been uncomfortable with the changes when they first appeared at my doorstep,  but I have rediscovered a strength that I had long forgotten. I had become complacent, allowing life to run on auto pilot. Now I am back in control, and it feels amazing. I am fully awake, an no longer sleep walking through my personal life.

Letting go of the dreams that we had years ago, can be either painful or freeing. Those dreams of the past no longer serve me, and my aspirations are different now. That's the great thing about dreams, you aren't
bound to them, unless you choose to be. You can tweak them, change them, but NEVER GIVE UP
on your dreams. Don't allow anyone to take that away from you. Know that you deserve to dream, and whether its big or small, it's yours and yours alone.

So step forward, show the world the REAL you, flaws and all. That's what makes us all so unique and
wonderful. We don't have to be perfect thank goodness. Know that you are perfect just the way you are, and that has to be good enough. Otherwise, you are continually arguing with reality, and reality always wins! So what's your New Normal?
Until, next time...