Jul 05 2016

Afraid Of A Frog

Category: Fears & PhobiasPatricia @ 11:31 am






Mark Twain was a wise man who gave advice in a colorful yet simple way. One thing many of us need advice about is how to conquer our fears. The little every day fears. The ones that creep into your head first thing in the morning when you wake. Those things left undone; or unsaid. Those tasks that you may not want to do. The ones that make you feel uncomfortable or doubtful. Or the ones that seem too big to handle. Maybe it’s something that needs to be done at home. Maybe it’s a work thing. Maybe it’s something you need to do for yourself. Most of us procrastinate because it scares us or overwhelms us. It’s just too hard to deal with it. We don’t know how to start. Mark Twain tells us, “Eat a live frog first thing every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

Eating a live frog is disgusting and YUCKY!!! I can’t imagine anyone enjoying that! But Twain was not being literal. The frog is your task. The yucky task. The one that needs your attention. But maybe the task is not yucky. Maybe it’s your thinking that is making it feel that way. Maybe the results of finishing the task are wonderful!

When you procrastinate eating your frog, you create a new set of problems. It’s impossible to concentrate on other things. You’re distracted. You can only think about the frog you need to eat later. Besides, when you put things off, you give yourself time to imagine every possible thing that could go wrong. You focus on the difficulty. You resent the time you need to spend on eating the frog. You want fast food! And now the frog seems bigger and more complicated. You may begin to resent the frog and everyone connected to it. You are focusing on what you don’t want!

When you eat the frog early in the day you gain a sense of accomplishment. You take care of what you want. You feel proud of yourself for having done that. It’s a great way to start the day feeling successful. Finishing that necessary task gives you the momentum you need to do other things. Everything is easy compared to the dreaded frog. Take care of the priority. Allow yourself to feel all the positive emotions connected to accomplishing the task. Confident, successful, happy. You may feel lighter after having let go of the burden you have been carrying.

Frogs can get very heavy and cumbersome. They can become difficult to handle and weigh you down. Have the courage to eat the frog. Even if it’s scary, get the yucky stuff over with and move on. Feel the satisfaction of having conquered your fears. And recognize that you always have the power and the control to focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want. And then enjoy the rest of the day!

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Jun 14 2016

Focus on the Inside

Category: Fears & PhobiasPatricia @ 10:29 am



Sometimes in life outside events influence who we are and who we become. When we experience global or national tragedies, we are affected by the emotions of all those concerned. The truth is…we are one. And when some of us are hurt, all of us are hurt. There is a connection. A coherence.

This week, an act of violence was committed by one individual. Yet many souls were affected by it. A heart does not beat solely for the individual. It beats for all those who love that individual. And when that heart stops beating, everyone feels the pain; the loss; the empty place. It hurts us. We ask, “Why?” We feel helpless. What can we do to stop this violence? How do we stop the hate?

We may look to our elected officials. We ask for more laws. We fear. We look for those that are different. We create suspicion. We look outside of ourselves. We will never find peace by looking outside. We will never know harmony in the outside world of society, unless each individual is living in harmony with their inner world.

When tragedy strikes, people come together. Love reigns supreme. We help each other. We pray for each other. We focus on what we want. We focus on what is best for everyone concerned. Labels are eliminated. We are one people. Human Beings.

The truth is…we know how to stop the violence. We know better. We know how to stop the hate. It’s an inside job. And scientific research has proven it to be so.  More than 600 research studies conducted at more than 200 independent universities in 30 countries have demonstrated the profound benefits of practicing meditation. It has been demonstrated that the square root of one percent of a population practicing meditation in one place is sufficient to neutralize negative tendencies and promote positive trends throughout the whole population. This is known as the Maharishi Effect, first demonstrated by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who introduced Transcendental Meditation.  This phenomenon is also known as the Field Effect in the science of Physics.

An experiment took place in the summer of 1994 in Washington DC. It was predicted in advance that there would be a decrease in violent crime by 20%. This prediction was sent to all the major news media and over 1400 scientists and politicians in the region. The Washington chief of police responded by saying that the only thing that would decrease crime by 20% would be 20 inches of snow. At the time, crime was rising by 10% per year. As the experiment started, the group of advanced meditators started growing gradually. By the end of the experiment, violent crimes were down by 23%. The chance that this close relationship between meditators and decrease in crime could have been due to a coincidence was less than one in 500 million.

Normally your attention is directed outside of yourself. The focus is away from “I am”. Instead you focus on the things you observe, do, or think. You lose yourself in the world around you. When you allow your mind to come to a state of true silence, where you don’t observe, do or think anything, the mind comes home. True silence is simply being you. If there is one formula for success in life (both material and spiritual) that all ancient cultures agree on, it is “Be yourself.”

Ancient wisdom tells us that simply being yourself is the way to a higher divine reality. When you create a higher divine reality for yourself, you influence the field of reality outside of yourself. When the world outside is going crazy, go inside. It’s the best thing for everybody. It’s the place where you are totally in control of your world.



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May 03 2013

Leaving the Past Behind

Category: Fears & PhobiasPatricia @ 5:40 pm

Fire Drill yesterday was a little different than the ones I remember from elementary school. Do you remember the unexpected fire alarm which compelled us to follow the teacher’s orders? We were quiet, compliant and also a little excited. We knew there was no fire! There was no danger. This was a great opportunity to move out of the classroom and onto the playground. Fire Drill was fun!


Not yesterday. Fire alarms were real. Danger was here and now. As the mountain blazed and the wind whipped the flames, I watched and waited. I packed the car with the essentials. What are essentials? I made choices. 



The contents of my car waiting to evacuate: My dog, Sophie with her leash upon her; external hard drive; husband’s prescriptions; ancestor’s photos; passports; bills & checkbook & credit cards; phone charger; a ship in a bottle that my dad made; the will & trust; my jewelry box; a piece of my son’s artwork – a kindergarten Mother’s Day portrait. I thought if I needed to I would grab all the photo albums and as many clothes as I could. As an artist, I knew I would have to leave all the original work behind, but I could always create more.

After the danger had passed, I considered that I had actually done quite well in gathering the essentials. I’m going to make a list to remind me of what I need if it should ever happen again. A little preparedness makes it easier to leave the past behind.



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Jan 17 2013

Aftershock – the 1994 Northridge earthquake

Category: Fears & PhobiasPatricia @ 4:02 pm

         January 17, 1994

          4:31 am



Shock. Electric and explosive. Adrenaline pumps. Breath quickens, as survival mode begins. Senses are heightened to a surreal terror. The world is being ripped apart and the primal brain comes alive to cope with the panic.

Sound that cannot be. Thunderous crashing. Wailing. Groaning. A deep rumbling noise beyond anything imagined. So big. So powerful. A beast unleashed. The ground is breaking open. And I can hear the scream. And the scream is coming from me. From the center of the earth. From the center of my being.

I am so afraid.

Light shines through the window. Creating silhouettes of chaos. Trees swaying beyond moving walls. Surely the house will split in two. Fragile pile of wood and mortar held together with insignificant bits of metal. Little box which holds our stuff, our family, our love. The earth is shaking, quaking, trembling and jumping up and down in a tantrum of raw, unleashed power. I feel as if the bed is atop a seat in a carnival dunk tank; rigged and ready to drop into the bowels of the earth when the right hit comes. Holding tight to the sheets, I thrash about as the unstable waterbed beneath me sloshes and rolls. Awakened to unknown danger by the violent surge of energy moving beneath me, my body is aware of instability and turbulence. I tense.

Beside me, Michael flies from the bed. One second he is with me, snuggled in the warmth of our together. The next moment, he is passing my side of the bed, heading out of the room. How did he do that? How did he move like that? I no longer trust my senses. Time and space are playing tricks on me. It’s as if he must have floated above the ground on angel feet, propelled by the urgency of a father in search of his son.

“Why are you screaming?” he asks.  So nonchalant. So in control. Silence is my answer as a blanket of fear wraps itself around me. A stifling, smothering blanket. How do I process what my mind isn’t able to grasp? When did it start? How do I count how long it is? How long is a second?

And the earth continues to crash and groan. Will it stop? Will this one ever stop? Is this “The Big One”? Is this how it ends? Stop. Please Stop. Please. Now. Stop. Please.

And then it is quiet. And the quiet is deafening. It’s okay. I tell myself to breathe now. Little noises of beings and things adjusting themselves. A universal sigh. Alive.

Out of bed. Turn on the light. Shaky knees. That wobbly feeling when you step off an amusement park ride that has disturbed your senses. Run to them. Husband. Child. Hugs. We’re okay. Except for a bump on the knee.

Digital clock flashes 4:39 a.m. Bang! Like thunder before lightening strikes. Power out. Again. On no. It’s bad. Very bad.  As if the entire house is being lifted up off the foundation. Violent. Banging. Over and Over.

 “How big is it?” I ask myself. As if I could give a Richter scale reading or evaluate it in any way other than TOO BIG!!!!  Maybe the first one is a pre-shock to an even bigger one? No! Can’t handle that thought. And the violent shaking goes on.

My mind no longer understands before or after. It only understands now. And right now, the terror within is wide awake. And blind. No longer screaming on the outside, I may be speechless. Unable to process my thoughts or express myself, I am rendered mute.

Quiet again. Now is the time to check. Assess the damages. Things thrown about and scattered. Broken pieces heaved around. Disorder but not Disaster. Get a flashlight. No candles before we check for gas. Put on the clothes hanging on the chair discarded before sleep. Shoes. Damages viewed through the focused point of a flashlight beam. Only able to see bits and pieces isolated from the whole. Only able to take in a little at a time. Mindlessly pick things up. Make note of broken glass for future clean-up. No major cracks. No gas leaks. No fires.

Leave the house.  Step around bricks thrown from chimney tops into the street. Greeted by neighbors and more flashlight beams. The scent of a cinnamon candle left over from the holidays. Familiar faces now eerily painted with Halloween strokes of illumination.

Stars are magnificent when the lights have gone out and you are plunged into darkness… complete primal darkness. Points of light poking through the ink black fabric of the heavens. A countless number of bright and shiny diamonds stretched across a vast, velvet universe.

“Are you okay? Is everyone okay?” Michael bumped his knee. We’re all okay. Alive.

I need to pick things up, to straighten my surroundings. To put the world back in order. I like things tidy. I like to be comfortable and in control of my environment. I realize I am no longer in control. But it is dark. Wilderness dark in a suburban world. How quickly electricity changes things. Michael tells me, “Wait until you can see.” He is practical. Even though I am anxious, this makes sense.

So we three settle in together upon the living room couch.

It is cave dark, And Mother Earth continues to quiver and groan. Will she rest? Is she ready to settle down? Or is she only resting to build her strength?

Exhausted, we have no option but to sleep.

The sky awakens with the gray light of dawn, and my mind tries to understand where I am and why. Dream state collides with reality. The only thing we can do is begin again.

And so we three start the day that will change our lives Forever.

Dazed, we walk around in shock. Disturbed. Uneasy. Anxious. Ignorance is not bliss. I need to know what is happening. How big was it? What’s the damage? Listening to the battery powered radio as I go from room to room picking up the pieces of our world. A TV has moved from the table to the window sill behind it…just a little further and it would have gone through. Contents of medicine cabinets spilled into sinks. Toilet tank cover in broken pieces strewn about in the bathtub and on the floor. Every thing on every surface…disturbed.

News of major devastation and chaos and death. Communication from outside of “the area”. To tell us what we know. It was a Very Big Earthquake.

Electricity comes back. I turn the television on. Reports of unbelievable damage and incredible images. More shock. We try to get on with our lives. To make a plan. We’ll go to the boat.  Make sure Necessity is okay. (She’s not a luxury, she’s a Necessity.) We’ll get more batteries. We don’t know how long the power will be on.  Shower and dress and its 1:00 p.m. and another major aftershock hits.

And the earth trembles and the house crashes. I watch as a lamp tumbles over and window blinds sway and rattle, as the room jumps and jitters. I cringe in the doorway, seeking refuge, stability, some protection from this upheaval. When it stops shaking and I can’t. I gather myself and my shoes. A swipe of lipstick. I run downstairs to Michael and Adam and we huddle.

Adam is anxious. It’s not surprising.  Ready to spring into action. To duck under a table. To quickly move away from windows. To be aware and alert. His world is coming apart. His normally calm and peaceful mother is falling apart, and his father is in pain and starting to limp from a bump on the knee.

Drive to the boat. Usually a calming and relaxing journey through the mountains, today it is unnerving. Everything is unnerving. We take the freeway. We’re afraid to drive through the canyon when the earth is so alive. Road could be blocked. Landslides and rockslides. Edge could be unstable. Unknown danger.

At the harbor, safe on K dock, we check on friends. Cradled in their boats, they barely sensed the tremor. More aware from the news rather than from the experience. Everything is as it was here on the dock.

Laurelwas there. She tells me of the flu. Details of the sickness. So cold, but sweating. So much sweating. She was so weak, so cold, so hot, so sick. But now she was better. Very bad flu going around.

We gather our things, our selves and what is left of our wits. We head home on the freeway, like a frightened horse returning to a burning barn. Radio on and the broadcaster in LA is saying, “Here comes another aftershock.” Seconds later, as the vibration reaches us and ripples outward, we feel the car jig a little. Arriving on our street, we find the neighbors have congregated again. Summoned to look up at the chimneys and check on each other.

Open the door and see disorder all over again. A bad dream repeated. The world has come apart and things have tumbled, and crashed and broken. And once again I pick things up, as if somehow I can make it stop if I put things in order. I am so thankful we were not in the house during the aftershock. And I say a prayer.  “Thank you for keeping us away”. I don’t think I could handle any more Fear.

And so this day eventually ends. We are exhausted. We are weary. Michael has a small red circular mark directly on his left kneecap. He complains a little, but it’s just a bump on the knee.

It’s difficult to settle in to bed, to return to the scene where I awoke to the terror this morning. (Was that this morning?) All the comfort found in this room, this bed, this haven, next to this man for these many years, taken away in seconds. Replaced with trepidation and anxiety.

So, tonight, we three surround each other. And we sleep.


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Dec 04 2012

Imaginal Cells – The Butterfly Experience

Category: Fears & PhobiasPatricia @ 10:12 am

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly.”   ~Proverb

When a caterpillar buries itself inside its cocoon, it begins the transformation into a butterfly. While inside, the caterpillar literally turns into a pile of goop. At no point would you find a caterpillar beginning to sprout wings.  The pre-existing cells of the caterpillar don’t change into new butterfly cells; the new cells seem to appear out of nowhere. These are called imaginal cells.

When the imaginal cells begin to awaken, they are instinctively drawn to one another. As they connect, they become the genetic directors of the future butterfly. It appears that less than 50% of the imaginal cells must connect in order for the transformation to take place. At that crucial point, the old cells provide nourishment for the new ones.

As the process continues, some imaginal cells change into wing cells or antenna cells and so on. No longer imaginal cells, they become specific tissue cells. And when the process is done, only butterfly cells remain. The transformation is complete.

Sometimes change can feel like the world is ending. Change can be scary. The unknown and unfamiliar make us feel tense and anxious. But if we pay attention to the miracle of the butterfly, it can teach us that change is a beautiful thing! The life that you imagine is the life you live.

Change begins when you imagine it. You want to stop doing something or start doing something. Or maybe you want to do something differently. Change comes when you release the old limiting patterns, beliefs and judgments that no longer serve you. When you release old patterns, you are able to become aware of who you are right now. You bring more balance to your being.

Change allows you to integrate new information and insights. You are able to retain what is valuable, meaningful and applicable to your life. And you are able to make it better because you know more. Change is a reflection of new wisdom. Once you become aware of something, it is impossible to become unaware. You make more conscious choices which reflect who you are becoming.

Change helps you to see things in a new way and from a different perspective. You gain clarity which allows you to move forward in a positive direction. You believe in yourself and you learn to fly.

There may have been a time in your life when you wanted to retreat into your cocoon or a time when you felt like a pile of goop. If that happens again, remember the butterfly and begin to imagine yourself into a new way of being.

When you retreat into the natural meditative state of hypnosis, you create a cocoon where you are able to transform your life. Your subconscious mind is the source of your imaginal cells. It lies beneath the surface waiting for your conscious command.

Are you ready to dream your world into being and awaken your ideal self? Your imaginal cells are like quiet little thoughts that excite you. You will know if you are to grow or change. These recurring thoughts will haunt and inspire you. They will cluster together forming cells of healing, cells of growth and cells of becoming someone different than who you used to be…an improved version of yourself.

There is no need to fear change. You are simply having a butterfly experience. You may not know what is going on…unsure of who you are and who you no longer want to be. It may not be an easy thing to set yourself free, but it is your right and your responsibility to claim the beauty within and share it with the world.

Are you ready to dream your world into being and awaken your ideal self? I’m ready to guide you through your vision quest and celebrate your flight. Make the time to sit in silence and grow wings. The world is waiting for you.




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Mar 23 2010

MoneyScripts and Stress

Category: Fears & PhobiasPatricia @ 9:35 pm

In the June 2009 issue of Psychology Today it was reported that a survey done by the American Psychological Association in September 2008 indicated that 8 out of 10 people rated money as the top cause of stress in their lives.

Volatile markets create fear which creates a fight/flight survival response. We subconsciously seek safety. Our modern day response of fight has become anxiety which can create a behavior of hoarding based on fear and loss. Conversely, flight has evolved into depression which may result in spending and splurging so we won’t feel poor.

It benefits us when we explore our thoughts and beliefs about money. We have individual moneyscripts and we share cultural moneyscripts. These scripts are programmed by the hidden messages we have received about money. We may believe “There will always be enough” or it may be that our belief is that “There will never be enough”. Our belief creates our reality. 

Mike Harris, host of The Real Estate Life on KFWB 980, CBS radio asked me to join him to share my views about our subconscious moneyscripts, and how we can separate our self worth from our net worth. If you’d like to listen in, go to the archives at: 



Perhaps you can break through your fear – false evidence appearing real – and choose to explore and expose your attitudes about money. When creating financial abundance and success – The Mind Matters!

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