Thursday, August 30, 2007

Inside Secret Eating - Freeing the Self

"Everything needs space in order to breathe. This includes everything you own, including yourself. If you are lost in clutter, or have become the clutter, then it's time to release & let go"....Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht


I met up with Kate over the weekend. When she walked into my office, her back was bent over, as if carrying a heavy weight. The image was so real that I almost asked her to please put it down. She sat in the chair & looked up at me, as if she were looking at me from inside a hole where she was residing. Kate is only 20 years old, but her burdens have aged her well beyond her years. It's always sad for me to meet up with the Kate's of the world.

I ask Kate to tell me about herSelf. She looks at me as if I am speaking a foreign language.

"What do you mean?"

This is a hiding, low self-image & self-esteem answer to my question. As a clinical hypnotherapist, I'm already forming the metaphors that will hopefully help Kate out of the hole. I still don't know how long she has resided there, nor how stuck she is. However, my experience tells me that the right metaphors can yank her out, even if she prefers living down there.

I smile quietly, relaxing my body into the chair, looking to build rapport slowly, not wanting to frighten the bird. I communicate with Kate's subconscious mind through spoken & unspoken words. There is no need to rush, no need to panic. While time is always an issue in our busy lives, we must stop rushing. It's next to impossible to free the Self when rushing or when being with others who rush & push. The tonality of my voice delivers the chosen words of my own subconscious mind, somehow knowing how to travel forward.

"If you could give me anything you don't want, what would it be?"

Kate smiles...."Oh, just one thing?"

This is a good opening. The question was playful, bringing her into the metaphor without a direct challenge. Smiling back, I relax deeply into my chair, taking Kate deeper into a relaxed state. We are on our way.

"Let's take a shopping cart & walk the aisles of your life, starting in the aisle of "right now" & then going backwards. you can put as many things in the cart that you would like to give me."

The metaphor forms a framework that allows the mind to open & to release. Release is paramount to freeing the Self. When we are highly cluttered it is often impossible to focus on the issues or problems. We are suffocating, but can't seem to move the garbage so we can breathe. The baggage on Kate's back indicated the level of clutter she was carrying around with her.


The truth about clutter is that it's difficult to see, even if we are surrounded by it. This is true for both tangible & intangible clutter. It's possible for someone to sit at a desk piled high with papers, magazines, old coffee cups, personal & business junk, etc. & to truly not be aware of the disorganization. One can live in a house with clutter coming out of the walls & be blind to it. The refrigerator can be storing moldy vegetables, old take-out containers, empty catsup bottles & the like without being able to communicate with the owner.

It's impossible to free oneself when one can't see the clutter.

Kate resides in her hole because she believes she is safe from her confusion or clutter, but unfortunately there is no hiding place. Also, residing in the hole is not free. There is rent to be paid & that can be quite hefty, as the hole is very demanding. Kate pays her rent by being swallowed by her compulsions & addictions that range from shopping to daily wine consumption.

But....If we choose to be free we can move along in life. However, must be willing to see & then take ownership of the clutter, be it tangible or intangible. Changing behaviors & patterns will be part of the equation & that is how Kate will exit her hole.


The good news is that all clutter is related. As tangible clutter is opened & cleared, it's intangible counterpart will also release. We begin where we are.

Clutter equals confusion. If the environment is confused, then the mind also lives in confusion. We tend to own too much stuff & have trouble releasing or letting it go. "What will happen if I throw that away? I'd better keep it. If I move it, then I won't be able to find it. I'll read that later. I want that. I need that. That makes me feel good. I'll fix that later. When I have time I want to spend time with that." The conversations go on & on.

Clutter breeds clutter. We never seem to have enough. Shopping lists & desire lists tend to get longer & longer. We want & need more things. We equate things with feeling safe & contented, but it is fleeting. The compulsion to buy, to store, to hoard intensifies. The addiction is busily forming itself into it's own monster shape. The credit card reports the story on the tangible side. Anxiety, tension, depression, lack of concentration tells the story on the intangible side. Kate heads for the hole.

Kate pushes the cart down the first aisle. It fills quickly. We go back for another cart & it will be one of many. There is much that Kate wants to release & so this is good news.


Look around you? Take a cart & begin...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Inside Secret Eating - Working with Thoughts

"The mind is a servo-mechanism. What you think is what you get, not only in your thoughts, but in your reality."....Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

We all have an inside Self, but few of us truly get to truly know this part of us & for many, it remains a secret. Without getting to know yourSelf & developing a relationship, one tends to stay in old holding patterns. This is not surprising because few of us have been educated or trained to work with the different, distinct parts of our Self, nor with our body. Instead we live on autopilot & taking whatever comes along.....often complaining that we don't like what's going on in our life. Then ,because the mind is a servo-mechanism, we get more of the same. This can not only get us into trouble, but in addition we miss out on working directly with our creative source, that part of the mind that is rather like a genie in the bottle.

While we have an inner or secret Self, there is no secret about how to communicate with it. The techniques to do so are really quite easy. The difficulty lies in developing both a practice discipline & then an application discipline. It's rather like sports. Those who practice with the mind goal of being a weekend athlete, will never reach the same level of play as someone who practices with the mind goal of going to the Olympics or becoming a professional athlete. It's the same with training the mind.


When I first learned meditation, I came to find out that my big issues weren't with the actual practice, but with the idea of the discipline of meditating twice a day for twenty minutes. I remember my internal arguments, as well as the emotions that worked earnestly to get me free of this "burdensome" task. These emotions were not strangers to me & what amazed me was how they knew to turn up on occasions such as this. Each time they appeared, they were more & more powerful, displaying both mental & physical angst.

It took me a long while to decide on what I truly wanted & so the chatter & arguing lived in my mind & body for this entire time. Quite frankly, the inner arguing was exhausting. This is another example of how procrastination leads to burnout. This is a common happening that tends to repeat itself in most of my patients & so when I write CD's or mp3 programs, I do have to address this issue, because if not, the reader or listener is not going to step into the action & to stay there.

The above "direction" is absolutely true. Once I commited to what I wanted, the rest simply followed. The key was not just the word or idea of commitment, but much more. For this I utilized the written word. I spelled out all of the details of what I wanted "as if" I already had achieved it. Then, i emotionalized it. For those of you who are following the workshop blog, you already know about the inner mentor. Here was another opportunity to plug into this part of my creative Self.

When working with the development of inner discipline, the outcome must be very clear & concise & there is no negotiation with the thoughts or emotional states. It is truly set in stone. When the subconscious mind comes to know this, then the plan for success is demonstrated in real time. If you have never experienced this, you have lots to look forward to.


I was stunned to learn that I had this power. Forever I held the belief that I was my emotional states. In fact, my language reinforced this to my subconscious mind. Other people also helped greatly with the reinforcement process. As my self-image & self-esteem were lowered by these beliefs, it was now easy to understand why I was so gullible, absorbing whatever someone told me about myself. But, this was about to end. Never again would I be opened to this type of programming, either from mySelf OR from anyone else.

Working with special tools of Awareness Meditation, it's not dificult to locate the problematic mind programs & especially if you ask your own subconscious & unconscious mind to make these available to you. Throughout the blog I've given examples of some of my mind programs, as well as those from my patients & students. Now is the time for you to begin to study your own.


Find a quiet place & enter stillness. Deepen the stillness, either by body scanning, mental biofeedback or imagery deepening. There are examples of this in other sections of the blog. It just takes a minute or so to become sufficiently relaxed in both mind & body. Next, place your fingertips on your lower abdomen & either observe your breath OR repeat a word mantra. Stay with that focus. Very soon you will sense a thought.....simply notice it & then return to your mantra or belly breath. Continue along like this, noticing the thoughts that flow through.

Imagine that you can take any thought & hold it in the palm of your hand. The thought is a "thing." It also has many facets, as well as a marinade. As you become more skilled you will be able to change the strength of the marinade, as well as to edit the facets. But for now, just practice noticing & returning to the focus breath or mantra.


The other day i was flying up to Providence. We were about to begin the decent when the flight attendant came on the loudspeaker. "I'm sorry to be the deliver of BAD news! There is a storm over the airport & the air traffic controllers SEEM TO BE CONFUSED about where we can land safely. We are running out of fuel & so, we must hurry up to Boston BEFORE the fuel runs out." This is truly what she said & not an exaggeration. Now think about how these words were playing out as mind & body programs in each of the passengers.

Luckily, I'm very well mind-trained & so I used a specific image to protect my own mind & body from the kind of energy that must have been flowing around that cabin. There was no way that I could or would allow any negative thoughts to enter my space.. I have a powerful image that I use in circumstances such as this. First, I relax into the moment.....deepening. Then, I place a golden egg shape around me. In this instance I placed one around her & then around each individual in the plane, sensing everyone deeply relaxed & visiting our separate mind screens. On mine, I future-paced images of being in the airport in Boston, looking around the different shops & finding some unique items. Then, we were over Providence & landing beautifully.

For those of us who work in the field of mind & body, we are keenly aware of the power of emotional energy & the law of attraction. Unfortunately the flight attendant, for whatever reason, put out negative energy that could easily pull the energy of all of the passengers onto a path that obviously no one wanted. This is extremely dangerous & so we come to know not only the power of the words we use, but the energy that we apply to them. In addition, if someone is in the position of power, then this can worsen the situation.

We did land safely in Boston & I'd like to say that this was the end of the flight attendant's poor judgment, but unfortunately it wasn't. There was a small mutiny of the passengers, who began to take matters into their own hands. Luckily nothing negative happened, but it was interesting to observe how people refused to be programmed, even though this woman was in a leadership position.


There are many ways to work with thought processes & categorizing them is just one way. This technique teaches you to set up mind folders that are labeled with your most frequent categories. These can be negative or positive. Building this type of discipline is very helpful in the area of focus, flow & mind flexibility.

Keep in mind that thoughts are things that are in transit & can be edited. Also, remember that the mind is a servo-mechanism, delivering back to you what you think. Therefore, why would anyone want to be playing thought files of failure, anxiety, depression, low self-image & esteem, lack of confidence, etc.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Inside Secret Eating - Designing an Inner Mentor

"The mind is a fertile place, but that's not enough for it to produce high quality plants. Other things must be added & that must be an ongoing process".....Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

Peaking in on a recent workshop conversation with Katya....I don't like to change & change is very difficult for me, so please tell me, "How long do I have to do all of these things & do I have to do all of them at once?" At the most I could possibly change one thing, but not two & they will have to be in the same area of my life. Like, I can't change something about my eating & then also change something else at the same time. For example, I might be able to change what I eat for breakfast, but I couldn't start exercising at the same time. Or, I might be able to start caring for my bitten nails, but I wouldn't be able to organize my daily activities in that same week. All I can say is that I certainly wouldn't be able to manage all of the things you talk about & write about, so what are the chances that I'll be successful?


It is quite a shock to wake up & to find out how many things need to be changed in order to succeed. It doesn't matter if it is food-related or in other areas, there is usually never just one thing that needs attention. In the above conversation, it's obvious that Katya is truly frightened & I can bet that this is not the first time she had this conversation. Even if she hasn't had it with others, more than likely it plays regularly in her mind, keeping her blocked, stagnant in her problems, while success flows away out of her reach. I say this because her conversation is quite orchestrated, each excuse following the other in an organized fashion.

Katya has sold herself this entire list of garbage. She thinks in negatives & in excuses & so this is what she attracts. She perceives herself as a very limited individual, a victim of the world-stage & this is what she has become. Her words form images of failure & she knows without being told that success is not within her reach..... not if she thinks & verbalizes like this.


It is very dangerous to walk around having conversations like Katya's. Even though she may think that she is talking about food-related issues, her subconscious mind is connecting all of her liabilities to every area of her life. She is literally digging a very deep hole that can keep her captive forever, unless something or someone comes to her rescue.

Katya is on automatic pilot & truly not aware of what she is doing to herself. She is also under the very wrong assumption that she has an unlimited time to make important changes. She has no awareness that her body is changing in every moment & the decisions she is making or not making are causing change. Killer diseases, such as heart & circulatory disease, are examples of diseases that are built by bad decisions made over a period of time.

Katya lives a stressful life & accumulated stress is a known killer. So, for Katya, there is no time to waste.


We all have a Higher Self. This is not the same as a Higher Power, but the two can be thought of as working together. Some people are not comfortable with Higher Power discussions & that is fine. However, we do need to accept that we have a Higher Self. This is out Self that is free of emotions, one that is mature & capable of high level discipline & achievement.

Katya maintains that she is completely "incapable" of making the changes needed to take care of herself. This is an infantile position & one that will take her down very dangerous roads. For Katya & those like her, it's necessary to build or create a Higher Self & then to allow that creation to take control of her life actions. This is done both consciously & subconsciously. Katya will become the new mentor image in her own mind.

I ask her to make a list of the characteristics of someone who is capable of running a healthy & creative life. I do not ask her to make a list of what she wants for herself. To do so would invite blocking. Her insecure & victim Self would not be willing to open to such a suggestion.

Katya has little trouble describing others who she admires & with some guidance, we make a list of some characteristics.

1. Confident
2. Compassionate & forgiving
3. Consistent & persistent
4. Focused & disciplined
5. Cheerful inside & out
6. Forthright, trusting & loyal
7. Assertive
8. Honest to self & others
9. Peaceful
10. Creative

I ask Katya to relax deeply & I help her to deepen further. I want her to be below the alpha state, just like the level of relax before going to sleep at night. Anxious & tense individuals can relax quite deeply when assisted with self-hypnosis suggestions. The mind & body do want to go to balance or homeostasis.

I bring Katya's attention to her mind screen & ask her to image her new inner guide or mentor. Then I ask her to describe her to me & to tell me her name. Katya's response is very quick....a good indication that she is deeply relaxed & involved in the imagery. "Her name is Johna." This is a rather unusual name because it is both male & female. I then ask Katya to deliver the characteristics that she designed to "Johna." They are to be delivered one at a time & Johna will absorb them, just like marinade.

Katya is now ready to enter the mind screen to meet Johna & to establish a relationship with her.

I suggest to Katya that she notice the characteristics once again, also noticing that Johna many others...... perhaps like other woman or even men that she knows. She has strength of character, determination, perseverance, confidence, discipline, a sense of humor, creativity, focus..... of so many things. Kaya watches Johna as she walks around Katya's life, taking care of things. Speaking out to others, relaxing as she does.... feeling great & sensing her inner power. Now, Johna invites Katya to step inside of her. And now, Katya walks around her own life inside of Johna....guiding her, making suggestions that are easily birthed from the characteristics. I ask Katya to feel or sense what it feels like to be inside of her.

I'll place a trigger for this, such as two fingers touching. This will enable Katya to re-enter this mind-state of Johna whenever she consciously feels a need. However, the subconscious mind will be making changes without conscious input.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Inside Secret Eating - Inner Schooling

Lighten up"...Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

We all have dark sides, but how we manage them makes all the difference in how we get to perceive & then live our lives. Our experiences equal the amount of light we choose to shine our way, as well as what we choose to share with the world at large. Keep in mind that we are walking billboards, advertising our behaviors & emotional marinade.


Staying focused on emotional states & what's underneath them is easier said than done.....unless you have been schooled in the practice of Heightened Awareness. This includes emotional & thought management, as well as the physical sensations or body communications. Just about everything is tied up in this nutshell. Here's the catch....learn these skills, or your emotions & thoughts will not only rule you, but your body as well & this can be a huge gamble.

As strange as it sounds, we only have a vague idea of what we look like on the outside. Many of us can't bear looking at self-photographs & work hard to keep cameras away. Even if we like the way we look, what we get to see is only a momentary image caught by the lens, now seen through our own perception & inner judging program. For certain, we do remain a mystery, both outside & inside.

A very large percentage of what resides inside of us, physical or emotional, tends to remain mysterious for most of our lives, mainly because we're not attentive to the clues sent up by the body departments. Sometimes we awaken if the body part screams lloud enough, but even then, little is done about the underlying cause. We may turn to medication to obliterate the symptom, or to another substance to mask the truths. If the family & personal history pulls towards addiction, these symptoms then become the hooks & an unhealthy pattern of behavior is actually etched into the subconscious mind.


The practice of Interactive Awareness helps us to work where the action is, right in the middle of the moment. When working with the skill of isolating moments it is important to have a working image tool, representative of an actual moment. In my practice, students & readers/listeners of my books & CD's work with dry lentils, keeping a jar of them on their desk. Some have two jars. One symbolizes moments that are left in life & the other representing those that were missed due to inattentiveness.

Of course wse cannot catch all moments, but we certainly want to catch key moments.

I came to notice that when I am involved in my disorderly eating patterns, my body fills with tension. I'm a runner & on those days my injuries feel even worse. Perhaps the most frightening thing to me is the feeling of underlying anxiety that doesn't seem to be connected to anything that is going on in my life. This is called GAD, or generalized anxiety disorder. My concentration & focus are off & my emotions are in roller-coaster mode.


We begin our quest for Heightened Awareness in the body & begin to work with a tool called mental biofeedback or body scanning. This mind-tool holds a big advantage because in any moment in time, the person practicing mental biofeedback can release & change a body sensation, an emotion or a thought. There are also other advantages. As one learns to observe the momentary body sensations over a period of time, the body sensation patterns become clear. One can observe how they are attached to particular emotional states, or perhaps to tiriggers such as situations or relationships.

Another advantage is the feeling of self-confidence in being able to change an unpleasant or frightening sensation, ritht in the moment, whether it be peaking or just beginning to build. This includes behavioral or emotional patterns as well.


Containments are invaluable because they allow us to work in big areas of our lives without feeling overwhelmed. Body sensations can be overwhelming, especially if they are not contained or released. In addition, if a sensation is not released, the mindbody connection will produce even more. This is because the mindbody senses this as a "goal." The only way for us to tell the mindbody that we don't want something is to practice the skill of "release."


Take a moment to relax deeply. Locate your mind screen on the back of your eyelids. Now draw or think a circle around your head. Notice that the cells move apart from each other. When we are tense, the cells tighten up, literally hugging each other. The circle is the image that instructs them to part, floating away from each other. Make some inner circles around your eyes, TMJ joints & chin, once more noticing the cells floating apart.

Now place a circle around the front of your neck & then the back. Pay attention to the cells floating. Travel down & encircle your right shoulder.....cells floating.....left shoulder....cells floating. You get the idea. Place a large bag around your right & left arms, inviting the cells to float. Circle around your chest & next the lower abdomen, following the same process. As you do this, you might notice some body parts calling out. They do this by reporting a sensation. Simply notice & place a circled around it. That's all. Now, place a large bag around your left leg & then the right. You know the drill.

When you have finished, mind-draw a golden egg shape around all of you, so you are actually contained inside of it. This is your private place on the face of the earth & from this position you can now program your mind screen for observing thoughts & emotions.

It's very important to release your body frequently. Once you skill-build, it can actually be accomplished in 1/200th of a second, just by having a flash image of your process. Then, you are ready for high level, mind screen performance.

Each moment carries a series of body sensations, emotions & thoughts. As you work to catch these in the practice of deep relaxation, noticing & release, you will then be able to edit or change them, right then & there. As you catch & open, the subconscious mind is also ready for new programming.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Inside Secret Eating - The Disbelieving Self

"We all have a part of us that doesn't believe that we can do something. The job of that "disbelieving" part is to question positive images or ideas we might haved & then to design "creative negative-proof" that we are incapable & so we are to remain stuck. And so, it's time to pull the mask off of the disbelieving part."...Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht


A comment from a reader, "Oh yes, I love the image of the director chair that you have & I want one, BUT I need proof that I can have one."

The "inner child" is alive & no, not well, but instead dis-functioning....raining on the parade. This is like window shopping & then when you want to go into the store to purchase something that you would truly love to have, you find yourself blocked at the gate.


It's easy to know that this is the child-Self manipulating & making trouble at the door. The leader-Self would never utter these words. The leader-Self is mature, focused, quiet, powerful & very assertive. The leader-Self knows what he/she wants & plants the image of that in the "theater of the mind" as if it were already present, because it is.

This is a KEY CONCEPT & follows how the mind works. There must be a leader & it cannot be the child-Self. To allow this, is to invite all sorts of problems & interference. Life & choices do not have to be complicated. Return to simplicity....."do you want this CHAIR? Well then....CLAIM IT AS YOURS."

Many of us have spent lots of time window shopping & have stayed outside the store. Some of us have even stopped going to the window. We tell ourselves, "It's of no use. I'll never be able to solve my issues & to have the things that I want." This is the "disbelieving Self" in action. Sometimes the messages are even more depressing, flowing into other areas of life including work & relationships. So you can understand why it is so important to move to the leadership position of the Self & to take charge.

"Just the idea of this makes my knees shake."


Take some quiet time for yourSelf & relax into the moment. The deeper you choose to relax, the better for you. Not only will your knees stop shaking, but you will begin to feel your own confidence pooling inside of you. Perhaps you are wondering if you have confidence & of course, you do. You started building confidence as a young baby & your collection of confidence moments have built over the years you have been alive. You not only built confidence from things that were easy for you, but you also found it in very difficult moments. This is "resilience confidence" & is very powerful. Travel on your time-line & find samples to bring back.

As a baby, you learned to turn over, to hold up your head, to sit, to stand, to put things in your mouth & a whole host of other things. As a toddler you found confidence in new things every single day. Going forward, look to your pre-school era & up through your elementary school. No, everything wasn't easy & that's the point. You survived. You learned. You traveled forward. Junior high, high school, early adulthood & right up to where you are now in this very moment. Take your time & fill your basket with samples from these years. Now, notice how your basket fills up. These are your accomplishments, both big & small; some harder & more resilient than others.

Now, relax deeply as you hold your confidence. Look to the mindscreen & find the store window. Notice you are window-shopping & now you are entering the store. Standing tall & assertive....relaxed & quiet in your assertiveness. Listening....I AM. This is your self-esteem talking to you. You are a person of value. This is your Self-Efficacy....ownership of yourSelf. You are the leaderSelf & you make the choices & then the decisions. Sense this as you wander about the store. Truly sense or feel it inside of yourSelf. Notice the childSelf is observing & admiring you; pleased to be a child & without the responsibilities of being the leaderSelf. Now, you have this straight.

In the corner of the store is your Director Chair. Make the purchase....& take the chair out with you. Listen.....non-sense to proof. You wanted it & now you have it. You are in charge. Truly sense it in your body......& now in your mind.


Hypnosis is a natural activity of the mind & body. It can be very healthy, if one is entertaining positive, healthy images while inviting the body to relax deeply. The brain waves are slowed, the stress chemicals are diminished & the subconscious mind is ready to accept suggestions.

In the practice of my original Interactive Self-Hypnosis, the individual, even the reader, relaxes very deeply & then the suggestions are either verbalized or written. The subconscious mind accepts the suggestions, especially if they are coated in a marinade of highly positive emotion. The emotion can be delivered through spoken or written words. I like to take the individual into the action "right in the moment" & to teach them how to change mindsets to suit the purpose of their chosen journey.

In the small practice above, the reader is disarming the disbelieving child-Self & taking back the power of leader-Self. While this sounds like a simple little story, it is evoking big changes in the memory bank, re-framing areas for enhanced self-image, self-esteem, self-efficacy & self-confidence. The individual is now looking through different lenses & seeing/sensing what is possible. In addtion, action is made without any fuss or efforting. This is the way it is supposed to be.

We live in the world surrounded by nay-sayers & other kinds of negative energy, much of it under our same roof or hat. We have the power to change this in the wink of an eye. Remember, the subconscious mind will accept whatever is delivered in the state of slow brain waves, as long as it is presented with emotional marindade. Make certain that yours is always of the positive variety. If not, you may get to taste something that you don't want !

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Inside Secret Eating - The Disobedient & Mischievous Self

"Being willing to look inside oneself & to be a fully present witness, takes quite a bit of courage, as well as a very good sense of humor, especially as we come upon our child-Self, who is a true dichotomy of nature."...Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht


We are all familiar with our inner conflicting voices, like two children who want to run in opposite directions. "Should I or shouldn't I?" Will I or won't I? I want plan A. I want plan B. I don't want to do that. I do want to do that."

I came to know mine very well when I was cleaning out the clutter in my home. I had set a rule that I had to "touch" every singe item that I owned, the reason being that I was so unfocused that I simply didn't see things that truly existed. Once I touched or identified something, then came the decision. Did it meet the criteria to stay? If not, did it go to trash OR to the goodwill give-away pile? You might remember that I was "brought" to the conclusion by my inner-director, that I owned too many things & so in order for something to stay, it needed to be evaluated against the rather tough-love criteria.

In the beginning I didn't understand why I needed to learn this lesson & believe me, I had no idea how difficult this was going to become. Enter my child-selves, each pulling me in separate directions, acting like completely out of control children.

Honesty Check ....I'm a junkie & now the discipline is being handed down. Part of me rejoices from being saved, but another part reports being anxious & even mad as hell.


My child-selves don't want to play by the rules. They don't want any rules & why should they? They have grown up fairly rule-free until now.

Who thought up the idea of letting go of things, especially good things; things we like & love? Isn't this a stupid & wasteful activity? Hey, what if I need those things again next week or even next year. So, I have to go out & buy it again? Some of these things can't be replaced, especially all those pez containers. What about all of those things that are gifts from people we love? How will we remember them if we toss these out? What kind of person does something like this? I know just what to do.....I'll hide things & keep them secret.


Did you hear the rules about the food? Who dreamed these up? So I have to plan meals now? Does that director person have any idea how busy I am? I don't like the food on the list. I never had to eat it before, not even when I was little. When do I get to eat pizza & chocolate? I'll pretend that I'm going to do it, but I know how to get what I want. There are plenty of excuses & I'm an easy sell. Who cares about all these diseases that I'll never get anyway. I'll think about it tomorrow, or maybe the day after that. I have time. Oh, I feel better now that all this is cleared up.


I have to admit, it's embarrassing to listen to my inner workings. I share this with my patients & in my writing because everyone can connect with inner musings such as these. We're all pretty much the same. We may be dealing with food issues, or alcohol, or drugs or compulsive shopping or nail biting or hair pulling or experiencing an emotional roller coaster that takes us towards other abuses, either to ourselves or to others, but our child-Selves speak the same language.


OK.... & so, now what?


Oh....goodness, I'm a bit anxious about this. I'm not used to being assertive with my own inner child-Selves. They usually over-power me & so it's just easier to let them have their way, but now I can see that if I don't stop them, they are going to make me terribly ill. I've never seen it so clearly before & so, I'll gather myself together & step up to the plate.


I relax deeply & enter the theater of my mind. I like it here because I have a director-producer chair. When I sit in it & use my bull-horn, I feel like I'm in control. I sit down & observe the activity on the stage. This is not what I want here. Many things need to be changed including the set, the script & even the players. My mind is working well now. I'm directing one thing after the other. There is full respect from the "players." I'm rewriting the script & exiting negative mind-states that have gotten me in trouble in the past. I'll not write any excuse-making into the script. There, that was easy. I've been arguing or running away for so long, that I forgot that I could choose just not do those things. I observe as I practice letting go of things & decide to have fun doing it. Yes, that will make a nice change. Wonder why I never thought of that? Guess there was too much noise or I was simply not taking charge. As I observe the mischief of the child-Selves, I'm aware of how creative they are & decide to send them off to a creative area I just formulated. Yes, there are many details that need my attention, but the idea no longer over-whelms, but instead, it brings freedom & exhilaration.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Inside Secret Eating - Letting Go


"There are times when we simply don't want to let go of old behaviors, even when they are detrimental. Truth be known, you really don't have to...but, by choosing not to change, you are choosing to further harden the cement that is keeping you stuck."....Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

I wish I had a dollar for every person I know who has chosen to remain "stuck." Of course, most "stuck" people would cry out that they are powerless to change. For one reason or another, either someone or something or some unknown power is keeping them "against their will" in the behaviors or patterns that are taking them down the road to destruction, even to death.

I know....I was personally "stuck" for decades & fell into the "unknown power running my life" group. As I explained it, "It's rather like being possessed & while I don't believe in demons, this felt extremely close!" Because it went on for so long, I had plenty of time to contemplate on my dilemma, not quite understanding why I was chosen by the "unknowns". Then, I came to realize that there was a whole world of people who were also under "their" possession, so I was not so special after all.

DIRECTION - YOU ARE POWERFUL & CAN CHANGE IF YOU SO CHOOSE convenient. Now, if I could just believe that, I could solve everything right now. Just think, here I've been stuck in this cement for decades & now I'm being told that "I'm powerful & I can change IF I CHOOSE." Talk about guilt! So, if I don't choose to change, then I'm to blame? Is that what you are saying?


It's difficult for me see, acknowledge & to be with my argumentative child-Self. I'm already aware of how it's blocked me in the past & now here it is again. Inner arguing is how I spend a good part of my time & my "director" has been waking me up each & every time I do this. I've come to understand that it doesn't serve me well to "inner argue." In fact, it wastes alot of energy & time. The more I argue with myself, the more difficult it becomes to move into the behavior that I need.

What will it take for me to form a new behavioral pattern? Is it possible to truly become "unstuck"?

Sometimes I get answers to my questions right away. Other times it's like I'm talking to myself & besides my secret eating issues, I worry about my sanity.

But, this time the answer comes in the form of a suggestion.

Relax deeply & go to the theater of your mind. The behavior is waiting for you in the form of a puzzle. It has different parts. You can take it apart & then put it back together again. Notice that some of the puzzle parts actually work well, but some do not. These need to be replaced. Take those & put them to the side. They are no longer useful. Now notice that you have other choices to replace these parts. Ask the parts to demonstrate themselves. There is no need to rush. You've been stuck for a long time, so do take your time as you make the very best choice for you. Once you have chosen the parts that will work best, place them on the table. Your creative mind will now complete the new behavior & the puzzle is solved.

My behavioral puzzle has to do with night eating. I'm stuck in a very old behavior of wanting to eat when I'm completely finished with my work & sit down to watch a bit of TV. It has nothing to do with hunger & in order to be effective, it must be done privately or in secret. In the past, I've squirreled food & taken it to just about every room in the house in order to enjoy my fix. Once it's done, my body releases. It's quite interesting to watch, but it doesn't work for my any longer & I want to exit it.

As I work with my puzzle in the theater of my mind, I come to understand that it is just fine for me to eat something at that time. In other words, I give myself permission. To a bystander, this may seem inconsequential, but to a secret eater, it is not. Way back, when I was a young child, this kind of eating would have brought all sorts of consequences, from teasing, to my brothers grabbing my food, to my mother's disapproval of crumbs, dishes to be cleaned, followed by loudly criticizing my need to eat so much. "If you continue eating like this, you'll be as big as a cow." Obviously, it was much easier to hide & eat & to avoid all of the emotional hassle which would have obliterated my original reason for eating in the first place....stress release!

But, I'm not a child any longer & if I would like to eat something, it is just fine. If someone comments, I can handle that by being pleasantly assertive. I can also go to that special place of enjoyment in my mind's eye & truly enjoy whatever I've chosen to eat. In other words, I can truly release & it is OK to release on food in this particular moment.

This doesn't mean that I can or should release on food in other moments & that is quite understood. That wouldn't make for balanced living, but this puzzle is not about that. It's very important to keep the puzzles separate & to work with them independently in the theater of the mind.

As I worked with the evening eating puzzle, I was able to effect a good change just with that major piece. Other puzzles can involve more pieces that need change. As I entered the newly chosen behavior in the theater of my mind, I felt the peace enter & so I knew intuitively that the work was well done. I also noticed that it would be fine IF I didn't choose to eat.....that was something I didn't expect & once again, I came to understand the power of being free to choose.

Yes, I am a mature adult & I can make good decisions for myself.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Inside Secret Eating - The Reformed Kitchen

"Opening the mind is a glorious experience, for indeed there are many more flowers than weeds."....Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

Returning to the kitchen after three months of cleaning & clearing set up a whole new set of fears in my body. No matter how knee deep I was in the clutter & emotional strife from acknowledging & owning the mess I had made in other areas, somehow knowing that the kitchen was waiting, made me want to push it right to the rear of my mind, if not further, for I still believed that the kitchen was the true culprit to my secret eating issues & no matter how much strength & support I had gleaned from my three month's work, I still felt like a small, defenseless child in relation to my perceived villan.


This was a first. I was never "still" in the kitchen. Either I was involved in the hateful task of preparing & cooking meals that truly didn't appeal to my bingeing mind OR I was looking to participate in my secret eating activities. So, I was either in the dark zone OR on a true high. The idea of being "still" in the kitchen habitat frightened me. I didn't want to "just be" with myself & my thoughts in this overwhelming place. Whenever I was in the kitchen I stayed busy, so whether positive or not, my thoughts were controlled in some way. Being still meant that my thoughts & emotions had free rein & so generalized anxiety surfaced.

Those of us who secret eat, or have other addictive or emotional secrets, know that it isn't just about the secret. It's about the anticipation & the sneaking, mixed with the anxiety of being "found out" that bring the most exhilaration.

But, my directions were clear & after three months, I came to the realization that I must follow & I must trust.

So, I become still.....waiting for what I don't know. After all, it's only a kitchen. Like a shy child, I look around at the appliances & the wallpaper that I never liked, but never took down, in this moment questioning why I left it since I didn't like it. The earlier closets had taught me to question things like this. Why was I so absent from my own life & my own environment? Why was I so absent from my own self-care?

I wait with my own my mind for about twenty minutes & nothing happens. I feel stupid just sitting here like this. What would I say if someone came in & asked me what I was doing? Oh....I'm just being "still" with my kitchen. Eye's rolling up as I engage in more self-criticism, but at least I recognize it & shut it down myself. I know from the activities of the past months that I am doing something important here, even if I don't know what it is. I don't always have to know the answers! That was something I learned from the closet in my office.

The clock struck the hour & I realized what I was doing here. The kitchen was not the enemy or villan. It didn't do anything to me. It remained "still" right along with me, as if waiting for ME to begin the activity. Yes, I am in charge here. I make things happen here. There is no boogie man under the bed or in the closet or in the kitchen. I have nothing to fear here. I'm in charge.


I open the cupboards & find the items I don't like. So many things I don't like, including the chipped plates & the glasses that don't match; silverware that has seen better days & frying pans that look like they have a long history stuck to their bottoms. The pantry announced spices that had expiration dates almost as old as my children, some of which had never been opened. Why do I have these? This is the "over & over again" question. Remembering that I am free of guilt & shame & I can throw these out. I am free to forgive myself, to learn & to change.

I don't like rice & I own three kinds. What is this craziness? The refrigerator & freezer speak of their own secrets. Vegetables that come to live there, only to grow mold & to be thrown out. Leftovers that are never consumed, but secretly disappear when no one is looking. Fruit left to spoil & other very sad, wasteful activities. The freezer mentioning the many cases of freezer burn, as well as left-overs stuck in the back, so no one would see them.


I can do this. I take two large plastic garbage bags for the foods I don't like & everything outdated & one box for the chipped dishes & unmatched glasses & the frying pans & other items that no longer meet my needs. I wash the cupboards & place fresh shelf paper in place. I make a short, but detailed shopping list, placing smiley faces next to the items. I will only purchase what I need & what I like & enjoy. I have that right. How good this feels.

I clean the refrigerator & freezer, oven & stove, noticing how uncared for they have been & commiting myself to these kitchen helpers in very positive ways. I will care for them & only cook in healthy & enjoyable ways. I can change my mindset. I can decide to be creative & have fun here. It is my choice & I decide to choose in my favor.

I place two cookbooks on the shelf & leave the others for another time. Perhaps I have too many, but that will be decided later. I have time now & I do understand.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Inside Secret Eating - Lessons from the Closet

"All of the lessons we need are available all of the time, but often we have to wear our creative hat to access them."....Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht


For awhile I thought this was a sinister mindgame of my manipulating Self, finding a way to get me to get rid of clutter & so my attitude reflected that, as I approached the tasks with my deepest nasty Self in tow. My body presented a series of ongoing complaints ranging from headaches to a badly aching back, but what was worse was my mind activity, including an excruciating case of procrastination. Pushing myself day after day became an ongoing battle of wits. I mentioned in my last blog that it took three months to complete the task that was delivered by my Higher or Mentor Self. Of course, time is relative & in this case, it was a very long & painful time in my life, but not just for the reasons mentioned above.

Entertaining my nasty-self day after day became tiresome. However, this part wasn't a stranger to me & I grew aware that it was a familiar visitor in my dealings with my eating issues. I was tired of many things that had to do with food. Yes, I was sick & tired of daily meal planning & cooking & everything that went along with it. My Self snarled, "Why shouldn't I be tired. It's been decades & decades & it's not going to end. So take that & stuff it. And now you want to talk about dieting & cooking special things for YOU? Give me a break! And now you have me clearing out the house. What a servant you are!"

Oh.....big Self-Block.

The bathroom closet was not kind to me. I was forced to admit my poor organization skills & wastefulness once again. There were bottles upon bottles of shampoo, conditioner & all sorts of creams that promised a better this, that & the other, obviously none of them successful. As the garbage bag filled up, I started counting the money I was throwing away. Guilty & shameful Self yelling at me; truly kicking me right in the gut. Ouch...

The giver of Directions stepped in & asked the kicker to step back. This was a learning experience & while I was meant to "wake-up", I was not to be attacked, either physically or emotionally. I could almost see my little child-Self wiping her eyes, promising to learn the lessons & stay awake.


I started to feel better that day. Yes, I could face the music, but I didn't have to go down on my knees. No wonder it had been so difficult to look at all of my mistakes in judgment & lack of attention to what I was doing. I was terrified of the guilt & shame, feeling that I always had to pretend that I was "good & worthy" & the secret was that "I was not." Oh..... But, I heard the voice tell me that I was a good human being that had just made some mistakes. Yes, I could learn these lessons & get over these things. Of course, I would have to maked some changes & so that now became part of the directions.


All of the closets had suggestions for me. I learned how easy it was to organize the bathroom & if I just kept an eye on it, I could decide when we needed something replaced. My shopping list had a special column for the bathroom closet & nothing was purchased unless it was formally listed. I rather liked that.....formally listed made it special to the child part of me. It sounded like something important to do.

My clothes closet had plenty of suggestions about when to purchase things & when enough was enough. Oh..... big lesson here & this one would carry over to the kitchen as well. I was both amazed & disheartened that I owned clothes that I didn't even like. Now who would do something like that.....especially a grown-up? I was directed to remove the things I didn't like, but to saved enough clothes to last me until it was a formal shopping excursion. There's that formal word again; Once again the child liking the idea of going on a special excursion. As a hypnotherapist I came to understand that these were great "containments" that would help me to be in control & of course, everytime I was in control, that would carry over to other parts of my life.

A great surprise greeted me in my "special closet." Here is where I kept ALL of my hobbies & goodness, there were so many. I was directed to take all of them out & line them up in the middle of the room. I was called to explain when I would be completing these half-started or not-started-at all hobbies & also to evaluate how much money was sitting in the middle of the room. The bullie stepped forward, but was immediately blocked by the "giver of directions." I had to honestly confess that I didn't know if I would ever have time to do these things. As for the amount of money, well point well taken. Lesson accepted.

DIRECTION - CLEAN & CLEAR. You may have one indoor hobby & one outdoor hobby. It's time to simplify life & open the door to change. Everything else goes to someone else, so they will finish these up for you & of course, they will then belong to them.

FORGIVE YOURSELF FOR EVERYTHING & TAKE YOUR LESSON AS YOUR GIFT. Now bring all of your lessons & gifts to the KITCHEN, for it is time to apply these to taking care of yourself in new ways....

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Inside Secret Eating - Cleaning & Clearing

"Knowing what things to do, as well as what things not to do is KEY to success. No one will argue that life becomes much easier when we are clear & focused & preferably on automatic pilot. Ritual-building is one way to get there.".....Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht


It takes lot's of energy to pay attention to all of the details of everything we must do, or find ourselves doing in the span of a day. In fact, it's impossible! Just trying is a sure way to drive up stress chemical production. I remember all the years when I was trying to figure out how to lose weight. I think I purchased every book, every magazine & joined every organization that promised success.

It was a dizzifying experience, as I clipped & classified all sorts of articles in multiple binders. I remember clipping how to do this, that & the other, as well as pictures that defined how I wanted to look, how I should dress, how I should cut my hair & manicure my nails. A complete make-over from head to toe & THEN I would be happy, fulfilled & even prosperous. Hundreds of fantasy binders....but, yet I remained a window shopper of the world....always looking, but never fully achieving & no wonder.

Besides being overwhelmed, I had completely lost focus of who I was, thinking that I needed to start over at the very beginning. How I cheated myself by not self-honoring, not acknowledging my unique individuality & not looking to my own strengths & even my weaknesses to take me further towards a higher level of health. Yes, I threw away the baby with the bathwater!

I see this tendency in my patients & readers. These are matters of low self-image & self-esteem.....self-devaluing to the point of not even acknowledging one's own powerful existence. And while there are oodles of metaphors for this state of mind, just awareness is not going to cut it. There is the almighty step beyond the waking up that everyone must take in order to change. If not, one stays in the darkness, just wanting & clipping.

I remember throwing out all of my binders, feeling tinges of shame & guilt. "Who did I think that I was anyway....I could never achieve these things", sang the voice in my head. My reply was surprisingly empowering & even startled me. "Oh shut up. I've had enough of you & your criticism. I know what to do."


I've lived long enough to know that if I listen to my body, it will guide me towards health. My body & my mind had been telling me for quite a long time that I was eating poorly & not practicing healthy lifestyle behaviors. I didn't need any article to spell that out. The truth was that I needed to change & to stop allowing excuses. While those may sound like simple words, one thing I'ved learned over the years is that most things are quite "simple." We human beings make things complicated.

I needed to "shut up." I needed to be still & to listen carefully to what I was being told by my own inner resources. I had to stop making noise & hiding. I had to stop all of my "busy-busy" going nowhere behaviors. So, I stopped buying magazines & books. My apologies to my author friends. I disallowed all of it. My inner child screamed & yelled & threatened me with the most horrible stories, including the big "D", but somehow I didn't budge. Once I made my stand, I realized I wasn't alone. The higher part of me, my mature mentor part, could now be heard. The directions were coming in loud & clear.

Direction # 1 - Everything must be cleaned & cleared.

Oh my....what do you mean by "everything". I was answered with "silence." Not the spoken word silence, but true stillness, reminding me of something my mother would do whenever I asked her a question that I already knew the answer to. That profound silence.

I went to the kitchen & opened a cupboard, perhaps truly seeing it for the first time. What a mess.... I especially remember the towers of old margarine containers that I saved for leftovers, some of them bent in queer shapes from their dishwasher experiences. Hell, I don't even like leftovers. Why do I have so many of these?

As I walked around my home, opening & seeing, I then understood why I hadn't heard my body, nor my mind calling to me. I was truly overwhelmed with my level of being out of touch. "This is too much." Yes, everything was too much. I simply can't clear all of this. I'm attached to this & yes, this is me.

Direction # 2 - Everything must be cleaned & cleared.

Oh, I heard this before. It was quite obvious that I wasn't going to get away with my ranting & victim-state positioning. I remember sitting very still for about an hour while parts of me continued to scream & yell inner obscenities, bringing me to a new awareness that I have some very vile emotions inside of me. No wonder I've not accomplished things that I wanted for myself & my health. I was now meeting my self-blockers, the bullies of my existence. Well, I've met bullies before & as I sat remembering some of them, I was reminded of this little boy who wouldn't let me take my dollie stroller down the steps. I was three years old & he was six. I punched him in the nose & was intrigued with the blood that I caused to flow out. Yes, I know what to do with bullies.

It took me three months to clean & clear. Obviously I had no time for clipping any magazine article or for that matter reading anything at all, although all my clipping experience helped me design an excellent plan for working through my home. I remember asking, "What does this have to do with becoming healthier & changing my lifestyle behavior patterns?" Would I get an answer OR just be greeted with a silence-space?


Oh...........yes, I now understand.

The past issues of this blog can be found below. Other segments are stored in the following separate blog. For those of you who would like to practice Interactive Self-Hypnosis, there is always a complimentary mp3 sitting on my website.


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Inside Secret Eating - Developing the Therapeutic Self

"It's all about managing life & understanding that we are not alone. However, the responsibility still sits with our Unique Self. There is often a tendency to just sit around waiting for something to happen or for someone to carry the load & that simply isn't going to happen. The longer you sit, the longer you wait."...Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht


Earlier on I talked about the Therapeutic Inner Self & how important it is to the management of any & all self-development. People with secret or disorderly eating have many other issues, just like we all have & all of them are managed in the very same way. That is why Interactive Self-Hypnosis & Heightened Awareness are KEY tools. These tools are utilized ONLY by the Therapeutic Self & NOT by the child or emotional self. Think of it this way..... there is only one captain of the ship & in no way do you want the captain of your ship to be your emotional child.

In my work with secret & disorderly eating, I utilize my experience with my private patients/clients, as well as from my own life experiences. I'm very much in favor of being completely opened with those I come in contact with & that includes everyone who works with me privately, as well as through my writing & recording. This is a huge rapport builder & quite honestly, it's good to know that the developmental horrors of my own life can be put to some good use.

I first learned the term Therapeutic Self when I was studying psychiatric nursing. I fell in love with the idea that there was a part inside of each of us that could/would help & best of all, would always be there, no matter how difficult life became. My creative Self figured out that if there was a Therapeutic Self, then it stood to reason that there was another part of the Self that wasn't therapeutic & that was the part that would need the part of the Therapeutic or Leader Self; the captain of the ship.

One of the most difficult challenges I've found for myself over the years & the same runs true for patients, is staying motivated & out of trouble with the old secrets & facets of the disorders. Some of these, in my case, still have to do with my secret eating that began very early in my life. Often people are discouraged when I'm honest about the resurgence of those very old habits & behaviors. Obviously, those of us who have these issues, would like to believe that they can be gone once & for all, but unfortunately that is rarely the case. But, on the bright side, once you have a terrific Therapeutic Self, there isn't much to be concerned about. After all, one doesn't have to do this alone!

The majority of people with issues seem to wait for someone to motivate or push them to change. This is not the same as working with your Therapeutic or Inner Self. Just from the title we know that one is inside of us & the others are outside. Others cannot make us change & even if they push hard enough, the resistance will build & sooner or later one goes back to the old patterns. In this instance, the patterns are usually more heavily engrained into the subconcious mind.

In the case of the Therapeutic Self, when old patterns surface, the inner power source is there to greet them with images that are designed to allow them to release & then to empower them onto the correction path. Each time a behavior, pattern or piece of a pattern comes forward, it already knows that it is going to receive "special treatment" from the part of the Self that is focused, non-judgmental & willing to teach & guide. Who wouldn't want this type of mentor or friend. The Therapeutic Self is like a very healthy, balanced parent, who knows you well & wants you to succeed.

We develop this mentoring Self in the practice of Self-Hypnosis. I suggest to my readers/listeners & patients, that they relax deeply & think of people who have the characteristics that they would like in this special part of themSelves. In fact, some of these individuals might be male & others female. They could be known personally to the individual or not. They could be real or fictional, living or dead. It truly doesn't matter.

Once the group is decided upon, then comes the integration. The individual is instructed to relax deeply & to make certain that they will not be disturbed for the time it takes to do this part of their inner development work. This is not the time to rush or play the game of "hurry up, I have so many things to do today."

Once relaxed, the eyes are gently closed & the mind screen is in place. A symbol of the Therapeutic Self is present & the group is ready for the integration. One by one, they enter the symbol until all are fully integrated. In the future, other aspects can be brought to the Therapeutic Self. Often, during our life experiences, we come upon people who we admire & when this happens, we can take those characteristics & make them our own, utilizing this simple, but profound imagery.

Once the Therapeutic Self is ready, then one spends time each day in it's presence, until it becomes an active part of the individual, having both form & voice.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Inside Secret Eating - Grieving the Loss

"All losses bring a period of mourning, but this time in one's life is not static. Looking closely, it's possible to observe the movement forward, rather like a gentle, flowing stream. If desired, it's possible to swim along with the flow & this particular journey mourning flow will bring great resilience or inner strength to the swimmer."....Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht


When delivering or writing programs for individuals, it's important to remember that just the thought of living without someone or something can provoke great anxiety. It doesn't matter if the relationship or habit/behavior isn't good for that person. The level of grieving can be just as big, if not more than for a happy, healthy relationship, or habit/behavior. Much of this has to do with the individual's perceived self-image or level of self-esteem. If one has become accustomed to receiving or giving punishment to the Self, then there is a part of the Self that simply wants or needs the pain. Not to have it is interpreted as emptiness or deep sadness. Such was the case of Aida.

Aida came to the program with the idea of "just finding out what it was all about." Her history of failure over the years left her non-believing & non-trusting, but she could "forgive" herself for this, if she attended the program or read the book, etc. Then she was free to "sell herself the story" that this, that or the other just wouldn't work for her OR she had already tried this & so she knows that it doesn't or won't work. This is simply an inner battle or resistance to change & is there to protect the individual from the sadness that will come from the loss of the negative behaviors. This is a common, human & so it's important to understand & pre-empt this part of their behavioral patterns.

Aida was petrified of waking up. Obviously she knew that she was obese, but she would/could defend her patterns to her death. Imagining her life without them & their many facets simply left her in a state of high anxiety. She didn't want to think about or feel any part of the perceived loss & so she stayed in denial. "I'm simply not ready. Maybe when I can take a long vacation & dedicate some time to myself OR when my daughter goes off to college OR when I win the lottery & don't have to work for a living." Of course, the more she defends, the more rediculous the fantasies & because she is an intelligent woman, even she is surprised by the calibur of stories she can manufacture. However, it takes a bit of time before she is willing to let me know what she now knows about herself.

Sometimes when writing programs, we feel estranged from our reader or listener, but it's very important for those of us who work in this writing genre, to see or sense our audience right before us. Only then can we build the kind of rapport that we need to be able to help them. Keeping Aida's needs in mind, helps me to address issues for a general audience because I've witnessed enough of these trends in my private practice to know that the very same are harbored in a large percentage of those who will read or listen to my work.

Most of us have heard about the four stages of grieving & now I've added the fifth....anticipatory, which of course, comes first & may contain the other four stages as well. So, even though the loss hasn't occured as yet, the resistance to the perceived loss can be huge. The defense mechanism can include denial, isolation of the Self, anger, bargaining & then finally, acceptance.

My job is to move the reader/listener through all stages while in the anticipatory stage. Keep in mind that the individual will not realize that he/she is in a stage of grieving, nor rarely will they choose to admit that they are "defending." This would be perceived as "being weak" & that is the opposite of what they want. If you've ever met, which I'm sure you have, individuals in this position, you might agree that they are not the friendliest beings to be around.

So it's easy to understand why they can "isolate" so well. It's key not to back down or to back away when sensing their resistance, EVEN IF you don't know the individual because you are a writer. The truth is, that they want you to sense their resistance & to help them.......but not to fight with them because that is filled with "judgment" & that is exactly why their secrets & problems exist in the first place.


Find a time & place to allow for deep relaxation. All you need to do is to make the place & time ready & then to listen to the sound of my voice or to read the following & then go there by memory.

There is no reason to judge because there is nothing to judge. All that is important is what you do from this moment forward & what you are going to do is to awaken. There is nothing frightening about awakening for you do this every morning, only now you are going to awaken to things in your life & behaviors that you have adopted that aren't helpful. There is nothing you need to do but to simply awaken. Notice how easy it is for you to think in this way....

To awaken means to be aware & there is nothing frightening about being aware. You practice this thousands of times each day. Think for a moment about the things you were already aware of today.... perhaps this morning.....this afternoon....& in fact right now. What are you aware of right now?

Now I want you to relax deeply into the chair where you are reading or listening to this & to feel how good it feels to give yourself this special time.

In the past you awakened to many things & then let them go. Notice that you can see some examples of these over there. You are simply watching them & not participating in them because they already happened. If you like, you can watch them on the movie screen & even sit in the back row. These are things that you let go of in your past. Notice how many of them there are..... some small, others big, but all successfully let go.

And now you have new awakenings that show you additional things that need to be let go. These have to do with secrets that have formed around eating issues, as well as other eating issue behaviors or habits. Notice them over there & at the same time notice how these secrets, behaviors & habits keep you locked up in a small corral & how all parts of you are ready to be free... & the parts that you thought were anxious or frightened or grieving letting go are not that at all & are simply excited about experiencing health & wellness, for this is what this is about......nothing else. Now, who wouldn't choose to be healthier & to experience wellness? I'm sure you can agree that you would welcome health & wellness if it came knocking at your door..........& notice that it is knocking now & that you are answering the door & welcoming it in. Feel the joy as your welcomed visitors enter."


The above short mind exercise walked the reader/listener through many reframes that allowed for letting go of fear & apprehension about entering change. Obviously, there are many reasons for being anxious & fearful....many having to do with self-image & self-esteem issues, but we can choose not to address them here & instead, to make the needed changes be about something that no one will argue about & that is completely & wellness. In the future, I will be assisting the reader/listener in building their inner core image & esteem, but right now, I want her/him to move past the initial grieving into the action.

The next blog will be about the ongoing re-appearance of the grieving process & how the individual is already in position to take charge.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Inside Secret Eating - Ending the Secret

"You begin to build your inner beliefs, myths & patterns when you are a young child & these are continually edited by the inner mind, in order to keep you in balance & to help you make sense of your world. This doesn't mean that the myths or patterns are healthy, it just means that they are continually edited. The responsibility of your matureSelf is to make certain that all parts are working in your behalf & there may be times when certain myths or patterns must end."...Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

Most of us have little idea as to how to address the core of our secrets. In fact, we tend to avoid them, or at the very least, may agree to address what is on the surface. In secret eating, as in most secret behaviors, surface work is not going to give a permanent solution to the issue. Taking secrets apart is extremely difficult, even when working with a very skilled psychotherapist, because so many facets live in the unconscious mind, tucked well away from consciousness. However, working with the subconscious mind can certainly bring about sufficient change. Perhaps most importantly, the individual who works with their subconscious mind can feel the benefit of being empowered & that in itself can bring forth powerful behavioral changes.


Aida & the group each held a symbol of their secret eating on their lap. The first order of business was for them to notice what it wasn't. To be sure, it wasn't their entire Self & it wasn't very big. In fact, it was smaller than each had made it out to be & Aida mentioned that she felt like laughing as she studied it carefully.

As silly as this exercise may seem, it always proves to be a very important one. Putting a face or shape to a problem or issue, allows the owner to manage it in a totally different way. This concept also works well for pain management. When the individual is experiencing pain, it's important for them to change the representative image in size, color, consistency, etc. This personal involvement removes the individual from the dangerous position of helplessness & empowers them by giving them a level of control.

I ask the group to put the symbol of their secret eating aside & now I give them a picture of a large landscape that seems to go on forever. This image is symbolic of their "big picture" or "big story." The secret eating is their "small or limited story." It is here that Aida & the group get to choose what they truly want; to live in the rigid confines of the secret disorderly eating or to let it go.....actually to let it that the "big picture" of unlimited living can be their model for life. Without making this decision, the limited symbol will continue to fight with the unlimited symbol for supremacy, each wanting to be in charge of the perspective lenses used to view the world.

This is more than letting go. It is actually inviting a death to a part of oneself that has most likely been around for a very long time. Yes, it will be uncomfortable, especially in the beginning, but it will also be uplifting at the very same time. The mind & body prefer to go towards positive experience & sensations & so they will help to bring the individual to a higher level of living. The experience of living an unlimited, creative life is huge. Anything & everything is seen or considered possible.

For someone who has been living a limited, tight existence, this drastic change carries it's own motivation. The crux is taking the step to bring forth the death of the limited life. Writing or delivering programs for the individual who is marking their life at this moment, is extremely fulfilling for the therapist.

It will be important for Aida to fully disassociate from her secret & to spend some time examining it, before allowing it to die, the reason being that there are nougats of knowledge or little jewels that she will want to integrate into her new, limitless life model. She may not see them clearly, but they will shine out to her & her intuition will guide her towards them. It isn't always necessary to see or know exactly.....the felt sense is the most important sense in these moments. As Aida was lead to the jewels, she carefully extracted them & delivered them to her "inner guide" who was assisting her in her life changing "move."

As she explained her experience to the group, "I feel at peace & I'm now ready to cut the cord. There is no fighting between the two. I know that the secret wants to leave. As strange as this may sound, I feel that it truly wants to die & to be in it's own peace. There is a part of me that will miss it, because I truly loved it in ways that perhaps only I can understand, but now it is time & everything feels very right with what is happening."

As Aida moved into her new life experience, she felt uplifted. It had been a very long time since she felt this much freedom & excitement about her life choices. Yes, there were going to be some uphill battles, but this was life afterall & battles were part of the experience. There would be times when she would wish that he old "friend" were still alive & waiting for her at the door in the evening, but that would never happen, because she knew that she had attended it's funeral & so in those moments of reflection, she knew to spend healthy, quiet time with herSelf & with her inner child, who indeed was the biggest mourner of all.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Inside Secret Eating - Inner Scripting

You become what you think about, all day long. In addition, your inner mind-chatter or thoughts keep you on your path & direct your outcomes. out for them!....Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht

Addictive secrets, including secret eating, is like an octopus, with only the head above the water. The real issues tend to stay hidden below the surface & some are so deep that even their owner isn't aware of them. Those harboring secrets often live in disbelief that they can be helped, despite wanting to be helped. If you have the opportunity to meet the secret's owner, you may here things like, "Well, I'll try." Pay attention, because it's not just the words, but the inflection & the body language. "Try" is a doorknob word. It's an escape word. It's just like the excuse word, "but." All of these words are connected to the expectation of failing & so it's important to let the reader or listener know what you now know. Those words need to be X'd out.....right on the tongue or airwaves. These are totally unacceptable.

We do not "try." We actually "do". And so, the affirmation or positive intention is about "doing." When Aida worked with her first set of images in the theater of the mind, she was not wishy-washy about what needed to be changed. She studied the situation in detail & then she changed what needed to be changed, including the emotions that were hanging around the scene. Then, she allowed the performance to continue & when she noticed other areas that would benefit from change, she went ahead & acted on her decisions. She was the writer, director & producer. She was not the issues that were playing out.

Aida has come to know that this is a personal affair. She is practicing self-responsibility & is paraticipating in seleting realigning & updating myths or old patterns that she has been following on "automatic pilot." The facets of the patterns contain actions or behaviors, as well as emotional marinades & thoughts or mind-chatter. All are important & all need reviewing. If you are wondering about the amount of time it takes to do this, well do know that it takes plenty of time. But here's the catch. Either you do it or you don't. You are going to have outcomes no matter what & so you get to choose. What is it that you want?

Most of us want immediate gratification & you can certainly have that. Any change that you make in any moment will give you instant or immediate gratification. All you have to do is frame it in that way. If you eat chocolate cake, you have all sorts of immediate gratification. If you choose not to eat chocolate cake, you also can have immediate gratification. Try it.


Learning to observe thoughts is key to changing anything & everything. Aida has much to learn in this department, as her inner chatter is both negative & tough. She wasn't aware of a good part of this, mainly because she wasn't tuned it. She was either working & trying to succeed, or hypnotized in front of her computer or television, using the food to keep her in that mind & body state. As she tells it, "I could hear part of me saying that I was killing myself, but I turned it off, because I simply didn't care. I didn't want to have my "binge moments" ruined. I waited all day to binge & so I told the voice to shut up. What do you want from me? How much do I have to do to be left alone? Don't I work hard enough?"

It's easy to see that Aida positions herself in a victim-state. This is an extremely powerful mind & body state & is capable of producing lots of stress chemica further embedding the myth or pattern. It's a totally exhausting scenario, both emotionally & physically, tantamount to having a huge fight with someone close to you. In this case, Aida is in battle with herself & when this happens, the "disorderly core" wins.

It was easier for Aida to manage the walk-by eating scene, probably because it wasn't so emotionally charged. Her major evening binge is a different can of worms. It's very ritualistic, her inner language sensuous & fanatical. The ownership is big.

In order to undo this pattern or myth, Aida is going to need to do a very complete examination about what's been going on. She's going to need to truly disassociate from it, perhaps moving further away in her directors chair. I know it will also help her to visualize her larger picture. Right now, she sees this almost as a magnificent obsession, which it is not. It is simply a small part of her day that has done a big sales job on her & has literally imprisoned her, both emotionally & physically. Not only will Aida need to examine all of this, put she will need to work with her big picture right along side ot it, so she can see what's missing from her life; what needs to be brought in.

Aida begins by paying attention to portions of her inner scripting. Everything doesn't have to be done at the same time. This is an ongoing project & it's important for her to bring her wonderful work ethic to this area of her life. It will help her to design some new goals, preferably in good detail. I suggest she journal these & ask herself questions about what she truly wants to experience, even if she thinks that it is impossible for her to have these things.

Her early myths or patterns need to be brought to the table & disassembled. These are like puzzles.....& actually as she works with these, perhaps even mind-interviewing the early myths constructors, her parents, grand-parents & great-grandparents, she will come to see that their lives were very different from hers & so their patterns may not work in Aida's life. Yes, there is much to do....

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Inside Secret Eating - Building Self-Rapport

"Your imagination will show you how to turn your possibilities into reality. This is more than positive thinking, for when you actively visualize the things you want in your life, the subconscious mind will create a blueprint & begin to build.".....Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht


If you are following along, you now know that the mature part of the Self is separate from the problematic or disorderly part. You also have come to know that the disorderly part has a core that needs to be accepted for what it is & then it needs to be rehabilitated. In order for this to occur, the mature part needs some special tools & training.

I asked Aida & the rest of the group to leave their disorderly core parts at the playground of the mind to lighten up BEFORE they come to work today. I only want to meet with their mature/adult parts. Of course, eyeballs rolled when I gave this suggestion, but this image further reinforced the fact that they are separate from their issues. In a way, it's like parents heading off for some much needed R&R & self-growth, while someone else takes care of the kids. Simple metaphors such as these truly help to put the mind in the right place for what needs to come next. Imagine trying to help parents to help themselves while the out of control children keep interrupting.

Most important to understand is that the mature part is in charge of the personal myths or patterns & any societal myths or patterns having to do with eating issues must be reviewed & agreed upon by the mature part BEFORE these can be put into action. In short, the mature part is in charge of the food & all behaviors/actions surrounding the food.

If there are other issues that appear to have some attachment, such as other habits or addictions, these should be considered in the very same framework. Food issues or disorder rarely stand alone. I seems like when there is disorder in one area of life, it simultaneously pops up in other areas. These could include relationships, work, prosperity & even destructive habits such as nail biting, skin picking, hair pulling, excessive spending, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption & roller-coaster emotions.

As we become more aware of exactly what is going on, then it is possible to right more than one thing at a time, especially when working with self-hypnotic imagery. As Aida became open to these concepts, she could easily see how she was feeding her disorderly core with plenty of negatives. No wonder that part had such a hold on her. In addition, there was no healthy working model in place & so that was next on the agenda.

When there is a pattern that doesn't work, it needs to be disassembled & a new plan for a new pattern must be put in place. While it takes time to establish new patterns, old patterns need to be disassembled completely. Sometimes this is a bit unnerving to an individual, rather like being left with no furtniture in the house. For Aida, this disassembling brought about feelings of anxiety. Letting go was a big issue for her, most likely because she is so emotionally connected to her old, destructive patterns.

Being aware will help her, along with deep relaxation, mental biofeedback & staying busy with the design of the new patterns. Aida loves staying busy & is highly creative. Bringing these assets to her new pattern planning will be very useful in not only managing her instability & anxiety, but will allow her to excel in the pattern design.

The more involved her mature self becomes, the stronger the patterns & the more influence she will have over her disordered core. Notice that the core is not just about eating issues anymore, but includes all of the surrounding disorder that Aida located during her mature awareness work. It's like finding out that your child is not only paying attention in school, but she also has a drug problem! The problem is far more complicated & has multiple facets. If all of these aren't addressed, then there is less chance of success.


All patterns have multi-layers, just like in the image above. Aida is going to make a list of the patterns she can easily notice, but once she gets started, there will definitely be more that will show themselves. She starts with the obvious; the excess food that she eats during the day & the night-time ritual. We decided to use the inner theater metaphor.

She relaxes deeply into the moment & when ready, finds herself walking in the town where she locates the theater. The billboard announces that her programs are in rehearsal. As she enters the theater she is greeted as the writer, director & producer of the program. She sits in the back of the theater where she can watch the scene play out in all it's detail. Not only can she see the action, but she can also see her emotions who appear like children & who are speaking the thoughts that they have placed in her very own mind.

She is appalled at what she sees & hears. The emotions are quite rude & make her tense. For the first time she senses that she truly doesn't like what she is making herself do. There is far too much food; more than is needed for herself & her daughter. While the food is fairly healthy, the portions are out of control. Aida is a walk-by eater & she is aware that her consumed "small, little bites" are adding up on the plate over there. She is embarrassed & ashamed. The part of her that is working in her home office is annoyed with the time she spends in the kitchen & is going to make her "pay" when she sits down at the computer. The part of her that takes care of the house & likes everything to be "perfect" & "admired" is furious with the cooking & working Selves. This part also plans to make her "pay."

Now it's time for Aida to become the writer, director & producer in this part of her pattern. She walks on stage & begins to make the changes. She knows that she can change anything & everything & there is much that she wants to do. She notices how happy she is to have this opportunity to set things straight. Besides changing the obvious, she calls for a meeting of the emotions to set them straight about who she truly is & what she truly wants. Instead of finding opposition, she is pleasantly surprised that they welcome her & in fact, have been wishing that she would take control. They want direction & they want discipline.

Once she has completed these tasks, Aida returns to her seat & watches the newly directed & disciiplined scene play out. There are a few things that have presented themselves that she didn't see before, but it's easy to use her microphone to set those changes. She feels her power now & is enjoying the process.

NEXT BLOG..... Back to the Theater of the Mind for New Inner Scripting.