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A TASTE OF ENCHANTMENT: December 2001 Special Edition

"Achieving Positive States of Mind and Body Again and Again"

Produced by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein , Psychologist, Life Coach, and Originator of THE ENCHANTED SELF(R)


Welcome to the mid-month publication of The Enchanted Self's e-newsletter!  Each month I will focus on (and respond to) a question about enchantment and/or a reader's ideas on enchantment.

Question of the Month

How can we 'give' in this giving season?  Is there a kind of gift that I can give that doesn't cost money?


Yes, this is certainly the month of giving.  And yes, there are definitely ways to give that won't cost you a dime.  First, let me share with you how lucky I am.  I receive many gifts all year long.  Oftentimes, my best presents come to me wrapped up as clients! 

I am so often amazed, moved and pleased by the very people who have entered my office for help.  Do you wonder what makes them shine so brightly, like beautiful candles in the dark of winter or the most dazzling ornaments?  It is because I realize again and again that my clients are such incredible heroes and heroines. 

They survive adversity, disappointments, illnesses and other misfortunes.  They manage to keep homes and families going, earn livings, find new jobs, develop talents, volunteer time, and a thousand other achievements and daily tasks ... and often in mental pain! 

For example, I am remembering the gift of flowers and enlightenment that one client gave me a couple of years ago.  She was in great physical pain, retired and living alone with some legitimate emotional issues.  Coming in for treatment made perfect sense.  Yet, she was a heroine in her own right!  One day, she shared with me the most wonderful gift.  She told me what she did in her own neighborhood.

Almost unable to walk, she would take a chair outside and sit in front on her home on the lawn.  

She would then carefully and lovingly, one by one, take care of a whole assortment of flowers that she had planted.  Also, she gave each child in the neighborhood a tiny plot of land to plant flowers of his or her choice.  The kids were thrilled.  About twenty varieties grew in her garden: roses, petunias, daffodils, daisies, pansies and others whose names I have since forgotten.  She shared with me all the colors in her garden--lavender, yellow, orange, pink, blue, violet, white and the shapes of some of the more unusual flowers.  Although some of the details have faded, I can remember the pleasure of seeing in my mind's eye this wonderful neighborhood garden.

I believe as a clinician I was able to give her several gifts back.  Perhaps the best gift I was able to give her was to be in the 'present' with her.  I know I was able to enjoy her strengths and talents.  My positive responses and warm expressions surely sent that message to her.  After all, sharing her story once again opened my mind and heart to positive thoughts and feelings! 

By acknowledging the impact she had on me, and by recognizing aloud her great capacity to add beauty to her neighborhood, I was able to clearly affirm her strengths. In this positive time space we were both able to acknowledge what was 'right' with her rather than what was 'wrong'. 

You had asked what kind of gift you might give.  I have found that even when we don't spend a dime, the present that can count the most is to be 'present' with someone.  The above happened in my treatment room, but it can easily translate into everyday life.

When I can listen to you fully and not let distraction get in the way, so much good is exchanged.  I send the message that you are a wondrous human being with strengths, even if you have or are living a life of adversity.  I also send a message that you matter--what is important to you is also important to me.  This message can easily generate feelings of hope, positive anticipation and good outcomes.  Even difficult times are easier if we feel we are truly not alone, and the best part is that I, as the giver, get the gift back.  I feel also uplifted having fully be 'present' for you.

Take a look around you this season at your wife, your husband, your children, your parents and your friends.  How can you encourage the best of them to emerge?  Will criticizing them or putting them down do the trick?  I doubt it.

This season give them time.  Give them your full attention.  Tell them what is right about them.  Affirm their strengths and listen with all your heart to what they need to share!  I know it will work.  Happy Holidays!


Please give us the pleasure of sharing your responses.  They may be posted on the web site or in future issues of the newsletter.  You can also chat about this topic or create your own in The Enchanted Self e-group at the following URL: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/encself

Here is a recent e-group post that is centered around positive holiday memories ... The following excerpt came from an exercise in a recent article from Dr. Holstein:

"Have you ever had something positive come around again? Perhaps the shape had changed but the essence was almost the same? ... try to remember several wishes of childhood and think about how they would reinvent themselves now."

The following response is from Ed Aberdeen, another writer with www.SFPNN.com:

"Oh YES... this holiday season is full of such memories. :-) :-)  I was raised in NYC and we were overwhelmed by Macy's. It was a true wonderland at that time ...  The children of today have so much more than we had but the sad thing is that they seem to take a lot of things for granted ...  I am so glad I grew up before TV, Video, Computers, etc. ... When I see the youngsters of today receiving so many, many toys, I feel sorry for them. They do not get a chance to savor them ...

Thanks for inspiring me to reminisce of the wonderful childhood that I had during the Great Depression. They were truly wonderful times! We appreciated everything we got. :-) :-)"

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How about some autographed copies of Recipes for Enchantment for the holidays with a free copy of The Enchanted Self's paper newsletter and a bookmark?  The special holiday price is just $9.00 plus $4.00 shipping and handling, or just $8.00 per copy if you order three or more.  Here are some easy ways to order:

Tip: When shopping online use keywords "recipes for enchantment" to locate the book.


Forwarding & Reprinting

(C) 2001 Copyright The Enchanted Self - All rights reserved.

Please feel free to pass this issue on to someone who might enjoy it.  The Enchanted Self Newsletter is copyrighted but may be quoted, reprinted, or distributed in whole or part without prior permission, provided the content is not changed and attribution is given including:

Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein


We also encourage you to include this material in other publications, such as self-healing and professional psychology newsletters. However, we ask that you contact us beforehand for permission and send us a sample issue.


To learn more about THE ENCHANTED SELF(R) - A State of Well Being, Joy, and Happiness, please contact me or visit my web site.