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A Taste of Enchantment - December 15, 2003

"Dedicated to helping you find delight and feel good about yourself."


Produced by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, Psychologist, Happiness Coach,

and Originator of THE ENCHANTED SELF®







to the mid-month publication of The Enchanted Self's e-letter!  This month, I would like to share an old favorite that our readers have asked for with you again. Please enjoy this inspirational article. Also, welcome new subscribers! To get familiar with the Enchanted Self concepts please visit our Positive Psychology Concepts page at www.enchantedself.com/concepts.htm or the e-letter archives at www.enchantedself.com/eletterarchives.htm


Special Holiday Offers!


Holiday Tele-class: I will be offering a FREE tele-class on The SEVEN GATEWAYS to YOUR ENCHANTED SELF!  A special e-note will come to you in a couple of days telling you the details and date.  Please read and sign up immediately for this amazing opportunity to get your ENCHANTED SELF into full gear for the HOLIDAY SEASON!  You will be given instructions on how to sign up and the telephone number to call in on for this free class with me!  I can't wait to share this time with you, my dear Enchanted Friends.


Holiday Coupon: Happy Holidays!  Enjoy $3.00 off any Enchanted Self gift item!  For a complete list of items visit http://www.enchantedself.com/products.htm Print and mail or fax this coupon or simply call in your order and mention this special offer!

  • phone: 732.571.1200

  • fax: 732-531-1201

*This offer is not available for items purchased through the web site via Paypal.com.  However, if you call, mail or fax us your order we can accept credit cards, checks and money orders.  Mention Code: HOL-004


Magic Potions We All Need This Time of Year
By Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

As winter descends we begin to feel the chill of shorter days and less sunlight. For many of us, less hours of light combined with colder temperatures results in us feel less light emotionally. For some of us, who actually have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) gloom really sets in. This gloom often has to be offset by either full spectrum lighting and/or various psychotropic medications.


For people with mild versions of feeling down or sad at this time of year, I'd like to suggest a way to lighten ourselves and bring more light back into our lives. My suggestion is the use of magic potions. Did I say "magic potions?" You thought I was a positive psychologist, not a magician or a medieval enchantress of some type!  Yes, I said "magic potions" and yes, indeed, I am a positive psychologist. So what do I mean? Let me explain.


When I talk about magic potions--an expression I use to add drama and fire to our cold winter days--I am really talking about individual mental health formulas designed for each person. These are available in various sizes, shapes and compositions. Just like the old fashioned pharmacy where the pharmacist got out his mortar and pestle and mixed a compound for you when you didn't feel well, our mental health magic potions are that unique, requiring individual mixing. In fact, a compound that agrees with me may not agree with you. So it is very important to take the time to mix exactly what each of us need. This is necessary for the full affect of joy and
rejuvenation that each of us so deserve this holiday season.


Now let's look at what makes a mental health potion real magic. The best way I can initially teach you about these magic potions is by example. For me, a magic potion this time of year is simply to walk outside of the house, as I did this morning to listen to a crow up in a tree calling its song.  This ordinary bird, not usually sought after for its song, has always quickened my heart and unleashed a momentary but real sense of well-being.


For many, many years I've wondered why. The best I
can determine is that I have memories, partially forgotten, which I call in my book, THE ENCHANTED SELF: A Positive Therapy, "shadow prints of the mind."


These vague memories are without a clear storyline but do seem to take me back to my grandmother Rose Silverman that I loved so much. The crow's call starts a memory trace that includes Rosen Road where my grandparents lived. I do not remember any crows calling, but I do remember lying in my bed and experiencing the wider world through an open window.


I felt content lying there, enjoying the aromas of flowers and cooking, the street noises, including children's voices laughing and shouting, cars and, of course, nature's voice: the birds chirping, and the trees rustling. All of this made me feel so safe, drowsily content and anticipating what our adventures that day would be.


Perhaps I'd get to ride on the swan boats downtown at Boston Common, feed the pigeons and grandpa would buy me a balloon. Or maybe we would be going to visit a relative and I would be offered a wonderful box of chocolates from which to pick one or two special selections. Then I would get to dance and show off and receive some well appreciated praise.

How lovely to bring all that back in a flash! I want to thank the crow that was up in the tree today for being there and so exquisitely offering me the exact mental health potion that I needed to start my day.

Here's another example of a simple, magical potion that compounds beautifully for me. This past Sunday was a lovely day but by 4:00 pm, shadows were already appearing suggesting the inevitable gloom I feel as sunlight disappears and dusk arrives by 4:30 or 4:45 pm. Rather than stay at home, perhaps even doing some necessary paperwork or even a more household--like chore such as tidying my front hall closet, I abandoned my house and took myself down to the boardwalk near where we live.


For an hour I went back and forth on this short boardwalk savoring the smells that still lingered from autumn, as well as the visionary experience of watching the sky slowly get darker. I enjoyed the extra light in the sky near the ocean, hearing the waves as I walked and occasionally sharing a friendly "hello" with another passerby.


Then, of course, I returned home to all the mundane chores--the first one being preparing dinner.  However, I did have my magical potion still running through my body giving me an infusion that carried me through the rest of that night. Thus you see how magic can happen when we design mental health formulas designed
for each person!


We're going to continue to talk about mental health magical potions again in the next issue. Let's stop for the time being so you can begin to prepare your individual mental health magical potion!


Mental Health Magical Potions: Suggestions to Consider in Creating Your Individual Compound
1. Stay alert to moments during the day that seem to please you or refresh you. I had to become alert to my responses to the call of a crow before I was able to realize that his call filled me with a sense of well being. There are probably sounds, aromas, visual scenery, or even certain people you see during the day that also arouse positive reactions in you. You may know exactly why, such as when I see Sally her smile is just like my Aunt Rose's. Or they may be vague ('shadow prints'), such as the way I enjoy driving down this street more than that street but I don't know why. It doesn't matter. Look for your magical potions wherever you can find them during these dark days of winter.

2. Stay alert for magical potions that can help your body as well as your mind stay feeling good this season. Do you like to walk? If yes, it's a really great idea to walk as much as possible this time of year. Are you more of a couch potato? Well maybe there is still some enlivening things you can do, even moving your arms in various circles and motions s you sit watching television. Even that amount of exercise can help the mind/body connection stay in a more positive state.


Good luck compounding your mental health magical potions and I look forward to chatting with you more about them soon!


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



I had the privilege of being quoted in Woman's World magazine on November 18th.  If you have a copy, you can learn more about my thoughts in an Q&A article entitled "The Inner You."  To read this short article click here.  It is an article focusing on seeing the beauty of a person on the inside, not the outside.  Enjoy!


How to Order

Come to my order page for a delightful assortment of inspirational gift items for you and your loved ones for the holidays! Simply go to my ordering page on my site at www.enchantedself.com/ordering.htm


There you can also order my new version of RECIPES
FOR ENCHANTMENT, The Secret Ingredient is YOU! It is inexpensive and fun! You pick the script style and the cost is only $2.95. Why not inspire a friend, relative or yourself this new year with a book that doesn't require getting to a book store or waiting for the post?


Free gifts are also available! Simply go to www.enchantedself.com/freeitems.htm


Forwarding & Reprinting

(C) 2000-2003 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



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


To learn more about THE ENCHANTED SELF(R) – An Educational Approach to Positive Psychology, please contact me or visit my web site.

Have an "enchanting" month.  I wish you all many enchanted moments!