Enchantment in an E-mail - Mid-May 2005
Produced by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein,
Psychologist, Happiness Coach, and Originator of
THE ENCHANTED SELF®
Welcome to the mid month issue of The Enchanted
Self's e-newsletter! The following is what
you will find in this month's issue.
- Article: The Affair with Promise
- Share Your Enchantment!
- Announcements & Ordering information
includes "Special Offer for Subscribers"
- E-group: Connect with others like you!
The Affair with Promise
by Bill Dolan
Dear Readers, Most of us women realize that we have an
Enchanted Self -a special part of ourselves that is
unique, that ties into our positive personal memories
and from which we can discover and rediscover our
talents, our strengths, the story of our lives and even
our lost potential. MEN also have an ENCHANTED SELF!
Truly. Sometimes men don't respond to the phrase the
same way as us women. My husband, Dr. Russell
Holstein, (also a psychologist), suggested I call the
project The Enhanced Self, when referring to men.
Whatever it is called, men also have wonderful treasure
chests of positive memories and once those treasures
are opened up they are a treat to share.
I am delighted to share with you a story written by
Bill Dolan. He shared this story with me, telling me
that my emphasis on helping people retrieve positive
parts of themselves from their past memories, was the
encouragement he needed to write the story down. It is
a wonderful story, filled with touching and growth
promoting memories of a loving grandfather, a boat and
lessons learned. I hope you enjoy this story as much
as I did and use it to infuse yourself with the courage
to write some of your story down. After all, you are
the hero or heroine of your life, the lead player, the
star! Please share by sending your story to me at
email@example.com. Thanks so much, Dr. Barbara Becker
The Affair with Promise
by Bill Dolan
My wife claims that I am an individual with a healthy
amount of salt water in my veins and blood corpuscles
that look like little sailboats when put under the
microscope. Much of this is owed to my boat-building
Grandfather who insisted that I learn to sail a boat
before ever considering taking to the waves in a
powerboat. As a child, growing up in Rumson, New
Jersey, the waters of the North Shrewsbury River (now
called the Navesink) and Atlantic were mere blocks away
and provided a strong draw for a kid growing up with
webbed toes and a desire to see just what was over the
My grandfather, who’s career as a shipwright would span
some fifty-five years, would have his 30-foot Sea
Bright Skiff creations hauled from his boat shed to the
river by tractor. These were heavy clinker built wooden
open workboats used in the coastal areas for gill net
fishing and designed in such a way as to be run through
the surf up on to the beach while filled with fish.
Outside of a large powered ripsaw, the boats were
constructed mostly by using hand tools. The attention
to construction details was exceptional. Bronze
fittings were hand cast in a sand mold then filed to
fit. I recall the expression of genuine pride in
workmanship upon his face as he would check and recheck
the craft’s fittings in preparation to turn this wooden
craft over to its new owner. True, getting paid
probably had something to do with it too, but all in
all, it was a day that he would dress in a tie and his
finer blue coveralls, arm himself with his pipe and a
pocket sized can of Prince Albert tobacco, then with
his pipe firmly clenched in his teeth, proudly walk
alongside the boat to the river.
After much badgering, I coerced my grandfather into
building me a small craft that I could use to traverse
the river. I would have much preferred a boat with a
sizeable horsepower engine that I could use to impress
my young friends while roaring about the river, but
what came out of the back end of the boat shop was a
delightful little cat with an oversized sail.
Grandfather had an almost new sail stored in his boat
shed and clearly the boat was built around the
My Grandmother named the little boat ‘Promise’. It
looked very much like a cross between an over grown
Woodpussy and a Sandbagger. She had a forest green
painted hull and smelled heavily of cedar and varnish.
A young but strong back, a set of heavy ash oars and
bronze oarlocks provided auxiliary power. It was a
fine, rugged little craft about 16 feet long built of
cedar over oak frames with a plumb stem and plumb
stern, a taller than average spar, large gaff headed
sail and tiller steering. Her heavy lapstrake hull was
more characteristic of the workboats Grandfather would
build in his shop than the classic lines of a modern
cat. I recall I met it with mixed emotions.
A sailboat? Probably just as well since I had no idea
on how I would earn enough money to put gas in a
powerboat. I was thirteen and just about anything that
would take me three miles away and over the horizon was
exciting! It was the ‘Tom Sawyer’ gene in the DNA
strand making its appearance in my life.
In retrospect, I was more excited about the boat than I
let on. Finally, it was the day to be hauled to the
river. As the tractor tugged the cart carrying
‘Promise’ the two blocks from Church Street to the
river, I proudly walked alongside Granddad. The small
craft quickly took to the water and there was a hasty
bending on of the sail and arranging of lines. Now with
anticipation running high, I could not wait to get into
At that time, and especially in that salty quiet little
community, the thought must have prevailed that all
males were born with an inherent ability to sail. My
excitement soon gave way to sheer panic as I was pushed
away from the dock and told to figure out how to get
back on my own! As night fell, the river’s current had
me more than two miles down river with the rest of the
flotsam and jetsam, moving swiftly around the river’s
bend and still ‘working it out’ when, in total
darkness, I received a tow back to the dock from one of
Granddad’s friends who was told to be on the lookout.
As the beautiful summer days of coastal New Jersey
passed, I found myself learning the fundamentals of
sailing over the dinner table from Granddad and eager
to try out my lessons next day on the river. Thus
proving to myself, that I could get there and back.
Being a small cat, I knew I could beach her and that
she would easily make her way through the frequent
shoals and sandbars of the North Shrewsbury. The waning
days of August would find me packing my seine net,
fishing pole and lunch, then setting out under a clear
azure blue sky for Clay Pit Creek some three miles
away. My little wood craft would safely get me there,
then get me back sometimes after dark. They were fond
memories of happy days growing up on the river.
Years passed and I never did get the powerboat I
wanted. Yet, I was always content with her little green
hull pushed by a now old canvas sail. As the hormonal
drip of youth started, my seine net and fishing pole
gave way to food baskets and young ladies enjoying
pleasant sails and picnics on secluded areas of the
Life pressed on with torrential rains, wars and
hurricanes. Through college and as my life’s focus
changed, the little green-hulled catboat shamefully
fell to abandonment and disrepair. Grandfather had now
slipped beneath the waves and there was no one
available to maintain her. I would think of her
occasionally as one does a departed friend, but the
distance between us left little to do in saving her.
Still, she was a part of my life, as I would recall in
fond memories that are at times needed to pull one
through a difficult day.
I became an Army Aviator and still the lessons learned
as a boy on ‘Promise’ would prove of value on a daily
basis. Sailboats and airplanes have so much in common
and, in a way, she was with me in flight school.
Rudders, airfoils and navigation; it was all very
familiar thanks to the adventures on my little catboat
It was at 8500 feet over Cam Rahn Bay off the coast of
Vietnam that I casually glanced down from the left seat
of my twin-engine reconnaissance aircraft upon the
working sailboats in the bay. While I screamed across
the bay at 200 knots, they plodded along at 4 knots.
For an instant my mind wandered and I found myself
secretly wishing I was under canvas rather than driving
this airplane. It was easy to recall life at a simpler
time aboard ‘Promise’. It was then that I vowed to
myself; if I could not rebuild my little boat, I would
replace her with another cat.
Time passed and life settled. Although ‘Promise’ is
long gone, I have pictures of my kids, who now have
children of their own, all happily perched on the
foredeck of my green hull Sanderling. I am left with
the thought that perhaps one does not need any more
boat in life than a simple cat boat.
Share Your Enchantment!
Share your positive stories and questions about
enchantment with us and other Enchanted Self
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Please send stories, comments, and questions to
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Special Offer for Subscribers
Lots of readers ask me how to really start to find
their Enchanted Self. What is the best way? One ideal
path is to read Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret
Ingredient is YOU! and also listen to the cassette of
CD version of THE ENCHANTED SELF, A Positive Therapy.
These two together really get you going.
Recipes for Enchantment is a collection of enchanting
and motivational short stories and the follow up
exercises which allow the reader to relate the messages
to their own experiences.
The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy, shares that we
live joyfully when we learn how to use our memories to
retrieve our talents, strengths and even our lost potential.
The result is a joyful re-inventing of ourselves in ways
that uniquely suit us and our circumstances. You will
also enjoy listening to me as I share lots of people's
stories, including my own. I am excited to offer you this
package so that soon you will be having so many more
The combination is simply irresistible!
As a spring special I am eager to send both to you at
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Both are greatly reduced. I really want you to have them!
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This is really too good a bargain to miss out on! I'll
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I am thrilled to announce that I now have an e-radio
magazine, of course called THE ENCHANTED SELF. You can
hear my monthly magazine by going to
http://www.ladybuglive.com and look for THE ENCHANTED SELF.
This month's edition is ACTS OF KINDNESS. I
have on amazing guests, come and listen!
New Books and More!
I am thrilled to annouce the birth of two new Enchanted
Self babies! Both are doing well and both are eager to
come and play at your house! The first is Feel Good Stories,
a book filled with laughter, wisdom and the human-side of
life as only Bernice Becker, my wonderful Feel Good mom of
85 can write for us! It is the first Enchanted Self Book that
is not written by me! Will your wonderous thoughts be one
of the future books?
Anyway, come and look at her book, read an excerpt and
hear her, by going to http://www.storiestofeelgood.com
The second new baby, DELIGHT, is my baby-kicking up a
storm as my journey of growth both emotional and spiritual
is shared with you. And she isn't leaving until you come
along! This is a CD-rom. You put the CD-rom in your
computer-read my book, hear my voice, hear music and
see wonderful art. This is a treat. Please go to
For all information on ENCHANTED SELF products go
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more. It's a great way to connect with others who
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Have an "enchanting" month. I wish you all many
Forwarding & Reprinting
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