The Enchanted Self           — by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

PB & J

Have you heard the story about the man who brought peanut butter sandwiches to work everyday?  He was always complaining.  He hated peanut butter sandwiches he would tell his co-workers.

 "I'm so tired of peanut butter sandwiches.  And the white bread is always too soft."  

"Oh, no!  Here it is again, another peanut butter sandwich," he would say as he opened his lunch pail.  

His co-workers pitied him and assumed that his wife or someone where he lived always prepared the same sandwich, day after day.   

One day, one of the men said, "Why don't you ask your wife to make a different kind of sandwich?"  

To which the man replied, "My wife?  I don't have a wife.  I make my own lunches."  

The morale of this story is that so often we, ourselves, are repeating in our lives what is unpleasant and distasteful.  Oftentimes habits have set in and we don't even realize anymore that something unpleasant has been set in motion, not by a stranger, but by ourselves. 

For example, I was uncomfortable sitting at my computer in my home.  Why?  Simply because the chair was not the right height for me.  It would catch my knees at a bad angle and they would ache a lot after working at the computer.  

One day, I realized that I had the power to sit at the computer with a different chair.  Of course, on some level I knew that all along.  But habitual patterns had set in and so I never thought about replacing it.  It was probably even less on my mind, as my husband was perfectly content with the old chair.  

Once I took back my power it took me less than a week to break my habit and buy a really comfortable office chair at a discount office supply house.  I love my new chair.  The seat can go up and down, even forward and backwards and my knees really thank me.  

Take a look around your world and see how many peanut butter sandwiches you are eating!

— © Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

In private practice since 1981, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, psychologist and originator of The Enchanted Self, has committed to bring the keys of enchantment to the world.

¨   E-mail Dr. Barbara at:

¨   Read the weekly column in SFPNN

¨   Listen to her audio show at LadybugLive

¨   Buy Dr. Becker-Holstein’s latest book at or or

¨   Sign up for her daily blessings as


Talk to her on her blog, The Enchanted Self, at