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"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 monthly publication of The Enchanted Self's e-newsletter!  The following is what you will find in this month's issue.  


Quote of the Month

"Live a good, honorable life.  Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time." 

-- attributed to the Dahli Lama

Blessing of the Month

May you have 20/20 foresight,

as well as 20/20 hindsight,

and may all of your life choices

nestle sweetly in your heart

and fondly in your memory.

Recipe for Enchantment #4 - How to Go Away to Come Back

First: Promise yourself to leave at least once a day.

Second: Find three to five minutes for your personal escape.

Third: Escape, replenish or refresh yourself and come back.

Ideas for Going Away:

1. Walk outside and look around at the sky, the flowers, and passersby.  Take three deep breaths and remind yourself about one special positive trait you have. 

2. Keep a pile of your favorite photographs, beautiful clippings from magazines, or some favorite fragrances in your pocketbook or desk. 

Take several minutes and enjoy your private stash.  Before you go back "in" remind yourself of one of the nicest things that has ever happened to you.

3. Walk very slowly, breathing deeply as you walk.  Repeat a positive word or expression as you do this, such as "the world is a lovely place" or "it feels good to love".

Remember to customize your "leaving to come back" to be uniquely yours.  What may give me pleasure and a sense of escape might be meaningless to you.  That's why I only offer ideas.  You are the inventor of your personal escape hatch!  Have fun and come back refreshed!  Please feel free to share your escape plan with us by writing to me at encself@aol.com.

Article: The Pleasures of Grandma's Memories

by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

The autumn is always a season of memory for most of us.  For myself not only do the turning leaves, the sight of a pumpkin, and the fresh, crisp, clear smell of a cool day conjure up positive childhood memories, but symbols tied into traditions also inspire me.  I'm talking about positive memories that were not personally mine, but nevertheless I lived through by my grandmother telling me of her childhood. 

Once every year I would make my grandmother tell me about the Sukkots they had when she was growing up in Chelsea , Massachusetts .  The Sukkah is a hut or a room where the roof can be partly opened so that you can see the sky and the stars.  Sukkots go back to biblical times.  For the Jewish, they represent memories of their wandering through the desert protected by clouds of glory. 

My grandmother was the oldest of nine.  They lived in a lovely home that my great grandfather had built.  Her best friend built the house next door and it was a mirror image of my great grandfather Isaac's home!  Every fall when it was time for Sukkot, an eight-day festival, my great grandfather would roll back a tin ceiling that was attached to a pulley system in the kitchen.  Once that was rolled back, branches were laid across the open space and the children would hang vegetables and fruits from the branches, and so their Sukkah was created. 

For my grandmother it was a happy time, a week filled with treats and special delicious foods, like honey and apples, and sharing her father's lap with one or two other children.  She always looked happy when she talked about her Sukkah. 

I grew up in the modem era.  My parents moved away from these traditions and I hadn't even had the experience of walking into a Sukkah.  However, there was something powerful and magnetic about my grandmother's memories.  In a sense they were transferred to me as beacons of light ... things I had yet to experience.

For a few years, now, our neighbors, the Ludlows, and our family have built a little Sukkah.  It has three sides with an open roof.  The boys go across to the lake and find bamboo branches, and we string them up and then hang decorations.  We've had friends over, as well as my parents, and we sit outside in the mellow autumn evenings. 

One day as the Sukkot was drawing to a close I sat alone one afternoon having a cup of coffee in the Sukkah.  The weather was glorious and everything around me seemed to be in perfect harmony.  I felt so close to my grandmother and her memories.  Her positive memories had finally come to fruition.  I thought, "look grandma, I'm really sitting in a Sukkah!"

It's important to realize that we have access to many positive memories, and not only those that we ourselves have experienced.  Our minds are magical and can take the happiness and stories of others and build from them, if we give ourselves half a chance.  Take a few moments and, instead of perhaps feeling sad or disappointed for something you never got to experience yourself, think about a wonderful experience that someone else told you about.  See if you can let their positive memories find a home in your memory bank.

Happy sharing of positive memories!

Exercise: Making Positive Deposits into our Memory Banks

My colleague on The Enchanted Self project, Doreen Laperdon-Addison, and her daughter visited the beach with a friend and her little boy.  Doreen had this to say about the experience: "It was a beautiful sunny day with crisp air and blue skies.  We took off our shoes and put our feet in the water, which was cold, but exhilarating.  My friend and I sat on the sand talking while the kids dug holes, made sand angels, and chased seagulls.  Watching them brought back memories, not only from my youth, but from my teen and later years.  There was a feeling of freedom and exhilaration that only a child can experience.  I realized that I was in the midst of an enchanted moment and, using all of my senses, I mentally deposited these images and sensations into my memory bank for later use."

The ordinary experience of going to the beach was transformed into a special memory for Doreen.  When she deposited it into her memory bank, the experience was in an enhanced state, combining older memories with positive aspects of her present life.  Enchanted memories are different from everyday memories because they have a rich, layered quality derived from a variety of positive memories, sensory images, and present day attitudes about the experiences themselves.  Not only are these memories joyful, they are also meaningful.

Exercise: This exercise involves making positive deposits into your memory bank.  Over the next few days, stay alert to when you are in a good mood.  Try to use all of your senses to experience the present more fully, especially when you become aware of a "potential deposit."  When the moment is right, ask yourself the following questions. 

Take the time to describe them, perhaps writing them down or dictating them into a tape recorder.  Now gradually refocus your mind on the present. 

Try to be aware of the details, taking the time to savor them as you deposit them into your memory bank.  If writing or dictating a narrative does not come easily to you, try drawing a picture, writing a poem, or composing a tune.  Just do something to capture the moment in a way that is most meaningful to you.  Your abilities as an artist, writer, or composer are less important than your desire to relish life.

Announcement 1: New Book on the Horizon: RECIPES FOR ENCHANTMENT, The Secret Ingredient is YOU!

My new book will soon be published through First Books Library at http://www.1stbooks.com.  Within another month it will be available at all bookstores. I will continue to keep you posted on how you will be able to purchase it through this newsletter in the future.  Information will also be posted on my web site as it becomes available.  The following is a summary of what you will find in Recipes for Enchantment:

Come meet two street children from Brazil who profoundly influenced, for the good, a sophisticated American woman.  Read about Sal, a soldier suffering from an almost fatal wound, miraculously saved by love letters.  Meet Joey, a young boy so sick with cancer that his family was losing hope, whose condition dramatically improved when a teacher simply did her job.  You will meet all these people--and many more--in Recipes for Enchantment: The Secret Ingredient is YOU!  Their stories will inspire you. They will help you realize that by acting in positive ways, we can all make a difference.

This is a breakthrough book, gracefully interweaving psychology/self-help with inspiration. There's one basic recipe: combine unique positive thoughts and feelings with positive actions.  Do this every day, and the rest will take care of itself--as if by magic!

For a sneak peak at the book go to my web site at http://www.enchantedself.com.

Announcement 2: Enchanted Self E-group

You are invited to become an active participant in Enchanted Self activities through our e-group at http://www.egroups.com/groups/encself.  Once you sign up and become a member you will have access to The Enchanted Self on-line calendar, message board, chat room, and much more.  I encourage you to take advantage of this free opportunity to connect with myself and other Enchanted Self members, as we explore the joys of a positive and satisfying way of life.  Join us to find out "what's right with you -- not what's wrong!"

I will soon be announcing on-line chats and other Enchanted Self events.  I will also send out a note to you explaining how you can get the most out of all of the e-group features.  Now would be a great time for you to sign up and start to learn about how you can benefit from joining our "enchanted" on-line community.


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



(C) 2000 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


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