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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. 

Recipe for Enchantment #28

Instead of watching the news, or a real-life crime adventure with people trapped on islands, voting each other off every week, or a sit-com that has too many sexual innuendos for our children, find the station that plays I LOVE LUCY reruns.  You will find yourself laughing within a moment or two.

Let yourself indulge in the pure pleasure of watching Lucy at her new job in a candy factory, eating so many chocolates that her cheeks puff out like a squirrel with acorns while she desperately puts more chocolates under her hat.  Chuckle some more while Ricky takes over the household chores. Of course, he burns her blouses, can't cook and, in general, makes a mess!

If I LOVE LUCY is not your cup of tea, then try renting a great comedy, such as the French movie Mon Oncle (My Uncle) or going to see My Great Big Fat Greek Wedding.  You can't help but laugh.

There is no better recipe for a quick uplift than great comedy.  It touches us in all the right places, allowing us to laugh at ourselves while not feeling put down.

REMEMBER: A good laugh is a massage for all your internal organs. 

Article: Excerpts from Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU!  LAUGHING: How Could Timmie Disappear?

By Bernice Becker

Since the Thanksgiving holiday is almost upon us, I thought you might enjoy this light story that emphasizes humor.  It is from my latest book and I am proud to say it was written by my mother, Bernice Becker.


The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I’m usually at the supermarket buying bags of food, and then in the kitchen, preparing for the holiday.  But this Wednesday, I sat in my lounge chair sipping amaretto-flavored coffee.  The short, hectic workweek was over, and the shopping—some nuts, fruit, cheese, wine and pecan pies—was done.  Yes, Thanksgiving would be very different this year.

Instead of hosting the meal, we were going to be guests at the home of our married daughter Barbara, her husband Russell, and our six-month-old granddaughter, Jessica.  Russell’s parents would be there too.

Harry, my husband, and Diane, our ten-year-old daughter, now an excited young aunt, and I were planning to leave Thursday morning to arrive in Beverly , where they lived, by one o’clock .  Since we were sleeping at our daughter’s we didn’t have to over-pack.  Our only ordeal was to get Timmie, our cat, to the vet for boarding until our return on Friday.

I’m a cat lover.  We’d had many cats through the years, and I had indulged them all.  But Timmie was the most demanding.  He was also high strung.  Because we had recently moved to Westfield from Norwalk , Connecticut , this would be Timmie’s first encounter with the animal hospital and we were concerned about him.

After dinner Wednesday, Harry, Diane and I managed to get our reluctant and angry pet into his traveling case.  He hated to leave home because he knew we were going away.  Hoping to appease him, I put his favorite rubber, half chewed up mouse and the food he liked, in a bag.

For three miles, he snarled, talked, cried, growled, and meowed.  I kept assuring him that we loved him and we would come back soon.  But inside the animal hospital Timmie grew frightened and became very silent.  Check-in only took a few minutes—we had to leave our names and phone number, and the number of a neighbor in case of an emergency—but Timmie was so quiet that I feared he had passed out.  We apologized once more for leaving him and said our good-byes.

Thanksgiving Day was like a dream—good company, fabulous food, interesting conversation, and adorable Jessica, who behaved like a perfect lady and didn’t overeat.  (I wish I could say the same for the rest of us.)  We all marveled at how much she’d grown.  Even the friendly rivalry between Russell’s mother and me over who would hold the baby most amused us.  (She won.)  Friday, the day we had to leave to drive home, arrived all too soon.

Back in Westfield , we headed immediately to rescue Timmie.  The woman at the desk looked through a large appointment book for what seemed like a very long time.  Finally I asked, “What is taking so long?”

“I have no cat named Timmie,” she said.

“That’s impossible,” I told her.  “We checked him in on Wednesday evening.”

“Are you sure Timmie is a cat and not a dog?” she asked.  We were flabbergasted.

“How could you ask such a crazy question?” Diane blurted out.

Agitated, the woman said, “Well, we do have a dog named Timmie who was brought in Wednesday evening …”

“Look,” I said.  “I’m going to check every cage until we find our cat.  He has to be here.”

But we saw no sign of him.  I had just started to panic when I heard a familiar howling, and the sound of a body being thrown against a cage door.

Sure enough, there was Timmie, furious and frightened—and imprisoned for way too long.  “He must have heard us and recognized our smell,” my husband said.

“Here’s the problem,” said Diane, pointing to the sign above Timmie’s cage—which read HARRY, my husband’s name, in big black letters.  Mystery solved.

We explained the mix-up to the woman at the desk.  She looked as relieved as Timmie did as he leaped into his carrying case.  We paid the fee and chuckled the whole way home.

When we got to our driveway, we let Harry—I mean Timmie—out.  He ran to the bushes to hide—our punishment for having treated him so badly.  Later we heard crying and scratching at the front door.  When I opened it, he rushed in and went right to his bowl.  I’d left him a peace offering: a cut-up chunk of white meat turkey—his favorite.

He settled down to enjoy his repast.  I could hear him purring.  Then he paused, came over to me, and rubbed himself against my leg.  I understood him perfectly.  “Thank you,” he said.  “And don’t worry.  I forgive you.  After all, you are only human.”

How to Order Books, Audio Tapes and more

How about some autographed copies of 'Recipes for Enchantment' with a free copy of The Enchanted Self's paper newsletter and a bookmark?  Perhaps you would be interested my first book, 'The Enchanted Self', which is also available on audio tape?  Here are some ways to order: 

Tip: When shopping online use keywords "recipes for enchantment" and "enchanted self" to locate the books.

E-group: Connect with others like you!

Find out "what's right with you--not what's wrong!"  Come chat with other "Enchanted Self-ers" at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/encself.  Membership is free and you will have access to our on-line calendar, message board, chat room, and more. It's a great way to connect with others who are exploring, creating and sharing their own positive and satisfying lives.  See you there!

Share Your Enchantment!

Share your positive stories and questions about enchantment with us and other Enchanted Self readers around the globe!  Our mid-month e-zine focuses on YOU and reaches a subscriber list of almost 700 people from the US , Canada , Australia , the United Kingdom , and many other countries!  Please send stories, comments, and questions to encself@aol.com.

Quote of the Month

"Sadness exists so it can be avoided, rejected.  It's something to be avoided.  Like when you walk into a dark room, you don't try to utilize the darkness, you simply turn on the lights and the darkness is gone."

-- Rabbi Manis Friendman, quoted in 'From the Heavens to the Heart' by Tzvi Jacobs

Blessing of the Month

May you always be able to turn on the "lights" as you walk through all the rooms and moments of your life.


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


Forwarding & Reprinting

(C) 2000-2002 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) - A State of Well Being, Joy, and Happiness, please contact me or visit my web site.