Paint Yourself a Happy Tree, Meditating with Bob Ross

My daughter's friend was recently working through a rough patch and she found a surprising sense of calmness and relaxation by watching an old painting with Bob Ross episode. Meditation and guided relaxation comes in many forms, my friends! I asked Carly to write something about her experience, and here's what she had to say:

Netflix recently made available for streaming, “The Joy of Painting” with Bob Ross. My early experience with PBS was learning my ABC’s to the sound of muffled-voiced muppets and more recently learning the trials and tribulations of America's past through the friendly-know-it-all nasal tone of Ken Burns. I somehow missed the era of Bob Ross, and in fact I really only recognized him from a popular t-shirt of the afro-ed "arteest" sold at Urban Outfitters in the early aughts.

“You’ve never seen Bob Ross!?”, exclaimed my friend, who was obviously elated by the Netflix announcement.

Happy trees, I know, I know.

“No, it’s so much more than that!” she says, “His voice is so calm. He’s wonderful.”

“Plus he keeps squirrel friends in his pocket.” her husband chimes in. 

Noted, I think and change the subject back to the recent heartbreak that brought me to their comfortable home.

But the next morning I awoke way earlier than I wanted to, and, alone in my room I felt a wave of loss and loneliness creeping in. There’s a tightness in my chest and I flop in and out of my sheets, not ready to get out of bed but unable to fall back asleep. I decide to “Netflix until” and watch something to distract me and burn some time.

And there is Mr. Ross in my “suggestions for you.”

The Joy of Painting--Ocean Cliffs. I feel more like jumping off a cliff.

But two seconds later, with my brow still furrowed, I’m reading a list of paint colors needed for this episode. In the warmest tone, Bob welcomes me to this lesson and I feel my shoulders start to slide down my back as if our next move together will be downward dog and not “dip brush into mineral oil.” I settle into my pillows and watch Bob fill a warm sky with hypnotic and rhythmic strokes. In a soothing tone he tells me what he’s doing and what he’s going to do next. He tells me not to be afraid of color. He tells me not to be afraid of making mistakes. He gives me 3 baby squirrels to look at during a particularly monotonous stretch of brushwork. He’s aware of my needs.

The finished painting isn’t one that I particularly liked. It’s just not my taste. But his method, his calm, soothing voice, and his patience with himself and his viewers is something that I envied and definitely want to hang in my home.

We didn’t paint any happy trees, but we planted some seeds. And that’s something.

If Kate Middleton, Kim Kardashian, and Jessica Alba can do it, so can you!

Believe it or not- labor doesn’t have to be the “worst pain imaginable” as Western society has trained us to believe. And, as you might have guessed, hypnosis can be a wonderful tool or method to help relieve the fear and anxiety many women have about the birthing process thereby reducing the pain typically associated with labor. In fact, using hypnosis during pregnancy, labor, and the birthing process has been on the rise in recent years as more and more women are looking to have natural, drug free birth experiences.

When a woman’s body goes into labor, she starts producing a hormone called oxytocin, which is also nicknamed the “love hormone”. This hormone makes us “feel good” and can actually block the feeling of pain. However, when we feel anxious, afraid, or stressed, our bodies begin to produce adrenaline and cortisol, which have the opposite effect on our bodies and actually slow down labor. So, the more calm and relaxed a woman is able to remain, the easier and faster labor progresses, and the less pain she feels! Makes sense and sounds easy enough, right?

Just watch Mariah’s painless hypnobirthing experience.

Oh- and did I mention my oldest daughter is pregnant with my second grand baby?! So, perhaps we will be posting a recount of her pain-free, all natural birth using hypnosis in the months to come! 

Can hypnosis really help me lose weight fast?

Julie Evans before hypnosis

Julie Evans before hypnosis

Julie Evans after hypnosis (and a lot of hard work!!)

Julie Evans after hypnosis (and a lot of hard work!!)

The short answer is: Yes!

The long answer is: Of course it can! BUT hypnosis is not a magic pill you can swallow and POOF! all the fat just melts away. Losing weight is hard work and there’s no way around that. HOWEVER, hypnosis can give you the focus, control, motivation, and power back to make the correct decisions that will lead you to your weight loss goals.

I stumbled across this article the other day on CNN’s website titled “Hypnosis helped her lose 140 lbs” (click the source link below), and I think it’s a great example of my “long answer” above.  The woman said she noticed an immediate improvement after hypnosis in the types of cravings she was experiencing (only for healthy foods) and she regained control over the amount of food she was eating (a quarter of what she was eating before). Many of us desire to lose weight, but just don’t have the self-control to make the right choices about the types and amounts of food we eat. So, hypnosis can help you regain that control, but ultimately, you still have to make the right decisions. The article also notes that she had to add exercise into her routine to fully meet her weight loss goal- and that it was really hard at first. But, bravo to this strong woman for using hypnosis to give her the boost she needed to begin her weight loss journey and then sticking with it. This is a good reminder that it IS possible and you can do it too!!

Just Breathe!


One of the key techniques that we teach each and every client that walks into our office is how to take 3 deep, healing breaths. Deep, abdominal breathing automatically activates the body’s relaxation response. This means that a few conscious, deep breaths can actually reduce stress and anxiety, which helps you to relax and focus. Some studies have shown that deep, focused breathing can actually stimulate brain growth and alter gene expression related to some key bodily functions (check out the article through the link below).

All these benefits by taking a few deep breaths- seems easy enough, right? Well, lucky for all of us, it is! We tell our clients to visualize inhaling a golden light full of healing energy in slowly through your nose. You may even want to count to 5 while inhaling. Hold this breath for a moment, and then visualize you are slowly (for a count of 6 or more) exhaling all the negativity from your body. You can imagine negativity to look like black smoke, sludge, or anything else that symbolizes “negativity” to you. Repeat this 3 times. It’s a simple as that. Now get breathing!!