Family Relationships

Join other women in the sandwich generation - share ideas and solutions as you learn to nourish family relationships without starving yourself.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Virtual Book Tour: Second Chance at Your Dream

We want to welcome Dr. Dorothea Hover-Kramer, our featured author for this Virtual Book Tour, who is here to discuss Second Chance at Your Dream. Her book provides clear guidelines on how to establish a positive framework for the second half of life, using "energy psychology." This new field works directly with the human energy system to reach body, mind and spirit. And Second Chance describes over fifty specific self-care techniques for counteracting worry and anxiety.

Three old books, studio shot

Nourishing Relationships: What is "energy psychology?"

Dorothea Hover-Kramer: Energy psychology is a new field within psychotherapy in which the practitioner works with the human energy system to bring about emotional relief. Specifically, the therapist may help clients bring balance to their entire biofield, or release stress through one or more body energy centers, or relieve emotional distress by tapping or touching meridian acupoints. At times the therapist may engage all three components to assist clients, and the methods are ideal for client self-care.

Research about the effectiveness of these techniques is ongoing and has already demonstrated the efficacy of the work in reducing trauma reactions, anxiety and phobias. Hundreds of clinician's reports also substantiate the reported outcomes for both mind and body. The website for the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology is It shows national and international conferences, practitioners' listings as well as published and developing research studies.

N R: Why is maintaining your energy level important in the second half of life?

D H-K: The second half of life brings unique challenges such as dealing with changes in the body, mentoring others, finding a lifestyle that supports our beings, losing family members and friends, and ultimately facing our own transition to the next stage of life. Unlike the cultural belief of “It’s all downhill after 20 when the physical body ceases growing,” the second half of life is really an opportunity to expand our mental, emotional and spiritual capacities. To continue growing into full maturity and elder wisdom we need to maintain our energy levels with self-care methods from the new science of energy psychology.

N R: How can we best release stressors quickly?

D H-K: Stress is cumulative, so the older we become the more stress we are inclined to carry unless we have mechanisms to release negativity or distressful events. One effective method from energy psychology is to take a deep breath and brush down from head to toe as you exhale.

The "Brush Down" allows the client to release stress from body and mind by literally bringing the hands above the head and brushing downward accompanied with several strong exhalations. The intention is to relieve congestion which is often felt in tense muscles or constricted breathing due to stressful situations. Repeat this several times while shaking out tension from your body and mind. After brushing away tension from all around your body, allow new ideas or perspectives to come to you with each in-breath. Continue to release tension with each exhalation and allow inspiration and new options to come to you with each intake of new vitality.

N R: What are the best ways to stay well when we are family caregivers?

D H-K: Being a family caregiver, especially the “sandwich generation,” can be challenging and fully time-consuming. Allow time for yourself even if it means hiring someone to stay with the person in need. Affirm your own strengths daily by working with your body’s energy system.

Here is one way: connect to your body while rubbing gently at the heart center while stating, “Even though I have this problem/feeling (state it), I deeply and profoundly accept and honor myself.” Repeat as often as needed and allow yourself several nice, deep breaths while recognizing the emotion is temporary but you are permanent.

The heart center is located in the mid-chest, close to the physical heart, but it also has energetic and psychological significance. Many people intuitively bring their hands to this area when they feel the deep joy of connecting with another person or when they seek to comfort themselves.

N R: Why is creativity so needed in having a meaningful later life?

D H-K: Creativity means connecting with our innate potentials. It does not necessarily mean art-making but rather is about finding ways of self-expression that are satisfying to you. Examples of creative processes are singing or toning, writing or journaling, reaching out to others, following an interest just for your pleasure of it, learning more about a subject, organizing your life so you have time to think and going within.

N R: What are the best ways to connect with our innate creativity?

D H-K: A time-honored way of establishing a sense of purpose in your life is to center yourself. Coming back to center in the midst of our many distractions is not easy. It requires choosing to stick with centering or peaceful meditation as a daily goal. During these quiet times, ideas can best come to you. I enjoy writing them down in the moment because it is so easy to lose the train of thought.

Thanks so much for joining us today, Dorothea. We’re also grateful to all the readers and sandwiched boomers who have dropped by. Many more ideas for centering and creativity are in Second Chance at Your Dream, the first book to apply the breakthrough insights of energy psychology to optimal aging, creativity and health. Click on the title at the top of this post - that will take you to Dorothea's website,, where you can learn more about her, the book and her work.

If you have questions for Dorothea, please click on "Comments" just below and let us hear from you. Log on again tomorrow - we’ll be summarizing your questions and Dorothea's feedback.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I practice deep breathing that I learned in yoga. Is what you describe that different?

6:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is all so new to me, Dorothea, and interesting. I am the poster woman for the sandwich generation and I like the idea of honoring myself. How do I find the time to do that? Thanks, Beth

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Dorothea Hover-Kramer said...

Dear Friends of Nourishing Relationships,
I'm delighted to be part of your blog and to share a bit about energy psychology which works with body and mind for very effective self-care.
Most of us are very busy and need quick ways to release stress and tension. Here's one I'd like to invite you to use as often as needed today:
when you notice a strong unhappy feeling or negative thought, treat it quickly by repeating a reminder phrase such as "I release___" while tapping several meridian acupoint: where the eyebrow meets the nose, at the outer eye, below the eye ,under the lip, at the collarbone and at the side of the hand.Each of these points relates to bone, connective tissue and your body's information messaging system.
Please share what you noticed. with caring, Dorothea.

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Dorothea Hover-Kramer said...

Dear Anonymous,
Yoga is wonderful and I do some every day, but energy psychology is actually an approach to psychotherapy that utilizes the body's energy system--meridian acupoints, biofield and energy centers --to bring relief to emotional distress. It has proved to be highly effective in relieving trauma, both recent and past.
Please keep your questions coming. warm wishes, Dorothea.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Nourishing Relationships said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you mention journaling - that has been a mainstay for me. it helps me stay on top of my feelings, keeps me centered, and lets me tap into my creativity.

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey there Dorothea,
I have shared your book with several friends and family - of all ages. I just want to put in a plug that your book, while aimed at the second half, is also helpful and can be quite useful for those in the "first half" as well. This book is a wealth of uesful insight and information that can benefit anyone who is willing to apply it . . .

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the idea of home self-care because of financial restrictions and work commitments. If I have very little free time, what's the one best thing I can do to take care of my aging self? Caroline

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Dorothea Hover-Kramer said...

Dear Anon. about Journaling,
thank you for sharing how you value writing your thoughts and feelings down. It's so important that we pay attention to our needs. Women are most often the family caregivers and it's all too easy to become distracted from the need to nurture ourselves so we CAN give to others. One useful question for the beginning of the day is to ask what you really want for yourself today. At the end of the day, take stock and explore how you paid attention to your goal. While gently rubbing the mid-chest area affirm, "I deeply and profoundly accept myself with all my gifts, talents and abilities."
enjoy your writing! Warmly, Dorothea.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Dorothea Hover-Kramer said...

Dear Anon. Cheers,
thank you for spreading the good news about the book and with your friends of all ages!
While the book is certainly for anyone, the needs of boomer women and people in the "sandwich" generation are especially challenging because of time pressures and juggling so many roles at once.
Conscious self-care is essential and I would like to share as much as possible to ease others' burdens.
Sending you many good wishes, Dorothea.

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Dorothea Hover-Kramer said...

Dear Caroline,
thank you for asking about what approach from energy psychology might be best for taking care of yourself with limited time.
I suggest starting by taking note of inner self-talk which might give a clue to beliefs that may be limiting to you.
For example, telling oneself " I have very little time" could perpetuate a sense of never having enough time for anything and feeling anxious. In contrast, telling oneself, "I now take the time I need to release negativity" (as suggested in my earlier post with the tapping) may free up emotional energy.
I always encourage taking time to affirm yourself by gently holding the heart area and affirming, "with each breath I increase my sense of peace, with each breath I increase my vitality, with each breath I enhance my coping skills."
Positive self-affirmations attract the desired qualities and lets them resonate within.
Looking forward to your replies, Dorothea.

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Dorothea Hover-Kramer said...

Dear Beth,
regarding having enough time to honor yourself, think of the reality that we have 5,000-8,000 thoughts an hour. If those thoughts, the inner self-talk, are in any way self-depreciating or anxious, the body will feel that and respond by limiting gene expression and repressing immune function.
If you can change even 5 of those many thoughts to whose of peace or self-appreciation, there will be a change. The human psyche is wired for growth, self-healing and joy.
As we align with those energies, we shift our environments within and outside or ourselves.
Sending you bright blessings, Dorothea.

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Satellite TV for PC said...

That's really interesting. Psychology... sigh.

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9:28 AM  

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