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.
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 www.energypsych.org. 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, www.secondchancedream.com, 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.