Monday, September 8, 2014

A Brush with Hypnosis

Life was perfect.

Yet, I was depressed, and I couldn’t figure out why.  I had no reason to be so down.  A friend suggested a hypnotist.  I was skeptical, but it was better than adding more pills to my regimen.

I asked around and finally found a woman hypnotist that came highly recommended from several sources and friends.  I must admit, my anxiety skyrocketed as I approached her home office.  I felt silly, but I was sick of being in this dark slump.  I knocked, and her warm smile reassured me.

“Welcome.  Come in and sit down,” she said, waving me past her.  “You don’t need to be nervous.  Just take a deep breath and relax.”

Easy for her to say.  I didn’t like giving up control to anyone.

“Would you be more comfortable sitting or lying down?”

Leaving.  Why am I here?  This won’t work. I stiffly moved toward a floral chair with a high, curved back.  “Here’s fine.”

“Tell me why you are here today,” she said, pulling up a matching chair directly in front of me.

I pushed my back into the chair and curled my toes inside my shoes.  My fingers dug into the arms of the chair.  “I’ve been a bit depressed for a while now.”

She took a deep breath and signaled with her hand for me to do the same.  My breath was ragged, so I tried to unwind. How could she hypnotize me if I was wound tighter than a toy top? I tightened then released my tense muscles.

“Breathe in slowly through the nose.  Hold it.  Now release slowly through the mouth,” she said.

We continued with breathing until she told me to close my eyes.  I wiggled my foot as inconspicuously as possible to touch my purse, sitting on the floor.  Did I really think she would steal my wallet?  No. But, I wasn’t comfortable closing my eyes.

“Let’s go back,” she said.  “Back to when you were a child.”

Are you going to blame my mother? Am I really under hypnosis?  I had no idea what I should be feeling. In a way, I felt odd—almost child-like.  My voice sounded like Carol Burnett doing her impression of Shirley Temple.

“Where are you?” the hypnotist asked.


“What grade are you in?”

“Third grade.  We just came in from recess.”  I shivered and rubbed my arms.  “It was cold and snowy out there.”

“What are you doing now?”

“Walking to Mrs. Jensen’s class for reading.  The floor is wet from everyone’s shoes.”

Mrs. Jenson was a kind, large, dark-haired woman who always wore Hawaiian muumuu dresses and low-heeled shoes with buckles.

I felt a bubbling of tearful emotion starting to build in my throat.  My lip quivered.

“What are you doing now?” she asked.

I could see it all so clearly.  The snow out the wall of windows, the straight rows of desks facing the blackboard, Mrs. Jensen’s desk at the back of the room, and all the colorful coats lined up on the back wall.  Kids hung up their coats, others squeaked their way to desks.  Mrs. Jensen stepped carefully from the blackboard and worked her way around kids toward her desk.

From the doorway I saw her…and then I didn’t.  All of the kids squealed with loud laughter that felt like it lasted forever. Mrs. Jensen had slipped on the wet floor and went down.  She struggled to her feet, the laughter continuing.  Tears filled Mrs. Jensen’s eyes.  I could see both pain and embarrassment.

“Stop it!  Stop laughing,” I yelled aloud.

“What’s wrong?  What happened?” the hypnotist asked.

“They’re laughing at her.  Why are they laughing?”  Tears streamed down my cheeks.

I slowly shook my head.  I couldn’t believe it.  My chest ached with sharp pain.  How could these kids be so cruel?  Mrs. Jensen limped past me out of the room. 

“You are only watching,” the hypnotist said.  “This happened long ago.”

I wept, clamping my hands to my chest. 

She brought me back gradually.  She finally told me I could open my eyes.  They fluttered open and then I stared at her in amazement.  All this emotion over someone else’s experience.

“That wasn’t even about me,” I said to her, looking for a tissue.

“Yes, it did happen to you.”

“It happened to Mrs. Jensen.”

“The emotions you feel are your own.  You are obviously a very caring, sensitive person.”

“They were so mean.”  My bottom lip trembled.

“You were so young. It was probably your first experience with how cruel others can be.”

I didn’t know what to say.  I felt odd.  I felt embarrassed. I left in a daze.

I’m still amazed that my first hypnosis session took me back to Mrs. Jensen’s 3rd grade class and even more amazed that my depression went away.

Have you ever been hypnotized?  What was your experience?

Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense...and Dogs!
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Copyright: Cole123RF / 123RF Stock Photo

Friday, September 5, 2014

Weekend Fun Dog Video: Attacked by a Puppet Dog

This video really made my day!
Hope you enjoy it, too, and your weekend.

Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense...and Dogs! 
Fly into a good book at:

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September $229 Giveaway

229 giveaway

It’s time for September’s $229 Kindle Giveaway Hosted by I Am A Reader.

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)
  Or a $229 Gift Card (International)
  Or a $229 in Paypal Cash (International)

Each of these bloggers/authors paid to help sponsor this giveaway.

Sponsor List:

Giveaway Details:
One winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7" HDX (US Only - $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card, or $229 in Paypal Cash (International). Ends 9/30/14. Open only to those who can legally enter and who can receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter, or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
How to Enter:
Enter by clicking the link below and following the instructions. This is not a blog hop. Not much is required.  Like or follow authors and bloggers of clean books.  Yes, it takes a few clicks but look what you could win!!

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Case of the Lunatic Lawyer

Despite being an honor roll student, a sought-after portrait artist, and a legal secretary for a small group of lawyers, at sixteen and still in high school, I didn’t exactly glow with self-confidence. I had grown up without my parents telling me much about life off the farm. I trusted too easily, gave my heart too easily, and I certainly wasn’t wise to the grownup games people play.

The head lawyer, Jacob, had always been kind, fun, understanding, and caring. With the win of an important legal case, involving millions of dollars, he soon changed. By the end of my senior year in school, he hardly ever came to work. Two of the other male lawyers gossiped that he had opened a law practice in Salt Lake with an influential woman, however this woman had supposedly gotten him involved in drugs and alcohol.

I found myself dealing with clients without him by duplicating standard divorce papers, and when Jacob didn’t show up for meetings, I ended up forging his signature and signing as a witness, despite being underage, just to save his practice. The other lawyers were slowly leaving, looking for work elsewhere. I didn’t know what to do.
I finally turned in my two weeks’ notice, and Jacob wrote me a lovely recommendation. He began interviewing secretaries without much luck. Still today, I have to admit these were two of the worst weeks of my life. The woman attorney, Jenay, started coming out to our office. She gave me complicated, dictated documents to type up that I had no idea what they meant, let alone how to spell the words. In the small community we lived in, we had mostly done divorces and wills. She continually chastised me with a red pen. (I’m positive that’s why I don’t edit my writing with red to this day.)  You have to realize this was before computers and word processors. Yes, I had an electric typewriter but you had to put in carbon paper to make copies. (I’m so old.) And, our dictation equipment was staticy.

Jacob’s behavior became more and more erratic as he tried to find a secretary who would do everything I had done and for the little pay I received. I was receptionist, typist, office cleaner, coffee maker and plant waterer all in one. With only a few days left of work and not knowing when or if he would show up for work, I made out my check through to the end of the week and left it on his desk.

The next day, after my half-a-day at school, I drove to work. Despite it being early afternoon, the door was locked. I pulled out my keys, went inside, and looked at the pile of work the high and mighty Jenay had left on my desk. I wandered in to see if my check had been signed. Nope. I shrugged, pulled off the cover on my electric typewriter, and turned it on.

I kept gazing out the window as dusk fell over the small town. The office was located just down the street from the liquor store and I had had one or two incidents with drunks wandering inside. I was just about to get up and lock the door when Jenay came in. She didn’t even speak or look at me, just headed down the hall to an office.

Shortly after, Jacob who had hired me, who had given me my first job, who had written that wonderful recommendation, and who I had admired and trusted also came in. He couldn’t walk straight. He ran into the corner of his office. He smiled, went inside, and accidentally banged his glass door shut. Moments later, Jenay joined him. I tried not to look up from my typing.

“Cindy, would you come in here?” Jacob asked.

I startled, having a bad feeling about this. I reluctantly entered his office. I could feel an electrical intensity in the room.

“Did you type this?” Jacob slurred.

Jenay handed him a document that he immediately thrust in my face. Every other word was circled in red.

“Yes, but—“

“This is inexcusable. And, to top it off, you steal from me.”

Steal! What on earth was he talking about?  With a roiling stomach, I listened to Jacob slur his way through a host of insulting accusations and lies. I fidgeted, kept rubbing my lips, tapped my leg, dry washed my hands, and stared at the floor. I never once thought of defending myself, telling him off, or confronting the both of them.

As his tirade went on, I peeked up and noticed the smile on Jenay’s face. I didn’t understand any of this. I had never met or associated with people like this before. I wanted to get up and bolt out the door, never to return. Jacob threatened to not sign my paycheck. Jenay hopped to her feet, turned, and gave me a devious smile over her shoulder before leaving. What had I ever done to her?

None of this made sense. All I knew was that I had never been accused of being dishonest in my life. I couldn’t figure out how someone could turn on you. I didn’t think about the alcohol or drugs. I’d had no experience with that.

Jacob made me redo the paycheck so that that night was my final day. I left in a flurry of confusion, insecurity, and tears. My understanding of what took place didn’t come for a long time. The event shaped my future and robbed me of my trusting innocence. A sense of security in myself didn't come for many years later.

Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense...and Dogs! 
Fly into a good book at:
Copyright: damedeeso / 123RF Stock Photo

Friday, August 29, 2014

Falling for Fall

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” — Albert Schweitzer

School has started and the weather is changing.

Yes, autumn is my favorite time of year. I have fond memories of life on our farm with my family and harvesting what we had worked so hard to produce through the year. I remember peeling and coring apple after apple for bottled apples and applesauce, my mouth watering for one of my mom’s homemade apple pies; the canning season coming to a close as we gathered the squash to store in the cellar; and finally putting the garden to bed for the dormant winter months ahead.

Memories of my dad’s hardworking hands, my mother’s gentle smile, and my siblings’ playful banter take me back to a picturesque time when life was slower and more people had sense of gratitude instead of entitlement.

But most of all, I remember being together as a family, sharing a story and a laugh while we worked together and the feelings of love, contentment, and peace that radiated from our home. I am so very thankful for these memories and hope the home life I have tried to create for my children will provide them with the same wonderful memories I enjoy because there really is no place like home.

Although I am grateful for my family and friends who light the flame within me, often times it’s the memories of life on our farm which help to rekindle my passion for life. For this, I am forever grateful.

I thoroughly enjoy watching this Siberian Husky named Butch playing in the fall leaves. Hope you enjoy it too. Have a wonderful weekend!  

Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense...and Dogs! 
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