Your Personal Treasure Chest

by : Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein



Sometimes it is helpful to review several of the basic components of THE ENCHANTED SELF. That's what I've decided to do this time.

Discovering your ENCHANTED SELF is a new way for you to achieve better mental and physical health. It is based on research documenting that within each of us there resides the capacity for achieving states of well-being again and again.

What makes THE ENCHANTED SELF different from other holistic therapies are the tools we use on the journey. One of the major tools I use is to encourage people to tap into their own personal memory banks, looking for positive memories that either made you feel good or contained within them aspects of your talents, skills, or potential.

Usually I talk about memories that we retrieve via our mind. However, I want to mention that memories are not just housed in our minds. Memories also reside in our bodies. Learning how to look for positive memories and listen to the wisdom of our body is also part of THE ENCHANTED SELF journey or process. I talk much less about the body than the mind. However, it is very much a factor in the experience of delight and maintaining a sense of well-being.

If I enjoyed rocking on the porch as a child I may well enjoy the slow circular movements of Tai Chi as an adult. If I hated roller skating as a kid and feared falling, I may not want to do anything that involves slipping and sliding as an adult.

Searching for your ENCHANTED SELF is akin to going on a treasure hunt. It is very thrilling to reach into your treasure chest of stored memories and discover strengths and talents that were never recognized or validated. It's like finding a diamond in the rough just waiting to be polished.

In my book, THE ENCHANTE SELF, A Positive Therapy, I discuss how I too had to reframe some of my past.

I was amazed to look at myself and what I did again and now see strengths and talents that I had not celebrated.

Like any new endeavor, people may sometimes find it difficult to begin the journey. What really helped me was seeing that even parts of myself that I had not valued earlier because I felt uncomfortable about them or the culture didn't support those traits, ultimately helped to define me, give me shape as a person and literally became the components of my life story.

Those details are presented in my first book and are way beyond the scope of this little article, but here is a simple play date with Enchantment to get you started:

A Playdate With Enchantment

Quickly review the past twenty-four hours. Write down ten positive happenings that occurred in your life during that time. Positive happenings could be just continuing to breath, receiving a phone call from a high school friend, watching beams of sunlight sparkling in a puddle of water, playing a game of basketball or tennis, or taking a dance class.

For me, I succeeded in cleaning out one more little pile of papers, had lunch with some great friends and fought my way mentally out of a bad mood! And I haven't finished the search. Perhaps the best moment was holding Blackie, my big obviously black cat, on my lap while sitting in the dark outside. He felt really good!

In reviewing the list we can break down these positive experiences into several categories:

1. Those that give a general sense of well being.

2. Those that reflect specific talents and interests.

3. Those that suggest potential capacities.

As we begin to realize our ENCHANTED SELVES, one of the first steps is documenting and learning to recognize what already works for us. Because the shoe already fits and feels good does not trivialize it! Celebrate what is already working for you. You enjoy your cup of coffee in the morning and the paper? Great. That is a wonderful small habit that works for you!

In our society, we have a tendency to disregard and diminish our personal small successes and states of well being. I believe this is a reflection of our tendency to focus on our dysfunction and what is not working for us, rather than what does work.

The more that we can recognize and validate what does work for us, the closer we come to achieving states of well being. That's why I want you to really make a list of what did work and felt good in the last twenty-four hours. You may be very surprised at how much went right! As they say, try it. You'll like it!