Tag Archives: relaxation

“Create your own reality.”
What does that really mean? Is it really possible to create your own reality? What if I told you it was natural, that you already have the ability to do it? Would you like to understand how it’s done? Would you like to learn how to do it?

My name is Tami Satterfield and I am a licensed psychotherapist. I like to look at the world from many different perspectives. It gives me more options and makes it easier to make sense of things so I can align my actions with my purpose and get what I want. If this sounds good to you, you are ready to create your own reality and begin working the laws of attraction to manifest abundance in your life.

In this workshop you will utilize one of the most powerful cycles in nature, the cycle of the moon, as the vehicle to:
• Change your thinking;
• Explore what you really want out of life and what is standing in your way;
• Learn the purpose of intention and how to utilize it;
• Understand the energetic vibrations that exist in the world and how to utilize them for manifestation;
• Discover why control is an illusion and influence is the supreme power of the universe;
• Utilize readily available information to gain greater perspective;
• Practice trust in your intuition.

Why the moon cycle?
Are you at the beginning of the process of changing your thinking? Or, would you like to deepen your practice? Working in conjunction with a natural cycle, such as the cycle of the new moon, is an easy way to either begin to practice or deepen your practice of changing the way you think. Think of it as a natural “classroom.” It is a library of information that is always available and open to your study. The cycle offers an intense focus for a short duration of time. This intense focus can increase the outcome; in other words, you move farther faster. Additionally, there is benefit from working in a group. It can also accelerate your progress, as you can benefit from the work of others.

You can expect:
Confidentialityyour experience and participation can be as private or as collaborative as you would like;
Education, tools, and instruction for practices to change your thinking and begin creating your own reality – direct to your email;
Personalized feedback from me, as well as access to other participant’s workshop experience to deepen your understanding;
One distance group energy session at the close of the workshop for deep relaxation and assimilation of the workshop experience.

This workshop is NOT about astrology, but utilizes the natural astrological occurrences as a learning tool to practice new ways of thinking and new practical skills. Brain research shows that it can be easier to create neuro-pathways when practice occurs outside of established patterns of thought. Think of the moon cycle as akin to an exotic land; it is a great place to go and discover a new side of yourself.

Workshop runs from September 8 -29. Participate live or at your convenience. Cost is $45.
Register on-line at
Questions? Contact Tami at To learn more, visit


Notice thoughts that create sensations within your body that feel good, that you like.

You might notice that when your thoughts create nice sensations within your body that it can be easy to think, “It is okay. It will be okay. Everything will work out.” And you might even remember that it usually does. In fact, you might think, “It might always work out.” So notice the thoughts that you like. Really bring your attention to them. Notice what you think that feels good and then appreciate the feeling. Go within yourself and thank yourself for having created such nice sensations – sensations that feel good. Allow yourself to be grateful for feeling good.

Your thoughts inform your emotions or “feelings”, emotions inform your physiology. Literally, the thoughts you think program the cells in your body. Once programed they communicate to all the parts of the body and soon you are moving through the world making your thoughts come true. You are creating your own reality.

Notice the thoughts that create good feelings and begin to change your brain from thinking thoughts that don’t create the sensations you like to thinking more thoughts that do create the sensations you like. The more you do this, the more often you think thoughts that support you and the life you want to create. Be present and create the life you want. It’s only your resistance to the present moment, to the thought you are thinking, that is holding you back.

Experiencing relaxation, satisfaction, and contentment might only be a thought away.

Go ahead, think about. Then forget about it. BE. Just be and see what you notice.

This comes from Rick Hanson, Ph.D., neuropsychologist, Affiliate of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and invited lecturer at Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard universities. See Rick’s workshops and lectures.

Is your mind wandering?
The Practice
Pay attention.
Moment to moment, the flows of thoughts and feelings, sensations and desires, and conscious and unconscious processes sculpt your nervous system like water gradually carving furrows and eventually gullies on a hillside. Your brain is continually changing its structure. The only question is: Is it for better or worse?

In particular, because of what’s called “experience-dependent neuroplasticity,” whatever you hold in attention has a special power to change your brain. Attention is like a combination spotlight and vacuum cleaner: it illuminates what it rests upon and then sucks it into your brain – and your self.

Therefore, controlling your attention – becoming more able to place it where you want it and keep it there, and more able to pull it away from what’s bothersome or pointless (such as looping again and again through anxious preoccupations, mental grumbling, or self-criticism) – is the foundation of changing your brain, and thus your life, for the better. As the great psychologist, William James, wrote over a century ago: “The education of attention would be the education par excellence.”

But to gain better control of attention – to become more mindful and more able to concentrate – we need to overcome a few challenges. In order to survive, our ancestors evolved to be stimulation-hungry and easily distracted, continually scanning their interior and their environment for opportunities and threats, carrots and sticks. There is also a natural range of temperament, from focused and cautious “turtles” to distractible and adventuresome “jackrabbits.” Upsetting experiences – especially traumatic ones – train the brain to be vigilant, with attention skittering from one thing to another. And modern culture makes us accustomed to an intense incoming fire hose of stimuli, so anything less – like the sensations of simply breathing – can feel unrewarding, boring, or frustrating.

To overcome these challenges, it’s useful to cultivate some neural factors of attention – in effect, getting your brain on your side to help you get a better grip on this spotlight/vacuum cleaner.
You can use one or more of the seven factors below at the start of any deliberate focusing of attention – from keeping your head in a dull business meeting to contemplative practices such as meditation or prayer – and then let them move to the background as you shift into whatever the activity is. You can also draw upon one or more during the activity if your attention is flagging. They are listed in an order that makes sense to me, but you can vary the sequence. (There’s more information about attention, mindfulness, concentration, and contemplative absorption inBuddha’s Brain.)

Here we go.

1.  Set the intention to sustain your attention, to be mindful. You can do this both top-down, by giving yourself a gentle instruction to be attentive, and bottom-up, by opening to the sense in your body of what mindfulness feels like.

2.  Relax. For example, take several exhalations that are twice as long as your inhalations. This stimulates the calming, centering parasympathetic nervous system and settles down the fight-or-flight stress-response sympathetic nervous system that jiggles the spotlight of attention this way and that, looking for carrots and sticks.

3.  Without straining at it, think of things that help you feel cared about – that you matter to someone, that you belong in a relationship or group, that you are seen and appreciated, or even cherished and loved. It’s OK if the relationship isn’t perfect, or that you bring to mind people from the past, or pets, or spiritual beings. You could also get a sense of your own goodwill for others, your own compassion, kindness, and love. Warming up the heart in this way helps you feel protected, and it brings a rewarding juiciness to the moment – which support #4 and #5 below.

4.  Think of things that help you feel safer, and thus more able to rest attention on your activities, rather than vigilantly scanning. Notice that you are likely in a relatively safe setting, with resources inside you to cope with whatever life brings. Let go of any unreasonable anxiety, any unnecessary guarding or bracing.

5.  Gently encourage some positive feelings, even mild or subtle ones. For example, think of something you feel glad about or grateful for; go-to’s for me include my kids, Yosemite, and just being alive. Open as you can to an underlying sense of well-being that may nonetheless contain some struggles or pain. The sense of pleasure or reward in positive emotions increases the neurotransmitter, dopamine, which closes a kind of gate in the neural substrates of working memory, thus keeping out any “barbarians,” any invasive distractions.

6.  Get a sense of the body as a whole, its many sensations appearing together each moment in the boundless space of awareness. This sense of things as a unified gestalt, perceived within a large and panoramic perspective, activates networks on the sides of the brain (especially the right – for right-handed people) that support sustained mindfulness. And it de-activates the networks along the midline of the brain that we use when we’re lost in thought.

7.  For 10-20-30 seconds in a row, stay with whatever positive experiences you’re having or lessons you’re learning. Since “neurons that fire together, wire together,” this savoring and registering helps weave the fruits of your attentive efforts into the fabric of your brain and your self.

"Pink Kisses" by T. Boehle-Satterfield oil on panel copyright 2010

The cutting tone of her speech, “And you said, and you always say, and you never do” came at me sharp and clear until the force of it knocked me in the head like a blow from a baseball bat.  I know I flinched, sitting there in the passenger seat of the car while he drove and she battered away at the side of my head.  I need to swim, I thought.  And I imagined the words shot from her mouth slowing until they felt thick like deep water moving.  And I noticed that the hairs that had stood on the back of my neck were relieved and they floated out and away from me like the hairs on my head.  I moved my arms just to test the force of the current I was up against and to my surprise it wasn’t bad.  I smiled and with delight and certainty I exhaled.  Lovely, beautiful bubbles rose to the waters surface each carrying light and color to the other side.  I breathed in the experience.  So calm.  So refreshing.  Finding terra firma, I deliberately pushed off.  Determined yet poised.  I took stock in my swift and efficient ways.  I lifted my head to the light and felt the sensation of my face breaking through to the other side.  So perfect a feeling: to be a part of something and notice the moment you are apart of that something, and realize it coincides so perfectly with the moment you are a part of something else.  The break.

s" -Oil painting by T. Boehle.

"The observed shift of the spectra to longer wavelengths reflects the relaxation process" -oil painting by T. Boehle

Relaxation is a state that you come into. It involves change and participation. When you are willing to change your perspective to connect differently from your present state you are prepared to begin.

Find a comfortable chair to sit in and place your feet flat on the floor. This provides you the connection with the support of the earth and its magnetic fields that assist you in balance. With you feet flat on the floor and your hands resting on your thighs, begin to feel the warmth within the palms of your hands. Notice the pleasant feeling the warmth provides your hands and your thighs as your hands warm the fabric between your hands and your thighs.

Shift your attention from the pleasant sensation between your hands and your thighs and find a spot across the room on which to focus. This spot will be just above your line of site. It can be remarkable in its interest or simply a place on the wall. Allow your eyes to focus on your spot while making all the necessary adjustments for comfort of your entire body.

And now, with your feet flat on the floor and your hands resting on your thighs and your focused ahead of you, bring your attention to your breath. Notice your belly as it you bring oxygen in through your nose. Notice the rise in your belly and bring your awareness to the rise and fall of your belly while your eyes are focused on your spot and your feet are flat on the floor with your hands resting on your thighs.

This coordination is work. Allow your self to experience it as it is for you. If the complexity of this new work is challenging allow yourself to feel okay with your ability as well as your concern. However you do this is okay. It is perfect. Bring no judgments of yourself and your abilities. And if you like, practice breathing in for the count of four holding for the count of two and exhaling for the count of six.

Practice 3-5 of these breaths. Feel yourself settling deeper into the chair as you breath with your feet flat on the floor, your hands on your thighs and your eyes focused forward. Notice that your eyes may begin to experience a change in your vision. As you focus forward you may notice a narrowing of your vision similar to the idea of tunnel vision where that outside your focus falls into the darkness. Your eyes may begin to feel heavy and you may want to close them. With your eyes closed, your feet flat on the floor and your hands on your thighs bring your awareness to your breath.

Let your mind drift as you notice your breath in and out and as your mind returns and attempt to capture your attention with ideas acknowledge it without any judgment and then bring your awareness back to your breath. As you relax your mind’s activity may increase and provide you distraction from your breath. Whatever happens is okay. It is perfect. You welcome the distraction of the mind’s activity as you bring your awareness back to your breath acknowledging that the mind’s activity is a reminder of all the distractions life provides you. You are grateful for this reminder as it serves to strengthen your practice of being present. And you know that when you are present you can become relaxed.