ALIVE Goes Mobile with the “ALIVE Marketplace”

Photo by Eric Johnson of HapMagee Park taken on 12.07.09

We have some very exciting news for our loyal readers and advertisers!

First off, for readers: our ALIVE website has been completely re-designed (you’re here!). Our new site is more user-friendly, offering a comprehensive array of features and options that we know you will love.

Next, we have a soon-to-be operational innovation to assist both readers and advertisers called The ALIVE Marketplace. More than just a website, the ALIVE Marketplace ( will provide a resource whereby the businesses and services that advertise in ALIVE provide exclusive—and we really mean exclusive—discounts and special offers to ALIVE readers. The site will include a dedicated webpage for each and every business that you find in ALIVE Magazine—each one packed with valuable information and offers you can’t get anywhere else.

In addition to all of this, the ALIVE Marketplace will soon be available at your fingertips, through our ALIVE Marketplace Mobile Device Application (see our ad on the opposite page). You’ll be able to download the ALIVE Marketplace app to your mobile device for free, and use it to locate participating businesses that are close to your location.

Through this mobile app, you’ll have access to significant savings and special promotions offered by the fine businesses and services found in ALIVE.

In these challenging economic times, we all need all the help we can get. If you’re a consumer, you’re looking for the best value; if you’re a business owner, you’re looking for more customers. ALIVE Magazine is excited to be able to help fulfill both needs, through the ALIVE Marketplace!

Trivial Matters

Ben Fernandez

Has it really been 10 years since we thought our computers were going to crash? Not only is 2010 a new year, but it is a new decade. Remember the song “Everything Old is New Again?” Let’s try some “New” questions.
1. “New Moon” is the hit movie of this season. What famous singing duo starred in another movie named “New Moon” in the 1930’s?
2. The New York Yankees won the World Series again is 2009. It seems they do it every year, but who was the New York manager from 1949 to 1953 who won the title 5 straight years?
3, The New Christy Minstrels were a popular group of the 60’s and 70’s. Who was their leader?
4. “The New Breed” was a hard hitting TV crime series in the 60’s. The lead actor starred in a movie police series in the 90’s that was a total spoof. Who was that actor?
5. Franklin Roosevelt took the US by storm in the 1930’s with his far reaching program. What did he call it?
6. Eartha Kitt introduced one of her famous songs in the 1953 movie “New Faces?” What was that song?

Win Lunch On Ben!
The first person to email or mail, no calls please, the correct answers to all of the above questions will win a $25 gift certificate at The Uptown Cafe in downtown Danville, compliments of Ben Fernandez! Entries must be received by Jan 15, 2010. In the event of a tie, the winner will be drawn at random. Please email your answers to, or mail to ALIVE East Bay, 199 East Linda Mesa Avenue, Suite 10, Danville, CA 94526.

Employees and family members of employees of ALIVE East Bay are not eligible. Restaurant may be changed without notice.

2010 – Welcoming Growth in Our Community

Let us welcome in 2010 by celebrating positive growth and a flourishing future for our community. San Ramon Regional Medical Center recently broke ground for our new $10.7 million emergency department and laboratory expansion project.

San Ramon Regional Medical Center was originally developed in the mid-1980s and built-out over five years. The hospital opened in 1990. The medical center is a full-service acute care hospital. Inpatient services include medical, surgical, obstetrics, intensive care nursery, intensive care and coronary care facilities. In an effort to provide enhanced services and facilities to their patients, the Medical Center will expand the hospital by 6,400 sq. ft.

The new construction project represents the hospital’s commitment to respond to the needs of our growing community. The expansion will include:

  • 8,900 square feet Emergency Department with improved patient flow
  • Expansion from 9 beds to 16 beds
  • Private patient rooms in ED
  • Negative-pressure isolation room
  • Enlarged patient waiting room
  • Dedicated X-ray machine
  • Increased efficiencies in the Clinical Laboratory for chemistry, hematology and the blood bank areas

The expansion project is well-designed and integrated with the existing medical campus. With this expansion San Ramon will be better prepared for community disasters, better equipped to respond to community emergency needs, and more responsive to physician and patients. The project is expected to be completed in 18 to 24 months.

I am proud of San Ramon Regional Medical Center for developing an extraordinary hospital that serves the San Ramon Valley community and our physicians with excellence.

The City staff, Council, and I will continue to support the positive growth of our existing businesses. We will seek to bring new businesses into our City and continue to support San Ramon’s business community. Together we can – Together we will – Make a difference – and make a better community this coming year. You may contact Mayor Wilson by email at:

Business Book Club Meets at 12:30 pm on the first Tuesday of every month. San Ramon Chamber of Commerce 12667 Alcosta Blvd., Ste 160, Bishop Ranch 15. 925-242-0600.

San Ramon Valley Newcomers Club Hiking group meets every Friday at 8:30 am. Hikes are usually 2 hours and within 30 minutes of San Ramon. Info: Sharon, 925-735-8960.

Toastmasters Diablo View Chapter Meets every Tuesday morning at 7:55 am San Ramon Community Center 2501 Alcosta Blvd. Info: Todd Westerlund, 925-242-0600.

Homeowner/Homebuyer Book Club A place to learn, share, and discuss, First Monday of the Month, 6:00 pm , 3223 Crow Canyon Rd. (@ Camino Ramon), Second Floor conference
room, San Ramon. To RSVP: 925-397-2093.

Stay-at-Home MOMS Club – 1st Wednesday of every month. The MOMS Club of San Ramon, Danville, and Dublin are for stay-at-home moms in this area. A number of activity groups are included in the membership. Dues are only $28 a year. Info: Michelle Borrero at 925-639-9556 or

East Bay FIT is part of USA FIT, which prepares people of all fitness levels to RUN or WALK a marathon or half marathon using a proven 6-month training plan. Long group runs are done
together on Saturday mornings, and weekday runs are left to individual members. For more information, please visit or call 1-866-333-9828.

San Ramon Performing Arts:
Info and tickets: 925-973. ARTS
01/15 – 01/16: Wizard of Oz presented by the Active Arts Theatre for Young Audiences 01/23, Saturday, 6:30pm: Dangerous Beauty. To benefit the nonprofit education fund of the San Ramon branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW).
01/23: Cinderella Kids presented by the Active Arts Theatre for Young Audience
02/14: Defending the Caveman
01/30, Saturday, 6 – 9pm: San Ramon Historic Foundation
Crab Feed to raise funds to support the Foundation activities Dinner includes fresh cracked crab, pasta, salad, French bread, coffee and tea…all for a donation of $40 per person. A fun cake
auction will be conducted so that the perfect dessert can be had by your table. Tickets: 925-828-0586.

Looking Back, Looking Forward

On behalf of the Danville Town Council, I would first like to wish everyone a Happy New Year, and to take a few moments to recognize and express my appreciation to outgoing Mayor Newell Arnerich. During his tenure as Mayor, he represented Danville at a very high level. On behalf of the entire Town, “Thank you Newell.”

The Town Council was honored to formally acknowledge and show its appreciation to community members at its annual awards event, which was held at the Danville Community Center on December first. Former Councilmember and Mayor Mike Shimansky received the prestigious Danville Award (posthumous), for his dedication of service to the Danville Community. His wife, Sue and daughter Cyndi, accepted the award. Award of Special Recognition was given to Danville Police Chief Chris Wenzel for his six years of excellence in overseeing Danville’s Police Department.

The Parks & Leisure Services Commission Volunteer of the Year Award was given to Valley Youth Council for implementation of the online Needs Assessment Survey that led to ways to serve the local high school population with recreational opportunities and education about current issues. The Arts Commission Volunteer of the Year was given to Kevin Chen for the time and commitment he has generously provided to the Museum of the San Ramon Valley. The Town Volunteer of the Year award was given to Richard Schumm for his dedication and commitment
to coaching youth basketball.

Awards of Merit were bestowed upon the following: Robin Kelly, for her volunteerism and dedication to the EPIC Healthy Choices Program at San Ramon Valley High School and the youth in the community; Danville Police Reserves, for volunteering their time to provide an invaluable service to the Danville Community; Tony Carnemolla, for his leadership and service to the veterans in the Danville community; San Ramon Valley Sports Alliance, for their cooperation and teamwork in representing youth and adult sports leagues in the Danville community; CPC Job Connections, for ongoing programs to provide support and encouragement to the unemployed; Colette Ankenman, for establishing Baragwanath Blessings, creating blankets and hats for newborns in South
Africa; Meony Newman, for her dedication and willingness to always go above and beyond as the C.E.O. of the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce.

The first Michael K. Shimansky Community Service Award was given to Christy Dodge, for her community service with the Special Olympics in Danville. Congratulations to everyone!

One of my goals as Mayor in 2010 is to hear from more of the citizens of Danville. I value your input. Please e-mail me with comments or questions at All are invited to “Mornings with the Mayor” the First Friday of each month at 7:30 a.m. at Father Nature’s, 172 E. Prospect Avenue. Due to the holidays, the January meeting will be on January 8. I hope to see you there.

I look forward to working with you next year as your Mayor!

Exchange Club San Ramon Valley Luncheon every 2nd Wednesday, 12:00 – 1.00 pm, $16 Faz, 600 Hartz, Danville. Info: 925-275-2412/

Danville Farmers’ Market: Saturdays 9am – 1pm Year-Round, Thursdays, 4pm – 8pm May10 – Aug 16. Corner of Railroad & Prospect St.

Soroptimist International of San Ramon Valley meets 1st and 3rd Wednesdays each month at Crow Canyon Country Club, Danville, 12.15-1.30pm. Soroptimist’s mission is to improve the lives of women and girls locally and globally.

San Ramon Valley Republican Women Federated meets on the Fourth Tuesday of every month except June-August at Crow Canyon Country Club, Danville at 11:30a.m. – 1:30p.m. Lunches are $23. Please join us to hear informative speakers on important issues! Info: Sonali @ (925) 314-9194.

01/11, Monday 7pm – 8.30pm: SAT Strategy Session with Princeton Review. Getting ready to take the SAT? The Danville Library will be offering this informative and helpful program that will focus on making the most of the SAT process and achieving the best possible score. Location: Danville Library. Info: (925) 837-4889
01/15 – 02/06: Role Players Ensemble presents a daring, zany black comedy “Kimberly Akimbo” at the Village Theatre, 233 Front Street.Tickets:$15-$25.00. or (925) 314.3400.

Out with the Old Year and In with the New Year

Out with the old…
As one of the last events of each year, the Alamo Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Annual Alamo Tree Lighting Festival. Held at Andrew H. Young Park in downtown, the festival is considered the beginning of the Christmas holiday season. Spirits were slightly dampened this year when a light, but cold rain shower started the evening. However, the festival-goers were treated to coffee and hot chocolate, along with various snacks. Carolers and other entertainment soon brought the warmth of the season to everyone.

In with the new…
There are many exciting and entertaining events planned in Alamo for 2010. Beginning with the start of the year, the Alamo Parks and Recreation Advisory duties will be the responsibility of the Alamo Municipal Advisory Council. There are already a number of events planned.

The Alamo Multi-Cultural Festival

The Alamo MAC Recreation program will present the Alamo Multi-Cultural Festival scheduled for Saturday, January 30, 2010 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. The event will take place at Stone Valley Middle School in Alamo. The goal of the event is to bring people together to celebrate the cultural diversity of Alamo and its surrounding Bay Area communities.

The theme of the festival is A Journey Around the World. Our destinations will include Africa, Laos, China, and Mexico with performances from the West African Music and Dance Ensemble with CK and Betty Ladzekpo. Also, performing will be Mien Legends and Son de la Tierra with Artemio Posadas from the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, artists from the Culture to Culture Foundation and guest moderator and storyteller Nana-Dictta Graves.

This event is free to the public. However, space is limited and reservations are highly recommended. To RSVP please call Venus Zayas at (925) 313-2181. Stone Valley Middle School is located at 3001 Miranda Avenue, Alamo, CA.

Movie Night at Alamo School

An open-air movie night at Alamo Elementary School is scheduled for Friday, June 11. We expect this will be very popular. This event is still in the planning stage, so if you have suggestions for a family movie to be shown, please let me know.

Summer Concert Series

Of course, one of the best-attended summer activities is the concert series held in Livorna Park. This year may offer a surprise band, so keep up to date on Alamo events.

Contact Steve Mick at
Comments are the author’s and do not represent the opinion of the Alamo MAC.

Meets at 5:00 p.m. the 2nd Thursday of the month at Hap Magee Ranch Park – Swain House
Alamo-Danville Artists’ Society meets at 7:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month at Danville Congregational’s Social Hall, 989 San Ramon Valley Boulevard, Danville
Alamo Improvement Association Board of Directors Meeting meets at 7:00 p.m. the Thursday after the 2nd Wednesday of the month at Creekside Community Church
Alamo Chamber of Commerce – Monthly Social & Networking Mixers are held the 4th Wednesday of every month, 5:30pm at various members locations. Visit for details!
Alamo Roads Advisory Committee meets at 3:30 p.m. the 2nd Thursday of the month at Hap Magee Ranch Park – Swain House
Alamo Rotary meets Wednesdays at 12:15 p.m., , Round Hill Golf and Country Club; For more information call (925) 820-6847
Alamo Women’s Club meets the 4th Wednesday of the month, 1401 Danville Boulevard, For more information call Nancy P. Combs at (925) 351-6999
Delta Nu Psi Service Sorority sends donated goods to our military people. For more information:
Hap Magee Ranch Park Joint Planning and Operations Committee (JPOC) meets at 5:00 p.m. – Please visit for date, Hap Magee Ranch Park – The Cottage

E-Lockers in Walnut Creek

Just about everyone’s heard of “e-mail” and “e-commerce.” Walnut Creek is abuzz over “e-lockers.” That’s the name for the electronically controlled bicycle lockers recently installed in front of City Hall.

Each locker has an electronic BikeLink card reader; a user swipes the BikeLink card in the reader to open the locker. Once the locker is shut, it will only unlock with the same card used when the bike was parked. The hourly use fee is automatically deducted from the card; in Walnut Creek, the hourly fee is five cents. “Where else can you park for only five cents an hour?” quipped Mayor Gary Skrel at the e-Locker unveiling.

Because eLockers offer secure storage, they have proven popular, according to 511 Contra Costa. As a result, each eLocker serves seven times the users as conventional bike lockers.

While the eLockers at City Hall are the first to be installed by a Central Contra Costa city, they are part of a growing BikeLink system that extends from Seattle to Los Angeles. In Contra Costa, there are eLockers at the AAA building in Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill BART, Hercules Park and Ride Lot, Richmond City Hall, Richmond BART, El Cerrito City Hall, El Cerrito Community Center, and El Cerrito BART. For eLocker locations, or to buy a BikeLink card, go to

The eLockers at City Hall are part of Walnut Creek’s effort to support alternative modes of transportation. They are made possible through a partnership with 511 Contra Costa, the local commute alternatives program, and funded by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvement projects and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Performing Arts.
Tickets: 925-943-SHOW (7469)
01/12/10: Bob Schieffer Lesher Speaker Series
01/28 – 02/27: The Syringa Tree Center REPertory Company
01/21 – 02/07: A Number Center REPertory Company
01/22 – 01/23: Winter Program Company C Contemporary Ballet
01/24 – 01/26: Freedom Rings California Symphony
01/16: The 31st Annual Shellie Awards Shellie Committee
01/26: Rethinking Wellness: Emotional Wellness, Letting Go Health Medicine Forum
01/29 – 01/31: Gilbert & Sullivan’s Patience Lamplighters Music Theatre
01/29 – 01/30: The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fair(l)y (Stupid) Tales

Arts Education

02/05 – 2/06: Winter Program Smuin Ballet
02/12 – 02/28: Curtains Diablo Theatre Company

Walnut Creek Farmers Market

Every Sunday, 8 AM to 1 PM on Civic Dr. by Civic Park.

Until 01/18, 11 am – 10 pm, Walnut Creek on Ice, Historic Civic Park. Info: (925)935.SNOW (7669),

01/31, Sunday, 3pm: Sierra Chamber Society presents The Afiara String Quartet
Aleksandra Vrebalov: Pannonia Boundless, Mendelssohn: String Quartet Op.44, No.2, Shostakovich: Piano Quintet Op.57.
Grace Presbyterian Church, 2100 Tice Valley Rd. Tickets and info: 925-930-8880

02/06, Saturday, 12pm – 2pm: Go Red, Shop & Stroll.
Grab your walking shoes and get ready to shop and stroll to help fight heart disease!

Don’t Stop Short: Continue Exploring

Earlier this year, I went on a walkabout in Sequoia National Park. I spent one week wandering off trail in the backcountry, questing for a deeper experience of connection to nature and trust in myself. I walked only as far as the land would support, subsisting solely on the food that I could forage and the energy that I could summon to walk deeper into the truths about my life that
were being reflected by the natural world around me.

Upon returning to my life and work in Berkeley, I committed to spending one day each month on walkabout in the hills surrounding the Bay Area. My intention was, and still is, to maintain my connection to nature, myself, and the universal energy that moves in all things. I know that nature is an unending source of inspiration and insight, always available to anyone willing to listen.
Still, without a date blocked out on my calendar, I end up looking out the window at nature instead of looking at my authentic self in nature.

The most meaningful insight from my latest walkabout presented itself before I even set foot on the trail. Driving through the Oakland hills, I found myself getting increasingly suspicious of the clear and well-researched directions with every sweeping curve of the road that continued longer than my patience.

Assuming that I missed the turnoff, I stopped, checked the map and directions again, turned around and drove back the way I came for a few minutes. I didn’t see any possible turnoffs that I
could have missed so I turned back around again and kept going further into the hills. A few minutes later, I was sure that I was going in the wrong direction and getting more frustrated with
every turn. I noticed myself fantasizing about the hike in West Marin that I decided not to take, questioning my selection of this trail in Oakland, and wondering how I could salvage my day.

The next pullout was the trailhead. Humbled by my skittishness but relieved nonetheless, I stumbled out of the car through the parking lot of my frustration and onto the trail.

As I walked, I reflected on my experience of getting there… I realized that especially when I am in a new and unfamiliar place, I would do well to give myself a little bit of extra room to explore. Doing so would take the pressure off and make the journey more enjoyable.

I also learned that if I had stopped short before fully exploring the path I was on, I would have missed what turned out to be a beautiful walkabout in one of the few redwood forests in the East Bay. For the rest of the day, I was rewarded with more beauty, stillness and connection, every time that I urged myself to wander a little farther from the trail into the heart of the forest.

Don’t stop short. Continue exploring.

How does this insight from my walkabout apply to your life and career?

As a career coach, I can’t help but attempt to translate my experiences into something growth producing. The biggest application that I see for anyone reading this article is as a reminder to be open to exploring. Most people are quick to rule out a potential career path or a new direction in their current career because something early on in their exploration didn’t meet their expectations.

When it falls short, they stop short.

But… how do you know that the path you are exploring (or considering) is the wrong path? How do you know that it won’t lead you to A Path That Fits further down the road?

My clients often find their path by exploring one opportunity that reveals a previously unforeseeable path that then becomes their new career. It isn’t possible to see all of the paths that await
you further down the trail while you are still standing in the parking lot. Sometimes you have to trust your initial calling and continue exploring through your doubts before you can find A Path
That Fits. Don’t stop short. Continue exploring. Who knows what you will find?

Adrian Klaphaak is the founder of A Path That Fits, a career coaching practice in Berkeley and San Francisco. Visit for more information.

Solid Waste—Teach Your Children Well

It’s the holidays! They are filled with battery operated remote toys, cameras, dolls and baby walkers. So where do YOU recycle your old batteries? Hopefully, you march behind the Energizer bunny to the town offices, to your local drugstore, or to an e-waste recycling day. P-l-e-a-s-e do not deposit batteries anywhere else!

I grew up in the capital of Illinois, in a small neighborhood that had gravel alleys running between the backs of houses. We took out paper and box waste and burned it in a wire cylinder, and dumped the rest in the traditional metal garbage can—banged up, of course. Now even our kids are learning better practices in preschool.

There are so many new ways to save our environment today that we all wonder about the threats that have not yet been discovered. So when I ask about your new ideas for practices that ensure better solid waste collection, our health may depend on it.

BRAND NEW: Danville has a new box in the police department—to collect those unwanted pills that damage life in our rivers and streams. EBMUD does not draw drinking water that has been through wastewater treatment plans, but other cities do so. And they risk contamination in their drinking water, from these unwanted pills—Mercury? Addictive drugs? Estrogen? The new collection box is much like a postal box. Just remove (or blacken) labels, drop them into a plastic bag, and drop them off in the police office at the back of the Danville offices at 510 LaGonda Way. The council just passed the resolution to collect these drugs, after assuring the Department of Justice that our box is secure from unlawful pilfering. (No needles, aerosol cans, infectious wastes).

As a member of the JPA (Joint Powers Authority), Danville, and the other five cities /county, are governed by laws that supersede those in individual cities to regulate waste collection, disposal, green waste, recycling, composting, disposal, and all of those products that fill our landfills.

As a new commissioner for the Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority, I want to share some best practices. So for fun….

POP QUIZ: Which plastics are recyclable? *See end of article.

A. Peanut Butter Jar
B. Plastic Pipes
C. Styrofam
D. Water Bottles
E. Plastic Bags

Landfills are not limitless. We can shrink it dramatically by reducing waste, reusing containers, and recycling usable items. In fact, legislation mandates that landfill diversion be reduced. The first mandate required a 50% reduction by 2000, and our cities are measured. Hazardous materials are implemented separately.

So use the website, or call me if you have questions about broken waste bins (yes, ours broke the day before Thanksgiving!), whom to call for each type of trash cart, needle drop-off locations, composting “how-tos,” or collection schedules.

And I’d like to hear your ideas for some new practices, beyond the authority’s current ordinances. Specifically, what marketing ideas reach you and which ones do you ignore?

*Oh, about the Pop Quiz? I could give you the answers, but then what would you do when you needed to decide if “drinking straws are recyclable?” You can find ALL of the answers with the speed of a mouse at

Isn’t it Time to Move Beyond Our Mysterious Weight Loss Barriers?

With 2009 behind us, we may want to compassionately assess how much impulse control we exhibited regarding the overwhelming number of temptations that were offered to us during the onslaught of holiday cheer (sometimes morphing afterward into holiday jeer!). The good news is that this fresh New Year may serve as an opportunity to take a serious look at what has been blocking us in reaching our healthy weight loss goals. I’ve heard many inquiring new clients say things like—You’re my last resort! I’ve tried everything and am still struggling with my weight…and I absolutely hate looking in the mirror.

In my private practice, I offer tools and strategies for people who are ready to get to the bottom of what mysterious barriers have been blocking them from losing their excess unhealthy weight. So, before we declare that we are simply unmotivated and are “weak-willed” people, let’s consider the fact that there may be some complex issues unconsciously driving our overeating impulses. Often, clients are surprised by what they learn about themselves in our sessions. For instance, here is an experience that a client graciously gave me permission to share:

Several years ago, I went to see Trina with a goal of losing weight. I appreciate how she took me deeper in our individual sessions—beyond the ‘making healthy choices,’ ‘strengthening will power,’ and other self-hypnosis exercises that are on her weight loss CDs.

During one of my private sessions with Trina, I discovered the link to my mother and grandmother’s way of leaving life…by not eating. This new awareness beamed a light through a window that I didn’t know was closed! What I realized was: I thought of dieting as ‘not eating’ and I thought of ‘not eating’ (unconsciously) as leading to death. For that reason—I couldn’t diet. When I recognized the faulty connections in my conscious and unconscious, the overeating challenges disappeared.

“Now, as I continue to watch my weight, I quickly notice when my waistband feels tighter, and I realize that it’s time for a booster shot of listening to Trina’s weight loss CDs. I know I have the tools to maintain my desired weight and I have. Thanks Trina!” —Babs Bee  

What I love about offering hypnotherapy is that, through deep relaxation, my clients have an opportunity to explore underlying issues that may be sabotaging their goal reaching. Exploring under the surface of a challenging issue, and addressing the roots, can be extremely productive. As illustrated by many of my clients’ successes, unhealthy habits often lose their power when unconscious issues are brought into the light where conscious understanding and integration can take place.
During the personal growth process, in addition to focusing on releasing our excess weight, we often explore how to:

  • stop using food in an attempt to manage emotions
  • love ourselves from the inside out—at any weight
  • uncover negative core beliefs

Early in my work with weight loss clients, I often ask, “Do you have any limiting core beliefs?” A core belief is a positive or negative perception you have about yourself. For example, a positive core belief would be that you feel intelligent and competent. A negative core belief would be that you feel like an imposter. Residing at the core of an “Imposter Syndrome” are often feelings of being incompetent. I explain to clients who suffer with an Imposter Syndrome that a common critical inner dialogue might include some of these thoughts:

“If you really knew me, you’d know that I’m not intelligent, not attractive, and not worthy of praise. My accomplishments and successes have all come from good timing or from luck.”

The Impostor Syndrome is a term educators and psychologists use to describe someone who is unable to internalize their past or current accomplishments. People struggling with an Impostor Syndrome don’t believe that they deserve their successes—and at a core level they feel like a fraud. For this reason, deflecting compliments is a common response from someone who has an Imposter Syndrome.

We all have various core beliefs about ourselves. Some of us feel good about ourselves, and sadly, as illustrated by the Imposter Syndrome, some of us feel a sense of shame about ourselves. Our positive perceptions add to our self-esteem, creating a strong foundation for our sense of self. By contrast, our negative perceptions give us a rocky foundation that can leave us feeling “less than” others.

If we haven’t uncovered or addressed our negative core beliefs, then they may lead to a weak or shaky feeling in our foundations that can result in low self-esteem. Unfortunately, negative core beliefs can sabotage our weight loss success by keeping us stuck in an unconscious cycle of supporting and fulfilling our negative beliefs.

For instance, if we keep saying to ourselves: “I know I’ll always be overweight, and I don’t have any willpower to change,” then guess what? If we’re not using tools to unravel, weaken, and counter this negative core belief with opposing positive evidence, then this belief is likely to become stronger and stronger.

Eventually, unless interrupted, our limiting core beliefs can become self-fulfilling prophecies. Uncovering negative core beliefs can be a way to address our “unconscious self-sabotaging.” For example, believing:

  • I’m unlovable
  • I am permanently stuck at this unhealthy weight
  • I don’t deserve to be happy

Negative core beliefs can keep us stuck in overeating cycles. These self-destructive cycles can perpetuate retaining our extra weight and create a sense of helplessness and hopelessness. Unfortunately, when self-destructive cycles are uninterrupted, they can lead to depression, which, is sometimes referred to as anger turned inward.

In my private practice, in addition to hypnotherapy work, I offer clients a take-home educational worksheet that they fill out when they are feeling stressed. The steps on the worksheet help people interrupt their stress responses, identify negative core beliefs (sometimes referred to as “stinkin’ thinkin’), and lower their anxiety levels in the process. I receive great feedback from clients who regularly use this tool. (And yes, I admit that I use this wonderful worksheet in my own life too—when I’m feeling stressed!)

So, now that we’ve explored the topic of unconscious blocks that can inhibit goal reaching, are you aware of any unhealthy core beliefs that may be sabotaging your success? If so, then moving beyond these unconscious barriers may enable you to achieve your healthy goals this year.

Finally, why not step onto a path of action today? Call me if you’d like new tools, resources, and a “power partner” for your exciting journey. After all, isn’t it time to move beyond any mysterious weight loss barriers…and claim the healthiest mind-body possible in 2010?

Trina Swerdlow, BFA, CCHT, is a certified clinical hypnotherapist, an artist, and the author of the 2-CD Set, Weight Loss: Powerful & Easy-to-Use Tools for Releasing Excess Weight. She is also the author of Stress Reduction Journal: Meditate and Journal Your Way to Better Health. Her CDs and her book are available directly from Trina or from John Muir Women’s Health Center online store:
Trina has a private practice in downtown Danville. She soulfully shares her creative approach to personal growth and passionately supports her clients in reaching their goals. You can reach her at: (925) 285.5759, or

Next time you’re online, check out Trina’s inspiring website!

Certified Clinical Hypnotherapy services in California can be alternative or complementary to licensed healing arts, such as psychotherapy.

Stamps In My Passport

Workplace safety has always been very important to us here in the United States. When visiting a production facility invariably one will see a sign stating the number of days since the last accident. On construction sites we expect to see workers’ heads well covered with colorful hard hats. Most everywhere we turn we are bombarded with safety slogans and little reminders to be careful.

A number of years ago the government made safety an overriding goal by establishing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration which operates under the acronym of OSHA. Admittedly we joke a bit about this group, but it does serve as a watchdog on safety matters.

So where is all of this going? Well, while browsing through a pile of old trip photos I came across a number of pictures that point out our view of safety regulations is quite different from those practiced in many other countries. Let’s take a look at a few.

Probably the sites that demonstrate the greatest diversity between the United States and some foreign countries are their multi-story construction projects in Southeast Asia. Here in countries like Malaysia, Vietnam, and most of Indonesia, bamboo is used to form scaffolding on which hod carriers bring cement to those who are laying the brick. Now I’m sure bamboo is sturdy and stout, but when it is joined to another similar pole with a foot long piece of rope, it certainly can’t be trusted. Two, three, sometimes four stories or higher these flimsy bamboo scaffolds snake up the sides of construction projects. I’m sure you’ve seen a few yourself. Invariably they are irregular and angle out one way or another. I find myself mesmerized watching bare-footed laborers lugging cement in buckets along these swaying paths. I keep waiting for the entire structure to collapse and bring the whole project down with it.

Another site which would drive OSHA into a fit of frustration is the electrical distribution cables which run willy-nilly overhead in many of these nations. I was particularly amazed while staring down some side streets in Old Delhi, India. Here, crisscrossing the streets, are hundreds of cables just sort of hanging there. Apparently if you want electricity you simply grab one of these lines and sort of tap into them with your own wires. I would suspect several hundred electrocutions per year could be considered average in this casual-use pattern. I did notice a few lines which just hung there, and I assumed they represented failed connections.

Again it’s hard to argue against success, but I advise any OSHA reader of mine to avoid these spots as they could certainly cause a psychotic response and might be difficult to forget.

Bamboo scaffolding and uncharted electrical grids may be the most obvious OSHA regulation violations, but there are others.

While visiting the Santiago Volcano site in Nicaragua, I was warned to stay away from the several hundred foot drop into the churning lava flows by a sign which read, “Stay behind the fence.” Now the thought was there, but unfortunately the fence had slowly migrated down the steep precipice until it was on its way into the cauldron itself. A visitor who took the sign seriously would have needed a rope and grappling hook to get to this rickety wood structure. I’m not sure just how old the sign and the fence were, but the location certainly badly needed an update.

One other sign violation occurred in Indonesia. Barb and I took an old, very beat-up ferry between Singapore and Sumatra. Posted in the main cabin was a sign which restricted the ferry’s occupants to one hundred and twenty people. Now I’m sure ninety per cent of the time the owners would love to have had one hundred and twenty paying participants. However, on certain holidays and other particular times of the year they easily make up for their shortfalls by loading these boats down with as many bodies as possible. This was one of those “particular times.” We found ourselves squished into the cabin with absolutely no chance of escape – hoping against hope that “the little engine that could” would make it across the Singapore Strait. Passengers were sitting on the floor, on the laps of other people, and standing on any vacant square of cabin floor. Escape was no option for us in case of any disaster, nor for the over two hundred and fifty crammed aboard.

The last story tickles me to this day. Admittedly we go back to the mid-eighties on a flight between Guilin and Shanghai, China. We stopped to refuel our jet at an ex-military air base somewhere between these two cities. The plane came to a stop at the end of the runway, and they requested that we all deplane. Here, in no-man’s land, stood over one hundred passengers while a truck came zooming out with hoses flying. It pulled up to the plane and a half dozen maintenance workers began pumping gas into the plane’s fuel tanks. I noticed one of the workers had a lit cigarette which was dangling from his lips. I grabbed Barb, and we retreated to a safer spot, about one hundred yards from the refueling site. It took about twenty minutes to fill the tanks of our plane, and then we were all hustled back inside. I’m sure this oversight has since been remedied, but I still chuckle to think of those maintenance guys puffing away around high-octane fuel. We could have been launched into orbit any second – all one hundred of us.