Friday, September 23, 2016

Thoughts of the Day

Photo by Sara Fogan

      Every now and then I like (and need) to take a few moments and remind myself about what is really important to me, in my life. If you follow me on my Calminsense Hypnotherapy Facebook page you may have seen some of these quotes before on this page, or will in the future. Many of these Quotes of the Day are beautiful examples and illustrations of the work I do as a hypnotherapist, so I will probably draw on them in future essays.

  • “Stop being a prisoner of your past. Become the guardian of your future.” – Lolly Daskal

  • “Keep your goals in front of you and your fears behind you. ” – Tony Robbins

  • “Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily Modus Operandi and change your world.” – Annie Lennox

  • “Let people do what they need to do to make them happy, mind your own business and do what you need to do to make you happy.” – Ritu Ghatourey

  • “That broken thing you keep trying to put back together can’t even compare with that beautiful thing that’s waiting to be built.” – Trent Shelton

  • “If you can't fly, then run; if you can't run, then walk; if you can't walk, then crawl; but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • You know all those things you've always wanted to do? You should go do them. Unknown

  •  “Self-care is not selfish! It’s the most precious gift you can gift to others!” – Bruce van Horn

  • “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” Margaret Thatcher
  • “My goal is not to be better than anybody else, but to be better than I used to be.” – Wayne Dyer

Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified clinical hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit
© 2016     

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Lost...and Found

Photo by Rick Hustead

There is a platitude about never really losing something that truly belongs to you. If it is truly yours and you are meant to have it, eventually, that object or person or pet will return to you. In the past 36 hours or so, three things I truly believed were gone for good returned to me in the most unexpected ways.

The first was a quote: “You don’t do that to people, you don’t do that to people, you don’t do that to people!” The line just popped into my head one night earlier this week and I had no idea why or where it was from, but the quote was so familiar. I tossed and turned for about an hour, wondering who said it, where had I heard or read it? Maybe it was from one of my favorite movies, Truly, Madly, Deeply? No. I have seen that film and many times and read the screenplay; I know the dialog for all the key grief scenes practically by heart, and that line wasn’t in any of those scenes. Finally, I did an Internet search and found a scene from Grey’s Anatomy that had a similar line. Similar, but not the same…. So I put the line out of my mind and went about my day. When I woke up the following morning, the answer to my quote puzzle was solved: the line was from a scene in Circle of Two, a 1980 film starring Tatum O’Neal as a sixteen-year-old girl who falls in love with an artist portrayed by Richard Burton. (FYI: The scene in which O’Neal says this line is at 1 hour 28 minutes into the movie.) 

The second item I found was a notebook that contained notes I took during Charlotte Dujardin’s dressage symposium at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in March 2014. Earlier this year, I reorganized my room and packed away a lot of magazines and other items to store in our loft. The notebook “disappeared” around then. From time to time I considered climbing up to the loft to go through those boxes and look for the notebook; but as the months passed and the weather got hotter I just put it off. I knew it had to be somewhere in the house. Sure enough, when I was sorting through some notebooks for inspiration for a new blog I happened to glance at the corner of my bedroom and saw the notebook. It was on the floor next to a bookcase and probably had been there all along, I just never noticed it before. I quickly picked it up and placed it next to my computer; I referenced some of the notes in yesterday’s blog about the Olympic gold medalist’s tips for training a young horse for dressage.

I found the third item this evening. Actually, there were two items, but I didn’t know I was looking for the second one—which I found first—until I discovered it. When I started to become involved in advocating against cetacean captivity, I wanted to work on a counted cross-stitch pattern of orcas (killer whales). It was strange to me that even with the popularity of Blackfish and growing awareness about the plight of these animals at marine parks, there were no embroidery kits or even patterns of the mammals. I looked on-line and inquired about these kits at every craft shop I could find on San Juan Island, Washington, where I attended the Superpod 5 event in July. As it turned out, I actually had a pattern in a collection of embroidery designs of wild animals tucked away in a box in my closet. I’m sure I purchased the book for the patterns of grizzly bears and grey wolves, and it probably had been languishing in that box, never opened, for at least ten years.

The amazing thing to me was that I only found the patterns because I was desperately searching for something else. Last weekend, I noticed that a small plastic horse I displayed on top of my dresser was missing. My mother gave me the horse to celebrate when I bought my first real horse, Geeves, in 2004. Both my mom and my horse have since passed away, and the sudden disappearance of that little horse really upset me. So this evening I started pulling boxes out from beneath and beside the dresser in case the horse fell behind or even into the items I was storing. (This was when and where I found the orca pattern.) What if I knocked it into one of the dresser drawers? I wondered. Ta-da! When I opened the one in which I store my t-shirts, I could see four tiny plastic hooves sticking up.

My hypnotherapy training really helped me find these items because it allowed me to relax and allow the inspiration and items to come to me rather than slip into a frantic search mentality. I was able to engage the logic/will-power/reasoning/decision-making faculties of my conscious mind to strategize about where I should start looking: Where was the last place I saw the item/heard that line? But I also knew that when the item didn’t appear after a reasonable time of searching, the best thing to do was stop the active search and allow my subconscious mind to do the heavy-lifting part of this work. The conscious mind can only store a limited amount of information at any one time, but the SCM holds millions of message units just waiting to be re-discovered. I just needed to be patient, relax, wait and let the treasures return to me.

Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit
© 2016

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Dressage Training Tips from Charlotte Dujardin: Working With a Young Dressage Horse

Charlotte Dujardin at her Dressage Symposium at LAEC, March 2014
Photo by Sara Fogan

On March 8, 2014 and March 9, 2014, I audited a dressage symposium at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, California. Charlotte Dujardin, the Olympic 2012 and Olympic 2016 British individual gold medalist in dressage and reigning world champion in the sport, was the featured clinician. She and her former trainer, International Grand Prix champion Judy Harvey, shared their expertise with six accomplished equestrians and their equally impressive horses to work through specific training issues. Following are some tips and training insights about what to look for in a young horse/competitive dressage prospect that Ms. Dujardin shared during these clinics, which you might find helpful too.
  •         Temperament. Desire to please and work with you (the trainer/rider)
  •         Will and adaptability to challenges. “A champion horse has three long tests to do over three days. He must be fit and willing to fight through,” Ms. Dujardin said.
  •        Quality of gaits. The walk and canter should be good, but the initial quality of the trot is less important. “Don’t worry about the trot; this can be [improved] as it gains more suspension,” she explained. “Gymnastic education develops the horse.”
  •        Movement. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t necessarily want a horse with a very big movement: “They actually don’t last as long as it’s very hard to keep these horses sound,” Ms. Dujardin said.
  •      Training. Limit the time you spend training a young horse to about 20 minutes, focusing on giving clear leg and rein aids. “Look up, sit up and keep your hands still.
  •        Walk breaks. It is very important to give the horse plenty of breaks at the walk on a long rein. “When you ask the horse to stretch, his neck and back [will] lengthen but he should stay moving and balanced. The horse has to walk on his own. The rider shouldn’t have to do anything,” she said.
  •       No Sitting Trot. Ms. Dujardin also advised against sitting the trot on a young horse in order to help strengthen its back for the work to come later in its career. A loose and swinging tail is a great indicator of what the horse’s back muscles are doing, she said. Plus, there is still plenty you can do when practicing a rising trot: “Trot as fast as you can to encourage the horse to build strength—push and suspension—in the hind legs.”
  •       Rhythm. Get a clear rhythm and good activity so the horse carries you,” Ms. Dujardin counseled. If your horse tends to be lazy you should take your legs (leg aids) off him, whereas you want to keep your leg (aids) on a hot horse. “You are there to teach the horse, not micro-manage him. You want the leg and reins aids to be clear.”

I will share more of her horse-training and riding suggestions in future blogs.

Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit
© 2016