A woman wants to know if imagery can blast her out of her depression and help her get excited about her life again, as she goes from working at a successful career into retirement.. I got your name from my mother-in-law. Shortly, my life will undergo a dramatic change, from a full time, successful career to retirement (I don''t have to retire, but I think it is the best for my health and well being) but I don''t like the idea and am trying to find excuses not to quit.

Is there self hypnotic material, that can motivate and energize this decision. Lately, I have undergone "depressive" stages, I do nothing but eat, sleep and go to my job. Nothing else exists. I need to get excited about life again, not be so tired...and find new joy. Can this be achieved with self hypnosis and can it be learned? Or should I seek other help?


Dear Joan,

It sounds like it''s a little too soon to deploy imagery or any other techniques in order to push yourself into acting on this decision, when so many things aren''t clear - at least to me, from the way you wrote this inquiry. You''d be short-circuiting a very interesting dialogue with yourself about what all this means - and that, my dear woman, is where the real juicy juice lies.

For instance, what or who is pressing you to make this change? Is this an internal decision or something being imposed on you from outside yourself? What is that depression about? Or is it depression? Maybe it''s grief for a part of your life that is ending. Maybe it''s fear of what the future entails. Maybe you’ve defined yourself so intensely by your job performance, that a terrifying but potentially fabulous new identity is waiting for you in the wings. Maybe you’re afraid of what you’ll find in your relationship when the job is gone. Maybe it''s a lot of things. This needs to be explored.

This ennui or depression or stuck-ness holds important information about what is going on with you. If you just try to override your emotional responses and find techniques to push yourself into acting on a decision that may be only halfway thought through, you''ll be cheating yourself of finding what''s really going on inside of you, and the source of your temporarily subverted energy. And it won''t be a lasting solution anyway, if you''re using the imagery as a club. It either won’t work, or it’ll stop working in a short while.

So, I guess what I''m saying is, back up, Jack! Sit down with a sharp, subtle, patient therapist or counselor or friend, and take the decision-making process from the top, to the point that got you thinking you had to change your life. It may be a great idea, but more information is needed here, more self-awareness. Don''t use imagery to beat yourself into submission before you know what the heck is going on.