Dr Matt James http://www.drmatt.com NLP Training & Huna Training Blog Thu, 18 Dec 2014 13:45:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.5 Trust and Listen to the Universe http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/18/listen-to-the-universe/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=listen-to-the-universe http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/18/listen-to-the-universe/#respond Thu, 18 Dec 2014 13:45:42 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2842 Woman sits appreciating the sunlight


Do you realize that you get everything that you ask for from the universe?

You do 100% specifically get every single thing that you ask for. My guess is that you miss opportunities all the time because of a lack of two specific things.

First let me be clear, I’m not claiming I have this down in any way shape or form. Most of you know me by now. My blogs are about my students and the lessons that I experience. One of my most amazing students Ron Poltuski, gave me an analogy that I think is fantastic. It has to do with ordering food in a restaurant.

When you order food in the restaurant you trust that you’re going to get when you order. You say to the waiter, “I would like chicken salad with no dressing.” You placed the order and continue with your conversation or doing whatever it is that you’re doing while you’re waiting to eat.

What you don’t do, is go to the back of the restaurant and begin to micromanage the cook. You don’t walk into the kitchen and double check that the cook is grilling the chicken in the perfect way. Personally, I don’t like my chicken overcooked. Yet when I order something that has chicken in it I don’t sit there worrying every second oh my god I hope she doesn’t overcook it! Or worse, undercook it. I hope it comes out exactly right. What if it is wrong!!!! And start to freak out over chicken….

I trust the chicken will come out the right way. Has the chicken ever come out the wrong way? Of course. And in those instances either I eat it or send it back. Even when I send it back and ask for them to redo it I don’t go to the back of the kitchen and micromanage the cook. I trust that my second order will be a lot clearer, and they will get it right.

Yet so many students that I meet, set a goal, and then attempt to micromanage the universe and thus prevent the goal from happening. They meddle with it so much; the goal is never allowed to unfold on its own.

This process that we’re talking about here is called “Letting Go of the Form.”

What that simply means is that at some point in your goal setting you have to realize that the path is unknown. Have you ever achieved the goal in a way that you could never have imagined? I have. If you cling to the path happening in a certain way it’s like you prevent the energy from ever coming out.

Imagine. I’m standing in front of you right now, and I’m grasping my two hands together. And that I am saying, “I want this so much, I want this so much!” And then at some point because I haven’t received what I’ve been asking for my hands fly open, and I say, “If it happens it happens if it doesn’t it doesn’t.” That’s the moment the path appears.

It’s almost as if when you surrender and let it go, that’s the moment the universe says, “Finally!! Great…. Thank you, because I know how to cook this and I’m so glad you’re going to let me handle it…  Here you go here’s your chicken salad!”

I know maybe you don’t want a salad, maybe you want the perfect relationship, yet you cling to it so tightly, that the universe is never able to do what you are asking it to do. The moment you let go, perfection appears. Maybe you want an amazing opportunity to make more money, yet while clinging to it so tightly you’re unable to ever manifest. The moment you let go, the universe knows what to do.

Some of you need to learn how to trust. Some of you need to learn how to let go.

There is something that’s actually worse than that. (At least to me.) It’s when you’re actually shown your goal. The universe has stepped up and has given it to you. And now….. It’s your turn to take action. And you don’t.

There’s a concept called energy in energy out. What you put in is what you’re going to get out.

One of my coaching clients that I’m working with is working on relationships. Let’s use an analogy that may be near and dear to many people’s hearts. We all have an ideal partner. The person that we want to be with. The person that we’ve dreamed about. Maybe we’ve gone through relationships in the past and settled. At the time, thinking that this was the best we were going to get. Let’s say one day you wake up you let go and all of a sudden the universe says, “Thank you I can finally place that order for you.” And there appears your goal.

The food is at the table what do you do next?

I know the simple answer is you eat it, and how many of you have been given an opportunity and you saw the path and you didn’t take action?

Continuing with the restaurant analogy when you ask the universe for something and it puts it on your table, well the proverbial ball is in your court (or in this blog the plate is in your lap)…..

What I see so many students do is avoid taking action. Here’s a simple idea, the universe is NOT going to feed you. You have to pick up the fork and dig in. The universe is NOT going to remind you to eat it all. You have to decide that. The universe did its job, now it is up to YOU.

The obvious downside is that you miss an opportunity if you don’t eat. The greater impact on you as a spiritual being is that you are no longer allowing your consciousness and the universe take you seriously.

Here’s what I mean by that.

When you ask for a goal and you receive it yet do nothing, you’re saying to your unconscious mind, to your higher self, and to the universe, don’t take my requests seriously. You see the universe has taken its time to create this perfect dish for you and it has now appeared in front of you. And you do nothing. How would you feel if you created a perfect opportunity for someone, and they just completely ignored you? The next time they asked for something how would you feel? What would you do?

When you ignore that path you’re telling the universe, I am not someone that should be listened to. You are telling the universe, in the future my requests should be ignored. You are telling the universe, in fact just ignore me altogether.

Okay maybe I’m being overly dramatic for the holiday season, and I think you get my point.

I believe that we create opportunities all the time. I believe that we manifest our dreams and desires from moment to moment. I also believe what you put in is what you get out. During this holiday season and moving into the New Year, begin to think about how much energy you are putting in to what the universe is giving to you.

When you set your goals for next year, visualize the path and how you think it will unfold. Then, simply close your eyes, go into peripheral vision, and let that image fade away. By doing that, you are holding onto the goal while letting go of how the goal will form. Meaning the goal is still there, and you are freeing up the universe to do what it needs to do so you get your chicken salad.


Dr Matt

http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/18/listen-to-the-universe/feed/ 0
Create Your Own Meaning for the Holidays http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/16/create-your-own-meaning/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=create-your-own-meaning http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/16/create-your-own-meaning/#respond Tue, 16 Dec 2014 13:45:33 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2836  

Create Your Own Meaning for the Holidays Aloha,

The holiday season is upon us!

And by “the holiday season,” I’m including not just Christmas but all the other traditional holidays—Hanukkah, Kwanza, Bodhi Day, Pancha Ganapati, Yaldi, etc—celebrated at this time of year. Heck, even if your holiday of choice is Black Friday!

In my recent Psychology Today article Create Your Own Meaning for the Holidays, I explore the question, “What is “the true meaning” of the holiday season?”

Maybe your answer comes from your religious tradition: “It’s to celebrate the god of beginnings, Ganesha” or “It’s to celebrate the birth of the son of God, Jesus Christ.” Maybe you connect the holidays with “the banishing of winter darkness through the light.” Or maybe you learned the “true meaning” of the season from more secular sources.

In everything from Good Housekeeping to Coca Cola commercials, you’ll hear that it’s about loving mankind, generosity, goodwill and peace on earth. Even musicians like TobyMac weigh in on this “true meaning” issue: “I think Christmas is about celebration and come on, on the inside everyone wants to dance!”

I don’t believe that the holiday season has its own specific, intrinsic, unalterable meaning. For me, the important question is: What is the true meaning of the holiday season for you? And is your “true meaning” empowering you and getting you what you want?

For my newest Psychology Today post, click here: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/focus-forgiveness/201412/create-your-own-meaning-the-holidays


Dr Matt

http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/16/create-your-own-meaning/feed/ 0
NLP & Managing Holiday Stress http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/11/nlp-managing-holiday-stress/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=nlp-managing-holiday-stress http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/11/nlp-managing-holiday-stress/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 13:45:30 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2826  

Holiday Stress Webinar

How you can use NLP to manage the stressful aspects of the holiday season


There’s no denying it, the holiday season is here; it’s happening. This season can be a magical time and it can be a stressful time for many of us. Every now and then one of my students will ask me, “How can I use NLP to help me get through the holidays.”

I’m going to tell you exactly how NLP can help you this holiday season in our “NLP & Managing Holiday Stress” webinar, December 17th 7pm PST.


In the webinar, I’ll be covering the following topics:

– Dealing with negative friends and relatives

– Staying grounded in change of routine

– Maintaining your energy through the holidays

– Importance of forgiveness

– The power of focusing on what you want


I’ll also take some time to answer any questions you might have.

And it wouldn’t be a holiday webinar without gifts….

Sign up for the webinar by following this link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2935398441315142401


I look forward to seeing you there!


Dr Matt

http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/11/nlp-managing-holiday-stress/feed/ 1
5 Steps to Make Yourself Miserable for the Holidays http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/09/make-yourself-miserable/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=make-yourself-miserable http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/09/make-yourself-miserable/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 13:45:30 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2822 Wrapping presents is a pain



You may be anticipating the upcoming holidays with the glee of a five-year old or you may feel the grumpiness of a Grinch as the days of “merry and bright” get closer. Whatever you feel and whether you celebrate it or not, as Garrison Keeler says, the Christmas season is “compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.”

Now I know you’ll read a zillion articles giving you great advice on how to make your holidays festive and special, filled with warmth and good cheer and sparkling moments.

But in my recent Huffington Post article I give you 5 incredibly easy steps to make your holiday absolutely and totally miserable!

It doesn’t matter if you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanza or any particular holiday during this time of year.  If you follow these steps carefully, I promise you will have the worst season ever. And, as an added bonus, you can make others around you miserable as well.

Let the Bah Humbug begin!

Click this link for my Huffington Post article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-b-james-phd/5-steps-to-make-yourself-_b_6246080.html


Dr Matt

http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/09/make-yourself-miserable/feed/ 2
How to Avoid That Holiday Retail Hangover http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/02/avoid-holiday-retail-hangover/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=avoid-holiday-retail-hangover http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/02/avoid-holiday-retail-hangover/#respond Tue, 02 Dec 2014 13:45:01 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2809 Woman collapses from stress of shopping

“Hunger and self-control do not go hand in hand.”

- Kathy Freston

Like most of you, I’ve been seeing a lot of holiday ads lately. It seems like they started somewhere before Halloween this year, with stuffed Santa Claus’s showing up right next to the pre-lit pumpkins.  And now I hear that Black Friday was extended to Black Thursday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday-and-Monday-morning!


Don’t get me wrong. I am not anti-shopping and gift-giving. For me, especially with my beautiful wife and two terrific kids, shopping for their holiday gifts brings me real joy.

But what irks me is watching advertisers and retailers try to whip up a desperate craving in us to Buy, Buy, Buy! especially at this time of year.

And honestly? Many of us are easy targets. The holidays bring up all kinds of memories, unfulfilled dreams, and ancient desires. Consciously and unconsciously, we believe that this particular time of year is supposed to be better, more magical and more satisfying than the rest of the year. Our expectations are much higher, for everything from the quality of our relationships to how our cookies turn out.

It’s a kind of hunger. And advertisers definitely use it to their advantage!

Even with the TV on mute, you’re still aware of that loving couple holding hands as they watch their adorable 7 year old light up with joy as he unwraps the latest remote controlled helicopter. Clearly, if you want your family to be that happy, you need one of those things!

Or what about the jewelry ads? “Every kiss begins with Kay.” “A diamond is forever.” “Crystal gets closer to the body than ever before.” Wow! Don’t you want some of that?!?

Now, maybe you’re too sophisticated to fall for those specific ads. But as I look around, it seems like there’s an intense, pervasive energy of heightened desire at this time of year that’s pretty easy to fall into. We “crave” more out of life, and shopping seems to be way to satisfy that craving.

And it’s all in our heads—literally.

Scientists use fMRI to examine what our brain does while shopping. Seeing a product we desire activates the nucleus accumbens, which is associated with the anticipation of pleasure. If the cost of that product is higher than we thought or more than we wanted to spend, our insula (the pain center is activated).

As the researchers explain it, when we’re shopping, basically we’re weighing anticipated pleasure against immediate pain. And as our “anticipated pleasure” becomes more intense (after seeing all those ads), the immediate pain has to be greater as well to stop us from buying. Interestingly, if we pay with credit cards or deferred payments, the pain is automatically “numbed.”

So a great item that has promised to make us happy and can be bought on credit will certainly to end up in our shopping cart—even if we don’t want it or can’t afford it! But we can avoid that trap.

First, acknowledge and feed the real hunger. Just like you are less likely to over-buy at the grocery store when you’re full, when you are emotionally “full,” you’re less likely to overspend on gifts or treats for yourself.

And check your “shopping motivation.” Think about it: When you give a gift to impress someone or make them happy or make them love you, doesn’t that feel more like craving? Like you’re filling a void? How about shopping for yourself because you’re feeling down?

On the flip side, how about shopping for a gift to show your appreciation or love for someone? Or shopping for yourself because you’re feeling good about yourself? To me, this kind of shopping experience feels more fun and satisfying rather than hungry and desperate.

Rather than getting caught up in the holiday craving, let whatever shopping and gift-giving you do really give you pleasure!

Oh, and one last tip: Researchers at Bangor University found that, after about 23 minutes in a store, we tend to make decisions with the emotional part of our brain rather than the analytical part. After 40 minutes, the typical brain stops making rational decisions altogether—so you may want to keep your holiday shopping excursions brief!

Mele Kalikimaka!

Until next time. . .


http://www.drmatt.com/2014/12/02/avoid-holiday-retail-hangover/feed/ 0
What’s So Great About Gratitude http://www.drmatt.com/2014/11/25/whats-so-great-about-gratitude/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=whats-so-great-about-gratitude http://www.drmatt.com/2014/11/25/whats-so-great-about-gratitude/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:45:59 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2804 sunset-401541_1280

Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.

Zig Ziglar

Okay, we’ve long survived Halloween and Thanksgiving Day is nearly here. Folks all over the US are pulling out the good china, dusting off Granma’s strong bean casserole recipe, and checking out the TV football schedule to make sure that dinner coincides with half-time. And at the end of the day, we’ll sit back with overly-full bellies and plan out the next day’s Black Friday shopping expedition.

Hey! What happened to the thanksgiving part? The part where we stop and express gratitude for all that we have, the people in our lives and the path we’ve journeyed so far?

Sadly, many folks not only don’t experience much thanksgiving on Thanksgiving Day, they’ve lost sight of gratitude during all the other 364 days of the year as well. Yet studies show that gratitude is one of the healthiest “ingredients” you can add to your life!

Robert A. Emmons of UC Davis and Michael McCullough of the University of Miami have conducted interesting research on gratitude for many years now. Some of their findings include:

In adults with neuromuscular disease, a 21-day gratitude practice produced higher energy, more positive moods, a greater sense of connectedness to others, more optimism, and better quality sleep than the control group.

College student subjects who kept on-going gratitude lists made more progress toward important personal, academic and health-related goals compared to subjects who did not.

Participants who kept weekly gratitude journals exercised more regularly, had fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic than participants who wrote about hassles or neutral life events in their journals.

How can such a simple thing as being grateful have such amazing positive effects?

One explanation has to do with our focus and how our brains work. You’ve undoubtedly heard that you get more of what you focus on. But why is that so?

Every second, our senses pick up over 2,000,000 bits of information. Our brains then have to filter that 2,000,000 bits down to a manageable 126 bits. How? By deleting bits, and generalizing (and distorting) the input. The brain uses our beliefs and expectations, and what we’ve been focusing on to determine what to delete and what to save. Within nano-seconds, our brain organizes that saved data and stores it, draws conclusions and tells our bodies how to react, and formulates lessons and learnings.

So, say you’ve been thinking about buying a new SUV or dying your hair a different color. Suddenly, what do you notice? SUV’s all over the place! Great and horrible dye jobs everywhere you turn!

What about when you focus on how rotten the economy is or the turmoil in the world? What headlines scream out at you?

 Your dutiful brain seeks out what you seem to be seeking. Because you’re focused on what’s wrong, it won’t even bother to register the good news, positive ideas or opportunities that surround you.

But when we spend time feeling gratitude for the good in our lives, our brain takes notice. It sorts through the 2,000,000 bits of information it gets every second, ignores the bad and pulls out more “evidence” of good. The brain then instructs the body to respond accordingly and comes to conclusions about life that it stores away.

Gratitude, like anything is a choice and a habit we can develop. Like those studies,

setting up a practice for 21 or 30 days is a good start. It can be as simple as listing 5 things you’re grateful for every morning and evening. It can be challenging yourself to express gratitude to at least one person every day. (By the way, research showed that gratitude for the people in our lives seems to have the most immediate, beneficial impact on us.)

As Brian Tracy says, “Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.”

This Thanksgiving while you’re kicking back and digesting all that great food, rather than planning out your Black Friday shopping, consider planning out your own personal gratitude experiment.





http://www.drmatt.com/2014/11/25/whats-so-great-about-gratitude/feed/ 1
Home for the Holidays: Your Survival Guide. http://www.drmatt.com/2014/11/18/home-for-the-holidays/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=home-for-the-holidays http://www.drmatt.com/2014/11/18/home-for-the-holidays/#respond Tue, 18 Nov 2014 13:45:13 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2798 Aloha,

Some of yoMan having problem with packing luggage into a caru may have parents and family who have supported you 100% throughout your entire evolution.

They smiled when you dyed your hair purple in 8th grade, applauded when you dropped out of college to hitchhike through India, yelled “Mazel tov!” when you announced your engagement to the lover who was 30 years older than you, and were the first in line to buy shares in the eco-friendly condominium community you developed in the Florida Everglades.

If that’s your family, my recent article on Psychology Today isn’t for you.

However, most of us have families who, though well-meaning and loving, consciously or unconsciously tried to hold us back from becoming the person we needed to be.  And maybe you chose to live half-way across the country from them so you could finally spread your wings. But now, you’re heading home for the holidays….

Click on the link below to read my new Psychology Today article where I give you 4 easy strategies for surviving your family this holiday season. Who knows, you may even enjoy spending time with your family this year.



Dr Matt

http://www.drmatt.com/2014/11/18/home-for-the-holidays/feed/ 0
Why You Aren’t Who You’re Supposed to Be http://www.drmatt.com/2014/11/11/why-you-arent-who/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=why-you-arent-who http://www.drmatt.com/2014/11/11/why-you-arent-who/#respond Tue, 11 Nov 2014 13:45:53 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2790 A woman stands alongside a riverAloha,

Over the years, I’ve run into students who are frustrated. No matter how hard they try, how many processes they do, how many goals they set, how many barriers they overcome, they just can’t seem to create the life they think they should have.

In my recent Huffinton Post article, I address “Why You Aren’t Who You’re Supposed to be.” 

Although there could be a number of reasons why the student isn’t satisfied with where they are in life, and there could be a number of ways they could improve their situation, I often key in to the word “should.” And I ask them, “Can you tell me who thinks you should be different than you are?”

In my Huffington Post article I explore how some of your deeply held values may actually be in conflict and getting in the way of allowing you to achieve what you want in life.

You can read my newest artcle here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-b-james-phd/why-you-arent-who-youre-supposed-to-be_b_6110684.html


Dr Matt

http://www.drmatt.com/2014/11/11/why-you-arent-who/feed/ 0
How to Forgive Yourself and Move on From the Past http://www.drmatt.com/2014/10/23/how-to-forgive-yourself-and-move-on-from-the-past/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-forgive-yourself-and-move-on-from-the-past http://www.drmatt.com/2014/10/23/how-to-forgive-yourself-and-move-on-from-the-past/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 13:45:48 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2785 Aloha,

A woman looking out over the water as the sun sets

Four simple ways to forgive yourself and get on with your life.

Many of us know that forgiveness is a good thing, right?

It frees us from bitterness and anger, two emotions that not only don’t feel good but they can also ruin our physical health and hold us back from all the good we might achieve and experience. I know that many of you have worked on forgiving others.

But what about forgiving ourselves?

Check out my new Psychology Today post How to Forgive Yourself and Move on From the Past

Even if we’ve gotten pretty good and consistent about offering forgiveness to others, isn’t forgiving ourselves often the most difficult?

Understanding why self-forgiveness is difficult can give us clues to make it easier….

How to Forgive Yourself and Move on From the Past.


Dr Matt

http://www.drmatt.com/2014/10/23/how-to-forgive-yourself-and-move-on-from-the-past/feed/ 1
Rethinking Your Path http://www.drmatt.com/2014/10/07/rethinking-your-path-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rethinking-your-path-2 http://www.drmatt.com/2014/10/07/rethinking-your-path-2/#comments Tue, 07 Oct 2014 13:45:44 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2776 An uphill path of stairs along a damp forest trailAloha,

You aren’t playing the hand you were dealt; you are playing the hand you picked. No one dealt the hand. You picked the cards right down to the suit. Your job is to figure out why you picked this hand, what are you meant to learn, and who you are meant to be.

I teach a concept at all of my trainings called Cause and Effect ,which is the idea that you have complete control and responsibility for your reactions to things. I also teach a concept called Perception is Projection, which basically explains that our reality is mostly in our own minds.

You can look at studies on memory and perceptions and you’ll find both of these to be true.  Some people learn these two concepts and take them to the extreme. They think that they have 100% control over everything because it’s all in their mind. “Mind over matter”, one personal growth trainer said as he was throwing up into a trash can claiming that his “flu” was only in his mind.

The issue I have with that is you do have a physical body. Thanks to philosophy, we have believed for over 400 years the mind and body were disconnected. Some have pulled the pendulum too far and now believe the mind is everything.

Find some harmony please!

Which leads to your path. If everything is in your mind, just make your path. If you are the master of creation, just create those desires. Each one of us is called to have certain things, do things that bring happiness, and be the person we always wanted to be. Sometimes when we are drawn to things that are different than what mom and dad said we needed, we are being called to our path.

Your path is your own and you are already on it.

From a Huna perspective you already have a path. You picked it coming into this lifetime. You picked all the experiences. The ups the downs, etc.. Cause and Effect is about how well you move down the path.

Imagine this: On some level you set the  target you wanted to aim for in this lifetime. Even if you believe we only live once, you still have a purpose. All the tools I teach, the ideas, and the concepts are about helping you get as close to that purpose, as close to hitting that target as possible.

Cause and Effect and Perception is Projection are all about whether you dig your heals in and fight your path, or whether you accept your path? Do you accept your purpose? Do you accept yourself? Everything begins with you.  Let’s start there. Have you taken the time today (not tomorrow or next week) to truly appreciate all that you are and all that you have achieved?

Maybe you want more. I do.  And if you truly want more, it’s important to stop and take note of just how far you have come and it’s important to feel grateful. This increases your level of trust and understanding about who you are, what you’ve experienced, and what you’re here to do. Once you accept you, you’re closer to accepting and Mastering Your Path.

Life is an aim not an end. You will get better. You will improve. Hey, look how far you have already come!


http://www.drmatt.com/2014/10/07/rethinking-your-path-2/feed/ 5