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Christine Ellis

Christine Ellis

Christine suffered for years with anxiety and depression. She was even diagnosed with PTSD at some point. The birth of her first child was the spark of a personal revolution that led her to discover a way to be well, each and every day: focusing on and cultivating good feelings. She now teaches this method through her books and website. Christine lives with her family in the chocolate-filled Kingdom of Belgium. All of her stories have a happy ending.

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Apples and Joy

The 21-Day Anti-Anxiety Diet of Good Feelings Meditations and Day-to-Day Miracles

They say “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
But how about our emotional health?
What do you put in your mind/body in order to stay healthy?
Good feelings.

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Mind & Body Meditation
Brussels, Belgium
50,000 words
25% complete
1 publisher interested

Synopsis

THIS IS NOT A FOOD DIET BOOK. IT IS A DIET OF GOOD FEELINGS. AND GOOD THOUGHTS.

They say "An apple a day keeps the doctor away."

But what do you ‘eat' in order to have emotional health?

What do you put in your body and mind?

Most of us are waiting for the “right circumstances” to appear into our lives and give us those feelings we so desperately want – and that we can feel, intuitively, will heal us and help us thrive.

Much to our surprise though, circumstances don’t really have the power to change deep anxiety.

This is why people are still miserable after they find the love of their life.

Or after they have kids.

Or after they make ten million dollars.

Sure, it takes a while, because the high of the beginning can make us think that finally things are different.

But after the novelty of it all wears off, then… oh… one morning you wake up with that knot in your stomach. 

There is another way.

We are self-building creatures.

We are like those lizards who can grow new limbs: only they are emotional limbs. Healthy ones!

We just have to follow the feelings!

It doesn’t take much… just grab a little piece.

There is a river of health and well-being and goodness that is you (and everybody else). This is how you came into the world. That river never goes away. It is the river that gives you life.

You just have to find your way back to it – and let it flow again, fully, into your life.

I put twenty-one chapters in this book: one feeling per chapter.

But, in fact, each feeling is a constellation of feelings.

For example, when I talk about peace, I also talk about tranquility. I talk about serenity. In other words, feelings on the same wavelength.

I also put regular things in each chapter: apples, of course. Also, pillows and blankets, TV-sets and movies, theaters and cars, beaches and mountains… because it is no use to feel something once, or for ten minutes in the morning, and then forget about it for the rest of the day.

This is the feeling you have when you only have the impression that things have changed… but deeply, profoundly and day-to-day, the changes have not percolated.

You need to bring the good feelings in the kitchen and the bathroom, in the way you sleep, in how you drive your car and who you talk to on a daily basis – and how you talk to them.

You need to walk around differently and be a different person, on the inside, while you are waiting in line at the grocery store.

So apples, for their “ordinary” simplicity, grace, modesty and vitality.

And joy – as the life-giving feeling that it is.

Outline

DAY 1: On papaya and feeling neutral

We think of indifference as being a bad thing. But if you are anxious, feeling neutral would be so much better. You can also think of it as a day of rest.

DAY 2: On blankets, pillows and the feeling of comfort

There is great joy that comes from savoring true comfort. Not to be underestimated.

DAY 3: One relaxed foot in front of the other

How many times do you pause during the day to check the tension in your shoulder blades? Today might be a good day to do that - and tell those shoulders to relax. The same for your feet.

DAY 4: Warm baths and feeling refreshed

DAY 5: Aspirin and feeling oh-so-very soothed

DAY 6: A good whodunit and the life-giving force of curiosity

DAY 7: Playing Scrabble and feeling in the flow

DAY 8: A new hobby and definitely interested

DAY 9: Bring me the paint brushes and the blessedness of focus

DAY 10: A squirrel in the garden and the feeling of captivation

DAY 11: Playing with friends and the great days of fun

DAY 12: YouTube silliness and feeling amused

DAY 13: What's that voice that's quietly whispering? Inspiration?

DAY 14: The trees, the grass, the flowers and you. Or cultivating a feeling of being connected to all of Life

DAY 15: Spandex and the feeling of support

DAY 16: Putting on your shoes and the feeling of excitement

DAY 17: Presents and great giggles: the mighty silliness

DAY 18: Throwing balls at your dog and feeling playful

DAY 19: Plaster your walls with things you love or the feeling of expansion

DAY 20: The spark that lights the Universe or the feeling of passion

DAY 21: The warmth of your own hands and the feeling of full, blessed joy

Audience

  • Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.
  • Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Almost 75% of people with mental disorders remain untreated in developing countries with almost 1 million people taking their lives each year. In addition, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 13 globally suffers from anxiety. The WHO reports that anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders worldwide with specific phobia, major depressive disorder and social phobia being the most common anxiety disorders.

(Source: Anxiety and Depression Association of America)

There is a trend: more and more people (the difference in percentages between men and women is very small, according to several stats) are interested in and seeking "natural ways" for treating illness, including anxiety and anxiety disorders. 

One statistic shows the results of a survey conducted in the United States in January 2017. U.S. adults were asked if they believed in positive effects of some sorts of complementary and alternative medicine. In total, 70 percent of respondents stated that they believed in positive effects from such medicines.

(Source: statista.com https://www.statista.com/stati...)


Author

At the age of ten and following the death of her father, Christine began a long and torturous journey through anxiety and depression. Long and dark years led her to bad choices, unhealthy relationships and various pits of despair. 

She tried many healing modalities: from cranio-sacral therapy to cognitive therapy to aromatherapy. They all helped. Somewhat.

In her mid-thirties she met and married the love of her life. She thought she had it made. Alas... the hounds kept hunting. 

The birth of her first child sparked something of an inner revolution. Determined to find true and lasting emotional well-being so she could be a good mother and good partner, she started cultivating good feelings every single day.

Of course... it seems simple looking back, doesn't it?

Simple it was not. But it becomes easy. It is like a muscle - the good feelings muscle that atrophies and then needs to be woken up and stretched and worked on.

She lives the "good feelings lifestyle" and is happy to report that the hounds have backed off.

Christine self-published several books on this "good feelings method" and is constantly sharing articles on her blog, findgoodfeelings.wordpress.com.

Her books have received several great reviews and the feedback from readers has been truly encouraging.

Promotion

Twitter followers: 1038

Email list: 12

Previous books reviews: 5 stars by a Top 500 Amazon reviewer for "The Happiness Switch" and "Inner Sparkles"

Blog: www.findgoodfeelings.wordpress.com

Competition

"Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy" by David D. Burns; Harper, 2008

"In Feeling Good, eminent psychiatrist, David D. Burns, M.D., outlines the remarkable, scientifically proven techniques that will immediately lift your spirits and help you develop a positive outlook on life." (From the Amazon description) 

My book is written from the perspective of a regular person who is cultivating good feelings every single day. There are no techniques as such - it is less of a "how to" book, but a meditation and "immerse yourself in the feeling of..." book.

"Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing How You Think" by Dennis Greenberger and Christine A. Padesky; The Guilford Press, 2015

"Discover simple yet powerful steps you can take to overcome emotional distress--and feel happier, calmer, and more confident. This life-changing book has already helped more than 1,100,000 readers use cognitive-behavioral therapy--one of today's most effective forms of psychotherapy--to conquer depression, anxiety, panic attacks, anger, guilt, shame, low self-esteem, eating disorders, substance abuse, and relationship problems." (From the Amazon description)

"Apples and Joy" describes a method of changing moods at a very deep level without revisiting the past or focusing on the reasons for the emotional distress. Having been the experience of the author that rehashing the same stories only reinforces them, this book describes a different approach: focusing on what you want to feel instead. 

Sample

Introduction


ON APPLES, GOOD FEELINGS AND YOUR EMOTIONAL WEIGHT

THIS IS NOT A DIET  BOOK, THOUGH IT HAS twenty-one chapters of daily “recipes”. Of sorts. They talk about apples, which are so very good for your health (body and mind) and good feelings, which are also very good for your health (body and mind) – one good feeling per chapter.

They say “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

We say, in fact, many things about our physical health.

But how about our emotional health?

What do you ‘eat” in order to keep away maladies of the emotions, like chronic anxiety? Or even temporary anxiety?

Well… for temporary anxiety, the wisdom of your mind/body/spirit usually jumps in. If you are not overloaded with fear, you can find your way back to feeling good.

When the fear is big though and/or it lasts a long time, it is possible to get lost in the maze, in the universe that fear builds and that starts to dominate your mind and your emotions.

They know now that every emotional response provokes a reaction in your body. Certain chemicals travel from your brain and infuse your entire system with the information for the specific emotional response.

If your perception of one event is that it was BIG, that event can literally “wire” your system – create pathways on which you respond to life.

Traumas are such big events.

But trauma can happen not just through big events: years of neglect, especially early on, can have the same effect.

Loneliness gets encoded.

Overwhelm gets encoded.

Encoded as what?

As responses to life.

It really hurts to live this way.

It’s like being overweight with pain.

Also, when we are little, we cannot handle the overwhelm, the loneliness, the pain of the neglect. That is why they become “traumatic”. We do not have the life experience, the wisdom and the power yet.

The irony, of course, is that children are extremely flexible. They could easily process change – provided that it is presented to them lovingly and with support.

In other words, they could process big events and hard times with help from a loving (and wise) adult.

But loving and wise adults are in short supplies to those of us who grew up in pain. That was the main problem, I would say. Nobody to explain, support and guide.

So we isolate out of fear. We feel overwhelmed. Sad. In pain.

We grow up and become “chronically anxious.” Or worse.

This is what happened to me.

I will tell you a little bit later the short version of why I grew up to become a chronically anxious adult – and I will only do it to show you that “I’ve been there, done that.” I am speaking from experience.

For now, I just want to explain what you will find in this book.

So I started with the reason why I wrote it: to help you “feed yourself” the opposite of anxiety.

Yes, anxiety gets “coded” in your system. It’s like eating it: it gets digested and it sticks to your teeth. And all of your internal organs. Even the hair… and just in case you are laughing at this as being a ridiculous idea, think about how many times you felt so afraid (sad, angry…) that your hair becomes tern and lifeless, instead of shiny and glossy?

But what then is the food that counteracts all this?!

Sometimes people get bad diagnosis and, out of even more fear, they go on these healthy diets. They eat only fruits and veggies. Drink strange and smelly oils. Go to all kinds of doctors. And all that helps… IF they manage to actually change something else inside of them and very profound: those “wires” I was telling you about.

If you manage to change the “pain circuits”, or , better said, teach yourself how to feel good again, how to love yourself, how to feel safe, then the “diet” will work.

If not…

Well, if you think I’m exaggerating, I will tell you the story of Paul, who was diagnosed with a very serious disease in his early fifties. He went on all the diets he could find… but none of them helped him solve the rage, disappointment and other “pain circuits” that he had built after a childhood of extreme hardship and a young adulthood during which he was severely mistreated. So the diets failed…

I can give you many examples.

And I don’t claim to have the answer to why some people heal and others don’t… this is just my experiential answer, from what I have personally lived and what has worked on me and on many other people.

Does it work 100%?

No…

I don’t have any formulas.

But, just like a book of recipes cannot promise you perfect health, a book of “emotional food” does not promise perfect emotional health either.

You do see the value of those recipes though… and you know that, if you follow them, you will be on to something…

So, what do you ‘eat” in order to have emotional health?

What do you put in your body and mind?

If the problem started with a feeling, it is only logical that it will be corrected by a… feeling, right?

If you felt “down”, you need to give your system “up”.

If you felt “struck”, you might need “awe-struck” or “love-struck”.

But how exactly do you go about that?!

Most of us are waiting for the “right circumstances” to appear into our lives and give us those feelings we so desperately want – and that we can feel, intuitively, will heal us and help us thrive.

Much to our surprise though, circumstances don’t really have the power to change deep “pain circuits” that are blocked or stuck.

This is why people are still miserable after they find the love of their life.

Or after they have kids.

Or after they make ten million dollars.

I’ve been there and done that too.

Sure, it takes a while, because the high of the beginning can make us think that finally things are different.

But after the novelty of it all wears off, then… oh… one morning you wake up with that knot in your stomach. You realize that the knot was never really gone, only that you had managed to push it to the background, where it laid dormant, pulsing, waiting for a moment…

No. The answers are not in circumstances. Not in actions.

Sometimes people try to change their deep feelings by doing more things that hurt themselves.

It makes sense that if their “circuits” are all stuck, they would not be able to discern what is healthy for them and what is damaging.

Alcohol is not the solution.

That sort of thing.

There is another way.

In the old days (and still today in some part of the world) the shaman or the wise woman knew how to do these things.

There are some gifted healers on the planet, at all times (I believe), who can see where the blocks are and can fix them.

But, wonder of wonders, our amazing systems can repair themselves.

We are self-building creatures.

We are like those lizards who can grow new limbs.

We can grow new emotional limbs. Healthy ones!

We just have to follow the feelings!

It doesn’t take much… just grab a little piece. It’s like finding an ore of gold in the mountain. Perhaps you only found a nugget as big as a pin head, but you know the gold is there. So you go for it.

There is a river of health and well-being and goodness that is you (and everybody else). This is how you came into the world. That river never goes away. It is the river that gives you life.

You just have to find your way back to it – and let it flow again, fully, into your life.

I put twenty-one chapters in this book: one feeling per chapter.

But, in fact, each feeling is a constellation of feelings.

For example, when I talk about peace, I also talk about tranquility. I talk about serenity. In other words, feelings on the same wavelength.

But I also put regular things in each chapter: apples, of course. But also pillows and blankets, TV-sets and movies, theaters and cars, beaches and mountains… because it is no use to feel something once, or for ten minutes in the morning, and then forget about it for the rest of the day.

This is the feeling you have when you only have the impression that things have changed… but deeply, profoundly and day-to-day, the changes have not percolated.

You need to bring the good feelings in the kitchen and the bathroom, in the way you sleep, in how you drive your car and who you talk to on a daily basis – and how you talk to them.

You need to walk around differently and be a different person, on the inside, while you are waiting in line at the grocery store.

So apples, for their “ordinary” simplicity, grace, modesty and vitality.

And joy – as the life-giving feeling that it is.

Do not confuse joy with the crazy highs that an overloaded (or damaged) circuit can prompt you towards.

It is not in crazy acts of “courage” during which you spend everything you own, on a whim, while you desperately try to lauch a new business. Hint: it won’t work, unless you start it from a different emotional presence…

It is not in “crazy love” that burns you – quite literally – from the inside out… leaving you scorched and tortured and in so much pain that you don’t think you will ever recover.

That’s not joy… that’s pain masquerading as “passion” (or whatever name it happens to take for you).

Joy is much, much quieter.

Or at least it seems to be quieter, from the perspective of the pain.

Joy is in talking a walk in the forest and hearing the wind rustling the leaves of the trees.

Joy is in the touch of soft fur.

Joy is in eating something simple, humble and glorious: like an apple.

When you first start out, from the depth of your anxiety, you won’t be able to reach joy. It is too powerful. To clear of a signal – and you will be still face down in the mud.

So you need to take it easy, gently, one “better feeling” at a time.

Yes, you can get comfortable in the mud and discover that your face looks better for it.

This is when the dross transforms into the gold

This is how you will have transformed all that pain into wisdom.

And learn to put that wisdom into apple pies, or carpentry, or songs, or playing with your children – or whatever it is that makes your heart truly sing.

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