Blog #1 Have You Ever Been Hypnotized?
Once Upon A Time, In A Land Far Away . . . We’ve all read or heard those words at bedtime or in a classroom when we were children. Listening, our body began to settle down and get comfortable. Our conscious mind narrowed its focus in order to tune out distractions and zero in on the story, while another part of our mind opened wide to the fantastic realm of the imagination where anything could and did happen. A frog became a handsome prince. A boy’s nose grew each time he told a lie. A little girl wearing a red, hooded cloak was tricked by a wolf. If we heard the words ‘Once upon a time . . .’ often enough, they probably became a trigger for us to go into a light trance, which is a level of awareness accessed through hypnosis and past life regression.
Mrs. Salmon was my favorite teacher in elementary school. Every Friday after lunch she read to us with the inflections, humor and sensitivity of an award-winning stage actor. I particularly enjoyed her reading of Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. The story elicited laughter and tears. We all knew people who were kind, fearful or mischievous, like the characters in the book. In a highly attentive state--entranced--we were learning deep lessons about friendship, loss, acceptance and our connection to the web of life.
Our ego self is formed according to our desires, thoughts and actions. What we see, hear, feel, smell and taste runs through an internal processing center that sorts our experiences, analyzes and judges them. Repetition drills them into our minds and if we experience something often enough, an entrenched pattern of belief can develop. Some of our beliefs are inherited from our ancestors, others originate in past lives. We all undergo conditioning by our families, institutions and culture. Much of what we learn we assimilate without actually being told. For example, I was raised in the Catholic religion. While doing a college internship program at a day-care center affiliated with a Baptist church, my African-American supervisor mentioned that he was Catholic. At that moment I realized, since I had never seen black people in the church of the Immaculate Conception where I attended Mass as a child, I had assumed all black people were either Baptists or members of the African Methodist Episcopal church. That was a long time ago, but the way we learn is still the same. We pick up all kinds of nonsense without questioning it until we are confronted with the truth.
Many of the things we learn as children do not serve us as adults. In fact, they limit us. Sometimes the limitations seem minor or harmless. At other times they act as real impediments to getting what we want. They can even block us from wanting something that might be good for us, if we’ve been programmed to believe it is beyond our reach or inherently dangerous. The following examples illustrate this point.
~ A child is told repeatedly by her mother to never ride her bicycle in the street (You’ll get killed!). Taking her mother’s warning to heart, the girl rides only on sidewalks or in the park. As an adult, she bikes with her husband on quiet, suburban streets where there are no sidewalks. If a car passes, she stops. Busy intersections frighten her.
~ A Catholic school priest makes a habit of telling his students that French kissing is like kissing a dog. One day one of his female students, who likes and respects the priest, goes off to college and falls in love. She hopes to marry the young man, but he wants to kiss her deeply. She resists his ardent overtures and worries about their future together. She just can’t get the image of a dog out of her mind.
~ A girl grows up hearing the story of her horribly painful, difficult birth. It is a story that has been told many times. She may not realize it, but the memory of that experience is stored in her unconscious. Though physically capable of having children, she is afraid to give birth, and opts to have her tubes tied.
The same mental processes used in creating and maintaining negative or destructive thoughts, beliefs and behaviors can be redirected through hypnosis to create and sustain positive ones. Hypnosis can help you change your story. Delete an old behavior. Create a new one! Hypnosis is not just a "feel good" experience in the moment. It's a way to carry that feeling into the future. Life is precious. Hypnosis will help you relax and enjoy it more. It can awaken parts of you that have been sleeping, so that you stretch and grow in wonderful ways. Gandhi once said, "If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him."
How will your new story begin?