Tuesday, 24 July 2007

You Are Not In My Power

Fear can prevent people from taking positive action. One of the greatest difficulties in my practice is dispelling all the misconceptions they have about hypnosis. Too many people are locked into a late night movie understanding of hypnosis. They believe that a person who is hypnotized is under the power of the hypnotist and have lost their free will. Furthermore they believe they may never “wake up” from their hypnotic state. When an embarrassing question is asked, they are certain they will blurt out the truth about that weekend in Syracuse with the Tampa Bay cheerleaders. If you had these beliefs, would you allow someone to guide you into a hypnotic state? This is why the pre-talk before my inductions is so important.

For those of you who have not been hypnotized, I hope this little column will alleviate all your misgivings. For those of you who have been hypnotized by an experienced practitioner, you already know how misunderstood the trance state is. The mind model I will discuss comes from the teachings of Gerald Kein of Omni Hypnosis who is undoubtedly one of the best hypnosis instructors in the world today.

The mind is divided into three separate parts, the unconscious mind, the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. The unconscious mind takes care of your heart beating, your immune system and reflexes like blinking. You never even have to think about the unconscious mind.

The conscious mind is divided into four general parts, the rational mind, the analytical mind, the working memory and will power. The rational mind attempts to put all the events of life into an appropriate perspective. However our lives have gone forward from infancy taking all our actions and rationalizing them.

The analytical mind is used when an obstacle comes into our path. Perhaps your baby sitter will not be able to watch the children at the last moment and you have to make alternative plans. Your analytical mind goes through alternatives that will allow you to have the least difficulty. The analytical mind is great for that.

The working or short-term memory is available to you at a moment’s notice. This memory allows you to recall family names, how to get to work or the store as well as the simple everyday things that are useful to surviving every day.

The last part of the conscious mind that I want to discuss is will power. We are all familiar with this part of our being. How many times have you told yourself you were going to stop smoking or biting your fingernails only to go right back to it.

What is not clearly understood by most people is the fact that the conscious mind is merely the tip of the iceberg. It is what everyone can see from the surface, but just as the Titanic discovered it is what is below the surface that can cause the ship to sink. The iceberg has been created by collecting bits of ice and debris from its travels. The subconscious mind is similar. Every event in your life has an effect on you as a person. The effect can be momentarily profound and fade away, or it can seem incredibly incidental and have long lasting consequences. You can never know until you explore beneath the waterline and see the full scope of its structure.

Though it is not evident, the subconscious mind sculpts you into the person you become. It takes the totality of your life’s experiences and molds your destiny. The subconscious mind never forgets anything. Every sound, smell, pain, pleasure and sensation you have had is recorded deep within the subconscious mind can be extracted with the right approach.

The subconscious mind deals with emotions as well. When an emotion is brought about by an event on the conscious level, the subconscious springs into action causing you to react in ways you have no clear understanding of. We all have emotions and dealing with them is not an easy thing to do. They reside at the subconscious level.

Another element of the subconscious mind is the domain of habits. Habits can be positive, negative or neutral, but they do exist. Smoking, overeating, and reading are habits that are established over time. To this day, I habitually stop at bookstores even when I have four books I have not read. So you can see not all habits are detrimental to our lives.

An important factor of the subconscious mind is the fact that it must protect us from dangers real and imaginary. As you sleep, you may well wake up in a sweat, your heart racing and out of breath. In your dream, you may have visualized a giant cucumber that attempts to eat you. You subconscious mind cannot differentiate between real and imaginary danger and the dream supplies your body with adrenaline to fuel an escape. This protective aspect of the subconscious mind can become engaged after an event while conscious.

To prevent the repetition of psychic pain, a horrendous event in our lives can be buried in the subconscious. This sort of landmine can be devastating if it metaphorically explodes at the wrong time. Even if it never explodes, it can serve as a type of speed bump that pops up and affects the path of our life.

The subconscious mind does not accept change easily. It likes to maintain the status quo. When a suggestion for positive change is made, the suggestion must go through the conscious level. At this level it is being evaluated by what is the known as the critical factor of the conscious mind. If it fails, all we have available to make the change is our will power. We must go beneath the surface of the conscious mind and get to the subconscious. That is what hypnosis does.

Hypnosis is bypassing the critical factor of the conscious mind for the establishment of selective positive thinking. After bypassing the critical factor, the mind has to make one of four choices to determine if the suggestion will be accepted or rejected. The person who is hypnotized determines which choice is made.

Should a person say, “I love this suggestion, I know it is going to work,” the change will begin instantly and be locked in. If they have a doubt about it, the suggestion will be rejected. If they are apathetic about the suggestion, it will have no power and disappear. Should they determine, they “hope” it will work, they accept the assured failure that comes from trying or attempting something without being certain of success.

The hypnotist has no control over the choices that are made. The hypnotist is merely guiding the client on a journey, but they must go together. It can be a wonderful journey full of discovery and wonder, but the client can always leave at any point. Hypnosis is an entirely consensual act between the hypnotist and their client. The client is always in control.

Tim Horn was designated a Master Hypnotist in 1993 by the National Guild of Hypnotists, the largest hypnosis organization in the United States. Tim, a teacher, writer and consulting hypnotist, has helped people quit smoking, lose weight, deal with anxiety, and improve grades. He has a unique ability is to see each client as an individual and deal one on one with their problems. As one client said, “Tim has been a complete life saver to me.” He can be reached at Tim@Hypnoconsult.com

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