“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place, and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth, but you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that! I'm always gonna love you, no matter what. No matter what happens. You're my son and you're my blood. You're the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, you ain't gonna have a life.”
- Rocky Balboa
When I hear a forty-three year old movie mentioned twice in a week, I figure it’s a push from the universe. Or maybe Stallone’s birthday is coming up. Who knows? All I do know is I needed a jumping off point.
The first mention of it spoke directly to the hypnotherapist in me. Poor Rocky didn’t believe that he was going to be able to go the distance in his bout against the undisputed heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed, a feat which no other boxer had previously accomplished. Rocky trained feverishly, but was still coming up short because – now, this is the important bit – because yo Adrian didn’t want him to fight.
You see, the human mind cannot hold contradictory beliefs simultaneously. Well, we can, but it creates a cognitive dissonance within us – basically emotional stress – which tempers both beliefs in our subconscious mind, leaving us waffling and uncommitted. As soon as Adrian threw her support behind her man, there was no stopping him. Rocky took punch after punch and, battered and bruised, kept coming back for more. Fifteen rounds he lasted, getting pummelled by The King of Sting/The Master of Disaster/The Dancing Destroyer himself.
Rocky’s mind had to commit 100% to the task at hand. As soon as the other voices went quiet, he could do just that. There are so many areas of our lives which could take a page out of the Rocky (or trainer Mickey) playbook. Some are small – training our golf minds to not think about the water/sand/trees – but some are huge.
Imagine you are a woman who wants to have a child. Now imagine that you were brought up in foster care. Or you are the daughter of a narcissistic mother. Or you’ve had two miscarriages. Or you’re concerned that your marriage is shaky. Or you had a sister who died in childbirth. Or you had a brother who didn’t see his tenth birthday, after which your parents were never the same…
“What if I can’t protect/support/love/live long enough for my child?”
The list of reasons you might be terrified of having a child is as long as your arm. Is it any wonder you can’t conceive? #3SessionsToConception
Nothing to do with human conception, but I am living my own story where my baby isn’t growing as well as I would like. Yes, I am talking about my business. Despite having seen firsthand how powerful hypnotherapy can be, I get shaken by friends and family members who dismiss it without even bothering to take the time to investigate. If I can’t even get them over the whole ‘cluck like a chicken’ thing, how can I expect to convert strangers into believers? Then I was transported back to a couple of weeks ago when I happened to be working with someone who has a fear of mice. After a ten-minute hypnotherapy session, her fear turned into a curiosity about them.
Knowledge is power.
Because I know the impact hypnotherapy can have on a person’s life, I refuse to euphemise it. A guided meditation with a set intention is the closest I can come, but that’s a little wordy, yet still inaccurate. I was going to say that it’s a dance between hypnotherapist and client, but it’s more like improvisational jazz; you don’t necessarily know where the journey will take you, but you know there’ll be emotional highs and lows, maybe some discordant notes, and by the end you will be wrung out but somehow lighter of spirit and with a song in your heart.
So, yes, I prefer to use this platform to educate and inform. If you’re open-minded, you’ll hear me out. And while it’s true that everyone can be hypnotised, people who live their lives in black and white, who do not believe in the human capacity to grow and to change, won’t benefit from hypnotherapy anyway.
So, yes, I am a hypnotherapist. If I say that any other way, I am being inauthentic and, equally painful to me, serving to undermine the value of what I do. So, let me say it loudly. And in italics. And boldly:
Hypnotherapy is the single most effective way to promote root cause healing.
Here is an article from last September’s (presumably unbiased) Time magazine. Please disregard the swinging watch image.
A study by Dr. Alfred Barrios showed the success rate of hypnotherapy to be higher than that of cognitive behavioural therapy and waaaaay higher than that of psychoanalysis. Six sessions to success compared to twenty-two and a whopping six hundred. Further, clients treated with hypnotherapy have results which last significantly longer. CBT treats the symptoms. It’s a Band Aid overtop of a festering wound, which is still better than psychoanalysis which pokes at the wound with a sharp stick while healing nothing.
All right, enough trash talk! What does my work look like? Let’s take anger – one of my favourites. First, I coach you into figuring out and tracking your triggers. Next, I use hypnosis to get your pesky conscious mind out of the way, to get you to stop thinking, to have you remember back to times in your early life when you experienced that anger. Then, instead of poking them with a stick, we heal those memories using visualisation techniques, reframing the accompanying emotions, shifting perspective… whatever makes sense in that moment. If appropriate, I will tailor-make for you a hypnosis recording to use at home. You’ll notice I said hypnosis there. Think of it this way: Hypnosis is the tool, and hypnotherapy is the process. Lastly, because I am a coach, I will follow up with you and hold you accountable between sessions.
Remember, what you don’t heal could be contagious.
What do you want your legacy to be?
The second time Rocky came up was yesterday. It was all about having grit and determination. It’s a push to keep promoting the benefits of hypnotherapy until it becomes as ubiquitous as its cousin meditation has become these last ten or so years.
Rocky wasn't the only seventies movie to have gotten my attention this week. Yesterday, while making dinner, I turned on the TV and found Jaws. Classic, right? What better movie could there possibly be to make turkey burgers to? Somehow, I was struck by the poignancy of the film. Think about it. What's the actual story line? A predator from the deep menaces a small town? Not really. What struck me was the lengths people will go to to assure their prosperity. Here we have an industry being jeopardised by a force of nature.
Sound familiar, Alberta?
As far as I can tell, the guilty party isn't the shark. he's just going along, living his life in the only way he knows how. Humans entered his turf. But that's secondary to the story. The story is about how much more important money is than human life.
"We can't close the beach/wean off of oil and gas; it's our only source of income!"
Sure, it's easy to blame the chief of police/prime minister for wanting to protect the citizenry, much easier than finding fault with the previous local governments that put all of our eggs in one economic basket. Is that the way you invest your own resources? Of course not. Diversify and protect yourself. Save money for a rainy day.
There is no war on oil and gas.
Cell phones weren't a war on home phones; it was an evolution.
Horseless carriages weren't a war on horses; it was an evolution.
The icebox wasn't a war on salted meats; it was an evolution.
#cleanenergy isn't a war on Alberta; it's an evolution.
It's our self-preservation.
"This was no boat accident."
Leave the world better.
Emotional Legacy Coach