Is it Thursday already? A lot can happen when you're distracted, can't it? Yep, that's my not-so-subtle segue into talking about hypnosis.
It has been brought to my attention - shout out to my brother Pete! - that in this day and age (I might be channelling my grandfather when I say that), 2019, with so many people embracing their inner Zen through meditation, hypnosis still gets relegated to the realm of sorcery and brainwashing. I blame Gilligan's Island, but... holy moly! That was in 1965, before I was even born. It was in black and white, for goodness sake! Surely, we have evolved in our thinking since then.
If it were that easy to exercise mind-control over you, hypnotists would all be millionaires in the ad game, and you would have bought my twelve-session programs for yourself and all of your family members by now. But you're smart, you do your due diligence, and, most importantly, you are in control.
Have you ever been hypnotised? Of course you have. Hypnosis is a natural brain state. We are in it most of the time. Any time your conscious mind drifts - when you are listening to the minister's sermon, when your spouse is walking and talking you through their every golf shot of the afternoon, when a TV commercial comes on and you don't forward through it, that's all hypnosis. But, you might be arguing, that's self-hypnosis. Let me let you in on a little secret: All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. By that logic, you are always in control. Always.
Allow me to illustrate using another common example. You know those times when you are driving home and you don't remember the commute? That's hypnosis. But if something dramatic had happened - a child darting out onto the street or you seeing unexpected brake lights - you would've snapped right out of it. Control.
Photo radar only catches people who are in a hypnotic state. And texters.
But, Christie, what about that whole, "All hypnosis is self-hypnosis" thing? Thanks for reining me in! Allow me to offer up another example. I don't think my father would ever let me hypnotise him. I mean, he might sit down with me to ostensibly try, but his mind would probably overrule it, even if we were just doing some simple positive suggestion stuff. (I don't do therapeutic hypnosis with family members, because it can be difficult to get them to be truly open and forthcoming, y'know, vulnerable. It can be much easier to open up to a stranger, I mean, a stranger who's signed a confidentiality agreement, not, like Dave down at the 7-11, though I'm sure he's pretty tight-lipped.)
Where was I? Right, Dad. I think he'd feel uncomfortable being hypnotised by me in person. I mean, I've given my folks a sleep recording, and the rumour is that it's so good that he's fast asleep before I've even spoken, but in person is a different thing. I can't see him opening up to me.
What I can see is old Reggie up on stage at a hypnotist's show. Dad, uh, doesn't hate being the centre of attention. He's also been doing meditation since I was a 'tween. And he would feel safer being part of a comedic show than opening up about himself to his baby girl. See, he is in control of whether or not he gets hypnotised. Stage hypnosis works so brilliantly because the hypnotist really knows how to pick his/her participants. The ones who go up on stage really want to be there.
If you've ever seen a show, what you've also seen is the power of the subconscious mind. I saw a woman eat an onion like an apple without flinching. I saw an entire group of hypnotised people go downstairs to the bathroom and come back up completely perplexed because their genitalia were suddenly the opposite gender's.
And more recently, in a therapeutic setting, I have seen people sit in conversation with their estranged or deceased loved ones. I have helped people engage with and heal their wounded inner child. I have sat with a woman as she wept and forgave the father who molested her.
So, no, it's not about getting people to 'cluck like a chicken'.
I usually take this time to change tacks, but this is a subject that I would really like to flesh out more fully with you. The blend of hypnosis and coaching is a powerful thing. You go into a very light hypnotic state, similar to the one you go into when you’re driving, except usually with your eyes closed. That allows your conscious mind to drift, for you to get out of your own way. You know how it can be when you’re trying to remember the name of a person or TV show? The harder you think, the less likely you are to remember it, but as soon as your conscious mind goes elsewhere, there it is! Your subconscious mind is always simmering away under the surface where it collects eleven million bits of information per second. The conscious mind, by contrast, can only process fifty of them. That’s not even statistically significant! No wonder we get distracted by… squirrel!!
So, as you can imagine, it doesn’t take much to get you out of your own head. Once there, you can more easily access memories. I help you reframe them so you can feel differently about them. The beauty is that the subconscious mind doesn’t recognise the difference between imagination and reality. You can have that conversation you always wanted to have with a person who is no longer in your life or even put yourself in their shoes and imagine how they were feeling in a given moment. It is a tremendous tool for fostering compassion for yourself and others.
It’s not about controlling your mind but controlling your emotions, your reactions to events. It’s about figuring out why certain things that are said or done to you make you angry or sad and healing those past traumas. You are an active participant in the process and remember everything when you come out of it. Hypnosis combined with coaching is an incredibly effective way to get the results you want.
A huge shift occurred for me when I learned that when we remember, we are not recalling the original event; we are remembering the last time we remembered it. Under hypnosis, you are walking us through your memories. You are in control. Imagine being able to go in and make small shifts to your emotional state within a memory. Can you see the healing effects that could have on you and, more importantly, the implications it will have on your family moving forward?
Leave the world better
Christie Morden is Calgary's premier Legacy Coach. Her clientele may seem diverse, but they share a common characteristic: They have gotten to a point in their lives where they are wondering what sort of legacy they are going to leave behind. They are people facing end-of-life, either their own or a loved one's. They are new grandparents and expecting parents. They are couples struggling to conceive. They are people who recognise that the ripe fruit on their family trees was more than fine jewelry, clunky furniture, and flat feet. Like low self-esteem, anger issues, addiction.