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Do You Remember When You Forgot This?
You are driving your car to the office or work. Somehow, you arrive safely, even though you are a bit surprised that you do not remember much of anything that happened from the time you left your driveway to the time you pulled into your parking space. How is that possible?
You got into the car and you drove. You should be able to remember the turns you made, the signs along the way, and the exits you took to get to work, but you do not. The reason? You were in trance. You may have always wanted to ask a hypnotist if he could make you forget what happened while you were in trance. Now you do not have to wonder because you do it every day on your own!
There are several kinds of "trance" (what some people mistakenly call hypnosis). One kind of trance is what we call the "dissociated trance." This means you have two very distinct "tracks" going on in your mind at the same time. In the case of driving your car to work and not remembering the commute, you do not remember it because you were partially dissociated from the driving experience. The unconscious part of your mind was pretty much driving the car and the conscious part of your mind was "sitting in the passenger seat," maybe having an imaginary conversation with your boss, your spouse, a customer, or your kids. Whatever the conscious part of your mind was doing, it was not driving the car or you would remember the signs, the roads, the commute, and the other cars, but you donot.The reason you do not remember is because your conscious mind was distracted by thinking about other things it considered more important than driving.
When someone asks what a hypnotic trance is like you can say, "It is like when you are driving a car and you can not remember how you got where you were going." The unconscious mind drove the car to work and your conscious mind sat in the passenger seat having conversations with others or maybe watching movies of what the day would be like. The conscious mind was in deep thought. The unconscious mind was driving the car. We call this experience "dissociation" or "divided consciousness." This is a common, everyday trance experience that nearly everyone is familiar with. It is that simple!
What is very interesting is that if someone had pricked you (once) with a pin, or pinched you, while you were driving, you almost certainly would not have consciously felt a thing! Most people experience these dissociated states of mind each and every day. We will talk about using dissociation for some kinds of pain control and the temporary relief of other symptoms later in this book.
What are some other examples of the dissociated trance state?
Have you ever read a book or an article and at some point you realized that you did not remember what you had just read and had to go back and read it again ... and again? (Your conscious mind was focused on something other than the book and your unconscious mind was trying to read the book!)
Can you recall a time when you were listening to someone talk to you, but you were really involved with your own thoughts and weren't able to keep up with the person talking to you? (Your conscious mind was busy at work and your unconscious mind was nodding your head, but your attention was not really "all there.")
Have you ever cut the lawn or made dinner, only to barely remember the experience as you were busy "inside," thinking or talking to yourself? (This is like driving to work and not remembering how you got there. Two very distinct tracks going at the same time and you did a good job at both.)
It is worth noting, by the way, that in some cases the unconscious mind does a good job when the conscious mind is busy doing something else. When does this happen? When the unconscious mind is guiding an activity that is primarily physical in nature or an activity that has been done many times, the conscious mind can attend to other, more thoughtful projects on the "inside." Unfortunately, when most people try to do two different "thinking" activities at the same time, the results are usually not as good. It is very difficult to keep track of two conversations at the same time. It is also difficult to be "inside," talking to yourself, while listening to someone talk with you and then attempt to process both sets of communication. In fact, it just does not work.
The Power Trance and Other Everyday Trances
The everyday trance of "divided consciousness" is the ideal trance for managing pain and reducing the effects of symptoms. It is necessary to experience divided consciousness if you are going to ride a bike and think about other things at the same time. There is another kind of trance that is experienced by many people everyday—it is called the "flow state" of mind or the "associated trance." You might also call it the "Power Trance" because of the amazing things that people can do while in this state of mind.
This kind of trance happens when you are thoroughly engrossed in some activity that you obviously are challenged by or simply love to partake in. You may have found yourself reading a book and being oblivious to the world around you. Maybe you remember a time when you were watching your favorite TV show and found yourself crying because of the reality of the fictional drama. Perhaps you have played a game and lost track of everything outside of the game, to the point where the rest of the world just "disappeared."
During these experiences, you become completely wrapped up in whatever you are doing. What's going on in the outside world just becomes unimportant. You lose track of anything outside of your desired experience. These periods of everyday trance remind us how easy it is to associate to, or step into, a different reality than our own. Remember this as you read on!
An excellent chess player will play an entire game of chess and not think of anything but that game. We call this being associated. The chess player has no other thoughts, no other distractions. The chess player's mind is only in the game.
A great tennis player is completely "in the zone" when playing the game. There are no thoughts of what to make for dinner, the trip home, or paying taxes. Her thoughts are completely involved in the game, and when the tennis player is really good, the thoughts almost seem to disappear and she is simply playing the game as if she were a part of the game.
Two things happen when you are completely in the moment. The first is that the world dissolves around you and you become part of the experience. You do not experience the game, you are the game. The other thing that happens is that you are completely focused. You do not worry about what other people think of you, you do not think anything that is not relevant to your actions, you simply experience the moment as you are.
This "flow state" is the optimal state for peak performance and one we will return to repeatedly throughout this book. When you are in flow, everything you experience in flow is like making love. It could go on forever, and you would be happy and successful, never wanting to leave.
Your Real Biorhythms
Many years ago, the idea of biorhythms became popular. There were supposedly three cycles of time that everyone experienced, beginning at birth. These cycles would give you various high and low points, say emotionally and intellectually, every few weeks. Over time, it became obvious that these specific biorhythms simply did not exist.
There are biorhythms, however, that do exist. Most women, for example, have a periodic menstrual cycle, though it is by no means predictable from month to month. There are also daily rhythms that almost everyone experiences called Ultradian Rhythms. These cycles begin about every 90-120 minutes, and they vary from person to person, both in when they begin and how long they last. These periods of "spacing out" happen to just about everyone, every day, several times per day. Using these cycles can benefit your health, happiness, and can completely change your life! The Ultradian Rhythm phenomenon will be discussed in some detail midway through this chapter.
What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis comes from the root word hypnos, which means sleep. Sleep, however, has nothing to do with what hypnosis is. "Psychology," by analogy, literally means "study of the soul," and of course, psychology is nothing of the kind. Similarly, the word "hypnosis" is a misnomer, meaning nothing like what its literal origin is.
Hypnosis is the ability to access specific every day trance states.
Hypnosis is the ability to access specific every day trance states of mind at will, both dissociated (divided) and associated (possible flow state). Hypnosis is also the umbrella field of study of altering states of mind and consciousness, to create change in your mind, which will ultimately create change in your body and your life. Hypnosis will help you heal, create change, and help you pursue your life's dream. Come join us on the journey to the deepest parts of your mind and change your life forever.
Hypnosis: An Everyday Experience
What is a trance? A trance is a narrowing state of attention. Trance experiences include a simple everyday daydream, "spacing out," being completely "into" an erotic experience, or being worried about something that might happen. In each of these cases, your attention is focused in a specific area and you are not consciously thinking about everything else that is going on around you.
A trance is a narrowing state of attention.
Each and every day you experience many trances. On any given day, you may live through trances of frustration, annoyance, depression, anxiety, and a host of other unwanted experiences. All of these trance states can be changed through self-hypnosis. Self-hypnosis is a process whereby you take control of the trances you experience on an hour-by-hour and day-by-day basis.
In this book you will learn how to de-hypnotize yourself from the trances (states of mind) you no longer wish to experience. You will also learn how to hypnotize yourself so you can experience those states of mind you do want to enjoy. Your mind is for you to take control of—and this book shows you how.
In the remainder of this chapter you will learn a great deal about your mind. You will also learn many terms that we will use throughout the book to help you understand how to run your mind and create the life you desire. Before we go to work on meeting your mind, let us do a little bit of open eye trance work. Ready? Enjoy!
Create Your Future
Allow yourself to relax in a quiet environment, if possible.
Clear your mind. You can imagine all of the worries and problems of the day getting smaller and eventually becoming granules of sand that slip from your hands as you try and hold them ... ever tighter ... with less success ...
Go out into the future ... ten years ... and imagine a specific day that you will be living ... living a life that makes a difference ... and experiencing the rewards of that living.
Imagine clearly who is with you and how they look. Notice what others in this vision are wearing and how they see you. Look around in this vision and in your mind's eye see how positively people respond to you. Notice what you hear. Notice what you feel ... the air temperature. Relish these moments.
Notice how you feel inside.
Now, bring these feelings back with you, to today ... and realize that this is your future and that your future is now, in part, in your present. How does this make you feel inside?
When you are ready, take a deep breath in ... and then out ... and then focus on the words that come next on this page.
This experience uses a hypnosis technique called "pseudo-orientation in time." Pseudo-orientation in time is a common trance experience that includes clearly seeing a future scene or event. You may see yourself getting married or divorced. You may see yourself getting audited by the IRS or making a big sale. Whatever you are seeing, you are not experiencing something in this moment or from the past. You are in the future. If you were going to direct your mind to focus on a desirable future event, you would be using this experience on purpose, and then you would experience one kind of self-hypnosis.
Each day you can go out into your future, and bring back to the present the pleasant feelings and experiences that you expect to happen there. The more rich and real they become, the more your unconscious mind will seek out specific life patterns to achieve your desired future. The unconscious mind, though childlike, is very much the goal seeking part of you. Therefore, when you regularly experience sensory rich (everything you can see, feel, hear, touch, and taste) experiences in your imagination, your mind will become directed toward making those creations a reality. The unconscious mind has a tendency of finding ways to make the pictures and images it experiences real, for better or for worse. This is the first lesson of self-hypnosis.
The unconscious mind tends to find ways to manifest its imagery.
The simple images of going ten years into the future can help you make dramatic changes in your life. The reason is simple. The unconscious mind accepts these images as virtually real. The unconscious mind then begins to seek out paths that will ultimately lead to the experiences you set forth. It is not quite magic, but it comes very close!
Imagine what would happen if you could learn the power of hypnosis and use it in your everyday life. What would you do? How would you act? Would you change yourself in some way? Would you think about changing others around you?
In the remainder of this book you will learn how to use the power of self-hypnosis and you will learn how to create the life you desire. You will find that you can improve your health, your happiness, your intelligence, and even your income ... all through the power of hypnosis.
What is Self-Hypnosis?
Self-hypnosis includes a variety of experiences that involve shifting your state of mind from one state to another. Self-hypnosis encompasses the creation of inner reality and fantasy, using the power of the imagination, for purposes ranging from simple relaxation to killing cancer cells. Self-hypnosis can include experiencing one, two, or all of the "senses" in the mind's eye. Self-hypnosis can be experienced with your eyes open or closed. There is no single definition of self-hypnosis. There are a various methods, depths, and intentions involved in altering states of consciousness that we term self-hypnosis. Self-hypnosis, by implication, is directed by the self, and, therefore, we say that a part of the self is always in consciousness, even when a large part of the self is active at the unconscious level.
The Power of the Mind
Your mind can do some very remarkable things. It can calculate answers to problems at speeds only exceeded by the person in the car behind you as he honks his horn when the light turns green. (The brain cranks out rapid-fire answers to questions like these: Should you hit the brakes? Should you pick up the stranded motorist? Should you donate to the person collecting at the front door?) The unconscious mind decides all of the answers to these questions so you do not have to think about it at the conscious level.
If you had to consciously decide what to do in every single situation in life you would be completely overwhelmed and never get anything done. The wonderful thing about the unconscious mind is that once it understands something, it will take care of it for you without asking for further advice from the conscious mind. Your unconscious mind automatically brakes when necessary, and drives by the motorist as you call 911 on your cellular phone. The unconscious mind has learned over the years what to do, and it continues to do those same things over and over again until intentionally taught to do something differently.
Using the power of your mind, you can learn how to lengthen your life, perform better at work, lose weight, stop procrastinating, learn faster, physically look better, be happier, and create virtually any kind of lifestyle you can imagine for yourself. Your mind is the control panel of your life, and it is completely in charge of altering the overall health and function of your body.
Take Care of Your Mind for the Sake of Your Health!
This book is for you, a person who wants to maximize all of your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual strengths. In the early pages of this book, you learned about two kinds of trance (associated and dissociated). Now we can go to the next level and learn the basics of hypnosis. First, we will learn how to create new states of mind. Then we will learn how to access states of mind that have created health, happiness, and reward for you in the past and use these states of mind once again for even better experiences!
Everything that we experience, including our health and behavior, has, in part, some effect on our genetic and evolutionary history. Your physical size, your height, your eye color, your intelligence, whether you are balding or not—all are predisposed to a great degree by genetics. It is very difficult to fight genetic predisposition, but we can make headway with self-hypnosis. In some cases, we can win battles that we never thought possible.
Most of the experiences we have, our character, our habits, and our choices can all be improved or changed with self-hypnosis. Your character is partially determined by genetics. Research exists that show that some people are genetically predisposed to become a criminal or get divorced. However, we can take control of these aspects of our life with hypnosis. We can also take charge of our health with self-hypnosis, although many of the diseases and disorders people experience are influenced by our genetic makeup. Our genes definitely bring us the gift of life, and they bring us many of challenges that we must overcome as well!
Self-hypnosis has been shown to improve the longevity of some people with breast cancer. Self-hypnosis can improve health in people with both chronic and psychosomatic illnesses. That said, please be clear that just because hypnosis can help improve the health of the chronically ill individual, it does not follow that psychosomatic or chronic diseases are not "real." Psychosomatic illnesses are very real and often deadly. There is good news though! Hypnosis can frequently "unplug" psychosomatic illnesses completely and can sometimes give new life to the sick or dying people who suffer from these terrible ailments.
People who suffer from tinnitus, environmental illness, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivity, and numerous other disorders can make great long-term gains with hypnosis. Many of these illnesses are not just physical or psychosomatic—they are, indeed. both of organic and emotional origin.
In situations of great stress and distress, a hormone called cortisol is released into the body. Cortisol release is directly related to reduced effectiveness in the immune system. Even though an immune system that is too strong can be dangerous, most people can use a bit of an immune boost, and we show you how to do just that later in the book.
When Should You Do Self-Hypnosis?
A recent discovery in the field of hypnosis is that almost every human needs about a 20-minute break every 90 minutes after working or being active. These cycles appear to happen across all cultures and are evident in men, women, and children. Recognizing just when we need to take a break can help us use that time most effectively. The best way to use that time appears to be with hypnosis.
If we work during break times, we are actually creating stress that is completely unnecessary for our lives. In the rest of this book you will learn how to take 15-20 minute breaks that will help you heal and excel in your personal life. Certain activities are good for you during these break times, while others are not. One of the world's greatest hypnotherapists (Milton Erickson) used to wait until the beginning of his client's mental "break" before putting his clients into a trance. He knew something at an intuitive level that we now know to be a fact—there is a best time to do hypnosis and that is at the beginning of this important break called the common, everyday trance.
If you are reading a book, you will know when you come to this part of your cycle because your eyes will get "fuzzy" and "gloss over." If you have ever re-read a paragraph or a sentence several times and did not understand what you read, then you have read into a break time that your body is demanding. The left brain essentially is shutting down, and is not interested in taking in any more information until it has taken a mental rest. You will learn more about effective ways to relax in short periods of time later in this book!
These rhythms have been evident for centuries, but recently Ernest Rossi, Ph.D., author of The Twenty Minute Break, has championed the optimizing of the natural experience of these ultradian rhythms in everyday life. When people go into these short periods of being "spaced out" they could maximize these moments by listening to self-hypnosis tapes or just taking a 15-20 minute break.
So, how do you know when to start playing that self-hypnosis tape? The signals are easy to identify. When you yawn, or go back and re-read that sentence for the third time, or you start to get up unconsciously from what you are doing, you are ready for an ultradian break. Now it is time to put the tape in the cassette player, sit back, and enjoy a self-hypnosis session that encourages calm, quiet, and restfulness. This is probably not the time for self-hypnosis that is goal directed or something that requires a change in life. The 20-minute break has nothing to do with goals. It is the 20 minutes of healing and meditation that you need for optimizing your physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness.
What are Some of the Advantages of Self-Hypnosis?
Sell-hypnosis is not a synonym for relaxation, although relaxation is one benefit of self-hypnosis. Self-hypnosis is relatively easy to learn. Once you know how to use self-hypnosis, you can literally change your life for the price of a few books and audiocassettes, in contrast to thousands of hours of therapy and counseling. There is a time for therapy and counseling, but the one drawback to therapy is that you can not take your therapist with you everywhere you go. You can take the power of your mind with you everywhere and always. This book teaches you how to tap into that power!
Self-hypnosis is something you can do on your own time. You do not have to have an appointment. You can do self-hypnosis in the car or in the office! While someone else is smoking a cigarette on a break at work, you can be quietly programming your life for success, happiness, and fulfillment.
A Thumbnail Sketch of the Mind and Brain
One simple over-generalization we want to make about the brain is that it is divided into two parts. The thinking part of the brain we will refer to as the cortex. We will refer to the emotional part of the brain as the limbic system. The cortex is the part of the brain that helps us act rationally in the face of emotionally charged circumstances. The thinking part of the brain keeps us out of trouble by stopping us from doing harm to others when we get angry. It is also the part of the brain that helps us make good decisions for ourselves when the emotional part of our brain would have us do otherwise!
The emotional part of our brain, the limbic system, plays an important role in psychosomatic illnesses. The negative emotions are important to experience, but it is also equally as important to discharge them when the time is right. Self-hypnosis helps us do this as well.
The limbic system is where the emotional/irrational part of us lies. It is from here that the flight/fight response is generated. We want this part of our brain to make only the decisions that are absolutely necessary. The limbic system, for example, is the part of our brain that makes us run faster than we normally can when a dog is chasing us. It is the part of us that recognizes that "thing" crawling across the floor might be a snake. It does not know that it is a snake, but it knows that it might be a snake and so it makes you act swiftly. The emotional part of our brain is very important to our survival but it can also cause us all kinds of problems.
Phobias (often single trial and always fear-based learning) are created in the limbic system from incorrectly associating a trigger to a fear response. For example: Claustrophobia (a fear of being in tight quarters or closed in places) might start when someone is physically punished in their bedroom and then told to stay there for the rest of the night. The person then unconsciously associates being in the room with feelings of sadness, pain, and hurt. A phobia has been created.
When we talk about the conscious mind, we are talking about everything that you are completely aware of at this moment. When we talk about the unconscious mind, we are talking about everything that you are not aware of at this moment. All of the memories, experiences, and emotions that you are not experiencing now make up your unconscious mind.
Your unconscious mind encompasses everything that
is outside of your current state awareness.
For example: You are reading the words on this page. You see the black and the white on the page. You are sitting or lying down and know that. You are aware of any sounds around you—these are all conscious thoughts. Whatever you are focusing on right now is in consciousness. Your conscious mind is where you put your attention. As we change what we pay attention to, we change what is in our conscious awareness. As we focus more intently on what we are paying attention to, we automatically reduce our awareness of the other things happening around us.
Our conscious mind generally can hold about seven bits of information at any particular moment. A telephone number is usually about the maximum that most people can hold in consciousness at any given time. Everything else that is going there is not going to be coded into our conscious awareness without our forgetting the telephone number we were thinking about. Try this experiment. My telephone number is 612-616-0732. Got it? Now listen to all the other sounds that are going on around you. Focus on how you feel inside. Look at the environment around you.
It is very hard to remember new information without "coding" it into your brain. Coding means that some kind of association or rehearsal of information takes place. Some people code phone numbers by saying them over and over again. Other people use mnemonic devices to remember them. Most people write them down and put them in a phone book! The reason for this is that it is hard to remember new information without having something to associate it to. That telephone number that you read really is my phone number, but you probably will not remember it because numbers are very difficult to remember. People do not have much to associate numbers to.
Now, what was my telephone number?
Later, we will show you how to learn new information rapidly and remember it so that it is always easy to access that information!
Now you have an idea of what the conscious mind is and what we mean when we say those words. The conscious mind changes from moment to moment, and it is what you are aware of now.
The unconscious mind is very different from the conscious mind. The unconscious mind is the repository for every piece of information you have ever learned and experienced. Some information that you have learned or experienced is very difficult to recall. Memories such as these are called repressed memories. Repressed memories are very common.
Did you go to college? Can you quickly name four professors that you had in college? Most people over thirty cannot even name two of their professors from college. Most people over twenty-five cannot remember the names of all of their teachers from elementary school. Can you? Who was your first grade teacher? Can you remember your second grade teacher? What was the name of your third grade teacher? Fourth grade? Fifth grade? Sixth grade?
If you can not remember, do not worry about it. Most people do not recall all of their teachers. In the chapter that teaches you how to use self-hypnosis for memory, you will learn how to remember all of your teachers and information that is eminently more practical!
|Chapter One Understanding Hypnosis||17|
|Chapter Two Accessing the Unconscious Mind||31|
|Chapter Three Overcoming Procrastination||43|
|Chapter Four Fear No More||51|
|Chapter Five High Self-Esteem and Unshakable|
|Chapter Six Making Better Decisions||Faster||93|
|Chapter Seven Attracting Special People Into Your Life||109|
|Chapter Eight Look Attractive Longer and Feel Better|
|Chapter Nine Ten Steps to Weight Loss through Hypnosis||137|
|Chapter Ten Putting the Cigarette Out||155|
|Chapter Eleven Pain Relief through Self-Hypnosis||171|
|Chapter Twelve Birthing Your Child Using Hypnosis||189|
|Chapter Thirteen Prosperity Consciousness||205|
|Chapter Fourteen Accelerated Learning and Memory Enhancement||223|
|Chapter Fifteen Interpreting Your Dreams||231|
|Chapter Sixteen Remarkable Stories about the Power of|
Posted April 30, 2001
The strength of this book is its ability to help you appreciate the limits of your own mind-set, and to substitute a better one for it. I was reminded of this while having a bad night with recurrent pains that I get sometime. I tried the usual things, and had no success. Then I used an induction here that I had often applied to nonpain problems successfully, and got immediate relief. So there I was suffering, with the knowledge I needed to fix my own problem, but I had not connected the dots before in my mind. Thank you so much! The book explains a little about the basis for hypnosis and ways to successfully access your unconscious mind. Individual sections address procrastination, overcoming fears, improving self-esteem, improving decision-making, attracting the people you need, look better, weight loss, quitting cigarettes, pain relief, easier child birth, having more prosperity, improving learning and memory, and interpreting dreams. My main quibble with this book is that self-hypnosis is a secondary or tertiary approach for a number of these problems. Yet the book tends to treat self-hypnosis like it can do the whole thing. I also think you will get more out of this book if you also read The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, which explains more about how the mind works. I found the self-hypnosis methods proposed in this latter book to be usually easier to perform and more effective than the lengthy inductions in Through the Open Door. After you finish reading and applying this book, I suggest that you write down your beliefs about all areas of your life. Then examine those beliefs in terms of how effective they are for creating the behaviors you know will help you succeed with your goals and in living your values. How can you write new beliefs you feel confident about that encourage you to replace the old ones that discourage or derail you? If the door isn't open, then open it! But be sure to walk through right away. Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent SolutionWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.