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Experiments with my mind – Housecleaning

For me, summer holidays are characterized by my efforts at keeping my mind clean.

The leisure time allows me the chance to sit and do hypnosis on myself.

Sometimes for hours – literally.

The result is indescribable.

The words calm, peaceful, loving and open do not come close to the bliss available when clearing negative thoughts and interpretations out of my mind.

The summer is over and September has always been my month of greatest challenge.

Not because I have a lot of work to do. I don’t mind working. I love my work at the college. Doesn’t often really feel like work. I have yet to have to work as hard as I did as a lawyer.

I didn’t love that work. Maybe that’s the key. But we can talk about that another time.

September is hard because my daily practice of mind house keeping is much harder to keep up with. When I take time, multiple times each day, to clean out the negative and refocus on the truth, life goes by with very little anger, guilt and resentment. My reactions are measured and my heart beats light. I don’t take things personally. I let go of the trivial. And most experiences are just that. And when the big things happen – when the proverbial hits the proverbial – I am centered and peaceful. And I can hold that as I move through what is before me.

The house is clean so it doesn’t matter if an uninvited guest comes by.

It isn’t that my house is better equipped for uninvited guests. It is that I have taken the time to clean it. So being caught off guard is not a problem.

I learned about the benefits of hypnosis by being a client in a chair. I learned about my mind and my happiness by practicing self hypnosis.

I consider the work I do on my own mind to be an on-going experiment. Care to join me? We have a class starting this week.

The course is simple: learn to go into trance and recognize the truth about yourself. The lessons you learn are not as surprising as the effect you will see in yourself. Like the kitchen and the bathroom, your life improves when you make a point of cleaning your mind.

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World Peace

Consider your present state of mind.

Don’t judge it. Just observe it.

Somewhat focused but not deeply. Scrolling through the feed. Open slightly but cautious. Distractable but not yet distracted.

Now broaden your internal awareness.

Background thought – like noise – creeping in. Things recently perceived, thoughts from a few moments ago, shadows of your life’s issues waiting on the sidelines, to-do lists half formulated, minor irritants not yet resolved, future obligations that shouldn’t be forgotten, past events not fully faded away. All of this and more on the edges of your mind. Not in full focus but ready to jump in uninvited.

Remnants of past scrolling triggering repetitive thoughts and opinions about the world, your friends, your self. Thoughts that you have had hundreds of times, maybe thousands.

Trying to ignore memories that keep coming in waves of disturbance. Dismissed but never leaving.

Below all that, there is a seeking. A yearning. No clarity about the substance of that ache, only that eating sensation of something lacking.

Crystallize that thought and be aware of your deep desire for happiness. Without a clear idea of what that might mean. It keeps you moving and doing and reaching and scrolling. Maybe the next thing that comes will be the thing that brings satisfaction. But it doesn’t. The search continues.

Is it fair to say that this state of mind is common in your free time?

Is it fair to say that this state of mind is normal for you?

Do you see this state of mind reflected in your friends and family?

Not unhappy. But not content.Not negative but tending toward that?

Certainly not calm and peaceful and happy.

No sign of joy.

Could you say in fairness that most people within a 20 mile radius of you are in that same not active but not calm, a little scattered, seeking but not finding, critical but not completely negative, slightly off balance and wanting something more, state of mind?

How could there ever be peace in a world filled with minds in that state?

You could do your part. Address your state of mind.

Just for the next three minutes allow into your awareness something beautiful. Something you are grateful for. Something you want more of. Stay with it. Don’t leave that thought. Give it a full three minutes. Be aware of how it shifts your inner self. Watch how the state of your mind lightens. Feel the relief. Allow it to grow.

How long can you keep this as your state of mind?

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Experiments with my mind

What is happiness?

Is it a destination or a process?

Do you create it or achieve it?

How would you describe it?

Where does it come from?

What makes you happy?

Is it something you do, or have?

Can things make you happy?

Is it a person or a relationship?

Are you a hostage to others for your happiness?

Is everything we do, say, or think, just the never ending pursuit of happiness?

Consider this:

Happiness is your natural state.

To be happy, is to ignore the things of life that interfere with being in your natural state.

Things you do or have, people you know and play with, do not make you happy. They take your attention away from the things that block your happiness. Then your happiness comes through. Naturally.

Being happy only requires that you remove the blocks to the presence of your happiness.

You are naturally happy.

Until you start resenting the past.

Until you start worrying about the future.

Until you start judging what is happening around you.

Ignore the past and release the future. Don’t judge.

Forgive it all.

What is left, is your natural state of happiness.

 

Big task, I know.

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What does it mean to Love Yourself?

Is love a verb or a noun?

Is it something you have or something you do?

Is it active or passive?

Can you really give and receive it?

Or is it something you be? And in being it, all those around you benefit.

Can you love somebody? What would that mean?

If you love somebody do you hug them? Or are you just hugging them?

Only one verb going on, not two.

I have had lots of hugs that didn’t feel like love.

Can you love and not do anything at all?

Does love require a object? Do you have to love someone, or something, or some place?

Can you just LOVE? Put it out there and allow it to spread and influence?

I think a lot of what passes for love in this world is not.

It seems to me, one of the toughest things is Self Love.

It is tough because we think we have to deserve it.

What would it mean to just love yourself?

Hug yourself? Are your arms long enough?

I learned about disproofs back in high school. Sometimes to know what something is, you have prove what it is not.

Love can hug and kiss and soothe and appreciate and care and support and more.

But all those things can also be done without love. So maybe love is not those things.

There is something you can’t love and do at the same time.

Judge.

You can’t love someone and judge them at the same time.

Impossible.

So I guess hugging and kissing is good. Supporting and caring is wonderful.

But if you want to love yourself, really love yourself, stop judging yourself.

Easier said than done, I know.

As Bob Newhart says, ” Just stop it!”

🙂

 

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Experiments with my Mind

Consider this story from Eldon Taylor…

You wake up this morning and look around.

You don’t recognize the bed you are in.

You look over and see someone lying there, but you do not know who they are.

(This has happened before you say?  LOL – stay with me…)

Now you get up and find the bathroom and look in the mirror only to see an older, less-attractive version of your self. You feel shaken and scared.

You sneak out and get a cab to where you live. Your key doesn’t work in the door so you bang loudly. Your spouse answers the door but asks “What are you doing here?”

Behind them stands their new spouse looking incredulously at you.

Then your former spouse explains that there was a car accident over ten years ago. Your lives were changed forever. You got divorced and a few years ago each of you got re-married.

But all of that experience is lost to you. Over ten years of memory has vanished from your awareness. The brain injury has caused you to forget.

You are still you.

Aren’t you?

An older version, with some missing memories, but you are still you, aren’t you?

You forget stuff all the time. That doesn’t mean you are not who you are. Does it?

What if you just forgot last night?

This too has happened before you say. 🙂

But if you only forgot a few days, would that mean you are not who you are?

Who is the Self? Who are you? What makes up the thing you refer to as “Me?”

Experience and learning change what, and how, we think. They may give or take away thought patterns and thought habits.

But does that actually change who you are?

Memories and learning are powerful life changers.

But they are also life blockers.

How many experiences and ideas would you like to be free from? How many memories would you like to delete? How much of the past would you like to wipe clean?

Would any of that change who you are? I expect it could change how you think and how you act, but could it change who you are?

If you behaved differently, if you thought differently, would you be a different person or just a different-acting version of you? Aren’t you still the one in there?

Does what we think and what we do, define us? Or does it only produce the thing we call our behaviour?

Are you really only what you do and what you have done?

So are you ready for the truth?

The past does not have to determine the future.

The past only impacts the future if you let it. You are limited only by your imagination and your ability to make choices.

The past puts us on a path. It is a strong reference point if we want it to be. But if you wanted to, you could start fresh right now.

What if that person Eldon Taylor told us about started fresh that day? No past to mess with their future. Anything was possible in that moment.

You could make any choice you wanted. Go for a coffee. Go skydiving. Go to school. Get a new job. Climb a mountain. Go to Fiji. Eat ice cream. Start a company. Sell your house and buy a motor home. Move to a new city. Fall in love all over again.

Or, as we usually do, repeat what we did yesterday.

The past does not have to determine your future. You are free to choose.

But will you?

There are some great movies if you want to think about this some more. The Vow. 50 First Dates. Groundhog Day. My favorite is Mr. Destiny.

BTW, the story Eldon Taylor told was a true story.

Take some time and think about this today.

What if you could free yourself from your past? What if the next choice you made was made without any reference to the past?

What would it be?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fighting Fear on Friday

When Friday hits I always think of the things I didn’t do this week.

The big plans made on Monday conveniently forgotten or forgone for something more comfortable. Less Challenging. Less intimidating. Less Fearful.

When I think of the things I missed, and the excuses I made, I have to be honest and acknowledge the fear.

When I think of the things missed and the things done in their stead, I am a little embarrassed. Because I hate to think that fear controls me.

Bring an invading army to the door and I will do battle without hesitation. I can strategize and parry with any attacker. In the moment of crisis, I will not hesitate to do what needs to be done.

But give me a little time to think about it…

When it’s time to respond to my own subconscious fear. Then I am powerless.

I will sit for hours without making a choice. Time passes. So does opportunity.

If I don’t make a choice then I can’t make the wrong one. (video link)

I can’t really explain or even describe my fear that leads to procrastination. I don’t really know what I am afraid of. But I know how it feels. And where I feel it. I can describe the shape and colour of this fear. But it seems I can’t really over come it.

Not yet.

Will power can help. A tiny burst of mental energy – Get It Done!

But will power is not the solution to a behaviour pattern based in subconscious irrational fear.

The choice I need to make is to address the fear. By isolating it, removing it and reprogramming it into something that does my life good.

So I go to my chair, go into trance and do the work.

Next thing I know, Friday is not so bad.

 

 

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All Hypnosis is Self-Hypnosis

Last week I held two information nights for those who are interested in hypnosis but weren’t really sure what it is about and how it works.

I use a little visualization exercise – because that is what all effective hypnosis uses – to help the attendees become aware of two things.

First, that if you do not want to be hypnotized and you stay aware and alert, you won’t be hypnotized. You are always in control of your mind. Always.

Second, that the effectiveness of hypnosis is about how willing you are to play along. Like most things, you get out of it what you put into it.

All hypnosis is self hypnosis. Knowing this, you arm yourself to always be in control of your choices.

But it is the same if you read books or watch TV. You are willingly going into hypnosis. Unfortunately you do not always use the same self-control doing such things as you did last week when we did our little exercise.

That is why films, and education, and TV, and childrens’ books, and so many other things,  have such an enormous impact on the shaping of your beliefs. You are willingly going into hypnosis without knowing you are. You didn’t stay aware and alert of what was happening to your brain and your mind.

It is also why you are so seriously impacted by people in authority. Your boss, your professor, your clergy, your politicians, your news anchor. These people get you into an alpha state – do you remember what that means?

These people go around your Critical Factor – do you remember what that means?

And then they program your mind with beliefs and fears, values and guilt, programs and motivations.

But make no mistake, you willingly did it to yourself. You volunteered to go into state and accept what they were serving to you.

You were alert and resistant to our hypnosis and as a result you did not experience trance.

Unfortunately you are not always so alert when you accept the hypnosis you are fed daily from others.

That is why I teach a self-hypnosis practice called 7th Path Self Hypnosis.

When we get into that alpha state, dozens of times every day, just living as we do, we get bad programming and it messes with our ability to choose what we want for ourselves.

7th Path is referred to as the “Anti-virus of your mind.

It is the daily de-programming of all the crap that snuck in while you weren’t aware that someone was hypnotizing you. Or, should I say, when you were hypnotizing yourself?

We start the class next Monday if you would like to learn how to hypnotize yourself.

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Just for fun today –

I have come to dismiss the idea of reality.

In fact, I have decided that there is no such thing as reality.

It makes me feel better.

So there you go. Reality is over.

I was 14 years old, in grade 9 physics class, on the very first day, our teacher – who I think was stoned at the time – it was the 70’s ya know – made it the most important lesson you could learn in physics. He said that the most important thing to remember in all of science was the concept of error. In every experiment there are perceptual errors that can skew your data and lead to false findings. Experiments have design errors. Experiments have repetition errors. Experiments have observation errors.

We talked about parallax error – that the direction you used to observe, could cause you to see things wrong.

Right then I started to doubt everything.

I just started asking everyone, over and over, “Are you sure?”

Isn’t what others call reality, just a perspective?

What you see is a combination of what you want to see and what you perceive.

Even science says so. 🙂

Ditching reality hasn’t really hurt me. I am not missing out on anything. In fact, I think, it opens the door to all kinds of different realities that I can pick and chose between.

Some people will say that this is irresponsible. We need to use verifiable objective reality to make good decisions. To make decisions about medical treatment, laws and government and what to eat in the morning.

But, all verifiable objective reality is, is simply an agreement. A large group of people agree that this is the way it is.

How the heck does us agreeing suddenly make something real?

We all could have seen it wrong.

Agreeing doesn’t mean we aren’t wrong. How many times in history has “science” lead us astray claiming to have established verifiable objective reality.

Remember “Error?”

I am just asking, “Are you sure?”

And as soon as somebody says “Yes, I am sure.” Someone else comes along and “proves” they are wrong.

I know that there is a deep comfort in the idea that there is such a thing as verifiable objective reality. But it can also drive you nuts. We argue all the time about what is real. We argue about what we should do and base it on some opinion we claim is reality.

We go so far as to hate each other over what we call reality. Arguing over reality doesn’t seem to be helping anybody.

If we can’t all agree on reality – and if you have had a little trip down your facebook feed lately you know we can’t all agree – then let’s just accept that reality is probably a word we shouldn’t use.

Reality is a concept we are not very good at.

Let’s use the word experience.

It is less certain, but also less contentious.

It is also more pliable. A little more personal.

Making choices based on experience is a little more acceptable than trying to establish reality.

So if a certain medical treatment makes you feel better – good enough for me.

If one political party seems to get you what you want – ok, good luck with that.

And if you prefer a coffee and a muffin to granola in your yogurt – go for it.

Who am I to tell you otherwise?

Yet, I have one final thought on the topic.

If reality is based on observable verifiable phenomena, and all observations are error-filled experiences, is it very scientific to ignore people with different experiences?

 

 

 

 

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Where do decisions take place?

I have made many decisions in my life. Firm, confident, well-thought-out decisions.

Decisions based in fact and reason.

Logical, deliberate, clear and precise.

Things that I will do because they make the most sense and will result in great things.

Educated and rational. Directed at wonderful outcomes. I am talking DECISIONS.

I am not talking about ideas or impulses or intentions.

I am not talking about whims or thoughts or wishes.

I am talking good solid decisions.

Written down sometimes. Because they say that helps.

And then…when the time comes to act…

They’re gone.

I do some dumb thing instead of what I decided I would do.

In fact, I do the same dumb thing I always do.

Even after I DECIDED I would never do that again.

I am not crazy or lazy or stupid or forgetful or distracted or illogical or weak-minded or weak-willed or soft or addicted or damaged or messed-up.

I am normal.

But I am making my decisions in the wrong part of my mind.

My conscious mind is logical, intelligent, rational and clear.

But it isn’t really where my behaviour comes from.

Sometimes with a lot of will power and a very focused mind I can do what I decide in my conscious mind.

But usually, I am just living my life, and when the moment of truth happens, I am so busy just being myself, I do the same damn thing again.

Why?

Why? WHY? Why why why?

Why don’t I do what I know I should do, and I want to do, and I planned on doing?

That has been a big question in my life.

You too?

 

 

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Experiments with my mind

I am not sure when it started, but when I learned a simple Buddhist technique, I became aware of some “thing” I had known all my life but couldn’t put my finger on.

When I realized I was not the first to be aware of this “thing” I knew I wanted to pursue it.

This technique took me from the fear that I was nuts, to the confidence that the question was valid.

The technique was based on a moment of reflection. A pause in my mental movements. A break in my thoughts. It was there that I found a separation of sorts. The gap between me and my mental processes.

It was the simple act of observing my thoughts and emotions. The technique is simple. If you try, you can pause between your experience, and your response or reaction to it. Like being in a theatre and watching the movie rather than experiencing the movie.

It worked best with my kids because I loved them so much I was motivated to try to be different.

Rather than “get mad,” I would stop and observe myself. Rather than letting the emotion become me, I would observe it in myself. “There is anger.”

That, of course, caused me to see the depth and breadth of any emotion. It was not only anger, it was hurt, sadness, frustration, fear, insult. It was big or small or slight or imagined.

I could observe it and it was no longer me. Or even part of me. Or even necessary. It was only a “thing” I was experiencing.

Like a movie. I could break away from the movie and see a film playing on a screen and a group of people watching it. I could detach it from myself and choose not to act as if that emotional mass was me.

The more I did it, the bigger the gap could be. I could make it a distinctly separate thing from me.

I was engaged in a practice of stepping back from emotions and seeing them and their cause. Then I would consider them. Then I would decide if I wanted to continue with them. By observing my thoughts and emotions I could be free of them.

It is not easy, but I could do it. Anyone could if they tried. Buddhists had been teaching it for centuries.

But it was more than a simple way to calm myself down.

It was a discovery.

I was observing my emotions. I was observing my thoughts.

I – whatever “I” is – is distinct from my thoughts.

I learned right then, by observation and awareness, that I am not my thoughts.

By extension, I am not my actions. I am not my knowledge. I am not the sum of my experience.

I am distinct from these things.

Whatever I mean by “I” is distinct from thought, word or deed.

So, what, or where, is this vantage point for this observation? What, or where, is the thing that says, “I.”

Who, or what, or where, is this I?

That was my burning question.

That’s where it began.

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Is Hypnosis safe?

What is hypnosis?

I can tell you what it isn’t.

It isn’t mind control.  Although it does help you to control your thoughts.

It isn’t sleep. Although anything that makes you happy usually makes you feel vital and alive.

It isn’t a trick. You decide if you want to go into an internally focused trance. If you do, then you can resolve emotions and reprogram yourself.

It isn’t a special occasion. You do it to yourself every time you go to sleep. You allow it to be done when your read a book, or watch TV, or play a game. You are in an hypnotic state multiple times every day. You just aren’t using it to your benefit like you could.

It can’t be done to you. All hypnosis requires willingness. Whether you are reading a book, watching TV, driving down the road or allowing another person to guide you to an internally focused trance. In the end, the only person who can focus your mind is you. In fact, once you become aware of what a trance state feels like, you can deliberately stop yourself from falling into one.

It isn’t done by an Hypnotist. You do it to yourself.  The best reprogramming I have ever done is by myself in my chair. Although I love being guided into state, I have hypnotized myself hundreds of more times than I have allowed someone else to guide me.

It isn’t fake. There is a reason why someone can be a Board Certified Hypnotherapist by the American Medical Association. There is a reason why insurance companies will pay for it. There is a reason the most successful athletes engage in it all the time. There is a reason it has its own peer reviewed medical journal.

It is because it works.

The Mayo Clinic studies and advocates for it.

Is it safe? Ask Time magazine.

You take a bigger chance that negative feelings and behaviors will flow from watching Netflix late at night, half-asleep than by engaging in hypnosis with the intent to resolve problems.

I was very cautious too. In the beginning.

Then I tried it.

Now I guide people through it. And I teach it. It is the most helpful thing I can do.

 

 

 

 

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Thinking

We take our ability to think for granted.

Often we think we are being logical and we are are mistaken.

Thinking is a skill. It requires effort and practice.

And no interference from the subconscious mind.

That’s how to make good choices.

It isn’t just about bad information. We can make bad choices using good information if we lack skills and are driven by subconscious programming.

The conscious mind is very limited and must be trained. It can be improperly trained by learning bad logic. Or by being allowed to continue without any effort to be corrected.

The skills can be learned.

But will you?

We are so distracted by our outer world and our inability to understand it, we do not consider the inner world and what havoc it is playing on our ability to make a conscious choice.

Have you ever been wrong?

Have you ever been wrong when the right answer is so obvious?

This is the subconscious mind running a poorly trained conscious mind.

Embarrassment is the least of your worries.

Just saying…

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Yanni or Laurel?

More important than what you hear is why you hear it.

Each of us has a perspective. The place from which we perceive the world around us.

It takes me less than 3 minutes looking at my facebook feed to go from tears of joy to intense rage.

My perspective is different from yours.

The Laurel or Yanni craziness is everywhere.

We do not all hear then same thing. When I listened I didn’t hear either of those two sounds.

It was the same with the damn dress. Gold or Blue?

Then I enjoyed this clip from Ellen. I love her because of her commitment to making the world a better place, a little at a time.

Our differences in perception open the door to be manipulated with suggestion.

I truly believe that everyone of us has been hypnotized into our reality from our birth into these bodies. It is all the result of suggestion. We are instructed and trained into our interpretations of our unique perceptions.

I can shape what you perceive by offering sounds and sights that can be ambiguous and then suggesting what you should see or hear.

Hypnosis is everyday.

Choice is a hard won thing.

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How deep is the Mind?

How deep is the mind?

How far does it go?

Everyday we play on the surface.

The Conscious Mind is so limited. Limited in its size and capacity. Limited in its memory. Limited in its processing capacity. So susceptible to fear and trauma. Subject to build up of the residual impact of experience.

Spending all our time up in conscious mind, we are not even aware of the unconscious mind – the part of your mind that keeps your heart beating, your digestion going, your instincts aware.

How powerful is the mind? You dream at night – all in your head, right? Yet your heart will beat fast, you will sweat, you may even get up and walk.

Body responding to the mind.

But how deep could it go? Is there a limit? Where does it end up?

How far down have you ever gone?

Buddha said that he reached the point where he was aware of the Oneness of Mind.

The singular Mind appearing as many.

There is a technique in hypnosis to take people deep. Real deep.

What would it be like to actually forget you have a body? What would happen to your body when your mind is completely unencumbered by any form of thought or idea? All life beliefs and programs disengaged and nothing but pure consciousness is left?

I was reading about Ultra Depth Hypnosis today. They say it takes you so deep that your body will function optimally. No limits of the mind inferring. They say the body will heal 8 to 10 times faster.

I love putting myself into a deep state of meditative hypnotic trance. I feel so good afterward.

I am still exploring and asking myself – how deep can I go?

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Are you conscious?

Are you conscious?

Probably not.

Just reading through this post to see if anything worthwhile is there…haven’t seen things that grab your attention … so you skip over and leave.

How many things did you read today? How many did you just see and ignore?

You can tell by the feeling of your teeth that you brushed your teeth (how many of you just checked without thinking?) but do you remember brushing your teeth? Did you do it consciously?

Are you conscious?

We seldom are.

In fact, who really wants to be? There are so many things to do with your attention – too much to think about – that you wouldn’t want to waste any of those brain cycles on tooth brushing.

Do habits help or hurt consciousness?

Aren’t you glad you have habits that take care of themselves? Aren’t you glad you can listen to music and walk at the same time? But when you walk with your headphones on, which are you doing – walking, listening or looking? Can you really do all three at the same time?

Try it.

But do it in a place where the landings are soft.

What do you remember about today so far? How many things are you sure you did, but really don’t remember doing?

How many times have you watched Jay Ingram? Do you remember him, or the cool things he taught you? Don’t even remember who he is?

Check out Jay and his take on consciousness.

Isn’t the mind a cool thing?

What does it mean to be conscious?

Think about the idea of consciousness – but please do not use heavy machinery while you are doing it.

 

 

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Changing your Mind with Hypnosis

take back choice

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The mind creates our version of reality. Perceptions are skewed and unreliable. Yet they form the basis for beliefs and values. Often set long before our mind has any level of maturity, these beliefs within our subconscious mind dictate our behaviours.

That’s why we find ourselves thinking, “Why did I do that?”

or

“Why don’t I do what I know I need to do?”

The subconscious mind is a childish protector.

That’s why it needs change.

Three things change the subconscious mind: Trauma, Authority and Hypnosis.

The first two you can’t control.

But you can control Hypnosis.

You can change your mind and change your behaviour.

Take back choice.