It’s no surprise that hypnosis can influence memory. After all, hypnosis connects to your unconscious mind – the same part of you that stores and accesses memories.
But it’s not enough to say that hypnosis influences memory. How does it work? What can we use it for? Those are better questions. And those questions have great answers. Working with memory can heal trauma, fight crime, accelerate learning (by helping you forget what you learn) and slow ageing (physically as well as mentally).
Hypnosis influences memory in different ways. Here are a few examples – keeping in mind that these categories have fluid boundaries between them. Read More
The topic of hypnosis scripts stirs up controversy in the community. Some people love them and recommend using a script often. Others detest them and say that you should avoid them as if they were radioactive. I don’t agree with either perspective. Hypnosis scripts are incredibly valuable… but only if you use them right. Read More
Expanding your consciousness is a fascinating experience. It’s worth it; anyone will tell you that. But the path to enlightenment – whatever that means and however you do it – has its own unique issues. Whether you use hypnosis, private meditation, silent retreats or other approaches, there are things that other people don’t get.
Everyone’s mind expands. Sometimes it’s the steady accumulation of wisdom. Other times it’s from a hardware boost. I still remember (or at least I think I do) how much better my mind worked after a puberty-fuelled growth spurt. It was like suddenly becoming a genius.
But most people don’t notice these or the experiences are muddied. I think when the improvements are spontaneous, it’s hard to appreciate. When you work hard to train your mind, though, you catch any benefit you create.
Many people transform their conscious experience. When we describe it, we use metaphors (because our language doesn’t capture it very well). We say things like we’re seeing for the first time or a veil has lifted. This kind of, but not really, conveys what we mean. Read More
It’s been years since I’ve touched a tennis racquet. I still remember, though, an experience that stays with me. I didn’t know hypnosis at the time. Meditation? Sure, I dabbled back then. Knowing what I know now, that experience taught me a lot about the link between thinking and action.
About twelve years ago, I was playing tennis with someone I knew. We both belonged to the same club. We weren’t friends us such but we were friendly. She was a pretty good player – more experienced than I was, though not as willing to take risks on the court. On balance, her expertise flattened my foolhardiness most of the time.
This game wasn’t for anything. It’s not like we were keeping score. This was practice. Just hitting the ball back and forth until someone made a mistake.
I was playing my usual sort of game. A few short rallies punctuated by awkward shots. You know the feeling when 80% of what you’re doing is fine, while the rest is a clumsy mess? Well, that’s why I was practising. That pesky 20%.
Then something clicked. Read More
Do you get nervous in a crowd? What about in front of a crowd? How do you feel talking one on one with a stranger?
Many people feel anxiety in social situations. It’s a common obstacle to the life of your dreams. Nothing in life is perfectly asocial. If you want to get anywhere, you have to interact with people.
It doesn’t have to be a problem, though.
The anonymity and asymmetric nature of the internet create worlds of options. You can interact over the phone, through email, via your website or some other technology. It’s common to build relationships with people – enough to sell them high-end goods – without any real-time interaction.
That gets around the issue of social interaction.
But what if you want to resolve it?
Many people are going to reflect on the incredible life of Stephen Hawking. And so they should. There are lessons for all of us in his life.
People will talk about his illness. Motor neuron disease made him distinctive, in a way – his wheelchair and voice synthesiser were iconic. It made him a symbol. A powerful mind in a broken body. A long life and career, with a condition that kills most people within a decade of diagnosis.
Like Einstein, he was a celebrity scientist. A Brief History of Time is a great book. If you haven’t read it, don’t be scared off – it’s more accessible than you think.
He appeared in the defining shows of our time. Or my time, at least. The Simpsons, Futurama, The Big Bang Theory. And did he appear in an episode of Star Trek?
Science often seems aloof. It takes a rare personality to straddle academia and public awareness.
These are all lessons and inspirations for us. You can pull apart any of these to find meaning. Others certainly will.
I want to talk about my favourite of his works. Let’s talk about black holes.
You can use self-hypnosis to become a better person – and, as a side effect, a better hypnotist. But what happens when you have a setback? What do you do when you fall short of your own standards?
I have a confession to make. Yesterday was not a good day for my personal development. No, it was a pretty major setback.
If you want to transform your sex life, there’s a concept in hypnosis called ‘going first’. The idea is that whatever you want the subject to feel, you need to feel first. If you want them to be confident, then be confident. If you want them to believe that they can overcome their problems, then believe they can overcome their problems.
You want them to like and trust you, so like and trust them.
Call it mirror neurons. Call it empathy. It doesn’t matter. The point is that they will notice your state and experience it too.
Probably 80% of the art is in this concept. If you can’t master your own mental experiences, you can’t influence someone else’s.
To be a hypnotist is to know that you are bigger than the client’s problems. Once you know it, they will know it too. Problems are only problems because they seem insurmountable. Show that they aren’t and they tend to resolve themselves.
What does this have to do with your sex life?
Only everything. Read More
When you think of a shaman, you probably think of someone dancing and chanting around a fire while wearing a wolf pelt. Shamanism describes ancient religions from every continent and this image is common to so many of them. It’s a natural emergence of how humans interact with their environment. Whether you follow the religion(s) or not, it tells you a lot about human psychology.
Shamans use altered states of consciousness – in other words, hypnotic states – to gain insights, lead their community, and heal bodies and minds. It doesn’t look like typical hypnotherapy but, at its heart, that’s exactly what it is.
Here’s an exercise to begin: bring to mind someone who you might call a ‘shaman’. What do they look like?
It’s an incredibly broad term. Every continent has cultures with its own shamans. There are good odds, though, that you imagined a man clad in wolf pelt, dancing and chanting around a fire.
Of course, there is a lot more to shamanism than this. But even this iconic image in our minds tells us a lot. Before you dismiss these as primitive religions born from ignorance, take a moment to ask what they got right.
It turns out, there’s a lot of psychology in that scene. And human nature hasn’t changed, so that psychology is still relevant today.