Reconciling Australia Day and Invasion Day

Australia Day is complicated. It’s a day to celebrate everything from warm weather to freedom and prosperity. Or you see the chance to have a race riot on the beach. Then again, Invasion Day might mark the day when strangers displaced your people… and worse.

It’s a celebration mixed with shame. It’s multiculturalism and xenophobia. We celebrate democracy while our people drink and listen to ranked pop songs.

Yeah, it’s complicated.

But that’s only because Australia is populated by humans. A single human is riddled with contradictions. A nation of them? The contradictions scale accordingly.

Or so they seem. Read More

The Hypnotic Secrets of ‘Like a Prayer’

The debate is as old as the song itself. This classic by Madonna is about religion. No, wait, it’s really about sex. Actually, it’s about a hypnotic induction.

Really…? Hypnosis?

Oh, yes. Listen to the verses – really listen to them – and you’ll hear someone describing a hypnotic trance.

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When you can’t rely on the government…

The government seems almost like a force of nature. Always fickle but always there. And then – suddenly – it’s not. Parts of the unstoppable machinery grind to a halt. The government lets you down.

These can be scary moments. When your livelihood depends on the government, it’s a shock to remember that you can’t rely on the land’s greatest authority. If you enjoy or need vital services, how can you feel safe when petty politics can wipe out your program or job?

It’s not good. The way that politics can consume all good intentions – it’s not good.

But there is one thing that is undeniably good. Read More

Try or try not – there is no do

I defer to Yoda’s expertise when it comes to The Force. The little dude has centuries on me. But I have to disagree with him about ‘doing’ vs ‘trying’. Maybe meditation works differently for Jedi. Who knows. But his famous quotation is completely backwards:

Try or try not – there is no do.

Many people give meditation a go, then stop. It doesn’t seem to work for them. I get it. Other people talk about all these benefits – relaxation, focus, inner peace – that seem so out of reach.

Here’s the thing:

Meditation is WEIRD. You probably don’t understand it – even if you think you do. Read More

What a stoner taught me about feeling energetic

I like dancing when there’s a point to it. For example, I spent many years learning swing dancing. It’s great fun because there are moves, connection, and other great stuff. But the dancing you do in nightclubs – where everyone just sort of flails around – isn’t for me. It’s feels awkward and boring. Yet this awkward, boring dancing taught me something valuable about feeling more energetic.

This lesson came at a meditation workshop / concert / party. It priced out the dirty hippies, leaving only cool people who were eager to connect with something inside. The guy leading the chanting and instruments was super chill – liquid relaxation in a human-sized bottle. He drew everyone into this calm, focused and awesome state.

He could have left us there.

Oh, no. He had bigger plans. Read More

I like my coffee how I like my meditation

I love coffee. Unlike many coffee drinkers, I like it enough to take it black, no sweetener.

(I confess to liking the occasional bit of spice – ginger and chilli, for example. But my default brew is straight from the plant).

Also, I drink it because I like it. I’m lucky enough to not rely on the caffeine hit. Coffee is a treat to be savoured, not a biological requirement.

It’s tasty and good for you. And, boy, do people love it. Read More

Relaxation within 15 Seconds

Instant relaxation is not only possible; it’s the most natural thing. How fast can you move from relaxed to alert? If you see a car speeding towards you, it’s immediate. Moving from stress to calmness is almost as quick.

If it’s so natural, what stops us from doing it? How can we use this comforting influence?

The answer is over 2,000 years old. Read More

The Hypnosis Brand

Hypnosis is polarising. Broadly speaking, there are three reactions when someone mentions hypnosis:

  1. It’s weird, evil mind control,
  2. It’s as useful as astrology – fake, mystical nonsense,
  3. It’s a fascinating piece of mental technology.

All are common. Only the last is accurate.

Imagine if antibiotics had the same reputation:

  1. “It’s all in the name: they are literally called ‘anti-life’. Of course it’s evil!”
  2. “Please. As if slime scraped from mould could cure anything.”
  3. “The rash was getting worse. Then a few pills made it go away.”

Oh, well. Read More

Hypnosis FAQs

Hypnosis FAQs

There are a lot of misconceptions about hypnosis. But in my experience, people are eager to learn more about hypnosis. After all, it’s interesting, it’s useful… and the mind is a very strange thing.

These are some of the questions I get. If you have a question that I haven’t answered, please get in touch.

Is Hypnosis Real?

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What is the trance state?

What is the trance state?

You’ve probably heard the term ‘trance state’ before. Especially if you’re familiar with hypnosis. A question you might ask is: what is the trance state?

Hypnosis activates the trance state, which is a way the brain likes to operate sometimes. In this state, you think more creatively and you’re open to new ideas.

You’re more willing to accept things as true in a trance state.

Now, if that last line concerns you, then I can assure you that you can relax. You might be more open to suggestions but you’re still fully aware and in control. If someone says something wrong or harmful, you’ll consider the idea… then reject it. No one can make you do anything you don’t want to – whether or not you’re in a trance.

But if there’s something that you know is true – something like smoking is harmful and you should quit…

… then you’ll accept the idea more readily in a trance state.

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