A few months ago, I was vegging out on the couch watching TV. Yes, I know, given my high output of writing, surely I don’t have time for that? I do and it happens. Anyway, I was pretty zoned out – the sort of hypnotic trance that only comes from watching a screen.
Then our front door started to open.
I wasn’t expecting anyone at all, let alone someone who’d enter without knocking.
By the time the door started to budge, I was on my feet and in the hallway, ready to confront whatever this was.
In the end, it was nothing too exciting. A group of young women had gotten the wrong address. They apologised, embarrassed, and backed away.
Here’s the lesson from that short story.
I’ve been chatting with new hypnotists a lot recently. There have been a trickle of people interested in the field that turned into a small flood. I’ve had the honour to work briefly with a few of them.
And be hypnotised by some of them.
It’s great hearing about the paths that lead people to learning this.
It’s also wonderful watching them develop from unsure and clumsy into smooth operators.
There’s one thing people often learn quickly. I didn’t always know this, but I don’t remember learning it. Maybe someone told me, or maybe it emerged from practice – who knows.
A hypnotic trance is not a delicate statue.
It’s a deep swimming pool.
Here’s what I mean by that:
Recently, I took all the content from my membership site – Awakened Thought – and made it freely available. I used to charge $29 per month to even glimpse at it.
Now, I don’t even ask for your email address.
You could wander over to that page, download everything, then disappear from my life.
There are good reasons why you should stick around, though.
But first, let’s talk about why I did this.
The brain and the nervous system has often been compared to the most complicated invention of our time.
People used to describe it as a vast hydraulic system.
Then they called it a telephone switchboard.
Then, a computer.
And if it’s a computer, that makes your memories like a database.
But that’s not right at all. Databases, when working properly, store information perfectly. A record lasts forever, preserving the data with 100% accuracy, until something goes wrong. No matter how many records and no matter how often you access them, it remains unchanged.
Memories don’t work like that.
Let’s talk about a state of mind. In some ways, it’s ordinary – so normal you’re in and out of it all day.
In other ways, it’s so unusual that you might never experience it deeply.
That’s like every other state of mind – you might have a glimmer of happiness each day, but how often do you burst with joy?
Anyway, this state of mind I’m talking about it special. Enter it and it’s like when you go to sleep. I’m talking a deep, restful sleep, not your typical tossing and turning. The sort of rest where you wake up ready to go, rather than stumbling around, your eyes bleary.
And in this state, you’re incredibly open. You can let go of your problems because you can think of better ways to be. When you tell yourself everything is gonna be just fine, you believe it.
Let’s rap about your unconscious, shall we? Because, as a hypnotist, I talk about it a lot. I’ll say things like I’m talking to your unconscious mind right now, and your unconscious holds the answers you seek.
All of which I firmly believe.
But what on earth do I mean by that?
What is the unconscious mind and what does it do?
And then there’s the question in the headline: is it a pet, a wild animal or a guru?
Childhood story time:
When I was a wee lad – sometime in primary school, but that’s all I can recall – we had a simple enough class exercise. This experience, though, stuck with me. Even decades later, I can remember how much it frustrated me.
Everyone had a piece of paper with their name on it on their desk. We all had to go around the room and write one thing (something positive, obviously) about that person.
We even had to write on our own.
You know, standard self-esteem building stuff.
I remember coming back to my desk partway through the exercise. I read what people had written so far.
What value does social media offer? Honestly? Okay, sure, it connects people across vast geographical blah, blah, blah. And, yes, I’m a hypocrite, since many of you are reading this thanks to it.
Listen to what I say, not the platform on which I say it.
Social media brings losers together and makes them dumber.
That’s not all it does, sure. But, boy, is it noticeable – because it also makes them louder.
It’s funny – for some of us, we laugh at obstacles. Challenges are opportunities to prove ourselves. We’re not afraid of working harder, longer and smarter, if that’s what it takes to get results.
Throw a wall in our way and we smash through it.
But jam a stick in our axle and it throws us off.
Waiting – it can be the most frustrating thing when you know you could be working on something amazing. I know it annoys me when I could be writing this, studying or creating some valuable new product, only to have to stand around for something to happen…
When you’re used to solving problems through action, sitting on your hands is like torture.
Having a rich social life has countless advantages.
It leads to better health – physical and mental. Surrounding yourself with vibrant, supportive people brings out the best in you. It works directly, as people like this make tough times easier and good times better.
And it works indirectly. Sharing a dinner with awesome people does something for us. On a deep level, it brings out something great in who we are.
It’s more fun. You end up with the choice for more. Find your tribe and there’ll always be someone who wants to hang out with you and do whatever.
Then there are strange network effects. The more people you know, the more strangers you can access. The next time you’re looking for a good freelance artist or potential soulmate, you can ask everyone you know and you’ll find an answer.
Because the best way to find something is through a referral from someone you trust. Ads make all sorts of claims, but when it comes from someone you know has your best interests at heart, you know they mean it.
And it works the other way, too.