If you’re doing any sort of deep work with your mind – meditation, hypnosis, psychotherapy, shamanic rituals, whatever – then you’re changing at an unconscious level.
But you might wonder what exactly the unconscious mind is?
It’s pretty simple, really.
There’s your conscious mind. That’s everything you’re aware of.
The unconscious mind is the part of you that’s everything else.
Now that we’ve cleared that up…
Okay, okay. It’s not a great explanation. Let’s see if we can do better.
A part of you regulates your body functions. It tells your heart to keep beating, your body to remain at a certain temperature and your muscle to fire in precise sequences. You can’t control these processes consciously. You aren’t even aware of the thoughts that control them.
That’s your unconscious mind.
Then there’s the part of you that controls your emotions. Sure, you can consciously hijack this to an extent. Thinking of someone you love changes your emotions, for example. But you can’t switch off (or on) sadness the way you can lift your arm.
Your emotions come from your unconscious.
You have automatic protection mechanisms. When you touch something hot, your hand recoils as if on its own. If a car speeds towards you, you leap out of the way without thinking. If something appears in front of your face, you blink to shield your eyes.
This is your unconscious.
There are skills and habits you once didn’t know, like walking or driving a car. At first, you couldn’t do it. Then you could do it but it took a lot of (conscious) attention. Then it became so automatic that you didn’t have to think about it.
Once more, your unconscious at work.
These categories don’t even begin to scratch the surface.
Have you ever tried to remember someone – a name, a fact – and “some part of you” forgot it anyway?
When you speak, do you choose each word and inflection?
When someone is angry, isn’t it usually pretty obvious? But what part of you, I wonder, instinctively analyses the emotions of other people?
There is a lot that goes on outside your unconscious awareness. In fact, you’re not aware of a thousandth of a percent of what you think and do.
It would overwhelm you.
Both in terms of volume and variety. The unconscious handles everything from basic biology to complex intuitions.
This is what makes meditation and other mental practices so powerful. It brings some of the unconscious material into your awareness.
And it teaches the rest what you want in life.
Why do you need to teach it? Shouldn’t it know what you want, seeing as how it’s part of you?
Honestly, I don’t know. I’m not sure if anyone knows. Maybe it’s a protection mechanism to keep us from things we think we want. Perhaps it’s because, given the amount it processes, the unconscious mind doesn’t know what to focus on.
All I know is that mind training helps. It will surprise you, if you let it.
The power of your unconscious mind lies at your fingertips. You have so many ways to explore your inner self.
Self-hypnosis might just be the easiest, most reliable and most fun.
Try it. Give yourself time to learn the exercises. Reach out to the part of you that lies invisibly in your mind.