Imagine for a moment having iron shackles around your neck, wrists, ankles. These are attached to a heavy, metal ball by a long, clanking chain. Every step is a struggle, your hands are tied, you are completely stuck in a rut. These are your addictions - those negative habits, negative thought patterns, self doubt, and self criticism that we are slave to, that weigh us down. We know better - but we keep doing it. It could be smoking, over eating, over drinking, over working, over sleeping, too much tv/internet/cell phone/video games/texting, picking fights with your spouse, or being overly critical. Even shame, fear, and worry are a burden, and many people are attached to pain and suffering as a way of being.
There’s another form of self-imprisonment. These are the golden handcuffs - staying too long in a job, marriage or other family situation with the lure of money or some other benefit, although with a huge emotional price. Take a moment to be honest with yourself - where do you feel tied to an unhealthy behavior, outmoded coping mechanism, or unproductive habit? Or is there somebody in your life who is shackled, but you are carrying their ball and chain in a codependent relationship, enabling them to stay a prisoner of unhealthy behaviors?
The beauty of hypnotherapy is discovering that you already hold the key to your personal liberation. By simply taking the time to relax, go within, and explore your personal landscape, you empower yourself to take full responsibility for your health and happiness. Hypnosis is a natural and effective way to create a conscious connection between the your heart and your mind, between what you feel and what you know, between what you think and what you do. The key is to lead a life based on conscious choices. The key leads to a proactive approach which results in independence, increased self esteem and deep personal satisfaction.
Often my clients refer to their negative behavior as their demons. They feel compelled, obsessed or out of control when it comes to sugar, nicotine or alcohol. Some feel gripped by jealousy, perfectionism, or self doubt. They say, “The devil made me do it” and have an “I can’t help myself” attitude. The truth is: you are the only one who can help yourself. All healing is self healing - all hypnosis is self hypnosis. These are the stories we keep telling ourselves, the scripts, that become ingrained and self-fulfilling prophecies. Often these addictions arose from coping mechanisms from the past. For example, a client who associated smoking with autonomy as the first time they felt like a grown up was when as a teenager they would smoke behind the barn with an older cousin. The first step is to identify what need is being met and to become friends with the devil - to embrace all the parts of the self, even the unhealthy ones. Once you have looked at yourself in a loving and accepting way, changes can begin. That’s when people stop being a victim and start being a hero.
Socrates said, “An un-examined life is not worth living.” It is our unique capacity for self awareness that allows us to improve and evolve, both as individuals and as a society. Liberating ourselves from past conditioning, whether we learned it from our parents, schools or culture, allows us to truly experience the freedom in becoming our authentic selves, self actualized and self fulfilled. There is often a sense of rebirth as clients access both their imagination and their power to see themselves as successful, confident, and overflowing with self esteem.
Some examples: One of my clients who struggled with poor money habits accessed their inner Philanthropist, in order to easily pay their back-taxes once they reframed it as "supporting their community." Another who was plagued with social anxiety tapped into her inner J-Lo in order to feel completely at ease in any social situation. A third who was trapped in their career experienced a Shamanic Journey where his spirit guide was Indiana Jones, now goes by the affirmation, “What would Indy do?” as he visualizes himself striding down the corridors of his corporation. Each of these archetypes had personal meaning and they assisted the client to tap into the richness of the subconscious, to create inner resources and to develop a secure sense of self that was deeply in touch with what they truly wanted in life.
Carl Jung says that the only way to change a habit is to replace it with a better habit. By tapping into your inner wisdom, creating positive affirmations and powerful visualizations, the neural pathways in the brain shift in order to integrate new behaviours and ways of being. Thus a chronic coffee drinker developed a green tea habit. Another client who was a smoker decided to become addicted to health instead. And the woman who could not get over her husband’s infidelity discovered the ability to focus on her own beauty and self love.
Hypnotherapy is a way to live an abundant life, as free as the white dove flying in the blue sky, liberated from the shackles of the past and creating a future full of vision, hope, and optimism. It is so worth the investment, to take some time to experience insights for personal growth, to achieve inner peace and embrace transformation. When you are ready to cast off your own chains, try hypnosis and discover the key to your own personal liberation.