October 23, 2013

Halloween Hypnosis


In the hypnotherapy class that I teach, we did a technique called "container", where unwanted feelings, experiences, etc are either contained and disposed of or shelved for a later date. I was to be the demo person, and thought a lot about this on the way to class.

     The issue I wanted to dispose of was my basic frustration with shlockiness of Halloween and my feelings of turning into the Halloween grinch in the last half dozen years. I so hate the tacky decorations, the clutter of plastic crap and handing out of tooth rot. I have been looking forward to packing up the decorations and gifting them to Amber, who of course loves Halloween as her favorite holiday. I realized I could pack it all up today, even hand out the tawdry snakes and skeletons instead of candy, when I thought, wow, I am a snarky cranklepuss, where is my Halloween spirit?

     I lay down on the futon and got relaxed and comfy while my assistant initiated trance. She brought me to safe space, and I found myself in my office reviewing my last client's tarot reading, the cards very clear before me, my cat June sitting on one of the chairs. She asked if I wanted to do the work there or move someplace else, and my gut said to shift. I found myself being 6-7 years old, living in McLean Virginia. I was walking down the street trick or treating, stopping at the Wilson's house who always had the best candy. Mrs. Wilson served us kids thin slices of candied oranges from a silver tray with tiny tongs. I could feel the saliva in my mouth at this memory.

     Kimberly asked my inner mind to discover a symbol of the frustration and shlock of Halloween. Instantly I saw my hard plastic mask, Cinderella, with her empty eyes and fake blonde hair. I remembered crying as I realized I could never be a real princess because I had brown hair, not blonde hair. I remember the edges to the mask cutting into my face and the thin elastic getting tangled in my hair, the feelings of inadequacy and not good enough.

     Kimberly then asked me to find a container for the mask. I saw a silver chest, four feet wide, two feet high and deep, very streamlined, sharp corners, on four ball and claw feet. Inside was lined with deep purple velvet. After taking out a sharpie and coloring Cinderella's hair brown, I added beads and feathers, personalizing the mask. I placed it in the container, locked it with a silver padlock, then sank it to the bottom of the ocean.

     The lid popped open and I observed fish nibbling on the feathers and mask until it had completely disappeared. It looked more like an aquarium, with a sunken pirate ship in the background, tiny silver bubbles escaping from the chest. Kimberly asked me how it felt to be free and how my life would be now that I was free. I saw myself sitting on the front deck, handing out tarot cards, still some candy for the kids, but really connecting with my neighbors in a way that is meaningful for me. Then I saw his and I creating an altar to honor the dead - a photo of his mom, his dad's ring, a basket from my grandmother, my great aunts locket - telling stories and toasting our ancestors, and for me, honoring the millions of women killed during the inquisition.

     Kimberly had me explore this feeling one year from now, five years, ten years. The word that summarized my feelings was "organic". How can I celebrate this time of year in a more organic way, noticing the pull of the moon, the feel of the fall leaves, the smell of autumn in the air, the patterns of life in the spider webs, the abundance of the harvest. I felt more at peace and more excited about Halloween than I had in a very, very long time. Blessed Be.