WEEK 5. What if taking action towards your goals was as effortless as brushing your teeth every morning? WEEK 6. Super Achievers have no problem skipping that chocolate fudge cake, when they know their no-sugar goal will make them far happier in the long run.
WEEK 7. WEEK 8. Discover how to become immune to it, while also turning yourself into a lightning rod for praise and constructive criticism that uplifts you. Our biggest goal with Uncompromised Life is bring you as close as possible to a real-life coaching experience with Marisa. Transformational Hypnotherapy works for people from all walks of life. And the Uncompromised Life home training course gives you not just one of these session — but eight, albeit in group format. Some of it seems to just melt away,and there has been so many awarenesses with the hypnotherapy sessions.
Important as well has been to recognize that I am actually already doing a lot of the things that she suggest, so it is more about stop being so hard on yourself and be willing to receive more. And I have finally taken the step to speak out more. This was an outstanding course. This format really gave me time to integrate each practical exercise. It was thoughtful and intentional and really provided an excellent experience. SO, so good for living better, kinder and richer in my own skin.
Since taking the course, my mind has been helping me to attain and maintain my ideal body weight and body shape, effortlessly, something I struggled with for years. My mood has changed dramatically after I stopped telling my mind how crappy my life was.
Be Happy Hypnosis
I completed the Uncompromised Life course and things were starting to come together a lot more personally and professionally. And I attribute this to the course. And I honestly believe that this opportunity came my way because I began rewiring my brain to open myself up to the opportunities around money.
Thank you so much Marisa Peer. Your course is brilliant and I have recommended it to many people already. Repeat the course over and over if you have to, because it will make a massive difference to your life. Just press play, and smile as the dark veil of doubt and insecurity lifts, revealing a lighter, happier, and more positive you.
Dissolve the mental blocks holding you back from finally meeting the partner of your dreams — or elevating your existing relationship with that special someone. This audio primes your mind for a deeply relaxing time of rest, so you can live to the fullest in your waking hours. Still unsure if this course is right for you? You can try it for 30 days in full, backed by our Triple Satisfaction Mindvalley Guarantee when you enroll today.
Get instant access to the entire course PLUS a completion certificate. For your security, all orders are processed on a secured server. Do you want to bring your employees on this course to keep them more engaged, productive and make them compete at a higher level? Please email our Head of Mindvalley for Business at daniela mindvalley. Visit home. Who is Uncompromised Life for? What exactly will it do for me? This home training course is for anyone looking to awaken their highest potential in every area of life: career, finances, relationships, sense of fulfillment, and so on.
So many people carry incorrect mental models around success in different areas of life. In the Uncompromised Life course, Marisa changes all of them and installs new mental models that support and encourages the fruition of all your dreams and desires in the fastest way possible. How is Uncompromised Life different from other personal growth courses out there? Marisa uses this process in closed-door sessions with her elite personal clients: including Olympic athletes, Hollywood celebrities, billionaire CEO s and royalty.
The Uncompromised Life course is the first time you get to experience this exact same process at a tiny fraction of the price. Is Transformational Hypnotherapy safe? How does it work? Like all forms of credible clinical hypnotherapy, Transformational Hypnotherapy is completely safe. Marisa has used it on people who are giving birth, people having an IVF and many other serious conditions again and again over the past 30 years. It has never been unsafe. As you experience this process, Marisa is simply making you aware of the thoughts you think and the stories you tell yourself on a fundamental level.
This awareness is like bringing a high-powered floodlight into a dark room. Transformational hypnotherapy just makes it 1, times easier for you. Pre-training audio teaching 2. Group coaching videos with hypnotic exercises 3. Supporting materials including written explanatory text and homework 4. Some take days or even weeks before noticing results on a conscious level. Upon successful completion of the course, you will have the option to purchase an official digital certificate — verified by Marisa Peer herself — to recognize your achievement, when you take a completion exam at the end of the course.
You can then easily share your digital certificate in your resume or LinkedIn profile for future employers, or simply celebrate your success with friends and family on social media. I feel the difference in me between when I follow the course daily and when I skip a couple of days, I feel more connected, more purposeful, more successful and emotionally I feel happier and more capable.
And there has been big shifts in important concepts and slowly by slowly shifts in habits consequently. Marisa is clear, gives terrific examples and is straightforward about where she is taking you and anchors the lessons in really well. I used to be very negative about my performance in hockey. I would nitpick every mistake I made during the course of a game. I am about to present a TED x on Intimacy. Specifically the exercise of being rejection-proof.
It was an overnight change.
It also helped my relationship with food as I became aware of the messages I was telling myself. I have gained tremendous benefit out of the course already. I have already recommended the course to around 20 friends. I have noticed considerable shifts in my relationship to stress. I am also finding as an aside, that I have been letting go of a lifetime habit that I have always wanted to kick to the curb. I find that I can place a session on and I go to sleep in a soothed way, fast with a deep restorative sleep through the night.
The training has powerfully and positively influenced my life. The course actually helped me to get to the bottom of my addictions including a nasty wine habit. I cut my alcohol intake. Because of this course I have more confidence in my abilities and I now know what was holding me back all of this time. This course literally changed my life, on so many levels. Concrete, specific and nothing abstract.
No wishful thinking about how the world should be AND it builds on her experience with many successful people, which gives it a high credibility. The course is also very little time consuming, which has made it an integrated part of my daily routines for a long time now. I listen to the training and the coaching while driving to and from work, and to the practice right before or after sleep. AND I am grateful to experience that I get better and better results in my life, Step by step I build up the business I want to, lose weight and enjoy expanding my social life.
I have more energy and better mood despite some serious troubles in the family. The Uncompromised Life course presented a variety of significant insights, powerful perspectives and sophisticated tools for change and personal growth. It was such a profound and amazing experience that I only reached lesson 4 and stopped. The simple expedient of asking the clients what was going on in their heads was not current. I hope that you will find the approach in this book enormously more helpful.
It should give you a much firmer grounding of understanding of how things work. You could explore the three avenues I have mentioned so far - using direct words, feelings or pictures - for yourself. I will suppose that you have first tried the direct path from words to muscular system as described above. Ideally you should try the two other approaches on other days.
If you were to run them one after another then you will start the second on a person who is already uncommonly relaxed from the first, and so you will not be comparing like with like. On the second day you might try to use words purely to arouse certain pictures which are associated with relaxation. The broad pattern is the same whether you are trying things on yourself or on others. First of all we need to know a situation that you or they find relaxing.
This might be anything. Common scenes include the beach, a cozy fireside, a woodland dell, a garden, a childhood bedroom, sitting with a pet, lolling in a bath and lying in bed, but it could be anything. I had one client whose idea of total relaxation was disco dancing! Then you arouse these pictures in your mind or the other's mind, perhaps by gently repeating certain key words.
But since we are interested in how much effect the pictures alone are having on the relaxation, try to avoid words such as "relaxed", "calm", "sleep" and so on that might have a direct effect. Mottled reds and oranges. Stretched out straight. She is purring. You see the pattern: every question is getting the mind focussed on the picture of the relaxing setting. You are using no words yourself that suggest relaxation. Your aim is to get your friend's mind firmly fixed on the pictures of a relaxing scene and then to discover how much effect they have in relaxing the actual muscles.
An intermediate method is to use some questions like the above and some statements which use something of what you have learned. Such statements might be the following. Continue for about the same length of time that you used for the direct relaxation by means of simple words and directed attention. Feel free, if you are working with another person, to ask for progress reports - "How are you feeling? Finally, at the end, ask for some measure of how relaxed the person feels.
Most people can give a pretty reliable answer to, "How relaxed are you on a scale of 1 to 10? Then see if any clear pattern emerges for a given individual. You may discover that one of the approaches tends to give the better result for one person and the other for another. For, as always, people vary, and we have no way of knowing without trying. Here is another example of the visual approach using more statements and fewer questions. So just close your eyes and start to picture it. See the flames.
Is the fire wood or coal? If another is given then the details of what follows will also change. See the glowing of the wood. And perhaps you can now also see the fireplace. There is a clock. And candlesticks. And some brass things. The mantle is wood. I wonder if there are candles in the candlesticks, and what is the lighting like in the room? Look around and see. Nothing else. There is a cat on it with me.
So just go on for as long as you like, just sitting curled up with the cat. Watching the flames. The client may continue to enjoy the scene for a long time - I have known one to remain so for up to an hour, and then be reluctant to stop! The purpose of the above is very clear. It is designed to arouse in the mind a very clear picture of being in a certain place. In the context of this chapter the place is chosen because it is associated with relaxation for the given person.
But in this case we have avoided any words which directly suggest emotions, or sensations, or muscular tone in an attempt to explore the effect of images alone, as far as that is possible. At the end you can ask, "And how relaxed are your muscles now? However it is worth emphasising that in what I have presented, the scene is precisely tailored to the tastes of the client by means of the question and answer format.
This tends to make it far more effective than if the client is merely placed in a setting that the hypnotist finds relaxing, for obvious reasons. As a simple example the hypnotist might like cats and introduce one into the script but the subject have a phobia about them. One person might like small cosy rooms and another find them claustrophobic and so on. On another day you might try an approach in which you attempt purely to activate appropriate emotions and see how effective they are in reducing muscle tone.
The approach, at it simplest, is to sit or lie with eyes closed, and with an intention not to dwell on any pictures that come to mind. Since the effect of pictures has been established on the previous day. You will be repeating to yourself, "I feel wonderful. The idea is to see if you can work solely on arousing the feelings and then see how effective they are for you in switching off muscle tone. And of course students should attempt the same on a number of other people. As a model to start with you might try something on these lines.
This time we will not be bothering about physical sensations. Just focus on any feeling that would stop you from being relaxed.
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So how would you describe your present feelings in that light? Now we are just going to emphasise the opposites to those. What would you say the opposite to 'nervous' is? Anything else? Calm would be fine. We will just keep your mind on the simple idea of being calm then. Just keep the idea of calmness pure and simple grow. But first are there any other feelings? Pause "Confident? Then we will emphasise a feeling of confidence for a while.
There is no need to force it, or even to believe it. As you will have seen with some of the earlier exercises, there need be no effort involved. Just focus on the feeling of confidence. This type of process, which will be slightly different for each person because they may choose different words , can obviously be continued until we find that in response to questions about feelings the answer is in all ways conducive to relaxation. You will then be able to form an idea of the extent, with a give person, this simple procedure leads first of all to feelings which commonly accompany relaxation and secondly how well they act to induce relaxation.
As a result of the three different approaches you will then have an idea of the relative value and consequences of three basic approaches: direct on the muscular system, via the imaginative system or via the emotional system. If you are doing this work on yourself then you will thereby have developed some potentially very useful self-knowledge. If you are a student of hypnotherapy you will have already have learned something of great importance: some of the reasons WHY certain things appear in inductions, and therefore a far greater ability to create inductions for yourself which will be far more tailor-made to a given client.
This is something that I will return to many times. For reasons which probably stem from the old authoritarian - "you will do what I say" - ideas of hypnosis, older books tend to assume that the hypnotist is doing all the talking and the client should NOT be encouraged to say anything.
There are times when, for particular reasons, this might be true, but for a far greater part of the time the value of knowing what is happening is enormously more important. In the above exercises, in which we are making no pretence that anyone is "hypnotised" and so it is fine to comment freely on what is happening, the habit of questioning and listening should develop more easily. Once your mind starts to move in this way, of looking at the systems that you are deliberately activating to get the required switched-off response in the muscular system, you should feel motivated to explore other avenues.
Here are some suggestions. We have used the verbal system, but what about the musical subsystem of the auditory system of the brain? For many people the activation of this system by a particular kind of music leads to a relaxing effect.
Note that the music might well not be a gentle flute. There are people who find a heavy drumbeat relaxing. And what about the olfactory system - smell? For some people the activation of this system by certain smells can lead to relaxation: a fact used in aromatherapy. And what about the sensory system? The touch of a human hand can in some people lead to relaxation. Aromatherapy again seems to make use of this connection, as do some other physical therapies.
But why not generalise this? Just holding a hand can, at times, produce this effect.
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Are there some particular alternative touches - such as pet fur, or the touch of a furry toy - which would, in a particular person, lead to a relaxation of the muscular system? And what about that somewhat higher system of mirth? I have sometimes had the most wonderful relaxing effect on people by activating a very strong sense of amusement leading to laughter.
And what about the sensation of rocking? Or of being in water? And the answer is, "You can always conjure them up! IF they are significant triggers of relaxation in a person then there is a very good chance indeed that you can activate the appropriate system by the techniques we learned in Chapter 1. If someone responds to the touch of a pet, for example, then there is every chance that you can evoke the response via words or pictures, and you should have seen that rocking can be evoked with no expense other than a few minutes of time. Many people can hear a favourite piece of music in their minds, and so on.
That is the wonderful economy of hypnotic techniques. They need no High Tech or expensive equipment, and yet are wonderfully precise: we can pinpoint very particular parts of a person's mind and body and affect them in a way that NO surgeon, NO drugs can begin to match. The techniques of hypnotherapy are natural, powerful, precise, gentle and capable of being developed far further than they have to date once their true nature is understood.
Here are some more sample scripts which focus on activating one particular subsystem of the brain with a view to using it as a means of relaxing everything else. As I keep on emphasising, people's minds are very different. Some are well-stocked with music and some are nearly empty. You work with what is there, and do NOT suppose that everyone is identical. Now just spend a few minutes starting to call that music to mind.
I do not want my voice to disturb with it, and so perhaps you could very gently move a finger in time with the music when you can hear it. Just tell me when you are starting to hear it. Just listen. Repeat this phrase softly every ten seconds or so, but always keeping time with the music so as not to jar - you can tell the time from the finger movement, of course. How clear was the music? And how do you feel? Has the music helped you to relax?
Yes, I DO feel more relaxed. On the other hand you might find that, in a particular person, one or other or both of the music and relaxation was weak. For example, do you have a favourite comedian? Charlie Chaplain. I wonder if you can remember one or two scenes from his best films? In cases where this works you then simply wait until one or two scenes are recalled, usually with smiles or laughter. You need only give a little verbal encouragement.
Then after a few minutes you can ask about relaxation. How relaxed do you feel now? You might try the two approaches above on a few people to gain some experience of how they work, and should find the usual Standard Finding. If you have the time and inclination, you might then work out for yourself how you might try out other approaches outlined above: scents, sensations of rocking in a swing?
At this stage you may be thinking that this is all far too complicated. Why is there not some one simple way of doing hypnosis? There are two ways of answering this. The first is to say that you can try to use one simple approach on everyone to relax them.
Some hypnotists and hypnotherapists do just that. They have their fixed scripts and they fit people to their scripts. At times this works beautifully. But at other times it fails totally. It is a bit like going to buy clothes in a shop with a limited range of sizes and styles. Some people will be lucky in both. But others may find nothing that either fits or suits them at all. The second way of replying is that when you are faced with a particular person, you will not be using everything that you have learned, only a part, which simplifies things.
Some quite simple questions will serve to give you a very good idea of what approaches are likely to be most effective and you can then improvise a script based on what you have heard. For example, suppose someone loves boats and music, hates animals and has no sense of smell or humour then you can at once eliminate any references to scents or smells from your relaxation script but might go a long way with activating a sense of the rocking of a boat and some favourite music.
Likewise if someone is mad about flowers, but has little imagination or interest in much else then you would naturally start a script on the lines of thinking simply of sitting in a summer's garden after spending happy hours working there, drinking in their colour and scent and sinking into a bee-drowsy dream. This will tend to produce the desired response in the subject.
So, in short, the approach that you are learning here gives you flexibility ; it enables you to personalise your approach and it helps you to understand what you are doing when you use a given script. The scripts that we have used above can be called simple scripts because they focus tightly on using one specific system to produce a required change. By contrast most scripts that you will find in other books are compound or complex scripts, which is to say that they aim to produce a specific change by using a variety of different systems.
As a final exercise I would like you to read the following compound script which is designed to relax. Being compound it is more like those you will find elsewhere. Each paragraph is based primarily on one particular system, but I will in each case introduce three words or phrases that could activate other systems.
You should not find it too hard to identify, for each paragraph, the dominant system being worked on, and also the three exceptions. The answers, as I see them, can be found at the end of the chapter. Primary mode: simple verbal suggestion of relaxation. Now you are going to discover that you can relax. All you need to do is to listen to me and you will relax.
Listen to my voice, it is relaxing. My voice will gradually make you more and more relaxed and peaceful. Your muscles will respond without you having to do anything. Just listen to my relaxing voice. You will feel quite happy. More and more relaxed and calm. It will be better than being on holiday in the most luxurious resort.
Because you will be totally relaxed and at peace. All tension will go. Your muscles will relax and be at rest. And your skin will relax until it is as smooth as silk. Relaxed, restful and at peace. Primary mode: activation of visual system with imagery of relaxing scene. Next I would like you to imagine yourself lying in a boat which is drifting peacefully on a river.
You are lying on soft cushions. The sky is blue with perhaps a few small white clouds. Someone else is taking care of the steering. On either side you can see green fields with a few bushes Pause. And perhaps a few cows or sheep. You are able to relax completely as you drift along. There are some rushes waving gently beside the water's edge. And you will feel the boat is rocking gently with them. A little ahead there are a few ducks drifting along as well. And you might just see a few lazy trout deep in the river.
Primary mode: senses of touch. You can trail your hand in the cool water. The water caresses your skin. It slides like silk giving a wonderful cool, clean feeling. You can see the little ripples your hand makes as it trails alongside. And the touch of the water is matched by a gentle caress of a breeze on your brow.
The whole day is so relaxing. The very sunshine warms you deeply. You can feel the warmth sinking into your whole body. And the rocking of the boat lulls you into a deeper and deeper peace. You can hear the gentle lapping of the waves on the side of the boat. And feel their gentle touch on your hand Pause. Primary mode: activate emotions associated with peace and relaxation.
The boat is now drifting under the branches of overhanging trees. And they are giving you a deep sense of inner peace. The trees and river together make you feel safe and cared for. Feelings of love of nature are growing deep within you. There is a growing peace. A growing happiness. The trees are murmuring of peace. You can feel the water washing away all stains, all pains. You can feel an inner peace, and inner joy. With every minute feelings of greater and greater inner goodness, peace, love and joy are filling you. You are reaching the Deep Centre of all Good Feelings. My father-in-law, Stanley Yates, who was a hypnotherapist before me, used a script rather like the above for nearly all his clients.
He also had the advantage of one of those deep, warm, brown and velvet voices that enhanced the effect of all he said. And he seemed to get very good results with many clients by using this one approach to start each session. If you are a beginner there is a lot to be said for working with a few compound scripts like this as a foundation. Because we have touched most of the bases - we have used four of the most likely systems to encourage the switching off of the muscular system - we are almost certain to have achieved our end.
But as you become more experienced and professional you should acquire more flexibility and the ability to tune your approach more precisely to each client. There could be the occasional person who has a fear of water, suffers from hay-fever in the country, has a strong dislike of the word "peace" or just feels very uncomfortable with closed eyes in public! In the above we have seen various direct ways of producing a relaxed, switched off state. If you are dealing with a very anxious or nervous person then there is a good chance that these ways will not work.
It is therefore often an excellent idea to prepare the ground by means of a simple and obvious step first. To see why it works you need only recall that the times when it is most easy to let your muscles relax is when they are demanding it: after exhausting exercise. So you can try out the following on yourself or a friend. Start by sitting comfortably then raise your legs and arms to a horizontal position and hold them there for as long as you can. After a while you should notice that the breathing will increase to cope with the demands the muscles are making, and the heart rate will also rise.
The muscles start to feel tired, then more tired, and then perhaps to shake, and finally they are let go and the legs or arms are let fall. The exercise can be continued until both sets of limbs fall. Then, with no further effort or suggestion or action, the limbs will automatically become very relaxed simply from fatigue. If you then use any of the above schemes to enhance relaxation you should find that they will work much more quickly and effectively. Of course there is nothing magical about the exercise I have suggested. Any exercise will have a similar effect. I have chosen it for convenience and because it uses the major muscle groups.
A full work out would be even better, but is, of course, harder to arrange. In this chapter we have laid a foundation for useful starting points in hypnosis: how to induce complete muscular relaxation. In a later chapter we will see why this is often important. In brief it is because this change generally leads to the inactivation of another important internal mental system: that of resistance to suggestion.
You will have explored the process of inactivating the muscular system via the verbal, visual, emotional, musical, humorous systems, and perhaps some others. Consequently you should be aware of the fact that using the systems approach you will be able to tailor your approach to each particular person. Anyone who has merely read the chapter without exploring the ideas in practice should have begun to see rather clearly the way in which hypnotic procedures are very firmly grounded in simple and even everyday experiences.
For a final exercise in this chapter it is worth sitting down and taking a theme of your own and writing down a compound script that you feel comfortable with. Then try it out on a few other people and ask for their comments and responses. Primarily this paragraph is verbal. We are using just simple words such as "relaxed", "peace", and "rest". The departures from this are a the use of the word "happy" which is more clearly designed to activate an emotion b "holiday in the most luxurious resort" which is likely to conjure up an image or memory and c "smooth as silk" which could arouse the tactile system.
Primarily this paragraph aims at activating strong visual images of the boat journey. The main exceptions are the words a "lying on soft cushions" which are more likely to arouse a sensation than a picture b "relax completely" is a verbal rather than visual cue, c "feel the boat rocking" evokes a sensory rather than a visual response.
This primarily aims at activating the sense of touch, loosely including sensations of heat and motion. If you decided correctly that sensations of touch, temperature and orientation rocking are really different, though similar, systems, then award yourself extra points! The main exceptional phrases are a "see the ripples" which is likely to arouse the visual system, b "day is so relaxing" is purely verbal c "hear the gentle lapping" should arouse the auditory system.
This paragraph is aimed at evoking a certain class of feelings. The sentences that stand out are a the scene of the boat drifting under branches, which is visual, b the word "murmuring" suggests an auditory stimulus and c "feel the water washing We explore the visual imagination, which is enormously rich and varied. This is a tool much used in hypnosis and so it is valuable to explore its natural processes in many people, including yourself.
You may agree that one of the main functions you have when helping another to explore his or her imagination is in helping to maintain focus, primarily by asking questions. The question of what kind of meaning such an exploration gives is left open. There are a wide variety of interpretation schemes which you will find: I simply urge you to keep at least TWO such possibilities in mind so that you are less likely to jump to unjustifiable conclusions. Sometimes the asking of questions will help to resolve a conflict between two interpretations.
The material you find is seldom strange by the standard of dreams. This chapter can also be seen as enabling waking dreams. In this chapter I will be asking you to explore another aspect of the way in which the mind works. This aspect is one that is of value and importance in many aspects of hypnotherapy and psychotherapy.
It is the amazing richness of the visual imagination in most people. As in the previous chapters we will be exploring what can happen "cold" - without any inductions or anything that looks like "hypnosis". All I will be asking you to do is to work with a number of people on the lines that will be indicated. If anything unusual happens I suggest that it is merely unusual to you: something that you have not explored before. The starting point in all cases is simply, "Sit or lie comfortably and close your eyes. There are a number of approaches that can then be taken.
To give you an idea of what we are aiming at, I will give an example of the sort of thing that can happen: but each person is different and the example is not one that will be repeated exactly by anyone. It could be anywhere, real or imaginary. All I want you to do is slowly to become aware of your feet and a small amount of path around them. Just let me know when the picture becomes clearish. After about half a minute. Nothing on my feet. My feet are small. Is there anyone else around? Flat and open. The sea is out. Tell me when you get there, unless something stops you.
After a delay but less of a delay than it would take in real time to walk to the cave. An old woman. Why not sit by here and I will be quiet for a bit to leave you two together. Just tell me afterwards what happened. There might be a pause for five minutes or so, then your friend opens her eyes and talks freely. At first I felt very uncertain in the cave. It was rather dark.
But then I had a deep sense of peace. I came to see that the old woman was my grandmother. She died when I was in my early teens. But I used to love going to stay with her. She did not say much to me in the cave - it changed after a bit to being her house and I just had some cakes that she made me. But it felt very good. That is an example, not taken from a particular client, but with broad features which are typical of many.
Now I want to see what this might teach us. I suggest that primarily it is to help your friend to keep her mind focussed on the images. If you try to do it yourself you will find that your mind can slip away for a number of reasons. One is that there is little to stop your mind wandering back into everyday preoccupations.
Another is boredom: there would not be enough interest in the beach scene in itself to hold your interest. Another is a slight emotional resistance: you might not have liked the initial "alone" feeling, and it would have tempted you away immediately. Another might be sleep: the scenes have a certain dreamlike quality and this in itself, if you are rather tired, can lead you to drop off. Finally you might find the scene very interesting but that can activate a rather analytic or critical part of the mind which can then drown the more fluid part of the mind that is creating the pictures. By being there with your friend you are providing a gentle guidance to prevent their attention wandering off the rather narrow pathway between the above obstacles and pitfalls.
If you wish to check my conclusion, then by all means ask your friend to sit in the same chair for the same length of time with her eyes closed, and you will sit in the same place reading a book. My prediction is that under those circumstances her mind will wander into more everyday channels. Will I be right? In the above example attention was retained almost entirely by asking questions. On the whole they are non-directive ones.
There is little or no attempt to force the friend's mind into certain channels. You might compare this with the authoritative approach that can be associated with some forms of hypnosis - particularly in "entertainment". Directive suggestions will be explored in the next chapter. It does not take much imagination to discover certain possibilities about the friend. But with an eye to the use of such things in therapy I would emphasise that there is a big difference between a possibility and a certainty and it will be necessary to check the possibilities out. Here are just a few possibilities that some people might see in the above short account.
It is a past-life regression. You may well feel that some of these explanations are far fetched. But you might as well get used to the fact that there are people in the field who will find all these meanings and others in the visualisations. Some may claim a deep ability to interpret the content on the assumption that many items are symbolic of hidden problems or attitudes. Others may proudly claim special abilities to enable past-life regression, or a shamanic ability to put someone in spirit contact with a dead person.
But I would like you to discover that the kind of experience described above can be obtained in many people with no more effort than that outlined above. But as always, it will be in accord with our Standard Finding: it takes time and varies a lot from person to person. It is also likely slowly to get better with practice. I have listed the alternatives above for a special reason. It has to do with an essential of clear thinking if you ever start trying to analyse the results of such explorations.
It is to get into the habit of always having in mind at least two different interpretations of everything. This will stop you jumping to conclusions. Jumping to conclusions is one of the besetting weaknesses of the human mind. We all prefer certainty to uncertainly. It is therefore natural to want to seize on the first possible idea and make that True. We then tend to fit our observations to our idea, and not sanely adjust our ideas to the observations.
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If the visualisations provided by a certain person are open to different interpretations then it can at times be possible to ask questions which will distinguish between them. For example, your friend can later be asked if the beach was one from memory or an invented one. If the former then any interpretations in terms of past lives or entering into someone else's experience can be thrown away. Some of our uncertainties can be resolved simply by asking questions in that normal way. Others can be resolved by asking more detailed questions of the friend while she is visualising.
But at times you may find that there remains no way of clearly distinguishing between two possibilities and at other times both can be true. This is not a place to go further into such matters. All I would like you to discover is that the phenomena are quite accessible. They are almost as frequent and far more accessible than dreams.
You should find, indeed, that they have a great family similarity with dreams. There is the same lack of reality testing. All sorts of unusual things can happen without causing surprise. There is a mix of usual and unusual, of past and present. Indeed if your friend told someone else about her experience above, with no reference to you or the conditions under which it was obtained, then it would certainly be taken as a dream. It is not surprising if we dream about people who have died. We may commonly dream about landscapes that are partly familiar and partly not.
It is quite natural in a dream to find a scene changing from a cave to a house without having to walk from one to the other. So, as yet another way of looking at things, you might like to see what has happened as simply giving your friend an opportunity to have a waking dream: a dream that she is more conscious of than is usual. The dreaming system of her mind is active, but without the experience of sleep. What have been relaxed are conscious control and some reality testing. But there is still conscious awareness of you, and perhaps of other sounds in the room and sensations in the body.
Seen in this way the phenomenon is just another example of the way in which hypnotic techniques deal with the switching on and off various subsystems of the mind. This is my preferred way of viewing it. It does not answer questions such as, "What is happening in dreams? But it does give a simple way of viewing this kind of "hypnotic" phenomenon in a way consistent with the way I have treated others.
It involves a switching off - of conscious control and reality testing - and a switching on or focussing - of the dreaming system. The most useful thing that you can do now is to go away and try out this form of exploration as many times as you can, and with as many people. If you are a student on a course then it can be useful to make a record of what you find. Here are just a few extra pointers of ways to get things going in the first place.
Starting is usually the hardest thing. Do not expect to get exactly the responses I give - these are only examples drawn from a mixture of clients that I have known over the years. Black, grey or pink. Everyone is different. Just keep your eyes fixed on this and after a while you will see changes. What can you see? After a while you will find that you can see something through that mistiness. After a while. Keep watching. Something else will happen soon. Tell me if anything new comes. After a minute or so.
And nearby there is a big house. Tell me about it. Oak door. Steps up to it. By this stage the process is well under way and you may have a happy half hour or so exploring a house that neither of you has ever seen before. Of course we have no control over the first thing to appear. The main thing is to build on whatever happens. I have found that houses quite often feature and so you might try starting at the point where we left the previous example.
They can be old or new. They can be big or small; castles or cottages. Ones you have seen and ones you have never seen. After a while one will seem somehow more interesting than the rest. I want you to tell me once that happens. Pictures on the wall. A large staircase. I can't see anyone. And then you allow him or her slowly to explore the place room by room. I tend to leave no more than about half a minute between questions to keep myself in the picture and prevent my client's mind from wandering.
But that is a guide. I have no reason to suppose that more or less would make things less effective. With a client well into a scene I have at times left things for five minutes or more, as indicated at the end of the first example. Y "I want you to picture as well as you can a blank screen: TV or video or cinema.
Tell me when you can. Now imagining that it has just been switched on, wait and see what programme will appear. After allowing them to enter into that programme for a while, you later introduce the following line:. There may be one which features YOU in it. After a pause. I am a soldier. I can remember a day on holiday a few years ago. I was sailing. We nearly drowned. After getting some description of the time. I wonder if you can imagine it as a story, or a film.
There may be other people with you. The boat could be different. And so on. It is a whaler.
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Picture that and then tell me what happened next. It was something to do with the war. Oh, yes. I was an officer. What is your uniform like? You may think that that was over-dramatic but in fact I once did have a female client who had had a dream of being a Gestapo Officer in the second world war. She was a man in the dream, of course. As she developed the dream in my office a picture emerged of a man who was simply like a stereotypical Civil Servant.
And no fact emerged that could be checked against the historical record. The whole point in these exercises is that you never know what is going to happen! You need to be flexible and to be able to improvise. But in each case you work with what you have been told and keep the friend's attention on what is happening with a few questions.
You might notice that in most of the above examples the friend's comments tend to become simpler in language and syntax. This seems to be a general rule with a few exceptions. That makes sense in terms of our general picture of what is happening. The dreaming part of the mind is becoming active. Most of the rest is becoming switched down: far less active. The verbal system required to communicate is typically also turned down.
If you remember how it feels at times when you have to talk when very, very tired, you will know how it feels when trying to talk with a verbal system at low levels of arousal. Words can be produced, but with effort, and slowly. The words are also arranged in simple ways. And that is just what you will almost certainly find with your friend.
But there are differences. For example people who talk in their sleep are also likely to find it easier to talk when having an assisted dream. Another thing to look out for is a shift into the first person present tense. At the start your friend may be saying things like, "On the screen I seem to be driving Such changes indicate a more direct involvement with the dream situation. You are getting the information far more directly from the dreaming part of the mind, without it being filtered through higher centres.
This is a sign to you that your friend is going "deeper" as hypnotists usually say. In our present picture this amounts to making Dreaming more definitely On and Analysis more definitely Off. There are times when a person is tapping into mental processes which link to memories of childhood, when they will also start to speak in the tones and language of that age.
In that case you are entering the sphere of hypnosis which goes under the name of regression - in which you are activating a memory in so vivid and realistic a way that the person's mind starts to behave very much as it did a long time ago: it becomes in effect a child's mind again for a while. Have you ever had a dream in which you have vividly recalled being a child again? Some of us do, some don't. If you have, then you should have a fairly good idea of what is involved in regression: the production of that kind of dream under the kind of guidance I have suggested above. If you do what has been suggested in this chapter you should find out at first hand a little about how flexible the visual imagination is in most people.
You will again have found the Standard Finding: there IS a response; it takes time and it varies from person to person. I hope that you will also have heard some accounts that are at least as interesting as most books or films. I have found that people who may seem to be living very quiet, unimaginative lives can produce the most amazing stories and images - as creative as anything I have ever read. I recall, for example, an undertaker whose daily life was inevitably sober, sable and slow.
But his secret mind was a riot of activity like a video running in Technicolor fast-forward mode! We pay far too little attention to what is going on in people's heads. Heads that have the magical quality of holding entire worlds in the space of a football. If you are planning to use hypnosis then you will be acting on minds. To do that effectively it is important to understand how they work.
The work of this chapter will help you to understand them a lot better. The visual imagination can not only be used for exploration, it can be guided and directed. This chapter provides exercises to develop this ability. The specifics used are to imagine a place, then a strange element in it, then a changed, floating viewpoint, then a floating journey. Next the ability to change images is used to change a small memory; then developed to see if a completely different life can be pictured. This chapter should teach you how much can be done with the imagination in many people without any "induction" or other hypnotic techniques.
In the previous chapter we were taking a fairly passive role with respect to the visual imagination. But in this chapter you will be aiming at directing and controlling it. In the previous chapter you were discovering the richness and variety of the images that can arise seemingly spontaneously. In this you will be examining the extent to which you can implant specific pictures.
As always, I expect that the results will underline our Standard Finding: that it can be done; that it takes some time and patience to achieve a certain image; that the ease varies considerably from person to person. Why is this important in hypnosis? By now you will be familiar with the idea that hypnosis involves working quite systematically using changes in one system of the brain to induce changes in other systems. You will already have seen how pictures in the mind can lead to various other changes - whether of muscles moving or of emotions or of relaxation.
In hypnotherapy the same principle of using appropriate pictures is used to change other, more internal, systems in the mind. The enormous flexibility of the visual imagination is what makes it an invaluable tool in these ways. Your ability to manage the imagination is what enables you to make full use of the tool. I find it helpful to reflect that, in evolutionary terms, sight and the visual cortex of the brain are incredibly ancient systems.
I suspect that there are therefore deep connections from the visual cortex to all manner of deep, subconscious systems - as we see in dreaming, for example. By contrast speech is a very recent innovation for the brain. It is therefore likely to have evolved less secure connections with many of the other, older, deeper systems. Furthermore "one picture is worth a thousand words" - pictures are richer in content. For all these reasons we can often expect to produce changes more easily in other parts of the brain by using our words to produce pictures that will generate the required change than to rely on simple words.
This chapter is to encourage the student of hypnosis to become familiar with the practice of directing the imagination. In each of the examples below I have written in a specific response from the friend to give you a feeling for how things could go. In practice of course you will get different responses, and need to use your common sense in adapting what you say accordingly. When you have it clearly in mind let me know. Describes it, perhaps with a little prompting. Although this may seem very easy, it will give you an idea of how vivid your friend's mind is.
It may be, for example, that they think so non-visually that they cannot even recall their own bedroom with any clarity. In that case it would be surprising if you managed to get much from that particular friend by working with the visual system! Look for it and tell me what you see. You might find others yourself. Each of these cases demonstrates ways in which your suggestion can be picked up and interpreted. There is, of course, the probability that some of your friends will not see anything on the ceiling or walls. They have not responded to your suggestion. But it might be as well to check out with various other ideas of something strange.
Examples might be, "Someone has dropped something on the floor. Can you see it? In those examples I allowed the subject a certain freedom in the choice of the unusual thing. That will often make it a bit easier. The alternative is for you to choose the unusual thing. For example: "There is a baby elephant in the middle of the room. The next thing you could try is to see if you can get your friend to alter their viewpoint so that they seem to be higher than is normal, i. This might proceed as follows.
And your position in it. It will be quite effortless. Just as if you are a helium balloon. Just rising.