Archive for May, 2012

Why Hypnosis???

It’s been almost 11 years since I first experienced hypnosis – a friend of mine introduced me to Hypno Birthing while I was pregnant with my 2nd child.  I opted to have both of my deliveries at home with a midwife, and with hypnosis, I felt so much more relaxed and in control than I had been with my first.  In spite of the fact that it was a more physically challenging and difficult birth, I never got stressed.

Several months later, I answered an advertisement in the Help Wanted section of the paper, searching for a Hypnotist (Will Train…) for a local weight loss center.  I interviewed, and hit it off rather well with the owner, although he ended up hiring someone else who actually had previous experience.  Several months later again, they called me back and asked if I was still interested (it hadn’t worked out with the other person).  I *jumped* at the opportunity, and I have never looked back.

I didn’t expect to find out that this career would be So Very Rewarding.  I didn’t expect to discover that I’m actually really good at listening to people, helping them discover the beauty within themselves and guiding them to change their lives for the better.  I didn’t expect to learn that answering a simple ad in the paper could have such a profound effect on my life and the lives of my clients.

The human mind is such a fascinating, powerful place, and I never cease to be amazed at the different things we can accomplish when we have the “right” programs in place.  I can’t describe how deeply it affected me to have a client tell me that he experienced a greater breakthrough after a handful of sessions with me than he had in three YEARS of talk therapy.  Or how delightful it was to hear a student pilot tell me that he was able to overcome his sudden-onset fear of flying so he could complete his training and attain his life-long goal of attaining his pilots license.  I was tremendously honored to assist an extreme germophobe reclaim her life – she went from not being willing to play outside with her children or to let them have a puppy, destroying her tooth enamel with excessive use of mouthwash, and refusing to be intimate with her husband, to fully engaged in gardening with her family, adopting a dog and reconnecting with her husband sexually.  One of my favorite client success stories is a young woman who finally kicked a heroin addiction after two failed rehab attempts.

I do tend to connect emotionally with my clients – after all, they’re opening up and sharing very intimate details of their lives with me.  When I first meet with my clients, I always warn them to have a box of tissues handy – at least 95% of my clients end up with tears streaming down their faces.  I joke that I often feel like a bit of a sadist, because while I don’t necessarily “enjoy” watching them cry, I know that when they do, there is powerful work going on deep down inside, and that kind of release is healthy!  One of the more heartbreaking things I ever heard from a client was the *conscious* assertion that “these things just happen” and that you “just have to accept it and move on with your life.”  He was referring to the fact that he was raped by 2 men when he was only 4 years old, something for which he felt a great deal of shame.  With a non-judgmental approach and a firm yet gentle assurance that he was NOT at fault and there was NOTHING wrong with him, I was able to help him forgive those men, his uncle (who had brought him to the place where it happened and might have been indirectly involved) and himself – thus for the first time TRULY being able to move on with his life after firmly putting that incident in the past where it belongs.

In addition to these examples, I’ve helped many people change their lives by eliminating bad habits and adding good ones – clients have come to me to lose weight, to stop smoking, stop biting their nails, overcome fears, experience pain-free childbirth, improve confidence and even to have better sex lives!  The methods I use are the most modern, powerful techniques available in hypnosis today, and my clients all report greatly enhanced self esteem and self confidence as a result of our sessions, and THAT is why I do what I do.

Everybody deserves to know the truth about themselves – that they ARE good enough, that they DO deserve to have good things in life.  It’s my mission to help everybody discover this truth.


One Week Away

My first Stage Hypnosis Show is one week away!  I’m getting really excited, and honestly, a little bit nervous…

I’ve got several people who have said they’ll be there, but haven’t actually bought tickets yet, and I’ve actually received money for a whopping grand total of (drum roll, please) THIRTEEN tickets!  Over two nights!  I’ve *comped* more tickets than I’ve sold so far!  WOOT!

Okay, sarcasm aside, I’m truly honored and blessed that people are willing (and able) to spend some of their hard-earned cash on my show.  It’s a sign of faith that I can (and will) provide them with an evening of quality entertainment, and it’s not a task that I undertake lightly.  I know I’ve got a solid concept, and I’m confident in my abilities as a hypnotist.  My reason for wanting a sizeable audience is that it’s *easier* to do a good show with a larger audience – the larger the audience, the larger the pool of volunteers, and the higher the chance that I’ll have some VERY responsive volunteers, ensuring a fun, entertaining evening for all.

This has been an ongoing struggle for me, and I think it’s a fairly common problem.

We’re taught from an early age that being selfish is a bad thing, that we need to consider the needs of others first.  Sometimes we watch our parents sacrifice their own dreams so we can have comfortable, stable lives, or occasional luxuries.

Women, in particular, have been given these messages, and taught to be nurturers and caregivers.  From our first babydoll, which we’re supposed to feed and bathe and clothe and put to bed, to our pets and siblings, and eventually our friends, then our own families when we grow up, and often that translates to our neighbors, our church communities, the homeless, the elderly, the starving children in another country – our own needs often end up at the Very Bottom of the To Do List.

Most of my hypnosis clients are caregivers of one kind or another.  Some are professional, such as nurses, others are taking care of an ailing family member.  In every single case, these people have given So Much of their time and energy, that they are simply exhausted.  They have never been taught Self Care (beyond the basics that get them through each day).

The concept of making sure their own needs (physically, mentally AND emotionally) are met FIRST is foreign and uncomfortable to them.  In many cases, they’ve sublimated their own needs so thoroughly, they’re not even aware of what they ARE.  “What more could I possibly need?  I have food, clothing and shelter…”

Each person is different, and those needs will vary wildly.  Some need a creative outlet, some need physical activity, while others need a wider circle of friends that is Just For Fun and still others, although they go to church every week (twice! not counting volunteer hours…) need a deeper spiritual connection.

I love the metaphor of the airplane trip.  You know, every time, when the Flight Attendant gives “that talk” that you automatically tune out?  “In the event of a sudden pressure loss, masks will drop in front of you.  Be sure to PUT YOUR OWN MASK ON FIRST and then help others around you.”

Wait, WHAT??!?!  Shouldn’t I help my child, who is to small to put her mask on herself?  Shouldn’t I help the little old man who clearly has arthritis?  No, you most definitely should NOT.  If you help someone else FIRST, and then pass out yourself, who will be there to continue to help them?  You must make sure your own needs are met so you can continue to provide quality, unselfish service to those around you.

Isn’t it terribly selfish of me to put Me First?

Clearly, we all know people who live by the philosophy of Me First.  Or perhaps I should call it Me Only.  I wish to be clear that I am NOT advocating Me Only as a lifestyle.

That being said, it’s reasonable and healthy to make sure your own needs are met first.  Interestingly enough, you’ll find that when you DO take care of yourself, you’ll actually have MORE to give to others.

So figure out what it is you need, and carve out time for it.  Communicate your needs (and your intentions to meet them) to your friends and family, and stand firm on it.  Enlist help and support from those around you, and if you’re not getting it, it might be time to set some priorities.  Many times, we’re afraid that if we dare to speak up for ourselves, those around us might resent it (and toss out that painful word: selfish), but will we ever really know until we try?

Ask for a trial run if necessary – give it a month or 6 weeks.  When those around you notice that you’re more relaxed, more refreshed, and even more cheerful about giving your time and energy than before, they’ll be more likely to accept the new paradigm…

What do you think?  What do you do for Self Care?  How did your friends and family respond when you started something new?