All hypnosis is self-hypnosis is a phrase commonly uttered among hypnotists. And what does that mean, you might ask, because, if that is true, why do we need hypnotists at all? In truth, we have been hypnotized our whole lives and continue to be so by the things that are presented to us from outside of ourselves, often quite blatantly, but also from inside our own psyches, perhaps in unawareness. From our earliest years, we learn about life from our families, teachers, and our social and religious circumstances. As we grow and enter the world we are increasingly bombarded with new information presented to us by the “experts,” such as in the media, in politics, in marketing, in the medical community, the drug companies, the food companies, by important figures in our lives, etc., essentially by anyone telling us, repeatedly, that something is true. And, in fact, the simple act of repetitively internalizing thoughts about ourselves implants beliefs that we are a certain way, so that, eventually, we take on the task of living out these beliefs, whether they are true or not. A skilled hypnotist, to contrast, knows exactly what new words, used in the right manner, can break through the old beliefs and truisms about the self, bypassing the long ago embedded ideas and the protective layers of ego that hold so tightly to those old beliefs, to implant new ideas deeply in the psyche so that change can happen. It is also true that even the most skilled of hypnotists will not succeed in truly hypnotizing someone if the ego is not ready and willing to participate in the process. Thus it is true that all hypnosis is, in fact, self-hypnosis, because the entire self must be involved in the decision to change. The ego must be ready to allow the deeper self to access new information that may bring about a true shift in habits, in behaviors, in beliefs, allowing for a new self to be fully embraced.
The reason I am bringing this up is that in her message on Monday, regarding a process of going into a deep part of the self to reach a place of shift, Jeanne is really outlining a process of self-hypnosis. In fact, my channeling process is a practice of self-hypnosis, of going into trance, a hypnotic state, and allowing my ego to back off while I access a place beyond myself. That being said, meditation could also be termed self-hypnosis. When I had finished with the channeling on Monday, which I do with pen in hand, and was typing it up on the website, it dawned on me that Jeanne was actually offering quite a nice step-by-step practice of doing self-hypnosis. And the key to learning anything is practice. The things we learned as children were taught to us over and over again. We learned to walk, to speak, to read, to write, etc. by doing them repeatedly. In order to become a good artist, to be able to draw and paint what I was actually seeing or imagining in the way that I wanted to express it, no matter how naturally talented, I had to practice and learn by doing repeatedly. It is the same thing with learning to play a musical instrument or play a sport, or even learn to drive. To do anything well, to reach a sense of accomplishment we must practice, and it is the same thing with self-hypnosis. In order to truly change, we must practice repeating our new truths, by asking for shift to happen, by constantly giving ourselves a new view, and by offering ourselves a new perspective. If we wish to achieve change we must participate in making it happen.
The four steps that Jeanne offered begins with the practice of saying a mantra, of repeating something over and over again, reminding ourselves that this is important to us, that we want this. This is doing self-hypnosis. By repeating an affirmation, a prayer, an intent over and over again, we are doing self-hypnosis. This practice allows us to enter a new state of awareness, to go into trance, however light, so that we can take the next step, which Jeanne outlines as breathing innerly and allowing ourselves to feel our energy as a calm pool. She then asks us, in the third step, to go deeper into trance and into self-hypnosis and look at ourselves from outside of our normal means of viewing. She asks us to change our perspective, which is one of the main tools that a hypnotist uses, offering, through acceptable, personal suggestion, the means of seeing what we have been missing about ourselves, something that we have not allowed integration into our conscious awareness. She then asks us, in the fourth step, to take a look at how we have been affected by the outer world all our lives, to see even that world from this detached new perspective and gain clarity on just how the things we believed about ourselves may not really be compatible with our inner truths or our inner energy. Have we been compromising our energy in order to uphold an outer world that we do not truly believe is right for us? Have we been playing a game, simply because it was the only game that we knew? Are we caught in the outer energy because we are not aware that we have our own energy inside of us that has very personal ideas of what we should be doing with our energy, and with our lives?
In offering this four-step process Jeanne is offering us a practice of self-hypnosis so that we can be our own catalysts to change, without having to wait for the world outside of us to force us into having to accept a shift. We are offered the opportunity to do it on our own terms, with our own full participation, ego and psyche in gentle alignment. If we practice these steps of self-hypnosis as Jeanne outlines them, eventually we can affect change within, simply by the fact that we are intending change. By our practice of these steps, by repeatedly introducing new outlooks, new views of ourselves, both innerly and outerly, we offer ourselves new energy, based on truth and resonance of inner spirit. As short and subtle as these visits to our inner energy are, eventually we will be ready to take longer and deeper visits, offering ourselves the opportunity to envision and enact even greater changes.
Any new idea we wish to offer the self can be introduced in the manner that Jeanne outlines. If we wish to be better at something, more focused, if we wish to lose weight, eat right, sleep better, change a habit, be happier, be more daring, be loving, be aware, etc., —for ourselves or others— we can use these steps, beginning with simply stating our new intent in the mantra of step number one. By going through the process Jeanne offers us, by looking carefully, gently and compassionately at ourselves, and by sticking with the practice for as long as it takes to achieve change, without giving up for all the old reasons and by allowing the ego to sit idly by, we can truly change. We can achieve what we desire. And, in alignment with spirit, you might be surprised at what you discover about the self that you did not understand or even know about before you began the process. Try it and see what happens!
I am reminded that even before I knew anything about hypnosis or even thought about becoming a hypnotist I certainly utilized a lot of self-hypnosis, not because I knew what it was, but because it was such a natural habit, one that we all do all the time. That might be another thing to notice. How often do you hypnotize yourself each day? You might be surprised that it really is quite often.
Enjoy the nice spring weather! And keep practicing!