Watch what you say to yourself. Words are as powerful as thoughts, sending you off into catacombs of old ideas about the self, setting you up for depression, cycles of bad behavior and negativity. Suggest to yourself instead that you are beautiful today, smart, quick and light-footed, and that nothing will be an obstacle. Tell yourself that you are in the good hands of your caring guides, who love you, and that all is well. Give yourself powerful positive suggestions in words of wonder, and see that happens as you create your perfect day!
The subconscious mind is command central for the human mind. Nonetheless, though it sets in motion the bulk of everything we think, feel and do, it itself does not think. The subconscious mind simply obeys suggestions. The intensity or accrued stress of the suggestion determines the likelihood of it being activated.
The subconscious is the programmed mind. All animals respond almost totally to circumstances with preprogrammed instinctive behaviors. Humans have the innovation of consciousness, which allows for the possibility of choice of response to any given encounter, over simply the automatic, unreflected action of the subconscious mind.
Nonetheless, the subconscious remains formidably dominant in human behavior. A person might choose to confront a situation that their subconscious mind’s program determines should be avoided. This program can be overridden by the conscious will, however, the subconscious might concurrently generate pervasive anxiety to freeze the intended behavioral action of the conscious will.
However, the proficiency of the evolutionary programs of the subconscious that have led to individual survival, and survival of the species for eons, tend to reassert themselves pretty easily over orders directed to the subconscious from the conscious mind. Anyone who has attempted to establish a new habit is well acquainted with the tendency of older, more established habits, to defeat conscious efforts to change.
The subconscious is comprised of evolutionary habits, as well as habits rooted in one’s outer socialization. The rules and expectations of significant others, in the impressionable years of childhood, are often internalized as powerful programs for behaviors that eventually operate unconsciously through the subconscious mind. These internalized programs are incessantly reinforced by the internal dialogue, which automatically judges self and other with predetermined prejudice.
The key to establishing a new habit in the subconscious mind is suggestion. When a hypnotist puts a subject into trance, they are essentially turning off the subject’s conscious mind. Next, a suggestion is made to the subject that goes directly to the subconscious mind and is then behaviorally enacted upon, as suggested.
Not everyone can be put into trance by a hypnotist, but everyone is put into trance by the many powerful programs that run daily, through suggestions operating at a subconscious level. Thus, if one has an internal dialogue that repeats the suggestion, “I am unworthy of love”, the entranced outcome will be a mood and behavior that reflects unworthiness and lack of lovability. These programs are often so powerful that even constant feedback to the contrary, from a loving partner for instance, cannot change this embedded suggestion.
Though a hypnotist might temporarily suggest a new program, creating change in a subject, the locus of control remains in the hands of another person, the hypnotist. This is why self-hypnosis is the preferred vehicle of change.
Saturation of suggestion during waking life definitely implants a suggestion to the subconscious. Thus for instance, if I want to remember my dreams, or become conscious while out-of-body during sleep, I might state this intention incessantly throughout the day.
Regardless of outcome on any given night, if I persevere with stating my intention, every day, that suggestion will reach subconscious action at some point. Every time we state an intent, we accrue energy toward a powerful suggestion becoming operational.
Unfortunately, we don’t know for certain how much energy must be accrued before it tips the scales to action. The guidance here: perseverance furthers. As well, just as the hypnotist silences the conscious mind prior to implanting a suggestion, it is best to relax the body and mind prior to stating one’s suggestion.
Be of calm body and mind, state your suggestion many times a day, many days of the month. With the calm abandon of detachment, yet with the knowing certainty that the subconscious will be impressed, await the manifestation of your dream.
Often, what is experienced as traumatic in the moment becomes the seed of great growth and liberation when viewed from a deeper perspective at a future time.
Maya, a central concept in Hindu cosmology, is considered illusion at the level of everyday life, as events in the moment veil the fuller picture beyond the container of space and time. Yet, at the fully transparent level of the highest spiritual plane, Maya radiates as ultimate truth. The key to accessing ultimate truth is to revisit experience from the fullest and deepest perspective.
Thus, everything that challenges us, no matter how terrifying or painful, ultimately has the potential to lead us into deeper truth as we trod upon our path to heart. However, to benefit from this gift we must allow ourselves to review what we have already lived, by viewing it with a ruthlessly open and conscious mind and heart.
In viewing from a different perspective, we can release the emotions that have protectively shielded us and view the deeper truth that lies beyond our limiting beliefs. With this, the protective chaff falls away, as we now have direct access to the seed of our fuller knowing and future possibility.
One great antagonist in 2020 is Covid-19. At the level of everyday human life, its impact upon the world has been devastating. As a world, we hope to neutralize its impact upon us, even as I write. Many lives have been lost at the physical level, and many livelihoods and life plans have been radically changed through the lethal invasion of this virus.
Beyond personal impact, however, is the interruption it is causing to the energetic flow of the planet. Travel is severely limited. Gatherings of humanity, even the smallest of nuclear families, are suspended in physical space and consigned to connection only at the vibrational level of virtual reality.
The next higher vibrational dimension of humanity, the soul level, operates via thought and feeling, in its energy body, independent of the physical body. Though the virtual reality experience during the pandemic has largely been dependent upon human technology, it has also challenged the physical human being to find mental and emotional connection in non-physical contact. This has been a tremendous crash course on spiritual contact beyond the human body.
Of course, we all crave physical contact, as we also exist in human form. However, we are being ushered, via virtual reality, into another dimension of our human potential. When this potential is more inwardly developed, via the discovery and practice of innate psychic powers—such as intuition, conscious dreaming, and telepathy—the door is opened to unlimited possibility for travel and connection beyond physical reality.
Within the physical dimension, the quality of connection is spiritually enhanced to include greater movement to the heart, in a deeper experience of abstract love; that is, love beyond strictly physical attachment. The legacy of Covid-19 has launched us forever into a greater world of energetic possibility to satisfy our deeper mental, emotional, and spiritual needs.
Donald Trump has certainly presented as both central protagonist or antagonist, depending upon your perspective, in 2020. In fact, as I write this blog, it remains unclear what is actually going to happen at the completion of his current term.
Regardless of one’s perspective, Donald Trump has championed the fact that reality is truly relative. He has shown us that it is consensus of agreement that actually generates a reality. What we believe is true is more powerful than objective reality.
This is most powerfully demonstrated via the placebo effect in scientific medical trials. Many a person has actually been cured of a disease because they wholeheartedly believed they were being administered the curing agent, even if it was actually a placebo sugar pill. Though medicine may dismiss the change as mere placebo, cure is cure! The power of belief can concretely transfigure physical reality.
The power of the subconscious to change our mental and physical conditions is the essence of hypnosis. What we tell ourselves, often via forgotten or unknown subconscious programs, is what we manifest.
Donald Trump, as master hypnotist, has demonstrated the power of repetitive speech to determine one’s belief system. The use of affirmations, mantra, prayer, and suggestion to shift belief and behavior is extremely powerful. The collective massing of such efforts, when attuned to the common good, can spiritually advance the planet.
Donald Trump has also embodied the ego at its me-first zenith, which is a reflection of the collective planetary ego of our time. Every individual human must face that the dominance of the ego within their own personality is their greatest resistance to desired spiritual growth.
On a planetary level, it is the collective human ego that puts the wants and desires of itself above the true needs of the whole planet, presenting the greatest blockade to needed planetary change. Donald Trump has impeccably embodied this attitude of resistance, reflecting humanity’s struggle with its own massive ego entrenchment.
For the planet to arrive at the heart center, the needed perspective for planetary survival, the ego must acquiesce to the needs of the greater planetary whole. It is inevitable that we will get there, but we don’t know how far planetary disruption will go before we arrive at the heart center consensus.
To arrive at the position of unconditional love for all that is, is where we are headed. Begin to practice it now in full unconditional love for self. To love every aspect of self, from lowest to highest, will end the need for projection of one’s personal evil upon other.
To love other as self is indeed the path to heart. May we all take giant steps upon it this coming year.
The ability to remain consistently calm, in this time of incessant turbulence and rapid unpredictable bipolar shifts, is a cherished resource. Equanimity greets every moment with equal attention, appreciation, clarity and calm.
Buddhist practice embraces equanimity as the ultimate attitude needed for successful transition from human to infinite life. The ability to be present, to not sow a seed of reincarnation—by distraction or attachment—in the dying process, frees the energy body to evolve in its definitive journey beyond human life.
The Shamans of Ancient Mexico also valued the relationship of equanimity and death. They reasoned that any moment in life could be one’s final moment, hence one should be fully present, alive, and equally appreciative of every moment in life, regardless of personal preferences.
The Shaman’s perspective is the ultimate Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all moments are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The Shamans cultivate equanimity as a program for living, the Buddhists as the key in dying. Both cultivate an attitude of deep calm in approaching life’s greatest encounter—its final moment.
How can we cultivate equanimity?
The Shamans contribute an attitude shift. Each day they remind themselves, ” My name is ________, a being who is going to die.” Far from being a morbid ‘Good Morning, World,’ this use of death as an advisor heightens one’s awareness to be fully present and engaged in every moment of the day, regardless of the activity.
How often do we lament a Monday morning, or the end of a joyous encounter? Even worse, how often do we dread an encounter or work task, and pray for it to quickly end. The intent of equanimity is to be equally calm and present to each equal moment, regardless of its intensity.
The Buddhists contribute the practice of meditation to still the mind, a great perpetrator of non-equanimity known as worry. Yoga, with its Hindu roots, uses self-regulation of the body to achieve equanimity. The practice of pranayama breathing exercises greatly enhances voluntary control of the autonomic nervous system’s mobilizing defenses, in the face of real or imagined stress, a valuable tool to achieve equanimity.
Autogenic training and self-hypnosis are tools to deepen the conscious relationship between mind and body. When we give the body a specific instruction when in a deeply relaxed state, the subconscious begins to listen and override its genetic, archetypal, or habitual programs.
Thus, we can instruct every part of our body to remain deeply calm while we remain fully awake and present to all conditions. Jan and I recently discovered the gift of Dr. Eleanor Eggers, a 97-year-old semi–retired psychologist, who developed a simple website giving away the secrets of her life’s work. This is her contribution to the greater good.
Her website offers the autogenic phrases that Elmer and Alyce Green developed at the Menninger Foundation, for deep relaxation, as well as other resources from her long and fruitful career. We happily pass on her website link: Dr. Eleanor Eggers.
Though, at present, we may experience limitation in exacting needed changes to our chaotic world, we are all free, as Victor Frankl would say, to assume the attitude we will embody in our encounters with that world. Equanimity ranks highest in our approach to life, in and beyond this world.
I have a pain in my shoulder. I notice that when I’m distracted or busy I don’t feel the pain; it simply doesn’t exist until I put my attention back onto my shoulder and remember, “Oh yes, I have that pain in my shoulder.” Immediately, I feel pain again. Why is it that the pain sometimes exists and sometimes doesn’t? Is it real to begin with?
I think about other scenarios where I think something and it manifests. One day, Chuck and I were gathering wood for the wood stove at our wood pile. Chuck was reaching high up on the stack while I was reaching down to some small logs on the ground below him. I suddenly heard a voice warning me to get out of the way, that a log could fall on top of me. As soon as I heard the message to get out of the way, I started to pull back. At the same time, as Chuck said, “a log leaped off the pile” and landed on my finger. OUCH!
I wondered if my thinking that a log could fall, actually caused the log to fall. Did my thought create the outcome? Do thoughts have that much power? Sometimes, I might think a thought and then tell myself to dismiss it, that it’s not something I wish to invite into my life, and in such cases the thought does not manifest. Can we really control our lives by our thoughts? Do WE have that much power? These questions have interested me for a long time.
We limit, inhibit, and control ourselves in the way we speak to and about ourselves. We tend to label ourselves, saying that “I am this” or “I am that.” We compare ourselves to others, give ourselves commands and definitions, make statements about ourselves that have impact, not necessarily positive, even if we might intend them as encouragement, such as, “I have to change, I must lose weight, I have to exercise, get into shape, eat better, etc.” We say, “I have to do this or that,” or “I should.” It’s also common to complain about what we think we can’t change. “I can’t… I shouldn’t… I’m not… Why aren’t I…? How come I can’t…?”
I do the same. I tend to say things like: “I have to get into balance. I have to get calm. I look tired today.” These things may have positive underlying intentions, but they in themselves are not helpful. When I notice myself saying these things I apply a little self-hypnosis and turn those phrases into affirmative, self-empowering thoughts. “I AM in balance. I AM calm. I look GREAT today!” When I do this, I notice that I feel differently. The more I say it, the more it becomes true.
Self-hypnosis is really just about offering suggestions to the self. We do it all the time, without even thinking about it, telling ourselves a myriad of things every day, plenty of negative self-talk, most likely, because we have been trained to notice only our imperfections. It might be time to try out some positive self-hypnosis for a change, to discover that real and lasting change comes from within, and that positive suggestions have positive impact.
If we actually listen to what we say to ourselves on a daily basis, how often we say negative or demeaning things to ourselves—I’m lonely, I’m bored, I’m a loser—the more lonely, bored, and the more of a loser we become. Our thoughts are that powerful!
So, watch what you say to yourself. You might be able to prevent a lot of unnecessary pain. If I had dismissed the thought of that log falling on me, might I have prevented my finger from getting crushed? I don’t know, but I’m sure going to try to avoid unnecessary pain in the future!
How can we do that? How can we avoid pain? How can we change our thoughts? We might begin by asking ourselves some questions, depending on our circumstances: Did I bring this pain on myself with my thoughts? Did I invite this challenge into my life? What thoughts do I tell myself that have created my life? Are my thoughts generally negative or are my thoughts generally positive?
Once we discover our own personal method of self-talk, we take the next step of using new language to empower ourselves. Self-hypnosis is an agent of change, but using it is our choice. Are you ready to take responsibility for the self and wake up this power within?
We enter new territory as we give positive, supportive suggestions to the self. “I am healthy. I am happy. I am fit. I am losing weight every day. I am beautiful. I exercise and I am in good shape. I eat right and I am healthy.” As we say these things to ourselves we become them. Yes, we have the power to change ourselves!
About a decade ago, when I was in the middle of my recapitulation, I discovered that I was always expecting everything in my life to be difficult. I expected bad things to happen to me because that was my experience. I expected my car to keep breaking down, people to disappoint me, to be lonely and sad, to always be depressed. One day, I got so fed up with things going wrong and with being depressed that I declared I would no longer be accepting bad things. From that moment on I would only accept good! That very day things began to change for the better. It was in that moment that I discovered just how much power my own thoughts had.
Gaining control over how we speak to ourselves, is a fine practice to accompany our work on becoming kind, loving, and compassionate beings. As we practice putting our attention on our thoughts—the patter that runs through our minds, day and night, about what we should or should not do or be—we will turn those thoughts on their ears. We will take back our power, turning negative energy into positive energy.
As we study how our own negative self-talk affects us, as we change the messages we constantly give to ourselves, we gain understanding in the difficulties that others face. We learn compassion when we realize that we are no different from anyone else.
We really do hold the power to change, the power to create a new reality, simply by how we talk to ourselves.
Here is a positive, self-affirming hypnotic suggestion to say to yourself: I am calm, I am in balance, and I have the power to change, Jan
NOTE: During the writing of this post my shoulder did not hurt one bit! Hmmm…