Milton Erickson, the father of modern hypnosis, once said something like “If the conscious mind could have figured it out it would have. Since it has not, we need to go to the subconscious.” Awakening from our subconscious programming allows us to open more fully to the magnificence of each moment. As Ram Dass said, “We’re sitting under the tree of our thinking minds (the subconscious) wondering why we’re not getting any sunshine!”
According to Buddhist psychology, there are two basic states of consciousness – awareness (awake) or unawareness (asleep). As you are looking at these words you may be aware of sounds around you, maybe you are aware of your breathing and you might notice yourself noticing thoughts. This is being aware, being here and now. When we are unaware of this present moment we are in unawareness. Or, another way to express it, we are in a state of hypnosis, we are dreaming. A helpful exercise you can do throughout your day is to ask yourself, “what is here and now?” (Look around, see what you see, listen to the sounds and feel the textures, your breathing, your body.) The second question is, “what am I dreaming about?” (Notice thoughts, feelings, beliefs) Then ask again, “what is here and now?” Without judging either as good or bad, right or wrong, just noticing gives choice.
Ever drive along, feeling great, in the here and now, you look in the rearview mirror and see a red flashing light inviting you to pull over!? Or, you hear an old love song and it triggers a flood of memories? What happened was your subconscious memories got triggered. What to do? The first step is to recognize that you just slipped into a memory. The second step is to pause, take a step back, and ask yourself, “what memory got triggered? “The third step is to take a deep breath and choose to be here/now. Adya Shanti says, “It’s hard to suffer without your story.” If you have a difficult time stepping out of the past you might need to go deeper into the memory/feelings. With guided hypnotherapy, you can go into the memory safely to heal it and explore the hidden treasures there.
Understanding these two modalities starts to give you more choices about how you can experience your life. As you learn about what thoughts and feelings come from your own subconscious programming, you can begin to make positive adjustments for a happier life. Learning self-hypnosis techniques can allow you to relax with what is here for you now in each precious moment.
Watch, next time you hypnotize yourself into believing in a memory. Just stop for a moment, take a deeper breath, and say, “I was believing in the past.” As time slows down, space opens up. You are standing in a doorway to a different possibility. Take another deep breath and open to the presence of what is. Call grace to you, step back, breathe, and receive.