Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Mind of this Coffee Drinker

The coffee just is not black enough this morning.

Since we carried lucid dreaming forward last week, I think this week we will carry through the weekend concept of mind control, what it is, what it does and does not have to do with hypnosis, and whatever other tangents strike my fancy (or yours depending).

The article about the gentleman who claimed to be hypnotized by robbers and gave them $1000 is what is has brought this to my mind. First let me say, it was not my diagnosis that hypnosis was involved, nor I have read anything other than what I posted as my source. He stated that he was hypnotized to give up the money. This is definitely the darker side of the art, which has led me to thoughts about being manipulated to do things against one's will - sounds like mind control (whether sort term or long).

This led to my Sunday question about your thoughts on mind control and what it is or isn't, and if you wanted to talk about hypnosis in regards to it that would be fine as well.

For those who believe that I am perpetrating a myth or anything negative about hypnosis, I fear that you have misunderstood. This blog is all about exploring various concepts, right or wrong, but what is out there in regards or relation to hypnosis (including sister-modalities, business, or how it affects my life or yours). And maybe it is taboo to put hypnosis and mind control together, but I think not.

Here is why: when a client sits down in my chair, they very often have either no idea or preconceived notions about what they are going to experience. Some have done some well- founded research and end up telling me my pre-talk. But the ones seem to believe very strongly in the idea that hypnosis is mind control, and that some how, I will do some technique that will turn them into zombies and will cause them to be different. They will come out and voi-la, presto chango. They will be someone else. It is as though they come in believing that they are going to hand over their minds to be to brain washed, essentially. So, I think it is good to have an open discourse on the subject and how what we do is not brain washing, but perhaps it is also just as well to have open discourse on what mind control really is.

A Question of Mind Control

Let's get philosophical today. After reading about the esoteric robbery and hearing various peoples' thoughts on forums and such, where do we stand with our views on hypnosis and mind control. Most therapeutic hypnotists say that one cannot be hypnotized to do something against one's will.

The question is:

Do you believe in mind control, that someone else can control another person's thoughts, actions and reactions?

Answer this however you desire. It can have hypnosis undercurrents or blatant NLP processes...or not.

For me, I would like to believe that one could break any sort of manipulations if one desired, so no, I do not buy in to ultimate mind control. Others can manipulate you, but once you are keen to this and do no longer want to be "controled," it may take a little while, but you can get out of it.

Your turn.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Backing Up

Yesterday, we discussed what to do with large files and how to get them to others via the Internet. Paul provided another source, which is helpful because choice is always good.

This got me to thinking about large files and the idea of backing-up data. Because I do keep digital files (both video and audio), it starts to take up a lot of room. Currently, I have external hard drives at home and at the office for these (I have heard that by burning them to CDs or DVDs degrades the data). But you know what, this is such a pain! Sure enough, I will be working at home in the early mornings and need something that is on the storage drive at work or vis versa.

So, I have been looking for a larger solution for this and may have found one in a backup site online called Anytime@Anywhere. They offer different storage options for various size needs. The files are also encrypted, so they are pretty secure. This is done on the client (mine or yours) machine so not even Anytime@Anywhere has the passwords. And they are Mac (and most operating system) compatible.

I am going to try their free trial and see how it goes. Feel free to also try Anytime@Anywhere offsite backup. I would like your take on this as well.

Esoteric Robbery

Perhaps this would make a better section on the blog entitled "In the News," but I am not so sure this story involving hypnosis truly would deserve such a label.

Apparently this week in Marlborough, New Hampshire (this would have been more fun if it had been Marlborough, Massachusetts) there was a robbery involving hypnosis. So, if you were anything like me, upon hearing the subject of the story, you might have said to yourself something that would involve the notion that "well, you can only be hypnotized if you want to be," blah, blah, blah.

Read on. I found a fairly in depth article about it from a local New Hampshire station. Click here to read it and see the surveillance footage. Turns out the robbers did some handy, dandy little magic tricks and a bit of blackmail, along with a dab of hypnosis to convince the owner of the convince store to hand over $1000. They had told the owner that they were guruji, a form of Hindu priests and could read his mind. With what sounds like a fairly normal parlor trick (I had a waiter show me this on a cruise once) and probably some NLP knowledge, they were able to convince the owner that they were mind readers. It is not clear in the video what was actually said (bummer), so it is hard to tell. I guess they gave enough suggestions and NPL to convince the the owner he wanted to give them the $1000.

Any thoughts?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Sharing Something Large

My last task today is to send out a few audios to various clients. The biggest issue with audios is that they are typically larger files than most email programs can handle. And even if you can keep them under the 10MB that most programs allow, these files can really bog down email.

I have found a solution (other than burning a disk, printing a label, printing a mail label, figuring out postage and sending). It is a file sharing site that can handle files up to 500MB, and has free storage for up to 2GB (a jiffy back-up system if you do not have one for your computer). The site is called and they offer a variety of services that are pretty handy (most for free). Sadly, since I am a Mac user, I cannot utilize the plug-in as it is for Windows and such, but if they ever do a Mac version (hint, hint, hint), it would be terribly useful. Basically, you can click a few things and it uploads the file without registering, etc. There is also a desktop widget available for various Microsoft programs, as well. This means that others can directly edit data stored on driveway via browser using standard Microsoft Office applications.

So why do I bother, you wonder? Ah, simple. They have web widgets that work on web sites and such. All I have to do is give a particular URL to my clients and presto, they can download the file. This is great for generic audios. Otherwise, you share files through a browser interface. also makes collaboration on large projects possible. There are options to "Send Files for Read" or "Send Files for Edit." This is valuable when you are dealing with others on things like manuscripts, marketing campaigns, and who knows what else.

But use it wisely. With great power comes great responsibility (okay, I will stop with the movie puns).

And that's is that. I am spent. See you tomorrow.

Planning for Lucid Dreaming

I am going to sit here, write some more, and hold onto to the credit card just a bit longer to make sure all those things am I about to buy on the Internet (for the office, of course) are really good choices. I have a hazelnut flavored coffee and all seems well. How are you doing? Has it been a good Friday for you?

Hopefully you will indulge me a little more in the lucid dreaming area. I am going fullspeed into this. Are you with me?

I have actually seen this mentioned a couple of times, but it seems like good advice. It is the idea of planning for lucid dreams. This could only enhance the experience and concrete the idea a little more. This is not scheduling it (but we have already covered ways to increase the likelihood of lucid dreaming), but knowing what to do once you get there, realize you have a certain awareness and can participate in the dream experience.

The question is, what will you do once you are there? Apparently, for newbies like me, it is very easy to come out of the lucid dream state just by the realization you are in it and not quite knowing what to do in the circumstance. So, it is good idea to have a plan of what happens next once you are aware.

So, what would you do? Or what do you do?

Would you fly? Would you turn day into night or vice versa? Would you turn the dream into a musical?

Me? I would look for a body of water and walk across it. Not to be blasphemous here, but I have always been fascinated by that idea.

But what would I do the moment after realizing I was an active participant? I would probably try to fade into the background and just observe.

Do or do not. There is no try.

How many of us have, during the course of our pre-talks, done the "try" to shake my hand routine? And of course when the client goes to shake the hand, we say that is "doing," not "trying." We do this to make a point when our clients say, "I'll be a non-smoker (etc.)." There is no try, either there is or there is not.

When discussing this with my partner one evening, in high wisdom, he emulated our favorite wise-one, Yoda, "Do or do not. There is no try."

How fabulously perfect. So, for a while I have been known to quote Yoda rather than shake hands. And it is always fun to see who is a Star Wars fan, and who is clueless. Their eyes either light up, they think I am crazy, or they think Yoda is akin to Socrates.

So, at gift giving holiday times, I find myself collecting Yoda figurines and such. But, I have found something wonderful that trumps even the most detailed figurine (excluding the handmade sculpture I received from a young client, nothing beats homemade).

In looking for a theme for a special "child's-view" office, I have found a center piece. I have found the Yoda monument. Yep, a fiber glass monument that stands 27 inches. And one could say it is an investment for the practice (it is part of a limited edition of 1000).

I found Yoda at a place that sells really cool toys at low prices. If you do cater to children at all, they have some interesting things from electronic toys to the ever-necessary Legos (they aren't just for client kids, you know - they can be a great stress reliever).

Do not let the name of the site fool you though - They cater to hobbies as well, and have some interesting arcade-like games and pinball (even we serious types need an outlet). I am still trying to work out a pinball induction. Let me know if you have any ideas.

Now I just have to decide on the rest of the furniture.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Few Basic Dream Recall Steps

Okay, this dream recall thing is strange. Do you have it down or do you still find them sliding away in the morning like they never happened at all?

This week I have played with a variety of techniques and have found a few to be helpful. So, I thought I would share them with you. If you have any others, please feel free to mention them.
Steps for Recalling Dreams

  1. When you awaken from a dream, do not turn over. This apparently causes the mind to also turn away from the dream. I cannot find the direct citation for this, but know it was in some Association for Research and Enlightenment materials.
  2. Play the dream back in your mind immediately. Do not let other thoughts get in the way of this.
  3. Playing the dream back should be the first thing you think about before anything else. Keep the mind focused. I sort of put this in here twice because it is key to the process.
  4. Write down the dream immediately. More will probably be recalled as you write the dream down.
  5. Do not stress out about it. The more you try it, the easier it becomes (so they say).

What dream recall has to do with lucid dreaming

Time for a night cap and I am thinking seriously of heading off to bed as soon as possible. It has been a long day and my eye has been bothering me. Nothing more fun than bright car lights in the dark and a light-sensitive pink eye.

Slowly but slowly, we have gotten more in depth with the concept of lucid dreams. On the last lucid dream post, we discussed using auto suggestion to help create a lucid dream. We may also want to use auto suggestion for dream recall.

Now what does dream recall have to do with lucid dreaming and why is it an important skill to develop if you want to lucid dream? Intellectually dream recall and lucid dreaming seem to go hand in hand, but I have had a hard time understanding why. Now I know. According to the Dream Institute, dream recall helps one's conscious mind to be in sync with the dreaming (subconscious?) mind. Apparently one has a whole different world of people, places, and feelings in the dream state. By recalling these, your conscious mind or the mind that reasons will be more present in dreams. When in the dream state, while experiencing the dream, you will now be more apt to recognize the unfamiliar (wait....what?). Darn it, I almost had it. I am tired. Maybe it does make sense but I am too tired to understand. Or perhaps this post is part of a lucid dream. Hmmm. My hands still look the same (could use a little hand cream, but yes in fact, they are mine).

Okay, enough. To Bed I go. Goodnight.

Mining the Mailing List

There are thousand upon thousand books on marketing advice out there, and several hundred seemingly dedicated to marketing hypnosis. And as I may have said before, it takes a lot of time and energy when one has a business to market it thoroughly. And despite what we are told – hire a marketing professional- many of us choose the road to do-it-yourself-business-ownership for a variety of reasons. This often means spending less time keeping in-tune with what we really want to do - more hypnosis.

After acquiring an intern from a nearby college for the past few months, I see the value in those who know about marketing. Heck, we are hypnotist, not marketers. So, I have been looking at some of her suggestions for potential marketing campaigns.

One in particular is the idea of utilizing a mailing list and doing direct mail advertising. Now mind you I do have my own list, compiled of past clients, referrals, friends, networking acquaintances, and so on. People who do not know about me would be a good start. But not just any mailing list will do. It needs to be one that considers many demographic factors (age, gender, location, etc.). This needs to be compatible with my target audience in mind. Fir instance, if one were to engage in child hypnosis, one would want to market to parents, etc. And also, the more you know about a select audience, the more you can pitch your advertisement to them. Business owners might like public speaking and self-confidence boosters, while new homeowners might need stress relief. DO you get the picture?

A company to look at for such pinpointing in their mailing list would be Martin Worldwide who offers innovated direct mail mailing list. They specifically offer a product called ResponseCom™. This is a specialized database that has been time tested (over a decade) and result-oriented (they should all be this way, no mater who you use...but keep reading and you may see why they seem sincere) . ResponseCom™ offers over 100 demographic and psychographic selects (these help target those whom you want to get message to and those who are likely to respond positively).

Though they do have Fortune 500 companies, which as a small business owner make me a little intimidated, they also realize the potential and needs of the small business world. Therefore they offer several services and programs targeted for those in my shoes. This would be a benefit of there status as one of the largest providers of mailing lists. They have experience with cost-effective services to help us grow our businesses. Plus Martin Worldwide guarantees its data integrity in writing.

As a blogger who enjoys other blogs, it does my heart and mind good to see they do have an office blog as well. It has some reasonable tips and interesting facts that one can try on for size. It adds a touch of the personal that some big business lacks.

And in the long haul, spending a few dollars on a decent mailing list can be a real time and money saver. Printing cost can be pretty intense, so it is a good way to economize in that area.

Anyway, these are some ideas we are floating around here. As always, I would love to hear your experiences with mail list and such.

As I Dream I Am Aware

Every now and then you may notice that I arise even earlier than my normal coffee time. Some times I stay awake and get a lot done at home. Sometimes I go back to bed. It is often when I do this that my dreams are odd and vivid. This seems to be pretty normal.

From what I have read, it is this condition, the idea of getting up earlier than your normal awake time, becoming lucid in normal consciousness and going back to bed that provides great opportunity for lucid dreaming. This is one of the techniques The Dream Foundation gives for having lucid dreams.

Other suggestions they give include using auto-suggestion before falling asleep. This is probably similar or the same as setting your intention. Expect to have a lucid dream. As I dream I am aware that I am dreaming and can consciously do anything I want to do increasing my confidence (or something like that).

Also, I find this an interesting concept, as well (quoted directly):

Perform reality checks as a habit: Always Test First and then Decide when you have even the slightest inclination that you might be dreaming. In this way you won't miss valuable lucid opportunities. Also, throughout the day, ask yourself as often as you can remember, whether you are dreaming, and perform a test to find out. This may seem silly, but it will carry over by habit to the dream state, and you will be very glad (for once) when you find that your check has bounced! The best test is to read some text, look away and quickly look back. If the words change - you are dreaming! It helps to try to get the words to change. A digital watch is excellent for this. If there is no text nearby, look at your hands for a good 5-10 seconds to see if they appear wavy or odd in any way - as they most often do in dreams.

Interesting stuff!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tipping the Scales

The other problem children? The one I think most of us deal with in one way or another is those wanting hypnosis for weight loss. Now, I have complete and utter empathy here ('cause I love food). There are so many factors with weight issues. Now these people, so far, have never really been hateful, though I hear a lot of self-loathing.

There seems to be two camps when it comes to weight loss hypnosis or just weight loss in general - how one measures the results. Some say to measure the waistline and such and others prefer scales. I tend to go with the one the client feels the most confident with, but add a lot of codicils (muscle causes weight gain, women can bloat up to five pounds or more a month at various times in their cycle and so on).

So, I have been looking at scales for the office. I am rather infatuated with a particular brand at These are Phoenix line bathroom scales from My Weight. They do have ones that talk, but I think that might be unnecessary for the office. Not only do they show body weight, but they decipher body fat percentage and water percentage. In my mind this takes care of the muscle and water retention issue nicely. Oh, and they have a lifetime warranty in the US (thought I might say the UK, didn't you?).

A quick note about these, though. If have clients using the scale that have certain implanted medical devices such as a pacemaker or have one yourself, using a body fat scale is not recommended. The scale may cause interference with the device. So, I think a traditional non-digital scale is a good thing to have as well.

Another useful tool for clients who are dieting (weight loss, weight gain, diabetics, etc.) are the food scales. Not only do they give the actual weight of food, but by using an index and punching in the code numbers for various food items, the scale can tell you exactly how much fat, salt, calories, carbohydrates, cholesterol, and proteins are in that item. This can be a real weight saver in the diet planning stages...and if you have one at the office and are working with weight loss clients, you can always have a few things to demo to give them an idea about what they are ingesting (compare a candy bar to a few grapes). also offers other digital scales, as well, including postage (hand for those of us with merchandise that gets shipped out) and pocket scales (you can measure that grape at a restaurant).

A Moment of Vexation

Smokers. It is always the smokers who are my problem children. It is just so funny (okay, I am trying to drain my sarcasm); they suffer so. Tonight as I post this, I have two thoughts about smokers and cigarettes,as I work to get it all out of my system.

First - its not your granddaddy's cigarette anymore. That's right, for all of you out there who say, "Well, my granddaddy lived to the ripe old age of 99 and he smoked a pack and a half of cigarettes everyday and he never got no cancer," have I got new for you. One - just think how much longer he might have lived if he never smoked. Actually, I am sort of kidding on that part...BUT...that leads me to two. Your granddaddy probably smoked a much different substance than today's monsters. No, I do not mean he smoked anything other than good ol' tobbaccee (and if he did, I don't want to know). But chances are for a long while, granddaddy may have rolled his own cigarettes, and if you live anywhere near tobacco county he probably knew exactly where the plant came from. Look at everything that is in a cigarette (need I run through the list? Let me know and I will)...most of it has little to do with tobacco. It is all the other nasties that make them so repulsive to our health, I suspect.

The other thing about cigarettes is that I think we have so much more to learn about the mixture of nicotine and the other substances and how this react mixture reacts in the human body. With the hatefullness and vileness that I hear from smokers, they seem so much more defensive of the idea that they are addicted than do the crack addicts I have worked with. So, I am truly thinking there is more to the substances in the cigetters than we already know. Of course there is sugar and that has its own problems...but I think it could be worse than what we think we know.

And I am sorry for the surmon, but the vileness (for that is what it was and has earned the redundancy) of that which I hear from smokers can be truly awful. And today was one of those days.

How to use digital photography in a hypnosis session

We have discussed inductions and deepeners and I suspect we will continue to discuss these as we go along. And as you may know, I have taken to posting concepts from my recent trip that relate to hypnosis, meditation and consciousness. Just getting out of the office provided me with a sense of being able to think even more outside the box.

And most of you know I am somewhat of a sucker for tech toys, and the digital camera has not escaped my notice. I have two. One is a Canon DC210 DVD Camcorder, which I use exclusively in the office. It serves as a record of the session experience (I tend not to give these to clients unless they really want it), a way to see what I am doing and to make self-improvements, and also for security (I hate to think in those terms, but it is good to be safe). The important thing about recording sessions from a security standpoint is to make sure your date and time are accurate and are imprinted on the footage (so it accounts for time).

My other is a Samsung S630 Digital Camera. This is my fun, throw-it-in-my-bag-and-just- go camera, which of course went with me on my travels. I find myself often taking close up pictures of, well, just about everything. And though it may sound cheesy, I have a whole memory card full of close up of flowers. Keep reading, this does pertain to hypnosis.

What I have tried out on a couple of clients this week was using those flower pictures in my inductions and have been pretty happy with the results.

Using digital picture frames, one specifically, I pop in an edited memory card (of the similar flower pictures), and I turn it on. It is above eye level to where the clients sit. This is the eye fixation idea. The frame slowly shows each picture in a revolving cycle (set on the slowest speed possible). I have the flower pictures go from light colors to darker colors in a progression. And while the client is watching this, I give suggestions for deepening the sense of relaxation and to go deeper and deeper down with each image change until the eyes are too heavy and tired to keep open.

This adds a bit of creativity to the session and can constantly change.

The Theme of the Dream

There are at least a few others who seem to want to try lucid dreaming as well (as if). So, lets continue these coffee conversations (though every now and then they feel like monologues) in regard to dream control.

Something that Bill Perry wrote in one of his posting keeps itching at my mind. He mentioned lucid dreaming is more about knowing that you have the ability to control your dreams than perhaps actually changing them so much. It is the idea of choice. You have a choice when you become aware that you are lucid dreaming of whether to interfere with the theme of the dream or to just be aware of the dream environment. So, I guess in this instance, it is an empowerment tool, knowing you have control but not asserting it totally.

Here's my question (aren't I just full of them?): If you become aware that you are in control of your the dream, does the dream still flow along like a dream or does the dream reality remain in pause until you do something in the dream? If you do nothing, is it like playing a video game where nothing happens or can you just explore the scenery? Does stuff still happen spontaneously like in dreams where one is not lucid?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Travel Meditations

The people I traveled with recently are a creative lot. So, when it came to group guided meditations, my themes often involved unlocking creativity and such. But what I really noticed was the imagery that was enhanced by place or space. The stories, poetry and sketches that came forth from a simple guided meditation say at the Cadillac Ranch in Texas were astounding. While others were doing artistic endeavors afterwards, I continued meditating and seeing where the subject of the location would take me inwards. Still, I am processing all of it and what I learned about myself.

As I am contemplating a trip back to the UK, I noticed that the British Museum has an exhibit called The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army. These are literally an army of terracotta statues that were buried along side the First Emperor from Xi'an, China. Tickets are going like mad, so I have heard. But how fabulous they would be for a meditative exercise. I suspect, though, that it might prove difficult to do so at the museum with hundreds of people being shuffled through. And I have no pull there to get special dispensation. LOL.

In discussing this idea with my companions, another idea surfaced. Why not actually go to the actual site? Why not see the 8000 (plus) statues where they were discovered in Xian, China. There would definitely be something spiritual about this, probably interesting energy, and being surrounded by this archaeological find would resonate a deep cord in many of us.

Here's the fabulous thing, is currently offering a few side trips from the UK to China for just this sort of thing (not sure about the meditation part, but just to see them in their natural environment). They have an affordable package that includes a three night stay in China (they have longer options available) that would be perfect. I have always wanted to visit China, but perhaps now I can satisfy my craving for England, and seeing the Terracotta Warriors in their natural glory in the Orient. Life is exciting.

Lucid How-to's

Putting down the tea cup, what I want to know is how many of you have worked with lucid dreams using hypnotic suggestion, either as a hypnotist giving the suggestions or as the person being hypnotized? Or...have you used self-hypnosis to lucid dream?

I have to begun to think (and I may be slow on the uptake here) that maybe to become proficient with lucid dreams, the techniques are all self-hypnosis with maybe the exception being the use of the dream machines...but that seems hypnotic, too, just not so vocal based.

All this comes into my mind from perusing Bill Perry's Lucid Blog. Bill was kind enough to respond to the Sunday Question about lucid dreaming, and I am so glad he did. His experiences are pretty interesting, as is his approach. He uses an anchoring technique and it is as follows:

  • As you are lying in bed, simply visualize the dream you would like to have. Experience it as you would like to experience it. Get as far into the visualization as you can. Hear the sounds, see the sights, smell how it smells. As you are getting into this visualization, clench your hands into fists. Not tightly, but relaxed fists. Use it as an anchor.
  • Allow your brain to tie the feeling of clenching the hands into fists with he feeling of what your prospective dream feels like.
  • Next time you are lucid, clench your dream fists and remember the dream you want to have. Much like running a computer program, your dream will now “load up” for you.
  • And, since you are now altering the content of the dream, you don’t have to stick exactly to the “script” you’ve made in your visualization. You can now make things happen by the power of sheer thought.
  • Dream on!

This was taken from his blog posting How to Control Your Dreams. Using both self-hypnosis techniques and NLP, is this just another fabulous tool of hypnosis? When I was debating using the home-made sunglasses dream machine to use the lights as an anchor to remind you that you were in a dream and now could take control of it, Bill's technique does this without all the gadgetry. Definitely worth exploring.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Monday thoughts on Black Friday Phobias

It is good to be back with you on this Monday morning. During my adventure away, I was pretty much caffeine-free and vegetarian, but I have to say that I missed the taste of my British Breakfast tea, or any black tea for that matter. Sometimes I think it is a great exercise to go without the things you enjoy but perhaps take for granted. How much you miss something may speak volumes.

Well, we are still on the topic of lucid dreams, at least for our weekly poll. Hope you will participate. It seems like this could be a very in-depth topic that could involve hypnosis, not just in conjunction with, but as a trigger and more. But I must leave that for a moment.

Today's agenda involves working with a client on removing malevolent feelings about the upcoming holidays. Apparently seeing stores becoming stocked with Christmas commercialism has once again cause her a pain that apparently will deepen as the time grows nearer to December. (I am in some agreement with her, I think September is too early to have decorations available, but I suspect this can become a positive concept).

Phobia work in hypnosis is very satisfying all the way around. Phobias are interesting, and a totally creative component within humanity. I meet lots of people with fairly common ones, spiders, snakes and creepy crawly things, oh my. But I met a lot of others as well.

So, as I type this, I am also compiling a list of notes and resources for this particular client. I suspect the session will boil down to regression and release, but we will see (interesting how many people do not want to under go regression and that speaks much as well). The one thing she has told me is that she feels a great pressure when it comes to buying gifts. She is not wealthy and does not believe in going into debt for the holidays (Amen!), but believes that her gifts should still be things that are wanted by others. She has gotten lost in lists and materialism. She works two jobs, so trying to make all her gifts is also stressful.

I have found a resource that could help with some of this. It involves embracing Black Friday. I know it seems far off, but I imagine Thanksgiving will coming roaring along here any minute. Now I am not suggesting getting up at the crack of dawn (not like some of us, it is not for everyone), slogging out into the world of craziness here in the States. Rather, my suggestion for Black Friday involves making a good pot of coffee, pouring a cup and logging onto Starting now, one can go onto this site and see what various stores are offering as Black Friday Internet sales. If one can obtain others' wish lists, than one can be fully prepared to get a few bargains, order gifts and sit back and enjoy the coffee.

And this is not one of those sites that only represents small, expensive companies, but includes many of the biggies such as Best Buy, Target, and so on. An example is the Best Buy deals page. They have lots of tech equipment and entertainment items for a variety of ages.

My Black Friday ideas are that much of one's holiday shopping needs could be planned in advance (the site offers an email service to let you know when more merchants and ads are included) and shopped for in one day, thus getting this task accomplished so that there will be more time to enjoy life without the rush or pressure remaining.

A few hypno sessions on eliminating procrastination might be useful as well. LOL.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Mystic in Me

Wrapped in white
and here before you
wizened with words
or costumed as such
standing in the light
the persona grew
striking a mystic cord
and masking much
it is only as a sage
that I present this page.

In the realm of dreams and other fun things, I have decided not to embrace the nightmare. That is, I am embracing the world of sage wisdom and mysticism (with a little Roman Goddess mixed in) for All Saints Eve. Yes, that is what I am doing presently, working on the idea of an office gathering. And I say All Saints Eve because it is a time to remember those who have dearly departed from our lives, but as the legend has it, this is a time they come forth. I know, Ellie is venturing into the nebulous again, but I do have several clients who believe in the presence of those no longer on this plane. Many have seen psychics, mediums and invested in other avenues. I present none of these. But I was thinking about having a gathering for them based on a guided meditation of having a moment to say one last word (or a few) to their loved one.

Despite the deepness of the subject, I think the rest of the evening would be more toward merriment (what merriment you can have with healthy snacks and apple cider). I have thought about making it a costume event as well, hence the poem above.

That means I have to come up with an appropriate masquerade. So, with an artist friend's help, we created a mock up for a Sage costume, using the Romanesque concept. I think this is my favorite costume yet (did you like my little poem about the costume?).

And because I have gone to all this trouble to create the concept, I entered it in's Star Costumes contest. So...if you would not mind...please vote for me. And I open this idea up to you as well. You can enter this Halloween costume contest by clicking on this link. Let me know if you do, I will surely vote for you as well.

So, I know this is a little out of the norm, but it is what is going on with the transparent hypnotist. I hoped you enjoyed this little aside as much as I did working on it all.

The Dream Question

Dreaming seems like a great topic to continue upon so today's question is all about lucid dreaming.

If you are a lucid dreamer, what techniques do you use to assist yourself in doing such?

In other words, how do you do it? What works and does not work? What is the value in lucid dreaming?

If you read yesterday's entry then you know this is not something I have I am hoping those of you who have had any experience with it, will relate some knowledge here.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Back for Esoteric Saturday Dreaming

Well hello again friends. I have returned from a mythological journey that took me not so far from home, but to the farther reaches of the mind. It was more back roads, memories, silliness, and exploration.

As many of you know that when one is involved with hypnosis, there are many tangents conversations can take. From guided morning meditations for almost two weeks (and experiencing a few sunrises...still highly overrated), dreams became a popular subject, especially toward the lucid dream angle.

First, I probably should say that I am relatively sure I have never lucid dreamed. I have never felt the need to control my dreams because I feel it is the time elicited for the subconscious mind to process and dump what it is not needed from the conscious mind. But I am open to other interpretations. I suspect we have discussed this a bit before...or perhaps it was on a forum.

However, I have had many request to help guide people into lucid dreaming through hypnosis and have spent a little time learning about the process and theories. I suspect I will not truly "get it" until I experience it personally.

So, are you wondering what is esoteric about all this? Much.

Today's esoteric moment is brought to you by the famed "Dream Machine." According to David Kerekes, Author of Headpress 25: William Burroughs & the Flicker Machine:

A dream machine is "viewed" with the eyes closed: the pulsating light stimulates the optical nerve and alters the brain's electrical oscillations. The "viewer" experiences increasingly bright, complex patterns of color behind their closed eyelids. The patterns become shapes and symbols, swirling around, until the "viewer" feels surrounded by colors. It is claimed that viewing a dream machine allows one to enter a hypnagogic state.

So, I found instructions on how to make an inexpensive version of this dream machine. Click here to view them.

Well, this seems to be more of a hypnotic machine than a dream machine. One of my travel companions had a suggestion to modify this machine to make lucid dreaming more certain. If the timer on the LCD flashing mechanism was set for a longer period - say for 45 minutes or so, and would only start flashing at that time, you could use hypnotic suggestion for lucid dreaming.

If you had a client put on the sunglasses and did a hypnotic induction for sleep and that when the lights began flashing it would be a signal that they could now control their dream, it could be powerful.

Just a cool new toy to play with...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


And so today has arrived and I am waiting for the water to boil for a quick cup of tea before shoving off.

There are so many things I would love to discuss and they come flooding through, but yet I am not sure this is the time to bring them up, what with not necessarily being able to engage in the conversation directly. But I will bring up one and hope some of you will respond.

Breathing. For something that is totally subconscious, it really is an odd thing. I remember taking a theatre class in high school and having the instructor teach us proper breathing. He started by having us lie down on the stage. He said when people are lying down, they breath naturally. Then he had us stand up and breath normally. If we heaved our shoulders up, we were not breathing properly. The he went through the diaphragmatic breathing process.

Well after years of singing in the choir, yoga, meditation and hypnosis, the diaphragmatic way has proven to be a running theme. So this gets to the crux of the matter. When I start a session, I usually have the client take a deep slow breathe and exhale slowly. Then at certain points I may have them try to keep their breathes equal for inhaling and exhaling . Slow and steady. This is also practiced in some forms of Yoga. And as I guide a client to do this, I watch them to calibrate my wording with their actions.

Now during group sessions (even if it is only two), I change the wording to "breath at your own rate, time and speed."

Recently, I had a respiratory therapist say that these deep breathing and relaxing breathing exercises cause people to hyperventilate. She said that inhales are done fast and rapidly and that the ratio of time is for the length of time of an inhale, it should take twice as long or more for the exhale. Fascinating.

So, I was curious if anyone else had any experience with breathing techniques or had words of wisdom along this line?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Phoning Home...and other places

Another Monday, but this Monday is a little different. Though I am here, coffee in one hand, hunting and pecking with the other, I am in the process of packing for a week long journey with friends. So, I am not sure how the posting is going to go for the next week. I had planned to email my post, but I am a little weary of the service after the trial run this weekend. So, do check back periodically as I may have opportunity to post and keep up with you.

As I get all the details in line, I have been looking for a pre-paid calling card that will allow me international flexibility in calling home and office. Yes, I will be taking my cell phone, but it seems like international calling gets complicated and expensive, so I am looking for alternatives in case I find myself meditating on an Mayan pyramid (there is hope for a group regression at such a place) and need to share my revelations. Probably cell phone service would be limited down there, but its good to have one's ducks in a row, eh? So, I have found a calling card from, that will let me use my cell phone for such a thing (and is available on other phones, too). Their low rates are substantially better than my cell phone carrier. If I am in Mexico, I can call home to the States (and to other places
in Mexico) for under $.20. This is 90% less than what I would normally pay for international cell phone usage. Also note though that if you choose to use, you may want to disable international calling on your cell phone to make sure you are not being charged twice.

The other positive thing about their service is that it saves a lot of time in finding lower fee phone cards (which I have looked for in the past during travels) and their rates are easy to find. You just click on the Rates tab on their site. Pingo’s RateWatcher™ is also pretty nifty for finding low rates. Do note though, that there is a $.98 monthly fee for the service. This is almost made up in promotions. If you sign up, you receive five hours of free calling (for this you pay for $20 worth of service), plus at the moment if you use their coupon, you get more of a discount:

Special phone card blog discount coupon: “ppp3” valid for $3 off Pingo
Receive $25 phone card for just $17.

You can find out more about how it works by clicking on their "How It Works" page. It might also be worth using them as an instant calling card for general calls, not just when you are traveling. For those loved ones that I still have in the UK, the rates seem really competitive (and it would have been helpful for last week's bought of homesickness). And if you sell Cd's and training courses world-wide, this might save some money in communicating with clients outside your local market area.

So, that is one more task checked off on the to do list.

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Sunday, September 9, 2007

Sorry about the Glitch!

Well, I was away from web access this weekend, but still posted through email...only to find that the post never went through! Sorry about that...They should be there now. See you tomorrow.

A Question of the Sunday Question

So here is today's Sunday Question:

Should I continue asking and discussing a Sunday Question?

Is it of interest? Or is it better to ask questions through out the week? Is the Monday Poll taking care of interactiveness of questions? Do you have a preference?

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Saturday, September 8, 2007

System of an Esoteric Saturday on the Down

Every now and then, you just have to let loose. Speeding along (within the legal limits – of course!), coming home late at night from a journey, there is nothing as wonderful as cranking the vehicle sound system up to keep the energy flowing. This was the case for me a few days ago.

I had been to dinner with friends earlier and we were discussing Esoteric Saturday. The topic of System of a Down came up and I was asked if I had heard their CD "Hypnotize. I had not, so I found myself propelled into the night, listening loudly to edgy, harder (this is not Elton John after all) riffs and lyrics.

I had to go to the lyrics to understand them and this is the part of the CD and song "Hypnotize" that references our art.

Why don't you ask the kids at Tiananmen Square Was fashion the reason why they were there. They disguise it, hypnotize it. Television made you buy it. I'm just sitting in my car And waiting for my…She's scared that I will take her away from there Her dreams and her country left with no one there. Mezmerize the simple minded Propaganda leaves us blinded. I'm just sitting in my car And waiting for my girl.

But perhaps you would like to listen to the song, too. So I have included it.

Visit the band's site at

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Friday, September 7, 2007


I am having tea time earlier today. It is convenient and a great time to touch base with the blog again.

Yes, I am having tea time as opposed to a coffee break. Ever since doing the exercise on the perfect office, I have been craving London something fierce. I have even been dressing in black. Dinner will probably even be a nice Shepherd's Pie.

But I have a question for all you British hypnotists - why are none of you listed in London on Granted it is pretty new, but still...where are you? If you are not familiar with, it is a new community website that features places one should visit, such as restaurants, places of culture, and yes - well being. It is done from a user perspective. Places are reviewed and commented upon. Keeps you as a business owner on your toes, don't you think?

So, there I was drooling over the spas and yoga spaces and it occurred to me to look up the rest of my ilk. Now, I am truly inspired to move my practice to the UK. That is right, I looked up hypnosis and found us not represented. We need to do something about that. So is there a lack of our profession there or what?

And just looking over the London restaurant scene is inspiring. There is full diversity in this area. Seems as though one would never be bored food-wise there.

This site also is available for other areas in the world, though their starting focus was on London and the UK, but I see potential for its expansion. Pretty nice.

Feeling a little clicky?

Coffee break again.

Looking at my email, I noticed a client has sent me an interesting link and a plea for help. The link is to The Breast Cancer Site. It is a site that creates awareness about breast cancer and also has a very interesting program that provides free mammograms to women in need. If you have been reading any of the hypnosis studies lately, you know then that there has been a study done that verifies that hypnosis is beneficial in the healing process to breast cancer patients (not that we needed verification, but the rest of the world appreciates it). So, it seems like this is a good time to support the awareness site.

Basically, when you go to the site, you click on a link that says "Click Here to Give - It's Free." Here's how it works according to the site:

Your click on the "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button helps fund free mammograms for women in need — low-income, inner-city and minority women whose awareness of breast cancer and opportunity for help is often limited. Your click is paid for by site sponsors, and mammogram funding is provided to clinics throughout the U.S. through the efforts of the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
What the email I received from my client mentioned is that it takes 45,000 clicks to result in one free mammogram, so feel free to pass this on to anyone you know.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Justified Paranoia

They show up, looking behind them, surveying the parking lot, reading my words on confidentiality and privacy closely, and tell me that they want no one to know that they are seeing a hypnotist. If we see each other in passing, I am not to be hurt if they do not "know" me. Then they breathe and unpack their life and fears.

And sometimes I wonder if those with a heightened sense of paranoia are not a little wiser than the rest of us. Today while perusing the blog world for marketing ideas, I came across (Random blatherings - I love it!), a so-called Marketing Blog. Though I am not sure I gained perspective in that area, it kept my attention. The blog has different sections for health, business, and politics, among others.

The recent post in health was about China's food safety issues. Where have I been? Last I heard, one had to be careful with toothpaste, now food? See why perhaps those that are a little paranoid maybe right in their ideas? If you read the post before that one, there seems to be some issue with Chinese Medicine as well. Great. The articles do not go into great depth on specifics, but it is enough to make one read labels a little more closely. But what I want to know, does this affect Chinese Herbals? What are the ramifications?

I have been looking into Chinese herbs and their potential to help with PMS (it has been said, I am not sure by whom, that the Chinese do not have the problems we have with PMS). Now I guess I will move a little slower and even more cautiously.

And how will this affect the 2008 Olympics in Beijing? I had entertained an idea of trying to go on holiday then. Or am I just feeding into media frenzy?

On a more positive note, in their Business Blog section, there is a posting on some fabulous new toys that are coming out for businesses. I just might need a cell phone that is a transformer. Perhaps it will protect me from any intruder subplot planing to disrupt the tranquility of my garden room office.

So, as always, feel free to share your thoughts on the whole paranoia idea, Chinese medicine (hey, some of you are herbalist out there, I know you are there, let me hear from you), or if you too need a cell phone that doubles as a toy.


Today is a little more leisurely oriented. I had early morning task to attended to but here I am, actually taking a water break, rather than the caffeinated breaks I favor.

So, I guess this post will be about the leisure time of a hypnotist. I was discussing busy days with another hypnotist and he mentioned that he tends to schedule in four meditation breaks per day during office hours. It is how he rejuvenates.

I tend to try to put an hour between all sessions. It gives me time in case I run over a bit on a client, and time to clear my mind and start fresh for the next. This means my client load is less, but I feel much saner and effective than I would cranking people through. Though I know this is not necessarily the favored method of those trying to make high figure incomes.

When I first started out, I would find myself drained after doing a session, but as time has progressed, I find I often have more energy after working with certain clients. There are still some clients that can be a little tiring, usually the ones where rapport does not come naturally and I have to really work at creating a comfortable and trusting environment. These are the clients where the hour in between really pays off. I can take a short walk (to a coffee shop) and I do self-hypnosis on the way, clearing my head and just being an observer of my surroundings. I guess you could call this a walking meditation. By the time I have my coffee (or cafe au lait for the very difficult times) and am back at the office, unlocking the door, it feels like I am starting fresh.

How about you? Do you have ways in which you regroup between sessions or work?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

My Dream Office

There is a certain type of gloomy day that really appeals to me, the kind with a few thunderheads lurking in the far-off, no harsh glare to reality, just a softness of light. One can turn on the glow of a subtle lamp or enjoy the candle light in the mid-afternoon. No need to draw the shades (if you have any) and no client voices complaining about the light being too bright (ah, but that is why opne should always have eye pads handy).

And I have this fabulous dream (yes, I am doing that weekly exercise of the idea of changing things about) of moving my office into a conservatory off my non-existent home in the middle of London. An oasis of greenery and glass without the sound of cell phones buzzing in constantly. It would be in the back, overlooking a courtyard of boxwood. How wonderful such an office would be on a gloomy day or during the twilight hours. This is my dream office in reality. I am not so keen for a dimly lit space (as you may already know).

So I looked up the idea of Conservatory in England (ah, to be in England in...the Fall?) and found Anglian Home Improvements. I am torn between the Edwardian and the Garden Room versions, though I suppose it would depend on what housing I had at the time. A good comfy chair, leather (distressed) would be perfect for either. And some sort of antique rug would be nice as well. One could even work a nice induction into the falling rain on the roof glass.

The positive thing about this fantasy is that I can coordinate it. All I would need is a basic structure and this same company could take care of all my Home improvements so that everything would coordinate in modern technologies. Antiques windows and such are lovely, but I think something sound and new would be well worth consideration. If one company handled it all, the doors, the windows, even the roofing and garage doors could be coordinated. How handy it would be to just make one phone call, one meeting and that would be that. I am sure there would be more to it, but how sweet it would be to just deal with one place for it all. Plus Anglian has been serving the UK for more than 36 years, so they have plenty of experience with dealing with slightly neurotic females and their fantasies. I suspect they could handle me with kid gloves (a necessary when spending lots of money).

S0, there you have it. Another flight of fantasy. But you know, when you start actually loooking into it, perhaps it is more like future planning, the beginning of a new manifestation.

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The Quiting Game

Today is a gulp it down and hope the taste is good because there is little time to savor the tea.

I am back to thinking about smokers. Upon Michael's recommendation awhile back, I read Terrance Watts' Easy Quit Smoking Program. I found it to be brilliant and pretty detailed. The author gave lots of clues on how to deal with all types of people and their habits. His approach involves a bit of acting during the pre-talk, but if you can pull it off, on paper it sounds powerful.

So recently, I decided to employ some of the techniques. Well, I guess when one starts new things it is good to be challenged up front to get the worst out of the way. So, it always seems to go for me (yep, tiny pity party). What a strange thing this universe is...sometimes it seems like tough love, as opposed to a kinder approach.

I share this with you because, I am trying to be transparent, but it also helps me learn. My client was interesting. He was in the medical profession and had watched people die from lung cancer. Lots of disassociation there. He said it did not bother him to think about himself going through such a disease and death. His view of death was one that if it happened two minutes from now, that would be fine. And yes, he would take a risk if I offered him two cigarettes, one being a stick of cyanide and he would not know which one. Then he asked me if I had ever been a smoker, which I have not and he said that was obvious.

So, rather than justify myself and my empathy of the quiting game, I followed Mr.Watt's model and asked the dear doc why he had even come to me and wanted to give up the cigs. Now here he had a fine reason. He felt shame every time he recommended patients to stop smoking; he did not want to be a hypocrite anymore. So that is where I went with forming suggestions for the session.

And that is that, I must run along with the rest of the day.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Redundant Sessions

So, have you looked at the world from an upside down perspective, yet? I am looking at the world from a sleepy perspective at the moment.

Here is a question (no, I am not waiting until Sunday): Where are people getting the idea that they need a potential booster session or that they need some sort of reinforcement for hypnosis to be truly effective?

Is it because hypnotists tell them this in order to get more business? Is it a lack of self-trust?

I do offer a more than one session option in my pricing, but I do this for the concept that there may be several things that the client would want to work on, such as is the case with weight loss, where one might need suggestions for portion control, self-esteem, and exercise motivation. So, I would do three sessions for this, not the same thing over and over again.

What I also wonder is if the brain occasionally rebels against repeating the suggestion over and over again for instance as one might do with an audio product. If they use the same audio to help them fall asleep at night, might it get to the point where it does just the opposite?

Monday, September 3, 2007

A Change in Perspective

Well, I am working at home today in honor of Labor Day. How about you? It is a simple kind of day, as I have opted out from the exotic coffee and am going for a regular cup of 8 O'clock brew.

Do you do Yoga? I do, though probably not as much as I should or would like too. It really goes quite nicely with the hypnosis lifestyle. Do you like that, hypnosis lifestyle? It is all about mind discipline or consciousness. From proper three-part breathing, to meditation, to finding the tolerance of a pose while various parts of the body are active and others are not. You learn what the body can do and what it should not do - honor the body.

Last week, we were doing a simple forward bend from the hip crease (so you bent over with a flat back as opposed to curving the back) and our yoga teacher had us open our eyes (I am very guilty of doing much of my yoga practice with eye's closed) and look at the world from this new perspective. Sounds very simple, I know, but it was profound as well. It was the idea of acclimating ourselves to seeing the world a little differently and how we fit into this new perspective. I suggest you try it (you do not have to do the yoga part, just carefully bend over, have your legs spread just a bit, and look through your legs at the world upside down). It is an odd thing, but the idea of just looking at things differently is powerful. It is what we do with hypnosis. We change our perspective to make something better within and it changes our relationship with the world.

It might even make for a good exercise in general, especially when one finds one self potentially caught in a way of thinking that is not productive. Just change your perspective literally and go from there...

Sunday, September 2, 2007

A Question of Audio

No coffee just yet, Yikes.

So, in this foggy hazy, the Sunday question is:

Do you record your hypnosis sessions and give your clients a copy of the session?

I do this, though it is a bit of a pain (I record digitally and make a
CD). Sometimes I think this is a good idea because it is all there so
the client has no need to wonder so much about what happened. Many
never listen to the tape, but some do apparently. They seem to think
this will help with "reinforcement" no matter if we go through the pre-talk
about how that will not be necessary. The "more is better concept," I
guess. And for these types, I seem to eventually hear "it doesn't work
so well."

I know a lot of hypnotists do record their sessions. I know others who just give relaxation CDs.

Any thoughts?