By Dr Tracie O’Keefe DCH, published in Yoga & Health magazine May 2001
Change is inevitable, because day follows night, follows day. You cannot stop change, but what you can do is guide the changes you want in your own life. You, of course, will be unusual if you do that because 99.9 per cent of people believe they are subject to fate, buy lottery tickets and wait for someone else to tell them what to do. Is that you?
Hypnosis has been used for thousands of years in China, Ancient Egyptian sleep temples and Grecian dream temples, and by the church under the auspices of counselling and guidance. It has also been used as some types of meditation, and lately by modern medicine and psychology in the form of clinical hypnotherapy.
Self-hypnosis is a mental discipline which can be learnt by anyone to open up the amazing potential of the mind that can help guide the path of your body and free the journey of your spirit. A person who owns large parts of the planet, wins a profusion of gold medals or preaches to nations is simply poverty stricken if they have not travelled and explored the vast inner regions within their own mind.
No matter where you go, you go in your own mind
You mind is like your stomach – what you put in is what you become. Think for a while about the kind of rubbish that you daily let in to contaminate your thoughts via the television, advertising, radio and other people dumping on you. Perhaps it’s time for you to be more selective, focusing on what you want to happen and programming your mind to turn those positive thoughts into reality.
Self-hypnosis happens when a person puts their conscious mind to one side and allows the unconscious to take over. This is achieved by going into an altered state of awareness, known as a trance. Since the unconscious mind is the larger mind, its abilities far exceed those of the conscious mind, and it automatically naturally knows how to resolve problems that the critical conscious mind cannot. Positive suggestions and psychological exploration can be used in a trance to help a person move forward in whatever direction is right for them. Because people are more susceptible to suggestion in trance, behavioural change can take place easily and speedily.
Your defence mechanisms that filter out external communication are mainly in your conscious mind, when that conscious mind becomes dormant in hypnosis, a gateway into changing beliefs directly in the unconscious is opened up. That’s what makes hypnosis so successful in helping people change their behaviour by goal directed thought.
Sonia had spent years living in communes all over the world, eating wholefood, chanting, reading every kind of philosophy she could find. She still felt that she had not recovered from her mother’s neglect and not knowing her father. By having 40 cigarettes a day and a bottle of wine before bed she was only fooling herself that life was health. After learning self-hypnosis and how to create security for herself she stopped smoking, cut out the booze, and opened her own health shop, finally accepting her own growing up as a natural process.
I teach people to practise self-hypnosis 20 to 30 minutes every day, taking themselves down into a deep relaxing trance, positively reprogramming their beliefs and attitudes. Then the unconscious mind can check all the body’s systems to see that the parts are working in balance with each other. Whatever needs healing gets the very best attention that can be given – self-healing. Through psycho-imaginary techniques you can re-oxygenate your blood, boost the immune system and check the kind of vitamins and minerals needed to gain optimal nutritional intake.
Be highly conscious of your health, move towards eating raw plant foods and exercising regularly. At 45, I wake up in the morning bursting with energy and looking forward to the day ahead. This is what I teach people to achieve with the mindsets they install in themselves. Don’t wait to win the lottery because the odds are it will be a long time coming and you will be a long way down the queue anyway…be a winner NOW!
Many people are out there looking for love, success, riches, and hoping to find some spark of recognition that their life has been worthwhile, but if you are looking outside yourself for that commendation it will never come. As a hypnotist, what I teach to people is that it starts from the inside outwards…whatever you want in your life you must create it within yourself…only then can you guarantee having sufficient of what you seek. Anything extra you encounter along the way is more than a bonus, but you do not rely on it to survive. If you were stranded on a desert island for the rest of your life, how would you create enough, love, satisfaction, appreciation, confidence and personal strength?
Life starts from the inside outwards
Hypnosis is different from prayer and some forms of meditation because it is more psycho-proactive and directive in that you are less subject to but part of the whole planning process. People develop all the time as life is constantly changing, so to be able to programme yourself to how you want to change is a critical and acute ability that you can learn to do with self-hypnosis. Imagination is the key, but many of us were brought up in cultures where too much imagining was considered a sign of weakness and not part of the natural biological and psychological processes.
Luther was convinced he had lived in a past life. It took up so much of his time that he became depressed and had not worked for three years. The strange thing was that he did all his dreaming when he was awake. His friends would speak about the dreams they had last night, but he could never remember his. Through self-hypnosis Luther learnt hypnotic dreaming and managed to spend 30 minutes twice a day in a dreaming trance. He would go back to the time he believed he had lived in Mesopotamia, copy the art he dreamed about and sell his designs. His work has become so popular in the East that he has caught up on the three lost years, bought his own flat and become very proud about his imagination that he used to think was a drawback.
The rule-driven living process that requires us to follow preset paths to accommodate social order often constrains our creativity. This creativity is the way to go in your mind in order to find physical, mental and spiritual excellence. Through hypnosis you can also motivate thought-changing, deep emotional states that are among the strongest of drivers. Part of my work has been working with what I call foundation states of being, which are sensory experiences created through hypnosis that underly everything you do.
Hypnosis is fun. It has to be because my…Number 1 rule of life is…Have fun…no matter whether you are a teacher, police officer, or grave digger. Self-hypnosis can be a time for sanctuary when you go off alone and service your mind to release the potential of your body and free your spirit, each acting harmoniously with the other to create mind, body and spiritual excellence.
Dr Tracie O’Keefe DCH, BHSc, ND, Clinical Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist. Counsellor, PACFA registered Mental Health Professional and Naturopath In Sydney. You can get help by booking an appointment with her at Australian Health & Education Centre.