WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT CHANGE
“One of the things I believe is that we already are what we spend our lives trying to attain, but we just don’t realize it!” –Anita Moorjani, ‘Dying To Be Me: My Journey From Cancer, To Near Death, To True Healing
A few years ago, I exhibited a collection of my artwork entitled “Death Chants”. My intent was not to channel the macabre, but to illustrate a figurative ritual of shedding patterns, beliefs, emotions and illnesses that no longer served me in order to invite renewal and rebirth. In the corner of the gallery was an installation that included an invitation to visitors to anonymously write on a piece of paper something that they wanted a figurative death of--an invitation for catharsis. Beneath all of their words was one underlying belief: inadequacy.
When we talk about change, it is almost inherently framed this way. It is often an acknowledgement of what we are not rather than what we are or can become. Evolutionarily, as new little humans, our greatest task is to learn how to survive. We look to our caretakers and community to teach us how. If our intuition is counter to the model we’re shown, we learn the belief that we are wrong. We are inadequate. We must change.
Interestingly, the PREDOMINANT brainwave state of children, Theta, is the same state TYPICALLY achieved in hypnosis--a state of accelerated learning. Milton Erickson, who many consider to be the 'grandfather of hypnotherapy', said, “Most people walk through the world in a trance of disempowerment. Our work is to transform that into a trance of empowerment.” As adults, we have the ability to choose to enter that same theta state that we experienced as children, to connect to our intuition and know that we are adequate, whole, and worthy of what we desire.
My favorite quote from Dr. Joe Dispenza, author of Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, is, “There is no try; there is only allow." The ego often informs our need for the cause-and-effect model of change. In order to be happy, etc., I have to be this, do this, go there. Though I won't negate the merit of working hard for what we want in our lives, that drive can often stem from the ego's masochistic belief that it has to be hard. That sense of unworthiness can keep us in a loop of dissatisfaction. Is your desire to change informed by a belief in your inadequacy, or by love of life and self?
This is one of the most beautiful aspects of hypnotherapy to me. By allowing ourselves to enter hypnosis, the cause-and-effect model of the ego is suspended. Our minds can accept lasting changes simply by relaxing into a blissful trance. Your subconscious mind doesn’t try. It allows. Our dedication and engagement is still needful, but if motivated by a sense of self-love and abundance, that comes with ease. Anita Moorjani says, "...the process of letting go and releasing attachment to any belief or outcome is cathartic and healing. The dichotomy is that for true healing to occur, I must let go of the need to be healed and just enjoy and trust in the ride that is life."
Although Anita’s insight and healing came as a result of her literal death, she assures us that it isn’t necessary to have a near-death experience to embrace these same truths and heal ourselves. We can choose a symbolic death—inviting a rebirth and renewal of ourselves, welcoming the unconditional love and acceptance into our subconscious minds that those who have had near-death experiences describe. It is always there—all we need to do is allow it in.