Healing

The most important opinion about healing belongs to the person who is in need of healing.

 

The most important information about healing is self-knowledge. You may not be consciously aware, but your inner mind knows all about your wellness and your illness. Look for impulses from your unconscious and learn how to pay attention to them and heed them.

 

Whatever you think about healing in general, or healing with regard to a specific person with a specific condition, you could be wrong.

 

The wisest doctor I’ve ever spoken with told me that doctors don’t heal; they do something to make the body heal on its own, faster.

healing_of_the_blind_man

Sometimes the healing that a person receives is not what we hoped or intended, or to a different degree. We have no way of knowing what will be, even though we try our damnedest for a particular outcome.

 

Healing is mysterious. Wellness and illness are mysterious, too. There are thousands of systems in the brain, body, and body-mind process that we don’t fully understand.

 

Healing isn’t always a linear experience. Some people can go through it faster or slower, go backward, forward, stall, or quickly become well or quickly transition.

 

Healing is a complex process with somewhat unpredictable responses to known solutions.

 

Sometimes sick people get well without intervention, although someone involved will certainly say that their prayers brought about the healing.

 

Whatever healing is, humans will create beliefs and attributions and philosophies in order to cope with any outcome.

 

Knowing that my own opinion matters very little, I think there is no such thing as a healer; or if there is, everyone can do it.

 

I think our thoughts and emotions and behaviors play the biggest role in our wellness, illness, and longevity.

 

That popular notion that we only use a small percentage of our brain?  It’s inaccurate. The conscious mind uses a small percentage, but the rest of your brain is busy doing things that you’re not consciously aware of. You use every part of your brain. Some parts are used for bringing things back into balance, which is just a fancy term for healing.

Holistic = Wholistic

When I first heard the term it wasn’t widely-used, as it is today, and it was spelled with a W.

 

I came to understand it as a total approach to health and well-being. It seems intuitive now, but in the late ‘60s it was revolutionary. Along with the studies of body language and many other sciences and pseudo-sciences, holistic health care began to take hold as people everywhere joined a global community of people who are as concerned with happiness as they are with longevity, because all of the things we think, feel, and do relate to overall health.

 

Holistic health and well-being is what I preach to all of my Clients and everyone who will listen. Drink lots of water. Eat sensibly and in moderation. You don’t need recreational drugs or alcohol. Meditate and practice self-hypnosis to train mind and body for contentedness. Keep healthy relationships and learn to have intimacy and satisfying sex. Everyone needs sex education, so talk about it with people you trust, especially your family. Laugh and smile often. Surround yourself with beauty as much as you can. Be available, be of service, and say Yes more than you say No. Keep your mind active and steer away from boredom. If there is any situation causing stress and worry, address it directly right now or as soon as possible. Get resolution and completion to the unfinished things. Get enough sleep. Do all of these things because living well is the best path to being well.

 

Why do I recommend these things to my Clients? Simple: it’s because I’m not a physician or psychologist or psychiatrist. Any other advice would be beyond the scope of my knowledge and professional practice, but look at it this way: this advice helps other professionals work with you. When you do everything you can do for yourself, you become calmer, you make better decisions, and you also become more compliant with the trustworthy professionals who can help you.

 

Take care, my Friends, and I mean that in every sense.

 

More soon,
James.

Smokers, Big Tobacco, and the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement

I am a Hypnotist and this is my busy season. The reason I’m so busy is that the holidays are stressful and we are conditioned to thinking about our lives at this time of year.  We have feelings about the year that’s about to end, and hope about the year that’s about to begin. It stands to reason that courageous, creative people are going to move forward to seek support as they go through the New Year’s rituals.

 

Moving forward is what I do for a living. I take people along and we share inspiration, hope, happiness, contentment, excitement, adventure, pleasant surprises, powerful effects, positive outcomes, and the increasing ability to shape our experiences through thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

 

One thing that really thrills me is that I help people to quit smoking. This is one of my specialties. A few years ago I put everything aside to learn how to be great at it. I simply decided I would become an expert, and that decision caused me to read everything, review all of the classes I had taken, call a few expert colleagues, view and read all kinds of information on the internet, and put together a program that works with a very high degree of efficacy. Every client who sticks with my program becomes a non-smoker.

 

smoking addiction

 

How does it work?  It works differently for each client because everyone is different. Each client will pay attention to different aspects of their smoking experience, and every client has resistance. It’s up to me to pay careful attention to their concerns, understand them at a deeply human level and without judgment, then meet them there and appeal to their willingness to improve and develop.

 

I was a smoker for 17 years. One thing that really got to me and caused me to quit was when my brother-in-law said to me, “You’re too smart to smoke.” I couldn’t deny that, and it suddenly made smoking seem very stupid.

 

That statement won’t appeal to every smoker. Some hate the stink and the hassle of ashes and embers and ashtrays. Some feel shame that they are influencing their children. Some hate the social aspects, such as having to go outside to smoke. And some people just hate that they are enslaved by dried-up tobacco rolled up in paper.

 

 smoking-cigarette

 

Some clients say they are not bothered by the money—until I hand them my calculator and have them work out the arithmetic:

 

$8.00 per pack  X  365 days in a year  =  $2,944.00

 

What really makes me hate smoking is the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.  That’s what makes smoking so expensive. When you buy a pack of smokes, it isn’t “taxes” that makes them so expensive—it’s the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.  More than  50% of the price goes to that expense.  Less than 5% of the price goes to profit.

 

Makes you wonder: If the tobacco companies make so little profit per pack, they must be selling one hell of a lot of packs in order to afford the $206 billion to which every smoker is contributing.

 

The main points to remember about the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement:

  •     Big Tobacco doesn’t know who you are and they don’t care about you
  •     If you get sick as a result of smoking, you can’t sue them
  •     The tobacco companies know that smoking is lethal, and paying $206 billion over the course of 25 years is actually cheaper than the cost of medical care, lawsuits, and insurance payouts related to smoking.

 

I’m sorry you got chumped so badly by Big Tobacco.  I truly am sorry. You don’t have to take it anymore.  You can stop.  You’re too smart to smoke. Find a great hypnotist who is committed to this work, and get started.  You can do this!  I believe in you.

 

quit-smoking-4

“Belief” and Hypnosis

IMG_0821

 

As a professional Certified Hypnotist, I can tell you with certainty that Hypnosis is not based on belief.  In other words, you need not believe in it for it to work for you.

Hypnosis is Science.
If you are willing to go through the process, it will work for you.  You will experience positive results.  Put aside your conscious ideas about logic and reason.  Your subconscious mind doesn’t waste time with those things that exist in the conscious mind–and that’s a good thing because we could waste all day arguing about how and if it works.  Hypnosis works.  Just go with it.

Hypnosis is Art.
Half of the Art of Hypnosis lies in the spoken language and non-verbal language of the Hypnotist and the development of skill over time. The other half of the Art is your subconscious ability to change old habits of thinking, feeling, and behaving.  The Art that I continue to develop is finding the connections and associations that exist in your filters of belief, opinion, attitude, experience, education, knowledge, and wisdom.  Once we find the key to unlock your limiting beliefs, you become unstoppable.  I expect that as with all beautiful, fine things in Life, this skill continues to develop as long as I continue to learn, practice, and teach.  How deep do you want to go?  There is no limit!

Hypnosis is a Philosophy.
I say this all the time: What we continue to practice is what we master.  We can misdirect our attention and practice worry, grief, regret, resistance, nervousness, stress, anxiety, self-doubt, anger, frustration–all of the other terrible things–and we can get very good at them ~ OR ~ we can practice the self-mastery of Love, kindness, generosity, forgiveness, calm, confidence, courage, leadership, happiness, contentment, hope, optimism, cheerfulness, greatness, learning, openness, and all of the other wonderful things–and have a Life beyond your wildest dreams.

Forget about “belief.”  Some of what you believe is wrong.  Believe in your SELF and your ability to improve, develop, and prosper.

I Believe in You.

The Hypnotic Secret of Getting People to Do Just About Anything

I am a professionally-trained Hypnotist.  I know how to get people to do things.  I do it all the time in my office, in groups, and sometimes on a stage.  I can even get to you read this entire blog.

 

Yes, there is a set of words you can use, along with some non-verbal suggestions, and they work like magic—you won’t believe your results.

 

I will tell you the exact words in a moment or two, but in order to use them most powerfully, read the entire explanation first.  There’s also a catch: If you want to get something, you have to give something.  That is one of the Great Laws of the Universe.  There is always an exchange of energy.  Give your part of the bargain cleanly—or else the Universe will extract it from you at a later date.  That’s how it works according to The Law.

 

IMG_0821

 

Here is the information you seek.  The Magic Words are Please and Thank You.  There are many other words and phrases, and with these as a starting point you will easily build your own list.

 

The non-verbal suggestions are smiling, sympathetic facial expressions, and possibly a gesture of physical contact (depending on the circumstances).  You can think of others.

 

If you want those words and gestures to work all the time, there’s something else you need to know.  This is it: Be a good person all the time.  Your intentions and personality are ALWAYS communicated subliminally, in all of your expressions, even when you think no one is watching.

 

connection-resized-600

 

I’d better repeat the last part, because you’re more interested in manipulating other people than you are in improving yourself (don’t feel bad; that’s part of our human condition).  The way to become ultimately persuasive is to be a good person all the time.  Who you really are deep down is always evident in your body language, tone of voice, and the things you say.  It’s impossible to mask yourself all the time.  If you are good, people pick up on that.  If you are lying, people pick up on that, too.  We pick up on each other’s signals at a subliminal level, subconsciously.

 

It seems so simple, doesn’t it?  It IS simple.  If you think it takes a lot of work to do and say things in order to be influential, persuasive, charismatic, powerful, and desired, you are working too hard. Goodness is simple. Kindness is simple. Generosity is simple.

 

The reason being good works so effectively is that people around you will instantly pick up on your openness and genuineness and authenticity.  They will believe you and also believe in you.

 

You can’t fake being nice if you’re a jerk.  You might fool some of the people some of the time, but eventually the Universe will extract your end of the bargain and you will have gained nothing.

 

The Universe insists on an even exchange overall, but if you give a lot and gain a lot, you are living a very rich Life and it’s totally worth it to play this game full-out.

 

Start practicing now.  Some great examples of goodness include Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi, but you need not become a holy person.  Just do your sincere best to act in someone else’s best interest even when you don’t want to.  Even when there’s nothing in it for you.  Even if no one will know and you won’t be able to brag about it.  Practice often, train yourself to be a good person all the time, and your goodness will become evident in the way you talk, move, conduct yourself, and then in your thinking, feeling, physical sensations and experiences, your writing, and everything about your self-expression.

 

That catch I mentioned earlier?  Here it is: Being a good person, you will only be asking for what you need, nothing more.  You will not be selfish about getting people to do things.  For example, you will ask for a ride someplace and not for a car.  You will ask for the price of a meal, not the price of a night out.  You will ask for the thing you need—and you will also offer something in return in order to maintain the balance of energy.

 

That’s the drawback.  You began reading this for selfish reasons, but the way to get what you want is to be generous, righteous, and upstanding for the greater good all the time.

 

Trust me, I’m a hypnotist.  This is what I advise, and it’s what I teach my clients and audiences everywhere.  It works like magic, and you won’t believe your results.

 

hypnotism

Watch the video on YouTube: http://youtu.be/QOxY0lndtXM

Hypnosis and Meditation Are Not the Same Thing. Here’s why…

The question about the relationship between hypnosis and meditation has been coming up again, so here is a qualified explanation.  This brief article is a clear look at the differences between Hypnosis and Meditation with regard to how they are actually practiced in the world today.

Keep in mind that both Hypnosis and Meditation can provide deeply meaningful experiences and they can be practiced for decades and your experiences will change over time.  They are very deep subjects that cannot be described fully in this small space–you will gain extremely great self-knowledge and development with either or both.  This article is not intended to describe what you may or may not experience and the many ways that you will improve; it is only to point out the significant differences.

It comes down to four things: purpose and motivation, style and technique, assessment of suggestibility, and actual suggestions given for future behaviors.  In order to discuss the differences and distinctions, it is helpful to begin with the similarities of the two.

Both hypnosis and meditation can cause relaxation, calm, comfort, euphoria or happiness, contentment, and serenity.  Sessions include those kinds of suggestions.  Sessions are conducted in groups, or for individuals one at a time.  There might be a distorted sense of time.  Muscles release tension and the body can return to balance, and usually the client will sleep wonderfully during the night following a session.  All of these things are reported by clients following meditation and hypnosis sessions.  Clients also report a wide range of images and feelings, indicating that each person creates the experience according to their own personal individuality. 

Those are the similarities.

Here is where Hypnosis and Meditation diverge and remain distinct:

 

sBWMaster_hand_hypnosis_gif_by_silverkazeninja-d3bwzmo

 

Purpose and Motivation

With meditation, often the purpose is stated by the teacher or leader.  Meditation is typically used for stress reduction, taking a mental break, facilitate healing, improve sleep, and anything associated with gentle relaxation. Hypnosis differs in terms of motivation.  For example, few people seek meditation with the motivation for quitting smoking, losing weight, getting a grip on exam taking, or increasing confidence and courage.  The specific intention and principle effect of hypnosis is to get the client’s subconscious mind open to suggestions while their conscious mind takes a break from rationalizing, judging, and questioning.  The client remains awake while in a state of detachment in which they are not thinking about thinking.

One key thing here is that hypnosis has nothing to do with relaxation.  It is not necessary to remain still and quiet in order to be hypnotized.  For proof of this, observe any hypnosis entertainment show and see for yourself.  The simple reason to suggest “relaxation” is to remove distraction so that hypnosis can occur.

Style and Technique

Meditation and hypnosis both use an infinite number and array of techniques, many of which can be created spontaneously during the session.  With hypnosis, the style and technique are form-fitted to the individual, or else the conscious mind will not daydream or go into trance.  In hypnosis groups, the hypnotist will provide a variety of suggestions in order to appeal to individual learning styles.

Some of the techniques used to induce and conduct the hypnotic experience are things known in our jargon as deepeners, ego-strengthening, fractionation, convincers or depth testing, post-hypnotic re-introduction to hypnosis, and anchoring. The most obvious difference between meditation and hypnosis can be seen in a demonstration of Rapid Hypnotic Induction.  It is highly effective and repeatable and it dramatically demonstrates the effects of hypnosis.  I have never seen anything resembling rapid meditation, and as far as I know there is no such thing.

Assessment of Suggestibility

Hypnotists, using a variety of suggestibility tests, will determine the client’s learning style, subconscious preference for direct or indirect suggestions, and degree of willingness to go through the process. Here’s an example.  Everyone has subconscious learning preferences.  Some learn best by hearing and listening, others by seeing and looking, and still others by doing and feeling.  Everyone uses a combination of these, but some work better than others, and there is no right way or wrong way.  The hypnotist will want to appeal to the styles that work best for the client. In the course of making this assessment, it is also possible to determine the client’s susceptibility to direct suggestions and indirect suggestions. The hypnotist can also assess whether a client is so highly suggestible that either or both will be effective.  The knowledge gained from the assessment is then used to create an induction and hypnotic script.

Suggestions for Future Behaviors

Here’s another major difference: Hypnosis is used for and is highly effective at helping clients to change their behaviors.  Those suggestions are known as “post-hypnotic suggestions.”  Everyone knows this to the extent that it’s why my clients seek my help at the outset.  A good hypnotic script includes suggestions for future behavioral change, future emotional well-being, and continuing positive transformation.  In contrast, meditation is about being “in the moment.”

 

Trippy

 

A few other things to consider…

Hypnosis is often used for entertainment purposes, but I have yet to hear of Stage Meditation or Entertainment Meditation. Hypnosis goes by many names for marketing purposes, things such as Guided Meditation, Inner Mind Entrainment, Quantum Jumping, and many other terms designed to appeal to different populations.  If you attend one of those sessions and then you notice that your behaviors, habits, or moods have been altered significantly, rest assured that you have been hypnotized.

There are many paths.

Both meditation and hypnosis are powerful modalities to use for personal transformation, improvement, and development.  They may include concepts of spirituality, faith, and healing, and they can both lead to your Higher Self.  Take them seriously and use them as a path.  With practice, you will learn to tailor them to your needs and desires, and you will learn amazing things about yourself and your relationship to the world around you.

 

10384218_10154111449700655_9024273532482860422_n

James M. Giunta is the creator of Hyp+Note=Therapy and he presented his technique at TEDx Navesink on May 10, 2014.  Watch it now: http://www.tedxnavesink.com/project/james-giunta/

Excellence and Perfection

I get a lot of questions about how to Live, what to accept and internalize, what to fight for and what to defend. I think the best way to go about Life and living is to take it full-on, without compromise.  Be excellent.

You can practice excellence at any time.  Excellence is a practice, a standard, and a standard of practice.  Whatever the task, you can approach it with the goal of Excellence.

 

Excellence is not the same as Perfection.

 

I’ve done some considerable exploration with this in hundreds of conversations, and it seems that ideas and opinions of “perfection” are cultural.  In other words, it’s likely that your idea of Perfection has been handed to you by the people in your sphere of influence: parents, family, teachers, mentors, coaches, and idols.  Let’s take a closer look at this.

 

“Perfection” means the same thing as “flawless.”  Some people believe that this is an unattainable quality.  Many religious people believe that only God is Perfect, and to aspire to that is egoistic, foolish, or sinful.  A lot of people believe that perfection is impossible, so why bother to try hard?  Why not just muddle along without going for the best that is attainable?

 

I have observed that in just about every culture, nature is considered to be perfect, God is perfect, and the Universe is perfect.

 

Fortunately, I don’t have to take on religious doctrine, your parents, or New Age adherents because this article isn’t about Perfection.  It’s about Excellence.  Let me take a stand for Excellence right now as I make my point.

 

HOTY

 

“Excellence” is not the same thing as “Perfection.”

 

Excellence means doing the best you can do at any given time using what you have on hand.  If you strive for excellence you are not striving for perfection.  You are simply doing your very best, leaving nothing out, and insisting on attaining and achieving the highest quality that is possible in that moment.

 

One common objection to Excellence is the perception that it requires more energy and effort.  I can’t argue with that.  It does.  The real question is, Are You Worth It?  Look at it this way: you benefit the most from your effort.  You can  train yourself to be excellent, do excellence, and have excellence all the time.  If you don’t train yourself right now, why will you deserve excellent things later?  No, if you want an excellent Life, practice excellence all the time.  Don’t hold back.  Be at your best.

 

Some days won’t be as excellent as other days.  Sometimes your excellent best will be different if you get a flat tire, illness, you’re an hour late, someone in your Life is hurting, and you ran out of clean underwear (and let’s not forget that most of the world’s population doesn’t have these “luxury” problems—there are such things as famine, disease, and severe oppression).  In those cases, you will still strive for the best you can do and you will know that you did the very best you could do.

 

Here’s another great reason to be excellent all the time: whenever you do that, you train your brain.  Your subconscious mind can be trained to expect excellence because you demand it of yourself every time.  It works!  Trust me, I’m a hypnotist.  The subconscious is where I do my Life’s work.  I encourage this every day and it works wonders for everyone who follows my suggestion.  Take the extra effort, do it for you ~ Number One ~ and others will benefit from your excellence.  Don’t let anyone stop you!  Be unstoppable!

 

There is nothing to add to this description of excellence.  I say go for it!  What have you got to lose, other than mediocrity?

 excellence1

 

 

 

 

 

Can We Talk?

When I was working at the University about 20 years ago, I met a student named Bobby who was really interested in my field of study and he took to hanging around my office to volunteer and learn more about everything we were working on at that time.  He was intelligent, personable, funny, very helpful, and just a really great person to have around.  There was only one problem.  Bobby had just about the worst body odor you can imagine.

It wasn’t just obvious and unpleasant; it was unusual.  It smelled like a combination of urine and ammonia.  It was so bad that even after he had left my office, his odor lingered, and people arriving later would notice it.  It wasn’t long before just about everyone was talking and gossiping about Bobby’s B.O.  I knew I had to do something about it, so I took that on as a personal mission.  I was going to help Bobby overcome his odor, get rid of the gossip, gain self-respect, and restore his bright future.

Before I brought it up with him, I took some time to observe him more closely.  I noticed that every day his hair was clean and combed, clothes freshly laundered.  His hands were clammy every time we shook, but that isn’t necessarily related to odor.  I was satisfied that he was well-groomed every day.

We had a private talk, and I told him that I detected an odor and it would be best if he could address that and eliminate it in whatever way he could.  He told me that he always had that odor and he had tried everything—soaps, deodorants, antiperspirants, you name it.  His mother and grandmother had addressed his condition and over the years everyone had given up.  He told me that the contents of the bulky bag he carried every day contained a change of clothes.  Every day he changed his clothes mid-day, right down to his socks and underwear.  I asked him if he understood that this would affect his future relationships and would probably repel potential mates.  He told me that if they couldn’t accept him as he was, so be it.  I told him that employers might refuse to hire him on the basis that his personal hygiene was substandard.  That gave him pause.

The next day, under the pretext of going out to lunch, we got in my car and headed downtown.  I took him into a supermarket and we stood in front of the deodorants and I invited him to pick one, any one, two if he liked, this would be my treat.  He told me he had tried them all, every single one, even the ones that were advertised as strong and guaranteed.  I took note of that and we left the store.

That afternoon I called my friend JoAnne in the Biology Department. JoAnne was a powerful woman who was also wise and a good friend.  I told her the situation and she responded without hesitating at all: Send him to a doctor.  The next time I saw Bobby, I asked him to please make an appointment and go, and that if he needed any financial help, I would help him.  I repeated the idea that he might not get hired or even land a decent internship if he could not smell good, or at least neutral and OK.  He was easily convinced and he agreed.

I didn’t see Bobby for a few days after that, but the next time I saw him he was smiling and happy—and odor-free.  He told me the doctor said he had a vitamin deficiency!  He got a generic daily multivitamin and some anti-fungal soap, and he now had an effective and enduring solution.  This one, simple action changed his life for the better, and it was all because of a simple conversation.

I had a great experience in talking with Bobby because I learned to overcome my own fear of being honest in an awkward situation.  I learned that my concern for his welfare was greater than my desire to look good and avoid uncomfortable conversations.  I learned that I can speak up in a concerned, supportive way that did not cause defensiveness or anger, and once I was able to learn that, I can now do it at anytime, forever.

Can we talk?  Can we really talk to each other and help each other to be at our best and find solutions?  Will you tell me if there is something I can improve about how I’m being and what I’m doing?  I’ll certainly tell you.  Let’s help each other be at our best, and let’s do that with Love and genuine concern for each other as friends and humans who care.

Moonrise Over Daytona Beach

I attended a hypnosis conference in Daytona Beach in May and I had a remarkable experience.  The annual International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association is my favorite conference and I would never miss it.  I have some dear friends who always attend and I always meet new friends and we have the most remarkable learning experiences. Some of the best things that happen are the conversations.

 

Following the dinner and awards ceremony on Saturday night, I slipped out to the pool and fire pit area to enjoy a good cigar and some quiet, and just stare at the ocean.  It was a beautiful night, and a bit foggy—no stars or planets or moon visible.  The only thing I could see on the ocean was a very tiny, orange light way out there, on or near the horizon.  What was it?  A signal light?  A ship on fire?

 

Soon after I got there, some others from the conference came out and before long there was another party going on all around me.  The bar had closed early, so these resourceful hypnotists procured some booze and vessels and started getting down at the pool.  There was drinking, laughter, some dipping in the pool, and of course the most interesting and intelligent conversations you can imagine.  I remained at the railing, savoring my Macanudo and I continued to watch the orange light and I could see that it was getting bigger, along with my curiosity.  I was talking and interacting with my friends and I pointed it out to a few people, but no one was as curious as I.  At last, a nature-lover joined me, a new friend named Randi Light who is just a delightful, smart, funny hypnotist and someone you would love to meet.  I had a feeling she could help with this, and I was right.

 

“Randi, what the hell is that orange light way out there?”

 

“It’s the moon. Florida is the only place I’ve ever seen the moon appear orange, and only when it’s on the horizon.”

 

“Wait a second.  That’s not the moon.  I’ve been watching it get bigger.  You can’t see the moon moving—it’s too far away.”

 

“You don’t notice that it’s moving if it’s up in the middle of the sky, but at the horizon, using that as a fixed point, you can definitely see it moving.”

 

 Murray1

 

I was astounded.  I have lived 58 years without knowing this!  I was completely enthralled with this new information.  There is so much I know about the moon—phases, distance from the earth, how long it takes to get there on an Apollo mission, and even a few things about lunar gravity. But this…!  I never knew that you can actually perceive the motion and movement of the moon by standing still and watching!  Maybe my ignorance shouldn’t be too surprising.  I’m from Brooklyn and we didn’t do much camping.  I’m kind of like Frank Zappa, who once said: “For me, the great outdoors is walking from the airport terminal to the parking garage.”  I’m not as extreme as Frank, but close.

 

As the party went on I continued to watch the beautiful, orange full moon rising in the sky and I could actually see it move.  Sure enough, as it got higher in the sky it turned from orange to its usual white-yellow-silver.  I continued to marvel at this new information and I mentioned it to anyone who came over to say hello.

 

I was deep into an interesting conversation with Patricia Scott when Randi came back to say hello. I told Patty my new, interesting nature fact and she was impressed, too.  The three of us remembered watching What The Bleep Do We Know!? and the scene where the native Americans couldn’t see Columbus’ three ships because they didn’t know that such a thing as ships existed and therefore the ships could not possibly be there.

 

Here I was, in the same situation.  Randi told me it was the moon, but I denied it because I didn’t know the moon appears orange or that I could perceive its motion across the sky.  I was seeing it, looking right at it, and filtering what I was seeing through my screen of experience, belief, attitude, and “knowledge.” I was dead wrong, until I managed to open up to what was actually happening right in front of me.

 

My friends, what is in your world right now that you’re not seeing?  What is it about your experience that would become so much richer if you could just open up to what is actually happening?  In what way is your filter of “knowledge” shading and shaping and limiting your Life?

What I Hated About My TEDx Talk

“Don’t teach them anything.  Just hypnotize them.”

This was the message I got from the very worthy committee of volunteers who were organizing this year’s TEDx event.  But wait a second… I thought TED is all about “ideas worth spreading.”  I had spent three months developing the idea I had proposed—the idea that they accepted—and now I was being asked to NOT teach my idea.

There I was, with less than three weeks to go before my big debut, and they were telling me to change what I had worked on for three months.  I responded by doing what I know how to do: I took the lemons and made lemonade.  Actually, I scrapped everything I had prepared, completely cleared the board, and started from scratch.  I worked over night, and by dawn I had the whole thing sketched out entirely.  The music that you hear in the video is what I created that night using a synthesizer and drum sequencer.  All I needed at that point was refinement, and I used all of the remaining days and weeks to accomplish that.

It’s not that I hate being told what to do (maybe there’s a little of that); it’s that my idea is original, it’s worth spreading, and I really wanted to take it out for a spin and show it off to the world.  My idea is something that other hypnotists missed.  According to every professional hypnotist and entertainer I consulted, no one has done this before.  Let’s face it: I wanted to be impressive.  That is always the case, and I have no one to blame other than my own ego.

The thing that bothered me the most—and I acknowledged this immediately—is that I was unable to convince the committee that my idea is compelling just as I presented it.  My idea has complexity and is not for an average audience.  I would need to begin with simple information that is easy to grasp and then take them on a journey of thought, then circle back to the entirely familiar experience of listening to music and then demonstrate WHY music is hypnotic.  I wanted to teach my Idea Worth Spreading.

Therein lies the crux of my problem.  Most people in the world don’t understand Hypnosis and are not willing to sit through an explanation.  What most people are fascinated by are their own, preconceived notions, and they have a hard time reconciling new information with their ingrained ideas about “making” people do outlandish things.  People prefer to have the razzle-dazzle, instantly impressive, just-make-me-bark-like-a-chicken, laughing hypnosis.

I don’t know why I thought it would be different when I proposed my Idea Worth Spreading to a highly intelligent group of TED people.  Surely they would want to peek under the hood of Hypnosis to see how it works.  They are so sharp and so discerning, I thought I had finally found my audience.  Not.

The real problem is that humans are extremely limited in the way we understand things, and we become more limited as a result of more education and experience.  We get locked into seeing the world as we think it is, and less likely to see the world in an unlimited way, full of possibilities, which it truly is.  Hypnosis and magic and deception are fascinating, and we get fooled into thinking that the surface effects are the most interesting thing.  They’re not.  The interesting thing is the way the mind works—filtering, deciphering, and creating.  The most interesting thing is the way you create the world every day in your mind, and then you walk around thinking that what’s out there is the same thing you created in your mind.  The funny part is that you walk around every day without a thought of appreciation for the amazing structure and potential of your own brain.

The bottom line for me, and the thing that took almost a year for me to get clear about, is that I’m a scholar.  I won’t be happy as an entertainer who does nothing else in terms of work and energy.  I want to uncover as many secrets as I can, practice with them, and teach what I know.

I also learned that with my TEDx talk, I compromised my integrity.  I was so eager to get on that stage that I went along with their requests and I didn’t hold out for what would have been really great and revolutionary.  I failed in my attempt to explain my idea which is way more fascinating and entertaining than simple group hypnosis—and demonstrating the effects of hypnosis on a group is very, very simple. 

Oh, one more thing: I am entirely grateful to have appeared on that stage.  Everyone involved was wonderful, friendly, and supportive and it was a terrific experience.  And I now have my first TEDx talk under my belt.  I didn’t present what I set out to do, but I am very pleased with the result.

It’s on video, right here on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOxY0lndtXM