So I'm taking this week off to finish writing my book, YOU'RE ALREADY HYPNOTIZED: A GUIDE TO WAKING UP. Yeah, I know, I've been saying that for years now. But believe it or not, I really do see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm just working on final, final edits. I've decided to make it an ebook available for download and for electronic readers, so I've still got to get the cover designed and figure out exactly how to go about making an ebook. I have also recorded about forty hypnotherapy sessions that will be available with the workbook section of the book that I need to somehow get on a new site for downloading. (If you have any suggestions or know how to do this, please email me.) In the meantime, here's an excerpt from my book. Thanks for your support. We'll talk soon. Now back to the grind.
Excerpt from YOU'RE ALREADY HYPNOTIZED: A GUIDE TO WAKING UP.
Over the past nine years as a hypnotherapist, I have seen a thousand clients with a thousand different issues, and though I treat each client individually, at the root, every problem is the same: We are asleep. We don’t remember who we are. We have forgotten our identity as children of God—or goddess, love, our higher self, truth, spirit, source, the universe, or whatever you prefer to call that spiritual apex—and that forgetfulness has caused a sleep-like state that has manifested into myriad specific problems seemingly “out there."
To heal is to awaken. But we must first understand that we are asleep before we can awaken. Only then can we begin the process of undoing the false ideas we have accepted into our mind. Healing doesn’t actually require us to do anything. Rather, we must undo the roadblocks or, as I call it, “de-hypnotize” or “deprogram” ourselves.
The path of awakening is highly individualized. For some, the most spiritual and healing thing they can do is daily meditation. For others, however, it is to get out of the house and get a job, or learn about food and lose weight, or give up alcohol. By tackling the behavior, they develop the self-esteem needed to look at the underlying issue. It would be silly to tell a heroin addict to reflect on his deeply buried psychological and spiritual issues. He couldn’t do it. But if you change the behavior first by getting him clean, he would then have the capacity and perhaps the willingness to look at the cause of his addiction.
I’m not here to decide whether meditating or getting sober or finding a job is the right place to begin your awakening. I don’t have enough information to make that call. That’s why this book addresses common issues from all levels: physical, psychological, and spiritual. How do you determine the most “spiritual” thing to do? It varies with circumstance. It wouldn’t be mindful to pay for yoga classes every day if you owed people money. It wouldn’t be enlightened to follow a guru for months while neglecting your children, or spend hours in meditation in a filthy house. It wouldn’t be virtuous to teach healthy living while secretly living as an addict. Nor would it be holy to care about people, but not about animals and the environment, or vice versa.
This doesn’t mean that we have to be perfect before we do what we feel guided to do or are passionate about. If we all waited until then, we wouldn’t start anything. It just means we must be honest with ourselves. Awakening requires a certain amount of consistency. The outer and the inner need to reflect each other as much as possible. But until we are healed, we will be dreadfully inconsistent.
I remember a client who said her life’s goal was “to achieve enlightenment,” yet as we talked, I noticed she had trouble standing up for herself—she was scared to quit a job she was miserable in and too insecure to leave an unhappy marriage. I wanted to tell her, “If you’re too afraid to change jobs, you’re not exactly ready to transcend mortality.” But I didn’t. In hindsight, maybe I should have. The best I could do for her was to help her gain enough self-respect and confidence to be decisive and communicate her needs. Once she achieved that, her life took off. She switched jobs, got a divorce and a new boyfriend, and is much more fulfilled.
We can’t skip steps up the ladder of enlightenment. Our quest begins right here, today, exactly as we are. It’s true that no one becomes enlightened with a drinking problem. And no one can love herself, yet hate her thighs. No one is free who carries monstrous debt. And no one reaches self-mastery by being duplicitous, hurtful, or despising himself or anyone else. Not because we’re being punished if we do those things, but because our choice to do those things blocks our highest self.
Enlightened people don’t need drugs, food, people, or things in order to do, change, cause or fulfill anything. They have no lack. They’ve awakened to the truth that all they need is within. Our wounded behavior reflects our sleeping mind. And a sleeping mind is not aware it is sleeping. It desperately and unsuccessfully looks for its identity in the world. Our only real purpose here is to wake up. We begin that process by using whatever is in front of us—addictions, phobias, grievances. Anything can lead to awakening if we follow it far enough.
Carl Jung, the Swiss psychologist, hypothesized that we spend the first half of our lives developing an ego and the second half trying to get rid of it. I interpret this to mean that we must express individuality before we can know oneness. That’s why people rarely seek to know their spiritual self in their youth. They’re too busy figuring out who they are in the world. We first need to know how different we are from everyone else and gain confidence in ourselves before we can see the truth that underneath it all we are all the same. We must develop a keen sense of our individualized, egoic self before we can transcend that self—only then do we become truly revolutionary.
The spiritual journey is an inward journey of awakening your mind, not an outward excursion. You don’t have to trek through India, do yoga, or spend long hours meditating. All those things can be important if you feel guided to do them, and certainly the world would be a better place if we all stilled our minds each day, but everyone’s path is different. It’s a mistake to think the spiritual path is big and fancy and brightly lit or that it involves only what we think of as “spiritual.” The spiritual path is actually quite small and quiet and doesn’t necessarily look good in purple. It’s so humble that we constantly overlook it. You may be expecting a magic wand to change everything while neglecting the potential miracle of growth right in front of you.
Your daily grind is your India. It is the spiritual classroom you chose in order to learn your life lessons. Each new day brings you to a precipice with the opportunity to leap into greater awareness. You just don’t see it because it’s hidden in the mundane like washing dishes after you use them, accepting your body as it is, letting go of addictions, being able to receive a compliment or say “no,” or “yes,” learning to walk away or to stay, choosing love when you want to choose fear, and finishing what you start. Those perfunctory tasks can teach us the mindful qualities of integrity, discipline, honesty, responsibility, and respect—all necessary ingredients for self-realization.
That’s why Buddhist monks lead simple lives: wake up, meditate, eat breakfast, clean, meditate, eat lunch, meditate some more, prepare dinner, meditate again, bathe, and sleep. Their day-to-day routines rarely change. Nisargadatta Maharaj, arguably the greatest Indian sage, was the keeper of a small goods store and lived in a very modest apartment on a crowded street in Bombay. People flocked to his apartment from around the world, crowding each other to sit on his bare floor and listen to the wisdom of non-dualism that flowed. Nisargadatta’s life was uncomplicated and ordinary in form, but extraordinary in content.