Embrace Your Place: Powerfully Claiming Your Existence – Episode 408

Let me start with a story goes back to when I was 7 years old. I was in church with my dad, which was strange because I’m the oldest of 8 kids and usually if I was in church it was with my 7 other siblings and mom and dad. Maybe he wanted company that day, I don’t know.

Everything was fine until my nose started to run. Now, I had allergies as a kid, nothing serious, so I always carried a clump of Kleenex with me. I reached into my pocket, pulled out my Kleenex clump, and wiped my nose but it still kept running.

Soon the clump of Kleenex was a snotty mess so I secretly threw it on the floor of the church and immediately felt like a sinner for desecrating the Lord’s house with my snotty tissue. And my nose kept running.

If I had a long sleeve shirt I would’ve wiped it on my sleeve but I had a short sleeve shirt. I tried wiping my nose on my bare skin on the back of my hand but that was really gross and I started to feel really miserable because my nose kept running.

What I started doing was squeezing all the snot from my nose into my hand and wiping it underneath my pant leg. Soon my pant leg was wet and snotty and I almost started crying when my dad noticed my discomfort and asked me “What’s going on?”

I told him with tears in my eyes “Sorry Dad, I’m so sorry my nose keeps running and I don’t know what to do!”

He reached into his back pocket and gave me his handkerchief which solved the problem. After church, he asked “Why didn’t you tell me?”

I think I might’ve said that I didn’t want to bother him. But looking back, the truth is that I didn’t feel I was allowed to ask for what I needed. The church was more important, not talking was more important, not bothering my dad was more important than my discomfort. He had 8 kids and he seemed like he was bothered a lot.

That’s how I felt as a kid.

Maybe your childhood was different, but I know I’m not the only one that felt this way as a kid. Now I had and still have decent hardworking parents and I’m grateful. But the messages I got as a kid from the world around me went something like this:

· Who do you think you are? You’re not special.

· Don’t call attention to yourself, don’t toot your own horn

· Stay in your lane.

· Follow the rules

· Don’t be a bother

· Don’t take more than your share

· You only get what you deserve.

· Don’t rock the boat.

I think if you look for the hidden meaning behind these messages, I think it comes down to two very disempowering ideas: what you think and say doesn’t matter and what you want and need doesn’t matter. And this is a very unconscious. Nobody actually tells you that but that’s the message. We don’t think these things consciously either. But it’s kind of like a computer virus, a mind virus, operating in the background. Programming is a good name for it.

So as we grow up, and try to make our way in the world. We encounter challenges, we make mistakes, we fail to do what we set out to do and then we might even start to reinforce these negative messages with our own negative self-talk. And even as adults we have people reinforcing these things. Family members, bosses, religion: you are a sinner. And that starts to feed these mind viruses and they grow. It’s possible to find ourselves with the feeling that we need to apologize for who we are because we feel bad about ourselves. It’s possible for some people to get to the point where they feel they need to apologize just for being alive. And that’s a sad state of affairs. Some people overcompensate by being bullies or being demanding or obnoxious and that’s sad too.

These are the messages many of us receive and I know that for a fact after almost 20 years as a hypnotherapist working with thousands of clients. There’s only one word to describe these kinds of negative messages we get from the world. It’s all bullshit.

Speaking of a sad state of affairs, For most of my life, I believed I was fuckup.

Sorry, but that’s the word I used to myself. I believed I would screw it up. Whatever it was, job, relationship, life, whatever. I didn’t want to get married, have kids, buy a house or start a business. Why, so I could screw it up? So I would sabotage myself. With stuff like perfectionism. “If I can’t do it perfectly, I won’t do it at all.” That’s a very sneaky form of self-sabotage, which is something I struggled with a lot when I was young.

And so consequently, I was always asking myself one terrible question. What’s wrong with me?

As a hypnotherapist, I see things. I hear things. Some of my clients tell me that they get on social media. And they say oh look they’ve got a beautiful house, beautiful car. Look what they’re doing, wonderful vacations, nice restaurants. So it’s easy for them to think, “How come I’m not doing that? How come I don’t have that? What the hell is wrong with me?”

Now, we’re not talking about you of course. But you might know someone that can relate.

The only thing wrong with most people is that someone told them some bullshit and they believed it.

Mark Twain said: “The trouble with most of us is that we know too much that aint so.”

We believe what we’re told. That’s what we do as little kids. From the time we’re born until 8 or 9 years old we take in everything as absolute truth. So when people come to my

hypnotherapy office because they don’t feel good about themselves, or they feel less than, I tell them “Hey, It’s the programming. Just the programming. The mind viruses you caught from someone else. It’s not your fault. It’s not who you are, it’s just how you are thinking and what you believe, and the good news is that you can change your thinking and what you believe.”

And that’s what I want to talk about today. How to claim our rightful place in this world by changing what we believe. And guess what. You don’t need to do anything or accomplish anything or be anybody to believe that you are ok. It’s a decision you make. Because your value, your worth, doesn’t have to depend on anything out there, it comes from within.

The first step is to realize just how much BS there is out there. There is a lot. All the socialization that tells you that you’re nothing unless you have this or are doing this or making this. It’s hard to find the truth.

Let’s look for what’s true shall we? Here’s the interesting thing about truth. It’s self-evident, we should be able to see it for ourselves. We shouldn’t have to take anybody else’s word about what is true.

I can’t speak for you, but what is evidently true for me, is that I exist. I am. What that means is that I’m having an experience. Right now. That’s the only thing I can say for sure. I have an awareness that I am having an experience that I call life. This awareness is a fundamental quality of our being by the way. My awareness right now, in this moment, is that life is pretty darn good.

Look around you. Are you reading this on a computer in a comfortable house? I’m writing this on a computer in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. What are the chances of that? I don’t know but what I can tell is that right now, that’s pretty cool. I feel lucky to be here.

What did I do to deserve this? The answer is it doesn’t matter because deserves has got nothing to do with it. The idea that you only get what you deserve is just more bullshit. Plenty of people have what they don’t deserve and plenty of others never get what they do deserve. Would you agree? So let’s remove from deserves from the equation.

Because here’s the thing. Somehow, someway, I came into existence. I didn’t ask to be born but here I am. I’ve been given life and I consider that a gift.

If you can say to yourself, I exist or I am, then you’ve been given that gift too. And far as I know none of us did anything to deserve it. But here we are.

And look what you get as part of the deal. Eyes to see. A mouth to taste. A nose to smell. Ears to hear. A heart to feel. A brain to think.

And so, just by virtue of being born, you get the sun. The moon, the stars, the sea. You get mountains, trees, rivers, lakes. Flowers, clouds, rain, snow. All the beauty of the world is yours should you choose to enjoy it. You were gifted with 4000 years of music, 3000 years of poetry, literature. 50, 000 years of art. It’s yours. You inherited it.

You get to love, be loved and have your heart broken. You get to succeed and fail. You get to have challenges. If you didn’t have challenges you would invent some I can assure you of that. You get to be young and grow old if you’re lucky. You get to dream and realize your dreams. Or not.

All this just for being born. Hell of a deal. The universe or God or whatever must love you because it has seen fit to have you here now.

Sometime in the 90s I was sitting on a mountain looking out over a beautiful valley in the Catalina Mountains of Tucson Arizona. They call these mountains sky islands because you can drive from the desert and in 30 minutes be in lush pine forests.

A voice spoke to me. It might’ve been the voice of God or nature or those mushrooms I ate. But the voice said something really profound: You’re ok Ted. There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re just figuring it out like everybody else. You’re only human, and that’s ok. It’s good that you’re here. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back.

I never heard that before in that way. In way that was so validating. It took a while for me to completely get that, but I did and that shift of perspective changed my life and has brought me here today to share that message with you.

Ever seen Gone with the Wind? There’s a great scene. Scarlett O Hara is the protagonist. She grew up on her family’s plantation vain, self-centered, spoiled by wealthy parents. The civil war comes and sweeps away her wealthy lifestyle. She finds herself destitute and starving. She goes out to the fields to find something to eat but the only thing she can pull out of the ground is a withered carrot. She tried to eat it but gags. She falls to the ground miserable and crying. But then she stands up. She raises her fist to the sky and in a moment of desperation but also of empowerment, she says “As God is my witness I will never be hungry again.”

Have you ever made a declaration like that? Have you ever been down on you knees or with your back against the wall and you said “ I don’t care what it takes or what I have to do, I’m going to make this happen.”

Because that’s what we need to do.

If anything I said resonated with you today, then what you want to do is make a powerful declaration by calling on the powers that be and saying out loud or in the silence of your mind, “As the Universe or God is my witness I belong here. It’s good that I’m here. Even if I’ve screwed up. Even if I’m made mistakes. Even if I don’t have that thing that other people have even if I’m not doing that amazing thing they’re doing. Even if I’ve done things I’m not proud of even if I fuck it up, I’m doing my best, it’s ok that I’m here and it’s good that I’m here.”

I would suggest to you that this is the most powerful perspective that you will ever adopt. This is the most powerful thing to believe.

Reject any message you ever got from others or yourself that said that you are not good enough or less than or there’s something wrong with you. You are whole and complete right here, right now. You are unique and special and inherently awesome. This is your home. This is your life. Life is up and then it’s down, that’s life. It’s hard sometimes but that doesn’t mean that you suck.

Refuse to apologize for being alive, for being here now. Make a commitment to being unapologetically you. Embrace that fact that you are here now and that that is a good thing if for no other reason than because you say so. Believe you are here for a reason. Is that true? It doesn’t matter, it’s a good belief to have. It’s a good place to stand. Here’s a quote by Anonymous: The two most important days of your life is the day you were born and the day you find out why.

Stake your claim to all the joy and happiness and wonder and awe you can get your hands on. Be willing to receive what you didn’t earn or don’t deserve but also be willing to do something to attract what you want into your life. You have a right to ask for what you want and what you need and what you want and need is important. Life itself is a gift given to you for reasons we don’t understand, and we don’t have to.

Here’s another quote for you “We have a responsibility to love ourselves. If we don’t, we are contributing to the world’s problems.”

Marianne Williamson said that in her book A Return to Love. Here’s another quote from that book you might’ve heard:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Do whatever you can to liberate yourself from fear, from the bad things that happened in the past and from the BS. Do what you can to love and care for yourself. And above all, be grateful.

Listen to this podcast episode at the link below.

Ted in Your Head Interview Series: Louis Katz, Photographer, Writer, IT Wizard – Episode 406

In this next installment of the Ted in Your Head Interview Series, Ted interviews  Louis Katz owner and president of Technolene Inc.  Louis also publishes the online journal The Courage Run where he is spreading the word to Live Large, Be Bold, Have Faith and Fear Nothing. Louis is a very interesting guy. Listen to this very interesting podcast!

Listen to this podcast episode at the link below.

Put the Phone Down and Get Out – Episode 404

Our digital devices, such as our cell phones, are amazing and beneficial technologies. But for many of us, the cost of this technology is separation from what makes us human, such as being present to the rejuvenating power of the natural world. As we spend more and more of our time indoors, we lose connection to this aspect of our humanity. Ask yourself “Is it time to put the phone down and get out?” If yes, take a listen to this episode.

Listen to this podcast episode at the link below.

10 Steps to Creating Motivation to Exercise

One of the most common reasons people come to my hypnotherapy practice is to find the motivation to exercise. We all know exercise is essential to health and wellness, yet, if you are not in the habit, it can be difficult to go from not doing anything to getting regular and consistent exercise.

There are a lot of reasons not to exercise. It’s hot, it’s sweaty, it’s uncomfortable, you don’t have time, you can’t afford a gym or personal training, you don’t want people to see you, it’s not worth the effort, it’s too late for you, etc.

The first step is to make the decision that getting exercise is something you MUST do. Be clear that focusing on all the reasons why you can’t exercise will not help you. We are looking for solutions here! Refocus your mind on reasons why you CAN achieve the fitness you want and begin looking for ways to make it happen.

Getting regular exercise will help you to have more energy, be happier, more focused and effective, less stressed, more confident, look better and live longer. But you knew that, right?

Here are some practical steps to help you begin and maintain a consistent exercise program.

  1. Find a word that is acceptable to you that doesn’t have negative connotations. Some people hate or have a negative reaction to the words exercise, working out, gym, etc. so find a word that works for you. It might be moving your body, getting fit, physical activity, etc. This is important!
  2. Write down all the reasons why you must get exercise or whatever word that describes what you want to do. Not why you should, but why you must. Take a couple of minutes to imagine how you would feel if you were getting physical activity regularly.
  3. Find something that you can do and might enjoy. If you absolutely can’t stand going to the gym, then forget about that. There are plenty of other ways to increase physical fitness. Just to name a few: walking, hiking, biking, yoga, pilates, tai chi, chi gong, jumping jacks,  jumping rope or using a rebounder (mini trampoline). In addition there are plenty of videos and CD programs available for purchase or free online that can guide you.
  4. Mix it up. Walk one day, hike another, ride a bike the next, take a class once a week.
  5. PLAN! This is probably the most important step. Remember that most people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan. Be realistic as to when you can fit in your activity. To go from doing nothing to getting up at 6 am everyday and going to the gym is probably not realistic. Take some time to sit down and plan the days and times that will work for you. Try to make these times consistent if possible. In other words, schedule the same days and times every week. We are trying to create a new habit. Write it down in your schedule book/app as an appointment, and create reminders for yourself.
  6. Start with easily achievable steps. Success by the inch is a cinch, by the yard it’s very hard. Shoot for 3 times a week, for 30 minutes each time, or even 15 minutes. Start small and work your way up. If you plan to get out and do something three times a week and do it, congratulations you are a success! However if you plan for 5 days and week and only do three, you might be tempted to beat yourself up.
  7. Set yourself up for success by making it easy to succeed. Look at your schedule the night before to reinforce what activity you plan to do the next day. Be sure all your stuff is packed and ready.
  8. Use supportive language. Be your own coach. Talk to yourself using encouraging and motivating language. Before you go to bed, use affirmations such as “My health is my top priority and I am committed to my plan to exercise tomorrow at 7 am!”
  9. Get a partner. If you can find someone to walk, hike, bike, go to the gym or take a class with, you are much more likely to do it and enjoy it.
  10. Hire a personal trainer. This will make you accountable and will most likely get you the best results. Do your homework and find someone reputable with good reviews or ask around for a good referral. Ask lots of questions of potential trainers and communicate clearly what your goals are and how you want to be trained i.e. “I want someone to kick my butt” or “I want some to be gentle with me.”

You can do this. It may be a little uncomfortable at first, but discomfort becomes comfort if repeated enough. To reiterate, be clear about why you must, and the benefit you will receive. Getting into a regular schedule of consistent activity and feeling the benefits can be one of your greatest accomplishments. Call me if you need help!

Ted A. Moreno
Certified Hypnotherapist
High Performance Coach

Liberation from You


Bob Marley (photo by Euli Frey)

Liberation. The word is inspiring and filled with history and meaning.

Look up the phrase “independence”  on Wikipedia and you’ll get a definition about countries, nations and states and self government.

Look up the word liberation, and you won’t get much. As a definition, three words, actually.

Why so much about freedom but so little about liberation?

I think it’s because when we’re in a prison cell, or in a dictatorship where we’re unable to travel freely,  we know it. Those things are obvious to see and easily trigger a desire to be free from them.

What is not so obvious is when we are a prisoner to our own mind.

Liberation: What we really want but don’t know it.

People can get comfortable living in a dictatorship. Prisoners can become accustomed to and even comfortable with prison life. “This is how it is. We just have to make the best of it” is how we might come to acceptance of these conditions. But we don’t deny the fact that we aren’t free.

Not so when it comes to our minds. We have the capability to live our whole lives imprisoned by our beliefs, thoughts and feelings, and believe the whole time that we aren’t. This is called delusion.

This is what we all truly desire: liberation from the things that keep us from happiness, health, and prosperity, including the inability to see them for what they are.  We seek liberation from unhappiness, unease, discontent, and discomfort. We want liberation from emotions such as sadness, anger, guilt, regret, and fear. We want freedom from bad habits, patterns of thinking that don’t serve us, and lack of self worth and self esteem.

At our core, we all seek liberation from what holds us back from what we want. What is required is liberation from being blind to the fact that the biggest thing that holds us back is ourselves.

The problem is that we can get pretty chummy with those things that imprison us. We can become so comfortable and so accustomed to living in fear, anger and sadness that we come to accept it as how it is.  This way of being can become so pervasive that if given the key to our own liberation, we will give it back and say no thanks. Then, we will blame something or someone else for our inability to step through the door.

True liberation, true freedom, is being able to see what is true and act accordingly. The truth will set you free.

The truth is that most of us will never completely  escape the emotional landscape that surrounds our humanity. We will be subject to  grief and sadness, anger and resentment, guilt and regret, unease and discomfort.

Our liberation comes from seeing this truth with stark clarity and exercising our freedom to choose how to respond. To be liberated from ourselves is to see clearly that we don’t need to be slaves to our emotions,  desires, regrets, or habits. We can at least acknowledge that the chains that bind us to an unfulfilled life are illusory, and like wisps of smoke, can be blown away at any time.

But it’s not easy. Most people need some help. The best that most can hope for is to achieve liberation from the heaviest chains, and only you know what they are.

“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.” 

~Bob Marley, Redemption Song


You can hear the podcast of this blog at TedMoreno.com, or Soundcloud, or iTunes.


Stop It! 43 Things To Stop Doing NOW

  1. Stop saying “I hate _.” That makes you a hater.
  2. Stop acting like you’re the only one with problems.
  3. Stop complaining to people that can’t do anything about it. They don’t want to hear.
  4. Stop complaining if nothing can be done about it.
  5. Just stop complaining, already!
  6. Stop wishing that what is, isn’t and that what isn’t, is. Deal with what is real.
  7. Stop watching so much television.
  8. Stop calling yourself bad names. You are what you say you are.
  9. Stop comparing yourself and your situation to others. Compare and despair.
  10. Stop buying crap you don’t need.
  11. Stop equating your self worth with your net worth.
  12. Stop  caring what other people think about you. Most of the time, it’s none of your business.
  13. Stop trying to get more done in less time. Life is not about doing.
  14. Stop being so attached to who’s in what political office. Most of the time, it doesn’t matter.
  15. Stop acting and talking like your favorite celebrity or tv character.
  16. Stop caring about what happens to Kim, Lindsay, Justin, JayLo, or any other celebrity. You have more important things to worry about.
  17. Stop worrying so much.
  18. Stop believing everything you hear.
  19. Stop believing everything you read.
  20. Stop believing everything you see.
  21. Stop believing everything you think.

  22. Stop pretending you don’t care about that thing that you say you don’t care about. Because you do care.
  23. Stop wanting today to pass quicker than it is going to. That just makes it take longer.
  24. Stop believing that it’s either this or that, black or white, right or wrong. It all depends on who you are, where you are and what year it is.
  25. Stop eating so much junk.
  26. Stop being so mean to your beautiful body. Yes, you.
  27. Stop arguing for your limitations.
  28. Stop believing that there is nothing you can do about it. There is always something you can do about it.
  29. Stop believing that what always was will always be.
  30. Stop saying that you will try. Yoda said “Do or do not. There is no try.”
  31. Stop trying to change people. Change yourself instead.
  32. Stop believing that God is interested in punishing you. She told me last week that you’re good at doing that all by yourself.
  33. Stop thinking that you deserve to be punished.
  34. Stop shoulding all over yourself.
  35. Stop being so fearful. Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.
  36. Stop pretending that you have nothing to offer or contribute. If you’re still above ground, then you do.
  37. Stop being so afraid of other people. They are just you in a different body.
  38. Stop hanging out with people that want to keep you down. “It’s hard to soar like an eagle when you are running around with pigeons.” -Les Brown
  39. Stop holding back what you need to say. It’s bad for digestion.
  40. Stop holding on to your stuff so tightly. It’s making you constipated.
  41. Stop worrying about money. That’s why you don’t have more.
  42. Stop worrying that people will find out how smart, talented, gifted, funny, weird, nerdy, sentimental, warm and fuzzy and what a freak of nature you are. It takes all types, and it’s all good, my friend.
  43. Stop hiding your light under a basket. We need it now more than ever.

p.s. Don’t believe anything I’ve written here. 


Want to hear the podcast version of this? Go to www.tedmoreno.com/podcast


Happiness and The Hypnosis of the Culture Part II


Here’s a parable that I think speaks to the topic of happiness and the hypnosis of the culture.

One day a monk stopped by the house of a wealthy man and found the owner busily filling a large steel chest  with gold and silver coins. Puzzled, the monk asked him what he was doing.

The man replied, “Sir, you have no cares. The faithful feed you, and if they do not, it doesn’t matter because you don’t care what happens to your body. But it is different with us householders. We must hoard some of our wealth so that we will not go hungry in time of need.”

The monk’s reply was to invite the rich man to visit him the next day in the hills outside of the city. When he arrived he found that the holy man had dug a pit in front of his hut and was busily filling it with small round stones. He had been working since dawn and had already amassed quite a pile.

“What are you doing, sir?” the man asked. “The mountain behind your hut is covered with these smooth, round stones. Why are you collecting them?”

“For time of need,” the monk replied. “It might happen that all these mountains are washed away, and so I am collecting these stones and hiding them in case I need them.”

“That’s crazy,” the wealthy man replied. “It is not possible for this mountain to be washed away.”

“And it is not possible that Life will fail to lay your food before you,” the monk replied, jumping out of the pit. “It is foolish to waste your precious time hoarding gold and silver. Your task in life is to know yourself at every level. Hoard your energy for accomplishing this noble purpose instead of frittering it away  on petty cares and anxieties.”

I’ve had this little parable for years on a page of magazine print. I can’t even remember where I got it from. I’m surprised that I kept it because it didn’t make a lot of sense to me at the time. Was the message that you shouldn’t be concerned about the future? That saving for a time of need was not important? How can you have happiness without abundance?

I found this filed away recently and I read it again, but now, I get it.  Let me tell you what happened in 2009 that allowed me to understand this story.

In 2009 my wife and I had just purchased our house in the middle of the great recession. House prices were down and so was my business. Many people were losing their homes at the time.

Shortly after moving into my house, I became very afraid. Most of my life I’ve had no desire to buy a house because of the commitment. Now I had a big commitment in the form of a monthly mortgage. I started to worry that if business didn’t pick up I might lose my house just as quickly as I bought it.

The fear began to grow. My business phone was deathly silent. I started to have pictures in my mind of packing up our stuff and moving out.

One night, as I lay in bed unable to sleep, I looked back over my life. I realized that most of my life, I had been without any substantial amount of money or material goods. This made me feel even worse.

But then, something else occurred to me. I have never been homeless. I had never lacked for food. When I needed a car, I was able to get one. I was always able to buy clothes if I needed them. Yet, in spite of all this, I had always been worried about money.

That night, for the first time in my life, I knew I could always count on myself to get by, but more importantly, that Life would provide for me. If we lost the house, we would always have a place to stay. I realized that worrying about it was paralyzing me and keeping me from doing the things I needed to do to attract business. And this worry was stealing my happiness.

My key to happiness was to transform doubt and fear into faith and gratitude.

To break free from the hypnosis of the culture and fully understand that who I was is not defined by my house, my car, or my bank account, but instead, by who I declare myself to be and how well  I am able to live up to that declaration.

I felt gratitude that for the fact that at least that night, I was sleeping in a house that I owned. That my two children were healthy and strong. That my wife was healthy and had a good job which she enjoyed. I felt happiness growing within me as I fell asleep.

I like nice stuff as much as the next guy.  I don’t want to just get by, I want to thrive and I am. But I’ll tell you this, I’ m ever vigilant of the hypnosis of “more and bigger” and it’s ability to infect me. My goal is to explore what it means to be human and  to be present to and grateful for the opportunity to live in this place at this time.

I’m not sure that I could write this if I was homeless, or suffering a tragic loss.  I am not arrogant enough to assume that whatever blessings or good fortune I’ve had is soley the result of anything I’ve done.

In addition,  I don’t know why I got so lucky as to own a home, have a healthy family and a job that I love. I’d like a mansion and Ferrari but I sure as hell don’t need one.

But if I am able to manifest that, it’s not going to happen by looking with envy at what the other guy has and feeling like a failure or less than. It’s going to be by declaring myself incredibly wealthy and blessed right now. These thoughts bring me happiness.

Shortly after that night, the phone start to ring again and my business picked up. I got some  help from coaches and mentors, some who were very generous with their time. The economy seemed to be getting better. Or maybe the only thing that was getting better was me.


To listen to a podcast of this blog, go to www.tedmoreno.com/podcast

Photo by Skye Moorhead


Happiness and the Hypnosis of the Culture, Part I

happiness and hypnosis of the culture

You might’ve heard the story of the guy walking down the street and sees another guy looking for something by the side of the road. “Hey” the first guy says,”What are you looking for?”

“I’m looking for my keys”, says the other guy.

“Let me help you! Where did you see them last?”

“In my house.”

“Um, so why you are looking for them out here?” Read more

Scaring Away the Dark Side of Change


Ever wonder why we wear masks on Halloween? Why we dress up and disguise ourselves as ghosts, witches and monsters?

The modern holiday of Halloween has its roots in both the Celtic celebration of Samhain and the Christian holiday of All Saints Day. Samhain (“the end of summer”) celebrated the end of the “lighter half” of the year and the beginning of the “darker half”.

The name Halloween comes from All Hollows Even, meaning the night before All Hallows (Saints) Day.

The ancient Celts believed that the veil between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing both harmful and harmless spirits to enter into the realm of the living. Good spirits of deceased loved ones were invited in while harmful spirits were scared off by wearing costumes and masks.

As a hypnotherapist I help people change, and change is not easy. The “dark side of change” means leaving what is known and comfortable for something unknown and uncomfortable.

Our minds are powerfully drawn to the familiar and comfortable (habits), even if we’re aware that it’s no longer working for us. Our current way of being is rooted in our mostly deeply held beliefs. For change to occur,  new beliefs must be formed.

The ancient traditions such as Halloween help us understand the nature of change. To begin the process of transforming ourselves, we must remove the mask of who we feel we are and try on a new mask (or identity) that’s more in line with our vision of who we want to be.

The new mask will be uncomfortable and foreign, but the wearing of it scares off the dark side of change, or the spirit of the old behavior, which harms us by holding us back from our true power, our “good (god) spirit”. When we don our new identity, we invite that helpful spirit in.

There will be conflict as we try to get comfortable with the new idea of who we are. We will be tempted to put the old mask back on, and at times, we will. Yet, we must continue to wear the new self perception, getting comfortable with it, making it a part of our life. We must remain diligent to not allow the harmful spirit back into our thinking and behavior.

Quite often, while you are letting go of the old behavior and adopting the new, you’ll have to deal with the darker half, or shadow side of yourself, which will attempt to sabotage your best efforts.

You’ll be challenged by the dark side of change, and you’ll be tested. You’ll think it’s too hard and want to give up. Just ask anyone who’s tried to quit smoking or lose a significant amount of weight. They’ll tell you, “It’s like there’s two parts of me, one that wants health and the other that wants to destroy me.”

The best way to scare off those nasty spirits is to enthusiastically (enthusiasm: en theos, or “the god within”) keep pretending to be who you want to be, in your language, in your thoughts and most importantly, in your behavior. You must continue to hold on to your highest value, or highest vision of who you want to be.

Come to believe in and hold a vision of  your life that inspires you (inspire: “the spirit within”), so that  you can ward of the ghosts of your past and triumph over the dark side of change. 

Interesting that All Saint’s Day was originally celebrated on May 13th, in the spring. This date coincided with the ancient feast of Lemuria, where the harmful spirits  of the darker half of the year are appeased and exorcised.

As you move into the darker half of the year, take time for introspection. Go deep into the dark places of self knowledge and acknowledge and accept the masks that need to be discarded. Can you keep their negative influence away with your new face? Can you scare off the dark side of change with powerful trust and belief in your new vision?

All traditions have their origins in the human experience. Our desire to release the old and welcome the new and is in accordance with the seasons of life, that ongoing cycle of birth, growth, death and reinvention.


 Photo by Skye Moorehead

You, on The Hero’s Journey



I like Star Wars. “The Empire Strikes Back” is my favorite movie. When I hear the word transformation, I think about Luke Skywalker, and unless you’ve been living in a cave since 1977, you know that he is the hero of the first three Star Wars movies.

Here’s a guy that goes from being a whiny, irresponsible young farm boy to becoming the powerful Jedi Knight that brings peace to the universe by bringing down the evil Galactic Empire. Only in the movies, right? Well, not quite.

The story of Luke Skywalker is a story as old as time. (as is the story of the Hobbit Frodo Baggins) It is known as the Hero’s Journey, and it is found in  myths and legends from around the world. The roots of the hero’s journey go back to the ancient wisdom teachings from the earliest of civilizations.

George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, has acknowledged that he owes a debt to mythologist and author Joseph Campbell, whose theories about the hero’s journey have influenced numerous writers and artists.

Here’s a chart from Wikipedia under “The Hero’s Journey”:


In his book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces” Joseph Campbell describes the hero’s journey. (Click here for a really cool video regarding the Hero’s Journey and “The Matrix”)

According to Wikipedia: “Campbell describes a number of stages or steps along this journey.”:

  • A call to adventure: The hero, in the ordinary world, receives a call to enter an unusual world of strange powers and events.
  • A road of trials: If the hero accepts the call, he must face tasks and trials.
  • Woman as temptress: The hero will be tempted and must survive a severe challenge. If the hero survives, the hero may gain a great gift, which often results in the discovery of important self-knowledge.
  •  Return to the ordinary world: The hero must then decide whether to return with this gift , often facing challenges on the return journey.
  • Freedom to live: If the hero is successful in returning, the gift may be used to improve the world.

What’s interesting is that this chart looks very similar to another diagram that I am quite familiar with:


Coincidence? I think not. Any substantial change or transformation means stepping into the unknown and facing the enemy inside.

Let’s examine the hero’s journey from the perspective of Theory of Mind. The top part of both  circles  is the ordinary world,  the realm of our conscious minds.

As we mature, we are called to adventure. This call is to take responsibility for our lives. This may involve going away for school, getting married, starting a career, or having children. This is a call most of us are willing to answer. Of course, there are challenges, sometimes major.

At this point there is a threshold to cross. We can choose to play it safe, sticking with the known and familiar, stuck in behaviors that don’t serve us, stopped by fear of the unknown. Or, we can choose the path of growth and transformation in an effort to create our lives.

We can choose to delve into the unknown, making a conscious choice to continue along the road of trials in search of a life that is meaningful and worth living, even if the path is unclear. We may realize that we cannot do it alone, and search for guidance in spirituality or religion, seeking out mentors, or being open to help from powers unseen.

In our  journey to create a life, we encounter the road of trialsloss of innocence, loss of love, rejection, disappointment, failure, intense pain, illness. At this point we may be made aware of our own character defects that brought us to this rocky road. These defects can be bad habits or addictions,  mental or physical laziness, or values that are lacking, not clearly defined or not adhered to.

Now we are in the abyss, the realm of the subconscious mind. We may have to fight demons that arise to keep us from moving ahead. We come face to face with our fears and doubts. Our primitive mind will kick in with fight or flight as a last ditch attempt to protect us from the unknown. We will want to turn back or quit altogether.

If  we choose to continue on the path to transformation, a part of us must die. Campbell calls this “Atonement with the Father”. Luke Skywalker,  in his battle with Darth Vader (“Dark Father” representing the evil part of himself) loses his hand and throws himself into the abyss, choosing death instead of surrender to the Dark Side. What dies in us is our identification with our ego, who we think we are, our limitations, our physical bodies.  We become present to who we really are: infinite energy, light, spirit.

We can now enroll our subconscious minds as a helper, as we work to get comfortable with new ways of thinking, behaving, and relating to ourselves. Our true powers are revealed to us: trust, faith, intuition, courage. We have acquired the gifts of wisdom and  foresight. We’ve developed clearly defined values that guide us and that are not negotiable.

We are now transformed, born again, and as such, we may seek to share our learning (the gift) to the world as we incorporate and synthesize our wisdom back into ordinary life.

The hero’s journey is humanity’s struggle to bring order out of chaos. Each of us walks the path of the hero’s journey, whether we realize it or not; in our daily lives, we seek transcendence over the mundane, the petty and the ordinary.

We are all continually called to action, to be great, bold, courageous. We will shy away from this call, yet it is unceasing. Transformation happens when we go boldly where we have not gone before, to quote a phrase, and trust that the universe conspires in our favor.

See yourself as the hero when you feel stuck, beaten, or paralyzed to move forward. You are fighting the same battle that each person fights, travelling the same journey as every human that ever lived. It is the struggle to become more than what we are.


 Photo by David Johnston