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Liberation from You

Liberation

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

Ted

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

 

Hypnosis 101: How Does It Work?

TheoryoftheMindIn last week’s post I talked about how hypnosis is a natural state we all go into; while watching TV, while driving, while exercising, before we go to bed and right after we wake up.

That attached diagram, (courtesy of the Hypnosis Motivation Institute) is what I use with every new client to explain how hypnosis and hypnotherapy works.

From the time we are born until about 8 years old, we are very suggestible. That just means that we take in everything as absolute truth. As children, we do not have the ability to analyze incoming information; we believe everything we are told. Most kids are walking around in hypnosis.

We learn likes and dislikes, what we are capable of, what we are not capable of, what is fearful, desirable, etc. This is the creation of our so called Life Script: a collection of beliefs and “knowns” that shape our behavior and thinking.  This happens at the level of our subconscious mind, so we are not aware that it is occurring. We all fall under the hypnosis of our culture, and adopt the beliefs of our parents, religion and society.

Between 7 and 9 years old, we begin to develop the “critical mind” which blocks suggestions into our subconscious minds. We began to question incoming information, we began to ask why, and to seek to understand the information presented to us. At this point we begin to develop our conscious minds, which we use for decision making, reasoning, analyzing, and logic. We start to think for ourselves.

As you can see from the diagram, the subconscious mind makes up 88% of our total “mind power” according to some estimates. The conscious mind, only about 12%. The subconscious mind has a much greater influence on our behavior.

What brings people into my office is the realization that they have a problem that they cannot seem to solve on their own. For instance, they can’t quit smoking, or get rid of anxiety or get motivated.

The reason for this is that that their subconscious minds contain the programming that keeps them anxious, or procrastinating, or smoking, or overeating. This programming comes from childhood. For instance, in the case of smoking,  someone may have seen their parents smoking, saw that they look relaxed when they were smoking, and maybe even saw commercials for smoking. (“Winston tastes good like a cigarette should”)

Their subconscious mind is familiar and comfortable with smoking, to the subconscious, it’s a “known”.

So even though they may want to quit smoking, the part that wants to quit is only 12 %: the conscious mind. But 88% wants to keep smoking. Which do you think will win out? Of course, the 88%.

Hypnosis as a tool for change.

This is where hypnosis comes in. When a person is in hypnosis, their critical mind, whose job is to be the gatekeeper to the subconscious mind, takes a break. They become very suggestible, or, open to suggestion.

So in a hypnotherapy session,  I can use the power of suggestion to get the subconscious mind familiar with what the goal is, so that the goal now becomes a “known” to the subconscious mind. With enough repetition and reinforcement, by coming to a few sessions or listening to recordings that I make for my clients, they can begin to reprogram their minds to stop smoking, be more calm and relaxed, or be more motivated. See how that works?

I specialize in helping people quit smoking, release anxiety, and get motivated! If you want to know more about how I can help you, click here to contact me. I can help you change your mind one thought at a time!

Ted

Self Hypnosis for Fear and Anxiety

anxiety[1]

Did you know that the most powerful skill you will ever learn is the ability to control your own thoughts?

What you think becomes your life. If you think worrisome, fearful thoughts, you will be worried and fearful. Think about anxious things, and you will have anxiety.

Do you feel like you are controlled by thoughts of anxiety, worry and fear?

If so, you can begin to take back control using  self hypnosis!

My Self Hypnosis Class is being offered again, this time to help you deal with fear and anxiety. 

It starts October 10th, Saturday  and continues on October 17th and 31st. (The class will skip the week of Oct. 24th)  The class starts at 9 am to 10:30 am. Click here to register!

Learn to use self hypnosis to release anxiety about things that are fearful to you such as 

  • Driving
  • Flying
  • Public speaking
  • Taking test and exams
  • Social anxiety
  • Phobias

…and gain confidence in all these areas!

In this class, you will learn:

  • What hypnosis is and isn’t
  • How to do a hypnotic induction on yourself
  • Crafting suggestions to put into your subconscious mind
  • How to put it all together to reprogram your subconscious mind for calm, comfort, ease and confidence in just a few minutes a day

You’ll receive my Guide to Self Hypnosis and my Self Hypnosis Conditioning CD, which also includes my studio produced “Peaceful Place” relaxation track as an added bonus. In addition, you’ll get handouts at each class containing the material presented. Click here to register and learn to take control of your mind!

I’ve been offering this class since 2010. Here are some comments from the course evaluations I’ve received from previous classes:

  • “Has really motivated me  to improve from day one. Very well organized.”
  • “The whole class was wonderful!”
  • “…so much motivational talk -that was great!
  • “The class is perfect! Ted is a great teacher.”

If you have ongoing fear and anxiety, you are keeping it in place through your own self hypnosis, based on what you think, say and do.  

The good news is, you can take control of your own thoughts, feeling and reactions. If you have a habit of fearful, worrisome thinking, then you know this can hold you back from doing the things you need and want to do.
Why not use the incredible power of your own mind to change? Click here to register so you can get started!

A subconscious mind is a terrible thing to waste! Put it to work for you.  Click here to register for Self Hypnosis for Fear and Anxiety.

Hope to see you there!

Ted

Do You Suffer from Driving Anxiety?

driving-anxiety

Driving anxiety is the most common form of anxiety that I treat in my hypnotherapy practice.  This can range in severity from a hesitation to drive, where anxiety is always present, all the way up to a total refusal to drive at all, in which case it becomes driving phobia. A phobia is a fear that is paralyzing but irrational. Driving phobia is one of the most common phobias.

Driving phobia is a form of agoraphobia, literally defined as is the fear of open spaces. But it’s not the fear of open spaces that scares people, it fear of loss of control. People with a driving phobia or driving anxiety fear being trapped in a traffic jam and unable to escape if they have a panic attack. They also fear passing out, losing control of the vehicle, throwing up or getting into an accident. For many people, driving next to big trucks, merging onto the freeway or driving in the fast lane can be very nerve racking.

Symptoms of driving anxiety

Symptoms of driving anxiety are similar to most other forms of anxiety: heart palpitations, perspiring and sweaty palms, disorientation, confusion, dizziness, dry mouth and shortness of breath. This is the classic “fight or flight response”. Some times people feel that they are going to die or go crazy. This can be really scary and people will simply not drive to avoid these kind of intense feelings. It’s good to remember that  these are just feelings and even the most severe panic attacks don’t cause any long term ill effects.

Still,  driving anxiety can seriously impact a person’s  ability to function on a daily basis if they need to drive to work or drive for a living, especially here in So Cal where driving is necessary to get anywhere fast.

How does driving anxiety start?

Driving anxiety can start in many ways. Usually a person has experienced a car accident or “close call” and that memory is still causing the subconscious mind to be protective. Sometimes, this kind of anxiety can show up out of the blue.  If you are a person that is prone to anxiety or fear, then driving may be one place where this shows up.

In addition,having episodes of low blood sugar can create anxiety. If this happens while driving, then you might start associating driving with anxiety. Low blood sugar can be caused from not eating or after eating a meal high in simple carbs or sugar. This is especially true for those that have family histories of diabetes or hypoglycemia.

Driving anxiety can turn into a phobia though avoidance. In other words, of you have some fear of driving and you decide to stop altogether, it becomes a full blown phobia and the more you avoid it, the harder it is to get back in the saddle, so to speak.

The good news is, fear of driving is a learned behavior. If you have ever felt comfortable driving, then that is something you learned. If you are uncomfortable now, you can relearn how to be comfortable again. Here are some tips to help you get back on the road feeling safe and comfortable and confident. If you are currently not driving due to driving anxiety, I highly suggest you get help by contacting me  or another professional so I can help you.

Tips to help with driving anxiety.

  • The basics: avoid blood sugar imbalances. Avoid driving on an empty stomach.Pay attention to how you feel after eating certain foods, especially those high in sugar or simple carbs (bread, pastries, soft drinks). Drinking alcohol the night before can also trigger blood sugar imbalances. Also, if you are driving while sleep deprived, you are asking for trouble. Start by taking care of yourself.
  • Caffeine: is a known trigger for anxiety. Some of my clients have felt relief from driving anxiety just by cutting back on caffeinated beverages.
  • Consider car pooling. If you are engaged in conversation you are less liable to think anxious thoughts. You also have to drive half as much. Think this one over carefully, as some people are more distracted while conversing while driving.
  • Manage your stress. A common cause for anxiety is extended periods of overwhelming stress. Do what you can to lower your stress level: exercise, take more breaks, meditation, yoga, etc.
  • Affirmations.Hand write, in script, some positive affirmation about your ability to drive calm, comfortable and relaxed. For example “I’m calm, comfortable and relaxed while driving and enjoying listening to music (the radio, audio books, etc.)” Read them right before you go to bed and right after you wake up. Say them out loud and imagine yourself driving while feeling calm and relaxed. Don’t underestimate the power of this simple exercise.
  • What really stops most people is the anticipatory anxiety:“Oh my God, I need to drive tomorrow out to the west side. I just know this is going to cause me a lot of anxiety. I’m already feeling it!” Instead, try saying something like”If I feel anxious I know I can handle it.”
  • Desensitization. This is a therapeutic technique that can help you become more comfortable with what is fearful. It involves taking small steps to get comfortable with situations that trigger anxiety. For example, if you can’t even drive your car, then start by sitting in your car in the driveway or on the street with the engine on but not moving. Notice whatever anxiety comes up and just be with it. Do that for longer periods of time until you can sit in the car, engine running, without anxiety. When you reach that point, and it may take a few hours or a few days, then drive around the block. If you feel anxiety, just pull over until it goes away, then continue driving. For freeway driving, you might try getting on one on ramp, staying in the slow lane, and then getting of on the next off ramp.

The most important thing to realize is that even though driving anxiety does not feel good, it will not kill you. It is your reaction to the feeling of anxiety that determines how you manage it. Instead of fighting anxiety, just allow it to be. Notice it, and see if you can observe it with detachment. Take deep breaths and try to remain in the present moment. Realize you have a tendency to create anxiety with your thoughts so try focusing on something else, like the environment, music, or the cars in front of you.

If you are still driving even though you experience anxiety, these tips can be helpful and good luck. However, if your level of anxiety is very high, you will probably need some help. You don’t need to live with the anxiety; give me a call.

Ted A. Moreno

Click Here For a Free Guide to Relieve Anxiety