Beginning Visualization & Imagery
Your subconscious mind programs are valuable assets that can be edited, so truth be known, you are not stuck with what you have stored in the recesses of your mind. Right now, in this very moment, you have this opportunity…. Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht
As your perceptions change, so will your outcomes. You are learning to observe your inner mind programming, noticing what is helpful and what is not. You are learning to choose to make changes in small moment fragments, even those these appear small on the surface, for they are also taking you towards your goals. Every thought, every emotion, every expectation is like buying a bus ticket to go there. Heightened awareness is on your tool belt. You are getting better at observing the facets of your larger patterns. You are now seeing the auto-pilot responses you play without thinking, as well as how they are connected to your particular emotions, or those of others in your relationships.
Earlier in this book you had the opportunity to build your personal assessment & so you now have a plan in your pocket telling you where you are, where you want to go, and what you need to get there. If you look at your tool belt, you will notice that you have room for more tools. You can see the nutritional tools, and perhaps you are surprised at how many there are, but feeling confident that you truly understand the directions that accompanied them. You might have already noticed changes already in place, as if someone else was holding the reins. This is the power of interactive self-hypnosis. You can also see your tools for mental biofeedback, emotional management and crayon awareness.
In this section of the book you will receive many advanced mind management tools to help open your subconscious mind, as well as place even more detailed programs into your inner file cabinet. Like all tools, these are meant to be utilized, not to be left on the shelf to get rusty. You already know it's not enough to read about things, simply expecting them to happen. You must take appropriate action, while managing your mind and body connection in order to etch new programs into place. The more skilled you become, the better your outcomes.
Mind tools have been utilized in the practice of medicine for thousands of years and continue to be utilized in top universities of the world. There is even a special area of medicine called psycho-neuro-immunology, PNI for short, that encompasses research in the area of mind and body medicine.
Amy: I have been working with noticing my emotions and especially those that appear during my emotional craving times for sugar. I have improved my food and so the body cravings are much improved. I notice when I get bored or overwhelmed with work I think about eating junk. This is also a problem for me in the evenings when I’m finally finished with cleaning up and the children are in bed. I find it amazing how the same emotions come to find me at the same time every day. Will this ever change?
Interactive awareness allows us to see tremendous detail in the moment. The more you stay in the position of producer/director, the more you will see. You can even ask for the scene to be replayed in slow motion. Relax deeply before doing this, so your focus will enhance at a lower brain wave speed. Even though you are looking to change things, don’t allow your compulsive desires to push you around in this important moment. The deeper you go into your observation mode, the more powerful the change program will be once you place it. Be patient. Everything you need to know is coming to you, but in small spoonfuls. This is the way to the knowledge hooks.
Imagery, or the thoughts you play in your mind are everything. They are the crux of how you experience your body, your environment, your relationship to yourself , your relationship to others, as well as your spiritual life. You image continually like a VCR that is never turned off. Unfortunately, the most common imagery consists of negative, non-trusting, insecure, failure-orientated, worrisome, highly judgmental inner radio and visuals. These images are often followed by behaviors that match the program blueprints, thereby reinforcing the negative mind programs. You are now in the processes of exploring change and transforming your own existing images into ones that form the basis for managing your disorderly eating, your addiction, or any other problems and taking you away from optimum health and performance.
Take a mini-mind break, allowing your body to sink into the chair where you are resting, perhaps yawning deeply, allowing a blue mist to encircle you, encouraging all stress and the need to rush through this material to exit the ends of your fingers. See yourself on your mind screen taking in small spoonfuls on powerful information designed to change your life in so many ways. Observe the words you have just read sinking into the library of your mind, like rain being absorbed into a road surface on a hot summer day. Allow your body to enjoy the blue mist for another moment and then continue with the next hook.
Until recently hypnosis has been viewed by the general public as a mysterious technique performed by people with strange skills and special powers. The truth of the matter is that there is nothing mystical or magical about hypnosis. It is simply a state of very deep relaxation and quiet focus. Emotions are put to sleep and awareness is heightened. It is a state of consciousness that we enter naturally, commonly known as automatic-pilot or daydreaming.
Hypnosis is not something someone does to you. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. In this book you have already practiced various levels of deepening or trance for specific purposes or mind exercises. You have been programming your mind for change from the first page forward.
Interactive self-hypnosis is a health tool, perfect for changing lifestyle behaviors, managing addiction, disorderly eating, bringing any and all performance to the highest levels. It allows the healing of both mind and body from the stresses of life while inviting acceleration of learning and goal achievement beyond usual expectation.
Your subconscious mind is a like a vast library with an infinite number of selections stored. It has an instant retrieval system and an endlessly cross-referenced subject catalog. You might like to image it as your personal VCR, knowing whatever tapes you place there, becomes your goal, and your subconscious mind librarian will go to find any and all cross-references to assist you in achieving this goal. This is great if you are playing a positive goal image, but what about if you are playing a negative goal image? You’ve already had some practice with identifying these in the chapters on Interactive Awareness and Emotional Management exercises, but now it is time to get even better at subconscious mind programming.
Visualizing negative outcomes or memories can stir up anxiety or depression. Besides the images or visualization, it is not uncommon to speak internally to yourself in quite critical ways. During the “practice” of putting oneself down, the individual is essentially in a light trance state, preoccupied and internally focused. You guessed it! A negative self-hypnotic program is busy being etched right into the subconscious mind and becoming a goal.
Later on you will be learning that during the programming of the subconscious mind for success, you can request the inner librarian to make you aware of any unproductive emotional states and corresponding behaviors, so you can change them right in the moment. It’s like being on a bus going towards your goal when all of a sudden you realize that you are on the wrong bus. Of course you are going to want to change right then and there, and not an hour later!
In hypnosis we alter our internal world. By utilizing our imagination in special ways we stir feelings and alter behavior and attitudes. When you change how you think, visualize and imagine things to be, your feelings and behaviors begin to change. You not only see what is possible, but the subconscious mind will send up other suggestions for your approval, perhaps things you never even considered that will take you even closer to your goal, or enhance it in some way. The mind works backwards. When it sees the ideal goal picture clearly in great definition, it makes the action plan. Changes just seem to occur, as if the goal took on it’s own life. Things that were difficult in the past often become simple, and one is left wondering what the commotion was all about.
Our subconscious mind stores all memories, anything and everything we have experienced through our entire life. This includes memories of each and very sense, including taste, touch, sight, hearing and emotion. It’s all there filed in an orderly fashion. This means that you have a wealth of resources on which to draw as you focus on your future. Most of us never utilize these assets and continue to see everything as a struggle. If one continues to see things in this way, everything will be a struggle for one always gets what one asks for in the mind’s eye.
As you learn to relax, to let go, and ask for the appropriate resources from the inner bank vault, you can change with a new level of comfort. When you are tense the subconscious mind cannot get your attention, and so you cannot share the bounty. As you learn to relax during actual stress, the stressors will work as catalysts, opening the door of the subconscious mind, and freeing you to work with this powerful part of yourself.
Working with subconscious mind programs will make your management of disorderly eating and addictions much easier. You already know about containments, and since you are more skilled than you were earlier on in this book, this is a good moment to build a few.
Simply relax deeply, tilt your eyes up about twenty degrees. Place a mind movie, perhaps seeing yourself in your containment area and placing an appropriate label on a facet of your disorderly eating. Your inner librarian will take care of the rest. Take an extra moment to study the contents. What does your disorder or addiction look like? Notice some of the VCR programs that you play in relation to this issue. Are they worn out from over-playing? Have you already made some corrections and celebrated them? Always be sure to celebrate both big and small accomplishments. Remember small ones tend to pile up and become very big ones!!
Have a look at your emotional children, noticing they crayons that they are applying to this special containment. Remember, your subconscious mind does not judge. What you play is what you get. This will be subconsciously enhanced for you. When working with your subconscious mind in this way, you can make changes right in the moment if you choose. If there are any emotional visitors or crayons you would like to remove from this containment, please go ahead and do so. Just image yourself completing the action. Your librarian will take care of the rest. You may wonder what you are actually doing. The right brain is very creative and sees this as a re-programming. Whenever the subconscious mind finds your actions in real life being incongruent with subconscious mind programming, the inner programming will win out. You will instantaneously be pulled into heightened awareness and find yourself going towards the behaviors connected to the inner program.
The art of working with mind images is often called imagery or visualization. My word for this is imaginology. I define this as the study of your own imagination or mind creativity. This speaks to the special work you are doing here.
In the practice of imaginology, you see with your mind’s eye. This is very different than seeing with normal sight. Sometimes people report that they can’t see images and become discouraged in working hypnotically. This is simply a matter of communication and understanding of how the tools work and what to expect. Each and every person reading my words is working with imagery.
Whenever you notice an idea or a thought flowing through your mind, this is imagery. Whenever you hear someone telling a story and you form pictures in your mind about it, this is imagery. The reason one has less problems with those examples is that there is little to no efforting. When someone tells you a story they don’t say, “now I want you to see images in your mind as I tell you what happened to me on the way to work.” Images just naturally come to mind. Your job here is to take the efforting out of the process of imagery and imaginology, allowing free flow. It helps to practice, and so in this chapter you will be presented with some skill building exercises. There is no right or wrong way to do this work. It is simply the doing that is important. Your work is to get out of your own way, allowing your subconscious mind to simply take the ball and run with it.
Let’s practice. As your eyes read these words, if you choose, you can easily see your bedroom in your mind. You don’t have to elicit the relaxation response to do that, do you? The image just came forward. Now notice you can see yourself going to that bed and turning back the covers. You can also “mind experience” this and sense your body walking towards your bed and feeling the covers as you turn them back. In another instant you can be in your car, driving down any street. Go ahead and practice seeing yourself driving, and then actually driving. Feel the steering wheel, the seat beneath you, and touch the rear view mirror.
You can then transfer to your office and look for some files, or see yourself doing that. Those are two different kinds of imaginolgy. Next, be in the supermarket choosing all your favorite foods. Feel them as you take them off the shelves. Notice they all feel differently. Now practice seeing yourself participating in an entire supermarket excursion in a few seconds. Don’t you wish it could be like that in real life?
Let’s practice some regression. Take yourself back into your past, replaying anything you choose. You don’t have to go back very far to find your past. It is just on the other side of “now.” Of course, you can go way back if you choose, and in a later chapter you will be working on your time line, going back as well as going forward.
A frequent question is “what is the difference between meditation and visualization?” Meditation clears and concentrates the mind, while visualization or imagery puts an image in it. Both are great change agents and complement each other. Visualization or imaginology refers to our inner movies or VCR tapes. These are at the heart of our mind bio-computer. The human brain programs and self-programs through its images. All skills, and all achievements are acquired through this image-making process. Interactive Awareness and Interactive Self-Hypnosis are high-level consciousness tools that allow stress release, emotional management, subconscious mind re-editing and programming right in the moment.
Building these skills can assist us at all levels of our training and performance whether it be managing sugar addiction or winning at tennis.. Many people feel they are making up the images, rather than seeing them and this is perfectly fine. The mind accepts what is presented to it as truth, so as long as the images are healthy and positive, go with your own creative thoughts.
Here is another skill builder that will enhance your toolbox. Take any simple object, a pen, pencil, cup or similar item will do. Look directly at it until you feel you are quite familiar with it. Close your eyes and imagine you are still looking at it. Open your eyes and look at the object again, and compare it with your mind image. Now close your eyes and do the same. Next, move the object out from where you are observing it, and scan it with your eyes as if it were an external image. Often people expect the inner image to be exactly like the outer image, and judge themselves as being a "poor imager." This is just the ego getting in the way, and the emotional visitors coloring the visualization experience for you. Release them, and go back to your practice knowing that however you image or visualize is absolutely correct. There is no right or wrong. The more you practice, the more understanding you will have of the whole experience and the more real your images will become.
Don’t rush through this work. It’s fine to read through, but make sure you go back and take the time to truly work with these. While the exercises appear simple on the surface, they are truly involved in rather complex activities. Take the same simple object, or choose a different one. Set it by itself, with no other objects around it to distract you. Take several relaxing breaths, and now look directly at the object until you feel familiar with it. Close your eyes gently and imagine that the object is about two feet in front of you. See it in your mind’s eye, and begin to scan the object for details such as the shape, shadings of color, irregularities, etc. Now open your eyes and compare the inner image with the outer image, noticing any aspects you were not aware of during your visualization practice. Close your eyes and repeat the exercise. Now practice with a different object.
Close your eyes and transport yourself back to your childhood bedroom. Take several relaxing breaths and make yourself comfortable. Look in front of you and see what you see. Notice the furnishings, what is on the wall, and look down at your feet and notice what covers the floor. Now look at the wall to your left, and then to the wall on your right, noticing what you are aware of. Take some time and notice other things about the room such as windows, doors, closets, colors, textures, etc. Here we are learning to move around and locate ourselves within a visualized space. Practice this exercise with other places, especially those from your childhood or teen years.
This time we are going to practice moving outside a large object such as your house. Image yourself in front of your house and notice the position of the door, windows, plants, lights, etc. Notice the construction materials, colors, and go ahead and actually touch the outside walls. Experience touching other things, comparing differences in sensations. Open your eyes. Take a few relaxing breaths, and go back again, or to a different site.
Take a few relaxing breaths and comfortably close your eyes. Image a chair, perhaps one you are familiar with from home or your office. Stand in front of the chair and notice the shape, color, textures, etc. Touch it. Now, move to the side of the chair and notice what you see, and then feel. Go around to the back and repeat the process, and then to the other side. Now, image yourself above the chair, looking down at it, and then from under the chair looking up. Open your eyes slowly, and follow with some relaxing, refocusing breaths.
Relax deeply and close your eyes. Return to the room of your childhood and re-orientate yourself. Find the light switch on the wall and turn it on, and then off. Pick up any object such as a book or a pencil and study it from all angles. Feel it. Now watch as it floats up in front of you and hovers around the ceiling. Notice that you begin to lift up as well, gently and easily. Maneuver yourself so as to grab the pencil, and turn towards the open window and gently sail through, looking down at the areas below and noticing how easy it is to go up and down at will. This very powerful visualization practice allows us to have very different relationships with our world, enabling us to control in a relaxed format.
Relax deeply and close your eyes. Bring before you an image of someone you know. Have that person stand a few feet in front of you, and look at his/her face. Scan the face and pay attention to the eyes, nose, mouth, ears, hair, etc. Notice the person’s clothes and how they are standing. Image the person talking to someone else, and watch the facial expressions and how the body changes during the conversation. Hear the voice and its inflections. Walk around the person, and observe from the back and sides. Open your eyes slowly and acclimate yourself back to the room.
As you continue exploring this book you will have many opportunities to practice mind development. Please don’t rush. If you don’t have time in the moment, go to the monthly planning sheet and make a written commitment to return to the work brought to your attention by your subconscious mind. When we “sense interest” that is the subconscious librarian waving a mind flag.
Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht is a Clinical Hypnotherapist, President & Program Designer for Sarasota Medical & Sports Hypnosis Institute located in Sarasota, FL & online at http://www.hypnosis-audio.com & http://www.sugar-addiction.comShe is the author of Sugar....the Hidden Eating Disorder & How to Lick It, Beyond Disorderly Eating...The Truth About Sugar, Bingeing & How to Stop, as well as The MindBody Fitness Boot Camp... Lifestyle Change Made Easy. She has also written & produced +350 audio CD's & mp3's. The websites include moderated discussion groups, ezines, library & a host of other educational tools for learning Interactive Self-Hypnosis.