A couple of posts ago I mentioned that I had been dealing with some things, one of them was being told that I had a breast lump. As you can imagine being told that you have a breast lump is pretty scary and on top of everything I was facing at the time, it just felt like it was just all a bit too much. I didn’t realise just how much news like that can bring some of your deepest fears and limiting beliefs to the surface, and how much of a role they play in shaping how we can respond to what happens to us. My thoughts and emotions were all over the place, I found myself thinking all kinds of thoughts and visualising what might happen in the future. I felt as if suddenly the world wasn’t quite as stable as I once thought and I began to find myself questioning nearly everything. I thought about my relationship and what would happen there, even telling my partner was scary for me. I thought about my dreams and hopes, my desire to start a family. My passion to travel and run seminars and workshops around the world to empower women in developing countries.
I felt in a limbo. I had done illness before, but faced with my own mortality, I had no frame of reference. But then I realised something because I had been training as a Cognitive Hypnotherapist since April, it dawned on me that I was hypnotising myself. It was so subtle that I didn’t even realise it until I realised it.
Now I know that some people have resistance around the word hypnosis and hypnotherapy, but firstly I would say, it’s just a word just like meditation or even prayer is a word that people give their own meanings to. And secondly, that the way I have been taught to understand it and use it had shown me how we each hypnotise ourselves and are hypnotised every day.
The situation I was in triggered old, deeply embedded beliefs and fears which had until then been nicely managed by my subconscious. However, now Pandora’s box was open and my mind was gulping it all down.
My language became different, my mind began looking for evidence to support these beliefs and I began picturing different scenes in my mind that went against what I really wanted. You may not realise it but everything I have mentioned here is an example of putting yourself into a self-induced trance or self-hypnosis, you may even recognise it in yourself. For example, the language I was using were types of Post Hypnotic Suggestions, and I was positively hallucinating and age progressing into what my future might look like.
As soon as I realised this, I thought to myself “If I can use my mind and language in this negative way that increases fear then, I must also be able to use my mind and language in a positive way to increase faith”.If you can use your mind and language in a way that increases fear then,you can also use your mind and language in a positive way to increase faith.Click To Tweet
Last week I spoke about fear and faith-based decisions and this experience gave me lots of opportunities to do just that, every struggle I faced with respect to fear of what might happen or what I could lose showed me that I was again hypnotising myself and putting myself into a trance state. A dear friend of mine spoke about how God can use this to help us come face-to-face with some of our deepest fears and I don’t think there is any bigger fear to face in life than death and the possibility of not being able to experience your hopes and dreams.
I had to find a way to see this experience through a lens of faith and trust and I knew that just as I had been feeding fear that I had the capacity to feed faith. I took time to understand exactly how I was strengthening fear and negative beliefs, what were the actual ways that I was using my mind and language to do this and then looked at how I could use the same techniques to build faith instead. So for example, because I’m highly visual I tend to “positively hallucinate” and “age progress” a lot so I made a conscious effort to not only stop myself from allowing my mind to wander into a negative future but also intentionally began to visualise what I wanted my future to look like. I noticed how I was framing and using my words and began to use it in a different way that not just opposed fear but inspired faith, trust, strength and courage. There were many more things I did but in a nutshell, understanding how I was using my mind and language to create a reality that brought me more anxiety and fear allowed me to create an individualised way of overcoming it. It didn’t happen instantaneously but by the time I got to the breast clinic appointment, I was a very different person.
So finally last week, I received the news that I was fine, it was just normal breast tissue – thank God. Don’t get me wrong. I am still in some shock. It is by God’s Grace that there was nothing there and I don’t know how I would have been if I did not receive the all clear. But I learnt a lot of things from this experience, a big lesson was of course never take your life for granted..
BUT… it also taught me that I can use my mind and my words to counter fear and nurture faith.
I want to share more info about my understanding and use of Cognitive hypnotherapy because I think that it’s a powerful modality that we can use to support ourselves in so many ways. If this is something you’re interested in, watch out for further posts.