The Courage to Imagine…

the inifinite possibilities that life always brings

Gratitude Tip: Gratitude Blitz

Posted by jeromefaraday on October 3, 2010

Sunday gratitude tip for the week of October 3rd:

Sometimes we all need some kind of fire to get us (or keep us) going. We may keep a gratitude journal or make an effort to stay upbeat, but the weight of the world can sometimes be pretty heavy. Reflecting on a few positiv aspects of our life each evening may not seem to stack up to the overall negativity we perceive in our lives. This is when it’s time for what I like to call the “gratitude blitz.”

Get out a sheet of paper or get up a word processing program and write down one hundred things for which you’re grateful. That’s right, not five, not ten, not even fifty, but one hundred! Be general, be specific, include past and present (hold off on future for a moment; more on that next Sunday) and above all enjoy the feeling of the good things God has given you in life.

After you’ve written these one hundred things, keep the list close by and whenever you’re starting to feel negative or down, whip it out. Even better, add ten or twenty more each time you read it. It’ll be a constant reminder of how much you have to be grateful for.

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My Experience With Self-Hypnosis (Part 3)

Posted by jeromefaraday on October 1, 2010

The last few blog posts have been grouped around the theme of self-hypnosis. On Wednesday, I discussed what it is and how to enter a trance. Yesterday, I explained how trance feels. Today I want to talk about how the actual experience has impacted my life.

Let me say that I’ve come to rely on my daily dose of trance a lot. If I don’t self-hypnotize myself, I miss it. If I go several days without it, I feel less mentally powerful, if that makes any sense. Why? I think it’s true for several reasons.

First, my trance time is ‘me time.’ As much as I love my family and my life, it still has a hectic side to it. It’s especially easy to dwell on my current lack of employment, for example. My trance is a time where life slows down instantly, the worries disappear, and I have time to assess my thoughts.

Second, my trance time is relaxation time. Part of my emphasis during trance is de-stressing. My script specifically relates to this theme and the results are very positive. It’s twenty minutes of purposeful relaxation which is often missing from most 21st century American lives (mine included).

Third, my trance time is my cheerleading time. In this case I am my cheerleader. During trance, my recorded self reminds my real self of my reasons to be happy, my affirmations, and above all, the feeling of joy and success. Each time I go into trance I am reminded what life is all about and why my life is no longer the negative one I left behind.

Finally, my trance time is insight time. I not only use my self-hypnosis sessions as a time to relax and remind myself of the better things in life. I also use it to get deeper insights into myself and the world. Trance is that rare time in which we’re plugged more deeply into the universe and our own consciousness. I keep a running diary of insights (Word file) and sometimes even talk during trance and see what I say. It’s more of a stream of consciousness type of thing. I also visualize what comes to my mind and run with it (e.g. if a house comes to mind, I walk in and look around, etc.).

As I conclude my 3 part series on self-hypnosis, I would like to recommend it to everyone. It can be used as a form of meditation, prayer, self-improvement, etc. It has transformed my life and I hope it can do the same for you. If you have any questions, consult books, the internet, or ask a question in the comment box. I’ll try to offer as much help as possible.

Part 1
Part 2

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My Experience With Self-Hypnosis (Part 2)

Posted by jeromefaraday on September 30, 2010

Yesterday I discussed how I set up my self-hypnosis sessions. Today I want to explore the feeling of self-hypnosis.

When I first started going into trance I had what I think was a common concern: am I doing it right? I was influenced by television and movies where the people put in a trance by magicians seem to be in an other-wordly state where they’re willing to do just about anything. I expected a similar result.

I had to let go of that notion in order for self-hypnosis to be valuable and you probably will too. So, what does self-hypnosis actually feel like? I suspect the feeling will be slightly different for most people, but for me, being in trance is a little like a relaxing, waking dream. The experience seems very timeless and a bit blurry, but the underlying reality is clear. I don’t know if it makes any sense, but this is my best approximation. To put it another way, it feels a lot like an intense session of meditation or prayer.

However, I should mention a few things that trance is not. You’re not putting yourself to sleep or ‘out of it.’ You won’t do anything you normally wouldn’t do, like acts you regard as immoral (this is true of all hypnosis). You can pull yourself out of trance quickly if necessary. This is important to remember because you’re not making yourself helpless during those 15-20 minutes of hypnosis. However, you will be exceedingly relaxed and coming out of trance may feel a bit like waking up.

Tomorrow, I’ll conclude this 3 part series and discuss how I make the most of trance in terms of insights, visualizations, etc.

Part 1

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My Experience With Self-Hypnosis

Posted by jeromefaraday on September 29, 2010

I’ll never forget walking into a bookstore with a friend years ago and he picked out a book on self-hypnosis. I laughed a little. The concept sounded so silly and besides he’d already tried every self-help tip known to man (and woman). It’s a bit of cosmic irony that over ten years later self-hypnosis has become such a huge part of my life.

I discovered self-hypnosis through a friend who recommended it to add power to my daily affirmations. I trusted him, so I tried it even though my doubts from years earlier persisted. I set a physical and auditory anchor for my trance and now can go in and out quite easily. I thought I’d use my blog over the next few days to discuss my experiences.

Today, I want to discuss how to do self-hypnosis. While I’m sure there are a variety of ways, I think from a basic standpoint, it only requires an appropriate script, a microphone, a recording device, and free time.

I write my own scripts based off models, but essentially, I like my script to take my mind to a “place” where I feel calm, successful, happy, or whatever it is I’m trying to accomplish. I also include my affirmations and other cues in my scripts. I tell myself you are x or you are attracting y, etc. I often talk myself into creating visuals as well. I leave lots of room for the mind to act spontaneously too. This is the most fun part of self-hypnosis.

Once I write the script, I record it as an audio file. The free program Audacity is good for this. It can record your audio and then export it to an mp3 format for easy playback. I include lots of quiet time throughout to visualize, reflect, and meditate. I feel that self-hypnosis shouldn’t be rushed. Audacity makes silence easy too.

After I’ve recorded my script, I’ll go to a quiet room and put myself into trance. I do this by using an anchor. You can talk yourself into trance any time via a recorded script, but an anchor is easiest in the long run. An anchor is an action, word, etc. that you’ve trained your mind to associate with a particular result. For example, some people set an anchor for feeling full to lose weight. When they’re full they touch their nose with their left finger, for example. They do it enough and their mind associates that action with fullness. So, they can touch their nose with the left finger and feel full, even if they’re not physically stuffed.

Once you talk yourself into trance, you can then set the anchor. You can write this into your script (e.g. touch thumb and forefinger together tightly…this is your signal to go into trance) and after a few times the anchor will be set. Once this happens, you can instantly start your self-hypnosis. I add an anchor word as well. Think of it as a code word. Whatever anchors you choose, don’t make them too common or you’ll find yourself going into trance at inopportune times. Seriously.

Tomorrow, I’ll look at the trance experience more in depth.

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How I Learned to Stop Judging

Posted by jeromefaraday on September 27, 2010

I used to be a very judgmental person. It started as a child when I felt that my religious persuasion was infinitely superior to that of my friends. This tendency has sadly reasserted itself throughout my life in regards to religious matters and other things. Take note: one can be judgmental and fundamentalist about any topic, not just religion.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with making truth claims. A religion or any other movement has to be true to itself. On the other hand, there is a reason why Jesus (and other teachers) emphasized the importance of non-judgment.

For one, we don’t know the heart of the other person. We like to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt when addressing our flaws, but often fail to do so in others. For example, we may see our addictions as a result of a good person undergoing genuine struggle while judging another person as morally suspect for a similar condition.

Second, I’ve come to realize the value of freedom. Since intellectual and moral truths are often considered subjective the freedom of others to be stupid, misguided, or just plain wrong in my mind, also allows me to be stupid, misguided, or just plain wrong in theirs.

Finally, I’ve realized that the Truth wins in the end. In a real marketplace of ideas, the truth will prevail through honest, non-violent means (e.g. see the message of Jesus and Gandhi). The application of force to convince others of truth in the end only weakens the claims of any system. God will prevail, whether in this life or the next. While we have an obligation to speak the truth, it’s not our place to condemn peaceful people or take away their liberty.

I consider my ability to refrain from condemning others as a huge step in my spiritual growth. It’s allowed me to put more trust in God and also to look at my own failings instead of dwelling on those of other people all the time. It’s also (when combined with empathy) allowed me to see the good in others and help them change.

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Gratitude Tip: Gratitude in Action

Posted by jeromefaraday on September 26, 2010

We’ve all been in this situation: someone thanks us, perhaps profusely, with their mouth. However, their actions say something different. While I and many other self help types will often mention gratitude, it’s usually in the context of helping ourselves. In other words, gratitude transforms us. However, we can’t forget another important part of the equation: gratitude changes the world too. Because it changes others.

Simply saying we’re thankful for someone isn’t enough if it doesn’t transform our very being. We have to turn gratitude from a mental emotion (a good start) into a guiding principle of life that impels us to change our actions. This new way of thinking and acting then leads to a different world.

How can we take our gratitude from a mental exercise to a living reality? When you fill out your gratitude journal, list one action step with each entry. Give a concrete way you can incarnate your gratitude for that person. And then do it!

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Have a (Subconscious) Blast!

Posted by jeromefaraday on September 25, 2010

I’ve always found the idea of subconscious influence fascinating. How much of our life is determined by messages from the world that we aren’t even aware of?  Some people are skeptical, but the FCC and the corresponding Canadian regulatory agency disallowed subliminal messages in the 1970’s.

I was excited when I read about a program that flashes motivational affirmations on computer screens while the person surfs the net, works, etc. However, I wasn’t so thrilled about the price (in excess of 35 dollars). Fortunately, I did a little research and discovered Subliminal Blaster, a free program that does the same thing. Here is my review.

The  program, which takes up very little hard drive space, flashes words and phrases quickly on the computer screen. They’re barely noticeable by the conscious mind, but the subconscious picks them up. The program comes with several preset modules like prosperity, accepting myself, controlling dreams, etc. Each has around 15 phrases and affirmations (e.g. I am letting go of my past). However, it’s possible to add your own personalized affirmations too.

The options are rather limited, but it’s possible to change the time between messages, message duration, color, size, and location (I prefer to have mine shown all over the screen, for example). The only down side is that it appears to slow down my computer a little bit and when I am doing memory intensive computer work, I’ll just stop the session or exit the program.

Overall, I highly recommend Subliminal Blaster. Most of  us spend hours in front of the computer screen everyday, so why not get some benefit?

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Morphogenic Fields, Cultures, and Cities

Posted by jeromefaraday on September 22, 2010

Yesterday I posted on the idea of M-fields and thought today I’d discuss what I see as the cultural connection. Specifically, do groups of people, through collective ways of thinking, create their own reality? I think the answer is yes.

I’m going to look at the city of Cleveland as an example. The city started out in a spirit of success. Even though it had terrible winters and less than ideal land, the people made the most of its location next to Lake Erie and Cleveland prospered. In 1949 Cleveland was named an All American City.

However, in the 1960’s, a shift occurred. A combination of racial unrest, lagging industry, and a loss of talent to the suburbs created a more negative environment. This reached its height when the Cuyahoga River caught fire in 1969. The next decade wasn’t any better as the malaise continued and the city defaulted on its loans in 1979. Cleveland became “the mistake on the lake.”

Since the 80’s Cleveland has seen some improvements, but its population still stands at half of its 1949 numbers. The city is still mired in low housing prices, economic despair (it jockeys with Detroit for poorest city in the US), and bad sports teams.

In fact, all three professional teams (Indians, Browns, Cavaliers) have suffered from awful performances and the tendency to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory even when they do achieve some measure of success. The recent debacle over LeBron James’ departure is indicative of a city resigned to despair.

The question is this: did Cleveland create a morphogenic field for failure by internalizing the media barbs from the 1960s and 70’s and failing to re-imagine itself? Sure, demographic trends hurt Cleveland (white flight, moves to the sunbelt, loss of manufacturing). But, other cities have successfully re-invented themselves. Did enough people in Cleveland just simply give up that failure became inevitable?

Perhaps. But, whether Cleveland (or other cities, groups, etc.) created a negative M field, the good news is that these are not life sentences. If Cleveland can pull itself together and change its culture of failure, then it could create a new field of success. It certainly has the tools to do it (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Clinic, hard working people, etc.).

And, maybe the success of Cleveland could create a positive morphogenic field for all Americans, allowing us to pull ourselves up from this recession and again assume a spot as a place of success, innovation, and freedom.

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Exploring “M” Fields

Posted by jeromefaraday on September 21, 2010

One of my favorite authors the last few months has been the late Michael Talbot whose most famous books are “Beyond the Quantum” and “Holographic Universe.” They are, I believe, two of the best summaries of the profound implications of quantum physics in shaping a new reality. Reviews of these and other books will be forthcoming.

Today I’m going to discuss a concept I first learned from Talbot and has cropped up in other books/articles I’ve read since: Morphogenic, morphogenetic, or “M” fields (proposed by Rupert Sheldrake). Essentially they are a field (an unknown energy or otherwise) of thought created by existing beings/objects. From a human standpoint, this theory says that if enough people believe in something, then a field changes, and allows others on the same wave length to tap into it.

It may be easier to use some examples. Most people during Roger Bannister’s time thought the 4 minute mile was impossible. However, when he broke that mark, many other people quickly followed him and achieved the feat. The M-field theory would explain that Bannister proved it possible, so a critical mass of humanity believed in it and what was impossible became relatively common (compared to impossibility). An example from the animal kingdom is studies on rats more easily navigating mazes they’ve never personally encountered after other, disconnected groups of rats have done it.

I certainly believe there is some truth to the morphogenic field theory, especially as it applies to human cultures. I think it can explain positive and negative cultural phenomena and will explore this issue tomorrow.

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Gratitude Tip: Let Go of Hatred

Posted by jeromefaraday on September 19, 2010

It’s impossible to hate someone we’re grateful for. If we can come up with redeeming qualities in a person and be thankful for those qualities, a lot of hatred and anger automatically disappear. The purpose of this isn’t just to repair relationships. It’s also about allowing people burdened by hate and resentment to let go.

Let’s look a bully. Most bullies feel no remorse for their actions and even a sense of power towards their victims. By holding onto anger towards bullies, the victim continues to be a victim!

For the next week, think of someone you don’t like or even hate each night and find five good things about the person that you can be grateful for.

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