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Brian Weiss

Doctor Brian Weiss is an American psychiatrist, hypnotherapist, and author. In 1980 Weiss had one of his patients (Catherine) begin experiencing a past life while under hypnosis. Then a devout sceptic about such things, he did not believe in reincarnation. However, his curiosity was peaked and he was able to confirm parts of Catherine’s accounts through investigating public records.

Consequently, he came to be convinced of the persistence of part of the human personality after death.  He now specialises in past life regression and has regressed thousands of people. Today, Weiss is an advocate of hypnotic regression to treat many phobias and ailments as they are often rooted in a past life.

Dolores Cannon (pioneer of past life regression) and her husband, Johnny, had a similar experience in 1968 when a client unexpectedly start to experience a past life. Cannon went on to develop her own technique for using hypnosis to heal called Quantum Healing Hypnosis Technique (QHHT).

It’s rare, but it does occasionally happen that, when a Hypnotherapist works with a client for some other reason, for them to experience (jump into) a past life. Although most past life experiences happen when having a hypnotherapist regress you. 

Both Weiss and Cannon have spoken about communication with “super-evolved, nonphysical souls”. These function as guides and can be a source of amazing insight. A past life regression is an opportunity to ask these beings questions.

In 2013 Weiss spoke with Oprah Winfrey about his life and work and specifically about the client who changed his life and made him believe in past lives.

Most people believe in some form of reincarnation and past life regression is a small leap from there. For example, there is Willie Nelson (American Musician) who said, “I started out really young, when I was four, five, six, writing poems, before I could play an instrument. I was writing about things when I was eight or 10 years old that I hadn’t lived long enough to experience. That’s why I also believe in reincarnation, that we were put here with ideas to pass around”.

I am an experienced practitioner of past life regression having worked with many clients. I favour a past life regression technique called Introspective Hypnosis. This combines Past Life Regression with healing and Spirit Assistance also known as Spirit Releasement. If this is something you are interested or feel you could benefit from then get in touch.

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Take a Chance

23 April is National Take a Chance Day. This is a great opportunity / reason to move out of your comfort zone and try something new. Your comfort zone is a set of routines and behaviours that help us to remain comfortable through low risk or stress. But always being in your comfort zone denies you the chance to try new things and perhaps improve your life. As John F Kennedy (US President) said, “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction”.

For most of us taking a chance or a leap of faith is not something that comes naturally. We are often instinctively risk adverse. But the down side of these things are not as bad as we imagine. And life begins at the edge of your comfort zone. I am not suggesting betting your life savings on a horse race. I am thinking about more modest things. Perhaps ask someone on a date, start a new business or do something new. Overcome your fears and inhibitions and do something adventurous.

And even if you think you will fail, failure is rarely complete and absolute, there are always valuable experiences and lessons learnt. As Cat Cora (American Chef) said, “Even when you have doubts, take that step. Take chances. Mistakes are never a failure – they can be turned into wisdom”.

You could decide to take an evening class and learn a new skill, language or hobby. Perhaps you could share your feelings about someone or something. Perhaps it’s time to face up to a fear of something and try to resolve or get past it. What one thing about your life would you change if you could? Perhaps make a plan and change that.

This is an annual event, so don’t make this a difficult day in the future where you remember what you didn’t do. So as Mark Twain didn’t say (we actually don’t know who did), “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowline, sail away from the safe harbour, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore.  Dream.  Discover”.

So, there you have it. Don’t wait to be asked or ask for permission – just do!

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Creative Block

As technology continues to automate routine tasks, it’s the use of creativity that is increasingly important in many jobs and hobbies. But what happens when you creativity deserts you? When you have Creative Block? Well fear not, Hypnotherapy has been used to overcome creative blocks in many people, both famous and not famous. And as I recently discovered and Charles Bukowski (German-American Poet and Novelist) agrees, “Writing about writer’s block is better than not writing at all.”

A friend of mine is a writer and he has from time to time suffered with short periods of writers block. He tried various approaches to resolve it including working on regardless but the only thing that works for him is to rest and do something else and let his subconscious work on things.  Now this is fine if you have it for a short time, but what if you are a writer and you simply cannot write? For weeks, months, even years.

Philipp Meyer (American Writer) has a theory about it. He said, “I don’t think “writer’s block” actually exists. It’s basically insecurity — it’s your own internal critic turned up to a higher level than it’s supposed to be at that moment, because when you’re starting a work — when the page is blank, when the canvas is open — your critic has to be turned down to zero… The point is actually to get stuff on paper, just to allow yourself to kind of flow. It is only by writing that you’ll discover characters, ideas, things like this.”

Now that’s an interesting idea as it’s thought that prolonged periods of creative block has a root in the mind and is the result of a lack of confidence, burnout, stress or even depression. Fortunately, Hypnotherapy has a well-established track record in helping with all these conditions.

One famous example of Hypnotherapy overcoming creative block is Sergei Rachmaninoff (Russian Composer). The debut of his First Symphony in 1897 did not go well and he received widespread poor reviews of his work. Subsequently he suffered a prolonged period of depression and was unable to compose for three years. Then, from January to April 1900, Rachmaninoff underwent Hypnotherapy with Dr Nicolai Dahl (Russian Physician). The sessions were designed to help improve his appetite, sleep pattern, mood and rekindle his ability to compose again. The treatment was successful and so much so that Rachmaninoff dedicated his Second Symphony, completed in 1901, to Dr Dahl.

Robert Greenberg (American Composer, Pianist, and Musicologist) explored Rachmaninoff’s creative struggles in his Scandalous Overtures series.

So, if you are struggling with some form of creative block then get in touch. Hypnotherapy can help boost your creativity and can also explore the reasons for the block and resolve them.

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Procrastination 3

So, you have read the other two blog posts about procrastination and you have decided to do something about it. Where now? A good place to start is to forgive yourself for past procrastination. Draw a line under it and commit to change.

As Napoleon Hill (American Author) said, “Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday”. And it’s important to remember that procrastination is a habit (deeply ingrained pattern of behaviour) and as a result it will take time and practice to break it. But here are some strategies to help you break the habit and open up a world of decisiveness, alacrity and élan.

Firstly, prepare for the task. Make sure you understand what needs to be done and that you have all you need to complete it. Write down all the sub tasks and how long they will take. Once you have this you can commit to the task wholeheartedly.

How do you feel about the task? Do you feel put upon or obliged to do the task? Reframing the task or rephrasing the internal dialog can help. If you need to or have to do something that suggests you have no choice. This can result in self sabotage or feelings of disempowerment. Saying ‘I choose to’ do something means you own the project, have control and are invested. What are the long term benefits, meaning or relevance of doing the task? Will it make your life easier, or your home nicer or get you a promotion at work?

Try to keep distractions to a minimum – turn off the phone, social media, etc. It’s OK if you like to work with the TV or radio on, but that can’t be the focus of your activities. You may want to have someone check-up on you. Never underestimate the power of peer / social pressure or not wanting to disappoint someone. This is at the heart of how support groups work.

When you have completed something promptly and on time, give yourself a small reward yourself. Remember how it feels to have accomplished something – pride, relief, etc. Try to act in the moment and tackle tasks as they come up rather than doing them another time and risk them building up.

Now we all find some tasks less enjoyable than others. Rather than splitting these tasks out and putting them to one side, a mix of nice tasks and less interesting or unpleasant tasks will help to keep things moving. If there are many unpleasant tasks, then perhaps get these out of the way first thing. This will then allow you to concentrate on more enjoyable tasks.
Now, I don’t agree that being disorganised is the same as procrastination. But as we are here, I am going to suggest some strategies to overcome this. Firstly, have a prioritised To-Do list. This will give you an instant view of what you have to do. It will prevent you from forgetting about tasks and will help you decide what to do next and what can be left until later.

It’s key to understand the difference between urgent and important. An important task has severe consequences if it’s not done, but is not necessary urgent. An urgent task needs to be done soon, but it not necessary important. Sadly, some tasks are both.

Think about when are you at your best? Perhaps in the morning or just after lunch. If you are not sure, take some time to find out. When do you have most energy or focus? Tackle your hardest or the most complex tasks at your peak times .

Set yourself deadlines to do specific tasks. These time-bound tasks will keep you on track to achieve your goals, and will cut down time for procrastination. If you feel overwhelmed or disheartened a useful idea is to break the task down into smaller, more manageable chucks.

What is the limit of your concentration? Perhaps try ten to fifteen minutes periods of activity. These quick / small wins will boost your confidence, make you feel less overwhelmed and give you a sense of achievement.

One final suggestion is to use technology. There are many task / time management applications depending on what you are doing. Becoming better at scheduling and project planning will have many benefits. And these sorts of tools can help you be more effective.

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Hope

April is National Month of Hope. It’s all about celebrating the power of hope — the belief that things will work out, especially when it seems otherwise. As Desmond Tutu (South African Anglican Bishop) said, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness”.

I find the concept of hope truly fascinating. Hope is a frequently used word, but what is it? Do we really understand it? The concept is deeply rooted in culture and society. But is hope a good thing or a bad thing?
The idea of hope not being a good thing is referenced in Greek mythology. Curiosity led Pandora to open a container left in the care of her husband. This released a flood of physical and emotional curses (sickness, death and many other unspecified evils) upon mankind. When she was finally able closed the container the only thing left inside was hope. This is where we get the phrase ‘to open a Pandora’s box’. So hope is a bad thing, right?

I have a friend who was unemployed for a long period of time. He would apply for jobs and most of the time hear nothing back, not even an acknowledgement. And he was OK with this. Every so often he would get some interest – an interview or a call back. And it’s this that would hurt the most. The hope of maybe having a job and earning money again was a great feeling, but it also made the disappointment of not getting the job so much worse. As they say, it’s the hope that kills you. Friedrich Nietzsche (German Philosopher) put it like this, “Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man”.

I genuinely have mixed feelings about the idea of hope. Depending on the situation hope is a both good and bad. But perhaps it’s better to think of the bad type of hope as something like misplaced optimism.
Being without hope makes you despondent and desperate – prone to suicide or extreme acts such as violence and other crimes. Thich Nhat Hanh (Vietnamese Thiền Buddhist Monk) puts hope in a more positive light when he said, “Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today”.

And I think this is an important message to carry with you and spread to others. Being positive, hopeful and optimistic has a tremendously beneficial effect on your mental health and that of those around you.

The last few years have been very difficult for many of us with disease, isolation, death and loss. We could all do with some sympathy and understanding. So, choose hope over hopelessness and fear. Choose love over hatred. Choose compassion over indifference. Choose tolerance over prejudice, anger and intolerance.

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Walk to Work

We have two events in April aimed at encouraging you to take more exercise. Firstly, April is national Move More Month. Also, this year’s Walk to Work Day is 1 April. So with this perfect storm of influences and with the weather in the northern hemisphere turning to spring and summer, now is the time to think about doing more exercise.

Modern life often requires us to sit in one place, with little movement or exertion. And while modern life has many advantages, this sedentary lifestyle is not good for us. Inactivity can lead to weight gain and many health problems. But in addition to avoiding health problems, exercise has a tremendously beneficial effect on the brain.

In 2017, Dr Wendy Suzuki (Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the New York University) gave a very useful Ted Talk about the neurological benefits of exercise. She also discusses the science of how working out boosts your mood and memory and protects your brain against depression and neurodegenerative diseases such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Any aerobic exercise (raises the heart rate) will have an immediate effect on your brain. It increases levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and noradrenalin. These improves your mood right away, improve reaction times and allows you to focus your attention better for around two hours.

And these effects are long lasting if exercise is done regularly (30 minutes of exercise, three to four times a week). Other long term benefits of exercise are that it stimulates the creation of brain cells in the hippocampus that improve you long term memory. The same effect happens in the prefrontal cortex which in turn boosts attention span. Both these areas are susceptible to neuro degeneration and cognitive decline. So exercise can really help protect these areas of the brain. As John Adams (US President and Founding Father) put it, “Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order”.

So, I have you convinced, but you don’t have any money to join a gym or take exercise classes. Well, you don’t have to do that. Any exercise that raises the heart rate is good. Ideas include going for a walk, be it with the dog, your family, a friend or on your own. You could also change your routines, take the stairs rather than the lift. And perhaps walk to work, to the shops or to see friends.