I enjoyed this video from hypnotherapist Marisa Peers so much that I took notes and then came up with my own examples to really drive her lessons home…
When you’re in a flare-up of symptoms, or life gets really stressful (which can then cause a flare) it helps to have some mind/body strategies to shift your body’s experience and tendency to focus on negative events. If you can shift your perspective, then your mind can direct your body in a different direction. And you can then manifest a different reality.
Of course, sometimes the healing journey is multi-layered and complex, and the body cannot release the symptom(s) until you’ve received the message(s). That’s okay. This is still part of walking that path. Remember that true healing is wholistic – you rarely just do one thing and presto, everything’s fixed!
I’m a big fan of hypnotherapy. I’ve had many sessions and so have my kids. Along with EFT, it’s one of the best mind/body therapies for deep-root, long-term healing. Marisa Peer (in this video) is extremely expensive ($3,000 per session) but my own hypnotherapist, Jen Snow, is pretty darn good and actually affordable!
You can either watch the video first (these concepts will probably stick better if you do) or just skip to my take-away’s below.
1. Find the GOOD part of the task you hate and FOCUS on that. Re-state that. Re-affirm that.
The shitty aspects are still there – no one is denying that. But you don’t think about or focus on, or cultivate the negative parts.
Tell your mind what you WANT.
Link pleasure to what you’re doing, not pain.
I want this.
I like this.
I’ve chosen this – always emphasize that you can do whatever you want, but you are choosing to do X.
If you talk about, think about, and focus on the negative aspects, then you are asking your brain to come up with ways to stop you from doing that. You are activating resistance.
Example – Working Out
DON’T say/think/repeat: “Aaargh I hate getting up so early to exercise. I wish I could sleep in another hour. I’m dreading working out, it’s so hard.”
DO say/think/repeat: “I’m choosing to work out; because this is going to make me really strong and healthy. This is going to make the rest of my day feel so much better.”
SAME reality, but completely different focus and perspective. Whatever you focus on, grows!
The mind’s driver is to move towards pleasure and away from pain.
If you link pain with something, then the mind will make you give it up, very quickly.
My Example – Winter Barn Chores
DON’T: “OMG, I hate winter, the rain is so gross and makes everything mucky and stinky. And the horses get stir-crazy and the fields get destroyed. And there’s mountains of wet heavy manure to shovel.”
DO: “I’m choosing to keep my horses with me in this climate: We’re going to do a lot of meditating when the rains come. And the herd dynamics will get even more interesting. And I won’t get sick or depressed during winter because my love for the horses will force me outside for at least 2-3 hours a day, or every 2nd day. And then I feel SO much better, and once I’m out there, the rain doesn’t bother me at all. I’m so glad I have the horses near me in the winter. I want to have them close by.”
DON’T: “How many things are going to go wrong?? I can’t handle this. Stuff always goes sideways and then I end up having to come to the rescue and exhaust myself.”
DO: “I choose to have faith in myself. I’ve got amazing coping skills. I’ve got strong people I can ask for help. I’m creative and good at coming up with ideas for systems and hacks to make things easier. I’m strong and I’ve got this. I trust the universe.”
2. EVERYTHING comes down to, responds to, the words you say to yourself and the PICTURES YOU HAVE IN YOUR HEAD.
When you make the pictures good, and you make the words good – it changes your life.
3. The brain loves what is familiar (safety).
So you’ve got to make the things you desire, familiar, routine, expected, repeated. And make praising yourself familiar.
Now, here’s another key point: Marisa really touts the concept that the mind is in charge and the body just does what the brain tells it to do. However, those of us who have healed from serious or chronic illness know that the body has it’s own wisdom. And there is intelligence within every cell throughout the body.
a) there is a reason my body manifested this particular illness or symptom
b) I am receiving some kind of benefit from this illness/symptom
we cannot experience long-term, complete healing. We can get off the drugs/surgery cycle, we can manage our symptoms and flares using only natural methods, but to transition into full vibrant health and thriving… the emotional and spiritual aspects of our dis-ease must also be healed.
Perhaps I am using my body to speak for me, because I’m not willing to say no, or set boundaries, or risk rejection, or disappoint a loved one? Or perhaps this illness gets me rest, compassion, or I don’t have to work so hard (doing what I hate). I was surprised – as a super successful hypnotherapist – that Marisa Peer was not addressing this aspect of healing. Until I found this interview with the beautiful Lewis Howes.
In this interview, Marisa gives an example of a client who got terrible migraine headaches. Under hypnosis (meditative state) Marisa asked her, “What is the role of the migraine? What is it’s purpose?” And the client spoke about her high-achieving Dad, who had invested a lot of money in her education and had high expectations for her achievements and her career. So the migraine gave her a legitimate reason (one that satisfied her Dad) as to why she was not fulfilling his expectations. Marisa says, “When the symptom has a role, function, purpose, intention – it’s not going anywhere“. So when looking at a physical symptom, you have to ask yourself (and your conscious mind doesn’t always know), “What’s the benefit? What’s the payoff?”
As a great example she asked a 5-year-old, “If the headache was your friend, what would it be doing?” The little girl answered, “Well, when mummy and daddy fight and I’ve got a headache, they stop fighting. They turn off all the lights, and we lie in the dark until it goes away.”
Bingo! There’s the missing piece I was looking for. And in any chronic condition, you can be assured you’ve got at least one or two big benefits or payoffs happening – in addition to the trauma and wounding stored in the affected organs or tissues. As Marisa quotes, “The feeling that cannot find it’s expression in tears, may cause other organs to weep.”
Note: I believe the source of this quote is:
“The sorrow which has no vent in tears may make other organs weep.” – Henry Maudsley
Well out of the 20 or so Marisa Peer videos I watched during this binge, here is another of my favorites: