And just kinda let that pass and now think of something that was wonderful. Wonderful, great spirit that you had, a good memory that evokes good feelings. The sounds, the images, the smells, the taste, body sensations. Again, just notice that in consciousness, it's like a mirror. It's there all the time. And kind of just let that pass, too. And no matter what thoughts appear, they are just thoughts. They weren't personal, they're transitory experiences. You can't ever be identical with the voice inside your head or the pictures you have.
So I'd like to invite you now to think you're driving down a highway, a motorway, a freeway, and everything is fine, but all of a sudden you begin to drive badly and you forget that you're driving, and you had these rowels [SP] on the highway that kind of make that errr sound, that alerts you that, "Hey, you've forgotten that you're driving and you're driving kind of badly." It's a sign that says, "Wake up and remember you're driving a car." And you'll automatically correct yourself and drive again at a nice pace.
So if you're ever feeling feelings of anxiety or stress or low self-esteem, it's just like rowels on the motorway. You're thinking kind of badly, you've forgotten that you're thinking, and it's just time to kind of wake up and remind yourself that you're thinking and that you've kind of woken up from this dream. It has nothing to do with you and there's nothing to analyze about it. Just take a few moments to slowly reoriented back to my voice now.
You know those warning things that you have in your car, those triangular things, they're just those feelings, and we all have them. And you can immediately start to see that triangle now like on your car when you've got low gas going on, all the triangles, a warning signal warning you, warning, warning that it's just a psychological illusion. You have fallen from mind game, psychological illusion. That you've forgotten you're thinking again, you think what's going on is real. And even though it may seem real, it's not, in fact, real, it's just temporary and that you can awaken up from this dream and you can realize that it's just an in personal thought. It comes, it goes. It has nothing to do with who you are. It's not who you are.
So when that feeling emerges, you can just see that this kind of warning sign says, "Warning, warning, you just fell for your own mind game, your own headcase, your own head game, your own psychological illusion." It's just like the rowels of a highway, kind of alerting you that you're thinking, it's kind of out of sorts and it's just temporary and you've just forgotten that you were thinking and you think that what you were thinking was real. Now, the sooner you get that, it's almost like waking up from a dream. You suddenly go, "Oh, it's just the thought, there's nothing really to do here. I've just woken up from a dream. It wasn't real."
I mean, do you ever go to a movie, you know, a really good movie and you get absorbed into the movie to the point where you begin to really think that this is kind of really what's going on in real time and you get caught up in emotion? Well, that's the quality of what we're doing inside of our head today is we're just getting caught up with the movie that we're watching. And it's just a movie, it will end and another one will begin.
So I'd like for you to do a little experiment with me. I'd like for you to imagine opening up your refrigerator, seeing a nice, big, juicy lemon in there, pulling out that lemon, feeling the shape, the coolness of it, seeing the color of it, feeling it in your hand, walking over to the countertop, cutting it, slicing it with a big knife into two. And then as you feel that knife penetrating through the lemon, those lemon, the zest just squirting out and you can see some of that fruit juice just squirting, and you can start to get that feeling now that you're cutting that lemon in half. And imagine raising that lemon now into your mouth and just kind of taking a big bite of that lemon now in your imagination and letting that lemon spur out of your mouth. Really put your teeth into it and feel those flavors and everything that it is and just imagine swallowing that down now.
So good, if you did that, you'll probably notice that you salivated more inside your mouth. It's a biological thing that our thought starts to create body reactions inside of our body where else. Yet there was no lemon. I just got you to imagine it and your body responded in kind.
It's like now if you just stand up if it's okay for you to do that and you have your arms out in front of you straight out in front, and with your right arm have your palm facing up and with your left arm have your palm facing down. And just imagine, pretend or make-believe that on that right hand with the palm facing up I would place a bunch of telephone directories onto it, a bunch of weights onto it, the Encyclopedia Britannica, all of them on top of it. And notice, as you start to think about all that weight now on that right hand, what starts to happen. How heavy it starts to feel in the palm of your right hand.
But then imagine now on the left hand that should be facing down, imagine on the left arm we placed 500 helium balloons attached to your wrist so it starts to get higher and floating up more and more in the air, that's almost like there's a cloud underneath that left hand and it starts to raise it higher up in the air, floating lighter and lighter, lighter and lighter, lighter and lighter. That's right. So the more you think of that left hand getting lighter and lighter, the further up in the air it goes and it gets lighter. And the more you start to focus on the heaviness of that right hand, the kilos, the pounds, the heavy weights, it starts to get heavier and heavier. And notice what's happened. It's kind of curious, isn't it?
Now, notice what's happened with your eyes. You'll probably notice that your right arm has gone down and your left arm has gone up. This is what naturally happens. Now, we didn't really put anything in either of your hands. There were no balloons. There was no weights. There was no heavy or lightness. They were all suggestions that you played outside inside your head. They were all psychological illusions but your body responded to these illusions that were not real.
And now I ask yourself, I ask you to ask yourself, this is the big question, how could your hands feel differently? How could you feel one hand getting heavier and one hand getting lighter? And one hand moving up by itself and one hand moving down by itself, how could you feel that? Answer it. And then here's the big question, where did those feelings come from? Where did those feelings of taste and heaviness and lightness really come from?
Imagine a scenario, imagine that you're standing in line to get your morning coffee, to pay some bills, to buy some concert tickets, it doesn't matter the line, and there's a big line and you're waiting in there and you've been there for some time. And now just imagine that someone comes and cuts in front of you in the line. Notice how you feel in that moment that that person that you're perceiving is cutting in front of you. Then notice that that person is wearing some dark shades and has a blind-person stick. That person was blind. Notice how you start to feel differently about this person now cutting in front of you. What happens to your feelings then?
And then notice with a bit more information that the people behind you say, "Oh, that guy does it all the time. He's here every week. He's not really blind at all but he puts on those shades and that stick so he can cut in line." Notice how you feel with that bit of information. Then notice the girlfriend of the guy who told you that said, "Oh, don't listen to my boyfriend. We actually don't know him. We've never seen this guy before. He's just making up stories." Notice how you feel about this situation then. It's the same guy. It's the same situation. Someone is in front of you, but with this information, this piece of information, the next piece of information, notice how you go on a roller coaster feelings because they're all your thoughts, the movies you project inside your head. None of it is real, and all of it is all at the same time.
Now, for most of us, even if we're watching good movies, we understand that even though we may be captivated by that movie in the moment, we understand at some level most of us, most of the time that the movie is indeed not real. It's actors and actresses and directors and producers and millions and millions of dollars are thrown at it. But when the movie was first developed in the turn of the 1900s, when they would play things on the screen when people hadn't experienced movies on the big screen before, like a train coming, like a car coming at them, like an aeroplane, people would actually think that that train was coming towards them, that that aeroplane, that car was coming toward them and it would fill them with a lot of fear.
So oftentimes cinemas, people would stampede out of the cinemas because they really felt they were in danger because they've never experienced cinema before. It was just a thought. It was just a vision. It wasn't real. But now having seen many, many movies, many, many years, 100 years of cinema, we realize a movie is just a movie. It's not real. It may seem realistic. And even if we're watching it in 3D, they're not really coming out. We're really not gonna get run over by that car, taken over by that spaceship, abducted by the aliens or be hit by that train. Yet, if we went back to the thinking that we used to have when film just came out, it seemed that everything was real and we were always in danger. But when we realized it's just a movie, that it's not real, that the train isn't gonna hit us, the aliens aren't gonna abduct us, the plane isn't gonna crash, we can just breathe and just realize it's not real, it's just a psychological illusion. It's just a movie. It's not real.
And when you get caught up on a certain feeling, a certain mood, good or bad, it's important to realize like a big stop sign going off inside your head that says, "Warning, warning, don't fall for a mind game. Don't fall for a psychological illusion, good or bad." That's what it is. We only feel our thinking. We're not actually feeling the world. Not in emotions or not in a sensation...way. We're only feeling what we're thinking about the thing that we're thinking in any given time. That's all it is. We can only feel our thinking. So if you're feeling shitty, you're probably doing some poor quality thinking. So when you change your thinking, your feelings automatically change.
Realize the world hasn't been done to you, you are not a victim, you are not at effect, you are in control of what goes on inside your head. And you'll find yourself more and more and more now rather than falling into psychological illusions, that red stop sign will come up inside your head that will remind you, "Hey, I'm being suckered in by a psychological illusion, a mind game, a movie from the turn of the 1900s. It's not real. It seems real. Like if I was watching a movie from the 1900 it seems real, but in actual fact, it's not real, it's just a movie that I'm playing inside my head that's making me feel this certain way." So as soon as that stop sign goes off inside my head, it stops, or I feel the feeling that I'm hitting the barriers as I'm driving the car, the vehicle of my mind, and lets me know, "You're doing some bad quality thinking, gear the car, the vehicle of your mind forward again and do some high-quality thinking to feel and think better because none of this is true."
An example of this now, and this is quite a violent metaphor so do this with discretion and please self-govern yourself, but if you're brave and just imagine, imagine now, just imagine, imagine you are in a room, okay, and that room is on fire and everything in that room is burning, burning, burning, burning and you are starting to burn. Your toes, your body, your heel, your face, your head is all burning. You smell the smelling of burning. Imagine that now. And as you do that, I ask you on a scale of 1 to 10, how strong is that fear of burning now as you imagine it vividly? Say out loud. And then open your eyes.
Now, if you did that correctly like most people, you probably got some high anxiety, some high fear even though you know that I was instructing you to go through the process and you're totally healthy and safe, but you might have gotten to an 8 or 9, maybe even a 10 on fear of fire. But you weren't actually in a room full the fire, yet you were feeling that feeling of fear, that feeling of being scared. It wasn't real, you were feeling you're thinking and I was directing your thinking to think of the burning room.
Like a phobic client that I'll have is always the same. I have a ground floor office. If I get a client that is scared of heights, they'll come in and I'll know one thing, that even though I've got a ground floor office, that they will be able kind of drop that fear of heights. And I'll ask them as they're sitting in a chair on my ground floor office, "On a scale of 1 to 10, imagine you're on an aeroplane, you're on a high building, you're parachuting, now how strong is that fear?" And they'll say eight, nine, 10 inevitably a lot of the times. But they're not feeling a real experience, they're imagining an experience because I'm asking them to imagine it and those feelings are real.
And when they open their eyes, they realize it's not even hypnosis. They look out at the window, they're on a ground floor, yet those feelings were real. But when they realize it was just a psychological illusion that was going on inside their head, that felt real at the time. It wasn't indeed real, then the phobia collapses in and of itself, because the phobic person who thinks they're scared of an aeroplane, thinks they're scared of being high in the air, thinks they're scared of a spider or a snake, they can do it all most of the time without the snake, the spider, the aeroplane, the high-level office being there. They can conjure it up. Which means one thing, they're not feeling what's really going on, they're feeling what they're thinking.
So when you change your thinking, wherever that be, there is a snake on you, there is a spider crawling on your hand, you are on the 100th floor, you are flying on a big jet, when you change your thinking, you're feeling self-correct, and oftentimes the problem collapses. The only time we get stuck is when we are getting suckered in and we're suckering on ourselves into a psychological illusion. And when you realize it's not real, it can't be real. It's impossible to feel the world because we have those three filters of generalizing, distorting, deleting. When you realize that, you don't have to meditate for years, pray for years, even necessarily hire a hypnotist. When you do this and you realize, "Oh, you know what? I thought I was having a panic attack but I'm just falling for that game, I'm falling for that psychological illusion," it collapses.
It's like waking up from a dream. You've had a nightmare, it seemed real, stimulated many of your senses, and you're puffing for breath. You're being pursued by someone, zombies if you're like me and it seems real and if you feel real and your body is responding with all those chemicals and you're like, "Oh my God, what am I gonna do? How am I gonna escape from the zombies?" And you wake up. It might take you a moment then you realize it's not real. You're in your bed, you're safe. It was just a dream. Your mind was playing games on you. You don't need to call "The Walking Dead" to come and save you. It was just a dream. And when you're waking from that now and realize you just fell for your dream, you fell for a psychological illusion, you fell for a mind game, you've woken up, you self-correct. You get on with your day and your life realizing it was just a dream.
Luke Michael Howard PhD
Toronto and Ottawa Clinical Hynotist