On the opposite forearm, it is a spider web. Now, I found out later on that oftentimes people who went to prison have a spider's web and that's what it can mean. I have not been to prison. I have no intention of being into prison. I don't think that's all it means but on my opposite forearm is a spider-web. And again, it reminds me, let's not get caught up in the web of lies, the web of nonsense that's being weaved around us with media, with social media, with people. It reminds me not to get caught up in that sticky web of other people's limitations. Even clients at times will try to get me caught up in the story of why they're in their own words, broke or unfixable. And me being somebody who's very empathetic, in the past could've got dragged in and sucked into that and not being able to help them to deliver the results for them that they want. And it always reminds me to not get stuck up in the bullshit to be unstuck from that web, whether it's the web of our mind, the web of social media, or fake news.
I have a superhero, the Justice League tattooed on the knuckles of my right hand. These are symbols of The Flash, speed, of the Green Lantern using imagination to create things, of Batman, of being that lone, dark crusader, of Superman essentially being God-like to remind me of to unleash that power whenever I can. That when you can bind certain forces, certainly, certain forces like your unconscious mind, conscious mind, when they're in tandem together they become greater than being singular. Superman becomes greater when he is with Batman, when he is with The Flash, when he is with Green Lantern and as they all do. They're all powerful in and of themselves but when you create that force, that combination of conscious mind, unconscious mind, all those parts inside you work in unity. There's nothing you can't do. That's what it symbolizes to me, at least.
On my other arm, my other forearm, is what appears to be the Terminator arm, the Terminator knuckle. And it reminds me again a little bit, the symbol it symbolizes to me is that underneath all these I'm adamantium, for my Wolverine fans out there, that I am made of steel. That no matter what happens that I have that strength of that steel, that adamantium, that I am unbreakable, that I can do anything, and looks pretty fucking cool as well. So, that's my robot arm. That's the symbols, it's what it symbolizes to me. A lot of people just get these tattoos or they wear this jewelry or the rings, it doesn't mean anything to you. You have stuff that means stuff that inspires you. I like to look at my arms, my body, and not be conceited, but it reminds me of what I'm doing and it empowers me to go and make a change in my life and other people's life, to be that real world superhero or anti-superhero that's so cool like Deadpool.
On my inner left bicep, it is a scorpion. Why is a scorpion? One of my other favorite wrestlers were Sting growing up. And Sting was the Ultimate Warrior's partner for a while and he had this amazing physique, and this amazing face paint, and his trademark was a scorpion. He's finishing act was a scorpion death lock where it made other wrestlers submit, or the scorpion death drop where he would drop people in reverse DDT, and he was one of my favorite wrestlers in the height of wrestling fandom for me which was in the mid to late '90s in an era called the Attitude Era. Where WCW which was always this distant number two company in wrestling in North America, overtook World Wrestling Entertainment, WWE for at least 83 weeks in a row and was the ultimate wrestling organization with the biggest stars and the most exciting show in Monday night. It reminds me of no matter how big this conglomerate is out there like WWE, there was a company that could come and for 83 weeks, for almost two years could be the number one organization. This number one star was a guy that was there from the beginning and to the end, a guy called Sting who's essentially an Avenger and was based on the Crow character from one of my favorite movies.
Which takes me on to the outside shoulder. Is there any other kind of shoulder on my right arm? Which is the crow. Which is the Crow from the movie, the Crow with a fire around it. "The Crow" is my favorite movie growing up and still is. And essentially, it is a dark, Gothic superhero movie before we had all these Marvel and DC movies. It's very good, it's a very adult orientated movie and it is a superhero movie, if you will. And it's fundamental level is a beautiful love story about somebody that comes back because they cannot rest their soul in purgatory and they have to put down the wrongs that happened to him. The main character, Eric Draven, the late great Brandon Lee, and his wife that were killed in the beginning of the movie. So, for their souls to be reunited together, for them to transcend, he has to come back into this mythological figure called, The Crow and it's filled with grunge music like Nine-Inch Nails and Alice In Chains. Some of my favorite music of the era and still now. And just a really, really cool superhero with a cool, Gothic, gritty look and it just reminds me the quote of the movie is, "Real love is forever." And despite all the special effects and the cool soundtrack, that's what it means to me. It means, real love is forever and will overcome everything.
On my outside, is there any other, shoulder on my left arm, is the Ultimate Warrior's face painting. Again, I've talked about the Ultimate Warrior ad nauseam, my favorite wrestler. Before I had superheroes, I had wrestling and this guy had amazing physique, he would shake the ropes, he had such energy, and he even beat Hulk Hogan clean in the Toronto Sky Dome which now is just a stone's throw away from where I am, where I live now in Toronto. And he just inspired me so much with the "Always believe in yourself" and training, and exercises, and [inaudible 00:17:19], and having discipline to being strong in your own life, and not taking shit from anyone. So, that's why I have the Ultimate Warrior's face paint and signature on my other shoulder.
On the inside of my right bicep, it says FTW. FTW, fuck the world, and it reminds me of...it's a biker brand but I got it again, putting it, inspired from wrestling. FTW, there was a wrestler called, Tazz. Tazz and ECW which was most rebel, cutting edge, wrestling, third biggest organization in North America that much of their ideas were used, were stolen, were modeled for a part by WWE to create the Attitude Era which was the biggest boom period in wrestling. And the FTW is fuck the world and there was this wrestler called Tazz who was marketed as being this ultimate fighter, this ultimate machine that was undefeatable. And everyone else was fake but this guy called Tazz, he was real and he couldn't get a title shot for many, many years. He ended up developing his own title and defending it called, the FTW, the Fuck The World title. And it always stuck with me, it always inspired me. It's why I live my world. It's fuck the world. Do what you need to do, do what is right for you. As long as you're not intentionally hurting other people. Have your path, fuck the world, fuck the naysayers, and do what you need to do. And that's what the fuck the world, FTW means to me, being the FTW champion.
I also have stars on the front of my torso from my left clavicle to my right clavicle and it's five stars of different colors, a black with a red outline, a red with a black outline, a black outline, a black with a red outline, black with a red star with a black outline. Anyways, forget about all that. What does it mean? Five stars, five stars. Yes, five stars. It reminds me of a couple of things. There's a guy called Dave Meltzer who writes the...he's the number one wrestling journalist for the past 30 years, given insider information on professional wrestling. And when… Dave would not often give five stars, five stars would be the best match it could be. You could only have five stars, so okay. So, when Dave Meltzer would give a wrestling match five stars, it would hoard award, it means a lot because he didn't often give these out.
And the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, is all about, talking about the backstage stuff that's happening in wrestling, not key favorites, as we call it. Pretending everything's real but what's happening backstage of wrestling, what matches are coming, why are these guys being put together but when Dave gave a five stars, it was the highest a rating a match could have. And wrestlers would read the Wrestling newsletter and still do even though the owners of the organization perhaps didn't like it and would poo-poo it but when wrestlers would see their match got five stars form an independent journalist, it would mean so much to them that their matches got five stars by Dave Meltzer because his opinion meant so much, so that's what the five stars mean to me. It's always about giving a five-star performance whether I'm with a client, one-on-one, whether I'm giving a talk, whether I'm giving a podcast, whether I'm writing an article, whatever I'm doing it's about giving that five star wrestle mania level Tokyo Dome performance.
So, those are my symbols. Those are the stories behind my symbols. I'm not saying this to try and impress you, although I did hope I entertained you and helped your mind work a little bit. I say it for you to focus on the things that you wear, the tattoos that you have, what they mean. I also wear rings and these rings mean something to me. Necklaces. Necklaces mean something to me. I wear necklaces that symbolizes the DNA profile of serotonin, it reminds me to stay happy. I have another necklace that is the DNA strand of dopamine which reminds me to feel love, to be grateful, to be excited about life. This is the things that I wear, that means something to me.
But what symbols do you currently have that you wear around your necklace, your rings, your bracelets, tattoos? What do they mean to you? What are stuff that you got invested that will empower you? Has there been the tattoo that you've been holding off because you've been indecisive, "Oh, what if I make a mistake?" So, what? What if you do make a mistake? It's not the end of the world, okay? So, I'm out there to say get things. Set up your environment, set up your friggin' body, set up your jury. What would you do when you're moving your hands, your body in a way that when you look down and you see that tattoo, it reminds you to be straight edge. You see that ring and it inspires you walk your path. You see that DNA necklaces, you've got on oxytocin, or on dopamine, or serotonin, it reminds you to be happy to do good work, to feel love, and to feel calm.
But what are your anchors? What are your symbols? Are they crosses, Stars of David, some other religious paraphernalia that means something to you? Your wedding ring, what does that mean to you? But look at the symbols that you already have on your own person, what do they mean to you? Are they empowering? If they are, beautiful. Good stuff. You already ahead of the game. Are they disempowering? "Well, I'm bringing around this, I'm wearing this ring of my ex-husband who cheated on me and I'm just wearing it because it's expensive but every time I look at it, it makes me feel shitty." Then maybe sell the fucking ring, okay? Because you're in complete control of the anchors, all these symbols that you carry around with you.
So, have ones that inspire you, that look good, that are a part of your character but move you to the next level. And remind you when times get tough, to stay on that right path for you. Take some time. Put together some stuff, it doesn't have to be expensive, it doesn't have to be permanent like a tattoo if you don't want. But get stuff that set you up for success that reminds you on who you are and why you're going down this path and what it's all about, get you through those darker times.
Also, when I do change work with people. One of the processes that is very empowering, I used this on the first or second session with people, is taking the symbol, the representation of their problem and changing it to something unconsciously that is still a symbol that represents their solution, the stuff that people do inside their head unconsciously in hypnosis. It just automatically happens and that symbol, that I don't even ever find out because they're did it inside his head, then becomes every reason why this change is going to stick in place while they are going down this new path. Why they're now are empowered, so that old symbol morphs into the new symbol and just changes everything. It is a game changer. You can do that with your own change work inside your mind or if you work with me.
But symbols are so fucking important in our lives, folks. So choose the symbols that empower you and make you stronger and replace them, change them and replace the old, negative symbols perhaps that kept you stuck, kept you lost, kept you going down a path that you didn't want because of those things you are in complete and total control of. So take an inventory of your symbols and symbols that you want and whether they be some paraphernalia, jewelry, whether they be stuff you want to conjure up inside your head, if you wanted to have some ink on your body, but do that. Characterize it, customize it, make it you. Don't copy me, someone else. Be you. Be the stuff that means something for you as my stuff means something for me and I've shared those stories with you today.
Luke Michael Howard PhD
Toronto and Ottawa Clinical Hypnotist