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I was going to write this note a few days ago, but then I could not think of one thing from 2010 that I wanted to write about—2010 is right up there with 2005 in terms of SUCKING. But things got much better today, so I do have something pleasant to write about.
First, I went to the dentist—it had been a while, and I figured I was going to be following this visit with a series of visits over the next couple of months. Nope. No cavities. Other than having to use a sand blaster to get my teeth clean, it was a real good visit.
When I finished with the dentist, I went to my mailbox and then to Fresh Market (a yuppy supermarket). As I wandered around the store, I stumbled across one of those little “coffee dispensers” that they use to give away coffee samples. Except this one had eggnog in it, not coffee. For me, this was incredibly good fortune.
You see, every year at this time, I feel compelled to buy a bottle of eggnog and drink it. I suppose this is a nod to my mother. Mom was a horrible cook. The only person who ever said that they liked her cooking was my Dad, and I am pretty sure that his taste buds were shot off in WWII by Nazi snipers. Or, it may have had something to do with him getting his “husbandly needs” filled. I’m not sure. But there were a handful of things that Mom made that were really very tasty.
Eggnog was one of them, but probably not the very best. She made really good chocolate-chip cookies, as a bunch of my high school friends can attest to. I’ve never found pumpkin pie any better than hers. Probably, the best, though, was blackberry cobbler. My memory may be distorted on the cobbler. No “store bought” berries for her. Nope. She went to the berry patch and picked fresh blackberries. That meant I went to the berry patch and “helped.” Truth is, I ate more than went in the bucket.
You could identify the blackberry patch real easy—it was surrounded by shrubs with razor-sharp, one-inch thorns and infested with all sorts of venomous snakes—rattlers, copperheads, and the occasional king cobra. After an hour or two of terror in the berry patch, we would go home with a bucket of fresh blackberries. Then she would bake the cobbler while I was hidden away in my bedroom, down on my knees thanking God that I was still alive and had 3/4ths or so of my blood left. I’d make all sorts of outrageous promises like going to church every Sunday and not making sarcastic remarks under my breath when the preacher said something really stupid. Terror does that to you.
Before too long, she would yell to me to come and get a piece of the cobbler. This was a “West Virginia farm hand” size portion in a bowl with cream and sugar. It was heaven—of course, most things probably taste better when you have just faced death and won. Fortunately, she never gave me liver and onions after one of these escapades.
So, I have some fond memories now. That little bit of eggnog made me realize how great I have it. Well, for one thing, if I want blackberries, I just go to the store and buy them. I don’t have to risk life and limb for the damned things!
To a great 2011.
Hypnotists (and a lot of other professions that may not own up to it) rely on the power of suggestion. There is anecdotal evidence of deadly diseases being cured by suggestion. These stories usually cause the medical establishment (especially the drug companies) to turn green, foam at the mouth, wail, and in some cases, the liver falls out. Often, they mumble something about “the placebo effect.” If you are experiencing any of these symptoms now, please stop reading this post and consult a local drug company representative–you will find them delivering food and goodies to your doctor’s office every day.
On the other hand, there is evidence that the power of suggestion can be used to harm people, even cause them to die. If doing good with the power of suggestion is a placebo, then this process is more of a “nocebo.”
None of this is rocket science. It is well known. So, how do you explain this one: The US Government sponsors a web site for people who fear that they might have Lupus. That in of itself, is probably a good thing. Lupus is a potentially deadly auto-immune disease. I have no problem with tax dollars going to help people who might be suffering from it.
My problem is with the name of the site (and its URL): WWW. CouldIHaveLupus.com. What is the problem? Take the name out of the URL: Could I Have Lupus. Obviously a question, but it is an ambiguous question: Does it mean “Do you think I might have Lupus?” or could it be interpreted as something similar to “Could I have a cup of coffee?” Truth is that both are equally plausible. The reader has to dip into his subconscious, and search through the possible meanings.
In NLP, we understand that this is pretty much the same as giving the person a hypnotic suggestion. And we know that people who are stressed are more suggestible. People who are frightened are more suggestible. People who are in pain are more suggestible. People visiting this site probably fall into at least one of these categories.
It is a stupid name. The idiots ought to fix it.
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Have you ever thought about that? I have. My mother’s oldest sister died a terrible death. She had worked in a plastics factory where she was exposed to some pretty awful chemicals. It was one of those things that would be hell to prove in court, but the family always figured that those chemicals contributed to her health problems. The doctors did not have a clue what had happened to her.
Her body just got rigid. She could not move anything except her eyes. Couldn’t talk. Couldn’t clean herself. Couldn’t feed herself. Not so much as even lifting a finger. But her eyes moved. She would look at you. It was obvious she knew everything that was going on around her. She was a prisoner in a body that just refused to function. To me, that would be a total Hell. If there was anything good about it, she did not last long.
I suppose that would not really count as a coma. But, now, it turns out that some “vegetative state” victims may be experiencing something far closer to what my aunt experienced than the medical community would have supposed.
Somebody got the idea to hook up some sophisticated brain monitors to a bunch of these patients. Then, the researchers began to talk to the patients and tell them to think about different activities. In a “normal” brain, different parts of the brain “lights up” depending on what the person thinks about: For instance, playing tennis versus listening to a concert.
For most of the patients, asking them to think about different activities did nothing to the brain waves. But for a few (20-30%), the reaction was the same as for a “normal” brain. And in at least one case, the researchers were able to set up signals for yes and no. They asked detailed questions about his life before his head injury. He answered every question accurately. Sounds awfully close to what went on with my aunt.
The study was published in a recent New England Journal of Medicine. There is a fairly detailed article about it on the Washington Post web site. Here is the link for the article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/03/AR2010020302887.html?wpisrc=nl_headline
It will be interesting to see where this research leads in the next few months. There could be huge breakthroughs in the treatment of these cases.
Hypnotists have been using “finger signals” for years to get yes/no answers from the subconscious and bypass the conscious mind. In fact, hypnosis is so effective largely because we communicate directly with the subconscious. At that level, it is easy to change things.
What about your life would you like to change?
Here’s an experiment to play with the next time something bad happens. Try this instead of feeling sorry for yourself. Feel a sense of gratitude. That may sound crazy to start with, but it seems to work. I am not suggesting some sort of masochism, where you thank the universe for punishing you.
It is more like this: There has to be something good here. I don’t know what it is. But I’m grateful for it. I am thankful for whatever good is going to come out of this situation. There is a blessing hidden here, and soon I will find out what it is. Try it and see what happens.
Last night something unpleasant happened. It wasn’t the end of the world, but it would be something that I would NOT have chosen to have happen. Instead of feeling bad about it. I started thanking the universe for it. I had no expectations that the underlying situation would change. There was no reason to expect that the once I got up this morning, things would be different.
But that’s exactly what had happened. The other party involved in this had done a complete 180 reversal. Interesting. And, in the meantime, I have thought of a couple of things that I should be doing other than depending on this other person. I will come out way ahead of where I was without losing anything.
What was it Napoleon Hill said? Something like, “In every disaster there lies the seed of an even greater opportunity.” I think he is right.
So my suggestion to you is the next time something bad happens. Start looking for the hidden blessing. It may not be like this situation where things completely change. But I bet you will find that there is a blessing. One way or another.
Try it and see what happens
Most of us think that we are reasonably smart. We are all very proud of our conscious mind and all the wonderful problems that we solve with it. We want to think that it runs our lives and does all the important things. It is our badge of accomplishment. Big joke!
How long would you survive if you had to breath consciously? How long would you live if you had to remind yourself to “breathe in . . . now breathe out.” Breathing is best left up to the subconscious! So, too, for activities like swinging a golf club, “copying” Morse Code, and a million other things. Get that precious conscious mind out of the way, and let the subconscious do its thing!
So what is the big deal about about the unconscious? Why do some people (hypnotists and psychologists, for instance) always talk about it? Take a trip over to your local college or university. Somewhere on campus there is the psychology department. Go there and find an expert on consciousness. Ask them.
They’re going to tell you that the average person can be aware of 7+ or -2 things. In other words, you can be aware (conscious) of 5 to 9 things at any given time. Then ask the expert how much information is actually coming into your whole nervous system. How much information is coming in to all the different parts of your “internal Internet?” (Your body is much more like the Internet than it is the old model of the brain as a central computer.)
And they’re going to tell you that there is somewhere between 2 billion and 4 billion bits of information coming into the nervous system every second. So you’ve got, say, 3 billion bits of information coming into your nervous system every second. And you are only consciously aware of 7+ or -2 chunks of it? So, doesn’t that tell you that there is a lot more going on in your unconscious?
Let me give you an example. I’m not sure what the 5 to 9 things are that you’re aware of right now. But I’m going to assume that you’re sitting in a chair. Now, chances are, until I mention it, you are not at all aware of the feeling of pressure, where your butt and the backs of your legs touch the chair. And if you’re leaning back against the back of the chair, where your back touches the chair. But as soon as I mention it, you suddenly become aware of it.
I’m also assuming that you have some clothing on. You could become aware of the difference in skin temperature, where your clothing covers your skin and wear your skin is bare. You can become aware of that, can you not? You were aware of neither of these until I brought them up. But they suddenly moved into that 7+ or – 2 set, and chances are something dropped out of that set.
This is the way a hypnotist works with you to get you to focus on the areas that you need to focus on to make changes in your life. We skillfully shift your attention from one thing to another.
Next time we’ll talk about the “stuff” in your subconscious that could ruin your life. (Don’t panic, it can be fixed.)