Scientific discoveries, inventions, learning to walk and talk, gaining self awareness, taking up a new hobby, deepening a relationship, making a new friend - all have seeds in curiosity. Being curious is fundamental to being human and yet, as we age, I feel that we learn (in one way or another) how to ignore our curious nature and we begin accepting the status quo. How would your life change if you approached your parenting or your marriage or your friendships or your occupation with more curiosity?
Recently I’ve been working with a few clients that want to better understand their issues around money. Some of these clients have significant incomes, and yet they still find themselves just getting by.
The more money they make, the more their expenses seem to increase… they keep working more and more so they can get ahead… but the bills always seem to catch up to them. So what’s going on?
So much of how we behave is based on the subconscious messages and beliefs that we take on; often in our childhoods. When I am working with clients I always ask about the messages that they grew up with around money, wealth, and success.
Part of the craft of hypnotherapy is deepening our understanding of how the subconscious mind processes language; and how it differs from conscious processing.
Often times a saying has an obvious one-sided perspective to the conscious mind; but the subconscious mind takes sayings - and particularly metaphor and interprets it, and applies it globally - without discrimination.
Many clients that struggle with having enough money - in spite of earning large amounts of money; don’t come from wealthy families. Over and over again, I hear stories of being raised in hardship, of parents living paycheck to paycheck - and almost every time I am conducting an interview with such a client, the same metaphor makes an appearance. It’s a variation of “we were always struggling to make ends meet”.
When we aren’t making enough money to pay for all of our expenses, we are always working to meet the demand… to make enough to get though the next day, week, month, or year.
“Making ends meet” as a saying makes sense, we want one end (income) to meet the other end (expenses). In the conscious mind this is a one way image, and it’s always about increasing our income.
The subconscious mind is not linear. The subconscious mind is powerfully motivated by images and metaphor, and the phrase “making ends meet”, is both!
The subconscious views the imperative belief “we’ve got to make ends meet” globally. For the subconscious mind, it becomes a matter of survival. No matter what, the one end (income) has to “meet” (equal) the other end (expenses).
Therefore, as a person educates themselves, and works with focus to increase their income, the subconscious mind works diligently in the background to ensure that the imperative is sustained and maintained.
If your income increases, the only possible way that you can continue to “make ends meet” is to simultaneously increase your expenses. It will happen naturally and effortlessly, because your subconscious mind has taken that formula in as a crucial element of your survival.
You can make as much money as you can imagine; but as long as that subconscious belief is rooted there, you can bet there will be nothing left over at the end of the day. Consciously, you may be frustrated - but your subconscious mind is congratulating itself on a job well done!
Hypnotherapy acts as a communication bridge between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind, and it allows my clients to update messages that may have applied at one point in their lives, but are no longer relevant - or worse, are obstructive or destructive - in their lives now.
The truth is that “making ends meet” is never really the goal. Even when you’re struggling, you want your resources to exceed - far exceed - the demands of your life. I know it, and your conscious mind knows it, but your subconscious mind is unquestioningly running an old program. It’s doing what it was conditioned to do; and until you update it, and give it a new task - it will continue to “make ends meet” no matter how hard you work, or how much you make.
Let’s explore updating the old software using Hypnotherapy. Book your free consultation online!
All of us, from time to time, need to dissociate from the thoughts, feelings, and responses that are arising in the present moment, just so that we can survive - get through what we are experiencing.
When someone at work unknowingly hits one of our buttons, we can’t just fly off the handle. When we are dealing with grief and loss, and the waiter, or the cab driver, or a friend says something that threatens to push us over the edge; an amazing human capability is to step back from our experience - to disassociate from it.
It’s like we say to ourselves, “I can’t deal with this now, it isn’t safe - I’ll have to deal with this later.”
Unfortunately, for the vast majority of us, “later” never really arrives. If we manage to put off negative emotion - feelings like grief, anger, shame - or sometimes even positive emotions like love or desire; we are unlikely to voluntarily or willingly call them back up to feel them and process them.
So where do those feelings go?
Well, they don’t just disappear or evaporate… they are stored in the subconscious mind. Where they wait.
In my experience these “later” emotions tend to congregate in the shadows of the subconscious mind waiting for an opportunity to be felt. Waiting for a trigger that will open the door and allow them to flow freely into the present.
This is what happens when something small and irritating happens, and suddenly you find yourself raging at the barista; or when what should be a small disappointment leads to a total meltdown.
When old and dissociated emotion continues to build, it seeks association. Our feelings begin to influence our perception of life, relationship and the world around us. When we are full of dissociated grief, we look out and see a world full of sadness, events that are depressing, and a future that is bleak. It isn’t a reflection of reality - it is a projection of what we are carrying inside of us. The whole world becomes a Rorschach ink blot.
Your subconscious mind is in incredible resource, and it is there to protect you and keep you safe. When the situation feels dangerous or when you feel it wouldn’t be good to fall apart right now, the conscious mind makes a deal with the subconscious - “Let’s not deal with this now, let’s deal with this later, when it’s more safe.” to which the subconscious replies, “Okay, I can hold this, for now.”
But your conscious mind is always willing to put it off. The subconscious mind is nobody’s fool though, and if you don’t honour the agreement to address what is stored in the subconscious, it begins to collect, and it begins to seep - into your dreams, into your background thoughts, and even into your body manifesting as psychosomatic symptoms (sleep disruptions, phantom pains, etc., etc.).
Hypnotherapy provides a safe and supportive environment to address and resolve all of those feelings and experiences that you’ve put off to an ambiguous “later”. Your subconscious mind won’t wait forever.
Now really is the later you were talking about yesterday.
Those who know me, know that I’m involved in the local theatre scene (actually just about to open in Goodnight Mr. Tom at Langham Court Theatre, get tickets here :))
Often when my fellow players learn that I’m a Hypnotherapist, I’m asked if hypnotherapy can help with performance issues. Many performers run into obstacles when performing, or in their training, that create road blocks to accessing the amazing experiences that these wonderfully talented people want in their lives.
Sometimes it can be hard to believe that the person that you just saw totally nail a solo gets so anxious before performing that they vomit; but it’s often true; and who wants that?!
I work with several actors, singers, and voice coaching clients to transcend obstacles in vocal development - “I can hit this in my car, and in the shower… but in my lesson, or on the stage I tighten up!”
As we get older, it can be more difficult to commit lines to memory, and even when we do, accessing those memorized lines when we need them… in front of an audience or peers can be a challenge. Through hypnotherapy, you can open up the vast resources of the subconscious mind, and deliver the goods!
Performance isn’t just for actors though - as Shakespeare so rightly wrote, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players”; whether it’s presenting in front of the board, or speaking to clients, or even having a satisfying sexual relationship - the pressure to successfully meet or exceed the expectations of those we are in relationship can bring with it fear, anxiety, nausea, memory loss (to name just a few symptoms I’ve seen), and can trigger all sorts of subconscious defensive responses.
For me, it’s a delight to work with people to improve their performance - whether it’s on the stage, in the boardroom, or in the bedroom. Supporting people through hypnotherapy in letting go of the things that are blocking their progress, or weighing them down brings a deep sense of joy to my life. Watching people who have been tethered to the ground by subconscious limitation flying higher than ever before - that’s what gets me out of bed in the morning.
If you are tired of running into the same old roadblocks… book a free 90 minute consultation, and let’s get started with your transformation!
A big part of how I spend my time is educating people about the uses and function of hypnotherapy. Every day people ask me, “can hypnotherapy help with…?”, and then share whatever they or the people they care about are struggling with. My answer is almost always, “Yes!”
The reason is that hypnotherapy works with the deepest capacities of the human mind. To expand on my affirmative response, I’ll often ask in reply, “do you feel like your mind is involved in your experience at all?” Of course it is! It’s virtually impossible for it not to be. It is through our mind that we experience everything in our lives, and the mind interprets everything based on previous experience, and a subjective standpoint.
“Well, how can hypnosis help something simply biological like a broken leg?!” It’s true that I can’t magically fuse bones instantly with hypnosis; but a traumatic injury like a broken leg, or even a terminal cancer diagnosis create innumerable peripheral issues - pain, fear, sleep disturbance, phobia, anxiety, depression, relationship issues, work stress… all of which take place deep in our minds - in how we perceive and interpret our situation.
When we take a step back and look at something - even something as “biological” as a broken leg, we can see that only a tiny portion of the experience is the fact of a broken bone. We can also see that if all of the other issues that our minds create around that experience are addressed and relieved, our experience is vastly improved. Our biological systems are less taxed by our mental/emotional load, and we do in fact, heal much more quickly.
So if you find yourself wondering, “Can hypnotherapy help with…?” My answer is likely “YES!”
Book a free consultation today, and let’s look at the more important matter of how hypnotherapy can help you.
When I tell people that I am a Hypnotherapist, I am often asked about Past-Life Regression (PLR). PLR is a process in hypnosis that is a widely used plot mechanism in television and movies, and in my view is even more widely misunderstood.
I tend to downplay PLR as a therapeutic technique, because when it’s done well, it is almost never what a person thinks it’s going to be – which is curious, fun, and entertaining; and further, if a client is working with an “operator” who isn’t totally aware of what they are doing, it can be problematic at best, and deeply harmful at worst.
Recently I’ve had some conversations and interactions in various circles that have alarmed me and led to me writing this post. I’ve heard about some very shady practices, and individuals that take advantage of a person’s fears and desires, and worse- much worse- impose new fears and concerns in lives where there were none before.
Approach With Caution
Generally I approach PLR with a great deal of caution, and only after some therapeutic grounding in addressing issues in this lifetime with hypnotherapy. In this post, I’m going to walk through an understanding – my understanding – of PLR.
For the most part, clients seeking to explore PLR connect because they are experiencing a symptom - physical, mental, or emotional. Having wracked their brains and memory, the client is unable to recall or connect any experiences in their lives to this symptom; and because there seems to be no reason... the client assumes that it must be from a past-life!
Now, I can’t say with any certainty that it isn’t a past-life problem; but I can tell you that upwards of 90% of people can’t remember specific events in their lives that lead to symptoms they experience later in life – or even more importantly – they completely forget the significance that events had at the time they were experienced (often in our childhood), because we look back at those events consciously as an adult and dismiss them as “no big deal”.
To an adult, perhaps it is no big deal; but as a child, little things can be tremendously impactful, and that child continues to exist in our subconscious mind.
My own practice when using regression of any kind is to profoundly trust the client’s subconscious mind, and allow the client to lead. I always begin with the symptom that is being presented, and allow the client’s subconscious to guide the client to original cause, without suggesting where that cause might be.
If the subconscious leads us back to another time and another place, that’s where we work; but far more often than not, the issue is in the present lifetime, as is the solution; and I guide my clients to address it here and now.
Now, suggestion is a very important concept to talk about if you are interested in exploring PLR. It is important to understand that when a person is in even light hypnosis – or any other focused state of consciousness – your subconscious mind is as much as 200 times more suggestible than in a waking state (this includes watching TV or focusing on your devices, folks).
It is therefore extremely important that the hypnotherapist or “operator” is not making problematic or unwanted suggestions - because the subconscious mind will readily accept them, and create stories around those suggestions. Upon returning to waking consciousness, those vividly imagined stories can seem as real as any experience in your life.
I have read several books that transcribe PLR interactions, and have interviewed many people about their interactions with hypnotists, psychics, “intuitives”, and mediums with PLR; and I can say this much with certainty– if the “operator” is describing, creating, thematically structuring, or interpreting your past-life experience for you – you aren’t experiencing PLR, you are experiencing a creation of the “operator’s” belief system – their creation; not your memory.
In most such cases, it’s unlikely that there will be any lasting harm; your subconscious mind is first and foremost protective. However, in some cases deep emotional or physical trauma can be associated with and projected onto events and people that have nothing to do with the origin of the trauma. Simply put - the client arrives with a symptom or issue looking for a cause, and that cause is suggested by a well meaning, but careless, “operator”.
Spontaneous Past-Life Regression
There are rare times during the course of hypnotherapy, that a client will spontaneously regress to a very early point of their life - even experiences in-vitro; or may begin describing people, events, or environments that are clearly not within the client’s current life experience.
When this occurs, the hypnotherapeutic techniques used to understand, contextualize, address, and shift these experiences are no different than when a client revisits experiences from their childhood. The client’s subconscious leads and provides the content, and the hypnotherapist acts as a guide to process what is surfaced.
What is Happening in Past-Life Regression?
The truth is, nobody can really say with any degree of objective certainty that past-life experiences are “real”. There are many stories, but very little evidence that proves anything conclusively. Most often, strong proponents of past-life belief ground their assertions in specific personal spiritual beliefs, which are not the same as fact.
That said, it’s also difficult to say past-life experiences are not real without getting into a conversation about what “real” means – and that’s a much longer post... but in the end, that conversation also comes down to a set of specific and personal beliefs.
Personally, I am quite happy to say, “I don’t know”, but here are a few hypotheses I’ve heard about what is going on during past life regression expressed in my own words.
Soul Reincarnation – every being is endowed with a spiritual aspect that infuses the material body, but is somehow distinct from it. When the material body breaks apart and dies, the spiritual aspect (soul) moves on to different states of being, or may animate a new material body. While the body has completely changed, the spiritual aspect is marked or impacted by events from every physical manifestation, and those experiences can be accessed through different practices such as meditation, dreamwork, and hypnosis.
Atomic Memory – every molecule that makes up our body and mind has existed since the beginningless beginning. These molecules have shaped and reshaped into every manner of being; from mountains to oceans to insects to animals to human beings. Every molecule is able to receive impressions from every manifestation it has experienced. When enough molecules that share a manifestation are in one body, those shared experiences become accessible through meditation, dreamwork, and hypnosis.
Collective Consciousness - in the deepest depths of consciousness, there is no separation or individuation in all of the universe. Individual lifetimes and manifestations are like waves on an ocean, and all of it deep down is intimately connected. Therefore, what has happened to one of us, has happened to all of us in the depths of consciousness. In deep meditation, dreamwork, or hypnosis, we tap into that collective consciousness and experience things that are outside of the limits of time and individual identity.
Creative Subconscious Interpretation – the subconscious mind is profoundly creative and resourceful. When life experiences are deeply traumatic, confusing, or the result of disparate and repeated causes, the subconscious mind can create imaginary environments, relationships, and circumstances to allow these problematic thoughts and feelings to be processed in a creative and therapeutic way, much as we do in creative fantasy during guided meditation, in dreamwork, or in therapeutic visualization in hypnosis.
Which, if any is correct? Again, I don’t know. I’ll leave that for you to decide. As a hypnotherapist it is less relevant for me to know which I believe than it is to know what my client’s beliefs are, and to utilize those beliefs in a therapeutic way.
So, Do You Do Past-Life Regression?
I suppose the short answer is yes, under certain conditions.
If a client engages to address a symptom or issue with the conscious suspicion that it has arisen from a past-life, we approach the symptom through hypnotherapy, and allow the subconscious to guide the process to the cause without suggesting where that may be. If the origin is in this life (99%) we address it there.
If, during the course of hypnotherapy a client spontaneously regresses to a past-life experience (1%), we work to address what is uncovered there, to contextualize, and to connect it to what we’ve been working on in the course of therapy.
If a client approaches requesting PLR without a conscious agenda and as an environment for personal or spiritual growth and exploration. This usually involves multiple sessions to train and utilize subconscious resources.
In my experience and opinion, PLR can be emotionally challenging, and deeply transformative. Experiences in PLR can be profoundly impactful, and should not be approached frivolously or “just for fun”. Past-life experiences can run the full spectrum of sensations and emotions from the ecstatic to the torturous. A potential client needs to be aware of this before getting started.
If you have read this far, and still have questions about Past-Life Regression, please, book a free consultation and let’s explore what’s possible.
Recently I had a conversation with a client about the fear of failure. So many of us worry about not getting it right, being judged, or looking foolish if we try something and fail- even if it is our first time trying.
Somewhere in our lives, our childhood, or our society, we’ve picked up the message, and created a belief that failure is bad... unpleasant... a thing to be avoided at all costs!
For many of us, it's such a concern, that we won't even bother, because it is more comfortable not to try... than it is to fail.
The thing is - it's okay to try... and to fail. In fact, it is a crucial part of learning. Failing, it turns out, is a huge ingredient of success.
I grew up through the 80s and 90s in Canada; and one of the biggest names... okay the biggest name in Hockey EVER is Wayne Gretzky.
They don't call him "The Great One" for nothing. Gretzky scored an unprecedented 894 career goals; more than anyone has ever scored... but what you don't often see reported is that he took 5,088 shots on net.
This means that he missed (failed) 4,194 times to put the puck in the net.
He failed more than 4 out of 5 times.
A success rate of 17.6% doesn't seem like such a "great" record; but here's the thing... nobody talks about the shots Gretzky missed. We don’t refer to Wayne Gretzky as the "guy who missed more than anyone in hockey history", even though that may also be true*.
Wayne Gretzky was utterly willing to try... and to fail; and because he was so willing, we remember him as "The Great One".
So what is your goal? Are there shots that you aren’t taking because you are afraid that you will miss?
Hypnotherapy can help you to release your fear and worry so that you can take the shot; and become “The Great One” in you own life, relationship, and career.
*actually Gretzky is 6th in missed shots.
I am often asked about whether Hypnotherapy can be effectively done online.
The question usually comes from people who live at a distance and have some connection, familiarity, or knowledge about me, or my practice at Monarch Trancework.
The short answer to the question is, YES! Absolutely! Hypnotherapy can be very effectively used online.
In fact there are many Hypnotherapists who practice exclusively with online clients; I have personally had great success with clients across Canada, the UK, and Europe.
Perhaps the most critical component for success in any therapeutic relationship is rapport – as a client you need to feel a connection with your therapist; that they can deeply hear you and empathize with what you are sharing.
If you trust and feel rapport with a Hypnotherapist who is at a distance, it will be easier and far more effective for you to work with them, than it would be to work with someone local who you don’t know or trust at all.
In some situations and for some clients, online Hypnotherapy may be a powerful tool that allows the possibility of transformation. Some clients may be so affected by feelings of anxiety or depression, that coming in person to a session just isn’t possible yet.
For other clients, particularly those who have experienced violence and sexual trauma, to be in a room with another person reclined and with closed eyes just isn’t on the table.
For these clients, the distance may create safety and a sense of control that allows connection to happen, and that makes online Hypnotherapy a powerful tool.
To make Online Hypnotherapy effective there are some things you need to consider.
For clients that come into my office, I accept responsibility for many of these details; but at a distance, the client needs to ensure that they are in an environment that is appropriate for hypnotherapy.
· Your space needs to be quiet and distraction free; no traffic (people or pets) coming in, out, or through the room you are in during the session.
· Furniture - You will need to be comfortable and physically supported so that you can relax deeply and completely.
· Focus – attention needs to be singular, so you can’t be checking email, texting, or eating dinner during sessions.
· Technology – you need to have a device with a good camera and an internet connection that can reliably transmit sound and video for the duration of the session. Sound is particularly important; you need to be able to hear what I’m saying.
· Setup – for Hypnotherapy I need to be able to see your head, torso, and hands in the frame to that I can be responsive to your experience.
· Time – perhaps the greatest challenge in arranging online Hypnotherapy can be a time difference. I live on the west coast of Canada – Pacific Time. Sometimes the first session of my day is with a client in Europe who has stayed up late for their Hypnotherapy session!
With most clients, during the free consultation, we take the time to sort out an environment and setup that will be effective, so that for our first session we can get started without any delay.
What happens if there is a technical issue and we get disconnected?
This is not a problem, you will simply come out of hypnosis, sort out whatever the issue is, and go back into hypnosis to continue the session.
Many of my clients have worked hard to be where they are today. Coming from difficult environments and experiences; family dysfunction, material scarcity, substance abuse and addiction, mental, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse - they have endured, and evolved.
Every day I have new clients show up who, through determination, discipline, drive and commitment have managed to succeed in areas where they themselves were profoundly failed. They've become patient and wise parents, loving partners, successful in business, and exemplary in their fields of study.
So why are they seeking Hypnotherapy?
For many who have experienced trauma, forward momentum doesn't come easily. You don't just forget the experiences that you have had; you move forward in spite of those experiences. You carry that burden with you - every step; and it is exhausting.
Many of my clients arrive with stories of their daily battles with negative self-talk, with anxiety, and with the fear of falling back into the way things used to be.
Some of the most successful people I've known aren't totally sure if they've succeeded or are pursuing the things they are because they genuinely want to - or because they are so desperate to avoid returning to where they have come from; and that place is always with them - like a shadow.
A person that tries to outrun their shadow will never find rest.
Hypnotherapy is a powerful tool that I use with my clients to uncover, process, and ultimately release their fears, anxieties, and attachments to the past.
You've done so much work; you've had to become so strong and motivated just to get to where you are today. If you could cut that cord, let go of that burden, or release the ball and chain that is holding you back - how far could you go?
Imagine what is possible when you stop centering your life around avoiding what you don't want, and begin to explore and discover what brings you joy, connection, meaning, and purpose - growing into who you truly are; rather than fleeing who you were in the past.
Book your free consultation today, and let's get started.
What's holding you back?
Yes, if you want to be hypnotized, you can be.
Trance states, including hypnosis, are totally natural and are experienced by everyone throughout the day.
Have you ever been reading and arrived at the bottom of the page only to realize that not a word has gone in? Well, you were in a trance state.
Have you ever driven to a destination and upon reflection you can't remember which route you took? Also a trance state.
Have you ever become emotional when watching a play, movie, or listening to a piece of music? Another common trance state.
Every night that you've fallen asleep, and every morning that you wake up you pass through trance states.
The only thing required to go into hypnosis is that you want to go into hypnosis.