It’s great to remember to forget…
Ever drive from one familiar place to another familiar place and not remember how that happened?
Ever been asked how you do what you do really well, and have no idea? You really don’t know. You just, well, do it. You forget all the steps involved, forget all that learning that made you become so expert.
What’s going on when we forget all that navigating in busy traffic? How can you be great at something and have no idea how? Or, what about being in conversation with a loved one, zoning out and still being engaged enough to respond with the right expression, or even grunt, at least most times?
This is when our unconscious mind takes care of things. Yes, that part of our mind that operates without conscious awareness. For the most part, we breathe, our heart pumps blood, our lungs function as required, skin changes in auto-response to temperature and so on. we automatically get goose bumps when chilled or perspire when too hot, all without thinking about it. Yes, unconscious activities are in play all the time, even when asleep.
When we sleep, we perform a range of amazing activities, unconsciously of course. Sleep is far from a simple absence of wakefulness. Just because we don’t remember all that went on during the so-called resting period and it’s probably just as well. Sleep has been widely studied, and will be the subject of another blog soon. My purpose here is simply to point to the range of actions undertaken by you at an unaware level, about which you can comfortably forget, but continue to serve you well day in day out. We forget what we don’t need or simply remember when called upon to do so, at least some of the time.
Your Unconscious Powerhouse
Here’s the thing. What if you could access that powerhouse that is your unconscious mind? What if, beyond just accessing unconscious resources such as the ability to remember things believed lost in time, you could make changes to your unconscious mind’s functioning?
That’s right! Imagine if you could adjust unconscious tendencies that no longer serve you well. Habits that don’t help anymore could be managed or even dumped.
Well that’s what hypnosis can do. In the right hands, medical or clinical hypnosis can be a powerful tool to expand and change your areas of resourcefulness, your capabilities, your attitudes and mood.
This is definitely not to promise you can go asleep and wake up fluent in some previously unfamiliar language, or say, be competent at a musical instrument when previously you couldn’t put two notes together. Having accepted this, it is also true to suggest there is enormous potential for hypnosis to support lasting change even where many other approaches have proven unsuccessful.
Your body is essentially a robot that is controlled by your unconscious mind. Your eyes blink usually at the right time and when needed, maintaining moisture and protecting against particles of dust. Your unconscious is taking care of things. All those billions and billions of atoms that make up you are arranged in a particular order that make you your own unique self, all functioning with the sole purpose of supporting your existence. Your unconscious mind continues to take care of things day in day out. And, where your aware attention fades and your unconscious takes over, is a rich fertile arena of potential and creativity.
Remember to Forget
I guess we’ve all done it, when watching a movie, at least a very good one, you are likely to suspend attention to the fact that the lead is a present time person who received a large amount of money to pretend to be somebody else. You suspend disbelief, for example, that the historical context is America in the 1860s with the civil war in progress and Abraham Lincoln is alive, if not particularly well, and so on. You remain, with varying degrees of consistency, absorbed in an agreeable illusion and, at the same time, your heart continues to beat, your lungs continue to do their work, eyes blink etc. You forget to remember you have a ton of things to do later on. Time is distorted somehow. If the movie is good enough and long enough, you could forget to remember for several hours.
With this in mind, imagine times you consciously tried to change an unhelpful behaviour. For example, a smoking habit, which may have served some purpose when installed in teenage years but is now a hindrance to health, finances, and even social inclusion. Non-smokers usually find the tobacco smoke smell on clothing repulsive and, irritating “tut-tuts” from ex-smokers can be, well, very irritating. Knowing the harmful effects of smoking probably stands as sufficient reason to stop the behaviour. But, the habit persists. The truth is, your conscious mind is in charge of intent, of willpower, and the unconscious mind easily defeats this arrangement time and time again.
Sometimes people resort to notions of addiction at this point. The reason they continue with the unresourceful habit is because of a physiological or psychological dependence. The substance is required for normal or superior functioning. Without it there would be painful withdrawals and cravings of such intensity that maintenance is required.
Cigarette smoking is interesting because people can sleep for many hours without the urge, pain of absence. A true addiction would, arguably, interfere with sleep as soon as the substance has left the system throwing the person into alarm and an urgent need to replenish.
Harmony Between the Conscious and Unconscious
When we align both conscious and unconscious processes we are really well placed to make lasting change. This can be accomplished without sustained, even exhausting efforts of personal discipline, impulse control, or thought suppression. These phrases all refer to the same thing, the attempt to make personal change by the effort of will alone.
Getting back to remembering to forget…
Next time you travel from point A to point B, with little or no conscious awareness, perhaps it’s time to thank the powerful driving force of your unconscious mind. More importantly perhaps, next time you experience frustration at not feeling able to keep that diet, note there is unconscious resistance to the change, an internal conflict between conscious intent and unconscious patterned behaviour. The snack items may well have served some function akin to hunger.
Clinical hypnosis is very powerful. The process is powerful enough to make lasting change not just possible but very probable. In time, you will soon be able to forget to remember the need for conscious aware discipline and trust your unconscious resourcefulness. In just a few sessions too!
Sometimes people may spend over a thousand dollars a year on hair appointments, thousands on seasonal fashion item, thousands on car maintenance, but baulk at perceived expense involved in maintaining their greatest resource, their powerful goal-getting unconscious mind. So, remember; don’t forget to remember to treat yourself to one of the most useful investments of all. Invest in your powerful mind. The returns are infinite!