Self Hypnosis: “The Betty Erickson Special”
Doug O’Brien: So, here’s what we’re going to do. Everybody turn facing this way. Find something, oh, I don’t know, (laughter) something about eye level on which you can focus your eyes. Maybe not this. (pointing at a “Hypno-disk” on a shelf at the front of the room.)
Speaker: Yeah, right here.
Speaker: It’s even better if it spins.
Doug O’Brien: Yeah, I didn’t bring the motor. I didn’t bring the motor. But, anything that you want to, above eye level, you can focus your eyes upon. I’m going to come back here and face the same direction as y’all, so that…
Speaker: Y’all, you all.
Doug O’Brien: …so I’ll be seeing the same thing. OK, that’s OK, you stand there. I’ll be standing. So, feet flat on the floor, eyes up looking at one thing. It doesn’t have to be that thing, but anything. Soft focus your eyes so you can take in the whole room. And, as I do this, you might notice the pacing that I use.
I am now aware that I see the HypnoDisc. I am now aware that I see the television. I am now aware that I see the bookshelves. I am now aware that I see the white board.
I am now aware that I hear my voice. I am now aware that I hear traffic sounds. I am now aware that I hear a hum of the water cooler. I am now aware that I hear other traffic sounds.
I am now aware that I feel my feet on the floor. I am now aware that I feel the temperature of the air. I’m now aware that I feel the clothing on my arms. I’m now aware that I feel my hands on my legs.
I’m now aware that I see the light. I’m now aware that I see the shadows. I’m now aware that I see the light’s reflection.
I’m now aware that I hear a slight rattle around the water cooler. I’m now aware that I hear my voice. I’m now aware that I hear traffic sounds.
I’m now aware that I feel my feet on the floor. I’m now aware that I feel my back against the back of the chair. I’m now aware that I feel the clothing on my legs.
I’m now aware that I see the picture. I’m now aware that I see the chair.
I’m now aware that I hear car horns off in the distance. I’m now aware that I hear my voice.
I’m now aware that I feel my breathing. I’m now aware that I feel the weight of my body being supported by the chair.
I’m now aware that I see the wall.
I’m now aware that I hear my voice.
I’m now aware that I feel my weight.
And, if you’re doing this for yourself, and your eyes haven’t closed yet, you can just go back to the beginning and do four more sentence completions in each modality, being aware of even more things that you see, even more things that you hear, and even more things that you feel. And, keep cycling through until your eyes close. But, for now, if they haven’t closed, just let them close.
And, in your mind’s eye, take yourself to a body of water, find that place, that place that you find to be (sigh) just beautiful. A kind of place where you can just relax, let go, and be thereŠnow.
And, take a moment, and notice, just notice all the beautiful things that are there that you can see, seeing there, through your own eyes, the quality of the light shimmering, perhaps, on the water. Notice the sky, if it’s cloudy or clear.
Notice the sounds that are there. Perhaps, there’s waves, or there’s water gurgling, or perhaps, there’s just a general stillness. Notice the sounds of nature that surround you. Perhaps there’s birds singing, or leaves rustling.
And, find a place where you can just stretch out and relax, maybe a hammock or a chair, or a beach blanket kind of spot where you can just stretch out and feel yourself relaxing there now. Just allow yourself to relax, knowing that as we proceed, your unconscious mind will go through your resources, your references, all the things that you’ve been learning, so that you can utilize them in positive and constructive ways, because you’ve learned a great deal, haven’t you?
Sure, it’s sometimes confusing at first, to learn new skills and new ways of thinking, but while you’re there at this beautiful place, your unconscious mind can go through all your files, all your references, all your resources, and put them in order in a way that you can utilize them, this idea of multiple imbedded metaphors, stuff you’ve done before.
It’s just one story after another, just like watching TV and being interrupted by a commercial, and then going back after those “other stories,” you know – commercials – were given to you, with their punch lines. And, just come back and pick up the story from where you left off.
And, you know how to do that, and you know how to use language patterns. So, you can do these things. You’re an excellent trance subject, and as you go deeper and deeper now, and just let yourself relax, your unconscious mind will cross-reference and make those associations in your unconscious mind, and all the way up through your conscious mind that you’ll be able to utilize. You’ll be able to get access to those skills.
And, it feels good. It feels good to know that you’re learning new skills, new ways of thinking and responding to people, and noticing other than conscious communication. It feels good to know that you’re on a path with a heart.
And, you love this stuff, and you love learning, and you love helping others. You love influencing people in positive ways, helping them get hold of resources that they might have even forgotten about. But, through goldmining, you’ve helped to retrieve and weave into dreams. And, you can take a minute or two of clock time and dream, a dream perhaps woven from the gold of your materials that you’ve found and remembered that you have.
And, you can take a minute or two of clock time because you know in a minute or two of clock time, you can dream a dream that would seem to take an hour or two, or a year or two, or a lifetime or two. It’s all the time in the world, internally, in dream time. So, go ahead, go ahead, take a minute or two of clock time now, and dream, a dream of integration, right now…
(2 minute silence)
That’s right. And now, knowing that all hypnosis really is self-hypnosis, and especially, this trance, the Betty Erickson Special, is self-hypnosis, you can discover, if you don’t know, already, how you come out of trance. So, take as much as you need to reorient back here to now, reorient back to this room and this place, and wake yourself up in the way that’s most enjoyable and appropriate for you. That’s right. Welcome back.
What I particularly love about the Betty Erickson Special, is that it seems very spiritual to me. I don’t like to, necessarily, talk about this very often, but to me, it seems very spiritual. It seems like it’s opening up to the world, and the idea that it’s like Samadhi of the ‘Be Here Now’ thing, is meaningful to me. I like it a lot. It feels very expansive and opening.
I love doing it outside, instead of looking at a bookcase and saying, “I’m aware of the shadow on the wall,” I can just be in the mountains, and go, “I’m aware of the mountains and the sky,” and stuff, it’s nice. Because I don’t have to go far to go to a body of water in that particular case, but it’s, nevertheless, very pleasant.
So, how was that for you? It’s nice to be able to go there any time you want. Now, Erickson once said, and I think it’s in the book, actually, there’s a quote in your book, that patients become patients, you know, the category of person that we refer to as patient, because they’re out of rapport with their own unconscious mind. This is very similar, in conjunction with Steven Gilligan’s quote of, “Where rigidity was, let flexibility be. Where singularity was, let plurality be. Where a single voice was, let many voices be heard.”
The Betty Erickson Special, with this expansive quality, you really do sort of open up, don’t you, to all of who you can be and are. So, one of the things I think is really useful, is to do the Betty Erickson Special regularly, even if you don’t have content in mind, even if you don’t have a therapeutic suggestion that you want to offer to yourself in mind. Just doing it, I think, helps to create a greater sense of rapport and inter-connection with you and your unconscious mind.
So, for me, I used to do this regularly. I don’t so much any more, but I used to make it a rule, for a long time I did this, that I made it a rule that, you know, “No trance, no breakfast,” and, “No trance, no dinner.” So, I’d do it at least twice a day. And, it doesn’t have to be long, it doesn’t have to be an hour, or even as long as we just did it, but just doing it for as long as it takes to get me to the beach and then, hang out there for a bit and come back, you know? It’s a really nice way to just sort of center and be here now, it’s a great thing.