Love after love by Derek Walcott

The time will come 
when, with elation 
you will greet yourself arriving 
at your own door, in your own mirror 
and each will smile at the other’s welcome, 
and say, sit here. Eat. 
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart 
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you 
all your life, whom you ignored 
for another, who knows you by heart. 
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, 
the photographs, the desperate notes, 
peel your own image from the mirror. 
Sit. Feast on your life. 

The Star Thrower

Stories can have a profound effect on our lives. This is one such story. I first heard this story Dr Gosavi, a renowned surgeon, beloved teacher and trustee of Siddhivinayak Cancer Hospital, Miraj at my MBBS Convocation Speech.

The story:

Once upon a time, there was an old writer. Early one morning, he was walking along the sea shore after a big storm and found the vast beach littered with starfishes. He noticed that a boy who kept bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea.

The man asked the boy “Good Morning, may I ask what are you doing?

The young boy looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”

The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you wont be able to help all.”

The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”

– adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)

Middle path

Tama66 / Pixabay

If there was one key to happiness, I would say, it would be “moderation” – the middle path Buddha suggests. The problem is, in today’s world, you have to be paranoid about something to become a known name. Moderation means no identity. Most people prefer being paranoid and known as opposed to being balanced and nameless. Its the strong need for identity that kills the moderation and thus happiness.

6 things that bring about long lasting behavioral change.

6 things that bring about long lasting behavioral change.
Achieving long-lasting change has always been a challenge for therapists, teachers, trainers an regulators world-wide. Image source: geralt / Pixabay

The problem

All of us occasionally (some more commonly than others) struggle with how to bring about lasting change. Even therapist themselves struggle not just as therapist, but also in their personal lives. At the end of the day, they too are human. Here are a few real-life stories.

Problems always appear complex, and we seem to mess up other parts when we correct one.  Image source: OpenClipart-Vectors / Pixabay

The real-life stories

There is a well-known hypnotherapist who was unable to let go of his smoking habit (what a paradox). He was admitted to the hospital when he had the second heart attack. Despite the first, he failed to quit smoking. Of course like most of us who know our addictions are bad for us. He too knew. But the knowing failed to translate to action(non-action in this case).

When his doctor was on the rounds, the doctor said to him, “You have not smoked since 9 days, your smoking habit is now GONE” and that did the trick. He never smoked again. The simple suggestion as a part of a conversation, a simple encouraging word did the trick. Smoking is one of the most addictive and sticky things, difficult to get rid of. This huge change was brought about without any fancy induction, repeated script.

Let me give you another example. I have given hypnosis script for expecting women for quite some time for a smooth painless labor. When my wife was expecting I gave her the same script. We also attended prenatal classes. To counter all the beliefs she got from screaming delivery scenes in sitcoms and movies, I also showed her how animals such as elephants, giraffes, and tigers delivered their babies, without any trace of great difficulty. On the actual day of delivery what worked for her was a combination of all three. Most important thing that worked was the videos she watched. She kept affirming that she is like a tigress and will have a smooth delivery and so on.

The insight.

Work with whatever triggers the desired change.

solutions - 6 things that bring about long lasting behavioral change.
Keep at it till solution becomes visible. Image source: rubylia / Pixabay

What worked in these cases? (the solution)

  1. How over how much – The confidence, the conviction, the genuine concern is what matters, the time spent doing the script does matter but not as much.
  2. Quick over the slow – our brains are lazy and too easily bored. They prefer learning faster and moving on to learning slow and doubting. Do you remember something your parents, spouse, children, friend or teacher said that stayed with you for the longest time? It was possibly said in 10 seconds, but the conviction, confidence, and trust are what made it everlasting.
  3. Trust – how much do you trust that the therapist has your best interest in her mind? What your teacher and your mother said worked because you believed that they have your best interest in mind.
  4. Law of one-upmanship – the therapist /facilitator should be seen as superior or more knowledgeable or expert or knowing his stuff by the receiver. In both the above cases, that was true.
  5. The right choice of medium, language, and words – in my wife’s example what worked was the audiovisual proof of what I said in form of Animal videos. For the Hypnotherapist, the cardiologists said the sentence in the form of Marathi that the Hypnotherapist speaks to himself in.
  6. Keep at it while one should try to know which method works for the other person. It is not always easy to know. Besides what works can vary for different issues, time, receptivity. So keep at it and use everything you think can help. Something is sure to work. Even if it doesn’t you will know you have done your best.

How I landed here?

Almost 2 years back I used to think I was an atheist. I believed only I can change the world for myself. There is nothing that can help me in that. In my own way my philosophy was that of a Karmayogi. I had debate with my parents and siblings around me. I found no reason to believe in God. In fact in 2002, I wrote an article on existence v/s non existence of God, for my college’s student magazine. In the last two years, I was exposed to many experiences which made sure in my mind that there exists a superpower and I am a part of it. It is with me all the time and it is true for all of us.

The journey that began after an amazing hypnotherapy session, has continued till now, and it will. The path has been as beautiful and enjoyable. I was led on this path.Who knows if there is a destination?  I just blindly followed. I found masters who guided me. And none of these was planned, I just went with the flow. I was not the one who was choosing really. It just came to me. It was a plan. This feeling- I have a definite place in the universe; there is a plan for me- is liberating. Its one thing that makes me  a theist.

I had a liking for understanding human psychology. I read a lot of books. In the last two years, however, a new journey started. This journey was not understanding by knowing theoretically, it was one of experiencing. I became a Reiki channel and got connected to the universal life force energy. I learned crystal dowsing  using the analysis of state of Chakra to access the universal knowledge. I learned level one of hypnotherapy from California Hypnosis Institute of India (CHII).  And then healing in some form or the other kept coming back to me. I learned the Art of Living level one. I practiced living by intention manifestation, using Louise Hay‘s affirmations. Again I got another way of accessing the universal supra-conscious, tarot card  reading.

My master says, “It is not an accident that you land up at such courses. You might think you had the time and money to attend these and that’s the reason you did attend. It’s not so. This is a plan. I as a part of this plan am supposed to help you to move from one level of awareness to another. You are meant to be a healer.”

There are no accidents!
Shifu: The panda? Master, that panda is not the Dragon Warrior. He wasn’t even meant to be here. It was an accident. Oogway: There are no accidents.