Did you hear that knocking sound?

     Did you hear that? There it is again. Well maybe you can see it. Are you looking? Still nothing? Well, maybe I can help. Right now we are in a medical crisis. A pandemic. They, the government and medical professionals, are telling us to stay in place. Don’t go out in public places. Stay put. Well that’s not the sound or image I am talking about. What I am talking about is, “What an opportunity!” OK, some of you might be scratching your heads about now. Let me back up a little and explain.

     As I have gotten older, I look back and remember people who have continuously complained about their working situation. Some hate their job, others want a change or want to make more money. But whatever reason, they are just not happy in their current vocational situation. Sometimes, early on, I would ask them, “Why not do something about it or why not train for what you really want to do?” Most of the time they would just stare blankly back at me as if I asked them to explain quantum physics. Those who would respond, would say something like, “I don’t have time to do that”. Not surprisingly I heard that a lot from people who found time to socialize at the corner bar, belong to a league (bowling, softball, etc.) or just veg-out in front of the TV watching their favorite sport or show. Add to that an attitude of, “When I left high school, I wasn’t going to pick up another educational book”. Others might say, “If my boss wants me to take some training, he has to pay for it and my time there”. If you still believe that, you might be hopeless. (No pulling punches here.)

     Eventually, many of these people found out the hard way, like when the economy was on the downswing. They lost their jobs and had to find work they liked even less. Yeah, they would bellyache how unfair the company, the boss or just life in general was for them. But most of them contributed to their own employment downfall. Fact is, they never increased their value as an employee. They did nothing to better themselves. Yes, there are exceptions to this, but you have to ask yourself, “Am I really the exception or did I get a rotten deal?”

     But what does this have to do with today’s imposed quarantine? Eventually it will be lifted, hopefully sooner than later. Since this is on my blog, which is on the internet, you have one of the most amazing resources at your fingertips. Whether with a home computer, laptop, tablet, or smart phone, you have a the world right in front of you. That is, right now, in most situations, you can learn to do it better, faster or more efficiently. If your job is an exception to this, you can learn something completely new, in a new field of employment. Can you become a physician in a couple of weeks? No, but you can learn thousands of other things that will open new employment opportunities for you. Right now there are thousands of resources to use, Youtube videos, college courses, trade skills, computer skills and many, many more. Many are free while others you may have to pay for, but they are there and easily accessible.

     OK, maybe this is easier said than done. But it is easier now with this extra time on your hands than ever before. It can be done. Now some training does require hands on or in place instructions, but that should not prevent you from getting at least a solid foundation in a new craft, trade or position. Do you like spending time on the computer? Within a week you can be an expert with just about any business office software (spreadsheet, word processing, accounting). Maybe with some programing skills you could write the next multimillion dollar app for the smart phone. Are you hands on with your vehicle repairs? You can become an expert diagnostic technician in the time you’re off work now. Imagine the 40 hours a week that you would be at work applied to research and study and all of what you could learn. Again, easier said than done. If you don’t have the dedication or disciple, well, you know what that means. It won’t be done. Only you can decide to make the most of this opportunity and make it happen. So, what can you do to make yourself more valuable? What can you do now to prepare you for the job you really want? When the current situation turns around, there will be some fallout. Some people will not get their jobs back. Some companies will learn that some people were redundant and not necessary. Businesses will be rehiring the best of the best when the economy starts moving again. It will not be like it was a year ago when jobs were plentiful. For prepared people there will be excellent jobs waiting. Remember, your old job might not be.

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A special post for the Heartland Hypnosis Conference this year in St. Louis, MO.

    This is a special blog posting for hypnotist have registered or are considering registering for this years Heartland Hypnosis Conference in St. Louis, MO.

    If you would talk to 10 different clinical/therapeutical hypnotists about doing smoking cessation, you would probably get 10 different responses. Some might say they don’t do it and not give a reason why. Some might say they don’t do it because they don’t like doing it, they only do metaphysical stuff, or it’s boring after doing it so long, and on and on. But, as they say, “in my humble opinion” they don’t do it because clients know within one day or so if it works. Many hypnotists cannot deal with something where the results are so “cut and dried”. Either it worked or it didn’t. With weight loss it can be days or even weeks before clients know that, you the hypnotist, helped them to lose weight. For removing fears, it’s the same thing. Metaphysical hypnosis is completely subjective. Once the initial session has passed and the ‘high” of the hypnotic experience wears off, then the real test begins. No long time wait and see. The client will know the next moment when they used to smoke and didn’t. Will it be 15 minutes after they leave or one day? Can you take the stress and the uncertainty of not knowing? Or would you rather know you are the expert in helping to make it happen?
    Well you can. Ninety percent of my business deals with helping people to stop smoking. Over the years I have attended seminars, workshops, bought audio and video training programs, read countless books and whatever else I could on get my hands on to help people stop smoking with hypnosis. Because of this I have developed a powerful program to help my clients become smoke free. More recently I have made this into a program available to other hypnotists. I call it The Amazingly Powerful Stop Smoking Training Program For Hypnotists. It is systematic, yet still designed to be individualized to help any client become smoke free. But, as I tell all my clients, they have to really want to stop smoking or nothing is going to work.
    And now this year you can get the real core of this program at this year’s Heartland Hypnosis Conference, April 27 thru April 29, St. Louis, MO, where I will be sharing what I have learned from others, what I have tweaked and what I have created to make what I believe is a powerful program to help you in helping others to stop smoking fast. You will learn from what I did right as well as what I did wrong, so you will not make the same mistakes I did. You will learn how to show that the client must accept their part and his or her responsibility in becoming a non-smoker and that you as the hypnotist will do your very best to make it happen. You will also help to empower the client to remain a non-smoker if they should (as unlikely as it may be) ever have a craving or get stressed out, so they can get beyond that brief moment, quickly and easily. In learning this program, you will project confidence knowing that you can do your part to help make the world a little more smoke free. You will also learn some of the things you need to know to be in the business of doing a stop-smoking program to protect yourself legally, make money, and project the professionalism of our craft.
    I sincerely hope to see many old friends there and make some new ones. I look forward to this adventure of learning at the Heartland Hypnosis Conference as well as having a great time. I hope the same for you, too.

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To Be A Better You

      (It has been a while since I have posted anything here. I enjoy writing, but for me to get it right, it takes time and some proofreading from my wife. So, until or when I get back to original writings, I will from time to time post some things I have written before in a newsletter I did. I hope you enjoy this and find it to be a little enlightening.)

      A while back I got to know a man who worked for a major employer in the area. He had been with them for a number of years and was doing well. He was a blue collar worker and from what I understood, did his job as he should. Now for years, it was common knowledge that this major employer was having difficulties. Each year the company laid off numerous employees. And each year, this man would heave a sigh of relief that he still had his job.

      Each year as this company would lay off workers, there would be stories in the newspapers about what these people were going to do. Those who were younger could get training and find other work. But those who were middle age asked, “What are we to do once we are out of work?” They would say, “no one will hire us and train us for a job because of how old we are.” And they were too young to retire. What were they to do? What was the government going to do for them? What was a new company going to do for them?

      Now back to the man I know. For at least 10 years, he has known he would eventually lose his job. He has been fortunate that it is later rather than sooner. In those ten years, he has been on bowling leagues in the winter, and baseball teams in the spring and summer. I don’t know what he did with his recreational time in the fall, but I do know what he did not do. He did not invest in himself to learn a vocation. This man and his family will probably be the first to complain and act as if they are in shock when his job is gone. They believe they have no control of their lives and that they are at the mercy of others.

      In ten years, going to school part-time a person can earn an advanced college degree in almost any field he or she chooses. A person can learn and earn, not one but several new vocations, crafts and skills. An individual could go from no education to being a college educator in their spare time in ten years. And even if the person was not ambitious, at least one new trade could be learned that was liked and is in demand.

      So, where is your job taking you? Somewhere, nowhere, or it doesn’t matter to you. Like it or not, the reality is that job security and job loyalty for the most part are a thing of the past. There can be exceptions, but you can’t count on one of them. Take a good look at your job. Examine where you are going and where you may end up. Will your job be there tomorrow, next week or next year? Where do you want to be? It’s all up to you.

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It’s true, “You become what you think about.”

    The first time I heard it in those terms was from Earl Nightingale. He was the gravelly voiced motivational speaker out of Chicago. I remember in the 1960s his brief commentaries called, Our Changing World, on the local radio station. But this particular phrase is the reincarnation of the words of Napoleon Hill who authored Think and Grow Rich. I have listened to the recordings of Earl Nightingale and have enjoyed and learned from them. I highly recommend any and all to do the same. Although he died in 1989, his recordings are just as valid today as they were decades ago. They are almost timeless.

    And now as I look back at these few years God has permitted me on this earth, I know that this is more than just words on paper. It is truth. You do become what you think about. And in knowing this, a person picks most of his or her own destiny. In saying this, I sense a disturbance in the universe. How can this be possible? Is it that stuff we read about in The Secret? You might even say, “And that didn’t work for me”. But just saying, “You become what you think about” is only part of the full message. But like most things, we try to break them down to the lowest common denominator. You must go beyond simple sound bites and back to the full message.

    First of all, for anything to happen, there must be action. Without action, nothing gets done. Even much of God’s work is done though the hands of men taking action. But enough theology for now. Man is the only animal that can change its destiny. All other creatures are controlled by nature and instinct. We can change our lives and do it all the time, simply by thinking and letting those thoughts guide our actions.

    But beside actions, there is another thing that must be applied. That word which comes from another axiom, is “What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” The key word here is “believe”. Is what you think or want to achieve, believable?

    As I was growing up, like many young people, I thought about becoming a fireman, cowboy, doctor, president and all the other careers kids think about. But there were a few careers that really stood out. For me there were four life goals I really wanted to achieve or was fascinated with: something on radio/TV/movies, a police officer/detective, and/or something with the strange and mysterious stuff out there.

    These things always had my attention. I had more than idle curiosity about them. I pretended to be doing them. As I got older, I bought or borrowed dozens of books on the subjects. When I got old enough to drive, I would visit radio stations and have them show me around. TV stations were not so open to this, but I did get to talk to local TV personalities. In college I majored in Police Science. I visited police departments on my own. I talked my way into riding with some officers on patrol at night, and not handcuffed in the back seat. I talked my way into an all police training class for CEUs in which I was the only civilian there. Later I did become a police officer, constable and private detective. At the same time I continued my deep interest in hypnosis, reading and studying all I could on this mysterious and wonderful subject. Still at the same time I decided I had an ego to be on the air. I was always looking for a way to make it happen somehow. Eventually I got a gig to be in a commercial. Eventually I got to be on air live for 13 years on the country’s largest cable shopping network as a product demonstrator. And now (but not finally) after deciding to make some changes, I became a certified hypnotherapist.

    Why I am telling you this, is not to brag, but to illustrate a point. I believed I could do all these things. The things I chose were truly possible to me. There were moments in my life I knew some things I would not be doing. It might be fun to ride a racehorse, but at about age 8, my body size proved that to be out of the picture. So to some extent, honest thinking has to part of this self-development process. And this is essential for any change. To be honest about what you want to do. And then decide to think about it. And this can work for almost anything. To lose weight, you don’t think and say to yourself, “I am thin.” Not if you are obviously a number of pounds overweight, but rather you think, “I can become thinner”, and then begin to see the change. Imagine a short-term and a long-term image. Let it become a reasonable obsession to take you to the weight just right for you. But do it with caution, as we know of too many who take it to the extreme and become anorexic.

    As I was growing up I was what most would call an average or slightly below average student. I was not expected to go to college. And this was probably the only negative thing I heard about me in my household. No real high academic expectations. And in my own way I believed it. But one day that changed. After a number of years of poor academics in college, I decided I not only wanted to graduate from a junior college, I wanted a four-year degree. It is what I thought about. Once I knew it could be done, I moved in that direction. After I received my two-year degree, in just a year and a half later, I earned my four-year degree.

    Now to be honest, this happened because of a fourth belief I had. I didn’t forget that I said I had four things I really thought about in my life. I wanted that right person in my life to share it with me. And, honestly to find just that right person I had to become the kind of person who would be worthy of that person. Although I am far from perfect, I found the perfect person for me.
    You see, there are so many ways to think. If you think and believe only trash, you live a life of trash. If you think, but never take action, you are no better off because little or nothing of what you want will ever happen. But there is tremendous value in saying, “You become what you think about” as a reminder to focus your thinking and then take action. I can only suggest that you find worthy things to think about and let yourself become ever so slightly wonderfully obsessive. Then let it guide your actions to help you create the life you really want and the person inside you want to become.

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My Metaphoric 2X4 (or A Whack Along Side The Head)

    OK, I can be sensitive and can be touchy/feely when necessary. Most of my colleagues are really touchy/feely kinds of hypnotists and I have no problem with that. But like most everything in life, there is a time and place for most things. The problem is, that most of the time, in my far from humble opinion, it prolongs problems rather than helping to eliminate them. And that is why I have my metaphoric 2X4 (a big stick) next to my chair to whack people on the sides of their heads.
    When clients come in to see me for whatever problems they may have, I sit and listen for a few minutes. Now I could listen to the story they have to tell and get wrapped up in the misery they are experiencing and offer sympathetic words of, “Poor, poor you”. But what I am really doing is listening to determine if they are there to merely vent and garner pity or if they want to change. I listen to some of the content of what they are saying, but mostly to the way they are saying it. Honestly, most of the stories they will tell have been told many times before to any ear that will listen. They may have been in therapy of some kind or another for an extended period of time and repeated many of the same details and ongoing sagas of their troubles. Eventually, I have to bring it to an end, more sooner than later. I have patience, but it is not endless and I do have other clients. But usually as the client gets comfortable in telling his tale and the point where he thinks it is getting interesting, I reach down and pick up my metaphoric 2X4 and give him a whack alongside his head. I ask them, “How long have you been in therapy?” A period of time is given and most times it has been extensive. I then ask him, “Have you been telling all this to your therapist?” An affirmative answer is given. Then I ask, “Has it really helped you in any way?” Most reply, “A little” or “Not really”. Then comes the whack; “Then why do you think repeating all this to me now will help?” Silence…….. This is not something he wanted or expected to hear.
    I give them a moment to think and absorb the blow a little. This was the first of what may be a few more whacks to the head. Usually the client start getting a little mad at me. His expectation of “poor, poor you” didn’t happen. He will be upset that I didn’t get interested in the story that he wanted to tell. Now don’t get me wrong. I understand that there is a problem. It’s just that I am approaching the solution to the problem from a different angle and not the way that has not worked in the past. I am a hypnotist.
    One of the core beliefs that I hold as a hypnotist is that change can happen fast. It doesn’t need months and months or years and years to happen. Most problems that people have are created most times in an instant. There may have been some buildup to the change, but the real change/problem happened very quickly. Now some people will counter with they don’t know when a problem began or say, “Well, I really had it all my life.” But when I guide the clients into hypnosis, they discover there was a moment when they changed and the problem was created. Sometimes I will regress a client to the initial sensitizing event to prove this point, but usually it is not necessary. So the point is the problem or behavior was created quickly, so it can be turned around quickly, with the right tools and desire.
    Which takes us back to; a whack to the head with my metaphoric 2X4. Too often people, (therapists), want to be sensitive and not upset the client. They don’t want to be perceived as mean or uncaring. They will not state obvious truths to the client. And this is a disservice to the client. If everyone says that the client’s problem is something other than what it really is, the solution will rarely be found. And that is why another core belief I have is that: If you want to help your clients change, you cannot be afraid of them. That is, don’t be afraid of doing the right thing even if they don’t temporarily like you for doing or saying it.
    Now the reason why I swing my 2X4 so freely is not that I have a sadistic streak. But rather, it instantly stops a person in his tracks with a thought that may be holding him back. By whacking the client I am disrupting a thought pattern, and in turn, causing him to stop thinking a less than a positive and productive way. And once you break a thought pattern enough times, the mind cannot go back to the old way of thinking. This opens up the possibility of thinking in new ways that can be more helpful. Doing this technique in the conscious state begins the process of challenging the client’s believe system that has been holding back positive changes. Then in the hypnotic trance, I will continue to reinforce and cement the new way of thinking.
    Change happens quickly. Holding onto and remaining in the past is slow and most times ineffective. Why wait a lifetime to turn things around? And that is why I do hypnosis and related techniques. In the past as a private detective I helped people get out of difficult situations only to go out and do the same or similarly stupid things again. They didn’t want to change, they only wanted the consequences of their actions to change. Now, as a hypnotist, I only help people who are willing and committed to making positive changes in their lives so they can have the best lives possible.

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Those Who Enjoy Feeling Bad.

    In the last several years I have had clients that claimed to be depressed. In such cases, I require a doctor’s referral before I will work with them. I do this for two reasons; first to see if it is self-diagnosed or if a medical professional has determined this and secondly, I am not a licensed medical professional and must get a waiver that what I do will not interfere with their current treatments. I don’t know how it would, but legally, I have to. But back to the first reason, who diagnosed or how the client was diagnosed with depression. In many cases, the doctor or therapist just takes the word of the client based on the client’s description of how he/she feels. Having been on this earth for almost 62 years and like a lot of other people, I am an avid student of human behavior as a people watcher. Add this to my years of experience as a private detective, I have developed some opinions and thoughts about what is going on in the human mind. Let me say here that I do not doubt that people can be depressed. They can be in such a state of depression that it can incapacitate them. It can lead to being a danger to themselves and to others. But I also believe that not everyone is manic depressed, bipolar or whatever the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) current manual now calls it. I also know that almost everyone can be sad, have the blues or other some other lay term for some level of depression. But I do question the number of people who have depression at its severest definition of the term.
    But there are others who claim they are depressed, and maybe even diagnosed as such by a medical professional. But these people are wearing their depression for everyone to see. They go around in a constant dark and dreary state. You avoid them when you can or walk on eggshells when they are around. Subtly or very overtly they make a point of letting everyone know they are depressed but it’s not their fault that they are this way. It is as if that is the way they want to be identified. People might say something like, “Oh, that’s Harry. He’s depressed.” Do you know the type? Well, I do and a couple of them have sneaked in to see me. They say they want help, but in reality, they lied. And here’s why.
    I have learned some powerful techniques to help people who want to change and turn their lives around. One of the techniques is to go deep inside and discover their laughter. The laughter and giggle they had as a child. I use this technique for most of my clients because it is so powerful. I use it for a number of other reasons, too, but it is not necessary to explain that here and now. But this technique is so powerful, they don’t realize the change is happening right away. But there are “depressed” clients who really don’t want to change. They don’t want to lose that thing that identifies them. They get something for the power knowing people have to work around them and forgive all of their faults because they are “depressed” and it not their fault. They have too much to lose if they fix the problem.
    Here’s how it goes. The client will be sitting in my magic hypnosis chair. He will be in a state of trance. I will begin to guide him to begin feeling the laughter grow inside him and it grows stronger until he eventually laughs. The laughter gets stronger and stronger. And as this is starting to happen, I observe the “depressed” client begin to smile, his belly may begin to shake a little, a smile starts to form on his face and a chuckle begins to escape from his lips. And then it happens. The client catches himself and stops. It’s like they said to himself, “No, stop laughing, I can’t feel good, I’m depressed.” He just cannot let this happen. He would no longer be special. He wants to say that he tried hypnosis and it didn’t work either. Again, it’s not his fault. But in reality, he didn’t want the hypnosis to work.
    I have had clients that were depressed to the point they were in tears when they walked in the door. When they left, they were laughing and all smiles. Some more so than others, but still 100% better than when they came in. And as I tell people, it can literally happen that way. But like most things we do with hypnosis, you have to want the change to happen. I tell people change can happen almost instantly. It still amazes me even after seeing it happen so often.
    Check back soon and hear about My Metaphoric 2X4.

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It’s OK to be happy.

    After considerable time off, I have returned to the blog. On occasion I will tap and dispense from the gray matter to hopefully entertain you a little and, at the same time, cause you to think. In doing this, it causes me to go deeper into my own thoughts. Sometimes the thoughts will be lighter than others. Sometimes I may express deep feelings about situations and events. And at times, be controversial. But always true to my beliefs.
    So, how are you today? Are your thoughts still on tragic events of 9/11? Are we going to attack? What about the economy? How is the family? Is that special problem still bothering you? It seems that we all are surrounded by negative news and I am not excluded from this either. But watching our grandchildren helps keep things in perspective. In the past few months our grandchildren have discovered our collection of books of comics. These are the “funnies” or “comics” like in the newspapers. I have collections from the Far Side to the dark side of Charles Addams. But the comics that caught the attention of the kids (and age suitable) was Calvin and Hobbs. I watched them as they began to read them and slowly recognize and fall into the imaginary world of Calvin. Soon the giggles and laughs started happening. Like me, I think they saw a little of themselves in Calvin and had their own Hobbs to talk to.
    Quickly they devoured the two books I had found on a weekend visit to our house. I said I would look and see if I had more. I thought I had at least one more book and eventually I found it. On their next visit and in the time they had here, they consumed it, too.
    Occasionally I pull out a collection of these comics to read to go back through time again. I return to the age of Calvin to enjoy the fantasy. I have said that the author must have followed me around as a kid because so much of it was like my life growing up. Of course the author has used his imagination in such a way to make them more outrageously funny and enjoyable. Which brings to mind, have you ever read a funny in the paper and thought that it was so relevant and recent to you that someone is watching you for their ideas? Maybe all comic authors get their ideas for NSA, or not.
    The examples of our grandchildren show me and maybe you, it OK to enjoy life and be happy. But in light of all the negative things going on, we have a obligation to ourselves to feel good. To be more childlike. To have fun. But I know there are some who will argue how can you have fun with so much suffering going on? My answer is that we work to relieve the suffering of others. We work to make smile, laugh and have fun. Some would say we should feel their pain. I say we should recognize the pain, but to feel it does nothing to help them. And it is not being heartless, it is just good for the mind, body and soul. Care, but share good things. If you cannot show others how to laugh and feel good, how can you be an example to others to enjoy life? Self imposed suffering does not raise others from their problems. Laughter and joy with good works does.
    A lot of this may seem self evident, but I am leading up to my next blog. “Those Who Enjoy Feeling Bad.

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Bringing back the blog.

     In the next day or so we will start the regular posting on our blog. As you can see the new blog looks a little different than our old one. For technical reasons, the old blog could no longer be used. Watch for new postings in the very near future.

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