This post was written by one of my clients, S.M. I wanted to share it with you not only because S.M. is a writer with a great memory for detail, but also because she illustrates beautifully the magical and metaphoric quality that hypnotherapy sessions can take on when one is connected to their imagination, committed to one’s own healing, and open to the process of dialogue with the subconscious. This is the first of hopefully many more session excerpts that S.M. will recreate for us.
I am lying in Andrew’s lean back hypnosis chair, safely under the blanket, eyes closed as if asleep. Though I am not asleep, I am in a lucid dream, which Andrew and I are co-creating.
It is about my fourth or fifth hypnotherapy session. After working on specific issues in previous sessions… the fallout from a devastating betrayal I had suffered a few years earlier; the emotional legacy of a lifetime with hidden disabilities that had not even been identified until I was an adult; the general sense of worthlessness that has been with me as long as I can remember… I have come to the stark realization that I have never had a sense of self that did not hurt.
Today, I have asked Andrew to help me with that. So now I am under hypnosis. I am fully aware of where I am, and simultaneously somewhere else. From the moment Andrew counted me down into hypnosis, slowly meandering through a countdown from twenty to zero, replete with imagery to give me the sense that I am descending into a safe, helpful, and healing place, I have been in the underworld that my imagination spins out of his words.
I hear Andrew say:
We ask these gifts to shine clearly now, to show their true brilliance. This heart of compassion. This brilliant insight. This desire for systems to improve and evolve, to increase respect, to increase integrity. The brilliant construction of sentences and paragraphs and story arcs. The crafting of a message. Shining like jewels in a treasure chest….
I am opening an actual treasure chest. There are many jewels inside. Bright red, ruby red, pomegranate red, is the color that stands out most.
Shimmering in the light. Already, they’ve shimmered so much, and now you are polishing them. Polishing off a layer of dust. And you are amazed at how brilliant they truly are….
A raven hops alongside me, cocks its head, and stares intently at the treasures in the chest.
Placing them back in that chest and placing the chest inside of you, or whatever else you want to do with those jewels right now. Run them through your aura, perhaps. Or keep them out of the chest but inside of your body, illuminating your heart, your voice, your sense of identity.
A bright red jewel is in my hand. I put it around the raven’s neck, so that it shines brightly on the raven’s breast. It seems like exactly the right thing to do. The raven croaks, “Thank you!”
Allowing the light from those jewels, like the message of value, to shine down. Down the hallways. Down the pipes. Illuminating the entirety of your being. And all the other gifts that were not mentioned, that you know of and that may be yet to be discovered… there are others. Other jewels at various stages of polishing and shimmering.
Now I see the raven eating pomegranate seeds, red and shiny like the jewels.
And so collecting all that you want to bring back with you, perhaps placing it in your aura… images, memories, statements, anything else, considering how you would like to bring it back with you, bringing them into your body, or perhaps placing them in your aura, like you were decorating a Christmas tree… as you’re ready, returning to that landing place, preparing for your journey back up. Bring all the goodness with you. And we ask your subconscious beyond this session, as you wake and as you sleep, to continue the illumination of your system with this knowledge: with these gifts and with the message of your value in the world and to others.
Now I have packed the jewels up again, and I am climbing back into the waking world.
Within two hours after the session, after I have rested briefly and said good-bye to Andrew and gone home, I am struck by a curious quiet. The steady stream of self hating thoughts that ran through my mind constantly, for so long that I did not know I could exist without it, is gone.
Within two weeks, it suddenly hits me that I have not had any desire for alcohol since before that hypnotherapy session. It had never occurred to me to address my drinking in hypnotherapy. I am a moderate drinker, but my moderate drinking has increased over the last few years to the frequent side of moderate, almost without my notice, and largely as an attempt to handle stress. Now, I do not want to drink.
About a month (and a couple more hypnotherapy sessions) later, I mention to Andrew in an email that I am actually starting to believe I’m valuable… some of the time, anyway.
He writes back, “You ARE valuable!!!”