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The trances you live by…

Posted Jan 27 2009 8:05pm

So this morning I want to share with you a curious thing that has been happening in my consulting room over the last week or so.

During the Christms break, I redecorated my room: new colour on the walls, new desk and chair, new bookcase and sumptuous new curtains…

I’m very pleased with the results and I couldn’t wait to begin working with my clients in my freshly revamped space.

So the first client of the year was someone whom I’d started working with in 2008. He arrived, we did the session and he left. He never commented about the changes in my room. This continued all day and I began to get very curious. Were my existing clients just too polite to comment on the changes or was it that they simply did not notice them?

By the end of the week, I decided to ask. A business coaching client that I have worked with intermittently over a period of about a year arrived in my room. At the end of the session, I asked him if he noticed anything different about it. He started looking around him: ‘Is it that you have a new light fitting, or did you have that before?’  he said. The light fitting is one of the few things that I have not changed in my room.

Isn’t this interesting?

I think that we spend most of our time in one kind of trance or another. We see what we expect to see, depending upon where we put our focus. Many of the clients who come to see me are feeling apprehensive or wrapped up in a particualr issue or problem. Their focus is on the issue and on communicating that to me and perhaps they are also in a deeply hypnotic internal conversation too: Will this work? I hope so. I’ve tried everything! They don’t have any spare energy to look around them and really notice the colour of my curtains.

And if I am doing my job well, I am utilising the features of hypnotic trance - which includes spatial distortion - to help people to turn their attention to what is going on inside them, to become more aware of their feelings and emotions and internal conversations. There is a sense in which the room begins to disappear.

My next client came in. This was her fourth session and she has begun to make some wonderful and exciting changes in her life. She looks visibly more relaxed and happy and at ease with herself.

‘Oh,’ she exclaimed. ‘This looks nice. Oooo, love your new curtains… And this colour. Oh, yes, that desk… very nice’.

When we are no longer absorbed in the issue, we can be more present in what is happening right here, right now. We can choose where we put our focus. Fascinating.

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