Hypn07, Day 1: Where Monkey Brain meets the other 80%

This covers day 1 of 30 for the Hypnotherapy Project, which I'm collaborating on with Los Angeles-based hypnotherapist Greg Beckett. You can read more about this experiment, what motivated it and what we hope to accomplish here. sock monkey

I've said it a million times: Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you've got a kingdom. , Jack LaLanne, ancient fitness guru who could totally kick my ass, and with one hand tied behind his 92-year-old back

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  • hew to my goals
  • stay focused
  • treat my body like the kingdom (NOTE: "kingdom" underlined twice)
  • lead by example (NOTE: "lead" underlined twice)

, list created by Colleen Wainwright going into the Great Hypnotherapy Project

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I came to my first day of the Great Hypnotherapy Project armed with notes, a quote from Jack LaLanne and a feeling of dread.

The excitement I'd felt when Greg first suggested the experiment, 30 days of one-on-one hypnotherapy with no objective other than to see what happened, had morphed into a melange of fear and worry (my favorite cocktail). How could I possibly have thought this would work? I was, after all, a mountain of insurmountable problems covered in calcified habit; what I wanted was nothing less to become...perfect. (Even though, as my shrink once pointed out via vivid illustration, nobody wants to be around anybody who has "perfection" as an agenda item, much less anyone who's actually gotten there.)

But if there is one thing I've actually bone-learned in my decidedly imperfectly lived 45+ years, it's to feel x and do it anyway, where x equals fear, dread, certitude of impossibility, etc. Yes, you're unhappy about this, and...?

So we sat and chatted for about an hour. We can do this, Greg and I, because we're close and we love to talk, but I imagine kind, wonderful Greg would do this with anyone. He understands that the getting at something is often an elliptical process; me, I'm like a dude: I want to get in there with the blowtorch and the scalpel and FIX. THE. PROBLEM.

He is, of course, right (at least, in this sort of situation), and somewhere in that hour a light went on and I scribbled in my notes:

[connect all this to joy b/c right now it looks/feels like a big chore] (NOTE: "big chore" underlined twice)

We agreed that this was perhaps a rich vein, and to proceed. Greg put me under, and after a minor flip-out on my part (my jaw! it won't open! [note: it was my eyes that wouldn't open, not that it's any better or worse]) and Greg putting me back under, we met Monkey Brain.

Monkey Brain is seven, and under the delusion, poor thing, that she is the boss of everything. I'll spare you the details of my overachieving childhood; suffice it to say that Monkey Brain has been pulling hard duty for a long time with bad tools (she's seven, for chrissakes) and she's over it. Tired. Mad. Scared. Monkey Brain is only 20% of the show, but she feels responsible for all of it.

So Greg had a long chat with Monkey Brain and the other 80%. After some assurances that Monkey Brain could get a few treats (sad, really, how little she asked for), we hammered out an agreement to move forward as a team toward the same goals. Greg brought me back, I felt great, and I'm once again really excited about the Great Hypnotherapy Project.

Oh, and Monkey Brain is very excited about the new, red shoes we got on the way home...

xxx c Coming up on Day Two: Miss Lax, Gloomy Manor and the Problems of the Very Clean Room.

Image by tedfoo via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.