Hypnosis and writing.
This summer, I became a certified hypnotherapist! I’m planning some cool ways to work with hypnosis and writing this fall: stay tuned.
Soon after I graduated from my training, Ryan and I drove to IKEA to get a new table and chairs. I downloaded the app and made our shopping list ahead of time. The idea was, I’d know the aisle and bin numbers for each product, so I could just go get the stuff directly and skip the showrooms. But I wanted to see and feel the demos before buying, which meant going through the labyrinth anyway.
I braced myself. I put my hands up on either side of my face to block my peripheral vision. I mapped out shortcuts through the showroom maze, tried to override the pull to follow the arrows on the floor. It was an effort to stay out of trance, to remain focused, and to simply go where I decided to go.
Being in IKEA is like being in an app with infinite scroll. Ooh, rattan placemats! Wait, what was I even looking for? I kept forgetting my purpose.
Picture a vivid and detailed garden in your mind, right now. Tall purple flowers grow on long stalks with rounded leaves. A fluffy yellow and black bumblebee lazily bumps into the petals. You hear it buzzing, and feel a warm breeze on your shoulders.
Whenever you imagine anything, you put yourself into a light trance.
Creative writing itself puts us into trance (reading it and writing it). Sometimes when I’m writing, I go into a very deep trance. I put myself to sleep, sometimes. Not because I’m bored – because I’m deep into imagining a scene. Has this ever happened to you?
This dreamy state of mind is where my favourite writing comes from. Not when I am deep in thought, but when I am deep in a hypnotic trance.
Wes Anderson’s newest film, Asteroid City, puts us in a trance… and it’s also a story about being in a trance. In one scene, a class of writers pretend to go to sleep, and begin chanting, “You can’t wake up if you don’t go to sleep. You can’t wake up if you don’t go to sleep.”
It’s the weirdest experience – you’re in a trance, watching the movie, and the people on the screen are in a trance, trying to write a movie, and then they start to repeat this hypnotic phrase, which deepens the trance, hypnotizing themselves while also hynotizing the viewers. Wild stuff. I loved it.
Anyway, it’s like a surprise, but also not a surprise, to realize that my career as a writer is also a career in hypnosis, and it always has been.
When you’re writing, you’re hypnotizing yourself.
It’s a cool insight, and it’s also powerful information. Because when we are in trance, we are more suggestible. (IKEA knows this. So does Zuckerberg, which is why Meta refuses to re-code infinite scroll. Can you imagine what a difference it would make to our focus if we had the option to pause, break our trance, and press “load more” to refresh our screens at will?)
Knowing that you have the power to hypnotize and be hypnotized…
What would you most like to write and have someone else read, while they are in a hypnotic trance?
What would you feel good about putting in their mind?
What do you want to read while you’re in a hypnotic trance? What stories and characters do you want to install in your mind?
Photo credit (top): Myke Simon on Unsplash.