Positive Progress Backward

So.  The bit on Saturday bore fruit, and succinct fruit at that.

  • I assess duties and make decisions dispassionately
  • Afterwards I determine my emotional needs
  • If they are in conflict with the recently made decision, I aggressively question my worth as a person

That’s as succinct a syllogistic horror as anyone can expect.  48 hours have not wrought new insights, clarity, or sudden bursts of inspiration.  I understand the problem fully, and sometimes can work around it.

Continue reading “Positive Progress Backward”

Trilby V – Why Magic Worked

This hypnotherapy stuff has had immediate and far-reaching, damned near comprehensive, results. That isn’t, in my experience, how any kind of mental hygiene works. Normally, one talks things out until several things fall into place:

    Define the situation
    Determine what actions are creating non-optimal results
    Recognize the stimulus that provokes actions
    Consider alternate actions that will either preempt the situation or change the reactions to the stimulus
    If you’re really on your game, you think up indicators that will mark success

This is, necessarily, a drawn out process. One has to define the world, define oneself, reformulate based on hypothesis, and then change with no more motivation than a willingness to see something new happen — which usually (again, my experience) means gritting one’s teeth and carrying through the new actions without feeling motivated to do so.

And, natch, it doesn’t work terribly efficiently, people being ineffective at concision. A lack of accurate or complete concept at any step will cause trickle-down faults.

I imagine hypnotherapy varies widely from provider to provider, and possibly from application to application. But. What was done with me was asking me to set a scene from my actual past. This was analyzed briefly for relevance and proximity to my issue-origins. When the scene was revealed as not actually terribly close to the origin, we went further back, finding related scenes closer in, and so forth. Eventually a scene came to light in which formulation of behavior was still taking place, and then a fictitious scene was improvised wherein I was asked to step in as my adult self and redirect my younger self.

I’m fairly good at visualization and role-playing, so this was an actual experience for me. The result was that I actually experienced a rewriting of what actually happened, and, without necessarily thinking much about it, carried forward an altered experience of events that I shuffled into my existing life, which provided slightly altered reactions to current events, and when new actions were called for, slightly different motivations were present to let me make changes with greater ease.

What, I wondered, was the difference between the two methods? Both found the situation, the stimuli, the reactions, the new actions.

One was explicit. One was subtextual and inclusive by implied relation, based on a gestalt.

I think I get it.

Talking things out, thinking them out, is only as useful as the thinking. Acting something out includes many factors that are not necessarily consciously considered, and so factors that are not known, not acknowledged, or poorly understood while acknowledged as significant are all worked into the solution. Everything, every action in the scene became symbolic. The symbols bore the meaning they did because I assigned the symbols and took their meaning they had without my having to formulate it in words, thereby granting each symbol and symbolic act greater bandwidth and greater impact because of that.


Good stuff. I approve.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry

Trilby IV

Interesting. New things keep popping up. Nothing traumatic or world-shaking, but sort of … pervasive.

Apparently, what I’ve done is go to the foundation of many of my behaviors, lifted the edifice, and pulled out the chunk of gravel that was caught under the sill. When you put the building back, it’s the same building, but just that tiny bit more level, more stable, and when you stand on the dining room table and dump out a crate of ping pong balls, they will bounce in slightly different patterns than they used to. And the plumbing is less prone to leaking.

Erm. Perhaps not the most facile metaphor, but one gets the idea.

I had session 2 last night. I noticed just as many — or more — things about the basis of my behaviors, and was more involved in the forward motion (since I understood the process better), but there was nothing … well, nothing world-shaking or traumatic. I think I may have found an awareness of the one or two bits in my head that relate to me going all stupid periodically, and what I have left is the settling of everything that used to rest on those, and the trickle-down effects that will continue to manifest as I, ah, *waves hands about, looking for a word*, re-collate myself.

This sort of business is difficult to relate, I’m finding.

In any case. Beneficial. Useful. Clarifying. Empowering (however much I hate the overcommon usage of that word).

In conclusion (to paraphrase Libby, that darlingest of rock-stars), I have eaten my inner child, I am Iron Man, and my head is a light bulb — all of which, on reflection, makes me wonder if it is the surreal aspect of this approach that makes it so much easier to move forward.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry

Trilby III

I’m just going to name anything to do with this sorting-out process related to the hypotherapy “Trilby (variable)”. It’s likely to be highly internally oriented, poorly explained, and easily skippable.


I’m wondering how much of my current amiable aimlessness has to do with the fact that, until recently, the majority of my behaviors were determined by pathological means. Take away the pathology and I can no longer recognize a motivation — that is, I can’t recognize a motivation that doesn’t show up with several unseemly friends, lightly slapping a billy club against its leg while it asks me to come play.

This would seem to be a training issue, if so. I can do that. I’m a fair wonder at learning new patterns.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry

Trilby, Part II

I keep finding that I’ve just gone through some decision that, a week ago, I’d have made badly, only now I’ve made it well.  I’m asking for what I want, no difficulties, no will needed, no tooth gritting.  I don’t even notice it until afterwards.

While I was nice enough to me today, and have had a nice day thereby, I still haven’t written.  Dunno if that has anything to do with anything.  Sat at the computer for a while, and just surfed until I got up and found food and a book instead.  My current goal is to do the things I want to do, but not make them duties, nor flog myself until I do them.

Y’okay.  Rome wasn’t burnt in a day.  I’m pleased enough, and have another appointment on Wednesday.  Meanwhile, I’ll just make certain that I spend a certain amount of time each day giving myself opportunity to procrastinate.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry

Trilby Writes

Years ago, I decided that anything I wrote about specifically in a bitchy tone on more than three occasions, I had to do something or shut up about. I’ve been okay with me yacking about very closely similar things, if some tiny aspect is different, or if I have tried something – anything – to change the patterns. However, over the years, it has become evident that there are a couple of things that I am stuck on.

I did what I usually do; I wrote about them, I talked about them, I came up with deft syllogisms of emotional health and created plans of breathtaking scope based on them…which work as long as I follow them.

But I don’t follow them.

Something Ain’t Right.

When I’m particularly down on myself, I declare that if, for instance, I sabotage my writing time routinely for years and years, I probably don’t want to write and don’t have the guts to say that. But I’ve been there, and I like it – love it, sometimes. Besides, it isn’t just the writing. It’s the writing. And movies I want to see. And desserts I’d like to have. And sex I’d like to have. And sleep I’d like to have.

Yeah, something’s broken when you are willing to give up on sex and sleep for the pleasure of feeling like hell, and you can only stop for a while — as long as there isn’t a huge emotional backlog that breaks me.

I have honed it down to two things that all other problems are based on:

1. What I want/need does not have the priority to me that what others want/need, and I don’t like that but won’t change it
2. I will, at the drop of a hat, judge me as a bad person who doesn’t deserve Christmas when I fail to meet whatever lofty ideal I’ve set for my behaviors, my thoughts (wait a minute, you can’t always control your –), and my emotions (ALL RIGHT, THAT’S JUST STUPID)

Yeah. Okay. Something is pretty broken in there.

I have been reluctant to take up therapy. I’ve done it before, and it was wonderfully helpful. I have high regard for Vicki, my therapist, and the work that we did. It probably permitted me to change enough to be ecstatically happy in my marriage. But therapy is, in general, talking and thinking and sometimes taking drugs. I’m already doing the first two, and don’t think I have a chemical problem, so don’t want a chemical answer.

What’s that leave? Deus ex machina? Walk it off, soldier, and get back in ranks? Professional floggings?

I chose hypnosis. That was last night.

I have decided not to relate everything that took place in 90 minutes of work, not until I’ve fully digested it. I know me, and I tell my stories to the audience I’m in front of…and sometimes cleave unto truthiness rather than fact. I’d rather get full value out of this than talk about myself.

And now we know how badly I want to change. I’m willing to pay $190 and not tell anyone what happened. This might be unprecedented.

It’s a bit early to tell, but initial indicators seem to point toward good things having happened in my head. I shall report in fullness when I have fullness to report.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry

What I learned today

I’ve learned something astonishing.

I’ve been having some difficulties concentrating. Nothing horrible, just a lack of the focus that I’m used to having. My thoughts wander, and I find it difficult to apply myself with the self-brutalizing intensity that I expect from myself. Yoga seems to help, so I’m practicing again. There would seem to be no problem, since I found a treatment without weeks of soul searching and agonizing.

Which doesn’t keep me from thinking about it; puzzling out behavior is what I do.

I was considering the phenomenon, and noted that, counter-intuitively, my concentration was actually better when I was frequently depressed, highly stressed, and stretched far too thin. Hmph, I mused, it’s almost as if I should return to being depressed. The constant awareness of my doom and pathos was focussing.

I was dumbstruck at the thought.

Of course it was focussing. That’s what behavioral (as opposed to chemical) depression is; either a constant meditation or a state of functional hypnosis.

I’m not in that trance anymore, and haven’t entered a more healthful altered state – rut, for instance, or piety, or any number of others. Without practice, concentration (like any learned behavior) becomes dulled with unuse.

Behavioral depression is an altered state of consciousness or a meditation (which may be a sort of the same thing).

How bizzare.

Crossposted from Epinepherine & Sophistry

Sleeping with myself

There are mp3’s out on the web that lead one through hypnotic induction, deepen the trance, offer suggestions, and wake one. Such things, if one can trust them, seemed to be a good way to get to where I wish to be. Professional level of manufacture, human voice, easily portable in the mp3 player…great idea.

I found some of these, loaded them up, listened to them with care – making sure I wouldn’t become that hypnotic chicken folks talk about – and put them to use. I’ve been tired lately, a bit overtaxed, and I find that trancing is much more rejuvenating than a nap, so I have been trancing at lunch. Concentration is enhanced, my mood gets a lift, I am alert and pleasant…it’s all good.

I’d downloaded a new mp3, attached it to another mp3, and was all ready to get to the programming. The first one ends with “you enter through the door, and are in the room deep within yourself where all the most profound changes can take place, where what you decide can easily become real,” then the second one kicks in. In tacking them together, I’d left about a minute of dead space. A bit more than I like, but sitting quietly in trance is very pleasant, so I left it.

When I played the mp3, Carlos Castenado popped into the room for a brief moment and struck me behind the shoulder, and I entered the spirit world.