Lindsey came in with the goal of wanting to understand herself better and release some childhood wounds she’d been carrying around. She also wanted to be able to make decisions with more confidence and live life as her authentic self.
Like many people, Lindsey uses food for comfort and has since childhood. She is pursuing an education in nutrition, but wants to address her own choices nutritionally before she helps others.
Also, like many people, she’d been going through what she described as a spiritual awakening, and from what she said, I would agree with her. She describes it as both empowering and debilitating, because she no longer cares about the things she used to care about, like her job, where she used to want to climb the corporate ladder but now it means nothing to her. Because of this, she’s been feeling very alone with nobody to discuss her feelings with.
She was open to exploring her current life as well as past lives. I brought her through the usual relaxation process and the visualization of traveling on a cloud to a significant event or lifetime.
She first found herself alone in a field of tall grass as a little girl wearing a white dress. She couldn’t get a sense of where she came from or why she was there, and decided to move on. She decided to fast forward to something significant in that memory.
L: Okay. It seems as though I'm outside a house or an old wooden house. And I'm not seeing anyone and it seems like I'm scared that I'm alone. I'm expecting family or something there and there's no one.
J: Do you know how old you are?
L: It seems as though I'm a child. (getting emotional) I'm still the same child that was in the field, in the white.
J: You're still wearing the white?
L: Mm-hmm. It's almost like it's like a nightgown and maybe I went to the field to feel safe and it just is a safe space for me in some way. And then I came back to this house that's empty and there's no one there. It's like it's my home.
J: Do you know what happened to the people that should be there?
J: Who was there?
L: It seems as though it was my parents and maybe a brother?
J: And what was your relationship like with them?
L: It seemed like it was okay. Not great but it seemed like it was, they took care of me, it seemed like.
J: And you have no idea what happened to them and why they're not there?
I reminded her that she’s safe and that, if the emotions got too heavy, she could choose to view the event from above and detach from the emotions. I also reminded her that she could fast forward in time, which she decided to do.
L: It seems like I'm older now but I still don't know what happened to me. I don't know who's taking care of me, I'm still young. But I'm not necessarily bothered by it anymore, it's just something that happened. I'm older but I can't tell if they’re… I feel like maybe there was an accident or something that happened that prevented them from coming back to me.
J: Can you tell what your surroundings are right now, maybe get a feel for when this was taking place as far as perhaps an era, a time frame?
L: It's definitely not anything modern, there's no running water or anything like that from what I can tell. It feels like we're still using carriages, horse drawn carriages. Yeah, and just everything feels very manual.
J: Okay. Can you describe your surroundings where you are in this present moment, maybe in a house, have you noticed any people around?
L: It seems like I'm walking down a road, like a dirt road and there's trees on either side and as I'm walking I'm just reflecting on my family. I'm not necessarily upset but just reflecting on them.
J: What do you notice as you reflect on them, what comes up?
L: That they didn't leave me on purpose.
J: Good. Was there ever a point where you felt like they did?
J: Do you feel that deeply, that you know that they didn't leave you on purpose?
J: Have you found yourself finding trouble with forgiving that, that that happened, that you lost them or finding peace with that?
J: Is there a way that you can find peace now, find forgiveness? And none of that was your fault, none of it was their fault?
L: (getting emotional) Yeah, it's all very sad though.
J: Yeah. It's okay to be sad. Would you like to remain here reflecting some more or would you like to move forward or backwards to another significant moment?
L: I'd like to move on.
J: So you can either move on in this present lifetime or if you would like we could visit another lifetime or if it helps you can connect with the souls of your parents, brother, family that you lost in that lifetime and find them again in another.
L: It was coming to me that they were going to get supplies for our own. There was some kind of accident and they couldn't come back. I don't understand why I was there alone though. I was small, I was only maybe eight or nine. (emotional again)
J: Just go ahead and take a nice deep breath, feel those emotions in your body. You're safe. None of it was your fault.
L: (breathes deeply)
J: Good. And when you're ready just notice what else might come to you. Any other information or clarity?
L: I'm not given anything else.
Again I invite her to move forward or invite in more clarity, which she does.
L: It feels like they’re the same parents I have now but different.
J: Okay. Can you tell me a little bit more about that?
L: Um… It seems like they’re a happier version of my current parents.
J: How so?
L: It just seems like… It seems like they love each other. And my parents never did or at least not that I experienced. (getting emotional again)
J: How does it feel to see them loving each other?
L: It's nice but strange.
J: How are you feeling within yourself?
L: I just feel disconnected. (crying)
J: What are you disconnected from?
L: It's like I'm there but I'm not. I don't know how to make sense of that.
J: It's okay. It doesn't have to make sense. Where would you like to be and how would you like to feel?
L: I don't know where I want to be but I just don't want to feel scared.
J: Are you scared right now?
L: (crying) Yeah.
J: What are you scared of?
L: I guess I presume I feel scared about what's going to happen. But I'm not relating to anything that I'm seeing.
J: Let's just think about what might happen knowing that you're perfectly safe. It doesn't mean anything's going to happen but let's just take a look at it. What could possibly happen that's causing you to feel scared?
L: I guess I just don't want to be alone.
J: What would happen if you're alone?
L: I don't know. I guess I would just feel like I would go crazy without having anybody to talk to or relate to or things like that.
J: Do you feel like you don't have anybody to talk to or relate to?
J: Do you think that will be the case forever?
L: No. At least I hope not.
J: Yeah. There's always somebody to talk to. You just may not have found them yet. It doesn’t have to be family. You've experienced that loss of family. That doesn't mean that it has to happen all the time. Connections are everywhere with anybody. But are you feeling alone in this moment?
L: I'm feeling better now.
J: Good. Let's tap back into that fear, that scared feeling. How is that feeling now? Are there any fears left, any kind of residual things that are causing you to feel scared yet?
L: No, I think I'm good.
She was ready to return to the cloud, so I guided her back and invited her to arrive at a different memory.
L: I feel like I'm in a car, like a black car that's maybe like, it's reminding me of one of the first cars.
J: Okay. Let's tune into your body for a moment—if you're male or female, how old you are.
L: I'm female again. I feel like I have darker hair. And I'm wearing a dress again, but it's a different style. It's like, I want to say it's like polka dotted and it's like, it goes just below my knees. I'm in this car and I'm with a man and I can tell that I love this man. And I'm happy to be with him in that moment. And I guess I'm just feeling grateful.
J: Good. How old are you?
L: I feel like maybe late 20s.
J: Okay. Does it feel like you have any kids?
L: It's just the two of us in this car.
J: And where are you going?
L: I can't say for sure, but it seems like something fun. We're about to go to an event or a dinner or something like that.
J: Would you like to fast forward to when you arrive or would you like to fast forward to a different significant event in this life? Or would you like to stay here and explore some more?
L: I think I'm going to fast forward.
J: Okay. Go ahead and arrive wherever you need to be.
L: Okay. This was set up by everyone for him to ask me to marry him. (emotional again)
J: How are you feeling?
L: I'm very happy. I feel like this is a good thing for my life. And I love him and it seems like everybody that's there is happy about this and it just seems nice.
J: Good. What else is coming up for you? Tune into yourself, scan yourself, whatever feelings and emotions, physical or non-physical.
L: I just feel a sense of relief almost somehow.
J: What could be causing that relief?
L: I feel like it's going back to this feeling of being alone. Like now I know I found someone wonderful that I can share my life with. And it's just a relief that I don't have to worry about that, I guess.
J: Yeah. It's a good feeling.
I ask her if she wants to stay in this memory, or if she’d be willing to take a deeper look at her fear of being alone. She agreed it would probably be helpful to take that deeper look.
J: Okay. I'd first like you to tune into that feeling of being alone, that fear. And where do you notice it in your body?
L: Just in my… just in my chest.
J: Okay. And does it have a shape? Or a texture?
L: No, it's just heavy.
J: Okay. Does it have a color?
I encourage her to tune into that feeling of being alone and allow it to neutralize as neither a positive thing nor a negative thing so she can simply observe it without any emotional attachment. I then asked her to see that it’s connected to a long string or cord, and I invited her to follow it back to its origins. I then asked her where she arrived.
L: I'm seeing a baby.
J: Is this your baby?
L: I feel like I'm seeing me as a baby. But like maybe like a… maybe like a 10 month old baby or I don't know why that's… that number's coming in.
L: And I'm in a crib with like a white cover over the mattress, but it has like something, some pattern on it, like animals or something. And I'm just there. It doesn't seem like I'm upset necessarily, but I'm there alone in the room.
J: Is there a reason why you're alone?
L: I don't know. Maybe I was supposed to be napping or something. I don't know. It's really strange.
J: That's okay. Is this you in your present life?
L: Perhaps. That’s kind of what it feels like.
J: Okay. Just notice what's going on around you. Or if you need to move to a different scene within this memory, a different part of this memory, you can move forwards or backwards.
And feel into what's going on. What you feel within yourself or around you. Let me know what comes up.
L: I'm just sitting there waiting and I'm just expecting like my mom to come in and get me, but she doesn't. But I'm not necessarily doing anything to get her attention. But I'm also there wondering why I'm there still.
J: And what happens next?
L: Nothing happening. I'm just sitting there. I can tell that my mom is distracted doing something or somewhere. But I don't know.. Maybe with my sister. I'm not getting anything other than I don't see anything other than just a feeling that that's what she's doing.
J: Okay. What's significant about this moment and what you're seeing? If nothing comes to you, that's okay. You just kind of feel into it. See if anything comes up.
L: I guess it seems as though I should be… I'm needing to acknowledge, or that I need to speak up for the things I need or… that I should not sit there and just wait, like I could speak out, you know, or that should be something I should consider at this point while I'm waiting. But I just don't. I just sit there and just wait.
J: Why don't you speak out?
L: I get the feeling that I'm thinking I shouldn't have to.
J: Why do you think that is?
L: I guess because I've never had to before. She always would come for me whenever it was… I don't know, I don't get it.
J: Do you want to speak out?
J: What would happen if you did?
L: I don't know. I guess at this moment, nothing. I mean, I think that would be effective at this moment, but it hasn't felt safe in other times of my life.
J: Would you like to go back to one of those times in your life where it didn't feel safe and see why? Or would you like to stay here as a baby and explore this a little more?
L: I'm ready to move on from this.
J: Okay. How do you feel about exploring a different time in your life where it didn't feel safe to speak out?
L: This is probably a good idea.
J: Okay. Go ahead and arrive at a memory of when this has happened before. You needed to speak out, but you didn't feel safe or good doing it. Let me know what comes up.
L: I have two things coming up. One is coming up as a memory I have as a teenager. And I just was arguing with my dad about… I wanted to do something. I don't remember what it was, but I wanted to go and do something. He just wanted me to stay home so I could go to church. I didn't want to go to church. I ended up getting grounded and couldn't spend time with my friends for two weeks. Another one is different though. I recall getting glasses when I was in second or third grade. I really needed them and I didn't realize how badly I needed them. So when I got them I was very excited. I kept expressing my joy and excitement over it. Somehow that was annoying to my family. I was told to shut up and stop it and stuff like that.
J: So these are both significant memories worth exploring a little deeper if you would like. Which one would you like to look at?
L: Um… I want to say the one about the glasses.
L: I feel as though my excitement and joy irritated them because they just couldn't… They just feel… I don't know what the word is. They don't relate to the happiness and they're annoyed by that.
J: Is that your fault?
J: No. Did you feel like it was your fault?
L: (emotional) Yeah. And I think that I'm full of these like… I have to understand what people can handle from me and what they can't before I feel comfortable. I don't know if I said that the right way but… I have to read people and learn people before… I will be myself.
J: Do you feel like you have to do that or do you feel like you just learned that from that experience?
L: I just learned that from that experience and others in a similar nature.
J: Yeah. What would happen if you could go back and unlearn that? If you go back to that memory and realize that your joy—you're allowed to feel that. You had a good reason to feel that. That was a very joyful experience. It's not your fault that they couldn't understand that or share in that joy. In fact, you can maybe take a little pity on them that they're missing out on getting to experience that kind of joy. Just sink into that feeling for a moment and see what comes up.
L: It's coming up that it's not my responsibility to protect people from themselves.
J: Very good.
L: And the preconceived notions about things or the way they feel about themselves or whatever. It's not my responsibility.
J: It's not. It's your responsibility to feel the way you want to feel. And to allow yourself that freedom. If you would like, you're in a safe place here, you can just tap back into that joy of being able to see clearly for the first time. Just allow yourself to be joyful and nobody's going to get annoyed by it. In fact, you're in a place right now where you can see clearly for the first time, feel joyful about that, and have someone else to feel that joy with you. Because I know how that feels too.
L: I think that's where the alone thing came from. Like I'm alone in my joy, I'm alone in my ability to be myself, it's only with myself.
J: You are justified to feel that way because of that moment. But just because that moment you felt alone doesn't mean you're always alone. There are so many people who relate to that joy that you can so easily connect with. Just unfortunately you were in a moment with people who didn't connect with that. If it feels right, would you be able to forgive them for being annoyed with you?
J: That's not their fault that they can't understand.
J: They didn't know any better, they didn't know what was happening, what they were doing to you. They're just doing the best they can, like we all are. Sometimes that's just not the best. How is that alone feeling, feeling for you now?
L: It's better, I understand it a little better now.
L: I still feel as though I want to protect myself from feeling it again, though.
J: That's understandable.
L: I just had so many experiences as a child where I was just ridiculed and felt ugly and disgusting because of things that they would say to me and it's just, I just feel like I built up so many things to protect myself from that again, having had those experiences again. And I don't know… I guess I don't experience those things as an adult, but I did around then and I haven't broken through those walls I built.
J: Okay. I'd like you to conjure up an image of yourself, whatever comes to mind, kind of the deepest or the worst part of that feeling—feeling ridiculed, feeling outcasted, feeling alone. And I'd like you to invite that version of yourself into a safe place. You can pick whatever environment you'd like to be in, whether it's a field or by a stream, or wherever, whatever feels right. Just invite her to sit with you. Are you there with her?
L: Yeah, she's so sad. (emotional)
J: Yeah, she's been through a lot. I'd like you to take what you know now as an adult and what you know you would like to be feeling. Maybe tell her what you feel like she needs to hear, offer kind of reassurance, or advice.
L: She needs to know there's nothing wrong with her, the way other people treated her is about them, not her.
J: Yeah. Do you believe that?
L: Yes, I do.
J: Good. You think she can believe that?
L: I don't think she understood that before. She feels like it's about her.
J: How could she know any better though?
J: So would you like to reassure her of that? That's it not her fault, she couldn't know any better.
L: Right, yeah.
J: Can she understand now?
L: Yeah, it seems like that helps.
J: Good. You can sit with her for a little longer if you'd like. You have a lot of understanding and wisdom that you've gained through the years now. Maybe she just needs to hear it. Maybe she just needs to be reminded that she's okay in other ways. Or maybe she has something to say to you. Just let whatever needs to come up, come up.
L: She's telling me that you didn't let me be me.
J: How so?
L: Just wasn’t fully expressing who she was and not… You know, I think it goes back to the walls I built. I put them up and then I couldn't be me. Because I was trying to protect that part of me that was sad and hurt. So I just didn't speak up when I wanted to or didn't talk about certain things or… avoided situations or whatever. There's a lot of things I didn't do over the years because I was too afraid to be ridiculed or embarrassed or… criticized.
J: Yeah, that's a hard place to be. How are you feeling about these walls now?
L: They're not serving me at all.
J: Yeah. What do these walls look like right now? What do they feel like?
L: They feel like a prison.
J: And in what ways do you think you could break these walls down? You can either picture them as physical walls, picture it as a physical prison. Maybe you and that younger version of yourself together can take the key and unlock the door and step out. How does that feel?
L: It feels scary. It feels unsafe.
J: It's unknown. The unknown always feels unsafe. But let's take a look at it.
L: It's also coming to me now that there's people that need to hear it.
J: Yeah. There are. There are so many people who are suffering with these same fears. Waiting for somebody like you to step into your confidence. And show them that it's okay. How does that feel?
J: So what does it look like to be your authentic self?
L: It’s just, to me it means to be more confident and to express my views on things. And not in a way that just sheds light on some of these horrible things that are occurring. And how people can take care of themselves better. I just feel like I need to help people do that because I've needed that.
J: Yeah. And in what ways can you do that?
L: Um. I guess that's part of the reason why I'm doing the nutrition thing. I'm working on a certification because I struggle with that myself. And I figure if I conquer my own… um… what do I want to call them? Issues? I don't want to call them issues, but that's the only word I'm getting right now. That I can help others do the same.
J: That sounds wonderful.
L: I think playing small is not helping anyone.
J: Would you like to tap in deeper into those issues that you struggle with? Or would you like to stay here exploring these walls you've built around you?
L: I think I understand the walls a little better now. Um… Yes, I feel like my issues with food stem from childhood somehow. I know the right choices. I know how to improve my health. I just don't choose those things out of convenience or comfort or whatever it is.
J: Yeah, so many people struggle with that too.
L: I just have been so exhausted I haven't been able to overcome that, to have the motivation to do the things. It's just easier to give in, you know?
J: It is. But I think it's worth taking a look at that exhaustion. There's a reason you're feeling exhausted and you have the power to undo that. It may not happen overnight, but understanding what you can do will at least get the ball rolling in a good direction. What has you feeling exhausted?
L: I would say obligation. Doing things out of obligation rather than actually doing things out of truly wanting to do them.
J: And is there anything you can shift to where that obligation actually feels like something you want to do? Or you can change it to feel like it's something enjoyable?
L: I haven't found it, if it is.
J: Let's maybe look at one or two things that feel like an obligation. What are those things?
L: Vegetables. (laughing)
L: No, I mean, but seriously though, I find myself trying to make better choices and change my habits. But I feel like there's something consistently holding me back. And I just struggle with it. I don't know. I have really good habits, but at the same time, some other things I want to do, I don't stick with it. And then I shame myself for it and it's just a vicious cycle.
J: What does it look like when you're not sticking with it? What are you doing?
L: I'm overeating or I'm drinking coffee when I know it gives me anxiety. Stuff like that.
J: Let's take a look at that. What are you feeling in those moments? Where you’re drinking that extra coffee or you're overeating, what's that feel like?
L: I convince myself that it's helping me in a way. And that it does give me energy at the moment or maybe feel better at the moment. But then later on it brings other issues. Like the anxiety or just that over-full feeling or you had too much salt kind of dehydration kind of feeling. Stuff like that.
J: What's going on in your mind in that moment when you're choosing, you said to give yourself a little bit of extra energy. Let's take a look at the overeating. Is there a reason you're continuing to over-consume in the moment?
L: I think it's because to some degree I feel like it's one of the few things I actually enjoy.
L: So I would do it so it lasts longer kind of thing.
J: I'd like to just go ahead and let you know that you are not alone. I can completely relate. I have the same problems, so you are in company where you are completely understood and not judged. And you can take a deeper look, as there is something driving you to make those choices, as there is for all of us who do the same thing. And it does feel good. It does feel good to overeat. It feels good to over-consume. It feels good to taste. Maybe the texture even. It feels good to want more. Keep seeking more. Perhaps deep down you're just looking for a way to feel good.
J: Now what does that look like?
L: Uh. I guess. I'm just looking for more peace and joy. More than anything. Peace in the sense of more of like a relax-ness in my body.
J: Yeah. So I'd like to make a suggestion to allow yourself to consume the things that feel good. And it might sound counter-intuitive. It might sound crazy. But just picture your favorite junk food and tell yourself, “I'm allowed to have this.” Without any guilt. Without any shame. Maybe when you give yourself that permission, detaching from the guilt and shame, so you don't have to feel that. And you can actually enjoy it. We can help skim that layer off. You can see underneath it. And begin making ways towards bringing peace and joy into your life in other ways.
L: Yeah. Makes sense.
I like to use this technique both in and out of hypnotherapy sessions. Shame and guilt can amplify a situation into greater negativity. While already an overeating problem has negative effects, adding shame and guilt to it makes it much, much worse. So to begin addressing the problem, I like to remove that shame and guilt before taking any next steps, which means learning to tell yourself it’s okay to enjoy the thing you’re enjoying, in this case the junk food. “I am safe and free to enjoy this brownie right now because I enjoy the flavor and the texture.” Get used to catching yourself thinking, “Ugh, here I go again, I have no self control,” or, “Ugh, I really don’t need these extra calories, I’m already struggling with my weight,” etc, and redirect it to the, “I am safe and free,” statement. THEN, once that shame and guilt is neutralized, move into deeper questions— “Why does this brownie make me feel so good? Is there something in my life that doesn’t feel good that I’m trying to cover up with this dessert?”
All of our patterns and behaviors have so many layers, and most aren’t easy to peel back, but I believe peeling off the shame and guilt first is a powerful first step to making that exploration a little easier.
J: And what might that look like? What would a good sense or source of peace be for you? Or a good source of joy?
L: I think for me it's… I really do want to… I really do want to help people with their nutrition. And I feel like… just providing that help would make me feel good. I've spent so much… I don't... I don't... I’m just... I'm sick of my current job. And I've had… It's just... it's just… Consuming too much of my energy from an… I don't know if I'm not saying it right. But like… I spend a lot of time working. And that is not where I want to be putting my energy. At least in the type of job I'm doing right now.
J: Yeah. And that's good to be aware of that. And just reassure yourself you're not going to be doing this forever.
J: It may not be an overnight shift. So just allow yourself that grace that the right answers are going to come to you. And your awareness is driving you forward. And you're already taking the steps to make that change by pursuing the nutrition program. And it might be good to treat yourself as your first client.
J: Work with you in a sense that you can continue to break those walls down. You can forgive the people who never understood you. And you can forgive yourself for not allowing yourself to express and feel your true emotions. And with all that, what comes up for you now?
L: I just feel calmer. I don't have any thoughts coming up really. Just more like a, okay, here we go. Here's… Here's the start, I guess.
I invited her to take a deep breath and let this new feeling sink in. After that, I asked if she’d like to explore anything else about this, or return to the cloud to move on to something different. She said she’d like to return to the cloud. I then asked her if she’d like to travel forward or backward, and she chose forward this time.
Exploring a future event is a very powerful technique to gain deeper understanding about your goals and ambitions. When traveling into the future, I always remind my clients that we are headed to a possible outcome, not a definite one, because the future hasn’t happened yet and is not set in stone. We cannot predict the future, we can only envision what we’d like it to be and then take steps toward making that ideal future a reality. In this technique, that is exactly what we are doing—traveling to an ideal future and taking a deeper look at what needs to be done to achieve that. In Lindsey’s case, she was met with a possible future experience she hadn’t thought of, thus this technique gave her ideas to help her think outside the box with her current career path.
L: I'm seeing myself like teaching or something. It seems like I'm standing in the front and I'm like pointing.
J: How is that feeling?
L: It feels good. It makes sense that I always liked being like a person that trains people at work and stuff like that. So it's interesting.
J: Yeah. And where are you at with that sense of confidence in yourself and being true and authentic? How are you feeling there?
L: Really good.
J: What about that fear of being alone? Where's that at?
L: It doesn't seem like it's there. It seems like I have a network of people that are, you know, that I feel supported by.
J: Good. Have you met any of these people yet?
L: It doesn't seem like it.
J: Do you trust that they'll cross your path when the time is right?
J: You'll know them when you meet them?
J: That network is out there and they're everywhere. There's so many people. You're never going to be alone. You just need to open yourself up to being your true authentic self and make yourself magnetic. The more true and authentic you are, the more like people will be attracted to you. And that network will build and grow. And you'll build momentum to allow more of that into your life. How does that feel?
L: It feels really good.
I asked her if there’s anything else she’d like to explore, but she was ready to come back.
Lindsey addressed quite a few challenges in her life, and while working toward completely resolving them takes time and persistence, this session helped shine light on many aspects of those challenges in ways she hadn’t looked at before. Hypnotherapy is a powerful tool for that reason—those first layers of our challenges can begin to be pulled back, and we can start the healing process or the “reprogramming” process, meaning we can undo the way we programmed ourselves to think and believe based on past experiences and instill new beliefs and outlooks in their place.