Last Updated on November 16, 2023
I once took a hypnosis course from Mike Mandel.
Mike is a stage hypnotist and coach.
He’s also an excellent educator, and has been doing hypnosis since he was a little kid.
So when he taught self-hypnosis, I expected his technique to be complicated.
But in fact it was extremely easy!
Mike recommends you just do 3 things:
1. First, you pick something for your “wise unconscious” to resolve for you. For instance some unwanted feeling, thought, belief, or habit.
2. Next, you decide how long you want to be in trance (20 minutes is good).
3. And last, you say how you want to feel when you are done.
Then you just enter into trance, which can be as simple as closing your eyes.
Or doing the Rapid Relaxation Ritual I learned from Graham Old.
Within 30-60 seconds, I’m already in a deep trance!
Then while in trance, you do nothing at all.
You just hand over the entire process to the unconscious, wise part of you.
It’s OK if your mind wanders, or even if you doze off for a bit.
Albert Einstein used to do something similar.
When he’d run into a hard physics problem he couldn’t solve, he’d hand it over to his unconscious.
Then he’d get the answer days or weeks later, as if out of nowhere!
Often it would come while he was shaving or out walking.
The Practice of Letting Go
I’ve been doing this simple self-hypnosis a lot lately.
It’s an especially good method when it feels like “too much work” to do a conscious technique.
It seems too simple.
But part of what we are training here is trusting in the process.
Not just the process of your unconscious mind.
But trusting in the process of life itself!
Often we are trying to control or force life.
It’s a deep mindset that we don’t even realize we are doing.
In Gestalt Therapy they used to say “Don’t push the river.”
But that’s exactly what we are often trying to do!
And that pushing or forcing mentality causes us a lot of needless stress.
There are a number of meditation techniques like this too.
They are called things like “open awareness meditation,” “just sitting,” “silent illumination,” or even “Do Nothing” meditation.
I call these “non-meditation” because they are the opposite of how people normally meditate.
I have a couple guided non-meditations on my YouTube channel.
People often take up meditation because they want to relax.
But we take the same stressed mind onto the mediation cushion.
Often we just end up trying to force or manipulate our minds into submission.
“My mind has to relax, but it can’t!”
This just creates more inner resistance.
Inner peace comes from not forcing, from the exact opposite of forcing.
But simultaneously not exactly being passive!
It’s more like going down the river instead of trying to paddle upstream.
But also steering down the river, not drifting aimlessly.
Or like being in a sailboat.
You’re not resisting the wind, you utilize it to go the direction you want to go.
Not All Who Wander Are Lost
This is why Mike Mandel’s self-hypnosis technique works.
It’s not just letting your mind wander.
It’s picking a direction — positive healing and change — and telling your mind “go wander in that direction!”
Like everything, this method is also a practice.
Over time, we can get better and better at trusting our whole being, and trusting life itself.
And what a relief!
We don’t have to consciously divide all our cells.
We don’t have to consciously breathe while we sleep.
And we don’t have to run our entire lives from our conscious minds either.
We can use our conscious mind to set positive intentions, and then trust in our whole being to “figure it out.”
Do you ever do practices like this?
If so, send me an email and let me know your experience with it.