Wait! Don't run away in a horrible fit of eye-rolling, please; hear me out! New Age is defined as "A broad movement characterized by alternative approaches to Western culture, with an emphasis in spirituality and mysticism." I'm just going to say it (in other words, THIS is my confession): I am a New Age follower! So what exactly does this mean? It means that a lot of the things that I personally believe and in many cases, inject into my hypnosis practice, are based on a New Age philosophy, and therefore, I fully realize that not every person that I see as a client or student is going to adhere to this particular philosophy. And THEREFORE, I may limit my business by catering to a specific slice of society, instead of taking a very conservative, mainstream approach as a hypnotist.
After thinking this over, this is a risk I'm willing to take.
Why? Because by not openly discussing things that are interesting or important to me, I'm not being genuine. I'm trying to portray myself as something that I'm really not, which is, a standard, play-it-by-the-book hypnotist. If you are a potential client reading this, and you don't consider yourself to be spiritual (you're wrong, for one thing, but that' another topic, that I will now have to courage to write in the future!), or you don't see the value in spirituality, I assure you I am never heavy-handed in my discussions of New Age topics. On the contrary, I often repeat to clients and students that if I say something that doesn't resonate with them (a commonly used phrase in New Age-ese, by the way), discard it. I am never attempting to persuade anyone to "think like me." Instead, I like to think of it as sharing information that is important to me. Information that has served me, and that I have personally found value in. If you find value in it, too - great! If you don't - great! That sounds fair, doesn't it?
So, what exactly are some of the topics that would be considered New Age? It's a long list, and some of it might sound religious (ironically, some of the biggest detractors of New Age teachings are the, uh, very religious). I'll shorten the list to some of the more well-known topics:
Awakening your Higher Self
OBE - Out of body experiences
Working with Spiritual Guides, Teachers, and other Transcended Beings
Developing Spiritual sensitivity
Again, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Millions of articles and very cool information can be found on the Web and in any library. I read a lot of different authors and philosophies, and you would be surprised at the common thread that runs through many, many different philosophies from the far reaches of the world. What is that common thread? Part of me wants to hold you hostage, metaphorically speaking, and make you come back in a couple of weeks and read my next blog to find my answer, but since I'm not sure if there are three or three hundred people reading any of these, I'm not going to push my luck. (Based on the, um, lack of comments so far, I'm going to guess that number is a lot closer to 3 than 300!). The common thread is, as Huey Lewis once sang about, "The Power of Love." More on this in a future blog, ahem.
This confession has definitely opened up the door to more frequent blogs, which I realize may not mean anything to you, but honestly, even if I thought nobody ever read these, I would still write. It's still a form of therapy I enjoy immensely.
If you were one of the people I had to stop a few minutes ago from running away with my admission to being a New Ager, I do want to clarify something. Does this confession mean that no matter what the reason you see me, I'm going to somehow interject New Age philosphy into our hypnosis sessions? Say you wanted to sleep better; am I going to hypnotize you into thinking that angels are fluffling your pillows at night, to keep you sleeping soundly? Nope. Am I going to burn incense and make you do Tibetan chants to cleanse your Chakras? Nope. Am I going to ask you to talk to an Animal Spirit Guide sent to you from an ancient Shaman? Nope. What will I do then? Ask me, and I'll be more than happy to explain - without any New Age gibberish (assuming, of course, that you think of it as gibberish!).My earlier life as a hardcore cynic serves me well in this regard: I know what a lot of people think about teachings that are not what we would call mainstream in our society.
And even if you don't trust that I can keep any New Age material out of my sessions, I'm glad I finally came clean here. I am being true to myself, and that is never a bad thing, is it? And the best part? I'm already lining up potential blogs in my mind that I'll be writing about soon. Oh yes, the levee has broken! Until the floodwaters arrive, please, take it easy on yourself...