By Daniel F Cleary
Think about what you do when you first awaken. Perhaps you lie quietly and listen to the sensations of which you are aware or see yourself succeeding in the activities of the day ahead. Now, some people get right out of bed and become active immediately. I don’t know which is your way, nor do I suggest that you change any little thing. But we do change little things all the time and sometimes we overlook other little things.
Rituals can be little things: the way we celebrate our beliefs, the way we greet our loved ones or even the way we approach our choices and challenges of life. Rituals are tools we use to deal with the
experience of life. We may assign special meaning to the word or create rituals to place greater significance upon events in our lives. A ritual may be as simple or complex as needed. So how do we create a ritual and how important is it in our lives? The answer is simple: I don’t know. You do.
And you may wonder what Rituals have to do with Hypnosis. Here again, you already have some idea in mind. Consider that the way we listen may involve a ritual we use toward awareness of others as a method of enhancing rapport. We all have our rituals and they are all important.
Now when we become more aware of our perceptions, influences and rituals we can more easily recognize those of others. In this way we may begin to discover that by using the simple rituals of learning that are already a part of our lives, we can learn new things in ways which are familiar.
Consider that every thought, idea and experience has had an effect on the way that we perceive our lives. Remember a time when you were successful. A time when everything that you had done to succeed worked just the way you imagined and you realized your goal. You may have received recognition from others or just the inner awareness of satisfaction not only in the event but of the unlimited potential within.
Even if we consider the simple rituals in life as habits, we can begin to notice that these are patterns we use to succeed in certain ways. These patterns allow us to repeat certain tasks without having to
learn anew HOW we accomplish the set outcome. There may be certain rituals that we employ to open our inner communication allowing a greater awareness of inspiration. We may have rituals that we use to permit the conscious mind to explore while we are involved in repeated activities; some feel a conscious elevation when jogging, playing music or praying. Others, like myself, enjoy the ritual of entering trance when we assist clients in order to be more aware of the energies which may guide us, perhaps it is an empathic connection we establish. How do you enter trance? What is your ritual?
Notice the similarities of actions and perceptions in different contexts and notice the ways we can use them in assisting change. A weight management client once told me that she was frustrated by the time
it was taking to achieve her goal: she believed she had no patience and worse, that when she was thus frustrated she ate inappropriately. She was ready to consider failure. I knew from our discussions that her passion was gardening and asked her to tell me about that, saying that I supposed that you would put a seed in the ground, cover and water it, then in the morning, ala Jack of beanstalk fame, there would be a great huge plant. She shook her head in the way one would at the inaccuracy of a small
child. “No” she said, and proceeded to tell me in great detail of germination, fertilization, pruning and more that I do not recall. When she paused long enough for me to speak, I said “Growing plants must
require a lot of patience. I wonder how long you will take to grow your body to the size you choose.”
Over the years I have found that my clients always know more about healing and transformation than I could ever suppose. It is my job to assist them in accessing that vast awareness and utilizing it their lives. Some clients will respond to metaphors and they will provide clues to the best of them. Others will give us the script for the direct transformation they can accept. All of us can create transformation in an
instant, the words and methods that we require to allow ourselves permission to accept the transformation is the ritual.
When working with clients, I believe that my best is accomplished when I do the least in terms of “deciding” what to do. I instigate, encourage and assist them to identify their resources and access the
ritual to realize transformation. I utilize the trance they bring into the office (because they already do that one well) and help them to discover a compelling understanding which convinces them of immediate and
Daniel F Cleary is the chief cook and bottle washer at Hypnosis for Health Learning Center. He is a frequent presenter at hypnosis conferences and workshops across the country and abroad. We are honored to have his contribution here which is used with permission. For more info about Dan and his work, be sure to visit his website at danclearyhypnosis.com or send him some email at firstname.lastname@example.org