The way we talk to ourselves and the pictures we imagine exerts a profound influence on how we feel, behaviors, and health. Sometimes we're aware of this self-talk. Most of the time it goes on below the level of conscious awareness. What is this inner mind map we use to navigate our lives, both in the realms of our conscious and unconscious minds? Remember the movie, "French Kiss?" Meg Ryan plays a jilted fiancée and has to overcome her fear of flying in order to catch a plane to Paris. She is determined to win back her finance from the clutches of this "gorgeous French goddess." The stakes are big! Meg's character struggles with negative self-talk, in part conscious.  "This is going to be bad, I won't be safe, the plane will crash and I will die." Her mind maps the picture; the movie playing in her head over and over about boarding the airplane, the door closes, and with a feeling of panic, she's trapped and can't get out! The part of the unconscious mind in charge of autonomous bodily processes is triggered. Alarm signals are sent causing sweaty palms, muscle tension, shortness of breath and  STRESS!

This self-talk and feelings continuing over time, are programmed into our unconscious mind resulting in habits. Our unconscious mind is the home of our emotions, imagination, memories, all our experiences, habits, and beliefs. The unconscious mind hears and stores everything said, imagined, or thought whether the ideas are positive or negative! The inner mind maps a self-reinforcing cycle that intensifies over time. Yet, we can still break through and choose new desired positive thoughts, actions, and pathways for a life really worth living!

Hypnotherapy is a powerful way to access the realm of the unconscious for positive change. To heal a fear of flying, we may use progressive relaxation, guided imagery, suggestions, and anchors for the desired behaviors. "When I sit in my assigned seat, I let my body completely relax and I can breathe deeply and freely. As the doors of the plane close, I choose to feel safe and secure." Visualization works because the mind can't tell the difference between a real event and an imagined one!

Boost confidence in any situation! Begin by bringing awareness to your breath while comfortably standing.  Take a slow full breath in, then out …just downshift and relax into the greater dimension of your mind …here all things are possible. Imagine that a golden supportive thread runs up your spine to the sky. Remember a time when you felt totally confident. What do you see, feel, and hear? Make the colors richer, brighter, the sounds louder. Allow your feelings of confidence to intensify. Where is it strongest in your body? Give it a color. Move this color up to the top of your head, and down to your toes. Triple the brightness! Vividly imagine the situation where you want to feel confident. Imagine things going perfectly. Be detailed. Include your emotional well-being. Practice this technique often and reap the most amazing benefits!

Over the next few weeks, pay attention to how that voice in your head talks to you. If it's not supportive, you can change the content and the tone. You have a choice. Begin transforming your inner mind map and delight in the relationship with yourself and your world… for the better! YOU are your greatest miracle. There's no one else quite like you on earth!

"The voice inside your head
  is not the voice of God.
  It just sounds like it thinks it is."
~ Cheri Huber

The Inner Mind ...
Maps Our World
May you live joyfully and with ease!   For further inquiries, please feel free
to contact me.               
I look forward to hearing from you!

Laurel Ricci   CCHT CHT

~Article written for WholeEssence online magazine April 2009,
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