I have dedicated most of the last twenty years to helping people overcome these patterns. One of the true joys of being in private clinical practice as what I like to call a personal empowerment specialist is that I get to help my clients and students transcend all that societal and personal dis-ease; to first overcome whatever personal issue led them to seek my assistance—and those issues represent virtually the entire spectrum of human thought, feeling, behavior and emotion, so it’s never dull or boring— and then to take what they’ve learned through Synthesis and literally empower and supercharge the quality of their lives in virtually every and any way imaginable.
What’s even more exciting is that this personal evolution happens so quickly; the average client is with me for no longer than about 3-5 sessions. Some of these people have been in conventional therapy for years with no real tangible change to show for it, and yet in the span of 3-5 weeks they are different people.
Secret # 1: Choose to live “at cause” rather than “at effect.”
Being at cause can be summarized in one statement, “It’s my life and I and I alone am responsible for how it goes.” Most of us feel like we are at the mercy of circumstance; that life happens to us. And while it may feel this way—and while living as unwitting “victims” may feel easier and provide an easy out— the latest discoveries in the incredible field of quantum physics point to just the opposite. We literally create our own reality through the manipulation of our energies. Our very thoughts, being nothing more than a form of universal energy, have an effect on the energy we attract back into our lives. Being at cause means we take full and sole responsibility for that interaction.
Taking this responsibility provides an enormous feeling of control. It also allows us to forgo any neediness, to find our strength from within rather than hoping to find it from without. It is to also truly love, honor and respect ourselves, a mandatory requirement for living in true personal power and attracting love, honor and respect back.
Of course, with 7 billion co-members of the club we call humanity we cannot control every thing that happens in life, but we can always control how we react to whatever happens, and over time, and with practice we can learn to attract a lot less negativity and trouble into our energy fields. We can learn to avoid a lot of bad juju, and surround ourselves with an overall energy of well-being, happiness and abundance, whatever that might mean to us.
Secret #2: Be honest with yourself; discern, understand and then live according to your core values.
We all have core values, those attributes of life (and of those we share life with) that must be present in order to feel whole and balanced. Core values are what I call the non-tradeoff items, and we all have them for virtually all aspects of our life, from career to personal relationships. Examples of core values are, honesty, trust, integrity, passion, creativity, recreation, working in teams or individually, money, socialization or isolation, etc.
It’s safe to say that many, many of us try or feel forced to live our lives, pursue careers, and/or our relationships in opposition to or compromising our core values and this never, ever works without a lot of pain or worse.
Secret # 3: Embrace the process; and it is all a process!
We have become a society of instant gratification. With the incredible advances in technology over the last century we have become used to having things happen quickly. We can fly around the globe at incredible speeds. We can communicate instantly with virtually anyone, at any time, from anywhere, and obtain information and images at a moment’s notice. We have been to the moon and back. For most of us, at least in Western society, not only the necessities but also many of the so-called luxuries of life are right at our fingertips. As such we are impatient; we want what we want right now!
It is not at all a stretch to say that a good percentage of my clinical clients turn to hypnotherapy because they think it will provide a quick fix to their issue. They find themselves at position A and want me to take them directly to Z and not bother with any steps along the way.
Life is a process. There is no avoiding that salient fact, so the sooner one accepts that he or she is in process and will always be in process, and that we can only live one moment at a time—the present moment— then we are on the way to true empowerment. One of the great benefits of accepting and embracing process is that we can learn how to better budget and expend our energy. First, we can finally stop investing so much energy in the past; it’s over, done, and cannot be redone. What is the past good for? One thing, and that one thing is a big thing: learning. We can look at the choices we’ve made, stick to the good ones, learn from the not so good ones and—drum roll—commit to not repeating the ones that caused us pain.
Just think back to a time when you knew something really wonderful was coming your way— maybe the new bike or doll, or your first car, or the day before leaving on a great vacation; something or an event that was really special. As you relive that moment, you actually regenerate that wonderful feeling. Then, holding on to that feeling, you can visualize yourself having accomplished whatever it is you have projected for your next goal. For instance, when I was working on my book, The Synthesis Effect, I would take about 5 or ten minutes every day to visualize, to “see” myself holding the letter or reading the email that announced I’d been offered a publishing deal. The notion of that felt pretty great, and I’d then let that feeling pervade through my entire being, and guide my writing for the day.
What a wonderful way to facilitate your process— learning from the past and avoiding choices that didn’t work, purposefully focusing your energy on what you want rather than what you don’t want, living and choosing choices— thoughts, behaviors, and feelings—in delicious anticipation of your getting it, and in so doing sending the universe the energetic signal that this is so, so very right for you, and that you not only intend, but also expect to get it, whatever it is. Then, when you do get it, you will find another “it” and your back in process. Suddenly, life is a lot more fun and a lot more productive, and soon you’ve reached point Z, one step at a time.
Secret # 4: Tend to your physical, emotional, and spiritual energies, you need them all to thrive.
I’ve found that for most people the easiest way to think about the energy that makes up a human being is in terms of three separate streams: physical, emotional, and spiritual. If we take the time and effort to balance and integrate them, we find ourselves living a very calm, centered, healthy, peaceful and productive existence; we are happy campers in the forest of life.
Balancing and integrating our energy streams is simple, and it can also be easy; I always encourage my clients and students to choose easy! It starts with one very important choice; to commit to loving, honoring and respecting ourselves, treating ourselves as kindly and compassionately as we treat those whom we love. With that commitment in mind, let’s take a look at what needs to be done.
Physical energy is the energy of your body, the vehicle through which we experience life on the earthly plane. The human body is a miracle of universal evolution and creation. If we feed it well and move it regularly and vigorously, it will generally maintain and stay in a healthy, robust state for a very long time. That’s as easy as it gets!
Emotional energy is a bit trickier; it is the energy of our identity as individual beings, what we might call our ego. The ego is a product of behavioral programming that takes place very early in life. Most of our ego-driven thoughts, feelings, emotions and behaviors are the result of that programming and arise in the subconscious part of the mind.
The subconscious is like a three-year old child, and thus can easily get itself into trouble. But, if as an adult, we commit to loving, honoring and respecting ourselves, it doesn’t take very long to realize that many of the self defeating thoughts, behaviors, and limiting beliefs we hold are merely patterns handed down to us; and we don’t have to accept them if we choose not to! So we can consciously choose to feel, act and believe and express thoughts that feel good and that serve our growth, well being and the greater good. Another way of thinking about it is that the adult in us commits to treating the child in us very kindly, providing gentle but firm guidance. I often have clients do an assignment in which they commit to treating themselves as if they were their own little kids. It works wonders.
And now, the energy of spirit; one of the great foibles and sources of disconnection in our technology-driven culture is that we have forgotten who we are, that we are indeed spiritual beings in a physical body. We have become obsessed with the physical world, the world of the flesh and materialism. This energetic imbalance is the source of much of our pain and disconnection. It is also one of the easiest attributes of life to repair.
There is little doubt that the energy we call spirit exists, and for an empirically driven culture, the latest science, particularly in the realms of quantum physics and neurophysiology, seems to be doing a very nice job of proving it in such terms. Every client I work with is exposed to enough of this science to at least acknowledge that he or she is an expression of energy, and part of this energy is the unseen but very powerful spirit, the essence of consciousness and being. Why is the energy of spirit so important? There are two reasons.
First, our spiritual energy is the largest element of our total energy, even though we can’t see it, and second, it is the element that has been most neglected for the last half millennium or so. So, how do we take care and nurture this essential energy? By simply taking some time, each and every day to sit quietly, turn off the noise and static of modern society— no phones, radios, Ipods, TVs, etc— then gently go within, tune in and turn on to this essential life force through meditation.
Meditation is as natural as sleeping, or day-dreaming, an activity that is widely misunderstood and terribly over complicated by most in their innocent ignorance and fear of it, yet it is very easily learned, and a very, very powerful tool for creating and maintaining well being. I assign every client I work with some form of meditative exercise as part of their program, and I have been doing so for more than ten years. I have yet to have a client not rave about the positive effects of these exercises; they feel calm, less stressed, peaceful, tranquil, and much more in control.
Connecting to one’s spirit, one’s essence re-connects us to Source energy, the God-force within each of us. It also instantly calms the inner three-year old, thus serving as a great aid to balancing the emotional energy stream. And, it almost always inspires us to eat better and move more, the singular best way to balance and tend to our physical energy. When this happens, life becomes a lot of fun, which speaks to Rule # 1 in the McGrail Method: Life is supposed to be Fun!
John McGrail, PhD is a clinical hypnotherapist, self-improvement expert, and spiritual teacher. His unique therapeutic and teaching approach blends a life-long passion for understanding the human condition and spirituality with the experience and wisdom acquired through working with thousands of clients and students from all walks of life in his clinical practice and self-improvement / motivational seminars and workshops. His writing and expertise have been featured in/on Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Self, Women First, Experience Life, Whole Life Times, WebMD, LIVESTRONG.com, TLC, ABC News, and many others. Dr. McGrail resides in Los Angeles.