Dreams and Desires

We all have them. It begins when we are young, thinking about what we want to be when we grow up. Later it might be academic or athletic achievement in school. Most of us dream about having a wonderful career, a loving family, and surrounding ourselves with caring friends. Our dreams may include becoming rich and famous.

For many people, perhaps even the majority of people, those dreams die. Some die very young and others die slowly in time. Why? Many would say that it is just a result of understanding how the world really works and accepting it. Perhaps that is true. On the other hand, can we say that it is definitely true? If we accept that premise, then how do people such as Oprah Winfrey or Jim Carrey who began their lives with what some might characterize as limited resources continue to strive and achieve the success that they dreamed was possible? Do these people possess qualities or a genetic makeup that is so much different than most people that has allowed them to succeed? These types of stories have fueled biographies and self-help book sales for years and years.

So what really happens? What factors occur when we are young that allow us to dream big? What factors interrupt, postpone, or kill those dreams as we grow up? How are some people able to overcome either inner or outer conflicts or pressures to continue to pursue and ultimately achieve those dreams? That is possibly the ultimate question many people pose to God or the Universe on a daily basis. Why them and not me? Psychologists, philosophers and theologians have all pondered those questions. Abraham Maslow posited that there are several levels of needs that every human has and that those needs are hierarchical in nature. Most of us would agree that our daily needs for food, water and shelter are the most basic. Once those needs are met we move to satisfy needs at a higher level such as safety, love and belonging, esteem and finally to self-actualization. On a cursory basis, this seems to be logical and self-evident. However, some people seem to move from the bottom level very quickly to self-actualization while others seem to stay very much stuck in the lower tiers of the hierarchy. So what keeps them there? Is it the circumstances of their birth, the society or nationality they are born into, or is it something not readily visible? How do we explain the person who has, at least from an external view, appeared to have attained most of what our society values, money and fame, only to lose it all? We have all read stories of wealthy and famous people losing their wealth and fame to such an extent that they become homeless or even commit suicide. So what propels us up and what brings us down? The answer might be “all in your head”. Something being referred to as “all in your head” has typically been applied to someone making something up with the implication that it is therefore untrue. What we are beginning to find out is that everything is “all in your head”. What we think shapes everything; from what we see, what we feel, to how we express ourselves in the world.

For example, if you were raised in a family that openly shows love and respect for each other, it is very likely that you will feel love and respect for yourself and will be able to express yourself to others from that place of love that you have for yourself. If, on the other hand, you were raised in a family that is domineering and disrespectful of you, you will have those same feelings for yourself and will most likely only be able to relate to the outside world with distrust and disrespect. In both cases, the thoughts and actions of the nuclear family are transmitted to the children and those thoughts become the underlying basis for their further development and how they interact with the world throughout their life.

With that premise in mind, logic would dictate that this is a cycle that will not be easily broken. I believe most of the conditions appearing daily on news feeds seem to bear this out. The question then seems to be; do we have any ability to change these thoughts and change the direction of our lives individually and hopefully society at large? I believe the answer is yes. However, I do not believe that trying to make those changes through better education or other overt actions is a comprehensively effective strategy.

In the common sequence of events, thoughts at some point become actions and repeated thoughts and actions become patterns of behavior. Many repeated thoughts and patterns of behavior will eventually become unconscious reactions to situations. This may lead to patterns of behavior that affect all aspects of an individual’s life; anything from eating habits to the ability to maintain jobs and personal relationships. The idea that these thoughts and patterns of behavior are coming from the unconscious or subconscious also gives us a clue as to how to approach a solution to them. Understanding the origins and the process of these thoughts and actions leads us to understand that the conscious mind through the use of willpower is not a solution that works for every situation or every person. However, most people only recognize their conscious mind and their willpower as the only way to get what they want. They often are unaware of the automatic thoughts and behaviors they have developed over time that affect their behaviors. The conscious mind, by definition, on its own, cannot make changes to thoughts that it is unaware that it is having. That leaves us with the need to use an approach that works with the subconscious mind. There are many ways of doing that, but for this discussion, the approach would be the use of hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy uses the process of physical and mental relaxation to slow the individual’s brain waves to a degree in which the conscious mind is less actively engaged. This is a state that we regularly enter into when we are going to sleep. We are still conscious, but the subconscious is now more of an active participant than the conscious mind. During this process, the hypnotherapist will describe a scene, often using metaphor to bring the subconscious to a place that is safe and comfortable. This relaxes and enjoins the subconscious even further. At this point, the hypnotherapist can use a variety of techniques to help the subconscious find a pattern that is no longer helping the individual live a productive and enjoyable life and provide a new target, a new goal that the individual wishes to work toward, for the subconscious to incorporate into its process. This use of the subconscious to affect deep and lasting change is much more effective and much less frustrating than trying to affect these changes merely through the use of willpower. Some clients of hypnotherapy will progress very rapidly to achieve their goals, while others may take some time to reach it. What can be said about this process is that it is very relaxing. Imagine slipping into a warm fragrant bath, listening to some relaxing music, and finding as you step out that you are still relaxed, while at the same time, some significant aspects of your life have changed for the better. Just because you relaxed for awhile in that bath. That is the power and delight of hypnotherapy. Think about all that you have tried to achieve in your life, but have been unsuccessful in doing. Consider the option of not trying to “think” things into being, but rather work with your subconscious to bring about those changes.I invite you to find a hypnotherapist you are comfortable with and give it a try!

Published by Laura Tuzzolino

Laura Tuzzolino is a mind/body wellness practitioner who specializes in hypnotherapy and life coaching. She began her business, Soul Attunement Energy Healing, with a focus on providing opportunities for clients to explore their personal power of healing. She has helped clients move on from insomnia, anxiety, and emotional pain to experience a release of negative programming and find a more peaceful and fulfilling approach to life. Laura’s journey has been one of devotion to emotional and spiritual growth that she constantly shares in meaningful ways with as many people as possible to help them further their own growth. Laura is currently married to a wonderful man and shares a blended family with him that includes 6 children, 3 grandchildren and 2 dogs. She loves to read and meditate and makes sure to spend time each day in nature, walking her dogs, swimming or just being. She is truly grateful for a career spent sharing her love of reading and learning with students of all ages as both a librarian and teacher. She enjoys traveling and camping with her husband and dogs, as well as golfing whenever possible. She is also an avid fan of Packers football even though she has relocated to Arizona. Go Pack! She has had some really amazing experiences in her life including living in Alaska for a few years and surviving an F5 tornado in high school. She has however never really had a head for maps or directions. One time while moving from Alaska to the lower 48, she was given the job of navigator while riding with her father in the moving van. All she had to do was read the map, and tell her father where and when to turn. She had no confidence in her ability to do this correctly and is if by magic, the universe did it’s best to help her fulfill her notion that she wasn’t a good map reader. For example, in those days people used paper fold up maps to find their way to their destinations. It so happened that the map that she was using had been folded and unfolded so many times that there was a hole in the map. Where do you think that hole ended up being? You guessed it! Exactly on the spot where they were supposed to turn to head south. But that really wasn’t enough to make sure that her prophecy was fulfilled. It also came to pass that at the very moment that she and her father drove by the sign that also indicated where they should turn, at that very moment, road crews were repairing that sign so that it too was not visible. Luckily for her, her father was very gifted when it came to knowing the direction he wanted to go vs. the direction he was heading and within 30 minutes realized that they were heading back north. The moral of this story is to be mindful of how you see yourself in the world because the universe will do everything in its power to manifest all that you think about yourself and all that you think of others.

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