My goal for 2019 is to have more fun. I have to admit, I’ve spent way too many years of my life not having fun, not being happy. How many of you in this room can say that your life is genuinely happy? Being happy should be the most natural thing in the world and yet we look around us and we see a world ravaged by depression, fear and conflict; internal conflict, interpersonal conflict, political conflict, international conflict. How can it be so hard just to be happy?
“Who’s Been Vulgar?” I was shocked and startled by these accusatory words from my new fourth grade teacher, Miss Hall. You see I had been transplanted from my relatively normal life in south Georgia to a British missionary boarding school in the African bush. My parents, in their forties, had decided to sell the business, sell the house, pack up the kids and move to Zambia to become missionaries. My siblings were sent to an American run boarding school in Kenya. I, alone, was sent to a separate boarding school run by British missionaries.
Now don’t be confused. They may have been missionaries, eager to spread the good news, but they still retained their stern, cold, British disposition. These teachers terrified me. The mean girls in my class terrified me. I felt like I was trying to survive a chapter from ‘Lord of the Flies’ or was it Oliver Twist. At any rate, I felt sad, I felt scared. I felt alone - really alone.
We were completely cut off from any form of communication. As students, even our letters were censored. There was no emotional life line, no one to hear our cries. And so our cries grew silent - stuffed down - repressed - to be dealt with - later.
Some may think it interesting or even exotic to have grown up in Africa but the truth is my childhood was pretty much the same as everyone else. I went to school, learned math and geography and history.
And Unconsciously I was also learning many things. Things that many of you may have learned. Things like “I’m not good enough.” Things like “I must not be love-able … they did ship me off to boarding school after all.” But consciously, I had no idea that I was learning these lessons of insecurity and fear of abandonment.
So I grew up, as we all do, coping and adapting as well as can be expected. On the surface I was fairly smart, conscientious, a hard worker. I graduated magna cum laude from nursing school and I got the first job I applied for. I kind of thought I had my act together. But just beneath the surface, those landmines of self doubt and co-dependence were waiting to erupt. You see I may have been able to hold down a job and even impress my co-workers but my personal life was “Ugh, (pause) a soup sandwich.”
Around the age of 40, my coping mechanisms began to break down. I was simply no longer able to hold back the tidal wave of repressed emotion. I cried. And I don’t mean I misted up after a couple glasses of wine. I mean I cried - at the most inopportune times — driving down the road - standing in the check out line at the grocery store.
It was about that time that I discovered Hypnosis and NLP. I’m embarrassed to admit that I was still clinging to the ridiculous notion that I still had my act together. So I took my first 2 week intensive hypnosis and NLP course - you know - to help others. Apparently I had missed the message that I needed to “BE THE CHANGE”.
Fortunately, in spite of my fragile ego and convoluted beliefs, it turns out that hypnosis works anyway. After THAT course, my life was never the same. THOSE processes really and truly healed my unconscious mind. I wasn’t just ‘white knuckling’ it through life, trying to hold things together. For the first time I knew what it was to feel peace. And I began to fan the flames of, could it be, happiness??
My greatest aspiration is to share this message of hope and happiness with the whole world. We all want to be happy. We all deserve to be happy and I truly believe we all can be happy. After all, being happy should be the most natural thing in the world.
Humans are an incredibly intelligent, constantly evolving species. We put a man on the moon and created a global network with access to information within seconds - all over the world. Our problems don’t lie in the intelligence of our conscious minds. Our problems lie in the unresolved conflicts and fears that live in the unconscious mind of each of us.
The great news is that with tools like hypnosis and NLP, you really can change it. And much more quickly and easily than you’d imagine. When we truly heal those internal conflicts it will free up our time, it will free up our energy to use that incredible intelligence in new, positive, creative ways instead of the old, fear driven, destructive ways. Then we, as a species, positively can ALL be happy. It can happen for me. It can happen for you. It can happen for all of us.