One of the perks of running a community is that you get exposed to a lot of new stuff on a regular basis. Over the last year I created – more or less without really wanting it – a community called Open Connect. If you read my blog regularly you already know quite a lot about it. If you don’t, suffice to know that this community is orbiting around a live event I run every Thursday in a Starbucks, an event geared towards entrepreneurs, mainly.
Last Thursday, a segment of this event was about hypnosis. A hypnotist (or, to be more precise) a therapist who uses hypnosis came to present a workshop and a few things about what he does. When it comes about hypnosis, it’s really difficult to explain it. People expect all kind of weird approaches, like levitating, putting people to sleep or something along these lines. But the definition that this guy used for hypnosis really resonated with me. He said hypnosis is no more than “suspended disbelief”.
What Is “Suspended Disbelief”?
It’s a state in which we let go of our rational mind, and we are ready to accept and integrate things that we usually don’t. Things that get blocked by our “reason”. For instance, we may accept the fact that, in that very moment, we’re flying. Or we may lower the “rational” walls we raised around a disturbing memory and get to confront that memory again – also known as “regression”.
This state of “suspended disbelief” is not as uncommon as we may think. We may enter it many times during the day, and it can be triggered by a variety of reasons. For instance, when we watch a movie and we get really emotional – like crying with happiness when the couple on the screen reunites – we’re in that state. We know that what happens is not real. We know that it’s a projection of lights on the screen. Yet, we “believe” that the couple reunited, and we do this at a very deep, emotional level.
I’ve been thinking a lot at this definition lately. I find it utterly fascinating and useful at the same time. I started to ask myself what are the triggers of that state for me and how many times I enter it during the day. And I realized I’m in a suspended disbelief state every time I
- dance tango
- write on my blog
- run more than 4-5 km (entering the running trance, that is)
- make love
- listen to a certain type of music (including, but not limited to: Chopin, Mozart, or various flavors of jazz)
- have really motivating conversations with interesting people
It took me a few hours to put this list together. And the reason I spent so much time on this is because I suddenly realized this “suspended disbelief” state is very important.
The Suspended Disbelief Portal
Every time I’m in that state, whatever I tell to myself becomes reality. Not only that, but it manifests at a different speed. Faster, that is. It’s like a communication channel suddenly gets open between the rational mind and the unconscious mind. Somehow, the gates of disbelief are suspended, and whatever I tell to myself becomes easier. Or more likely to happen. Or it gets done with less effort. Whatever I set myself up to do while I’m in that state gets done faster and easier than what I intend to do when I’m in a rational, projecting, planing state.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that what I plan during a highly rational state it’s not manifesting. But it manifests slower. And with more effort. It’s like my rational mind says: “this will have to take about 3 weeks” and then, the entire ecosystem around me tries to follow that. When I don’t do that, when I’m in state of suspended disbelief and I want something, it just happens. Somehow.
Let me give you an example. A few months ago, I was in such a state (although, obviously, at that time I didn’t know that) a state triggered by a tango crush. Basically, I was so high that nothing seemed impossible. But, at some point, the romance started to fade. So, in order to move forward with that love story, to make some more room for that relationship, I decided I’m gonna start teaching tango. I didn’t plan it. I didn’t think of it rationally. I just told to myself: “this is gonna happen”. And it took me only a few minutes to make this thought a reality. And I’m not kidding: within minutes, I had the location, a schedule and all the logistics needed for it. It was like the ecosystem followed my intention without thinking, instantly. “If this is what you want, sir, ok, come and get it.”
Had I planned this in advance, it would have taken more time. I know that, because after I started to teach, people were like “and how long did it take for you? How long have you been preparing for this? How long did it take to find a location, students and so on?” For them, starting to teach tango looked like a complex and time consuming activity.
When I was in that state of suspended disbelief, I simply didn’t know it will take that much. Hence, it happened in minutes. And if you’re asking what happened with the tango crush, well, of course, it didn’t last. But that’s another story.
On a side note, an interesting consequence about this specific event is that I needed a few weeks to re-align myself with this new role. It happened so fast, that I didn’t have enough time to understand all the consequences. For instance, I didn’t know that teaching tango will give me so many perks, at the social level. I found myself suddenly surrounded by beautiful women, all wanting to learn tango. I found myself invited at tango parties where I didn’t have to pay, because I was a teacher. I found myself invited to lunch or dinner, just because I was teaching tango. Recently, I gave tango lessons to people like Steve Pavlina or Andy Yosha. It was like my “teaching tango” persona went ahead of me with a few weeks, and I had to catch up. Eventually, I did catch up, and I thoroughly enjoy all the above perks. And many more.
What You Think Is What You Get
As I moved forward with my analysis above, trying to isolate the moments in which I’m in a “hypnosis”-like state, I also realized that I’m having certain pre-made thoughts in each of these states.
For instance, when I’m dancing tango, I’m thinking at how can I improve my technique, my connection or improvisation skills. And, guess what, the more I dance tango, the more I discover. The more I stay in that state, the easier it gets for me to advance. I’m at a level when is not uncommon to improvise at a milonga party (not at a practica, that is, but in a public place). Like actually inventing a new move, or a new way to start and end a figure. On the spot, right there. I’m manifesting that thought instantly.
Or, when I’m running, the thoughts that I have before and after I enter the trance (because, obviously, during the trance, I don’t actually think) are related to business projects. And, guess what, those business projects are manifesting faster. It’s not uncommon to have a new idea, or a shortcut that I can use in order to improve some of the projects I’m involved with, while I’m running.
But some of the thoughts I’m having during these “suspended disbelief” states are not very supportive, to say the least. For instance, I realized that many thoughts I have while I’m listening music are related to how good I feel when I think of “fixing” a relationship. How good would make me feel to see a woman changing from being emotionally unavailable to being emotionally open. Or, how I could “help” or “rescue” some of the close relationships I have with women. And, guess what? I get “served” with these types of relationships. What did you order, sir? A bit of difficulty? A bit of feelings suppression? Here you go, you’re served. I keep bumping into women with inhibitions and troubles related to self-reliance and their deep emotional field. Why? Because I actually “ordered” that.
Well, thing is I don’t really want that. Or, to make it clearer: I don’t really want that anymore. It’s an inherited behavior that I am carrying with me for years. And I got really bored with it. I’m becoming so good at “fixing” women, that it seems I can’t stop but attracting only women who need some sort of fixing. And I simply don’t want this anymore.
One of the ways in which I’m perpetuating this toxic behavior is by reinforcing it during some of my “suspended disbelief” states. That’s the bad news. But the good news is that it works the other way around too. It can be reversed. Because the unconscious doesn’t choose. It just gets whatever you’re serving to it. There’s no polarity there, only possibility. If it’s instructed to do a certain thing, well, it will manifest that thing. No matter how toxic or non-toxic it is.
So, it was this subtle realization which led me to this entire blog post. Now, you don’t have to have the exact triggers that I have for your “suspended disbelief” states. For you, it may be something else. For instance, a walk in the park, or painting, or climbing mountains. As long as you can isolate these states, you’re on the right path.
That’s kind of the firs step, so to speak: to realize that these states are actually open portals to some sort of an internal engine which can make whatever you wish for, a reality. Yes, it sounds strange, but it really is like this. And the second step is to be aware of the thoughts you’re having during those states. What exactly are you telling to yourself? What are the beliefs that are getting reinforced during those states? Each of these beliefs are getting stronger and stronger.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Just go ahead and do the same exercise: try to isolate the states in which you are feeling great, relaxed, ready to do anything and then try to see what type of thoughts are you creating during those states. You’ll be surprised.
So, on that note, I’ll leave you because I’m preparing for a tango class.
And before that, for a bit of music. And I already started to change “my tune”: I don’t need to fix anyone, I don’t need to “work hard” to support a close connection. I want only “fixed”, healthy and enjoyable relationships.
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.