Your Personal Power Symbol
by Mary Lee LaBay
It is in the human condition to feel as though sometimes we are on top of the world and in control, and at other times we are overwhelmed and powerless. These ebbs and flows are natural, and happen to everyone. You may think of them as biorhythms, as astrological influences, or simply as circumstantial events of life. Yet, as the world turns on its axis, so will these cycles be present in our lives.
Although life is filled with positive moments, it is so much easier to dwell on the negative times. When shocking and disruptive events occur, the conscious mind is more likely to be particularly present in the moment, indelibly marking that moment. When things are calm and in the flow, it is easier to not pay as close attention to the present moment. In the same way, we dont pay too much attention to our physical bodies until something hurts. Then there is nothing else we can think of. So the negatives are more easily "anchored" into the psyche.
Wouldnt it be helpful to have a tool to access the positive when you are in the midst of one of those negative cycles?
The tool is universal: simply the anchoring of a positive, powerful feeling so that it can be accessed at will. The symbol for that feeling, however, is very personal and unique.
Anchoring this feeling is a technique that is frequently used in hypnotherapy sessions. It is particularly useful when the client is attempting to access or process information and events that were highly painful or in some way difficult to revisit. Once clients acquire this tool, they can carry it with them throughout the difficult recollections, while maintaining a link to their own strength and courage.
The tool is a powerful reminder of other times when they were in control of their own lives, capable of dealing with whatever came their way. While carrying that symbol through the difficult memory, they have an enhanced feeling of courage and confidence.
Wouldnt it be helpful to have a tool to access the positive
To discover your own symbol of strength and courage, you may participate in the following meditation. You may read it through first and then simply take yourself through the steps.
Sit comfortably, preferably with your eyes closed. Follow the patterns of your breathing as your body begins to relax and your mind turns inward. Continue to relax a few minutes longer. Dont worry if your mind occasionally wanders to other thoughts. That will not influence the outcome of this exercise.
Direct your mind to remember a time when you experienced a moment of courage or accomplishment, a moment when you felt solid, capable, and strong in yourself. You may find yourself thinking of particular life events, or encapsulating it into an activity such as downhill skiing or whitewater rafting.
Begin to observe what is going on in your body. How does it feel? What do you notice about your attitude and self-confidence? Describe in words what you are feeling and thinking. Feel the sensations in your body and in your emotions. While capturing these sensations, allow your mind to begin to formulate a symbol that would represent the feelings that you are experiencing at this moment.
Understand that your symbol may change from time to time or need to be altered to fit particular circumstances. Relax and allow a symbol to come to you, not worrying if it is the right symbol or thinking that you may pick one with which you are not always going to be happy. What comes to mind first will probably be right for this moment.
As you begin to discern a symbol, make it into an object of a size that can fit into your hand. What does the symbol look like? What is it made of? What color is it? Which hand do you like holding it in? How does the texture of the object feel like against your hand and fingers? What is its weight? How do you feel when you are holding this symbol/object in your hand?
Now hold that symbol in your hand as you think of a situation in your life that creates stress for you. How has holding that symbol changed how you perceive this particular problem? How do you feel as you begin to think of possible solutions to that issue?
After you have practiced using this power tool in various ways, you may open your eyes and return to the present moment.
Using this technique has helped several clients to successfully alter the way they perceive events, both in the past and in the present. Furthermore, they feel more confident and self-assured as they anticipate difficult future experiences. I invite you to enjoy the many ways that you will be able to use this symbol in your own life.
Mary Lee LaBay is a certified clinical hypnotherapist and will co-instruct a hypnotherapy certification course in November. She is a contributing author of the Hypnotherapy Handbook, has a private practice in Bellevue, and offers audio recordings of her meditations. She may be reached at (425) 455-1910, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, or <maryleelabay.com>.