Life is hard. We know this. And we also know that everyone we meet is dealing with their own struggles. Often, living can seem like you’re a salmon constantly swimming upstream against an unrelenting current complete with menacing bears trying to catch you and eat you just when you’re trying your damn hardest to make it to the top. BUT! Sometimes, just sometimes, life can offer you an easier, rather lovely route where hidden treasures lie in the places where bears once stood and the current is on your side to provide you with gentle assistance along your journey to the top.
About a month ago one of my glorious girlfriends told me she went to hypnotherapy and how it helped her to “better herself”. It struck me as a pretty niche way to “better” oneself but this gal is a give-zero-fu*** go-getter who’s tried many therapies and if hypno is what works best for her then wicked and also I want to try too please. I’m always game for growth gainz be it physical or mental. And truth be told, there is something in particular I want to work on. My give zero f’s go-getter gorgeous and glorious friend sweetly shared her hypnotherapist’s details with me and I thought I’d look into it more soon.
Fast-forward a few weeks and I hadn’t done anything about hypnotherapy. Then one day I woke up to find hypnotherapy had come calling for me. I received an email from a different hypnotherapist asking if I’d like to come and see her in exchange for a review. It seemed like the universe was giving me a sign so I said yes. Today I went for my first session. I didn’t know exactly what to expect I just showed up with an open mind and a curiosity of what was to come.
Lydia Johnson welcomes me into her house at 12PM. Any queries I have that hypnotherapists might all be hippies are instantly quashed. Not that I don’t love hippies but I guess over the years I’ve just come across a a couple who are that way inclined. Lydia is immaculately dressed in a smart suit with beautifully manicured nails. Her house is the kind of house that I’d like to live in one day. Situated in a lovely leafy north London district it’s close enough to the city epicentre to feel well-connected but far enough to feel peaceful and green. Inside, it is also my dream. High ceilings, so much uncluttered, simplistic, minimalistic space with large french windows looking out onto a green garden. A fire is burning and Lydia invites me to get cosy on the sofa beside it whilst she makes me some fresh fennel tea. I’m feeling all the good vibes.
My first task is to fill out a form with basic info (name, DOB, address, doctor info etc) and then some not so basic questions such as; What have you achieved? What are your likes and dislikes? What’s your favourite place? I have an idea of why these not so basic questions are on the form having studied NLP some years ago (no need to talk about this now though). I answer them and give the form back to Lydia. As for the question: Why are you here? My answer: anxiety. To be clear, this is certainly not crippling. However, for the last few years I have noticed anxiety crop up in varying degrees in certain situations. It still feels so foreign to me, like I’ve momentarily been taken captive by a characteristic that is not part of my identity and that I cannot reason my way out of. It seems to just stick around being unnecessary and unhelpful and quite frankly a pain in the ass which I want to kick to the curb only right now it’s clutching my leg. And that just adds insult to injury because these legs are strong and omg I could really send it flying.
So why can’t I?
Sometimes it visits at night when I’m trying to sleep. My mind will start whirling with worries and keep me awake for hours. Sometimes it just lightly lingers whilst I go about my day. It can have the ability to make me feel like I’m swimming in decisions without knowing which lane to take. Sometimes I’m unaware of it’s presence.
Lydia asks if I know what the trigger might have been. I do. The answer is somewhat private but in a nutshell I think the trigger was a very difficult and unexpected event I experienced a few years ago. I openly share the experience with Lydia and to my surprise our session ends up being more about how life and my mental outlook has been since. Lydia is always warm, always understanding and always reinforcing with everything I share which I gratefully appreciate. It is a nurturing warm space we hold together which feels safe and special.
To end the session twenty minutes of hypnotherapy happen whilst listening to the soothing sounds of waves crashing in the background. Sadly we haven’t been teleported to the beach but it feels real enough thanks to surround-sound speakers. At the beginning of the hypnotherapy I’m aware of how heavy I feel emotionally. This takes me by surprise. Yet as the hypnotherapy continues the heaviness lifts and leaves me lighter. By the end I feel like the clouds have dissipated where before they hung heavily and engulfed me. I can see further whereas before some of the view was obstructed. I also notice, curiously, that the sinus pressure I’d felt at the beginning (and I’d been feeling for the past few days) has completely gone. It’s kinda weird.
I’ve watched people being “transformed” with similar techniques on various hypnotherapy videos before but never known what to believe in terms of the efficacy and what actual shift can be made.
I have two more sessions left with Lydia and I’m looking forward to them. This is all I have for now – I’ll update you after round two.
*These sessions were kindly gifted.