Showing posts from March, 2012

St. Patrick and the art of talking to God

This post is based on my faith as a Christian and a storyteller. If faith offends you, don't read this post. Or read it in the spirit it is offered, as full disclosure of some of the "me" that sits behind the rest of what I write and teach.

I love the story of St. Patrick, and the prayer attributed to him.  Do you know the story of St. Patrick? He was taken from his home in Britain, enslaved, and sent into the hills of Ireland as a shepherd, with only a flock of sheep as companions.  He talked to his sheep. He talked to himself. And then he talked to God. 

One day, God replied.  And Patrick followed his instructions and walked to a beach where a ship was waiting. He made his way back to home and safety (several miracles later). But he had been changed forever by his days in the hills with sheep and God. He went back to Ireland, and drove away the snakes, and explained the Holy Trinity using a shamrock. Or so they say.

There are two Patricks: the one alone in the hills an…

Hypnosis, trance and great suggestions

I have been exploring the difference between naturally occurring light trances, trances that occur naturally and then are deepened intentionally, and hypnosis. Sometimes I explore the differences by watching or experiencing hypnosis, sometimes by reading the experts, and sometimes I just notice what happens when I am focused and pulling the people around me into that focus.

Most people are curious about what "real" trance is and how it works and even whether or not it is "real." Scientists don't seem to have a solid position on the question, although the general consensus seems to be that there is no conclusive evidence that trance is a distinct and replicable state. If I were a hypnotist, perhaps that would be important to me. But I am not a hypnotist. I am a teacher and a coach.

What matters to me is twofold: that people have more choice about where they pay attention and that I be good at recognizing when people are ready to hear suggestions. When I take som…

Body thoughts

I went to yoga this week on the evening of the full moon. The teacher said that the Virgo full moon would promote health and balance.  I am in favour of health and balance.

Last night, I had trouble sleeping. I blamed all sorts of complicated thoughts.  And then I spent twenty minutes in a few of my favorite yoga postures and fell peacefully to sleep. Was I awake because of tension in my mind or tension in my body? I am not sure it would be useful to know the difference.

Imagine what would change if you acted as though the condition of your body would determine the quality and resourcefulness of your thoughts. What would you have to change to put your body into a state that would support your best thinking?

Neuroscience is producing lots of evidence that thought is not what we think it is: our words and reason are woven into complicated webs that include many different sensations and impressions. What we feel in our bodies is woven into what we develop as sophisticated theory. We are …

Fools, tricksters and other high achievers

You probably know Jack because of the beanstalk story. I know Jack from dozens of stories. What they all have in common, from the Jack who killed six with one blow to the Jack with the dancing cockroach to Ti-Jean who had three unusual piglets is that Jack always gets what he wants. Always.

The unusual and delightful part of this is that Jack never, ever does the appropriate thing and any plans he makes are completely irrational and beside the point. It doesn't matter. Jack has energy and optimism and a clear sense that everything will end well and so it does.

I loved telling Jack stories to small children. I was never a fan of teaching kids to be small adults who work with discipline and logic towards their goals. Under the guise of a storyteller, I got to encourage them to dream, to engage with all the wonder around them, and to work with what they had to be happy.

Later I met Herschel and Hodje and other wise fools who, like Jack, survived poverty with good humour and a quirky …