Now that it’s been a year since COVID-19’s reign of terror over our planet began, it’s interesting to look back at what carried me through the shock, fear, and panic this crisis brought with it. The difficulties COVID presented haven’t been easy for anyone to cope with, and it wasn’t exactly a cakewalk for me, either. Still, I noticed something about myself: I had tools that helped me to deal with the issues that came up, so I could stay on my feet and continue to function fully - while also having the honor of helping others! What tool could possibly do all that?
It was my training in hypnotherapy that helped me to not only survive the outbreak and its aftermath, but to thrive in ways that have prepared me for almost anything the future might bring! In this post, I’d like to share with you 5 things I used to help me thrive through the Corona crisis:
- Treating the shock
- Reframing the situation and refusing to be a victim
- Adapting to new ways
- Connecting to nature
- Trusting my inner knowing
Treating the shock
The year 2020 was to be a professional odyssey for me. I planned to present workshops all over the country, and overseas. So, to say that finding out that travel was not only a bad idea, but not possible, was a shock to my system is putting it mildly.
On top of having to overcome the fear of getting a potentially fatal disease, or losing friends and family to it, my plans for personal economic growth were trashed in an instant. I could feel it in my solar plexus - that empty, uneasy sensation that wanted to scream, “What do I do now?”
My training in hypnotherapy taught me how to handle shock, and I knew that the first thing I do when I “freak out” is to freeze. This type of reaction, parasympathetic shock, results in the sufferer slowing down, staring into space, and being unable to get much of anything accomplished.
My training taught me to apply heat to my solar plexus to reverse my body-mind reaction to the shock. So, each day, I wake up and sit with a heating pad on my solar plexus until I feel better. If I hear shocking news, or fear creeps in, I repeat the process. Once I learned to treat my shock, I was able to go about working on my “Plan B” for economic and personal success.
Those who react with sympathetic shock become frenetic, and equally incapable of rational thought. The remedy for that type of reaction is to apply ice, to the back of the neck, the head, or wherever on the body it works to calm the person down. While I don’t react this way, many of my clients do. I was able to assist them by sharing this information, and it made it easier for them to cope, as well.
Reframing the situation and refusing to be the victim
When something unusual and undesirable happens, it’s always very tempting to start with “Why me?” or “What if?” questions, but from studying and practicing hypnotherapy I learned that we do not have to be the victim. Instead of recreating old patterns, where “everyone picked on us” and it was “all their fault,” we can break free from the trap of playing the role of “victim.”
Becoming aware of subconscious reactions that result from old and traumatic feelings being “triggered” by things happening in the moment is key to this process.
How do we do this? By simply refusing to succumb to fear or threats, and to accept that there is such a thing as uncertainty. We can do this by gaining access to our subconscious memories, and bringing them to the forefront, where we can process them with our rational mind - and reframe the experience we are in at any given moment.
This knowledge really came in handy during the pandemic. When I refused to play the role of “victim,” I could go forward with my life. Here are some things I did to get up and walk away from the “victim” chair.
- Reframe what is happening. The pandemic wasn’t something that happened just to me. This was a new situation that I would have to deal with, and I learned from my hypnotherapy training that I had the power to make choices. I could sit in my chair and go broke, or I could do productive things that helped me as well as clients and customers who were in need.
- Curate information. My hypnotherapy training taught me that I could sense what was important and what was not. I didn’t have to listen to “everything” that was being said in the media. Old recordings that told me I couldn’t trust myself had been erased by my experiences with hypnotherapy. I knew that I had, once again, the ability to make choices about where to get information. I didn’t have to lie down on the couch and allow the television to bombard me with death figures and the litany of possible symptoms of impending death. My training gave me the discernment to choose what was the “right” amount of information for me.
- Respond, not react. Practicing hypnotherapy taught me that when something happens, it’s appropriate to take it in, and then respond in a way that keeps me safe. Reacting to this situation, by succumbing to fear or giving up on life would not be safe for me, or helpful to anyone around me. So what did I do? I did everything I could to continue to work, and where I could, I took advantage of government programs such as unemployment compensation and small business loans. My clear head helped me to take rational, definite action. I don’t think any of this would have gone this smoothly without my hypnotherapy training.
Adapting to new ways
The COVID-19 pandemic made it especially difficult for those of us who depend on face-to-face interactions to do our work. Everyone wanted me to adapt - to “go virtual.” At first, I resisted. I had hope that the pandemic would end in a month or two, and I could meet with my clients again. But of course, I was wrong about that.
Work I had come to love whle in person had to be adapted to the new world of teleconferencing. At first, I didn’t think it would be possible to have a session as intimate as the kind we have with hypnotherapy online. Well, it turned out that I was wrong about that, too!
My hypnotherapy training taught me that it is necessary to adapt to changing circumstances. The insight I received from so many of my sessions led me to be a firm believer in the saying: “I’d rather be happy than right.” I knew that, if I didn’t continue to do my own work, as well as my client sessions, I could never be happy.
So, facing the option of doing this work online or not doing it at all, I had no problem choosing the former. My skepticism about the effectiveness of working via teleconferencing dissipated almost immediately, as soon as I saw the deep work that could be done in an online session.
I realized, as I made the adaptations to online hypnotherapy sessions, that because we are, at our soul level, beings of light, we can still transmit and receive healing energy, right there through the electronic connection! The therapy still works. The teachings still get across - and I am able to continue to help my clients and students!
Connecting to nature
With all the networking events, concerts, and in-person dinners with friends taken off the table, there has been a lot of time left in my schedule. It could have been easy to become depressed, lonely, or even angry about this.
That might have been a reaction based in old memories of being disappointed in things not going my way, perhaps as a small child. Fortunately, I know how to be aware of this undermining, unconscious mechanism, and how to handle it.
In hypnotherapy, we are trained to carry on a constant conversation with the inner child - that part of us that knows what it is to feel, to play, to take joy in life’s “little things.”
My “little girl” loves to walk by the water, and since I happen to live right by a river, it’s easy to use this “extra time” to do exactly that! No matter the weather, my trusty dog Henry and I spend a half hour every morning, going on with our lives, enjoying the beauty and harmony that only nature can truly show to us. Sometimes I let him lead the way. His instincts are much more effective than my intellect when we’re out there, simply appreciating trees, sky, and bodies of water.
These walks give me a good way to get away from “the news,” and be temporarily disconnected from emails and phone calls. When we return from the walk, my mind is clear and I’m ready to tackle the day’s tasks. The time to simply take in the beauty of the world in all its seasons is a gift the pandemic has given us.
Hypnotherapy training taught me how important it is to connect with that “little girl” part of me, and give her what she needs. Doing this brings the adult part of me happiness, too, that’s for sure. I have learned that my mental health depends on my remembering to stop and feel joy inside me, just as I did as a child.
With the world in such an unsettling condition, it’s especially important for me to pay attention to all of my needs, I can’t help anyone else if I cannot help myself. Communing with nature is one way to remain in touch with myself, and it has a side benefit - it’s free!
Trusting my inner knowing
Having mentioned the instinctual wisdom of my dog Henry, it’s important to point out what is perhaps the biggest “takeaway” I’ve received from hypnotherapy training. As a child, I “learned” that it isn't wise to trust my instincts. Disappointing relationships and upsetting events betrayed my trust in the Universe...and myself.
During the training, and in my practice, I have learned through a heart-centered approach to hypnotherapy that so much of helping others to heal involves listening to that voice inside me, my “higher self.” The transpersonal techniques that we develop in hypnotherapy training center around surrendering the ego, or the “self” each of us is while in normal waking consciousness, to the supreme inner knowing with which we are born.
Being in touch with this inner knowing helped so much during this disruptive and often sad time. I knew when I should look to immune-boosting herbs to keep me healthy, when I had worked enough, and when it was really okay for me to hug someone I knew to be healthy.
In fact, my inner knowing is what led me to hypnotherapy training. I felt a strong urge to find the right place to study, and when the time was right, The Wellness Institute appeared in my Internet search, and I instinctively enrolled. I dove right into these life-altering studies, and I encourage you to do the same. Check in with your inner knowing, and let yourself have a set of tools that will change your life forever.
I hope that, one day, I’ll have the honor of being your guide through this very special, insightfully unique way of helping people - including yourself - to heal, through Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy. Enroll in one of our six-day programs today!