Have you “gone back to school” to learn something as an adult? Maybe you actually went back to college, or to complete your GED. Maybe your job requires you to study a new process, product, or field of knowledge in order to “keep up”. Perhaps you are trying to learn new math in order to help your kids with their homework.
For some, being put in the position of learning something new as an adult is frustrating, anxiety-provoking, or boring. And that emotional reaction to the challenge of learning makes it that much more difficult to learn.
These emotional reactions are actually expressions from the depths within, and may carry the energy of long ago experiences. For example, sitting with a book at the kitchen table, trying to understand a passage or to figure out a math problem, may be unconsciously triggering the negative memory of sitting in a classroom decades earlier when adolescent hormones were too much of a distraction to concentrate. The question to ask is, “What part of me is sitting here at the kitchen table – is it my fifty-year-old or my fifteen-year-old?”
Becoming aware of inner selves like this adolescent is important for two reasons. One is that when I recognize my reaction to be that of a fourteen-year-old, I can find more compassion for myself than when I get frustrated and discouraged at my fifty-year-old self. And that younger self has some qualities that could be very beneficial to me in my life today. Maybe he knows how to have fun better than I do, or to daydream about doing something more fulfilling when he’s frustrated, anxious, or bored.
And that’s the other reason it’s so important to be aware of inner selves: one of them may have the sense of adventure that I seem to have lost; another may have the vivid imagination to help me envision a brighter future than I can’t see from my fifty-year-old vantage point.
There is a natural sequence to this unfolding. Tapping into an inner self that is experiencing anger, fear, grief, jealousy or boredom opens the door to other, more helpful, inner selves. And some of those are not yet fully developed, they are potential future selves.
Hypnosis and hypnotherapy are ideal ways to explore the inner realm, searching for the inner child who feels overwhelmed or scared or mad. We do this through age regression, a sophisticated technology of the psyche that a good hypnotherapist is adept at facilitating for you. But the same technology allows you to explore for and find your not-yet developed potential future self, the you who is confident, secure, playful, prosperous – whatever are the qualities that could be the outcome of sitting at the kitchen table studying that book.