Soapbox Moment: On Faith, Empowerment, and Coaching


Soapbox Moment: I like the stylish and visually interesting “Batman” prequel, “Gotham,”  but I was dismayed and annoyed by the worn-out and ignorant portrayal of hypnosis as mind control used by nefarious types who want to make people do bad things. It isn’t. The military found this out when they tested it as a potential tool for training people to act outside their moral and ethical boundaries. Big fail. However, it IS used in training Olympic athletes and has been for decades. Its real purpose and natural application is to help people achieve their full potential. And our full potential is innately positive.

As Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, “we are spiritual beings, having a human experience.” So, it is natural for us to express spiritual qualities like beauty, grace, and service to humanity in our own unique ways. In a world that values the material, and that supports cult of personality and giving one’s power to others, people sometimes come to a coach/hypnotist as a last resort, in fear and a sense of abdication of power for a greater good.

I do not encourage this. The relaxation part of hypnosis is teamwork and teaching. In the guided mediation, the client is learning to relax and the coach/hypnotist is helping him learn how to do it and how to become a proficient self-relaxer, a great skill to have! This done, the imagery part is affirmative prayer presented both directly as well as with with story (AKA allegory or metaphor). Properly performed guided imagery is really guided meditation, which is really extended, thoughtfully personalized, skillfully articulated, and reverentially performed affirmative prayer.

So yes, there is surrender happening. But it’s not to the coach/hypnotist. It’s to God. And it is faith alone that allows the Divine to act in our lives and minds. As Jesus told the centurion, it is our willingness to believe and expect God to work in our lives that allows the positive changes to occur.

Needless to say, in a materialistic and narcissistically-driven world, “prayer” is not a strong selling point to most people. They want magic, not responsibility. They do not want to trade superstition or cynicism for genuine trust or wonder at the vast loving intelligence of the Divine. Good luck with that.

I don’t work with those clients. I usually screen out sad victims want to “yes, but” me or angry victims who want to prove me wrong in the initial phone interview. And, I have been known to return a check on a first appointment after some conversation, if I decide I really don’t want to work with someone. Because these people who don’t want to be successful. And really, at the bottom of it, they don’t believe in a higher power. They’d rather revel in misery and blame others for their lives. Because it’s cheaper and easier than doing actual soul growth. Just as it’s cheaper and easier to write a story based on a false concept repeated in decades of other writers’ stories or cultural lies  instead of doing your research and coming up with something original.

May we question our oft-repeated sad and angry victim stories. May we recognize them when they show up anywhere and everywhere, and rely instead on inner truth and beauty. May we have the courage to be ourselves. May we reserve our trust only for the highest and best in ourselves and in others. And more and more, may writers of film and television, producers and executives be moved to inspire and empower, and may media consumers as well as advertisers be discerning about what they support.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson.”

OK, off the soapbox now, and wishing you a wonderful day.



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