Can you learn to be a happier person by repeatedly visualizing two tiny parts of your brain and imagining yourself tweaking them?
Colorado teacher and musician Neil Slade says you can.
Slade has developed brain exercises, described on NeilSlade.com aimed at lifting your spirits and calming your fears. The website has become something of an underground sensation, attracting an average of 750,000 hits a month through word of mouth alone.
Slade suggests visualizing part of the primitive brain called the amygdala, commonly described as the seat of emotional experience. The two amygdalae, each about the size and shape of an almond, are located on either side of the head, between the eye and ear, about an inch in. Studies have shown the amygdalae have a part to play in everything from memory storage to anxiety.
Slade recommends locating your amygdalae in your thoughts, and visualizing a switch on each one, with the click-back position turning on the fear feelings, and the click-forward position turning on feelings of pleasure. Picture yourself purposefully clicking the switch forward.
Ever since Matt Damon went on national TV and told Jay Leno that using hypnosis was “the greatest decision I ever made in my life” it seems that everyone in Hollywood is now trying hypnosis.
Hyposis isn’t the underground therapy it was 20 years ago… hypnosis is becoming cool!
Everyone from Orlando Bloom to Ellen DeGeneres and even David Beckham have used hypnosis, and the variety of issues they have used it for is as diverse as you could imagine — with David Beckham seeking the private health of a hypnotist for “personal issues”, Orlando using it for weight loss, even Tiger Woods has used hypnosis to help him to get “into the zone” and stay focused when it counts.
So, here is our big list of celebrities and the weird, wacky, and wonderful reasons they have used hypnosis for.
All these people have used to hypnosis at some point in their lives to help them to overcome their bad habits and personal problems or to eliminate their limitations and become massively successful.
We recently looked at lucid dreaming and touched on some of the methods to bridge the gap between reality and your dreams. In this article, we’ll be exploring these techniques further and building a foundation for your lucid dream training…ensuring even sweeter dreams!
While it takes time to have your first lucid dream (averaging between three weeks to two months) don’t be discouraged if you try for a while and don’t succeed. By following these rules, and with a bit of practice, you’ll be lucid dreaming in no time.
1. Do The Mental Work
This is most crucial part of your lucid dreaming experience. And to get you started, there are four questions you need to ask yourself before you embark off on this magical journey.
“Do you think you can do this?” – For starters, you must have a positive attitude. If you have any doubts, then your first task is to replace every doubt with a self-empowering belief.
“Do you think dreams are important?” – The simple act of believing that your dreams are important will dramatically increase your results. Most people don’t place any emphasis on their dreams so they in turn don’t recall many dreams, or are aware that it is possible to have lucid dreams.
“Do you really want to have lucid dreams?” – The key to this question is desire and enthusiasm. The more you cultivate your desire to have lucid dreams, the more emotionally charged your intent will be.
“Do you know what you will do when you have a lucid dream?” – It sounds so simple, but just by having a plan you increase the odds of becoming lucid. If you have a goal or a mission planned, you will have that much more reason to become lucid and carry out your mission.
2. Learn How To Recall Your Dreams
If you have difficulty recalling your dreams, there are a few steps you can follow to help you get in touch with your sleeping fantasy world.
1. Upon awakening, don’t open your eyes or move. Allow yourself time to naturally remember your dreams and resist the urge to start thinking about what you are going to do for the day. Once you remember one part of a dream. Relax and allow the rest of the pieces to fall into place.
2. Drift through your dream checklist. If you have absolutely no initial recall, then start running through a dream checklist in your mind. This list should include people you know, activities, movement, emotions, places, foods, smells and music, anything that may trigger a dream fragment to surface.
3. Think and question backwards. Try to work your memory backwards from what you can remember. You will usually remember the most current dream scenario first so for maximum retrieval it is helpful to think backwards, or think in terms of effect and cause instead of cause and effect.
4. Try different sleeping positions. Try all your common sleeping positions before getting out of bed to maximize your recall. You will have the best recall when you are lying in the same position that you were in when you were dreaming.
3. Keep A Dream Journal
The single most important thing that you can do to increase your dream recall and to maximize your lucid dreaming progress is to keep a dream journal.
This increases your recall by ingraining the idea that dreams are important into your subconscious mind. It also helps you become familiar with your dreams, which is the focus of the next step. The habit of writing down your dreams soon becomes a habit of recalling your dreams.
4. Becoming Familiar With Your Dreams
As your dream journal grows and your dream recall increases, naturally you will become more familiar with your dreams. These recurrent patterns in your dreams are your dream signs, and they will be the first stepping stones on your path to lucid dreaming.
For example, you may have a majority of dreams in which you are in your hometown or with a particular person. By learning your distinctive dream signs, you will be able to further increase your recall and develop an intimate relationship with your dreams.
Step 5: Adding Awareness To Your Waking Consciousness
If you are more aware during the day, you will become more aware while dreaming. The fact is that you can be fully conscious, semiconscious, and not conscious at all in your dreams as well as in your waking life. It is all a matter of mindfulness. It all boils down to your level of awareness.
Not surprisingly, meditation and lucid dreaming are intimately linked. By learning more about meditating and practicing it regularly, you will be stacking the odds in your favor when it comes to lucid dreaming.
6. Differentiate Between “Reality” And “Dreaming”
While awake you should be regularly doing “reality checks”. There are two parts to a reality check. The first part is asking yourself if you are dreaming or not, and the second part is testing your surroundings to verify if in fact you are dreaming or not. By doing these during the day, this habit will eventually spill over into your dreams.
Try examining your surroundings for anything that logically should not be there. Ask if this could happen in your normal life. Look for inconsistencies. Are you somewhere you have never been before? Are you with people who live on the other side of the country? Is there an elephant in your kitchen? These are the kinds of questions that can spark your lucidity.
Step 7. Linking Your Awareness To Your Dreams
The final step is to combine what you have learned about your dreams with what you have learned about your awareness. By merging your reality checks with your dream signs, whenever you encounter one of your dream signs you’ll automatically start doing reality checks.
Inevitably you are going to dream about one of your dream signs and eventually you are going to remember to do a reality check and eventually you are going to realize that you are dreaming.
Events can be manipulated to solve problems you are faced with. You can change things you’re not satisfied with.
While there’s no disputing the fact that you can’t always get what you want, it’s also true that you can exercise your innate power over the events of your life and make things go your way much more frequently.
To do so, you must understand and use the three mighty forces of power – desire, belief, and expectation. Before anything you want to happen can occur, you must desire that it happen. You must believe that it can happen. And you must expect it to happen. Let’s look at each of these three forces and then see how you can put them to work for you.
The First Power Force – Desire
Every manifestation of will is preceded by the desire to act. You must desire something before will can take action. In order to desire something, you must believe that you will gain a measure of satisfaction from it.
Anything you do, from the moment you wake up in the morning until the time you close your eyes to sleep in the evening, is precipitated by desire. Nothing is done that does not have a degree or more of desire behind it. To desire something is to feel there will be a measure of satisfaction after the getting of the thing. You cannot desire a thing unless you feel there will be some satisfaction in the attainment of that desire.
Avoidance of Pain Keeps Many People Stuck
Many people are stuck in a particular position in life simply because they feel that making a change would cause some measure of discomfort. To avoid the discomfort they linger in the existing state of affairs even though that causes discomfort as well. The sayings “Better the devil I know than the devil I don’t.” and “Don’t jump from the frying pan into the fire.” Express this sentiment.
Note the system of expectation at work here. When discomfort or pain is expected, the force works to keep you from making any change, even when the pain is imagined and may never take place.
Like all things, desire has degrees of strength. Consider the story of the disciple who went to his guru one day and asked, “Master, how do I achieve enlightenment?” The wise old guru directed the disciple to the bank of the Ganges River and had him kneel with his head over the water. Then the guru put his hand on the young man’s neck and pushed his head below the surface of the water. After a minute and a half the young disciple was frantic. He pulled and heaved and flailed his arms, but the grip was like iron. He could not get his head back out of the water. After two minutes, when it seemed as though his lungs would burst, the grip was released.
The young man’s head jerked out of the water and he took great gulps of air into his tortured lungs. The guru smiled. “Tell me,” he gently asked, ” what was your greatest desire just then?” “To breathe,” the young disciple stated emphatically. “Ah,” the guru said. “When you desire enlightenment to that degree, it shall be yours.”
To have a better understanding of desire, see it on an ascending scale, like a giant thermometer. At the bottom of the scale is zero, and at the top, one hundred.
When your desire is weak, near the bottom of the scale, it is unlikely that anything will motivate you to activate your will and accomplish the object of that desire. When your desire is near the top of the scale nothing can keep you from success in attaining that desire. To enhance desire, go to level and visualize the positive end result of what you desire to happen.
The Second Power Force – Belief
Belief is mental acceptance of some idea as being true. You accept ideas from others because they are authority figures. This setting of a belief in your mind (usually at a young and trusting age) comes about because you have absolute trust in the authority (generally the parent, sometimes the religious or educational institution, sometimes another trusted outside agency such as a relative, peer, or the media).
This acceptance can come about even when there are facts that contradict it. Reinforcement of beliefs strengthens until, faulty or true, they become a fundamental part of your thought processes. To entrench matters more, now beliefs are tested through the structure of the faulty belief, thereby compounding the problem. What this means is that you only accept information that reinforces the belief. Information that contradicts the belief is rejected.
The Third Force of Power – Expectation
Expectation is a mighty power indeed — so much so that a doctor can take an inert pill and tell a patient that it is a powerful drug, and the patient will react as though the actual drug had been taken. This well-documented phenomenon is called the placebo effect. It might also be called the “expectation effect.”
Of course, the placebo effect does not work all of the time. If it did, no one would bother with drugs at all. They would simply use placebos. It does, however, work with a significant and measurable percentage of success.
Expectation can be a powerful force in one’s life. How can you use expectation as a force in your life? Can you simply expect good things to happen and they will happen?
When you are told something by an authority figure you respect – say, a doctor, a teacher, a parent, or your boss – those words have an effect on all three levels, the physical, the mental, and the spiritual. When you believe this authority figure without hesitation or reservation, then that person’s expectation of you is more likely to come to be. With respect to your own expectation of yourself, however, you might well tell yourself, “I’m going to expect this to happen” only to hear a small voice responding, “Who are you kidding?”
The trick is to make yourself the respected authority figure. Expectation is enhanced with our techniques that entail going to one’s Alpha level and creating the visual imagery of the desired event already having taken place. This technique has a dual effect: it puts you in the position of acting as your own authority, and it reinforces your experience of yourself that way.
The more successful you become, the more you believe in yourself and the better you become at triggering the anticipated positive result of whatever event you are trying to bring about. As you grow into a better person better begets better and you do indeed grow better and better.
To build expectation, go to level and visualize the event as already having happened. When you come out of the alpha level, think about the event happening by a predetermined date. You will find more and more expected events coming to pass.
To help you change your expectation, recall the principle of correspondence – as above, so below; as below, so above. As it is with the seed, so it is with the tree. Start with the small if you want to affect the large. If you wish to bring about a change in a friend, in a parent, child, or spouse, change your own expectation. Begin to expect that which you desire to happen and you will note changes occurring.
Expect things on a smaller scale at first, as the smaller things come into being you begin to expect the major things to happen as well. Expectation is a force that can and should be discussed with others.
Expectation works with all people, and on all levels-on the family level, on the town, city, and country level, on the national, international, and universal level. The law is the law; what works with the small works with the mighty. What works with the molecule works with the universe.
Change your expectation and see your reality, your world, change to the degree that you wish it to change. And eventually you will arrive at the place you wish to be.
Anyone who has sat through a course on medieval history knows that there was once a time when people believed in the power of magic, as a tool that could be used to crush their enemies. Eventually people realized how silly such ideas were—and ultimately, magic on the battlefield became limited to nerds LARPing around a local park, the only real magic employed being a powerful anti-coitus charm.
Or so at least you would think. Here are ten real cases of modern governments that tried to harness magic in order to win real wars.
10. John Mulholland and the CIA
9. Mexico, Drugs, and Voodoo
8. Houdini the Spy
7. Britain and the Fake Horoscopes
6. Britain’s Psychic Defense
5. Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin Puts Down a Revolt
4. The Nazi Quest for the Holy Grail
3. Soviet Psychokinesis
2. Jasper Maskelyne and the Suez Canal
1. The US Stargate Project