A Smuthunter Story
“Hello Cliff, please come in, it’s wonderful to see you.”
The last year hadn’t been easy for Cliff. He’d gotten a job right out of school, which made him lucky. But the way everything had started to add up in his life made him feel unstable. Work wasn’t hard, but going to work, being social, just doing everything that went along with all of it, it all threw him out of balance.
“I miss your mom, she was always my favorite neighbor. Does she like it down in Florida?” When Cliff was a kid, after the divorce, he and his mom moved to the neighborhood and lived two houses down from Deborah. His mom lived there until a year ago when she sold the house and headed towards warmer climates.
Cliff hadn’t seen Deborah in years. He had ended up living with his dad through high school and left the state for college, then he came back to his hometown when work lined up. He hadn’t seen his old neighbor in a very long time, but she looked about the same as he remembered, and it had been his mom’s idea to reach out to her.
“But I’m sorry dear, come with me and let’s sit down and talk.”
She was younger than him mom by a few years, or maybe a few more years than he’d thought, but she looked like she hadn’t really aged. Her hair was blonde, and up in a loose bun, she was still wearing the same tortoise shell glasses he remembered from being a kid, and was wearing a formless long sleeved black dress.
“Would you like some tea?”
She led him through her living room off to a converted home office.
“I’m sorry, please, why not sit back here and I’ll be back in a moment.”
Cliff hadn’t answered any of her questions, and not because she was talking too fast, she wasn’t, she was just moving. She moved him into her house, then into the office, and then into the recliner he found himself sitting in. “And I’ll just bring you water, you don’t seem like a tea drinker.”
“So,” after a few short minutes of sitting and waiting Deborah was back with a glass of water for him and a cup of tea for herself, “your mother said you’ve been having a hard time, and I’m very glad you’ve come by to talk and see if you could find some help here with me. But why don’t you tell me what’s going on?”
Cliff felt the hum of tension that had made up most of his life for the last six months, and the anxious twitch of mental noise that had been going for the six months before the tension kicked in. “I’m just overwhelmed and I don’t know what to do. And I don’t like therapists, not since I was a kid, and I just feel like if I could relax a little, I don’t know Deb, it’s just, it’s just a lot, and thank you for caring.”
She smiled and sat on the edge of her desk, mug of tea in hand, “Of course, and if you’d like to just sit back, I can explain what hypnosis has to offer and what we can do, but here, hold on just a moment.”
Deb walked over to the bookcase and flipped the switch on the metronome he hadn’t really noticed up on the top shelf. Its steady clicking started to fill the room.
“I’m not going to hypnotize you now, without your permission and without you asking, but sometimes it helps to have this going, to provide context.”
She was leaning against her desk again, and Cliff noticed that she was about the same shape she’d always been. Deborah was pleasantly shaped woman, but given his age and her relationship to his mom, Cliff never really noticed much of her, not even in those early throes of puberty. Even now, she was just there, and given the way her dress just hung off her, and his mental state and focus, there wasn’t much to see.
“Hypnosis is a state of heightened focus and relaxation where the body responds to the conscious mind easing itself into a passive state. You may or may not achieve a deep trance state that causes you to black out or enter hypnotic sleep, but hypnosis doesn’t automatically put you in that state, most everyone actually remains at least semiconscious and aware for the duration of their sessions.”
She smiled over her mug, pushed up the bridge of her glasses, took a sip of tea and went on, “The conscious mind is a filtering system, and in trance you become more suggestible because the hypnotist can speak directly to the subconscious mind without the conscious sifting through what’s being said. This is the how and why of a subjects increased suggestibility when in trance.”
She took another sip and Cliff realized he was a little thirsty now too.
“So, when we practice hypnosis together, I will be having a conversation directly with your inner self, and your inner self has its own way of filtering out ideas and suggestions. It doesn’t use logic or reason, not in the way you’re used to thinking about how those tools our brains have normally function, it is a pure reflection of your values and your desires. So, unless you emotionally agree with a suggestion, unless the wants you have for yourself are being addressed and met, any suggestion I give you won’t stick, do you understand?”
He nodded, “I read about it, it kind of sounds like it’s just a more focused kind of positive reinforcement right?”
She nodded and smiled. There were crow’s feet around her hazel eyes, and her glasses made them look slightly over-large. “In a way yes, and it’s not magic, it won’t fix you, it’s a partnership, it’s a tool you can use when working on yourself, and if you’d like to try it now, to get a sense of how it would feel, and to see if you’re interested, I would like you to ask me.”
She smiled and took anther sip of tea.
Cliff didn’t feel put on the spot, he just felt moved along in the same way he had as soon as Deb had opened her door and started talking.
“Sure, alright. Deb, I would like you to hypnotize me.” He smiled as he stated his desire, and she nodded along with a patience and understanding that radiated from her as it had since he walked inside.
“Have you noticed the way the metronome has faded into the background already Cliff? The way we’ve been sitting and talking for the last few minutes and you already let that noise move to the edges of your mind?”
She pushed up her glasses and sipped her tea again as Cliff considered what she’d said.
Of course, when she mentioned it he noticed the sound again, but yes, she was right he had started to ignore it.
“The way our minds work, we can compartmentalize things, we can process and focus on other things, especially when we’re directed, so now Cliff I’d like you to sit back, really let yourself get comfortable, and instead of focusing on the sound, I’d like you to focus on the silence.”
He heard the tick then silence then tick then silence, and watched as she smiled a little wider, “That’s it, you’re doing it already, just focus on the silence between the sounds and if it helps, you can look into my eyes. Focus on the silence, on the absence of sounds between the ticks and follow it inside now.”
She kept eye contact with him as she sipped her tea again, and as the mug left her lips her smile felt like a wave of calm that was washing over him. Cliff felt his eyelids start to flutter.
“You’re doing so well, just notice your breathing now as the silence starts to lead you inside, away from my eyes and into your own thoughts. Just breathe and feel what is happening so easily, so easily and naturally now as your eyes just begin to close.”
Cliff blinked and heard himself exhaling a long, slow breath he hadn’t consciously realized he’d taken.
“That’s it, follow the silence inside now, feel the sounds around the silence as your mind slips inside. Let the silence lead you Cliff, let it take you back into the back of your mind, feeling the physical shift of your thoughts, just like the sounds at the edges, clicking into place, forming a quiet room for you to rest and relax, just for you now, a quiet room, follow the silence into your own quiet room and feel all of the tension and all of the stress you carry just slipping away.”
His eyes were closed, the world was quiet, and he felt like he was floating, like his body had lost its form and spilled out to fill the edges of the seat like he was made of water.
“This is your quiet room Cliff, in this space you are free to be, and to just relax, to just relax like you’re doing right now. This is a very light and very easy state of trance for you to reach, and you are a very good subject, that’s why. You are a very good subject, and hypnosis can be very effective for you, very easy and very effective for you. If it feels good to feel this way, just let my words sink in when I say that you are a very good subject and hypnosis can be very effective for you.”
There was a spark of warmth inside him as he heard those words, a gentle encouraging glow, an ember of warmth that was spreading a deeper relaxation through his body out from right between his eyes, It felt good, it felt easy, and he let himself sink into the feeling.
“That’s it Cliff, just sink and feel, and let your quiet room take a solid and permanent shape inside your mind. As you listen to my voice and spend more time here, the easier it will become for you to come back here. And when you’re here, in the quiet room, you can just be here with me, feeling open and relaxed, feeling how easy it is to open up with me. And if you’d like to open up now and share, if you’d like to explore the way the quiet room can help you, just tell me that you want to share.”
“I’d like to share.”
She was so warm as she spoke, and her voice was sinking into him. Its familiarity was coming back to him, and the invitation of memory made Cliff feel like he was becoming unstuck from the moment.
“That’s wonderful Cliff. Please let yourself begin to share with me, tell me whatever comes to mind, and as you do, notice how much easier it is becoming for you to share. The more you speak, the more comfortable you become, the more comfortable you become, the easier it is for you to share until everything becomes an easy and automatic process.”
He started to speak, talking first about the insecurities he felt around his job and money, and then around what was next, and where he was in life, and the more he talked, the less aware he became of what he was saying, like his awareness was slipping in between the words, in the silent places between the sounds…
“And as you open your eyes now Cliff, let your mind clear and the world come back into shape around you, feeling refreshed and wonderful, confident and happy now. Eyes open, wide awake.”
He blinked, and felt ten pounds lighter, “Wow. I uh, wow, I feel so much better.”
Deb’s smile widened, “That’s wonderful, but this is just the first step. There is a lot that hypnosis can offer in learning how to cope and how to process, what you experienced today is temporary, and together we can work on helping you have this relief and clarity of self as a regular part of your life. Is that something you want Cliff?”
He smiled, or kept smiling really, “I do.”
“That’s wonderful. Why don’t you have some water, sit back and let yourself catch up with yourself a little more and enjoy the moment. If you’d like, you can come back tomorrow. I think since you’re such a good subject and you enjoy hypnosis, we can build on your successes today very quickly. Does that sound good?”
Cliff drank his water, and they talked a little bit about his mom, and caught up on neighborhood gossip. He didn’t realize it at first, but at some point Deb had turned off the metronome.
Before he left, she gave him a big friendly hug, and said, “I’ll see you tomorrow, come by when you’re ready to be hypnotized.”
But wait, where’s the hypno boobs, where’s the sexy parts… This was just an older lady explaining hypnotism to a younger man, and it doesn’t even seem like there’s that much foreshadowing aside from the obvious stuff!?!?!?!?
Well don’t worry, there’s tons of what you want, just click the button to get it.