I'm back from Hermosa Beach and the Walkabout Trance Beach Resort Getaway, where the seminar topic was Rapid and Speed Inductions, Anywhere, Anytime, Anytrance. It was WONDERFUL! There were folks from Detroit, Texas, New Hampshire, Atlanta, Portland (two, besides me), Seattle, and all over California. There was even a guy from India. Some had been hypnotists since their teens; others had never hypnotized anyone before -- or been hypnotized themselves. Of 50+ people, maybe a dozen women. I met some absolutely dear people, and the time went by far too quickly. My warmest thanks to Richard Clark for all his time and effort, and to Brian David Phillips, and to David Fontenot, who I was told started the ball rolling by launching Hypnoticon in Atlanta, which brought Brian to the USA for a rare visit (from Taipei).
Some of the most valuable stuff for me:
1. Getting to do rapid and speed inductions over and over again with different people; noticing what "worked" and what didn't; beginning to see for myself the patterns I'd heard described for years; being in a well-lit room and developing my sensory acuity for noticing signs of trance in 1-4 minutes. (You gotta pay attention!)
2. Improvisation. Brian's exercise -- the Speed Trance Train -- really forced me to let go and PLAY. Since then, I've played with the Teakettle Induction, the Doorbell Induction, and the Peanut Butter on Toast Induction. I love, love, love the "anything can be an induction" philosophy.
3. Roll-over into something different. The skillsets that Brian taught emphasized being able to quickly and seamlessly modify what you are doing -- more of what works, less of what doesn't -- with inductions, deepeners or skits. I know this is old hat, but I had a new experience of it, and I'd like to be more flexible, so it was very valuable and I'll be practicing more deliberately (and playfully).
4. Affect/Emotion. Brian talked a lot about chaining positive emotion to physical phenomena ("the higher your hands go, the happier you feel") and leaving people better than we found them. When I was doing one of the exercises and mentioned to my partner that he felt almost like when he was a little kid at Disneyland, his hands leaped about eight inches. WHAM. I flashed on something I think Tony Robbins said: The only reason anyone does ANYTHING is for the feelings they get. I think one common element in my least successful bar gigs was that I didn't spend as much time telling my volunteers how wonderful and fantastic they felt, and how that feeling got stronger the more they responded. Whoa. Light bulb.
5. I have a completely different view suggestibility tests! Now they are like playing with a Brain Chemistry Set for Christmas! How fun!
At lunch on Day One, we went out in competitive teams to hypnotize people on the boardwalk. When we got BACK from lunch, people shared experiences. That was a real eye-opener and made very clear to me (again) that IT'S ALL ABOUT MINDSET. Or context. Be very careful of the words, "I can't." What was "out of bounds" for some people was well within the comfort zone of others. The sharing of information and encouragement really touched me.
I got trance phenomena from six people at lunch. I guess not bad for my first 90 minutes ever! It was hard at first to walk up to strangers, but two of my teammates showed absolutely no hesitation and no fear. Victoria and John, you inspire me!
Day Two was more of the same, only the goal was to deepen the state... I think. My brain pretty much imploded by then. We played with pendulums and ideomotor-response demos as openers (and as marketing leave-behinds). My Third-Eyed, One-Holed, Flying Purple Pendulum is a wonderful memento. Thank you Brian and Lorraine!
On the first day, I surrendered to beginner's mind and just played around and experimented. Day Two, I began to worry more about "improving," I felt like I'd forgotten a lot of stuff, and I started to feel self-conscious around the more experienced hypnotists. But I came home excited, having learned a lot, met some fabulous people and enjoyed Southern California sunshine. Orion is much higher in the L.A. sky than above the 45th Parallel in Portland. It is good to be home, and I'm so grateful for the new friends and skills.