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My First Hypnotist

My first hypnotist was an amazing person. She was smart, talented, capable, and strong willed. She was a newer hypnotist when she started out, only 27 at the time. I was her first client. I met with her on a daily basis for many years, and many of the belief systems she instilled in me have stayed with me even though she’s since “retired.”

Traci with her mother Carol, around Christmas time 1969.
Traci with her mother Carol, Christmas 1969

My first hypnotist instilled in me the values of trust, honesty, and integrity. When I was 3 or 4 years old, my first hypnotist took me me shopping. I found a book and started reading it. When we got to the car, my hypnotist realized the book had not been paid for. She calmly took me back inside the store to pay for the book while she explained to me that the book wasn’t mine until I paid for it. My first hypnotist instilled in me the importance of an education and believing in myself. She would always say, “You can do anything you set your mind to.” “After you bring home that report card with straight A’s, then you can order that steak dinner.” “After you graduate from college, then you can live however you want.” She assumed a lot of things for me, and I heard them enough that I believed every one. My first hypnotist instilled in me an appreciation of art, dance, music, and theater. She made sure I took lessons in piano, jazz, tap, singing, baton, guitar, or ballet. She encouraged me to express myself through movement and music and showed her pride by being there for nearly every recital. When I expressed an interest in being on the swim team (which was going to require 3 hours of practice every night), my hypnotist gently explained to me that there was not enough room in my life for the arts and swim team. Bye bye swim team. My first hypnotist instilled in me family values. Not only did she SAY she was always going to be there for me, but she was, regardless of what happened or what trouble I got into. I remember when I was 17, my father had a quadruple bypass and she was there by his side the entire time. While my first hypnotist taught me some amazing lessons, she wasn’t perfect. Sometimes she taught me lessons that she wasn’t aware she was teaching me. For example, my first hypnotist was not really a physically affectionate person. I wasn’t even aware of how this affected me until my late 20’s, when someone gave me an unsolicited hug and the person noticed I quietly panicked.

My first hypnotist unintentionally instilled in me that her other job and projects were often more important than spending time with me. This unconscious belief was something I carried with me through my marriage to a workaholic, and became one of the primary reasons for my divorce. One of the hardest lessons my first hypnotist instilled in me was that sweets were an excellent way to reward good behavior and good grades. When I spent so many hours alone while she was working, I tried to compensate for my loneliness and make myself happy by eating sweets. My hypnotist saw me gaining weight and tried instilling in me how important it was to be skinny and fit, but failed to demonstrate healthy habits like daily exercise, eating in moderation, and the bad effects of increased sugar consumption.

Carol with her daughter Traci on Mother's Day 2017
Carol with her daughter Traci, Mother's Day 2017

If you haven't guessed by first hypnotist was my mom. Consciously and unconsciously, for better for worse, she raised me with her belief systems. Some of the beliefs she instilled in me led me to a lifetime of enjoyment while others led me to a lifetime of challenge. When I realized the belief systems I had learned were no longer worked for me, I took the necessary steps to change them. I will leave this thanking my mom for all she’s done. She was a great mom, she did her best raising me, and I'm forever grateful. Take a moment this Mother’s Day to reflect on the belief systems your "first hypnotist" instilled in you. Think about what beliefs you kept and what beliefs you discarded. Thank her for doing her best to raise you, even if her resources were limited. If you find yourself with a few belief systems from your first hypnotist that just aren’t working for you anymore…feel free to give "this" hypnotist a call. ;)

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