Discovering our life purpose can be a funny thing. Once we get to the point of discovery, we tend to think we'll be great at doing whatever our dream requires of us only to learn it's not the reality. Our dream may be grand but our skill or capability needed to fulfil our purpose is not. It's that realisation that separates the talkers from the doers. In my case, that requirement was my writing skill. An overwhelming fear of writing (ironic though) prevented me from embarking on this journey earlier than I should have. For many years, the thought that lingered in my head regarding writing was "I am not good enough (I suck)" especially whenever I compared myself to a former friend who I suspected ate a dictionary or two during her childhood. When I received a cosmic intervention that propelled me to become an author, I expected that my fear of writing would vanish. I would be proven wrong.
My entry into the purpose-filled world is akin to a happenstance. After having my heart monumentally crushed to pieces by an irrelevant human, my world and ego came to an existential crash. Drowning in confusion and disillusionment and without the courage to share my crisis to anybody, I turned to that thing I felt could be a form of salvation—writing. In my heart, I knew it would bring me to a catharsis even if I couldn't articulate it to my mind then. Through poems and short stories, I poured my sorrows and pain out of me, discovering my life's purpose in the process. That would've been the cue to a happily-ever-after, wouldn't it? Except it wasn't.
While I was revelling in the world of fiction writing, I acquired a problem not by my own choosing. In my quest to find unofficial mentors and like-minded people online, I stumbled upon many blogs that sparked a different kind of writing for me—non-fiction. At first it was difficult. Despite the two types of writing possessing similarities, my approaches to them differed from one another. In writing fiction, I roamed free on a blank page, letting my uncontrolled thoughts and ideas spill on the earth of the growing literary forest. However, I couldn't apply the same technique when writing non-fiction. The latter demanded I organise a clutter of ideas first before expounding on them. Freestyling wasn't allowed.
The disparity between the two types of writing was a horror for somebody playing within the electronic spaces of a draft without much rules. That would not dissuade me however. Determined to learn how to write non-fiction blog posts, I swallowed the bitter pill of ego and trained my non-fiction mental muscles. Over time I learned how to do it, exuding a happy ending on the surface. The wallpaper of happy ending would be peeled soon, revealing a tragedy. I learned how to write non-fiction at the cost of unlearning my fiction-writing skill. I strived on writing non-fiction blog posts while work-in-progress poems remained unripe fruits. I've gained one skill at the cost of another which wasn't my goal at all. Worse, I was in the middle of writing my novel I Killed My Friends and It Thrilled Me. The last thing I needed was a giant boulder in the middle of my track preventing me from getting to my destination.
The last thing I also needed was a hypnotherapist to save me from the crisis I fell into. That's when Dan Olexa came into the picture. Notwithstanding the miles and oceans between us, Dan, a hypnotherapist and a Life Mastery Coach living in Redondo Beach, California, offered to me his help. We met each other online in Isaiah Hankel's program "The Escape Plan" a few months prior. One Skype call later, after I accepted his offer, the details and magnitude of my writing problem would become known to him. With his expertise, he'd craft the hypnotherapy recording which would become a good friend of mine in the next month or so. Dan's philosophy in his career is beautiful. "I have a passion for helping others to live more fulfilled and happy lives, to be more successful. Even in my corporate career, I promoted others before myself because I felt it was right to 'share the love.' Those who worked with me deserved recognition too. I’m called to empower others, whether through hypnotherapy or life coaching," he claimed.
About hypnotherapy, here is what Dan has to say: "Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis to create aware communication directly with the subconscious mind. In the state of hypnosis, the client is at a deeper brain wave pattern than when they are in their normal, waking consciousness. When the noise of the conscious mind is bypassed, and a direct connection to the subconscious is established, then the client and hypnotherapist can work together to reframe limiting beliefs that are holding the client back from achieving their goals."
For years, I told myself I wasn't good enough to write. Even after my discovery of my dream, that thought which became embedded deep inside me continued to haunt me.
"These beliefs could be anything from a message they heard repeatedly in childhood ('you do not deserve anything,' You are not good enough to do ____,' or 'there is never enough money to go around'); or it could be how they framed an event in the past that became a limiting belief or story about who they are and what they can have in life," Dan added. "The subconscious is the seat of our emotions and beliefs about who we are, what we are capable of achieving, and what we think we deserve. It is also the place from which our creativity arises. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. That is to say that the client has control, not the hypnotherapist. I do not use the term 'hypnotist' as it is connected to the use of hypnosis for entertainment. I do not do entertainment, I use hypnosis to help clients overcome subconscious blocks to their success."
Are all these too hard to comprehend? Think of Jean Grey and Professor X of the X-Men. The professor put mental blocks inside Jean's head to prevent the unleashing of the Phoenix, which can bring catastrophe to the universe. Now replace Jean Grey with me (don't even think about Jeangasms) and Professor X with Dan, then imagine the same scenario only in reverse. Instead of Dan putting mental blocks in my head, he's removing them to unleash my Phoenix, a good Phoenix, my potential that is being restrained by harmful and unproductive subconscious gatekeepers. "I believe that we are nothing more than the stories we tell about who we are. If you say you are shy, you will live your life reinforcing that belief and looking for proof that it is true, all the while being oblivious to other stimuli that tell a different story… a story of your bravery and gregariousness."
After months of listening to Dan's hypnotherapy recording for me, I was able to slide into the door of fiction once again. What's better? I got to slide between the doors of fiction and non-fiction with ease, it's like previously blocked creative tunnels I wasn't aware of were finally being utilised, ushering creative water into a well where I took inspiration from. As a matter of fact, my short stories collection Walden and Hyde (and Other Short Stories) took a lot of inspiration from that well. My debut novel would follow months later. Both books owed their completion to Dan's (mutant power) professional expertise.
Does hypnotherapy only work in solving Phoenix problems in writing? Of course, not. "Hypnotherapy has been used for a few hundred years to help overcome deep-seated fears, help with healing, reduce dependence on drugs for pain management, heal past memories, give clients control over their bodies (tinnitus) and connect with their personal power," Dan explained.
It helped me. It can help you too.