Stories & Hypnosis

A favourite story of mine is the one about the traveller who comes to the border of their country. As she gazes across the water to the other side, the land beyond, the ferry man is resting his craft against the bank. The traveller wanders over and enquires of him:
“What are the people like over there in that land?”
“Well” The ferry man replied. “What are the people like in the country you have been living?”
The traveller answers with a shrug of her shoulders and a grave tone.
“What are they like? They’re untrustworthy and two faced and will do anything to take advantage of you. They’ve never been any help to me and they never will be”.
“I think you will find” the ferry man said “that they are the same on the other side of the river.”
The traveller turned and trudged away.

Later that day another traveller came from the same direction and found herself at this spot and too asked the ferryman, what the people were like on the other side, again he asked what the people were like in the country she had just left.

“Why, they are friendly and sociable, people look out for each other.”
“I think you’ll find” replied the Ferryman “that they are the same on the other side”.

What I like about this story is that it illustrates to me on of the essential principles that inform hypnotherapy. The concept that we each carry within us an internal representation of reality. We don’t live in reality; we operate from our personal reality. This doesn’t preclude the fact that bad stuff happens out there – but how we respond and what we selectively perceive have most to do with our own internal representation of reality.

Try a little experiment:

Choose somebody you are going to meet for the first time socially or professional.

Before you meet them hold these three thoughts in your mind about them:

1. You have encountered and overcome many challenges in your life
2. You are looking for the best life can give you
3. You want to create positive relationships with others

As you meet them try and hold these basic beliefs in the back of your mind. Relate to them from these beliefs.

Now imagine holding the opposite opinions in your mind about someone you are meeting for the first time…How might things turn out differently?

Christopher Fish

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