I’ve Got a Hankering for Some Anchoring

Yesterday, Namaste introduced me to Derren Brown (here are three interesting videos), a “magician”, I guess. I watched videos off of TVLinks and Google video for all of six hours (stayed up till 5am, ugh, and I’m a workin’ man), and became dramatically inspired by him and interested in Neurolinguistic programming and hypnosis.

I have been practicing mirroring all day to make it more natural to me, and learning about eye movements and brain activation and observing those together with linguistic patterns to find out people’s preferred representation. It is a very interesting experience, so closely people watching.

Tonight, I thought I would try something on myself. I put on a bath to candlelight (something I don’t normally do—I prefer “sensory deprivation” baths) for a good relaxing mood. The bath water was almost too hot, but not quite. I sat in the bath for a little while just relaxing, and then I sat up against the back of the tub, so that my back was touching the cold wall. My posture generally isn’t very good, so I had to tense up some back muscles to keep my back and head up there.

Then I slowly went down my body parts and felt what they were experiencing, and then releasing any tension in them. I started with my forehead, then my eyes, then my nose, mouth, shoulders, upper arms, lower arms, hands, chest, you get the picture. I spent probably 60 seconds or so on each one (just an indication of the pace, of course I wasn’t timing it) except my shoulders, which I spent much more time on because it was difficult to relax them. After a few attempts, I was sitting up straight with my back muscles (along with much of my upper body) relaxed. That felt good.

After reaching my feet, I just let my body do whatever it wanted. It flopped around, first bending forward putting my hair in the water. I think I leaned forward more than I ever have; I’m not terribly limber in that part of the back. I had to override when I got water in my nostrils. I sat up straight (keeping my eyes closed and still focusing on my senses). Then I bent to the right, my head completely relaxed against the right wall. I was essentially a ragdoll. I just basked in this for ten minutes or so.

Here’s the interesting part. I let myself bend down until my nostrils were almost in the water again, completely relaxed. I folded my hands together and pressed down on my knuckles quite hard. I did this because it is something I don’t normally do—it’s not an ordinary gesture. I held it for about four seconds and then released, and then sitting up straight again after I released. I said aloud “you’re awake”, opened my eyes wide, stood up and stretched.

I sat back down in the bath, allowed myself to relax a bit again and let my head flop around. It wasn’t nearly as floppy as before I stood up though, it was just vaguely relaxed. There was a little tension in my shoulders. I then recalled my anchor (folding my hands and pressing), and to my dismay nothing happened. I had anchored that state, why didn’t I re-enter? After about four seconds I released my hands.

Right after I released my hands it happened: my body wilted into the bathtub, my butt sliding all the way to the middle, my head swooning to the left resting on the left edge of the tub, the tension in my shoulders completely gone. I was incredibly happy and excited that my anchor worked! And still I could barely move my body. It wasn’t so much as a “try to sit back up and unable to” thing, but rather my mind kept pre-empting any attempts of sitting back up. I would think to myself “okay, sit back up” and then instantly after that, almost interrupting-like, I would think to myself “nah”. My body stayed completely relaxed and it was a wonderful, euphoric feeling. Only after I said aloud to myself “time to get up, you’re awake” was I able to convince myself to sit back up straight.

I recalled the anchor two more times just to experience it again. It was exactly the same each time. I didn’t spend so long in the relaxed state the next two times because I was too excited to see if it would work yet another time. And still, I couldn’t get up until I said something aloud.

I got out of the bath with a huge smile on my face and told Namaste about the experience. As I was describing it, I made anchor gesture with my hands and pressed. I felt myself relax a little; it wasn’t a total body relaxation like in the bath, but it was there a little. Environmental factors have a big impact, as in, it may not work very well if I’m not sitting in the dark in warm water. It could also be that my concious mind overrode and prevented me from collapsing on the floor in front of Namaste.

I’m about to go to bed. I’m going to lie down, recall the anchor, and see how long my conciousness lasts after that.

What a remarkable experience!

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