Oh, the things about hypnosis that you don't learn from the media are so important! That includes popular entertainment as well as written research. Those things are entertaining, and in some cases accurately informative, but you never really know, just from reading, just what it is truly to be hypnotized.
I want to acknowledge that apparently I have a gift, hence the title of this entry. Every time I trance, every time, I end up thinking to myself "and again, I'm a science project." Sometimes it's because of something the hypnotist says to me, sometimes it's because of something I noticed in myself, but it always happens. I feel incredibly sad for the people whom I've gotten to meet since starting this journey who tell me they can't be tranced, but they want to. And some of them want to so very, very badly, and I am at a complete loss to explain what it is that makes me different to them. (And also different to a lot of other subjects as well.)
When I started, I thought it was simply a matter of wanting to succeed. I know better now. I thought it was a matter of just listening carefully and reacting to what I heard. And that's true, in part, but that's also a description of how to be an actor, and it's so much more than that as well. I thought a certain type of voice was important, or a certain kind of prose, or a certain kind of intent. All not important to me in the long run.
I have felt, as I believe I have mentioned before, like I'm swimming in an unfamiliar ocean surrounded by sharks. Because of this, I have made sure that certain safe guards are in play. (My panic button works just the way it's supposed to by the way.) And it's more important than ever that I have those safeguards, because I am starting to get just comfortable enough with my ocean and my circle of sharks that I'm starting to swim out to the open water a little bit. Just a tiny little bit, but you never know which shark is going to be the dangerous yet exciting yet good one, and which shark is going to be the one that grabs hold of my leg and drags me away, bleeding. (So if we are chatting and for some reason I call you a shark, but I'm not shutting things down, congratulations, you are apparently dangerous and exciting, but don't come across as bloodthirsty.)
I feel like I have enough data now to talk sensibly about my experiences as a subject. First: induction style. I can tell pretty quickly now if someone has been trained/certified rather than tried to pick it up as they went along. There's a certain cadence to the words, whether spoken or written, that stands out. And yes, I prefer those people, although I have also met several people who aren't officially trained/certified who were obviously well-educated and fun to read/listen to.
People keep asking me what style of induction works best for me. The honest answer is I still don't know enough about the subject to say. (Or to even know what people mean by 'style.') What I do know is that if I'm reading a script, it needs to be broken up into chunks, with some sort of rhythm and flow. If I'm in chat, it needs to be continuously feeding lines to which I can respond. And if it's person to person, well, I rather fancy pocketwatches, although that isn't necessary. But even the hardest to follow script worked for me. And in that case it really is because I wanted it to work. I wanted it to work so much that I helped it along, but was never truly satisfied because I was unable to completely let go. I could go into trance right now if I wanted to, and when I knew I would be encountering this particular person I made sure that I was already there every time.
So. How it feels to be a science project. You know those Japanese paper screens, the ones that slide, that they use instead of doors sometimes? I feel like there's a screen between me untranced and me entranced and at any given time all I have to do is reach out and slide the screen away. The paper is so thin that I really don't even need to slide it away, but the action of doing so just makes everything better.
I don't start off feeling light and floaty, although people seem to think I will. I feel like the world has dropped away beneath my feet, but that I am still sitting here solidly, even though there's no ground. I feel a flipping of the muscles through my core, starting at my groin and going all the way up the center of my body, kind of like that moment of vertigo when you first tilt over the top of a drop on a roller coaster. If I'm in chat, my arms get incredibly heavy resting on the keyboard; one of the ways I can tell I'm going deeper is when I am compelled to move them before they fall, and then bringing them back to the keys is a struggle because it feels like time in that small space between me and the keyboard has slowed to a different pace than everywhere else. And in chat, my eyes completely desert me. I need to have them open to read the words, but I have to have them shut to keep from being in pain, because blinking hurts. One eye is always out of sync with the other one, and even though I feel like I'm looking straight ahead when my eyes are shut, as soon as I open them I realize that they have shifted sideways somehow and only the opening of my eyelids can draw them back. It's hugely disconcerting. In a lot of ways, having to keep paying attention to the screen drags me deeper, because while I'm doing that my focus is distracted from everything else that may be happening to me. I sway a lot, I've felt like I'm underwater being moved back and forth by unseen currents, and I've also felt so completely impaired that it was like being frozen.
So in a lot of ways it's a relief to use Skype, where I don't have to worry about a pesky screen or a keyboard, and can be as relaxed and comfortable as necessary. My eyes don't bother me, although I can feel them moving under my eyelids, and my right hand has a tendency to twitch. This is when I feel light and floaty, when I am able to let everything go, and even then light and floaty aren't the best words, just the only available ones.
It's not like my body is asleep and my mind is awake, which is what some of the readings I've done have said. It's more like my body is asleep and my mind is observing while something else becomes stronger and more in charge. (And yes I know that that would be my subconscious, thanks.) It's a wonderful feeling, being asked questions while in that state. Ask me a question out of trance, and if it's something factual I will give you way more than you want to know, if it's something personal or an opinion then a lot of the time I am at a complete loss. But in trance it doesnt' matter how long it takes, eventually there will be an answer, and there's no thinking about it, it's just there, all I have to do is wait for it.
The most important aspect of me being a science project is the speed at which I go down. I cannot emphasize how important it is to have a good rapport with a hypnotist that you trust, because that, of course, helps, but even with people whom I've barely met, if I've decided it's okey for them to trance me it takes less than a paragraph. And person to person? Seconds. (And now I'm curious, I'm going to have to ask just how long it really was. But it felt like seconds.)
I feel like I'm not explaining this as well as I wanted to. I'm leaving a lot out, I know, but I'm hitting the highlights. I'll probably think of a ton of stuff later on to add, but for now I will ask that people who read this, if you have any (specific) questions, it would be really great if you could comment and I will try to answer.