There is a surprising technique used by hypnotists to put their subjects into a deeper trance.
It involves taking people out of trance, briefly.
You instruct your subject to open their eyes for a second, and to then close them and sink deeper into trance.
And it works.
This is surprising, because it is a completely counter-intuitive technique. By briefly leaving the trance state and returning to full consciousness, I actually go deeper into trance.
We see from this that the process of going into trance is more powerful than just being in it. It is better to go into trance twice than to simply spend that time in trance.
This is a technique that you can easily try when you are meditating as well – briefly open yours eyes, close them again, and find yourself sinking deeper into relaxation.
Dealing with failure
There is a fascinating idea we can learn from this technique and apply to other areas of life.
Have you ever resolved to do something and found yourself failing moments later?
For me, it was deciding to live in the moment.
Now living in the moment is a great value, and is often spoken about in today’s day and age. It’s a simple concept with many benefits, but it’s far more difficult to put into practice.
I read the book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, and decided to live a more conscious and present lifestyle.
And within seconds, my anxieties, my brain chatter, and life’s distractions had me focused on everything but the present.
At some point I realized this fact, become present again for a couple of seconds; which lasted until whoops, “did I leave my keys at work?”…
It’s four years later and I’m still working on staying present.
The setbacks are the process
And one day I realized. Instead of looking at those moments of distraction and non-living-in-the-moment moments as failures, why not look at them as part of the process?
Just as in hypnosis, leaving the idea state of mind briefly helps deepen the experience, so to anything you fail at can be looked at as an opportunity to experience the process of succeeding more deeply.
When I realize I am not living in the moment and return to the moment, I can return to the moment more deeply than I ever was in the past.
The mysticism behind it
There is an even deeper meaning to this idea, taught in Jewish mysticism.
This idea teaches us that the world we live in, a world with a lot of darkness, pain and confusion, is here for us to express good, light and healing through our choices.
These positive actions we undertake result in a God’s Presence being expressed in the world in a different way than they ever could have been if there was no process.
It’s about the contrast.
You appreciate sunlight much more if you’ve been living in a cave for a week. Similarly, when you bring good into a place that was dark before, that positivity is heightened by the contrast of what it is coming to replace.
So next time your find yourself failing, or realize that you haven’t been living up to your dreams or resolutions – do not fear. This is an opportunity to express the unique human capacity of growth through setback.
This is actually part of the process, and if you look at it from that perspective, you can reengage in that ideal resolution, action or thought with renewed energy and excitement.