by: Roger Moore
Ancient Hawaiians had a wonderful metaphor that describes how we react to traumatic events in our lives. They taught that when a traumatic event happens where we react with negative emotions, we create a black bag and stuff the negative emotions into the bag and pull the drawstring tight. This allows us to not feel the anger, hurt, fear, pain or other negative emotions. As our life continues, other events happen and we create more black bags to stuff these negative feelings that we don’t want to feel. These black bags become a chain of hurts and fears that we drag behind us throughout life.
From these events, we also develop beliefs about life and at a subconscious level and throughout life gather evidence to support these beliefs. For instance, as a child, we might go to the store with our mom and ask for something that we want such as a box of 64 Crayola crayons. Mom may tell us “no.” The reason for the denial is irrelevant. It could be because she can’t afford it or she already has one at home wrapped up waiting to give to you as a present, or, any other reason. From that denial of not receiving immediately what we want, we might draw any number of conclusions. For example, we might decide that “Life is not fair,” “I don’t deserve to get what I want,” “I am not worthy of mom’s love,” or “I am not good enough.” And because of this conclusion, we may even feel guilty for asking. We then continue to go through our life looking for more evidence to support our conclusion, seemingly proving our beliefs to be true.
So what does all of this have to do with Mind Body Wellness? Well, often injuries, infections and illnesses are coupled with strong feelings of fear, guilt, anxiety or depression and become a potential source of subsequent disability. The initial injury or illness is often minor but is joined with great emotional stress (black bags). The emotional stress triggers external stimuli alarming the injured or ill person creating greater dis-ease (more evidence). This dis-ease leads to more emotional stress, triggering even more dis-ease … and so the cycle continues.
Clients will often describe their depression as a “darkness” within them that they are stuffing (pulling the drawstring tight). They describe their fear of this darkness, afraid of what would happen if it ever came out and afraid of what they might find out about themselves. Soon, all of their energy is being consumed by this holding in of the darkness and they have no energy for living. They are depressed. Along with the depression, they often report other illness or physical pain.
The presence of emotional or physical stress evokes a state that is indistinguishable from that of a hypnotic trance. The unconscious response to injury is similar to the effect of a strongly given posthypnotic suggestion. Even seemingly minor events, such as a high fever of a child, breaking a bone or receiving stitches can create new black bags or provide further evidence to support already developed ones, acting like a posthypnotic suggestion. Now we don’t develop these beliefs and black bags consciously. Most of us are not out there purposefully saying “give me more fear, hurt, pain, etc…” Yet, when we closely evaluate our results, we can see where we keep having similar events with similar feelings occurring throughout our lives.
Today science confirms what we have known for centuries; we have a thinking body. (“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” Proverbs 23:7). The body and the mind are one, they are inseparable. All thought and all emotions occur in every cell of the body. All memory and all past emotions are stored in every cell of the body. So not only does all of the conscious mind chatter occur in every cell of the body, so does all unconscious beliefs and emotions. When you say, “I have a sad heart,” or “I’m bursting with joy,” you are speaking literally. That is what is happening at the most fundamental cell level in your body. Since thinking and feeling occurs in every cell of the body, the black bags of hurt, anger, and fear can ultimately lead to physical pain and illness. Body aches and pains, migraines, fibromyalgia, allergies, asthma, numbness of limbs, cancer, dis-ease of heart, liver and other organs and other physical ailments can all be attributed to what we feel, believe and remember in our body.
Realizing this, we may start judging ourselves as wrong again for creating our pain and illness. That is guilt. This judgment does not serve us in any way other than to create more dis-ease. Genetics and environment are other components that affect our health. We are each born with a genetic disposition and our environment is contaminated with toxins. Even with a healthy mind, healthy emotions and a healthy spiritual life, people do become ill. Nevertheless, the ability to respond (responsibility) allows us to make changes in our lives, to change the way we think and feel so that we can relieve the impact of our genetics and environment.
The power of the body and the mind is magical because it literally allows us to create new bodies. If you feel joy, every cell of your body responds to that emotion. And if you are depressed, that image is broadcast through your entire body mind as well. Anxiety tenses the muscles. Depression leads to fatigue. Joy creates energy. Gratitude and love open the heart. Emotions affect the whole subtle energy system of the body. We can change the way we think and feel. We can undo the trance, opening the black bags and releasing the darkness within. Therapies such as hypnosis, Time Line Therapy™, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), chiropractic, acupuncture, Hellerwork, Reiki, Rolfing, massage and others allow us to release our black bags of fear, anger, sadness, and judgments. Along with a healthy spiritual practice, good nutrition and regular exercise, this release creates pathways to physical and emotional wellness allowing the body to heal.
“I would definitely recommend this program if you’re willing to make a life change for the better.” ~ P.Schultz
Roger Moore has been working with people since high school when he volunteered on a crisis hot line. He has a BA in Criminal Justice Studies, a Masters in Applied Counseling Psychology and a Doctorate in Clinical Hypnotherapy. While an undergraduate he began working with children who were developmentally disabled. Roger was Executive Director of Forestview Community Homes, Inc. in Minnesota which provided residential programs to children and adults who were developmentally disabled. While attending Graduate School he was Vice President of Lutheran Social Services of Southern California directing the emergency services, hot meal programs, and senior services in Orange & San Diego Counties and created the counseling program throughout southern California. Since 1996 Roger has been in private practice on Bainbridge Island and in Seattle, Washington. In addition to his passion for assisting people in taking off excess weight, he specializes in relationship counseling and sports performance. In addition to teaching at his own school of hypnotherapy, Roger is a regular speaker at the annual meetings or the International Association of Counselors & Therapists (IACT), the International Medical & Dental Hypnotherapy Association (IMDHA) and the American Board of Hypnotherapy (ABH) as well as other organizations.
Roger belongs to one of the most highly recognized organizations for Certified Hypnotherapists in the world, the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association®. He is a proud to be a member in good standing of this organization. As a Referral Service of Certified Hypnotherapists, the IMDHA has been influential in furthering the education of Hypnotists and Hypnotherapists around the world for more than two decades. These Certified Hypnotherapists will work harmoniously with allied healthcare professionals to aid individuals in dealing with specific challenges and procedures.
Roger is also a member of the International Association of Counselors & Therapists, the International Hypnosis Federation, and the Association for Integrative Psychology. Roger is an Affiliate Faculty Member in Clinical Hypnosis, Counseling Psychology and liberal studies at Antioch University Seattle and is a faculty member at Alpha University.
“I consider myself to be a life-long learner, yet by no means do I want to come across as the all-knowing expert. I’m very aware of my own limitations, and I invite anyone interested in personal growth to contribute to the topics we cover. We’re on this journey together.”