I had an exhausting, but very exciting time attending the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop at the University of Dayton this past weekend. It was wonderful to see so many Erma Bombites in one place; although I will have to say that I have never seen so many white, middle-aged women in one room before. Well, there was the one token gay guy which was a welcome prism of color in an otherwise opaque color wheel. And it was a great pleasure to meet Erma’s family. They all seemed so…normal. Just like the down to earth person that Erma was.
The speakers were extremely entertaining and made us all laugh. I loved the 70+ year-old who had the self-worth to be comfortable wearing a nose ring; the speaker who told us to “Fart Around and Drink Rum;” another who advised us to have a blog mission statement (I am thinking that “To share my whininess with others” probably isn’t a good mission statement but I’ll work on it…) and I also learned new terms like evergreen and what “Kill the Baby” means when working with standup comedy.
But the one workshop that I really enjoyed was called “Hypnotic Recall Fills the Creative Well” presented by Suzette Martinez Standring . Suzette is certified in Hypnotherapy (I am so going to google that and see if there is an online class) and actually took the entire class through the self-hypnosis process. Now, I am sure that you are thinking the same thing I did: “Yeah, this is so not going to happen to me. I am way too (insert word along the lines of ostentatious/self-important/haughty here).” But I was definitely going to keep an open mind and play along. Besides, the lights were dimmed and I really was a bit tired. Suzette told us that one hour of self-hypnosis was equal to 8 hours of sleep. I don’t want my husband to know that because he already thinks I get wwaaayyyy too much sleep.
So we all closed our eyes and listened as Suzette took us through the process. She told us that we needed to connect to our subconscious mind – where our emotions and memories were stored. Suzette started by asking us to relax and be open to whatever we felt. However, when she asked us to work with our subconscious mind, mine was not at all cooperative:Me: Suzette said I need to focus on an object; subconscious give me an object, okay? Sub: What do you want? Me: I don’t care – anything but hurry because she is starting to talk about deep breaths and relaxing my hands and I don’t want to get behind. Sub: Well, I don’t care – you pick. Me: Why do I have to pick? You are supposed to be the expert in visionary things – you choose. And it has to have a color. Sub: I am so not interested in this. How about a green flower? Me: Hello? Can we be a little more colorful than that? How about yellow? Or orange? Sub: FINE. A orangy yellow flower then. Are you done? Me: Great! Shhhh! Suzette is moving on – listen! Sub: la, la, la, la, la, la Me: You are so damn irritating. Okay, now Suzette says I have to find that inner thingy and picture it in my mind – spinning and making me all relaxed and in tune with you. Sub: Now what do you want? An animal? A teddy bear? Another orange yellow flower? Me: No, I am pretty sure it has to be a body part – And it has to have a color! Hurry – I am getting behind again with all this arguing with you. Sub: Purple Pancreas. There you go. Happy now? Me: I don’t know if that is going to work. Sub: That’s what you get. Take it or leave it.
And so ended my first contact with my subconscious. I honestly took something away from the experience and I am definitely going to try it again. Suzette told me that what I experienced was normal for my first time. I am just hoping that next time I’ll be able to use my orange-yellow flower and purple pancreas without my subconscious complaining and bitching. Then again, I guess since it is MY subconscious; it is to be expected.