Self Hypnosis Demonstration: How To Get Out Of “Bucketland”
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Consider a person living in Bucket Land. It’s nicely bucket-shaped and it has whatever
color you wish it to have, but it is a bucket. Inside of Bucket Land, there’s a little
prison and this person’s caught inside the prison. Looking outside of the prison, he sees all
the wonderful things that are happening in Bucket Land. There are little lakes and there are people
having picnics and it looks fun out there. He doesn’t like it in prison, so he goes
through what I would call traditional self-improvement methods – self-hypnosis for example and
some forms of meditation, and meditations we’ll handle slightly differently when we
get to the segment on that. There are a million different methods, and
he learned how to break out of his prison and for a while he’s overjoyed. He’s running around the prairies dancing
away and having a wonderful time until one day he hits something, some invisible barrier
that he can’t quite understand. He’s come to the edge of Bucket Land where
the bucket is, so what does he do? He turns to one side and walks around and
for a while it’s fine because he’s constantly exploring new things and life is full of joy,
but eventually Bucket Land being finite, he runs out of things to explore. He knows everything. Everything is usual. Nothing is new, so really Bucket Land becomes
a new prison for him. He gets bored, frustrated, angry maybe, depressed. I know no one here has ever felt these things,
right? He feels like his life’s going nowhere,
like he’s walking around in circles because he is, because he’s explored up to the limits
of whatever map shall we say his mind’s allowed him to have, and this is where he
gets stuck in a very frustrating place because any goal that you can conceive within Bucket
Land is by definition limited to Bucket Land because your conscious mind can only work
with what’s around it. The only time people leave Bucket Land in
normal life is when something so dramatic happens in their life that turns it upside
down, which basically spills Bucket Land over and forces them out, and for a while life
is deeply unpleasant until they learn that they’re now in Bathtub Land. It’s much bigger but still has constraints. Do you understand the metaphor so far? What we’ll be doing here is we’ll be talking
directly to that part of you that’s responsible for creating Bucket Land as a safe environment,
and then Bathtub Land around that and then Swimming Pool Land around that, and you can
carry on with larger vessels if you like around that ad infinitum. Whenever one type of reality, one way of being
no longer serves you and you’ve outgrown it, you can engage in a process that will
relatively painlessly allow you to go to the next stage in your personal transformation
so that you can then go back to enjoying life’s riches and so on but in a way that you cannot
conceive of right now, because if you could conceive of it right now then it wouldn’t
be out there; it would still be in here. Do you understand the dilemma that we face
in the self-improvement industry? Now if you’re working with a therapist,
that’s a little easier to do because your therapist is not in your Bucket Land because
if he’s in your Bucket Land, he can’t help you. If they have the same issues as you, it’s
going to be very difficult for them to help you because they don’t have the insight
of what it’s like to be outside of that. So, what a good therapist will say is I’m
sorry I can’t help you with that, but tell me if you find somebody who can because I’ll
join you; or if they stand outside of your bucket enough, they can say oh, you’re just
stuck in Bucket Land and let me help you out of that. That’s what a good therapist will do, whether
it’s hypnotherapy or something else. Do you understand the analogy? The dilemma is when you’re doing it on yourself,
you don’t have that external perspective, or rather you don’t have access to it consciously,
but given that your unconscious mind can create the bucket – for your security by the way
because it makes you feel safe, constrained it for safety – you can have a chat with
the same one that built Bucket Land so that they can show you how to carve a hole in it
and slowly and safely – that’s the important part – explore what happens outside of it. Do you understand that? That’s kind of what happened in your example. Someone took you outside of Bucket Land but
life got a lot worse because you didn’t have the coping skills for dealing with outside,
so your dilemma was stay here in pain long enough to figure out how this undiscovered
country works, or go back in the bucket where it’s safe. I don’t know which choice you made and I
don’t need to know, but the point is that is the choice where people tend to say I give
up, I’m going to what’s safe and they become very small as people. That’s not a judgment call on them by the
way. It is a natural phenomenon when you’re dealing
with something that is overwhelming for you. You go back to what you know and what is safe,
and that’s absolutely appropriate. What we’ll be focusing on here is how to
explore that unknown so that it’s safe at each step of the way. It won’t always be comfortable by the way,
but I’ll show you how to make that discomfort safe and useful. By the way, when I say I’ll show you how
to make that safe and useful, it doesn’t mean that you can only change to discomfort. There are some things that will be amazing
and you’ll just enjoy the ride all the way through, and there are other things where
you’ll have to go through a period of discomfort because that’s part of where the learning
comes from. So, there will be a grab bag. I’m not going to expect you to go home,
bring your cat o’ nine tails and whip yourselves into enlightenment. That’s not this kind of school. Does that address some of your concerns? We’ll add more as we go along, so please
keep the question in mind. You had a second question as well. Student: It’s in the same mind. It seems to be part of my own nature that
I always knew there’s this Bucket Land, so I’m not as descriptive as you, so my
tendencies seem to be I will go into unchartered land even if I’m totally unprepared. Everything is better than staying in the bucket
and that’s not safe. I will stay there until I’m totally burned
out. Igor: That’s exactly what we’ll be doing
here. We have five days to do some work together. I have taught this process to some people
in two very intense days, and to be fair at the end of those two days we didn’t finish
the entire program because their mind had had enough and just switched off, but they
got like 95% of it in those two days, and this was someone who’s very, very used to
making big changes fast. So, we have to spread the same amount of time
over five days and even then I fully expect that some of you will decide I’ve had enough,
I’m not going to do these more advanced things just yet, I’m going to go back to
the more basic things and just get used to them. We’ll give you all the exercises and you’ll
still have those available to you once you’ve built up other mechanisms to make it safe. The reason I can’t guarantee all of you
will have this massive breakthrough in here is as follows. Let’s imagine that I was a personal fitness
trainer, and I took you into a gym or whatever method of training we agreed on and for five
days I put you through hell. You lift weights, you run, you do press-ups
until you’re sick – you know the good healthy stuff that we all love, right? After five days all of you would suddenly
be as fit and as strong as an Olympic athlete, wouldn’t you? Why not? Why wouldn’t you be as fit and as strong
as an Olympic athlete? I’m working you harder than one. Why wouldn’t you be as strong or as fit? It’s because your body requires time to
adapt. Your muscles don’t grow in seconds. You have to go through a period of training
them to what they can cope with. Then your body goes oh my goodness, I better
grow a little bit more and you grow a little bit more. That takes a bit of time. Then you go back and you do some more work
at a higher level of intensity, and it goes oh, I better grow some more. It’s an incremental process, but if you
understand that process you can grow at the rate that your body needed to grow rather
than at some externally imposed rate. At this seminar here, we have a slight dilemma
because I have material to teach you or to show you, but your mind – working with the
analogy of the muscle – will only be able to grow at the rate that it can grow, which
is right for you as an individual, which means at some point you’re going to have to take
a timeout. You’re going to have to take a pause and
just say I’ll listen to the exercise and I’ll record it and I’ll use it at some
point, but not yet. I’m not doing it now. Even if you did all the exercises all the
way through, you may still not get the entire results yet because it takes time to build
up the mental strength required. Has anyone here ever done meditation? Hands up. Let me ask you more interestingly. Has anyone here ever tried meditation and
gave up because it was just impossible to do? It’s hard, boring, frustrating – name
whatever negative epitaph you want to put onto that. You see an experienced meditator sitting there
for 10 hours a day going oh that’s just so good, and you’re doing it for two seconds
and saying this is so bad. You have a differently sized mental muscle. They persevered long enough to build that
muscle through sheer brute force. In the old school of weight training, you
keep lifting that bar until you can’t lift it. Oh, I can’t lift it. Oh, I put my back out. Oh, I’ll try again. Eventually your body adapts but it’s a very
painful way of doing it. We’re going to do a progressive version
so you’ll say oh, this weight is easy. I’m bored with this weight, so I’ll go
with another weight. You’re going to be incrementally increasing
your mental capacities to cope with the intensity of the work you’ll be doing here. That means something. That means that for those who have larger
problems, you’re going to take longer to build up more muscle to deal with them, unless
already your life experiences have built those particular muscles, in which case you’ll
be able to run with it as well. I’m not saying this to discourage you. I’m actually saying this to encourage you. The larger the issues that you’re facing
– and this is particularly true of you at home – the smaller the steps need to be
at the beginning because you don’t have very much mental energy and strength left
for other tasks. Most of your energy is used containing the
problem. The more you build strength with what you’ve
got left over, the more of that problem you can start cycling out, which means your resources
start growing and growing. Along with your resources, because you’re
using that mental muscle, you get mentally stronger as well, so you have more resources
and more strength, which means that you can cope with more and more and more as time goes
by. There’s one piece of advice I’ll give
all of you, especially those of you who are doing this at home. Don’t rush. Don’t seek to be at the end straightaway. Nirvana will wait for you. It’s in no hurry, nor should you be. You’re better off working consistently and
systematically and knowing where you’re going each step of the way – and you will
by the end of this program by the way – and then letting your mind teach you how to progress,
than trying to be at the end straightaway and ruining it all by having a very unstable
platform and ultimately ending up in the middle of Bathtub Land in a very scary place. Maybe even at the drain where the spiders
are crawling around and being afraid you’re going to be sucked down into Water Tank Land
– I don’t know. Do you get the idea? You may have noticed I’m doing a lot of
emphasizing around the idea of safety here. That’s because I know where you’re going. You’ll enjoy it and it will be great fun,
but I need to warn you not to be in a rush to do anything. Just let your mind work at your pace because
those safety mechanisms inside your mind are there for a reason. If you’re a reasonably stable human being
– which most of us are – it will only release those safety mechanisms to the extent
that it knows you can cope with it, which means you have other ways of dealing with
whatever it’s protecting you from. The only people that don’t have that are
people who have much larger issues like schizophrenia, psychosis and so on. Personally – and this will be a medical
disclaimer here – I’m not going to make any comments in terms of whether or not it
can work for it. I believe the process that we’ll use here
can work for that also, and I’ll explain why when we get to some of the mindfulness
practices and so on but I have no medical evidence for it, so I’m not making a claim
for that. It’s very important you understand that
there’s a difference between what I believe, what I anticipate from my experiences and
so on, and the complete absence of research on that point. You understand that there’s a difference
between the two, right? So, we’re coming back to the idea of mental
stability again. We’re always going to come back to the same
point. We have two separate but importantly intertwined
tasks to perform over the next five days. One task is to ground you, to keep you in
reality, to keep you safe. That builds one type of mental muscle. Over a long period of time, those kind of
practices, a lot of research has shown, can make wonderful transformations in your life,
but it requires a lot of time and a lot of practice. To speed things up, we’re going to do other
exercises and other practices that will help you fly; hence, the medical disclaimer here. If you’re already borderline, like a psychotic
can’t tell the difference between one reality and another reality – that’s part of what
psychosis is about – if you have problems with that, flying is not where you need to
go first, it’s grounding. If you fly too high, then the old Icarus legend
comes in. You may get a little bit burned by the sun. You need to be able to learn to fly and ground,
fly and ground and that way you have the option of the fastest safest route to discovering
what Bathtub Land is all about. Does that make sense?

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