The innate potential inside of me grew stronger, and the building life-force energy pushed against societal norms, like a shoot from an acorn pushing against a cement sidewalk. Many internal structures, beliefs about myself and the world, cracked before I was strong enough to break through the sidewalk. I grew taller, stronger, expressing myself as a tree in a world designed for cars.
I graduated Pomona College, a little academic resort in Southern California, with a major in psychology. I spent much of my time in college practicing spirituality, studying Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and various types of meditation. Psychology interested me because it was focused on a very practical question: how does one reduce stress and suffering, and live a happy, meaningful life? After graduating college I wanted to develop myself, to become a more ideally peaceful and loving person, and had found meditation extremely effective at facilitating personal growth. So I lived in Buddhist monasteries, meditating and living as part of a spiritual community.
In 2013 I was taking on rather severe practices: fasting for days, sleeping little, talking little, and meditating most of the day and night. I began to experience strong kundalini energy running through my body. I could sensitively feel my body like never before, which included strong experiences of anger and pain, as well as powerful feelings of pleasure and love. Parts of myself that were suppressed came to the surface to be integrated. Archetypal themes for my life came into view. The value of this experience was incredible, and some cultures include vision questing as an important element in personal development for this very reason.
I ordained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand where I continued to formulate my understanding of self and world. I learned Thai and as much as possible integrated into Thai culture and society. I read widely during this time, encountering the works of hypnotists such as Dolores Cannon, Brian Weiss and Michael Newton for the first time. After a year and a half I decided to return to my cultural home, America, to seek avenues of service, deeper intimate connections, and pursue more intellectual endeavors. I decided to formally study hypnotherapy and was accepted by the Alchemy Institute of Hypnosis in Santa Rosa, CA where I completed a 225 hour course learning the specifics of therapy: emotional clearing, child rescue, past life regression, somatic healing, conference room therapy, and how to treat specific issues such as addiction.
Learning hypnotherapy techniques was incredibly exciting for me, because I felt they addressed areas where traditional psychotherapy failed to be effective. Hypnotherapy taps into the wisdom and power of more subtle areas of consciousness usually addressed only in spiritual or religious contexts. For example, it offers techniques of visiting the past imaginatively, bringing along more inner resources than were available in the past, that are surprisingly effective at healing childhood trauma. I hope that these revolutionary techniques will also soon be adopted by more mainstream psychologists and psychiatrists. I experienced the healing benefits of hypnotherapy myself, and naturally took to the role of therapist. Every evening I would invite a fellow student to receive a session from me so I could solidify my understanding of the material and quickly gain real experience.
I continued to seek further training in hypnotherapy at the Institute for Therapeutic Learning where I completed a 150 hour course and received a certification in Transpersonal Hypnotherapy and NLP. Additionally, I have completed one and a half years of a three year program at the Seattle School of Body-Psychotherapy in Core Energetics, a modality that focuses on the role of the body in healing. A unique theory of child development originally developed by Wilhelm Reich provides a useful frame for healing past trauma and guides therapeutic intervention over the course of therapy.
My own path is unique, and the way that I have found to live in the world is not what will work for everyone. I am not preaching or prescribing anything other than self-discovery. But my path does chart a course from an old to a new paradigm that is applicable more broadly. Our current ways of ecological and economic exploitation are not sustainable, and are in fact incredibly painful. We need a new way of being, both personally and collectively. And global change starts first with the individual.
I see the work I do with Alchemical Hypnotherapy as revolutionary. Is it not revolutionary to give up internalized shame and fear, and live an empowered life overflowing with joy and love? There are few things as important as getting this foundation right, and I am pleased to be doing this work. I am honored to be a fellow explorer with those who are seeking change. Would you like to join me?