My New Power Sentence

A couple months ago, I volunteered to be a practicum subject for a friend who’s training to be a hypnotherapist. I wasn’t sure if I would get much out of it because I already spend half my days hypnotizing myself through meditation and prayer. But I figured it couldn’t hurt.

And I was right.

For all my personal spiritual work over the past 25 years, I hadn’t ever truly absorbed the concept of the power of suggestion.

During our introductory session, my hypno-friend delved deeply into the ways of the subconscious mind, telling me how susceptible I am to both positive and negative suggestions. She also pointed out, using pretty diagrams and repeated phrasing, how capable I am of controlling which suggestions I follow and which I do not.

I learned that I have the power to accept or reject a suggestion, simply by telling myself:

“I accept that suggestion,” or “I reject that suggestion.”

I mean, it sounds ridiculously simple. And it is – that’s the beauty of it.

I’ve since used those two phrases to clean up all sorts of weird messes cluttering my brain. My body dysmorphia decreased significantly, along with many other types of negative self-thought. (Possibly the lifetime of prayer and meditation made my mental scouring more efficient, I won’t deny that.)

So, next step. Hypno-friend helped me cultivate a power sentence in order to meet a goal. In this case, my target was to create more speaking and singing opportunities because I’d like to make more money doing those activities.

But here is where things went awry.

The power sentence turned into some long, convoluted thing about busking and submitting queries a certain number of times per week. My job – to repeat this clunky thing to myself three times a day and actually feel the success of it in the marrow of my bones.

Of course, I failed immediately.

I tried repeating it. I tried feeling it. My deadlines passed. Then I felt all ashamed because I wasn’t making my targets, and the shame piled onto the failure. I started feeling miserable about the whole project, and then avoided my power sentence because it just kept reminding me of how I’d failed.

Finally, I remembered the power of suggestion. I decided it wasn’t me that failed, but the power sentence. Obviously, it wasn’t the right one.

(For instance, maybe it’s not a good idea to decide to go busking several times a week when you’re planning to go sailing and camping all summer. Right? I accept this suggestion.)

Somehow the goal-setting replaced the spirit of my creative spark, a sensation I did not enjoy at all. Instead of deepening into my love for music and public-speaking, I’d unwittingly invited a strategy that felt rigorous, demanding, unfulfillable. My old power sentence was sucking the life out of my whole motivation.

So, I rejected it and made up another one:

“I joyfully engage with the soul of my creativity in mindful and productive ways.”

My new power sentence is definitely one that I can repeat three times a day. When I say it, I feel the essence of what I want. I feel my spirit come alive.

Instead of forcing my actions into a box, my goal is to invite deep authenticity into my work. It helps me focus on what I wish to embody when I’m making music and speaking to the people, rather than emphasizing the quantity of times I’m doing those things (or not).

When I’m thinking about definitive goals, I become separated from my main motivation for artfulness in the first place – love. I do it all for love. Sweet, simple, slow, musing, generative love.

I accept that suggestion with all my heart.


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