Achieving Your Goals the Write Way

Hypnotist Deborah Yaffee

by Deborah Yaffee

You’ve helped your client set their goal. You’ve SMARTened them up by making sure that their goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant to them, and set within a Time frame. Now comes the opportunity to help them impress that goal in their SCM…and there is a Write Way to do that! Recent research in the fields of neuroscience and psychology have confirmed what so many great Masters of Manifestation have known and taught for years: that the brain’s interpretation centers are connected with the nerve and muscle cells that interface with the world “out there” in such a way that when you write “it” down, you DO make “it” happen.

Fire It to Wire It: Feed Your Head

You just bought a beautiful little Focus and now you see them everywhere ……how is it that you never noticed how many of these cars are on the road? You’ve just learned that you are pregnant……..and suddenly the whole world is pregnant with you. Crammed in the middle of a crowded cocktail party, deeply engaged in a conversation with your boss, suddenly you hear your name and your attention wanders away just as the boss is bragging about his golf score.

We’ve all experienced this type of selective perception, haven’t we? One day we are oblivious to all things RED RED RED , and the next day it seems as if we can’t stop seeing RED RED RED everywhere! What happened? Actually, our brains come equipped with a built-in radar. It’s located in the brainstem, between the top of the spine and the base of the brain, and is called the Reticular Activating System. The what? The Reticular Activating System, or RAS. This is a group of nerve cells that regulates our attention and alertness. From the myriad of stimuli coming into the nervous system in any given moment, the RAS filters what is relevant to you and allows that information/perception to pass through to the cerebrum where we experience it with conscious awareness.

What programs the RAS to focus on something specific? YOU do! Think of the RAS as your own personal search engine. You type in a keyword and the RAS filters through your internal internet web, and brings you all the things matching that keyword. It also searches and filters through all the information from your external environment that is entering your perceptive apparatus. When something is relevant to us, the RAS creates a cognitive category for it and then acts like a radar, setting off an internal “beep: Pay Attention!” when something related to our relevant item enters our perceptive sphere. (And, oh, yes….we hypnotists do this for our clients all the time but we call it a Post-Hypnotic Suggestion).

Research has shown that writing (and to a lesser degree, keyboarding) forges new neural pathways in the brain. Writing down what you want is a proven, effective way to program the RAS to be on the alert for anything that will help bring you closer to realizing your goals. Write it down, and trust your RAS to tap your conscious mind on the shoulder when it finds something worth paying attention to.

Writing your affirmations and goal statements every day is a powerful way to keep what you want to manifest before the RAS. Just as repetitions of physical exercise moves you closer, faster, and more easily, toward your fitness goals, performing “writing reps” of your affirmations brings you closer, faster, and more easily, to manifesting your personal goals by using your fine motor movements in concert with your mind and emotions to strongly impress exactly what you want upon your RAS.

Want to turbo-charge the process? Write your affirmations in the first person, the second person, and in the authoritative voice that commands you by name.

I weigh 130 pounds.

You weigh 130 pounds.

Deborah, you weigh 130 pounds!

Do it again, this time engaging more of your brain power by using your non-dominant hand to write with.

When you write your affirmations down, it is as if you are sending a love letter to the RAS. As you move your pen, you are bringing your goal image before the RAS. You are presenting the suggestion, charging it with emotion, and kinesthetically pressing your message into your gray matter. You have created the neural pathway of achieving your goal, and every time you write your affirmation or goal statement, you fire the nerve cells in that network, and reinforce the message to the RAS. Each repetition deepens the pathway. You fire it….you wire it!

Wire It to Fire It: Using Handwriting to Hardwire Your Brain

At certain critical times in my life, my handwriting has undergone some fundamental changes. Has this happened to you, too? There are some neurological reasons for this. Graphologist, Jeffrey Nelson, says that handwriting is more accurately defined as Brain Writing. We may write with our hands, our toes, or our mouth but it is the brain that causes the particular movement that is made. Handwriting patterns do indicate, and more importantly reinforce, the habitual ways we think and feel about ourselves. The way we shape our margins and the way we form and connect our letters communicate to the world a great deal about how we process our world and ourselves in relation to it. Transient changes in handwriting often accompany changes in people’s moods, their states of health, and if they are under some physical influence such as alcohol or drugs, but major changes in handwriting reflect the significant shifts that occur in our thoughts and behavior when we’ve had a personal growth spurt.

Writing helps keep us focused and in control. When we learn to write, we think first and act later. With the development of the cursive style, we are literally connecting neurological dots in our brain. So basic and so powerful is the circuit of stimulation between the brain and the hand that researchers are now developing very effective programs using handwriting rather than Ritalin to treat ADD/ADHD.

Graphology is the art and science of analyzing handwriting for personality traits. Graphotherapy takes things to the next step. By purposefully changing our handwriting, we can consciously work on replacing habits of negative, self-defeating thoughts (and, by extension, our behavior) with habits of positive thinking and healthy ego-strengthening behavior. This is possible because mind, movement and emotional states are linked together in ways that most of us can easily recognize.

For example, if I ask you to take up your pen and express a heavy sadness using a single line, do you suppose your mark would be one that is thick and drooping down toward the bottom of the paper? If I were to ask you to make a mark that expresses joy, I would not be very surprised if you made a short and lively line that nearly jumped upward off the paper. If I watched very carefully, I would most likely also observe your entire body shift a bit as you did this exercise….a little down in the mouth and a slight collapsing in of the chest toward the knees as you created the heavy sadness mark, followed by a slight upcurve of the mouth , a brightening of the eyes, and a movement toward a lively postural uprightness of the back when asked to make a mark for joy.

In the same way that we learn to drive a car, or recite the alphabet, we spend time consciously learning a system of writing and after awhile, the SCM takes over so that our writing movements are unconscious and automatic. Because handwriting systems reflect the culture of their origin, we also entrain to certain habits of relating with the world when we first learn to write. Healthy writing is so intertwined with a healthy psyche as it interacts with the world that the Waldorf educational system begins its writing curriculum with having the children observe forms around them and noticing that the world is made up of curves and straight lines.

Since graphic movement encodes a certain intent and tends toward a certain habit of thought, and consequent behavior, on the part of the writer, changing the writing movement (the handwriting) is an effective way to neurologically support the changes the client is achieving with hypnosis. Selecting the appropriate handwriting elements, and consciously changing your handwriting wires it then fires it. There are many wonderful handwriting analysis books that you can use to help you create supportive handwriting homework for your clients. My current favorite is “Your Handwriting Can Change Your Life” by Vimala Rodgers.

Ms. Rodgers has created a lovely font that is based on many years of study and integrated with meditation. I often use this font to write my clients’ affirmations on a card, so that they have a sample of healthy handwriting to reflect upon. Vimala Rodgers declares the letter T to be the letter of self-esteem, self-worth, our willingness to stand tall and pursue our purpose with determination. Her unusual version of the small “t” is a tall, unlooped line that reaches to the sky, with a crossbar across, and on, the top. For those who need ego-strengthening and assistance with finishing what they start, she recommends practicing the letters T and G.

I often find that my clients exhibit what Vimala calls “the self-sabotage f”. This is a small letter “f” whose lower loop is reversed (faces backward, toward the left edge of the paper). Looking back through my years of handwritten journals, I observed this in my own handwriting. I immediately began practicing my handwriting for Vimala’s recommended period of 40 days. What she said was true….consciously changing my “f’s” and “t’s” had a profound, rapid, positive impact on my life!

Therapeutic Journaling

Psychologist James Pennebaker has extensively researched the effects of what he calls “expressive writing” or “unfettered talking” on emotionally distressing, even traumatic, events and concerns. In controlled studies, Dr. Pennebaker has demonstrated that expressive writing results in overall improvements which are both subjective and objective. Among researchers in this field, the significant improvements in mind and body were not observed when the subjects were asked to write about superficial topics. College students were often the source of subjects for Dr. Pennebaker’s experiments, and writing their thoughts and feelings about upcoming exams was frequently the non-superficial event that was chosen as the writing topic.

In Pennebaker’s experiments, anonymous disclosure of deep personal secrets and emotionally disturbing events consistently showed measurably improved health and immune function, as well as fairly long-term improvement in mood and a sense of well-being. Beneficial effects on the autonomic nervous system , such as reduced heart rate and a reduction in tension of certain facial muscles, were observed in the short-term. In the experimental situation, care was taken to ensure that the writing samples were not matched to particular writers. The subjects were directed to write continuously for a set amount of time, and encouraged to let go of concerns for grammar and spelling. Just write.

Rapid writing to express thoughts and feelings about achieving one’s goals can effectively discharge a great deal of any psychosomatic tension that may be consciously or unconsciously present. This can go a long way in clearing the mind of unwanted thoughts, and enabling one to readily create a space for the new, positive thoughts and feelings to be accepted into. Another benefit of writing is that the various trains of thought quickly begin to yield to organization that may result in sudden flashes of surprising alternative paths to achieving one’s goals. If a past trauma is part of the blockage to achieving a goal, writing can help bring together various physical, mental and emotional aspects of the experience in new ways that help the individual find resolution and strength.

Putting It All Together, Write Now

I hope you will try some of these techniques for yourself. They are fun, easy, and free! Cue up your RAS with keywords that will draw attention to significant messages from the universe. Suggest that your clients write out their affirmations in sets of 10. Write affirmations in different voices for greater effect. Choose to practice 3 letters that most embody your desired thought changes and goals. Take 15 to 30 minutes a day to write expressively, releasing thoughts and feelings about whatever has disturbed you in any way. It really is true that the pen is mightier than sword, so go ahead and encourage your clients to click their Bic to the tune of their own inner drummer.

© copyright 2007 Deborah Yaffee, all rights reserved.

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