We begin the Unstoppable Workshop™ with an experience called “In and Out of the Box” created by Jimbo Clark of Innogreat. The exercise is a fantastic metaphor for the mind and it can be unpacked and built upon in seemingly endless ways, to help participants raise their self-awareness and break free of their limits.
And during the exercise, we learn that everyone’s box is different and so their experiences will also be different. We each have our own unique “Model of the World” and so, we soon discover, with 25 participants…there are in fact 25 different workshops going on at the same time. On this planet there are 7 billion boxes and therefore 7 billion unique ways of being a ‘self’ and knowing the world.
Of course, Anais Nin famously said long ago:
“We don’t see the world as it is. We see it as we are.”
But there are several things about the box, and how it operates, that are the same for everyone: the box is a robot and the robot is a hypnotist.
The Robot. Once we have a well-formed ‘box’ — a collection of beliefs, concepts, ideas, preferences and limitations—we are then subject to the robotic, automatic responses that it dictates, outside of conscious awareness. It becomes like a Virtual Reality headset that shows us a world that isn’t there and demands that we automatically respond to those things the same way, every time.
One of the functions of the Robot is to generate thought-streams in our minds: the voices of our beliefs speaking to us incessantly, demanding our attention. Of course, these thoughts are not real…they are just ‘thoughts.’ And, those thoughts have consequences: they hypnotize us into robotically accepting the ideas they contain and acting as if they were in fact ‘real.’ We are limited in our responses and as such, literally ‘in a box.’
The Hypnotist. Any hypnotist will tell you that it is never a problem to get someone into a trance. As Milton Erickson, father of modern hypnotherapy said, “The real challenge is getting people out of the trance they come in with.” The robot, like a hypnotist uses language, in the form of thoughts to ‘narrow and focus our attention’ and that induces a trance state. Once in the trance, we tend to accept the hypnotist’s suggestions as ‘real’ and act as if they are real. Anyone who has seen a stage hypnosis show will tell you that people under trance are quite happy to believe they are chickens and move and cluck just like chickens.
In the same way, the “Robot Hypnotist” of the box, hypnotizes the owner of the box into believing the world they see through the lens of the box is in fact ‘the real world’ and ensures that their behavior and choices are aligned with the world they see. Under the hypnotic influence of the box we attend to a narrow range of possibilities and apply a narrow range of ‘autopilot’ responses as we stumble through life like a drunk in a dark room who can’t see the furniture. And when he stubs his toe on an unseen obstacle he will curse and lament that:
“This should not be! This is wrong! It’s so unfair!” Clearly this is a life of suffering, is it not? And, ironically, he may step carefully around obstacles that are not even there…in order to ‘be safe.’
Under hypnosis, a hypnotist can persuade the subconscious mind of a subject to discard old limiting ideas and accept new, more empowering ones. This helps people to lose weight, stop smoking, take on a healthier self-image, let go of past trauma, and so on. And the primary tool of the hypnotist is simply language…consisting of words that take the form of thoughts, which the subject either accepts or rejects. And, some new empowering thoughts can ‘wear off’ if the subject isn’t really predisposed to change at a deep level. It can take multiple hypnotic sessions to achieve the desired result. And sometimes no matter how many sessions the subject still doesn’t change.
When this happens, it is almost always because, at some level, the person believes that ‘the problem’ is actually serving them in some way…and so they cling to it…robotically. At the simplest level this is like saying, “I need this problem to be safe and to survive in the world.” According to therapist Marisa Peer, “the mind will always do what it thinks you want it to do.” So if you have developed a ‘problem’ and believe at a deep level that this ‘problem’ serves you…it is unlikely to change….even if changing is actually in your best interests.
This is ‘the box’ at full tilt and it is the reason we created the Unstoppable Workshop™ to address deeply held self-limiting beliefs. Our intention is that by increasing participants’ awareness of the ‘box’ and its hypnotic powers, they will naturally begin to question and doubt the world of limiting ideas their robot presents them…and in their own time, in their own way, let go of the old programming in favor of a friendlier more compassionate way of being in the world.
Most people will never completely escape the limits of their box and we accept that. In fact, some of the limitations the box provides can be very useful, such as “Don’t eat the yellow snow!” And, we trust that this metaphorical way of understanding human conditioning (the conditioned human) offers a humorous, gentle and profound pathway to accessing greater personal freedom, responsibility and self-compassion that is so missing in our world.
As we like to say, “Some people have boxes…and some boxes have people.”
If you would like to have some fun while gaining a deeper understanding of your Mind-Made reality, raise your self-awareness, reduce your suffering, and move beyond your comfort zone, we’d like to invite you to give yourself the gift of participating in The Unstoppable Workshop™ It has been created to support you in getting the life you want, while there is still time to do so.
The Unstoppable Workshop™ is 2.5 days of fun, sharing, learning and transformation. It’s like a safe cocoon in which you can reconsider your world view and choose new ways of being that reflect who you really are. Then, you can emerge with new wings, to enjoy a new life, free of limiting beliefs. We use a lot of experiential activities, games and humor to make it an entertaining cocoon…and one that will compassionately stretch your mind into a new shape.
“What if the change you’re avoiding is the one that will set you free?”
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