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Chris Lemig of Choosing Therapy: “Rest and sleep”

It’s important to understand that when we are trying to put new habits into place, we are often replacing old habits. It’s also helpful to recognize that these old habits have served an important purpose in our lives. In the case of food, there can be really powerful emotional needs that are being fulfilled through […]

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It’s important to understand that when we are trying to put new habits into place, we are often replacing old habits. It’s also helpful to recognize that these old habits have served an important purpose in our lives. In the case of food, there can be really powerful emotional needs that are being fulfilled through eating. If we don’t take that into account and make sure that the new behavior is going to address those needs, we’re probably not going to be successful. There’s going to be that inner conflict playing out in our subconscious mind that winds up blocking change.


As a part of our series about “How We Can Do To Cultivate Our Mental, Physical, Emotional, & Spiritual Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Lemig, CHT.

Chris Lemig is a transpersonal hypnotherapist, author, and meditation teacher. Prior to pursuing a career in hypnotherapy, he spent several years as Buddhist monk studying philosophy, meditation, and religious ritual in India and Nepal. He founded True Nature Hypnotherapy in 2019 where he works with private clients to heal past traumas and create powerful, healthy changes in their lives. In addition, he is a contributing writer to Choosing Therapy, a premier mental health resource site, national therapist directory and online therapy platform.

https://www.choosingtherapy.com/chris-lemig/

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

Thank you for having me! It’s a pleasure to talk to you.

Parts of my childhood were actually quite idyllic and happy. I grew up in a little hamlet on the New England coast called Pleasure Beach. Our house was a literal stone’s throw from the Long Island Sound and the backyard bordered a dense patch of forest that seemed as vast as the Amazon jungle at the time. My younger brother and I spent almost all of our summer vacation days-and many nights-outside at the beach and in the woods. As a result, we both developed a strong connection with the natural world from an early age.

As I got older, I was introduced to a wide variety of religious and spiritual traditions by my mother and her second husband. We had moved out to California after my freshman year of high school-this was the mid-80’s-and it seemed like every other month they were joining a new movement. Spiritualism, Scientology, the personal power movement, crystal healing, Vegetarianism, The Self Realization Fellowship. You name it, we were a part of it at one point or another. It was exhilarating at times but it was also disorienting and confusing.

There was a dark side to the story as well. My grandfather-who was very close to us for many years- was an alcoholic. He was both physically and emotionally abusive. My mother’s second husband was also an abuser who sometimes turned violent. So on the one hand I had all these wonderful experiences growing up, and on the other there was a lot of chaos, pain, and fear as well.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

That’s a bit of a serendipitous story! I’d always been attracted to professions that served and helped people. In my early twenties, I worked as a behavior counselor for developmentally disabled kids. That was incredibly rewarding and satisfying.

In 2007, I dove headlong into Buddhist study and practice. That was pretty much my life for almost a decade. I spent much of that time traveling back and forth from the U.S. to India and Nepal. There, I spent prolonged periods studying Tibetan language, Buddhist philosophy, and meditation. I even went so far as to take ordination as a monastic.

When I came back to the United States in 2016, I decided to give back my ordination vows and find a livelihood where I could apply some of what I learned in Asia. Reflecting on my counseling days, I knew that I wanted to work to help people one on one. I was thinking about going back to school and getting my master’s degree to become a licensed therapist when my partner suggested I look into training in transpersonal hypnotherapy.

I did and I was amazed at all the similarities hypnosis has with ancient spiritual practices and techniques. And since a great deal of Buddhism is about working skifully with our mind and emotions in order to alleviate human suffering, it wasn’t a big leap to tie all of that into this new modality.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

I’m very fortunate to be able to say that I have a long list of people who fit that description!

When I finished the “final” draft of my first book I began the daunting task of finding an agent and publisher. Other than a few blog posts and alternative weekly articles, I didn’t have much in the way of bylines. So after sending dozens of queries to agents all around the country, I wasn’t all that surprised to hear the sound of crickets in response.

Through that whole process though, I did get introduced to a literary agent who actually lived in the same city as me. I reached out to her, gave her my elevator speech on the phone, and before I knew it we were having lunch and talking about how to get my book published.

Her name was Cicily Janus and she taught me so much about the craft of writing and always encouraged me to believe in myself as a writer. She also did an amazing job getting my book in front of some of the biggest publishers in the country. At one point, she invited me to attend an exclusive writers retreat she put on each year in Breckenridge, CO. She didn’t charge me even though the cost of the retreat was well over a thousand dollars per person. And for good reason. The weekend retreat included in-person critique sessions with editors from St. Martin’s Press, Penguin, and other big houses. Although there was some interest, we wound up getting picked up by a small publisher in England. Still, it was exciting!

Unfortunately, Cicily passed away in 2016. I spent a few hours with her about a week before she died. I was a monk at that point and I thought I was there to support her as she faced the end of her life. As it turned out, even though she knew what was coming, she was absolutely radiant, joyful, and fearless. So she wound up being an incredible teacher to me in that moment as well. I’m grateful to her for all of that.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

Sure. It was my first ever professional hypnosis client. I was nervous but I used some of my own medicine and got myself calm and grounded by the time the session began.

I went through my checklist of all the things I was trained to do with a new client: a brief explanation of hypnosis, rapport building, making sure they were comfortable and ready to begin. I then just launched into the trance induction. I went on for quite a while. Probably about 45 minutes of me just talking in my still evolving “hypnosis voice”. I actually remember thinking how well everything was going.

As time ran out, I brought the person out of the trance and asked them, quite enthusiastically, how they were feeling after the session. I was expecting at least a little positive feedback.

“Yeah, I didn’t feel anything,” they said.

I stammered a little bit, trying to troubleshoot the moment. Then they got up and after an awkward silence and walked out of my office.

For one thing, I knew that it was my first client so I was mindful of not being too hard on myself. Still, I felt bad. They had paid me and wound up not being happy with the experience.

As I replayed the session in my head, I realized that I just hadn’t tuned in enough to what the person was experiencing at the moment. There are all kinds of visual and nonverbal cues that I pay attention to now. I try to always improve my listening and empathy skills as well. I’ve also learned to just trust the client more. So I check in more and ask them, “what are you experiencing right now?” They often tell me exactly what I need to do in order to make the session successful.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

A recent book that really hit home for me is “In Love With The World” by Mingyur Rinpoche. He is a well-known Tibetan Buddhist lama who decided to run away from his monastery in India and spend a few years as a wandering yogi. It’s actually a time-honored tradition for serious spiritual practitioners to give up everything they have and just go into the hills and meditate. But because of Mingyur Rinpoche’s status and notoriety, the news that he had suddenly disappeared sent shockwaves through the Buddhist world.

He was gone for about three years with just one or two correspondences to let his community know he was ok. During that time, he had profound meditative experiences including a near death experience. I happened to be in India just at the time that he came back from that retreat and was able to meet him and hear some of his story and teachings first hand.

“In Love With The World” is the account of some of the deep spiritual insights he gained during the first portion of the retreat. It’s a very powerful and inspiring book with really clear instructions on how to genuinely follow a spiritual path.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

One that I turn to a lot is from the Indian Buddhist saint, Shantideva. “If you have a problem and there’s a solution, why worry about it? On the other hand, if you have a problem and there is no solution what’s the use of worrying?” It’s very similar to the Serenity Prayer in the 12-Step program.

I’m definitely one of those people who wants to be in control of things. If something is going “wrong” or is just not how I want it to be, I can get pretty wound up worrying about how to fix it. This can be the cause of a lot of unnecessary suffering for me and those around me. Remembering this quote helps me to relax and accept things as they are.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

Right now I’m putting together material for an intensive workshop on “growing up” our emotional responses through hypnosis.

Normally, we measure adulthood simply by how old we are. You hit that magic number and poof! you’re all grown up. But the truth is, many of us are still relating to the world emotionally as children or teenagers. I don’t know about you but there are still definitely times when I feel like I’m responding to certain situations-at least internally-as a young boy or even a toddler.

This is actually a common experience called a “regressed state” and oftentimes it is related to some kind of early trauma. When we experience trauma as children, our emotional response of fight, flight, or freeze can become stuck. This happens mostly when we didn’t get the resolution or assurance from a caregiver that everything was going to be ok, that we were safe. As a result, whenever we meet with similar situations in the future that fight, flight, freeze response gets automatically triggered even when it’s not appropriate or justified.

This can have far-reaching implications in our adult lives. It can mean that we are engaging in personal and professional relationships from a very disempowered position. When people feel like they can’t stand up for themselves, make and hold clear boundaries, or pursue what they truly want and need in life it is often because they are chronically slipping back into one of these regressed emotional states. So, at those times, they are effectively relating to the world as a child.

Using hypnosis we are able to work with those parts of ourselves that are still stuck in emotional childhood. In the trance state, we revisit those experiences and memories, bringing our adult resources to the rescue so to speak. Using a combination of imagination, visualization, and post-hypnotic suggestions the child part can then be taken through a process of accelerated maturation.

The results of this kind of simple but focused work can be quite remarkable. I’ve worked with people one-to-one using some of these techniques and they have reported that their lives have changed dramatically for the better.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. In our work, we talk alot about cultivating wellness habits in four areas of our lives, Mental wellness, Physical wellness, Emotional wellness, & Spiritual wellness. Let’s dive deeper into these together. Based on your research or experience, can you share with our readers three good habits that can lead to optimum mental wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Rest and sleep

We’re living in a sleep and rest deprived world. The consequences of this are pretty severe. Sleep deprivation has been linked to all kinds of health issues and disorders. Depression, heart disease, and even suicide are some of the results of the lack of good sleep.

I help lots of people (including myself) create and maintain healthy sleep patterns. Sometimes hypnosis is involved but more often than not there are just a few basic things that need to be tweaked. Having a regular sleep schedule, maintaining a healthy sleep environment that includes enough darkness, and limiting sugar and caffeine intake are a few of the things we can begin to change right away.

Right-sizing and reframing

Stress and anxiety have become more and more of a mental health concern in recent years. Right-sizing and reframing are techniques that we use in neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) that help calm our mental state. By getting into the habit of noticing when we are starting to feel stressed or anxious, we are able to train ourselves to start looking at things from new perspectives.

For example, if we’re feeling ourselves spinning into a case of the “what if’s” (what if I lose my job, what if I get sick, what if I lose my house, etc.) we can simply add the word “so” to the question. “So what if I lose my job?” “So what if I get sick?” This technique gives us a pause to be able to face the source of our anxiety head-on. It also diminishes the sense of emergency and doom that surround the obsessive thoughts. Like I mentioned before: if there’s a solution, no worries. If there’s not a solution, also no worries.

Meditation

There’s been a lot of talk about the benefits of meditation in terms of mental wellness in the past decade or so. And that’s because there are a lot of benefits!

A daily meditation practice, even just a few minutes a day, can help us to get to know and stabilize our minds. It’s a skill that can help us to calm down, focus, and relax both mentally and physically. I recommend just about all of my clients start a meditation practice with easily attainable goals. You can start to see the benefits right away.

Do you have a specific type of meditation practice or Yoga practice that you have found helpful? We’d love to hear about it.

Compassion, or metta, meditation is a really powerful and transformative practice. One of the main themes of Tibetan Buddhism is that all of our suffering stems from wanting happiness only for ourselves. You can see the truth of this in the headlines everyday. Self-cherishing, greed, jealousy…all these kinds of emotions are contributing to tremendous suffering in our society, our environment and ecosystem.

Meditating on compassion is one way to begin to counter all of this both in our personal lives and the world at large. We begin by focusing our awareness inward, examining the truth of suffering in our own experience. Pema Chodron calls this “leaning in” to our suffering. By doing this we have a chance at cultivating some compassion-the wish that we be free from suffering-starting with ourselves. From there, we continue to develop the practice, including people who are closest to us and gradually widening the circle until it includes the whole world.

This is not just some aloof mental exercise. For me, when I do this practice genuinely, I do notice that my own suffering decreases. It takes the spotlight off of me and my problems and frees up energy to be of help to others in whatever small ways I can.

Thank you for that. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum physical wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Breathing

One thing I’ve learned in my own journey is how important it is to breathe! When I first started a regular meditation practice, I immediately noticed how shallow my breathing was. I was barely inhaling and my chest always felt tight and constricted.

Our bodies are a set of ingenious systems that all need to work in harmony in order to maintain optimal health. Learning (or relearning) how to breathe properly is a big part of maintaining that inner balance. When we inhale oxygen deeply, holding it for a moment before we exhale, it refreshes and enlivens our whole being. Proper breathing lowers blood pressure, helps with stress, contributes to better digestion, and a host of other health benefits.

Movement

One of my early yoga instructors told me that if you do nothing else, five or ten Sun Salutations (surya namaskar) a day are all you need to give your body a good workout. That’s because that particular series of movements works on every major part of the body. It stretches and strengthens all the major muscle groups, increasing flexibility and tone. It helps keep joints healthy, develops core strength, and it also provides a good cardiovascular workout.

But you don’t have to do yoga if it’s not your thing. The most important component of any physical exercise program is movement. Without movement the body will deteriorate. Muscle atrophy, energy and endurance decrease, and severe chronic medical conditions develop as a result of a lack of movement. It doesn’t really matter what form it takes. Whether it’s yoga, Thai Chi, swimming, or low-impact workouts just keep moving!

There’s one other thing about physical exercise that I don’t think is ever really talked about. Why are we taking care of our bodies in the first place? I recommend people include in their motivation an element of compassion and love for both themselves and others. At the beginning of each exercise session we can set the aim to be healthy so as to be of benefit to ourselves and others as much as possible. This gives a greater meaning and purpose to the activity and therefore can enhance the results.

Downtime

This one is probably the hardest sell in my tool kit. It was actually very difficult for me to come around to the wisdom of downtime myself. For years, I overworked myself. When I was in India, there was a time I studied so hard that I wound up collapsing from exhaustion. For months, any kind of exertion-even just reading a few lines of a book-left me feeling drained and deeply fatigued.

One of the solutions to this is to recognize the importance of doing nothing. Our bodies need time for ease and rest. This is not just sleeping time either. Simply making some time each day to stop and settle down can be deeply healing.

As a hypnotherapist, I teach people how they can take advantage of short bits of free time throughout their day to do self-hypnosis for physical relaxation. This technique is easy to learn and allows you to enter a deeply relaxed state instantly. You can spend as little or as much time as you like in this state. Then, with a simple mental count out, you come back to normal waking consciousness feeling refreshed and energized.

Do you have any particular thoughts about healthy eating? We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

It’s important to understand that when we are trying to put new habits into place, we are often replacing old habits. It’s also helpful to recognize that these old habits have served an important purpose in our lives. In the case of food, there can be really powerful emotional needs that are being fulfilled through eating. If we don’t take that into account and make sure that the new behavior is going to address those needs, we’re probably not going to be successful. There’s going to be that inner conflict playing out in our subconscious mind that winds up blocking change.

One of the ways we can resolve that conflict is by working directly with the subconscious mind in hypnosis. There are many techniques for creating change that can be employed while a person is in trance. In the case of eating habits, I like to do what’s called “parts work”. We start by initiating an inner dialog with the parts of the personality that are in conflict. This could be “the part of me that wants to eat more fresh vegetables” and “the part of me that wants to eat ice cream every day”. The short of it is that we eventually learn that both parts always have a similar core motivation: i.e. wellbeing, safety, happiness, wholeness, etc. Once that is realized, it’s then possible to get these two parts to cooperate, integrating them back into the subconscious mind as partners.

I’m sure there are cognitive and behavioral scientists that are getting angry with me out there. I just want to assure them that we’re speaking in metaphors here. Human beings respond well to imagery and metaphor. In fact, that’s how we relate to and interact with the world. Hypnosis just takes advantage of that in a way that is very effective for creating change.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum emotional wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Emotional awareness

Emotions are very powerful. We don’t often stop to examine them or think about them. Love, anger, aggression, sadness…all of these can just pick us up and carry us away. That’s why I think the first step to emotional wellness is being able to recognize all the emotions that are flowing through our mind and body each and every day.

One of the things we begin to notice right away when we start investigating emotions is that they are fluid and impermanent. Anger comes in a flash. Then it’s gone. We fall in and out of love. We feel sad when we hear bad news but then we get over it.

This can be a powerful realization because it shows us that our emotions aren’t who we are. They come and go. They’re just passing through. We also discover that they are more malleable than we normally think they are. When we notice anxiety bubbling up for example, we can train ourselves to intervene with pattern interruption techniques, soothing mantras, or reminders to stop and take several deep breaths.

Self-compassion

We’re often very good about showing compassion and kindness to others. It’s showing compassion to ourselves that’s sometimes difficult. A regular self-compassion practice helps to keep us healthy, happy, and grounded. It’s not about self-indulgence or coddling. It’s not eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s while bingeing The Queen’s Gambit (although that’s ok in moderation).

What self-compassion really looks like is doing something positive, healthy, or meaningful for yourself each day. It could be exercise, going for a walk along the shore, finding some quiet time to read, or doing your meditation practice. It can be going to a 12-Step meeting or support group. It can be journaling, finding a therapist, or simply taking your prescribed medication. Whatever it is, do it with a motivation of loving-kindness towards yourself. You can also add the additional intention that by doing these things, you are able to be of maximum benefit to others.

Healing Shame

Generally speaking, there’s two types of shame: healthy shame and toxic shame. Healthy shame keeps us humble. It keeps us from doing things that are harmful to ourselves and others. Toxic shame, on the other hand, is a complete distortion of self-image. It’s never good or helpful.

So many of us are running around out there not feeling good about ourselves at all. I often work with clients who are at the peak of their careers. They have all the things they’ve ever wanted: a house, money, family. Yet still, they don’t really like themselves. Some even say they hate themselves.

Toxic shame can be tough to heal from. But there are things we can do on a daily basis to help ourselves. Keeping a gratitude journal reminds us of all the good things we have in our lives. Writing down our positive qualities on note cards and posting them around the house helps keep a realistic view of ourselves (nobody is all bad). Helping others, whether through volunteering or just holding the door open for someone, has been proven to improve self-esteem. Whatever methods we use, when we heal from shame, we’re finally able to experience our positive emotions to the fullest.

Do you have any particular thoughts about the power of smiling to improve emotional wellness? We’d love to hear it.

Smiling is a wonderful habit to get into. It’s known that when we smile we release all kinds of happiness chemicals in our brains. These uplift our mood and help us to maintain a general sense of self-worth and value.

I often suggest to people who are experiencing depression or low self-esteem that they take me up on what I call the “7-Day Smile At Yourself Challenge”.

It’s a very simple but powerful exercise. Every time you see yourself in the mirror, or some reflection, take a moment to look into your eyes and smile at yourself. Most people feel a little weird and self-conscious the first time they try this. That goes away after a while. But even right away, people report a significant shift in how they start to feel about themselves.

Even if you’re not experiencing low self-esteem, this can still be a good thing to do from time to time. I do it myself and I find that I have more feelings of loving friendliness and patience towards myself when I’m doing the practice regularly.

Finally, can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum spiritual wellness? Please share a story or example for each.

Interconnectedness

“We’re all one” is probably one of the biggest spiritual cliches there is. But it’s true. It’s just that saying it and having a deep personal experience of it are two very different things.

All of the spiritual traditions that I know of have some kind of instructions or method for how to have this experience for yourself. It takes time and effort but it’s possible. One way we can begin our journey towards that is to make a habit of contemplating and meditating on the interconnectedness of all things.

There are all kinds of ways to come at this. You can sit on a meditation cushion and just start to think about all the things your life depends on. There’s the sun, water, earth, air and oxygen. You depend on food that is grown and prepared by many people in many different parts of the world. There are the people who built your home or apartment that keeps you protected from the elements. The list goes on and on…and it never ends.

You can also train yourself to appreciate interdependence as you’re going about your day. You can offer little prayers of gratitude for all the people who went into getting you your box of Cheerios. You can thank the sun, the earth, and the rain when you’re eating a ripe apple. Think about how your livelihood depends on so many people and things and offer a deep sense of appreciation.

The more you do this, the more you realize that you are not so isolated and alone in the world. You’re also not the center of the universe. Gradually, this understanding becomes a deep experience that colors and informs the choices you make and ultimately how you live your life.

Honest self-inquiry

Some people who become spiritual start to believe their own hype. They can become self-righteous, intolerant, and arrogant. Sometimes they wind up starting a cult. Sometimes they join one. In any case, when this kind of thing happens it’s probably because there wasn’t enough of a process of honest self-inquiry.

12-Step and other addiction recovery programs are big on this. Without honest self-reflection we are always at risk for letting our egos run wild. Preventing this isn’t always comfortable. It’s hard to look at our whole selves. There’s a lot of darkness there, along with the light. But when we recognize our shortcomings along with our good qualities, we cultivate humility. We’re not so judgemental of others because we know that if things were just a little different we could be them.

Self-inquiry is a daily practice and a way of life. It can take many forms. Journaling, meditation and reflection, sharing in support groups. You just have to find what works for you.

Serving others

One of the natural signs of a healthy spiritual life is the lessening of ego grasping and self-clinging. This is no easy task. Although most of us manage some degree of altruism, the driving motivation of our lives is to take care of the self. From the moment we wake up in the morning, our dominant thoughts revolve around “me” and “I”. What do I need? What do I want? How am I going to make sure I get all of those things today?

Of course, to some degree that’s all OK. We have to take care of our bodies, our health, our wellbeing. But when self-cherishing is way out of balance and it is in our modern world-all kinds of avoidable suffering comes about.

The best way to counteract ego grasping is to direct more of our energy to being concerned with and of help to others. You don’t have to be Mother Theresa to do this. Start to look at the people and beings closest to you. Family, partners, spouses, children, neighbors…even pets.. Ask yourself each morning, “How can I be available to be of service to others today?” Think about this throughout your day and you will eventually begin to notice more and more opportunities to help those you come in contact with.

Another way to train the mind in this kind of altruism is to get in the habit of wishing others well. As much as you can, whenever you meet someone, think quietly to yourself: “May you be well and happy”. This can be the grocery store cashier, your coworkers, or all the people on your morning commute who are aggravating you. The best thing is, you can do this without anyone being the wiser…except maybe for the fact that you are becoming a nicer and happier person yourself.

Do you have any particular thoughts about how being “in nature” can help us to cultivate spiritual wellness?

I believe that part of the reason we feel so spiritually impoverished-as is seen in our feelings of fragmentation, depression, and loneliness is that we have lost awareness of our connection with the natural world. I want to highlight the word “awareness” there because whether we acknowledge it or not we are now, and always will be, inseparable from nature.

So the question is, how do we begin to remember and experience that again? There are all kinds of ways. Gardening and growing some of your own food is a big one. When you get your hands in the dirt, plant seeds, watch them grow until it’s time to harvest, the whole experience puts you in touch with these huge cycles of the earth.

Taking off your shoes and walking barefoot in the grass or on the beach seems like a simple thing but it lets you experience in a deep way the solidness and support of the ground.

Just getting out into nature, whether it’s a city park or out in the wilderness, gives us the opportunity to slow down, hear the sounds of nature and see its incredible, myriad expressions of beauty.

All these things revitalize our spirit because they viscerally remind us of our source. When we’re open to it we realize that the earth really is our mother. It’s where we come from, where we abide for a short while, and where our bodies ultimately return to. This humbling realization, in and of itself, can be the beginning of a long journey of spiritual healing and wellness.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I would love to see more people begin to recognize their full potential as human beings. We’re all capable of so much. We have huge hearts that can be filled with limitless love and compassion. We have a similarly limitless capacity for wisdom, both worldly and spiritual.

What gets in our way, I think, are all the confused and painful emotions that are fueled by the delusion that we are somehow disconnected, broken, unworthy, and alone. This creates a cycle of suffering in which we’re continuously hurting each other and being hurt.

One of the reasons I became a hypnotherapist was to help people break that cycle. The first step in doing that is to wake up to the fact that we’re in a trance. It’s a trance in which we tell ourselves untrue things like “I’m no good”, “I’m not worthy”, “I’m broken beyond repair”. Based on these false beliefs our choices and actions wind up being counter-productive, limiting our potential for happiness and fulfillment in life.

So what I’d like to see is a movement dedicated to personal healing, empowerment, and awakening to the fact that we’re all basically good and worthy of love.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

I really love the work Brene Brown has been doing for so many years. Like I say, I think people are basically good. We’re all just hurting in our own ways. I like the fact that she stresses the importance of showing ourselves the kindness and patience it takes to heal ourselves and, ultimately, learn to love ourselves as we are.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

My website has information about my hypnotherapy practice, writing, and upcoming events and workshops. www.truenaturehypnotherapy.com

I’m also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/truenaturehypnotherapy

and Twitter: @chrislemig

and Instagram: @chrislemigcht

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

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