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“Remind yourself that you can focus” with Cynthia Morgan

As a hypnotherapist, I am going to suggest that the best way to develop or stop a bad habit is through your subconscious mind. In order to change what’s on a computer screen, we first have to change what we program into the computer’s hard drive. Same with our behavior. In order to have a […]

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As a hypnotherapist, I am going to suggest that the best way to develop or stop a bad habit is through your subconscious mind. In order to change what’s on a computer screen, we first have to change what we program into the computer’s hard drive. Same with our behavior. In order to have a different experience, we have to change our hardwired programming. Hypnosis can help you to build a good habit and it can help you to stop a bad one. Learn self-hypnosis, download a hypnotherapy MP3, or visit a reputable hypnotherapist — start looking for answers beyond the computer screen that is solely your behavior and conscious mind. The answer is deeper than that.

As a part of our series about “How Anyone Can Build Habits For Optimal Wellness, Performance, & Focus”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Cynthia Morgan.

A board certified hypnotherapist, HappiSeek co-founder Cynthia Morgan has been teaching spiritual principles, leading guided meditations, and conducting workshops for 35 years and is the author of You’re Already Hypnotized: A Guide to Waking Up. Her techniques have proven to be highly successful in transforming the lives of thousands, including many of Hollywood’s elite, establishing her as one of the most innovative practitioners in her field.

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?

I was born in Omaha, NE. My father was in academia, so we moved around a lot through university towns in Missouri, Kansas, and Wisconsin. He was also a seeker. He began studying metaphysics and new age thought in his early teens and continues to this day. His interest in those philosophies played a prominent role in our family and my present thinking. He didn’t want my brother and me attending church so as not to get indoctrinated by the church’s belief system, so he had our family initiated into Transcendental Meditation (TM) when I was 8 years old. We then practiced TM every day. Looking back, it was a blessing to have grown up with such an independent thinker, but at the time it felt slightly embarrassing. As a young person, I just wanted to fit in. My childhood friends today tell me that they remember the Morgan’s being a bit weird. Other than that, I was a competitive athlete, and my childhood was a typical Gen X latchkey 70’s existence — parents never knowing where we were or what we were doing.

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

I always say that everything good in my life came from A Course in Miracles (ACIM). ACIM inspired me to pursue hypnotherapy. When I was 19, my father sent me a set of blue hard bound books with a yellow sticky note that read, “Thought you might be interested. Love, Dad.” Those books were the self-study spiritual path A Course in Miracles. I took one look at the traditional Christian language and relegated them to the bottom bookshelf. I was dumbfounded as to why my dad would send me what appeared to be Christian-leaning material. I learned that he had seen a small ad for ACIM in the back of a magazine and ordered it. He and my mom had started “doing” the Course, then sent them to me. A year or so later, I was desperate enough to pick them back up and start reading them. And I never looked back.

ACIM gave me the answers I had been seeking in different teachers and spiritualities. I found it intriguing, inspiring, and familiar. I dived in wholly and completely. Later, I started writing a book on the Course and began studying Freud to deepen my understanding of the Course. Freud kept mentioning hypnosis. Simultaneously, I was working with an autistic child and wondered if he could be hypnotized. I was aware, through my studies of the Course, that there is a part of everyone’s mind that is totally healed. Could hypnosis access the healed part of his mind? I posed that question to a few psychologist friends at the University of Kansas, where I was living at the time, and they didn’t have the answer. I then called a local hypnotherapist, left a message, and never heard back. I decided to venture to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to attend the Hypnotherapy Academy of America to learn more about hypnosis and the unconscious mind. I then became a board-certified hypnotherapist. I healed many of my own fears through my hypnotherapy training, and I knew I had to start sharing this remarkable healing modality with others. My entire career has been based on curiosity and A Course in Miracles.

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?

From my early years, my father drilled into my head the idea that I create my own reality. He was hugely instrumental in helping me understand myself as a spiritual being having a human experience. Also, Kenneth Wapnick, who I consider my spiritual teacher, cracked open my mind to another way of looking at the world through the Course. It took me sixteen years to write my book You’re Already Hypnotized: A Guide to Waking Up, and, one day, around year five of writing, Ken asked me how the book was coming. Despondently, I replied, “Slowly,” and he said, “It doesn’t matter how long it takes, just write a good book.” I’ve applied that philosophy to all of my projects thereafter.

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?

I made a mistake very early in my career that changed the way I approached hypnotherapy sessions. A client came to me after a devastating breakup in which her boyfriend “kicked her out of the house.” Her self-esteem was shattered, and her level of suffering seemed disproportionate to the incident. As I talked with her, I found out that she had been sexually abused by her uncle. Thinking I was 100% sure that her reaction to her boyfriend today was due to the unresolved incident with her uncle, I did a regression session with her. My goal was to subconsciously process the sexual abuse incident. While in hypnosis, when I asked her subconscious mind to go back to the incident that was causing the trauma today, to my surprise, she regressed to being a toddler in a sandbox. The other kids in the sandbox were throwing sand in her face and yelling at her to get out. She started crying, saying that she felt unwanted and “kicked out of the sandbox.” She had a revelation during the session. She said, “My sadness isn’t about my boyfriend, it’s about what I was coming to believe about myself while in the sandbox!” Once we processed that memory, she immediately changed, and her whole countenance glowed. A week later, she reported that she felt healed. It should be noted that we did eventually process the sexual abuse in subsequent sessions. But that session was a turning point for me. I learned to give up being right, which I’ve come to understand is a necessary ingredient for any healer.

The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?

I tell young people the Jackson Pollack quote, “Technique is for arriving at a statement.” Learn the technique inside and out, then throw it away and make your own statement. I have no idea if that’s what Mr. Pollack meant by that, but that’s how I’ve interpreted it.

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?

My life is all about A Course in Miracles. It’s the vision through which I see the world; it has pointed me to my career path; it informs my daily life choices; I even met my husband because of the Course. It’s everything.

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

Two quotes come to mind, the first is from my mother. When I was a teenager, she told me, “Love is a behavior, not a word.” It was great advice to a young woman about to navigate her way through a lifetime of relationships. The other is Lesson 121 from A Course in Miracles, “Forgiveness is the key to happiness.” The Course has convinced me that everything I want begins and ends with forgiveness, and I have found that demonstrably true throughout my life.

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

I have been developing an app called HappiSeek with my partner, Daniel Anstandig, a notable tech entrepreneur and fellow seeker. Based on ten characteristics of enlightenment, the mission of HappiSeek is to guide ‘seekers’ through a purposefully designed step-by-step process that results in an inward journey of self-discovery, sustained happiness, and greater enlightenment. HappiSeek combines the power of hypnotherapy, support of a virtual community, and cutting-edge technology to create a personalized journey to spiritual enlightenment. Our hope is a more enlightened world, one healed mind at a time.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. This will be intuitive to you but it will be helpful to spell this out directly. Can you help explain a few reasons why it is so important to create good habits? Can you share a story or give some examples?

Without good habits, you don’t evolve. It’s why Buddhist monks generally have the same routine every day. Good habits equal a good daily routine. A good daily routine full of good habits helps keep you focused on what’s necessary to fulfill your potential. The world and your own ego will try to sway you towards bad habits. Bad habits keep you stuck; good habits help you thrive. You will never know your potential as long as you engage in bad habits. We all know which bad habits are holding us back. The time to release them is now.

How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

To our determent, we are society of instant gratification. The process of slowly and methodically working towards a goal that may not have immediate gratification is a hugely worthwhile endeavor. I spent almost 20 years in private practice, seeing one-on-one clients each day, and the habit of studying, practicing, and learning my craft slowly over the last two decades has allowed me to move to the next level of my career. I currently have a spiritual empowering retreat in Joshua Tree called Desert Reset, in which I lead group hypnotherapy with up to 20 people at a time. I never would have been confident enough to handle the potential of 20 open subconscious minds at once had I not cultivated the self-discipline needed to stick with my daily practice, even when I was burnt out.

Speaking in general, what is the best way to develop good habits? Conversely, how can one stop bad habits?

As a hypnotherapist, I am going to suggest that the best way to develop or stop a bad habit is through your subconscious mind. In order to change what’s on a computer screen, we first have to change what we program into the computer’s hard drive. Same with our behavior. In order to have a different experience, we have to change our hardwired programming. Hypnosis can help you to build a good habit and it can help you to stop a bad one. Learn self-hypnosis, download a hypnotherapy MP3, or visit a reputable hypnotherapist — start looking for answers beyond the computer screen that is solely your behavior and conscious mind. The answer is deeper than that.

There’s a saying that your subconscious mind is so much smarter than your conscious mind that your conscious mind doesn’t even know how much it doesn’t know. Bypass your conscious mind and get to the wiser part of you. That part knows what you need.

Let’s talk about creating good habits in three areas, Wellness, Performance, and Focus. Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimum wellness. Please share a story or example for each.

1. Choose plant-based foods. The most comprehensive study comparing meat-eaters and vegetarians/vegans (German Cancer Research Center) showed a dramatic reduction in early death for those who eschewed meat.

2. Practice the Tibetan Five Rites of Rejuvenation poses. These poses, which I personally do each day, predate (2,500 years old) what we think of as modern yoga. They are known to be the fountain of youth.

3. Use affirmations. Repeat in your mind the most affirmation of all time by Emil Coue (1857–1926). “Every day in every way I am getting better and better.” Research shows that positive affirmations have a positive impact on your brain and behavior. (Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 2016, 621–629)

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

The more knowledge we have, the better our decisions. If you’re interested, read up on the benefits of plant-based foods, the Tibetan Five Rites of Rejuvenation, and positive self-talk, or whatever it is that you are seeking to shift.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal performance at work or sport? Please share a story or example for each.

1. Visualize your end goal. Many athletes like Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Mary Lou Retton, used subconscious visualization techniques to achieve their goal. It works!

2. Cut out distractions. Simple, but effective method of maintaining focus. We all know our distractions.

3. Focus on the positive. Psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl said, “A human being is a deciding being.” Your point of power is your ability to decide how you will perceive a situation.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

We are adding two 5-minute subconscious sessions in our app HappiSeek called HappiDay and HappiNight. The purpose of each session is to mentally set up your day and set up your evening/night. In the HappiDay session, you are asked to visualize the kind of day you would like to have. HappiNight sets up your evening and a good night’s sleep, a time when the subconscious is activated. The subconscious needs direction. By setting up your day and night, you give yourself the best chance at succeeding in all areas of your life. In terms of cutting out distractions, keep your end goal in mind. End goals motivate you to stay your course through life. Lastly, you get to choose how you view anything and everything. No one can take that away from you. That’s why decision is power.

Can you share three good habits that can lead to optimal focus? Please share a story or example for each.

1. Delete negative self-thoughts. Each time you have a negative thought, say in your mind, “Delete, delete.”

2. Remind yourself that you can focus. You are, after all, focused on reading this right now, so you do have the ability to focus. Remind yourself, “I am completely focused now.”

3. Quiet your mind. Use spiritual practice, puzzles, meditation, reading to strengthen your ability to focus.

Can you help explain some practices that can be used to develop those habits?

Most of our thoughts are based on fear. It’s okay that they come up, fear thoughts will always pop up. It’s not okay if they run your life. Most of what we fear never happens. We must begin to take control of our minds, rather than let our minds take control of us. As one of my clients said, “I need to get on top of the horse, instead of letting the horse trample me.” Use whatever techniques help you to get on top of the horse.

As a leader, you likely experience times when you are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a state of Flow more often in our lives?

When you trust that you are exactly where you need to be for reasons sometimes yet unseen or unknown, you tap into faith, which is simply something bigger than your own ego. Faith gives you unlimited potential, because you’ve transcended your small egoic perspective which keeps you in fear and a finite perspective. That mental shift opens infinite possibilities.

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.

The movement would be one of circumventing the voices of the world and listening to your own instinct.

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 🙂

Oh my, two people come to mind: Bob Dylan and Warren Buffett. If I have to choose one, I’d say Warren Buffett. We’re both from Omaha, so if there was a lull in the conversation, we could always default to Omaha back-in-the-day talk. But I’d love to hear his perspective on the world, ask some personal finance questions, and just listen to whatever he wanted to chat about. And then at the end of our meal, I’d ask him if he can hook me up with a lunch with Bob Dylan. (Just kidding, Mr. Buffett.)

How can our readers further follow your work online?

It’s always great to connect!

Website: www.thecynthiamorgan.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cynthiamorgan

Twitter: www.twitter.com/thecynmorgan

Instagram: www.instagram.com/desertreset

Instagram: www.instagram.com/happiseek

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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