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Yesterday, I was flying to Dublin from London’s City Airport and I thought the experience is worth recording. Now, I deliberately mention City Airport since, had I been travelling from Gatwick or Heathrow, I’d undoubtedly be in a bad mood and irritable and any trance state I encountered would not have been of the sharing variety. But this was City Airport, so I was from taxi to my seat in about 20 minutes, the security were friendly and efficient, everything on time and in place – I love City Airport.


So, I was already relaxed, sitting comfortably, gazing out from my window seat and looking forward to a short hop across the water. The few minutes at take-off from City Airport are incomparable; London is amazing from a few thousand feet and climbing. The canals and rivers, the parks and forests, the stadiums and complex industry. There’s a totally different architecture when you’ve looking down at it all from such above. You don’t feel like an ant from 5,000 feet, you feel like a god. And as you go higher and higher, on a summer’s day, the light is enticing. I was taken in by the beautiful blues and bright whites….


It was at this point I noticed I had been in a wonderfully enjoyable trance state. The noise of the engines, churning air conditioner, the duty free salesman, all gone; in fact, the whole plane, the seats, fuselage, wings and fellow passengers entirely deleted out of existence. Just sensations of the clean fresh air and the touch against my skin of the clouds as I rose through them.


In technical terms, for the hypnotists reading, I was experiencing both positive and negative hallucinations, sensory distortion, dissociation and probably a little time distortion; to everybody else, I was daydreaming. All a world away from the true experience of being in a cramped, dark, smelly airless, noisy, aluminium tube, precariously accelerating though London’s crowded skies. There’s a lot to be said for being present but this was an ideal time not to be and I’d like to take this opportunity for thanking my unconscious for a rather creative and rich use of those 20 minutes.


Whilst thinking about this accidental state, looking down on London, it reminded me just how powerful it is to deliberately take a different perceptual position when faced with an obstacle. My first experience of this was an exhilarating training with Paul McKenna ten years ago. We learnt how trance can be used to deliberately set up a new perspective for our clients to help them get unstuck. Seeing a problem up front and close tends to leave people few options – it tends to be the default position for people with problems. Deliberately having the client see things from altered perspectives, other perceptual angles and distances generates completely new thinking.


Distance tends to encourage objectivity, a logical and a calm approach to problems, where all the facts can be considered, accounted for and manipulated (moved by hand). Different angles tends to encourage different approaches because you see the problem differently. Yes, it’s all metaphorical but powerfully so, engaging the creative right brain and calming the emotional response that cuts off new ideas and behaviours. It enriches the client’s ‘map of the world’ when previously they only have one, unresourceful, response of their problem.


Freedom Hypnosis is all about helping clients that are stuck to find that useful perspective, so that the problems fall way and they find attractive new directions for their future. It’s the difference between a stressed client at 10:00am and a motivated and happy client 10:50. No passport required.