Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Creative Courage

The characteristics essential to the creative process are those that support the essential elements of curiosity, intention to create, commitment, and risk-taking. All of these elements spring from and are supported by courage and a sense of self-assuredness. These underlying characteristics allow for willingness to change and take risks – what Leland calls “the lubricants” of creativity. It requires courage to try new things and to seek alternatives to habitual thinking. Adults may not fear the monster under the bed, but our fragile egos do fear public humiliation, embarrassment and ridicule, which may be the reception of our creative efforts.

Mitchell and Haroun quote Elmer Bischoff’s four principles for creativity as:

“1. Work hard.

2. Take chances.

3. Respect the validity of your own imagery.

4. Accept the struggle of the creative process.”

This philosophy acknowledges the need for courage and self-assuredness. My personal experiences in my creative efforts certainly have demonstrated to me the need for self-confidence without arrogance and the willingness to overcome our innate resistance to change. The enemy of creativity is the inertia of spirit that gives each of us pause and doubt. Each of us must summon our courage to overcome that inertia.


Leland, N. (2006). The new creative artist: A guide to developing your creative spirit. Cincinnati, OH: North Light Books.

May, R. (1975). The courage to create. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company Inc.

Mitchell, D. & Haroun, L. (2007). Finding your visual voice: A painter’s guide to developing an artistic style. Cincinnati, OH: North Light Books.

Paine-Clemes, B. (2015). Creative synergy: Using art, science and philosophy to self-actualize your life. Virginia Beach, VA: 4th Dimension Press.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

What is Integrated Imagery - Regression Hypnosis?

Integrated Imagery, a technique to aid in psychological and spiritual growth through exploration of the unconscious mind, was developed over twenty years of psychotherapy practice by clinical psychologist John Z. Amoroso, Ph.D. This technique uses a positive psychological approach focused on purposeful living and creativity.  The use of hypnosis to induce a light trance state can help set the concerns of the conscious mind aside by creating a more relaxed condition.  The unconscious mind, which holds the deeper wisdom and guidance of the inner self, can then be more effectively accessed.

Regression hypnosis is an accepted psychotherapeutic technique.  Exploration of the unconscious mind has roots in the work of preeminent psychologist Carl Jung and is widely noted in the premises and theories of transpersonal psychology.  One may refer to the experiences one has in such a session as past life memories, or memories of the collective unconscious, according to one’s personal beliefs. It is not necessary to believe in reincarnation in order to use Integrated Imagery techniques.

Regression hypnosis differs from such techniques as reverie or guided imagery in that it takes the traveler along a time continuum.  The session may lead the traveler to explore earlier present life experiences and may include memories that are not real from the present life.  These memories may be direct communications from the subconscious mind or may represent the birth experience or even further back into previous lifetimes. Through this exploration, clues to current life challenges often unexplained by current life experiences and the preoccupations of the conscious mind can be found.  The unconscious mind guides the traveler to images or incidents that are important or useful to know.

The full participation of the traveler is required during the trance journey. The traveler is never unaware or out of control during the session and verbally works with the guide throughout, as the guide helps the traveler navigate the many stages of the journey. The traveler is recognized as a being of body, mind, and spirit and may find physical, emotional or spiritual connections throughout the journey. 

One of the unique aspects of Dr. Amoroso’s approach to regression hypnosis is what he terms the Energetic Chain of Experience.  This relates to the soul’s stream of consciousness throughout its continuous journey in life, death, birth and the periods in between the life experiences.  His methods seek to also uncover memories of the time the soul spends planning the next life, choosing a life situation, the time spent in-utero prior to birth, and the streams of potential outcomes the soul envisions from a future life experience.

Communicating directly with the subconscious, unlocking memories that have accumulated over the skein of time, discovering the origins of both positive and negative themes that affect personality, and using this information to benefit the traveler’s current life situation is the objective of Integrated Imagery Regression Hypnosis.

Although each lifetime is unique, Integrated Imagery Regression Hypnosis can help unlock greater potential and facilitate growth and healing by accessing subconscious feelings, images and sensations from deep within your present self. The spirit brings forward both positive and negative imprints from former incarnations that may influence the current life. Some examples of positive imprints might be “natural” musical skill, especially strong leadership ability, or an inherent fondness for animals. Examples of negative imprints might include lack of self-esteem, feelings of abandonment, or lack of self-confidence unsubstantiated by present life experiences.

I have completed a Graduate Certificate in Integrated Imagery Regression Hypnosis from Atlantic University as well as certification in Regression Hypnosis through the American Hypnosis Association.  Contact me if you want to discuss a session to help you realize your potential.

Friday, 1 January 2016

A New Year! More on Moss, Dreams and Connections

If you have not read Robert Moss, do so, just to amaze yourself at the connections he can show to your own dreams and personal experience. My dreams shift from those that are reflections of events of the day, to those with deeper meaning happening closer to the time I wake up. My mindfulness practice tends to sometimes allow my mind to wander into seeking the meaning behind what I dream. I was particularly struck by Moss’ description of approaching the ancient Temple of Dream Healing for its similarity to the beginning of Zen training. In seeking to learn from a Zen master, traditionally the student sits outside the monastic gateway and demonstrates that they are truly interested and dedicated to the pursuit of enlightenment until they are noticed and brought inside this “gateless barrier”. In my case this process was metaphorically achieved through an online application and subsequent interview process with a seemingly interminable waiting period. I recall that feeling of anticipation and impatience as I stumble forward through dream quests.

Two years ago, I undertook first degree Reiki training and experienced a confluence of imagery from dreams, and from regression work. During the workshop, after the master had completed my own attunement and moved on to another student, I distinctly felt a fatherly hand upon my head, whether in blessing or reassurance, I am not sure. It reminded me of specific experiences from one of my regressions and led me to a series of images that were so strong that they could have been the remnants of a dream. I subsequently conducted a self-regression and gained further insight into these images. All of this makes me think of Moss’s idea that we “can sometimes meet master teachers” in dreams. A quote by KekulĂ© reported by Moss seems to be especially true for me: “Let us learn to dream, gentlemen, then perhaps we shall find the truth.”

Keep on dreaming!


Amoroso, J. (2012). Awakening past lives. Virginia Beach, VA: 4th Dimension Press.

Hoshin, A. (1992). The bodymind of the way: Zen teachings on Dogen zenji's Shinjin Gakudo. Ottawa, Canada: Manuscript in preparation.

Moss, R. (2009). The secret history of dreaming. Novato, CA: New World Library.

Reed, H. (2005). Dream solutions! dream realizations!: The original dream quest guidebook. Mouth of Wilson, VA: Hermes Home Press.

Shibiyama, Z. (1974). The gateless barrier: Zen comments on the Mumonkan. Boston, MA: Shambhala Publications Inc.