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Close Your Eyes, Get Free
Use Self-Hypnosis to Reduce Stress, Quit Bad Habits, and Achieve Greater Relaxation and Focus
By Grace Smith
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Forget what you think you know about hypnosis and learn why it is the hottest “new” technique for personal development. More and more studies are showing that hypnosis can help ease everyday stress and anxiety, as well as promote powerful healing, from our worst habits to our deepest fears. Now, Grace Smith shares her groundbreaking self- hypnosis techniques that she uses to great success with her clients to help them practice “meditation with a goal.” You’ll learn how the deeply relaxed state of hypnosis will allow you to access old patterns of behavior in order to transform them once and for all. You’ll discover:
- What hypnosis is–and what it’s not
- The real power of your subconscious mind
- Simple practices to help easy anxiety, boost self-confidence, quit procrastinating, overcome emotional eating, and more
I cannot begin to express how honored I am that you are about to read my book. I have written it in the hopes that you will learn a new skill, self-hypnosis, and that it will transform your life in as many miraculous and beautiful ways as it has mine.
This book shares the tools you need to transform your life from the inside out; I have also created a few complementary resources for you if you want to go further:
The Website: www.CloseYourEyesGetFree.com
While the next 11 chapters have everything you need in order to master the practice of self-hypnosis, if you would like to go above and beyond, I recommend using the recordings and videos found at www.CloseYourEyes GetFree.com daily as you make your way through this book.
The Hashtag: #CloseYourEyesGetFree
Join our worldwide community of readers who are learning the power of self-hypnosis right along with you. Choose your favorite social media platform (e.g., Instagram or Twitter) and use #CloseYourEyesGetFree to share your self-hypnosis success stories, your selfies and “shelfies” with this book, or any questions you may have. Please be sure to tag me @GraceSmithTV so I will have an opportunity to personally respond and cheer you on!
The Newsletter: Grace Notes
Grace Notes are my daily messages to help you to become more positive and calm. At the time of writing this book, I send them out just about daily to over 50,000 people through email. What’s the most common reply I receive from Grace Notes subscribers? “This is exactly what I needed to hear today!” I’m sure you’ll love receiving them as much as I love writing them. Visit www.gshypnosis.com to sign up to receive Grace Notes for free; these are a fun way to help you maintain a daily self-hypnosis practice even after you have finished reading this book.
For additional resources, please turn to here.
Thank you for coming along on this journey with me!
Freedom Begins in the Mind
You have the ability to transform your life. To wake up feeling proud of yourself and eager to start another beautiful day. You have the capacity to feel joy and excitement rather than anxiety and dread. To achieve this, though, you likely need a breakthrough. A breakthrough is exactly what this book promises should you choose to commit to it. In fact, from the moment you truly commit to reading this book, you’ll begin to experience a shift right away. This is what I want for you! If you’re ready to commit, to read all the way until the end, to practice the exercises I’ll be teaching you, then you are ready for your personal breakthrough. Let’s get started!
Freedom Begins in the Mind
Freedom begins in the mind. How does that statement make you feel? This statement may cause shivers of “knowingness” to run down your arms and back. It may anger you, you may feel as if your forehead is expanding, or it may elicit no tangible response at all. Take a nice, deep, letting-go breath, and read it again slowly: Freedom begins in the mind. Really notice how you feel. Your response to this statement is your jumping-off point for the rest of this book. Feel free to make note of it, and then let it go. You’re already off to a great start!
When I say that freedom begins in the mind, I don’t mean the mind we’re used to hearing ramble on incessantly about everything under the sun. Freedom begins in a place very few people know how to access. A place that is mostly silent, hidden. A place where both our greatest strengths and weaknesses are stored like little seeds, side by side, sometimes showing themselves to us when their branches break through the soil into our conscious awareness. But sometimes, they stay buried forever in a state of potential.
The truth is: Freedom begins in the subconscious mind.
Before we dive into how you can access your own subconscious mind, allow me to introduce you to a man named Alexandre who taught me the true power of what you’re about to learn. His experience showed me firsthand just how much freedom begins in the mind. His story forever changed the course of my life, and my hope is that it will do the same for you.
They said he was the strongest, the smartest, the toughest. Every military exam, even the ones where he didn’t sleep or eat for days, the heat of the jungle pounding down, dangerous predators around every corner, he didn’t just pass them; he came in first. He was defined by his physical strength and his willpower. He rose through the ranks of the naval officers just as his father had done and was on the fast track to the top. He was a warrior.
When he was invited to represent his country, Brazil, as a member of the United Nations peacekeeping force, it was a tremendous honor. He packed up his entire life; his wife, an accomplished public defender in Brasília; and her sweet, fragile grandmother. They went with him to New York City, neither one knowing a word of English, their belief in him strong enough to carry them through the difficulties of life in a new world.
One morning, after months of working with the best minds in war strategy, the call came. He was being sent to Syria for an indefinite amount of time. His wife and her grandmother flew home to Brasília, and he packed for the assignment he had been preparing for his entire life. From the moment the chopper landed in one of Syria’s most dangerous cities, Damascus, the attacks never stopped. His liaisons were murdered, his strategies were compromised by spies, and his convoy was fired upon. He had been stationed in the most dangerous favelas in Brazil, and he had led guerrilla teams in Haiti, but nothing had prepared him for Syria.
One afternoon, as he attempted to cross a section of desert from one camp to another, he was trapped. Bullets tore past his team as they attempted to press themselves to the floor of their heavily armored vehicle. He watched as a rebel propped up a bazooka headed straight for his window. His entire life flashed before his eyes right before everything went black.
The bazooka never fired. It wasn’t the end of Alexandre’s life, but it was the end of life as he knew it. He awoke ten days later in Lebanon. He would come to learn that he had been airlifted there after suffering a massive stroke during the attack on the convoy. As the doctors were explaining to him where he was, he had the strangest sensation. Alexandre realized, “I’m not moving… I’m not moving.” A look of panic came across his face. The doctor took a deep breath and said, “I’m so sorry; the left side of your body has been paralyzed.”
He hadn’t moved his left side for ten days, the entire time he had been in the coma, and he wasn’t moving now. He couldn’t stretch his leg, he couldn’t lift his arm, and he couldn’t even twitch a finger. Nothing. Alexandre felt a panic like he had never felt before. Trapped. Angry. He would use his right arm to lift up his left to shake it, to remind it how to work. Still nothing.
He realized then that the fear of losing his life was nothing compared to the terror of losing his identity. He didn’t know himself. He didn’t know his body. For the first time in his life, he felt completely powerless.
A few days later, Alexandre was flown to the Rusk Institute in New York City. His life completely changed. Prior to the stroke, he had always believed in personal empowerment through pain and endurance, not mental strength. But suddenly, mental strength was all Alexandre had. There were moments of pure determination and struggle. He’d threaten his body in an attempt to scare it into movement. He’d tell himself, “You can do anything! You’re a warrior! You can do this!” and he’d believe it. Then, when nothing happened for another hour, another day, another week, or another month, he’d plummet back into irreconcilable despair.
During one of these moments, Alexandre’s middle son, Bernardo, called him. Bernardo had recently begun dating a woman who worked in corporate America but who had also just completed a hypnotherapy certification. He wondered whether she could come by and conduct a session that might improve his mood a little. Alexandre was so desperate that he would try anything but, truth be told, he was a complete skeptic. Prior to his stroke, he thought anyone who meditated was weak. He made fun of vegetarians. He wasn’t at all progressive in his views on medicine or holistic healing. For Alexandre to agree to a hypnotherapy session was proof to everyone who knew him and loved him that he was at his wits’ end.
When Bernardo’s girlfriend arrived, Alexandre could barely muster a smile as he lay there in the hospital bed. Alexandre looked at his wife who was giving the girlfriend a hello hug, and said, “She looks nervous” in Portuguese, which they knew she didn’t understand. In just a moment, she confirmed their suspicions, saying she was a brand-new hypnotherapist, not even full-time, but that she had already had some great success with other clients. It’s just that this was a very official setting, white coats all around, fluorescent lighting, and nurses coming in and out. Alexandre told her they had needed to gain clearance from his doctors for her visit, which they had done, and that the medical team had given their consent. This seemed to put her at ease, so she said, “Great. We’re just going to focus on improving your mind-set and increasing positivity, nothing too intense or going back to the memories of the war or anything like that.” That was just fine with Alexandre.
The hypnotherapist sat down in a chair next to Alexandre’s hospital bed on the left-hand side and asked him to close his eyes. She began by having him focus on his breath, and then relaxing every muscle in his body from his head down to his toes. She spoke in a soothing voice, and after some time, counted backward. Then, she made a number of nice statements about his positive mind-set and outlook, but Alexandre flinched. It was clear that he didn’t feel positive at all. The hypnotherapist wasn’t sure this was working.
At that moment she took a deep breath, and the tone of her voice changed. She became more direct and said, “All right now, Alexandre, bring all of your focus, awareness, and attention to your brain. See it like an aerial view of a city at night. Notice where there is electricity, and notice where there is a blackout. Let me know once you see the blackout.” He did.
“Good,” she continued. “Now, dive into the center of the blackout. Let me know when you’re there.” He did.
“Good,” she said. “When I count down from three to one and snap my fingers, there’s going to be a spark of electricity right where you are in the center of that blackout—three, go even deeper now; two, trusting what comes; and one—” she snapped loudly, and he felt it. Alexandre really felt a spark in the darkness.
“Good. Now, imagine that golden spark, that golden ball of electricity traveling down the left-hand side of your face, down your shoulder, down your arm, through your hand, and all the way out your finge…” She hadn’t even finished saying the word before Alexandre’s finger, which had been paralyzed for two months at this point, moved. His finger moved! He felt the electricity go through it. He felt the sensation as if there was life in his left side. It actually scared him at first, like a loud “Surprise!!!” when you walk through the door to your own secret birthday party with dozens of your loved ones yelling. It was like that—a fleeting moment of shock and terror, followed by an ocean of overwhelming joy and gratitude. He opened his eyes and said frantically, “I’m moving!! My finger is moving!! What do I do now?!” The hypnotherapist looked at him with her mouth wide open and tears in her eyes. “Keep moving your finger!” she exclaimed.
They laughed, and he did. He kept moving his hand, which expanded during that session into being able to move multiple fingers, as well as his wrist.
It has been four years since that day, and a great many wonderful things have happened. The hypnotherapist became his daughter-in-law, his fourth son was born, he was given a prestigious award for his service in Syria, and Alexandre is now a navy captain. He’s breaking a paradigm in the navy that physical strength is not the only asset they look for now in leadership. His left arm doesn’t have perfect range of motion yet, but he can lift it and move it on his own. Alexandre swims daily, and has been walking without a cane for years. In short, his life is beautiful.
In general, Alexandre is now more open-minded and gentler with himself and others. Most important, though, he practices self-hypnosis every morning and night. Let’s be clear: Hypnotherapy did not heal Alexandre completely in an instant. It took time, patience, the care of the world’s best doctors and nurses, thousands of hours of physical therapy, and other important recovery tools. It was hypnotherapy, though, that broke through the dense, formless wall of paralysis. It shattered the bleak lens through which Alexandre was viewing his life, and it turned on the lights. In fact, hypnosis turned the lights on so brightly that all of Alexandre’s hope, all of his “I can do it” mentality, came back to him with a flash. To varying degrees, it has stayed with him ever since.
That hypnosis session taught Alexandre how to access his subconscious, and in doing so, he was set free mentally, physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. Alexandre will always be grateful for this experience. It taught him the fundamental principle by which he now lives—freedom begins in the mind.
I am the hypnotherapist in this story, which brings tears to my eyes every time I tell it. Alexandre is now my father-in-law, and he shared this story with our families when I married his son, the love of my life, Bernardo.
Alexandre’s experience with hypnosis is why I quit my fancy job in corporate America and became a full-time hypnotherapist, much to the dismay and bewilderment of everyone who loved me. “You’re quitting your job to become a WHAT?!” But the doubts, fears, and widespread misunderstandings about this valuable tool couldn’t keep me away after that day at the Rusk Institute. In fact, the moment Alexandre moved his finger, my entire life changed. I’ve been obsessed with making hypnosis mainstream ever since.
I’ll tell you more about me and my journey in Chapter 10, but for now, let’s talk about you. There’s just one thing I hope you’ll take from Alexandre’s story: His triumph can be your triumph.
Let me be clear that one session of hypnosis did not cure his paralysis. It allowed him to move three fingers and his wrist, which had not moved of his own volition, at all, for two months. If Alexandre could break through his paralysis by accessing his subconscious mind directly, and he did, then imagine what the same tool could do for all of the challenges you face. You don’t need to be a top official on your way to active duty to reap the benefits of hypnosis. My clients range from those with the intensity and gravity of Alexandre’s story to those who are generally happy, such as a sixteen-year-old who wants to improve an SAT score, or a moderately stressed-out mom who wants to overcome her insomnia. What this book will show you is that hypnosis is for everyone, and it is absolutely for you.
What does the power of hypnosis teach us? Freedom begins in the subconscious mind. Nothing external changed for Alexandre the day he broke through his paralysis. He wasn’t given a pill, a shot of some new drug, money, a new house, a new spouse, or a new college degree. It was a shift in his mind-set and his subconscious programming.
The subconscious mind is where the following reside:
• Your beliefs
• Your emotions
• Your habits
• Your values
• Your protective reactions
• Your imagination
• Your intuition
Let’s call these subconscious inhabitants “the blueprint of your personality and functionality.”
For most of human history, we have attempted to transform, enhance, or delete certain aspects of the blueprint by looking in all the wrong places. Willpower, logical thinking, and critical thinking are the domain of the conscious mind. The conscious mind and subconscious mind have essentially a one-way radio for communication. The subconscious influences the conscious all day long, but hardly ever the other way around—not without tremendous effort and thousands upon thousands of repetitions. Until we learn how to access the subconscious directly, lasting changes to the blueprint cannot be made quickly or easily.
In this book, you’re going to learn just that—how to access your subconscious mind directly so that you can improve, enhance, and delete the areas of your blueprint that you desire to transform. In this book we’ll use the terms subconscious and unconscious interchangeably.
By studying the subconscious mind, you will learn that all our potential, all our power, and all our peace already live within us. Yet how often do we seek external people, places, and things to define who we are and how we should feel? All too often, we give our power away, asking others to fix, improve upon, and take responsibility for our potential greatness, simply because we fail to see just how much we’re capable of accomplishing on our own.
Our thinking can ruin a perfectly beautiful day, or it can brighten a miserable one. Someone on a massive yacht sipping champagne as the sky lights on fire just as the sun dips below the horizon can be standing next to the person mopping the deck. Which one of them is happy? Which one of them is in awe of those magnificent colors? The answer is whichever one chooses to be—the one who has trained her or his subconscious mind to think, feel, and react that way! If her thoughts are about her bitter divorce or her ungrateful boss, it won’t be a glorious moment. Even if a shooting star crosses the sky, it will still be a horrible night. The external world has zero impact on how we experience life; it’s all from the inside out.
The story of how Alexandre overcame his darkest hour by using the exact #CloseYourEyesGetFree process you’ll learn here in this book will prove to you, I hope, just how powerful you are and just how much you can control the subconscious beliefs that shape your life. Remember, this is not as simple as “Think happy thoughts, and the entire world will transform into sunshine and rainbows.” I’m not saying that, and no true self-help expert is saying that. Self-hypnosis doesn’t directly change the outside world. As you use this tool, you won’t stop wars halfway across the world or prevent the next flood that destroys thousands of lives. You won’t stop your husband from having another cigarette, unless he desires to quit and uses these tools, too.
In fact, hypnosis doesn’t give you control over anything you’ve never had control over. It simply gives you a way of accessing what you’ve always had control over and never took the time to access or train. We’ve been asking the outside world to affirm, enhance, and love us while never taking responsibility for our internal programming. This is not your fault, but now that you know about it, it’s your responsibility. You’ve always had the ability to access your subconscious mind, to take responsibility for your emotions, actions, and beliefs, but no one ever taught you how to do it. This book will!
Throughout these pages, you’ll discover stories from clients of mine who will inspire you to do as they have done, to close your eyes and get free. You will discover the processes that helped my clients who struggled with yo-yo dieting for years but who, with hypnosis, finally lost the weight, kept it off, and transformed their lives. Furthermore, as is so often the case with rapid weight loss, no new bad habits popped up in the wake of the old binge eating because hypnosis healed the underlying reason for the food addiction. In other words, instead of treating the symptom—and binge eating is a symptom of a deeper issue—hypnosis treats the source of the problem. There are no Band-Aids here, only true, lasting transformation from the inside out.
You’ll learn about an executive who used these same tools to overcome a fear of flying and then watched as her career flourished. You’ll read about people from all walks of life who eliminated fears and phobias, stopped chronic procrastination, and, in general, found greater happiness and peace in their life.
I learned the power of this tool when I used it to quit smoking and overcame my fear of speaking and singing in public. This led to a stint as the lead singer in an all-girl rock band. I wasn’t Joan Jett by a long shot, but playing the grungy Lower East Side New York City bars where I’d been a patron for years was one badass experience. I can’t believe I almost lived without it all because of a subconscious belief I could have overcome years earlier, had I simply known how.
Now, if you’re still a little skeptical, I understand. I used to believe hypnosis was a joke. In fact, other than laughing during a high school stage show that was meant to keep us off the road after prom, I never gave hypnosis a second thought until my first hypnotherapy session nearly ten years later. Hollywood has always portrayed hypnosis as mind control or as a way to make someone cluck like a chicken. We’ll go over these kinds of misconceptions in greater detail later, but let me clear up these two: (1) If hypnotherapy were mind control, all hypnotists would be billionaires; and (2) everyone in the hypnosis stage show volunteered.
Put simply, no one does anything in hypnotherapy that he or she doesn’t want to do. When I’m asked, “But does it really work?” I’m tempted to say, “No! Not at all! I’ve spent all these years teaching it to thousands of people because it’s absolutely worthless and a complete waste of our time!” But then, I take a deep breath and smile at how glad I am that I trained my subconscious not to be a jerk (LOL). For the most part, I remember how I felt before my first hypnotherapy session, how my point of reference once came from movies and stage shows, too, and how the lack of understanding about the power of hypnotherapy is due to a lack of education. I put the snark away (mostly) and have taken it upon myself to educate.
Luckily, since the time I embarked on this adventure, the general feeling toward hypnotherapy has already rapidly improved. Hypnosis is more accepted and embraced with exciting new research proving its transformative value all over the world. People, in general, are more open to how enormously powerful our mind truly is.
I stopped believing hypnotherapy was a joke because it not only transformed my life, it transformed countless other lives right in front of my eyes. I knew that if everyone could see the results I’ve seen, those old misguided stigmas would melt away. Luckily, in just a few more pages, you’ll be able to understand exactly what I mean as hypnosis begins to transform your life.
How to Use This Book
This book was written in such a way that it puts you into a gentle hypnotic state and, therefore, will be infinitely more transformative than your typical read. There are sections that are pure information, which will make the conscious, logical mind happy, and there are sections that are intended primarily for your subconscious mind. One of the best ways to access the subconscious is through the awakening of the imagination. In fact, one of the founders of modern day hypnotherapy, Milton Erickson, used long, elaborate, often intentionally boring stories to transform the subconscious mind of his clients.
I have opted to use shorter and, hopefully, more exciting stories to do the same at the start of each chapter. This chapter’s story was Alexandre’s triumph. Whether you were consciously aware of it or not, simply by reading his story, your subconscious has begun to believe that you, too, are capable of such a profound breakthrough in your life. Although Alexandre’s story was a true biography of his experience, all future stories you will read in this book are not entirely biographical; they are a composite of both real-life client stories I was given permission to share, combined with archetypal metaphors to make them even more juicy for your subconscious mind to absorb.
Now I know not everyone is into stories—some people love them and can’t get enough, whereas others think they’re all just a bunch of fluff—but wherever you land on the scale, please give them a shot before jumping ahead. Even though this is a nonfiction book, give yourself permission to immerse yourself inside each of the stories. Allow yourself to find a piece of yourself in each of the characters. I promise you, these hypnotic stories will help you to internalize all you will learn from this book ten times more than just the self-hypnosis scripts themselves. This is because the stories are actually a hypnotic technique! In short, if I didn’t know they would help you transform, they wouldn’t be here.
At the end of each chapter is a basic self-hypnosis script that even a beginner can master. This is a wonderful way to begin your practice of accessing the subconscious mind; however, as your eyes will be open, it will be a lighter experience and more conditioning will be beneficial. For an even deeper experience that will yield even faster results, I have created a professional recording of an elongated version of each chapter’s self-hypnosis script that you can listen to anytime, anywhere (so long as you’re not driving). Simply visit www.CloseYourEyesGetFree.com to access the hypnosis recording for each chapter (see here to learn how to begin), and get ready to relax perhaps deeper than ever before. In a few pages, I’ll give you examples so you know what to expect!
By reading this book and listening to the corresponding recordings, you will transform your subconscious programming. The scripts at the end of each chapter focus on areas that everyone can benefit from improving, such as letting go of limiting beliefs, turning down the volume on fears and turning up the volume on courage, trading negative thoughts for positive ones, increasing self-love, and more. If you’re not sure which recordings you’d like to listen to first, I recommend going in order from Chapter 1 to Chapter 11. If you’re not sure whether you should stick to just reading scripts or just listening to the recordings, I’d recommend both if you have the time, or just listening to the recording if you’re short on time. After carefully choosing these topics from the thousands of sessions I’ve conducted over the years, I believe you’ll find that they’re all just what you need and are worthy of your time.
- "Grace personally helped me overcome a severe fear-of-flying that left me crying, shaking, and often simply unable to travel for nearly 20 years. In her new book, Grace unlocks the transformative power of hypnosis for people across the planet, debunking myths and giving readers the resources they need to enact real, lasting change in their lives."—Liz Moody, Food Editor at MindBodyGreen, writer, photographer, recipe developer, creator of EatWell Europe
- "Grace Smith works miracles. I was completely new to hypnosis before I met her, and the results we experienced together were nothing short of amazing. I trust her--and the work she does--implicitly."—Gala Darling, speaker, author of Radical Self-Love: A Guide to Loving Yourself and Living Your Dreams
- "Grace Smith empowers people to rise above their limiting beliefs. Grace's insights on the subconscious mind gives you a soulful invitation to spring clean your past and release the patterns that prevent you from living your best life. You'll emerge from these pages with a fresh perspective on the power you have to create your own reality."—Sarah Prout, bestselling author, creator of The Manifesting Academy, Host of The Journey to Manifesting Podcast
- "Grace's energy put me into a calm, relaxed state, and the guided imagery is still salient in my mind. Working with Grace has truly made a positive impression on my daily life."—Prince Ea, filmmaker, speaker, activist
- "Forget everything you ever thought about hypnosis, and prepare to be surprised, inspired, and healed by this book. It's unlike anything you've ever read before."—Rebekah Borcuki, Meditation Guide, bestselling author of You Have 4 Minutes to Change Your Life
- "Close Your Eyes, Get Free is a treasure-trove of great hypnosis information for both the hypnosis enthusiast and the professional hypnotherapist. Using real world examples, stemming from personal and client experiences, Master Hypnotist Grace Smith has actually written a treatise on how to live a better, more rewarding, productive, and happier life."—George Bien, Principal Trainer, International Association of Counselors andTherapists
- "Grace removes any stigma associated with hypnosis by making it relatable, accessible, and meaningful. She channels her energy and passion into helping change people's lives and helping us become our very best selves."—Igor Volsky, political commentator Director, @capaction. Co-host of @ThinkingCAPpod. Director, @gunsdownamerica
- On Sale
- Jul 17, 2018
- Page Count
- 288 pages
- Da Capo Lifelong Books