May the 4th is considered to be Star Wars Day because of the play on words to “May the Force (be with you)”, a phrase that punctuates the conversations of Jedi Masters in Star Wars science fiction films and books.
I love the character Yoda, an older and wiser Jedi with great physical and mental powers (despite his appearance). When he talks about “the Force” in the movies, I often change these words, replacing them with “Subconscious” or “Internal Wisdom” or “Change”.
I often quote Yoda when I am talking to clients or students and feel the philosophy aligns with the subconscious mind, its powers and ability to fluidly alter itself for greater health and wellbeing.
For those of you not well-versed in Star Wars lingo, I’ll aim to keep this outer-space battle of good and evil simple. I’ve also provided links to video portions of “The Empire Strikes Back” (May, 1980) that might give a better ‘feel’ for the quotes, or an entertaining break from the day.
There is no try
Whenever a client is chatting with me and I ask “are you ready to do hypnosis with me?” and s/he answers “Well, I’ll give it a try…”, I need to summon my inner Yoda and quote him, “Try not. Do or do not, there is no try.” And why?
Interestingly, the subconscious mind sees the word “try” as a suggestion for failure. While academically we can have the experimental trails of “try” to see what works and what doesn’t; in the subconscious sphere, that center of change, the idea of try simply means “it’s probably not going to happen”. You’d be more confident if a friend said she’d meet you at 8pm, rather than ‘try’ to meet you at 8pm, right?
The subconscious mind works the same way. There may be a number of reasons we use ‘try’ in our conversations, however.
One reason is so we don’t disappoint others. It’s hard to see the displeasure on a friend’s face when we tell them we can’t come to their party – so instead we say we’ll ‘try’. And when we don’t show up in the end, it saves us from having to see the host feel let down or upset. They may still feel that way, but we have opted out of being present for their negative reaction – usually because we feel badly when others do (especially if we had some part to play in it). When we take back control and responsibility with the subconscious, it’s easier to set boundaries, be gentle with the feelings and expectations of other, yet know our own limits and respect them, so we no longer have to ‘try’ – we simply do or don’t.
Another and bigger reason is that we don’t want to feel disappointed in ourselves if/when we fail – we can say ‘well, I just *tried*, but maybe not that hard…” It is our rationalizing conscious mind that comes in after the fact to sweep the distress of defeat under the rug. As they say, ‘we don’t aim high and miss, we aim low and hit’, with “trying” as that lowered aim.
In elite sports, excellent players don’t ‘try’ to come in first place, and while they may not achieve that position every time, they can rest easy knowing they did everything in their power to aim high. It’s the same for everyday people – we can learn that our falling short when participating fully may sting for a little while, but it also provides us with valuable lessons, feedback and new strengths to use in our future endeavours.
When I join people on the road to change, we make a deal – that we’re going to *do this*, rather than *try to do this* change thing. Might we come up against some dead ends and setbacks as we travel towards the goal? Possibly. But the commitment by and for the subconscious mind creates a mental/emotional/physical environment which promotes and supports impactful and lasting change.
Watch this 25 second video to see Master Yoda sharing his wisdom on not ‘trying’: https://youtu.be/BQ4yd2W50No
It’s too big…
There’s a scene in Star Wars V where Luke Skywalker (the Padawan or learner) is “trying” to lift a small space ship with his mind. He can’t and complains to his teacher that the ship is much bigger than stones he had been moving about quite nicely, and that it was ‘too big’ for him to shift.
Yoda replies that ‘size matters not…’ and that the only difference is in his mind. As someone who deals with the subconscious on a daily basis, it seems to ring true with the change process as well.
The first thing to realise is that size can be increased or decreased by our perspective of it. How many of us have gone back to an old school playground to see the ‘long slide’ or the ‘huge monkey bars’ and, as an adult, they appear strangely small and easily achievable. With our growing up, we increase our strength or courage or experience, and something that may have seemed overwhelming in the past no longer is. Even amongst adults, any event may be perceived differently depending on the person experiencing it. One might find it exhilarating, while another might be terrified – each perspective is valid based on the internal mental/emotional translation and viewpoint.
I often have clients who are embarrassed by their problems. They feel that they shouldn’t be asking for help because they aren’t starving or in a war zone. “I’ve got a pretty good life, so why should I feel so down/scared/stuck/sad…?” Within our own mind, our challenges and hurdles ARE the most important problems on earth. They are the most real and close. They are the burdens we must carry all by ourselves, because the weight is carried within – shame just adds to load. If a problem is impacting your life in a big way, it’s big to you, and is worthy of your attention and support from those who can help.
At the same time, because size can be shifted by perspective within the subconscious mind, it is the best place to deal with the ‘biggies’ in our lives. In fact, the bigger and more emotionally charged the challenge, the simpler it tends to be to clear with the subconscious. That’s because it creates a bigger emotional target we can aim at and discover the root of – usually based on an erroneous concept, a misperception, a protective coping mechanism, or an inherited belief.
As they say, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. We can bring our insight, additional information and experience to topple something that may seem very big, but is supported by shaky foundations. The rock, which, over time, looks like a space ship, turns back into a stepping stone to a better future.
“Luminous beings are we…
… not this crude matter…” is one of my favourite parts of Yoda’s lessons.
When I look at the thousands of different human bodies who come to my office, I am amazed by the way our complex physical vehicles can support us and carry us through our journey in life, even when the person belonging to that body is unhappy with its look or function.
At the same time, despite their outside appearances, it is the internal being that humbles me every day. When I get to know the ‘inside’ of my clients and students, or of family, friends and acquaintances, it feels as though I’ve been offered a window into an optical illusion – where the container (body) is finite, yet the internal imagination, promise, treasure, capacity (subconscious mind) has the potential to be enchanting and, in many ways, limitless.
Even when it doesn’t look or feel that way. Most of my job consists of connecting and supporting the power of our deeper wisdom, uncovering strengths and skills that may have been disguised, mislabeled or buried. I find myself as a happy witness to their rediscovering their luminosity, the true radiance, their ‘shine’.
I don’t believe it
After the tiny and old Yoda had mentally/physically raised the space ship out of the swamp to shore, Luke Skywalker expressed his disbelief that his teacher had has been able to move it, to which Yoda replied, “that is why you fail.” Is our belief system so powerful to make the difference between success and failure?
Belief is a powerful tool, especially with the subconscious mind. Many of my ‘de-hypnosis’ session focus on removing these inaccurate or flawed belief systems that suggest to people that they can’t be, do or act better.
These belief systems that aren’t working for clients may have been established for some very good (protective) reasons, but not only appear to be invalid right now, they also use up a lot of energy. Doing battle within sucks a person’s life ‘force’ – challenging personal and professional relationships, the ability to think, create and explore, leaving us energetically and emotionally devalued – which doesn’t serve us, those around us, or the world.
Once individuals begin to tap into their own powerful and positive belief system, the force and energy they can harness sets them on the path to a more masterful life, starting with the almost magical and often untapped ‘force’ within.
Here is the link to the continued saga of Jedi Master Yoda and Padawan Luke Skywalker from The Empire Strikes Back: https://youtu.be/HMUKGTkiWik
My ears may be smaller and complexion less green than Yoda, yet I’m available to be your ally in harnessing your Jedi-like internal powers, accessing the subconscious through sessions, publications, training – contact me to let me know how I can help.
May the force be with you… Jennifer