[00:00:06.4] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to The Science of Success with your host, Matt Bodnar.
[0:00:12.6] MB: Welcome to The Science of Success. I’m your host, Matt Bodnar. I’m an entrepreneur and investor in Nashville, Tennessee and I’m obsessed with the mindset of success and the psychology of performance. I’ve read hundreds of books, conducted countless hours of research and study and I am going to take you on a journey into the human mind and what makes peak performers tick, with the focus on always having our discussion rooted in psychological research and scientific fact, not opinion.
In this episode, we discuss why you can’t outthink your emotions, the relationship between trauma and your mind-body connection, how to start listening to your emotions, the power of hypnosis, and how to drop into your body to experience what you’re truly feeling with Rene Brent.
The Science of Success continues to grow with more than 800,000 downloads, listeners in over 100 countries, hitting number one in New and Noteworthy, and more. I get listener comments and emails all the time asking me, “Matt, how do you organize and remember all this incredible information?” A lot of our listeners are curious about how I keep track of all the incredible knowledge I get from reading hundreds of books, interviewing amazing experts, listening to awesome podcast, and more.
Because of that, we’ve created an epic resource just for you; a detailed guide called How to Organize and Remember Everything. You can get it completely free by texting the word “smarter” to the number 44222. Again, it’s a guide we created called How to Organize and Remember Everything. All you have to do to get it is to text the word “smarter” to the number 44222 or go to scienceofsuccess.co and put in your email.
In our previous episode, we discussed what to do if you feel like you’re having a midlife crisis every two years, the importance of staying grounded while you make big changes in your life, how to pivot your career and take smart risks, how to discover your strengths and the right way to make big, exciting changes in your career with Jenny Blake? If you’re thinking about changing your career or making a pivot, listen to that episode.
[0:02:19.1] MB: Today, we have another exciting guest on the show, Rene Brent. Rene is a certified clinical and transpersonal hypnotherapist. She’s the director and instructor of the Externship Program at the Orlando, Florida Institute of Hypnotherapy. She’s also the bestselling author of How Big Is Your Butt?: Discover How To Let Go Of Blocks And Move Forward In Your Life.
Rene, welcome to The Science of Success.
[0:02:41.1] RB: Thank you Matt. I’m happy to be here. Great day.
[0:02:44.1] MB: We’re very excited to have you on. For listeners who may not be familiar with you and some of your work, tell us a little bit about yourself and share your story.
[0:02:51.7] RB: Certainly. I am been a registered nurse for over 25 years, and I used to think in nursing that the body control the mind. How we felt physically affected the mind. I started to see in nursing and in the trauma room, I was a trauma nurse, that if I could connect with somebody and help them have that human connection with me at the front of the bed if they just had a car accident, motorcycle accident, whatever, if I could do that, then they felt better, the vital signs were better, and they were more connected. That intrigued me.
Then, I got divorced and I wanted a new career and had some experience with healing and hypnotherapy and off I went and never looked back. It was the best decision, because now I understand truly that the mind, our thoughts, control the chemistry and our reaction to us physically. That is a very intriguing for me as a clinical hypnotherapist to help people with the mind-body connection.
[0:03:47.1] MB: What is the difference between a hypnotist and a hypnotherapist?
[0:03:51.4] RB: Good question. A hypnotist usually has about 50 to 100 hours of training, someone who can do hypnosis can put someone into the state of hypnosis, which is not that difficult. It’s really a change in a brain wave. A hypnotherapist is someone who can put someone in the state of hypnosis, but actually allow them to get to their truth. A hypnotherapist — I do not tell people how to feel or think. Everyone, every single person has what they need within them, but they’re blocked by a conscious reality sometimes.
To be able to get into the state of hypnosis and allow someone to awareness of their truth, then they can start releasing blocks. You have to be aware of blocks and false beliefs in order to change them, and hypnosis is a beautiful way to bypass the conscious mind, get to the boss, which is the subconscious mind and make those changes. I just people the opportunity and also within protocol to help them kind of guide them loosely to healing and a place of forgiveness and understanding, acceptance, and really change how they perceive life at the end of some sessions. It’s pretty remarkable.
[0:04:59.1] MB: Tell me a little bit more about hypnosis itself. How does it work and how does it bypass these sort of conscious watchdog and get to the root of many of these subconscious issues?
[0:05:10.7] RB: Yes. Hypnosis, like I said, is just a change in a brainwave, and I really approach from this platform of science. That’s why I’m so excited to be on your show, Matt, because this is my world, is the science of the mind and what’s going on, and hypnosis is woo-woo. What I do is not obscure, it’s based in science and brainwaves and perceptions of a child and how we access information.
I put someone into the state of hypnosis, it’s not that difficult. We go in and out of hypnosis all day long. We’re in a beta wavelength, which is human, which is survival. That’s 5%. That’s conscious mind. 95% is a subconscious mind and the way to access that is dropping into an alpha wave. We do that when we’re driving in a car, when we’re in a shower, we’re just hypnotized by the sounds of the waves on a beach when we’re really connected to that. That is hypnosis, and it’s not that hard to get into and that’s what I help people do.
There, that’s when we’re really — People think hypnosis puts you to sleep, Matt, but it really wakes — It wakes you up. You’re in your truth, that aha moment. It’s life-changing foe people. I tell people I have the best job in the world, because I get a front row seat. I get to help people explore their truth and change it and change the reality and release those — My book, How Big Is Your But, those big buts that block them and they’re not even aware of that. Really crucial to change is getting in to the subconscious mind in an altered brain wave.
[0:06:42.7] MB: That’s really fascinating. The idea that we dip in and out of hypnosis in sort of our day-to-day experience is something I’d never really thought of. You mentioned driving is an example. Another one that I think is really relevant for me personally is I love to play video games, and sometimes I feel like I can be playing a game and it’s almost like I’ve blacked out for 20 minutes and I’ll be like, “What just happened?”
[0:07:02.7] RB: Exactly. When it’s four in the morning and you don’t know where the rest of the day went and you haven’t eaten for 10 hours because you’ve been playing this game, you have absolutely been hypnotized, when you have an alter in time lapse. My clients, I’ll do in a session for an hour and a half and they really could swear that they were in for 15, 20 minutes. That’s a good indication of hypnosis, absolutely.
[0:07:26.1] MB: Is there a relationship at all between hypnosis and flow states? I think of that, because in many ways I’ve always felt like when you have that, that sensation that time has passed by and you didn’t really understand it. In many ways, that’s connected with the idea of flow.
[0:07:41.7] RB: Yes. Really, when you’re living in your passion and you’re living in your flow, then you’re living in your heart. You’re living in your truth, which is the subconscious mind. You can naturally go into that. I’ve never worked harder in my life, but I am so passionate. That’s why I tell people if you’re living in your passion, but you have days where you’re struggling, where you’re like, “Oh my God! Why am I doing this? What’s going on? I can’t do anything.”
Hold on to the why you started it in the first place. If you’re in school or a new career, hold on to the why, the end game, because that will keep you in your flow. That will keep in your subconscious state and keep you out of a conscious mind that’s so analytical, it’s so judgmental. You’re absolutely right, being in your flow is being in a relaxed, living from the heart, actually.
[0:08:31.2] MB: I love to dig into that, that concept, this sort of dichotomy between the analytical mind and how emotions are often kind of stored in our body and how we can get really caught up in thought patterns that prevent us from truly experiencing our emotions. I know that’s something you’ve done a ton of work on. Tell me a little bit about that, that whole concept.
[0:08:52.5] RB: That’s basically the work that I do with my clients. Our subconscious mind, 95%, the boss, when you want to get something done, you go to the boss, right? So it makes sense to drop in to this state and do the work. It holds our emotions, our beliefs, our memories, it holds all of that, and it’s always trying to talk to us, Matt. The subconscious mind’s job is to move us away from pain and towards pleasure.
It wants us to heal. It has a lot of jobs and it’s always trying to communicate, and it comes up, and we’re not taught how to manage the subconscious mind, by the way. That’s a real problem for people, because it comes up and we push it down with, “No. I got to do this. I got to get this job done. I got to take this test. I got to do these things,” and you’re like, “No,” and you push it down and you push it down.
If you spend a lifetime of not having awareness of the subconscious mind or not listening to it, it will show up to you, because it starts as a whisper and then it starts louder and louder and it’s screaming at you, and it could be screaming at you in lots of ways, which is maladaptive behaviors, addiction, weight gain, overuse of drugs and alcohol, porn, all of these things, it will show up and it’s trying to get you to listen.
I tell people when they walk in my office, “You know what? I want you to think that behavior. I want you to think that 50-pound weight gain, because it got you in the office. When you’re stuck and you don’t know why, your subconscious mind is just dug its heels down and said, “No. You are going to listen to me now.”
I love it when young people in their 20s come to see me, because if you could learn this in teens and — I also see children who have a lot of anxiety. If I can get someone between the age of 18 and 30 and they can change their patterns and start listening to the subconscious mind, then you’ve created a lifetime of ease. The majority of my clients are in their 50s, when they’ve had three marriages, they’ve had addiction, they’ve had health problems. I love teaching people this early, and it’s crucial to pay attention and just learn — It’s not that difficult to learn the skills to do it, and that’s one of the reasons why I do what I do, why I speak publicly, why I wrote the book, because I want to teach people mainstream. It doesn’t have to be woo-woo. Mainstream, how to learn some techniques to just listen through the day, and you’ll sleep better, you’ll eat better. It’s pretty incredible how life shifts when you do that.
[0:11:15.4] MB: I think it’s fascinating, and I’ve definitely experienced this in my own life, that if you consciously try to sort of suppress or avoid your emotions and your subconscious, it will bubble up, it will kind of manifest itself in all kinds of different ways. I think it’s so important to really understand and kind of start the journey, because it’s not sort of a one second awareness, but really begin the journey of understanding of how listening to your emotions and experiencing them can help you much more effectively deal with those kind of maladaptive behaviors that you talked about.
[0:11:49.1] RB: They’re not going away. You can have a life — For instance, for me, I had some extreme false beliefs through my childhood and I found a way to move through them, push them aside, and have outsourced things that help me feel better. I was married for 20 years, I had three children, I was busy volunteering and working as a nurse. Kept very busy on the external, but I wasn’t listening to the internal. Then, I got divorced from a 20-year marriage, and all that was ripped away. It really unsettled me, and I was forced to look at it.
I know what it’s like to push it down and be happy. When you close your heart, you don’t cry all your tears, but you don’t laugh all your laughter. Only through joy exist, Matt, when you can start paying attention to your subconscious mind. You don’t have to be in your emotions all the time, nobody is. There are three things you can do with emotions. You can shove them down and they’re going to show up in your body or your life somewhere. The second one is you can scream or cry or road rage, is about this. It’s never about what it’s about. It will show up. Nobody gets out and shoots somebody because they pulled them in front of them or they were going five miles beneath the speed limit. It’s about something else.
The third one is you can learn to allow. I teach people every day to open your heart and learn to allow without being caught up in the emotions. That is the key to success. You cannot overthink or outthink this stuff. Positive thinking doesn’t work when you’re in a survival state. The only thing you can do is survive as a human, and your body doesn’t know the difference between you’re running from a lion, or you have a job that you hate, or you’re overwhelmed with home life. You must drop into an altered state to be able to really shift that for yourself.
I said a lot there, so go where you want with it.
[0:13:41.6] MB: Yeah, you did. There are so many good points, and I want to dig in to a couple of them. One of the ones that I think is really important — We actually talked about this on a recent episode, is the idea that the example you used with road rage. It’s never about that particular moment of anger, or rage, or unhappiness, it’s much more about this deep-seated emotional environment that causes that to happen to begin with. I think that’s such a critical point that so many people miss, and there’s two sort of things that that makes me think of.
One is the idea that everybody is kind of fighting a battle that you know nothing about, and that whole quote and that concept that helps sort of cultivate compassion. The other is that when people are sort of rude to you or mean to you, in many instances, it’s often not a reflection of you in any way, it’s often just a reflection of kind of their internal emotional situation spilling out into their experiences and events in their daily lives.
[0:14:36.8] RB: Absolutely. This is absolutely the result of false beliefs. When we’re younger than 10 years old, Matt, our subconscious and conscious mind is open. Anything that’s said or done to us can be encoded as truth, and it doesn’t have to be drama or trauma, it could be as simple as a teacher who laughed at you when you got up and misspelled a word or did a thing on the board. It could be — I had a woman who had a beautiful life by anyone’s standards, but she woke up every morning unhappy, and sad, and she didn’t understand that she came to see me, and we regressed to the first time she felt these things, and hypnosis.
She went to third grade and she was standing outside of a room with her best friends, and they decided that day that she was not good enough to be in their group, and they made fun of her. Encoded, stamped into her in that moment was that she’s not good enough, that she’s not a part of. She carried that pattern for the rest of her life, but didn’t have an awareness of it.
False beliefs, we filter our perception of the world through that every day. If you have a belief that you’re not good enough, that you’re ugly, or that you’re not lovable, anything that someone says to it, a boss, a partner, a friend, someone in a grocery store, if they say something to you, it’s going to through that filter and it’s changing what you’re hearing.
If a boss says to you, “You know what? I really want you to look at this number. I really want you to just take another look at that, what you handed in to me.” If you feel like you’re not good enough or stupid, it’s filtering through that. You’re hearing a completely different message, “My boss hates me. They think that I’m stupid.” That’s not what the boss was saying. It changes, and it causes this turmoil within us without us even knowing it. It’s very important to understand those false beliefs and the perception and pay attention to what we’re hearing.
I do work with couples and I tell them, “If someone’s reacting to you, it doesn’t make sense with what you thought you were saying.” You’re married, right Matt?
[0:16:38.2] MB: I am.
[0:16:39.2] RB: Yeah, so you understand this. You could say something to your wife and she has a completely different reaction than what you expected.
[0:16:45.9] MB: Absolutely.
[0:16:46.3] RB: I want you to ask her, “What did you hear me say?” Communication is not what you say. It’s what the person hears. This is true communication. Ask her, what did you hear me say? She maybe hearing something completely different. That’s when you start talking about it, when you clarify what you meant, because everyone is doing this everyday with anything that is said or done to them.
[0:17:08.4] MB: I love that question, “What did you hear me say?” It’s a great way to kind of pierce through the filter and see what kind of came out the other side and how someone interpreted your actions.
[0:17:19.1] RB: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.
[0:17:19.9] MB: Before we dig into kind of filters and false beliefs and limiting beliefs, which I want to go into, I want to zoom back out or kind of talk about something we talked about a little earlier, which is how do we kind of cultivate the ability to listen more effectively to our subconscious mind?
[0:17:37.4] RB: Certainly. Learning some techniques to push a pause button if you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, fearful, angry, just be able to push a pause button, because pushing a pause button, pattern interrupts in the brain, allows you to just stop for a minute and then regroup. When you regroup, you can get in touch with what was really going on with you. Then, you can have the truth talk, “What’s really going on with me? Is that the truth?” Then, you can start those.
In my book, each chapter I have, each one build on the other where I have techniques where you could start listening to the subconscious mind pretty effectively. You cannot heal it till you bring it up from the subconscious mind. For instance, if someone is feeling completely overwhelmed, what they can do is breathing. I know breathing is so — I don’t know. Popular, or it’s a tag line, but it’s really important, and I teach people why to breathe.
When we’re feeling uncomfortable, or we’re feeling fearful, or anxious — Anxiety, by the way, is just a symptom of fear, and it’s a chemistry of the body that’s anxiety. It’s not an emotion. When you’re feeling that in your body, the physical symptoms, because every emotion has a physical reaction. When you’re feeling that, we tend to breathe shallow. It’s part of the fight, flight, or freeze. We freeze. We think that if we breathe shallow and we just stay put for a minute, that things are going to go away, and they’re not. We’re just going to get hit by it harder.
If you’re breathing shallow through the day, I want to encourage people to take a big breath in, really breathe in and then exhale, and when you do that, you’re actually holding it for a few seconds, you’re pressing slightly on a vagus nerve right at the diaphragm. When you do that, you allow this beautiful surge of chemicals and your parasympathetic nervous system to kind of come and check and balance. You can shift things pretty quickly by taking a few breaths when you’re feeling that way, and that’s a good way step to pattern interrupting.
[0:19:39.1] MB: On the concept of learning to allow, how do we cultivate that as a reaction as supposed to either ignoring, kind of showing our emotions down, or just letting them simmer into anger, or crying, or whatever it might be?
[0:19:55.0] RB: We’re all allowing, one way or the other — And we’re not allowing by using alcohol, drugs, whatever, to suppress. To learn to allow is dropping into an altered state of hypnosis into an alpha wave, which could be deep breathing, doing a countdown, getting some meditation that you like. I have two free ones on my website, or Headspace is a great thing to do, and get in the habit of taking about 5, 10 minutes a day to just drop into this day and say, “What’s going on with me right now?” Not allowing it to amplify.
If you’re feeling angry, take those breaths and drop into say, “What’s really going on with me?” I teach techniques, like tapping. I don’t know if you’ve heard of EFT, or tapping, it’s a good way for people to just start understanding. I do meditations, like opening the heart, or teach people to drop in and connect to higher perspective. The real change to listening is teaching yourself quickly how to drop into an alpha wave, and it’s not hard to do. Breathing, count-downing, learn how to do self-hypnosis, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis.
When you’re feeling something, you’re saying, “Man! I’m really angry right now.” Just acknowledge it. Don’t try to push it down. Don’t blame it on someone. Take accountability for it, “Right now, I am feeling angry.” “Man! That really hurt my feelings. I’m feeling very sad.” When we learn to allow and acknowledge emotions, thy begin to release. They amplify when we push them down. They release when we allow. Just by saying, “What’s going on with me right?” “Oh! I’m feeling sad.” Just that will make people feel better.
People feel better just in 20 minutes of talking to me on the couch, because I don’t tell them how to feel. I just give them an opportunity to express how they feel. Just acknowledging it and then saying, “Okay. I’m feeling angry. I’m ready to release it. What’s really going on with me?” Then, dropping into an altered state. Was that clear enough for you?
[0:21:58.1] MB: No, that’s great. I think that makes a lot of sense. I think those are some really valuable tactics to kind of drop into your body a little bit. Personally, I’m very kind of cerebral person, and one of the things I’ve been working a lot on is trying to cultivate that body awareness. This is something I’m really fascinated with.
[0:22:15.9] RB: Sure. Let me tell you about body awareness, and not everybody has emotional words. Not everyone wants to acknowledge that they’re sad, or afraid, or angry. Some people just don’t have that ability to acknowledge that. I have people that can’t give me motional words. What you always have, always, is your physical body. Your physical body is your emotional GPS. Emotions show up, because you have an emotion, you have a chemical response, and it reacts in the body. Then, you have a reaction in the body, and then it validates the thought. Then, you’re in a mind merry-go-round.
You know when you’re angry in one little — This happens in couples sometimes. When you’re angry, then you have a chemical response and your body start to tense up, then you think of other things that made you angry, and then you’re like, “Yeah! You did that.” Then, you go round and round and round. Before you know it, you’re completely off topic and you’re rageful. It’s because of the chemical response to it.
When we’re feeling emotion, there is something called the felt sense, feeling the sensation of emotion, energy in motion. It shows up usually somewhere between your chin and your lower abdomen. When you’re angry, or upset, or anxious, or fearful, Matt, where do you feel it in your body?
[0:23:31.1] MB: That’s something I’ve been thinking about, and after reading your material and watching a couple of interviews, I started to kind of develop some awareness of that. I think, typically, it’s kind of almost like right below my rib cage is where I think I typically feel it. Sometimes in my lower back, maybe. It’s something that I — As I said, I’m still trying to understand and cultivate this ability. It’s something I’m really curious about and want to learn more about.
[0:23:57.4] RB: I teach people, when you drop into that sensation, you’re actually dropping into the subconscious mind, because now you’re allowing. If you’re feeling this thing in your lower rib cage, what you do is take the breaths and then you put your hand right where you feel it, drop into the sensation of it. Don’t judge it, just drop into it and say, “If there was an emotion attached to this, what would it be?” It might be fear, it might be anger, whatever. Don’t question it. You’ll hear the word.
The subconscious mind is excited, because you’re listening to it. You’re dropping into this sensation, so you’re going to feel better already. When you drop into that sensation right there and just say, “Oh! This feels like fear. Okay, so what’s going on with me?” Then when you breathe, you’ll start hearing, “I’m afraid I’m going to fail,” or “I’m afraid that I’m not going to be loved,” or “I’m afraid they’re going to leave me.” You will hear those things. Then, that’s when you start arguing for your truth. The truth is that I am smart and I can do this. The truth is I am lovable, I am capable, I can create this life that I want, but you have to drop in and understand what’s going on for you.
If you do not have a word that shows up for you, there’s something you can do that I teach in the book called Release the Piece. Christian Mickelsen created this and I have adopted it for myself. I love it, because it’s a way to allow without acknowledging what’s actually going on with you. If you have that feeling in your ribcage or your lower back, Matt, I want you to just put your hand on it. No word comes up. You have no emotional word for it. That’s okay. Send that emotion, that feeling, that sensation — I know this sound really corny, especially for your audience, but it works. Send it acceptance and love. That’s all you do. No judgment about what it is, why you don’t have a word for it, anything. Just send it acceptance and love and it will release.
Often, it shifts. I tell people to follow it, and it will go from their stomach, to their heart, or to their neck, and then it will let. It will release, because what you’re doing is allowing to backdoor away to allow emotion through the sensation, because the sensation is your emotional GPS in the subconscious mind.
[0:26:11.4] MB: I love that. I think it’s amazing, and I’m definitely going to practice all of these exercises next time I feel something or kind of feel a little bit off. I can’t wait to put in some of these ideas into practice.
[0:26:23.4] RB: Yeah. If people do that through the day, when you feel it coming up and not showing, it doesn’t take long, 30 seconds, and I can help someone release it. You can learn that, absolutely. Everyone who’s listening can release that. When you do that through the day, then the evenings are going to be better for you. You’re going to eat better. You’re going to take better care of your body. You’re going to sleep better. Absolutely, sleep better. Then, you’re going to create this pattern of acknowledgement, but also peace. The mind is a reflection of the heart, Matt. The heart is quiet, and you pay attention to it, the mind will be still and you will be able to focus and reach your goals and create the success that you want.
[0:27:04.0] MB: I’d love to dig into kind of the relationship between — This is getting into more kind of the idea of these false beliefs and the filters that we have that explain — That we use to interpret reality. I’d love to get into the relationship between beliefs, and emotions, and external events, and how those are all kind of connected and how we form these filters that shape our understandings of reality.
[0:27:27.4] RB: Absolutely, and this is the basis of the work. I’m an instructor, like you said, of hypnotherapy, so I teach this to my students through the school. There is a pattern. It’s events and emotions. Really, it’s relationships, because it’s not just one event, it’s a relationship. Its events and relationship that usually happen younger than 10 that occur that create beliefs. Beliefs create emotions, and emotions create symptoms. It doesn’t matter how old you are, so let me say that again. Events or relationships younger than 10 — Like I said, it doesn’t have to be drama or trauma. I have people that say, “But I had an amazing life. I had an amazing child hood. My parents were incredible. I had everything that I wanted.” “Okay. Let’s look into that deeper.”
Maybe there was a sibling who is really good at a sport, and everybody went to the games, and the parents thought they were creating this incredible environment of family and together, but the perception of the child was, “Maybe, I’m not good enough, because I’m not out there on the field.” You understand what I’m saying?” It doesn’t have to be the big thing, it’s the perception of the child in the moment.
Event, relationship lead us to false beliefs. Sometimes they can lead to amazing beliefs. It doesn’t always have to be false. If you had a parent who told you, “You are fabulous, and amazing, and so lovable,” then that’s what you’re going to carry with you. Events, relationships, beliefs, false beliefs, usually is what I deal with, emotions, because if you believe that you’re worthless, you get believe you’re going to have anger, or sadness, or hurt about that. Then, that causes symptoms. Why does it cost symptoms? Because a subconscious mind’s job is to move us away from pain towards pleasure. It’s going to do what it can.
If you discover that at 11 years old, if you ate French fries, or a doughnut, and it made you feel better, you’re creating that pattern. Now, you have eating issues as you’ve grown older, or you realized when you were 15 that all the pain would go away when you drank a beer, then that could be something that you just use as your ability to release emotion.
People come to me for symptoms all the time. People say to me, “What do you deal with?” Majority, I deal with anxiety and addiction, but I deal with all kinds of things. It’s just a symptom. I have no judgment about someone walks in with me. I know that behind all of it is emotions, and beliefs, and relationships, or events younger than 10.
[0:29:53.2] MB: For somebody who’s suffering from some of these kind of these false beliefs, how do we start to discover them and how do we work to kind of transform them?
[0:30:05.2] RB: You don’t necessarily need to see a hypnotherapist. I’m a hypnotherapist, that’s my modem of — If you go to regular therapy, you better have someone who’s going to help you drop into the subconscious mind, or you’re taking two or three years to get to one issue, because the conscious mind is going to — You’re going to spin around in it, and if you get to the subconscious mind, you’re lucky. It takes a lot of repetition to do that.
Find a way to drop into the subconscious mind. I tell people — I can do this on the couch for a session. I tell people, “Are you feeling that when you’re talking about that you’re angry with your boss, or you feel like you’re not respected in your life. Where do you feel that?” “In my chest.” “Okay. Drop into that chest. What does it feel like?” “It feels like sadness.” “Okay. Now, what does that remind you of?” They usually go back to the first time they did it very quickly.
I encourage people to go, find that inner child, take some deep breaths, relax your mind, go find that inner child who’s feeling that hurt, or that sadness, or that fear and ask that child, “What do you need?” I have a whole chapter on forgiveness. It’s about really forgiving yourself, or others, and moving forward. If you don’t have forgiveness, if you’re in that moment — Because, every day, that false belief, you’re re-remembering that hurt, or you’re remembering that situation, or that relationship, and that regret every day. It’s about acknowledging it.
Drop into the sensation and find your inner child, and they’re holding the belief, and tell that inner child, “What do you need from me?” When people do this, it’s so beautiful, Matt, because when you can connect to that child who’s hurting, that’s who’s having the behavior. That’s who’s struggling. It’s not the adult. The adult knows they want to do this, they want to have this career. They want to have this relationship, but when they’re not finding it, when it’s mismatched, it’s because the inner child is waiting for you to come back. When you connect to that inner child truly and say, “No. The truth is you are lovable. You are not that situation. You are not what that person said. You are so much more.” The only person that can heal that inner child is the adult ego, and it’s so, so important. I love doing that kind of work. I love people who just untether themselves from it.
Because when you can heal that little child, that inner child with love and acceptance and forgiveness, guess what goes away? All the symptoms. This is the basis of my work with addiction. When you’re feeling worthless and your inner child is screaming at you and you feel unlovable, the only thing you have to do is opiates or alcohol, you’re going to do it. When you heal the inner child and they feel strong, and they feel lovable, and they know their strength and it matches the adults, man, the addiction behavior goes, because you know you’re valuable. You’re going to want to take great care of yourself. You know that you can create this life.
[0:33:00.3] MB: So much wisdom in there, and I think it’s fascinating that these experiences that we have before — In many cases, even that we can’t even remember consciously. Tremendous power in shaping who we are 10, 20, 30, 40 years down the road. If you don’t really meaningfully investigate some of these issues, these can be patterns that end up defining your life in a major way.
[0:33:26.5] RB: They can. If you have a pattern, or you feel stuck, or you procrastinate, or you sabotage and you don’t know why, the answer is in your subconscious mind, absolutely, for sure. I know from my own experience, I was left from my childhood. I had an alcoholic mother, and I never felt safe, and she did the best that she could, and I have forgiveness in my heart for her. She’s passed now, but I understood that it left me with unlovable, unwanted, and not valued. I covered that up through external things. If your value is in a job, or a car, or whatever, a girlfriend, or a relationship, and it goes away and you’re so hurt and it doesn’t match what just happened, you need to take a look at what buttons it’s pushing.
For me, I was devastated by the end of the relationship. One day, I found myself in my closet and I was just hugging, crying, and hugging myself, and I was like, “Oh my God! I used to do this when I was a child. I would go hide in the closet and just tell myself, “You’re okay. You’re okay.” I understood the connection, and I understood — Anyone can get over an end of a relationship, it wasn’t easy, but you can do it.
What I was really hurting over was that the band aid had been taken away from my false beliefs, unlovable, all those things. When I healed that little girl and I understood that we didn’t have to be in the closet anymore, that we could go out and be proud and know our value, everything changed around my relationship with my X-husband, and I understood him, I saw him clearly. I saw my accountability and end of the relationship. I have to tell you, now, I look back with wisdom. Thank God, because I wouldn’t have this life. I wouldn’t have this career. I wouldn’t have the love in my life that I do if I just stayed in that and pretended like everything was okay.
[0:35:18.2] MB: What do you think — I know we’ve talked about a lot of these kind of methodologies, but what do you think the core thing was, or the few things were that allowed you to heal that inner child. As you said, once you kind of rip off the band aid, it can be really scary emotionally. I’m very curious, what do you think kind of helped you heal those issues?
[0:35:37.9] RB: When you’re going through an emotional trauma like a divorce, a near death, death of someone close to you, you are open emotionally subconsciously. Everything feels very raw to you. That’s a good time to do traditional therapy, in my opinion. That’s what I did. Then, I started feeling better. I started closing off. Then, I switch therapists to someone who is better at getting me into the subconscious mind. Then, I remembered the work that I had done in hypnotherapy. It took me a while to get there. Sometimes we don’t have awareness when we feel overwhelmed. I decided I was going to be a hypnotherapist. I wanted to help people, and I did my own work in hypnotherapy. I stayed in the subconscious mind.
The thing about doing hypnosis and hypnotherapy is you go right into the subconscious mind, and it happens pretty quickly. My clients’ three to five sessions have a really good understanding and have some tools to be able to manage the rest of their life, so it can happen pretty quickly. Of course, I’m a hypnotherapist, I’m going to tell people that hypnotherapy is incredible. It’s not woo-woo. You have to get someone who’s educated. In my school, they have over 500 hours of training. If you’re going to go to someone to do this kind of work, make sure they have the expertise. Make sure that they can put you in hypnosis. Also, when you’re in there, do the work that you need.
[0:36:55.1] MB: I’m curious about another topic that you’ve touched on in the past, which is the idea of these kind of I am stories. I know that’s tied into our filters and our false beliefs, but I’d love to hear a little bit about that.
[0:37:06.6] RB: I am is your belief system about yourself, and it is the false beliefs. We can change our I am story, but we just have to be aware of it. We don’t know what we’re saying about ourselves. If consciously, you’re staying, “I am fabulous. I am so capable. I’m a winner,” but your heart, you’re getting that feeling in your chest, it’s not congruent. When you’re not congruent, then it’s impossible. A mind in conflict, Matt, will very seldom reach its goal or success.
Be aware of thezI am story. If you have a negative self-talker in your brain, then you need to get a hold to that, because it’s filtering. It’s the I am. That’s telling you the truth, and it’s got the highest intention for you, but it’s affecting you every day physically, because it’s sending all those chemicals.
One of the first things I do with the I am story first is teach people how to go into an altered state. You can learn to do it on your own. Then, listen to what your truth is and argue for your truth, but you must argue with that inner critique. There’s a chapter called Cracking the Ego Code, where I teach people about the inner critique, the inner child, and the adult ego. You just learn some simple skills and you start arguing with it. You don’t allow it.
You would never allow someone to speak to you the way we’d speak to ourselves inside our heads, never ever. We would be violent against them. We allow it for ourselves. It doesn’t makes sense.
[0:38:33.5] MB: I think that’s a great point, which is that, and many times our self-talk is so harsh and critical and yet we would never speak to a friend that way, we’d never speak to a loved one that way. We’d never would allow anyone else to talk to us that way. Yet, that’s often how we speak to ourselves. It’s fascinating that something that most people are sort of almost unaware of that that’s even taking place.
[0:38:56.4] RB: That inner critique has the highest intention for you. Usually, it is a sub-personality of the ego state. Usually, any behavior that we have as a sub-personality of the ego state, it usually has the highest intention. The subconscious mind does not want to harm you, it wants to help you.
I’ve had clients who were heroin addicts. The part of them that was the addiction was that they would rather see them dead than live through the pain. That highest intention was to help, but it doesn’t work in their life and their world. If you have a behavior of that negative self-talk, it’s trying to remind you to be the best that you can be. It thinks, and if it criticizes you that you’re going to make changes. It’s not the truth.
We are run in an old program. I tell people, “You’re not going to run the same computer program for 20 years. Why would you do that in your mind?” When you go to that part of you — I love doing parts therapy. I do it all the time. I love it, because when you understand that it is the highest intention of keeping you happy or finding success, but you change the behavior, you stop that internal battle, you hear a supportive voice every day, people’s lives just fly. They just untether themselves and they just soar.
I love that. I love hearing about the successes of my clients when they tell me, “You know, when I started being nicer to me, then I stopped filtering through that I am this, or I am that, I only heard, “I am capable. My best is good enough, and if there are areas in my life I want to improve, I’ll do that with self-love and self-acceptance,” then they were able to focus easier, because they’re not in survival. They were able to accomplish their goals. They meet incredible people in their life. Stop addictive behavior. It’s fantastic.
[0:40:42.5] MB: I’d love to did in a little bit — And we may have already kind of covered this, but to talk about kind of mental additions and addictive behaviors. I know we touched on that earlier. I’d love to kind of get your thoughts on why those happen and how we can help overcome them.
[0:40:58.0] RB: Certainly. Like I said, the subconscious mind, it’s job is to move you away from pain towards pleasure. If you have this internal battle of feeling worthless, or unlovable, or not good enough all day long, whether you acknowledge it or not, it’s showing up for you. You’re re-remembering all of these through the day, and the subconscious mind will grab on to what it knows.
If it knows alcohol, if it knows porn, if it knows cigarettes, if it knows food, that’s what it’s going to do. It wants you to feel better. It doesn’t think about the past or the future, it just in the now. It wants you to feel better now. That’s why addictive urges just come on to people and they just like, “You know what? I had that cigarette. I had that drink. I was smoking pot. I was — Whatever. Before I even knew it.” That’s how powerful the subconscious mind is.
When you move through the day and start acknowledging how you’re feeling and you work with the inner child and you release those false beliefs of worthless and not valuable, it’s very hard to stay clean and sober, or to release an addictive behavior when you believe you’re worthless, or not good enough, or not capable. It’s about getting to that. Then, learning your tools through the day, pattern interrupting this stuff, and have a plan. You have to have a plan. If you don’t, you’re going to move right into the behavior before you know it.
You learn your techniques, you spend your time — I tell people every morning, this is a great way to do this, is every morning before you open your eyes, you’re already in a hypnotic state. Like I said, it’s a change in a brain wave from alpha, to theta, to delta. Delta is sleep. Every day you go into an altered state to go to sleep and every morning when you come out of sleep. I set my alarm 10 minutes before I’m supposed to wake up — Or 20. I spend that moment imagining my day and how I want it to go, only positive.
I’ve already set myself up chemically and emotionally and in thought, because I’m in an altered state already. It’s a great opportunity to do that. I have a plan. I don’t have an addictive personality. Sugar is probably my thing, and I think that’s — That everybody in the world, the country, for sure, sugar. I have a plan of how I want to respond to decisions I want to make about sugar that day. I give myself permission to create that, and it’s so much easier for me to stay in that moment.
Also, feel the joy. When you do positive visualization, you can’t just put the thought out there, “I’m going to be a success,” because if you do that with fear, it runs away from you.” I know I’m going off topic, because I could talk about this all day long. Give yourself the opportunity through the day, would be the biggest technique that I would talk to people, to allow emotion, acknowledge that felt sense and have a plan for anything that shows up for you.
[0:43:53.4] MB: What does it mean to you to practice happy? I know that’s a term you use in the book. I’m curious to kind of give listeners a framework to think about going forward. What does that mean to you?
[0:44:03.8] RB: Sure. I’m a happiness hunter, and the idea of practice happy, when you know about the science of the mind and the body, and neuroplasticity, you know that we train our brain. How we fire it, we wire it that way. Some people who are just trying to survive, it’s our natural instinct to survive. Sometimes we have to remember the negative. If negative things have happened to us, we never want to feel like that, so we’re always scanning for it.
When you’re scanning for it, you know people who are very negative about everything and they don’t even see it, because they’re in survival mode all the time. Now, they got this negative, negative, negative. We learned this from ages where we had to remember what the cave bear looked like, and smelled like, and felt like, so it stays on the forefront of our thoughts. Negative, negative, negative, now we’ve trained our neurons to scan that way. Happiness is not going to come and sit in your lap. You must hunt for it. You must go find it. The way to do that is if you — Awareness, conscious awareness, is bring it to your forefront. If you see a negative thought, you flip it around. If you continue to do that even if it’s just, “You know what? I woke up this morning,” or, “Okay. I didn’t get fired.” Whatever it is, “I have $20 in the bank. Last week, I only had five.” Whatever it is, find something positive, because now you’re retraining the neurons. When you do that, you practice the state of happy, you’re retraining your neurons, and all the research shows beautiful research, neuroplasticity, proving what I do, is that you can retrain it. You can literally change your mind in three to four weeks, but you must practice it.
That’s why I have bands, and shirts, and it’s part of my book chapter, because we can take back our happiness. You have to know your version of happiness. You have to have awareness, but you can practice is. You can be a but buster, and you could be a happiness hunter all day long, and it shifts to your perception. If you continue to do that, then, eventually, you’re just going to be that way.
[0:46:08.4] MB: We’re talked about a bunch of different kind of strategies and interventions to help people, or for people who are suffering. I’m curious, what’s kind of one starting place, or one sort of simple piece of homework that you would give to somebody listening to this interview that wants to kind of take a concrete step down this path?
[0:46:27.0] RB: I would say to them — People tell me I can’t meditate, I can’t go into hypnosis. Everyone can do it. Learn a technique. Do Headspace. Go to my website, practicehappynow.com, download a meditation for sleep, or to meet higher-self, to hear that positive perspective again. Find a way to drop yourself into altered state and then start arguing for your truth. Learn some techniques to allow, like I said, the emotions, or the felt sense in your body. If you start doing that and you gain awareness, but you must do it in an altered state. You must do it in alpha wave. You can’t outthink this. You must get in touch with your heart, and then your mind will follow.
Find something that works for you. Do the morning thing when you wake up, just start with that. That’s a good one. Do that. Also, if you’re not sleeping, then, sure, download my sleep meditation. It just takes you in a natural state. If you’re not sleeping, then you’re automatically going to be in survival state, which is beta or high beta. Your body is the priority as a human. If you’re not sleeping, you just put yourself chemically into a survival state. We must sleep. You’ll have so much more effective life. You’ll have so much success if you sleep, very, very important. If you’re not sleeping, then start with that, for sure, and exercising a little bit will send those chemicals moving your body. You don’t have to do a big workout, but you got to move your body and release those chemicals. I think that would be a good start. You don’t have to go straight into inner child work, just gain awareness. This is why I wrote the book, because it’s an introduction of people to learn and manage a subconscious mind.
[0:48:09.0] MB: Where can listeners — And I think you just mentioned it, but where can listeners find you and find the book online?
[0:48:15.9] RB: Of course, I’m on Amazon. How Big Is Your But is on Amazon. I’m so proud it’s an international bestseller now, six months going, so I’m super proud and happy, because that means people are getting the message. It’s great to say I’m an international bestseller, but people are getting the message, and I’m getting the emails about how it’s affecting them.
Go to practicehappynow.com, download the meditations. If you’re interested in the book, there’s a couple of chapters there for you if you want to just start looking at it. That’s fine. Also, go to renebrenthypnosis.com, and podcasts like this, and check me out. I’m all over the place. I love to speak to people. I speak all over the country. Just find me.
If you’re a listener, has a specific question for me, please email me. Please email me and ask, because I love helping people get started. If they have a specific question, I would love to hear from anybody. Really, that’s why I do what I do, Matt.
[0:49:13.0] MB: You don’t have to share, but is there an email that you’d want them to send it to that you’re willing to kind of put on the episode?
[0:49:18.1] RB: Of course — No, my email is fine, it’s firstname.lastname@example.org, or renebrenthypnosis.com, either one. Just send me a note, text me, I love it. I’m open.
[0:49:30.9] MB: Awesome. Rene, thank you so much. This has been a fascinating conversation, and I’ve really enjoyed kind of hearing your story and learning information. I think there are some very practical kind of mind-body interventions to cultivate body awareness, and I’m very excited to implement many of these ideas. Thank you very much for being on the show.
[0:49:49.6] RB: Oh! You’re so welcome, and let me know how it goes.
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