You never know when you click on a link where it will take you and sometimes clicking on one link then another and then another can lead you to a place far away from anywhere you intended to be.
That was my experience in August 2013 when clicking on one link and then another and another landed me at an obituary.
When I was 18 years old living in Cape Town I, along with a few friends, went to watch a stage hypnotist perform his magic. I had never seen anything quite like this before and, if memory serves me correctly, I spent the entire show sitting with my mouth wide open staring at the stage with a mixture of both fascination and absolute incredulity.
I remember going home that evening and thinking I have to learn this stuff because this is a sure-fire way of picking up chicks.
Come on, I was 18 years old. What would you expect me to think?
A few days later I was talking with my dad and mentioned I had attended the show and how much I enjoyed it. When I told him the name of the hypnotist he shocked me by saying, “He’s an old friend of mine. Would you like to meet him?”
Naturally I agreed and my dad arranged for the three of us to meet over lunch several weeks later. I’m not sure whether I contributed very much to the lunchtime conversation as I think just being in the presence of this great man I was so awestruck as to render myself incapable of coherent speech.
My father explained to his friend how much I had enjoyed the show and this kind the gentleman looked at me and asked me if I would like to learn hypnosis.
Of course I leapt at the opportunity and for the next year and a half or so I worked for him whenever and wherever possible. I attended all of his local shows, did whatever behind-the-scenes work was needed, and was fortunate enough to be allowed, from time to time, to sit in on the private sessions conducted with some of his clients who came to visit him in his booming hypnotherapy practice.
In those days turning 21 was a big event – a huge event – and having a massive 21st birthday party was almost like a rite of passage for us.
About a year and a half after my part-time “apprenticeship” had begun, my mentor called me to tell the son of a friend of his was having his 21st birthday party the following weekend and his friend had asked him to come to the house and do a short hypnosis show.
He was unavailable that night but had said to his friend, “Don’t worry, I can’t be there but I will send someone to do a show for your son.” His call was to ask me – order me – to go to this house and perform a hypnosis show for his friend’s son and his guests.
I clearly remember the feeling of panic and terror that ripped through my entire body as I heard these words come over the phone. I tried to explain my fear but was simply told, “Oh it’s nothing, you’ve seen me do this a million times. Just go there, do what you I do and have fun.”
And he was right, I went to that house, had an enormous amount of fun and for the first time began contemplating the notion of a career in this field.
I lost contact with this man shortly thereafter and the whole notion of a hypnosis career quickly receded into the background of my life and disappeared from memory until that day so many years later when one click on a link and then another and another led me to his obituary.
He died some 15 years ago and reading his obituary opened the floodgates of memory and brought back all of those fun experiences I had in my time with him.
In the 15 months since then I have devoted almost every waking moment to regaining, and relearning the skills that he taught me. I have completed several hypnotherapy courses with more scheduled for next year, have practised with anyone willing to allow me the privilege and have incorporated much of what I learned from that great man into my everyday life as a coach.
On four occasions I have been the ‘evening entertainment’ for clients where I have done daytime workshops at corporate retreats and spent the evenings with my clients and staff.
The words of that man keep ringing in my ears. His advice to “just go and have fun” have certainly proven true as not only have I had much fun but I’ve been able to bring the enormous benefits of hypnosis to my clients as a coach and to my friends as mentor.
So yes, I am a hypnotist. I’m getting really good at it and the more I do, the more I want to do.
When I first begun this odyssey some 15 months ago I kicked myself once or twice for allowing so many years to pass between then and now but, as regret brings with it no positive upside, I have instead chosen to look forward to many more years of being a hypnotist, a hypnotherapist, and, on occasion, an entertainer.
Wanna to bark like a dog?
Till we read again.
P.S. My book Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours continues to sell well. Please visit us at www.lifesinksorsoars.com and let me know what you think.
Till we read again.think.