I find it helpful occasionally to think about ghosts.  I’ve shared houses with a few.  One, I know, loved my siblings and me.  Ultimately, it was an experience with a ghost which, by a circuitous route, led me to hypnosis.

When I have lost perspective and I don’t know what to do, I have a technique to help me focus on what is really important in my life.  I pretend I’m a ghost.  I’ve just left my body.  And I ask myself, “Am I glad I lived my life as I did?  Did I really care about others more than myself?  Did I impact the world positively, or did I squander my brief time on this planet?  Did I ease anyone’s loneliness?  Anyone’s pain or fear?  Did I act with compassion, because surely compassion IS action?  Did I see the wonder in life, or was I too afraid to look? Was I surrounded by miracle and willfully, rigidly blind to it?  Did I spend the finite days of my life, every thought and breath, obsessing about past traumas instead of present possibilities?  What would I change, if I still had the chance?

Who would I be if I had a few days left to create myself?  And would I love?”

You see, it is the ghost who is haunted.

Ghost techniques can be quite powerful in hypnotherapy.  In fact, as with any encounter with the ‘paranormal’, they can be life-changing.  Viewing your life through the eyes of your ghost certainly clarifies questions regarding Life Direction, Relationships, Phobias, and even Stress.  I use the ghost technique in every Stop Smoking session, in Weight Loss, and Divorce.  Grief hypnosis has its own ghost which gently leads the individual into the creation of a new life.

Another ghost exercise which I love involves having the ghost return to the significant people in her life and explain her choices, her actions and her inactions.  For instance, she might say, “You are right, I did choose cigarettes over living another 20 years and being there for you.  Cigarettes were more important.”

Ghosts remind us of who we really are.  We are more than our fears.  More than our childhood indoctrinations.  We are more than our losses and tragedies.  More than our obsessive thoughts and cravings which diminish our lives and dig our early graves.  We are spirits evolving into love.

It is interesting that our ghosts are more clear-seeing than we are in our daily lives.  And yet, of course, we ARE our ghosts.

I said, “How are you?” to a young cashier at the grocery store, a complete stranger.  She paused and looked up at me and said, “There’s this apartment I really like… But it’s near the cemetery.”  Just like that.  My response was, “It will be fine.  Rent it.  There is nothing for ghosts in a cemetery.  You won’t be bothered.”  Not that there aren’t ghosts who refuse to abandon their bodies, decaying or not, but they won’t even notice her.  Every ghost I’ve known has returned to the place they lived or the people they loved or to an event they are desperate to change.  They are still trying to connect, still growing and learning, and still loving.  In fact, in my experience, most ghost stories are love stories, or stories about loss of love, or betrayal of love, or not loving enough, or loving too late.

What will our ghost stories be?