[Quick note- this is a great example of a short metaphor that was created on the fly by Dr. Mike Mandel. I will not be posting an analysis of this metaphor, but may post articles on metaphor basics, social contracts, and [hypnotic] context someday in the future. Well-delivered metaphors are more than just words - there's tonality, the body language, a lot goes into them. I've captured it in print as best possible, just keep in mind that when presented with energy, passion, and with the listener's curiosity engaged - this sort of work can have a huge impact ! Enjoy ! ]
True story.... (From the teachings of Dr. Mike Mandel )
In late November, 2011, I was taking a refresher of my hypnosis training with Dr. Mike Mandel. It's a good experience, going as a "resource person" to these classes. A fantastic chance to improve one's skills, and help the younglings learn how to work with the unconscious mind.
The night before, I had tried a new technique that Dr. Mandel had shown us as a demonstration. It's relatively simple, the end result is that the person "forgets their own name" briefly. In the right time and place, it's a fun experience for the person - they get to experience something that they would previously have believed to be impossible, and for the audience, seeing something that normally doesn't happen. Humour can be blended in, and everyone has fun.
When I tried the technique myself, it was with the friend of a friend. We were outside of a restaurant, a chill fall night, the ground still damp from the rain. I wasn't able to generate the same results (but did leave them with a good positive feeling afterwards), yet I got a lot of feedback from it, a step closer to succeeding the next time.
Something that every hypnosis class brings up, yet never really gives us practice drills for, came alive that night. The whole concepts of "context" and "social contracts". I gained a new awareness of these two things, their importance to both communication and change work. A deep level awareness, not just the surface understanding I had previously..
The next day, I mentioned it to Mike in our class, during the break.
Mike's class was then at the University of Toronto, right by Queen's Park. The class was on the morning break, and outside, people were getting ready for the Santa Claus parade.
"I'd like to show you something", Mike said to me, with that smile he has when he's up to something. We went out to the front steps. And proceeded to tell me this story....
"Here's everyone out here, getting ready for the parade. It's still early, folks are still arriving."
"There's a set of bleachers, benches for people to sit on later as they watch the parade. People probably worked on them yesterday, during the night, setting them up."
"And there (he points to a little stand next to the bleachers), are people setting up to provide refreshments for others. A healthy bit of capitalism at work, making a living working for someone.”
"And next to them are people with some other items, maybe drinks or snacks they are selling, working for themselves. That's probably the competition."
"Here (and he pointed to people in front of us, setting up two ladders with a board between them) are some people setting up their own little bleachers. Free enterprise in action."
"These people over there, they’re setting up chairs, getting ready for the parade. They'll be comfortably seated, and have a good view.
And those over there, they brought their own blankets to keep them warm while the parade is going on.".
At this point, Mike paused for just a moment, while I was taking in everything he said...
Then, looking straight at me with a "I'm up to something" sort of smile, he said...
"And some people just come to watch the parade."
He turned and slipped away before I had a chance to say anything.
Perhaps, in sharing this story, it will help share the insight he shared with me that day. Perhaps even the same shifts that I got from that metaphor. There is no way to truly know just how far a change will go…..
[Dr. Mike Mandel has been teaching a high quality hypnosis class twice yearly for NLP Canada Training for about 15 years now. His free podcast software gives a very good overview of "hypnotherapy, stage hypnosis, covert hypnosis, NLP and much more" .
Link to Mike's Brain Software podcast :