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Resources for the David Lazear Book

Techniques for Reprogramming
the Unconscious Mind

Here are five techniques you can use to intensify the preparation and incubation stages of the creativity process. They represent state-of-the-art “reprogramming tools” for consciously working with the unconscious. After the description of each technique is a brief exercise to experientially introduce you to the technique. Choose the ones that are most interesting and most appropriate for you at the present moment in your life. You may try others at a later time. But no matter what, enjoy them and adapt them to your own situation.

- David

AFFIRMATIONS involve both verbally and non-verbally affirming those thing that you want in your life; that is, giving positive attention, energy, and intention to those things you deeply desire, and, at the same time, withdrawing attention, energy, and intention from those things you don’t want. The practice of affirmation is one of the most powerful methods for taking responsibility for the images, beliefs, values, and "general stuff" that inhabits your mind.

Try this simple exercise and see what happens--

• List 5 things in your life that you don't like or that you wish were different.

• Make a second list of 5 things in your life that please you immensely.

• Make a third list which transforms the 5 items on the first list into what you want in your life.

• Choose one item on the third list. Write a short statement affirming what you desire as if it were already present in your life (keep working on the affirmation until it feels right to you).

• At least once a day say the statement to yourself trying to imagine as vividly as you can what it is affirming.

• At the end of one week notice any changes in the original item.

GUIDED IMAGERY/VISUALIZATION is probably the most direct conscious work you can do with the unconscious dimensions of the mind. It generally involves using the "mind's eye" to imagine a variety of states of consciousness that go beyond the limits and routines of our ordinary, everyday awareness. These are often states of greater openness to deeper knowings and innate wisdom than those of which we are ordinarily aware.

Try the following imagination exercise and see what happens--

• Play some soft, instrumental music in the background, close your eyes, breathe deeply from your abdomen, and relax as completely as you can.

• When you feel ready, imagine that you are sitting in a comfortable room which has everything in it your heart desires. Take a few minutes to imagine it as vividly as you can.

• One thing in the room is a large projection TV. Position yourself in front of the TV and turn it on.

• Turn the channels until you find a program that you intuit can assist you in dealing with some challenging or problematic situation in your life.

• Take time to watch the program, simply observing and receiving WHATEVER may be there for you. In addition to verbal images, pay attention to colors, images, patterns, shapes, smells, sounds, and tastes that may come to you.

• When the program has finished, turn off the TV and spend a few minutes reflecting on the program.

• When you are ready, slowly bring yourself back to the present time and place, and spend a few minutes jotting down as much as you can remember about the time in this inner room. (Remember--you can return to this room anytime you want or need to!)

ALERT RELAXATION involves using the mind to relax the body, thus ridding ourselves of the so-called "normal" stress and anxieties of daily life. In The Relaxation Response, Dr. Herbert Benson, director of a Harvard Medical School research team, coined the words "the relaxation response" to describe this state. The relaxation response produces a state of openness and alertness to the inner world and to imagery from the unconscious-- symbols, signs, and metaphors. In this state the ordinary analytical mind is "off line", so to speak.

Benson's relaxation method consists of four basic elements.
Why not try it?

1. A quiet environment. Find a peaceful, quiet place, relatively free of distracting noise and activity.

2. A comfortable position. Get as comfortable as possible without lying down, which could induce sleep.

3. A mental device. Decide on a specific object to focus your attention, e.g. a symbol, picture, natural object, an art piece, etc.

4. A passive attitude. Pretend you are an outside observer of yourself. Simply watch yourself. Do not forcing anything--just watch your thoughts and feelings until they quiet down on their own.
What's the point? First, just enjoyment. But second, relaxation is conducive to states of consciousness that are gateways to "the breakthrough experience!"

DREAM WORK initially involves simply learning to pay attention to the content of your dreams. Some have said that the unconscious "speaks" most directly to us in our dreams. However, we must learn to hear and understand what is being communicated. We must learn to interpret. No one can interpret your dreams for you. Begin learning to remember your dreams by recording them in a dream log or journal. Later look for patterns, symbols, events, etc. that seem to repeat themselves in your dreams. When you notice this, is the time to begin asking what it means and what insights are being communicated.

In Higher Creativity, Dr. Willis Harman summarizes five key steps for effective dream work that have come out of many research experiments.

1. The "I'm listening" stage: the conscious intention to remember our dreams and to take them seriously.

2. Learning to tune into & receive dreams: practice in remembering dream episodes.

3. Decoding & clarifying dreams: working to understand your own personal dream imagery.

4. Lucid dreaming: becoming an active, aware participant in your dreams as they occur, including giving them direction.

5. Integrating dream messages into daily life: learning to guide yourself using wisdom and knowings from both the conscious and unconscious parts of the self. Experiment with keeping a dream log or journal?

• Choose a means of recording your dreams and put it by your bed-- a tape recorder or a special notebook.

• Write the date before going to sleep.

• Repeat your intention to remember your dreams , either verbally to yourself or write it in your journal, just before you go to sleep.

• When you awaken, try to reenter the dream. In your mind's eye, try to reconstruct the dream as vividly as possible.

• In your journal or on the tape, record EVERY thought, phrase, word, image, or emotion you can recall. Do this whenever you awaken from a dream, even in the middle of the night .

• After a couple of weeks, read over the notes or listen to the tapes, asking yourself what various things might mean.

Don't let yourself get discouraged. This takes practice. It also takes time for your unconscious to realize that you are desiring communication and that you are willing to listen.

MULTI-SENSING, while not in and of itself a separate tool or technique, is an important practice for "turning on" our full creative potential. Multi-sensing should be used whenever and however possible in each of the techniques or tools mentioned above. Simply put, multi-sensing is the practice of "inputting" and "listening" on as many levels of your being as possible. This involves not only logical, rational, analytical thinking about a problem or concern, but also such activities as drawing, painting, role playing, creative dance and body movement, music, working with clay, meditation, talking with other people, etc.--anything that will enable you to approach your problems and challenges on multiple levels.

Research into this multi-modal approach to living has shown that the more levels which you engage and activate when faced with a problem or challenge, the greater the possibilities of creative breakthrough to genuinely new solutions.

What might it look like to use a multi-sensory approach in working with the "reprogramming" techniques we have been discussing?

Affirmations can be created not only in written and spoken form , but also by–

• creating visual images, such as a picture or symbol, of your affirmation;

• experimenting with doing your affirmation with your physical body (e.g. in a certain way of walking that "embodies" what you are affirming or in a gesture);

• connecting your affirmation with sound (e.g. music you associate with the affirmation you are making, or maybe various sounds/rhythms you can make);

• in your imagination visualize your affirmation as fully present in your life and notice the difference it makes;

• spend time in silent meditation on your affirmation--just being with it and letting it be with you.

Guided Imagery & Visualization can be done in such a way that you intentionally engage all of the senses in a visualization you are doing by–

• practicing internally seeing everything you can--colors, shapes, images.;

• listening to the sounds associated with your visualizing--music, environmental sounds, voices., tones;

• noticing aromas you are smelling and flavors you are tasting;

• paying special attention to your emotional/ feeling states;

• reaching out in your mind's eye and touching what you are visualizing; be- coming aware of textures;

• in your body, noticing physical motion or movements that are associated with your visualization.

Alert Relaxation which engages all of the senses is similar to visualization–

• the focus of the "mental device" can be with all of the senses;

• when you are engaged in "being the outside observer" (passive attitude), observe yourself on as many levels of your being as you can--not just thoughts and feelings.

Dream work, and more specifically, dreaming itself, usually happens in a multi-sensory way of its own accord. In trying to harvest the insights and wisdom of your dreams you could--

• when writing in your dream journal, include visual images in addition to what you write--drawing, painting, designs, patterns, color;

• when "reentering the dream" (see above), follow the multi-sensory suggestions for Guided Imagery and Visualization;

• when beginning the dream meaning/interpretation stage, look for connections on multiple levels, not only with your ordinary thought processes, but include the full range of the senses, intuition, and an awareness of inner, spiritual realities as well.

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