by Virginia Feingold Clark

The desire for freedom is something we all crave. In our relationships and work life, there is an innate need to do things our way, and be recognized for our individual uniqueness. But freedom is an inside job and we are only as free as our conscious and subconscious thoughts allow us to be.

Many of us are held prisoner by our memories.

These memories are stored in the subconscious mind. The fascinating thing about the subconscious is that it has no awareness of time. When you are reliving an experience in your mind, it is as if it is happening to you in the present and your body chemistry reacts accordingly. If you watch an elderly person talking about their past, an experience they had 50 years ago, you will see the emotions come right up to the surface as if it was today. It feels that real to them because in our memory there is no time.

Our past experiences give us a sense of history and connectedness to life, but they can also create a prison of belief or emotions that keep us from seeing new choices and possibilities that are all around us.

There are ways to get free from the tyranny of painful memories. Here is one method that works. Sit with a painful memory and, as you replay it in your mind, change the outcome. This is a technique that is especially powerful in a guided situation with hypnosis, but one that you can also do on your own.

It sounds deceptively simple, but the key is to relax to a level that you are accessing your deeper mind.

You can do this by sitting or lying down with your eyes closed for about 20 minutes. Begin to relive the memory in your mind from the beginning, ending with your desired outcome, as if it really happened this new way. Keep going over the new outcome until it feels real to you.

Here are two examples I have experienced with my clients.

The memory of being beaten as a child by an older sibling:
Experience this memory again in your mind like a movie. See the location; smell the smells, hear the sounds, and notice what you were wearing, making it as vivid as possible. Then visualize it anew, being in control, over-powering that person, maybe pinning that person down and creating the outcome you want.

A memory of a heartbreaking breakup:
In this situation, again go back and make it a vivid movie in your mind. Go through the experience from the beginning and change the dialogue. See yourself handling the situation in a way that makes you feel good now. You may even find that you turn the tables and have a completed different outcome that feels right for you.

The freedom you gain is taking back the control you felt you lost; no longer identifying yourself with being a victim. You will feel much more confident and be able to make decisions from a new sense of personal power.

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