By Rich Figel
PROGRAM ALERT: The July episode of Career Changers TV will begin airing at our new time, 8:30 pm on Saturdays (go to www.CareerChangers.TV for our weekly schedule).
The lead-off segment is about hypnotherapist Mindy Ash, which was interesting to film. We also had some fun playing off that theme by adding hokey hypnotic effects throughout the show that really don't reflect what she does. She doesn't dangle watches in front of her client's eyes or make them do the kinds of things you associate with hypnotists who perform on stage. Which I have actually experienced first-hand. More on that in a bit.
As you'll see on the show, it's really about the power of the subconscious and how we use words to reinforce positive or negative feelings. She's also written a book about that subject, "Say This, Not That" which you can purchase through Amazon.
Mindy says all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, meaning it's something each of us can do if we want to make changes in our behavior. She got into hypnosis because of her former career in advertising sales -- and anyone who has been a sales professional knows that self-help motivational programs are widely-used tools to boost individual performance. Remember Tony Robbins? She contends that much of what he taught was self-hypnosis, and I concur. "We become what we think about," is how the old power of positive thinking mantra goes.
I could go on and on about this topic, but you should watch the Mindy Ash segments yourself. In the second part, one of her clients -- Kathy Custer, the owner of Keiki Sitters -- tells how sessions with Mindy helped her with an important presentation that led to her raising millions of dollars to launch a new venture, which we'll be doing a future CCTV story on. It's pretty amazing stuff.
In the same episode, we have a feature on the Business Law Corps, a new nonprofit that connects start-ups and small businesses with attorneys who provide free legal help to those who qualify. Two recent UH law school graduates teamed up with longtime corporate attorney and law professor, Greg Kim, to launch BLC because they view it as "economic justice" and a way to help encourage local job creation. As Greg pointed out, it's difficult to start a new biz if you don't have the money to hire a corporate attorney to help with all the necessary legal paperwork. In the same segment, two such start-ups tell how BLC was instrumental in getting their new businesses off the ground.
Regarding my own experience with hypnotists, way back around 1987, my wife and I took a deferred honeymoon trip to Reno and Beverly Hills. Isabel was in advertising sales at the time (and knew Mindy Ash when she was selling ads for "This Week" magazine) and got us free hotel stays through "trade" with her ad clients. Anyhow, we were both in our 20s still, and neither of us had ever been to Reno or Vegas. We were so green that we bought our own drinks in the casino, not realizing the waitresses would bring them over for free when we were playing slots or blackjack.
This was pre-rehab for me, so I was a little drunk when we went to the casino show, which featured Pat Collins, "The Hip Hypnotist." She began her act by having everyone stand up, and then instructed us to raise our arms, etc. Within a couple of minutes, she told us to open our eyes... and there I was, along with about 10 others who were still standing with our arms raised. Everyone else was already sitting. Apparently I was one of the more susceptible ones, and wound up on stage.
To this day, I'm not sure if I was hypnotized or not. I recalled everything that was going on -- what she was telling us to do, what I did, how I followed her instructions to do silly things on stage. Yet I felt like I was in total control of my actions. Until the end, that is. For her finale, she chose me as the one that would be suspended in mid-air with my neck and feet resting on the backs of two chairs, nothing supporting my torso after they removed the middle chair. I remember my whole body going rigid and shaking because I was sure I'd crash to the floor. She put her hand on my chest and joked, "His motor's running!" Then she had her assistants lift me off the chairs right away, perhaps sensing that I wasn't totally under her spell.
Afterwards, I spoke to the others who were on stage. None of them remembered anything. I told Mindy about it and she says it varies for people -- some blank out, while others have total recall. Our CCTV host, Theresa Tilley, said she had an experience with hypnosis too... but hers involved "past life regression," which is another fascinating story. However, when it comes to the past life idea, I'm in the skeptic camp.