Honouring the Greats: Rules of the Mind – Part Two

Honouring the Greats: Rules of the Mind – Part Two

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”

Albert Einstein, physicist and ‘most famous scientist in history’

Change. We all want the power to change ourselves for the better, but why is that change so elusive? Lasting change needs our thinking mind and emotional mind working together. Our emotional mind lives in the subconscious and drives all our cravings and fears. We may want to let go of a few extra inches, but we may also be aware that we ‘love’ crisps and chocolate and when we’ve had a hard day, chocolate calls us like a siren. 

This is where the role of the hypnotherapist is to work with the client to achieve whole mind desire for change, so the emotional mind and thinking mind work together.

It can be argued that in this quote above, Einstein acknowledges intelligence is about just this process, that true intelligence is about much more than academic ability. It requires whole mind power.

This is the second of two blogs exploring master hypnotherapist Gil Boyne’s eight Rules of the Mind and how understanding them gives greater insight into mastering how we can change. The first four rules can be found here.

The founder of Transforming Therapy, Gil Boyne, knew much about change from both sides of the therapist’s chair. 

As a practitioner he had an extraordinary career, with many achievement milestones marked along the way. As a man he took himself from teenager tearaway to the hypnotherapist sought out by Hollywood stars, including Sylvester Stallone, created his training institute, many novel techniques and whose honours include Man of the Century, by the International Hypnosis Hall of Fame, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, in 2000

Here are his Rules of the Mind: five to eight

Once an idea has been accepted by the subconscious mind, it remains until it has been replaced by another idea. And the longer the idea remains, the more opposition there will be to replacing it with a new idea.
Thoughts drive our actions so it follows changing our thoughts changes our actions, says Gil Boyne. Not all our thoughts may be correct, but we hang on to them. Can chocolate really make us happy? Can a drink really steady our nerves? Can a cigarette really help us in any way? Looking at the cold facts; no, but for anyone who has been telling themselves that sugar, alcohol or nicotine has an essential wellbeing benefit, that’s an emotionalised response and a fixed idea that can be changed. Facts are facts – the sun does set in the west and rise in the east, but ideas, like ‘smoking calms my nerves’ can be changed.

An emotionally induced symptom tends to cause organic change, if persisted in long enough.
According to Boyne, many reputable medical men believe more than 70 per cent of human ailments are functional rather than organic. Diseases caused by germs, parasites and viruses have their place, but so do conditions caused by self-medicating with drugs, legal or otherwise, as well ailments with an emotional root – stress, for instance, is regularly cited in physical conditions.

Each suggestion acted on creates less opposition to the successive suggestions.
This is why your therapist will take you through responsiveness exercises as you begin your therapy sessions and use a variety of induction techniques as your trance depth is developed. As your subconscious mind accepts that you feel more relaxed, that your eyes have remained shut even though you tested them, so it will accept more complicated suggestions.

When dealing with the subconscious mind and its functions, the greater the conscious effort, the less the subconscious response.
If you’ve ever struggled with sleep you’ll know the harder you try to get to sleep, the harder it is to get to sleep. And that, in itself, is one key to enjoying great sleep – sleep comes to you, it drifts over you like a soft blanket and wraps you in its gentle warmth (feeling sleepy yet?!) – in short, you float into it. So it is with the subconscious; you can’t force it. Develop an expectancy that change is coming and ‘let it happen’, the subconscious mind will follow.

Which of the eight rules has been most enlightening for you? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.

Gil Boyne, biography, Wikipedia.
Gil Boyne, press cuttings.
Gil Boyne Hypnotism Training Manual, Westwood Publishing

5 good reasons to stick with your new habit commitment

5 good reasons to stick with your new habit commitment

How long does it take to change a habit? 

If you think it’s 21 days, because you’ve read that stated as a fact somewhere, there’s some good news, and some, perhaps, more sobering news.

So first the myth-busting…

Contrary to what you might have read, if you want to make a life change, after 21 days you do not magically have a new habit on autopilot.

I know, wouldn’t that be wonderful. But it isn’t so… except for maybe a few people and they’re as rare as hen’s teeth. Here’s why…

  1. We’re not all the same

You’re unique, I’m unique. So why would it take us all 21 days to form a habit? When scientists have looked at habit formation they have discovered it takes people very different time periods to adopt the same new habit. Just 18 days was the least but the average was 66 and the other end of the spectrum was more than 250! So have patience, there’s nothing wrong with you. You are you, in all your glorious uniqueness.

2. ‘Failing’ isn’t failing, it’s just another step on the ladder

If you slip back/up/over in this quest to form a new habit, that is not the end of your new habit’s potential. You’ve just learned something. And that is all. 

Look at what happened objectively. Shake off any emotional attachment to this moment and see it for what it is, a miss-take. Just like your favourite film, creating a habit is made up of scenes and there will be habit challenges. Heard of Jackie Chan, the martial arts comedy film actor? He’s legendary for retakes; 2,900 in one film, apparently! The director Stanley Kubrick is said to have reshot one scene in The Shining 148 times. So if you fall off your healthy eating plan for one day, remember Jackie Chan. He doesn’t consider himself any less of a human being because he doesn’t nail it first go; neither should you.

Or put simply; stop catastrophising! 

3. Not all habits are created equally

Some habits are a lot harder to change than others. Scientists have been delving into habit formation and change for a long time and they’ve discovered the truth is much less clear cut than we’ve been led to imagine. 

Take flossing (teeth, not the dance)… UK scientists looked at two scenarios for introducing a new habit. One group were told to floss after hanging up their shower towel. Once they’d flossed their teeth they could then clean them. The other group were instructed to floss after cleaning their teeth. Both groups followed instruction during the monitoring period. But those who stuck with the habit, when the scientists followed up afterwards, were in the latter group. The scientists think that’s because the new habit was tagged on to a related, already established health habit. Establishing autopilot is easier for the brain if it’s like ‘apple + pear’ (i.e. really similar) rather than ‘cauliflower + pear’ (not similar).

So if you want to create a new habit, tag it on to one you already have that fits it.

4. Your circumstances for giving up can be different

One smart academic pointed out that walking and texting becomes very easy to give up if you’ve been hit by a car while doing this and had your leg broken. It’s funny how a near death experience can ramp up our determination.

5. Motivation is your starter; obsession is your finish post driver

If you want to succeed in habit changing, amplify your ‘motivation’ until it’s a more like burning obsession. Why? Motivation is a great starter, but it’s not going to propel you onwards when the doing gets tough. And the going will get tough. You’ve got to shrug off the challenges if you want it. Change pushes all sorts of buttons you might not be ready for…. Yet. Here’s a tip evolved from podcaster and author, Tim Ferriss’ fear facing technique.

Plan for all the things that can go wrong along your quest journey. Write them out. All of them. You know yourself; what are the weak spots that could trip you up? Then write out what you’re going to do when those scenarios come up. See yourself there, meeting your hurdle and clearing it with ease. Trying to cut back on drinking but you know you’re a ‘pleaser’ and don’t like feeling ‘different’? Practice what you’ll say when someone offers you a drink and you don’t want alcohol. What’s your reason for refusing wine? What’s your new non-alcohol drink? Practice until it feels natural. Visualise the scenes.

As a hypnotherapist, I can help you ‘give up’ a habit relatively quickly, but I can’t be there when you’re tempted at every turn so I ask clients to come to a session with a full list of their Achilles heels and I weave their positive actions into their programming recording so when the hurdle emerges they know what to do. And with their recording, they’ve rehearsed it so many times it feels like a familiar success.

Knowing all of the above is going to give you a strong head start in meeting your goals – happy habit forming.

And if you have great tips for breaking bad habits or taking up new ones, I’d love to hear them. Drop them in the comments below.

PS Oh by the way – the 21 days to create a habit myth? It originated with a plastic surgeon who ‘noticed’ it took people ‘about 21 days’ to get used to their new feature. No research. No control groups. Just one guy’s opinion. Yup, about as factual as lemmings committing mass suicide. No. They don’t. Although they will apparently eat each other if they get really hungry. Nice.

Further reading and references


(Judah, G., Gardner, B., & Aunger, R. (2013). Forming a flossing habit: an exploratory study of the psychological determinants of habit formation. British journal of health psychology, 18(2), 338-353.

Fear setting: the most powerful exercise I do every month

Here’s How long It really takes to break a habit

Lemming Suicide Myth: Disney film faked bogus behaviour


Exploring yoga for change

Exploring yoga for change

‘Be the change you want to see in the world,’

This is a saying I hold close. And deep. In my heart.

Gandhi led a revolution, using peaceful means to free his country. My aspirations are a quite revolution, but he is a huge influence for me.

You don’t need to be leading a revolution to find this phrase useful. You can use it to change your own circumstances for the better.

If you want the world to be different, you need to embody that and be part of that change in the world around you.
So if you want to feel loved, behave in a loving way. If you want to be loved unconditionally, you’re going to have to be prepared to give that out to others. Which I know some people find very difficult, because I hear it all the time…

Why aren’t my children more grateful?
Why does my husband have to leave the lid off the toothpaste/toilet seat up/toast crumbs in the bed?
Why can’t my mother admit when she’s wrong?

People are flawed. They just are. Get over it. And if their experience of being with you is that you scold them, hold back from them, flash micro-expressions of irritation at them when they displease you; don’t imagine they won’t pick up on that.

We see more than we realise.

Communication isn’t just about words. It’s about flashes of movement. Shifts of tone. Sudden silences. 

Author and inspirational speaker. Danielle La Porte, very astutely reminds us that when we behave in the way we want to feel, we become that. Change is an inside out job, not an outside in.

If you want to feel amazing, consider what that would feel like. What would that look like? How would you eat, exercise, think? What would your home look like? What would you be reading? What would your best friend be like?

Have you noticed how some people are very good at telling you what they don’t want? They spend all that energy thinking about that they want to reject, but put no energy into thinking about what they want to create.

Interesting. There’s an irony in that without a plan you don’t move; there’s no risk. Except you stagnate, of course, and which is worst?

Accessible Yoga for All

Here’s something I want to see: accessible yoga for all.

I know what it’s like to be unemployed; it can be limiting in many ways. You have time, but little money. I remember being unemployed and that unsettled feeling of instability I carried. Which is ironic when I think about the jobs in which I earned a lot of money; I had no time and my self care was woeful anyway.

That’s why I created a yoga programme for employees to enjoy in their lunch break. It started when I worked in a university and I taught it there for two years. It’s an on-site delivered, easy to fit in option that gives an oasis of stress recovery for people who spend too much time sitting.

But what if you’re not working?

Now I strongly suspect a lot of yoga teachers will overlook a student’s inability to pay for classes during periods of unemployment, because we know if there’s one thing that’s going to help them it’s regularly getting away from their worries and spending time in a calm environment.

But being unwaged happens when we retire, when we’re students, when we’re running the house, bring up children… if you want to start an activity and lack on money is an issue, how can you access what you, of all people, could benefit most from? And how disempowering is it, to be ‘given’ when you can give and make a choice about how much

So here’s my little Be the Change solution. I’m not sure if it’ll work for me and it’s not original, but this was what I came up with – and I strongly suspect the Universe lent a hand…

Yoga by donation

I teach one class a week where if you’re unwaged, the price of a place is by donation. There’s a minimum donation of £1 (so I can cover the room costs) and if you’re waged a mat is £6 (still pretty good value for where I live). If you want to read more about my classes, the details are here and there’s a Yoga with Deana Facebook group too.

Where I’m teaching classes is subsidised through the philanthropic legacy of the man whose building it once was. That means, if every space goes I’ll cover the cost of the room hire anyway. I’m looking at grant applications to extend this too.

But as far as I can see, when I give of my time the energy I put into that doesn’t have to come back to me as money.

I’m helping people in my location, in a small way. I’m helping feel better and hopefully live better. I’m pushing positive energy into the world in a different way which means positive energy should return.

Maybe not so altruistic of me; but I’m enjoying the journey there. I’ll let you know how it turns out!