Brookside Center for Counseling and Hypnotherapy

Fine Tuning the Healer

by Maurice Kouguell, Ph.D., BCETS

“If a story is in you, it has got to come out.” --William Faulkner

At some time in our lives, we all reach a crossroad. I had reached mine. I had accumulated over 30 certificates of training in hypnosis and allied disciplines, two masters degrees, two doctorates; I was recognized as a Fellow by three prestigious hypnosis associations and certified by just about every institution. Most of the certificates which adorn my office walls were periodically removed and replaced by others.

I certainly acknowledge the necessity for all those hours of training, but I also recognize that my competency and uniqueness cannot be evaluated only by all the degrees and certificates. Most of my colleagues were researching new techniques and new ways. I was familiar with all those, used them in my practice and taught them, but I needed to access a part of me which experiences a professional solitude. Is there more to competence than the conscious awareness of one’s knowledge? Degrees and certificates acknowledge only that I have been successfully cloned by the institution or the seminar leader. Yet, periodically, traditions need to be reevaluated. Traditional teaching-learning processes need to be re-examined. I knew through intuition, insight or a "sixth sense," that we possess much knowledge and wisdom that we do not give ourselves permission to acknowledge. 

At the invitation of Dr. Dave Frederick, I accepted the position of Dean of the 
School of Psychology at Westbrook University, an off campus University. My 
conditions were simple: in addition to mastering the curriculum, students in my 
department would be guided into a process of self exploration with the goal of 
achieving wisdom.
At about that time, I met Carl, a Shaman. Carl came highly recommended. I spoke to him by phone. He gave me specific assignments to do before he would meet with me. He suggested I contact my ancestors and to let whatever happens, happen. He said “You will know how.”

I entered an altered state of consciousness and allowed whatever imagery to come. For a few days I kept seeing a dog. A white German Shepherd--or maybe it was a wolf? The left ear was missing. She walked with her back to me yet leading me...

I called Carl and told him. He laughed...I told him I felt that my mind is closed. 
He laughed some more. I told him about the missing ear. He grunted. 

I met Carl. He made me talk. I knew that he knew. I felt his wisdom, he felt mine. 
He saw through me. He told me that only I could get my own answers. I knew he was right. I resented the responsibility he gave me. Before we parted, he told me to go to the beach and to look past the horizon. 
I went to the beach, looked to the horizon and beyond. My eyes wandered from the horizon for an instant. I saw a child flying a kite. I felt I was the kite: soaring,
descending, ascending, fighting to get higher, crashing, fighting for freedom but 
always attached to a string...attached to the child. I became the string, a conduit. 
I was controlling and being controlled at the same time. I became angry at the 
power the child had and how he abused it. Resting my eyes on the horizon is so wonderfully peaceful. I wonder if one could reconcile the near and the far? The past and the future? 
I believed I could free the kite through my mental powers so that it could go  A chill ran through my spine. Should the kite be free?  The child would be so upset...I stopped just to find out that it was not time for the kite to be free, for the child to let go and the string to lose its purpose. Suddenly I became the kite, the string and the rope. It felt right. I knew my journey had begun. 
Carl talked about connections with my ancestors. I thought about the kite, the rope and the child.  A chill zigzagged down my body. I  picked up a rock from the beach. It was off white, smooth and innocent.  It was safe in my hand.  How much erosion, violence and challenges did it take for that rock to get here?  I do not know if a rock feels but I could imagine what it experienced. It was now safe in my hands. My lips touched it. I took it. I kept it. 

Someone looked at me from a parked car. I took it home, washed it and cleansed it. I needed to give it innocence. I wanted my own. I found a small pine cone. It was imperfect and I liked it. It had many facets and it told me to understand its wisdom. 

I went to the beach again. I saw a kite tied down. It was just there moving. It had no purpose....a prisoner. Tied down. Not even manipulated or controlled. Dehumanized. I looked to the horizon. I could not refrain from seeing what is near to me...what is close to me?  Angry waves, erosions, noise, unrest... 

I looked to the horizon...I felt serenity, comfort...the waves became less noisy, they were no longer angry. They had a purpose...I can look far and I can look near. It is good. The kite is still tied. I had a need to know why I felt uncomfortable. I become aware that I do not need to know why. Knowing why is a sure way of never knowing. It was just there. My inner voice was saying "respect the difference."

For a moment, I acknowledged my feelings and  experienced calmness and serenity. 

I can look far away or not . I experienced a transformation. Critical thinking was
suddenly suspended and replaced by unconditional acceptance . 

My mind was crystal clear. Fleeting thoughts came and left. Ignorance may not be bliss. Ignorance is not allowing what you have inside yourself to guide you.  Where you land is where you are now. I wanted to indulge. I cherished my newly acquired insight...or was it enlightenment? Or perhaps transformation? 

I experienced a need to reach out...a  quest for new horizons. An inner voice spoke to me: Free yourself from the shacklesOnly you know what you need.  Allow yourself the joys and excitement of learning.  Study with the very best. Find your temporary identity and move on. Recognize and listen to your intuition.
During a natural period of relaxation, I fall into an altered state. The white dog is 
now jumping around me. He hugs me and licks my face as though he is cleansing me. He then disappears. I miss him. But he is with me. This dog is now male. 
I have been haunted by a recurrent flashback from a past life. The first time was
during a formal past life session. Today it appeared as a spontaneous regression. 

The colors are clear, so are the voices and noises and smells. I am a civilian  in Russia at the turn of the century. I am a student with clear and vocal opinions against the existent Czarist government. I am killed by a horseman, a Cossack who places his sword in my chest. I wear a white tunic, the blood is all over me.  I am  wounded, but there is no pain. I am left for dead and placed in a crude coffin. I can smell the wood and the stench of gangrene. I stay alive too long. I feel closed in and tired of fighting to stay alive. I decide to die, but my soul leaves my body and travels in a new dimension. If I decide to die I can decide to live! 

Am I finally learning my lesson?  I do not need to shout or to insist that my beliefs BE RECOGNIZED. It does not matter who believes in me. I believe I am taking another leap towards my freedom. The road less traveled is suddenly filled with my energy coming from the Universe. 
The uncomfortable feeling of being closed in and my need for open spaces makes me think: could homeless people living in a cardboard box experience claustrophobia? 

There is a message there which I know I will come to time. 
I feel great. I realize today that I am my granddaughter’s ancestor. Wow! 

What a wonderful privilege. All I need to do is be myself  and she will complete the missing blanks. 

The white dog is back. He looks at me. He is definitely questioning  me. 
I don’t know what he wants. Momentarily I have stopped going forward. 
Again something gets in my way. I get in the way of myself. 
Once again I flow with the moment. 

Thoughts run through my mind, “The secret of happiness is not found in seeking  more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” 

“Your sorrow, your fears and anger, regret and guilt, your envy and plans and 
cravings live only in the past or in the future.” 

I have been taught how to think. It is time for me to think for myself, to respect my thoughts, intuitions, fears and acknowledge new ways, uncover new roads, new energies. I am ready to accept whatever surfaces from my subconscious as real. This wonderful journey of self discovery has just begun. It feels like an initiation. My consciousness is now greeting and welcoming my subconscious. 

I feel the start of a new journey leading to a new path. I know now, that in my quest for learning, tomorrow will become yesterday.


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