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The process of keeping up with our personal potential is one of being as awake as possible. In his book, “Waking Up in Time,” Peter Russell makes reference to a cultural trance induced by our families of origin and other adults that were influential in our youth. Referencing a process of waking up in time he says:

“If we are to deal with the root cause of the crises now confronting us, we must awaken from our trance and regain a fuller contact with our own inner wisdom. We need the cultural equivalent of de-hypnosis.”

This theme is reinforced by psychotherapist Milton Erickson who used hypnosis as a therapeutic tool in the pursuit of having a client wake up to his potential. Dr. Erickson when being interviewed was asked what it was like for a person to be in the deepest trance possible. His answer: “The deepest trance a person can get into is the one he is already in.”

He proposed, as does Peter Russell, that we are mostly living in a trance induced by our culture, our family of origin, and our educational and organizational systems. To heal and to grow is to come out of a “consensus trance”. By consenting to live with the predominance of right-brain skills and childhood memories which is fairly standard in our culture, we close ourselves into a narrow channel of thought. When we are able to step out of the logic box and access some of the qualities of left-brain function such as imagination, global thinking, and spontaneity, a new world opens up. As we expand our awareness, we awaken into new and expansive possibilities.

— Dan Petersen

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