Bri used to consider themselves a bad hypnotic subject. When they tried being hypnotized, they would find their brain full of thoughts, analysis, and busyness. Instructions to relax had made them tense and instructions not to think had reminded them of all the thoughts they were actually having. Instructions to focus made them constantly check for unfocus and that would quickly turn into self-criticism. Why oh why couldn’t they do this easy thing? They had watched hours of youtube videos of people dropping into trance with just a snap. Why were those people able to be hypnotized so easily while Bri struggled so much?
By the time they met their (future) mistress Alison at a convention, they had almost given up. It was the way that she so patiently listened to them and asked questions that made Bri willing to give hypnosis another chance. Alison did a wonderful job of explaining her philosophy of hypnosis to Bri. She talked about how trance could feel different to different people. She encouraged Bri to be curious about their own reactions rather than trying to shut down thoughts altogether.
Alison invited Bri back to her hotel room for experimenting. There, they had started by playing with a few different styles of induction that Alison knew. After a few tries, Bri had learned that they really enjoyed listening to Alison’s voice (it was really nice) but they didn’t quite feel like they had experienced whatever a “trance” was yet. Alison pointed out some promising signs, but Bri felt like they were still struggling a bit. Maybe they just needed more practice with the things that had been partially successful?
While Bri was giving feedback, Alison noticed how Bri’s eyes kept going to the colorful light-up sphere on the other side of her hotel room. The sphere slowly shifted colors- from yellow to orange to red- and changed so gradually that it was impossible to tell exactly when the shifts happened. When she has seen it in the store, Alison just knew she had to bring it to a hypnosis convention. It was fascinating. It was mesmerizing.
It was perfect.
Alison grinned and asked if Bri wanted to use the sphere.
Bri was skeptical. They had tried eye fixation inductions before and they had never worked out well. But Bri had promised themselves and Alison that they would try and be open to experiments, so they consented to giving the sphere a go. Alison moved it so it would shine right in front of Bri’s face. Then she turned off the lights and started speaking.
Alison began pretty predictably- telling Bri to breathe in and out as they stared at the colors. She encouraged them to let themselves settle into a comfortable and relaxed position. Then, she told Bri to start softly repeating a mantra they had been experimenting with earlier- “I listen, I follow”. She assured Bri that they would be able to just let themselves easily repeat that mantra over and over- letting it go on autopilot- while they also kept listening to her voice.
Alison started talking about shifts- ones people were aware of and ones that were so gradual they weren’t observed until after they happened. She mentioned that feeling of falling asleep at night and not even knowing you had fallen until you woke up the next day and realized the change. She encouraged Bri to notice the lights in front of them and how they, too, shifted so gradually between the colors. The shifts were so gradual that Alison could never quite keep track of when the shifts actually happened.
But that’s what she wanted Bri to do.
Repeat the mantra.
Listen to her voice.
And look at the lights to catch the exact moment they shifted.
For many people this might have been headache inducing, but as Bri continued to listen to Alison talk, they gradually noticed themselves becoming calmer. Their head was always full of activity, but this felt different. It was like they were on a boat above a wavy ocean, feeling motion but also buoyant above it. They could still hear and understand what Alison was saying, but since they had multiple focuses it was easy to just listen and follow along without having to evaluate too much or even to keep close track minute to minute. Alison had mentioned that it was ok to kind of drift in and out on her words and so they let themselves enjoy the way their focus would shift from catching the change in colors to what Allison was saying then back to the colors again- like a radio tuning in and out. They just settled in and fully absorbed the moment, sinking into the feelings.
Until Alison *snapped* and brought them back up.
The change from a few seconds ago was so startling that Bri couldn’t help but notice the contrast.
Bri didn’t quite know if what they had just experienced had been real hypnosis. But it had definitely been something.
And they were eager to try it again.