"This feels amazing," the Charmed attendee thought to themselves.
"First day at a hypno convention, and I'm already shown a great relaxation technique. This really does beat recordings or Skype sessions; I never knew someone telling me to just enjoy the sensation of stillness and the word 'relax' could be so powerful. I didn't even know being still had a sensation till she told me, but I can certainly feel it now. I don't have to pay attention to anything, even my breathing; it's so slow now that I sometimes forget I'm even doing it. But I've never been more comfortable and at ease than this point. The jewelry I'm wearing feels great too. Some of those sensations feel like they're pouring out from the bracelet and necklace into me. I like the look of the bracelet more, but the both equally anchor me to this stillness. But it's not weighing me down; I feel really light instead of heavy, but planted in the ground. I feel like I could think about this and listen to that voice somewhere in my head for a long time. I can't believe I might've missed this booth..."
* * *
Marion looked around for her friend to no avail. She said she thought she'd seen a friend over there, and wanted to say hi. Marion let her as she wanted to walk around and there was to see, with Charmed being her first time attending a public hypno gathering of any sort, if hanging out with Nat and talking about hypnosis didn't count. With all the nice people and multiple activities going on, it seemed pretty easy to get lost there. The thought made her chuckle. Browsing around EH sites and listening to samples had nothing on the palpable air of anticipation around her. She couldn't remember the last time she'd been so excited. Looking around the vendors, she thought she'd found Nat at one. As she got closer, though the woman had the same shirt color and hairstyle, it wasn't her. Marion would've dismissed her altogether, but noticed the woman wasn't moving at all. She took steps closer to see if the woman was even animated or not. Subtle breathing was visible from a few feet away; Marion wondered how or why someone would end up like that, till she felt dumb for forgetting the kind of convention she was at.
"Hypnosis can really do this to you?"
Marion turned her head to see a brunette sitting behind the booth she'd approached. The woman smiled up at her, and it took her a few moments to realize she'd spoken her thoughts aloud.
"Admiring the mannequins?"
"I agree. I'm Lee. Nice to meet you."
"Hi, I'm Marion."
"That's a nice name," Lee told Marion.
"That's a nice voice," Marion thought to herself, or she hoped she had that time.
"So...did you...make them like that?"
"I did. I'm selling a few things, including jewelry, and asked for some volunteers to model."
It wasn't readily comprehensible to Marion why someone would agree to something like that, but the look of the woman she'd seen, and one other next to her looked really content. Small smiles on their face, relaxed but fixed postures, it looked very different from the few times she'd seen stage hypnotists get people to do sometimes really elaborate things. This by comparison was rather simplistic, yet executed unbelievably well.
"Is it surprising to you?" Lee asked.
"Kind of, yeah. I...I don't think I've seen anything like that before."
"Looks weird to you?"
"Don't know about weird, but...'different' is what I'd call it. Are they ok like that?"
"They should be. I told them that they should keep doing it as long as it felt good, and they could stop if it didn't feel ok."
"And how long have they been like that?"
Lee looked down at her watch. "Fifteen minutes."
"Wow," Marion said under her breath, but not low enough for Lee not to catch it.
"You must be a pretty good hypnotist."
"I like to think of myself as at least decent, but I've given suggestions like this before, and with the feedback I've gotten after, my mannequins feel really good right now, and might even ask to go again later on."
"I can show you if you like."
Marion wasn't lying about what she was looking at feeling different, but amidst the wayward feelings, that anticipation lingered. Curiosity questioned several times "how would that feel?" And how she imagined them becoming mannequins matched what Lee said they'd be feeling as they stood there. She promised herself she would try something new than she was used to, and this definitely qualified as new.
"Ok," she said, surprising herself in seizing an opportunity.
"I have your consent to hypnotize you to show you how someone can become a mannequin?"
Marion knew consent was a big deal at places like this; though it was probably a standard thing, she still appreciated being asked in a detailed way.
"Yes Lee, you have my consent for that."
Lee smiled as she walked to the front of her booth.
"Do you see a piece of jewelry you like here Marion?"
She looked around the various styles and saw a coiling, pearled piece that caught her eye. "That one," she pointed to it.
"I like that one too," Lee admitted. "Go ahead and try it on."
Marion picked it up and wrapped it around her left wrist, immediately liking the weight and texture against her skin.
"You might try this one on too," Lee gestured to a necklace with a single pearl hanging down. "I think these go well together."
Marion picked it up and placed it on her neck. The pearl hung just below the edge of the v-neck of her shirt. Lee picked up a mirror to show her, and Marion brought them both into her reflection to see. They both looked nice, but she still favored the bracelet more.
"Let's go over here," Lee told her, and Marion followed her to an open space near the other two mannequins.
"Try that pose you had before, where you got both the bracelet and necklace in-view," Lee asked, bringing the mirror back up.
Marion imitated the same pose as before, letting her left arm diagonally crossover her chest. The set of pearls sat close to each other in a pose Lee complimented her on.
"Thanks," she told Lee.
"Now just stay still for a second and answer a few of my questions Marion. You can take your time with the answers if you want to, ok?"
"Do you listen to a lot of recordings?"
"One or two every so often; it's a bit more from the passive interest I had before."
"What made it go further than passive?"
"When it started to work. I was interested in hypnosis, but it didn't do much for me until one caught me off-guard, and I actually felt something. I go back to that one pretty often."
"What do you think made it work for you?"
"I think...what I remember liking about it was how often it stressed relaxing, and how that's all that needed to be on my mind. It just kept doing that, and I think that was exactly what I needed to hear when it worked."
Lee smiled gently and nodded. "That happens to most people I think. No matter why people pick up a recording and push the play button, the relaxation is the one thing we have in-common. Even the people who don't end up tranced, or don't think they do, become relaxed; making failure just as valuable as successfully trancing in my opinion. It's that lovely first step to all those wonderful sensations and adventures everyone here enjoys. Relaxing does so much for us, so much positivity and peace. Some people just like the word 'relax' by itself. It's the most common hypnotic suggestion in the world, even for people who aren't hypnotists. People say it, to others or themselves, and the listening bodies just obey. They know exactly what 'relax' means, and they want it so much that they just do it. To be told to do it may even be redundant for how much we love to do it, but hearing it or being told to is great positive reinforcement to me. Like hearing me say 'relax,' and the different varieties of expressing it. 'Relaxation' is the current topic of discussion. 'Relaxing' is that nice feeling that starting to come over you the more I talk to you. 'Relaxed' is that point one wants to get to, looks forward to reaching. 'Relax' is that base word you hear that you take as a suggestion to do so, and you do it without hesitation."
Marion kind of blanked out for a moment, hearing Lee speak. She noticed how that conversational voice got a bit lower and just easier to follow; she knew a light trance had come over here, but for the life of her couldn't tell where. It didn't seem to matter as much as how good Lee's voice sounded, and how she loved the way she kept talking about relaxing, even just saying the word over and over. The mirror was still being held up, and she saw the pose she kept, how nice the jewelry looked on her. The only thing that had changed was the corners of her mouth gently curving into a small smile across her lips. She stopped wondering why the others looked so content.
"Relaxation comes as easy to one as taking a breather, being still for a moment and setting the world aside for some me-time. Everyone needs that; it's important we give it to ourselves, and graciously allow others to give it to us. Me telling you to relax should be like me telling you to breathe. Something you don't mind being told, and something you're going to do anyway. Relaxing can be as easy as fixing yourself into one spot, one pose, and staying that way for as long as you want. Your muscles find that wonderful placing and feel motivated to stay as they are. They don't have to move, so they can just think about how good they feel staying that way. They can try to measure approximately how much relaxation is in their body, or let their imaginations flow freely with what this relaxation reminds them off."
She started to wonder what it might be like, comprehending all the blissful relaxation in her body.
"If you were to ask me, I might say finding relaxation is like finding a special pearl in an oyster. You don't know if you're going to find what you want, but just imagine the ecstasy and satisfaction you feel when you do find it. If you love jewelry like I do, there's something really great about taking that special pearl and making it something you can wear and keep close to you all day. Feeling it against your skin, it might be a cool or warm sensation that stays with you, or moves through you. The pearls on you are special because they relax you, a constant reminder of the relaxation you yearn for all the time. They may even have a tangible effect; the relaxation could come pouring out of them. From your arm, from your chest, spreading all throughout your body. Traveling through your bloodstream and muscles like my voice travels in your ears and your mind."
Marion loved Lee's imagining of what relaxation was. In her own head, she imagined it as Lee described, and found it even meshed with her own ideas. She would've been compelled to tell Lee her thoughts if it didn't feel so good to let Lee's words become some of her thoughts, and especially if it didn't feel as good as it did to leave her mouth in that perpetual, tranced smile.
"This feels so good, so relaxing to the point where you aren't aware of anything else. There's nothing to see but yourself and how good you look wearing jewelry. There's nothing to hear but the sound of my voice, and it's easing, relaxing effect on you. There's nothing to feel but how good it feels to stay as you are, to enjoy it for as long as you like, or until I say it's time to move again. You'll find yourself moving of your own accord if this becomes uncomfortable or an emergency happens, but other than that, you can stay enjoy this stillness as long as you like."
"Lee is so nice," Marion thought to herself. "I'd love to stay like this."
And she did. Vaguely she noticed Lee moving away and taking the mirror with her, but still had the image of staring at herself in a reflection in front of her. Occasionally someone would look at her, or inquire Lee about her or the others, but she was more lost in her own thoughts. It felt like a mixture of her own voice and Lee's hypnotic voice speaking. The more time passed, the more she couldn't tell the difference in who said what. They both suggested things she wanted to hear, so it was too easy to just accepted everything that was happening to her. Marion did notice someone inquiring about the jewelry she wore; the woman was interested in the necklace and bracelet as a set. New thoughts came to Marion in the form of whispers in her ear from Lee, and they entered her mind with no resistance. Lee told her she could be posable for a moment, and in that moment it would be just as good as the stillness. Lee turned out to be right as she helped Lee get the necklace from around her neck. Lee told the buyer that unfortunately the bracelet belonged to the mannequin, and the hypnotist was kind enough to suggest that she could still feel the necklace if she wanted to. Had Marion been capable, her smile would've become beaming for the consideration she was shown.
Marion didn't know how long she'd been still and relaxed. Enough time could've passed where she could spend the whole convention a mannequin for Lee, and she would've never known. But fifteen minutes later, someone had snapped their fingers, and Marion found the compulsion to move around and think normally again. She stood around and noticed that the mannequins she saw had been replaced by two new equally content life-size dolls, next she noticed Lee standing next to Nat, both wearing amused smiles.
"Having lots of fun I see," Nat told her.
"Heh, yeah, that felt....relaxing, amazing!"
"Thanks," Lee flashed a friendly smile. "I was hoping it would be as fun for you as it was for them."
"Oh it was funner," Marion began gushing. "I've never felt so...."
"Amazing?" Nat finished her predictable thought.
"And a lot of other good-sounding words."
All three women shared a laugh. Marion tried to calm herself to tell Lee how good it felt and how impressed she was with what happened. Lee thanked her as they all walked back to the booth. Marion picked up another necklace similar to the one she wore before, and a copy of Lee's book, Hypnotic Amnesia. Marion told her she'd only buy it on the condition that she'd never forget Lee hypnotizing her. It seemed a corny joke after she said it out loud, but Lee laughed easily at it, and reassured her. She tried to pay for the bracelet, but Lee insisted that it was free of charge.
"Thanks a lot Lee!" Marion excitedly said.
"You're very welcome, Marion. It was nice meeting you. And you too, Nat."
Nat nodded at her as both began to walk away, but Marion couldn't help but walk back to her booth to say, "I hope I can be tranced by you again soon, Lee."
"Well, I have a website you can visit, and I should be around the convention all the way through. If I have some time, and your consent, we might be able to have some more fun. I might show you one reason why I like your name."
Lee's smile was a little mischievous, or at least it seemed that way to Marion. She walked back toward Nat, wondering what she meant by liking her name.
An eager, somewhat mischievous smile came across her own face. She really hoped she could see Lee again soon.