Monday, January 21, 2019

The Critical Area of the Mind


(This blog was originally posted on January 13, 2016)



Photo by Rick Hustead



This afternoon, I sat in the waiting area while my friend finished a meeting. While I flicked through a copy of Us Weekly, a man approached the reception desk and asked one of the assistants if it was possible for him to speak to someone in the accounting department. The receptionist smiled politely and suggested he sit down while she went to check if the employee he needed was available to talk to the customer. When she returned a few minutes later, it was to apologize: the gentleman he wanted to talk to was in a meeting. Could she have “Mr. Jones” call the customer later?

The man smiled slightly, nodded and walked out of the office, probably disappointed but he didn’t seem very surprised. He didn’t have an appointment; at this time of year it would be very unlikely to squeeze in an impromptu meeting with an accountant. Guess what? This kind of solicitation and rejection occurs many, many times each day between the conscious and subconscious areas of the mind.

The “heavy” that sends the conscious mind’s desired new beliefs or behaviors away is called the Critical Area of the mind. This very small region of the mind is divided equally between the Conscious Mind and Subconscious Mind. Its responsibility, as it were, is to maintain the comfort (homeostasis) between these areas of the mind.

As I have explained in several previous blogs (Why Being Comfortable Feels Uncomfortable, Intuition, Because…That’s What You Like), your behavior is dictated by the subconscious mental script that is created very early in your life. This script is created by the multitude of positive and negative message units that the SCM processes and interprets as pain or pleasure during your early childhood. A positive experience, such as your pet dog licking your face in greeting, is classified as “pleasure.” A negative experience, such as burning your hand on a hot stove, would likely be classified as pain. However, even a message unit that is initially perceived as negative or “painful” can become recognized as “pleasure”, such as returning to or remaining in an abusive relationship because it is familiar or comfortable. 

Conversely, if your dog bites (instead of licks) your face, or you decide to stand up to or even leave an abusive partner, the Critical Area of the mind is likely to reject the new message unit that the conscious mind is processing. Rejecting this new information is the Critical Mind’s job: If the information is unfamiliar, it is uncomfortable and therefore unwelcome: What do you mean, Fido bit me? He doesn’t bite! It was just a love nip. Or, I can’t leave my partner; I have nowhere to go! Since this information challenges the known subconscious mental script, it is unlikely that you will accept this information and change your behavior right away.

Now, let’s put this model in the context of what the interaction I observed this afternoon when someone asked to meet with “Mr. Jones.” The receptionist (Critical Area of the mind) checked with the gentleman in question (processed the message unit) and reported that Mr. Jones was busy. Since the client was also not an expected appointment (unknown to the subconscious mind), she sent him away (rejected the message unit). You might also recognize this process when you check the Caller-I.D. application on your phone and decide whether to pick up the call or let a message go to voice-mail.

For more information about the role of the Critical Area of the mind, I invite you to read my blog titled, Why Are New Ideas Scary?



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Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified clinical hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.
© 2019

Friday, January 18, 2019

Thoughts of the Day

Photo by Sara Fogan




Every now and then I like (and need) to take a few moments and remind myself about what is really important to me, in my life. If you follow me on my Calminsense Hypnotherapy Facebook page you may have seen some of these quotes before on this page, or will in the future. Many of these Quotes of the Day are beautiful examples and illustrations of the work I do as a hypnotherapist, so I will probably draw on them in future essays.


  • “True happiness and wisdom are inseparable. We need to be able to see how our thoughts and actions are affecting us.” – Charles A. Francis
  • “When someone we love is giving us a bad time it’s better to explore the cause than criticize the action.” – Zig Ziglar
  • “Leaders don’t force people to follow. They invite others on a journey.” – Charles Lauer
  • “One of the greatest mental freedoms is truly not caring what anyone else thinks of you.” – Unknown
  • “Setting and reaching goals should be a natural growth process, not a requirement for happiness.” – Bruce Van Horn
  • “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” – Paul McCartney
  • “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” – Maya Angelou
  • “No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” – Calvin Coolidge
  • “Every thought leads back to the crossroads of love and patience.” – Lolly Daskal
  • “Happiness doesn’t always come from a pursuit. Sometimes it comes when we least expect it.” – Dalai Lama



Limited Special Offer!
Save an additional 10 percent on the 10-week weight-loss package.
This discount only applies to the 10-week weight-loss program and may not be combined with any other offer. It is valid through February 15, 2019 



Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.
© 2019

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Red Box


(This blog was originally posted on November 16, 2016)


Photo by Rick Hustead




Queen Victoria is known for many things. Until very recently, her reign was the longest of any British monarch. During that time there were considerable industrial and scientific advances, including growth of the railroad and building the London Underground, and development of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolutionary development. Her strong work ethic and public persona of prim behavior and proper etiquette became legendary. But when I think about this queen, what comes first to my mind is the Red Box.

The queen reportedly kept a red box on her desk in which urgent documents and communications were supposed to be placed until she could deal with the issue. As it turned out, less important papers such as generic requests for an audience (appointment) with the queen also found their way into that box. Of course, over time the box got very full. The monarch became frustrated and more than a little stressed out about all those things she had to “do.” Finally, her husband, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, looked inside the box and pointed out that a lot of the material inside didn’t belong there at all. Queen Victoria could lighten her work load by addressing only the most urgent matters and postponing or even delegating the rest to him and/or her ministers, secretaries, etc. to handle. Long story short, the queen took his advice and adopted a new and more efficient strategy for managing her monarchy. 

Whether she vocally resisted (argued) adopting the new system or immediately accepted her husband’s suggestion to reorganize the contents of that box is probably unknown. However, it is likely that the queen initially found this task daunting and even annoying. Suddenly, she had to change a familiar, relatively simple behavior of putting documents in one place and take more time separating and classifying each item based on specific criteria. Once she got the hang of it this process would prove simpler and more efficient, but she would have to get used to it, first.

Call it what you will, but Queen Victoria’s new and even the intention of her original organizational system sounds an awful lot like the Neurolinguistic Programming technique of “chunking it down.”

If aspects of this tale sounds familiar in your own life that is the point I am trying to make. From time to time, a lot of us—including monarchs!—need help prioritizing assignments, jobs, projects and even relationships to be more efficient and productive in other areas of our lives. We are used to doing things a particular way, and every time we repeat that behavior (“way”) we reinforce it. However, it becomes easier to adopt a new process as we practice doing it for a while—i.e., incorporating these new actions (“knowns”) into the behavioral repertoire to create your new subconscious mental script. It is also easier to make a change when someone we respect or admire (hypno-modality) encourages/helps/teaches us what we need to do to implement the behavior/belief system, as Prince Albert did for his wife in this instance.



Limited Special Offer!
Save an additional 10 percent on the 10-week weight-loss package.
This discount only applies to the 10-week weight-loss program and may not be combined with any other offer. It is valid through February 15, 2019 



Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.
© 2019