Friday, February 23, 2018

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.

  • “When you’re able to transcend an aversion to silence, you’ll also transcend many other miseries.” – Wayne Dyer

  • “We all have two lives. The second one starts when we realize that we only have one.” – Steve Maraboli

  • “Just because someone threw you into Lake Inferior doesn’t mean you have to keep swimming in it.” – Bruce Van Horn

  • “A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone’s feelings unintentionally.” – Oscar Wilde

  • “We can find common ground only by moving to higher ground.” – Jim Wallis

  • “A dog can express more with his tail in seconds than his owner can express with his tongue in hours.” – Unknown
  • “Your presence is hereby requested in your life.” – Lolly Daskal

  • Life must be lived forward, but can only be understood backwards.” – SΓΈren Kierkegaar
  • “Don't focus on what you can't control. If you do, you waste your focus – and your life.” – Bille Baty

  • “You’ve got to say no to the things that don’t honor you. No to the things that don’t bring you joy. And you don’t have to explain your no.” – Iyanla Vanzant

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
© 2018

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Hypnosis and Suspension of Disbelief

(This blog was originally posted on March 7, 2017)

Photo by Rick Hustead

I remember when I first learned about “Suspension of Disbelief” during my second-period Honors English class in high school. At some very deep level I think I always understood that not all stories or action in movies made sense; this concept answered a lot of questions about why people, including me, are willing to buy into something that does not make sense. But we believe it—or at least go along with it—nonetheless.

 Suspension of Disbelief entails intentionally (or unintentionally) ignoring glaring conflicts or holes in logic in a movie or book to continue enjoying the story without interruption. It doesn’t seem to matter that a key concept in the plot could literally stop the story in its tracks if we think too much about why it doesn’t make any sense. If we are invested in the characters and/or the story, we may choose to ignore those pesky details that threaten to derail our enjoyment of the plot. Indeed, at this point it is easy to just turn off (ignore) the Critical Area of the subconscious mind that keeps pointing out those problems and settle back into the action on the page or screen. Does this sound familiar? Hint: It is possible and common to drift into a trance-like state (hypnosis) when we are caught up in a good book, movie/television program, sports event, etc.

For example, when I watched the Season Four finale of Sherlock, the plot was so convoluted and intricate that I wondered how the episode made it out of the editing booth. So much of it made no sense (to me, anyway), even when the mystery was solved and the clues explained. Probably my being such a fan of the new incarnation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic sleuth and his cohort played a big part in ignoring the questions running through my mind throughout the story. It was also fascinating to watch Sherlock Holmes get taken in and thrown off guard by what was going on around him. (I think he was hypnotized, to be honest.)

I had less patience for the lapses in logic that I noticed in the movies Poltergeist (1981) and Gravity (2013). To be honest, I was completely on-board with just about every suspenseful and creepy part of the film. The protagonists sliding across the linoleum kitchen floor, chairs stacking themselves into a pyramid on the kitchen table, being sucked into a television screen, even that attack by a murderous oak tree… None of those scenes fazed me. The film was basically ruined for me, though, when the Freeling family did not evacuate their home the second they got their little girl back. Who would stay in that house after having to retrieve your young child from a malevolent spirit—a spirit that had taken her to another dimension, at that? For the record, I didn’t buy the idea that a modern housing tract could or would be knowingly built over a cemetery without someone involved with the project blowing a very loud whistle about that. My interest in Gravity drifted right away when Sandra Bullock’s character was caught in a debris storm in which pieces of a destroyed space station whizzed by her at 30,000 miles an hour without sustaining any injuries. Logically, wouldn’t exposure to this type of catastrophe be fatal? I would have thought so, anyway.

The reason why some stories “work” for some people and not others has a lot to do with the viewer’s or reader’s willingness to suspend disbelief when necessary to move the plot along. The second something no longer makes sense or challenges an existing belief system, however, the magic is lost and the dreamlike state is broken. So long as the Critical Area of the subconscious mind is actively processing, questioning and discarding those message units, you are unlikely to fall for that theatrical magic. The instant it perceives this information as a threat to your existing Subconscious Mental Script or belief system(s), as the late actor, Bill Paxton, famously said, it’s “Game Over” and back to disbelieving reality you will go.

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
© 2018


Wednesday, February 21, 2018


(This blog was originally posted on March 6, 2017)

Photo by Rick Hustead

This afternoon I read a blog that really impacted me. In Subir Chowdhury’s essay titled The Power of a Glass of Water: Why Simple Acts of Thoughtfulness Matter Today, he considers the value of simple acts of consideration and the way such actions benefit other people at no cost to ourselves. At the beginning of the article, Mr. Chowdhury recounts an in incident in which passenger asked a flight attendant for a glass of water before takeoff. The flight attendant told him that snacks and beverages would not be served in the Economy section until the plane was airborne. (The fact that Mr. Chowdhury and other people in the Business- and First-Class sections of the het had already received complimentary alcoholic beverages and snacks while the jet was still on the tarmac was beside the point.) The gentleman who asked for a glass of water was a senior citizen; the cabin crew refused to bring him anything to drink even after repeated requests and explaining that he was very thirsty. Finally, another passenger sitting near the writer in the First-Class section stood up, went to the galley and brought the other man the water he needed. While the flight attendant who refused to do this herself seemed a bit put-out by this action, he observed that the older man was very appreciative of the other passenger’s thoughtful gesture.

It is very easy to be thoughtful and considerate of another person’s feelings. Many of us can still hear one or both parents reiterating the importance of observing the Golden Rule of reciprocity: “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” In other words, if you don’t like being disrespected, teased, hit, etc., it is pretty likely that others do not like this kind of treatment, either. Similarly, when someone does something kind or thoughtful that benefits you, this action should (hopefully) inspire you to do something good for another person.

Simple acts of kindness and consideration are easy to do and generally make both parties feel good. Examples include helping someone reach an item on a high shelf at the grocery store, assisting a person on crutches to cross the street or lending a person the use of your mobile phone to call roadside assistance to get his keys out of the locked car. Parents whose teenage son or daughter recently got a driving license are probably familiar with this one: Call or send a text message when you get where you are going, and then when you are on your way home! A smile or a compliment can make someone’s day. Mailing the rent check to your landlord on time or helping to clean up after a mess—even if you didn’t make it—are such little things we can all do with very little effort, but they can all mean so much.

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
© 2018