Achieving Your Goals the Write Way
Deborah Yaffee, CH, CN
Fall   2007

You’ve helped your client set their goal.  You’ve SMARTened them up by
making sure that their goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant
to them, and set within a Time frame.   Now comes the opportunity to help
them impress that goal in their SCM…and there is a Write Way to do
that!    Recent research in the fields of neuroscience and psychology
have confirmed what so many great Masters of Manifestation have known
and taught for years:  that the brain’s interpretation centers are
connected with the nerve and muscle cells that interface with the world
“out there” in such a way that when you write “it” down, you DO make “it”
happen.    

Fire It to Wire It:  Feed Your Head

You just bought a beautiful little Focus and now you see them
everywhere ……how is it that you never noticed how many of these cars
are on the road?  You’ve just learned that you are pregnant……..and
suddenly the whole world is pregnant with you.   Crammed in the middle
of a crowded cocktail party, deeply engaged in a conversation with your
boss, suddenly you hear your name and your attention wanders away just
as the boss is bragging about his golf score.   

We’ve all experienced this type of selective perception, haven’t we?  
One day we are oblivious to all things RED RED RED , and the next day it
seems as if we can’t stop seeing RED RED RED everywhere!   What
happened?  Actually, our brains come equipped with a built-in radar.   It’s
located in the brainstem, between the top of the spine and the base of
the brain, and is called the Reticular Activating System.  The what?  The
Reticular Activating System, or RAS.  This is a group of nerve cells that
regulates our attention and alertness.  From the myriad of stimuli coming
into the nervous system in any given moment, the RAS filters what is
relevant to you and allows that information/perception to pass through to
the cerebrum where we experience it with conscious awareness.   

What programs the RAS to focus on something specific?  YOU do!  Think
of the  RAS as your own personal search engine.   You type in a keyword
and the RAS filters through your internal internet web, and brings you all
the things matching that keyword.  It also searches and filters through all
the information from your external environment that is entering your
perceptive apparatus.   When something is relevant to us, the RAS
creates a cognitive category for it and then acts like a radar, setting off an
internal “beep: Pay Attention!” when something related to our relevant
item enters our perceptive sphere.   (And, oh, yes….we hypnotists do this
for our clients all the time but we call it a Post-Hypnotic Suggestion).

Research has shown that writing (and to a lesser degree, keyboarding)
forges new neural pathways in the brain.  Writing down what you want is a
proven, effective way to program the RAS to be on the alert for anything
that will help bring you closer to realizing your goals.   Write it down, and
trust your RAS to tap your conscious mind on the shoulder when it finds
something worth paying attention to.

Writing your affirmations and goal statements every day is a powerful way
to keep what you want to manifest before the RAS.  Just as repetitions of
physical exercise moves you closer, faster, and more easily, toward your
fitness goals, performing “writing reps” of your affirmations brings you
closer, faster, and more easily, to manifesting your personal goals by
using your fine motor movements in concert with your mind and emotions
to strongly impress exactly what you want upon your RAS.    

Want to turbo-charge the process?  Write your affirmations in the first
person, the second person, and in the authoritative voice that commands
you by name.  
   I weigh 130 pounds.
  You weigh 130 pounds.
  Deborah, you weigh 130 pounds!
Do it again, this time engaging more of your brain power by using your
non-dominant hand to write with.    

When you write your affirmations down, it is as if you are sending a love
letter to the RAS.   As you move your pen, you are bringing your goal
image before the RAS.  You are presenting the suggestion, charging it
with emotion, and kinesthetically  pressing your message into your gray
matter.    You have created the neural pathway of achieving your goal,
and every time you write your affirmation or goal statement, you fire the
nerve cells in that network, and reinforce the message to the RAS.   Each
repetition deepens the pathway.  You fire it….you wire it!  

Wire It to Fire It:  Using Handwriting to Hardwire Your Brain

At certain critical times in my life, my handwriting has undergone some
fundamental changes.  Has this happened to you, too?  There are some
neurological reasons for this.   Graphologist, Jeffrey Nelson, says that
handwriting is more accurately defined as Brain Writing.  We may write
with our hands, our toes, or our mouth but it is the brain that causes the
particular movement that is made.  Handwriting patterns do indicate, and
more importantly reinforce, the habitual ways we think and feel about
ourselves.   The way we shape our margins and the way we form and
connect our letters communicate to the world a great deal about how we
process our world and ourselves in relation to it.   Transient changes in
handwriting often accompany changes in people’s moods, their states of
health,  and if they are under some physical influence such as alcohol or
drugs, but major changes in handwriting  reflect the significant shifts that
occur in our thoughts and behavior when we’ve had a personal growth
spurt.  

Writing helps keep us focused and in control.   When we learn to write,
we think first and act later.  With the development of the cursive style, we
are literally connecting neurological dots in our brain.    So basic and so
powerful is the circuit of stimulation between the brain and the hand that
researchers are now developing very effective programs using
handwriting rather than Ritalin to treat ADD/ADHD.   

Graphology is the art and science of analyzing handwriting for personality
traits.  Graphotherapy takes things to the next step.  By purposefully
changing our handwriting, we can consciously work on replacing habits of
negative, self-defeating thoughts (and, by extension, our behavior) with
habits of positive thinking and healthy ego-strengthening  behavior.   
This is possible because mind, movement and emotional states are linked
together in ways that most of us can easily recognize.

For example, if I ask you to take up your pen and express a heavy
sadness using a single line, do you suppose your mark would be one that
is thick and drooping down toward the bottom of the paper?   If I were to
ask you to make a mark that expresses joy, I would not be very surprised
if you made a short and lively line that nearly jumped upward off the
paper.  If I watched very carefully, I would most likely also observe your
entire body shift a bit as you did this exercise….a little down in the mouth
and a slight collapsing in of the chest toward the knees as you created
the heavy sadness mark, followed by a slight upcurve of the mouth , a
brightening of the eyes, and a movement toward a lively postural
uprightness of the back when asked to make a mark for joy.

In the same way that we learn to drive a car, or recite the alphabet, we
spend time consciously learning a system of writing and after awhile, the
SCM takes over so that our writing movements are unconscious and
automatic.   Because handwriting systems reflect the culture of their
origin, we also entrain to certain habits of relating with the world when we
first learn to write.  Healthy writing is so intertwined with a healthy psyche
as it interacts with the world that the Waldorf educational system begins
its writing curriculum with having the children observe forms around
them and noticing that the world is made up of curves and straight lines.

Since graphic movement encodes a certain intent and tends toward a
certain habit of thought, and consequent behavior, on the part of the
writer, changing the writing movement (the handwriting) is an effective
way to neurologically support the changes the client is achieving with
hypnosis.  Selecting the appropriate handwriting elements, and
consciously changing your handwriting wires it then fires it.  There are
many wonderful handwriting analysis books that you can use to help you
create supportive handwriting homework for your clients.   My current
favorite is “Your Handwriting Can Change Your Life” by Vimala
Rodgers.       

Ms. Rodgers has created a lovely font that is based on many years of
study and integrated with meditation.   I often use this font to write my
clients’ affirmations on a card, so that they have a sample of healthy
handwriting to reflect upon.  Vimala Rodgers declares the letter T to be
the letter of self-esteem, self-worth, our willingness to stand tall and
pursue our purpose with determination.  Her unusual version of the small
“t” is a tall, unlooped line that reaches to the sky, with a crossbar across,
and on, the top.   For those who need ego-strengthening and assistance
with finishing what they start, she recommends practicing the letters T
and G.  

I often find that my clients exhibit what Vimala calls “the self-sabotage f”.  
This is a small letter “f” whose lower loop is reversed (faces backward,
toward the left edge of the paper). Looking back through my years of
handwritten journals, I observed this in my own handwriting.  I
immediately began practicing my handwriting for Vimala’s recommended
period of 40 days.  What she said was true….consciously changing my “f’
s” and “t’s” had a profound, rapid, positive  impact on my life!  

Therapeutic Journaling

Psychologist James Pennebaker has extensively researched the effects
of what he calls  “expressive writing” or “unfettered talking” on
emotionally distressing, even traumatic, events and concerns.  In
controlled studies, Dr. Pennebaker has demonstrated that expressive
writing results in overall improvements which are both subjective and
objective.  Among researchers in this field, the significant improvements
in mind and body were not observed when the subjects were asked to
write about superficial topics.  College students were often the source of
subjects for Dr. Pennebaker’s experiments, and writing their thoughts
and feelings about upcoming exams was frequently the non-superficial
event that was chosen as the writing topic.  

In Pennebaker’s experiments, anonymous disclosure of deep personal
secrets and emotionally disturbing events consistently showed
measurably improved health and immune function, as well as fairly long-
term improvement in mood and a sense of well-being.   Beneficial effects
on the autonomic nervous system , such as reduced heart rate and a
reduction in tension of certain facial muscles, were observed in the short-
term.    In the experimental situation, care was taken to ensure that the
writing samples were not matched to particular writers.   The subjects
were directed to write continuously for a set amount of time, and
encouraged to let go of concerns for grammar and spelling.  Just write.  

Rapid writing to express thoughts and feelings about achieving one’s
goals can effectively discharge a great deal of any  psychosomatic
tension that may be consciously or unconsciously present.   This can go a
long way in clearing the mind of unwanted thoughts, and enabling one to
readily create a space for the new, positive thoughts and feelings to be
accepted into.  Another benefit of writing is that the various trains of
thought quickly begin to yield to organization that may result in sudden
flashes of surprising alternative paths to achieving one’s goals.   If a past
trauma is part of the blockage to achieving a goal, writing can help bring
together various physical, mental and emotional  aspects of the
experience in new ways that help the individual find resolution and
strength.

Putting It All Together, Write Now

I hope you will try some of these techniques for yourself.  They are fun,
easy, and free!  Cue up your RAS with keywords that will draw attention to
significant messages from the universe.  Suggest that your clients write
out their affirmations in sets of 10.  Write affirmations in different voices
for greater effect.   Choose to practice 3 letters that most embody your
desired thought changes and goals.  Take 15 to 30 minutes a day to write
expressively, releasing thoughts and feelings about whatever has
disturbed you in any way.  It really is true that the pen is mightier than
sword, so go ahead and encourage your clients to click their Bic to the
tune of their own inner drummer.  

© copyright 2007 Deborah Yaffee          

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