The subconscious mind, or higher Self, contains a vast amount of intuitive wisdom and practical information. If we can bring that wisdom to the conscious level, we can know ourselves better and have greater awareness of our deeper needs and desires. This awareness can illuminate our path, both future and past, and reveal the information necessary to make better decisions or correct our path.
The problem is, the subconscious does not use words. Generally, it communicates with us through “knowing”, intuitive senses, patterns of experience, and dreams. When we don’t pay attention and make necessary changes, it gets “louder”, in the form of aches, pains, health conditions, and negative behavioral and emotional responses.
To access its riches more clearly, reliable, and regularly, we need a better means of communication. I want to share with you a discovery that I made—a tool that gives the subconscious a clear, simple, precise and cogent way to communicate with us, revealing messages that help us heal, solve problems, and grow.
I noticed early on in my work as a clinical hypnotherapist that my clients’ subconscious minds often created powerful, elegant, and very explicit metaphors to communicate their messages. I decided to use this skill deliberately—to ask the subconscious directly for a metaphor that would shed light on my clients’ topic of concern. The results were amazing. I developed the method as a technique, and began to call it Reverse Metaphor.
By asking my clients to have their subconscious minds make up a story, or metaphor, around the issue they wanted to handle, the solution would emerge beautifully from details of the imagery and plot line the subconscious conveyed.
My client Maria experienced migraines, hyper-vigilance, and spiritual malaise. In one of our sessions, she used Reverse Metaphor to illuminate and heal these conditions.
We began by asking Maria’s subconscious mind to create for her a metaphor, a story that would communicate a message concerning the connection among these three concerns. The story is to be a fantasy, and not related to memories—much like telling a bedtime story to a child.
Beginning her story, the first thing Maria noticed was a tall, broad, green tree. She reached up and touched it, and noticed how large and immense the tree was. In her mind, she began to dance and twirl. She felt incredibly happy and free. But then, she sensed tears because she didn’t know if she could ever be that happy. Suddenly, the sky began to darken. Maria wanted to feel happy, but wasn’t sure she knew how to do that. She laid down and went to sleep.
At the end of this short vision, I invited her to imagine that her story was a metaphor for her experiences in life, and asked her what the tree symbolized. “It’s life’s abundance. When I am happy, I can see it,” she said. Maria said that when she could reach up and touch it, as she did in the story, she didn’t feel insignificant anymore. She could do this by being in the present and appreciating all of her life experiences.
Maria indicated that the tree was comforting, strong, old, and stable, and that it’s large size offered her hope.
In her life, this referred to the “dim candle of hope that I find sometimes to keep me going.” When I asked her where she found that candle of hope, she answered, “Deep within myself. When I feel that no one else can give me hope, I can sometimes find it within.”
When asked about dancing and twirling, Maria said to her it meant energy, happiness, and freedom. Her sense of tears reminded her that it was when she doubted her ability to ever be that happy, and would bring on a darker mood and the spiritual malaise. She realized that by focusing on the movement and the happiness it brought, to would leave no room for the negative conditions of her life. When her doubts led to darkness, she would lay down and sleep, which related to getting migraines that would keep her in bed and sleeping through the troubles of her life.
Maria found the perfect solution to her condition through accessing the wisdom of her own subconscious mind. By staying in the positive attitude of hope, and training herself to stay away from self-doubt, she could remain in motion, engaged, happy, and free.
Reverse Metaphor is an extremely easy, quick method for accessing answers from the subconscious. Once you master it, you may find yourself using it frequently, in a wide range of circumstances—especially if your conscious mind feels “stuck” and answers just aren’t coming.
Reverse Metaphor can also fire up your imagination. It is an excellent tool when you want fresh insights and solutions, inspiration for creativity, access to inner wisdom, and even dream interpretation. After all, dreams are another way the subconscious mind communicates with us—they just happen while we are asleep.