Thursday, March 13, 2008

"You're Getting Sleepy..."

Yesterday was my first ever brush with hypnotherapy. For a while now, I’ve considered hypnotism as a possible fix for my undying vegetarian status. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not unhappy being a vegetarian. If I continue to be a non-meat eater for the remainder of my years here on earth, it won’t trouble me too much. Then again, there are a few reasons I wouldn’t mind becoming a non-veg. First, there is always the health aspect of my diet- my proteins are derived mainly from beans and cheese…and there are only so much Taco Bell one can eat. Also, everyone knows about the Omegas. Needless to say, I have no threes or sixes in my diet. Most importantly, being that I'm going on my 24th year of vegetarianism, I’m running out of options. I love to eat and although I’m rather adventurous when it comes to cooking, there is only so much I can do. To put it bluntly- I’m getting bored. I want more…I want more options, more abundances, more variety, more indulgences.

I actually want to eat meat- so when my friend Helen came to me with an opportunity to see a hypnotist, I jumped on board. Helen was getting hypnotized in order to stop smoking cigarettes while under the influence of alcohol. Easy enough. My issue proved to be a bit more complicated; my vegetarianism isn’t really a moral issue or a taste thing- it’s something deeply rooted in me- almost inherent. Nevertheless, we embarked on this psychological adventure together.

Jayne, a licensed hypnotherapist, sat cross-legged on a couch across from me while I situated myself next to a fireplace in an exceptionally comfortable bean bag chair. We began with a brief history of why I’m a vegetarian and a few of the issues surrounding the incident. Jayne decided that the best option for me would be to undergo “regression therapy.” Being a cynic- I was skeptical. Jayne rationalized the process and made it clear that the “farm incident” was not the only damaging experience I underwent at that stage- another trauma was the strain of being misunderstood. When I had made the decision to cut out meat, I was so young that expressing myself was a struggle. As opposed to viewing my aversion to meat as a logical resolution, adults simply wrote me off as an immature child with difficult eating habits. Fundamentally, I felt misread and lonely. Being pushed to eat meat shortly after the incident could have affected me as adversely as the decision itself. Jayne explained that through regression therapy, we would reach the route of the problem and basically reprogram my mind from an early stage. I would then be equipped to accept myself for the decision and to let “young Morgan” know that “it’s OK” to consume animals.

Jayne had me to close my eyes and proceeded to speak to me until I was completely relaxed. At this point, she was able to fully communicate with my subconscious as I was in what can described as a half-conscious state. Jayne asked me to picture a television screen with “little Morgan” at the dinner table on the eve of the original farm visit. (My thoughts: yeah right!) But I went ahead and did what I was told. I walked up to little Morgan as my present self and had a conversation with her. I told her that I love her and no matter what she decides to eat, she will grow up to be an intelligent and healthy woman. I gave her a hug and let her know that I understand her and that she is not alone. I told her that meat is both healthy and tasty. I told her that the animals were killed humanely and that they probably lead nice lives before they were slaughtered.

At the end of my big-Morgan/little-Morgan reunion, I gave little Me one last hug and told her that she is well loved. Writing this now, I’m witnessing the encounter as an outsider would view it and to be honest, it all seems a bit ridiculous. I have to admit though; it was quite an emotional experience. I was brought to tears. Even Helen, seated behind me in the room, was reaching for tissues.

I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to little Morgan. There was so much more I wanted to tell her. I wanted to warn her about things she would experience and I wanted to remind her that like the vegetarianism thing, everything would be OK in the end. Regrettably, my session ended and I had to leave her behind prematurely.

Spending time with little Morgan may not have cured my vegetarianism but what it did do is present to me an entirely new set of issues- a Pandora’s Box of sorts. My desire to remain with little Me brought up a few concerns. For one, I seem to be holding on a bit too tightly to the younger, more innocent version of myself. Maybe I’m not yet at peace with my past and who I was then- as opposed to who I am now. I was unbelievably sad sitting next to little Me- it was actually distressing. I don’t know why, but I didn’t want to leave her. I can’t seem to decipher whether it’s little Morgan I didn’t want to leave or adult Morgan not wanting to be without her. What I do know is that another session with Jayne seems to be in order upon my return to this country in June. In the meantime, let’s see if I can have a few crab cakes with dinner.

No comments: