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Ostriches

"They deem him their worst enemy who tells them the truth."
     ---Plato

Ostrich Sketch

Everybody knows that ostriches bury their heads in the sand when danger is near.

How do you know that? On what information do you base that belief? There are things that "everybody knows" which are based on inaccurate, or even false, information.

A short time ago, I was at a training in Kona, Hawai'i. The instructor was talking about being in control of the type of information we allow into our awareness. He said that we can choose not to expose ourselves to the news that is presented to the public through the media funnel. Statistically, "bad news" gets better ratings than "good news." High ratings fuel sponsorship, and the result is that the majority of news broadcasts are predominantly sensational.

Whatever a person focuses their thoughts on becomes that person's reality. He said if you focus on the negative, then your dominating thoughts are negative. The opposite is also true. If you focus on positive, your thoughts are positive, and therefore your reality is an empowering one.

My wife has a friend who watches most of the news programs. She is always fretting about one thing, or another. She has trouble sleeping at night, and her life is far from what she wants. This woman constantly expects, and sees the most negative aspect of every situation. Is this just coincidence, or cause and effect at work?

Your mind operates like a computer. You receive programming every day, whether you are aware of it, or not. You can remove, or override, any negative programming, and replace it with positive programming chosen by you, for your success.
Are you doing everything you can do to live the life you want?

The instructor said that he does not watch any of the major news broadcasts, and so, much of the negativity that makes up other people's worlds is not a part of his reality.

As I began to think about that, I thought, "That sounds a lot like an ostrich hiding its head in sand when danger is near." Then, I wondered if that was an effective strategy for ostriches. Does hiding their heads in the sand really protect them from danger, or do they still end up as lunch?

Since I couldn't logically see how hiding their heads could provide any defense, I began to wonder if it was true. I was away from my resource materials, and decided this would be good research project for my 13-year-old niece. During a break, I called my brother in California, and related the story to him. His reply was that "everybody knows" ostriches hide their heads in the sand. I asked him how he knew that. He said he just did. He even "remembered" seeing it on a documentary.

I said, "Let me talk to Ashley."

As I was talking to my niece, I told her that there are things that everybody knows that are, often, just not true. I told her that people become passionately attached to what they think they know. When you challenge a person's beliefs, that person will tend to reject, and possibly get angry that you could say such a thing.

Hypnosis is one of the subjects about which people have false information. How could such a useful tool for improving the lives of human beings be so misunderstood? Many people think that hypnosis is some supernatural means of controlling people. The truth is that hypnosis is a natural state that we go in, and out of, many times a day.

You can accept or reject any suggestion you are given. Hypnosis can help you make changes toward which you are already willing to work. Hypnosis cannot make you do anything which goes against your morals. If someone gave you a suggestion, while you were in a state of hypnosis, you could choose to follow that suggestion, or not.

What makes hypnosis such an effective tool for improving your life?

Entering into the state of hypnosis is very much the same as entering into a deep meditation. While you are in this relaxed state of focused concentration, you quiet down your thoughts and concerns of the day, and you are able to concentrate on the issue at hand. It is easier to learn (anything) when you are not distracted by everything else that is going on in your life.
Hypnosis is a skill.

All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. When you learn how to quiet your mind, you are able to focus on what you want to achieve, and access the creative part of yourself to the fullest. Hypnosis can be thought of as any form of communication with the subconscious mind. You do not have to be hypnotized to accept suggestion. When you are hypnotized, you may accept, or reject, any suggestion given to you.

Ashley called me back and said, "It's a good thing we challenged what 'everybody knows.' Ostriches do not hide their heads in the sand." When I asked her how she knew that, she said she found the information on a zoo website. I asked her to verify it with other sources, and went back to class.

One of the most important lessons I learned on that trip to Hawai'i, was found in a simple phrase:
A ohe pau ko ike i kou halau.
Which translates: Think not that all wisdom is in your school.
Sometimes, it's important to challenge what you think you know.

When I got out of class, I again talked to my niece. Here is what she discovered about what "everybody knows" about ostriches:

The myth that the ostrich hides its head in the sand to believe itself invisible dates from biblical times, but the reality which may have given rise to the myth is that when startled or threatened an ostrich may feign death, stretching its long neck along the ground and lying immobile to blend with the surroundings.

Thank you Ashley.

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