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Ziv: Hey, I’m Ziv Shalev and this is “On the Journey”. Every week “On the Journey” explores the intersections of wellness, spiritual inquiry, mental health, personal growth and purposeful living through the eyes of the people we interviewed.
So to begin, I’d love to hear or see about you, about your background, about your journey, your spiritual journey, or wellness journey. How did you get it?
Lucy: Well hi, I’m Lucy Seligman based in the Bay Area, which probably you know is on fire at the moment, but so far I haven’t been evacuated. I grew up in Hollywood, actually, and my father was a TV and film producer and I lived there until I was 18. Sadly, he died when I was quite young.
It’s interesting when you ask that, my kind of journey I went to Japan when I was 15 and it totally changed my life. I ended up majoring in college in Japanese and Japanese culture. I did junior year abroad for college in Tokyo and I actually ended up living in Japan for over 13 years. This kind of length of Japan and speaking Japanese and having lived and worked there continues to this day.
My coaching company is called Zen Coaching with Lucy and I also have a Japanese food blog because for many years, almost the whole time, I was in Japan as an adult. I had my own cooking school and was a food historian and recipe developer for Japanese dishes. So this kind of it always comes back to Japan in one way or another.
My journey as a coach, I actually started as a clinical and medical hypnotherapist. And how that started was I had had a rotator cuff surgery a number of years ago and I was having a really hard recovery. And I literally woke up one morning and said hypnosis. And I had totally forgotten that I had used hypnosis when I was 18 for the first time for pain management after, if you can believe it, a folk dance accident.
And that was I never knew know I could be hypnotized. And throughout the, you know when I was in my late teens and twenties, I used hypnotherapy a number of times for pain. And I also, out of the blue, developed total fear of flying and I was going back and forth between Japan and America quite a bit. Those are very long flights and to have fear of flying as bad as I did, it was just unbearable. So when I woke up and said hypnosis, I literally started researching what schools were in the Bay Area.
And three months later I started my training as a clinical hypnotherapist and it was for over a year and I totally fell in love with hypnosis and hypnotherapy and realized that as time went on I seemed to be doing more medical hypnotherapy or, for example, someone who couldn’t sleep or someone who had high anxiety before they went to the dentist or someone who was prepping for surgery, someone who was going through a cancer journey, sort of a variety.
I kind of never know when people find me what they want to work on but I went back and did more training in as a medical hypnotherapist and I’ve continued to have a part time practice for a number of years. The coaching, kind of, came in because my hypnotherapy clients where you work with somebody, hypnotherapy tends to be fairly short in terms of sessions but they want it to continue and they didn’t want to talk about whatever the issue was. They wanted to expand their work with me.
So I realized after a couple of years I was coaching them. I might not be officially or a coach but that was kind of the direction I was doing. So sort of where I’m at right now is when I work with someone as a life coach or my assistant coach, you know, I am lucky I have all my hypnotherapy tools I can bring into my toolbox, as well as all the tools that I’ve learned as a coach.
And my training as a coach is with wisdom of the whole coaching academy, which ironically is here in the Bay Area but since it’s all done by online, of course, they could be anywhere. And their approach is very much my approach, that we are holistic.
When we look at an issue in our lives, whether it’s personal or professional, it really impacts the whole you and it really impacts the body, mind and spirit. So that’s sort of my hybrid when I work with somebody. I don’t want to just hear your work issue or whatever because that connects to other parts of you. So that’s kind of in a nutshell of what I’m doing.
Ziv: One hell of a job.
Lucy: Yeah, it’s kind of a big nutshell, but it’s a lot of fun because I love working with different clients. And, you know, my background as a healer, whether it’s as a hypnotherapist or as a Reiki master, which I also am now, although I’m not doing Reiki in person because of COVID or as a coach, it’s all intertwined.
Ziv: So Lucy I have so many questions to ask. I would try to be a grown up and do it slowly. But there so many question. The first one, and it’s about hypnotherapy or hypnosis, I think for many people hypnosis is somewhere between crazy magic to a crazy shortcut.
Sometimes when you hear or see a hypnotherapist you say, why do you need anything else? Just go to the hypnotherapist. Then it will say, it will tell me that I’m healed and everything will be fine.
So if you can tell us a bit about it, you know in short, I know there are books about it, but in short, what is it? Hypnotherapy and how do you use it? What use cases can be effective and when it’s not?
Lucy: Yeah, that’s a really good question. I mean, there are stage hypnotists and it’s performance. It’s very, yes they can if you’re willing, they can make you quacks like a duck or do whatever that is like way out there. That’s so different from what clinical or medical hypnotherapy is.
You know, when you are willing to have an open mind to try hypnotherapy, you know what I say, the first session before anything is I will never be able to control your mind. You will never do anything you don’t want to do. And unless you want to quacks like a duck, you will never quacks like a duck in one of our sessions.
One thing that people don’t get if they’ve never done hypnosis or hypnotherapy is hypnotherapy is very interactive. Yes, I may put you in a close eyed or open eyed trance but it’s light enough that you are conversing with me that we’re working through, I’m guiding you for whatever reason it may be.
You know, it may be someone has, is getting ready, as an example, for surgery. And it’s not only getting them over the fear of surgery, the whole process or whatever, but it’s also building up their immune system because that kind of goes hand in hand. You want to be the healthiest you can be before surgery.
You know, it might be someone who they want to work, as an example, they might want to work on their negativity. It’s very interesting to me,It's so much easier to go down the road of negativity than it is to kind of readjust and retrain your mind to go down the road of positivity. Click To Tweet
And it works really well in hypnotherapy because we’re working on your subconscious.So if we can plant positive affirmations, positive thinking into your subconscious that doesn't know black or white, it just accepts what you tell it, then that will percolate up into your conscious mind throughout your day. Click To Tweet
It’s a lot of what I do in the beginning is education. And once we’ve kind of gotten through that and once I have seen, you know, I only work on Zoom or Skype or whatever, I want to see my client because I can tell if they’re in trance or not, you know, and if do I need to make it a bit deeper trance or do I need to lighten the trance so that they can communicate with me.
So if people are open minded and come to the table that way, it can be a very successful complementary technique to whatever they’re working on or want to work on. I hope that answers it.
Ziv: Okay that’s really interesting. So you say it’s also possible to do a hypnotherapy session through and remotely through Zoom or Skype or.
Lucy: Actually, all of my coaching or hypnotherapy work is all done online. It actually had already been done online. I was doing online pre-COVID, so I don’t really, you know, some clients, they want to be in the room with you but it really isn’t necessary. Historically, at least for coaching here in the States, it was done on the phone and when I started training as a coach, you know, I’m so used to seeing someone because of hypnotherapy in the past in person and now online that I have never done and on the phone coaching session, I’ve always done remotely.
And then in between sessions, you know, we chat via email or text or whatever the client needs. So when I was in my coaching program, the other coaches and the teachers were very surprised that I preferred it online. But that’s my training as a hypnotherapist. And I feel like you can build rapport and you can see someone’s body language and what’s going on in their face a lot quicker. So I continue to do that.
Ziv: So you mentioned like a few examples where hypnotherapy can be very effective, specifically in tapping into unconscious and then let things go to the conscious mind.
Are there any cases where it’s less effective? Where, like how or when do you decide to be a regular life coach or when to use your hypnotherapy?
Lucy: Which is a great question. Usually people come to me in the beginning for one or the other. However, you know, I also do EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique and they might see that on my website and go, oh, that looks really interesting, or they might say, I’ve never done hypnosis I hear it’s good for X, Y or Z. I’d like to try it.
I had a client for a long time. She originally came to me for hypnotherapy but after a couple of sessions she realized what I really need is life coaching. I’m starting a new job and I really need help navigating that. So we kind of switched into that. I wouldn’t say there’s nothing you can’t do in hypnotherapy, it’s more a question of do I have a rapport with the client and does the client have a rapport with me?
There have been a couple of times where I’ve realized it’s not working, whether they couldn’t be hypnotized because they were so resistant or so fearful or it just wasn’t the right modality for them or I wasn’t the right hypnotherapist. I mean it happens, if that happens the other thing actually is it might be it’s not hypnotherapy that they need.
They might need a counselor or a therapist for the specific issue they want to work on. If that happens, I’m very open with the client and say, look, I can give you a referral or I think this type of modality that I don’t do might be more useful to you for this issue. That type of thing goes on.
There’s been a couple of times, not many, where the person just couldn’t be hypnotized. And, you know, I have a very frank conversation with them about that. And again, it might be they should try something else. Whether with me or someone else, so it happens.
Lucy: Well, that’s a loaded question. You know, in terms of our covid climate, I think, and this is a conversation I have with my clients and I have with other coaches is, maybe asking yourself, what can I do today that will make me happy? Now that could be read on many different layers.
You know, if you’re an entrepreneur, as I am, of course, I could be working on my businesses 24/7. So taking care of myself or having free time or downtime or self care time many times if I don’t make it a priority. Goes to the bottom of the list, my daily list, and what I’ve really realized during covid, because we’ve been sheltering in place, we were sheltering in place for months here in the Bay Area and it’s still quite tight, is doing something when I get up in the morning, that’s just for me, now that could be meditating, that could be some sort of mindfulness breathing exercise, that could be gratitude. It could be different things each day. But making yourself a priority and everybody does that in different ways.
I love to manifest. I tend to manifest as I’m drifting off to sleep. That’s the hypnotherapist to me, because if I’m giving positive suggestions to my unconscious mind it can work on its own when I’m asleep and it puts me in a great frame of mind as I drift off to sleep. But you could be manifesting in the morning.But that question of what can I do today that will make me happy. I think that's really important. And of course, the answer is different for everybody. But making yourself a priority in your life, I think, is the real key. Click To Tweet
Ziv: What can I do today to make me happy? Should I ask this question daily?
Lucy: Oh, yeah. Because to me, every day is a new day and it goes back to what I mentioned before, we have a choice.We have a choice to live in negativity or we have a choice to live in positivity. Click To Tweet
So it’s a lot more. I mean, I had a client right before we spoke who it was the same thing.Realizing I could go down the road of negativity or I could stop that and just be positive about whatever the issue was. That's a daily choice. That's an hourly choice. Click To Tweet
Lucy, I want to thank you so much for this interview, for your so much your insights, your wisdom. Thank you very much.
Lucy: Thank you. It’s a real pleasure.
Who are you?
Lucy takes her clients beyond general coaching and hones in on personalized holistic therapies to help them bridge the gap and heal and nourish their mind, body, and spirit. Let Lucy guide you toward a more zen lifestyle with her hypnotherapy and coaching techniques.
Lucy primarily supports female entrepreneurs over 40 to unlock their best version of themselves. She empowers them to access and trust their inner wisdom and intuition for greater professional and personal success in their lives.