Try the same thing with the other modalities. Hear your own internal voice, or whatever’s going on in the experience in a loud, staccato tone. Feel the experience as hard and firm. Chances are the same thing will happen – the negative feeling will be intensified. Again, don’t understand this in an academic fashion. These exercises in a focused, intense way, being careful to note which modalities and sub-modalities have the most power for you. You might want to run through these steps again in your mind, being aware of how the manipulation of the image changes your feelings about it.
Take the negative image you began with and now take it smaller. Be aware of what happens as the image shrinks. Now defocus it – make it fuzzier, dimmer, and harder to see. Now move it away from you, push it back so you can barely see it. Finally, take the image and push it back into an imaginary sun. Notice what you hear and see and feel as it disappears from the world.
Do the same thing with the auditory modality. Bring down the volume of the voices you bear. Make them more lethargic. Take away their rhythm and snap. Do the same thing with your kinesthetic perceptions. Make the image feel sort of wispy and insubstantial, flaccid. What happens to the negative image when you go through this process? If you are like most people, the image loses its power – it becomes less potent, less painful, or even nonexistent. You can take something that has caused great pain in the past and make it impotent, make it dissolve and disappear completely.
You can see from this brief experience just how powerful this technology can be. In just a few minutes, you have taken a positive feeling and made it stronger and more empowering. You have also been able to take a powerful negative image and strip it of its power over you. In the past, you have been at the mercy of the results of your internal representations. Now you should know that things do not have to work that way.
Basically, you can live your life one of two ways. You can let your brain run you the way it has in the past. You can let it flash you any picture or sound or feeling, and you can respond automatically on cue, like a Pavlovian dog responding to a bell. Or you can choose to consciously run your brain yourself. You implant the cues you want. You can take bad experiences and images and sap them of their strength and power. You can represent them to yourself in a way that no longer overpowers you, a way that cuts them down to a size where you know you can effectively handle things.
Have not we all experienced a job or task so big that we didn’t feel like we’d ever get done, so we did not even begin? If you imagine that task as being a small picture, you will feel like you can handle it, and you will take the appropriate action instead of being overwhelmed. This may sound like a simplification, yet when you try this, you will discover that changing your representations can change how you feel about a task and thus modify your actions.
And of course you now know that you can also take good experiences and enhance them. You can take the little joys of life and make them bigger, brighten up your vision of the day, and feel yourself become lighter and happier. What we have here is a way to create more juice, more joy, more ardor in life.