Once upon a time when I was an organic vegetable farmer my partner and I took a trip to Traverse City, Michigan to get out of the house and spend a winter’s day in a space that wasn’t surrounded by a couple feet of snow. We found ourselves in a locally owned bookstore and I got bored.

I usually gravitate to the gardening and horticulture section, yet I’d either read everything good they had or found little interest in learning more about something that I had been doing for close to two decades. So, I wandered…

I wandered past the kids books and novels and found myself in the psychology section. Titles grabbed my eye and I found myself holding a Complex PTSD workbook that would be my first experience in unpacking my history.

I had been in and out of talk therapy for most of my life. Some sessions were court mandated, while others were chosen. No matter how I ended up in the therapist’s chair, nothing seemed to help. I routinely felt like the chicken poops that stuck to my feet on the farm. I didn’t know what I felt, why I felt it, only that I didn’t want to feel so heavy any more.

I took the workbook home and spent the winter and early spring working through it, all the time fighting the feeling that I didn’t want to look at this heavy, dark junk from my past any more. Yet, when the pen hit the page and I journaled out my experiences I felt a bit lighter.

Yet there were moments of resistance, and times where I felt like I was running blind. I came to feel like I was, at times, blindfolded and searching. . . moving forward, sometimes not knowing what tools I really needed. I felt like I was working through a fog that existed in my own head, stumbling from place to place not knowing how to really resource myself.

FOG = Fear, Obligation and Guilt. This was the mind space cluttered with confusion, frustration, and resentment that I found myself stumbling through. This is the legacy of growing up in two highly manipulative households with two narcissistic, emotionally immature parents. The upside is down and the downside up. I loved my parents and they both hurt me very deeply with physical, emotional, mental and spiritual abuse. This is what recovery from an early childhood loss of sense of self feels and looks like. This is the FOG.

I have come to love the honest critique of our culture from a Toltec perspective, as laid out in Miguel Ruiz’s book The Four Agreements. Their perspective is that we live in a hell of our own creation, and that we collectively feed this hell with various forms of illusion including blame/victim, idealization and addiction to fear. Throughout my journey I have had to confront this hell, which is closely related to the FOG. This hell is not carried by ourselves alone, it is very much a collective structure that we remain trapped in until we individuate from these collective structures.

Those collective structures include the media we consume, chosen lovers, our families and communities. We are unduly influenced by these outside forces until we turn inwards, until we begin finding conclusions about who we are. In order to find ourselves in this foggy hell, we must first examine our foundations.

Where did we come from?

Why do I believe what I believe about myself?

What is the difference between what I know to be true and what I was taught as a child, teen or adult?

This is where 5-PATH® Hypnosis and 7th Path Self-Hypnosis® come to our aid as guides through the upside down, through the fog. 5-PATH® is a skilled tool for working through big life issues, blockages and self-limitation. 7th Path® enables the practitioner to continue their momentum towards healing and reclamation of the self in daily life. The two pair excellently and form a means to find deep, lasting renewal.

Since my journey began, I have grown and shifted and changed. I have found myself challenged to work through my self-healing, but to completely reinvent who I am and how I move through this amazing world.

For anyone out there struggling to find hope and feeling like they have exhausted all avenues to recovery, please read and reread what these words. 5-PATH® Hypnosis works because it bypasses your conscious mind and works directly with your subconscious. In hypnosis we can find the roots of these ill feelings and pull them out by the root with graceful ease. It is our honor to work with those who have the courage to demand change for themselves, for their families and communities.

You have the right to live well and truly free.