Mindfulness and the “Pink Floyd Moment”
This is a guest post by David Nelson, PhD
A few months ago, Molly and I were having supper together in a real nice little vegan café in Madison, Wisconsin. We were exchanging stories of our ways of helping people cope, and I relayed to her one of the experiences I had in teaching people how to relax.
I also explained how many counselors today are just very boring in their professions, and need to spice it up a bit.
You see, about 10 years ago, a gentleman came into my office stating that he had chronic pain in his lower back. He explained he was a carpenter and that the only thing that seemed to help him manage his pain was smoking marijuana.
He turned to me and said, “I heard you do hypnosis, and I was wondering if you could hypnotize me to be stoned all the time? I don’t want to lose my job with a dirty urine analysis. I figured if I could hypnotize myself to be stoned, it would manage my pain and I could keep my job.”
My first thought was, “Is he kidding?”
Then it dawned on me, “Why not?”
So, I looked him in the eye, leaned forward a bit, and said, “Yes, I can.”
So, I proceeded to teach the gentleman how to do self-hypnosis for the management of his chronic pain through mindfulness and inducing what I now call a “Pink Floyd Moment.”
This gentleman was extremely successful with this technique, and was able to successfully manage his chronic pain and maintain employment.
But more importantly he learned how to better manage his mind…period.
I didn’t think much of this at the time, but over the years I began teaching it to a few select individuals. Then about six years ago I was presenting to a group of drug and alcohol counselors at a national conference on “Awakening the Inner Warrior” — the power of the mind to assist in healing and recovery.
In the middle of my presentation a ‘little voice’ in my head said, “Teach the Pink Floyd Moment.” At first I shrugged it off. This was a room filled with 60 drug and alcohol counselors, and I was concerned they might not like the idea.
Fortunately for me, and the room full of counselors, I buckled in to my little voice, and asked, “How many of you would like to learn how to become stoned with just the power of your mind?”
Immediately, 60 hands went up into the air.
So I proceeded to teach them how to use their mind to induce a hypnotic Pink Floyd Moment. It was an overwhelming hit at the conference, and at the next morning’s breakfast, one of the counselors wore his Pink Floyd shirt and made sure that I knew he wore it for me. He mentioned he thoroughly enjoyed the presentation on how to induce an incredibly deep state of calm with just the power of his mind.
So, without further ado, here is the simple technique. It is a combination of visualization, NLP [neuro-linguistic programming], and some simple breath work.
The first step is to get yourself in a comfortable position, either in a nice chair or couch, preferably sitting upright.
Step two: Take a cleansing breath by inhaling, holding the breath for a second or two, and gently exhaling while the body relaxes.
Step three: Steps one and two are good, but can be made better when you imagine that you are holding a ‘roach’ in between your index finger and thumb, and then toke on the roach. And pretend that you are toking in really deep on that first initial inhale. Hold it and let it out slowly, and just feel the effects of your body relaxing, perhaps listening in your mind to some Pink Floyd. I prefer “Comfortably Numb.”
Now this is a REAL cleansing breath, which I simply call “toke on a roach breath,” and much more effective in inducing a quick relaxation over the body. I tell people to do this at least 2 to 3 times to get themselves nice and relaxed.
Step four: And now while you are relaxed, actually hold your thumb and middle finger together, either hand is sufficient. And begin to imagine one of the best buzzes you have ever had.
Now this technique infers that you have smoked marijuana in the past and had some good experiences. If you’ve never smoked marijuana, just imagine a real nice deep state of relaxation or a very mellow time in your life. However, if you had some real good buzzes in the past take some time to relive these while being comfortably relaxed in your chair. Enjoy the buzz for as long as you desire.
What is beginning to happen now is that your subconscious mind will begin to associate the touch of your thumb and middle finger together with a deep state of Pink Floyd Moment. And the more that you practice, the quicker and deeper you can go.
You can do this technique while sitting in a meeting, or listening to a lecture or just preparing yourself to do some writing. As long as your imagination or remembrance of a good buzz is not debilitating.
In all the years that I have practiced and taught this technique, I’ve had only one person show their displeasure for it. It was a woman who worried it would trigger cravings in people. I told her that would be wonderful because then this person will now have an alternative to manage his or her cravings, rather than actually go and get buzzed.
And, yes, it is best to be very judicious in teaching this technique to others. Obviously, you would not teach this to someone who just came out of drug rehabilitation. But for a group of drug and alcohol counselors, who have been stable for long time, it was a very positive experience….and fun! I know I enjoy it!
So I hope you enjoyed this brief article, and now for some reason I’m craving a pizza.
David Nelson, Ph.D. is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Hypnotherapist specializing in helping people going through physical, emotional and/or psychological suffering. He is also the author of Black Belt Healing: A Martial Artist’s Guide to Pain Management and Injury Recovery (Harnessing the Power of the Mind) (Audio CD included) [Tuttle Publishing 2010]. You can visit his website at www.blackbelthealing.com
Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller “The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman” and other books on health. She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes, healing practice and blog at www.MollyLarkin.com