...Very sleepy. And truly- I am. But I'm going to put off bed for just a bit so that I can keep my promise to update more often and tell you about the hypnotist show that was over a week ago at this point. (Take a deep breath from that huge run-on sentence.)
So, truth be told, I have ALWAYS wanted to be hypnotized. The comedic hypnotist that came to William and Mary every August was my absolute favorite special event, and the idea of hypnosis fascinated me. (Probably because he kept saying it felt like 6-8 hours of sleep, and really- it does.)
I was the absolute last volunteer that was called to come up. I had to jump up and down and practically stand on my head to get him to pick me, but so be it. I have no shame anyway which makes me perfect for a show where a stranger commands you to embarrass yourself in front of a crowd. There's me. Back right, rocking my VT gear after our first win of the season.
He began to do his thing. I honestly don't remember much of what he said, but I know he told me to think of a place I loved and let my body relax. I thought of the monkey hammock on our porch on a cool evening and made my tight, anxiety prone muscles chill out. I was really nervous, because I knew hypnosis doesn't always work. There was a reason he pulled twenty people up on the stage; some of us were not going to get it. As we became more and more entranced, the lady next to me dropped her head onto my shoulder. I didn't care. I was in my hammock swing. But it did make it a little awkward when he told me my "arm was light as a feather and would begin to float up." It did. And apparently I snuggled the ladies hair a little bit. Ha ha! Clearly I was under, so here we go! Let's have some fun kids!
At this point, the hypnotist came to me said "when I wake you up, you won't remember your name," and proceeded to snap at me to get my attention. My eyes fluttered open as he said "Hi! What's your name?" I blanked. I'm not even kidding! Take a look at my face there. I had no clue. I knew I knew my name, but I just couldn't think of it. Like song lyrics you're trying to remember from a tune you loved as a kid. It's there... but it's not there. My confusion was obvious. He praised me, pushed my head down, and commanded "Go to sleep." I did.
And sleep we did. On our neighbors. On ourselves. Completely limp. Completely listless. It was a wonderful, beautiful thing.
Until he gave us our first command. "Every time I say the word 'Knoxville', you will believe the person next to you farted and it smells awful! When I say 'Tennessee' You'll believe that I farted. And it smells even worse." Here he is telling the man in the yellow hat how much he "loves Tennessee." See my reaction. Now I know you're all probably wondering if I was hallucinating a smell. I wasn't. I didn't actually smell anything, but my body automatically reacted like it did. Because that's what he told me to do. And I had long since decided in my subconscious that everything he said was the truth. I know in the back of my mind, I knew I was on a show; however, it's hard to describe the way you feel. I really felt the way he told me to feel. I'm sure I could have broken my concentration and walked off the stage at any point, but as long as my mind wanted to stay hypnotized, it did.
He pulled certain people out to do funny skits like "be Garth Brooks" or "dance like Lady Gaga." I wasn't one of those, but here are some of the things we all did together. At this point he told us to imagine that we are watching a movie, and it is the funniest movie we have ever seen. My subconscious replied with uncontrollable, gut busting laughter. I was gripping my seat and rocking back and forth I was laughing so hard! (Sorry the pics are blurry- no flash was allowed. It would have broken our trance like state.)
Almost immediately after our funny movie, he changed it to "the saddest movie we'd ever seen." I cried real tears. I sobbed so hard. I practically choked when he said a "puppy just ran out in the street and got ran over." (Cruel, cruel man. I know.) "Lady Gaga" in the pink hat to the right and I cried together, and every fiber in my being was absolutely distraught. Even though I knew it wasn't real.
To cheer us up from crying, we danced to the Sponge Bob theme song. I'm really good at that, because I do it without being hypnotized. ;)
Then, as the show was coming to a close, he put us back to sleep and told us that when we woke up we would realize that we hadn't actually been hypnotized. The hypnosis hadn't worked and we had actually paid $1000 to be on stage. (Not true at all. I only paid $9 and that was for my fair ticket.) He told us we were going to be upset and disappointed and angry with him, but that we couldn't be aggressive. When he woke us up, this is what I did... TICKED. I say that word describes my look. I can think of another similar one that starts with a P, but this is a family blog and that's a questionable word in some circles.
He took us one by one and let us give him a piece of our mind. Here is me thinking about how I've ruined our lives by spending $1000 to do something that didn't even work. I was thinking of our trip to Paris this spring and how 1000 bucks was a plane ticket that I had just wasted. I felt like a moron, and I was on the verge of tears again.
Then he woke me up for the last time. And told me to remember everything. As realization dawned on my face, I can't really describe how I felt. Swim-ey is the best word I can come up with. Like after sleeping 6-8 hours and waking up not quite refreshed, but awake none the less. I slept like a rock that night and continued to be relaxed for about 48 hours. Amazing. Loved it. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Now do I believe in hypnosis? Yes. But I think it's something you have to willingly surrender to. No one can control your mind without your consent, but when you give them access to your subconscious you can feel it. You react to it. Bizarre things occur. Well worth $9.