Hand-Holding Human

“Life is about the people you meet” – why you might want to talk to a stranger….

Posted on April 14, 2014


I found the Holstee Manifesto by chance when I was browsing the brain pickings website last year. At the time I was looking for inspiration; recognising I had to change something in my life, I aimlessly browsed the internet. The Holstee Manifesto really resonated with me and I sent a link straight to my partner who fell in love with it too. This poster became the fuel for the creation of my new chapter. I had already completed the “if you don’t like your job, quit” part and I was ready to continue pushing myself to the next level.

Now, this wonderful poster full of positive intentions hangs proudly on our hall wall next to the kitchen door and reminds us daily that to live life is an incredible opportunity. Sometimes, when friends and family come to visit I’ll leave them for a couple of minutes to read it, it’s always so interesting to see what they take from it and how it may inspire them to make a really positive change in their life; building a new intention for the future.

A week or so ago I had my third client assessment (part of my hypnotherapy and psychotherapy diploma) – naturally I was feeling nervous. On the morning of the assessment I took a few minutes to read through the wonderful wise words of the manifesto; I felt comforted by this and felt especially empowered by the line “Life is about the people you meet” which I suppose at the time was hugely relevant because I was about to meet a total stranger and support them to make a positive change in their life.

To help prepare myself I set off for the assessment early, planning to read through my notes. But instead of revising for an hour I spent the time speaking to a total stranger. This stranger happened to be the person who opened up the building where my assessment was happening, a friendly chap who was doing some extra hours outside of his usual care-taker role which he had done for 20 years. He was friendly and offered me a coffee and we started talking.

He turned out to be my miracle for the day. What I learnt from him in one hour was invaluable; it inspired my words and confidence during the hypnosis element of the client assessment. It turned out that he was a master in tai chi and was hugely knowledgable about the practice, chakras, meridians and meditation – all things that I have become fascinated by in recent months and keen to learn more about.

I mentioned that my sciatic nerve had been sore over the last couple of days and mentioned that when a friend of mine who is a holistic therapist had given me a quick massage, had mentioned that she had noticed that actually there were a lot of toxins which were moving out of my kidneys. He said: “Ah yes, you hold fear in your kidneys”. At the moment, everything made sense – I was nervous about my assessment, I had been the whole week; I now felt an inner calm that my body recognised this and was giving me a sign through the pain that I felt. And do you know what? After my assessment I felt nothing, the pain was no longer present and it hasn’t returned. I also learnt that other organs also house emotion – the lungs hold grief, the liver holds anger, the stomach and spleen holds worry and rumination.

We shared stories about breathing techniques, and wellbeing strategies for therapists and healers. Wonderful little nuggets of inspiration and knowledge that would help me in the future.

“Some opportunities only come once, seize them”

The most important learning from this whole experience was the fact that I managed to follow my heart and not my mind. There was a little voice in my head that was saying “wrap this up get your head down – focus on your revision”. ‘Old’ Hannah would have most certainly listened and done that, missing out on an experience to ensure that she studied hard and did the ‘right thing’. This time, I turned that voice down and allowed myself to be ‘present’, following my intuition – I turned that voice right up! By doing so I was rewarded with some invaluable tools and wisdom that I would have never learnt from re-reading my notes or picking up a book. Most importantly that wisdom was exactly what I needed right there and then, it was the catalyst which actually took me into my flow-state, enabling me to fully focus on my client session, to actually be with the client and walk alongside them the whole of the session (pretty tricky when you’re being watched and assessed!). I wasn’t thinking ‘I should ask this question now’, ‘maybe I need to do this‘, or anticipating their next response – I was in the ‘moment’. As a hypnotherapist I wasn’t thinking ‘oh I remember I liked using that wording before, maybe I should use it again’ or ‘that reframe could be helpful’ or ‘how can I bring in that metaphor’. Instead I was guided by the client’s resources and the information they had shared with me – the words were pouring out from me. It felt wonderful.

“Open your mind, arms and heart to new things and people”

I am a naturally friendly person, I love talking to new people and learning about new perspectives but never before have I had such an enlightening experience. I was then able to bring this in to my assessment and use it to help my client – but it also helped me. That knowledge that he so kindly shared has become part of me, I’ll never forget it – we were rewarded for sharing our passion. It’s so easy to read a book and then forget some of the key elements. There is a quote from Cesar Pavase “we do not remember days, we remember moments”  – for me this was a “moment” – a moment that has become a key influence in my development as a hypnotherapist and provided me with resources that I will share in some way or another with the people in my life. The nourishment I have gained from the experience is simply unprecedented.

We are all strangers to each other at first – our very best friends, our partners and our colleagues were all strangers at the beginning. If I ever see this person again I will greet him so warmly, like a friend I have known forever because he shared something with me that has become so poignant.

We spend time trying to make conversation with strangers when it has the potential to benefit us – maybe a potential customer at work or someone who could become a love interest or long-term partner – sometimes we’ll even pay for the ‘privilege’ of trying to meet someone! How many of us ever actually take the time to talk to someone we don’t know because we happen to be in the same place at the same time?

We all lead such busy lives – it would have been so easy to focus on my revision and shut him out; but what I learnt is that you never know what magic you may learn from someone who you just happen to talk too. In can be nervous to start up a conversation with the person next to you on the train, or the person behind you in the queue. Sometimes the conversation may not be fruitful, other times it could be just what you needed to hear.

Or maybe, those words which seemed so insignificant at the time will come back to you when you least expect it…….

I hope you enjoy the Holstee Manifesto and it helps you create an intention for the future that brings something wonderful into your life.



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