“Where do you see yourself in five years?” This is a classic interview question that most of us have been asked throughout our careers. It was always a knee-jerk reaction of mine to respond with something that would indicate my desire to stay and grow with that company and to do whatever it was I could to help them succeed. Internally, I always knew it was a lie, I didn’t really want that job. There I was in New York City in 2010, a recent grad of a masters program in International Relations, ready to help the world and no jobs seemed to be available. Interview after interview, polite rejection after polite rejection. Eventually, I found myself in a respectable position working for the General Services Administration –the real estate arm of the federal government. While grateful for my colleagues, it was just a paycheck. I was unhappier than I knew, feeling stuck in life with no way forward.
I received a rather gigantic shove forward from the Almighty with the sudden, tragic passing of my only brother in a car accident in California. No words can truly showcase how gut-wrenchingly painful it was to get that phone call from my Mother. “Kell, you need to come home. You need to come home right away…” I did come home to California after a life of eight years in the City. And as I write this now, that life seems so far away, so far removed from this new life.
My brother’s passing affected me tremendously. I was so very lost. If I felt lost before, it was nothing compared to this. Trying to process through all the emotions and stay productive was near impossible. Through grief counseling I came to see how many others were struggling just like me, and in some cases, they held onto the intense pain for 3, 5, 10+ years. I saw their lack of hope, desperation, fear and loneliness and it broke my heart. It also stirred something deep within that said- You can help them.
That small, barely audible voice played over and over. It started the research into healing grief, loss, and trauma. My Mother, a blessedly strong soul, helped serve as a divine channel to guide me towards reiki healing and hypnotherapy. I found kindred spirits with my reiki training-I am blessed to utilize this divine healing energy on myself, and virtually anyone I come in contact with.
Although truly grateful for my reiki gift, I still felt called to look further. I knew nothing of hypnosis in the beginning aside from the typical Vegas-style show where stage hypnotists would delight their audiences by encouraging guests to make absolute fools of themselves. It certainly wasn’t an avenue that I took seriously. Until I was encouraged to sign up for an intensive hypnotherapy certification program at the Banyan Hypnosis Center. The course, taught by world-renowned master hypnotist Calvin Banyan, blew my mind. This was no namby-pamby, take a few deep breaths and just let it all go type of process. It was hypnosis boot camp basic training! I came to understand that hypnosis is not sleep and not some wacky form of mind control. It is simply a tool that allows access to an individual’s subconscious mind –the seat of all long-held beliefs, habits and emotions. That an individual in hypnosis is always fully conscious and aware of what is happening and will only accept suggestions they truly want or agree with –such as wanting to be a “non-smoker for life”.
It was during the class that I came to realize that this tool is truly powerful and long lasting I was very fortunate to learn the most advanced techniques available in the field, that of 5-PATH®, five-phase-advanced-transformational-hypnosis and 7th Path Self-Hypnosis® –a mind-body-spirit approach to overall healing. My mind flashed to the members of my grief group, to friends and family struggling with addiction and phobias. This, this is how I can be of service. This is how I can help others to truly live instead of just surviving through life! How thrilling, how exciting! How purposeful this feeling was…and still is.