Our first resident, hypnosis practitioner Morgan Yakus, hails from the world of fashion and has since landed front and center in the land of self development and change work. Morgan is a modern hypnosis practitioner focusing on science based techniques and neuroplasticity to create positive change. And for the month of October, her services will be available to members of the CAP community
Please share what you do.
Working, traveling, laughing, writing, playing in nature, eating whole foods and visiting the farmer’s market once a week, learning about new herbs and making molded chocolates. Teaching and helping people to understand themselves more through Hypnosis, Past Life Regression and as a wellness practitioner. Moonlighting as a hypnotic artist, creating environments through vibration and metaphor of the voice, while guiding them on an Astral Journey and to different landscapes around the planet, comparable to an internal IMAX.
Can you tell us a bit about your background and upbringing?
I grew up between Brooklyn and LA, my Mom and her husband are Buddhists and have always explored nutrition and wellness, which influenced my interests and desire to help people. My Dad was a recording engineer in the music business, I saw some incredible records being made. It gave me a look through a door into a magical world, especially at a young age, and influenced my ascetics and love for music. My dad engineered most of Stevie Nicks solo albums, she was one of my earliest fashion icons! I was in fashion for twenty years and in my fashion career I was fortunate to work in many aspects of the industry: runway shows in NY and Europe, press for Gucci, vintage inspiration for many well known designers, as a stylist on the Lauryn Hill Miseducation tour and later on I become a co-founder of the No.6 store in Little Italy, New York.
Did your shift into the more esoteric realm of wellness happen gradually or over time? Was this always an interest of yours?
Having been exposed to an esoteric realm of wellness since I was a child, it has always been woven into the fabric of my life. I’ve always been interested in furthering my study and practice of different modalities in the healing arts. A pivotal moment in my path, was when I was traveling through Southeast Asia and Australia for thirteen months in my twenties. The experiences I had brought my priorities and perspectives into focus. I knew at some point close to my 40’s I would change careers and help people, I just didn’t know how it would happen or what it would look like. If you told me I was going to be a hypnotist, I would have laughed. It was all a surprise. It started one day about six years ago with an herbal tonic and just kept going from there. When I had my first past life regression I had a profound experience. Becoming more curious, I read a lot of books and that’s when I decided to study and become certified in Past Life Regression with Dr. Brian Weiss who wrote the book Many Lives, Many Masters. Through receiving present life hypnosis sessions, I experienced changes which I had been trying to unlock for a long time. I’m also trained as a holistic health coach and in green and Chinese herbs (by Ron Teeguarden). Looking back, each event and training led from one place to the next, and every moment led up to now.
You came from the world of fashion and landed front and center in the land of self development and change work. We refer to these people (including myself!) as fashion refugees. Why do you think so many make the move from fashion to wellness?
There is an undeniable exodus, but to be honest I haven’t figured out the correlation yet.
What does your process, and a session with you, look like?
Every session is different, depending on the what the client needs. I try to meet the client where they are, and hear and see where they would like to shift to. The session focuses on the positive and where they want to be and how to get there. It is usually a combination of dialogue, sharing tips, techniques and trance work.
What does a day in your life look like?
Each day is dynamic, I’m usually working on workshops, hypnotic art projects and meeting with private clients in person and over Skype or traveling. I always start my day with an herbal tonic and it usually includes Cacao, American Ginseng, some protein powder and maple syrup. I aim to create a balance between work, fun and travel.
What are some common misconceptions about hypnosis?
OH lets see, unfortunately there are so many!
– You are not in control. False
– You will go “under”. False
– You will do or say something ridiculous. False
– You cannot be hypnotized. False (everyone is in hypnosis, all throughout the day)
Hypnosis goes back as far as ancient Egypt and Greece and was used in the sleeping temples to help people heal. These temples were originally regarded as healing places to access a trancelike state of meditation optimal for reaching higher states of consciousness. Inside the sleep temples participants would chant, dream, meditate and listen, finding cures, solutions and reprieve from a variety of ailments. Hypnosis is a state of focus known as the theta state. This state is experienced every night before sleep by everyone. It is the place where people report receiving many insights.
We are in hypnosis multiple times during the day, as it is a state of focus. Some examples of the hypnosis state are watching a movie, TV, writing or looking at your phone. When you see people walking down the street intently looking at their phones and they almost bump into you. That is hypnosis. In this state you are fully in control and aware of every moment you are creating. If someone asked you would you want to feel in balance with your surroundings and yourself, calm and lighter, would you say no? That’s what I have felt after a session and what my clients have described.
Why and how does hypnosis work?
Hypnosis can be compared to an interactive guided meditation. It is deep state of relaxation and a heightened state of focus, which is a natural state of mind (theta state). It is designed as a shortcut to communicate with the subconscious mind using images, sounds and feelings. Scientists are studying the brain now more than ever, as the brain scanning technology has improved and we have a more thorough and in depth understanding of neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to learn and adapt to our environment. They now know that there is a direct link between our neural networks and by developing our cognitive practices we can shift our thinking.
Research has shown we can actively effect how our brains rewire themselves creating new neural networks and overriding existing ones. During hypnosis, the client is able to access their own neural networks and neurons, letting the subconscious know that they don’t need the habit anymore. They communicate to themselves what they would like to create instead and this creates neuroplasticity rewiring the neurons together. I teach my clients NLP tools, interruption techniques and self hypnosis so they can manage their everyday life smoothly.
The work continues to take place over time. Eventually, clients find themselves living in this new pattern. It is further supported when the individual is consciously working to change their thinking around a particular issue. Through this cognitive work, neural networks change resulting in a different, healthier response to a particular situation.
How often do you recommend doing it?
Each person is different with their own individual set of experiences. A common thread between all of us is that we want to experience our own version of happiness and balance in life. In my opinion, from working with many clients and groups, what is happening is that the brain develops a pattern to adapt to an environment at some point earlier in their life. As the years go on their environment, relationships and location change, but the same patterns continue to reoccur. These patterns aren’t needed anymore as their environment has changed. This is why it’s a great tool to help the client create new positive patterns (neuroplasticity) which relates to where they are now and where they plan to go in the future. In terms of how many sessions each client may need, it varies. In general, if a client wants to work on a few things I recommend beginning with three sessions and assessing from there. They can follow up six months to a year later to work on something else.
If someone is stuck, what practices do you think are important for creating shifts?
If someone is stuck it’s because they are thinking about the past or future and they are not in the present. I encourage my clients to interrupt themselves, it can be a simple NLP or breath exercise or visualization. If a past experience is on a loop in your mind, I suggest zooming out the visual and shrinking it down and or turning down the sound on the audio. If they’re stuck in the future “what if scenario, it’s helpful to see the situation going in a positive direction and outcome. When we talk to and encourage ourselves positively (as we would with a friend, family member or partner) the body creates more positive shifts. Every thought creates chemicals and physical reactions within the body.
Please share three self care rituals you believe in practicing.
– Smiling. It creates good chemicals in the body.
– Massage, acupuncture, salt water floating (ocean, tub, float tank) and movement.
– Talking to the self positively.
What books are on your nightstand?
The Holographic Universe. Michael Talbot
How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior. Leonard Mlodinow
Animal Speak. Ted Andrews
The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking (circa 1984). Adiraja Dasa
Do you have any morning rituals?
Morning tonics, writing 3 pages or for ten minutes, meditation or self hypnosis and listening to music while getting ready for the day.
Do you have any evening rituals?
Reading, saging, burning moxa (mugwort) on different points of the body and self hypnosis.
What’s your favorite quote?
“Change your thoughts and change your world” Norman Vincent Peale