Mind over Substance: Dare to be You
by Linda Lee
One evening last spring, as I cleared away the dinner
dishes, my 13-year-old son approached me for help with schoolwork assigned
to him in D.A.R.E. class.
He’d been instructed to ask his parents what we considered to be
the worst thing about the drug addiction. I replied that the worst thing
about drug addiction is that it separates the addict from God by mucking
up the channel by which Divine communication occurs. My son, being the
amazing diplomat that he is, chose his next words carefully.
He said, “You know, Mom, I actually believe that what you’re
saying is true, and I don’t want to offend you, but I really don’t
want to say that in D.A.R.E. class. Can I just say that drugs kill?”
My dictionary states that to drug is to “lull or stupefy.” Many
substances and/or processes can be used for this purpose including, but not
limited to, drugs, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, food, sex, relationships, work,
poverty, gambling, the Internet, TV, God, and even religion. The “drug” of
choice becomes somewhat irrelevant, because all addictions really boil down
to an addiction to powerlessness and non-living.
I have personally struggled with many addictions. My kingpin of addictions
was nicotine. I started quitting smoking in 1980. I finished quitting smoking
in 1999. This bona fide miracle was finally realized with the help of a hypnotist
and spiritual counselor, Madonna Kettler.
Before meeting Madonna, I had many misconceptions concerning hypnosis.
heard of people being hypnotized to feel nauseous when they smoked or to think
that cigarettes tasted like liver sausage. I’d seen stage acts where
people were made to bark like dogs and do other outrageous things. I didn’t
know what to expect but, after almost 20 years of trying to kick the habit,
I was desperate.
What Madonna did was to help me relax into a hypnotic state that is similar
to becoming completely absorbed in a movie or a book. In other words, it represents
a concentration of attention. She began making strong, positive, life-affirming
statements. It’s interesting to note that most of these suggestions did
not specifically refer to smoking.
She said, “…Your mind knows the exact remedies you need for a totally
healthful way of life. Your subconscious mind possesses an inner, self-correcting
system that is activating right now to realign past patterns and reshape your
future. By choosing and developing healthful goals, and through clear thinking,
you begin a new life, setting new objectives and with amazing momentum move
in these directions…”
The entire session lasted a little about an hour and was recorded on
audiocassette from beginning to end. Afterward, Madonna gave me the tape and instructed
to listen to it twice a day. I was to keep smoking until I “knew” it
was time to put the cigarettes down permanently with out stress. I wondered
if this was for real. I didn’t feel any different.
For the next four months, I listened to my tape religiously. I continued to
smoke my usual two packs a day. I became the butt of many jokes among friends
and acquaintances who kept asking, “Say, Linda, how’s that quitting
smoking coming along? Is it late to get your money back? I think you‘ve
become addicted to that tape…”
Then it happened. I quit cigarettes. Then, I quit caffeine. Then, I quit fashion
magazines. Then, I quit believing I had to be poor to be pure.
Then, I quit one thing after another that stood between me and the life
I longed to live. I quit addictions I didn’t even know I had. I quit associating
with people who made me feel bad about myself. I quit being afraid.
Maybe you’re one of those people who doesn’t believe in hypnosis,
or creative visualization, or affirmations. Well, guess what? Whether we believe
in it or not, we’re all being hypnotized virtually every moment of every
day of our lives. We, often unconsciously, recall the voices of our parents,
our teachers, our peers, etc. and play those tapes over and over again in our
brains. What are they saying? Is it positive or negative? Numbing out those
voices only buries them deeper. Furthermore, we’re bombarded constantly
by audio and visual media messages designed to make us feel bad about ourselves
so that we can then be convinced into buying whatever they’re selling
(i.e., alcohol, cigarettes, sexual aids, etc.) to “fix” what’s
wrong with us. Popular songs, which provide much of the background music for
our lives, almost invariably describe relationships that are addictive, touting
instant love (or intimacy) and suffering.
These forms of mind control definitely work on us but, clearly, they
do not work for us. The worse we feel, the more we want to numb out. The more
out, the farther we distance ourselves from our true selves and God. That makes
us feel worse and leaves us even more vulnerable to the effects of negative
brainwashing and craving an escape.
My life has changed dramatically as a result of reprogramming my subconscious
mind. I continue to experiment enthusiastically with incorporating various
techniques into every aspect of my existence. Even my work as a professional
photographer has evolved into a healing art as a result. I don’t just
take great pictures. My goal is to capture images that provide a concrete form
of creative visualization to help my clients and my audience begin to see themselves
and the world in a “whole” new way.
Paul wrote, “Be ye transformed by the renewal of your mind.” (Romans
Sister Hazel wrote, “If you want to be somebody else, change your
All addictions will eventually kill you. Even in an addictive relationship,
the stress will kill you. In the meantime, living a powerless non-life disconnected
from God is a tragedy I its own right. What are you addicted to? Change your
mind. I dare you!
Linda Lee is an award-winning photographer who specializes in unique
portraiture and the photo-journaling of weddings and events. Many of
her images are available as fine are through her studio in Woodbury
and other local galleries. She is the owner of Real Life Photography
and may be reached at (651) 578-9774.
Copyright 2001 Linda Lee - Reprinted from the October 2001 issue of the
Edge with permission.
Contact Madonna Kettler
(575) 534-1291 (NM)
(612) 709-5578 (Cell)