is Positive Remembering?
Positive Remembering is PURPOSELY CHOOSING TO SEE, HEAR, IMAGINE or DO something which will automatically unlock all the powerful tools for change your memories have been collecting since birth.
real memories can do these things is:
Memories actually record the instructions your body needs to re-establish health, focus on success, find love, reduce stress, fear, and physical pain.
Read the following story to begin to understand the power your memories have stored away and how to can unlock them.
Milton kept looking at the window
he could get close enough to look out.
Looking and wishing so badly
he could just get a little closer.
Then something truly wonderful
happened . . .
Many years ago
a seventeen year old boy was totally paralyzed and
bedridden with polio.
were farmers, so while they went about the daily
chores they would tie young Milton into an old
rocking chair they had also made into a potty and set
him up so he could look out at the world.
One day Milton's
family got busy and left him in the middle of the
room. Helpless, Milton kept looking at the window and
wishing he could get close enough to look out.
Looking and wishing so bad he could just get a little
Then something truly wonderful happened. As he sat
there he suddenly realized
his chair was beginning to rock ever so slightly.
this and he began to wonder was it an accident, or did his
about moving the chair actually cause his paralyzed
muscles to move just a little.
movement of that rocking chair would have gone
unnoticed by most people but to him it changed his
He would sit
for hours staring at his hand and trying to remember
how his fingers felt when they
grabbed the handle of a pitchfork, and how did it feel to
climb a tree and hold onto a limb with his hand.
of swinging from tree to tree by grasping the
branches caused his now paralyzed fingers to twitch
and with practice to eventually return to his control.
Slowly bit by bit his fingers began
to twitch and move in tiny jerking ways.
months of constant practice paid off as the movements
became progressively greater and more coordinated
until they got to the point Milton could consciously
Erickson began to understand he was causing these
movements by constantly remembering
some activity he had actually done
before the polio.
What is Memory?
To understand what Positive
Remembering is there are six important facts you need to
know about your memory.
1. Your Memories are as real and physical as your arms and
Your memories are real, physical
things. They are not other-worldly, they are not made
of something that can not be seen or touched. Your
memories are a part of your physical body in the same
way as your arms, legs, fingers and toes are parts of
Your memories, your emotions, all the things you have
learned in a lifetime are "written" on the
real living cells of your brain. These cells are
called neurons and you probably have over 100 billion
of them inside your head right now.
Memories are real because they
can be lost.
know memories are real physical things because just
as you can lose a finger or a toe you can lose
memories. For example, an injury, stroke, or tumor in
the left side of the brain can cause a person to lose
their abilities to speak, or read, or write or do
mathematics. Alzheimer disease can gradually rob a
person of a whole lifetime of memories.
We know memories are real physical things because
damage to certain areas of the brain can cause us to
be unable to do something we've learned to do but
leave other abilities intact. For example, it takes
five different areas of the brain to speak out loud a
word we see written on a page. Damage to any one of
those areas causes a person to lose some specific
ability. If the angular gyrus is damaged a person can
speak but not read. Damage in the Broca's area will
leave a person unable to speak. Damage the Werniche's
area will leave a person unable to understand what
that written word means. Damage to these areas of the
brain can also cause strange problems such as a
person who can write but not read, read numbers but
not letters, or sing but not speak.
build up your muscle
you can build up your Brain
reason we know memories are real physical things is
the fact that learning actually changes the physical
make-up of the brain.
ago a scientist named Mark Rosenzweig discovered
learning causes the brain to grow. He found this out
by raising two sets of rats.
first set were rats who were raised in separate cages
all alone with no exercise and play area.
second set were rats who were raised in a group with
many other rats and a community play and exercise
results were so surprising to the scientist that he
repeated this test many times before he published the
was so surprising?
rats which were raised alone had smaller, less
developed brain tissue than the rats raised in the
stimulating group cages.
researchers have found that if a rat is stimulated in
a certain area of his body the area in the rat's
brain which controls that area will grow.
The brain actually changes and
grows in the areas
which control the things we learn the most.
person who spends thousands of hours playing the
piano actually increases the size of those areas of
her brain which controls her fingers. We all know
some one who because of blindness has highly
developed senses of hearing and smelling.
You can change the size of your
muscles by exercising them with weights
You also change the physical structure of your brain by
the things you learn
your memories, your learning and your emotions are
real physical parts of your body that can be
changed is one of the most important
ideas in this book. Imagine how you could change your
brain if you exercised it with the
weights of learning
something you really love. Imagine how you could change
your health by "exercising" the memories which
naturally boost your immune system.
2. You have a
tremendous number of abilities stored in your memories.
The human memory is the most
advanced and marvelous thing ever created. Within
your memory, right now as you read this, is enough
information to write a best-selling book, enough
mental pictures to paint as great as Michelanglo,
enough sounds to make more music than a thousand C.D.'s.
Your mind knows more about how to maintain health
than all the doctors on earth. A thousand computers
and ten thousand books could not contain what you
already have stored in your head.
memory is a vast storehouse of information ready,
willing, and able to help you change your life and
bring your unrealized dreams to the world of the seen.
memory is not just the things you can
remember at will, but much more, it's every
meaningful thing you've experienced
since before birth. It includes learning such
as how to walk, how to form sounds and speak
by putting your tongue in certain positions
or opening or closing your lips.
of memory we know how to speed
up or slow down our heart rate.
For example we've learned without thinking
that certain things scare us and even the
thought of one of those things makes our
heart beat faster.
of memory we also know how to raise
or lower our blood pressure.
We know without thinking that lying in the
sun at the beach or just imagining doing that
makes our blood pressure go down.
of memory we even know how to direct more or
less blood to flow to certain areas of our
bodies just let someone embarrass you and you'll
realize that you know how to make more blood
go to your face in the form of a blush.
3. Your memories can be active
or dormant "seemingly forgotten"
exist in two forms. They are either in a state of being actively
they seem to be
lost or forgotten.
people claim they have poor memories but scientists
tell us we have a lot more stored than we realize.
For example in a famous study scientists found that
25 years after graduation people said they could not
recall many of their former classmates, but when they
were shown a random set of pictures and names they
were able to pick out 90% of their classmates.
The fact is you actually remember much more than you
realize. Most of the information you have learned is
not lost, it is just in storage waiting for you to
you think is forgotten is really only in storage.
you ever pulled up to an ATM machine to get a little
spending cash and suddenly been overwhelmed by a case
of complete amnesia? You look in the mirror and see five carloads of anxious
people behind you and you can't
remember your secret number. You look in the rear
view mirror and decide to fake them out and pretend
to punch in your number. Then something truly amazing
happens. Your finger seems to know what numbers to
push. You are fascinated to find the number your
finger punched is the correct secret number
memory has stored many thousands of facts without your knowledge.
day not too long ago I found this Jimi Hendrix
cassette of mine in an old dusty box. I was really
glad it wasn't lost because a few years back I used
to listen to it every day while I walked. So I took
my long lost tape out to the car to listen to on the
way to work and an amazing thing happened, each time
a song would end, somehow, after years of not hearing
this tape, I knew the beginning of the next song
before it started to play. I don't mean I knew a few
of the songs. I literally knew what the next song was
going to be without a single mistake. After a while I
tried to consciously guess what the next song would
be but I never could. The tune flashed into my mind
only during the silence between the songs.
good example of this is my son's whistling tree. My
son and I recently visited a place I lived when he
was five years old. As we were walking around the
property my son suddenly stopped and smiled as he
looked at one particular tree.
"What is it," I asked?
And he said completely surprised, "You taught me
how to whistle under this tree!"
His memory had been held in storage or as we say
"forgotten" for all those years until
he walked under that particular tree. There
are many trees on that property but only one that
called my son's memory out of storage.
test if you know how to type.
Question: Which three letters
does your left pinkie finger control?
guarantee if you answered that question you had to visualize
a picture of either the keypad or of typing something to do
it. However, anyone who knows how to type could sit down
right now and type Q A Z with their left pinkie without
another test you can take to demonstrate what your memory has
learned without you knowing it.
Question: Do you know if the
tip of your tongue presses against your top teeth or bottom when
you say the letter "L" ?
trying it just now, you probably could not get that answer
right, yet you obviously have that information stored
somewhere "up there" in your head.
somewhere "up there" in our brain there are a
tremendous number of memories stored so well we're probably
not aware we even have them.
Some of them like the ATM and Jimi Hendrix memories are so
amazing they are what I call a "WOW!!! experience". Because
when they happen to you, you just think WOW!!!
spend so much time complaining about our bad memories and
hearing others complain about their bad memories, that when a truly
amazing "WOW!!! experience" occurs it's hard to believe. If we
take the time to think about how amazing these "WOW!!!
experiences" are we're suddenly faced with the realization
that there must be a huge amount of
information "up there" in our head somewhere which
seems to show itself only when we "know how to request it".
we take a little more time to think about our WOW!!!
experience we'll also realize how truly wonderful it would be
if we could find some way to release and use this ocean of stored
knowledge trapped inside our heads.
Your memories are grouped and connected
memory is recorded in the brain it is not filed away by itself
but instead it's linked with other related memories.
are recorded as complete experiences. Every sight, smell,
sound, other people involved, the place it happened, your
heart rate, blood pressure, your feelings and emotions about
the situation are all linked together in your memory.
memory automatically connects some experiences to others.
know of a certain kind of food that actually makes you sick
if you eat it? In fact, you probably can't stand to even
smell it, and thinking about it right now kind of makes you
For me it's turnip greens. I used to love to smell them
(if you are not from the South "greens" cook in a big
pot for a really long time).
Anyway smelling them cook and eating them was such a treat
for me. But, one day, I got sick and you guessed it, turnip
greens were on my stomach at the time. Actually they came out
of my stomach at the time.
Now, I don't think the greens made me sick that day, I was
just sick and I had eaten them by chance. Regardless of what
did it, since that day I can't stand the smell of turnip
greens cooking and the thought of eating them makes me sick.
Most of the time it is good for us when such things as sickness and turnip greens are connected in our memories. This connection could stop us from eating something harmful.
greens were really something that were bad for me, then the
smell of them would be connected with the feeling of being
sick to my stomach and automatically keep me from eating them.
Just as getting burned as a child immediately teaches the
child to keep his hands away from the stove.
One Connected System
brain and body may seem like two separate parts but they are
really ONE CONNECTED SYSTEM.
Every part of you talks to every
other part. Every single part -- whether it is a single cell
or an organ like the heart, or even the brain itself --
influences every other part. They are all like a wheel with
spokes, each spoke is attached to all the other spokes.
example, a cold virus enters the body and effects the whole
body - not just the nose, but also the emotions, the dreams
at night and the way we deal with other people that day.
just as on the tiny level of a cold virus that can effect the
emotions and dreams, so too can the things we see and feel
and think and dream effect our body on the cellular level.
of helplessness and hopelessness have been shown to cause the
cells of the immune system to slow down their attack on
disease. (more on this in the next chapter)
can thoughts and feelings "talk" to the cells of
And how can individual cells "talk" to your
thoughts and feelings?
is your brain and body have a system like the U.S. Post Office.
address a letter you include the name, street, city, state and
zip code of the person you want the letter to be delivered to.
The post office sorts the mail and hand delivers each piece to
the mailbox at that certain address (most of the time)
LETTERS -- Instead of "letters"
your body and brain have extremely small substances which are
called by many different names such as Hormones,
Neurotransmitters, Endorphins etc.
ADDRESS -- Instead of having a written
address like the U.S. Mail - your body's "letters"
have a certain shape like a "key".
MAILBOXES -- On each cell in your body
there are tiny "mailbox" like receptors. Each of
these "mailbox" receptors is also shaped a certain
way like a "lock" so that only the right shaped
"key" can be delivered.
"talk" to the cells of your body using this system.
And not only can the brain talk to the body but the body can also
talk back to the brain.
of the body can send their own "letters
shaped like keys" which travel back to the brain and
fit into the right "mailbox locks" there. It is like
the body is saying "I heard you and this is what I think".
and mind use these tiny "letters" to do such things as:
3. blood pressure,
4. heart rate and breathing rate,
5. sexual development,
6. blood sugar levels,
7. pain reduction or pain blocking,
8. and the recording and recalling of memories.
brain stores your memories, thoughts and feelings with the same
substances it uses to regulate things in the body. EVERY PART IS
This wonderful communication system is how thoughts which are as real and physical as any other part
of your body can influence the working of the cells of your
This is also how the cells of your body can influence the
thoughts, feelings and dreams of your mind.
5. You can make a memory active by
seeing, hearing, feeling, doing or imagining something connected
to that memory.
In each of
the above "WOW!!! Experiences" there was some ACTION that seemed to
act as a key that unlocked the memory such as:
the buttons on the ATM, or
for the silence after the song, or
your fingers on the keyboard
sight of the tree.
memories were ALWAYS RECALLED by something related to the memory.
memories are stored like library books. If you want to find a
certain book you look it up either by the subject, or by the
title, or by the author's name:
Remembering your memories, your feelings, your
ATM numbers are like finding a library book - they will not be
"remembered" until you look them up by activating something that has been stored with them.
example, the sight of the tree automatically helped my son's
brain look up the forgotten memory of learning to whistle. The
tree also unlocked the memory of me being there and how he felt
great about learning to whistle. He effortlessly recalled the
whole learning to whistle experience out of storage by the sight
of that one tree.
Choose to Remember and therefore choose to CHANGE: By purposely seeing, hearing, doing or imagining something
related to the memory you want to recall.
Remembering Activates Everything Connected
what I'm about to tell you is one of the most important concepts
I want you to remember.
It is the key to understanding how Positive Remembering works.
When YOU choose to see,
hear, do or imagine something you are:
COMMMANDING - your brain to remember other
related memories, thoughts, feelings and activities.
ORDERING - your body to feel and function
the way it did when those memories were recorded.
In other words your heart rate, blood pressure, muscle
tension, etc. will be like they were when those memories were
COMMANDING - opposite memories, emotions and body states to be put back in storage or "forgotten".
Memories like fear
are forgotten when opposite emotions are remembered.
the famous hypno-therapist Emil Coué wrote:
thought solely occupying our mind becomes true for us and tends to transform itself into action."
was a pharmacist by training but he became fascinated with
the practice of hypnotism. After years of study he opened a
free clinic in Nancy, France where he eventually treated
between 15,000 to 40,000 patients annually. In the early 1920's
Coué's fame spread all over the western world and many
"Coué Institutes" were opened in Europe and the U.S.
believed that every thought (OR MEMORY) dominating the mind ordered the brain and body to take action. Coué noticed a strange thing
would happen to his patients if he could get them to strongly
imagine they were becoming well - all thoughts of
becoming sicker would go away.
"It is impossible to think of two things at once"
you are trying to do something what you are really doing is
imagining there is some obstacle in the way, stopping you
from doing it. In other words you are thinking two opposite
thoughts at the same time. One thought says "you can"
and the other says "you can't". Coué came to
understand that both of these thoughts were giving
conflicting orders to the brain and body - but like a game of tug-of-war
the thought with the strongest emotion would always win.
most important discovery was:
thoughts cannot exist in the mind at the same time, without one of them winning
and sending the other to be forgotten.
He summed up his discovery this way
is impossible to think of two things at once. You cannot
imagine yourself getting sicker and at the same time getting
better. One or the other of the self-images must be chosen.
Therefore, if you can make a sick person think that his
trouble is getting better, it will disappear; if you succeed
in making a kleptomaniac think that he will not steal any
more, he will cease to steal, etc."
makes what he meant clear with this story.
that we place on the ground a board about 30 feet long by 1
foot wide; it is clear that everyone would be capable of
walking from one end to the other without stepping off the
Let us change the condition of the experiment and suppose
this board was placed as high as a [spires of a cathedral].
Who is then the person who would be capable of advancing but
one yard upon this narrow way? Decidedly no one. You will not
have taken two steps before you will begin to tremble, and
then, in spite of all efforts of the will, you would
unfailingly fall to the ground.
then, do you not fall if the plank is on the ground, and why
do you fall if it is raised high in the air? Simply because,
in the first place, you imagine that it is easy for you to go
to the end of the plank, while in the second place, you
imagine that you will not be able to do it."
When you give your mind a
strong, vivid image it will dominate any opposite thoughts. This image will
cause your brain to put those opposing thoughts in storage or as
we say "forget" them.
Children do this naturally. They
become a pirate or a princess. They don't try; they actually
become the character of their choice instantly and without effort.
Their whole personality changes immediately. For a time this play
orders their brain to "forget" the real world.
POSITIVE REMEMBERING IS
Dr. Lewis Thomas described
your storehouse of memories by calling them:
"a kind of superintelligence that exists in each of us
infinitely smarter and possessed of technical know how far
beyond our present understanding."
POSITIVE REMEMBERING is the key you can use to unlock the POWER of the super intelligence within you.
Positive Remembering is PURPOSELY CHOOSING TO SEE, HEAR,
IMAGINE or DO something which will automatically unlock all the powerful
tools for change your memories have been collecting since birth.
smell of a certain cookie baking brings with it the feelings
and images of Grandma's house that were recorded at the same
time you learned 'that smell' meant you were going to get
something good to eat and probably a hug and kiss, too.
If you want to feel that same calm, safe feeling you had at
Grandma's you can POSITIVELY REMEMBER by imagining you are a
child again at Grandma's house or you could bake the same
kind of cookies she used to bake.
sight of a growling dog automatically triggers memories of
fearing mean dogs, and all the related feelings such as
increasing blood pressure, heart rate, fear - these are all
But, when you Positively Remember a friendly family pet you
are ORDERING your mind to remember calmness and automatically
putting feelings of fear or tension back in storage or "FORGETTING"
can slow your heart rate when you're afraid, not by trying
not to be afraid, but by POSITIVELY REMEMBERING things that
trying not to do or think something - you are actually ordering the mind to remember the very feelings you're
wanting to get rid of.
The following story illustrates very
well how Positive Remembering works.
BUNNY CAN ORDER YOUR BODY to stop bleeding
memory knows how to get Bugs Bunny to stop a little girls
once a little girl who was a free bleeder who came to an
emergency room with a cut in her mouth that was bleeding really
hard. One of the nurses had a natural understanding of the way
the mind works and had an idea of how to help.
the little girl in the eye and asked, "What's your
favorite cartoon?" The little girl said Bugs Bunny.
So the nurse said to the girl "I bet if you
close your eyes, you can see Bugs right now in your mind".
little girl closed her eyes and shortly said she saw him.
nurse asked, "Could you have Bugs chew some gum? Can
you see him chewing gum and blowing bubbles?"
he's blowing bubbles" the girl said.
said the nurse, "now can you look around the room in
your mind where Bugs is chewing gum and see if you can find a
crack in the wall where the blood is leaking out? Do you see the
the girl said
I wonder if you could ask Bugs to stick his bubble gum in that
crack and stop the blood from getting out?"
seconds later the little girl said "Bugs did it"
said the nurse "now that bleeding will stop"! And in seconds it
did completely stop.
memories did the girl tap into when the nurse asked her about
Bugs Bunny and chewing gum?
her body had of calm Saturday mornings warm and safe at home
watching Bugs on TV. Memories of how sticky bubble gum is.
You see the little girl was a free bleeder which had probably
been told that if she bled she couldn't stop. So the sight of
blood also called out of storage the emotion of fear and the
learning of how to speed up the heart.
nurse didn't try to talk the girl out of her fear, if she had
she would have only made her fear stronger. The nurse simply bypassed the memories of
not being able to stop bleeding and instead got the girl to
remember Bugs Bunny. When Bugs was called out of storage what
other kinds of memories do you think were called out with him?
Right! Feelings of calmness and memories of laughter.
not have to fight fear - it will automatically be put back in
storage when an opposite emotion is "remembered". And let me ask
you this, what kid doesn't know how sticky gum is? How it
sticks to your shoes and how it sticks in your hair and Mama
has to cut it out, right? So if Bugs puts that sticky stuff
in the crack, it won't come out and the blood will have to
stop, right? Somehow this gives the mind the order to stop
the blood that it naturally knows how to do but hasn't so far
because the free bleeding memories told it not to.
have to know how the body stops bleeding to get it to stop.
memories are powerful because when your brain stores them they
are automatically connected to other memories, other emotions and
the condition of the body existing at the time. This connection
is the reason Positive Remembering can be turned on in these
conditions of the body (muscle tension, heart rate,
breathing, immune function) are influenced by the
thoughts, emotions and memories in the mind. Change
the memories and you automatically change the
condition the body.
thoughts, emotions, and memories active in the mind
are influenced by the condition of the body. Reduce
the tension in your body and you automatically change
the thoughts and feelings in the mind.
we see, hear, do or imagine changes the memories and
the condition of the body. See a growling dog coming
toward you and your memories and body will change
and Chewing Gum
Memories of Saturday
morning cartoons at home relaxing and safe,
ignore hospital, and gushing blood.
Body to decrease
heart rate, relax muscle tension and stop bleeding.
which in turn
feeling of fear in the Mind.
Body naturally knows how to stop bleeding-
it just has to be COMMANDED to do it.
this little memory lesson change the way you live your life?
1. PHYSICAL -Your memories are as real and
physical as any other part of your body.
learned memories can be lost.
learned you can build up your brain by continuing to
repeat something you have learned, like you can build up
your muscles by repeating an exercise.
2. MANY ABILITIES
have a tremendous number of abilities stored in your memories.
learned our memories contain more information than a
thousand computers and ten thousand books.
learned our memories can control the operation of our
body such as heart rate, blood flow, muscle tension.
3. EITHER ACTIVE OR
memories can be active - "remembered" or dormant -
4. CONNECTED -Your memories are grouped and
connected with other related memories, emotions and body
learned the body state of being sick can be grouped with
the memory of a food
learned our whole body, brain and what we notice and
ignore in the world are connected. If we change any part
and we influence changes in every other part.
learned the brain and body "talk" to each other
by sending back and forth tiny "key shaped letters"
such as hormones, endorphins, and neurotransmitters.
learned thoughts, emotions, memories are stored by the
brain by using these same "key shaped letters",
so when we change what we are thinking we automatically
release the chemicals we need to order the body's cells
5. YOU CAN CHOOSE TO
can make a memory active (remember it) by seeing, hearing,
feeling, doing or imagining something connected to that memory.
learned to remember something we think is forgotten all
we have to do is see, hear, imagine or do something which
was stored with the memory we need - like putting our
fingers on the ATM keypad, or seeing the actual tree we
learned to whistle under, or imagining a safe Saturday
morning watching cartoons.
ACTIVATES EVERYTHING CONNECTED - When a group of memories are remembered
they activate related emotions and body states and put everything
unrelated back in storage:
learned two opposite emotions, two opposite memories can
not be active in the mind together for long. One will
dominate the other. The strongest will put the weakest
into storage and make it "forgotten".
learned by imagining Bugs Bunny we could order our body
to relax and our senses to ignore the gushing blood.
If you want to learn more, continue with Chapter 2: Remembering for Health.
They call me Butter Bob, but
there's something more to my story than Butter.