How Imprints Shape Your Life

By Lydia Wilson
For the Bali Times

KEROBOKAN ~ There are many similarities between humans and a computer – a machine that was invented to be just like us and its function is to efficiently help us do our tasks.

Imagine that the screen of the computer is our conscious mind, which is the thinking part of us, and the central processing unit, or CPU, is the subconscious mind, which is the feeling part of us.

The computer is controlled by the CPU, and like it, our subconscious controls everything within our body. It has many functions, such as it is the director of our body that controls blood flow, produces white blood cells to fight viruses that enter the body, controls our breathing and produces acid to digest meat or alkali to digest vegetables that we eat.

Inside the CPU of a computer there is a hard disk. All programs that have been entered into a computer are stored there. How the machine operates depends on how good or bad the programs are that have been entered into it.

All our lives, we have also been programmed by our parents, teachers, peers, the media, advertisements and society.

Although the subconscious is very powerful, just like the hard disk of a computer, it does not know what programs are good or bad for us. The job to accept or reject the program that comes in the form of messages that we receive is done by the conscious mind’s critical filter.

Once a message, whether negative or positive, has bypassed the critical filter of our conscious mind and is accepted as true, it is imprinted into our subconscious. It then becomes our imprint or core belief that will stay for the rest of our lives – unless we change it.

We have thousands and thousands of imprints; they shape our lives. How successful and happy we are depends on our performances. And how good our performances are depends on how positive our imprints are. This is so because our imprints create our feelings, which create our attitude, which creates our behavior, which creates success or failure in our lives.

For example: Say you have a positive imprint such as: “I am a lovable person.” Automatically your feelings, attitude and behavior will reflect this imprint. And you’ll find that it’s easy for you to relate to people and to make many good friends.

Can you imagine what would happen to us if we have imprints such as “I am a shy person” or perhaps even something simple as “math is difficult”?

One of the secretaries at the place where I used to have my practice was a 39-year-old who told me that she always felt that she was an unattractive, ugly woman. Her hair was cut short, for the first two months I was working there. I never saw her wearing a dress. She used to dress in shorts or dungarees like a young boy and never wore any makeup. On regression to her early childhood, we discovered that when her mother was angry with her for “bad behavior,” her mother used to repeatedly tell her that she was an ugly child and that she was not a girl but a boy. Realizing where this negative self-image came from and releasing the pain of her childhood was the turning point for her. When she came to work the next day, I was pleasantly surprised that she looked a completely different woman. She had a dress on, light makeup and even though her hair was still short, she looked stunning. Most of all I noticed that she was happy and her beauty shone from within.

Luckily for us that not all messages that we have seen, heard, felt or read will become imprints. A message only becomes an imprint when it bypasses the critical filter of our conscious mind and is accepted as true through repetition, practice or when we are in a high emotional state such as in shock or during a traumatic time.

Through repetition – When we keep seeing, hearing, feeling or reading the same message over and over again, even though at the beginning our critical filter rejects it as untrue, in the end it still bypasses the critical filter and is accepted as true and imprinted within your subconscious.

For example: A lot of women nowadays do not like their own body and feel that they are unattractive after they continuously see skinny fashion models on the catwalk or on television. The message is that being skinny is beautiful, and if you are not skinny, you are not beautiful. This skinny-is-beautiful perception started in the 60s, when the thin model Twiggy from England started the trend. Sadly, this trend is so unnatural that since then a lot of young girls starve themselves to stay thin. Some have eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia because of it.

Through practice – Do you remember when you started learning how to drive a car? You would have to consciously think how to operate the controls. It was a slow process, but once you practiced enough and the message had been imprinted within your subconscious, you drove the car without having to think first. Your hands and feet seem to automatically know where everything is and when to press the brake or the clutch.

In a traumatic or shocking time, temporarily our critical filter disappears and whatever the message that comes will enter the subconscious mind and be imprinted there.

I met a lady who saw a suicide bomber blow himself up in a restaurant in Kuta a few years ago. It was a very traumatic experience for her. She told me that since then, she could not bring herself to go to Kuta anymore. In that traumatic moment, the message that bypassed her critical filter and was imprinted in her was that Kuta is a very dangerous place for her.

As one of our subconscious’ important functions is to protect us from harm, whenever we think or are in a situation that reminds our subconscious of the incident, it reacts by creating a warning system in the form of a feeling of anxiety or in extreme cases, panic attacks.

So in conclusion, the real definition of hypnosis is that it is an altered state, a bypass of the critical filter of the conscious mind.

Hypnosis is just a tool that we use to access our subconscious mind. In a computer system, it is the keyboard that we use to access the CPU, either for bringing out the information from the hard disk or to enter a program or to reprogram it. Hypnosis is also one of the fastest and easiest tools we can use to immediately reprogram ourselves and to change our negative imprints into positive ones.

Next week I will talk about self-hypnosis to reprogram ourselves.

Till then, love and light.

Lydia Wilson is a transpersonal hypnotherapist based in Kerobokan, Bali. If you have a question you would like answered in this column, write to Lydia at For more go to

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