We think, and conscious lives are fed by our subconscious mind and inflicted behaviors unwittingly become us.  In a recent conversation with Gordon Davidescu, we examined sleep learning and the power of the subconscious mind in the comments stream:

I take walks, too, when I get stuck on a problem. I go out, think about other things and then later on the answer magically appears on its own. Consciously letting go of the problem is the key to making it happen. That’s the hardest part to learn because we tend to want to actively seek solutions until we feel we’ve solved it. Letting go of unsolved things is tricky.

I went on to share this method of subconscious pickling:

When I’m writing books or something technical and serious and I get tired or stuck or can’t think of how to clearly explain a complex idea, I take a pause and play a computer game to do some demon shooting or I pick up the guitar and play a song or two. Then slowly, magically, the problem I was working on begins to form “out there” in the ether and I can sense the progress as I’m doing those mind distractors. I’m practiced enough with that method now that I can “self-check” the sub-conscious to see if my mind is “finished enough” with the answer I’m seeking and I can get back to work or if I need to continue killing and playing scales a little while longer. It’s hard to disconnect from the task, but that is how multi-tasking works for me on a sub-conscious, problem-solving level.

Today, as I continue to reflect on that conversation, I am reminded of determined lucid dreaming and pillow positioning to cultivate the subconscious while asleep — but how can we progressively access the power of the subconscious mind while awake?

We begin by planting position markers in the subconscious — a color, a keyword, a mile marker, a sound, a smell — that become conscious igniters that a problem is solved, or clues that provoked processing is still in play.

For example, I have learned over time how to embed a thought in my subconscious that I can actively check on to see if my problem is solved yet or it — I liken it to how one has to deal with Floaters and Flashers by refusing to see them and looking past them for a larger, clearer, view — it’s the same idea while performing a subconscious status check; if you do it too purposefully, you lose the seventh subconscious sense of the method because your active mind will take over your thoughts and erase the subconscious solution, and so you have to carefully “look beyond” the horizon of your mind without disturbing the landscape below to see if there are any wave indicators that the matter is ready for active attacking.

The subconscious is always brewing answers to many problems because it is contextless, frameless, and timeless, and to take advantage of that immersion multitasking, we have to let go of the idea that we can only think about one thing at a time to be an effective presence.  By accepting the expanding truth that our subconscious is always churning and rippling for our attention, we can then begin to filter better answers in quicker succession.

Plant a problem or two or three in your mind — cover them with the subconscious veil and do something else — and then check in, without being obvious, to see if the ideas are finished or not. I get seventh sense tingling that tells me it is time to touch the answer I’m seeking.

The trick to it all is knowing exactly when to strike the subconscious solution into the active mind, and you achieve that feat only with practice and failure and slowly finding your way to proven success by presenting answers and ideas that are more robust, and genuine, than anything you could have actively crafted in situ real time.


  1. I’ve been using this tool for quite some time now. It’s effective and it works. I use it almost to a fault. If I can’t come up with a plausible solution immediately (say for a child’s request) I’ll put them on ‘hold’ till I can. I’ve had family members chafe at me over this; but when the decision is made, it’s one I can stand by.

      1. In all honesty, I hadn’t thought of the alert. It now poses another ‘thing’ I will put to the back of my mind and muse on. 🙂
        As I think of how things have evolved in the past, something, as in a situation, key word, etc. alerts me. Or the solved issue will suddenly be at the forefront of my thoughts. That is how it’s worked for me.

        1. Thanks for sharing your process, Lillian. I didn’t want to be too specific about my triggers in the article — I actually call the “charms” — because I didn’t want to lock anyone into my process and not let them explore theirs.

          I have several charm alerts now — but one of my first was the very specific and wonderful smell of a certain kind of cinnamon cookie my grandfather used to bake many decades ago — that scent was always comforting and delicious and that unique flavor was, and still is, totally unique and identifiable.

          As I was working on my subconscious training year ago, my first charm was the smell of those cookies baking — that warm cinnamon signal meant it was okay to actively check for the answer I was seeking — and it was always an eerie experience to have the solution delivered via a childhood memory flavoring.

          1. Oh, I get your method now. I can see that working. I’ve always been at the mercy of the problem, rather than me having control of the issue.

          2. The real trick is submitting something to the subconscious in real time for processing while you’re under pressure — like in a meeting or a group setting — and you have to change the subject to give your subconscious the opportunity to take over.

            Sometimes you can excuse yourself to the bathroom or ask a question so someone else has to “go active” while you’re “spacing out” waiting for the charm to set and signal.

            It’s always a great feeling, after a pause, or a moment or longer, to finally say, “Okay, I know what to do now.”

  2. What I really want is a transcript of the conversation that led to this blog in the first place. It had to have been interesting. 🙂

    1. Here’s the article that started the conversation:


      People I know tell me when this charm planting process begins I sort of appear to leave the room even though I’m still there. People who don’t know me well will ask, “What are you thinking?” — and that can be a problem because to answer them honestly, you’d say, “Nothing.” — even though they know something is going on in your mind.

      I’ve learned how to deflect those inquiries during charm association — I usually just refer to a memory or something because that seems to calm the inquisitor that they “know” what’s going on, even though they do not.

      1. And here the so-called advisors of the world have consistently told me that when a man says he’s thinking “nothing”, it’s TRUE! HA! I have evidence to the contrary!

        But, I understand, I’ve been known to do the same thing. Not associating per se, but quietly musing.

        It’s the deflection part I have a hard time with. I don’t want to ignore the question, but it’s literally impossible to answer.

        1. Right! The risk of having to deflect is having to start the process all over. That’s why it’s best, when first experimenting with charm nourishing, to physically leave the room or take a break if you are not in friendly company — because you will get asked what you’re thinking because most people are befuddled by the disassociation.

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