Today we’d like to introduce you to Janna Colaco.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
When I was little, my mother began a life-long battle with severe depression. What’s cool about little kids is they think the world is all about them, and they can fix anybody or anything! So, I decided at the age of six to fix my mom. I decided that when I figured out what was ‘wrong’ with her, I’d have the answer that would make her all better.
Even at the age of six or seven, I considered my mother to be my best friend. I spent many hours by her bedside, holding her hand, as we discussed all her psychotherapy appointments, and I began to see all the ‘why’s’ of her condition. During those years, it became more and more obvious to me that learning and understanding the cause didn’t necessarily create any emotional change… in other words, it was nice she knew why she was depressed, but that knowledge didn’t change her mood… she was still depressed!
In my early 20’s, I began to travel and live all over the world, seeing how other cultures interacted. During college, I began delving into psychology and self-improvement… attending seminars and trainings, reading, and generally working on myself… but I still had the guilty desire to fix Mom… even though everybody knows you can’t fix other people, only yourself. I still secretly wanted to help her, and I was very passionate about this quest.
In the meantime, I became a life coach with one of the organizations I admired; I married, had four children, and taught yoga. Over the next thirty years or so, I added lots of tools to my ‘transformational self-improvement’ tool box, and I saw quite a bit of success with clients.
On the way home from vacationing in Santa Barbara, I saw a green freeway sign for a renowned hypnotherapy college. It had been there for fifty years, and had an excellent reputation. I always noticed it. But for some reason, as we drove past, I memorized the name and decided to find out more.
As fate would have it, the very next day, a young girl who worked in our yoga studio mentioned her father was making a career change: he was ditching his engineering job to become a hypnotherapist. I must admit that, despite my thirty plus years of transformational work, I didn’t know much about hypnotherapy. I had always been fascinated with subconscious behavior modification, and had even dabbled in self-hypnosis for sports performance. I’m the type that believes there are no accidents, that these serendipitous coincidences, together with my unbridled enthusiasm, really meant something positive. So, that very week, I enrolled and began my training as a Certified Hypnotherapist.
After my graduation, I found a beautiful office in an old historic building in Downtown Fullerton. I’ve always loved grand old buildings, and this particular one had the reputation of being haunted!
I’ve been there several years now, and I am inclined to agree with this haunting business, but not in a bad way. The atmosphere feels comforting, secure and loving.
So… if there really is such a thing as ghosts, these particular ghosts are undoubtedly the friendly, helpful variety!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Life has not always been a smooth road. But each speed bump (some more like large boulders) gave me the opportunity to overcome personal challenges, figure out what worked and what didn’t, so that now, fast-forward ten years, I can use my own hindsight to help others.
I’m speaking of my very painful divorce. Despite huge love and support which, of course, showed up when I really needed it, every time, I continued to live in intense fear for the better part of three years. I swore then if I could ever figure out how to wake up from the nightmare, stronger and more confident, I’d use the knowledge to help others. In hindsight, what was missing in me was faith that, no matter what, everything was going to be ok. I was very attached to my fear, which is kind of like faith in evil rather than faith in good. Fear says, “I have to control everything, and it’s up to others whether I will be ok or not.” Faith says, “It’s ok if you live on a park bench. What’s not to like about parks?” Even, Eckhardt Tolle writes in ‘The Power of Now’ that he spent three years on a park bench, and he loved every minute of it… he was really happy!
Faith notices all the blessings and synchronicities, and finds the kindest, most loving people to put their arms around you. Faith takes away the old notion that things have to go ‘my way’ in order to work out. It’s stronger to let go of control.
So in my hypnotherapy practice, I help clients understand the deep feeling of ‘ok’ that doesn’t have to wait for the perfect partner, job, or money… and when they get that, the love of their life shows up, the money comes, and all their desires are fulfilled… once they’ve been totally fine either way.
Hypnosis access the subconscious mind, the feelings part, so relief can come sooner rather than later.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Mechanics of Grace Hypnotherapy – what should we know?
As a Certified hypnotherapist, I specialize in self-improvement. That’s so broad… for one person it can mean better health, better relationships, nice place to live, more income, habit control… the list goes on and on. I see teens for academic performance; I see the elderly for live changes and even physical issues… although I must point out here that issues of a medical or psychological nature must be treated by referral from a licensed doctor or psychotherapist.
I am a Kappasinian hypnotherapist, which is a style of hypnosis used by the late “Sigmund Freud” of modern hypnotherapy, Dr. John Kappas. I graduated with honors from HMI College of Hypnotherapy, which Dr. Kappas founded in the 1960’s. HMI is the first nationally accredited college of hypnotherapy in the United States, and in my opinion, the best of the best.
In addition, I am a Healing Minister, Reiki Practitioner, and Master Therapeutic Imagery facilitator. I am even certified in NLP, because you never know when someone with a phobia will walk through the door and need some help.
As a motivational/transformational hypnotherapist, for the most part, I’m known for helping people become more confident and feel their own self-worth. I help people improve their thinking habits. We have a saying, “Positive focus can only yield positive results.”
Lots of times, people try really hard to be more positive, but their gut feelings are anything but… they’re worried or anxious or nervous or sad… or they’re just vaguely uncomfortable. I help people move how they WANT to feel (good) into the subconscious emotional mind… that way, they actually FEEL good and FEEL positive.
Positive habits can be quickly formed in most cases, leaving chronic worrying a thing of the past. Positive feeling becomes the new habit. As I said… positive focus… positive results.
There is a spiritual side to what I do also. I don’t talk about it with the client at all. I am a natural, as well as a trained and ordained, healer. Many of my clients don’t even know that about me, because it’s something I’m doing for them that doesn’t require any discussion or participation on their end.
From what I’ve witnessed, most of us healer-types are slightly different from each other. In my experience, Healing channels through me naturally the moment I feel care, love and compassion for the client. I think I opened that spiritual door early on when I knew, with all certainty, that I would heal my mother when I was just six.
Anyway, as I facilitate their hypnotic induction, I sound like a normal person but inside I am praying my ass off and feeling an immense love for the person in the chair.
At that moment, all the right words to help them just come to me. They come in blocks of thought that are thick with emotion. It’s really cool! It’s like suddenly I know what to do, what to say, I have insight. And the channeling makes me seem so smart! But it isn’t just me there, and it isn’t just me who’s gifted… anybody can do that, really… When the love shows up, the help is there. Love is the portal. Focus intense love, and really mean it, and everything changes.
I think that’s why the Harry Potter books are so popular, because there’s so much that’s relatable spiritually. When I want to do good for a client, it’s a lot like Book Two… when Harry pulls the sword of Gryffindor out of the Sorting Hat. Harry doesn’t know he caused the sword to be there, he doesn’t understand how it got there, but later, when he asks, Dumbledore replies, “Help is always available at Hogwarts for those who ask for it, Harry.” I get to pull the sword of Gryffindor out of the hat every single day.
In this way, I don’t act alone. What helps? Who helps? I have ideas and feelings about that, but in the end, what matters is that there’s a lot of goodness out there, and help comes. It could be angels, passed on relatives, there are many theories… but I just call it Grace. I do the mechanical part… I hypnotize the person, I give the suggestions, but Grace is what shows up. That’s why I named my company: Mechanics of Grace.
In my personal life, I have very ecumenical views when it comes to religion and spirituality, and I am honored and privileged to work with all people. I only work within each client’s belief system. Many times, I’ve been asked to do past life regression work.
It can be very informative and give many people closure on a multitude of issues. Are past lives real? Who knows! If they help move a client forward on their path in THIS life, then I’m all for it. On that note, I also specialize in the Law of Attraction, and I’ve taught seminars and workshops on that topic. It’s one of my personal favorites.
I am most proud of watching people leave my office feeling better than when they came in. I am proud of the work my clients put into our sessions and the faith they have in me.
I think what sets me apart is my transformational background, and my childlike certainty that I can and will help people… I have learned how to read people over the past thirty years, and I have absolute certainty that the clients I serve are capable of tremendous breakthroughs. If you ever really doubted yourself, and a teacher or mentor really believed in you, you know the power of that. Most of us remember those teachers for the rest of our lives.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I have had so many mentors, and without their love and support I would not be doing this work. Credit always goes first to my amazing Grandmother. She was the biggest influence on me on all levels, and she was an amazing story teller. Good story telling skills come in handy when you’re hypnotizing somebody.
A dear friend and mentor, Fr. Joseph Charles, showed me what being committed 100% to another human being meant. A painting of him is in my office to remind me.
Another dear friend and mentor, Christopher Parker, emblazoned my mind with the concept, “When in doubt, be a human being!” among other things.
With the help of my friend Tammy, I was able to open to the more spiritual/metaphysical side of my gifts. And through her clairvoyance I have been reacquainted with a Mountain Man who guided us down the Salmon River in Idaho. I was nine, and it was the summer of 1970, His name was Cliff Cummings. His picture is also in my office, and when clients are in trouble, we ‘pull them out of the creek’ with his help.