In Personality Hacker Blog, Wisdom

I had a really interesting experience lately.
sicknessI’ve been sick for about a month. Every time I thought I was getting better a new symptom would start up. I’ve learned a TON of compassion for people who have chronic illness, and as I slowly recover I tip my hat to people who live with illness knowing they may not.

But I digress.

When I’m too sick to read (you know when your brain gets all fuzzy?), I usually watch streaming video online. I don’t have a TV and my laptop becomes my entertainment. So, basically, this last month I REALLY got my eight bucks out of Netflix. When I’m so sick I’m lying on my bed hoping for death, my favorite thing to watch are Crime Dramas and Investigative Crime shows. Netflix has a cool feature where it makes suggestions for movies and shows based on your viewing history, and after a short while the majority of suggestions were around crime and murder. Based on my viewing history suggestions and just basic slippery sloping, I moved onto Psychological Thriller movies, until finally I started watching full out Horror movies. I usually HATE Horror movies, but somehow I found myself watching them. This is where it gets bad.

I’ve always said in the past that I would be a great person to stalk because I never close my blinds or lock my doors. I just don’t think about it. But after feeding my mind on crime and murder for so long things started appearing really sinister to me. I began fearing everything from serial killers to Babylonian demons who suck the souls out of children. I mean, seriously, I was freaked out. For three days I wouldn’t enter my basement to do laundry or enter the attic to get tools. I’d ask my husband if he made sure to lock all the doors, and if I had to go somewhere I’d check the back seat of the car before I got in, STILL expecting someone to jump out at me while I was driving. I was panicked and my stomach hurt. It was a really bad three days. Joel (my husband) and I had a conversation about it, and he said “It’s all the murder you’re watching. Your subconscious mind doesn’t know the different between reality and perception. It thinks you’ve actually been watching people be killed in front of you for a week.”

subconsiousOf course, he was absolutely right. I’m usually pretty thoughtful and conscientious about my choices, but having been sick I was going with the path of least resistance. I had seeded my subconscious mind with information it couldn’t really handle, and my paranoia was the consequence. I recently read a great description of the subconscious mind. Like fertile soil, it will accept any thought and nourish it. And, much like actual soil doesn’t care what kind of seed is planted – a rose, an apple tree or a weed – our subconscious mind isn’t vetting what we give it, good or bad. It’s not making evaluations. There’s no difference between “reality” and perception for the subconscious mind. It knows what most of us don’t – there’s no real duality between the two, period. Our perception IS our reality (or, as the old adage states, it defines it for us). For example, if I watch movies for a week where people are being killed senselessly, my subconscious doesn’t know it was just a movie. EVERYTHING in my world is ‘just a movie’ to my subconscious, and at the same time everything is deadly serious.

I should probably state that I don’t think Horror movies are evil. They have their place just like everything else. And, of course, we can easily consume content that is G rated and still have a similar effect. An easy example of this is news entertainment. I think of the people in my life almost addicted to the stuff, constantly watching editorial television where people bark their political position and foment conflict with anyone who dares disagree with them. Guess how these people are at the holidays? The conflict they love to watch becomes the conflict they love to engage in.

What’s the solution? Similar to realizing your diet isn’t healthy, you can’t go back and change all the crappy food you’ve been eating. You can only change your diet from this point on. You can’t unsee what you’ve seen, but you can start a diet of more mentally healthy content. A few years ago I started to see everything I eat as either medicine or poison, and making my food decisions based on this principle. (This is a bit of an oversimplification, but if you’re trying to change your diet it’s extremely effective.) I remember eating fast food for the first time since I’d changed my diet and getting really sick afterward. My body basically said, “What the hell did you just feed me? You think you’re going to get away with that?” and punished me in a number of unspeakable ways. Whereas in my early twenties I ate fast food daily and it didn’t seem to register. I’m kind of wondering if this is what happened with my mind. I’ve actually been feeding it with good stuff for so long that when I fed it Horror films it punished me, and quickly.

While I’m still on the mend and watching more content than I usually do, I’m giving my subconscious big old heaping handfuls of positivity. My most recent discovery is It’s a great resource of wonderfully positive messages with a call-to-action at the end of each video. Simple things everyone can do. Here’s an example:

A film by Mike Worsman.

Video from KarmaTube

(I totally think that dude should be recognized as a tourist attraction.)

Thanks for letting me share what’s on my mind. I think I’m going to go collapse again. :p


p.s. I’m working on the third and final Rumi blog post. It’s just a little intense on my poor noggin right now. But keep your eyes peeled for that coming soon.

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Antonia Dodge
Antonia is an author, thought leader, coach, trainer, systems thinker, and personality profiling expert. As the co-owner and Lead Trainer of Personality Hacker, she oversees all the training programs and content that Personality Hacker produces to help people "hack" their personal growth journey and create more happiness in their lives.
Showing 28 comments
  • Iren

    Thank you Antonia – it’s really enlightening and helpful in this period for me!
    i don’t know (or better, remember ) how came you have my data for sending me a message but I’m glad that happened today.
    my kindest regards


    • antonia

      Hi, Iren! You may have signed up for the Genius Awakening free test at some point. Thanks for your comment! Glad the info was valuable. 🙂


  • Edward

    Hi Antonia, interesting to learn that this is not some religiousity stuff
    but very much to do with the psychology of our mind. Thanks for the personal
    sharing that makes it real and relatable.

    • antonia

      My speculation is that religion is an early form of personal development. That in no way diminishes it, and it would explain cross-over in some of the concepts.

  • Linda Stroud

    I’m grateful you have embraced being sick and shared it in a positive blog to inspire!

    Thank you!

    If you hadn’t, I would not have received this blog and the very well articulated message about the number our subconscious mind does on us if we allow the garden to “go to seed”.
    Thank you for reminding me that my perception IS my reality, and to be mindful of the seeds I plant.

  • Andrea

    Reminds me of something I learned as a kid in Sunday School – that what you take in with your senses becomes a part of you, and that God cares about it. There is a fine line to be walked, though, because one can choose to never look at the troubling or disturbing things and then you are unprepared for the terrible beauty of real life. I think it is important to choose one’s mind fodder carefully, and then to bravely test oneself against reality. I have to keep that testing bit in mind, myself. The world is full of beauty and horror, and our actions (informed by what we feed our minds) can contribute to either direction.

    • antonia

      I heartily agree with this. I don’t believe in shutting out information or refusing to see things because we don’t like them. One of the best ways to develop compassion is to really see what others are going through, and I believe we need people calling out that the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes.

      I think for me it’s been a matter of watching behaviors emerge and realizing the source. If you’re really depressed, maybe not watch so much news. If you’re anxious, possibly turn your focus away from crime shows. If you’re angry, are you watching a lot of debate? All mental diets should be based on the individual, contextual and responsive. Much like food diets. 🙂

      Thanks for the comment!


  • Joan Powell

    I hope you are on the mend and thank you for sending the inspiring blog.

  • Juan Trigo

    Antonia, your article is wonderfull, solutions for very common problems can be realized before hell breaks loose. The enclosed film “A million Smiles” by Mike, from Karma Tube is a great complement to your message. We thank you.

  • carol lang

    Hi Antonia

    So sorry to hear you have been ill. May be a way of your body doing a major exorcism of toxins and forcing you to get rest. I have been having a similar experience and am managing it by consuming a high alkaline organic diet of mostly juices, including fresh wheatgrass juice and managing fever with a tea of Manuka Honey, Lemon, Garlic, turmeric and ginger root steeped for ten minutes in hot water. Its a bacteria fighter and anti inflammatory. Give it a try. As soon as I tried this my fever fell 2 degrees and kept falling to where I had none within 24 hours. Listen to your body and do what it tells you.

    Regarding the mind, conscious and subconscious minds will bring you what you give them. Period. We have the ability to self heal in almost all areas. Its a powerful tool that we all have, we just haven’t learned how to use it properly. I see that changing in this century.

    Love the short film BTW …. a perfect example….this man has figured it out. 🙂

    This experience is a gift for you…I can see that its already working. Take wonderful care of yourself and thanks for being you.

    • antonia

      Thanks for the suggestions – I’ll definitely try them.

      And I totally agree with you – part of my paranoia was that I was going to manifest a serial killer because I was so afraid of it! 😛

      Fortunately, right now I just think I was a nutter butter for three days, but there was definitely a powerful lesson in that nutter butter-ness.



  • Marie Melite Kaajan

    Hi Antonia,

    I have a rather urgent message I would like to share in private.

    Have you got another e-mail address ?


    Marie Melite

  • Neal

    Hi Antonia,

    I’ve been thinking about this very subject over the past few weeks. I noticed just how many hours of crime and detection programs there are on a daily basis, this is not including the rise in vampire series and horror movies. It is reaching saturation point and to be frank, they are not very good productions, relying to heavily on special effects. The sad thing is that a great majority of society waste hours of their lives viewing this trash.

    Best wishes,

  • MsR

    From horrors to smiles, in quick succession…. My head’s spinning.
    Tonight, I shall run & jump to my bed to avoid being grabbed by the monsters under there…
    I did that as a kid & not once did the monsters grab me! So, it works! ;D Thanks for a nice visit to times past. I avoid violent, horror movies, anything that inflames my sensitivity. My brain is too impressionable. Now you have illuminated a possible reason.

  • sadie

    Hi Antonia, love your work 🙂 and yes, as always, you are right. Our sub-conscious doesn’t know what is right or wrong, just that it is. So whatever we feed it over a period of time, will become ‘a norm’. Sadly, it many cases, people don’t realise this and slowly the new ‘norm’ becomes their new standard of life per-say. And also sadly, as Neal mentioned, there is more films with violence, horror and overall bad news, that is fed into all the viewers heads on a daily basis. The young the viewer, the higher sub-concious uptake. It’s said that it takes approx. 21 days of repetition to change a (bad) habit into a preferred habit, which by then we do unconsciously.

    I remember watching wonderful fairytale movies and shows during the school breaks, Easter and Christmas. Loads more family comedy hours and wildlife documentaries which kept us glued to the set in amazement to nature and the world in general. I really do pity the young ones today who miss out on that. Even their video games are mostly shootings and killings. No chance for them to exercise their own imagination and creativity.

    Antonia – I hope you feel better soon. Not sure if you have heard of the “Blood type diet” which is a nutritional diet advocated by Peter D’Adamo. He is a naturopathic physician, not a medical doctor. His book is called ‘Eat Right 4 Your Type’. He claims that A/B/O/AB blood types are the most important factor in determining a healthy diet, and recommends distinct diets for each blood type. I can swear personally, and on behalf of my husband and cousin – it works. Really works.


  • Erik

    Hi Atonia,

    I used to “enjoy” all the crime and CSI shows until I noticed that on the evenings when I watched them, afterwards I felt really bad . All that murder, blood and inhumanity brought me down to the point where I saw only the bad stuff around me. I don’t watch as much TV anymore, but when I do it’s usually comedy and more awe inspiring shows. I feel much better and more positive.

  • Rita

    Antonia: Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I can relate. There are films and You Tube videos I should have never seen – some images still linger years later. And it’s remarkably easy to find one’s self on that slippery slope. I am much more vigilant now. And while not in denial of life’s myriad shades of dark I enjoy more than ever feel good things like the video you posted with this blog entry. What a great reminder of what’s important and of someone who truly loves life.

    This topic also brings to mind Bruce Lipton’s “Biology of Belief” – that what is believed most deeply is what triggers certain genes to express or not. I realized that to regain my health and equilibrium would require, in part, mastering the art of allowing ALL emotions to be and flow as they arise so the psyche and heart can settle back into the original state of causeless joy. Still a major work in progress. 🙂

    Wishing you a speedy recovery.


  • Charles

    Hello Antonia, My name is Charles and I wanted to share a bit of My story with You. I started watching horror movies at the age of 4. My well meaning Father loves movies and His favorite ones are sci fi and horror so I was introduced to these kinds of movies and books very early in life. I was a fearful child (born into an atmosphere of fear, anger, depression, addiction ect) and always felt insecure. The horror movies had a different affect on Me then just adding to My fear. I began to want to be the villian, or the monster because they where powerful and the object of fear. I had the perspective that if I were feared I would not have to be afraid of anyone or anything. I became fixated on one particular movie series and the character in that movie. It was Halloween and the character was Michael Myers. He had superhuman strength, feared nothing, felt nothing and could not be killed. When I was an early teen I had My first experience with having a girlfriend ( I was not popular and to have someone say that they liked/loved Me was undescribably wonderful.) I did not understand how crushes worked and after about a month this girl decided she liked someone else. I was devastated and the hurt, evolved to anger and then hatred and was a catalyst to the desire to be Michael Myers. In My mind that is what I started becoming. Now this is a long story that has been part of My entire life and has affected every aspect of it. I’m 38 years old now and up until the summer of 2011 I have struggled with this. In the summer of 2011 I began to have the experience many people call ” awakening” and have learned and been set free from from many things since then until now and the process is ongoing. I’m writing a book about My story. I say all of this to say that I totally understand what You are talking about. If You are ever interested in hearing more about My story contact Me at the email that I left in the required info.

    Thanks for listening,

    Be Well,

  • Sandra Bell Kirchman

    Antonia, it is surprising that you picked that subject to write on at this time, since it is the very thing I have been struggling with. Although I enjoy murder stories, usually the serial ones like Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe or Erle Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason, I have traditionally rejected horror as any kind of entertainment. This is because it scares me too much.

    However, my husband loves good horror movies, so I have been forcing myself to watch them so we can have each other’s companionship. I believe I have gotten an overdose, because I am now frightened to go to sleep or go downstairs to the basement at night or go into our backyard at dusk. It has gotten to the point where my nerves are frayed and I jump at the slightest startlement.

    Consequently, we have scaled back on the horror stories and speeded up on the action/drama type stories. It’s a compromise and works okay…sort of…but the alternative is like jabbing a butter knife in your ear. Sometimes you have to make your goals work to the least bit of discomfort, not the most.

    • antonia

      I completely understand making compromise. If you can handle Horror movies (as in, they don’t seem to affect you much) then I wouldn’t necessarily qualify them as poison. However, if they’re adding to or even creating fear and anxiety, then that’s poisonous to your psychological health.

      I’d say make sure you’re feeding your mind a ‘nutrient-rich diet’ to counterbalance that intake of anxiety-inducing content (watch/read a TON of inspiring, positive, and enlightening messages), or you know. Give yourself permission to say to yourself and anyone else, “Screw this, I’m not watching those anymore.” Don’t believe you have to live in anxiety for anyone or anything. That shit’s miserable.


  • André

    Hi Antonia,

    I feel what you mean. It reminds me of the horrifying night, after I tried to look at the “Excorcist” with Linda Blair for a 2nd time, together with my ex-wife. I hope you feel better now. If, ever some horror crosses your path again, try it with speaking loud Psalm no. 91.
    As I have always been medial gifted, already as a young kid, I always hesitated to watch
    horror/ghost movies. And it got really worse, after a very great experience in 1991, when
    I was involved in a life threathening act of exorcism. A famliy was haunted by a magicien out of the 13th century and tried to destruct this family. In the final round we were attacked by hundreds of ghosts.
    Please be aware, that we are always surrounded by elements of light and darkness. Most of us are still not able to detect this and seem to forget to consciously repeat connection to the light during the day, so darkness dissolves. Halloween is such a moment, where parents should consciously protect their children and themselves by asking God’s light to guide you.
    What also gives immediate release of fear, is letting a loving and trustworthy person rubb you back, especially in the triangle between your shoulder and neck and say a prayer.
    Good luck, God will protect you all,

    • antonia

      Whoa! That sounds intense.

  • Lynette Patterson

    Thanks for sharing your story although you were unwell. I trust that your improvement continues.

  • Kelly

    Thanks for that good reminder about “what you put into your brain” affecting you.
    I’ve heard it said a lot before, but your adding in your personal experience really drove the point home. Thank you much!! Going to add a few comedies to my watch list!

  • Pam

    Thank you for sharing this… As i have been sick…As i realized that i put myself in a prison physically and manifested outwardly to the point of not wanting to leave my house. And further enslaved myself! Dah on my part, because i knew this but didn’t know how to get out! Its been frustrating to say the least, but in reading your blog and watching the video… I started to laugh! Thank you so much!!! Laughter is also a good medicine as well as a smile! So hopefully now i can take that ax and destroy the prison i created for myself! ^_^*

  • Anofuctus

    Thank you for this writing, I enjoyed reading it very much and it is a keeper.

  • Yellow dog

    I hope you are feeling better.
    I just want to thank you for the really insightful postings here. You have explained the intuitive’s mind really well. Thanks for the enlightenment. I have a friend whose intuitive sense I have a really hard time following. He seems drawn like a magnet to unusual connections, patterns, shapes, spaces. They exist in 3D in his head, in super-sharp clarity. All the non-intuitives around him, like me, stand around wondering how he saw what he saw–and not quite getting the connections. His intuitive sense is not necessarily based on abstraction versus concreteness but on types of relationships among people. He sees patterns in other people’s behavior that seem to fall on a similar kind of spectrum, with end points “healthy” and “unhealthy” emotionally. These conceptions do not correspond to a psych text or therapist’s jargon but are drawn from his own intuitive sense of how people behave and relate. It is all perfectly clear to him, and usually mystifying to everyone else. However, he never fails to generate insights no one else would have–and if you decode it and begin to understand where he is coming from, you will be richly rewarded.

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