The Hidden Valley.

Out in the Sticks

This picture is of a hidden valley in the South Downs National Park.  The truth is, you are unlikely to find it unless you go up to almost the top, down the track to the left, then down into the next valley, sharp right along the valley floor … yes, you’ve guessed it:  I’m not going to tell you where it is. But last week my beloved brother Gerald was working there, clearing out the rubbish with his forestry equipment.  Gorse, brambles, scrub soon overtake the grassland, and his job is to open up the pathways again, and give the grass a chance to regrow.  What he did last year looks absolutely lovely now.  This will look great in a year. (All overseen by the appropriate countryside ranger, you understand.)

So I joined him for 24 hours, watching the fire into the night, him sleeping in his  stunning handmade traditional living van, and me in my trusty VW T4 camper.  A fry-up. Mugs of hot tea. Rich mutually encouraging conversation – not least about coaching!  Gerald is one of my closest friends, and I guess we’ll always be there for each other. It got me thinking.

Sometimes we fail to notice how the rubbish of our lives, the clutter of our homes, has gained ground. Sometimes it is only when a radical change like moving house forces us to really see it that we take action. And occasionally that can overwhelm us, we don’t know what to do or where to start.  But the longer we leave it, the worse it gets.  The thicker the scrub grows.  The more ‘no-go areas’ develop. You ought to see my workshop!  No, forget I said that!

If that’s you, the sooner you start the better.  It takes honesty to face up to the need, but you’re the sort of person who can start, aren’t you? And if you need some encouragement, just let me know.  I’ll help.

I’m not quite sure how I got my two-wheel-drive camper down there in the first place, and getting it out of the uphill deep-rutted tracks was a bit of a skill I thought I’d lost, but I made it home (with the overgrown rubbish sorted).

So will you.

Children Play in Peace while London Burns.

School children on the Village Green

I took this photo this morning, 14th June.  Children from our little village school here in Thakeham playing softball or rounders or something, running freely, chasing a ball, and cheering when runs are scored.  Beautiful. I love the innocence, the protection, the safe enclosed world of the village green and the kind teachers.

And the five-bar gate to the field is shut. 

Across the UK there is turmoil.  A government in crisis.  European leaders laughing at our politics.  And today a London tower-block on fire with people being burnt to death.  

And me with an overactive sense of responsibility. Am I to blame in some way?

For the last week I’ve experienced a sense of deep disappointment, a sense of not wanting to live here in the UK, or be identified with this people with their anger, taking their revenge, laughing at others’ discomfort, promising things they know they can never deliver, plotting to destabilise our government and nation … for what?  Today the outpouring of care and love towards complete strangers in need.  We saw it in the recent terrorist attacks too.

Amid, and maybe beyond, the deep sense of grief, I’ve discovered a place of peace and I want to share it with you. It comes with a new word:

ReMeaning.

I’ve stepped back, switched off the news, and taken time to meditate and pray and look for an alternative, a more useful meaning, a different perspective.  And found peace.  How far would I have to soar above the earth to no longer be caught up in the mêlée?  Two miles?  100 miles?  1000?  The earth looks very different from 10,000 miles out in space (above).

(Mêlée is an appropriate word describing “a large noisy uncontrolled crowd, in which people are moving in different directions and sometimes fighting with each other.”)

And from how far back or forward in time – looking back from three weeks? Three months? Three, or three hundred years?

None of us know the future.  We can declare boldly what ‘IS GOING TO HAPPEN’ but it is rarely, if ever, as described.  Speculation isn’t truth, and to imply we know what is going to happen in the future is to deceive ourselves and others.  There’s a lot of it about.

Time and distance are two powerful dimensions that enable us to ‘remean’ what we see around us.

Not guilty.

I’m NOT accountable for what others do with my vote, either in last year’s Referendum or this year’s general Election.  I AM accountable for where I put my ‘X’ on the ballot paper.   I’m not accountable for the mistakes, the lies, the fear, the selfishness of others.  My own are more than sufficient to inspire guilt and regret.  But guilt isn’t the final outcome for me (and it is never just one person’s fault.) All that is gone. I’m forgiven.

Forgiven.

Yes, I’m a ‘believer’.  I worship God, the Ultimate Intelligence, the Creator  – and for most of my life I’ve been committed to the spiritual journey of discovering what he is like.  (For my version of that you can go HERE.)  Something I’ve been excited to discover is his readiness to forgive.  Completely.  For ever.  I’m a completely-and-forever-forgiven human being, thank God.  Living in that global absolution is, quite frankly, like being born again: I’m clean, innocent, treasured, priceless, and I have the peace and pleasure of a new fresh piece of paper to write my  life on each day.

Valued and valuable beyond measure.  Like those little children in the picture above. And the people responsible for that towerblock fire.  And the millions living on that crescent Earth.

All of us.

Flushing out the Truth of Brexit – and most other things too.

time-reveals-truth

So the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has been found holding back, and people have foolishly assumed she has no cards of value in her hand.  Criticism from left and right has been piled on her for NOT giving away her intentions … and thankfully she has resisted the temptation, nay, the manipulative bullying, to do so.

Well done her, for she knows that ‘Time Discovers Truth’ as Seneca observed – and it is doing just that. How different are today’s commentaries than those of just six months ago! Even the BBC is subtly shifting its approach.

The bullying EU presidents are becoming more conciliatory as they get over their pride and have to face the power of democracy.  The mandarins are slowly changing their minds (and their jobs), relearning the meaning of the two words ‘Civil’ and ‘Servant’.  The economists are now making excuses for the (terrorising) forecasts they declared. And the europhile politicians are realising that the horse they were flogging is now beyond resuscitation. A sensible realisation in the light of the arrival of far more useful means of transport.

Except a few like Blair and Clegg who, for whatever reason, are finding change personally difficult. They are paying a high price in terms of lost credibility, though still raking in their millions I notice, Mr Socialist Blair.

Waiting takes the vanity out of things

It has been good for us to wait these last six months.  Yes, I personally longed for Article 50 to be invoked immediately in July, but I can now see the wisdom of not doing so.  I’m a naturally impatient person, but I know the very world we want to do business with post-Brexit is watching, and we need to be – and be seen as – trustworthy, law-abiding and thorough. The prize, I think, will be worth the wait.

Time discovers truth in my coaching practice too.

It may take years of discomfort for a potential client to finally accept that they cannot blank things out for ever, or fix things on their own.  The cracks get wider, the unhappiness can no longer be shouted down. Truth will out.

Time and again, that’s when the call comes – “Andrew, I think I need to come and see you” – and for my part, waiting for that moment makes working with that client so much more successful. The inner protests, the denials, the confusion, the medication, the disappointment are now revealed as what they are: cover-ups, painkillers.  The need to discover – or accept – the truth overtakes the embarrassment of having a need that cannot be satisfied by short-term, shallow fixes, or toughing it out. The painkillers are no longer working.

Thankfully there comes a time when the waiting is over, when the truth has become evident, when the cracks no longer respond to Polyfilla or being papered over.  We’re beginning to see that in the EU as outgoing president Martin Schulz said today that the EU is “hamstrung”.

If you feel like that here at the beginning of 2017 (or know someone close to you who is) it may be time to do something about it.  Here’s the number 0777 163 1945 or email me at andrew@powerchange.com.

And have a Happy New Year.

Andrew.

 

 

 

 

To Believe or not to Believe.  That is the Question.  TEN Reasons Why I Believe in God

Charlotte Gyllenhammar’s ‘Double Bind’ in Gothenbourg’s art gallery  illustrates the tension some people face about believing in God. A Double Bind in a relationship is where a person is caught in a trap of contradictory messages.  

In the absence of any ‘proof’ either way, I have decided to simply believe. Here are my …

Ten Reasons Why I Believe in God.

1. It’s so simple.

For me it is the most obvious thing, and anyone can do it. For 60 years I’ve listened to people duck and dive around the simplicity, thinking it is far too easy to innocently ‘accept’ the honest possibility of a Designer/Creator. I’ve heard all the “Who created God, then?” arguments. In the face of such design intricacies and interlinked complexity in the natural world, simply to accept that there might be an Eternal Being who was and is the Source of it all seems so obvious to me. Why fight it?      Here’s the next one…

2. I have someone to thank, thank God.

Yes, someone to blame for all the GOOD stuff. The atheist’s most embarrassing moment is when she or he feels supremely thankful  for something and doesn’t know who to thank. Beauty. Love. Health. Sleep. Life. Children. Hope. 

3. It inspires faith.

I love the fact that you cannot prove God doesn’t exist.  Or does, of course. Believe it or not, it’s a choice! (Yes, I know this argument is rejected by all the logical people in the world who question whether we have choice or not. They rather miss the point methinks.) This doubt-ridden world is crying out for the beauty of simple trust.  Who better to trust than a loving  Creator?    OK, here’s my next one …

4. It’s healthy.

It is now well established that belief in a benevolent God has physical, emotional and psychological health benefits. They live longer, have better relationships, are more socially contributing, less stressed,  and healthier. He has to be a benevolent God though.  Malevolence has the opposite effect.

5. I’m never alone. 
Allowing myself to sense the presence (pre-sence?) of an Eternal Spirit who is interested in me and ready to connect with the deepest part of me is massively reassuring. It means that I always have someone to share my life with, who loves me unconditionally and listens to my every heartbeat, wherever I am, whatever I’m thinking, in good days and bad. 

6. It answers the question “What’s the Point?”

It has been said that the two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you found out the purpose of that event. I personally am happy to accept that there IS an objective reason for my existence – which gives a sense of fulfilment and purpose beyond the decision of a couple of people to mate and have a baby. Belief in God may be subjective, but if it is true then he is ‘beyond’ us in so many ways.  I think human beings need that ‘something, someone beyond ourselves.’ 

7.  I haven’t found anything better.

I’m talking about an all-forgiving, kind, all-powerful, GOOD God here, not a legalistic, authoritarian, punisher of human wrongs who spends his (or her, of course) time dreaming up nasties for bad behaviour.  Mine is a God who accepts me and loves me just as I am, no strings attached. ‘Love personified’ describes him well. There is nothing I can do to make him love me more … or love me less.

8.  Heaven and hope.

The God I love has prepared a perfect home for my spirit the other side of death – heaven. Bring it on … in due course, needless to say. He knows the perfect time for my transfer from this world to that one, and has it in his control.  This conviction provides deep reassuring hope.  Self-deception? Maybe. How will you or I know? (Frankly, I don’t care. This works for me.)

9. I feel deeply deeply safe.

As in ‘deeply’.  I still feel insecure sometimes, and occasionally afraid, but the safety I’m talking about is much more profound than that. It runs very deep, the reassurance that whatever happens to me physically or emotionally, spiritually I’m safe.  Secure.  It’s an all-encompassing awareness that this God is absolutely on my side and that it will be, not just alright in the end, but unimaginably amazing. To quote that 2012 classic Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (sorry!) “It’s going to be alright in the end, so if it’s not alright, it’s not yet the end.”   I love that line!

10. History.
When I was sixteen I had a stunning experience that changed my life. I may tell you about it sometime. For me it was my personal entry into an understanding of God that has affected everything. There have been hundreds of similar moments since. Some people might call them coincidences, or lucky moments, or the ‘universe’ looking after you’, or just flukes. They may be right, but that doesn’t work for me. I think such moments have a spiritual origin. They are the Creator actively participating in my daily life.  I like that.

I’d LOVE you to comment on this.  Feel free to add your honest (but polite please, or they will be taken down!) thoughts.

Courage Always Triumphs.

SnapnDrag153
David Cameron reads the Gospel at the Queen’s 90th Birthday Thanksgiving Service.

So here we are in a post-referendum world. Of the 7000 million people on the planet, just a comparative handful of ‘little people’ on a little island off the coast of Europe have spoken with their hearts, and made a difference. Little people, each with just one vote. It’s called democracy.  Their courage changed the course of history. Things will never be the same again.

Courage always triumphs.

People who choose a life filled with courage will always win in the end. Over these last weeks, onslaught after onslaught of terrifying predictions were thrown at these courageous ones, and they STILL voted “No” to fear. The direst consequences, financial ruin, the inability to feed your kids, poverty in old age, the elites of pretty much anywhere did their very best to intimidate, rubbish, persuade and bully, but in those few quiet safe and sacred moments in the sanctity of a polling booth in our little Sussex village I ticked the Leave box, joined my heart with the risk-takers, and voted for a better – and quite possibly a more prosperous world.

Of course, we’ll never know what might have been, because no one can predict the future. Every decision you and I make is irreversible, so alternatives at that time and place no longer exist. There is only one life, and we are all living it.

Big Mistake. Huge.
Julia Roberts' famous Big Mistake Moment in the classic film "Pretty Woman"
Julia Roberts’ famous Big Mistake Moment in the classic film “Pretty Woman”

Just two weeks before the Brexit vote David Cameron publicly read these words of Jesus to a fearful world. “If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after.”  He listened to another David, David Attenborough, read the words of poet Minnie Louise Haskins reminding him that going out into the darkness with his hand in God’s hand is “better than a light and safer than a known way.” In the vote of his and our lifetime, he chose away from a life of faith to lead us with a message of fear.  As Julia Roberts famously said in Pretty Woman when she had been treated as ‘trash off the street’ by an elite clothing store, “Big mistake. Huge.”

It cost David Cameron his career, and us a very good Prime Minister.  Let’s not make the same mistake ourselves.

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

Minnie Louise Haskins

 

Willing Surrender, Part 1.

What it isn’t, and what it may be for you.

Surrender? For some it is a dirty word, implying weakness, fear, or lack of endurance. However, depending on the context, willing surrender has huge power. I’d like to re-write the word ‘Surrender’ for you. I believe it will profoundly transform your life.

handing over a key

Surrender is not capitulation to fate, chance or luck, but a willing handing over of something to another. For some, that is about re-trusting their inner selves, about allowing that deep sense of intuition, that gut feeling, space to respond. It is a million miles away from throwing your hands in the air and giving up. For others, it is releasing (or re-releasing) your life or a situation to a higher power – God, perhaps.

Surrender isn’t evidence of a lack of resilience but rather the opposite. This sort of surrender is evidence of courage. Deliberately opening your clenched fist and letting go of the rope isn’t anything like the same as giving up. In the process you overcome fear of NOT letting go. The first is characterised by willingly accepting the consequences of making a courageous decision (to deliberately decide not to interfere with the ‘natural’ process of events takes a lot of courage and self control). It is characterised by a ‘faith choice’ that, as you let this dream die, another dream or pathway – a richer fuller better one will be revealed.

One key reason for the absence of depth in the life of many human beings is the absence of surrender. Depth often comes from slowing ‘forward’ progress, so that our energies are refocused in a different direction: Downward.

Like a pebble flung across the surface of the water we can keep afloat by spinning round and round and going ‘fast forward’, skating over the water. Hydroplaning. However this is not the way to discovering depth. Depth is revealed when we stop.

ducks and drakes spinning a pebble

Some of us are terrified at the thought of stopping. We fear we will discover our own shallowness when we commit to testing for depth, that, all too soon, ‘going deeper’ will end in us discovering what we are not. We also suspect that we will find a significant amount of mud, unwanted rubbish (plus a shipwreck or two) below the surface. We become concerned that we will be embarrassed by the rubbish as it is seen for what it is. That may well be true. We may well be. But until we are serious about facing the less obvious realities we will continue to forfeit the sheer joy and relief of deep, secure, and comparatively unassailable lives.

Ready to willingly surrender? Maybe we’ll come back to this in another blog and ask what, how, and to whom. In the meantime, you could record a little of what you know about willing surrender in the comment box below.

“I AM HERE” What on earth …

The latest Sercombe motorbike adventure was to the Outer Hebrides.  Just me, my big BMW R1200GS and my red tent.  In case you’ve never been there – and few people round West Sussex have as it’s 730 miles away –  this string of islands is off the northwest coast of Scotland, windy, rainy and cold.

And in the middle of a mile-long deserted pristine beach I saw this:

Version 2

No footprints anywhere near, except mine, and by the time I left my idyllic wild campsite overlooking the sea, the engraving was no more – washed away by the waves.

Of course it was me. In a moment of spontaneous inspiration I carved “I AM HERE” with my foot in the sand – and the thought dominated my week, as I contemplated my life, my business, God, the universe, and my future. Today I’ve been thinking about it again as I camped out last night in the wilds of the South Downs catching up with some reading.  A bit existentialist I know, but the truth is, I am here, and I will be ‘here’ for a while yet.  Wherever I am, I AM.  It’s the inescapable truth, and on the basis that the truth frees us, I’m enjoying the freedom.

Yep, I’m here, and it is up to me to make of it what I will.

I’m not on that beach any more. I am here instead, writing this blog.  I moved on, came back to Sussex, and I’m two weeks older, and although I have a camera full of Hebridean photos – Butt of Lewis lighthouse, the rocky hillsides of Harris, Benbecula, Eriskay, and a welcoming pink roofed cafe in Lochmaddy – I can never, ever, recapture that moment on the beach.

In times of quiet solitude I become particularly aware of the presence of God ‘here’, where I am, with me.  It is as if He has said, not written in sand but whispered as a permanent statement deep within, “Andrew, I am here” – wherever I am, always. Regardless of the ups and downs of my life, I’m never actually alone. The Divine Presence, the Creator, present in the world He created.  With me. Here. Now. For ever.

And today that is sufficient for me.  In fact overwhelmingly more so.  Far more important than success, or money. God is here.

And He is where you are too – such is the omnipresent nature of the Holy Spirit.  Unhampered by the limitations of time and space, God is with you as you read this on your screen – closer, actually.

3000 years ago a gifted young shepherd on the run from his tormentors wrote about it. Stunningly poetic, he wrapped it up in a way I’ll never be able to.  I’ve put a few key bits of his poem for you to read quietly before you move on into the rest of your week. Take a few moments – ten minutes? – to stop and reconnect. And whilst you’ll already know that I am here for you today (yes, me, Andrew. Just a phone or Skype call or email away), far more importantly, He is too.

Enjoy.

E:  andrew@powerchange.com   M: 07771631945  Skype: andrewsercombe  Website: www.powerchange.com

Enter the Whistleblower…

This must be a creative season for Powerchange. So much is happening and it is great to be able to follow the trail. Synchronicity? Walking by faith? God? We’ll all have our individual views on how these things happen. For me, most of our techniques come out of creative work with my clients as I coach them. Ideas arrive and get developed and …ADO+Den+Haag+v+FC+Twente+Eredivisie+QCjXHIaexZQl

… Well, it started this time with me casually saying to a client something I’ve said hundreds of times, “Life is a game, not a war. It can sometimes be a messy game, and sometimes noisy, and we may get the occasional injury or two. A bit like rugby.” But then we followed the theme a step further. “When it starts getting ugly, less of a game and more of a war, well, you’re the ref, blow the whistle and stop it.”

We were discussing how … we’ll call her Fay (and she is a really lovely person, by the way!) … found herself getting furious because of something her partner had innocently said. Really angry, she told me. “At which moment,” I replied, ”the game has got out of hand. Stop it. Blow the whistle. Take the offending player off the field, and when things have calmed down, continue the game if you want to, or not.”

We have all seen it happen, and probably experienced it – the moment we grossly and irrationally overreact to a comparatively normal comment or behaviour from someone. We read far more into it than was intended, often amplifying it to an extreme, and then responding to the highly exaggerated version. It is the moment to blow the whistle. The trouble is, those moments can cause real damage, particularly to sensitive people, so stop the game. Call a timeout.

And it is up to YOU to do that. OK, you are one of the players, but in this case you can be the ref as well, after all, who else will do it? Your partner will have to stop if you decide not to play. The game-turned-war will stop. Send off any negative emotion (anger, fear, hate, humiliation, disappointment.) Show it the Red Card.  That way any further injury will be avoided. And when everything has cooled down, you can begin again.

So now we have two questions: How DO I ‘blow the whistle’? and How can the two of us stop the game becoming a war?

When we are coaching at a deep level we sometimes use a ’Bailout’ word in case the intervention becomes emotionally painful in some way. The same will apply here. In a time of normality, when you are both feeling fine and the relationship is doing well, take a moment together to choose a ‘Whistle Word’, a word that rings out loud and clear above the fray, that both of you recognise as the signal to simply stop. It needs to be a neutral word that is unusual, that stands out but is free from any accusatory tone. It can even be funny. It will be used to break the State of War that has developed. “Cease Fire” will not do, because it implies that one of you has been attacking and we want NO accusation or side-taking at this point. Just to stop.

“Micky Mouse!” “Hallelujah!” “Code Red!” “Jingle Bells!” “Time!”

Together choose a word in the cold light of day you both will honour as the STOP whistle when things are dark and overheated. Any one of the above will do! And blowing the whistle isn’t saying either party is right or wrong. It simply says stop. It is up to you whether you pick up the game later – or just stop playing that game from now on. (Try Trivial Pursuit instead! Or see who can sing the best. Or go read a book for the duration.)

By the way, you may have conversations going on in your OWN HEAD that each started off as a game and these days turn into a war zone. Now is the time to stop that game too. Be kind to yourself. Stop the attack.  Just stop. Call time. 

And how can you stop games becoming war in the first place? This blog is long enough already. Email me your suggestions, but here’s a starter:  it might be something to do with listening properly to the other person. And listening some more. And asking the next question. And being kind. And … well, you get the idea.

Persistent Unhappiness Syndrome?

Most of you will know by now that I’m the founder and director of Powerchange, and have a passion to see men, women and young people everywhere live lives that they are proud to own, and for them to have a baseline of persistent happiness.

Know how Max feels?  Get in touch.
Know how Max feels? Get in touch.

No, that doesn’t mean I’m naive enough to think that any sincere and emotionally healthy person can be – or in fact would want to be – deliriously happy day in day out. Most of us know that the growing times we experience are most often within times of trouble and pain, and we need a good few of them through life. To remove them would leave us with shallowness and superficiality  –  and with no points of reference to compare our current happiness with unhappy times we would lose any sense of happiness anyway.

However, we also know that constant ‘baseline’ unhappiness is not at all good for your health, leading to all sorts of identifiable relational damage emotional and physical illness.

Some time  ago our Powerchange team coined the phrase Persistent Unhappiness Syndrome™, a label that describes a condition we regularly identified in our clients of, wait for it, Persistent Unhappiness.

Is your baseline state one of happiness or unhappiness?  In other words, when all the pressures of the day/week/month are through, you ‘land’ on a foundation of feeling happy.  The alternative is you constantly expending energy, effort and money on getting away from a nagging sense of UNhappiness, that when you run out of resources, or stop doing all those self-entertaining, happy-making activities  –  or simply drinking the pain away – finally captures you once more.

You are suffering from Persistent Unhappiness Syndrome™ when your default emotional ‘state’, how you feel, fulfils some of the following criteria:

  • You look back on the past and are predominantly conscious of a sense of dissatisfaction, pain, rejection or worthlessness.
  • You have had to work at being happy on a day to day basis for more than six months, or are constantly trying harder, or caught in the ‘perfectionist trap’.
  • You have to focus on enjoying other people’s lives (successes, joy, rewards, achievements, peace) more than your own in order to feel happy, satisfied or fulfilled.
  • You are trying to avoid the word ‘depression’.
  • You are on any sort of psycho-therapeutic medication.
  • The future looks bleak – more a challenge than an opportunity.
  • You are consistently not sleeping well due to troublesome thoughts (rather than a troublesome bladder).
  • You can’t remember experiencing a lasting deep sense of inner peace.

Yes, I know it sounds a bit esoteric or spiritual even, doesn’t it. For most people it is neither esoteric nor spiritual. Either way, PU Syndrome can be a nasty little undermining emotional ‘illness’.

Thankfully there is a cure…

As you address and ‘re-write’ some of your current beliefs, expectations, memories, lifestyle and values, you will find that you wake up each day WITHOUT those PU symptoms – in the same way that a person who has been cured of cancer wakes with a whole different perspective on their life.

Quite a good analogy, actually.

There’s more here:   http://www.powerchange.com/learn/persistent-unhappiness-syndrome/

If you’re a sufferer, our team can help. [contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

The Safest Anti-Depressant drug anyone can ever take.

(Not on antidepressants? Then miss out this first paragraph.)

health warning. Do not abruptly stop taking most psychiatric drugs. Most psychiatric drugs are far more dangerous to take than people realise, but they also can become dangerous when discontinued too abruptly. Most have addictive qualities and can produce withdrawal symptoms that are emotionally and physically distressing, and sometimes even life-threatening. These drugs include neuroleptics or antipsychotics, such as Haloperidol or Olanzapine; antidepressants, such as Citalopram and Sertraline; stimulants such as Ritalin; minor tranquillisers, such as Diazepam; and prescription sedatives or sleeping pills. (see here) Stopping psychiatric drugs should usually be done gradually and with professional guidance. No generalised information can substitute for individualised medical or psychological care, however it is important to find help that is consistent with your own philosophy, and our approach is offered in that spirit.

The safest antidepressant treatment is undoubtedly Auto Therapeutic Medication (ATM) – that is, the antidepressants you create in your own system, at the strength your body knows it needs, with your own inbuilt chemical plant.

The sweet counter at Fortnum and Mason, Piccadilly, London.
The sweet counter at Fortnum and Mason, Piccadilly, London. Therapeutic pills galore!

There are literally dozens of different types of ATM drugs and, though you may not know their assigned names, your body will already be familiar with them. They have NO unwanted side effects, NO toxicity, and NO stomach upsets. They do not need to be taken every day, or at any particular time of day, though their benefit can be felt whenever you need it, and you can take one on demand. They have NO withdrawal symptoms (or ‘discontinuation syndrome’ as your GP is likely to call the often debilitating – and occasionally horrendous – results) and you can DOUBLE the dose whenever you like with NO increase in harm. If you feel a bit miserable, take several at once.

HOWEVER, just like any other psychotropic drug, the WAY you take your self-produced Auto Therapeutic Medication REALLY DOES MATTER. It needs to be taken with the right THOUGHTS in your mind, associated to the right WORDS spoken before, during, and after you take it, and with a similar RITUAL that you use when taking any other drug, even simple painkillers like asprin.

The range of ATM medication in your body is huge. You can get ATMs that literally help you take exams, calm you down when driving the car or under stress, and help you come off drugs prescribed by your GP or psychiatrist. Others will enable you to sleep better, improve your sex life, and overcome phobias.

First of all, let me make clear that for many many people ATMs can be very effective. They are real, not imaginary, chemicals. Their efficacy is 100% dependent on your own natural internal ‘pharmacy’, and firing up the ATM is like pressing a button in the chemical production plant inside your body that produces all the essential therapeutic drugs you currently need for your physical and psychological wellbeing.

In order to press that button you do NOT even need to actually put a physical tablet in your mouth. It is perfectly possible to issue an order to start production, and like any good production plant what the boss decides starts to happen. Literally.  Real chemicals.

Your internal drug production plant can be switched on by many things. Here are just three of many:

1. Your production of endorphins (‘self-originated morphine’ – the word comes from ‘endo’: ‘self-‘ and ‘orphin’: from ‘morphine’) is switched on by particular kinds of EXERCISE, which is one reason your doctor recommends physical exercise for your wellbeing.

2. You production of adrenalin is fired, not just by experiencing a REAL disaster or trauma, but by you sufficiently IMAGINING DISASTER OR TRAUMA – as any horror movie maker and adventure park designer knows only too well.

3. If you imagine a deliciously prepared and gorgeously presented dish of your FAVOURITE FOOD, your mouth begins to water in response to your being stimulated by the thought. (Try it.)

Cuddling a PET or BABY, or giving someone a HUG or KISS is a trigger too.

Here is how it works:
Taking Auto Therapeutic Medication requires the multi-sensory stimulation of your brain. It requires – at least until your body has got used to it when you will self-medicate ATM automatically as situations arise – that you associate the process with THREE things:

Physical Action.
Your brain’s chemical plant is switched on by ACTION. You need to reach out to an imaginary bottle of imaginary tablets, or a sheet of imaginary foil-wrapped capsules, and use your real physical hands to remove the ATM, look at it carefully, and put it in your mouth, swallowing it with a real glass of water. (Some people like to replace the imaginary bottle with a packet of ‘Smarties’, but I don’t particularly recommend that as there are a few minor risks attached – though nothing like the risks associated with taking real antidepressants.)

Linguistic Stimulation.
Your brain’s chemical plant is switched on by INSTRUCTIONS. These may come from anybody and anything, but because you are the person most affected by the chemical production I highly recommend that you programme it to ONLY accept instructions that YOU have specifically given. The words you say and the words you THINK, change your brain. Make sure they are going to serve you well. Thoughts are stored bio-chemically in the body, so make sure yours are good.

Strong Imagery.
Your brain’s chemical plant is switched on by IMAGERY. Imagine taking a simple pill that will force you to feel great but cannot do harm. You decide on the colour, and whether it is a capsule or an ordinary round tablet. You decide on the size, as bigger ATMs tend to work better than smaller ones. You decide on the strength (If you find big ones harder to swallow then you can choose a smaller high-strength one if you prefer.) What you IMAGINE always affects the behaviour of your brain. It is well known in the pharmaceutical industry that RED tablets have a different effect than BLUE ones.

Recreational drugs make people feel good for a time, but their effects can be DISASTROUS in the medium to longer term. ATMs are completely harmless in the normal run of things, and because your brain perceives them as an instruction to start up the chemical production, for many people they REALLY WORK, producing REAL CHEMICALS in your brain.

As the man said, “According to your faith be it unto you.” In other words, you decide: increase your faith and you’ll get a more powerful result. For many many people, Auto Therapeutic Medication is just what they need to get them through the more emotionally disturbing periods of their life.

For more information on AutoTherapeutic Medication, or a conversation with our ATM specialist, click through to our Contacts page and just ask. Our phone contact number is on that website too.  We are here for you.