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How to live your true purpose...

I grew up and still find myself in the very same county of Shropshire that I was born in. I love it passionately. It's a beautiful and magical place and I did get away from it for a little while. I Escaped into London, was very glad to escape back. It's a little bit hectic there for me, so that where I grew up, where I have been most of my life. It is here that I combine Hypnosis, NLP, Counselling and my own little bit of magic to help make positive changes in people’s lives.

Pretty sure the first time I ever encountered or experience hypnosis I would have been about 12. I was on holiday and there was a stage hypnotist. I cannot think of a show that I've been to since that made me laugh quite as much as that did and it made a big impression on me.

I got back from holiday, I went to the local library, and they had a book on hypnosis, of which I still own a copy of today. I borrowed it from the library read it and had ago. I was at Junior School when I got that book, first hypnotising friend when I was 10 at HIP and it's been an interest and part of my life ever since. I used hypnosis in performance for about 20 years and then decided to really look at what else it can do, and that's when the world opened up, when it just became something amazing.

I love to read; I sometimes look at my library and think to myself. “I've read all this”.

I don't just read hypnosis books, I've got the Rig Veda, the Bahgavad Gita, books on spirituality, philosophy, Western Mystery Tradition, esoterica, the occult and it amazes me still the parallels between the work and process behind all these different approaches and the change-work I do.

If you look at what is going on, yes change-work is stripped of ritual, stripped of all the paraphernalia and hype, but within hypnosis and change-work I see the very same fundamental processes, the same theories at work.

This at its heart is the journey of Self-discovery, that journey of wanting to become the best version of ourselves that we can be, which has fascinated people since the dawn of time. For me hypnosis and change-work is like the next chapter. It may remove the pomp and ceremony, the lengthy practices but the magic, the power of it is still there.

I just finished reading for about the 50th time, the lesser key of Solomon, which is a mediaeval grimoire, an it's all about calling up spirits to do your bidding, and is a fascinating read. The story behind it is marvellous, it is said that King Solomon cat, catching 72 spirits and imprisoning them in a brass vessel. And then they were left free, and the idea is that you call on these spirits. For some people at face value it could be seen to be a book of almost black magic where you're calling up spirits who can change the world around you but in truth that's not what changes.

If you look at these writings comparing these “spirits” with a modern mind set, these aren't demons, they aren't spirits. These are the parts of yourself that are holding you back. There's a spirit in the book that's about going out and connecting with people and bringing people to you. Both friends and enemies, to reconcile and be connected to. In medieval times people lived in a world of spirits, demons and angels however today we see the world differently.

You are connecting to that part of you that's not working quite as well as you would like it too, and you're giving it new instructions that benefit your life now.

In the past you may have put a great big circle on the floor, put a triangle, burn lots of incense, wear a funny costume and spend hours conducting your ceremony. Today you can go into hypnosis and speak to that part of you that that is stopping you from achieving a goal and ask it to find a new way of doing it. Ask it to start working towards the goal rather than fighting the goal. For me it is these parallels that fascinate me with hypnosis, how the enlightenment, unity perfection of the spiritual, religious magical journey can be actualised through the use of hypnosis.

I remember getting into a bit of a bit of a heated discussion with Bob Burns at the UK

Hypnosis Convention because I said that we have thousands of years, especially from the east, of studies into consciousness and mind. Yet there seems to be a reluctance in hypnotists to go research this material. To find ideas, find inspirations I've been working with a couple of clients towards the end of last year with seasonal affective disorder. And. I've been using a method which I've taken from a qabalistic meditation.

The original purpose of the meditation was to take you from earthly consciousness, and awareness, into solar awareness. That stepping out of the cycles of death, life, and rebirth, stepping out of the cycles of the wheel of the year, spring, summer, autumn, winter, shifting awareness to an awareness where there is always light. Eternal light, no death, no birth, no day, no night and no summer or winter.

I thought part of the problem that triggers people with SAD is the fact that the winter months come. Those darker months come, and they're very much tide into that rhythm. If you can take them from point A and give them a new perspective which is looking at the world from a solar perspective, then surely that's going to help break some of those triggers and anchors that are setting off the seasonal affective disorder and sure enough it worked. I was speaking to one of the ladies last week. She popped up and said,

“Thank you. Things have been so much better for me. I still have my moments, but we all have moments. But that constant feeling of weight and heaviness and trudging through life has gone.”

For me it makes sense to go back into the vast resource of spiritual and magical tradition, it inspires me. I get passionate about it, I remember when talking with Bob he said, “you need evidence you need to prove things you can't just do it.”. But if you wait for the evidence and the proof, realise, nobody's going to get anything done.

Sometimes you just have to be a bit maverick. Sometimes you just have to try stuff, and the beauty with hypnosis, you can try something and if it doesn't work the worst-case scenario is that person is going to feel good about it. They're going to be relaxed and you can try something else.

How is it I see and combine the spiritual and magical with hypnosis?

It is partly in how I look to the spiritual, magical and religious practises. If I go back to the afore mentioned Lesser Key of Solomon. You could say that you stand in a circle. Then you create call up the spirit in a triangle there, which creates that distance.

Hypnotically we can work with someone with trauma, enable them to look at the trauma from a disassociated perspective, this way the trauma does not have the same emotional impact. If you take the trauma to be the equivalent of the spirit in the triangle then the hypnotic process creates the distance as the circle does from the spirit. To me this is the same process.

The language of the unconscious mind is metaphor, it's poetry and the best poetry ever

has been written for prayer, ritual, for magic. If you read Robert Graves’ The White Goddess. If you want to find a way of structuring language to work with hypnosis, read that book. You know a lot of what he says in there is long proven as not being accurate. But the use of language and the way he uses it is exquisite, and so for me. I use those spiritual ideas. Those spiritual practises, the magical ideas and practises as the metaphor for which to take my client on a journey. Just giving people a different experience for a minute that reframes where they are stuck is transformative.

I think the other thing that inspires and drives me, it is found in the spiritual, magical but also within counselling. I trained for five years as a person-centred counsellor. The work of Carl Rogers to this day inspires me. The idea that we are all born perfect We are all born with all we within us we (think of an acorn). Along the way we pick up some bad habits, we learn some stuff that works for us. We learn stuff that doesn't work for us, but essentially, we have everything we need. And for me, the thing that has driven my life, my journey through all of this is that idea of maybe we're only here once, maybe we don't come back.

What do you want to do with that life?

Do you want to strive to be the best you that you can be?

Do you want to know who you are and Live a more fulfilling life?

Or do you want to never question it? Just accept what you're given and sit back?

For me, the great work as they call it in the Western mystery tradition. That pursuit of knowing and understanding who we are. To live fully to be the very best human being we can be. That underpins not just the myself, but my belief in other people. My belief in you the reader and in the clients I see.

The other day I had cold call from a company trying to sell me life insurance.

Did I want life insurance? Firstly they got my name wrong. You know when they phone up and they get your name wrong, it's not a good start. But the lady who spoke to me had such a lovely way about her and I ended up breaking into some conversational hypnosis with her. Just focusing on the fact that this job was not where she wanted to be. She wasn't doing the job because she wanted to be there. What was the dream? Where did she want to be? Just connecting people to that vision and that goal and fundamentally, certainly if you come from kind of a magical perspective. Having that goal, that image that end result in mind is the first step of getting and we do it with hypnosis. Future project, see yourself in three months time being that person you want to be, doing the thing you want to do. Six months time, having learned so much more mastering the art of being the best you can be.

All of those techniques and teachings, the metaphors, there's a rich reservoir of material there that doesn't just work if you take the time to find it, if you go on that journey you will find the things that speak, you will find the magic in the wisdom everywhere that is universal. And in finding that allowing that to shape your practises help you create practises, techniques and protocols. I sometimes run out of words it's a beautiful journey and it's one I think all hypnotists should go on to be honest, but I also know it's not for everyone.

I am aware certain people are put off by the notion of the word spirituality. It doesn't have to be called that. When visiting the Oracle at Delphi

above the temple doors it used to say Know Thy. Whether it's the spiritual journey, the magical journey or just personal develop? It's about knowing yourself.

If I sit with a friend and talk over that friend all the time, I'm never going to know much about them. Never going to know what they want, what they're about. Whereas if I sit and listen to my friend? Get to know them, get to understand them, when they need help and support I'm going to be better informed to give the help and support that is going to benefit them the most. If they've got a goal there working too and they're a bit despondent I'm going to know who they are to be able to say the right thing, to encourage them. Come birthdays and Christmas, I'm not just going to buy them some load of rubbish, I’m going to buy them something that has meaning or at least makes them laugh.

If it were a stranger or that I haven't listened? If I buy a gift, who knows whether they like it, it might end up in the bin. If there's a stranger who is upset, I don't know this person, how do you say the right thing? You can say generic stuff. We like to think that we are there for our best friends that, we listen and yet be so very rarely we listen to and know ourselves.

But it's the same principle. How can you live a happier, more joyful, more fulfilling life, if you don't know who you are? We've all been in jobs and places and it's not what we want to do. It pays the bills. It keeps us going. It's what's expected of us.

Back to the life insurance girl I spoke to on the phone, we had this amazing conversation turned it round for her and she was delighted. She was doing what she was doing because it's what her parents wanted it. And we fall into that trap, schools kind of tend to steer us into the local engineering or the local business, whatever it is and the journey of knowing yourself is so important. If you don't know yourself, you spent 30 years doing the wrong job, being miserable.

I'm trying to make this as non-fluffy and non kind of cosmic sounding as possible because I really think it's important. The spiritual journey, self-discovery, personal development, whatever you want to call it. Helps us discover who we are.

It helps us and it's not easy, seeing our faults as well as our good points, (I don't do this shadow and light stuff). The stuff we do well and the stuff that we do that gets in the way. Sometimes it's hard. Sometimes you have to wake up and you go “O my life I am such an idiot”.

And that's not always easy. But in that realisation you also find your solution. And for me, the reason spirituality is so important is because it teaches us about who we are as individuals. More importantly, as a race, as human beings, as a collective. The more you go into that journey, the more you start relating to other people. The more you start connecting with other people.

Not always the most quoted person but Alistair Crowley, with the whole Thelema religion,

“Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law.”

And usually if you see in the press anywhere and on films, that's the bit that gets quoted. And it kind of sounds like you should just do what you want, and that's not what it's saying, because they miss the end bit off. Which is,

“Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law. Love is the law, love under will”

Will is not just pleasing yourself, it is that journey of finding out who you are. What really makes your soul sing. And then doing that with every essence of your being. So if you wake up one morning after searching your soul for three or four years, and realise that you want to be a hypnotist and care for people, look after people and change lives. You do that and you spend a fortune on your training. You dedicate the hours you need to practise. You read, you learn and you give everything because then you are living your true will, your true purpose. You don't know that if you don't know yourself and whether you want to call it personal development, spirituality or the path of the magician, it doesn't matter.

We get so caught up on names and giving things titles. But knowing who you are and what makes you happy. It's really kind of important. And that for me is the essence of why I do what I do. And to me why it is so important. If you go back a few 100 years there's a lot less people and most people had a role. People knew who they were and what they were about. Nowadays there are so many of us and there's so many different jobs and you don't get the appreciation or the acknowledgement that maybe we used to get for your role in your part in society. So again, knowing who you are. Knowing what you're about, doing what you do and knowing why you do it really helps address that balance. And I think it really helps our mental wellness because it gives us purpose. I am living my life by this because I believe this because this is what I'm about. This is what I do and I will find whatever way I can to express me. Because I know who I am, and what I am about is why it's important.

The Self changes. If you go around any kind of the mind, body, spirit fayre or holistic fayre you meet a lot of people who say I'm there, I know who I am, I know everything. Yet you who you are today is not the person you were yesterday. Who you will be tomorrow is not the same person you are now me writing this is not the same me that I will be in 10 years time. So to say I've got there. I know who I am is an illusion itself and that I guess is part of the danger of all this, that you get trapped in the illusion of who think you are. The truth is who you are will change and that's another reason why that journey of self-discovery is important, because in your 20s you might have liked climbing mountains and abseiling. When you're 65. You know you might still enjoy a good walk in the mountains. But is that stuff still going to be what you need to be doing? Is that still what you are about? Or is there a different way of finding your fulfilment?

So that is always the thing to be wary of, and that would be my first piece advice. Don't ever think you've got there. I love the fact that no matter how much I think I know who I am and what I'm about, I know nothing I don't know. I could wake up tomorrow morning having had a stroke and I am a completely different person. There is so much that can change. But there is something within that is constant. There is an awareness and a consciousness within that is constant. It stays the same.

How do you do it if you're not into spirituality, or personal development or you have

never anything like this before? I Go around festivals with the hypno-temple talking and sharing hypnosis, meditation and sharing great conversations about mind, reality and consciousness and tell teaches people that meditation and hypnosis and stuff and just getting some great conversations really says. I have a sign at the Hypno-Temple that just says,

IT Starts With One Question.

And it all does. Just ask yourself a question.

Who am I?

Or what would really make me happy?

If I had to do something for the rest of my life, what is that which would make me fulfilled?

They're not difficult questions. They can take a lifetime to explore. And it starts with a question you don't have to be spiritual. You don't have to believe. I mean, when it comes to I can't be doing with all the flakiness and consumer sparkle that that you get. That's not what I mean when I talk about spirituality.

In saying spirituality I am referring to the amazing pilgrimage of life. And it starts just by questioning. If you are thinking life is kind of alright, then question it.

What is that I could be doing?

And that itself, that question will take you on a journey. You can read stuff you can talk to people. The Internet is a wonderful thing. You can YouTube things and learn about stuff and know along the way you can start to realise what speaks to you.

And if it excites you, if it makes your soul sing, that's what you're meant to be doing.

But if you never ask that question, what is that? You don't need to do much else other than I mean things like meditation in that great. But just paying attention. You know it's no use asking the question and then not noticing your emotions. You ask the question what would really make my heart sing? And you listen. Maybe you would really like to teach, to work with orangutans and help save them, that is amazing. But if you don't listen to your excitement if you don't stop for a moment and listen as you would have to a friend, you are never going to know what that is that excites you.

Once you start to hear that which you truly long to be doing, that which will make your soul sing then, the next step is simple.

Do it!

It may not happen straight away, but start making the changes that get you closer to that life you want lead.

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