The Magic Pill Within by Alex Howard BSc(Hons) Dip.Clin.Hyp.NLP.Coach www.hyp.no.com
“There is no cure”, said the doctor, “there are no pills we can give you, you will just have to wait and see what happens”. To my 16 year old brain this didn’t compute. “What do you mean there are no pills?”, I questioned. How am I to get better then I wondered, did this mean I had to have surgery? However, the situation was even worse than this, there was nothing even to operate on.
I couldn’t understand how the doctor could do absolutely nothing for me. He didn’t even know why I felt so ill. I was soon told that I had ME, that they did not know what caused it, and that there was nothing they could do for me, I would just have to be a spectator in my life and see what happened. I lived 2 years of my life at this point, basically, in total confusion. There was no pill, there was no cure, there was nothing to change my internal world. I was soon sleeping most of the day feeling like a zombie, I had no friends, no active hobbies, no support , no hope and no future. As I reached the bottom of this slippery slope, something interesting happened, I found there was a magic pill. However, it wasn’t like I expected.
I believe that the same answer that totally transformed my entire life, is an answer that can do the same for every single person alive, for every community, for every country, and ultimately for the human race. A pretty bold statement, I hear you cry. I agree it is, but as you hear what it is and let it sink into your own heart, you can be surprised at just how true it is.
The answer is this, if we want our experience of the world to be different, the solution does not come from the outside, it comes from within. We don’t have to look very far to see how almost every person alive is trying to solve their internal challenges with quick fixes from the outside world. Be it by numbing our brains with alcohol, TV, drugs, cigarettes, making up our for internal insecurities by belittling others, changing our mood with chocolate, trying to feel confident by always having to wear the latest trends. The quick fixes are almost the foundation of our culture. We only have to turn on the TV to see how advertisers exploit this.
This mentality is all too apparent in “modern” medicine, our looking to the latest ‘magic pill’ to help us to lose weight, to get rid of our spots, to give us more energy. These are all attempts to try and fix problems that are usually lifestyle created anyway. They are more of the same, “quick fixes” to mend the damage by previous “quick fixes”.
There is a telling story about a man who goes to the doctor with a headache caused by stress. The doctor gives him a “magic pill” to take away the pain, however, it upsets his stomach, so he gets another pill for this. This makes him constipated, but of course there is a treatment for this too. Twenty years later after popping half a dozen “magic pills” everyday since the initial cry for help, he dies of a heart attack caused by guess what? You got it, stress! The headache was “treated” with a “quick fix” which, apart from creating many problems on the way, ultimately killed him. It killed him because it masked his body’s natural warning system.
In my work as hypnotherapist/NLP practitioner and life coach, I so often hear people saying, well, if only my partner/mother/son/daughter/etc would change, then I would be happy, if only I had more money, if only I was more intelligent, then my life would be better. Almost everyone thinks they want either for the world to change, or for it to give a ~magic pill~ to change them.
How does this apply to your life? How are you attempting to fill your inner challenges with the outside world? How is it working for you in the long term? How much are you losing by masking the voice of your own heart? How much is the world losing by you suppressing the essence of who you really are? I believe that there is only one desire that human beings truly have, it is the desire to know themselves and to express this to the world. However, as children we learnt that we are not OK as we are, that we had to become someone else to survive in the world, to meet the desires of the masters of the universe, those that we depended upon.
However, by living this way we run away from ourselves, when we run away from ourselves, we feel pain, and we learn to fill this pain from the outside. The question is not whether we do this. The question is how much longer we want to continue running from ourselves? How much longer do we want to make ourselves suffer in this way? I believe that the most empowering decision that a human being can make is the decision to learn to know themselves, to look to the inside for our solutions, rather than for more ‘quick fixes’ from the outside world.
After taking two years to deal with the fact that there was/is no magic pill someone can take to cure ME, I eventually discovered what I am sharing with you now, that there is a magic pill of a different sort. It is a magic pill inside of us. When you know who you truly are is love, power, everything that is good, everything that is pure, how could you ever need the outside world to fill you up? When you don’t constantly need the outside world to meet your needs, a pretty amazing thing happens, it becomes a rather extraordinary place. It is suddenly a world full of joy and mystery and wonders beyond our dreams. So how then do we learn to know ourselves?
The answer to this question lies in the answers that up until now you were seeking. If you were numbing your brain using various stimulants, what does this tell you? It tells you that there is something in your life that needs to be changed. It tells you that there is a large part of you that is not happy and that needs to be experienced. If you were having to buy the latest clothes to feel confident, what does this tell you? It tells you that something happened in the past that made you believe that you were not good enough. Again, you need to make contact with your true personal power, rather than trying to fill yourself up from the outside.
When we consider our lives in this light, it is amazing how simple we really are as human beings. Working with people to guide them in transforming their lives has taught me many things, however, perhaps the most valuable is this, when we truly understand how we create the problems in our lives, finding solutions is amazingly simple. When we understand what up until now we were doing, how much pain it has been causing, then we can decide now it is time to stop. It is time to say no to those old ‘quick fixes’ and yes to who we are. If everyone on earth had the courage to take this decision, how different would the world around us be?
If people chose to deal with their own pain and behavioural patterns, rather than get angry at each other, if all companies were run based on integrity rather than on the CEO’s lack of internal fulfilment, if countries were led by people that had the good of the universe as a whole in mind, rather than their own personal ‘needs’, can you even imagine how different our world could be?
As Gandhi one said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. If you want the world to be different, once again, it is not something that happens on the outside, it is something that you start here, now, today with you and me. As you make that decision, the decision to look within, you can be amazed at how many others can follow you. For our world to be a better place, we need to treat ourselves and those around us better. It could all start with you and me. This stuff is contagious, the more we change for the better, the more the world around us will change for the better. We are part of the world, if we don’t like the way the world is we now know where to start making changes!
Alex Howard holds a 1st class degree in psychology from the University of Wales, and upon graduation the British Psychological Society (BPS) awarded him the Best Student Award for his contributions to the field. He also holds awards in Economics and Business Studies and is a certified Trainers Trainer.
He has also trained personally with Phil Parker, principal of the London College of Holistic Medicine, in hypnotherapy, NLP and life coaching to advanced diploma level. He is a member of the British Institute of Hypnosis and the Institute of Professional Therapists International.
Along with his academic achievements, Alex’s 6 year debilitation by a severe chronic illness led him to seek out the best in change work at all levels; mind, body and soul. He has personally trained with many leaders in the field, including Anthony Robbins, the world’s foremost authority on peak performance.
Whilst practising at his London hypnotherapy, NLP and life coaching clinic, he also researches and writes in the field of health psychology. His latest book, the much anticipated “The Magic Pill Within”, is due to be published in the Autumn.
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