Archive for the ‘Self Improvement Deals’ Category

Mastering Abundance and Prosperity Mindset Part 2

06 Dec

Mastering Abundance and Prosperity Mindset Part 2One of the most fantastic pieces of scientific research (reported on in Dr Joe Dispenza’s book Evolve Your Brain) is not only that cells which “Fire together will wire together” but the opposite, being – “if cells are not fired they drop away”.

Mind Ability and Research

This means that if the brain is being focussed on building new neural pathways of abundance and prosperity then gradually those neural pathways which are the negative habits – fears, doubts etc, that are not being fired – will lose their strength and eventually drop away. This means the old negative habit is no longer in control and the new positive habits have taken over. So your inner subconscious reality is now the same as your conscious reality – together they work towards achieving your goal.

A good statement is “Energy Flows Where Energy Goes” – it is particularly apt when working with goals which include dropping negative habits. Have you heard that “a habit is when the body has taken over from the mind”. Think about it for a moment! You never “think about carrying out a habit – you just do it!” Your body is doing it automatically with no thought involved. If your thoughts are “I am not worthy or don’t deserve prosperity” then your body will immediately carry out acts that will sabotage prosperity no matter if your conscious goal contains the words “I deserve prosperity”. You see, your subconscious mind hasn’t got the the new goal yet – the neural pathway has not yet been formed; thus the subconscious sabotage – action by the body – takes over.

The Power of Attention

Wikipedia explains Hebbian Learning  as “associative learning”, in which simultaneous activation of cells leads to pronounced increases in synaptic strength between those cells. Hebbian theory is a scientific theory in biological neuroscience (synaptic plasticity) which explains the adaptation of neurons in the brain during the learning process.

Said more simply by John Assaraf “your attention plays a large role in directing the flow of energy and information in your brain. And as energy flows where your attention habitually goes, the synaptic connections energized by your habitual attention eventually become more or less chemically hardwired into your neural networks.”

The Power of Attention (what we say, how we act, how we emotionalise, our self talk, what we think, what we visualise) is paramount. Remember Earl Nightingale – The Dean Of Personal Development? He stated in his book “You become what you think about most.”

The Correct Vision is Paramount

 “Financial Wealth” has gradually been altered to “abundance and prosperity”.  After all if you are abundant in things such as health, love, relationships, money, happiness and more, then it means you have enough and don’t need any more.

The correct vision helps you to stay focused and positive. Here are some questions to answer (there are no correct answers) to help you find the right vision and to help identify mental blocks:

What brings you the most joy, fulfilment and freedom?
If you had all the time and money you could want and had no fear, what would you do?
What significant contribution do you offer?
What does abundance and prosperity mean to you?
Why do you want abundance and prosperity?
What will abundance and prosperity do for you?
Are you abundant and prosperous within yourself?
Do you deserve abundance and prosperity?
Do you or can you see yourself as abundant and prosperous?

The CHI Seminar And More On Life Purpose

The “Creating Happiness Intentionally” – CHI – is a “live in” Seminar held over 5 days and 4 nights. One of the main purposes is to create, and know it’s right for you, a Life’s Purpose Statement. It is all allied with Abundance and Prosperity and when you consider everything that is important in your life (including blocks and your own life traumas) it can not be done satisfactorily in under 5 days. This MMN deals with a part of it – namely Abundance and Prosperity, however there is always some crossover. After all, as the Cheshire cat says to Alice as she asks for directions in Wonderland, ‘If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there’. It is essential to know where you’re headed otherwise how will you know when you get there? Hence a Vision or A Life Purpose Statement.

John Assaraf works in the Personal Development field and talks about “Vision” this way: “Many ‘successful’ people still feel empty. They have the outer riches, but not the inner ones.

The movie, ‘Bedazzled’, comically illustrates this point when the main character repeatedly receives his wildest wishes, but he still feels frustrated and disappointed. This is our inner child speaking: a tiny little ego shaped by cultural norms and childhood fantasies.

Heart desires, on the other hand, express our deepest truths and passions. They express a fervour so powerful and invigorating that their fulfilment becomes more a matter of glorious obsession rather than ‘work’ or ‘striving.’

In fact, it’s the profound emotional weight and meaning of such a vision that can transform us in the NOW, making us happy NOW rather than hoping we’ll become happy when we reach that elusive ‘financial success’ we believe will finally make us happy.”

Mastering Abundance and Prosperity Mindset Part 2

If You Desire To Change Your Financial Paradigm

Then you may need to:

  • Make decisions about yourself, your business and your finances,
  • Clearly define your goals,
  • Observe your thoughts, habits and beliefs at all times when awake,
  • Keep notes about things not serving you,
  • Replace negative neural pathways with ones that serve you,
  • Consciously focus on positive empowering thoughts,
  • Resolve to change your conscious and subconscious negativity.

What Must You Do To Achieve Success

The great thing about this is that you have some assistance. Science itself has overwhelming proof that you can rewire your brain. This means you can, with specific methods which will be shown in two CDs or downloads, build and strengthen neural pathways which control all your financial decisions and executive thinking. Both your conscious and subconscious mind will be on the same track. You will increase your Financial Self Image which may have been holding you back (you can never outperform it).  Here is a list of “musts”:

  • What will achieving your Prosperity and Abundance Goals do for you? You can achieve these goals using the 8 step goal system which includes building and using your Emotional Anchor.  You move from just “setting the goal” to building a neural pathway which helps you to achieve your goals. You plant the goal within the subconscious mind and this builds a neural pathway. You can do this because the subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between imagination and reality. All this is done whilst you are in the stress releasing brain wave state of Alpha.
  • Use visualization to your advantage by imagining yourself (using your 5 senses and self-talk) living the life you deserve and care to live – stress-free and financially abundant.
  • Retrain your brain to rid yourself of neural pathways that hold you back (your behaviours, limiting beliefs and negative habits) and cultivate new neural pathways that increase Prosperity and Abundance.
  • You banish self-doubt and step into your strength.
  • When will your habits stop working against you? When you have new habits, through constructing new neural pathways in your mind. With repetition, visualization, self-talk and emotion – all applied in the alpha and theta brainwave states you achieve this. When your conscious mind is aligned with (on track with) your subconscious mind, you attract the success you deserve.

Some Spiritual Aspects To Think About

There is enough for all – so an attitude of gratitude is in harmony with  infinite supply. Thanking Spirit, the Universe, God or whoever you thank for the abundance in your life, for your experiences and the people in your life is a great start.

With the act of letting go your blocks, negative habits or limiting beliefs you make space not only to receive but the joyful act of giving is a corollary.

We have many challenges in life. Why are they sent to us? To learn from – these awarenesses are “lessons for our soul”. So don’t fight or become a victim of your life’s challenges – a great attitude is to embrace them while you learn from them. You can go through them.

John Roger – a Spiritual Teacher and founder of says “When you go out in the world to ‘get’ things, you are operating from lack. You are saying ‘I don’t have this within me, so I have to find someone to give it to me’. If you know that you are the source, you would not operate from lack”.

So, whilst attitude, Life Purpose and goals are all important on your journey towards Abundance and Prosperity, remember, for whatever wealth goals you are setting yourself you add the words ‘for the Highest Good of all concerned’. Once again it is a Spiritual concept which is self explanatory.

All the best


“Your gift from God is your potential – Your gift to God is to use it.”

PS The Wealth Pack (including explanation, goals and meditations) is available to buy from the CALM Shop both as a download and also as two CDs.

The Next Seminar is Creating Happiness Intentionally. 

BALI CHI Seminar. If you know your Life’s Purpose and you work towards it, being GOAL directed, then you will only have success in Creating Happiness for yourself. Have a look at, do the exercises, read the testimonials and then book for the next one in Bali or in Sydney. Remember for repeaters it is half price!


Compelling Information About Depression

27 Nov

Compelling Information About DepressionI recently received an email from a friend of mine, Robert Walter, who has really been through the mill with his depression treatments. Robert is a winner! In his email to me he gave me a list of some books and a short description of each which he says “helped me to get a better perspective of the mental health industry and the current medical model”.

He then went on and spoke about many matters relating to depression and the subconscious. If you would like his complete email just ask me for it by pressing reply and putting in the subject box – “Send me Rob’s complete email”. In this Mind Matters News I am including only part of Rob’s email and the short synopsis of the books to which he referred.

After Some Preamble Roberts’ Email Continued:

“Psychiatry, psychiatrists-medical doctors, medically treating the mind. Treating ‘disorders’ of the mind. Disorders- the statistical classification of observed symptoms (eg the USA, the DSM- the Diagnostic Statistical Manual) simply puts a label on a group of observed symptoms, a subjective noun. The aim of psychiatric treatment is to relieve symptoms, not to get to the root cause or solve the underlying cause or problem (this is plainly stated by the US National Institute of Mental Health,  that medications only relieve symptoms, “So you can just get on with it”). Psychiatry does not have its foundations built on hard evidence based science but is a belief system, as was recently described by Beyond Blue. I’ve attached short précis of a few books that have helped me get a better perspective of the mental health industry and the current medical model”.

Anatomy of an Epidemic – Why has the number tripled in the last two decades? 
Mad in America
Doctoring the Mind
The Myth of the Chemical Cure
Thinking About Suicide
Gods and Diseases.

“Gods and Diseases covers Jungian theory and the role of the subconscious/spirit/quantum in understanding our existence.

It appears to me, we in the West ignore the subconscious at our peril.

I’m thinking that our current understanding of mental health/mental illness may be stood on its head within the next 10 years. The change won’t come from psychiatry/medical profession but the grass roots and perhaps the science of quantum physics”.

Anatomy of an Epidemic – Robert Whitaker

In this astonishing and startling book, award-winning science and history writer Robert Whitaker investigates a medical mystery: Why has the number of disabled mentally ill in the United States “tripled “over the past two decades? Every day, 1,100 adults and children are added to the government disability rolls because they have become newly disabled by mental illness, with this epidemic spreading most rapidly among our nation’s children. What is going on?

Compelling Information About Depression“Anatomy of an Epidemic “challenges readers to think through that question themselves. First, Whitaker investigates what is known today about the biological causes of mental disorders. Do psychiatric medications fix “chemical imbalances” in the brain, or do they, in fact, “create “them? Researchers spent decades studying that question, and by the late 1980s, they had their answer. Readers will be startled–and dismayed–to discover what was reported in the scientific journals.

Then comes the scientific query at the heart of this book: During the past fifty years, when investigators looked at how psychiatric drugs affected long-term outcomes, what did they find? Did they discover that the drugs help people stay well? Function better? Enjoy good physical health? Or did they find that these medications, for some paradoxical reason, increase the likelihood that people will become chronically ill, less able to function well, more prone to physical illness?

This is the first book to look at the merits of psychiatric medications through the prism of long-term results. Are long-term recovery rates higher for medicated or unmedicated schizophrenia patients? Does taking an antidepressant decrease or increase the risk that a depressed person will become disabled by the disorder? Do bipolar patients fare better today than they did forty years ago, or much worse? When the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) studied the long-term outcomes of children with ADHD, did they determine that stimulants provide any benefit?

By the end of this review of the outcomes literature, readers are certain to have a haunting question of their own: Why have the results from these long-term studies–all of which point to the same startling conclusion–been kept from the public?
In this compelling history, Whitaker also tells the personal stories of children and adults swept up in this epidemic. Finally, he reports on innovative programs of psychiatric care in Europe and the United States that are producing good long-term outcomes. Our nation has been hit by an epidemic of disabling mental illness, and yet, as “Anatomy of an Epidemic “reveals, the medical blueprints for curbing that epidemic have already been drawn up.

Mad in America – Robert Whitaker

Schizophrenics in the United States currently fare worse than patients in the world’s poorest countries. In Mad in America, medical journalist Robert Whitaker argues that modern treatments for the severely mentally ill are just old medicine in new bottles, and that we as a society are deeply deluded about their efficacy. The widespread use of lobotomies in the 1920s and 1930s gave way in the 1950s to electroshock and a wave of new drugs. In what is perhaps Whitaker’s most damning revelation, Mad in America examines how drug companies in the 1980s and 1990s skewed their studies to prove that new antipsychotic drugs were more effective that the old, while keeping patients in the dark about dangerous side effects.

A hunting, deeply compassionate book—now revised to reflect the latest scientific research—Mad in America raises important question about our obligations to the mad, the meaning of “insanity,” and what we value most about the human mind.

“This is such an important book that every psychiatrist should be compelled to read at least the preface, every year, And everyone else should then insist on them describing in writing, every year, what they are doing about it.”—New Scientist

“A passionate, compellingly researched polemic, as fascinating as it is ultimately horrifying.”—Mother Jones

“[A] valuable and meticulously documented study.”—The Journal of the American Medical Association

“Robert Whitaker takes on no less than the medical establishment and the pharmaceutical industry in his tough indictment of mental-health philosophies and treatments in America…He does an intelligent and bold job of stitching together historical events to make his case that too many unsafe treatments and overpriced pills have been forced on too many patients for too flimsy reasons.”—Seattle Times

Doctoring the Mind – Richard Bentall

Compelling Information About DepressionWhy is the Western world’s treatment of mental illness so flawed? Who really benefits from psychiatry? And why would a patient in Nigeria have a much greater chance of recovery than one in the UK?

In Doctoring the Mind, leading clinical psychologist Richard Bentall reveals the shocking truths behind the system of mental health care in the West. With a heavy dependence on pills and the profit they bring, psychiatry has been relying on myths and misunderstandings of madness for too long, and builds on methods which can often hinder rather than help the patient.

Bentall argues passionately for a new future of mental health, one that considers the patient as an individual and redefines our understanding and treatment of madness for the twenty-first century.

The Myth of the Chemical Cure – Joanna Moncreif

This controversial book overturns the claim that psychiatric drugs work by correcting chemical imbalance, and analyzes the professional, commercial and political vested interests that have shaped this view. It provides a comprehensive critique of research on drugs including antidepressants, antipsychotics and mood stabilizers.

Thinking About Suicide – David Webb

Contemplating and comprehending the urge to die.

The literature of suicidology has studiously ignored the voice of those who actually experience suicidal feelings. David Webb suggests this is no accidental oversight but a very deliberate and systematic exclusion of this critically important first person knowledge. The only thing that is banished with even more vigour from suicidology is mention of the spiritual wisdom that set the author free from the persistent urge to die.

Webb rejects the dominant medical model that claims suicide is caused by some notional mental illness. “Thinking About Suicide” calls for the broad community conversation on suicide that is required to bring it out of the closet as a public health issue.

In 2006 David Webb completed the world’s first PhD on suicide by someone who has attempted. Prior to his PhD David worked in the computer industry as a software developer and university lecturer. He has been a board member of the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry and currently works part-time as a research/policy officer with the Australia Federation of Disability Organisations.

Gods and Diseases – Dr David Tacey

There are many problems in today′s society that cannot be resolved by the applications of reason, logic or medical science. These include child abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction, and suicide. Numerous mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, and phobias, are rising dramatically and there seems to be no solution in sight. In this book, David Tacey argues that the solution lies in breaking free from the confines of modern medicine. Instead we must turn to spirituality, and to what Tacey calls ′meaning-making′, to make sense of our physical and mental wellbeing.

About The Author. Dr David Tacey is Associate Professor and Reader in Arts at La Trobe University, where he teaches literature, spirituality and Jungian psychology. He is the author of five books on spirituality and culture, including Edge of the Sacred and Re-Enchantment: The New Australian Spirituality. He lives in Melbourne.

This is worth repeating

“Gods and Diseases covers Jungian theory and the role of the subconscious/spirit/quantum in understanding our existence.

It appears to me, we in the West ignore the subconscious at our peril.

I’m thinking that our current understanding of mental health/mental illness may be stood on its head within the next 10 years. The change won’t come from psychiatry/medical profession but the grass roots and perhaps the science of quantum physics”.

So – pass this on to others and remember if you want Robert’s full email then just ask me.

All the best


“Your gift from God is your potential – Your gift to God is to use it.”


Handle Those Negative Emotions Before They Turn Into Monsters

22 Nov

Handle Those Negative Emotions Before They Turn Into MonstersLife is full of lessons. Most of the lessons we learn in life come from experiencing a negative emotion. Think about that! Do we have any deep and meaningful lessons from experiencing fun, joy and laughter – other than “we want it to happen again and again”. Of course understanding and recreating the conditions that surrounded the joy and laughter is important, yet it is often not the most impacting event in our memories – is it? Why is it then, that experiencing negative emotions such as resentment, blame, hurt, fear, anxiety, guilt, anger, bitterness, hatred, jealousy, revenge, all have such a strong effect on us and can teach us so much.

Emotion is Memory

We have two minds – the conscious mind is 12% of our mind and the subconscious mind is 88%. In the subconscious mind we have all our memory, habits, personality and self image. The language of the subconscious mind is emotion. The language of the conscious mind is words, sounds and pictures. It was the research scientist Rappaport who proved in 1971 that “emotion is memory”. Have you ever wondered why you can so easily recall a good event or a bad event. You can easily remember the circumstances, where you were, who else was there, you can relive hearing what was said, seeing the surroundings and you can re-experience the feeling – right through your body. The emotion, good or bad, is easily remembered – particularly the feeling you experienced.

So, once again, why are negative emotions so impacting? The answer is because they are so easily remembered and relived!

Prevent Emotional “Baggage” becoming a Habit

Handle Those Negative Emotions Before They Turn Into MonstersThis emotional “baggage” can be a real curse. We can often let it hang around in our mind creating further negativity. We know that negative thoughts attract negative thoughts … and this can lead to fear and anxiety, lack of self confidence and self esteem, depression, illness, disease, and more. And … we help to create this for ourselves by hanging on to the negative thoughts. Perhaps not even the initial negative event but we have multiplied its effect in our mind and body by not using techniques to handle it, moving through it and learning from it. So then emotional negativity becomes a habit.

It is extremely important to express your feelings and talk about events. This can be done with friends or with a counsellor. Look at the consequences of internalising or pushing down negative feelings. They go to memory which is in the subconscious mind. They are permanently there because as I’ve already discussed, “Emotion is Memory”. Then what can often happen, for unexplained, or no apparent reasons, one can experience negative feelings like sadness or anger (and more) bubbling to the surface. Negative emotional feelings can become a habit (depression). With a traumatic event, if internalised, this process can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – depression, hot sweats, unexplained anger, nightmares, and irrational action can become the norm.

What can I Learn from this Event?

Here’s another trap that’s so easy to fall into. Asking the question of ourselves “Why me?” or “Why is this happening to me?” All of us are wired up the same way. When you ask yourself a question what do you get? An answer of course. Ask yourself negative questions and you get negative answers. You might as well ask yourself “Why do I deserve these things happening to me?” You can see where the answers lead … yes, to every bad thing you’ve ever done in your life, and this brings about more guilt and even more depression. We become more listless, lethargic, tired, weary, exhausted. And all of this reduces our productivity and self esteem, and once again “we’ve done it to ourselves”. We are the creators.

Handle Those Negative Emotions Before They Turn Into MonstersThere is a simple answer. Become aware of your own self talk and when it’s negative, change it. So ask yourself a positive question and you’ll get a positive answer. It can be a challenge, in the middle of experiencing or re-experiencing a negative event, to think of a positive question. I’ll offer one that can be a start and you can modify it to suit you. “What is there for me to learn from experiencing …… ?” (and then you say the negative event). Do you get the idea? Do this in meditation and write down the answers as they come to mind.

Handling Grief is a Process

Often with a death in the family or of a close friend, whether it be caused naturally (including disease), by accident or by violence, we can experience many negative emotions which are all part of the grief process. Yes, regard it as a process, something that we can experience, move through and learn from.

Nearly all the emotions that have been mentioned so far can apply in a process of grief. Some of them are directed to ourselves and the person who has “passed over” and some are directed to ourselves and the perpetrator (in the case of violence and sometimes accident). Personally, it was only in meditation when the thought came to me “If you persist in thinking hateful, angry and revengeful thoughts, you’ll end up like that”, that I realised I could make myself another victim … and then I would have done this to myself. So I changed the thoughts in meditation to acceptance, co-operation, unconditional love and ultimately forgiveness. This is when I developed that sense of inner peace. It is common for people to experience denial, disbelief and loss of faith, but I find that most of us do come to terms with these experiences, so I will not dwell upon them.

Associated with the grief experienced following a death, there is often the feeling of guilt, stemming from “I haven’t said goodbye” or “The last time we spoke we had an argument” or “I never resolved that …. (fight, argument, issue, etc…)” or “What if ….” Another feeling can be loneliness which is often manifested by “hanging on” to the person who has passed over. I have learned that we can always say “Goodbye” (it is never too late) and that we can always forgive, including forgiving ourselves for unresolved issues after the death. This can be done in meditation or by prayer in any location – graveyard, church, your bedroom, your own back yard, a favourite spot … to name a few. Long ago I was advised to “Let go and Let God” and this has served me. Do I still talk about my daughters and have their pictures around? Of course – but I don’t bring them to mind and try to communicate with them – rather I send them my Love and Light for the Highest Good of all concerned.

Handle Those Negative Emotions Before They Turn Into MonstersSo, learn the lessons that life has to offer through negative events by asking yourself positive questions and talk about any trauma and the resultant feelings. My advice is to learn Peaceful Place techniques and meditate, changing any negativity by using the process of acceptance, co-operation, unconditional love and forgiveness. (Try out my favourite meditation PP13 – Inner Peace and Harmony - it is online for just A$20). Remember that once you have these techniques you can more easily handle any challenge that life puts in your path – it’s like taking preventative action.

Positive Story

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister.

I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying “Yes, I’ll do it if it will save her.” As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the colour returning to her cheek. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away?”

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.

WOW! This is the kind of emotion I like to feel ….. it overwhelms me. This was forwarded to us by one of our e-mail friends and I thought you would like it. I intend to do an E Report on positive emotion.

All the Best

Sandy signature
Sandy MacGregor

Enjoy the positive story – it will take your breath away.


Enlightenment Regarding Depression

15 Nov

Enlightenment Regarding DepressionThis is my third Mind Matters News (MMN) about this vexing issue of Depression and the Mental Health Issue. I personally have learnt so much and following the interest that has been displayed by the recipients of the MMN I thought it best to summarize what I have learned.

The information available is truly enlightening. So the format of this MMN is to quote some information (that I have selected from links) to just whet your appetite so that you will be able to receive much more clarity at the link itself.

Depression Is Not An Illness

The most profound article I have read is written by Philip Hickey, Ph.D. who is (in his own words)  “I am a licensed psychologist, presently retired.  I have worked in clinical and managerial positions in the mental health, corrections, and addictions fields in the United States and England”.

Dr Hickey says many things in this article which back up the tools and techniques that are taught with the CALM System and I believe really extollhope! Here are some extracts:

“….. depression is an adaptive mechanism which has served the species well for millions of years.  When things are going well in our lives, we feel good.  This good feeling is nature’s way of telling us to keep doing what we’re doing.  When our lives are not going well, we feel down or depressed.  This is nature’s way of telling us to make some changes.”

“In order to feel good, the following seven factors must be present in our lives:

  • - good nutrition
  • - fresh air
  • - sunshine
  • - physical activity
  • - purposeful activity
  • - good relationships
  • - adequate and regular sleep”

“…. it is worth noting that all human lives are, sooner or later, touched by major tragic losses.  What matters is:  how equipped are we, in habits and lifestyle, to handle these losses.  When a person goes to a mental health center and asks for help with depression, the first priority should be a detailed assessment of the person’s lifestyle, habits, relationships, history, etc., to determine the source of the depressive feelings”

Read More

Suicide and “Mental Illness”

“The draft Roadmap gives scant regard to suicide. Suicide and ‘mental illness’ –are peas in the same pod but they cannot be understood when defined by the flawed medical model.

“Australia has been involved in the Afghan war for 10 years and we have recently learnt of the 33rd soldier’s death.  This has caused a great outpouring of Government and media attention and rightly so.  However, during the same 10 year period it is estimated that somewhere between 22,000 and 25,000 Australian men (just men) have killed themselves, that is, committed suicide.  Just the number of men killing themselves is currently double the combined national road toll.  The greatest single cause of death for Australians under the age of 55 years is suicide. Last year it was thought to be 6 each day, now it is thought to be closer to 7.

“We have become so frightened of this reality; we run away, divert ourselves, anesthetise ourselves and avoid thinking, talking or taking responsibility for this disastrous situation.  Governments and the medical profession are paralysed.

Source: ”Excerpt from Rob Walter’s reply to the government’s draft Ten Year Roadmap for National Mental Health ReformPoint 26. Do you have any other comments on the draft Roadmap you would like to make?”

Antidepressants Cause Suicide and Violence in Soldiers

“Death by suicide is at record levels in the armed services. Simultaneously the use of antidepressant drugs is also at record levels, including brand names like Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa and Lexapro.

“According to the army, in 2007 17% of combat troops in Afghanistan were taking prescription antidepressants or sleeping pills. Inside sources have given me an even bleaker picture: During Vietnam, a mere 1% of our troops were taking prescribed psychiatric drugs. By contrast, in the past year one-third of marines in combat zones were taking psychiatric drugs.

“Are the pills helping? The army confirms that since 2002 the number of suicide attempts has increased six-fold. And more than 128 soldiers killed themselves last year.”

Read More

The National Institute Of Mental Health : Where to From Here?

The article highlights “the unprecedented reduction in the pharmaceutical industry’s research and development programs for psychiatric medications.”

“For NIMH, the problem is clear. Research over the past decade has shown that our current medications are not good enough. Industry has had blockbusters but very few breakthroughs in the past forty years. There was always hope that the billions of dollars invested in this area by the pharmaceutical industry would result in more effective treatments for our most disabling disorders. Now, however, we face the possibility that there will be no “next generation” of mental disorder treatments emerging from industry.”

Read More

A Comment from Kate – a MMN subscriber

“I believe that mental health is in an even worse state than your newsletter implies.  The link below is to an article I read recently and was shocked – it is not an Australian article but it gives damning evidence as to the efficacy (or lack thereof) and potential harm that can be done by anti-depressants.  It is a detailed book review of three different books which may be of use.”

An Epidemic Of Mental Illness: Why?

The 3 books are listed below. We have talked about 2 of them in recent MMN.

The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth
by Irving Kirsch 

Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America
by Robert Whitaker 

Unhinged: The Trouble With Psychiatry—A Doctor’s Revelations About a Profession in Crisis
by Daniel Carlat 

Book Blaming the brain, truth about drugs and mental health!

“Now, in Blaming the Brain he exposes the many weaknesses inherent in the scientific arguments supporting the widely accepted theory that biochemical imbalances are the main cause of mental illness. Valenstein reveals how, beginning in the 1950s, the accidental discovery of a few mood-altering drugs stimulated an enormous interest in psychopharmacology, resulting in staggering growth and profits for the pharmaceutical industry.”

Read More

Enlightenment Regarding DepressionClosing Comment

This issue is not going to go away, and indeed looks as though it is heading in the wrong direction. Although most of the articles and quotes are sourced from USA we know that the pharmacological approach is alive and well in Australia. I personally believe there are alternatives and sometimes – for possibly limited times – the pharmacological approach is required and I would always say ‘together with “other” approaches’.  I have done three MMN on the topic of Depression and will now “move on.”

So John, are there recommendations that I would make? Certainly! The main one is that it is always a healthy approach to take action oneself – not to “just have things done to or for you”! Take responsibility for yourself and be involved in your own therapy program. Specifically I would say use the CALM techniques for developing a habit of positive self talk, do goals, have purpose, relax quickly and meditate. I can be more specific if you wish to drop me an email.

All the best

Sandy MacGregor

“Your gift from God is your potential – Your gift to God is to use it.”


MMN – Good Clues

13 Nov

MMN - Good Clues

Before children go to school they learn more facts, more information about the world, than it takes to get a university degree! Among other things, they learn to walk and to speak, two enormous achievements by any criteria.

Research has shown that 85% of 6 year olds have a positive self esteem and consider themselves to be good learners.  What has happened to the other 15%?  Somehow they have learnt to think less than positively about themselves.  Ten years on there is an even sadder picture - only 16% of 16 year olds are positive about themselves and think they are good learners.

When a young child takes their first faltering steps, they do so in an atmosphere of love and support, of encouragement, and delight in their achievement.  Above all, it’s a fun experience. And remember, falling over (or making mistakes) is all part of the experience – we learn by making mistakes.

Learning to Speak at any age is a Highly Complex Task

The child is motivated by a great need to communicate, yet they must first sort out individual sounds from a seemingly unintelligible jumble of noise, learn that these sounds have meaning, understand rhythm, stress and intonation and master the rudiments of grammar!  Often we correct their mistakes, although some observers have found that children have a marvellous capacity to learn from these ‘mistakes’ and eventually succeed.  Indeed they appear to learn faster if not corrected.  Perhaps if a child is corrected too often, they learn to think less of themselves.  Certainly some leading researchers believe this to be the case.  I am sure you have heard that research has shown that you can start teaching children as young as six months foreign languages just by exposure to a language and that by 3 they can be multi lingual.

Pressures of Examinations and a Good Clue

What is it that happens to our children as they move through school?  One pressure they are faced with almost immediately they begin school and it increases as they get older, is the dreaded and feared “examination”.  Almost from the start they are tested and graded, measured against each other or some other standard, which may have no meaning to the children themselves.  Some children appear to thrive on the pressure of competition.  Unfortunately many others soon develop an attitude of failure, learning very quickly that no-one expects much of a ‘failure’ and therefore the pressure is off.

Examination, particularly the HSC, places enormous strain and restriction on students and teachers alike.

Nevertheless they appear to be here to stay, in the foreseeable future at least.  What we can do is to teach children how to learn more effectively in the school environment – to encourage them to keep learning the way they have from birth, to learn in such a way that utilises all of the amazing abilities and capacity of our brain – the greatest computer ever designed!

A good clue is to use mind mapping. It was made famous by Tony Buzan (although many people used mind mapping or mind scapes or mind charts before Tony Buzan), and is a widely accepted method of making notes, planning essays and projects, developing understanding, thinking and analysis skills, and increasing retention and recall.  It also develops creativity and encourages the use of the imagination, even in the traditionally ‘logical, left-brain’ subject areas.  Children can be taught many techniques that mimic the natural learning processes of the brain.  Learning becomes easier, more creative, more fun.

I have a number of helpful products in this area

A useful website is

The book Student Steps to Success is available as a download and in hard copy format.

A useful meditation is Achieving in Exams and Effective Study - available as a download and in CD format.

Self-confidence is always a huge issue and a useful meditation is -available as a download and in CD format.

My one-day Student Seminar titled The Learn Faster Kit – is on 2 DVDs, 7 CDs, a book and a workbook.

How to Learn is all Important

MMN - Good CluesMany students need to improve their chances of doing well in our current education system.  One of the greatest gifts we can give to our children is to teach them how to learn….

And use sophisticated mind mapping, analysing and thinking skills, structuring and writing essays, improving reading and comprehension, and developing perfect memory and recall, all using the infinite power of our amazing brain.

The fact that we all talk to ourselves 50-60,000 times a day, emphasizes the huge impact this must be having on our subconscious mind.  Take notice of how many negative words you hear when you keep your ears tuned to listen for them. You may be astonished at how many you might hear … I can’t… What a pain in the neck… I forgot…

Their meaning, their impact is pretty obvious, isn’t it?

Imagine this … you’re a contestant on a Quiz Show and  it’s the final ‘mad minute,’ scores are tied, and the last question is…

“What are the 8 steps to program your goals in your subconscious mind?”

$100,000 worth of prizes and $150,000 in cash is yours if you can press the buzzer and give the answer…. can you?

If you can’t it’s time for a refresher, isn’t it? Come to the CHI Seminar in Tassie (it is at a $300 OFF price which pays for your airfares).

How to ‘kick-start’ your day, and keep it running….

You probably didn’t jump out of bed this morning and immediately think - ‘I must Switch-On my brain.’  More likely, you thought about switching on the gas or the electric jug, for that all important morning heart starter. Yet according to medical science, switching on your brain is precisely what you should do, and continue to do throughout the day.  Why?

Because, for memory to take place scientists have proven that Left/Right brain communication must take place.

One important thing to know is that the ‘creative’ side works 40 to 400 times faster than the ‘analytical’ side, and in each of us, one side is usually dominant.  Hence the excitement builds when you realise that accelerated learning comes…. when you can get both sides working together as a team.  How?  It’s easy!  You just do certain exercises as prescribed by a certified Kinesiologist.  (Kinesiology means the study of motion, in particular the study of how muscles act and co-ordinate the body.) An exercise I mentioned recently (in this Mind Matters News), designed to integrate the brain, is called the ‘lazy-eight.’  This activity trains you brain to switch between left and right sides easily and it’s great  if you want a spark of Creativity before approaching any task.

All the best!

Sandy MacGregor


About Loneliness

08 Nov

About LonelinessLoneliness is a subject which in some ways is also linked to friendship (or lack of friends), possibly lack of self esteem, and depression. I received quite a large response from my previous email about friendship and I have included in this MMN some of the responses, below.

Loneliness is not the same thing as being alone.  Many of us seek time alone to emotionally recharge, to reflect or to explore our creativity or hobby.  Being along is often a choice whereas loneliness is not something we choose.  Paradoxically a feeling of loneliness can be experienced even when one is not alone, but rather amongst a crowd of people.  When loneliness is experienced in a crowd of people, it can be even more isolating and make us feel disconnected in a frightening way.  Loneliness may be felt as a result of a lack of love in our life and can be as devastating as the feeling of grief after losing a loved one.


Relationship Breakdowns

After the breakdown of a relationship we may feel abandoned, rejected, unworthy and insecure and this can lead to a feeling of loneliness.  A period of recovery from this sort of grief is necessary and eventually it is important for our mental health to move on and resume a useful and enjoyable life where we once again feel lovable, accepted and valued.

Of course, apart from the loss of a loved one, there are other circumstances in life which can lead to loneliness.  Almost any socially unsettling event such as moving to a new area, the birth of a child, a child leaving home, living in an isolated area – these  can all be the cause of loneliness.  Even within a marriage or close relationship, loneliness can be experienced when there is lack of communication and anger and resentment build up.  Learning to adapt to a new reality and find ways of reconnecting ourselves is important.


Challenges With the Pace of ”Living”

With today’s fast living style, close personal friends are often not highly valued and nurtured but are abandoned in place of social networking and  “internet friends”.  This is a great loss and the loss of true personal connection can lead to a feeling of isolation and loneliness.  Keep in mind that all friendships are important and not just those of a romantic nature.  As people initially share small things together this can lead to eventually sharing innermost feelings, which of course may take time, but friendships can evolve and be cemented.  Nobody will ever be exactly the same as us, so respect and accept the differences.

About LonelinessPursue your interests and hobbies and join a social club or sports group, or other interest group such as bush-walking, bush-care, music, art, theatre, scrabble, Bridge. Take up walking and offer a smile to others along the way – if you’re feeling lonely yourself it will make you feel better and more connected and it also just may help somebody else. Involve yourself in some  voluntary work – thinking about helping others can take the focus off self introversion and self obsessiveness and can help with self esteem.  When you learn to respect and value yourself you can come to enjoy your own company and eventually others will too.  Taking care with your diet and your physical health can also improve your self esteem.

Deprivation of freedom as a form of punishment has always been present in society and enforced loneliness as in solitary confinement is sometimes used as a more extreme form of punishment and sometimes even torture.  This is just one more aspect of loneliness and hopefully one that not many of us will have to face.


Research Paper

If you scroll down to the Editor’s Summary on this Research Paper about Social Relationships (from two universities from USA)  I think you’ll find it interesting.

Every human being will experience loneliness at some stage in their life – even if it is the first time you are away from home and familiar surroundings.
So Sandy, know that loneliness is not a permanent state and may be an indication of some need that is missing.  Improve your self confidence meditation CD #10 or the Instant Download Self talk is very important – keep it positive and use the Peaceful Place technique in meditation CD #18 or the Instant Download Here.

Some Great “Friendship” Responses

    Hi Sandy! Even though I haven’t corresponded with you for ages I do appreciate the newsy updates you send me and the wisdom in the thoughts expressed.
    This one on Friendship I felt an impulse to respond to as I absolutely agree with the sentiments and suggestions.
    Among many courses and classes I have facilitated over the last 30 plus years was one that we did for about 16 years called “Building Self-confidence” and as part of it we emphasized friendship, awareness of the negativity of others (even when kindly meant),  and the freedom one experiences when “taking responsibility for self ”.  Simple wisdom’s that we often saw had the power to change participant’s lives  -  so I am really glad to see from your newsletter that people are still asking the questions and listening to the answers.  Keep up the good work.   N.T.  Vic.

   2. Another definition which I gleaned from somewhere was that “Friends are people who share common values”. I find this a very useful viewpoint from which to analyse relationships. We might extrapolate the definition to one of “overlapping values” because it would be very rare to find two people who share ALL their values. This ties in with Sandy’s definition of Integrity – do your values match your goals?? So it is that as I am often teamed up with diverse persons in the workplace, I can work with the “good” in each one. But what’s the definition of “good” in that context? I suggest that I am simply coupling up with the values which we have in common, and doing my best to respect but ignore any of their values which I don’t want in my portfolio!
    So I might say that my best friends have (say) 95% overlap with my values while it is unlikely that I will be friends with someone with less than say 75% overlap, and people with 50% will be at best acquaintances or colleagues.  B.S.  Tas.
And from a good friend of mine:
Didn’t know I needed encouragement mate … however, you might follow this up with how to get and keep a friend.

1.      Reach out to fellows whether you know them or not.
2.      Give more than you get.
3.      Communicate well. Remember two ears – one mouth.
4.      Always be there but don’t get in the road.
B.C.  NSW.

    I must say that I haven’t been doing the Peaceful Place often enough. However I believe that it does have a very positive influence on the way that I think.
I suppose I don’t give myself enough time to do it, basically, which, when I think about it, is a pretty lame reason. I’m a farmer and so it always feels like something has to be done around the place and I don’t allow enough time for meditation. In writing this though, I have just understood the fact that I have to take time out to do it. It is worth doing because of the positive influence it has on my mind.
Thankyou .  

    Thank you for your wonderful informative emails, they really keep my thoughts on track. I particularly enjoyed having my thoughts revised on “friendship”.
     Being an only child, friends my own age are what I place importance on and I have retained my school friends.  I have discovered that those who are not true friends really don’t appreciate it if your life is going too well. Fair weather friends are for the birds and hard times seem to sort the wheat from the chaff. There is nothing as good as a true friend.
    Thank you again Sandy – I find your emails on these topics so interesting. C.W.  NSW.
     Hello to all in the CALM team! MMN is always inspiring, particularly as it usually sparks other thoughts and ideas.
    But this one takes me back a long way, well before I first heard Sandy in 1992, and I would like to share a couple of comments in case they are helpful for anyone or will progress this discussion:
   1. A book which shaped my philosophy about relationships whilst in my 20′s was “Intimacy and Solitude” by Stephanie Dowrick. It’s many years since I’ve looked at it but it had “answers” to the questions posed in MMN.

About Loneliness

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Children and Peaceful Place

06 Nov

Children and Peaceful PlaceWe can influence our children’s learning from a very young age – even before they are born, with music and song. All years are important, however between the ages of 0 to 5 are critical. It’s during these years that the reticular activating filter (a bunch of cells in the Limbic System) is permanently open and all information goes through to memory. So it is during these years – the formative years of the subconscious mind – that habits, personality, self image and memory – 88% of the mind – are developed. A child will absorb almost everything in the first 5 years of life, without ‘filtering out’ anything. We must be consciously aware of our child’s environment, with both allowing lessons in (to their memory) or keeping negativity out (of their memory).

Early Childhood

In an article (30 May 2007) from the Edmonton Sun (Canada) it said:

They may not understand what you’re saying, but a new study suggests that babies as young as four months can tell which language you’re speaking.
Researchers from McGill University and the University of British Columbia have found that four-month-old infants can differentiate between English and French, even without hearing them.
“It shows just how exquisitely sensitive babies are to information in their world,” says Janet Werker.  UBC professor and an author of the study, which will be published today in the prestigious academic journal ‘Science’.

We know that children can learn languages in a multi lingual environment as long as they use the languages – and this starts from birth. So it is with other things in life – children will absorb parents’ …

  • * negativeness or positiveness
  • * speech, including screaming or speaking lovingly
  • * habits both good and bad, including stress, being scared of anything (like moths) or claustrophobia and more.

We all know that when a small child is playing with say electricity, we must not say “Don’t do that” but instead give the child something else to play with saying “Play with this – it’s good.”  (“Don’t think of a rainbow” – means “Think of a Rainbow” … “Don’t worry” … means “Worry!”,  “Don’t forget” means “Forget” to the subconscious mind).

We all know to use encouragement and praise from early in life.  Children are like a sponge for new learning, so we must endeavour to ensure that their experiences are positive.

Children and Peaceful PlaceFrom the Age of 6 the Filter Closes

… and of course we still influence our children after this age and they learn from their parents, their siblings, their friends and their schools.

Some Californian research showed that 85% of children at the age of 6 feel positive about themselves and think they’re good learners. But by the time they are 16, this figure has fallen to just 16%. My work with children shows that this figure of 16% at the age of 16 is optimistic. It’s a dreadful indictment on our society and we must continually take action … children are the future success of our country.

As our children grow older and external pressures start to effect them, they begin to experience stress, and this effects them in different ways. A few cope, but most become …

  • * anxious
  • * unstable
  • * frustrated
  • * nervous
  • * tearful
  • * even frightened

Awareness of how much we influence our children by being their role model is a paramount ingredient for your child’s success. We all want the best for our children so that they develop a positive attitude (glass half full not half empty), they have great values and work with goals, directing themselves to success.

Techniques to Assist

My Peaceful Place (PP) techniques really work. They are based on a fast method of relaxation so that the filter opens and we can deliberately start working with the subconscious mind. Early (in life) application of PP can be to:

  • * Achieve more confidence and self esteem
  • * Relax and release stress
  • * Develop a better attitude
  • * Handle pain (young children are always hurting themselves)
  • * Using the whole brain for improved learning
  • * Sleep easier

I no longer teach these techniques to children from the age of 6 to 13 and the best way I know of that they can be imparted is by Parents or Grandparents learning them and passing them on.

A rule of thumb for children’s attention span is their age plus 2 minutes; so the CDs I have wouldn’t work with young children. I would recommend that a Parent (or Grandparent or others) describe their own PP to the child and go from there.

Resources Available

Children and Peaceful PlaceMy book “Students Steps to Success” describes all the techniques for using both sides of the brain, relaxation, goals, self esteem and mind charting. To support the book I also have two CDs which help with PP, Goals, Self Confidence and Achieving in Exams. A major resource is the Student Success Seminar on DVD - it is my one day Students Seminar and includes the other resources described above..

For children over the age of 14 they can attend my 2-Day CALM Life Skills Seminar, or indeed work by themselves with any of the resources described above. In addition my website has a great deal of information on it which is useful for study.

Further Techniques

Dyslexia is a common challenge with students learning. What I have learned is that the earlier this is identified in a child, then the greater is the likelihood of achieving a remedy.

If a child has difficulty in doing cross-over exercises then the greater is the chance of having dyslexia. A certified Educational Kinesiologist is the route I would recommend. Two of the exercises are:

Cross Crawl – walk on the spot, lightly hitting each hand, alternately, onto the opposite knee as each arm crosses the front of the body.
The Lazy 8 – stand still with feet slightly parted and trace the shape of a large figure 8 – lying sideways (not up and down in the usual way but rather so that it looks like the infinity sign) using both hands clasped together in front of the body, going up in the middle and a big swoop down on the outside.

Another issue with young children can be having difficulties with sleep. What I would recommend is that the child learns PP. When they are in bed you play some soft music (PP1 – Instrumental) and then encourage the child to go to their PP and say to themselves (or you say it to them) that they are now drifting off into a lovely, deep, sound sleep.

So, be aware of our own behaviour in front of small children, always imparting a good example, be aware that children are great copiers and learn from us, and that they are our future.

All the best,

Sandy signature
Sandy MacGregor

PS. I have reproduced below a speech that purports to be one that Bill Gates made at a high school, about 11 things that students did not and will not learn in school.  It’s fun … and that’s life! Enjoy Life!!

Rule 1:  Life is not fair – get used to it!

Rule 2:  The world won’t care about your self esteem.  The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3:  You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school.  You won’t be a vice president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4:  If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5:  Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity.  Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping – they called it opportunity.

Rule 6:  If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7:  Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now.  They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were.  So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents’ generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8:  Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT.  In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer.  This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9:  Life is not divided into semesters.  You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF.  Do that on your own time.

Rule 10:  Television is NOT real life.  In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11:  Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.


Improved Ability To Sleep (Overcoming Insomnia)

30 Oct
Improved Ability To Sleep (Overcoming Insomnia)If our ability to sleep becomes disturbed, our health and emotional balance are affected resulting in physical fatigue, irritability and increased susceptibility to illness. Learn about how we develop sleeping disorders and how to overcome insomnia.

Sleep has an important role in our lives for maintaining good health. In deep sleep the body activates its healing processes, so that regeneration and repair of the body take place.

If our ability to sleep becomes disturbed, our health and emotional balance are affected resulting in physical fatigue, irritability and increased susceptibility to illness.


Why Do We Develop Sleeping Problems or Sleeping Disorders?

Within our subconscious mind we retain a primitive mechanism to both remember stress, and control our ability to sleep. When we are in balance we send the appropriate instruction to our subconscious, and the sleep mechanism simply takes over. However when this balance is disturbed the result is sleeplessness or insomnia.

The Mechanism For Controlling Sleep

The mechanism which controls sleep is both “reactive” to our desire to sleep and “responsive” to our body’s need for sleep. If we send the appropriate instructions to our subconscious mind it will begin to shut down our bodily functions and prepare us for sleep. These instructions can be triggered by the appropriate degree of physical fatigue. If we decide to lie down and close our eyes, then our breathing automatically becomes more relaxed and suddenly the subconscious mechanism takes over and we are asleep. Sometimes, if we remain awake for an extended period of time the sleep mechanism begins to shut down the body because it either senses the need for sleep or has the habit of sleeping at a particular time. In both cases we experience this by the onset of drowsiness or tiredness.

The Mechanism For Controlling Stress

Basically we are aroused by only two sensations, pain and pleasure. We all want to avoid pain and pursue pleasure. The emotional cycle which leads to sleeplessness begins in the present, with our initial experience of pain or pleasure, and ends up with complex feelings which are “remembered” exclusively in the past. If the emotion experienced with “remembered” feelings is sufficiently intense, then sleeplessness, insomnia, sleeping problems will result. This cycle of emotions has been found by psychiatrists to follow this pattern:

  1. Pain in the present is experienced as hurt
  2. Pain in the past is remembered as anger,
  3. Pain in the future is perceived as anxiety or fear,
  4. Unexpressed anger, redirected against yourself and held within, is experienced as guilt,
  5. The depletion of energy that occurs when anger is redirected inward creates depression.

Improved Ability To Sleep (Overcoming Insomnia)Accordingly, intense emotion expressed as anger, anxiety, fear, guilt or depression is enough to disturb the mechanism for controlling sleep, resulting in sleeplessness and sleep disorders. Insomnia can invariably be traced back to either a sudden emotional trauma or sustained emotional stress.

Let’s consider an example: A businessman is engaged in a demanding project, in which he encounters problems. He spends long hours working on the project. The intense emotional stress generated by the need to have the project completed by the deadline is recorded by the body and is expressed as continuous worry and anxiety. The anxiety and worry intensify as the deadline approaches. The body mechanism controlling sleep becomes disturbed because of the intensity of emotion which is now being experienced, and sleeplessness results.

Often people are treated with drugs, but these medications do not cure the underlying “hurt” that is the true cause of the sleeplessness.

In the Life Skills Seminar, overcoming sleeplessness is dealt with by teaching and practising the following skills:

  1. The ability to consciously relax and to release stress any time, anywhere,
  2. The ability to focus your mind
  3. The ability to neutralise and reprogram hurt memories
  4. The ability to develop mind/body exercises to overcome depression
  5. The ability to develop new responses to stressful events

You May Ask “How Effective Are These Techniques?”

How about I let some of my seminar participants explain that to you?



I received your pack of “Piece of Mind” book and two tapes in October 1995. If you had told me I could instantly gain noticeable improvement in one day I would not have believed you. I must also be a left-brained sceptic. I have been wallowing in despair for six years. I’ve read many self-help books and I could not rid myself of that constant feeling of dread, nor could I sleep at night. It took Sandy MacGregor to show me how to help myself. Since using the techniques I have now slept 7 to 8 hours every night. I’ve had interruptions to my sleep, e.g.. late night ‘phone calls, storms with thunder and lightning and still have been able to return to sleep easily.

Furthermore, I have just returned from Canada and USA. In years gone by I have needed to take a Rohypnol sleeping tablet on these journeys. This time I slept for 7 hours during the flight over, and on the way back, with no drugs.

So What is the Next Action Step that You Can Take?


CALM makes suggestions on how you can develop your skills in dealing with Overcoming Grief and Loss using Sandy MacGregor’s low cost Tapes,BooksCDsVideos and Seminars which have been utilised by thousands of people successfully since 1990.

All the best,

Sandy MacGregor



Sarcasm and More Kindness

18 Oct

Sarcasm and More KindnessI don’t often give examples of “what not to do” however here’s a well-known example and perhaps we can all be reminded of it..

When two people play at sarcasm no one wins
Sir Winston Churchill and Lady Astor could have benefited from R.J. Rehwinkel’s advice that, “The only people you should try to get even with are those who have helped you.” These two prominent British politicians experienced one of the most bitter relationships in history. Their interactions were constantly filled with sarcasm, conflict, and caustic remarks, each intending to get back at and outdo the other.
One day in parliament, Lady Astor became upset with a Churchill decision and shouted, “Sir Winston, if you were my husband, I’d poison your tea.”
Churchill quickly replied, “Lady Astor, if you were my wife, I’d drink it.”
On another occasion Lady Astor encountered Churchill after he had spent the evening drinking. Seeing a marvellous opportunity to take advantage of the inebriated Churchill she snapped, :“Mr Prime Minister, I perceive that you are drunk.”
A wry smile appeared on Churchill’s face as he retorted with, “Yes I am, Lady Astor, and I perceive you are ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober.”
As in Churchill and Astor’s relationship, many people have traded building up one another for putting each other down. Positive, uplifting, and encouraging words have been traded for negative, piercing, and destructive ones.
Evaluate your relationships. Which direction have they taken? Be the first in your relationships to “get even” with only those who have helped you.
Now let’s look at an example that’s a lot more uplifting.
Sarcasm and More KindnessA Surprising Act of Kindness
How far you go in life,” believes George Washington Carver“depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strongBecause some day in your life you will have been all of these.”
Fiorello H. La Guardia, New York City’s mayor in 1935, must have held a comparable conviction. According to Our Daily Bread (April 4, 1992), he showed up in court one night in the poorest area of New York City and suggested the judge go home for the evening as he took over the bench.
La Guardia’s first case involved an elderly woman arrested for stealing bread. When asked whether she was innocent or guilty, this soft reply was offered, “I needed the bread, Your Honour, to feed my grandchildren.” “I’ve no option but to punish you,” the mayor responded. “Ten dollars or ten days in jail.”
Proclaiming the sentence, he simultaneously threw $10 into his hat. He then fined every person in the courtroom 50 cents for living in a city “where a grandmother has to steal food to feed her grandchildren.” Imagine the surprise of those in the room, who probably thought this was a black-and-white, open-and-shut case. When all had contributed their 50 cents, the woman paid her fine and left the courtroom with an additional $47.50.
It has been said that kindness is the oil that takes the friction out of life. So often it is easy to be grit, rather than oil, by judging, condemning, or berating those going through trials and tribulations. Yet, an act or word of kindness can cool the friction and help someone keep pressing on. Look around you! To whom will you show a kindness like that experienced by the grandmother?
Four heroes of the 20th century said this:
“Only a life lived for others is worth living.”
Albert Einstein
“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun melts ice, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to evaporate.”
Albert Schweitzer
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
Mother Teresa
“Lead the life that will make you kindly and friendly to everyone about you, and you will be surprised what a happy life you lead.”
Charles M. Schwab  (Steel Magnate)
So, kindness can do much for our lives, and even teach us — How to Win Friends & Influence People. And I hope that encourages you to read or re-read the book by the same name, written by Dale Carnegie.
So, this was the next instalment – I hope you enjoyed it. Do you know that in the drop down menu on the calm website there is almot 100 previous newsletters at The Knowledge Centre – Mind Matters News.
All the best

“Your gift from God is your potential – Your gift to God is to use it.” 

Never Forgive – until you’re ready

16 Oct

Never Forgive - until you're ready

I’ve wanted to write this for quite some time because many people have said to me that they could never forgive. My response has always been that that’s OK. I might add that when people have heard that I have forgiven, I have, amongst many positive reactions, also received a few negatives … ones like “I am betraying my daughters”, and “Why would I make the perpetrator feel OK?”, and “It’s sending a message of condoning of the murders” and “Only God can forgive” … and more. All these reactions or statements are understandable. They are the same kind of things that I said to myself when I was first confronted with the thought of forgiveness. The other thing that I believe these statements show is a different understanding of the topic, or the process of forgiveness, to my own. And as you may know, the understandings I have, were gained through a lengthy process of dealing with the painful experiences of the murder of my three beautiful teenage daughters.

Don’t Even Think Of Forgiving

When the wounds (or the deaths) are really raw (close to the event) then I believe that nobody should even think of forgiveness.  If you are a supporter of anyone dealing with tragedy, then at this stage, don’t even mention forgiveness.  The process of hatred and anger and thoughts of revenge are natural and I believe healthy in the early stages of grieving.

When the victim of a tragedy (the survivor) is feeling extreme bitterness, hatred, unbearable ongoing hurt, anger, revenge, then do not even think about forgiveness.  Every time you do (think about forgiveness) you will only feel more upset and hurt yourself.  There has been enough hurt – you don’t need any more. I say to express your rage!  Vent your spleen, as much as you can, on the perpetrator, society, circumstances … whatever you need to do to release your anger and hurt.  In your mind this will help, because by doing this, you will be preserving the love for your departed one(s), you will not condone the actions of violence, you will not help the perpetrator, right now this is a way of reassuring yourself that you are being loyal to your loved ones.

Forgiveness is a choice.  Only when you can bear to find out its meaning will you be able to investigate the purpose of forgiveness.

Handling The Trauma And Some Questions

Before I start on my explanation I want to pose a situation that too many people confront. Six months on, or even twelve months (and more) after a tragedy in which you have lost a loved one, every time you think of the event, or the lost loved one, or the perpetrator, then you are hurt. This hurt upsets you and you may become angry or you may show other emotions. This has perhaps become a habit. I know of a number of situations that by doing this it has affected relationships – one partner wants to move on and the other stays stuck in grief – a form of loyalty to the lost loved one.

Never Forgive - until you're readyTo continue, another way the loss may be handled is not to think about the event. Every time you think about it, you are hurt and emotional. And as you don’t want to do this to yourself, so you attempt to banish the thoughts from your mind. I know of a situation whereby the parents of a lost loved one did not allow even the mentioning of that child’s name in the house. So for a while you feel you can cope with life. Can you ever forget? No! Never! Your subconscious mind, your deep inner mind has always got the memory (and the habits). This is the same mind that is your dream mind, but you don’t have control over it. So what happens? Hot sweats, nightmares, unexplained anger, irrational actions! Familiar? This is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) caused by not fully processing the tragedy. Today we have counsellors who help to do this. It is always extremely important to talk and talk and talk … do not bury your thoughts.

Let me ask a question. How does your lost loved one want to be remembered? I’ll bet that they wouldn’t want you to be hurt or emotional every time you think of them! I think they would say something like “Hey Mum, remember the time when …. and we laughed and laughed ….”? Only happy memories would be their answer. Ask them … see if you get an answer inside of you! You are the master of what you do to yourself.

Here are another series of questions to ask yourself when you are ready. How are you handling your loved one’s murder or death? Does it hurt? Is it painful? Do you get angry? And now the big questions … Is this making you feel better, or worse? Is this helping or hindering you to handle life? And lastly, the questions … Who has power over this? Is there an alternative

What is the Purpose of Forgiveness?

Never Forgive - until you're readyForgiveness is for yourself only. It is to help you to move on. It does not condone any crime. It does not give the perpetrator a signal to go out and do it again. It is, I believe, a spiritual act and God is involved. If we agree with God being omnipotent and omnipresent then we are not separated from God. God is within each one of us. We therefore, in the process of forgiveness of the perpetrator, we can do what is within our power. What does the perpetrator do with your forgiveness? That’s up to them. The perpetrator may make peace with God, may be remorseful, may understand how many lives they have severely affected, and may ask for forgiveness from God. Whatever they do is not your responsibility. You are primarily responsible for yourself only.

One way of forgiving can be done in meditation. Why do I recommend this way? Because it is a test of whether you really mean it or not. Whether you have released the bitterness, anger, hatred, resentment, etc… It may be easy for some to say out loud “I forgive you” and not mean it at all. When you do this in meditation and you don’t really mean it, then you will choke on the words. You won’t be able to say it in meditation if you don’t mean it. What do you do then? Work more on releasing anger, acceptance, letting go, and unconditional love.

So, please only forgive when you are ready and always, yes always, remember the good events. Flood any negative memories with those good events by visualising them taking place again inside your mind. I encourage you to practise forgiveness in every day life and observe how you feel – only when you are ready.

Sandy MacGregor