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The KEY Questions: Am I feeling the pressure?

30 December 17

I was having a routine check-up at my local surgery. There was a delay and as I sat idly in the waiting room I noticed there was a blood pressure machine in the corner. Not one of those rubber and plastic contraptions you strap around your arm, this one looked more sophisticated. It had a slot you put your whole arm in and it gave you a read-out straight away. It was either that or pore over some ancient copies of Hello Magazine that looked like they might be several decades out of date, so I stuck my arm in the slot and the verdict was delivered a few seconds later.

My blood pressure was dangerously high.

Consequently I went in to my appointment with a very slight but nonetheless real sense of dread.

It strikes me there are two responses to a situation like that, and they are very different in character, opposite in fact. One kind of person says “How lucky to have found out about this now, when I’m still fine and can do something about it, say by changing my diet or perhaps doing some physical exercise. I might even take a look at my lifestyle to see if I can reduce my stress levels. And if all else fails there’s medication. This is a wake-up call and I’m glad it’s happened.”

The other response is to take the negative view. “My body is giving out on me! I could drop dead any minute from a heart attack or stroke! If only I hadn’t ruined myself with overeating and alcohol abuse. Why didn’t I listen when they told me to cut down on cigarettes? I’ve brought this on myself. At best I’m looking at being on pills for the rest of my life and at worst … I’m done for.”

Admittedly I’ve chosen two fairly extreme reactions to make my point, but clearly each one of us falls somewhere between the two. And what do you notice about them? The second option, which is probably the more common in this over-anxious age, is looking backwards at the (at least partly imagined) causes of the problem. It’s too late. The damage has been done, and we know who to blame for that!

In contrast the first looks forward to what can be done, not with fear and dread but with optimism and a good feeling. In the first there is no blame. There is no judgement going on, no pointless self-loathing or self-pity.

… And in the second there is no hope.

Now we know that spiritually, emotionally and physically, our minds and bodies are intimately connected. The medical and scientific evidence is overwhelming that our psychological responses to any health issue have a direct bearing on how quickly we recover from it. In other words by dwelling on the negative, harbouring morbid thoughts about our own mortality or, worse, trawling through our past to find confirmation of our guilt and shame, we actually run a far higher risk of manifesting those very things we are scared of.

Back to my story…. The first thing the doctor did when he began his examination was take my blood pressure, and sure enough it was a little bit raised. I was surprised, not that it was raised but that it was only slightly raised, and I told him about the machine in the waiting room and its alarming read-out. The doctor laughed. “That machine is out of order, we’ve been meaning to get it fixed. Pay no attention to those numbers.”

I have to confess I felt relieved. “No wonder your pressure was high,” he added. He took another reading…


All that pressure, and every bit of it thought-generated. What if we could take this simple lesson and apply it to other areas of our lives, like the pressure to earn more, the pressure to be a better parent, son or daughter, the pressure to work harder and always stay ahead of the game, in short the pressure to succeed in all we do?

How would our lives appear to us then?




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  • Having attended David's course and then had some one to one sessions with him my approach to my life has changed dramatically and improved. David has a very gentle and empathic way about him, yet managed to challenge my habitual way of being and thinking. As a result of our time together I now practice his "way of being" and I truly find that I am getting far better results in all of the relationships that I encounter. My inner chatter is under control, most of the time, and I am learning to pause and push away harmful thinking . It's surprising how habitual thinking can do so much damage and how, once you really focus on what comes into your mind you start to realise that you can be bigger than your random thoughts. So David thank you for putting me on a better pathway. Looking forward to sharing another journey with the Auspicium family!
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  • It took me about 5 years of 'dithering' before committing, and in that time I attended several introductory days from various training providers. David's accessible style and the unforced flow of the day is what persuaded me to choose his company. David provides a training model that helps you become your best self - as a student, as a practitioner, as a person. By 'best', I mean more open, less fearful, more confident, less judgemental - whether you attend the course to make a change personally or professionally, to build on existing success, or with no idea where it might go, simply because you are interested (that was me!) you will be impressed at what you are able to achieve with David's expert guidance showing you how to use your curiosity as a pathway to growth. In the first week following the course, I dealt with several potentially difficult situations both at work and home, coming from a changed perspective - resulting in no conflict, calmer colleagues, less stressed family. And this without actively using any techniques; the biggest change has been inside my own headspace. I can't wait to do the next course. Now that I know, unequivocally, the benefits to be had, I wish I had come down off the fence years ago! Added bonus, a bunch of fabulous new friends. And a final thought about cost; some of you reading this will be struggling to justify spending a chunk of hard earned money "just" for yourself. Well, I will be using these tools every day for the rest of my life - pennies a day investment! I am SO worth it. And so are you!
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  • I first met David at an evening business club a couple of years ago. During his presentation something “clicked” with me and I felt compelled to further my understanding of NLP. I attended the Auspicium free trial day. My earlier feelings were confirmed. This guy knows what he’s talking about and has a passion for helping people. I duly signed up for the NLP and Hypnotherapy practitioner course. What a week. All in the class left in such high spirits with a very different outlook on life. Following on I have attended the NLP and Hypnotherapy Master Practitioner course. Again excellent. There was something about the Hypnotherapy element of the course that I loved so on to the Hypnotherapy Trainers Training (another absolutely brilliant week). All the courses that I have attended have been very well organised, have a great team of trainers and support volunteers. The documentation is well put together and the exercises are all structured to push yourself to show you have a grasp of the given subject. I now have a fantastic group of new friends who I have a deep link with. We still meet up when we can to catch up on what we are all doing. As of March this year I have been participating in the Auspicium Freedom Project. This is a yearlong “conversation” about the 3 Principles – Mind, Thought and Consciousness. It took me a while to “get” it but now just by “doing nothing” I find myself doing more with better results and no stress. There are no models or techniques to learn. We all have the Principles inside us. We just need to be woken up to how to use them. It’s a great journey that will take the rest of my life. David is a superb trainer and fully deserves all the praise he receives.
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  • Before going on David’s Practitioner course, I thought I knew what I wanted, where I was headed and how I was going to get it. All I wanted an additional skill to add to my portfolio. I thought my life was in reasonably good order, nothing that needed fixing. I can sum up my experience of working with David in two words: life-changing. Instead of just learning a new skill, David encouraged us to apply his teaching, our learning, to ourselves. In a very safe environment, I gradually dropped the barriers I had painstakingly built up over a long time. This change happened very quickly and I continued growing as a person, studying 2 more courses with David and joining him on the Freedom project. Why David? He is disarmingly honest, genuine and engaging. He has a very broad knowledge of human behaviour and passes his knowledge on with grace. As a result of working with David, I have changed, and my life has changed. In myself I am very happy and contented person. My marriage is better and stronger. My business plans have taken a different route - one that is exciting and feels very right for me.