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The KEY Questions: Can we float above our problems?

5 March 17

Despite being in his thirties, a little overweight but not totally unfit, Daniel was always wary around water. He’d had a couple of near misses as a child and they had been enough to put him off trying to swim his whole life. The problem was he lived by the ocean. A lot of his friends had sailing boats and dinghies but he would always refuse to go out on them. Then one day when his best friend Steve was about to take a little trip round the harbour he plucked up courage and asked to go along. The weather was fine and warm, and there was scarcely a ripple on the surface of the ocean. Steve was an expert sailor, Daniel knew. Steve would make sure he was safe. They took along a six-pack of beers for company and soon were having a great time chatting and reminiscing about the old days. Daniel even helped out by pulling on ropes and occasionally steering by holding the tiller, but when a sudden squall hit the boat side on, whipping the boom around, Daniel lost his balance and fell back into the water. Steve tried desperately to pull him out, even diving in to help, but could not grab hold of his drowning friend. Daniel was lost.


If this little story has upset you, don’t worry because I made it up. (That’s not to say it hasn’t happened though, too many times). Here’s a profound question with a simple answer. Or maybe it’s a simple question with a profound answer, I can’t figure out which.


   Since human beings readily and easily float in water, why should any of us drown?


The next time someone tells you they can’t swim you can reassure them by reminding them of the following fact: water is dense and humans float on top of it effortlessly, as do dogs and tigers, hippos and elephants. We don’t float quite as effortlessly as a piece of driftwood, that’s true. A minimal amount of movement is required to sustain buoyancy, but then a living, breathing organism is never ‘not working at being alive’. Even something as fundamental as breathing can be an effort sometimes, like if you’re asthmatic or when there’s air pollution, but we never question our ability to breathe. And of course it’s true that if you’re stranded in water your body will eventually give up the ghost and sink. That ‘minimal effort’ can’t be sustained indefinitely. (Those unfortunates who are lost at sea are mostly killed by the intense cold long before they drown, which is a mercy I suppose).


The fact remains that we can all float without thinking about it. And there, of course, is the answer to my question, in a word: Thought. Our teachers are quite right when they encourage us, as children, to learn to swim. But they need to make sure, when they do it, that they don’t instil in us the equation: Inability to Swim = Drowning on Contact with Water. We have already seen how infinitely suggestible our minds are. Once that equation is internalised, becoming a part of our reality, it is the thought itself that will kill us, not the water.


Falling into water unexpectedly can be a shock to the system, even for a confident swimmer. The body’s natural reflexes kick in, ensuring that a gulp of air is quickly taken, but after that, in a ‘non-swimmer’ like Daniel, wrong thinking takes over, shutting off the person’s innate wisdom, flooding the brain, (no pun intended), with useless, negative thoughts. Daniel had that equation firmly tucked away in his personal reality: ‘If I fall in I will drown’. He had nurtured the belief through three decades of his life. What did he do on contact with the water? Did he calmly float there, knowing that his friend would fish him out in a matter of seconds? No, in blind panic he thrashed his arms around wildly, the very thing that was guaranteed to prevent his body’s natural buoyancy keeping him safe. As he felt himself sinking, so his terror increased, leading him to thrash around harder. Daniel ‘drowned himself’.


Isn’t this a pretty fair analogy, (if a dramatic one), for the way we live our lives? Substitute those thrashing arms for our most neurotic, most anti-social actions, our ego-driven desires for a better job, a better relationship, a better everything. Mind is always there, telling us to ‘float’. The shock of the cold water, (read job loss, relationship upset, accident or illness), will quickly pass, and there will always be help at hand. Remember, we floated in our mother’s wombs. Newborn babies swim underwater, smiling.


Are you ‘drowning’ right now, or floating?



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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!
    Rowena Wild

  • The course I attended with David Key was marvellous, every moment being filled with joy and laughter. David has a unique talent to teach, unlocking the full potential of every person he encounters. His course opened up an infinite number of ways for me to get the life I want, right now, today, and in the future. It made me realise that thought is fluid and that I can mould it the way I want to suit my day. I would highly recommend this course to anyone in search of a new professional career or for those who simply want a happier life. Thank You!
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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.