In my late teens and early twenties, as I struggled with carving my own little identity in the big bad world, I leaned on my mentors for advice.
Anthony Robbins, Wayne Dyer, Napoleon Hill, NLP’s co-creator Richard Bandler et al did their best to steer me on the right path. I devoured everything I could get my hands on and listened to audio books until I could almost recite them word for word.
Eventually after hearing the same repetitive message, growing tired of the high energy mantras and marketing spiel, I looked around for other teachers, and was curious to see a book in my Dad’s little library one night. The book was called Mind Magic and written by an author called Betty Shine.
Skimming through the book I found it quite theoretical offering little in the way of practical advice. Most of the abstract content went over my head, if truth be told, but there was one nugget of information buried within that made it worth the read.
At that time in my life, I was experiencing a lot of pressure, thanks in part to chasing a degree that I had absolutely no passion for (but lacking the courage to change direction).
A by-product of these stressful episodes, especially around assignment time, were excruciating headaches that would last for hours. My worried parents prescribed headache relief tablets which only helped to make my urine more expensive.
When I was absent mindedly flicking through Betty Shine’s book there was a topic where she discussed the relationship between the body and mind, specifically addressing the area of headaches.
No one injected you with that headache. If your mind created it, then surely it has the medicine to cure it too.
It was a startling thought.
There was an exercise she suggested trying when faced with a headache. I didn’t have to wait long – my daily migraines were a regular companion at this stage. I’m going to rehash the exercise here.
THE MIND MEDICINE ROOM
Imagine walking down a long, darkened corridor, the sound of your footsteps echoing off the walls. At the end of the hallway you can see a door, a single bulb above it illuminating a name.
As you approach, you can make it out: Dr. (Insert Your Own Name Here).
You pull a big chunky key out of your pocket and slide it into the lock. It clicks and you open the door stepping into the room. This is your own private Pharmacy. Your own safe haven. There are numerous books lining the wall, and in front stands a single cupboard with an array of different utensils, bottles and vials. At the other side of the room, you spot a desk and an office chair. In the corner you see your most comfortable lazy afternoon chair. Funny it being there!
This is your own room, and it has all the medicines that you could ever need. Although relatively small in size, the quantity of what you need for relief is in unlimited supply. You can decorate the room to whatever style you see fit. After all, it’s your office. You can even plant your favourite posters on the wall, or introduce a couple of new plants for some cleaner air. A window in the room allows some natural sunlight to filter in and you approach it to look outside. What do you see?
You instantly feel better and more relaxed now you are in your own surroundings, knowing that whatever happens, you can always return to this place as often as you like. And no-one needs to know about it.
You can make some changes to the decor now, or come back on another visit. For now, you want some pain relief, so you go over to the cupboard to withdraw an empty pill bottle. You take it over to your desk and sit down. You unlock the top drawer of your desk, pulling out a sticky label. On this you write with a marker in big letters:
When you wrap the label around the pill bottle, it instantly fills with dozens of green capsules – enough for any headache you’ll ever have in your life.
You pop the capsule in your mouth, wash it down with water, stretching your body and waiting for the comfort to set in. The headaches intensity begins to fade, as your comfort increases. Soon, it has gone entirely.
When this happens, know that your headache has gone. Be consciously aware of this moment and hold it. It may try to return but you have shut it out. If it persists, lock on to this calm and focus on your comfort.
The beautiful thing about this visualisation technique is that the more often you do it, the quicker you can get to pain relief.
After only three or four times, I was feeling better as soon as I entered my own little private clinic, as if the neural connections had created a short-cut.
I successfully used the same ‘Mind Medicine Room’ when I experienced toothache, and various other mild aches and ailments. While it didn’t completely shut down the pain in some cases, it certainly helped make the experience much less stressful.
It’s amazing where you can find gems of inspiration. Because of stumbling on Mind Magic, I haven’t had a single headache in 10 years. What the mind conceives, the body believes. Especially if you have a vivid imagination.
Which reminds me, I wonder if my collection of little blue pills have arrived at the Pharmacy yet…