It (see the article here) gave me the opportunity to promote my “Releasing Stress Methods” using the Subconscious Mind. It is interesting to compare what has been written with the preparatory questions and answers I needed to do as “homework” for the article. So what follows are the actual questions with the answers.
First, please -- your age.
How stressful was it acting as a Vietnam War tunnel rat?
I was trained for warfare so I felt as though I was doing what I had been trained to do. The tunnels were indeed challenging and being the leader I did not allow myself the "luxury" of allowing any feelings of fear but plunged ahead and indeed went down first, before asking my men - the men of 3 Field Troop - to do the same. (Did I feel fear – of course – you never know what is around the corner and you feel very vulnerable with a torch on your head). It was certainly stressful and extremely upsetting losing one of our men down a tunnel.
What was your closest scrape?
The most dangerous time we spent in Vietnam was in the occupation of the Nui Dat area (June – July 1966). The circumstances were that the US forces had suffered casualties in the area that the Australians were to occupy. The 5th Infantry Battalion was to take over from the US forces and when they occupied Nui Dat their nearest forces to my Engineers were at least 2 kilometres away. I was given the task to establish roads and a water point for the Task Force at this early stage. In the normal course of events the Infantry would be providing the engineers close-in protection so that we could carry out the Engineer tasks. This wasn’t available so we had to protect ourselves day and night – and ..… do the engineer work as well! At night there was a lot of enemy activity – rattling our protective wire (to get us to fire so that they could work out where the machine guns are). One evening they turned around a claym ore mine (so that had we fired it we would have fired it at ourselves – the clearing patrol next morning found the claymore). At night we also put out standing patrols – for early warning. This was the situation for nearly 3 weeks and all of us were exhausted – doing the role of Infantry and in the day doing engineering tasks as well. It wasn’t until Long Tan on the 17 August that we realised that all this preliminary reconnaissance on our position was the exact direction that the enemy planned to attack the Task Force and this was reinforced as a result of the mortaring on our engineer position where I had a number of friends wounded.
Do you ever have nightmares about Vietnam? If so, what?
I constantly dream about tunnels and as the years have passed it has "settled" into more of a dream than a nightmare.
What did being a tunnel rat teach you about stress and how you handle it?
At the time it was more a case of "get over it and get on with it" - I didn't really have any particular techniques to handle stress at the time. It was more a case of “don’t show it”! I was aware of it in later years as a result of recognising that mouth ulcers – for me – are a sign of stress.
How much do the events of January 23 1987 still play on your mind?
Every once in a while feelings of grief surface when perhaps I am interacting with my grandchildren and imagine that if the girls were still alive I would be enjoying them and their families and children. Sometimes emotion surfaces for example when somebody is speaking about the experience of having twins and I hold back on mentioning my own experience of having twins. I sometimes mourn the senseless loss of my daughters, however I don't allow myself to dwell on that but rather I swamp those feelings with memories of the wonderful and happy times I had with them. The huge difference between not handling the stress of Vietnam and handling the murder of the girls is that I had tools and techniques which are all to do with using the Power of the Subconscious Mind.
Could you sum up how you came to grips with the trauma?
My son was taught by an Indian Doctor in 1981 to handle his asthma and to save his leg from amputation (after a motor bike accident). Andrew taught me and I proved the techniques to myself by reducing weight (22 Kilos in 6 months) and then in 30 seconds reducing the strength of my pulse so that a doctor couldn’t feel it and reducing my blood pressure (in 30 seconds) by 20 points. I then studied the application of deliberately using the power of the subconscious mind. (The subconscious mind is 88% of the mind and deals with all our Memory, Habits, Personality and Self Image). After the murder of my three daughters I went through all the normal “hatred, anger, revenge, "why my girls?" thoughts. Indeed so much so that hatred, anger and revenge were habits! Two things helped – my friends kept me talking was one thing. You see if you don’t talk about huge trauma you will internalize it – push it d own. Then the subconscious mind has got it and it deals with it with nightmares, hot-sweats, anger, irrational action – that’s PTSD. Secondly I had meditation. In the middle of meditation (when one does get clarity) I realized I was headed down the road to making myself another victim (and I have done it to myself) by constantly thinking – hatred, anger and revenge thoughts. I changed these destructive habits in meditation to acceptance and letting go, to unconditional love and did the forgiveness process. (Forgiveness is for the forgiver – not for the forgiven). That’s when I crossed a threshold and seemed to come through a huge barrier of grief and anger!
What was it like meeting Maddrell in prison?
Meeting Maddrell in prison was quite scary. I knew I had more to learn about forgiveness and the way to do it was to meet Maddrell "face-to-face". I prepared myself using everything I teach about (primarily in meditation) plus I rehearsed exactly what I was going to say. The meeting went exactly the way I had visualized and when I walked out of the jail gates I noticed a feeling of lightness - floating. A couple of weeks later I was (and am) very comfortable with the explanation that I had released every last vestige of hatred, anger, revenge and resentment at the cellular memory level. Maddrell was no longer a "monkey on my back"! Today I am extremely grateful that I actually had that meeting - I have no feelings of hatred nor resentment!
When and why did you found the Calm Research Centre?
In 1989. I felt almost as though it was my responsibility and duty to share with others the amazing power I had discovered we all have to handle anything that happens to us in life and deal with all life's challenges.
Is it a business?
Over the last 21 years I have conducted over 1100 seminars and have reached hundreds of thousands of people with my 6 books (Piece of Mind has sold over 110,000 copies), 19 meditation CDs and many DVDs. I am now focussing on delivering electronic product by doing Internet Marketing.
What has been the biggest hurdle you've faced running the Calm Research Centre and how did you tackle it?
There have been many. The main challenge is maintaining numbers of people to hold seminars which really means continual marketing. That’s why I am now focussing on delivering electronic product by doing Internet Marketing – something we couldn’t do 10 years ago. A big challenge was when I attempted to launch in USA as it was a disaster in every way - particularly financially.
Very briefly could you sum up why the US was a disaster?
I guess I had high expectations of success in USA as it had been my dream for many years to launch over there. I expected the Americans to enjoy what I had to offer and perhaps I even thought that I may create a certain amount of interest by virtue of the fact that I was an Australian as it did appear at the time that anything Aussie was "the flavour of the day". I think these high expectations augmented the disappointment I felt at the "disaster" that was that particular venture (in particular financially).
We spent a lot of money sending over boxes of product and organising ourselves in advance for carrying out the launch. My wife joined me as we headed out for 2 months in USA and my son Andrew also made arrangements with his work and family in Thailand to join us for most of the time. We were also encouraged by our daughter's new in-laws who lived in North Carolina and gave us offers of support, advice and suggestions and also told us that in their opinion we would achieve huge success. My plan was to come back the second time to California and I even had our tickets booked and paid for.
Right at the time of my arrival in USA disaster had struck their country in the form of Hurricane Katrina. The entire country seemed to be understandably preoccupied with that tragedy and it seemed that nobody in the media was even slightly interested in hearing from me. I received the comment back from our PR agents "why do we need an Australian when we have our own people who are involved in this kind of work"!
We gave it our best shot - we even had two PR agents and did some publicity including a few newspaper, radio and TV interviews ... with barely a response. We stayed in North Carolina for one month and Chicago for one month - which was slightly the more successful of the 2 venues.
We came home with our tail between our legs and over $50,000 in the red .... bills to be paid and a huge slog of work in front of us to make up for the lost time in USA.
What did I learn from this? Several things including goals are unpredictable when it comes to timing and secondly I don't need to go to the US to achieve my goals.
Could you give a particular nitty gritty example of a stress relief technique -- aimed at stressed out entrepreneurs trying to keep their businesses afloat please?
You cannot make rational decisions when you are “stressed out”. From personal experience when my daughters were killed I couldn’t make any “decisions” – I was in a state of numbness. When entrepreneurs are trying to keep their businesses afloat and they are “stressed out” they are in a similar state of numbness. Therefore decision making should be from trusted advisors. I know that the best thing to handle extreme stress is meditation – regularly – 20 minutes a day! Entrepreneurs must make time for it. One of the Greatest Generals in the 2nd World War was Montgomery. He meditated often and always made a major decision after meditation. Meditation brings clarity! I would also proffer that the method that I teach to relax and release stress in less than 30 seconds is extremely useful when done throughout the day – this prevents a build up of stress.
How much are you afflicted by nerves when addressing an audience?
I always use the quick relaxation techniques I have learned and teach and I find that by having made that a habit I do not even have to think about nerves or stage fright. One of the main things I do is to always talk to myself positively about any talks I am about to give. So it’s not “I’m nervous” it’s “I’m excited”. What is nervousness? It’s “the feeling of the butterflies being all scattered”! What’s excitement? It’s those same butterflies “in formation” and you have control over them.
How do you tackle any stage fright?
Prepare myself with meditation and particularly visualization of the success of the talk.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs about handling stress?
Learn about the power of the subconscious mind – and particularly relaxing in 30 seconds, meditation, visualization and positive self talk.
What, if anything, keeps you awake at night?
Only my wife having a restless night. Sometimes my dreams don’t help however I have techniques to meditate and to get back to sleep quickly.
Cutting back on conducting seminars. Coaching and training others to conduct my seminars and to continue this work. Using the internet marketing as a sales tool.
What's your dream?
My dream is that everyone knows about the Power of the Subconscious Mind and how to use it to achieve more and to achieve easily.
So, know that you can handle Stress and Trauma by consciously using your Subconscious Mind. On my website there are techniques (available free) to Manage Stress and to Deal With Trauma. To learn most of the Techniques I teach have a look at the CALM Life Skills Seminar on DVDs and CDs. Let me know by email if you are interested to purchase this item and I will arrange for you to receive this for half price.
"Your gift from God is your potential – Your gift to God is to use it."
I learned about peaceful place when Xian (our younger son) attended this course and the parents of those children sat through the teaching. It was a wonderful experience and to this day, I personally practise it.
To go to my PP, there is a ritual. I am delivered on the back of a Chinese phoenix who sets me down very gently on the sand leading into a lagoon. There are lots of trees and greeneries around, birds are flying but making no noise. I walk unhurriedly into the water and float on my back and stay that way.
Sometimes, when I am troubled for whatever reasons, I pin a post-it note to a coconut palm and leaving my problem(s) behind or tell it to go away before entering the lagoon. It works for me.
I also go to my PP on nights when I wake up and cannot return to my
sleep. It relaxes me and sends me on my way.
Thanks and all the best.H.K. OS
Both my son and I attended your 2 day seminar in Crows Nest many years ago. At the time my son was in early high school. I thought it would assist him in coping with adolescent life with Aspergers as well as helping with his concentration/studies. He has never forgotten the seminar and used his peaceful place to get through many confounding situations as a teenager. O.B. NSW.