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Creating Happiness Intentionally
I first met Sandy in early 1994 shortly after the murder of my son Michael. I was in the depths of depression, angry at the world and had revenge as a focus. I approached him knowing that with the murder of his three daughters, he had experienced what I was going through.
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No need for Heroes - Short excerpt's
The Tunnels, the Australian story reproduced from the book No Need For Heroes The Aussies who discovered the Viet Congs tunnels by Sandy MacGregor as told by Jimmy Thompson.
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No Need for Heroes - book foreword
The sixties was an exciting and adventurous decade for the Royal Australian Engineers. A relatively small Corps, primarily engaged in construction and works service activities at the beginning of this period, it had doubled in size by 1970 and accumulated a breadth and depth of operational experience which placed it among the foremost western military engineering establishments.
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Piece of Mind - book foreword
Is there any new information under the sun? The human race places its own limitations on belief - we want everything to be proven to us scientifically. Recently (in the last 30 years) an enormous amount of research has been accomplished in the field of learning and particularly the brain, which researchers, scientists and psychologists have been able to label with new words - the "new" discoveries.
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Student Steps To Success - book foreword
It is a privilege and an honour to be asked to write this Foreword. Sandy MacGregor is a very special person, as you will see when you begin to use this book. For many, adolescence has always been a difficult time, a period of tensions between dependence and independence, between being an adult and an adolescent. Today's world is increasingly challenging and complex.
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Switch on to your Inner Strength - book foreword
When Sandy was a young cadet at Duntroon, the Military College where he was educated, he learnt one of the most important maxims of leadership theory. It was drummed into his head over and over for the four student years he spent there. The words were, "Never ask a soldier to do something which you would not be prepared to do yourself."

After being in Alpha and opening your eyes is there any other reinforcing action that can be taken

When I come back from one to five and open my eyes I always say "I'm relaxed, well, healthy and invigorated". I just use those four words. I use it often in my seminars and would encourage you to do something similar. In fact you create another good positive habit every time you use those words.

Can I get to my Peaceful Place when I'm stressed? How do I do it

Two ways. You need to take longer in the early stages, ie. before Alpha is a habit; so go into your relaxed place, through the pathway to your Peaceful Place. The second way is to actually start with meditation - I recommend my tape or CD PP5 - Meditation.

Do you have to close your eyes when you relax and go to your Peaceful Place

No. Have you ever seen someone else, or caught yourself, staring. That's the Alpha state. Single focused concentration. You are not looking at anything when you're staring, but your mind is fixed on a subject. Small children do it often and easily - you can train yourself to do it.  What about studying in Alpha - of course your eyes remain open.

Does the emotion used in establishing the Emotional Anchor need to be the same type of  emotion when emotionalising a goal

The emotion that you bring back with your Emotional Anchor is actually the physical feeling of feeling good. It need not have any relationship to the goal at all. You're converting emotion to a feeling in the body; how it was originally created doesn't matter (as long as the experience was positive). What was it that I said about the subconscious mind? It does not know the difference between reality and imagination. So you're fooling the subconscious mind with the use of the emotion, by only tapping into the physical feeling, not the circumstances, when you use your Emotional Anchor.  Here's an example - your goal might be to buy a house; as you're doing your goal in your PP up comes the good emotion for example, of excelling in several sporting achievements (which you've already put into your emotional anchor) - so is that OK?  Yes, of course, because it's all positive emotion, and emotion is the language of the subconscious mind.

Here's another example of sabotage, which occurred in a seminar.  There was a gentleman who was about 70 years old, and loved horses.  He's the original horse whisperer!  He could get on the back of any horse in half an hour, and he described himself as a horse psychologist.  Here's what happened.

You can guess where the focal point of his Peaceful Place was - in the saddle, on a horse!  When we were doing the Peaceful Place exercise, I noticed that this man opened his eyes with a startled gesture of his arms and legs.  I asked him why, and got the answer that, he was in his Peaceful Place and the horse started to gallop, and it galloped towards a 6m high barbed wire entanglement.  He didn't want the horse to get into the barbed wire, so he came out of his Peaceful Place.  I suggested that the horse could jump the wire, and he said that's not possible.  I inferred that anything is possible in Peaceful Place - people can fly to their focal point, so why shouldn't a horse grow wings and jump over the fence?  He gave it another try, and everything was fine.  I think this is just a further example of how the subconscious mind can sabotage us.  In other words, try to prevent us from getting to our Peaceful Place, and making the new habit of Peaceful Place.

How can I practise my Peaceful Place 20 times a day if I am at work all day? Do I need to use the music

No, you do not need the music.  I am assuming that you have built your PP, been there in 3 minutes and that you have practised porpoising - now you want to make PP a habit. At work there are many places to practise, some of them can be really useful too - places like:  just before you make or just after you have made a telephone call, at your computer, before or during a meeting, before you interview someone, as you switch focus to a new task, at any break (including the toilet) - are you getting the idea? The main thing to work on is a number of ways that you can remind yourself to do it.

How can I remind myself to go to my Peaceful Place

It really is important to develop and use your Peaceful Place (PP) often.  There are many reminder methods to do the 30 second practice of going to your PP and these include:

* Putting your watch on the other arm

* Wearing your watch upside down

* Putting a sticker on your watch so that it's difficult to read

* Putting Stickers in every place that you can think of where you've got 30 seconds to do your PP, eg. the bathroom mirror, inside the shower, on your toothbrush, on the Mute button of the TV control, on a special cup or glass that you drink out of, on your refrigerator, etc...

* Using a bookmark with PP written on it

* Using a message, screen saver or alarm on your computer

* Putting something like a little furry animal on your keyring (so that you feel it) - think of where this can be useful ... before you drive away in your car, before you get out of your car, as you arrive home and put the key in the front door, etc...

* Using jewellery, eg. getting a new ring, changing a ring from one finger to another finger, wearing a bracelet, etc...

* Using a diary

* Putting coins in your pocket

You see, what we're trying to do with all these different reminder methods is to create some sort of interrupt pattern within our consciousness so that it reminds us to immediately go to PP.  Remember, the job of the subconscious mind is to keep you where you are now, so you see it will keep on creating doubt and indeed it doesn't want the new habit of being able to relax and release stress whenever you want.  It (the subconscious mind) only wants what it's got ... not what it has not got.  So the job of the conscious mind is to get the new habit into the subconscious mind, and it's this conscious mind that needs reminding to do it.

I (Sandy) got a phone call from a doctor who had attended my seminar. The doctor wanted to be accompanied by her psychologist as she tested herself on the electro-encephalograph because she couldn't get to her Peaceful Place.  I anticipated that she was being sabotaged.

What was really interesting was that the electro-encephalograph showed that the lady was getting to Alpha in her Peaceful Place, but she only stayed there for about 2 seconds.  I pointed this out to her and asked her to tell me about her journey to the Peaceful Place and her actual Peaceful Place.  She described how she was carefully going up a mountain side, and then peering over the top into a secret hidden valley.  This was set in the United States, and the valley was occupied by Indians.  It was really lovely - there were buffalo, tepees, and corn growing.  She said that when she peered over the top and looked into the valley that everything had changed - the tepees weren't where they were before, the buffalos had moved, the corn had moved, and it wasn't as orderly.  Her statement to herself was "It's changed - I'm not there" and she was quite annoyed.  When you get annoyed, you're out of Alpha, and this explained why she was getting to Alpha just for a couple of seconds, and then she was totally back into Beta.  I suggested that she allow the tepees to move, to allow the buffalos to move, to allow the crops to be rotated and be in a different area, and to make that okay, because really and truly, this is nature.  She tried again, got to the top, peered over the edge, and stayed in her Peaceful Place.

I am having trouble finding a relaxing place for my PP, and actually building it.  What can I do

Have you ever just sat and daydreamed about doing something that you really like to do?  Maybe like fishing, surfing, swimming, skiing, mountain-climbing, etc...  If you can bring that to mind then that can be just as good.  In other words, what I am saying is work with reality.  Know this, if you can go to sleep at night then it means that you actually are going through the Alpha state (the PP state) in the process of sleep so you really are doing it automatically and now you need to teach youself to do it deliberately.

My first suggestion is to read the "Piece of Mind" book from cover to cover, including just reading through all the words of the Guided Imageries.  Then, and only then, work with reality in using the tape PP2 - Guided Imagery - even if the reality peaceful place that comes up for you is one that occurred as a child.

I can't get to my Peaceful Place any more because when I sit on the beach and look out to the sea there is a big brick wall built right along the beach which prevents me from seeing the sailing boat with two red sails.  What do I do

Recognise that what the subconscious mind is doing here is "keeping you where you are now", which of course is its job.  In other words, what it's attempting to do is to sabotage you from being able to get to your Peaceful Place because it doesn't want the new habit of being able to relax and release stress in less than 30 seconds.  The next time you go to your Peaceful Place, go down to the brick wall and punch a hole in the wall, and put a window in it.  Then come back to your spot on the beach, look through the window, and see what happens.

(Note from Sandy - This was an actual experience and I got a call back saying that as soon as he looked through the window, he saw the boat with the two red sails, and then the brick wall disappeared.)

When I do seminars I always tell the above story, and one day I got a telephone call from a 16 year old girl saying - "My Peaceful Place is totally destroyed.  It's a cave, up in a mountain, and I've done it out like my house.  My focal point for my Peaceful Place is my bed.  My bed collapsed, and I thought back to the story about the man and the brick wall across the beach.  So I decided, not to worry, I'll build a stronger bed.  The steel bed collapsed.  Not to worry, I sat on a carpet on the floor.  The carpet flew out the window.  I thought I'd give it one more try so I sat in front of the fire, but the fire spat at me.  Now what do I do?"

This was a special case.  I asked the young lady, what was her journey to her Peaceful Place.  She had a wonderful imagination, and described how she used to line herself up in front of a hill where she could just see the windows of the cave up in the mountain and then she pressed a secret stone key, and the mountain opened up.  She went in to the mountain and it was like Disneyland, and she got on to one of the rides, with the music going, loving every moment of it, and this ride took her all the way to the back of her Peaceful Place.  I said - stop there.  What I want you to do is to make your new Peaceful Place focal point the chair of your musical ride.  Just to explain why this will be okay - I have measured many people on the electro-encephalograph and most of them are in the Alpha brainwave state as soon as they start their journey towards their Peaceful Place.  With your imagination, I'm sure that you'll be in the Alpha state as soon as you start your journey on your ride.  Remember, the purpose of Peaceful Place is to get you to Alpha, so that you open the filter, so that you can get back to memory and habits.

I did not get any physical feeling in my body when I formed my emotional anchor – how does this effect me using it

Many of us have been taught not to show our emotions – 'sign of weakness', 'don't cry', etc., and our bodies have learned to suppress the resultant physical feelings. With practice in recalling pleasant emotional events (using the Peaceful Place No. 2 tape is a great way) we can get in touch not only with more positive events, but the physical feeling as well. The goal process is just as powerful, even when you don't recognise the physical feeling: apply your emotional anchor and at the same time recall quickly the good positive event, and how you felt at that time. This of course adds to the good feeling of seeing yourself succeed in your goal. By doing this there is a resultant emotion, which you may not at first recognise, but this helps to indelibly imprint the success of your goal in your subconscious mind.

I don't get any physical feeling when I remember the good event. What should I do

That's OK. Just apply the Anchor when you are re-living the event in your mind because you know or imagined you felt good at the time. Some people find it difficult to express emotion - maybe they have been taught to suppress it, keep a stiff upper lip, don't cry, don't be vulnerable, etc. Just make it OK to re-live the event without the emotion and gradually the emotion will start coming through for you.

I find it hard to feel emotional about anything - any suggestions

Go to your Peaceful Place and think of good events in your life. If necessary go to a time when you where a child and there was a special event like receiving a present – birthdays, Christmas, parties, picnics, etc. Then listen to the tape a Peaceful Place No. 2 (Guided Imagery), side two, once again (you can't do it too often). You will find that recalling the good event, with you knowing you felt good at that time will be sufficient to start the cycle of emotion and feelings to take effect. You will probably also find that emotions will "loosen up" and come to the surface. This process is to be encouraged.

I find it hard to get into my PP when angry or stressed. How do you get the PP to be automatic

By repetition and practice, by signs around the house to remind you to practise, by playing baroque music, by moving coins from one pocket to another to remind yourself of the number of times you have practised PP in one day. Only after you have made PP a habit can you then easily and quickly get there at challenging times.

I saw my Peaceful Place and got to it the first time. Now, as much as I try, I don't see it. Is it important to see it

The short answer is – no. The thing to do is remain calm and imagine that you are seeing your Peaceful Place. Check it out in your mind. If you keep trying (remember that implies failure) your level of anxiety increases and it's not important to see, so just imagine that you are seeing it or checking it out.

I try so hard to get to my Peaceful Place – can you give me another tip

Let me first mention what "trying" means. Do you know that to try implies failure. Think of the action another way, either do it or don't do it, but don't "try" to do it. "Trying", to the subconscious mind, implies failure. Now for the tip: when you're anxious, go to your Peaceful Place through your relaxed place and then your magic pathway. You can do it very quickly. Another tip, start to go to your Peaceful Place after you have taken three deep breaths, saying the word "relax" as you breathe out.

I'm having trouble with my PP. Every time I go into it I find I have to re-arrange the furniture because there's always new stuff there that wasn't there before. What can I do? It's driving me mad.

Add a new, empty room with nothing but a chair and a window looking over the ocean and then go through the old room into this new one. You can have as many rooms as you want in your "castle" - a music room, goal room, ability room, presenting room, sports room and many more!!

I'm not getting to my Peaceful Place when I'm stressed. How do I do it

Two ways. You need to take longer in the early stages, i.e. before alpha is a habit; so go into your relaxed place, through the pathway to your Peaceful Place. The second way is to play yourself the tape (Peaceful Place 2). Gradually as you practise then you will find it easier to go to PP faster. Why? Because your stress levels will gradually come down.

I'm not visual at all and therefore I don't think I have a Peaceful Place. What should I do

I personally do not see anything in my Peaceful Place, at least not the same way I see in a dream. Many people do see it clearly, but mine just "looks like" a black hole. I imagine that I see my Peaceful Place and when I sit down in my chair I feel a wave of relaxation go through my body and that's my signal. Other people may hear wind or the sea when they get to their Peaceful Place. Keep practicing, knowing that when you imagine you're checking out your Peaceful Place, you are then in Alpha. You may develop a signal, which can be the first sense that comes to you, which tells you for sure that you're in you Peaceful Place.

I'm struggling between two Peaceful Places. How do I choose the right one

Build it again. Use the tape A Peaceful Place No. 2 (Guided Imagery) side one. Whichever is dominant will come in to your mind first. If the other one comes in, ask yourself which Peaceful Place is best for you and then go with your intuition. If the second Peaceful Place is still around then treat it as a thought and just imagine that the thought goes out (in fact you are taking control of the thought). Another thing that you can do is to combine the two PPs - you can, for instace put the beach on the mountain top - it doesn't have to be real.

If I want to just use the Peaceful Place for releasing stress, what do I do

When you have got to your Peaceful Place, then relaxation and releasing stress are automatic. You really only need to keep getting to your PP and stay there for a few seconds. If you have a particular event that causes the stress then you could treat the action of getting through that event without increasing stress, the same way as you would a goal. Remember you can always use meditation.

My negative emotion invades me in my Peaceful Place - what can I do about it

Negative emotion can often tend to dominate our thought processes, acting like a protection mechanism, eg. "…this is what happened before…" Treat the negative emotion just like an invading thought. You have power over it (the thought) so just let it go - in one ear and out the other, or attach it to a never ending escalator, or put it in a plane flying overhead. You must actually do this in your mind over and over again until it goes.

My negative emotions invade me in my Peaceful Place – what can I do about it

Negative emotion can often tend to dominate our thought processes, acting like a protection mechanism, e.g. "… this is what happened before…" Treat the negative emotion just like invading thoughts. You have power over it (the thought) so just let it go – in one ear and out the other, or attach them to a never ending escalator, or, put them in a plane flying overhead. You must actually do this in your mind over and over again until it goes.

Now that I have established my emotional anchor through the guided imagery exercise on PP2 Guided Imagery Tape, do I have to keep practising that same exercise or is the emotional anchor now established

It's established, and it always needs "topping up".  This can be done by going to past good events, or  as soon as really good events happen, then do it straight away.

What about people in my Peaceful Place? How do I "use" them or how do I let them go

You must take control of the situation in your Peaceful Place. If you want people in or out you invite them in; you tell them to come in and stay, or to go out. If they persist and won't go, then build yourself another Peaceful Place. You can bring people in and seek their assistance and guidance by asking them questions. Try it, you'll find the power amazing.

What can I do when kids come into the room when I'm in my PP and "shock" me out of it - sometimes I feel dizzy

Go back into your PP and then slowly come back out by counting from 1 to 5.

What do I do when someone is in my PP that I don't want to be there and they keep coming back

If the person intrudes ask them what they want and tell them that they have come in uninvited. Ask them to leave. If the intruder persists then you may need to build yourself another PP. However, if you want to invite someone in to your PP then remember to build yourself a separate entrance through which you can invite visitors.

What if I don't easily recall good events in my life to build my Emotional Anchor

What you can do is to start building your Anchor each day. If you've done something you feel good about - pat yourself on the back and anchor that feeling. If someone says to you "You look great today", or "I really like what you're wearing" – feel good about that and anchor that feeling. This will help you to build your Emotional Anchor and keep it topped up ready to use for your goals - or to feel good.

What if we're listening to a good news station – at some stage they're bound to come through with some bad news. How do I handle the bad news

Yes, what you're saying is so true and bad news can be the source of negative thoughts. If you're expecting it, for example at "News Time", you could turn it off. There will always be bad news. A way of handling the bad news, to the best of your ability, is to treat it as a thought you don't want, ie. just let it go. Another thought is to just treat the news as information, ie. don't put on it the connotation of good news or bad news. Of course you can always control the TV and radio program that you tune into.  As far as newspapers are concerned, you can choose what to read or what NOT to read – you're the boss. I'd suggest to you to be very discerning.

What is an emotional anchor and what is it used for

Emotion is the language of the subconscious mind.  In other words it is the actual feeling of emotion that helps us imprint on the subconscious mind - that is, memory.  For example, we can easily recall any good, or bad, event that's happened in our lives.  Why is that?  It's because of the emotion that was involved.

In my CALM Life Skills Seminar we build  an Emotional Anchor (you can have anchors for anything).  So what we do is recall good past events, feel the emotion of each of these events and put that emotion into an anchor.  The anchor that I advise people to use is a physical movement, eg. moving your thumb over your forefinger, or touching your forehead, or pulling your ear lobe.  It must be the same movement each time.  To build the Anchor, as you experience the emotion of the event, you make that chosen physical movement.

To use the Anchor it's the process in reverse.  As you say your goal (after you reach your PP) you then visualise it and feel good about the achievement of the goal - just as you feel good about achieving your goal, you give yourself that movement (your Emotional Anchor) which will send a charge of positive emotion through you ... and remember that emotion is memory.  So this action is actually imprinting the success of the goal into the subconscious mind.  When your subconscious mind has got it then you will have 100% of the mind working towards the goal.  Unfortunately when we do goals with just the conscious mind, the subconscious mind can sabotage you, because it hasn't got the goal.

What is the purpose of rolling my eyes up and down as part of the \'Peaceful Place\' process

When we sleep at night our eyes roll upwards. The little technique of rolling back the eyes is to "trick" the subconscious mind into thinking you\'re going off to sleep (because the subconscious mind doesn\'t know the difference between imagination and reality) and therefore the subconscious mind starts the process of  sleep.  To get to the sleep state we start off in the Beta brainwave state , then relax into the Alpha state, down deeper into the Theta state and then into the Delta sleep state. The conscious mind then comes in and says "we\'re just going to Alpha".  This method does not necessarily work for everyone - in fact in some cases it can be a distraction and therefore it may work in reverse -  if this is the case for you then just don\'t do it.  It\'s by no means a "must".

When I am in my Peaceful Place and I get distracted in my mind, what do I do to get focused

Sometimes your mind wanders for instance when you're letting go of a thought by attaching it to an aeroplane, you can end up in the plane. Not only that, you might end up in Bali where the plane lands. As soon as you catch yourself out and notice that your mind is wandering, just tell yourself "come on back to my Peaceful Place and sit in the chair". It works for me and I'm sure it can work for you. Remember the purpose of PP is to open the filter - so that you can get to your subconscious mind - so that you can work with memory or habits or creativity - or healing and ........ more

When I go to my Peaceful Place and start imagining my goal coming true, my Peaceful Place disappears. Is this OK? What can I do about it

It's perfect for you that your Peaceful Place disappears. It means you are really living your goal coming true and have put yourself into that situation and place – wherever that may be. If for instance you're imagining yourself winning a major tennis tournament and you can feel yourself standing on the courts and see the person you're playing over the net down the other end of the court, and hear the crowd cheering when you do a winning shot – that's great. Use your Emotional Anchor and pat yourself on the back.

Some people practise achieving their goal in a magical learning room, or performance stage, or workspace that is attached to their Peaceful Place. That's fine too – whatever works for you is perfect.

When I go to my Peaceful Place I feel my eyes flickering, which can be distracting – is this normal

It's normal, but not many people have got such a great signal to tell them they are in Alpha. The flickering is the REM state (some people may want to feel it and you can do that by concentrating on your eyes). If it distracts you then let it be OK inside your mind and treat the information "my eyes are flickering" as a thought. Let the thought in and then let it out.

When I'm in my PP doing my goal, do I create the feelings of success by visualising the accomplishment of my goal and then use my emotional anchor

Yes.  You can actually use the visualisations of achieving your goal and also use all the visualisation of the  reasons why you want to achieve that goal and the fantastic feelings of success that go with that achievement.

When you're actually in Alpha and Theta, can you tell, and how do you know

Yes, you can tell and one way is for someone else to observe your rapid eye movement (REM). Sometimes you can feel your own REM. You will know when you're in the Theta state because you actually do not feel your body (it's as though it's numb) yet you have total control and your mind is extremely lucid. The other mechanical way is by measuring your brain waves with the electro-encephalograph (or other devices designed for this purpose).

Why do I need to go to my Peaceful Place twenty times a day for a month

Because you are building a neural pathway to your Peaceful Place. The more often you do it, the faster you will get there (a couple of seconds) and the action of going there becomes automatic: as automatic as driving a car (you don't think about how to drive any more – it just happens).

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