I ought not to let this bother me, but when I saw someone advertising on Facebook this week, stretching the truth by promising fantastical results from their theta metronome meditation product, I got a bit hot under the collar.
I first discovered a guided theta metronome meditation system on a course I did in the USA in 1995. It is not, as some would claim, a new innovation. However, it is a wonderful tool for highly stressed people to gain the immediate benefits of meditation without having to learn how to sit still and calm their overwrought and busy minds. Ever since 1995 I have rigorously tested a guided theta meditation system with groups and individuals, and I consider it an essential component of a multi-faceted system I employ to successfully help people address and overcome their stress.
I do not, however, consider any theta meditation system to be a standalone ‘quick fix’ for stress.
In my 25 years of working at the coal face with thousands of stressed people I can say hand on heart there is no single solution that will permanently put an end to someone’s stress – without them having to put in some time and effort to help themselves.
One of the vital ingredients for lasting stress resolution is being able to identify the major root causes of the stress. If someone has been exposed to a series of stressors over a long period of time it can be very difficult to understand what to target first. Hypothetically, it could be a volatile mixture of relationship problems, work situations, health issues, lifestyle or diet. Therefore, it stands to reason that no single solution can be employed to fix all this immediately. It requires a systematic process.
On top of this, people can be so exhausted and burnt out that they don’t even know what it is they so desperately need to enable them to feel safe, discover a sense of wellbeing and regain some hope that happiness and self-fulfillment is indeed possible. The tragic and complicating fact is that the media, TV and the movies promote an entirely unrealistic life expectation for many people. This makes me feel very sad. Society promotes magical and misleading thinking which can send someone off in a completely unattainable direction.
A few of years ago, when I came to the realisation that stress had reached epidemic proportions in the western world, I decided it was time for me to share the important knowledge I had accumulated from my professional experience. In my early years as a counsellor, because I was a cancer survivor, I tended to attract many sick and ‘terminally ill’ clients. And it wasn’t long before I discovered that cancer was not just a physical problem; it was far from a random occurrence when almost every one of these people presented with underlying, unresolved stressful issues. Similarly with other diseases and mental afflictions.
I then became very motivated to work from a preventative perspective: to find effective and practical solutions to assist people to deal with the stress in their lives – before it made them sick. I travelled the world widely, studying and attending workshops that pertained to my gaining a better understanding of the mind/body/spirit connection and the complex healing paradigm.
One of the most fascinating aspects of these studies was to discover that the body has an innate will, ability and intelligence to heal itself – if given the right information, environment and circumstances.
However to effect a positive change in one’s health in the fastest possible time, it does require a person to fully appreciate that they are physical, mental, emotional and spiritual beings. This involves understanding the spirit is also sick and it is not sufficient to only address the physical aspects of disease. An individual must confront and overcome any unresolved emotional issues in their lives, if they wish to heal and stay well.
It is now understood that if people are exposed to unabated stress or burn out they will become either mentally or physically ill within two years – unless they actively work to change the stressful aspects in their lives and address the issues that are causing them emotional pain.
Meditation alone cannot solve these underlying problems. The root cause of the stress will not disappear unless the emotional triggers are understood and systematically resolved. Once the fundamental cause/s of stress is acknowledged it is then important to teach people new, effective tools and strategies. Additionally, it is very important to provide a supportive environment which allows an individual to be nurtured through the process of implementing new ideas and behaviours.
Through my experience of working with the terminally ill (people who have not had the luxury of time on their side), I have had to learn to work fast and effectively. Therefore, the principles I employ to assist a highly stressed hyper-busy person have been thoroughly tested. The bottom line is that if people are prepared to put in a little effort, I can guarantee success in only six weeks. When you consider this realistically, it’s a very short time frame to dramatically change someone’s life for the better.