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“For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.”
(Stuart Chase)

A-fest in Mykonos was game changing in so many ways. As a fervent disruptor of existing paradigms (especially those that are outdated, useless and don’t make sense), I rushed to apply. The theme? Bio-hacking: Mind and Body. Yeah Baby!

Out of approximately 4000 applicants around the world, only 300 are accepted to A-Fest. The four of us, Alan, Paul, Kevin and I were part of the chosen few. What’s the criteria for acceptance to A-Fest? General AWESOMENESS, that’s what! Oh, and having a well known profile in Spiritual Entrepreneurship that contributes to the world in some way also helps.

The theme of A-Fest excited me.  Biohacking is the experimentation of genetically influencing our biology, free from standard norms and limited expectations.  It is the art and the science of changing the environment around us so that our biology will do what we want it to do. It doesn’t matter what we want, the idea is to have control. It’s control, not through willpower, but through conscious shifting of our internal ecology and our external environment.

Ok, so what’s my hack? Check it out. So every year, come winter time, I develop a nagging cough that lasts all winter. Right on cue, every winter, for the entire season.The cough is chronic and it is annoying. It interrupts conversations, work outs, sleep, meditation, eating, breathing, thinking and sometimes even sex. As a non-smoker who is healthy, fit and strong, the doctors have attributed it to a few possible causes; postnasal drip, gastroesophageal reflux or airborne environmental irritants. Nothing serious, just annoying. Really really annoying.

Every year the doctors prescribe a medicated spray that I am meant to use four times a day throughout winter. The spray never works and it baffles me why I buy it every year in the hope that it does. As a speaker, coughing consistently on stage can be problematic. But here’s the thing. I never cough on stage. Ever. I’ve been told it’s because of adrenalin. Possibly so, but adrenalin runs through me when I run or work out and the cough is persistent even then.  So here’s what I do before I go on stage to speak. I meditate for ten minutes and I have a conversation with my cough. I bargain with it. “Hey cough, if you fuck off for the next two hours, I promise you can cough as much as you like after the gig okay?” And sure enough, I never cough on stage but pay the price afterwards.

It had never occurred to me to speak to the cough outside of my speaking commitments. That is, until I met Marisa Peer at A-Fest in Greece. Marisa is an internationally known therapist, speaker, author, and columnist whose work has changed the lives of thousands of people. Named Britain’s best therapist, Marisa has spent nearly three decades treating a client list that includes international superstars, CEOs, Royalty, and Olympic athletes. She is a successful hypnotherapist, psychotherapist, coach and counsellor. How lucky I was to attend one of her meditation classes on a glorious morning in Mykonos overlooking the Aegean Sea.

We only had thirty minutes with Marisa but what I got out of it was exciting and profound. She guided us through a meditation that had us speak to our cells. So we all know that our cells are the basic building blocks of all living things. The human body is composed of trillions of cells. They provide structure for the body, take in nutrients from food, convert those nutrients into energy, and carry out specialised functions. Cells also contain the body’s hereditary material and can make copies of themselves. Marisa had us speaking to our cells like petulant children. She instructed us to speak to our cells like a group of school children who muck up. “You must discipline them,” she says, “…speak to them like obnoxious kids. Direct your cells to work more efficiently through the power of the mind.”

Marisa recounted a story of how she once injured her leg performing a fancy yoga move and couldn’t walk properly. Having to speak on stage the next day, she refused to have the audience see her limping in pain. For twenty-four hours, she spoke to her cells and commanded that her injured leg mimic her good leg, describing in detail its shape, strength, form and feel. The next day, although not 100% healed, she was able to deliver the speech pain free and limp free.

And so I walked away from that session excited to implement my new hack. This is the new conversation I had with my cough. Specific wording care of Marisa Peer.

“I COMMAND you, INSTRUCT you, DEMAND that you return to your ORIGINAL imprint, your original impression, your original CODING. I DEMAND that you function in the way that NATURE ORIGINALLY INTENDED and PROGRAMMED you to function.”

I repeated this mantra over and over, visualising the cells of my body marching back into line, standing at attention and obeying my command. Within an hour, my cough was under control. Within a day, my cough was gone.

In his book, The Biology of Belief, well-respected cell biologist Dr Bruce Lipton, explains the profound connection between mind and body and the use of meditation for healing. Dr. Lipton is an expert in the science behind why and how the mind can so efficiently and dramatically improve the body.  He explains that the cells of our body are merely following instructions given by the nervous system, by the brain. The nervous system does the interpretation. “You can easily see this when you see two people reacting to the same stimulus with very different reactions, one positive and one negative. As our perception changes, we can change the message that our nervous system communicates to the cells of our body.” Our mind controls your biology. That’s what the placebo effect is about; the mind believes the pill will work and so it does.

If we have a belief, then the function of the mind is to manifest that belief so it becomes reality. For example, if we have a belief that we are going to die of a disease because someone told us so, then the function of the mind is to convert that belief into physical manifestation, and it’s no surprise that our belief becomes reality. But it’s not because we have a terminal disease that we end up dying; it’s because we believe this disease will kill us. Dr Lipton states that the starting place of all healing is the trust and commitment to follow our inner guidance, those internal nudges.  The physical expression is the consequence of the mind’s program—the program comes first, the physical expression second. The function of the mind is to create coherence between our beliefs and our reality.

I have since taught my children Marisa Peers command and they too heal strong every time.  My children now follow a new paradigm. They now know that self-healing is not hard to do, but it is something that most people have not experienced. As our beliefs about our body’s ability to heal itself has changed, our bodies have changed.  With consistent practice, the discipline of the body, and the determination of the mind to think differently to how we have in the past, we now know that, no matter how bad the affliction, the possibility for healing is always there.