Paul McKenna and Me 10: Take-Off

On the very first day of the NLP Practitioner course, Hazel had gone up on stage with Richard Bandler, and had her bad memory removed.  We had spoken about it later.  She could still remember the bad memory, but the strong emotions that had been attached to it were no longer present.  She had been freed from the horrendous emotions that were the result of a highly manipulative and abusive relationship.

Witchcraft at Work

That first day, her eyes had changed colour.  From a dull grey to a light, bright blue.  Her skin tone, the way she held herself – everything about her had changed.  The effect had been so strong that I had even asked her if she had put in blue contact lenses in the break after she had been on stage.  It was a spectacular change.  The fear had gone, and the confidence had come in its place.

Nevertheless, there were other things that she wanted to deal with.  Getting rid of the bad memory was only part of the equation.

In my interview with her in preparation for the constellation hypnosis, Hazel had said that she wanted to become a successful NLP Trainer and teach so many others the things that would empower them and give them a better life.  But there were things that stood in her way.  A non-supportive family and an ex-partner who was still trying to make her life hell. Even though she now knew he was powerless, he still cast a shadow over her life – and she would be required to have some connection with him because she’d had a daughter by him.

She saw her resources as her personality, her determination and the skills she had learned to take control of herself through NLP.  It was a fairly straightforward combination of factors.

As she sat infront of me now, with James sitting off to one side, I began the hypnotic induction on her, all the while my mind racing with ideas.  And as she relaxed and I saw her move deeper down, into trance, I felt myself dropping down, too, joining her in that swirling half-conscious state.

A Cockpit, Surrounded By Machinery

It was then that I began to have an auditory hallucination.

As I began my tale… once there was a little witch… a white witch… who found herself trapped in the dungeon of an evil magician, staring out from the bars of a cage and only able sometimes to see the stars and the skies… something strange began to happen in my head.

The work that Paul had done with me: “Turn it up, double it, turn it up again” had at the time presented itself to me in my mind’s eye as a  bank of lights in some kind of sci-fi machine – as if a 1970s airing of the cult tv series Doctor Who was being run in my head.

There was machinery in there, in my head.

I could hear the low hum of energy running through a grid in my mind, and then I had the fleeting image of a control room, filled with banks of switches.  It was as if I was in a power station somewhere, or bizarrely, in the cockpit of an extraordinarily powerful aircraft.  I could hear the click of hundreds of tiny relay switches being flicked over in my head, and I seemed to get the image of hands flicking more and more switches and someone saying “check” as those hands moved.

The low hum grew stronger, until it finally sounded as if the whole of that strange room, that powerplant and cockpit, had been flooded with power and white light.  A deep, low, earthy hum that seemed to vibrate the core of my being, and which at the same time seemed endlessly and ultimately powerful.  It was as if I had discovered a massive spaceship that had been mothballed for a long time, and now was at last being dusted off to work again.  I eyed the banks of lights and switches with wonder.  Had they always been here, and I just hadn’t noticed?

All the while, on the outside, I continued to talk – a stream of metaphors about a little white witch who one day recovered the book of spells that the evil magician had taken from her – she was handed it through the bars of her prison by a wise old wizard.  And so she went about secretly collecting the things that she needed, using her magic arts to gather them to her.  A pole of hazel wood, and the twigs to make a broom.  A wand that she learned from the book how to wield with a power that made her invincible.  And all the while she would stare up at the stars and at the moon.  One day, she uttered a single spell and broke down the walls of her prison, and found that it was nothing at all, except a pile of words, and that squirming in the pile of words was a sickly, squirming weak old frog who she trapped in a box and cast in the sea, forever.

On her broom, she took to the sky, and flew upwards and upwards towards the light of the full moon, and she became a star, hanging there, the brightest in the sky – and acted always to shine her benign light, this Witch Hazel, to guide those who were lost and take them to safety.  Because she was the brightest light in the sky, whom the lost blessed and loved.

And as I told this tale which was, after all, a simple but beautiful tale, I felt a tear drop from my eye and run down my face.  All around me I could feel and hear the power surging, I could see the night sky from the windows of my ship, and knew that I was about to launch on to my own journey.

Then the room of the hotel came back into being.  I looked at James.  He was sitting looking at me with his mouth wide open, as I guided Hazel back from trance.

“Wow,” he said.  “I don’t know what just happened.  But wow.”

Back in the room,  I felt suddenly deeply excited.  “It’s about using archetypes,” I told him.  “It’s about just plugging into the archetypes and using them exactly how you want to use them.  You are completely free to do it.  And – God! – it’s so easy.  It’s so goddamned easy!”

Hazel, out of her trance was smiling at me with the most radiant smile.

It worked.  The ability to just think on the hoof and tell a story from nothing.  It was mine again!


  1. Post


    Well, the story isn’t over. And that will be revealed in an upcoming installment – or two!

    I wondered whether to finish this blog entry with the “conclusion” it has or to leave it a little more open. But I guess I should tell you, there’s more to this to come in the next few weeks.



  2. Post

    Hello – yes, I know I have been remiss in this. Will see if I can get something more up, shortly.



  3. Post

    Hi Rachel,

    Just to let you know, I have taken up the Paul McKenna story, again. Sorry it’s taken so long to do, but I have had other things on my plate, and other projects. I hope you like the next piece. There will be more to come.

    Thanks for reading!

    All the best,


  4. Rachel

    Thanks Matt. You certainly know how to leave a story hanging at the critical moment:-) Have you ever seen that Tom Cruise movie where the robot spiders come in the night to look in people’s eyes? Can’t think what it was called now but it’s the first thing I thought of reading your new post!

  5. Post

Want to comment? You're welcome.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.