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I had psychic surgery to remove my alien implant

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Oh no.

I always come to see Mark when I visit this most mystical outreach of Australia’s coastline. I’m a skeptic, sure, but Mark’s my healer. He’s my wild card; the aberration of science that I’ve described as being the real deal in the same way that racists will have their one black mate who’s “all right”. It makes no sense, but we’ll happily let it through to the keeper.

Mark was the knife-edge on which my skepticism swayed. I’ve told so many fellow naysayers: “but there’s this one guy…” I’ve accredited him with dispensing of my circular thoughts, a broken heart and my smoking habit. Or at least, I’ve thought of it as a dual effort between us – one with immediate results I couldn’t have achieved on my own. Accordingly, I’ve lisped away to people: I could feel energy pulsing down my body and streaming out of my feet.

I think. Couldn’t I? I remember telling Mark I could.

Mark is placid as a panda bear; as warm as a roaring hearth. As benevolent and wise as Yoda. He’s the sort of person you can make prolonged and meaningful eye contact with without wanting to stab out the jelly in your vitreous with pencils. Last time I saw him he diagnosed an energy block in my abdomen.

“That’s funny,” I piped up. “I’ve always had a huge phobia about being touched around there. I’ve had nightmares since I was a kid about being rigged up and prodded in my hips by disembodied fingers.”

Mark suddenly saw arrows. “I’m being shown arrows,” he said. “You were shot in a past life by a jealous lover.” He gave a warm chuckle as I pictured my punctured ovaries. One healing later, I left: a big ball of loved-up expanded consciousness, floating off down the street to the sea.

Now, past lives are about as high on my ‘Maybe Believe This’ list as DNA ThetaHealing ™, but in the name of consistency, I decided to return to this subject with Mark on my next visit. I.e., would he stick to the arrows story?

“Last time I came here you said we should investigate an energy block,” I said.

Mark gazed at my energy for a bit. “I often baulk at saying things like this, because most people don’t react well,” he said, at which point my hips tightened a few notches. “But it’s an implant.”

“An implant?”

“Yes. I’m seeing reptilian ETs – Zeta Reticulans. They used to rule the Earth and would quite frequently study humans by using implants, but these days we thankfully attract more benevolent beings of a higher frequency. The Zetas put an implant in you at birth to study your reproductive system. I can probably get it out.”

I rolled with this. Mark’s not alone in thinking reptilian aliens are all around us; it’s a theory David Icke made popular, and I love hearing David Icke’s theories. Love it.

“I’m not going to use the spirit guides in this operation, I’m going to use the friendly ETs,” Mark said, as I removed my shoes.

I climbed aboard the table for 40 minutes. I usually love this bit, but I wasn’t feeling it as much this time, due to the inconvenient truth of Mark talking about aliens. I was mourning the Mark gone by; the one who told me not to intellectualise spirituality, the one who said he had no interest in studying things like chakras and what have you.

I tried though. It could be true, was my mantra. You don’t know for sure; you only know your version of reality. And besides, it’s worth the $90 for a good blog post.

I saw my individual cells, golden, spinning, shimmering and spitting like Coke bubbles. I felt myself opened up flat as a pancake on the table – although Mark later told me the operation was multidimensional.

“I’ve never seen one as big as this before,” he said when he was done, talking down at me as I lay on the table with my arms behind my head. “It was like the Tardis. There was a whole universe inside.”

“Really?” I said, unable to not be impressed.

“But then there’s a whole universe inside every cell,” Mark pointed out.

“A universe in my pelvic bowl,” I marvel, and we chortle.

“The Zeta aliens actually came in at the beginning,” he said. “It got a bit nasty, but they were asked to leave. Could you feel it being removed from your brain? There were strands leading all the way up your spine, meshed into every cell, and up into your brain. It was a very tricky procedure – I only facilitated it.”

Mark didn’t seem too rattled after facilitating major surgery on the biggest alien implant he’d ever seen. He explained that I’d attracted bad sexual experiences to myself because of the implant. “Your critical mind will explain this away over the next few days,” he continued, “but you know it was special. There was a lot of love in the room. Don’t forget this experience you’ve had.”

“So,” I offered hopefully, as I swung my legs off the table. “Do you see this as a visualisation technique to hypnotise me into freeing myself from some emotional blockage?”

There came a pause.

“Or are you describing things in real terms?”

“In real terms,” he said. His eyes shone softly, as though he were just giving me a lovely recipe for parsnip soup.

Bugger.

As I walked out, something in me pouted. I love the thought of two shimmering entities walking down the high street with me; why can’t I just go with it? I greatly enjoyed, as a child, believing the spirit of God was channeled through me and that I could bless people just by doing an internal yawn; even if it constantly irritated the family. Where’s the harm?

But Mark had pushed me past my limit of making allowances and moving the goal posts. I hate it when men do that. And so, with reluctance, I write up my findings.

– But Mark will see this and he’s a lovely guy.

– He WON’T see this – he’s not psychic!

In conclusion, in conclusion… I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m quite good at lying on a table and turning it on. Getting the love flowing. Could it be I already found the greatest love of all, inside of me? Possibly. I’ll report back.

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Having a gong bath

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Back when I wrote for gentlemen’s mags, some wag in the art department took a break from Photoshopping out ingrown pubes and assigned us all with superhero nicknames. Mine was Nicotina Stains, a mantle I accepted with some resignation.

Times have changed; I’m an upwardly mobile woman in her thirties with new teeth and a born-again liver, and I need a persona more befitting of a gracious lady.

Meeting K, a kundalini yoga teacher who wafts into the room dressed head to toe in radiant white, just reinforces this notion. Having grown up with a hippy mother outside Byron Bay, she’s practiced yoga from a young age and has gone on to learn from top yogis from across India. Unsurprisingly, she exudes calm.

Kundalini yoga was once the exclusive practice of royalty, before Yogi Bhajan (the master of ‘tantric energy’) brought it to the West in 1969. One of K’s specialties is gong healing, so she agrees to run me through an abbreviated session.

We sit in the lotus position while K talks me through some breathing and meditation, asking that I consider what my intention is. I’m supposed to focus on this intention throughout the gong bath, but I’m put on the spot, so I come up with the epically lame “to be good”.

That sorted, I lie flat on my back under a sheet while K stands at my feet and rhythmically bongs a 28-inch symphonic gong so that the sound waves shimmer and recede like the surf. It’s incredibly loud; I was feeling nice and relaxed up till that point. The gong, K tells me, aligns both the planets and the chakras and is infused with the spirit of the elephant god, Lord Ganesha – the remover of obstacles. I’m unsure, even after an explanation, of how the planets are aligning as a result of the activity in this room on Brunswick Street (I hope I’m not fucking anything up for the rest of you), but my chakras are feeling ace, so I let it through to the keeper.

I remember my intention, and try to imagine a bunch of typically vexed people in my life looking delighted with me. K tells me to rub first my hands and then feet together, to stimulate the nerve endings, and cup the base of my palms over my eyes sockets. She stands in front of me and crowns her hands on my head, asking me to imagine a gold sphere inside me, and shimmering gold around me. And then we’re done, and I’m feeling good. I’ve always had a thing for hands on heads, though – I used to have a terrible crush on the vicar.

In yoga classes I always find that my head says deliberately outrageous things to wind me up when I’m supposed to be focused, but there are plenty of other people – people with sinewy limbs and an omnipresent serenity – who credit yoga with changing their lives. I’m not under the impression I’m special – I think they’ve just had more practise at zoning out that wittering voice, which sounds like a plan.

“It’s a living philosophy,” K reckons. “The ‘yoga class’ isn’t at all what yoga is about. It’s about living in alignment with your truth, fulfilling your destiny, living in love and happiness.”

In other words, you get out what you put in.

EMDR: Fingering trauma into submission

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Felt a bit like this.

Francine Shapiro is a psychologist who formulated Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing in the early ’90s when she discovered that rapid eye movements quelled her own anxiety.

EMDR employs double-pronged stimulation of the brain. It occupies the individual with eye movement and tactile stimulation – like being tapped on the knee – while they recall a traumatic event, and then encourages visualisation of safe places. The client can venture off into the recesses of their mind to explore the trauma, then duck back into the safety of their therapist-constructed hidey-hole whenever the going gets tough.

You know: legs blown off by landmines / secluded beach with Nanny and Binky; legs blown off by landmines / secluded beach with Nanny and Binky. Tap tap tap. Eventually the trauma is defused like a bomb.

It’s garnered something of a new age reputation, on account of it being a quick fix and, as with NLP and EFT, it’s not necessarily carried out by anybody with any recognisable qualifications. However, it also utilises cognitive and psychodynamic psychology – hopefully.

I give it a whirl.

1) The questionnaire

The therapist, out in Melbourne’s suburbs, asks me a series of questions as paranoid and sinister as any ’70s conspiracy thriller.

Some people find they are not sure if they have done something or if they just dreamed doing it. How often does this happen to you?

Some people are on a bus or train and realise they can’t remember a section of their journey. How often does this happen to you?

2) Thinking of a safe place

With the therapist’s urging, I think of a beach I’d enjoyed as a youngster.

“How are you feeling?” she asks.

“Like I’ve imagined a safe place and now you’re going to ruin it.” But creepier.

She bids me describe the beach. “That’s an English beach,” she says, aghast at my depiction of the majestic shingles and grey waters of the east coast of Suffolk. “Why don’t you choose the white beaches of Australia, so the little girl inside you can feel the warmth of the sun on her back?”

I think she’s picturing the little girl inside me growing up in a Dickensian workhouse, malnutritioned and failing to thrive without sunlight, but I humour her and switch to the southern coast of New South Wales.

3) Finger tracking and whale music.

My therapist jerks her finger from right to left in sets of 12 strokes, asking me to track its path. The idea is that the eye movements unlock one’s “information processing system” by flitting between the hemispheres of your brain. At the end of each set I’m asked how I feel.

“Increasingly nauseous,” I admit, although it’s the therapist’s unflinching, slightly pop-eyed stare that’s bringing on the quease. Appeased, she works through another set.

“Stay with the clenching feeling,” she says, “and push my fingers with your eyes.”

She stops. “What score would you give me out of 10?”

I look at her, confused. She wants me to rate her performance now? Me, a rank amateur!

“For what?”

“For the sickness. With 10 being as bad as anyone could ever feel.”

“About a three, I suppose.”

“Okay, stay with it – we’re going again.”

4) Exploring an incident

Just when I think I’m going to run bellowing from the room if I have to sit through any more bug-eyed finger-jerking, a voice in my head pipes up: “She wants you to look over there.

“What’s happening now?”

“Nothing,” I lie. I’m feeling rising panic.

I notice that she is not trailing her hand smoothly from right to left; she’s flicking her finger to my left on each set, like an instruction… and I ‘m getting a feeling of dread each time.

My eyes linger longer on the left with each sweep and some images begin to flood my brain.

“Find the spot and look at it,” she yelps, grabbing a pointer and wielding it forth. “Just stay focused on it and then see what comes out next.”

Miraculously, I recount a childhood event I’d previously not been able to remember; not realising till the next day that I’ve cast the main character in the exact same outfit they wear in a photograph I have of them. Is this how past life regression therapy works, when people recount tales of medieval derring do? Can it be put down to wanting to perform well for the therapist’s approval; like being eager to please a parent?

5) The counselling bit

“When people don’t have coping skills to deal with a situation, the brain puts it aside in a box,” the therapist explains, “but it will keep bobbing up. Nature will eventually help you deal with it… but nature’s way takes too long.”

We indulge some stomach-churning talking to my younger self while the therapist leans cavalierly into my comfort zone and taps my knees like a demented aunt.

EMDR, she says, works by sensory overload: the following of the finger while listening to whale music and focusing on two entirely different scenarios and feelings. “By bonding them, the good one disarms the bad. Now you have a tool.”

“Cheque or savings?” she says, breaking my trance.

Here’s an interesting interview with Shapiro.

Health professionals-ish.

Vision boards: a slippery slope

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Don't worry - this isn't my vision board.

Vision boards have been used as a tool to focus one’s goals for decades, but ever since self-help sages like Oprah have been peddling that nebulous “law of attraction” (probably the most bankable esoteric phenomenon for centuries), the art of pasting pictures of things you aspire to own and achieve to a bit of board has really catapulted into the zone of Things Winners Do. In fact, it’s just one component in that curious crossover between New Agery and creepy corporate personal development, along with neurolinguistic programming, self-help books and slogan-slinging gurus.

Making a vision board is “ground-breaking cognitive neuroscience”, according to one dedicated website – oh, guffaw – and there’s even a Vision Board Institute, at which you can study to be a Certified Vision Board Coach, thus helping other people to upgrade their life visioning processes.

So here’s my vision board.

Ute upgrade. NB: ute must work.

A chap on hand to prune my trees. That's all.

One of these.

Carpet and curtains in my house. (That’s not me in the picture, incidentally. That’s 200 per cent more winsome LA music journo Kim Morgan. I thought it couldn’t hurt to include her on this vision board too.)

Optus reception outside of CBDs.

The ability to talk to people without stabbing my lemon violently with my straw.

I’ll let you know how I fare.

WARNING: From making vision boards it is only a short, slippery slide into leaving Post-It notes on your mirrors saying “I am a lovable person”.