There was once a small boy who banged a drum all day and just would not stop. He would not be quiet, no matter what anyone else said or did. Various people who called themselves scholars, leaders and spiritual masters and other well-wishers were called in by neighbors and were asked to do something about the child.

The first so-called leader told the boy that he would, if he continued to make so much noise, perforate his eardrums; this reasoning was too advanced for the child, who was neither a scientist nor a scholar.

The second told him that drum beating was a sacred activity and should be carried out only on special occasions.

The third offered the neighbors plugs for their ears; the fourth gave the boy a book; the fifth gave the neighbors books that described a method of controlling anger through biofeedback; the sixth gave the boy meditation exercises to make him placid and explained that all reality was imagination.

Like all placebos, each of these remedies worked for a short while, but none worked for very long.

Eventually, a true mentor and teacher came along. He looked at the situation, handed the boy a hammer and chisel, and said, "I wonder what is inside the drum?"

I just love this story as it speaks to the power of imagination, and the power of asking the appropriate question. This story very much reminds me of what it is like when a client is extremely fixated on their symptoms.

Surely we are compassionate about everyone's plight, and we often find that if we can take the opportunity to ask someone what might be the message or lesson behind their challenge, they might be able to start the healing process.

Just as the boy continually beat his drum, broadcasting out his consistent rhythm and song, so many of us continually get locked into a story that repeats itself over and over again.

Perhaps one has the same experience in relationships over and over again. Perhaps one falls into similar patterns at the workplace and never truly accomplishes what he or she desires. Maybe one continually feels that his or health potential has diminished.

We feel that at times it takes the right facilitator to ask the specific questions, and look inside the drum, and just then, the shell cracks and true healing can take place.

Dr. Jason Kolber is a licensed doctor of chiropractic and a certified life coach. He can be contacted at (480) 704-2787 or www.livinginline.com.

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