My Story!

From Unwanted Baby To Successful Blogger And Self Help Expert!

I overcame being an unwanted baby and being mercilessly criticized by my adopted father to build Ireland’s most successful hypnotherapy clinic. In my 40’s, my first wife divorced me and my son became estranged from me. Then I met the love of my life, married her and am happy dedicating my life to helping people like you to get the happy life you want! This is the amazing story of how I became a successful blogger and self help expert!

Paul

My Story!

From Unwanted Baby To Successful Blogger And Self Help Expert!

I overcame being an unwanted baby and being mercilessly criticized by my adopted father to build Ireland’s most successful hypnotherapy clinic. In my 40’s, my first wife divorced me and my son became estranged from me. Then I met the love of my life, married her and am happy dedicating my life to helping people like you to get the happy life you want! This is the amazing story of how I became a successful blogger and self help expert!

Paul

I’d like you to know who I really am. I’m sure you’ve seen many “About Me” pages that brag about how successful the person is but never really gives you an insight into who they really are as a person. My close friends have seen me battling to survive my father’s crushing non-stop criticism. They have also seen me building towards being a successful blogger and self help expert with the largest hypnotherapy clinic in all of Ireland. This is my story, and I hope it helps you to get to know me and why I am so motivated to help you.

Unwanted Baby Born To An Unmarried Mother

adoption form

My story begins in a town called Hospital in County Limerick. My natural mother became pregnant at age 19 for the second time. At birth, I was called Francis Paul Winters. At the time of writing this, she is still alive but has refused all of my attempts to contact her.

If you are unfamiliar with what Ireland was like in the 1960’s, the Catholic church essentially ruled. Being pregnant outside of marriage was a scandal. Girls were sent away from their locality so that none of the neighbours would know she was pregnant. 

The form you can see in the image above was the actual form my mother signed in 1965 to seal my fate and give me away. 

My Life Of Being Criticized Begins

John And Peggy Hunter Wedding

My adoptive parents (seen above on their wedding day), were total opposites. My mother was born Margaret O’Driscoll and came from a small fishing village in West Cork (Ireland), called Union Hall. She was a gentle, caring, quiet woman. I’ve never met anyone who said they didn’t like her.

My father, John Hunter, on the other hand, used to shout and raise his voice a lot. To me, as a child, he always seemed angry. The big problem with that was that he never allowed anyone outside of our house to see that side of him. He was what has become known as a “street angel, house devil”.

Whenever he got me to do diy jobs either in the house or garden, he would find something to shout at me about. He never praised me. I heard, after his death, that he would praise me when talking to others. This came as a surprise to me because he never said any of those things to me.

On one occasion, we were changing the roof on a shed we had. The old roof was galvanised steel sheeting and it was rusty and had developed holes. We were replacing it with perspex sheeting. He was on one ladder on one side of the shed and I was on another ladder at the other side.

He gave me the hammer and a nail because he couldn’t reach one particular part of the roof. As I went to hit the nail home, the ladder shifted a bit and I hit the nail sideways. I got shouted at for the next 10 minutes. I was told I was “useless” and that nobody would give me a job if I couldn’t even hit a nail straight.

Me Giving My First Concert (To Nobody)

meand my guitar

I was always a bit of an introvert. I loved nothing more than messing around on my guitar, playing songs. The first ever song I learned on guitar was “Rhinestone Cowboy” by Glen Campbell. As I got a little older, I took to writing my own songs.

As I entered my teenage years, I began to discover I had a talent for writing. So I wrote songs – lots of them. I also wrote short stories. I fantasized about being a published author. It’s funny to think that I am actually a published author now.

I have a really lovely Takamine guitar in my sitting room which I keep promising to take out and start practicing again. Perhaps once this website is complete, I will.

Horrific Bullying At School For 6 Years

Rochestown College

I started secondary school (high school) in September 1977 with high hopes. I had fallen in love with the beautiful grounds of St. Francis Capuchin College, Rochestown, Co. Cork (pictured above). My parents had tried to get me to go to a school which was closer, but I was adamant.

I have heard many people say of that era, that teachers were bullies. My experience with teachers in general, was great. I found them to be very friendly for the most part, and very fair. The school was great. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same of some of the guys who attended there.

The problems started towards the end of my first school year. I was the guy who always did his homework well, who volunteered to answer questions in class and who always behaved really respectfully. I didn’t realise it but I was painting a target on my own back.

Because I was well-spoken, some guys thought I was trying to be posh. Others just went straight to it and called me “gay”. When you’re 13 and you’re only discovering your sexuality, this was quite upsetting and confusing. I remember asking a friend of mine what his opnion was. I said “I’m not gay, am I?”. You’ve got to bear in mind, this was back in an era where it wasn’t really that acceptable to be gay.

I think it’s amusing looking back at it now because as my life unfolded, I can say I am definitely not gay. I’m probably one of the most heterosexual males you’ll find. That time was challenging and gave me an insight into the experience that some gay and trans people have as they are navigating through experiences like that in their lives. 

College Nearly Kills Me

At the time I went to college, I had to do entry exams for the college itself. At the time, I owned a very old, cheap motorbike. So, on the morning of my Chemistry exam, I got on the motorbike and headed for the building where the exams were being held. This was my least favorite subject so I was dreading the exam.

As a biker, I regularly ran red lights and did things I wasn’t supposed to do. In my defence, I was 18 years old. It’s kind of a rite of passage to do stupid things when you’re 18! However, this particular morning, I was actually doing all the right things. I waited for the traffic lights to go green at this junction, put the bike in gear, twisted the throttle to take off, and literally one second later, I was flying through the air.

Some guy in a car coming from the road to my right ran the red light and hit me. i hit the ground head first. My cheap helmet split right down the middle and left me using my forehead as a brake for four or five feet. I really wouldn’t recommend that!

Remarkably, I stood up, checked myself over and I was overjoyed that I was alive and I didn’t seem to have broken anything. A nurse on her way to work had stopped and ran over to me. After checking my neck was ok, she asked me to come to her nearby house with her where she would clean me up. 

When we got there, she told me not to look in the mirror. Guess what I did? Of course! I looked in the mirror. I could see my skull through the two inch diameter area of torn skin on my forehead. I instantly fainted. Next thing I knew, I woke up in the local hospital, my head bandaged so I looked like an Egyptian mummy. There were small slits for my eyes, nostrils and mouth.

I checked myself out of hospital and went to my exam, now an hour and a half late. The poor invigilator nearly fainted himeself when he saw me arriving. He very kindly arranged for extra time for me to finish my exam. I just wrote the last line and fainted again. When I eventually got home that evening, I think my poor mother nearly died with shock when she saw my completely bandaged head.

My University Years Were Still Not My Salvation

UCC

I had done quite a lot of reading of popular psychology books during my late teens. For instance, I had read Napoleon Hill’s classic “Think And Grow Rich” and David J. Schwartz’s book “The Magic Of Thinking Big”. I had also borrowed some books from the library on psychology.

By the time I had to make a choice of what college course I would do, I chose psychology. I was fascinated by the idea of helping people to overcome their problems and issues. Unfortunately, University College Cork (UCC), did not teach psychology in the way that I expected so I became disillusioned. 

One of my abiding memories from my time at UCC was from my first year lectures in psychology. The guy who sat next to me was 65 years of age. He was a retired bus driver who had always wanted to be a psychologist, so, when he retired, he decided to go to college. While some students thought it was a bit weird to have such an “old guy” in our year group, I admired him for his courage.

It took great courage for a 65 year old guy to walk into a lecture with approximately three hundred or so 18 / 19 year olds. He taught me a lot about being single-minded in the pursuit of your goals. He had a great sense of humour and pretty quickly became “one of the gang”.

In retrospect, I probably should have pursued a course in psychotherapy. I had made a mistake in my course choice but all I knew was that I didn’t want to be a psychologist. So when I left college, a career in the psychology field was the last thing I ever wanted to do!

My Sales Adventure Begins

sales career

At approximately 20 years of age, I got myself my first “real job”. It was working for a company called Musgraves Cash & Carry as a business to business sales rep. When I think of it now, they must have been soft in the head. They an almost brand new two litre petrol company car to a 20 year old!

The car was really cool! It was jet black in colour and my first trip was to a local shop to buy a pair of shades (sunglasses). I often posed in that car, with my arm hanging out the window, telling anyone who would listen, that it was my car!

I spent almost twenty years in sales. While I never really liked the job, I did pretty well at it. I made enough money to have a decent lifestyle. I only appreciated at a later stage, that it was teaching me how to read people, how to pick up on their emotional state and how to influence them. These would become vital skills at a later stage, in my career as a hypnotherapist.

My Biggest Role Model Comes To Stay

About a year or so before my mother died, my uncle came to stay. His name was Denis O’Driscoll. We all called him Dinny. He actually owned our house which he inherited from his Dad when he passed. Because Dinny was working in England, he had no use for the house so he did a deal with my Mom. The deal was that he never wanted any money for the house in rent but just an agreement that when he retired, he could come home and build on a granny flat and live with us.

Even though he never had a college education, he was the cleverest man I knew. He had a beautiful grandfather clockwhich always looked like the wood had just been polished.. One day, when I came home from college, I walked into the dining room to find he had taken the clock apart. There seemed like hundreds of tiny cogs and springs and various other parts all neatly arranged on the table.

My first reaction was to look at him and say “Eh……how in the name of God are you going to put that together again?”. I’ll never forget the words he said to me as he kept focussing on the tiny little part he was cleaning and oiling. There was a little grin came to his face as he said “Time and patience lad…..time and patience!”

My uncle was a complete gentleman. He was always gentle and respectful around women and I really admired that. As a person, he was what I aspired to be. He was calm at all times, and very measured in his reponses. from the short couple of years he lived with us before he passed, he made a lifelong impact on me.

There were many times in my life where I didn’t live up to his example very well. Perhaps I wasn’t as calm as he might have been in certain situations. As I’ve gotten older, I realise I am becoming more like him and I like that. He was the type of guy anyone would have been proud to call their uncle.

I Become A DJ

my time as a dj

During my time in college, there was one night where I accompanied a friend of mine called PJ Coogan to a college ball where he was the DJ for the night. About halfway through the night, PJ turned to me and said he really need to go to the toilet. He asked me if I knew how to press the switch to activate the turntable (this was back in the era of vinyl records). He set it all up. All I had to do was press the switch to play the next record in case he didn’t come back in time.

As you can probably guess, he wasn’t back in time. As a matter of fact, he didn’t bother coming back for about twenty minutes. During this time, I was freaking out, trying to figure out what record to play next and trying to figure out how the equipment worked. I guess I must have done pretty ok because no-one boo’d me off stage! When he did come back, I said “Where the hell were you?” He laughed out loud and said “You wouldn’t have done it if I hung around. I knew I had to throw you in at the deep end!”

He started a twenty year love / hate relationship with the entertainment industry. I loved the money. I loved being in the spotlight. But, I hated the constant late nights. When I finally quit the business on New Years Eve 1999, I got out just before I permanently damaged my hearing. Since then, people who thought I was great have tried to get me to come out of retirement to do their wedding or party and the answer has always been “No”.

My Second Dice With Death

In my early twenties, I had my second dice with death. On this occasion, I was working that evening as a DJ in a bar. I left the building around midnight and, as it was a Friday night, I thought I’d head to my girlfriends house for a cup of coffee and a chat before I went home to bed. 

At an intersection up ahead there were red lights so I came to a stop. As I was sitting there, waiting for the light to go green, I got this weird feeling. I had this thought “there’s something wrong”. Then I realised I didn’t have my safety belt on. So I reached around, grabbed the belt, Stretched it across me and clicked it home.

Literally two seconds after fastening my safety belt, I got hit from behind by a guy who must have been doing 80-100mph. The impact was unbelieveable. I was catapulted forward and hit the saftey belt so hard that I could clearly see the imprint of it on my chest for a couple of months afterwards.

When my car eventually came to a stop, panicky instinct took over. I had hit the back on my seat so forcibly that it broke off and I was now in the back seat. I kicked the rear drivers side door open and jumped out. I patted myself down and realised that, once again, I had escaped with no injuries. Or so I thought.

I checked on the other driver and the stink of alcohol coming from him was unmissable. I called the cops and after a while, went on home. The following morning, I could not move my neck and my back was causing me sheer agony. It took a couple of months but I fully recovered.

I Just Can't Stand Sales Any More

I had gotten to quite a senior level in sales and was making an excellent salary. The problem was that I couldn’t stand it. I was 39 years of age. The fact that I had paid off my mortgage made the situation worse because there didn’t seem like any reason to go to work.

I looked around to find courses that I could do or alternative careers that I could pursue. Somehow, the field of psychology kept calling to me. I thought of the field of counseling but when I read up about it, it just didn’t seem to fit with me. 

There was a guy I went to when I was 35 to help me stop smoking and I thought I might look him up and maybe meet him for a chat. He was a Clinical Hypnotherapist. We spent an hour, having coffee and chatting about the career of hypnotherapy. I found myself becoming really attracted by the idea of becoming a self-employed hypnotherapist.

Then I spoke with my wife (my first wife) about it. I explained that I was worrying a bit about what would happen if it didn’t work out. I have to give her the credit for making me do it. She said “We’re doing ok. We don’t have any mortgage and we have enough to survive comfortably for six months. How about you decide to give it everything for six months and if it’s not working out, you can always go back into the corporate world and get a job again?”

Luckily I took her advice. At the time of writing this, I have been a fully qualified hypnotherapist for fourteen and a half years. During that time I have also become a successful blogger & self help expert. From a career perspective, it has been the best time of my life. I am very lucky to love what I do.

I Am A Fully Qualified Hypnotherapist

hypnotherapy qualification

On 18th June 2009, I finally held the diploma in my hand. I had worked for two years towrads this and I am finally a fully qualified hypnotherapist. The guy standing next to me is Dr. Joe Keaney. He ran a training organisation called The Institute Of Clinical Hypnotherapy & Psychotherapy based in Cork in Rep. Of Ireland.

I am looking quite a bit heavier there than I am now, so it’s pretty obvious to me as I look at this picture, that I am feeling the stress of having a job that I didn’t really like. Added to that, there was the impending stress of opening a clinic. Even though I am a very positive person, I have to admit asking myself at times “what the hell am I doing?”

At my graduation ceremony, Joe had a flip chart (which you can see in the background of the picture above). On the flip chart was written in really big capital letters, the word “GOYA”. During his speech to us, Joe pointed to the word and asked if anyone knew what it meant? I thought I was being being very clever in putting my hand up and saying “Spanish artist?”. He shook his head.

He took a dramatic pause and then said “it means Get Off Your Ass!”. We all laughed. He then explained that many people think they need more qualifications before they’ll start seeing clients. He told us that these are our limiting beliefs trying to stop us, and that the only way to proceed was to take action immediately. This is exactly what I did.

Cork Hypnosis Clinic Is Born

successful blogger & self help expert and founder of Cork Hypnosis Clinic

In July 2009, Cork Hypnosis Clinic was born. It started in a shed converted to an office in my back garden in a place called Blarney in Cork. Some of you might know of Blarney from “kissing the Blarney stone”.

My very first client was a test of my nerve. It was a stop smoking client and he arrived to my door in an emergency doctor vehicle. It dawned on me that my first client was a doctor (as if I wasn’t nervous enough). Within about five minutes of talking with him, I began to realise that he knew nothing about hypnosis and that I was the self help expert.  That calmed me a lot and I went on to do an excellent session with him.

I have passed that same guy many times on the road. On the odd occasion where we’ll be at an intersection and he’s in the lane next to me, he still gives me the thumbs up to let me know he is still a non-smoker. Fifteen years on, at the time of writing this, he has sent approximately 180 to 200 people my way over the years.

My practice has developed from just one person per week during my first couple of weeks to a steady average of 30 people per week now. As my reputation has spread, I now have clients in the UK, France, Dubai, Australia and of course, many from the United States. Thank God for Zoom!

My First Marriage Ends

2015 was the year my first marriage ended. To be honest, I think it was really over long before that. My life changed completely. From living in a city suburb, I moved to a small place called Clonakilty in West Cork. As you can see from the picture above, it is a coastal town.

I have to admit, when I moved here first, I was wondering if I would like it. After all, I was a city boy most of my life. The city I lived in had 125,000 people living there. Clonakilty had just 3,500 when I moved here. It’s a totally different pace of life. People have more time for each other. They talk more. They help each other out more. 

At the time of writing this, I am now living here about eight years and I genuinely could never go back to city living. I regard myself as so lucky. I have probably the most beautiful beach in all of Ireland less than a mile away from my house.

 

A New Dawn

honeymoon in New York

In late 2015, I met my the love of my life. Her name is Dorraine and she got her name from a Johnny Cash song, believe it or not! The song is called Dorraine Of Ponchartrain. Her parents were big Johnny Cash fans and that’s how it happened.

She is a school teacher who teaches the Irish language to high school kids. What amazed me the most is seeing kids who had graduated a couple of years ago coming up to her in the street and giving her a big hug. It doesn’t surprise me though because she has a heart of gold and is genuinely the best human being I know. 

It’s amazing what feeling truly loved can do for you. Dorraine shows me every day how much she loves me. I get a huge cuddle every single evening when I get back from work. She hides little treats in my laptop bag that I eventually find during the day. As a result, I just want to make her as happy as I possibly can. She has definitely changed me for the better!

We spend our weekends typically just playing board games, going shopping, or watching tv. It might sound boring but it’s not. We’re constantly holding hands and cuddling and having a laugh with each other. My relationship with her is so precious to me. She is my soulmate and she literally lights up my life.

World Domination!

self hypnosis audios page screenshot

After fifteen years of being the leading hypnotherapist in my area, I decided to spread my wings. I want to touch the lives of thousands of people all over the world. I had looked at many other hypnosis websites and none of them inspired me as a customer, so I decided to create my own. The idea is to be a one stop shop for hypnosis audios,      self help books, personal development courses and also to have a really comprehensive self help blog with hundreds of articles on various different issues.

I have built this website for you. My heartfelt wish is that is grows into something that serves you well and helps you thoughout your life. 

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