We’re so excited to be doing the Soul Work NLP training again this year. And to teach ways for coaches, speakers, team facilitators, healers, and conscious leaders to explode their skill and earning power.
Of course, there are lots of great coaching training programs available today but nothing teaches you how to help your clients, students, or team quite as effectively and rapidly as this.
We hear words like ‘miracle’ and ‘magic’ from our clients and from our students more often than we can count.
Coaches, consultants, workshop facilitators, and speakers graduating from this program have felt confident doubling and tripling their fees with the work they are now empowered and skilled to perform.
Here’s what some of our graduates are saying about this program:
I’ve invested thousands of dollars in other high-level coaching programs .. and I’m blown away. I will use this material above all the others .. I can’t recommend this training highly enough. — Kathleen Mulcahy. Santa Monica CA
The decades ahead of me are in no way going to be the same .. I have learned tools and techniques that have transcended anything I could have imagined .. they have given me a great opportunity to grow myself, my marriage, and my business. If you are interested in learning skills to help people overcome limiting mindsets, beliefs, and attitudes that have been holding them back then do this training! Caitriona Reed and Michele Benzamin-Miki are masters at rapid change .. I recommend this training to coaches, teachers, healers, therapists.. there’s no application I can think of where you couldn’t use what I’ve learned in this training. — Geoff Laughton Boulder CO
I teach and coach actors, and also coach executives in public speaking. This NLP training will be transforming my entire practice. This is information that I will use every day. Thank you! Thank you! — Jeffrey Marcus, Los Angeles CA
I studied with Richard Bandler (one of the original creators of NLP). After meeting Caitriona and Michele a few months ago, I wanted to continue training with them. This past two weeks has changed me at the core. I am so excited to share the tools that I have learned with my clients and also to apply them personally. I am going to be forever grateful for these learnings. — Kathleen Nelson Troyer, Half Moon Bay CA
I can’t even imagine NOT having done this training. Everything has changed. — Emily Steinberg, Austin TX
‘Your emotions are everything. But if you let them control you, they will eat you alive.'”
You are not broken. Negative emotions, and your body-memory of old traumas, can color your experience for years, even for a lifetime. But they don’t define who you are. You are always more than your emotions, more than your memory, more than your thoughts. Once you get the big picture and understand that you are more than whatever you imagined you are, it’s much easier to heal than most people imagine.
Negative emotions and traumas from your past do not define who you are. A traumatic event solidifies into a pattern of negative emotion by freezing your thinking – like a deer in headlights. Your memory becomes frozen in time. You are always more than who you think you are, because the sort of thinking that unconsciously identifies with that moment in time is always incomplete.
Negative emotions are not hypothetical. Do you have money issues? Do you have a problem translating you talent into abundance? Do you have difficulty finding or sustaining a good relationship? Do you have a challenge with relationships in general? Do you sometimes wonder if it’s just ‘bad luck’, or if there’s something you’re not quite seeing?
The reason may be simple – trauma and unresolved emotions hidden just beyond the range of conscious awareness. Perhaps you’ve become so used to them you can’t feel them any more. But you always experience the residue, because they will continue effecting your life in significant ways, until such time as you address them.
A negative emotion, experience, habit, or trauma lost in the murky past can easily be located because it’s still alive in your body and your unconscious mind. The origins of many negative emotions are sometimes lost in a murky past, before conscious memory, or when your were too young to fully make sense of them. But somewhere back there you learned to take on those emotions as if they were a part of who you are. You kept them alive, all the way into the present, and you keep on feeding them unknowingly. When you identify them and learn to stop feeding them, everything changes.
It’s not about stuffing your feelings. Actually it’s the opposite. When you open to the emotions that you have been stuffing because you thought they would destroy you, they become a source of strength. You open the door to resources of insight and energy, that those old patterns of thinking and feeling were blocking you from using.
You can’t ignore emotions and feelings. You might think that this is about something that doesn’t have anything to do with your business, your relationships, your health, or your creativity. This has everything to do with those things. If you ignore them you might be able to get by through your cleverness, charm, strategy, education, connections, or any number of your assets, but in the end it catches up with you.
Are you someone who has different compartments for money, love, health, family, art? Really!? Are you? Most of us were brainwashed into thinking that everything should be put into separate compartments. But when you are the same person in all situations, when your ideals and values show up in how you treat others, no matter who they are, when everything is available and not locked away in boxes .. something magical happens. You have more energy, clarity, and more importantly you become a magnet for good things to happen to you. It’s weird how that works, but it does. And it all comes down to your ability to resolve those old traumas and negative emotions.
Walk your talk. People sometimes tell us, “You two really walk your talk.” Is that something people say about you ? For me that’s the greatest compliment anyone could give.
Be transparent. One of the hardest things for me to learn was to show my vulnerability. It was a left-over from my past. Growing up it was definitely not safe for me to show my vulnerability. I learned the piece about trusting the negative emotions and healing the trauma. But the other piece about vulnerability is still a lesson in progress.
It’s the same for all of us. Some things we’ve managed to learn and understand, other things we’re still learning. The work of healing and growing goes on for your lifetime. Don’t wait for some imaginary perfection to mark the end of the journey. Don’t think you’re ever finished. Trust that there’s always something new to learn. Trust that whatever you think you are, you are more than that.
How many times do you hear people say: “I’m tired of going round in circles.” ”I wish I could change.” “Nothing works.” ”I never thought it was going to be this hard.” “Something keeps stopping me.” “I’ll make do.” “It doesn’t matter.” ” Maybe something will shift soon.”
Perhaps you have said some of it yourself.
What if it were possible to flip a switch to take you, or your clients, from negative to positive, from anxiety to calm, from frustration to confidence, from stagnation to resourcefulness?
There is only one way to create permanent positive change,to have ongoing emotional resilience and vitality, and to have explosive creative energy whenever you need it.
It is to become aligned with your unconscious mind — your heart, your spirit .. it doesn’t matter what you call it.
And there’s really only one way to maintain this inner-outer balance, though it can take on different names and forms.
We’re talking about hypnosis or trance, the state that bypasses reasons and excuses, analysis and second-guessing, and gives you the magic keys to make deep change real.
It’s how you can sweep away the old obstacles and stories of what’s possible, and what’s not, and what you can, or can’t, should, or shouldn’t do.
For centuries, for as long as humans have been around, hypnosis has allowed people to dive into their sou, and do the healing work of making evolutionary change real.
Unless you can create trance in yourself and for others, unless you understand the power of words to evoke instant hypnosis you are missing a HUGE opportunity to help yourself and your clients live a happier, more integrated, and successful life.
This three day training at Manzanita Village is an immersion that we guarantee will change your life!!
Podcast and Blog
“What do you want meaning for? Life is desire, not meaning.” —Charlie Chaplin
It was many years ago, when I was living in London; early on a summer Sunday morning. The sun was just touching the rooftops. The streets were quiet. I was woken by loud banging on the door of the flat downstairs. The banging went on for several minutes. I got up and opened my door, and called down that my neighbor was away for the weekend, and anyway, you shouldn’t go around waking people up at the crack of dawn! A young man came up the stairs, walked into my flat, sat down and said, “Wake you up? Wake you up? Nothing could wake you up, mate!” Then he stood up, walked back downstairs, and left the building.
I went back to bed and imagined that perhaps the stranger had been a messenger. Perhaps he was giving me a messages from the universe. Was there a hidden meaning here, something he knew, that I didn’t? Or had I, like him, simply had too much to drink the night before?
I told the story to my friends and it became an ongoing joke. So it has stuck with me, a reminder to ask what ‘waking up’ could even mean.
We all invent our own unique meanings for life, and for the things that we experience. It’s how we make the map that we navigate by. That summer, in the late 1970’s, I had spent the past several months at silent meditation retreats. I was learning to question a lot of what I had previously taken for granted. ‘Meaning’ was already up for grabs.
Milton Erickson, the man who helped make hypnosis acceptable in the world of medicine and psychiatry, and who was to become one of the original inspirations for NLP, said that everyone walks around in a trance of disempowerment, and that our work is to change that trance, to a trance of empowerment – in other words, to wake up. His genius in helping his clients was in his ability to recognize the maps they used to navigate the world, the meanings they gave to things. Waking-up was simply waking up to the possibility of making new meanings, new maps. and opening yourself up to doing things in new ways.
We are meaning-making creatures. It’s what we do. It’s how we learn, communicate, and create. As children it’s how we define who we are, and who we will become. It becomes a problem when the meanings we attribute to things make us feel bad or do harm to others. Fear, and our longing to make the world safe, causes meaning to coagulate into fixed beliefs, and fixed beliefs to become assumed truths.
It’s clearer if you consider the words of Charlie Chaplin,
“What do you want meaning for? Life is desire, not meaning.”
Meaning hesitates, desire acts. Meaning doubts, desire loves. Meaning is a mirage, a trap, that takes you round in circles. Desire goes straight to the source. It’s the old dance between the Apollonian and the Dionysian, between Logos and Eros. It’s NOT a battle between opposites. Desire is not a pathway (as some fear) towards losing control, or to indulging in unbridled appetites, and losing yourself to addiction. Desire is how you cultivate your creativity, vision, integrity, and sense of being connected to the whole.
If there’s a clear message from the universe it’s that you have a choice as to how you shape meaning; so that the meanings you make, carry you forward, rather than hold you back; and NLP is a useful messenger that brings you the skills to help you turn desire into creativity, and your vision into reality.
NLP, Neurolinguistic Programing, has had a huge impact on public speaking, education, business, and therapy for over forty years. For those of us who can see its all-pervading influence, it’s hard to imagine how things were before NLP became part of the current human environment. NLP continues to evolve, and to provide cutting-edge skills that help top leaders, speakers, sales-people, creative artists, teachers, and therapists become better at what they do.Yet, to most people it still remains invisible.
I first came across NLP through the recommendation of a Buddhist monk I met in Sri Lanka in the 1970’s. I began by reading the handful of books then available. Later in the mid-1980s I attended my first NLP seminar. The trainer was remarkably uninspiring and dull, but I was intrigued, and started using elements of NLP in my Hypnotherapy practice, even though I wouldn’t fully appreciate its brilliance and power until years later.
When NLP is being used well, you don’t notice it at all, because NLP is more than just a technique or a skill. Actually, it’s not even really a modality in the usual sense. It’s like a chameleon. When used well it can enhance any situation to help you to communicate, influence, heal, or effect change in yourself or others, remarkably quickly and effectively. It has been called “an attitude followed by a trail of techniques.” But the techniques are only the beginning. In the hands of an experienced practitioner, NLP is a truly improvised art.
Much of contemporary Neuroscience only affirms what NLP-trained therapists, teachers, leaders, and group-facilitators, have been doing to help people change their lives for forty years, based on precise observation and intuition.
NLP was born from the simple inquiry, “Is it possible to reproduce the results of the very best contemporary therapists (at the time that was Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir, Milton Erickson) by copying what they did?” NLP was created by learning the art of copying effectively (Modelling), and then from the specific details that were discovered from doing so. The emphasis on modelling, or emulating, what works, rather than getting rid of what doesn’t work, sets NLP apart from many other approaches to change that rely heavily on theoretical analysis and the diagnosis of what’s wrong.
Modelling in NLP doesn’t stop with the luminaries that inspired its creation. There’s no limit to what, or who, you can model in order to be effective – visionaries, innovators, therapists, healers, scientists, artists; Socrates, Mozart, Mother Teresa, Einstein, Korzybski, Jimmy Hendrix, Oprah Winfrey. NLP existed long before the term Neurolinguistic was coined. It’s as ancient as the first time someone systematically began to exemplify or copy others in order to improve their own performance. Contemporary NLP is simply the ongoing refinement of how you can do so most effectively.
The Spiritual Side of NLP Training
Michele and I both became serious about NLP after we had been teaching meditation and leading retreats for many years. We were feeling stagnant. We needed a change. We were noticing that many people used meditation not to transform their lives, but to reinforce who they already were, and what they already believed. In the words of our teacher of many years, Thich Nhat Hanh, they were practicing ‘bomb-shelter’ meditation.
The effect that we noticed NLP had, both on ourselves and on our students and clients, was that it accelerated deep transformation and change in ways that meditation alone usually could not.
Here are three examples of some of the many ways \NLP supports systemic and spiritual change.
Big Picture Thinking
Among the principles we teach our clients and students is the importance of seeing the big picture. When you see the big picture and have greater perspective, you have more choices. Having more choices, you learn to recognize the opportunities that life is continually giving you, as well as the long term consequences of your actions.
Most errors of judgment, missed opportunities, regret and unhappiness, are the result of failing to see a bigger picture. I remember a French movie I saw many years ago. It is the story of an illicit claustrophobic love-affair in a claustrophobic provincial town. The two protagonists eventually murder their respective spouses. At the end of the film, when they are arrested, the detective ask them, “Why couldn’t you just elope?” They had failed to see the obvious solution. They had missed the big picture. How many times do we miss the big picture because we are so focused on the problems immediately in front of us that we miss the obvious solution?
Awareness and Meditation
Mindfulness and Meditation have become part of our collective culture in ways that we could never have imagined a few years ago. Although we no longer teach mindfulness or meditation as we used to, we have taken elements from traditional Mindfulness training skills and combined them with elements from NLP – Expanded Awareness, Anchoring, and the use of Sub-modalities – to help people develop sustained focus and awareness. (You may not know those technical terms yet, but you’ll certainly appreciate them when you understand what they mean)
The results have been extraordinary. We have seen students raise their grade-point average by one or two points; and we have seen how NLP, in conjunction with enhanced awareness, can address chronic anxiety, emotional trauma, as well as panic attacks and phobias.
Most people are controlled by their emotions, even though they’d like to think that they are not. Suppression is often the only option they know. But when you learn that emotions are messengers, and that the information they bring is always relevant, you can free yourself from being held hostage by them.
Every emotion is connected by association to other emotions, memories, and expectations. When you learn to navigate through the intricate tangle of your emotions and mental states, you create a chain of positive emotion that can liberate you from the emotional maze that the majority of people spend their lives in. This is a central aspect of NLP – how to be the architect of your own emotional state.
Michele and I tend to avoid the word ‘spiritual’ because it creates a division. The biggest so-called un-spiritual experience can also provide a priceless opportunity for change; and transformational change is inherently ‘spiritual’. Whatever broadens your perspective teaches you something you didn’t know before, and if you’re really paying attention it will enhance the quality of your life. Creating a split division between spiritual and not-spiritual is how we have created war, environmental destruction, and our own human alienation from the fabric of life on the planet.
I knew a dedicated spiritual seeker who meditated in a closet because the birds outside the window disturbed his meditation. As an ardent twenty-year-old meditator I would swear at the neighbors’ children for disturbing my tranquility. I had no idea that ‘truth’ and ‘spirit’ are everywhere. Decades later, to my surprise, I noticed how going back and forth between the serenity of Manzanita Village and Los Angeles made no difference to my mental equilibrium. Apparently something had rubbed off on me.
‘Truth’ is not a rule book, or a story about an extra-terrestrial supreme being. Truth is what is useful to help you lead a better, more beneficial life, for yourself and others, here and now. Your spirituality is whatever leads you to do so most effectively.
Because NLP helps you to obliterate emotional baggage, break through limiting beliefs, presumptions, and self-negating behaviors, and to recognize your greater potential, it is a very real spiritual discipline. Perfectionism and self-judgment are obstacles that get in the way of understanding that everything you experience is a way forward. Inherent to NLP is the recognition that there is no failure, only feedback. When you are able to learn from the feedback you become like an engineer of your own human potential, and you move forward, spiritually, and in every way, because every way is connected.
We named this building Ithaca, because Ithaca is the island home of Odysseus, where he returned after the challenges described in the Odyssey; and also because we wanted to bring the spirit of the ocean a little closer. Ithaca is a metaphor for homecoming. The work we do with NLP Coaching and Hypnotherapy clients is like their homecoming ..
Like stepping through a doorway into another dimension .. and coming home to remember the power of your spirit, your creativity, your purpose, and the ease with which you can master your internal states.
.. and then look back at the world through fresh eyes and return.
(NLP Coaching clients meet with us here when they come for their two day customized Breakthrough Mentoring Retreat as part of their ongoing programs with us)
There was a time when everything was customized, handmade. We made this building in the old way; straw-bales and adobe. The exterior clay walls are covered with handmade mineral paint we mixed. The lime and ferrous-sulphate reacts with the adobe clay to form crystal particles that are resistant to erosion from wind and rain. It also reflects the changing light in a way that is entirely unlike commercial paint.
Likewise the work we do inside is customized, hand-made, transformational, beautiful ..
And there’s always time for goofing around. Michele painted the flags, and from time to time became completely entangled in them .. as you see
Texts are from Hesiod, Homer, and Cavafy and translated by Caitriona.
ITHACA —Constantin Cavafy
As you set sail for Ithaca
hope the voyage is long,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Cannibals of Lamos, monstrous Cyclops,
wild Poseidon’s fury,
don’t be afraid of them.
You’ll never even see them
if you hold your thoughts high,
and allow the sweet excitement
of spirit and body guide you.
You’ll never meet
unless you bring them along
inside your soul,
unless your soul
sets them up
in front of you.
Hope the voyage is long.
will carry you
into sparkling new harbors,
of pleasure and ecstasy.
Places seen for the first time
tumbling into the sky.
Trade with the Phoenicians,
for mother of pearl and coral,
amber and ebony, agate and jade,
attar of roses, and frankincense,
every perfume you can find,
Lay anchor in Alexandria
trades stories with the wise ones.
Always guard Ithaca in your mind
but don’t hurry.
You are destined to arrive.
Don’t hurry the journey,
don’t hurry at all.
It’s better that it lasts for years.
You will be old
when you reach the island,
rich with all that you have become,
not expecting anything of Ithaca.
Ithaca gave you the ocean.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor do not blame her,
wise as you will have become,
so full of experience,
you will have understood by then
what these Ithacas mean.
Did you ever experience something that felt as if it had transformed you to the core of your being? Was there ever a time when you were certain that an old issue that had been nagging you for years was gone forever?
A powerful insight has shifted your understanding, and it’s as if you are stepping into a whole new way of being and living!
Then things gradually slip back to how they were before, as if nothing had really changed. Except that now you are even more frustrated, cynical, and disappointed than before.
People often come to NLP or Hypnotherapy as a last resort. They have had no success in dealing with issues like chronic pain, or emotional addiction, or the self-destructive mindset that results in continual personal and professional disappointment. They may have visited numerous healers and professionals and it all helped to a certain degree, but nothing has addressed the root of the problem. They have learned to cope, but they haven’t t learned to change.
Often something entirely different happens through hypnosis to tip the balance; and a year, or ten years later, they are still enjoying the fruits of that shift.
How is it possible that hypnosis and NLP Coaching work when other modalities fail? I remember a client who was suffering from chronic back-pain. She had gone through multiple surgeries, and years of visiting pain-clinics and psychiatrists. The pain had worn her down, and she felt completely powerless to change it. It was affecting her work, her health, and even her ability to sustain a romantic relationship. She was about to break up with her boyfriend of several years.
The hypnotic state gave her the ability to reclaim the part of herself that she had only known as ‘pain’. Think of this as a metaphor, because it may be the best way to describe how hypnotherapy works. We disown our ‘problem’, and try to fix it by getting rid of it. But it’s like cutting off a limb because we sprained a joint. We separate ourselves from the very thing that can make us whole. You might think that this wouldn’t apply to a physical symptom, like pain. But after the organic cause of the pain has gone, there is nothing there to support it except the habit, and the unconscious need, to recreate it. This is even more true when it comes to issues like your mindset, negative emotions, self-limiting beliefs, or addictive behaviors.
There’s no blame in this. You do the best you can at any given time. Hypnosis is simply a way to give you more options and choices.
After her first session my client’s pain disappeared, never to return (the last time we spoke was ten years after our work together). People call such things miraculous! But how it works is very simple. Hypnosis has the marvelous ability to help us address unconscious dynamics while we remain conscious. Hypnosis is not like sleep. It is simply a way of bypassing the filters that our conscious mind uses to process experience. Hypnosis is a natural state of mind that you experience several times a day – every time you go into a daydream, for example.
The Hypnotherapy process allowed my client to address the reasons why she had unconsciously perpetuated the pain. Of course, had there been physical reasons for the pain to persist, I would have referred her to a physician or a chiropractor. The fact that the pain disappeared so rapidly, and that she remained pain-free, told me that it was no longer a physical issue.
We continued to work together so that I could teach her how to use the hypnotic state to empower herself, and to apply it to every area of her life. I taught her different ways of self-hypnosis and gave her the tools to cultivate her creative unconscious, set a vision and develop the strategies and skills for attaining it, and to learn how to master her own psychology. After all, if she could overcome chronic pain that she had been told was incurable, what else could she do?
Three Approaches to Healing and Transformation
Personal transformation and healing depend on your expectations. They also depend on the expectations of the person who is mentoring you.
George Estabrooks noticed in the 1940’s that the client “tends to fulfill the expectations of their therapist.” In our Hypnosis and NLP Training we emphasis the importance of setting no limits on the results you can expect from a client, to expect miracles. When you do that you will constantly be astonished by the positive results you get with clients.
If a therapist sees you only through the filters of neurosis and pathology, they will be incapable of seeing anything beyond that. Teaching you to cope with your ‘pathology’ will be the best you can expect from them.
If you have a physical illness and your doctor sees your body as something separate from the rest of you, they may be able to treat your symptoms, but they never actually ‘heal’ you.The symptoms will probably return when the conditions for them occur again.
If a coach sees you through their own preconception of success or failure, they will be insensitive to your own unique gifts and the journey that you are on, and they will unconsciously set limits on what you can achieve, based on their own projections.
Three approaches to change
The Bottomless Pit Approach: The old-school approach to transformation is that life is long and arduous and filled with difficulties. You must spend half a lifetime as an apprentice, years in therapy, decades of arduous spiritual practice. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with dedication and ongoing training. But the idea that deep change musttake a long time is simply not true. Some of the unspoken assumptions that drive that idea are:
Life is always difficult and complex.
Learn to accept things as they are or you will be disappointed.
People don’t change, they just become more of who they are.
Your problem is so complex that no one can really fix it, but you can learn to manage it.
The Magic Bullet Approach: Fueled by wishful thinking and a desire not to have to take full responsibility for the miracle of your life, the magic bullet approach is characterized by attitudes like:
If only I could find the right person, technique, mentor, place, etc.I know it will fix everything.
Here’s a new bright shiny object. It will will give absolutely, positively give you everything you need.
I had an amazing experience doing such-and-such, or with so-and-so, and I want to have that experience again (and again, and again).
If you do more of what you are doing things will eventually work out. (I will be healthy, have the relationship I desire, have all the money and success I want)
It’s not that magic doesn’t happen, nor is it true that some things aren’t hard. It’s that having a strategy is essential, for everything important that we do.
The Five Changes Approach: Integrated Praxis and NLP Coaching
Praxis simply means putting what you know into action consistently and strategically. It doesn’t mean preparing for something. It means that what you are doing right now is already having an impact on your life.
It means using the appropriate tools and skills and continuing to use and refine them on an ongoing basis. Unlike the ‘bottomless pit’ approach, you’re the one with the power. You’re the one taking responsibility for your actions and for the results of your actions. Unlike the ‘magic bullet’ approach you’re not just hoping for a miracle to suddenly change everything without your having to commit to making the change happen.
In the Third approach big changes can happen quickly, but you are developing the insights you get from them to adapt what you do, to course-correct, and go deeper on an ongoing basis. When you find the support and mentorship that works for you, you know that it works as a collaboration, because you know that no one else can ‘fix’ your problems for you. They simply give you the support, the skills, and the perspectives that you need.
Anyone with enough time and patience can learn to give their car a tune-up or rebuild the engine; but unless you are a car mechanic you’d be better off getting someone else to do it. This applies even more when it comes to getting the perspective for your life and business that you simply can’t get on your own, simply because you’re too close to them.
The Third approach is not a compromise between the other two approaches. Energy and consistency are required, but not in order for you to bury yourself in the process.
When change happens it’s not because you stumbled on the right magic formula. The obstructions we put in our own way are not be as insurmountable as they seem, but we can’t fix them by driving blindly into the dark and thinking that if only we could go faster we’ll get where we need to be.We won’t fix them by giving our power away, or by hoping for a miracle. There is an art to it, and it really is possible to master that art. You just have to start taking the steps to do so. Want to take the time to talk?
NLP Training is a little like getting your hands on a user-manual for your imagination, or a handbook for your mind, or a practical guide to Neuroscience in action. What if old limitations that you had come to believe were who you are, turned out to be things you could easily change – quickly, decisively, and permanently? What if you could utilize the same powerful creativity, focus and energy that had marked the most decisive moments of your life? (You know the ones we mean) What if happiness and freedom became the very air you breathed?
Imagine hearing about a shortcut that halves your daily commute time. How long would you wait before using it? Would you have to give it some thought first? Would you argue that you weren’t the sort of person to take shortcuts? Perhaps your driving instructor had showed you a route when you first learned to drive, and out of loyalty to him you prefer the longer route? Perhaps the long route is familiar and you’d rather not bother with changing it. After all, you’d been using it for years, and it has served you perfectly well up until now.
Three Reasons for Taking the Five Changes NLP Training
1. For Yourself
The Map is Not the Territory – Alfred Korzybski
What we know, how we experience the world, what we take to be real, is more fluid than we were taught. We grew up learning rules to help us navigate our map of the world. We assumed that the map, and the rules that made it, were absolute. What began as necessary boundaries, like training wheels, turned into limitations. Add to that all the emotional and behavioral patterns we learned from those close to us, and we end up with a map of a reality that is far away from what is actually possible.
Unlimited happiness, creativity, and freedom are all within our reach. We are like the elephant, trained from infancy with a chain tied to his foot. He gave up trying to pull free long ago, and resigned to a life of captivity.
Freedom means becoming your own mapmaker. In other words, it means becoming master of your emotional state and your creativity, how you respond to experience – with choice – rather than reacting with long forgotten decisions, like the elephant, who still thinks the chain can hold him.
2. For Other People in Your Life
Always pass on what you have learned. – Yoda
To be at cause is to respond rather than to react. It is to live by your own choices rather than the choices of others. It is to be the Leader of your own life.
The Five Changes NLP training is specifically aimed at helping you be fully at cause in all the circumstances of your life, with specific tools to give you the resources to continually refine that ability. It is also geared towards you teaching others to do the same with specific tools and skills.
Everything we are and do has an impact on others. You owe it to them to become the best possible influence – no more complaining or blaming, no more bonding through mutual commiseration! From now on it becomes a celebration of accomplishment and possibility. Imagine!
Regardless of your work, you lead by example and you have specific lessons that you can give to others; your clients, patients, students, team member, associates, customers, friends, and family.
3. For a New Brilliant and Impactful Career
There is a solution to every problem! – Keys to Transformational Leadership
As a Certified Five Changes NLP Master Practitioner, you will have a template for working with clients in a therapeutic context as a Mindset and Life coach. The skills you will learn in NLP and Hypnosis will give you the ability to succeed where others with less developed training have failed. We will give you all you need to begin a $500 an hour (and up) an hour business, helping people transform their lives and work, helping people with their own user-manual for the mind. It is one of the most profoundly ‘spiritual’, holistic, and satisfying career choices you are likely to make.
A mentor we knew, who was well-known for speaking directly, often said that the only reason people didn’t change was that they were so attached to their excuses and self-imposed limitations that the imaginary, and blown out of proportion, fear of change stopped them in their tracks.
The reality of our lives is that it is constantly inviting us to change, learn, and grow. It’s what we do best. So why not learn a skill-set that will truly serve you well.
Were you ever in a situation where you felt powerless to change? a situation that had been going on for so long you had started to believe it might never change? Had you even started to wonder if maybe you were the problem?
Then you learned something about how you could make change happen. Perhaps you learned it though NLP coaching. It was as if someone handed you the key to a closed door that had been locked for so long that you had forgotten there was even a door there.
Up until that moment, you had certainly known you were stuck. You may have even understood something about why you were stuck. But your understanding didn’t help. Insights alone can sometimes dampen your motivation to change, because they make the prospect of actually changing look like one more insurmountable problem. Until you know how to change, any amount of understanding of why you should, or why you got stuck in the first place, doesn’t help much.
Until you learn the ‘how to’ of change, the ‘why’ can actually hold you back.
NLP is the ‘how to’ of change.
In spite its short forty-year history, NLP has roots that go back for as long as human beings have been looking for smart win-win solutions.
Like Hypnosis, NLP has fallen outside the mainstream; and like hypnosis, NLP has aroused suspicion and jealousy for helping people when all else has failed. We have lost track of how often clients have come to us as a last resort –for chronic pain that the doctors had pronounced to be incurable; for addictive behaviors that wouldn’t go away, or kept coming back; or for phobias and fears that nothing ever seemed to help. .. not to mention the entrepreneurs and artists whose success had seemed to elude them until they learned to get out of their own way and to work with themselves, instead of against themselves.
What is NLP?
NLP means Neurolinguistic Programming. The term was coined by Richard Bandler and John Grinder after they developed a therapeutic modality based largely on the work of family therapist Virginia Satir and hypnotherapist Milton Erickson. The underlying insight that drives NLP is that there is a gap between experience and perception; that your emotions, memories, beliefs, as well as everything you experience in life, is made up of patterns in your neurology. Because there is a gap between external reality and our experience of it, we live in an inner world of distortion and separation. In the words of Richard Bandler, “we make it up with words and pictures” hence, Neuro .. linguistic .. programing.
What the creators of NLP discovered is that there are practical skills you can use to bridge the gap between external reality and the words and pictures in our mind, and that those skills can be consistently used to transform self-defeating behaviors, negative emotions and attitudes that have a detrimental effect on our life at home or at work or anywhere else.
NLP is the art and science of providing alternatives to how we imagine the world, of changing internal representations, emotional states, external responses, and ultimately of actually and measurably changing our neurology. NLP is neuroscience in action.
NLP is more than a set of clever techniques. It is learning to be your own source of innovative skill and solution-based thinking.
1. Mindset is the sum of your beliefs, expectations, attitudes, values, and above all, your emotions. A consistently positive emotional state, will determine how well you learn, how effectively you communicate, how much you enjoy your life, and the results you achieve. NLP coaching is a direct way to learn how to master your emotions. Mastery does not require taking control, rigidness or repression. It simply means learning how to bring awareness to the inner patterns that determine old emotional habits, and then making appropriate choices to change them.
2. Reaction or Response? If your emotions are a choice, and your actions are determined by your emotions, including the emotions that support your beliefs about what you can achieve, then NLP is not just mastering your emotions. It also lets you navigate your own course in life. It’s not about taking control of everything that happens. Who would want that anyway? It’s that you can learn to utilize every situation to your own and everyone else’s best advantage. You can learn to respond, rather than react. You can choose, rather than just revert to old habits.
3. Awareness + choice. A well-known (and notoriously inhumane) experiment raised kittens with cardboard tubes on their heads so that they had no peripheral vision. After some months the cardboard tubes were removed and it was discovered that the kittens, now grown cats, were incapable of seeing anything that wasn’t directly in front of them. They had lost all peripheral vision.
Whenever there is unfinished emotional business it’s as if you have a cardboard tube on your head. You are locked in a narrow capsule of your old unresolved issues. It’s all you know. You end up resigning yourself to the life you see through the tube. The constrained perspective blocks all your creativity, joy, natural intelligence and any sense of the possibility of freedom – which you don’t even realize you don’t have.
Unless the unresolved negative emotions – fear, resentment, shame, anger, disappointment – are addressed, that narrow field of vision becomes who you are. When it’s removed, or transformed, your field of awareness open, and you can now choose your focus. It is no longer predetermined by your negative emotions.
4. Personal Congruity. Congruity means that you are in agreement with yourself, that your conscious and unconscious mind are working together. When part of you wants to change other people’s lives for the better, but another part of you feels that you are a fraud, there is a problem, there is an incongruity.
When you are moved to work hard on a project, but when you are immersed in the project something always seems to come up to distract you, that’s also incongruity. Something inside you is fighting yourself.
When you are continually fighting against the very thing, or person, you love most, that’s another example of an incongruity. NLP is very good at identifying and resolving incongruities and invisible inner conflicts you are not fully conscious of yet.
5. Intention and results. Everything mentioned so far:
Mastering your emotions and mindset
Taking control of your direction
Learning to respond rather than just reacting
Growing your freedom of awareness
Developing personal congruity
are all the domain of NLP coaching. They are things that NLP is good at helping you with. Put together, they provide you with a vision for the scope of your life. Anything you choose or imagine, or envision for yourself becomes possible. One of the key lessons of NLP is that when you are emotionally, physically, and psychologically healthy you have immense resources of creative energy available to formulate and realize possibilities for your life and for your work in the world.
These are five ways that NLP coaching works for you personally. Stay tuned for how NLP works in the domain of team and community building, and of leadership development.
PART FIVE – LOVE. There are seven words for love in classical Greek. And there’s another kind of love for which there is no word. It is a state of being more than a feeling for someone or something. It is the Great Joy that comes from unconditional love. You live it, simply and effortlessly, when you are in full agreement with your own life.
“the moon offers light without a hand
the sun is proof of the sun,
writing about love
my pen splinters” Jalal ad Din Rumi
NLP and Love
As soon as our basic needs are satisfied, and once we are in alignment with ourselves, we come home to love. Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs includes the need for freedom of expression, creativity, and mental congruity. When those needs are satisfied, and when unconscious conflicts are resolved, you move into great joy and unconditional love. It’s that simple.
Twenty years ago, when my Zen teacher was empowering several of us as teachers, I asked. “When do you know when someone is ready to be a teacher?” He replied, “When they’re happy.”
The next question is: how do you become happy? The answer, like the question, can only be lived. But there are a few clues.
Society is driven by the assumption that happiness comes from getting what you want. Commerce depends on it. It’s our collective fantasy. It doesn’t take much to realize that there’s no end to wanting. But that doesn’t mean that ‘wanting’ is the problem. The real problem lies in the illusion that when you get what you want you will be happy. There’s nothing wrong with wanting. Denying your desires in the name of ‘spiritual’ perfection is another version of wanting, a kind of spiritual materialism. Finding a belief system that lets you close down for fear of disappointment is capitulation, a kind of death, wanting to destroy your dreams and aspiration. There’s another way to happiness outside of wanting or not wanting.
NLP provides a great road map. NLP is driven by the understanding that when you have internal conflicts you can’t be genuinely happy. There is something hidden inside you that remains unsatisfied.
Part of you wants one thing, part of you wants another. There’s a lack of clarity that feeds uncertainty and fear. You probably have an unexamined belief or two about what you can or cannot want; or about what you should or should not have. You’d like to do good for the whole planet, but you are so conflicted it’s hard for you to do good even for yourself.
NLP has a knack of pulling those limiting beliefs to the surface and changing it, After all, all beliefs are figments. We imagine that they are rooted in external events. But the beliefs we hold about ourselves are fictions that we have concocted.
NLP recognizes that everything you experience in your life is informed by your emotional and mental state. Love is simply the highest and most beneficial emotional state. It’s a natural combination of joy, energy, mental clarity, creativity and whatever natural positive tendencies accompany your own personality once you have become free from emotional encumbrance.
Four Parts to love
Affection. Familiarity. Getting to know you. Feeling safe, known, seen, appreciated and owning those feeling as your own, as a natural way of being yourself. When we work with new clients we often begin by teaching them to like themselves. Perhaps it’s the single most powerful thing they can do. It is the beginning of love.
Friendship. There’s a saying that money can buy anything except old friends. There’s consistency and faithfulness in friendship. There are common aims, common values, and trust. There is contact, accountability, transparency, and the challenge of growth.
In the Greek conception of the world, Eros was the first element that took shape from primordial Chaos. We turned Eros into lust and pornography because we were ashamed of desire. Think of Eros instead as the embodiment of life, love revealed. It includes sexuality, because it includes everything we call life. Eros is celibate or fertile. It is the abundance of embodied living.
Imagine the unconditional love of a mother for her child. Remove the child and let the love remain, now direct that love towards everything and everyone that comes within its reach. Or imagine the exquisite pleasure of being in love for the first time. Remember how it transformed your world, Now remove the person who awakened your heart, but keep the transformation. Neuroscience has measured the healing and creative capacity of that state. NLP teaches you how to own and embody it.
It’s almost meaningless to speak of love. Love is simply life lived. The only certainty is life itself, the only law – ‘more life!’ Love is the experience of life, the embodiment of the truth of living, along with the little joys and sadness, the coming and going of things. It is clearing the way to the ongoing happiness my teacher was referring to.
How can NLP helps in this central spiritual quest? It is the nearest thing we’ve seen to a User’s Manual for how to experience the love and joy that is the natural fuel for this business of living life as a complete human-being.