Expanding “now”

How a person structures “now” on their timeline has a big effect on their quality of life. Two important distinctions about now are:

  1. the degree to which the person is “in time” or “observing time”, and
  2. the physical size of “now.”

If now is physically small, the person is likely to feel pressured or harassed, as though there is literally not enough time to get things done.

If now is spacious, they are likely to experience of having plenty of time, even when they have a lot to do and not much actual time available.

If now is enormous, the future may seem irrelevant because it is so small and far away. This works well for meditating, but can cause significant problems in day-to-day life.

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Utilize problem anchors to reinforce positive change

Dr. Lewis Walker, author Changing with NLP: A Casebook of Neuro-Linguistic Programming in Medical Practice, recently wrote:

I think that when someone has had a longstanding chronic problem over many years, in virtually all areas of life there are huge numbers of contextual anchors (people, places, color schemes, sounds, voice tones, postures, gestures, etc.) that keep it alive… Chronic re-exposure to these myriad anchors after a session is one way in which the problem can recur over time to a varying degree…

I have experienced this anchor issue myself in making major life changes. It’s a big problem for a lot of people.

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In time, observe time — why not both?

How a person structures “now” on their timeline has a big effect on their quality of life.

  • If they are in time, with their timeline running through their body (or they stand inside a “time tube”), they are probably good at being present in the moment. However, they may stay so in the moment that they have trouble keeping appointments or planning ahead.
  • If they observe time, standing outside the “now” so they have perspective and can see the future from now, they can probably remember appointments and plan ahead. However, they might find it difficult to enjoy the moment because they always see, hear, and think about their future and/or past.

Each option has useful elements, and it would be nice to have them all, rather than having to pick one or the other. That’s why I developed the following technique.

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“Kinesthetic” is several modalities

When you studied NLP, did you learn about “the” kinesthetic modality?

The standard NLP model lumps all “feelings” together as one kinesthetic modality, with one set of accessing cues. These cues include belly breathing, slow speech, use of kinesthetic words and phases (such as “touching base,” “off-balance,” and “warm”), and eye accesses to the (usually) lower right.

This model is simple and easy to learn and use. It’s also obviously inaccurate. Dizziness is not the same kind of “feeling” as happiness, hunger, or warm velvet rubbing across your skin.

That wouldn’t matter to NLPers if kinesthetics all functioned identically when communicating or doing change work. But in fact, subtle distinctions between kinds of kinesthetics often determine whether an intervention will work for a particular person.

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