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Who are you?

I wonder how you answered. Do you say your name, your job title or a role you fulfil? Is that really who you are?

When you explore your identity you may discover some interesting layers that you may never have considered.

In NLP you become aware of the power of language and as you notice that you become aware of your “I” language.

Whenever you say “I am —-” (fill in the blank how you wish) you are creating a complex equivalence.

 

What is a complex equivalence?

This is where you assume one thing equals another.

For example,

“I am anxious”

 

translates as

“I” = “anxious”

 

Anxiety has become an expression of Identity temporarily blocking you from other versions of yourself. This how you can become stuck in anxiety, depression or nervousness.

 

Is that really how you want to live?

 

If you recognise the tendency to use unhelpful Identity labels there are some simple changes you make that can start to make a difference.

 

  1. Start by bringing your “I” statements into awareness. Write down any that you use a lot.
  2. The next step is to re fame how you are talking to yourself.

 

For example, instead of

“I am anxious”

 

Say

“I am feeling some anxiety”

or

“I am noticing some anxious self talk”

or

“I am experiencing some anxiety in my body”

 

Changing how you talk to yourself can make a big difference to how you feel. The examples above move your self talk out of Identity statements into experiences. This reduces the power of the issue and allows you to access other ways of being.

By first breaking the chain of negative identity labels in your self talk you are freeing yourself up for something better. Soon you will be able to claim a new Identity.

“I am Enough”

This will lead to you knowing you are the best version of you!

If you add other NLP approaches you can feel even better.

 

If you want to make a difference in your life talk to Melody about how NLP Practitioner can be the beginning of a new you!

 

 

How are training courses evolving to meet the challenges of the pandemic world?

Students on Clinical Hypnotherapy Diploma 2021

Last month I ran my first hybrid training here at GWiz, The course was the specialist training module for our Clinical Hypnotherapy Diploma. Most of the students were with me in the training room. Two people were unable to attend in person because of the current restrictions.

How did it work?

I was uncertain how it would work and my main concern was making sure the people online felt included.

I invited four of our graduates to join us virtually to ensure the online students had variety in practice sessions.

For the in-person training we had to make some changes to keep everyone safe including the introduction of hand sanitiser dispensers in strategic locations.

I am delighted to report the training did go well and students on both mediums felt included in all sessions. We even managed to create the opportunity for the in-person students to practice with the virtual ones.

We did have some technical glichés that facilitated new learning that next time can be incorporate into how we do things.

Next stop will be the Wholeness Work next week  (18th  to 19th  August)

. My intention is to have everyone in the room however I am retaining the option to switch to hybrid if anyone gets pinged or if I get a student who cannot attend in-person for a specific reason.

What did I learn from teaching a hybrid course?

The main personal learning I have taken from the last 18 months is that staying flexible is essential.

While staying flexible make sure you give yourself permission to learn as you go. You don’t have to be perfect. Mistakes or lack of experience are merely opportunities to learn.

So tell me what is the biggest thing you have learnt over the last 18 months?

 

 

What is a Well-being Café? How can you give a Virtual Hug to those who need it?

I wanted to share with you the steps to holding your own Well-being Café on this National Hugging Day. Currently these are all on Zoom and do make it accessible for many. Sadly there will be people who cannot connect this way.

This is something I have been doing for a number of groups and it has really helped. The Well-being Café does need a host and a structure to make it work.

The structure needs to be loose and the session needs to be fairly short, e.g. maybe an hour. It also works best with fairly small groups e.g. 5 to 20 people.

Start with a round of introductions. Provide a template and demonstrate yourself. Here is an example:

  • Name and where you are.
  • On a scale of 1 to 10 how is your well-being? (this gives you an idea of who is struggling without making it a big thing).
  • Ask people to share something upbeat e.g. how are you entertaining yourself. (this is to bring in some balance and energy. Some people will be able to share humour and fun, this will lift the whole group without squashing those who are struggling).

As the host it is important for you to role model. For example, yesterday with the Well-being scale I acknowledged I felt I was an “8” because I’m not exercising enough and I’m eating too much. It is unhelpful to be too bouncy and a “10”. This will put people off and feel like a mismatch for many. You do need to be authentic and connect.

If anyone is tearful hold the space and let them share or not as they wish. This is part of the Virtual Hug. Being with kind and supportive people who listen to you is the rest.

If you have more than five people I would suggest giving people 15 minutes in smaller groups to just chat, no agenda. As host circulate around the rooms to make sure people are okay and facilitate where needed.

End the session with an open frame and ask people what they want for future sessions. Provide sign posts for additional help if anyone is needing more support. I recommend you have these available before you set up the Café.

 

 

 

How do you keep your focus positive and healthy?

Keeping your focus positive and healthy is one thing you have absolute control over and today I want to share some simple ideas for you to consider.

 

When you think of the past direct your thoughts to joyful, sweet, fun and happy memories. Actively ruminate over those memories and share them with others to strengthen their power.

 

If you have intruding negative memories re-mind yourself that there is a positive intention behind that unconscious intrusion. Make a point of acknowledging the positive message in that old memory.

 

For example, guilt feelings around the loss of someone you love are usually to remind us that we miss that person and that we love them. Acknowledge this meaning and turn your thoughts to happier memories of that person.

 

If negative memories persist or are overwhelming reach out for support from an appropriate professional.

 

Spend time in the present appreciating what you have right now. You may want to check out my blog about noting 5 things a day you are grateful for. If you are concerned about something in the here and now take action or ask for help.

 

When you think about the future create plans for your dreams and allow yourself to dream. If you worry about the future, write down your worries, reality check them and work out a plan to handle what is left.

 

These simple ideas can really help you focus and at the same time remember, if you need help it is okay to reach out. Sometimes you need someone to listen, sometimes you need a coach to help you focus and at other times you need deeper help to shift block and free yourself up.

 

How are you doing managing your focus?

What do you do when your child, dog, cat or the delivery man joins you on that video call

So, what do you do when your child, dog, cat or the delivery man joins you on that video call?

 

We have all seen it and many of us have experienced it. That embarrassing moment when our business video call gets interrupted! Some people handle it gracefully while others get flustered so I thought some of you might appreciate some tips on how to handle this problem.

 

It is worth remembering that most people totally understand and will be happy to give you a moment to do what you need to do.

 

There are some clear steps to take.

 

  1. First acknowledge it is happening. Ignoring the interruption does not help and just makes you look unprofessional.
  2. State that you need a moment to handle the situation. There is no need to go into a big apology just a brief, “Sorry about this I just need to handle this”. State how long it will take.
  3. Mute yourself and switch off your video camera.
  4. Calmly and gently handle the situation. If it is your child reassure them and deal with what they need. If it is a pet you may need to gently shut them in a different room. With either children or pets if there is someone else in the house get them to help you by taking over supervision. And of course if it is just a delivery handle that.
  5. When you come back on line, state “okay I’m back”.

 

It is worth taking a moment to also learn from the experience and in future plan to prevent interruptions where you can. If you are doing a live TV interview of course that planning is a really good idea.

 

Do share here what interruptions you have had to deal with or observe. Be nice and don’t name anyone else without their permission.

 

 

How do you use a gratitude jar or diary and why would you want to?

If you are looking for a simple way to boost your well-being using a gratitude jar or diary is the way to do it. This simple technique is easy to do and takes a couple of minutes a day.

 

Here is the why:

 

This is an idea that has some really good research behind it. Around 2005 Seligman and his team of researchers did a big study. They found that writing down 5 things a day that you are grateful about in a diary or journal for just one week significantly boosts your well-being. They then discovered that people who kept going even longer had even more benefits.

 

So how do you do it?

 

Here are two simple and easy ways to keep a gratitude journal or diary. The first is simply at the end of each day write down five things from that day you are grateful about. They can be really small, it will still make a big difference.

 

Here are some examples:

 

  • Saw a robin in the garden.
  • Spoke to a friend on the phone.
  • Watched a comedy show that really made me laugh.
  • Played with my dog.
  • Slept well last night.
  • Took extra care preparing my favourite meal.
  • Then ate it mindfully.

 

Do you see the idea? Simple small things will help your mindset move towards the positive and will thus boost how you feel.

 

As an aside, I recommend limiting how much time you spend watching the news. It is good to stay informed but overdosing on the news will probably have the opposite effect to the gratitude journal.

 

The second Gratitude technique is to use a large jar. I recommend you use coloured paper to write on too. Put each thing you are grateful for on a small piece of paper and put it in the jar. You can also put in motivational quotes, good advice to yourself and some well done notes.

 

Every time you look at the jar you will unconsciously fire off those positive neurons automatically.

 

From time to time take all the paper out and read you messages to yourself. This can be a great way to get an extra boost.

Give this a go and let me know how you get on. Please feel free to share. I have a Facebook group called Self-care for Life. Feel free to join and share with like minded people. This is another great way to get a boost.

 

 

Do you have meaningful priorities?

Have you got meaningful priorities?

 

I wonder if you find yourself getting caught up in the everyday, albeit important tasks of earning a living, taking care of the kids and getting all your to do list done?

 

Fill your jar with meaningful light

Many of you will be familiar with the idea of a gratitude jar or a gratitude journal where the idea is to record daily things you are grateful for. (I’ll post a reminder about this later in the week for those of you who do not know this brilliant tip).

 

Today I want to switch up the jar metaphor a little. Are you keeping your higher good in mind I wonder?

 

Stephen Covey used a jar metaphor in a differently to the gratitude journal. He used the jar to represent your capacity to do things. In his jar he explained that we could represent different priorities with different items. High priority would be pebbles, then small stones, then sand and finally water to represent the lower priority. He maintained that people often put the sand and water in first meaning there was no room to add bigger priority items.

 

The trick was to put in the pebbles first, followed by the small stones followed by the sand and finally the water. That way we get the right balance.

 

So my challenge to you is to clarify what are your big pebbles? Do you know? Are you paying attention to them?

 

What is most meaningful to you?

I’ll give you a few suggestions: Love, Health, Well-being, Joy, Purpose, Connection, Contribution…….

 

What do you need to be paying more attention to?

 

Are you ready to find out more about how you can transition and transform in 2021?

 

Melody Cheal MSc Applied Psychology

Last year Becci Godfrey from the Peace Project interviewed me about my thoughts on transformation and transition. I shared some ideas and tips that you can use to help you make a difference in your life. Click the link to watch and listen to the interview.

Have you lost your sense of meaning and purpose?

Photo by Eunice Lituañas

I realised that I had dipped into a feeling of hopelessness a couple of weeks ago. My days had a meaningless cycle of get up, work online, eat too much, watch TV and go to bed. This feeling had crept up on me and I’m only just starting to shake it off.

How do you shake off such feelings?

The key is to reconnect with meaning and to increase your sense of purpose. Start small and stay aware of your internal state. My first step may sound a little trivial on the surface. Every year under normal conditions I go over the top decorating my house for Christmas. A few weeks ago I had said to myself “why bother?”

This was a sign and I knew I needed to do something.

Over the weekend I decided to reconnect with my joy and fun. I have decorated one room and put one tree up. (I normally put up multiple trees). This one room makes me smile and I am starting to feel better. I think I will do more this weekend. The meaning of putting up decorations for me is to feel an inner sense of fun even if I can’t share with family and friends as normal.

 

What do you need to do to stay connected to some sense of meaning?

Accessing States of Well-Being

Last week accessing states of Well-being was the topic of our NLP Practice Group. NLP provides many tools and mindsets to manage how we feel and how we cope with challenge.

Joe Cheal and I shared some ideas about a number of these tools:

  1. Frames – how you perceive and the mindset you access creates an important starting point.
  2. Making sure you are “at cause”, this also links with mindset and perception.
  3. An important point for you to remember is that expressing your emotions is also vital to positive mental health.
  4. Becoming aware of your reactive emotional triggers will help you improve your long term well-being. Using models from NLP such as Swish to clear emotional triggers helps re-set your baseline.

If you would like a copy of the notes from the Practice Group you can download them here Accessing States of Well-Being 2020

We also discussed how to use the Swish Pattern in an ecological and healthy way via video conferencing. I may add another blog on this topic later in the week so do check back. If you are already an NLP Practitioner or above and would like to join our next NLP Practice Group on 3rd December (7pm London time) click this link to book your ticket.

If you are new to NLP and would like to find out about NLP Training join us on our next Free taster event, 11th July, 7pm to 9pm Click the link for details.

On our home page we also have a free audio download, click here to download.