It’s was time to take my dancing shoes off and head back to Bangkok for a course in NLP [Neuro-Linguistic Programming]. Of course you ask ‘What is NLP?’ and I will get to that. First, let me share with you how NLP played a crucial role in my life.
2009 was a pivotal year in my life. Late in 2008 I had made some key decisions regarding my personal life, primarily about the way I did and did not want to continue living in the personal circumstances I was in. Once I took the first step to make a change, it seems doors began to open in 2009 to assist me in defining a new future. Well it got a bit worse before it got better, and that I see as a part of the process.
Regardless of the specific details of these personal circumstances, I knew deep down, it hadn’t mattered how I found myself in the circumstances, it hadn’t mattered what occurred up until this point. I just knew there was something about ‘me’ that needed to change. I had no clue what or why. It was just a ‘sense’ and ‘knowing’ that regardless of what brought me to where I was, I needed to change something about myself.
So where do you start when you don’t have a clue what you need to change?
I began by asking questions about who I was, who and what I want kind of person I wanted to be. I asked myself what I wanted in my life and what I didn’t.
I had clear answers to what I no longer wanted, but struggled with ‘where do I go from here?’, ‘who is Joanne?’ and ‘what does she want?’.
For some, the answers may come easily. I had spent my life focused on doing what I thought were the ‘right‘ things to better myself, especially given childhood. I wanted to do better, be better, live better from that which I was brought up. Each decision led to the next step and to the next, which led me to this point in life. Were these ‘right‘ things, right? Were they ‘right’ for me, NOW?
As the doors began to open, I was given a referral to a coach, Jonathan. My aim was to first ‘help me to help myself figure out what I want’. From there, I can take appropriate action.
Jonathan proposed an approach that he called a ‘breakthrough’ session. Looking back I can’t say that I recall that I truly understood what it all meant, but I do clearly recall some of the tools utilized during our ‘breakthrough’ session and some of the processes leading to it as they were incredibly impactful.
The approach was, sort of like, ‘before we can focus on the future, let’s do some clearing out’.
I clearly remember that during the breakthrough session I was confused and at some points incredibly frustrated.
I recall Jonathan telling me that the ‘process‘ was working at the subconscious level and as a result, my analytical tendencies and tendencies to want to understand it all had to move out of the way. They would naturally be confused, they are supposed to be.
And, as the instructor of our NLP courses, Sebastien Leblond, would say ‘you’re confused, good! it means you’re about to have a breakthrough!’.
So, as best I could, I decided to trust the process; I really didn’t have anything to loose. What I do recall were the results and what I experienced, even though I was confused to how we got there.
One of the exercises I recall was defining my values. In the beginning, 90% of my defined values were ‘moving away’ from something. Toward the end of the session we went through the value exercise again.
WOW! Not only were my defined values DIFFERENT [they had been completely redefined], they were ‘moving toward’ something. I have no clue how we got there, but I was amazed at the mind shift in such a short time.
Every now and then, I refer back to this list to validate if they still resonate with me. Until this day they have and I’ve no felt a need to make any changes or additions to them. I am happy to share these with you. Note, these were my ‘personal’ values, at other times we did work on ‘career’ values, etc.
Being a better person [educating myself, helping others, being compassionate]
Continued evolution and growth [educating self, building upon each stage]
Positivity [about life, opportunities, nurturing a positive mentality]
Fun & Enjoyable [enjoy life, have fun, enjoy the experience, relax]
The biggest pivotal moment of all is a bit difficult for me to articulate exactly what happened. All I know is at some point something was ready to let go, I completely broke down. This was difficult for me, I wasn’t a ‘crier’ and certainly not in front of people.
Jonathan seemed to keep driving to a point, pushing me to answer questions, drive me to ‘hit the nail on the head’, aiming for the bullseye. The process was incredibly confusing but then BOOM, the breakdown, the ‘breakthrough’!
All of a sudden, it felt that I like I became aware of something about me which ‘I knew I didn’t know’ or ‘I didn’t know I knew’ or ‘I knew I knew but didn’t know I knew’ and it’s been under the surface or in front of me, my entire life. Yes confusing.
It was the first experience I had which I understood a ‘release’ had taken place; an emotional release, an energetic release, a subconscious release. It has been the baseline for me to understand similar experiences which have occurred since.
The release were feelings of not being worthy, not being deserving, not being deserving of love.
I could have certainly spent time analyzing all this; given my childhood it probably won’t be that difficult; at the end of the day, it didn’t matter, what mattered is that I released this. The ‘process‘ worked.
After we did a lot of ‘clearing out the closet’, the focus then turned to moving forward. Whew! It was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time.
Of course there was much more to the session, I just wanted to provide you with a sense of the experience and what it did for me.
Spending time with Jonathan and experiencing the ‘breakthrough’ session was a turning point in my life. It was one of the best investments I made in myself [there hadn’t made many until then].
I remember leaving the session, in a daze, wondering ‘what the hell just happened?’. At the same time, I was consciously aware that I wouldn’t know all the positive effects the session had until future points in time.
Later I'd catch myself being aware that my thinking process and patterns had actually changed.
I remember writing things down to myself that I would NEVER, EVER previously conceive for me, e.g. I can write a book, I will write a book, I am a singer, I am xxx, and so on. Of course my notes are home in storage, so I’m unable to share them all precisely, but you get the gist. Excitingly, some of what I wrote down have now happened and/or are happening.
Now, you may be asking how all this is related to the NLP course I was taking in Bangkok.
As I would come to realize in 2017, many of the tools and techniques used in my ‘breakthrough’ session WERE in fact NLP techniques. The ‘breakthrough’ session is taught in the NLP Master level.
I was always amazed that Jonathan had this program and amazed at the results and how it all worked. It was a turning point in my life that always stuck with me.
I was even more thrilled to find I could learn the same to help others! This ticks one of the goals I set out for me current journey ‘to learn more tangible skills to help others’.
Pretty cool, right?
On that note, I will pause here and talk more about NLP in my next post.
Stay tuned and have an amazing day!
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