Despite the many NLP Courses I have been on, I’m almost overwhelmed with everything that’s going on at the moment.
And I say almost, because I choose not to be overwhelmed. As I notice myself feeling less than resourceful and my muscles becoming tense I inadvertently smile, as I am sure you sometimes do too when you realize the futility of getting overwhelmed or frustrated. I guess I must have created an anchor so that when I start moving into the less than resources state I instantly take a breath, relax my muscles, smile and let go. Sometimes I have to do it consciously because I am still attached to feelings of frustration when I don’t get my way!
And perhaps this is one of the most enlightening and empowering lessons I have re-learned over the last month or so since my silent retreat; that is to allow silence to come into my life whenever I feel that I don’t have it. It is at first a decision I have consciously made – that I want to feel connected and empowered, rather than un-resourceful and disempowered – and then it is a commitment to what I have heard described as every day conscious living. Victor, an immensely calm Peruvian yoga instructor I met on my Vipassana meditation had what appeared to be a flag tattooed on the inner side of his forearm. It was a deep orange, green and blue colour which was in fact a symbol or anchor for him to experience every day conscious living.
“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.Watch your words, for they become actions.Watch your actions, for they become habits.Watch your habits, for they become character.Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” Someone famous!
I think it’s very interesting that while I’m travelling and enjoying life and the incredible adventures and freedom of being in India, Singapore, Malaysia and now Thailand I still feel the same emotions that people do right across the world in this new era of uncertainty and enlightenment. While I am free, having a ball and enjoying myself; able to do what I want, when I want with who I want I still have challenges, uncertainties and gaps between where I am and where I want to be. I believe there is a fundamental and inescapable truth in life – that problems never go away! I’ve heard it said that if we’re lucky and grow we tend to have better quality problems, but it is the realm of delusion to hope or assume that one day you will no longer have problems.
As we grow and develop our skills and abilities (for example by immersing ourselves on NLP Courses) we learn to deal with these problems in new ways, at least that is the hope! Unfortunately it is not always the case. One of the ways we can deal with our problems better is through improving our understanding of the influence that language has on us and others, so perhaps calling these experiences challenges rather than problems is a first great step. We all love a challenge!
As Milton Erickson once said “you are going to use words that will influence the psychological and organic life of an individual today…. and twenty five years from now. So you better be willing to reflect upon the words you use… seek out and understand their many associations.” And still today, having studied linguistics over the last few years and been on many NLP Courses ,I am absolutely fascinated by the depth of their impact and my ability to continue learning how to use language to better influence my own world and the worlds of those around me.
Another way that we can better deal with our challenges is by embracing the realisation that we create problems through our thinking and perceptions and we can therefore solve them through changing our thinking and perceptions. So, to every problem there is a solution if we can just let go of our old ways of being and open up to a new truth, a new way of experiencing things. In fact I’d even go as far as saying that perhaps we create problems at an unconscious level so that we can evolve to a new level of being. That would be an interesting belief to hold. And that is the power of good NLP Courses, in facilitating change at an unconscious level.
As you may have noticed all has been very quiet on the blog front since my Vipassana silent meditation. It’s quite funny because my life has been anything but quiet over the last month or two.
Following a couple of amazing NLP Courses, I have been on an amazing adventure, travelling around Kerala in India for two weeks with my mum, followed by a week with both my best friend and mum in Malaysia. Mother has gone home to England now and I’ve just come back from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, and I now find myself in Thailand for a month’s rest, reading, writing, relaxation, rejuvenation and reconnection. I wonder when and where you are taking time for those things that matter most to you in your life?
So much has happened in the last month it’s difficult to know where to start. From relaxing and reflecting in peace on the beach and around the pool at the Secret Beach in Allepey, to my mother arriving and the ensuing adventurous two weeks – including elephant and boat rides on the backwaters of Kerala, to the tea plantations and stunning mountain views in Munar and beyond – it has been pretty much a non-stop assault on the senses and spirit.
We encountered much wildlife on our travels and we spent a couple of days trekking to and from, and relaxing in a small hut in the jungle, which actually looked more like the African bush than Indian jungle. We rode elephants, indulged our eyesight with the beautiful tea plantations and views stretching for miles from the mountains of Munar to the wilderness of Chinnar. We visited more than one bird sanctuary and a couple of wildlife parks and our transport broke down more than once in both Malaysia and India. We experience crashing thunder and awe inspiring lightning; vibrant botanical gardens and another close encounter with a monkey! And then there were the butterfly parks, the gut wrenching food poisoning and to counter it, the stunning beaches in Kerala and Penang; we’ve even shared wardrobes and taxis with cockroaches. More recently I spent the day at Singapore zoo which was breathtaking and incredibly well designed, although I still find it hard to embrace and enjoy seeing leopards and the like cooped up like prisoners with no end to their sentence!
Throughout my time over the last month, while alone and with my friends and family, the thing that has really struck me is how relationships magnify the human experience. In my journey over the last four weeks I have both dulled and magnified my experience while with and without other people. I’ve also realised just how important, perhaps the most important thing, relationships really are in life.
I really enjoy and value my time alone. And I also realize that exploring a theme park or zoo; travelling around and exploring is for me not as emotionally engaging or fulfilling as being with someone special. So I do believe that the purpose of relationships is to magnify the human experience.
Unfortunately that can work both ways, for better or for worse! And so having developed the relationship with my mum over the last few weeks, I wonder now where you can use a perceived challenge in your relationships to magnify your experience for the better, by being the change you want to see in others or the world.
So while embracing the reflective nature of our world and the Universe, where do you want to, or perhaps more importantly need to be more flexible, need to grow, need to be the change in order to enhance your relationships so that they can be all that they can be… and truly magnify your experience and the experiences of those around you?
Until next time…