NLP Techniques? I prefer Inner Space…
I open my eyes slowly and take a deep warm liquid breath as a gentle relaxed smile spreads across my glowing cheeks. Gazing into the infinite piercing blue sky I notice myself noticing birds floating gracefully and dancing like lovers just as my awareness comes back to my mind, and to my body. And as that happens, every time, I think what a wonderful way to start my day…how lucky I am to be alive, and in India of all places!
Lying on the beach, listening to the birds singing, and the sea making its beautiful music; the cool sand beneath my body I am completely relaxed; I am at one with nature, with myself and with the Universe. It’s funny, I have never experienced yoga like this before but I have now been enjoying Swamiji’s yoga on the beach a lot over the last 2 months since being in India.
That in itself is not remarkable, but waking up every day at 7am and spending an hour of the most intensely relaxing and gentle yoga is a true gift. There is no doubt that my flexibility in both thinking and behavior have increased, but there is more to yoga than just flexibility. Not only is it a great metaphor for NLP in many ways, but yoga also enhances and develops the mind body connection, that we all share as human beings. When we increase our flexibility and relax our bodies it invariably leads to increased flexibility in our thinking and we can then become more relaxed in our behaviour. It also connects us with that silent part; the knowing, trusting and loving part where everything just is….
And that has really been my experience of India in the last two months… one of letting go of old notions, of old paradigms, needs and beliefs; and enjoying a magical journey exploring and integrating new possibilities; new choices and dimensions of myself and of life… and of just being.
I have been asked to write an article by Sue Knight about my experience here in India and there is so much I could say it is hard to know where to begin. I have had so many varied and rich experiences here it is a challenge to really communicate the true depth of the journey. From walking along the deserted picture-postcard white sandy beaches in Allepey occasionally festooned with old wooden fishing boats, to the cows aimlessly walking the beaches and sleeping in the streets of Tamil Nadu, the flowing richness and endless love that this magical and unique country offers the soul is like nothing I have ever experienced, and certainly difficult to put into words that can do it justice.
I think it is really in my heart where I am feeling the biggest difference. I believe that India in and of itself creates and inspires change in people. It is such a uniquely vibrant and colourful place that we can’t help but let go of the old and embrace the new. And yet paradoxically for me, while embracing the new it is like stepping back in time – to a more simple, more harmonious way of life. In many ways it feels like a home from home – so many things conspire to make me feel connected. The intense warmth of both the climate and the people; the sunshine and the pace of life make this feel more like what home should be like!
The differences in the values and culture out here is such a sharp contrast to that in the UK that I find it hard to imagine people being here and not experiencing a whole new side to themselves, and indeed life. Mix all that up with some utterly unique NLP training (I’m still searching for a better word than training!) and I have had what I can only describe as a uniquely spicy and succulent dish full of insight, growth, challenge, laughter, love and light. And that is just for starters!
Its funny, the driving on the ‘roads’ out here in India is what can only be described as an experience. It certainly exemplifies Indians enhanced ability to communicate non-verbally as well as their trust in life and the Universe. And that spreads far beyond their driving. It is deeply interwoven like a Kashmir jumper into the very fabric of society. And every day brings many new encounters demonstrating the trust and faith of these people. From the clothing and food to the many drumming experiences, temples and elephants I have encountered on my travels, faith and presence transcend.
There is an amazing contrast from the apparent organized chaos of the towns, driving and the roads, to the stillness and serenity of the trance inducing backwaters of Kerala and the countryside. It is said that out of silence comes a deeper truth. Certainly that has been true for me. When I spend time to myself; where I am alone, like now, or on the beach, reading a book, relaxing, or gazing into the sunset of a still evening there is a deeper truth that emerges, not from my mind but from being… just being.
So forget NLP techniques. There is a new sense of calm, serenity and love that I have experienced in my time here, away from striving, from having to, from running a business and managing things. I find that India has silence, space, and time to be, time to get out of our heads. Not as the English do on a Saturday night which is unsustainable in my view! But in a life enhancing and much more sustainable way where we can be much more present, in our bodies, or perhaps our hearts. It’s a letting go of that phovial vision, inner dialogue and muscle tension as John Grinder put it, so that we can be truly present.
And I think that being in India, in Kerala, in Cherrai, and slowing down, being present with people, really present with people allows all kinds of new possibilities, awareness’s and insights to emerge with a real sense of richness and warmth that I know I wouldn’t get in the UK
In my experience, in the UK some people explore NLP in a kind of get it done mentality, a ‘doing’ NLP techniques type affair – NLP as a set of tools and techniques. That has never been my experience with Sue, but from her desire to embrace the richness of the environment and culture out here to facilitate learning, I would say that for me and many people, there has been a deeper and more rapid awakening – a spiritual integration of NLP and Indian culture.
It strikes me that when exploring NLP techniques we often see the environment as the lowest level of change, and yet I think that by changing the environment we can and sometimes do get profound changes at higher levels. Einstein famously said we can’t solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that created that problem. By that rational we often have to think in a new way or at a higher logical level to find a sustainable and workable solution. And yet that implies that we have to think in order to solve problems, rather than getting out of our heads more and just being, or using our bodies as we do in yoga. Certainly from my perspective it doesn’t always mean we have think more in order to solve problems, in fact sometimes quite the opposite. We create problems in our thinking! Sometimes a new environment can radically encourage ecological change and that has certainly been true for me.
So India is now my home for the next few months, and in fact the world is now very much my home. For me, exploring, travel, sunshine, adventure, growth and learning, and surrounding myself with people who are playing life at a higher level is my drug of choice. I tried money and business, success and things; striving for more but none of them comes close to being here and living life to the full. And that takes letting go of old notions, needs and beliefs; of old paradigms – it takes being present, being open to the truth of who we really are, and really enjoying the truly magical journey we are all on. And not in just learning more business/ marketing/ stock market investing or NLP techniques.
Enjoy yourself enjoying others enjoying you….
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