NLP and my personal journey…

I am wanting to share with you my very personal journey into the world of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), although it does take some courage, I am doing so  because it may help someone else out there.  Everything in life, I believe, happens for a reason and I wouldn’t want to change my past as it has moulded my today, and today I am (for most of the time ), a happy, positive content person.

NLP explores the relationships between how we think (neuro), how we communicate (linguistic) and our patterns of behaviour and emotion (programmes).

By studying and learning from these relationships you can effectively transform the way you traditionally think and act, adopting new, far more successful models of human excellence. (This activity is called modelling and is a key feature that distinguishes NLP from psychology).
In effect, NLP is a powerful change management tool that transforms the way people think and act to have the greatest impact both professionally and personally.
I can quite literally say NLP changed my life around.
At a young age my father left us, there is no need to go in to the reasons why but for a small child it was a significant event. To me he was my daddy and like many children going through a similar situation, I thought I must have done something very bad for this to have happened. The man I trusted most in the world abandoned me (or that’s how I perceived it at the time) . I thought I must be pretty ugly, naughty, useless for this to have happened. He did come back into my life briefly as a young adult, and we communicated by letter  ( no emails or Facebook back in the olden days), then quite suddenly he died in a car crash. This wasn’t hard for me to cope with because by then I was resigned to anything good being taken away as it was my lot and I was unworthy of anything more. I could have predicted it happening so it came as no surprise.
Does this sound like the person you read about today, the positive successful girl who sees the good in most things?
I had built up a strong belief about myself that I carried around like a heavy bag of coal on my back. It was wearing, boring and quite honestly exhausting.  In my head was a voice that would twist and turn every conversation or event into something that fitted with that strong sense of believe that I wasn’t worthy,  I didn’t trust anyone. If someone told me anything good I would look for a reason why they were saying it, and wouldn’t believe it to be true. If you don’t see the good in yourself it is hard for others to see it too, but from an early age I was determined to be good and kind to others, probably in the vain hope that they would like me,  I just never believed they could.
Until one day that changed my life forever. The bag of coal was lifted from my shoulders and the destructive voice inside banished to the museum of old beliefs.
Understanding how my brain worked and why, teaching it a new set of rules, re- programming and reframing, changing the language was as I have already said, quite literally life changing.
Emotional experiences throughout life, and especially during the early imprint years can result in the creation of ‘Parts’ within the unconscious mind. These Parts generate their own values and beliefs, and are responsible for certain behaviours. Overwhelming feelings and reactions, as well as out of control behaviours are the result of ‘Conflicting Parts’.
There is an amazing technique in NLP called Parts Integration that helps to resolve these conflicts between the parts by looking for the highest positive intention.
One 30 minute session with my very skilled NLP instructor Dee, turned everything around for me and the burden of self doubt was lifted.
So this is why NLP plays such a large part in my professional and personal life.
I now have confidence in myself, I can trust others and have a different positive set of beliefs and values that act as my map of the world.
Who would ever believe that the quiet unassured girl, lacking in confidence, would stand up in front of an audience of hundreds and speak about a resource she had developed or share a method of working that she had found worked well with parents and children. That she would win national awards and most importantly be able to accept them graciously.
How did that happen,?
What actually went on that day to change my life around so dramatically?
I remember it so well. I was doing a time-line exercise which explores negative emotions and limiting beliefs, at Dee’ s house one sunny afternoon, when I was overcome with emotion and completely frustrated with myself as I wanted to finish the exercise.
Dee took me to one side and asked how she could help. I remember saying to her that it was very boring, not her excellent training course, but my inner conflict. It bored me so God  knows it must have bored others. I explained to her about my inner voice and the heavy burden I had carried around for years. The time had come, I was ready to move on and discard those old stories and destructive self beliefs.
Dee took me through a process that involved identifying the inner conflicts I was experiencing. I gave the voice in my head a name ( I shall call it Dan for the purpose of this blog) and I thanked it for keeping me safe for all these years. I explored his intention and acknowledged the important role he had played. I then looked at another part or voice that had been much quieter and often drowned out by Dan, a positive role model that so much wanted to have her voice heard. I gave her a name, Julia Roberts, funnily enough,  it was a name that popped into my head at the time. It needed to be someone I admired and I think I had recently watched Notting Hill ( it didn’t have to be a male and female, it doesn’t actually have to be a person  it was just what I chose at the time).
Dan was made redundant (don’t worry he received a good pay out for all his hard work) ,   he had done his duty and his services were no longer required. Julia was offered a job and I often see her beaming smile as she reminds me of who I am today and the things I have achieved in my life. She is there with me as I step on stage her radiant smile lightning up the audience.
The relief I felt from the release of carrying around that bag of coal for years was indescribable although I have tried my best to do so here. From going from daily, no hourly doubting myself , telling myself (or rather Dan telling me) I wasn’t worthy. to how I feel today. It was just so magical how could I not go on to learn more, become a master NLP practitioner myself and use the many tools it has to offer to help others.
I am happy to say that I have influenced many people to find out more about NLP and train for themselves. We have four NLP practitioner in our team and many of the school nurses and health visitors went on to do the training. My sister is also now a master NLP practitioner, and combines this with her skills and passion with horses to teach communication skills, among other things. Kate  has her next workshop  coming up on May 24th so if your interested in this or any other NLP or mental health training just email me at deborah.bone@mac.com and I will put you in touch with the right people. I may even do a bit more training myself.
Anyway I will leave you with a little story I sent a friend many years ago and her response.
A friend of mine was fed up with all of the baggage kept in his shed. “Enough is enough” he said one day, “It’s time to remove  all of the unwanted junk.” He hadn’t anticipated all of the things he would  find in there, and it was true, there was a lot of junk, but some precious  things too, an old grammar phone and an LP. He hadn’t come across it before, and he wasn’t even sure it would work. But you know that sometimes you have to put on the music and dance to it to understand it and know its beauty. He hadn’t anticipated the many ways in which an LP could change his life, but suddenly clearing out the junk became simpler. He felt freer as he listened and learnt from an LP he’d never even realised could be this powerful. By now, the benefits were spreading and his friends and colleagues were all interested in acquiring an L.P for themselves. So he shared with them his experiences and all he had seen and heard.

Dear Deborah

That man…. was it you and your shed…. your treasure.

So glad that I’ve found my an LP in my shed.  It’s made all the difference to my garden and all those who come to visit.   Thanks for giving me the inspiration to seek it out.

You’re a great DJ keep on spreading the music. X

I did my NPL practitioner training with Dee and Paul at New Oceans
and my master practitioner with Melody and Jo
They  have very different approaches to the subject and are all great teachers. They often offer free taster days so it’s with checking out and finding which style suits you best.
I gained so much from them all but want to dedicate this post to Dee who changed my life around, and to whom I shall be forever grateful.
x

Measuring Success

Some days there seems so much to write about I wonder where to start. The challenge is to put all my thoughts down in the few words available to me in a blog. Oh I could write streams but surely I would lose a few of you along the way and I wouldn’t want to risk that.

I am excited about writing more about parenting, today’s education system and navigating adolescence (the lovely singer who is performing at my Summer party got me going!), but I think I will start today with how do we measure success?

When would we know we got it right?

In today’s society and in our culture in particular, success is often measured by the amount of money we have, the size of house we own or the car we drive and occasionally by the number of exams we have passed.

I consider myself successful, but I am useless with money ( I haven’t even started to pay off my mortgage yet) , so I don’t actually own my own home, I haven’t got a flashy car and I only managed to scrape through school with one GCSE (ok I collected a few more as a mature student), however I do consider myself as being successful, because I am (most of the time) happy and content. Yes even though I am considered as having an incurable cancer and experiencing a few not so pleasant side effects at the moment including insomnia!

If one is happy and content in life then what does anything else matter?

I think most of us would agree that happiness and contentment are the primary factors when it comes to measuring success.

Here is a little story I found which I think illustrates success perfectly.

An American businessman was at a pier in a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow-fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “Only a little while.”

The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.

The American then asked the Mexican how he spent the rest of his time.

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, senor.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and, with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution.”

“You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your Expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senor, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”

“But what then, senor?” asked the Mexican.

The American laughed, and said, “That’s the best part! When the time is right, you would sell your company stock to the public. You’ll become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions, senor?” replied the Mexican. “Then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal Fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

Food for thought?

Don’t wait for success to happen in the future, have a think about how you would measure success today. How am I going to make today successful? Enjoy the moment and the journey.

You could put your new found visualisation skills into practice and go and visit the place right now.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, a famous poet and philosopher defined success in a life as:

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of
intelligent people and affection of children; to learn the
appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of
false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in
others; to leave the world a little bit better, whether by
a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social
condition; to know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

I think the Mexican fisherman would have agreed with Emerson and so do I.

Life is short so get out there and have a successful day TODAY, don’t wait for it to happen in the future. Yesterday has already gone so there is no point in worrying about it now and tomorrow will come again, it’s today that’s important.

Ooh, look at me Miss future focused is really getting into the here and now. I really must do a piece on time lines!

Have a good one

X

Getting the balance right

I have been writing this blog for about 7 weeks now (39 posts altogether) and I am very grateful to know there are people out there actually enjoying it. Having only just scraped through an English GCSE writing wasn’t something I ever considered doing but I must admit I am enjoying it more than I thought.

Welcome to the Parallel Universe was intended as a way to share the experiences and progress into my new world and to feel I wasn’t alone on my journey. It certainly has done that and is much easier to bare knowing I have you all on board.

Looking at my statistics I am overwhelmed by the number of followers, views and comments I hope this continues to grow so please forward my blog on to any one you think may be interested.

Blog stats to date:

7,585 views
324 comments
61 blog followers
117 Facebook followers
95 Twitterer’s

The important thing to me now is to get the balance right, as this blog seems so much more than charting my space like travels. It provides me with the opportunity to share with you all the experience and knowledge I have gained throughout the years of working within mental health, training as a psychotherapist, parenting, teaching and much more.

But I do so want to get the balance right and share with you the parts that you might find useful in your own lives. My audience is varied , many of you work in similar fields, some of you are friends and family interested to know how I’m doing, some are fellow myeloma sufferers, and who knows who else is reading. ( There may be even a famous celeb or two) So I do like to mix the blogs up a bit.

Let’s have a look at some of the emotional health sort of subject matter I have shared so far and explore I few ideas that may be of further interest. I can then get my thinking hat on.

The knowledge share so far:

Different maps of the world- how we all perceive things based on our own experiences, values and beliefs
Visualisation- techniques for achieving our goals
LAMBSS – emotional and mental health balance
The BrainBox – a useful resource
Taking care of ones self- the importance of being selfish
Re-framing – looking at situations in a different light
Story telling – making use of metaphors
Pushing buttons- owning our own feelings

Possible future ideas worth sharing?

Anger management using the BrainBox
The power of hypnotherapy
More about Neuro Linguistic Programming
Human Givens Psychotherapy
Cognitive behaviour therapy
Self harm
Anxiety and phobia’s
Time lines – living in the moment
Different preferences- auditory, visual, kinesthetic
Managing today’s teens – I have some great resources I could share.
Children’s mental health
Exam stress – coping and preparing or supporting your teen
Improving self esteem
Addiction
General mental ill health
Autism

So as I have already said (several times i think), It is about getting the balance right, so these topics will be interspersed with various ramblings from every day life in the Parallel Universe. Of course I must keep you up to date with any exciting forth coming hot dates. And then there’s the a Village Secret event ( which I am also very excited about), the ‘Especially for You’ scarf donation appeal, my 50th birthday charity festival and just every day life as a cancer patient ( back down to reality!).

Let me know what interests you and I shall blog it. Funny word blog but preferable to succumb!

I have a feeling today’s going to be a good day for us all but before I go I must share something that I love receiving and you can have too for free. There are no strings attached.

It is a message from the universe that’s emailed to you daily. You just need to sign up at :

www.tut.com

Today I received this one from the universe:

Often, Deborah, simply showing up is enough.
Because the friends, abundance, and health you now dream of possessing have long been in place.
Because the coincidences, surprises, and serendipities that will transform your life already lie in wait for your passing.
And because little else could speak louder of your belief in success than physically putting yourself in a position to receive.
It’s fun to stay at the YMCA,
The Universe

How amazing is that?

X

PS. How many exclamation marks in this posting? ….Only 2 I think! 😉

Donate a scarf and make a difference.

It doesn’t always take money to help others. If we take the time and a little bit of thought, we can come up with some great ways to make a difference.

Yesterday following my daily dose of beetle juice etc, I visited the amazing “Living Room” on the ground floor of the hospital. This is a unique oasis in my Parallel Universe, crewed by a team of highly skilled and compassionate staff and has provided me with the time and space I so needed before stepping back into the reality of the outside world again. Walking through the doors you are greeted by a friendly smile, a good old cup of tea and let me say again, (as I am sure I must have mentioned in previous posts) that most precious and invaluable resource of all…TIME.

Before I go on I must talk about TIME again because for me, there is nothing more precious you could give to yourself or anyone else in order to make a difference. I may be digressing a little from my original blog posting for the day but it really is so important. Yesterday, listening to Radio 4 on our in, what seemed like a very long car journey, (I blame the small sprinkle of snow), I heard about yet another parenting programme. This one had been brought over from Australia, to support vulnerable families. I forget what name that was attributed to it, and I am not disputing its value but it got me thinking about the time and cost it took to train the therapists in this latest idea (which I can honestly say in my humble opinion, was nothing new.) Am I just getting old, but however you dress it up, whatever name you care to give to the latest therapy or idea the basic gift you are giving is TIME. If you are going into to a families home and spending quality time listening to their stories and working with them and their resources, it really isn’t rocket science to know you are going to make a difference. However, I do fear that maybe I have just become so unconsciously competent I am not seeing it? I am also not disputing the years of training and skills myself and the excellent therapists in my team have developed to help and empower our patients, but I do believe that if a family or person is ready and willing to move forward it is the time you spend with them that counts. Recently there has been a big change around with further investment into health visiting. Health visiting resources were reduced, and I won’t get into the politics of by whom or why, but it resulted in less time for these skilled professionals to spend time with new mums, and the consequences for those especially experiencing depression and anxiety, soon became clear, as child protection cases rose and children’s and adults mental ill health increased. Now there is a re- investment as someone who must be really smart has thought this is what was needed after all HUH, Is it just me? I must put in a plug here now for a similar investment into school nursing which I could talk for hours on!

How much time do you give to yourself, your family ,friends? Oh dear this isn’t meant to be a lecture and I can honestly say that I have been better at preaching than practicing this in the past, but being faced head on with a big life changing event pulls you up by your boot strings.

Take 15 mins of time tonight to jot down how you divided up your time today. How much time did you spend working, doing house chores, listening to your partner and family and how much time was purely spent on yourself. I can guess which comes out top. Of course most of have to work be able to afford all the luxuries that surround us and that we are convinced are most necessary in order to make our lives easier and more bearable to cope with, but at what cost to ourselves and the people we really care about and love? Ask any one in my amazing team, what is the number one criteria is for working in Step2 and if they don’t come up with the answer of, first of all making sure they are feeling mentally and emotionally healthy, and looking after themselves, then they don’t deserve to be there. How productive can you be if you are stressed out or anxious yourself, especially in a mental health service?

That reminds me, I did start to write a book which I must dig out and finish, I think I called it the Me Day concept or some other such catchy title, but it was all about permission and diary in time in for oneself. Maybe I had better get back to it?

It is amazing how powerful words are. We apply meaning and feelings to so many, and yet, often we forget that the true purpose of words is to remove the ambiguity of meaning. We get mired in what is expected of us, rather than what is right. We are more worried about how our actions are viewed, than whether the outcomes are right. We fear how others view us so we stand silent or chose conflicting courses of action.

The word ‘ selfish’ has been provided with such negative connotations. It’s seen as a tremendous character flaw. To be fair, part of that reputation is earned. We’ve all known people that are truly selfish , that step on others in order to pursue their own needs. They often know very little of caring, happiness, giving, and love. Yet it’s possible that, as a society, we’ve gone too far to the other side, promoting the idea that if we want to truly be good people, we need to be as selfless as possible. We see this with caregiving, volunteer work, and raising a family – many people dedicate their entire lives to others. But there’s a problem – complete selflessness has a cost – and that cost is often to our own health, happiness, and lives.

Having good mental health as an individual leads to good mental health as a society so let me take you back to the LAMBSS from a previous post which illustrates the importance of having our emotion and mental health needs meet in balance. I believe the same could With so much emphasis on helping others, be said for the balance between being selfish and selfless.

You should always remember that you deserve as much health and happiness as anyone else – possibly more. This is because…You Are a Person too, and with so much emphasis on helping others this can get lost with detrimental effects on the people around you that you love most and are so wanting to be there for. As much as you try to help others, the only person whose happiness you can fix with any certainty is your own. When it comes to your life, no one is more important than yourself but this last point is often forgotten. YOU are important, YOU matter. And you especially matter to you – the one person in this world that knows you best of all. It is for that reason that being a little bit selfish may be a good thing.

It’s time to be a little bit selfish. It’s time to care about your own health and happiness, even if it’s slightly at the expense of someone you care about. Your happiness needs to be important to you. But perhaps the greatest reason to be a little selfish is because it makes you a better person for others as well.

OMG this was going to be a short post about how you could possibly help me to help other cancer sufferers, and now look what I’ve done! I do hope you are still with me.

As I started saying yesterday I visited the Living Room, I was feeling a little anxious about my thinning hair and thought I would just explore a few options and before I knew it I had been whisked away by this lovely lady in front of a mirror and presented with an array of scarves, hats and wigs and I must admit I starting getting a tad excited (it doesn’t take much!). One of the very glamorous wigs, I tried on, would even give Heather a run for her money, who I think has simply gorgeous hair. ( you know who you are!) .

The wigs aren’t cheap although you do get a £64.0O prescription towards it from the NHS which isn’t bad. Also, by the time you have bought these special soft caps and an array of scarves I expect it soon adds up.

That got me thinking, I know we are all often looking for ways to help others but I don’t think it always needs to be about giving large sums of money, and, to be frank, in this day it is in short supply for most of us. So how about donating a scarf or hat? Ideally it would be new but if not I could easily wash and bag up. We could include a little inspirational note or kind message to brighten up someones day. I could hand them in to the Living Room for them to give freely away or sell them at a small charge with 100% of profits going towards the Macmillan Cancer Support charity, perhaps enabling more wonderful people to be employed to support others at their time of need.

What do you think, is it a goer? Perhaps you could get it started at your workplace and colleagues in your company could be encouraged to become involved?

I’ve also found some great knitting and crochet patterns for those so inclined to do so, in front of the latest episode of Coronation Street or Mr Selfridge, ( I am so loving that programme at the moment).

Get your thinking caps on and please let me know your thoughts.

Will I ever be short of subject matter for my blog…somehow I don’t think so.

Forever grateful knowing you are there.

Deborah x