We human beings are funny creatures. Just because something arises in our mind – be it a thought or a feeling – we tend to assume it is telling us the truth.
So we accept our thought or emotion as accurate which closes the door to perusing other possible interpretations to the experience.
This automatic assumption of accuracy leads us to believe the thought or feeling is the truth … and then we act accordingly, displaying behaviors from love and compassion to hate and violence.
People rarely take the time to make a distinction between a thought or feeling being accurate vs. being valid. Yet this little moment of inquiry can save oodles of time, drama, and suffering.
Validity implies that if I stood in your shoes, I could also feel or think the same thing because that’s how things actually look from that point of view.
When you can see things from multiple points of view, you can see for yourself that each viewpoint is indeed valid, but not accurate, or a final truth.
You discover all viewpoints are also incomplete. They lack the whole picture that truth requires by virtue of the fact that viewpoints only reflect the single view that naturally arises from the point where you’re standing.
Change where you’re standing, and your view changes automatically.
This is a powerful understanding to keep in mind, not only for your clients, but also for yourself.
Whether it’s overt or covert, helping your clients expand their perceptual flexibility (freedom to peruse multiple viewpoints) can speed up their ability to release limiting beliefs. This skill will move them forward more efficiently in their exploration of how to better live their lives.
What Can You Do?
Many times, you can feel yourself being assaulted by memories of the past. I say assaulted because it feels as if you’re being forced to re-experience them completely.
And, in fact, you actually are. You have been transported right back into the event and are thus subject to all the ups and downs of the experience.
Now if it’s a pleasant experience, it’s usually sweet; unless it catapults you into nostalgia or grief at its loss. If it’s an unpleasant or painful experience to begin with, it’s definitely not fun, and often not even useful, to revisit the event in this way.
Your experience of these past events (whether positive or negative) reflects the development of one of two basic life skills you are wise to develop. If you want to continue learning how to live a happier, more mindful and engaging daily life, these skills are essential – for both you and your clients.
The Two Basic Skills Everyone Can Consciously Develop
Being able to go back into the past and re-experience an event is a powerful and useful skill. However, if you don’t realize that you’re using this skill, it can make the past seen more present and more difficult to handle.
The balancing skill is the ability to step out of an event and free yourself from having to experience the emotions, thoughts, and perspectives associated with it.
These two skills are essential to measuring our capacity to be happy human beings.
Can you consciously step into an event and access the thoughts, emotions, and perspectives it carries?
Can you consciously step out of an event and see it from an observer/neutral position thus gaining access to a new perspective on the event?
Once you have developed these skills for yourself, you can more easily recognize their presence, or absence, in your clients. People struggling Continue reading
Time’s a funny thing, isn’t it? Some days there’s not enough to get everything done. On other days, we have too much of it on our hands.
It can move terrifyingly fast – or excruciatingly slow. You can waste it, save it, or run out of it. And, it can even completely disappear freeing us to just enjoy ’what is’ without a glance toward the past or future.
When most clients enter my office, they aren’t really coming with a dream they want to manifest, a confusion they want to clarify, or a concrete goal they want to reach. I say this because they plop down on my big, comfy couch, reach for their glass of water, and start to talk about what’s wrong, painful, or just not working.
The Ever Present Element of Time
When we share our stories, the element of time is always present. The issues we want to discuss and change have actually happened somewhere in the past, or are living out there in a possible and usually terrifying potential future.
Exploring problems, predicaments, and dilemmas from the angle of time offers an easy way to quickly help your clients find their own clarifications and solutions.
Anything arising in the mind is always about the past or the future. Even when we think we’re in the moment, the fact that we’re thinking indicates we’re not. Confusing? Continue reading
I’ll be honest. It’s not quite as fast as I made it sound. But … it can still be done in an amazingly short period of time.
What Is A Limiting Belief?
A limiting belief is a simple statement that puts restraints on your ability to expand and explore beyond what you know. Rarely are limiting beliefs convoluted or complex.
Limiting beliefs are usually one or two sentences that shut the door to the world of possibilities.
Nobody ever notices me. Nobody is interested in what I have to share. I can’t be wealthy. Wealth is bad. Being beautiful is dangerous. Love is painful. Life is difficult and full of pain. I am worthless. I am incompetent. I will never succeed.
Once you find these little gems that create such suffering and despair, there are a slew of ways to decrease their power and made them into nothing but silly ideas you used to have.
You can approach this problem from many angles. But here I’m going to talk about just one of them from the world of NLP or Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
NLP is exquisite at rearranging a limiting thought pattern by challenging the unseen foundation it’s resting on.
The Foundation Supporting A Limiting Belief
What keeps a limiting belief in place? Even when you know better, what makes it so hard to loosen up a limiting belief so you can see it for what it is?
In the world of NLP, the answer is the way the words are put together, or the way the belief is structured in language. Continue reading
Did you know that a limiting belief only becomes truly powerful when you feel it in your body as a truth?
You see, it is the amount of emotional charge attached to a belief, regardless of whether the belief is limiting or empowering, that changes it from just an idea into the feeling or experience of it as a truthful statement or accurate assessment.
Imagine one of your undesirable beliefs with a big suitcase attached to it. And imagine that suitcase is filled with a ton of feelings that make the suitcase very heavy and painful to carry around.
Now pull up an empowering belief that you also feel in your body is a truth. As you feel that truth, imagine a similar suitcase attached to it. And notice that this one is also filled with a ton of feelings. But the difference is that this suitcase feels very light and affects you more like a helium balloon that lifts you up and gives a bounce to your step.
In the case of the problematic limiting belief, you may be clear intellectually that the belief is not the truth; but despite that knowledge, it continues to feel like ‘truth’ in your body. And this ‘truth’ dictates how you perceive, and thus, react, to whatever situation you’re facing – and your possibilities within it.
For example, think of a time when you stood in front of someone you thought was totally gorgeous or drop dead handsome, so much so that you knew with stunning clarity that you were out of your league.
Remember your reaction? How you felt yourself shrinking or trying to hide? The awful feeling of knowing there was no hope of anything happening here? Did you feel embarrassed or start stumbling over your words with shyness?
What is the key to changing this kind of painful predicament and its hurtful consequences arising from the limiting belief thought to be a truth? It’s much easier than you might think. Continue reading
Our everyday lives are transforming at breakneck speed. If you’re over 30, you know the life you knew growing up is definitely a thing of the past.
As the world keeps speeding us into ‘more, better, and faster’, it creates a dramatic challenge for the average person’s mental and emotional balance. The degree of stress, overwhelm, anxiety and depression has increased at a staggering velocity, birthing new addictions, unfamiliar challenges, and unsettling confusions.
The quest for a fresh way to manage this avalanche of new problems has spawned greater interest in religion, spirituality, meditation, mindfulness, conscious awakening, and personal transformation.
To keep up with these emerging issues, it is useful to keep exploring the newest models, methods, processes, and techniques capable of responding to the concerns of today.
In the rush to manage this explosion of stress and overwhelm, we have discovered the necessity of what we call The 4 Pillars. We have found these to be essential for anyone aiming to help others (and themselves) in our new and rapidly changing world.
With some degree of expertise in each of these areas, you can more easily and correctly identify your client’s issues, how they perceive Continue reading
The best answer I’ve ever found to this question is the word ‘Po’, coined by Edward DeBono, a modern non-Aristotelian logician.
‘Po’ means neither yes nor no. It means you are neither for nor against either possibility. It means moving beyond the no of logic (that leads you to the right answer), and the yes of belief systems (that make you feel you have the right answer).
‘Po’ positions you in the space surrounding either yes or no as the right answer.
‘Po’ deposits you at the home address of true creativity; that point of power where two opposites meet and merge into a new whole, a new insight, or a new guideline.
What Does This Have To Do With Healing?
Well, here’s the thing. The safest position to take on this question is ‘Po’. Let’s take a look at why I say this.
On the one hand, it sure looks like healers heal others when healing is defined as taking away pain and suffering. If it’s physical pain, the release can be accomplished many ways: an aspirin, acupuncture, surgery, repairing broken links between organs, systems and the brain, and many more.
If it’s emotional pain, reducing that emotional challenge is definitely do-able with the newest Energy Psychology techniques such as Callahan Tapping, EFT, TFT, TAT and many others. You can rearrange the configuration of images, sound, and feeling that create the emotion via techniques from NLP or hypnosis in deep or waking trance. And of course, there’s the age old technique of simply giving someone a hug or just reaching out and gently taking their hand.
If it’s mental pain, releasing fixed points of view that hamper perceptual flexibility can be accomplished by challenging presuppositions, introducing new models of meaning and purpose, or a simple re-education of how things actually work, like relationships or the fact that consequences are the other side of the coin of accountability.
So clearly healers can release pain in a variety of ways. Yet, here’s where a much more important question emerges; a question far more important for you as the healer than for the one being healed.
Who Is Doing The Healing?
One of the worst things you can do is inadvertently offer your client a goal they can’t reach.
Well, sure. They’ll probably be able to reach it someday. After all, that’s part of your job, right? To hold the dream of their success, competence, value and worth as inevitable, even when they can’t see it?
But one of the biggest problems I see is coaches who offer too much, too fast; and many counselors and therapists frequently doing the opposite and offering too little, too slowly.
Somewhere in between the two is the optimal goal.
How do you find it?
1st – My suggestion is to always take the time to create an absolutely, unequivocally, beyond a shadow of a doubt, reachable outcome. By that I mean an outcome your client can reach while they’re still working with you – preferably before they leave your office each and every meeting.
2nd – Break down the big goal into the little goals essential to reaching the big one. Goals that entail overhauling a complete life style are not quickly reachable outcomes. The wise coach or counselor keeps breaking down the big goal into the little goals that have to be reached before the final destination comes into view.
We all know that in order to someday dance, you have to start as a baby, rolling over onto your belly from your back. This has to happen before you can crawl; and crawling has to happen before you can stand; and standing before you can walk, and walking before you can run, and running before you can finally dance freely and with abandon.
Most goals are usually reachable, but always in small steps. Your job is to make sure your client is focused on the step in front of them.
And it’s your job to put that step in view and keep it there until it’s reached and the next step comes into view.
The bigger the scope of the change, the more small steps will be required. Here are some categories Continue reading
Any of your clients mentioned what I call the alphabet tools, like EFT, TAT, TFT, EMDR and other energy psychology techniques?
Have you wondered yet if they’re really effective? Have you thought about learning them by surfing the internet? Or buying a few books? Or have you already tried them out but still feel less than comfortable about bringing your knowledge back into the office?
If you’re like me, you probably don’t want to bring a new tool into your work unless you’ve got a good understanding of what it is and how it works. You want to feel like you can answer any questions your client might ask you.
Almost 20 years ago, I found myself pulled into a training for something called EMDR. It took a bit of courage because at the time, it was definitely odd, and assuredly out of my comfort zone. But I was always willing to use anything that worked. And because EMDR did get results, it quickly became a part of my professional repertoire.
Then, one of my EMDR trained colleagues got interested in an acupressure technique called TFT (Thought Field Therapy). Through a series of synchronistic events, I found myself in yet another odd training which led me to another and then another. As a result of this exploration and exposure, my entire way of perceiving my work changed – in a very good way.
But there was a problem. As a fairly traditional psychotherapist with nearly twenty years of experience, I was seriously challenged on how to integrate into my practice what I knew were extremely useful tools. How do you introduce these valuable methods to your clients?
Somewhere I had the idea that being professional didn’t include being ‘odd’. But if you’re dedicated Continue reading