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Showing posts from June, 2015

Surprising yourself: How unconscious process reveals healing

I am writing this from a desk on the top floor of Massey College, looking out over the courtyard on a beautiful sunny morning. It is a scene from every movie about scholars in long gowns thinking deep thoughts. It is a dream from a long, long time ago.  And it's an alarm. It's time to wake up.

In 1990, I defended my doctoral thesis. One of the examiners was then the Master of Massey College. And it wasn't until today, wondering why I was reluctant to go to the dining room for breakfast, that I realized I had made a choice. I wasn't here because I needed a bed close to my training. I was here to remember, to revisit the spectacular debacle that was my thesis defense and see it with new eyes.

I'm not sure why it has taken more than 20 years for me to know, absolutely, that Yeats, the poet we were discussing on the day in late summer 1990, would have been baffled by the conversation. I was young and fiery and I had written a beautiful, complex study of how beauty conf…

The difference between the focal point and the message

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What do you see when you look at this picture?  I took it on the road between Pacific Rim National Park and Port Alberni. It's a twisting, turning drive that reminds you how hard it is even now to make one's way through the mountains. The beauty combined with the twists and turns can put a passenger into a kind of trance. The camera interrupts the flow. It reminds me to look at something instead of everything.

I'm just starting to experiment with a camera, to move beyond "spray and pray" with a point and click and work at seeing through the camera. The point is not to take pretty pictures (although that helps with social media posts). The point is to understand how what we see is a composition - an interaction between what is there and how we choose to frame it.

When you look at this picture, you can see that the camera saw the young maple at the front in sharpest detail. That seems to make it the point of the picture. And yet the point of that drive is those mo…

How to Find What You Need to Write

One of the many things I love about my work is that I get to know great people who are as dedicated to learning and language as I am. One of those people is Sheri Andrunyk. Sheri and I connected over tea one day, and we have been supporting each other as teachers and writers ever since. I'm very proud to have trained Sheri in NLP, and it has been fun to cheer her on as she founded and has nurtured I C Publishing.
Here's the short version of what Sheri has contributed to so many writers, entrepreneurs and coaches:
"Sheri Andrunyk is the founder of I C Publishing (tour sponsor) and the I C Bookstore, entrepreneur expert, mentor, and author of Working From Home & Making It Work and Hearts Linked by Courage. She is writing two more books this year, and is extremely passionate about providing more choices, resources, and high level support to other writers, business professionals, wellness coaches, and spiritual mentors."
In my contribution to this year's Blog Tour, …

What to do when it is a matter of life and death?

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I will always remember the training where I first realized that what I teach is sometimes a matter of life and death. One of the participants was a young soldier preparing for deployment to a war zone. His ability to anticipate the actions of others and to control his own state would, quite literally, be a matter of life or death. It's rare to think of self-development, self-reflection or communication in this way. Maybe it should be much less rare.

Yesterday we held our annual NLP retreat, in which a small group gathers in a wonderfully inspiring location to reflect, share and practice. Our theme yesterday was "Finding Your Voice" and in many ways it looked like we were working on how to speak more effectively in conversation or presentations. While knowing yourself is a requirement for speaking with power and presence, we didn't seem to be doing any change work or tackling any major life issues.

Except that there were some really big back stories in the room (and I…