A change will do you good


In conversation with one of the founders of a charity I am working with, he turned to me and said “I used to think I was good with change, now I realise I’m not necessarily”

This got me thinking about our appetite for change, the types of change we have in our lives and if I would comment in the same way.

How do you see change? Is it something you dread, run from, choose to ignore? Maybe look forward to, perhaps you initiate it?
Do you think of your home town, and what is different? Perhaps we are all drawn to think of a beautiful butterfly emerging from a chrysalis – we have metaphors for change.

What is change? It is defined as “to make or become different” and we all know it can be evolutionary with periodic incremental differences rather like that of our planet over time, or it can be abrupt, revolutionary, seismic in how if feels, sounds and appears to us.

Singer song writers are inspired enough by change to write about it; David Bowie, Cheryl Crow, The Sugababes and Taylor Swift to name but a few. Why would this be?

Organisational change is a great example of perhaps change that is needed, there is recognition that it will be disruptive and often there is someone responsible for managing it to completion. All of the organisations LBC has worked with have gone through this process a number of times. What have we learned through observation? That well managed change can be positive and in most cases essential to organisational success.
Personal change is with us throughout our lives, in our bodies our family relationships, our brains as we learn at school and our emotions as we develop new relationships – we are in this together so perhaps this is why we are all expected to ‘get on with it’ and manage perfectly well. Then of course there’s the big stuff, and sometimes there is no one else in our lives to look to for guidance on that. A feeling we are all familiar with.

We have a group of future Practitioner’s of NLP starting with us on the 18th September for our Autumn course. Those of you who have graduated know what profound and glorious change will come from their exploration of themselves and how they construct their reality – what they typically learn from change and of course how they respond in the future. We are excited for them.

So whatever change means to you, it invites you to move from the current status quo, experience a process and establish a new order of things, a new start point to move from.

This is what we aimed to achieve with the LBC website, we wanted something familiar that our frequent visitors would recognise, and of course something updated so that we might keep up with a fast moving pack. Most of all we wanted something that would maintain a pace of evolution such that there was a reason to return time and again. So welcome to our new website, we hope that you like it (and yes, of course it will change)

If you hate your job, leave.

The Buddha once said “If you hate your job, leave. If you hate your hate, leave that too”.

I couldn’t help but think about the sentiment of this quote when I read this. In it the author seems to suggest that if you work in advertising, like I do, you are never going to be happy; that you will always be grumpy.

I don’t agree.

I believe that grumpiness [or any other emotion we experience] is a choice we make depending on how we interpret what is going on around us and inside of us. I know it might not feel like a choice sometimes but lets consider, just for a moment or two, that it is. A choice, that is.

The immutable Law of Cause and Effect tells us that if something happens, something else will happen as a result. For every stimulus there is a response. For every cause there is an effect. In the words of Victor Frankl

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

So, when we apply the Law of Cause and Effect to ourselves as human beings, we might begin to think of ourselves existentially as taking a life position that means we are either “at cause” or “at effect”. When we are at cause we place ourselves at the center of our own power – things in life happen because of something we did, or did not, do. When we are “at effect” things happen to us.

At cause it is impossible to say “She made me feel angry” or “He made me feel glad”. What other people do or say is simply what other people do or say. What you do with it, how you interpret it and the meaning you make of it is all yours.

The problem here, though, is that we human beings are meaning making machines. We are all having our own subjective experience of reality. We can’t not give our experience meaning.

The way we do that is by deleting, distorting and generalizing our experience through a number of unconscious filters [for example our memories, our values, our beliefs and attitudes] in order to “make sense” of what is happening to us right now and to predict [or hallucinate] how we think our immediate, mid and long term future is going to pan out.

These perceptions and predictions become our reality. And because we like to be right, we continue to reinforce these perceptions and predictions with our own self talk, or we will go out and find people who will collude with us in order to reinforce our perceptions and predictions.

And these perceptions and predictions become the lens through which we look at [and judge] the world around us. So, [and I make my apologies to him when I say this], I think The Buddha kind of got his thinking muddled.

I think leaving your hate is the first step. Once you’ve let that go, you might just be freed up enough to realize that you don’t hate your job at all. It was just the lens you were looking at it through.

A Course in Miracles puts it quite nicely,

“Projection makes perception. The world you see is what you give it, nothing more than that. But though it is no more than that, it is no less than that either. Therefore, to you it is important. It is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture to your inward condition. As a man thinketh, so does he perceive. Therefore, seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about it. Perception is your result, not a cause.”

Remember, you are who you are today because of everything you have [and have not] been, everything you have [and have not] done and everything you have [and have not] had…not in spite of those things.

I invite you to challenge your perceptions and predictions. Are they accurate? How do you know? Are you making meaning using an out-dated reference system? Are you unaware of the choices you are making?


I’ve just experienced one of the nicest, most fulfilling weekends in sometime.

I wonder why. Was it the sunshine? Was it sleeping in without an alarm? Was it drinking Albarino by the glass. Was it the craft fayre and the purchase of some gorgeous trinkets for gorgeous people?

Yes. But probably, no.

I reckon it has much more to do with the absence of expectation.

I entered this weekend with an open mind. Without a plan. My only desire was to experience. To be. To enjoy. To take it as it came.

And I did. And as a result I’ve just experienced one of the nicest, most fulfilling weekends in sometime.

I think the width of the gap that exists between happiness and not-happiness depends on the level to which we desire an specific outcome; the level to which we expect.

With expectation, we’re most likely going to find disappointment or we’ll be let down. How can anyone, or anything, ever meet expectations, fantasies and hallucinations we hold in our minds?

Without expectation, we experience wonder, joy and smiles.

Without expectation, I’ve just experienced one of the nicest, most fulfilling weekends in sometime.

Come on, Vogue!

So, by now you may be wondering as you and I know to be true, what exactly is this going to be about? Well NLP of course.

For some time this blogger has been taking inspiration from music, film and tv to explain the fundamentals of NLP to a novice audience. This blog today is the start of a trickle feed of some of these gems.

I obviously assert the rights of Madonna to be credited for the lyrics, and their performance, and I’m sure she’d be thrilled with the positive intent in both her music and in this interpretation.

“Strike a pose”
The physiology of excellence – as the mind and body are the same system, this upright and alert posture truly opens you up to be at cause and own your moment.

“You long to be, something better than you are today”
Well LBC’s practitioner course in the Autumn can help you with that, and so can you, there are so many choices in front of you even at this moment.

“You know you can do it”

“All you need, is your own imagination”
So many of the functional interventions and dialogues in NLP start with ‘make a picture’ – “so use it that’s what it’s for”, because you know don’t you, “your dreams will open the door”.

“Soul is in the musical”
Hear it could be possible couldn’t it, that our vogueing protagonist is speaking to those with an auditory preference, having engaged the kinaesthetic preferences of those already dancing – I’ll bet Madge does a magical presentation – wouldn’t you love that too?

Dietrich & DiMaggio – just two of the names that are read out to remind us it seems to me, possible in the world and possible for me is only a matter of how.

“Don’t just stand let’s get to it” – of course we can all theorise, we can all talk, make excuses, look outside of ourselves for why things never change. Or we could be that change, take action, be at cause and power the engine of change in our lives.

Yes, that’s what that means.

Enjoy the song just that little bit more next time, and in the meantime, I’ll be listening for more NLP tracks to share next time.

Got a track that inspires you? Tell us about it!……

Image credit: WikiMedia

The law of attraction…

How many of you feel I wonder the warmth, and sense of connectedness when for the first time or for the umpteenth time you hear the sound of someone’s voice or see them in your mind and precisely at that time….there they are?

A friend responded to my email with….”that’s the law of attraction, I was thinking to myself, ‘I must call and talk about…” We had a lovely volley of emails, and we are meeting up soon. Funny right?

How many times have you called for the phone to not even ring before you hear a ‘hello’ from the other end, and they too say ‘I was just going to call you’?

This is energetic projection, as our mind and body are the same system, and as we as energetic systems can project our thoughts, desires and wishes out into the world to have them happen, so too can we reach out to others. With NLP we can send that good luck wish, that consoling hug, or the reassurance that even far away things are good.

Similarly thinking ill of others, with a festering lack of forgiveness can breed trouble between your hearts, that let’s be honest here, shouldn’t ever.

So reach out with your mind and body same system and touch someone, use the law of attraction to your own advantage today.

Tell us about your experiences of the ‘law of attraction”….

Getting out what you put in (or…how Prof Brian Cox helped me learn)

A few weeks ago, I went on a short course to explore TFT, or ‘Thought Field Therapy’. I was spellbound by a practitioner at the NLP Conference in November last year, and along with most of the audience it seemed, I wanted to know more.

Invented by American Psychologist Roger Callahan, the principle is based around the diagnosis of an imbalanced energy field around our body, that can be rebalanced through the ‘tapping’ of a coded sequence onto key parts of the body.
As I struggled with what was being taught my mind began to look for something that would satisfy my need for sameness…

TFT is a no needles acupuncture, or ‘contact Reiki’, or as I began to see it ‘pump priming’. Why see it that way? Professor Brian Cox explained in his ‘Wonders of Life’ programme that energy is neither created nor destroyed but is instead passed from object to state to environment and back again continuously.

Aaaaah, now I begin to feel better, I begin to see that this is like my familiar NLP, where mind and body are the same system, where energy and the movement of it can be so significant we feel separated from ourselves when we fly long haul (and why we call home to say “I’ve landed safely”)
I’m a fan of William Gibson and in his book ‘Pattern Recognition’ the lead character Cayce Pollard describes her jet lag as waiting for a piece of her soul to catch up with her.

The what and how satisfied I turn my attention and yours back to TFT. This therapy is content free and when correctly applied has a similar effect to the swish and anchoring techniques of NLP. It can edit fear, invert a phobia, install calm. So as I know you are curious will I tell you what I think?
I think that we must all find our own way, of learning, of feeling and in the world we live. Do I believe my new qualification in TFT and the science itself? Well it was my NLP qualification that helped me be open to the concept, I’d start there.

LBC still has places for the NLP Practitioners course, why not get in touch?

Everything takes longer than I we you think

So it is about this time of every year when those new year resolutions get heavy to carry, harder to make happen. We know don’t we as conversation turns to ‘how’s it going?’, or perhaps a bigger sign of what is around the corner ‘when’s your next holiday?’
It is now, in grumpy grey and cold February, no longer Xmas and not quite Easter when we can start to feel we have failed, that we have let ourselves down.

Woah! Back up. Who needs language like that?

NLP teaches us that there is “no failure only feedback”. So in this case then, what is the feedback you are giving you?
Take a look inside and dial down that internal critical voice, and now really listen, what are you telling you?

Maybe just maybe I wonder as we all know if what has happened is that what we ‘wanted’ to have happen couldn’t in the time we had, or even at all. Taking my own experience I’m pleased with what I have achieved so far this year but my choices were ‘poorly formed goals’ and it has taken me some time to realise that I set myself up for feedback.

It is said that “feedback is the breakfast of champions”, so if the Olympics were anything to go by we should all listen to ourselves.

So stand up, give yourself an all over shake, then sit back down and reboot your goals for this year. If you are ready to talk about NLP then check in on the LBC website, and if not then these will work;
1. Plan your first step and your last – really see yourself in both places, hearing it, feeling it
2. Find a role model or a buddy – walk in someone’s footsteps
3. Make sure it passes the granny test – would she understand, and would she be proud?
4. Do yourself a favour and give yourself time, not just a deadline but also the minutes, hours and days you’ll need to invest along the way

Well formed goals always take the right time and they always deliver. Be successful.

Why don’t you tell us, what is your new well formed goal?

So what’s new, you?

So here we are, survivors. Of both the Mayan Apocalypse (or Mayan’s running out of paper) and of the Christmas and New Year party season. Babies have been born, families have bid goodbye to loved ones, and this writer has been touched by the ‘universal law of nutrition’ – that is; ‘a little of what you fancy does you good, and a lot makes you fat’

New Year, semantically packed with our own and others meaning, often leads us to consider making changes in our life. Promises or resolutions for improvements. How many of these are familiar; giving up smoking, dieting, sorting out the finances, getting that dream job. Often these resolutions are poorly formed goals, decided upon in better easier times, or as a response to extremes. Words like must, should, and try – all secret unconscious signals to ourselves that this will be hard and we might not make it.

Well while giving up smoking is always good for anyone, it is the hardest thing to do if ‘I am a smoker’ is their identity, it is their map or way of seeing their world – because of course, take our identity away and what are we? Giving up on this resolution is one thing – giving up on yourself however, that is a different sign altogether.

So if we just learned identity is so important, what else do we require to form better goals, achievable, believable goals? Why not try stating them in the present tense “I have my dream job and I am happy” – then ask yourself ‘what would have to be true for that to be true’?
This could become your to do list. By when do you want this – establish a timeline you can stick to.
Then ask yourself ‘what is my first step, my last step and who is there that can help me?’ ‘Would everyone want me to have what I have got?’
Then spend some time in that future place feeling what you will feel, hearing what you will hear and seeing what you will see. Nice right? You are closer to having it than you were before – already.

Anything is possible.

Make 2013 the year you think a little more, about who you are and want to be, come back to us with the questions you want answering, the changes you are choosing to make. Make this the year that you “put your own mask on first, before helping others” and challenge yourself to make your fast and permanent change with NLP and Learning Behaviour and Change.

Got a comment on any of the above, post it here. Happy New You

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Christmas – what does it mean to you? For many it’s like rediscovering a greatest hits album – and replaying all our favourite tracks. In NLP we talk about how some words are ‘semantically packed’ -literally filled with layers of meaning, that meaning comes from experience filtered and stored and replayed over many times. Christmas is one of those words and can in itself trigger happiness, excitement, anticipation, longing, sadness…Like the Greatest hits that tumble from the radio and wrap themselves around us in every store, Christmas takes hold of each of us in our own personal way.
But if ‘all meaning is context dependent’ what does Christmas mean if you are a serving soldier at Camp Bastion in Helmand? If you move house, or you’re staying with Auntie Marge (with the moustache) What does it mean for your family that can’t have you with them? Many will say the greatest gift is having those you choose all around you their presence may at times be a challenge as you ride the traditions of times gone by; the way to wrap the presents, are you doing a turkey this year, oh I wouldn’t do it like that… yet gifts are abundant if you have eyes for them.
So what of ‘different maps of the world’? Well no two christmases are packed with the same meaning, just this week one of LBC said “that’s Christmas for me” upon hearing the sound of the Salvation Army brass band in St Pancras, I know someone for whom charity is the outcome upon hearing ‘do they know it’s Christmas’.
I share a ritual, from long ago in my childhood, with a new good friend – we buy the bestest crispest most perfect copy of the ‘Radio Times’ (nothing else will feel the same) and turning page by page we ring each programme we plan to watch over the festive period – most likely in pyjama’s and even more likely with a drink. It makes me so happy and content to do this.
So what if you had the choice to be happy, and could make the perfect day (you can you know) what would be in that day, the feel of your dressing gown, the first smells of cooking, the sound of tearing paper? Take a moment to enjoy your best bits, put them somewhere safe inside then snap! the lid closed to keep them safe. Now they are there for whenever you want them, those memories.
Take comfort in whatever you perceive your Christmas to be, invent your own traditions, reframe your experience by turning what was a chore into a new ritual that can be learned by heart – and best of all shared with a loved one. And if you meant to say last year “all I want for Christmas is you”, then your next best opportunity is perfectly present.

Want to join the conversation?
Tell us what Christmas means to you, and what your new Christmas ritual might be.

Family, families, and the family of friends you choose

Family. What does that word mean to you?
The free dictionary states; 1- ‘a fundamental social group in society typically consisting of one or two parents and their children’, or ‘two or more people who share goals and values, have long-term commitments to one another, and reside usually in the same dwelling place’ and 3 -‘a group of persons sharing common ancestry’. Could it also mean community, neighbours, brethren?

So it would seem whatever that word means to you, family can touch our lives in one or more ways (as the dictionary would have it) So it got us thinking – where are we in relation to our family right now? This blog came out of a very interesting time for LBC…
Some of us were at the NLP Conference – a part of a bigger chosen family, sharing the ‘unconditional positive regard’ so common between those who have been touched by the principles of NLP – and felt as ‘mutual respect’ by those who haven’t, and at the same time another of our ‘learning family’ was soaking up the last of the sun in Spain with definition number 1, while the whole of us felt connected we were quite far apart and certainly not where we are usually.

Fans of William Gibson, the science fiction writer, will be familiar with his belief that when we travel far and through time by plane, we can be separated very slightly from a piece of ourselves – a kind of ‘spiritual jet lag’. We can play with this a little and if we accept this to be fact (as NLP often encourages us to do – in order for the learnings to come later from wherever) it is possible that we may feel this when others are far away from our ‘fixed point’. Could this be the notion of missing someone and of feeling cut off? Is this what we feel when family emigrates, when our friends (our chosen family) get new jobs and move to a new town? Perhaps when someone is suddenly taken ill?

This year’s NLP conference had the theme of “energy” running through it, and one of the things we took from this was the rather beautiful idea that when we are somewhere you aren’t always – on holiday, on a work trip – that we should send a thought to those we care about most, that come into our thoughts, to say that we have arrived and are safe and are well. This connection (explained by any of the 3 definitions above) will restore the balance needed to stay as connected as we wish. We have all had a play and one of our number had a call out of the blue from their sister.

So allow us to add our own definition (NLP is generative after all) and say “family is what or who we feel connected to, at heart level, and whether consciously or not, are nurtured and enriched by it’s existence”. Enjoy thinking about family whatever you conceive it to be.