the structure of magic
Many of us have been challenged deeply in the last year, in a myriad of ways. I know I have been. From our health to our finances and from our relationships to work we’ve been forced to stop, reflect, change and grow.
And while this process gives way to new, and often better ways of doing things, it can come with very real growing pains and a whole range of emotions which bring us back into contact with our shadow side.
I’ve had a slow motion marketing car crash over the last couple of years which has transformed into a new business model and a profound new lease of life for me, my business and my community. But boy do we have to suffer sometimes to get to the learning and growth.
I’ve come to realise that these kinds of challenges happen to all of us, across context and through time.
And I believe that my personal journey, with the profound challenges that I’ve encountered over the last few years, speak to the human experience in all of us. And I hope in ways that will inspire deep change and a new level of freedom in your life too.
Getting Ready To Change
I’ve historically had a niggling belief that marketing was about manipulation and selling, rather than transformation and service. And so I’ve often held back from sharing and spreading the word, for fear of being judged in that way.
The way I saw it was that many people used marketing to manipulate, in a ‘win-lose’ way, in many ways it brought out the worst in human behaviour – by putting me and greed and profits, before you, honesty and people. I integrated the belief that marketing was bad from a relatively young age. That’s a pretty big generalisation to make, and both inaccurate and limiting I’ve now come to realise.
And this generalisation, or belief, has been one of the many necessary endings I’ve been confronted with of late. Of course I now recognise that marketing doesn’t have to be about manipulation. It can be about making change happen for the greater good (and that’s certainly one thing I’m passionate about).
In fact I’d now argue that marketing has to be about making meaningful change happen, in a way that is ‘win-win’. Otherwise it’s not marketing, it’s manipulation.
Henry Cloud in his book ‘Necessary Endings’ describes how to grow roses. If you grow roses, you need to:
- Get rid of anything that’s dead or dying
- Get rid of anything that’s not going to be the best
- Put all resources into those rose buds that will be the best
This metaphor works for life, business and everything in between.
I recently had to integrate this lesson into my business, and in particular, to my marketing. The last 18 months my business has been dying. Not the impact I’ve had on others or my coaching practise, they have been flourishing, with the odd blip. But my marketing was not functioning optimally for me, or for you, or the greater good for that matter. My marketing is just one example of a necessary ending, which once embraced, breeds new life and possibility.
There are plenty of other significant challenges and necessary endings I’ve been confronted with over the last year or two – from my back which I broke 20 years ago, to my energy and sleep which have both been suboptimal since I contracted Glandular Fever. Each of these had a generalisation or limiting belief holding the old paradigm and limitations in place, only to be released once I got the learning.
Each of these experiences rocked me to the point where I was confronted with some of my deepest unconscious fears and beliefs – I can’t, I don’t know how, why me, I’m stuck – you know, those kinds of patterns that lurk in the deepest recesses of our collective psyche. Beyond those beliefs I have experienced real despair, sadness and a sense of being stuck with no way forwards from time to time.
What I’ve come to learn along the way however, is that these states have a structure. And that the structure is not fixed through time (although it may appear to be) but can in fact be modelled, and changed. This is the profound power of NLP.
We can change pretty much anything when we understand the notion of internal representations and how they govern our experience of life in ALMOST every way.
When we understand this, we get to shine a light on our shadow side – the anger, frustration, despondency and despair we all get to encounter from time to time – and by discovering the structure of our subjective experience we can change pretty much anything, anytime, anywhere.
We really can take our lives into our own hands and create a better future for ourselves and humanity.
I was coaching a client the other day and she asked something along the lines of “why can’t we just change”? As I reflect on that question now, I’d say it’s for a number of reasons.
Why we can’t just change… and how to:
- We are human. And humans are often not ‘programmed’ very well. I certainly wasn’t when I grew up
- This programming or conditioning becomes the primary software (beliefs and thinking patterns) that drive out hardware (our body and behaviour)
- The unconscious beliefs or generalisation (part of the internal representation) will continue to replicate and project past thinking and behaviour into the future, until they are changed
- Those unconscious beliefs and patterns are typically associated with a ‘limited identity concept’ that keeps the patterns in place. These are key aspects of the subjective experience, or structure, that can be modelled and changed
- In order to change past patterns into new behaviour we must a) get to the core pattern within the ‘present state’ structure and learn something which enables us to learn, grow and change and/ or b) fully associate into the ‘desired state’ structure
- Either require a decision. As Tony Robbins said, “it is in our moments of decision that we create our destiny”
- To make the decision to change we must associate pain to staying stuck and pleasure to changing and reach a threshold moment where the internal representation shifts ‘towards’ a vision of the future that we are fully associated with, and which is fitting with who we are who we are becoming
- When we get the vision and feelings of this ‘new identity’ and the change is associated with a higher sense of purpose, our whole energy and state changes. We change!
- All of this requires humility, openness and a willingness to let go of who we thought we were, in order to become who we want to be, who we can be – the best version of ourselves.
As Judy Lozier once asked me…
How much can you allow the Universe flow through you?
When I’m closed, and holding on or feeling stuck, the answer is not very much. But that doesn’t mean the Universe isn’t trying to flow through me! It’s just that my deeply limited understanding of who I am, and those pesky little beliefs keep me in a stuck state.
Our job is to be aware of our state and choose to resolve the underlying dysfunction when confronted with it (or better yet, as Gene my mentor once said, to pursue emotional healing issues) and to expand our consciousness and energetic state consistently.
And when we do that, we transcend pretty much any and all limitations and can thereby step into and manifest our highest vision.
“If you talk about it, it’s a dream, if you envision it, it’s possible, but if you schedule it, it’s real.” Anthony Robbins
If you’d like to discover how NLP can help you take your dreams and turn them into reality, why not join us for a free 2 day NLP Foundation Event next month and discover how you can place your future firmly in your own hands.
I hope to see you there!