On Thursday, April 7th 2022 I delivered a Masterclass with esteemed Swiss colleagues Michel and Nathalie. More details of their website here
In this Master Class I shared many of my experiences working in the field of NLP with children, teenagers, and families.
See some simple models for imagining a 3-dimensional brain that’s easy to understand.
Free to watch for anyone who is interested in:
• understanding how the human brain works
• how learning happens
• differences between neurology, biology, and psychology
• specialist application of NLP for working with kids
• how to build a thriving next generation
Watch the Master Class COPY & PASTE: https://youtu.be/r3RRi16J6Pg
“What do you want?” I asked 45 year old Pete (who came to see me to learn how to de-stress).
“I want to enjoy what I do again – better work/life balance.” he replied sincerely.
“Tell me more?” I enquired.
“Well, I’d like us to spend more time as a family unit.” he said, nodding to himself.
“More time? One or two minutes a week?” I gently teased.
“Oh no … oh … um… probably 20 minutes more – each day.” he concluded.
“20 minutes a day – watching TV?” I was curious about his lack of specificity.
“No, I mean spending 20 minutes a day, helping my son Joe (15) with his homework.”
“Ah great that he’s asked for help.”, I smiled.
“Well, no, of course he hasn’t asked for help, he can’t see the importance of this, but his grades are poor.”
“What will that do for you – spending 20 mins a day on Joe’s homework?” I invited him to consider.
“I want him to achieve more.” he insisted.
“And …” I paused.
“If I help him with his homework, he will get better grades.” he asserted.
“What will Joe think about your plan?” I gestured open palms.
”He’ll hate it, but it’ll stop him playing his airy-fairy music.” He gestured closed palms.
“How do you think your goals for Joe will play out over time?” We took a moment to visualise the on-going rippling effects of Pete asserting his goal for Joe.
“Oh… we’ll probably end up fighting, just like my dad and I used to… I’ll get even more stressed…”
And the penny dropped.
It’s always fun to hear the penny drop as the most educated minds often miss the value of a foundational principle of NLP, that is getting clarity of your brain aim, your goals for yourself. And being aware of how we set up self-imposed stress by assuming our goals for others – especially our children – will help us be happier. Actually, that’s messy.
Throughout history, across the world, mirrors have been used to deflect bad spirits and direct lightness into the environment.
I use imaginary mirrors and mind-magic experiments to help children deal with bullies or situations that feel threatening. The key to this success is engaging a richness of sensory-based imagination. I’ve been using this technique for years with clients of all ages, and for myself. It works, try it!
Here’s how to do it:
Invite your child to imagine they are surrounded by a bright yellow cloud or mist. Any colour is ok if it feels powerful, I suggest yellow as a colour commonly associated with inner power.
Have your child visualise this yellow mist swirling around their body in a clockwise direction growing up from underfoot and making a swirl-knot overhead. The mist is quite faint, is see-through, has a cooling taste, smells lemony and sounds sparkly.
The more associated to sensations, the stronger the influence. Have them experiment with swirling faster or slower – which swirl speed helps them feel strongest? Become genuinely curious about the effects of this mind experiment.
Ask them to take a big, deep breath in through their nostrils inhaling lemony mist flowing down deeply inside the lungs and when they breathe out, let the long, slow out-breath gently expand the size of the yellow cloud surrounding them.
After mastering the art of an expanding, swirling yellow mist, they are ready to add the outer layer of magic mirrors – all facing outwards. Some people see mirrors of the same size and shape, while others see different sizes and shapes. Experiment with the design of the mirrored ‘shield’ perhaps hearing them clicking into place.
Now inside this space, feel the new distance from mean words or feelings. Some people find it quite fun to visualise hurtful words or feelings bouncing off the outward facing mirrors into the air, before disappearing.
Top Tip! Invite your child to identify where in their body they feel most confident when doing this. That’s a hypnotic suggestion by the way!
September brought us the Equinox, marking a moment of ‘balance’ in our yearly calendar, with day and night available to us, in equal measure.
I guess you know when you’re (metaphorically) tipping out of balance, right? When it seems all that’s left is to give up or give over to some external authority on your wellbeing?
Balance is one of our key themes when working with the next generation, we want them to trust that they can always find it, know how to achieve it, and don’t need to rely on an external authority to do the re-balancing for them. We call this RESILIENCE.
We must teach resilience as an ‘inside job’ so the next generation learns how to self-adjust their personal wellbeing rather than defaulting to the notion that the solution, or the blame, lies elsewhere.
Sometimes in our work, we find parents and teachers don’t believe it is possible for young people to self-manage wayward thoughts and emotions and make it their priority to step in at the first hint of challenge. Fast forward to a generation of teenagers who never learned to hardwire the skills of ‘doing’ resilience i.e., falling over, picking self-up, reflecting on what to do differently next time, taking responsibility for the results in life and adjusting mindset/behaviours to meet new needs. Simply put, this is the process of learning and a far cry from our ‘woke’ generation who want to blame or change others. How have we forgotten our nature as exquisite learners?
And those parents and teachers who DO believe it is possible for young people to self-manage wayward thoughts and emotions, often just don’t know how to teach these skills. Thankfully we do.
This month’s Resilience Tip is to help children imagine their future self as buoyant and able to respond to and rebalance after any of life’s whirlwinds. Imagineering (as we call it) is nature’s way of formatting neural pathways into codes of possibility. That’s how we landed on the moon – someone had the idea first … It was an imagined possibility that eventually became tangible actions.
I vote for more seeding of great ideas inside the minds of our next generation. Imaginings of a flourishing future. We cannot thrive as a species if we continue to fill young people’s imaginations with fear and helplessness.
We all become what we repeatedly do, so why not help your child habituate resilience inside their mind’s eye and set a clear direction for their brains and bodies to follow?
We all deserve a thriving next generation, don’t we?