Connecting to Yourself

I remember it very clearly – standing there at the sink in the boys’ bathroom of my school, staring at myself in the mirror.  I was eight years old.

I had recently found my father’s photo album in the attic of my house.  He had died when I was a baby; I had no memory of him, only imaginings and questions.  One of the pictures in the album showed him at sixteen, on a diving board, from behind, naked.  My father was tall, with a manly, muscular physique.

I wondered about myself: would I be like that, in eight more years?  What would I be like?  Eight years seemed an impossibly long time to me – a lifetime (as it was, so far!).  I peered into the mirror, pretending it was magic, trying to see the sixteen-year-old me in there.
If he could look back at eight-year-old me, what would he think?  Would he like me?  Would he approve of me?  Or would he think I was impossibly silly and childish?  Would he even remember being me?  What would he be able to tell me?

“Watch out, Donnie, for that fifth-grade teacher, Miss Stanley – she’s a doozie!”

“Yeah, that’s what everyone says.  But I’ll have her in two years – what can I do?”

“Not much – she’s the only one.  Just don’t let her get to you.  Keep remembering, you’ll make it through that year; you’ll come out the other side.  You’ll do fine.  And sixth grade will be better.  Ok?”

“Thanks.  I’ll do my best.”

“Yeah, I know you will.”  From the mirror, he smiles at me.  “For sure.  You did – I mean, I did.”

My mentor was me

I stayed there a long time, then went back to my class.  I can’t remember whether I got in trouble.  Probably not – my third grade teacher was a sweetie.

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Sooner or later in our lives we are all faced with losses. Loved ones die, we go through breakups, we lose the use of a limb, our hearing or eyesight. We lose our dreams, for one reason or another, and have to redirect our lives. Some people who have been abused feel a sense of loss over the happy childhood they never had. Some anticipate a future losses that might (or might not) happen.

NLP offers some remarkable ways to heal grief, to remove the obsessive sense of loss, while retaining, even amplifying the pleasant memories associated with the person or faculty that is gone (or is expected to be lost) and using these as resources for the path ahead.

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Aligning Relationships

Nearly everyone has the ability to view a relationship or situation from the perspective of another person, to imagine what that other is seeing, hearing, feeling, and thinking.  In fact, we do this all the time – we are continually assessing others’ states of mind, their intentions, what they might say or do next.  It’s a mostly unconscious process, a faculty we are born with and continue to develop as we grow.

…we attune to the internal shifts in another person, as they attune to us, and our two worlds become linked as one. Through facial expressions and tones of voice, gestures and postures – some so fleeting they can be captured only on a slowed-down recording – we come to “resonate” with one another.

We come into the world wired to make connections with one another, and the subsequent neural shaping of our brain, the very foundation of our sense of self, is built upon these intimate exchanges …

– Dan Siegel, Mindsight.  (Dan Siegel is a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, researcher, and author.)

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I Want to Forget Him

“Can you make me forget someone?” she said to me over the phone.

“Tell me a little more.”

“My boyfriend – my ex-boyfriend, that is. I want to forget him, forget all about him, like he never existed, like I never even met him. Can you hypnotize me to totally forget him?”

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