personal development

Exploring the Nexus of Mind and Life! The Future of!

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I have a confession to make - I'm not really a coach or a hypnotist or an agent of change (or many other things). When I say that, I'm not saying that I can't or don't do those things, just that those things are not what I am... and they are certainly not how I would wish to identify.

Now, to some reading this this may seem odd, because they may think of me as a coach or hypnotist (or similar). And if they do I can understand why - there are literally hundreds of videos of me demonstrating and discussing hypnosis on YouTube, coaching programmes available from me and many testimonials from coaching clients floating around the internet... but that is still not what I am or what I'm really about at the heart of it all.

At 19 years of age I was struck by an epiphany that change the course of my life. Keeping the details short, I had been struggling with life for a few years (I didn't feel like I fitted in or had any power whatsoever) and got to the point where a concerned doctor signed me off work and put on anti-depressants.

In many ways, the relief at this was enormous - I'd finally got what I wanted - the world off my back... but for just two weeks!

Out driving and pondering, I realised I could keep travelling down the path of deteriorating mental health or...

"The world is not going to reorganise itself to suit my needs"

This was the epiphany that struck... like enlightening lightening!

If my life was to get better, I needed to get into the driving seat. I needed to transform my engagement with it so as I could start to shape it up more as I might want. But how?

And so began a journey of exploration, exploring an array of different psychological and philosophical 'reality tunnels' immersing myself in their mind-shifting conceptual cultures (this is what I was doing, albeit unconsciously... consciously I thought I was searching for 'truth') and transforming my own 'deep psychology' as I went.

These reality tunnels have included - western analytical philosophy, taoism, systems thinking, mind/body healing, NLP, magic and mentalism, NLP, various flavours of hypnosis, NLP, Choice Theory, General Semantics, Three Principles, Byron Katies Work, New Thought, Stoicism, Jungian Psychology, Adlerian Psychology, REBT, and much more besides.

Now, when I talk about 'exploring' these reality tunnels, I'm not talking about merely researching them, I'm talking about degrees of immersion in them - exploring living into them and living from them. Exploring their effects upon my ongoing experience and responses and - most interestingly, for me - my results in life.

And from this exploration emerges fresh creation - a nuancing of elements from one reality tunnel with aspects and discoveries from another.

And this is why, whilst I coach, I don't identify as a coach (or hypnotist, or whatever) but instead, above all that as an explorer and emergent creator.

The reason I share this with you now is because, going forward, I intend to be grounding more fully in this - continuing to explore with the functionality of different psychological reality tunnels and continuing to integrate the discoveries into my own personal psychology and teaching models.

This experience and this practice is also the basis of my Personal Psychology Coaching/Consulting work - I am not an NLP coach or Hypnotist (though I have spent much time in those reality tunnels), I am an explorer and life path creator who coaches.

So, this is what this blog will be about going forward - different ways of seeing, being and approaching life. Exploring with different 'organisations of reality' to see what difference they make. Exploring the nexus of mind and life and connecting with our power to move the former to shape the latter.


Upgrading Consciousness

Upgrading Consciousness

In traditional NLP and Hypnosis based approaches to change, the idea is often to unconsciously 'install' new behaviours and responses, eradicate old behaviours and responses or both.

In my experience, this approach is generally flawed (and, as such, tends to be 'hit and miss') because it ignores the inherent complexity and ecology of the system being worked with.

'Truth' Versus 'Understanding'

There is a line that is pushed in some philosophies and self-help movements that there is no such thing as truth. everything we know is a lie, so we may as well make up whatever set of understandings - whatever 'lies' - best suits us. Of course, if this is true, then this perspective itself is a lie! :-) but is it a useful one?

Personally speaking, I believe in truth... but I also believe 'true truth' is ineffable and lays beyond perception. So all we are left with is our perceptions, perspectives and understandings. Or as Arthur Eddington so elegantly put it:

“Reality is not only stranger than you think, it's stranger than you CAN think."

In the coaching and training that I do, I often encourage people to stop seeking truth and to instead start shaping understandings that serve. Not because there isn't 'truth', just that we can't know it and therefor modest understanding is all we have.

So what is the relationship between 'understanding' and 'truth'? I believe that the best in understanding points us to something of the ineffable truth. And that the most profound understandings are those that get us closest to the truth that lies beyond understanding.

So, I wouldn't get hung up on the truth... you can't know it. But explore life, take multiple perspective and create and shape understandings that serve you and others deeply and profoundly, and you will be individual getting very close to it!




Image Courtesy of Stuart Mills

The Essence of Personal Change - Full Presentation!

Having been involved with NLP, Hypnosis and Personal Development in various forms for a number of years now, it has been fascinating for me to meet so many people who have made made phenomenal changes in their lives... as well as those who seem to be 'struggling' and claim that they haven't. This talk was given for Interesting Talks London early in 2013 on a topic that I am still exploring and developing (and no doubt will be for many years to come). Stay focussed on this blog and this Youtube channel to discover new perspectives and the latest developments.


And if you have any questions you would like to ask (or feedback you would like to give) please do make use of the  comment section below!

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P.P.S. If you are interested in making profound changes in your life, you may be interested in the forthcoming Reality Shaper Transformative Coaching and Mentoring Programme.

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Habit Webs and Willingness to Change

A cage fighting Facebook friend posted this on his wall this morning:

"As an adult change in real terms is almost impossible (no matter what one type of therapy or another tells you) , we are all pretty much stuck with who we are. Not great when your a psychopath, but we all have our own cross to bear."

I disagreed strongly of course (because I know it to be untrue), but it got me thinking...

One thing that is patently clear to me as both a self-changer and professional change consultant is that some things are clearly easier to change than others. One way of looking at this is to think of it in terms of character versus simple behaviours and responses, so for example a phobia is often a simple and specific response, whereas generalised anxiety is, well... generalised! And can seem to be part of a persons overall character and is therefor somehow more 'embedded'.

The trouble, however, with this explanation is that it explains away more than it explains! Because what is character anyway, beyond the overall collection of our patterns of behaviour (or habits of being) and response?

And this is the key! We are collections of interdependent patterns and so each individual pattern never really functions independently of our other patterns. The form pattern webs if you like, and some patterns are more bonded into the web than others.

So how does this help us understand change?

On a most basic level, a pattern (and I'm including the semantic structures that underpin it) is essentially easy to change so long as the person is sufficiently motivated to change it AND it is independent enough from other patterns (not too deeply integrated into the pattern web). The trouble is, however, that many of the patterns that people ARE motivated to change are held in place by patterns that they are NOT motivated to change (or are motivated to retain). And to make things trickier still, they are most often unable (or sometimes just unwilling) to see the connections between what they are motivated to change and what they are not (or are motivated not to).

One of the biggest barriers to change is attempting to separate off the pattern-to-be-changed from the rest of the system. The way this most obviously manifests itself is in in the pattern of...

"I want to change things about my life, but I don't want to change anything about who I am, how I do life or how I make sense of the world"

A desire for change without a desire to change (at least, in any significant way).

For this reason, I believe one of the greatest catalysts for change is the willingness to change. When a person becomes willing to change at the level of how they do life and their way of being in the world, then small changes that were once hard suddenly become easy.