Daily Archives: March 27, 2015

When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking


A message for every adult to read; children are watching you and doing as you do, not as you say.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator door and I immediately wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make my favorite cake for me and I learned that the little things are the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I heard you say a prayer, and I knew there is a God I could always talk to and I learned to trust in God.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you give of your time and our only food because we had no money to help people who had wronged us and I learned that everyone has something to give and should help others no matter what.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it and I learned we have to take care of what we are given!

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw how you handled your responsibilities even through your challenges, even when you didn’t feel good and I learned in that moment how to be responsible.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt and it’s ok to cry.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw that you cared even when your words said you didn’t and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I learned most of life’s lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I looked at you and wanted to say, “Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking.”

LITTLE EYES SEE A LOT. Each of us (parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher or friend) influences the life of a child. How will you touch the life of someone today?

Peace and Love To You All ~ You reign over the unspoken word – Once you speak and release it – it reigns over you – choose wisely –

“He who is wise will keep an open mind until he has fairly tested the various proofs that are available to him”

To be persuasive, one must be believable;

To be believable, one must be credible;

To be credible, one must be truthful.

NAC – Change Your Beliefs, Change Your Life


There is a belief that changing your psychology and the reactions associated to it takes a long time and undergoes a lot of struggle. WRONG! Change happens in an instant through the potential pain because you will not move towards pleasure until the pleasure outweighs the pain and guess what, you can change anything you wish at any moment once you decide and take action. Let me be a little bit in your face and tell you that every change that you have ever made in your life actually happened in an instant, didn’t it? If you are lighting a cigarette right now and I put the gun to your head and say “put your cigarette out right now or else I will pull the trigger!” I am certain that you will put your cigarette out, wouldn’t you? Therefore change is not the matter of capability; it is the matter of leverage!

I am going to share with you a knowledge that I mastered to create consistent and lasting change. I am a professional NAC practitioner and want you to master this art to serve your needs with integrity for a better quality of life. Before I share with you this valuable knowledge, you must first adopt these two beliefs for it to work.

The first belief to make this long lasting change is that you must know you can change anything right now, in an instant because it is not the change itself that takes time. What are the consequences of not changing and what are the benefits of creating lasting change?
You must know that you are responsible for your own change, only you. Whatever happens you must take responsibility; remember that responsible simply means the ability to respond. I am grateful that since the day I learned to leverage pain and convert it to pleasure through applying this knowledge, my life has been transformed as my perspective changed. What will it feel like when you see opportunities in every situation and leverage challenge into your advantage through achievement?
Neuro Associative Conditioning (NAC) is a human behavioral science founded by Anthony Robbins on the basis of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). It is a step by step process that can help you to condition your nervous system to associate massive pleasure with the things you want so that you continuously do whatever it takes to achieve them and also show you all the things or pain that you need to avoid doing to succeed continuously throughout your entire life. NAC provides six master steps and specific syntax to provide consistent and lasting change. These six fundamental steps are the basis of NAC and psychologists found that every change that a human makes in their life inevitably fulfill these steps. And here I impress upon you, the essence of NAC in your practice. Knowledge is only potential power, clarity is power when it comes into the hand of someone who knows how to get himself to take effective action. So if you have any behavior that you wish to change now, I challenge you to use the following NAC steps.

The fist step of NAC is to decide what you really want and what is preventing you from having it now. Most people when they are upset, they tend to focus on what they don’t want, instead of what they do want. I don’t want to be sad, I don’t want to be lonely, I don’t want to be fat, I don’t want this, I don’t want that…STOP!!! If you keep focusing on what you don’t want, you will definitely get more of it. Your outer circumstances are a reflection of your inner thoughts. So change your focus to what you want, to get what you truly desire. State your outcomes in positive term. Be as specific as possible. I want happiness, I want to have friends, I want to be slim. Clarity is authentic power. Next you have to be aware of what is preventing you from having what you want so that you overcome these obstacles. Ask yourself, how is this behavior serving me and who do I need to become to live the life I desire? These are your obstacles that you have to get through. Awareness is a powerful tool.

The second step is to get leverage. There are the twin pillars that shape a human’s life – pain and pleasure. All human’s behaviors revolve around the urge to gain pleasure or avoid pain. To get leverage is to associate massive pain to not changing now and to associate massive pleasure after you have changed it. To most people, change doesn’t feel like a must. It is something that they should do; they ought to do some day, not something they must do right now without wasting a second. Your shoulds need to become musts; the only way to make your change is to create a sense of urgency that is so intense, that you can’t wait any longer to put it off. To create change we have to realize that it is not the question of can we do it, it is the question of will we do it. So to associate pain, you can ask yourself, what does this cost me if I don’t make this shift now? You have to make this pain so real, so intense that you physically feel this pain in your core, and then start using pleasure associative questions to help you link those positive feelings to the idea of changing. If I do change, how will I feel about myself? What will I accomplish? How happy will I be? The key is to get a lot of reasons, better, strong enough reasons to make your change now. Every long lasting change is made in your subconscious mind.

So up to this point, have you decided what you really want to change and do you know what is preventing you? Do you feel enough pain associated to your old behavior and have you already linked the massive pleasure of changing it? Is change a must for you? If you do, now we can move on the third step – interrupt the limiting patterns. We all share the same neurology, and this neurology is just like a compact disc (CD). If you want to play the 6th track in your disc, you would just press the “6” button on the remote control and the song is played. If I put a deep scratch on the disc and I press the “6” button, would the song be played? No because the link is broken. This is the same result to our nervous system. Interrupting your old limiting patterns in your neuro pathway is like putting a scratch on your (cd) disc so that your old behavior can’t be continued. First and foremost, you must realize what your old pattern is when it comes to your old behavior then disrupt it. To disrupt your pattern is to do something that is out of your expectation. Confusion is the most useful way to break your pattern. An example of interrupting your pattern when you want to smoke is to turn your cigarette over and use the lit part to touch and burn your lips. Then you will be reminded of this painful scene whenever you have the urge to smoke and thus you will put your cigarette away. Another example, if you want to lose weight and you can’t resist over the temptation of the delicious meal in front of you in a restaurant, I suggest you to jump up aggressively on the chair and shout out “I’m a PIG!!!” Then the next time you feel like eating more, your nervous system will link the image and the pain of shouting out “I’m a PIG” to your brain and you will immediately stop eating, another option is to remember the image of your naked body in the mirror this morning that caused you so much disgust and feel your stomach before you order that meal or take that bite and your psychology will force you to make healthier choices. Believe me, it works! It may be a bit awkward, but let me tell you that step 3 is of the utmost importance.

After you have broken the patterns that are holding you back, you now have the open space to learn the fourth step – create a new empowering alternative. Most people fail to establish long lasting change is because they have nothing to replace the old pattern. Consequently, their change is temporary and sooner or later they will get back to their old pattern. Therefore you have to find a new empowering alternative to replace your old pattern while celebrating the pleasure of it. Every behavior must have its own positive impacts; otherwise you would not be doing it. For instance, once you quit smoking, you could come out with a new way like treating yourself or finding an activity you enjoy relaxing and managing your stress or any other way that could provide the benefits you could get from smoking. These four steps are absolutely crucial to create a new change, but to ensure that the change is constant and long lasting; you need to apply the fifth step – condition it. You have to reinforce the new pattern until it is consistent and keep conditioning it, strengthening it daily. Condition is the way to make sure your change is long lasting. You have got to rehearse the new pattern again and again with tremendous emotion intensity until the new pattern feels good to you. You have to reward yourself every time at the instant you make your change. For example, if you are determined to lose weight, you should reward yourself at the minute you push your plate away with the tasty meal on it by visualizing your new beautiful body, passionate life and all that it brings, maybe even buy a new outfit that you will wear when you are at your ideal size, and when you have lost 20 pounds celebrate with friends who hold you accountable and enrich you by supporting your new self-image! Immediately do something that can make you feel good of this new action. Don’t wait! The timing is critical. You have to associate the sensation of pleasure of changing it to your new behavior. Remember that you are not making an intellectual connection; you are making an emotional one. You need to give your brain a new association at the very basic and instinctive level. You want your nervous system to feel great about your new change. Never underestimate the power of conditioning, when your new pattern is conditioned, it is virtually impossible to get back to your old disempowering pattern.

The final step of NAC is to make sure it works – test it. Test the new behavior for its effectiveness. There are five checkpoints that you could use to test it. The first check point is to ensure that massive pain is fully associated to your old behavior. Ask yourself, when I think about my old behavior that I used to do and I used to indulge in, do I picture and feel things in a painful manner instead of pleasurable? The second check point is to ascertain that your new behavior is fully associated to massive pleasure. When I think about my new behavior, do I have the jovial feeling and sensation? The third is to make sure that your new behavior is aligned with your morals, values, beliefs and rules. Is my new behavior consistent with my morals, values, beliefs and rules? Is it consistent with what I want to be in future? Values are your own private, personal, and individual beliefs about what is most important to you. Next you have to be sure that the benefits from your new behavior are maintained. Does this new behavior still allow me to gain the benefits and pleasure from my old behavior? The last check point is to make sure that your new behavior is long term and would bring benefits in the long run.

Now you are informed of the six fundamental steps of NAC. But to master it you have to practice. You will only succeed through continued practice. The best way to master it is to go through a professional course. Lastly, bear in mind that your neuro association takes control of your feelings and behaviors. When you take control of your neuro associations, you take control of your life. Where the mind goes the body will follow.

The body will do what the mind tells it, it’s the mind you must conquer… ~Lisa Christiansen

Leadership Criteria | Neuro-Semantic


What makes a leader a leader?

What qualifies a person to lead and to step up to a position of leadership?

What distinguishes a person as a leader?

What enables a person to exercise influence with others?

While leaders come in many different forms so that there are many different kinds of leadership, leaders arise and express themselves in a given context. That context is the particular values, expectations, needs, style, and culture of the referent group. This realization, of course, leads to numerous other questions, questions that are more precise to our concerns.

What qualities and traits do we look for in recognizing leaders in Neuro-Semantics?

How will we recognize and qualify the men and women who will arise in Neuro-Semantics as leaders?

What criteria of leadership will we set?

If we want leaders who lead from the Neuro-Semantic vision, what will be the prerequisites of leadership?

Obviously, in Neuro-Semantics, we will look mostly and preeminently for leaders who embody the principles of the neuro-semantic vision, its principles and practice. We will look for practical leaders who are excited about the vision, those who apply that vision to themselves, who look for adding value to others, and who work at translating their talk into their walk. Conversely, we will not be interested in leaders who are driven by visions of personal glory, the rank and status of privilege, or the ego satisfactions of someone driven to be a guru.

To that end, we have set forth the following leadership criteria. This criteria comes immediately and directly from the Vision and Mission statement of Neuro-Semantics. As such it reflects the very qualities of individuals who are in actuality leading out in directions that fit the meaning and purpose of Neuro-Semantics.

In recent years, we have become aware that we should not only wait for men and women with these special traits and qualities to arise, but that we should intentionally plan to facilitate this kind of leadership development in people. Also, recognizing that most leaders in Neuro-Semantics will come through the Training and/or Coaching Tracks, we have set forth the following 7 criteria as the foundation for leadership. These are divided into two categories: Being and Doing criteria.

Being Criteria:

Authenticity: being and acting from one’s true self without masks and personas

Integrity: being as good as one’s word, impeccably honest and fair-minded

Congruent: applying the principles to self so that one walks the talk

Doing Criteria:

Contributing: giving of oneself to others, serving from the NS principles

Collaborating: operating as a team player, cooperating with others

Pioneering: leading out into new areas

Communicating: sharing and disclosing in ways that are clear, precise, succinct, engaging, and compelling

The following is still in its formative stages and I will be updating it in the years to come. In setting forth the following criteria, I first offer a definition and then a benchmarking from 0 to 5 of specific behaviors that evidence that criterion. About reading the benchmarks, start with 0 and move upwards. With each higher number, the person demonstrates increasingly more of the positive features of the quality and less of the negative features.

The BEING Criteria

Some of the criteria has to do with the person and character of the leader. These speak about the leader’s ability to lead him or herself in using and applying the models and premises of Neuro-Semantics. The presupposition is that one has to first learn the art of leading and managing oneself before attempting to lead others.

Authenticity: being and acting from one’s true self without masks and personas

Being real or true to oneself, to one’s gifts, talents, abilities, dreams, values, and visions.

Definition: Authenticity refers to “authoring” one’s own life from one’s own thinking, feeling, speaking, and acting. It’s an expression of being personally real and true to oneself. This comes from “applying to self” and becoming congruent with one’s own truths. Authenticity speaks about being real, being and presenting oneself as one is without the need for pretense, arrogance (arrogating to oneself traits and qualities that one doesn’t have) or having driving ego-needs. Being authentic speaks about being willing to be human, fallible, to know not everything, and to not have to be the center of attention. Authenticity implies a solid enough sense of self so as to be modest, humble, and able to extend self to and for others. The opposite of authenticity is the shallow make or woman who is only known through masks, roles, personas, etc.

Authenticity Questions:

What do I really want and believe in?

What is really important to me?

What makes for a meaningful and significant life?

What do I really think and feel about the things that are important to me?

How true do I act on my own beliefs and opinions?

What are my passions, talents, and vision?

Benchmarking “Authenticity”

5 Will pay price to live up to highest values and visions and not follow “path of least resistance.” Willing to stand out from crowd.

4 Willing to take a stand on unpopular issue, speaks with energy, emotion, and enthusiasm about things one values and cares about. Willing to show emotion about such.

3 Mostly speaking and acting congruently, words and gestures match content of what one says. Speaks from one’s views and opinions even when in conflict with social group.

2 Sometimes speaking and acting in ways that reveals one’s true heart and views. Mostly trying to please others, fit in, and conform.

1 Speaking and acting in ways that are incongruent, not sounding believable because tone, volume, style doesn’t match content of words, outward expressions not revealing inward feelings and thoughts.

0 Playing roles to trick or deceive, acting as a “Yes” person to whatever is socially or politically correct or acceptable, not owning one’s own voice, lack of confrontation, hesitating when confronting.

2) Integrity. Integrity: being as good as one’s word, impeccably honest and fair-minded

Definition: Integrity speaks first about being whole and integrated which immediately leads to a forthright and honest presentation of self. When a person has integrity, there is an honesty and reliability in the person so that the person will do what he or she says. Integrity means making promises and keeping them, it means honoring the words we utter and not breaking our commitments. Integrity leads a person to typically do whatever it takes to come through with one’s word and that when we cannot, we immediately communicate that, apologize quickly, and make whatever amends seem appropriate.

Integrity also refers to telling the truth even when it’s difficult. It means living one’s life as an open book without a lot of secrets or cover-ups. Several of the pathways to integrity are making oneself accountable to others, receiving and integrating feedback, and staying in a community where we can be available for such. The opposite is being dishonest, lacking the strength of character to tell the truth and to be fair.

Integrity Questions:

Are you as good as your word?

Do you generally come through with what you do?

Can people generally trust you, depend on you?

Do you receive feedback graciously and seek to use it?

Do people have any basic integrity issues with you?

Benchmarking “Integrity”

5 Comes through on promises even at great cost (financially, time, energy).

4 Lifestyle and actions shows strong and consistent congruency between word and actions. Quickly make amends and communicate about problems when you cannot come through on a promise.

3 Mostly doing and acting on what one says or presents (75%). Mostly open to correction and feedback, making amends.

2 Coming through with 50% or more of what one says, acknowledging misalignment between word and action. Sometimes making excuses, getting defensive.

1 Saying that one wants to come through on a promise or idea, but evidencing little to no behaviors that match those words. Breaking agreements without making it open and explicit.

0 Behaviors that show no relationship to promises, commitments, or word, no mention of the difference between word and action; Lies, deceptions, presenting oneself in ways that do not fit reality.

Congruency: Applying the principles to self so that one walks the talk

Definition: Congruency speaks about being harmonious, in agreement with self, and arises from the ability to “apply to self.” Our speech and behavior fits with our thinking and feeling. This comes from applying and translating our ideas, principles, and beliefs to ourselves. When this happens, we can walk our talk. Our actions then appropriately reflect our principles and premises.

Since “apply to self” lies at the heart of NS, it lies as one of the key and central leadership criteria. Apply to self enables us to be congruent so that all of our parts are aligned and congruent with our values and visions. We are not inwardly torn; we do not fail to live up to our values. We can step back, evaluate ourselves with some fairness, seek feedback, and take responsibility for one’s own responses.

Congruency Questions:

Does you apply NLP and NS to yourself?

What are the indicators that you do?

Am I aligned with my values and visions?

Do others see me as congruent or incongruent?

Do I walk the talk?

Benchmarking “Apply to Self”

5 Constantly talking, inquiring, exploring how to apply to self, improve. Explores feedback when given, and eagerly invites feedback, receives coaching, etc.

4 Applies most things to self, constantly seeking to continuously learn, develop, improve. Little incongruence, searches for feedback.

3 Apply many things to self, asking about how to apply something to self, receiving coaching, feedback, and therapy to work on self, openness to feedback.

2 Applying a few things to self, but mostly focused on what others are doing or not doing. Still much incongruence in lifestyle.

1 Thinking about how something might relate to self, but not applying to self. Word and action doesn’t match, incongruences between talk and walk.

0 Never talks about applying to self, or how something relates to self, talks only about what others are doing or should do.

The DOING Criteria

From being comes doing. One of the central themes in Neuro-Semantics is closing the Knowing-Doing Gap so that we implement what we know. This leads to the being criteria of authenticity, integrity, and congruency. From there, we have the following criteria that manifests leadership.

Contributing: Giving of oneself to others, serving from the NS principles

Definition: Contribution means giving to the community and field, investing time, energy, ideas, emotion to making the field successful. In leading a true leader serves his or her constituency by investing self, time, and energy and by contributing to the health and vitality of those who follow.

Relationship to Leadership: Leaders lead. To be a leader means that a person demonstrates leadership which involves participating in the community, sharing, giving of oneself, having a voice on the egroups, assisting on trainings, referring people to trainings, writing articles that promote Neuro-Semantics, being moderators on egroups forums, etc.

Examples: It may mean leading out in a specific area of expertise such as what Bob Bodenhamer is doing with the work with Stutterers and what Michelle Duval has done with Coaching. It may be using NS in one’s commercial branding that helps to build credibility for the movement.

Contribution Questions:

What have you contributed to the community?

What investments of your time, effort, money, intelligence, and etc. have you contributed?

When was the last time you contributed to the community?

What are you doing now?

Benchmarking “Contribution”

5 Leading out in new ventures and contributing discoveries back to the NS field, making networking possible, creating websites, new products and services, patterns, models.

4 Regular contributor to egroups, participating on Assist Teams at trainings, helping out on specialized projects, monitoring egroups, sharing ideas and best practices.

3 Writing posts, offering ideas, suggestions, referring people to NS trainings, networking with others, starting practice groups.

2 Keeping ISNS membership up, regularly participating in egroups, practice groups, and events. Networking with a few others.

1 Not keeping ISNS membership up, writing one or two posts on egroups a year, showing up for some events, but keeping mostly to self.

0 No indication of having given anything to the community, holding back from giving ideas, patterns, models, and helpfulness. Not available to invest energy into projects, programs, etc.

Collaborating: Operating as a team player, cooperating with others

Definition: Collaborating with others means cooperating, operating as a team player, helping, assisting, etc. A collaborative style such as that presupposes the ability to reference the thoughts, feelings, values, and needs of others, to take second position, to be empathetic, concerned, and even loyal. It means matching, supporting, and following the lead of another. If the person is naturally a mismatcher, he or she can turn off the mismatching to be a member of the team. As a team player, we are able to shift from sorting by self to sorting by others and thinking of the good of the larger community. Opposite to collaborating is keeping to self, not sharing, not disclosing, and not making oneself open or vulnerable to others.

Collaborator or Team Player Questions:

Are you a team player?

Do others describe you as a team player?

How well do you support others and contribute to the overall good of the community?

Are there people who think of you as not a team player?

Do you come from a sense of abundance?

How much flexibility do you have in shifting to Sorting by Others?

Benchmarking “Collorabative”

5 Adding to a team in creating a sense of working well together, performing as a high performance team.

4 Following the lead of someone and supporting him or her in a project (see Supporting), contributing ideas about teamwork, collaboration, etc.

3 Being a part of a team project, assist team, coach, helping a group or team become more cohesive.

2 Supporting others in a project, collaborating with them on something that contributes to their success or that pioneers some new facet in NS.

1 Talks about collaborating, but does not get around to it, mostly keeping things to self and not sharing.

0 No participation with others, keeping completely to self, criticizing others and what others are doing.

Pioneering: Leading out or moving out into new areas.

Definition: Pioneering refers to launching out into new and unexplored territories. As a metaphor, the pioneer describes a leader as one leading out to some new place, going first, and being an example, trailblazing the path. As such a pioneer or leader sees a vision and begins acting to make it real, as others catch that vision, the follow that lead.

People who are actually leading out in some area by speaking out on something, creating a product or service, doing something that’s commercially viable, running a training company, developing a training, creating coaching practice, developing new program, model, idea, pattern.

Pioneering Questions:

Do people follow me?

Where and in what areas do they follow?

Can I communicate a vision clearly and precisely?

What have I provided leadership for?

In what areas am I now leading?

Benchmarking “leadership”

5 Setting frames for solving a problem, setting forth a vision of a new possibility, inviting others to share the dream and co-invent the solutions.

4 Taking steps to work on a solution, inviting others into the process, looking at what works and doesn’t, writing posts about such, networking with others, setting up a project to explore such.

3 Exploring a market gap with lots of solution-focused questions, inviting people to brainstorm about solutions, researching what solutions have already been developed or explored.

2 Exploring, talking, questioning about a problem gap that needs to be addressed, and asking solution focused questions about it.

1 Talks about new directions, but does nothing, talks about needs, problems, and complaints.

0 Sharing nothing, pioneering no new directions, and keeping to self.

Communication: sharing and disclosing in ways that are clear, precise, succinct, engaging, and compelling

Definition: Leaders lead by communicating. They communicate a vision, an idea, a value, a hope, or a desired outcome. In leading by communicating, the communication typically is persuasive or influential because it has certain qualities. It is precise, succinct, clear, compelling, and inspirational. The communication effectively languages or frames the felt needs, emotions, values, hopes, dreams, fears, etc. of those who follow. Leaders lead by framing, building relationships, matching, negotiating, seeing and seizing opportunities, risk taking, and developing an entrepreneurial in attitude and disposition.

Communication Questions:

How precise, accurate, and succinct are my communications?

How clear is the vision or picture that I describe in word or in print?

How compelling, inspiring, or motivational are my words?

Do people seem drawn and compelled by the word pictures I draw or the frames that I set?

Benchmarking “Communication”

5 — Able to create crystal clear images and movies for the mind that move people to take action, that succinctly states with precision the next step and that calls for action.

4 — Able to effectively match and pace a group of people and call them into a community, mostly able to get to the point and to be succinct, more precise descriptions.

3 — Able to put into words the hopes and dreams of others, but verbose and close to get to the point, not always clear or precise.

2 — Oral and written words partly focused on a vision, dream, or new idea, still half or more of it about self, either very talkative or offering not enough description to be inspirational.

1 — Moderate amount of words, some suggesting a vision or dream, communications mostly vague, fluffy, undefined, perhaps wordy, redundant, not getting to the point. Or words almost always about self or coming back to self as if needing to put forward.

0 — No or few words or communications that lead forth to anything new or different, only words of complaint or dislikes, only words that relate to self not others.

NLP – Self-Actualization


How real are you? Are you your real self? How much do you live your life to express your authentic self with your highest possibilities and actualizing your best potentials? That’s what the self-actualizing life is all about— creating and living the best version of you so that you can contribute and make a difference. You were made for that. And your potentials clamor within for that. And if you try to shut all of that down, you only doom yourself to being unhappy for the rest of your life.

What this means is that your vitality is related to, and dependent upon, you discovering and being your best self— you’re real self. The wisdom within this actually goes far, far beyond Maslow to the ancient Greeks who made this one of the points of wisdom: “Know thyself.”

And to others who said, “To thy own self be true.” “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

In Self-Actualization Psychology Maslow forged the way beyond the “empty slate” idea to the realization that each of us are born with unique features and possibilities— potentials of our disposition and uniqueness. And just as we are not born human (we become human, we learn how to become human), so we are not born fully ourselves— we become. We don’t arrive on the scene with “instincts.” We don’t come out of the womb and can run and jump. We develop. Hence, Developmental Psychology arose in the twentieth century to map out how we develop physically, socially, sexually, mentally, and emotionally, etc. And all of that resulted in Lifespan studies of the developmental stages.

All this relates directly to your sense of vitality in life. If you want to dampen your energies, reduce the quality of your vitality— try to be someone else! Try to conform to a mold that’s established at school, in the media, by your culture, by Hollywood, or by any group. If you succeed, you will fail at being you. You will fail at being authentic and knowing yourself and with that, you won’t know your best gifts and contributions. So you’ll feel like a fraud, you’ll evaluate yourself as up or down depending on local circumstances, you’ll suffer identity crisis, you won’t know what you like, your values, your unique potentials. And in the long run that will undermine your joy of life and basic vitality.

Another way to dampen your energies, reduce your vitality, and diminish yourself as a person— try to be what you are not. Try to be perfect! Ha, that’s a great way to ruin a perfectly good fallible human being! At first you’ll have lots of energy and effort but then you’ll over-prepare and begin to procrastinate and hyper-worry about flaws and fill your mind-body with anxiety and … yes will make life a party!

Or try to be totally positive and never negative! Yes, at first it will seem like a great strategy— you, the positive thinker. But then whenever you have an experience that doesn’t fit that mental box of “positive” you have to distort your experience and so begins the pretend-life. And the more you refuse to welcome (a very un-positive thing) the so-called “negative” emotions and experiences, you begin to defend yourself against reality. And in the long run that distortion will undermine your ability to accept reality for what it is.

When your life energies seem down, depressed, empty, or diminished, you may be wasting your energies. You could be wasting them fighting some phantom in your mind like the need to be perfect or positive or never fallible, vulnerable, or mortal. The paradox is that your vitality for life comes more alive with more energy when you fully embrace your true nature as a weak, fallible, and mortal person! Look at any young child— weak, fallible, vulnerable and fully alive to the mystery, excitement, and fascination of life!

Vitality emerges from your needs, not in spite of them. So what do you need? What are the requirements of life that activates your full mind-body-emotions? People become experientially empty and out-of-touch with themselves when they don’t know their true needs and try to live in some synthetic life that Wall Street or Hollywood or some Cultural Bureau of Standards impose on their lives. Then they live by external values, by the clock, by brand names, by what others are telling them they should think, feel, and experience.

Because we come without “instinct,” and because we have to learn how to be human— we are so open to information outside of ourselves. This is our glory and our agony. Maslow said that for the human species is it hard to be the species we are (1971: 179). That’s why we have to discover ourselves, to “know ourselves.”

If your tired of being diminished, devitalized, and living like a zombie, then I’d recommend Unleashing Vitality so you can discover who you are in your lower-level needs and drives and find out how to gratify them adequately and accurately for yourself. Achieving that you can then move on to discovering who you are given your higher-level needs— your being needs and, again, how to gratify them so that it brings out your best and fulfills your nature.

NLP – Own Your Own Power


The Art of Changing the External Referent Meta-Program
In psychology there is a concept called “locus of control.” It deals with our sense of “control” and where we locate it, do we locate it inside of ourselves or outside of ourselves in others, rules, structures, groups, etc.? We use this concept in the Meta-Programs as the authority meta-program of internal reference / external reference. The questions used to elicit this perception are these:

At work, how do you know you’ve done a good job?
How do you know that you’ve responded appropriately to someone?
What lets you know that you on the right path for your life?
These elicitation questions generally call forth one of two patterns of responses. Our answers will typically fall within either the category of internal or external. “I just know.” “I feel it here.” “I tell myself that I did a good job.” “I measure it by my standards and criteria.” “I look to see how things are going.” “My boss tell me that I’ve done a good job.” “My promotion tells me.”

When the circle of control is within we are coming from our own internalized standards, rules, understandings, beliefs, etc. When we are not in the circle of control, but it is out there in structures or others, then we are referencing off of the ideas, beliefs, standards, rules, etc. of others. Developmentally, we all begin there. At birth we have no internal locus of control. Our sense of control develops through learning and development. And unlike the majority of meta-programs, this is a meta-program where there is definitely a best style. The best style is to have an internal reference with an external check. That is, we use our own values, beliefs, visions, outcomes, etc. as our stabilizing gyroscope and regularly look outside of ourselves to see how it fits with the world of others and the state of knowledge.

Yet, how do we do that? How do we change our meta-program from external to internal? People who grow up in strong authority environments like a dogma driven (creed driven) religious context such as the Catholic Church or any fundamentalist church, the Moslem faith, or a strong dominating patriarchical family structure, or a strong non-democratic political environment such as a Communistic government structure will often find that they have effectively been condition to look outside of themselves for authority.

Those who buy the full program and are highly compliant, who seek to please, follow the rules, and do what they are supposed to do, when these qualities of a great follower are over-done we can come to feel imprisoned to only do such and forbidden to do otherwise. That’s when problems arise. Then we will have no flexibility to go inside and make up our own mind, clarify our own values, standards, beliefs, understandings, and choices. The person who knows how to follow, defer to others, go along, be a good team member— when they overdo this and build frames that prevent them from doing anything else, then become liable to lose themselves and their human freedom to that authority structure.

The other extreme can be just as detrimental to success and happiness. As we develop our own powers of response we simply take ownership for thinking, feeling, speaking, and acting from our locus of control. This centers and grounds us in our own reality and enables us to assume responsibility (response-ability) for ourselves. But if over-done, we do so to such a degree that we don’t or won’t even consider the ideas, beliefs, perceptions, criteria, etc. of others. We can do this until we become demanding, commanding, dictatorial, tyrannical, and closed-minded to any influence outside of ourselves. Then we dismiss others out-of-hand.

The balance, of course, is to have an internal reference with an external check. We then feel centered in ourselves, in our values, standards, beliefs, understandings, visions, goals, etc. and then fully open and responsive to information and perceptions outside of ourselves.

The Challenge of Change

Suppose we wanted to change our meta-program from external to internal?
Suppose we come to realize that the best structure is internal with external check, how would we then shift this perceptual filter and locus of control state so that we bring the authority within?
As we step back to think about these questions, it’s immediately obvious that we are dealing with several concept and conceptual states. We are dealing with the ideas of control, authority, right and wrong, permission and prohibition, ego-strength, sense of being centered in self, and so on. Therefore in changing this meta-program, we will be altering and/or even transforming multiple levels of beliefs and understandings.

Recently I worked with a young woman in her early thirties who operated completely from an external referencing style. She had almost no skill, permission, or experience with internal referencing. Noticing that and reflecting it back to her, I asked, “Would you like to change that external referencing so that you move through the world internally referencing with an external check?” She did.

Now, while I know of six explicit methods for changing Meta-Programs1, in that conversation I decided to not use any of them as a process or pattern but to do something else, something very different. We had a very deep rapport and so I decided to just let the conversation flow. At the time I had no plan and didn’t know where it would go, but an intuition to not run any of the patterns. “How do you represent the idea of authority?” I asked.

This threw her momentarily, “represent authority?” The concept was so vague and indefinite. I followed up by helping her ground the experience. “When did someone recently tell you something or give you information that you deferred to, yet at some level knew that going along was not in your best interest and that it actually violated your values or beliefs?” As she located an instance, she quickly glanced to her far right. “And when you notice this information coming in from out there, notice how you represent authority, or control, or however you think about an external authority.”

Upon this glance to her right, my first automatically thought was, “visual and/or auditory construct, what does that movie look and sound like?” Then, almost as instantly I thought, “What difference does that make? It’s out there. Let’s bring it in and see what happens.”

She began to sense that the external referent of the particular person as a strong voice out to her far right, up and forceful in tone. “Great. As you notice this, what’s happening inside you?”

“I feel empty and weak. I don’t feel like I’m able to stand up to him.”

“Good. We now have a representation. What happens when you reach your hand out and take the external authority out there and bring it inside yourself?”

With that she reached out and grabbed at the air where the external reference had been and pulled it into herself. As she did, her open hand became a fist and with the fist she moved it at the top of her chest just below her chin, at her voice box or larynx. With that movement of the arm, she then quietly began to integrate the feeling of bringing authority into herself.
“With the authority inside yourself,” I said holding my fist at my larynx also, “how do you now experience the external authority of that person given that you now have your own sense of authority within you, your own sense of authoring your own life, writing your own script of your values and visions?”

“This is incredible! I like this, but it’s weird. Is this okay? I feel selfish doing this. Ego-centric. Are you sure?”

“Do you really want to change this meta-program so that you operate from your own values and visions? [Yes’] Are you clear that operating from your internal reference with an external check most fully respects you and others? [Yes.] Then do you need to listen to the old feelings and judgments? [No.] Is this your decision to bring in your own authoring of your life and having an internal reference? [Yes.] Great, then how will life be for you as from this day forward you operate from ‘internal with external reference’?”

These questions invited her to bring “authority” within herself and to set higher level belief and decision frames about this new way to move through the world. Several times in that conversation she looked to me and asked me if this or that was right for her—once again defaulting to an external authority. Upon each occasion I gestured with an open hand that went out to her right (my left), made a fast and then brought it into myself and asked her, “What do you think?” This continually re-anchored the internal referencing state and kept connecting it to a real life event that she needed more choice with.


If you have an external reference, or even an external with internal check reference, and want to change this meta-program, here’s a pattern for making that change.

1) Identify a referent experience.

When has someone spoken to you that seemed “authoritative” and determining, so that it seemed to take choice away from you?

When have you thought about something and deferred to a person, situation, set of rules outside of yourself that in hind site was not ecological or good for you?

When has someone come on to you very strongly so that you betrayed your own values, understandings, beliefs, and you deferred to that person even when you knew that it was not good for you?

2) Discover how you represent “authority”or “control.”

As you think about this event, where do you locate it? Where is it in space?

Where is it? If you were to point to it, where is it?

What is the volume and quality of the voice?

As you think about it, any other qualities, visual, auditory, or kinesthetic?

How do you inwardly respond to this outside authority?

What emotions does it trigger in you?

Is this ecological? Useful? Enhancing?

3) Alter the source of the authority.

As you reach out and take in the authority out there, where do you want to put it in yourself?

Would you like to put it in your mind, heart, chest, around your head, or where?

As you bring it in, how does the sound qualities of the voice change?

What is the best auditory quality for your own voice?

What voice enables you to author your own life?

How would you like to make that even better and more compelling?

4) Focus in on the differences.

As you now hold the authority within yourself, how do you experience external authority?

What changes are occurring as you hold your own authority within yourself?

Where is the authority settling inside of you?

How is your own voice of authority changing or transforming to be the most powerful voice that references from you and checks with others?

Are there any other changes occurring visually, kinesthetically, or in any other system?

5)Confirm the change and apply to the rest of your life.

Do you like this? Does it serve you well and enhance your

Does this empower you as a person so that you are creating your own locus of control?

What other qualities do you need to add to this and set as meta-frames so that it is appropriate, responsive, and ecological to you?

As you now imagine this [fire anchors] with that person we talked about when we started, how does it transform things? Is that good and ecological?

As you now imagine taking this into this week, next week, the months and years to come, are you fully aligned with this? Any objections?

6) Final refinements and commissioning.

What other refinements would you like to make?

With these refinements, how does that settle?

Are you ready to fully commission this as your way of being in the world?

Great, as you do that now, will your executive mind take full responsibility to look at the world from the point of view that you are the author of you and have the right and responsibility to direct your actions and speech?

As you thank that part, how would you like to celebrate this enhancement of your own self-actualization?


The only author of your life is you. To let anyone or anything else be the author of your life is to default on your own life! Welcoming in the power, right, and responsibility to be you, to have your life, your values, understandings, beliefs, etc. and to live out your life finding your way is the beginning of taking your development to the next level.
By authoring your own life, you begin the process of developing an internal frame of reference and taking responsibility for where, why, and how you move through life. It is this self-authoring of your life that you build up your own sense of being centered and grounded in your values with an external check to make sure it corresponds with the people and contexts of your life.
Internal and external references are two key perceptual filters and can be shifted, changed, and completely transformed once we step back from it. This pattern provides a way to make transformative change using both representation (NLP) and framing references (Neuro-Semantics).

NLP – Using Meta States To Cure Phobias


To meta-state means to reflect on a mental or emotional state with additional thoughts, feelings, ideas, and even kinesthetics. This power to rise up in you mind and have a second thought or second feeling about a previous thought describes the most wondrous power of self-reflexive consciousness. It involves what we call “going meta” in NLP, and yet it involves more than that.

“Going meta” refers to moving up the scale of specificity. It means generalizing to a higher classification. We go meta in our minds when we move from a specific thing (strawberries) to a higher classification (fruit). This gives us the ability to categorize things. We categories strawberries as fruit. We can categories fruit as food. “Conceptualizing” in this way by using higher levels of abstraction define the class of life we are a semantic, symbol-using class of life.

Meta-stating involves more. It involves not only going up and above our thoughts and experienced, but also reflecting back on them. When we do this, we can then create several new things. We set a frame– a new frame of reference and this than allows us to re-classify the experience. We can legitimately call an experience by a different term: “Raising his voice like that doesn’t mean he’s being insulting, he feels stress and that’s a sign of his insecurity.”

By meta-stating we can also texture and temper experiences. In Meta-States and Frame Games trainings, we describe this as the layering of higher levels of mind or frames. And doing that enables us to texture and quality our states in ways that can totally transform and revolutionize our lives.

A great example of this occurs in the Visual-Kinesthetic Dissociation Pattern or NLP Phobia Cure. After twenty-five years of using “The Phobia Cure” for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), traumatized states and experiences, and phobias of all kind, this pattern has proven a staple for de-stabilizing old trauma reactions and giving thousands of people a new lease on life.

How does this pattern work?
What mechanisms actually govern its power to so pervasively effect memory, identity, and emotion?
With the Meta-States model, we can now explain the processes that allow the magic of this pattern to do its work.

Meta-Stating “Trauma”

As an overview, the Phobia Cure works as a guided imagery into a movie theater where we sit back in the theater to watch a showing of the old memory. After we pick a beginning snapshot, we even float back and up to the projection booth and there view the movie feeling the safety of the Plexiglas before us. At the end we forward the movie onto another experience something later wherein we were okay and feeling a sense of comfort. We freeze frame the comfort scene, step into it and then let the whole movie fast rewind in a second or two.

Easy to guide a person through.

So where’s the magic? How can we explain the wonder and power of NLP in this pattern? What are the governing mechanisms of mind-and-emotion and meaning that explain the felt transformation which the pattern elicits?

As an overview of the meta-stating processes occurring in this pattern: we essentially layer, qualify, and texture the “thought” –the memory with multiple layers of resources that change the very feel of the memory as the other thoughts transform it.

The Levels of Resourcing

Level 1: Primary Trauma Thought. Begin with a “negative” thought that sets off all kinds of painful emotional reactions. Pick a “thought” of a memory that “rattles your cage” so much so that you can’t even “think” it in a calm and rational. This presents the primary state or experience. In it you find that you have become wired (so to speak) to react semantically to an “idea.” Just the idea of the trauma upsets you and your entire body and neurology becomes reactive. It is this thought, this representation, that we will be dealing with.

Level 2: Calm Distance. Imagine putting the “thought” that upsets you on a mental screen and stepping back from it as if in a movie theater. When you have located the memory, turn it into a black-and-white snapshot of a scene at the beginning of the traumatic event. Freeze-frame this scene and hold it there as you take your seat in the 10th row.

Here we are meta-stating the trauma thought with distance, stillness, and black-and-white coding. All of these higher ideas about (meta) to the first level thought induce messages of comfort about it.

In NLP we call this a “dissociation” step, yet it involves so much more. It certainly does have the effect of stepping back and out of a felt memory. And as a result most people feel some relief. Yet we have not so much moved to “not feeling” as we have to “feeling calm” and “feeling distance” about the memory. We have begun to layer thoughts and feelings upon the trauma memory that gives it a new texture a new feel.

But it doesn’t end there.

Level 3: Increased Distance and Protect and Control. Now imagine yourself and feel yourself float out of your observing self and up to the projection booth. From there you will be able to see the back of your current self watching the old memory representation as a black-and-white snap-shot on the screen. Touch the Plexiglas that separates you from the auditorium knowing that you’re safe here in the projection booth.

This so-called “double dissociation” actually brings all kinds of resources to bear upon the original thought that we have not actually “thought” about yet. All this is preparation (pre-framing) for thinking. Here we have continued meta-stating our old memory with more distance and protection behind a Plexiglas. And because in the projection booth we can edit the film we bring editing skill and power to bear upon the old memory, which gives us the sense of power and control.

Figure 1

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Level 4: Controlled viewing & Fast Rewinding. Now you can turn on the movie (intentional control) and let it play out. Just watch it in this black-and-white movie of your past. After the traumatic scene is over, let it play until you find a scene of comfort where you’re okay, freeze frame that scene. Then, step into that scene of comfort (where you froze frame) and run it backward while you are inside seeing, hearing, and feeling everything run backwards. Let this happen so quickly that it only takes two seconds.

Here we layer onto all of the other layers of awareness cues like the images being black-and-white that we are observing “the past,” and that we’re in control of editing our memory. Then, after we meta-state the memory with comfort, we add a very strange layer of consciousness as we rewind the movie. Bringing backwardness or fast reverse to our memory really layers on some weird thinking and feeling. For some this will interrupt, for others it will spread comfort backwards through the past, and for yet others it will confuse and mess up the old strategy for trauma. Talk about more layers and frames that texture the old trauma. And yet we have not finished.

Level 5: Clean Slate and Directiveness. After the first backward super-rewinding process, do this 5 more times. Clear the screen of your mind, start with the Scene of Comfort, step in, rewind.

In this step, we layer onto everything ideas of a clean slate and we bring that to bear upon the memory. This interrupts things and it directionalizes our minds.

When a Negative Memory Doesn’t Stand a Chance

When my co-author, Dr. Bodenhamer and I talked about this recently, he noted that “the poor memory representation doesn’t stand a chance.” Too many layers of resources. With layer upon layer, the higher levels begin to govern and self-organize the lower levels. And yet we still have not finished with our analysis of the meta-stating involved in this pattern, there is yet another.

Figure 2

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Level 6: Meta-Stating with a Coherent Metaphor. The whole set of the meta-level states that you have added one upon another in this process has all actually occurred inside of a metaphor the metaphor of a movie. In other words, you also brought a movie show situation to bear upon the thought– which enabled the other moves (stepping back and back, altering the visual and auditory components, running it backwards, etc.) to occur without really noticing.

True enough, a negative memory doesn’t stand a chance. We can’t track that many levels and so the first meta-levels begins to “collapse” or coalesce into the primary state thereby texturing and qualifying the memory in new and more resourceful ways.

Appreciating Your Meta-Stating

When you reflect back onto your thoughts and feelings, your states, you meta-state. And given the very nature of your consciousness (your self-reflexive consciousness), you do it all the time. If you have used the NLP Phobia Cure, then you can now appreciate your meta-stating powers even if you didn’t know that’s what you were doing. In running that pattern, you have performed an elegant and powerful set of meta-stating maneuvers to transform an old semantic reaction. And now that you know what you were doing, you can appreciate this higher level skill.

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