NLP has come a long way. Over the last 30 years, who could estimate how many have been touched – intentionally or otherwise – by this incredible discovery of the structure of human behavior. And yet, despite these amazing contributions, there are nonetheless those for whom NLP has not been enough. There are many who have studied and applied the knowledge of NLP, at all levels of certification, only to discover that they continue to be taken hostage by something greater; and that the tools and techniques of NLP have not offered the portals and passages that allow them to engage the world differently and – even more – to shape it.
As the years have rolled by and one century has passed into the next, little attention has been paid to what we have taken for granted for close to four decades. The vast majority of advances in NLP have been refinements within the body of knowledge itself and not discoveries in its connections and relationships to other advances in the field of human potential. As a metaphor, this is akin to continuing to explore and perfect motor vehicle transport as a mechanical device without considering the advances in electronics. In any other field of endeavor, this would be considered at best, folly and at worst, a recipe for missed opportunities.
Now is as good a time as any to stop and consider not just the content of what we know but the context within which we have learned it, expressed it and passed it on to others. The 21st Century not only invites but demands that we reconsider both the practice and the potential that NLP offers. Since all meaning is context dependent, this shift in perspective is essential to continuing growth and evolution in the application of NLP; and for sustaining NLP as a viable and practical resource in the transformation of our species. It has been said that “Before we can change our lives, we must first change the way that we perceive our lives.” 1
This shift in perspective will be framed by two notions from NLP : Logical Levels of Thinking, and Representational Systems… with one very big difference. Instead of six rep systems and six logical levels, we will work with seven.
Logical Levels of Thinking, or neurological levels, has formed part of this body of knowledge for some time and has proven to be a very useful tool. The tool is always, in some way, a creation of the artist in recognition of a requirement for the expression of that artistry. Logical Levels of Thinking is no different.
The first six Levels of Thinking, as developed by Bateson and Dilts, have been extremely effective in ordering information. However, human beings are organic. Our ability to choose differentiates us from each other as well as from other ‘life’ forms. Unlike your car which cannot choose to become a motor cycle, human beings can choose, at any time, to be and do other than what is currently available. As far back as 1997, we added and began working with the seventh Logical Level of Choice (between Beliefs/Values/Attitudes and Identity), taking that which has always been present and yet transparent to the process and bringing it to conscious awareness. By bringing the act of choosing ‘out of the closet’ so-to-speak, we acknowledge the ability of human beings to shape their experience. We create a platform for choosing that also makes it impossible to deny that we are indeed, doing so; and acknowledges the power of its presence … and the natural by-product of its expression, whether conscious or otherwise. We are always choosing, whether we do so with focused intention (design) or from habit (default or fall-back position). 2
With this discovery came the willingness to play with other things which appeared fixed and were indeed, mutable. From six representational systems (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, gustatory, auditory digital) came a seventh : PsI, or PsychicIntuitive. In creating this seventh, we acknowledge that a continuum exists, with auditory digital (or the absence of sensory cues) at one end and PsychicIntuitive (the presence of all sensory cues) at the other end. Like black and white represent this phenomenon, so representational systems can easily be enhanced to reflect this in the world of sensory input. 3
NLP – Yesterday
“All meaning is context dependent”. We must have said those words at least a thousand times over. Yet, how often have we actually stopped… and considered the profound implications of their meaning in how we live – and teach – NLP?
The Communication Model of NLP identifies a variety of filters through which we process information and the power that these filters carry to shape what we do and don’t allow ourselves to consider. The primary filter is that of Space/Time/Matter/Energy… the filter through which we consider what we hold as true and ‘real’ about the very shape and structure of our physical world and our presence in it. Science – the god of the culture – tells us what is ‘true’ about space/time/matter/energy and from that ‘truth’, we proceed to interact in our world. We have learned not to argue with science!
Being the voracious creatures that we are for MORE, our sense of curiosity and adventure has taken us down unknown paths and into brave, new worlds. We have discovered more in the last 20 years than we had in the 100 before that. Our ability to learn and then build on that learning has allowed us to move through the world in a way that invites the miracles of technology that we experience today. The cars we drive to work and play will, in the not-so-distant future, be driving us! The planes we fly now have the ability to move in and out of the earth’s atmosphere… and beyond. Our technological advances allow for magic and miracles in medicine, communication, entertainment, transportation… the list goes on and on.
The things we once held to be true – and unquestionably so – have time and again been proven not so much to be untrue but to be constrained by our ability to perceive them in their wholeness. Take, for example, Kirlian photography. Now exceeding 50 years since its discovery, there was a time when this ability to detect electromagnetic fields around the body through image, did not exist. Does that mean that the field was not there? Absolutely not. What did not yet exist was our ability to detect it. What we needed was a new framework within which to detect this phenomenon and then consider our discovery.
Think of all those poor souls who burned at the stake because their internal ‘camera’ allowed them to detect these fields… these auras of light and color … around living things. Think of other times and other places when we have dismissed as untrue or non-existent that which was only out of the range of detection. It was there. We just could not ‘represent’ it in ways that matched the current context or paradigm of thought.
NLP began to unfold in just such a context. The science of the time was grounded in a Newtonian perspective… or context. Grinder and Bandler, through a process of external calibration (observation) and internal calibration (questions), were able to nudge into awareness that which had always been there and yet had gone undetected. Using the combination of observation and enquiry, they created a platform for ‘modeling’ (or replicating) that which was already present and not yet generalized.
This process was unique and different. For the first time, we were able to consider human behavior beyond the level of content (I said, you said, he/she did, etc.) and consider human interactions in a different light. The claim was made that NLP did not engage human behavior at the level of content but at the level of structure. We held the ability to notice and make distinctions at this level to be one which freed us from content and allowed us to affect change directly by interplay with the structure itself.
The one thing we did not ask was: what is the context for this notion of structure? All meaning is context dependent.
The Science of the early ’70’s – which determined who we believed human beings to be and more importantly, who we believed them to be capable of becoming – was deeply rooted in Newtonian principles. This was the science of predictability in physical realms; the science of norms and standards and range of operation based on physical realities. This science has spawned the ‘therapy’ model of the world, which has permeated and shaped all that we have known and touched. To ask someone to consider that the therapy model, with its norms and standards and limited range, was not ‘truth’ but a limited context based on the limitations of our knowledge, would be like asking the fish “How’s the water?” The context for considering the question was the subject itself, with no consideration for ‘not water’ available at that time. The ability for a larger context did not exist.
Things have changed.
Science has moved in leaps and bounds to invite us to consider magic and miracles as every day occurrences. The science of even 10 years ago, let alone 30 years ago, invited consideration of new things and yet had not begun to shine bright lights on the dark little spaces and places of who we thought ourselves to be. We’ve come a long way, Baby… and we’re moving fast into an amazing future!
To reiterate, the vast majority of advances in NLP have been refinements within the body of knowledge itself (Environment/Behavior/Capability) and not discoveries in its connections and relationships to other advances in the field of human potential (Spirituality). Given that within the framework of Logical Levels, every level is contained in the levels above it; and that changes at higher levels of thinking flow through and alter lower levels, imagine what becomes possible if we reconsider NLP within that higher level of thinking.
How can we take the principles of the quantum sciences and apply them not just to our technologies and gadgets and ‘things’, but to our own evolution as organic, living systems? How do we take what we now know about the science of who we are as human beings; the science of energy and potential, and make our potential come alive within the limitlessness that it offers? How do we take what we now know from science – the knowledge that we are quantum biological processors, capable of moving information/energy at incredible rates and in huge amounts – and apply this to how we live our lives, every single day, and to how we affect the lives of those we touch?
How do we take NLP – originally set in a Newtonian context, a ‘therapy’ model context – and bring it to life in the new paradigm of expression that we have already become… and have yet to notice? Is it not time to consider that NLP may better serve us all if it were to keep pace with science? Could it be that the potential of NLP will expand exponentially when considered in a new context? Given that all meaning is context dependent, what meaning will NLP take on when considered within an autopoietic framework and a model of the world that says that human beings are not mechanistic devices but quantum biological instruments of expression?
The thing that is most enticing is not ‘what can we become’. The thing that is most incredible to consider is: what have we already become … and have yet to notice?
If all meaning is context dependent, what is the context that we have held for NLP to this time? NLP can only expand within the limitations of our ability to consider it. As we expand the context within which we position NLP, its potential will expand accordingly.
In its existing context or paradigm, NLP came into being within the science of the day and our beliefs about the nature of being human. NLP as a body of knowledge was ‘built’ and has been sustained within the context of human beings and their behavior (i.e., a therapy model). What if we were to consider NLP within the context of human beings as quantum biological devices – organic computers – (i.e., an autopoietic model)? What potential now sits, unexplored, and invites our attention?
1 Trick of the Light
2 Refer to “The Seventh Logical Level of Thinking: choosing with purpose, power and intention” by Louise LeBrun; NLP World, November 2001, Volume 8, No.3
3 Refer to “WEL-Systems® – The New Paradigm for NLP: A Non-therapy context for change” by Louise LeBrun; Rapport, Winter 2001
Part 1 – Originally published in NLPWorld Magazine in 2003
NLP – Today
Space, Movement and Flow
Consider, for a moment, the power of emptiness. The notion of Space, boundless and limitless in its potential to allow for things to unfold; and its ability to make room not only for what’s already there to expand but for what else may come. Consider, for a moment, that when Space is available, it becomes the invitation for ‘things’ to move into it… to flow through it… to be engaged. As we create Space – in our physical world as in our emotional/spiritual/psychological worlds – new things come into our lives. As we create Space in the way we think, our minds and our lives open to new ideas and their accompanying potential. Without Space, there is no movement.
In the realm of Space/Matter/Time/Energy, our notions of ‘reality’ have been challenged by the New Science and shaken to their very foundations. What we once held as ‘real’ and ‘true’ now exist as possibilities only and some things that we had held as absolutes have disappeared entirely. With the shifting of these sands come new ways of being in the world and new ways of ‘seeing’ what we once saw through the eyes of limitation and ignorance.
Owners Manual for a Quantum Biological Processor – Awakening to the Self
In a quantum biological age, we are discovering that human beings are far more than we had ever considered possible. The body, which we once believed to be who we are, we now know to be a quantum biological processor (QBP). Organic, brilliant, immeasurable in its potential, with the ability to detect and calibrate for ‘energy’ at levels that defy our understanding or appreciation… but processors, nonetheless. This is not my personal opinion. – it’s science.
We already know that the human body is far more than we had ever dreamed it to be. Today’s science demonstrates that our bodies are bio-processors. They are not analogous to a bio-processor, or metaphorically bio-processors, but ARE bio-processors. With a sensing and processing capability that defies our ability to comprehend, our bodies move through the world on our behalf, tracking at 4 billion bits of information per second, and yet only drawing our attention to the things that we have determined to be meaningful.
We know that our bodies, these QBP’s, are the instrument through which we move in space/time, in a physical world. Without them, we may be detectable to a limited few but would miss the opportunity to be the life of the party! Without them, we would never know the taste of chocolate; or the smell of the ocean; or the feel of a warm, evening breeze brush across our skin. Our bodies allow us to be perpetually sensing in a boundless and limitless world of sensory input – both external and internal. They allow us to make distinctions in experience that we would miss were we not able to calibrate with such precision and expand our expression as a result of it.
NLP is a body of knowledge that was originally developed through a process of observation and enquiry. What made it so unique in its time was that it did not seek to understand any particular story (content) but sought to document the structure of how the story was being expressed through the mechanism of the body. This included functions that could be calibrated externally (i.e. eye patterns and language ) as well as those that could be tracked internally (i.e. strategy). These distinctions allowed us to begin to see the correlation of the external and the internal.
NLP helps us to understand how the mechanism of the body functions. In the truest sense of the word, the body of knowledge of NLP operates at the Environment Level of Logical Levels, providing an ‘owner’s manual’ for the way the mechanism of the body functions. We can then move away from the content of behavior and use the functions of the mechanism to recognize and acknowledge how the behavior is expressed through the mechanism.
For example, eye patterns are an indicator to us of how ‘the mouse’ is seeking to locate information in various files. We can generalize and say that if the ‘mouse’ is moving up and to the left, it is seeking information considered ‘remembered’ and stored in images. If the ‘mouse’ is seeking information that we are creating and doing so in sound, the eyes will move to the right, mid level. Predictable in terms of both function and intent.
NLP will also help us to understand that the body (bio-processor) has an ability to either reduce (Auditory digital) or accelerate (Psychic Intuitive) the speed at which information moves through the mechanism (processing speed). Again, by way of example, if we slow the processing speed, we can take a ‘memory’ (keeping in mind that ‘memory’ is a nominalization) and can calibrate for details on how that particular memory is stored. We can also increase the processing speed (in therapy model terms, an insight/gestalt) so that the information moves so quickly we are unable to detect and calibrate for content. In the language that we’ve created, we consider the slow processing speed to be at the Ad (Auditory digital) end along a continuum, and the fastest processing speed on that continuum to be at what we’ve called the Psychic Intuitive (or PsI) end. But processing speed of the mechanism is what we’re witnessing.
Over the last 30 years, the body of knowledge of NLP has evolved at more and more levels of detail at lower levels of thinking. Consider the variety that we’ve created at both the Environment and Behavior levels (logical levels) by changing the content on various patterns. How many varieties of the same intervention do we now have? For example, when doing a parts integration, although the process is basically the same, we have infinite variety in the language we use and the layers of linguistic cues, visual images and sounds we use in what is intrinsically the same process. Not a bad thing… just variations along the same theme.
Given what we now know from the quantum revelations of the last 50 years, and were we to assume that NLP does indeed, track and label the functioning of the mechanism (somewhat like an owners manual for your car… ), where can we now go if we are to continue to engage in our own evolution, building on what we already have and already know?
In a world that has taught us to defer to external references (i.e. parents, teachers, rules, laws, dogma, authorities, etc.), one of the first things we must learn is to ignore/distrust the internal cues that come from the body. NLP has made it possible for us to begin, once again, to trust the mechanism of the body. NLP has made the functions of the mechanism itself predictable; has made it possible for us to begin to trust that the body knows what it’s doing with energy/information, just like we trust that the body knows how to digest our lunch. Consider that we might want to begin to recognize that if our bodies are bio-processors (and science, the god of the culture, tells us that they are), and if NLP does track and name the way the mechanism functions, if we were to step on to that platform and consider the view from there, we may begin to clear space for ourselves to get curious about : “What is the bio-processor, processing?”
A ‘therapy’ model would tell us that what we’re processing is ‘feelings’ or ’emotions’ – both of which are nominalizations. Today’s science would tell us that what we’re processing is ‘information’ – another nominalization and one that does not have attached to it the powder keg of consequences that go with ’emotions’. Were we to denominalize the experience, we would recognize that the mechanism of the physical body is a) engaging in b) moving information at phenomenal speeds. Dr. Candace Pert, in her book “Molecules of Emotion” would tell us that there are biochemical and electrochemical impulses that are engaging signals and transferring the information from that signal from one cell to the next, at speeds that defy our ability to comprehend (processing speed).
In today’s world, as we begin to engage the world from a quantum biological perspective rather than just talk about it, NLP Practitioners hold the potential not just to learn the technique of NLP (i.e. read the owners manual) but to use the technique of NLP to bridge to trusting the natural intelligence of the mechanism of the body; be willing to allow the body to do what it’s designed to do; get out of our own way, and allow for more information to move faster. ENGAGE life – to not only discover who we are but who we are capable of becoming!
In today’s world, Practitioners hold the potential to have NLP be the invitation to their own discovery; slip into the background and open a gateway to the magic that unfolds when we can trust – 100% and without exception – the quantum biological mechanism that we are. Without NLP, our ability to trust is limited and prevents us from letting go and allowing our bodies to do what they know how to do… brilliantly, at break-neck speeds, without error and generatively.
We already know from science that every time we think a new thought, the topography of the brain is altered, allowing us to become a new perceptual filter for our own experience (or the creation of it?!). Imagine what life could become were we to allow these new thoughts to be engaged, from moment to moment, without fear.
In today’s world, after years of experiencing and expressing NLP at the level of the mechanism, is it enough to continue to stay at that level of expression? Until now, the alternative has been to move to the content of the behavior and its results, with painstaking detail, (therapy model – slow processing speed). We have moved from that which is apparent – observable behaviors and language; to that which has been more subtle – the underlying mechanism that has allowed for these to manifest in space and time; to the next layer – the signals that the mechanism is engaging and which are resulting in these expressions.
Steps to Engaging the Self
Step 1 – Breathe! As we breathe, the mechanism of the body opens and relaxes. In this state, the organic processor that we are expands and information/energy moves easily and freely through the ‘system’, in massive amounts. Details (pictures, sounds, etc.) are not always available and, given what we now know about the body, are completely unnecessary. However, trust is essential .
Step 2 – Follow the impulse! As the information/energy moves in the body, follow these sensations or impulses, to where they lead. Using the sense of safety that comes with the understanding that NLP allows for, we trust the mechanism of the body to do what it is designed to do and allow the impulses to be processed, without the need for content (i.e. pictures, sounds, etc). After all, we already know that there is no content in content worth knowing. 4
Step 3 – Allow yourself to know the truth. As the impulses move, and as the bio-processor that you are ‘metabolizes’ the information that it carries, your body comes to a place, to a moment, of stillness. In that moment, the undeniable truth of your experience reveals itself to you. With this revelation, the topography of the brain is altered and your world is never the same again. (We instinctively know this, which is one of the reasons why we hold our breath and distract ourselves in ways that allow the movement of information to be slowed or stopped completely. These distractions are often creative, colorful and tend to fall easily into the category of ‘addictions’.)
4 For details on the process of Quantum TLC™ and The CODE Model, refer to “Phoenix Rising: The Freeing of Human Potential” and “Pathways to Personal Power” respectively, both by Louise LeBrun.
NLP – Tomorrow
The Evolving Practitioner -Staying in the Tough Conversations
Signals Dancing – the next step in choreographing our lives
If our bodies are indeed quantum biological devices that are organic processors, what are they processing? What is the ‘information/energy’ that is moving through these systems; and what purpose does this information serve? If NLP is the body of knowledge that will help us understand the body as a quantum biological processor, what do we need to be able to understand what is being processed? If NLP is the science of the processor, what is the science of the Signals?
Autopoiesis is the science of living systems. Simply put, an autopoietic perspective says that all living systems (and human beings are living systems) have an entelechy that unfolds. Living systems intuitively and instinctively know what is required for them to unfold; and these systems will engage the world with all forces available to ensure that this entelechy is expressed.
Think of the information that your body is processing as a dance of signals. We know, for sure, that there are at least three distinct signals that we’ve been able to identify. The one that we are most familiar with is the signal from our external environment. We’ll call this Signal No. 2. This is the Signal that comes from our cultural conditioning; from the rules and regulations of who we should be. This Signal transmits culturally conditioned beliefs/values/attitudes that have shaped who we believe ourselves to have become, to date, and unquestioned and unchecked , will not only shape our future but the future of our children. This Signal comes from our parents, the church, our schooling and the cultural pressures we experience to ‘perform’. Think of this as an external Signal, or external reference points.
The next signal we’ll call the ‘experiential learning’ signal. This is the Signal that fires off when you’re about to venture into something new, to try something you’ve not tried before, and says “Wait a minute! The last time you tried something new, you ended up feeling humiliated and went into hiding for weeks! Maybe you want to reconsider… “. This is the internal signal that comes from somewhere inside you, usually in your own voice, that reminds you that the external signals are potent and have consequences. This bite has big teeth!
If there were only the external signal (Signal No. 2) there would be no need for the internal signal (Signal No. 3) because nothing would be challenged or queried. We would simply follow directions and consider the rules as real as breathing in and breathing out. But that’s not how it works. No matter the strength of Signal No. 2, there is always a time in our lives when we begin to wonder… what else? What if……
That third signal, that signal that calls to us to press the edges, to ponder something other than the status quo, we’ll call the signal from Self – or Signal No. 1. This is the Signal that we’re born with; the one that is the small, still voice that speaks simply and quietly as we move through our lives. This is the voice that we call ‘intuition’ or sometimes, the one we think of as the voice of our god. Whatever we choose to call it, it is the Signal that distinguishes you from me; the Signal that moves us through our infancy and then, somewhere along the line, appears to become silent… or to leave us entirely.
As we gain trust in the mechanism’s ability to do what it’s designed to do, we become more able to get out of our own way! As we begin to reclaim the territory of the body, with a sense of comfort and ease, we become more willing to allow the body to process what it is best suited to processing the Signals! All of them! Instead of trying to ‘figure it out’ or ‘analyze our way’ out of difficult situations, we allow ourselves to relax into the information/energy as it moves and allow the body to engage and process the ‘wave’ of information. (What we call the ‘deep structure of language’ may well be the Signal from Self, with the integration/metabolism of the three Signals being the ‘wave’ that moves through the body. But that’s another story… )
As we engage these Signals – all of them! – we begin to notice that there is a complex dance occurring of the three signals inside us. We also begin to notice that these signals are moving inside everyone else we come in contact with. The dance of fractals leads to the dance of complexity as we begin to realize that every person we come in contact with has these three signals in movement, interacting with our three signals. If you consider what goes on in a family system, you can imagine the complexity of the dance!
What does all this have to do with NLP? If you are familiar with NLP; and if you’ve come to understand that NLP will make it possible for you to trust the mechanism that you are, you begin to notice that those who do not trust their own bio-processor must turn to the intellect (conscious mind, reason, analysis, logic) to attempt to manage all these signals. They attempt to use a mechanism that was designed to make sense of 7 (plus or minus 2) items, to attempt to manage these signals and the rate at which they move through the body.
We’ve been taught to distrust the body; to rely on reason and logic to understand our world. We’ve been taught that the body will betray us, will get in the way. And yet, in fact, it is our bodies that allow us to engage the world directly. The body engages life directly; everything else is a representation of that direct experience.
Staying in the Tough Conversations
With NLP as a foundation for understanding the mechanism of the body, we are now free to explore the depth of meaning of the Signals. We begin to notice that as we interact with others, our willingness to allow information to move easily and effortlessly through the body results in a level of awareness that is difficult to explain or replicate, without knowledge of the owners manual!
As we engage with others in this way, we begin to realize that there is pressure to go back to not noticing, to not engaging… to go back to sleep! Staying awake requires that we become willing to stay in the tough conversations and move through them directly.
As children, parents, spouses, teachers, medical specialists, etc, we begin to notice that our ability to stay in the tough conversations is directly related to our ability to allow ‘information’ to move easily, effortlessly and rapidly through the mechanism of our body. We begin to notice how quickly and easily we are willing to turn away from a conversation – turn away from engaging the world – when these Signals begin to dance and we are either unwilling or unable to allow it to flow. Rather than experience feeling ‘overwhelmed’, we shut down and reduce the volume and speed at which the information is moving. There are consequences for allowing the ‘information’ to be held hostage in the system of the body/QBP.
In NLP terms, we become more able to manage our internal states. The difference is that we are not attempting to eliminate them, or reshape them, or replace them with something else. We become able to expand and become more than, greater than, the experience of the state and allow it to be metabolized. In so doing, the topography of the brain shifts and we have become more. 5
The greatest challenge we face is to be able to find and sustain Signal No. 1 – the signal from Self. Although we arrive with it and as such, know exactly what to do when we’re tired, hungry or wet, over time the Signals of external environment and learned experience can begin to compete for our attention. Do we listen for that small, simple voice inside ourselves, or do we listen for the authority figures in our lives? Do we trust the truth of our own experience, particularly when that truth is in contravention of what others in positions of leverage might want us to sustain?
As our Signal from Self fades, so does our interest in life. By the time we arrive in our late 30’s to mid 40’s, we’ve already become jaded and distrustful of the promise of life. Having done it all – followed the rules and bought the package – we begin to wonder… is this all there is?
We become more able to listen for that Signal when we can trust the mechanism that processes it… our body. With the knowledge of NLP, we learn to trust the strength and power of the mechanism itself and begin to redirect our attention to maker finer and finer distinctions in the Signals.
When Signal No. 1- the Signal from Self – moves, we have learned how to listen.
The Evolving Master Practitioner – The willingness to stand alone
The contagion factor: Awakening others and the flow is engaged
The science of the mechanism is NLP. The science of the signals is found in a WEL-Systems approach to evolution.
In an NLP framework, distinctions in ability to perform are made by the way the information is taught and ‘learned’. This learning is demonstrated by an ability to repeat and apply this knowledge as an end in itself. For example, the ability to effectively apply and/or demonstrate a ‘phobia cure’ (evidenced by the disappearance of the phobia) requires that a phobia be identified; and that the technique of the phobia cure be used to eliminate the phobia.
Distinctions between Practitioner and Master Practitioner rest in moving from the application of component parts (rep systems and sub-modalities) at the Practitioner level to formulae of component parts ( i.e. rep systems and sub-modalities operating in a specific sequence to form strategies) and patterns at the Master Practitioner level . Trainers are those who can enter into individual or group processes and impart this knowledge in a way that can be replicated.
In a WEL-Systems framework, the distinctions rest with the ability to engage the Signals. At the first level – that of awakening – the component parts of NLP are used to gain trust in the processing ability of the mechanism. At the next level, that of staying awake in the presence of those who are as yet unawakened, progress is indicated by an ability to trust the mechanism, make distinctions in Signals (the three of our own and the three of another) and continue to engage from Signal No. 1 without capitulating. At the next level, that of being willing to stand alone, proficiency is demonstrated by both the willingness and the ability not only to recognize formulae but to also recognize the complexity of nested living systems or fractals (family/home, work, community, church, etc.) within which these formulae or strategies operate and the willingness and ability to stand outside the norm, and engage differently.
Those who teach within this framework are deemed effective not only by their ability to impart knowledge but by their ability to be living examples of what they teach. Those who teach are engaged in BEING the experience rather than DOING the work. As such, those they touch engage moment to moment with them, in their own evolution, at a pace and in a way that honors the expression of who they are.
For example, a WEL-Systems:NLP Master Practitioner engages all the material at the NLP Master Practitioner level and does so in a context much greater than the technique itself. Rather than explore strategies and their formation; or beyond eliciting, utilizing, changing and installing a more effective strategy, we would consider all of the above within the principles of quantum biology and an autopoietic expression. For example, individuals within family systems within community systems, etc. would be an example of Nested Living Systems. Exploring strategies within this context invites exploration of how the natural intelligence of a particular strategy plays out at all levels of the system. We begin to notice the evidence of these strategies and the way in which these strategies contribute to the quality of our lives. The simple process of this examination has already begun to surface the intelligence behind the existing strategy and once metabolized by the mechanism of the body, a new and more effective strategy has begun to take shape. Processing speeds. No need for content.
As we engage the mechanism of the body to explore the Signals, we also become aware of the notion of fractals. The notion of ‘everything is a microcosm of everything else’ (in logical level terms, “as above, so below”) begins to take on new meaning. We begin to notice the natural intelligence of fractals and how they play out behaviorally, not only in ourselves but in our larger behavioral systems of family, community, work, church, etc. Our ability to recognize patterns and become effective in creating change is both expanded and accelerated. Our ability to be IN a behavioral system and not be OF that system is enhanced.
Our greatest test is in our ability to stand alone. As WEL-Systems:NLP Master Practitioners, we become more willing and able to stand in the midst of others and be willing to think for ourselves; to forge new pathways; to hold our ground in a variety of situations. Our ability to listen for and engage Signal No. 1 is strong.
NLP – What’s Possible
There are those who believe that NLP has exhausted its potential in its current paradigm. Its current paradigm, or context, is a therapy model or world view. The science that spawned this context is not only dated, it is in many ways inaccurate. To continue to rely on this approach just because it is familiar and it has become habit is to ensure that we will continue to be taken hostage by our own limitations.
NLP holds great promise for freeing us from the fear of our own bodies; for reclaiming our sense of peace and alignment with the body and giving the ‘intellect’ or ‘rational thinking self’ a break! Imagine what our lives could become if we were to raise the focus of our attention from the lower Logical Levels of thinking of Environment and Behavior (the mechanism and its predictable expressions) and were to move to engaging the dance of the signals (Spirituality, Identity and Choice). Given that we know that each level of thinking is contained in the level above it, the higher you go the more profound your result!
We say we want transformation… enlightenment… empowerment. And yet, we continue to seek the result of ‘spiritual evolution’ through the mechanism of the intellect. It will never happen… it is too small. We are reluctant to consider ways of being in this journey of discovery that are not familiar to us. This quest is reminiscent of the driver who lost his car keys in the parking lot but insisted on limiting his search to under the lamp post because that’s where the light was. It may make the search easier, and it will not produce the desired result.
NLP has cast much light on who we are. Over the years, thousands upon thousands owe not only the quality of their lives but sometimes, their very lives to the knowledge that Grinder and Bandler packaged and made available to us all. But as we stand on the shoulders of these giants of personal evolution, we would do well do recognize that in all things, we must move on. We must stand on their very broad shoulders and move forward to build a world in which we can continue to unfold and evolve and become. As in any journey, that this may require we move beyond what we know is to be expected. That we may be required to leave some things behind is to be expected. That we can take what we know and use it to create something entirely different is, as in all things energetic, part of the magic!
Continuing to offer NLP in its existing context of a therapy model will produce results. And it will not only limit our evolution but will result in our creating more and more content at those lower levels of thinking. It is impossible for us to NOT create! We are creatures with great strength of intention and manifestation. If we do not lift up our heads and our hearts and go higher, bringing all that we’ve learned along with us, we will create finer and finer distinctions at lower levels of thinking. This is not bad… it simply will not take us where we say we want to go.
Consider the following:
NLP has made it safe for us to trust the power of what we are. Imagine if we could come to trust the full measure of who we are… the Signal that flows through us. The combination of NLP and the WEL-Systems body of knowledge – in tandem – as a framework for change, allows for depth and speed of movement that defy logic. It is not that one must be chosen over the other. What is the dance without the song? What is the song without someone to move to its rhythms and flows??
One simple thought prevails:
“To change your life, you must first change the way you perceive your life.” 6 Ina world where perception creates ‘reality’, the process that allows perceptionto be examined and restructured is the process through which quality of lifewill be manifest. And is that not what it’s all about?
Breath moves… eyes open… and the world is never the same again.
5 Refer to “Phoenix Rising: The Freeing of Human Potential” by Louise LeBrun for more on the process of Quantum TLC™
6 Trick of the Light