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A model of success

Picture for article courtesy The Press.

This article appeared in The Press (Christchurch, NZ) as part of Mental Health Awareness week 5 to 11 October, 2009.

Agony Aunt Letters

The following is from a series of 'Ask Ali' letters appearing in
Trying to stop reacting is trying!

'I want to create a loving, stable relationship with the father of my child. I want to remain calm with him, no matter what. How can I use NLP to stop occasionally reacting to his behaviour, and become calm and stable in his presence?

One of NLP's guiding principles is inclusion. Everything is of value. Yes, that includes that reacting.

It is of value in that it is trying to get you something, something very dear to you, some positive emotion or positive way of being that you treasure. That something is actually what you are trying (not yet successfully) to achieve in your heart of hearts when you do that reacting.

So, let's go find that something!
You will know when you have found it.
You will have a sense of recognition, a little bit like coming home - and most importantly, you will feel relaxed. You might find it just asking once or you might pass through some negatives before you get it.


  • what does reacting bring you?
  • and then with the answer to that question.
  • and what does that bring you?
  • and maybe even again until you have your answer.

So now you have it, practise this positive feeling/way of being.
Every chance you get, get it and enjoy feeling it. Notice when you feel it most and where you feel it most. Notice what you are saying to yourself when you're feeling it.
And then, when you are with him ask yourself 'how can I make this situation even more (add in your feeling here)?'


Satisfying Second Nature

Knowing what you really hunger for.

Have you ever walked into the supermarket and been captivated by the range and beauty of the fruits and vegetables?
Or at a farmer's market, in the morning sun, and noticed so many different shades of green, or the smell of freshly baked bread, or the gold of a yolk as you break it into the bowl?
If your senses sing and your soul soars it's no wonder.
Such wealth is to be reveled in. Nature's wealth of food is awe-inspiring and the way it nourishes us is nothing short of miraculous.

And yet some of us don't know how to feel really satisfied, are confused about what we need, and when, and sometimes find it less than easy to distinguish between physical and emotional hunger.
A research project showed that children, given unlimited access to all kinds of foods including chocolate, ice cream, fruit and vegetables, were, within a month and of their own accord, eating a balanced and healthy diet.
We are born with the ability to eat what and how much is good for us. It is second nature.

Relearning this ability (yes, you had it once) and noticing what is emotional hunger and what is physical hunger begins with paying attention to feedback; noticing what actions make you feel better, and noticing what food feels better in your stomach over time (i.e. 3 hours later.)
When you do something that doesn't feel good or eat something that makes you feel uncomfortable that's just more valuable information about what does or doesn't work for you.
Noticing the feedback is the beginning of learning.
There's a wealth of information to be noticed and sometimes just noticing this one piece can be deeply satisfying.

The above is a condensed extract from the article 'NLP and Weight Loss' which appeared in the October issue of the New Zealand magazine 'Fitnesslife.'