The journey of a thousand steps begins with a single thought: I have the power.
The human mind is a beautiful thing. Our realities are shaped through our sensory experiences, determining our beliefs and perceptions of truth. Here within all of us, lies the power within our minds. It may sound simplified, but it is nevertheless as real as that apple you hold in your hand.
The experience of taking The Coaching Room’s Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner and Master Practitioner courses was transformative for me, from the awareness of how my mind processes reality to how I act, behave and communicate. It has changed my perspective on myself, others and the world around me. A common adage to describe my experience is that it was eye-opening, and at times, mind-boggling. The simplicity and complexity of it all were truly unique.
Before I started, I was skeptical. Science or science fiction? Is it possible for it to make a difference? My mind was whirling with all the new information about NLP. Then I began to see subtle changes in my thinking.
It started with awareness. I became more aware of my physiology; the aches of my body, the ball in the pit of my stomach, the shivers running down my spine. I followed those sensations to my feelings at the time: anxiety, stress, and fear. My mental state was manifesting into a physiological reaction. So how could I change my state? I took deep breaths, relaxed my muscles, and released the tension in my body. I became aware that I had changed my feelings. I was settled, calm, and content.
For someone who has struggled with chronic stress and anxiety for the last 20 years of my life, the realisation that I could just change my state as quickly as switching a light switch was incredible. Did I just do that on my own? I wondered. Did I have this power all this time? If so, what have I been doing all my life until now? I have control over my state of mind and body. I was in awe.
From the small things grew the more significant changes in my life. I began to practice NLP techniques in my daily life, from listening and responding to my partner or friend to how I changed my self-talk, which we all have whether or not we are aware. I changed old habits that were no longer resourceful to me. I brought in new perspectives to painful memories that came along, shedding the weight of the past I was carrying with me. I began to background future worst-case scenarios as soon as they came into my mind, foregrounding the present circumstance instead. Only now exists, I told myself. I played with my sense of time, slowing and speeding it up as needed for my day to day; slowing it down when I wanted to enjoy the moments spent with my loved ones and speeding it up when I did tedious chores. Time is only a concept after all, I reminded myself. As the new year began, I began to rid myself of un-resourceful habits and began to create new ones, shedding old clothes and things, un-cluttering my surroundings to make space for new experiences both in my mind and through my body.
My partner said to me: “You look happier these days.” Indeed, I am happier. I shed the old and made space for the new. I have changed, but it is still me. I have woken up to a new way to view myself, my life, and the world. I discovered the resources within myself that I have always had all along. I have the power to change what I desire to change about myself, my feelings, and how I perceive and react to reality.
With every new day, my awareness and realisations deepen as my practice of NLP grows, as does my appreciation for the coaches and fellow students at The Coaching Room. As skeptical as I was when it all started, I was pleased to realise how life-changing it ended up being.
Nina Patricia D. Sevilla