As an NLP Master Practitioner and Hypnotherapist, one of my favorite tools to utilize with a client is a metaphor. Up to this point, I know you have heard metaphors in a few different forms to include an analogy, a story, as well as the ever engaging joke. No matter their length or intention, we all use them in our every day conversations.
In listening to a metaphor, it’s simply the form of the story that has a lasting impact, not necessarily the details. It is a story within a story, and is designed to elicit emotional responses and is most often shared verbally. Metaphors stimulate the right side of the brain, capturing the attention of the unconscious mind, allowing the listener to get lost in their own creative imagination. In the realm of NLP and Hypnosis, most often the subject of a metaphor is to cater to what a client has revealed they would like to work on, or is intuitively picked up on by the Practitioner.
As a nested loop metaphor, by “nesting” them together, this type of metaphor overpowers the ability of the conscious mind to track what is being talked about, creating an altered state or slight hypnotic trance. The feedback I most often hear is that it’s soothing to read and listen to. Without hearing my pitch or tone, semantics will play its part in your interpretation of the words and the overall message.
As we are all unique in our experiences and what is true for us at this time, they can spark recalled memories or create new inspiring thoughts. Whatever comes up for you may also speak to your values in terms of honoring them or how you are currently in discord with them. I invite you to read ahead, allowing your unconscious mind to naturally find the value it will create for you.
I’ve been hammering my brain trying to figure out how I wanted to introduce myself to the public as “The Sentient Scribe”, so I decided to go and sit outside on this nice afternoon and meditate on it. As I was laying there in my front yard I could hear the cars driving by and the sounds of people walking through my neighborhood here in West Hollywood. While feeling the warmth of the sun on my face, I started to let my thoughts wander as they often do, don’t they? My almost two year old puppy caught my attention as she frequently demands it, and proceeded to entertain me. It makes me smile how she still loves to chase her tail, switching direction after making a few rounds and then stopping at the end to make sure I’m watching her. I was then thinking about how since I’ve gotten her, how often I would get stopped by passersby who were curious about what kind of dog she is and had to explain the now once obscure breed of a Portuguese water dog. And then I knew exactly what I wanted to write about.
The night before, I was out with a group for our friend Anna’s Birthday celebration. It was a fun excuse to go out to a nice restaurant, being that it’s infrequent that I do, to indulge in the well thought out, prepared meals by a Chef who expresses themselves artistically, releasing their creations with each plate placed in front of the salivating guest. With the aromas and flavors capturing my attention, so did the atmosphere of all those partaking in this celebration of eating. It’s one of my favorite things to do, gathering around a table to eat a meal, enjoying conversation with those I don’t see too often, as well as listening to a narrative I’ve already heard about something prominent in a friend’s life of whom I do. While we were ordering our entrees I secretly whispered to our server, “by the way, the girl sitting across from me…it’s her Birthday.” The server smiled, as we both knew the fun surprise that was coming her way around dessert time, even though it’s a common practice in our culture.
When our plates were cleared, someone at our table went outside to make an important phone call on her cell, and was peeking in the window to make sure she didn’t miss the Happy Birthday song. A few minutes later a plate with a big piece of chocolate cake, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and “Happy Birthday” written in chocolate sauce around the outside edge, was presented to the Birthday girl. Those of us at the table with the participation of some of the other restaurant guests started to sing the Happy Birthday song. As I was looking at the gleaming face of our Birthday friend who moved here from London a few months ago, and has experienced some life altering struggles since her journey to the US, she had that element of an unexpected surprise written all over her face.
It reminded me of a time when I was with my friend Lori, walking our dogs who have a serious puppy love crush on each other. We were talking about a relationship she was in that had ended a few weeks prior. Although she is aware of her dating patterns, this one in particular was a tough and monumental one for her at the same time. She’s gone through that rollercoaster ride of feeling as if she’s never going to find Mr. Right, and wanting to be treated the way she knows she deserves. She frequently questions her own thoughts, behaviors and actions and has a hard time trusting the choices that she makes.
As a Life Coach, I commonly see my clients go through this ride called life. No matter the gender, age, where you’re from or your upbringing, as human beings we all have these filters that impact our experiences. We have this overall yearning for “more” and “better”, and we get stuck in our habits and the safety net of what we know. Whether it’s through the use of Life Coaching, NLP, or Hypnotherapy, the intention is for my client to experience a new level of clarity and learn what it’s like to truly be where you’re at. Once you are present and in the moment, the fun begins in uncovering those passions that inspire you and motivate you. It’s about acknowledging your dreams that you’re sometimes too afraid to admit you have, because others try to convince you that they are either unrealistic or unattainable. Then there are those people who know they are one step further when they open their eyes a little wider, and start to have the awareness of recognizing their own power.
Like my friend Lori did. When we stopped to unwind the leashes that became intertwined from our dogs wrestling, she finally said it. She realized that her previous dating situation was something she manifested, regardless of how uncomfortable or confronting it was. She then said to me, “to be able to create that, I now understand my own power”. As a Life Coach, I was so excited for her that I jumped up and down on the sidewalk and told her how huge that was and suggested she say it again! As the words came out of her mouth the second time, a big smile ensued, and a surprising peacefulness overcame her as she stood there.
Like the surprise of the Birthday cake and Anna hearing everyone in the restaurant singing Happy Birthday to her. Our friend, who was making a phone call outside, ended her call as quickly as she could when she saw the burning candle through the window at our table. She was disappointed she missed out on the singing and suggested we sing it again. So we did! Not only did those of us at the table sing again, everyone in the restaurant did too, and without hesitation. The highlight was hearing the immense gratitude from Anna about how that evening was the best Birthday she’s had since she was young. She explained that she hadn’t experienced a Birthday cake and being sung to since she was seven years old.
So once I knew, I went inside with my dog Georgie following at my heels, and sat myself down at my desk. Georgie parked herself at my feet and my fingers began to swipe the keys on my computer. With the curiosity of wondering what my thoughts would create over the next hour or two, I allowed my creativity to take over. What should never be taken for granted is our ability to listen and engage ourselves in the power of a story.
Alanna Levenson would love to hear your comments or questions; email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a complimentary consultation to see if Coaching, NLP, or Hypnotherapy is right for you. Visit www.alannalevenson.com for more information. To find out more about what she’s up to as a Life Coach for teens, go to www.TeenReEvolution.com.
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Written by Alanna Levenson