I started the SIRPA program with Georgie Oldfield a few months ago when I was experiencing recurrent shoulder pain which resulted in early awakening. Many of the concepts were familiar to me as I had encountered similar ideas as I am a practising hypnotherapist and Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioner (NLP).
Universal Quantifiers in NLP are words like: Always, Everybody, Never, Nobody.
Modal Operators are words like: Should, Must, Will, Need.
All of these words can cause us problems from time to time as they can trap us, leaving us with nowhere to go. If you think someone “should not be so rude” you have made it difficult to move forward with them because the use of the word “should” will mean that you are not accepting this particular behaviour.
After many years of using techniques to avoid these troublesome language patterns I was quite surprised to find that a simple change of language, very similar to those above, shown to me by Georgie would have a great effect on me.
The It’s OK ‘technique’
Georgie asked me to say “It’s OK”, when I felt unwell or had a negative thought or emotion or encountered something contrary to my belief system.
Prior to this, my usual course of action in such situations would have been to seek out a solution to the problem. As someone of an analytical pragmatic persuasion with perfectionist tendencies, I would be tenacious in achieving a positive outcome.
In the last year this way of dealing with things had started to cause me problems which led to my shoulder pain. My 80-year-old mother started to suffer from mental illness. She had mild dementia but developed a psychotic condition which left her a long way from reality and on the verge of being sectioned. I battled with the doctors and social services to try and get her help and tried everything I could to bring her back to her normal life which she was destroying. However, the harder I tried, the more distress I caused her. To me, there was no solution and my way of doing things did not allow this, leaving me in a constantly stressed state.
Now I can look back from a different position and see a picture I did not allow myself to see.
When It’s Not OK, Is Absolutely OK
My father had gone into a home and after a lifetime together my mother was alone. Unable to cope, her unconscious mind protected her by taking her to a different place. My efforts to restore her previous life were the last thing she needed at that time. Now I realise that at every set back I said to myself “It’s not OK” and looked to find a way to do something about it.
Just like the NLP language traps mentioned above, this left me with nowhere to go. My mother needed to be in that place at that time and I would never be able to accept it as long as a said to myself “It’s not OK”
On my way to recovering from Shoulder Pain
Of course, I never even realised I was saying this to myself, I thought I was using my psychological knowledge to protect myself as best I could whilst doing everything I could for my mother.
“The more I learn the less I know” Socrates
Interestingly, my new tool of just saying “It’s OK” in difficult situations has enabled me to find effective solutions to resolve my shoulder pain, better than I did before, as the feeling I get allows me to feel calm and gives my mind the time to make better decisions. Before, the ‘fight or flight’ response was helping me act but at the same time closing off areas of my brain responsible for reasoning. But most importantly this simple way of starting the process allows me to accept the situation and avoid the high levels of stress I was experiencing.
To my surprise, an increase in my mother’s dementia coupled with medication to calm her has resulted in her being happier and calmer than she has been for many years. Perhaps now her unconscious mind knows she has some distance from the reality she did not want to face, the psychotic world she created is no longer needed.
If some of this runs contrary to your current belief system don’t worry….it’s OK!
Laurie Radford B.Sc.(Hons) BSCH(Affil.) Clinical Hypnotherapist and NLP Practitioner.Blog written by Laurie Radford.
Laurie Graduated in Mathematics from Manchester University in 1988. He obtained his hypnotherapy qualifications from the LCCH and trained with the co-founder of NLP Dr.Richard Bandler.
Laurie’s latest training course, Mind Gym, teaches people simple and practical ways to use their minds to make them happier.