Stream of Consciousness Writing

A stream of consciousness writing session. It does a mind-body-soul good.

Here’s how to do it.

Set a time for five minutes or however long you want to write. I suggest a short time. You can always go over and write more from your stream of consciousness. However, if you set a long time – like 30 minutes – you might avoid the activity because it makes you feel overwhelmed. 90% of the job is to get started so make it easy on yourself.

Then, slide up to your keyboard and write.

Here’s my stream of consciousness for today.

So much to do….but why am I writing about all I have to do. Seems silly. Just do it! But that’s not so easy when part of you would rather hold back. Why does this part of you want to hold back on productivity?

Because it’s afraid of something. Let’s speculate on what that might be.

Actually, you can just ask the part of you what it’s afraid will happen if you stop holding back and go for it, getting done everything on your to-do list. I’ll do that now.

The answer: You’ll become powerful. Right? A part of me is afraid to be powerful. This reminds of a passage from The Road Less Travelled, by M. Scott Peck, MD. It has to do with this: When you are powerful, you can hurt people. If a part of you trends toward misanthropy – in other words – part of you hates people – then you’re likely to want to hurt them. So many ways to hurt people!

You must deal with (compassionately) this part of you so that you have more compassion toward people. Then, your power will not only serve you, but others as well. There will be no reason to hold back.

And there we go. Five minutes is up and this stream of consciousness writing session is over. So simple!

To Those Who Absolutely Need Others to Make Changes

needing others to change

Dear person-who-needs-another-person-to-change,

I get it. I could write you a wish list of my desired changes in others right now. If those wishes could be granted, I’d be like a kid in Ye Olde Free Candy Shoppe.

Most of the time, however, asking people to change is like expecting our friend the gorilla above to stop being so gorilla-ey. Know what I mean?

What are the options, then?

In the iNLP Center NLP life coaching courses, we learn to gather information about what our coaching clients want to accomplish. One of the methods we use is an NLP technique called Outcome Specification.

In Outcome Specification, there are conditions on stating what you want. One of the expectations we have of clients is their desired outcome (or goal) be within their control. Since you cannot change other people, then the goal must be about you – something you can personally bring to pass.

Good-bye to wishing others would change and hello to doing what you can do given who and what you’re working with! Hello, real-world expectations!

Expecting others to change is self-sabotage.

It’s a setup for pain.

Case in point: An iNLP student volunteered for a coaching demonstration in one of our virtual classes. Her issue was expecting her older sister to be different. Decades of disapproval from the older sister had left this student feeling more desire than ever to be appreciated and accepted for who she was.

But it wasn’t happening. Every time she approached her sister on the hope of winning a nod of approval, she was dismissed and criticized. She affirmed that the pattern was clear and predictable.

I said, “So if you and I made plans for you to approach your sister this afternoon and try to impress her, you can safely predict that you’re going to walk away feeling rejected?”

“I can guarantee it,” she replied.

What are you really seeking?

This is the nature of self-sabotage. Some part of us wants to move forward, convincing us “it will be different this time” when we know it won’t be. We move forward and slam right into a brick wall again. And again. It can – and most often does – go on for decades.

“So if you can predict with such certainty that you’re going to feel rejected when you seek approval from your sister, are you really seeking approval?”

That was a tough question for my student/client to answer. Yet, she got it. When you know the outcome ahead of time (rejection) and you move ahead, you are seeking that outcome. She wasn’t seeking approval from the older sister. She was seeking (unwittingly) more of the same old rejection!

“It’s time to stop this madness.”

It was a pivotal moment. The pain of accepting a painful truth showed on her face. She looked tired – as if years of fighting this battle had taken a toll and she was ready to walk away from it.

I can’t express how much respect I have for people who see such difficult realities in their own lives. I’ve had my share of difficult realities that I denied for years. It’s quite a burden to carry, yet we still resist setting it down.

Such is the nature of self-sabotage. Seeing it is 90% of the victory.