The Wright Way

The Wright Way

Friday, November 25, 2011

"Now - Before Your Very Eyes...!"

There are occasionally times when I sit opposite clients and begin to notice changes taking place for them within minutes of the start of our conversation. Whatever is happening for them, I have to say that this is quite a moving experience for me also.

Curiously there are times when I find myself perceiving their changes at an unconscious level, prior to their noticing it for themselves, at a conscious level! Early on in my practice I would find this quite mind-boggling, whilst I now have a better understanding of the power in a 4-way Conscious-Unconscious dialogue.

Recently I met a returning client, the professional lady who featured in my article “The Psychic Screwdriver” (see archive). She is a person with a very heightened sense of her own conscious-unconscious dialogue and this time she began our conversation by saying that things are continuing to work well in the areas covered by our previous session, and that this time she’d like to explore two new areas of concern.

As she started to outline the first new area (which was strengthening her motivation for doing more work on core exercises) – before I’d even said a word she was suggesting possible scenarios and solutions for herself. When she paused I said, “Looks like I just need to sit here and listen while you talk out all your solutions!” We laughed as she added, “You’re the catalyst, so just stay there - please!”

Every session is a blank canvas and I had no idea where this was going as she began to elaborate on her second 'new area'.
"I’d like to move forward with confidence and trusting myself, especially in the area of relationships."
A little bell rang in my mind at this point as she said, "I need to trust myself." I didn’t closely look at my notes from the previous session, although I knew she was familiar with the I-me-self-you of the 'pronounscapes' paradigm.

We explored and elicited some basic data about her pronoun personas and it was rather like drawing the curtain back to reveal the stage scene of this part of her life. It transpired that her "I" was aged three and the trust issues related to early life events. Not only did she find the reason for her wanting to trust herself, but also, quite fortuitously, she also discovered the reasons why core exercises have been the subject of some mental reluctance for an "I" aged 3 - until now!

Now, because of her inner self-understanding, all the changes she wanted to make began to unwrap and unravel before my very eyes. It was quite breathtaking to witness this, as her physiology was transformed into a place of total grounded relaxation, warmth, comfort and – most importantly – trust. She literally embodied the new perspectives this magical inner revelation had brought about.

I’m never surprised at how rapid change can be sometimes, and it is spellbinding to observe. But most of all, it is an absolute joy to be there for people when they find new ways of changing their lives for good.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Perfect Partner

“If you were told you can meet your perfect partner in exactly one month only, what would be your next actions?”

This was the question posed by a friend in an online post on a social media website. I found the question fascinating on a number of levels so I launched into a short snappy reply which, as I was writing, became longer and longer and then opened out onto a vast cosmic canvas.

My immediate reply was this:-

The pivotal word here for me is "can"! This presupposes possibility rather than probability, and also "only" presupposes some sort of deadline. The whole question implies I might need to effect some change in myself.
However - with my meagre though growing understanding of making order out of cosmic chaos, I'd view this from the perspective of my "perfect partner" - which could very well be ... ME!

The Linguistic Angle

Taking the presuppositions first; “CAN” implies no certainty but more possibility than probability. There’s also an implication when it is coupled with “ONLY” that, whilst there is a deadline – one month – that the chance of that meeting taking place after that time is zero. Also, with “EXACTLY” in there as well as can and only, then there’s a clue, a pointer, as to the very day this meeting can happen. It’s not as if it might happen within the next month either. So between the lines of this part of the question is a possibility that in 30 (or 31/29/28) days from now “you” meet your perfect partner.

The second part of the question asks about next actions, given this possibility of meeting. This could mean doing either something(s) or nothing. With “actions” in the plural however, the presupposition is that there are several things that might be done – thus ruling out doing nothing! Going a stage further, there is an implication that there are some imperfections present right now – either “you” has an imperfect partner, or “you” is without partner and is less than perfect. So, the overall implication is that “you” needs to take actions to make some changes in either themselves or their situation.

Whilst this argument is by no means totally explored here, you can see what the questioner is trying to tease out from the readers by placing subtle boundaries and covert implications.

The Personal Angle

The next perspective I took in my answer was the personal one. What if the whole question is about me being the perfect partner for myself?

It then becomes a question about personal discovery, finding oneself. After all, surely the MOST perfect partner for anyone in life must be themselves? This takes everything from being outside, to going inside and taking actions to learn and discover more about oneself. The inference drawn from the question now becomes the fact that it will only take a month from NOW for you to reach a point of being your perfect partner.

Now, I’ve written now there in capitals for a very specific reason. The thing is, if we take what’s presupposed here, then you is in a state of “not perfect” in the present, i.e. NOW. Since the only things that ever exist, exist NOW – then whatever changes you might make, there’s always the conclusion that you will always be imperfect. Even in a month’s time – when that comes round to being NOW, you will still be imperfect (given that it is presupposed in the question that you is imperfect.)

What if it is decided that ‘you’ is perfect right now, and that through each successive point of NOW you will therefore continue to be perfect?
Now, this seems to be a better notion – a better angle to view both to and from. It bears out the fact that in a month from now you not only can, but will, meet your perfect partner!

So what actions might be taken in that month? Whatever actions (or inactions) taken will be the right ones, it would seem, since the outcome will not change the state of perfection ‘you’ enjoys in every moment of NOW.
To shorten what might be a very lengthy development of an exposition, in other words just live for every moment, and enjoy living with yourself as the perfect partner. For if you attempt to be anyone other than who you really are, then you are not living your own life. Be yourself – you are already perfect right NOW.

The Cosmic Angle

This is the perspective I found most fascinating from going through the process of answering the questioner’s conundrum.

Let’s assume an outside partner, and a partner being another person - for argument’s sake.

So the ‘you’ in question has been informed of a cosmic possibility in a month’s time of crossing the path of another person, a person who will be a perfect partner for ‘you’.

What action(s) does ‘you’ have to take?

Well, the only action needed is for ‘you’ to remain open to responding to whatever is happening at an intuitive, or unconscious, level.
If ‘you’ is not someone who is already open to taking action and making decisions based upon intuition, then ‘you’ needs to become aware of this and to set in motion a chain of events. A chain of events that will culminate in one month’s time with the crossing of paths with ‘your’ perfect partner. Be open, and take intuitive action!

Take intuitive action

Taking intuitive action plugs each of us into what is going on at an unconscious level – and this unconscious level for us is in tune with unconscious levels for many others.

People, places, events, are seemingly thrown together at random – at a conscious, everyday level there is no kind of collective synchronicity, save for what we might call “programmed communication”. This might be close personal interactions, group activities etc that are in some way “planned” or programmed.

However you view events and places, man-made or otherwise - how our lives flow in, through and round these events, places and other people is random, Brownian in nature and is “cosmic chaos”. Or so it seems – from the outside looking in, or perhaps from the inside looking out? It’s not so much about comparing the detail with the overview, though – but more about acknowledging the part that each one of us can play in bringing some order out of the chaos.

If you want to bring some cosmic order into your life, then having an open mind, a curiosity, an understanding of what operates at an unconscious level, a fearless fascination, a grounding in knowing that everything is not quite what it might seem to be – is a great start! And that’s only the start of it. All these faculties need to be utilised all the time to a level of unconscious competence. We need to notice the difference between the order and chaos of things, people, places, events because there is a steady stream of relevant messages in there for us. We need to notice the messages.

We need to act intuitively where it is appropriate to do so, for if we ignore our intuition then random or chaotic things may happen to us, and elements of order already put into place for us go unnoticed and do not get acted upon. If we get a gut feeling about something or someone, then if our head (or conscious intellect) chooses to ignore that feeling there will be consequences.

Trying to ‘force’ or contrive cosmic order is not going to yield positive results. Yes it will yield results, but these will further agitate and randomise the chaos. Forcing or contriving is, by nature, interfering at a conscious level. Operating at this level is rather like turning a tap on and expecting electricity to come out.

If you operate at an intuitive level, then you understand that every action you take and every event that impinges upon you is there for a reason or purpose. You “go with the flow” of those events and actions rather than attempt to withstand or ignore them – and things just seem to work out. If they don’t work out the way you want, then there is a reason for that. You need to also consider the fact that your wanting was not operating at an unconscious level. (This may well apply to those who would visualize ‘ordering up a Porsche’ and being disappointed when it has not appeared on the drive the next morning!)

Back to the Future

So if the intuitive message was that a month from now some order would emerge from the chaos, then the first part of any action has already been taken – you’ve noticed the message! Now what heed needs to be paid?
There will be alignments between now and when the time comes round. The importance of everything you do between now and then will become increasingly relevant. There will be things you do not notice that will be re-ordered. For order to come into being for you, you need to notice the messages and take intuitive action. If you continue to not notice then the random chaos will continue and the time will pass with no result.


You can consider yourself as a leaf being carried afloat down a river. If you remain mid-stream then the river will bear you along to a downstream destination – if you drift to the edges of the stream then you may end up in a backwater or on the riverbank, away from the intention the stream of the river may have had for you. The part you can play in this is to understand the river and what it can do for you.

The other conclusion here is that “perfect partner” can be something else such as a place or location, a house, a job, a calling. The same rules and laws apply in terms of making order out of the chaos.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Storming the Citadel

"There's isn't person on earth who has ever choked after a mouthful of something to drink," the psychiatrist said to me. This was well over 25 years ago and a good while before I began to discover the power of being able to change our mindset through altering our perceptions and reprogramming patterns of behaviour.

To cut a long story short I'd become blighted by instances of taking amounts of any liquid I was drinking "down the wrong way" in the course of swallowing. The worst instances involved my having no conscious idea where my next breath was coming from - and the associated gross anxiety leading to panic when this was happening to me. Each 'attack' was pretty scary and another layer to the fear was if (and when) it were to happen when I was alone, with no one there to thump me between the shoulder blades!

In a protective sense my cognitive counter to this was to take smaller mouthfuls, which over time became sips. This meant I could consciously control the volume of this potential danger to life - which led to a reduction of my daily intake of fluids. The thing was - this whole thing was not a problem when I took on solids AND liquids such as soups, cereals and milk, etc. It was liquids only and, I discovered over the years, the thicker the liquid the easier it became and the less the underlying feelings of fear were manifest.

The Barium Meal

Before referring me to a psychiatrist, my GP had covered a number of bases in terms of this presenting problem. This included making sure there was no physiological reason for the swallowing mechanism being affected this way. Being x-rayed while drinking a barium meal was quite traumatic to say the least. I found myself alone with a glass of foaming liquid in a leaded booth and being repeatedly shouted at to "drink and swallow" by a technician who clearly had no idea what torment, torture and level of fear I was going through. In the end I can remember thinking, "Well if I do choke on this stuff at least I'll have half a chance of surviving as I'm here in hospital already." As waves of relief came over me after the event I can remember him saying to me, "Mmmm, he seems to have trouble in initiating the swallow," as if the "he" he was referring to was some distant 3rd party entity. Clearly the detachments in his working life extended beyond protecting himself from xrays!


As I started to study psychology, NLP, the power of hypnosis and a whole array of pathways to dealing with this issue, I learnt a lot of new ways of protecting myself - though not a lot in the area of self-reprogramming. I discovered what would be most likely to create the mental conditions for an 'event' to happen, and built further layers of protection here as well.

So, in the end, I had a great array of physical and mental strategies for protection - cut down swallow volume by sipping, controlled abdo breathing, avoid stressful and anxious build up, instal anchors and triggers. All these were hidden or I'd casually explain my "condition" whenever I found myself in a social environment where a drink was present.
In essence I got to be very good at the whole pattern of behaviour.

When one gets this good at dealing with something, then it might be simple to decide "I'm comfortable with this now, and can tolerate it for the rest of my life." Many people get resigned to obsessions and phobic responses for these very reasons - when the 'deal' is no longer such a big deal.

When you are an "agent of change" for other people however, it makes good sense to really spring clean your own cupboards when the opportunity arises. After all, there shouldn't be too many drunk driving instuctors, smoking doctors, fat nutritionists, angry yoga teachers or obsessed, phobic mind therapists out there, should there?

Grasping The Nettle

The opportunity came along when I was working with a colleague in a 'personal breakthrough' session and I presented my condition for us to examine in depth. Depth here in particular is all about things at the unconscious level as well as those intellectual understandings and beliefs which can be oh-so deleted, distorted and generalized!
The session was lengthy and investigative, and I'm indebted to my friend's sensitivity, thoroughness and diligence. A number of things got 'dug up' as a result - some expected and some unexpected. There were two crucial discoveries which were both astounding and pivotal. One was that a chunk of residual emotion over a particular event was nothing like as relevant as I had been making it - and the other was concerning an accident that happened to me when I was 2, about which I had no experience in recalled memory, just some anecdotal evidence my mother had told me.

The first thing I felt after our session was a notion that the 'cupboards' were now dust free and also that there would be a period of time where I would be re-familiarising myself with how the unconscious is able to best run the autonomic function known as swallowing. When there is an underlying and lifelong unconscious competence, that has been overlayed with another acquired and learnt unconscious competence then (for me at least) the release is taken in steps.
I remember posting up this message to my friends and followers on social media a few days after things 'had happened' - "It's so nice after 22 years to be able to finish a cup of coffee before it has gone cold!"


There are many more cups of hot coffee to be drunk I am sure, as well as glasses of un-flat beer! And whilst there may be more to life than enjoying beverages at their best, I can honestly say that there is a huge learning from the metaphors embedded in there.

When life serves up an opportunity to make it better - then grasp it with both hands, swallow whatever is stuck in your throat, drink the experience deep into your very soul and notice how much sweeter, satisfying and more meaningful everything can be. You'll be mighty glad you did!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Nature's deafening silence

I was stood alone by a bus stop - it was very early and there were no sounds of traffic. A light breeze wafted through the air and a sense of chill in the atmosphere made the end of my nose somewhat itchy.
It was a very, very quiet moment.

And then, in the midst of this almost ethereal stillness, I heard a chorus of tiny morsels of sound - so miniscule so that if there had been just one morsel it would have been unnoticeable. I had never experienced this chorus in nature until this moment - which was why I had no experiential reference for what was happening.

This year our autumn leaves have been on the trees for much longer, which allows their changing colours to be much more noticed and appreciated. And, to be honest, I'd always seen autumn as this - something seen in all its beauty. Once the leaves have fallen they take on a different state on the ground as they gather in multitudinous quantities and continue their metamorphic cycle. This we also see and, if we walk on paths or in gardens, then there is an underfoot sense of what the carpet of leaves feels like. Our senses are further awakened by the smell of the fallen leaves. Finally when the trees are agitated by wind, then we can also notice the leaves when they are airborne - swirling at times like a decaying blizzard.

However, in terms of leaves I now have another sensual experience to add to life's library. And it is this is...

The sound of the falling leaves, carried on the breeze, as they land.

The more I heard each tiny sound, the more I noticed each landing. There was a steady stream of leaves alighting upon the earth in their short journey from branch to ground. And this symphony of nature ebbed and flowed in volume and intensity and for me it felt as if time was standing still. For all I know maybe it did!

The characteristics of the leaves in flight was equally fascinating. Some fluttered like feathers, some spun and rotated, they all fell in a random manner though never straight down.

The whole experience was utterly magical and was a sheer joy. The guiding hand of nature's beauty reaches out to us all the time, and speaks to us through the words like the sound of the landing leaves.

There is a significance here that is perhaps lost for most of us - for if we do not hear, how can we ever know whatever is the real meaning of the communication?

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I am privileged to have a voluntary coaching role with my local rugby team. The privilege for me is on a number of levels:

The players ages are spread mainly from 18-30, with the average age being around 21 or 22. The privilege in this for me is working, connecting with and being part of the lives of young men emerging onto life's stage. It keeps me young, sane, grounded and in touch with their world which is an ever-changing world.
The second privilege is working in my local community and feeling very much a part of that. The club is also very much part of my playing roots, and there are always great opportunities to spend time with people I played the game alongside 35+ years ago. There's a deep sense of belonging here that's really important to me.
The third privilege are the benefits and learnings for me in terms of enhancing my coaching, mentoring and changework elsewhere in my 'working' life in a more professional context.
The fourth privilege is just on a personal and pleasurable level - and this can take many, many forms.

Playing intuitively

One of my guiding principles for the players is to get them (a) to understand what I mean by playing intuitively and without thinking and (b) to be able to do that whenever they want. Its the way I strive to get ALL the players I coach, in whatever sport, to play. We condition ourselves, we practice the processes, we play without thinking. Tactics, in this regard, are part of processes.

It's a concept that, for some, falls on stony ground. These are the players whose presupposed thinking won't allow them the freedom to ever get beyond playing sport in a 2-dimensional way. Sport is a part of life - it is not a compartmentalised thing we go and "do" and when we're finished close the book and put it back on the shelf. It's part of who we are. So it's right to really immerse ourselves in the experience and get the most out of it - rather like what we should be doing in the rest of our lives?
Isn't it?

The glorious feedback

Last evening we ran a particular drill we first looked at about 3 weeks previously, and the underlying principles of which we have looked at a lot more than that. Three weeks earlier the drill was riddled with errors, muddled execution and poor processing. This time there was very little of that - which allowed us to look at finer points of detail to make things work even better.
When I paused and asked for some feedback from the players as to how different this was for them, what I heard was music to my ears and I received the golden nuggets of reward bound up with Privilege number 4.

"Its so much better because we don't seem to be thinking about what we're doing, we're just doing it, " said one. "We're seeing what's in front of us and listening to each other more clearly," said another. "It's working because we aren't trying too hard or forcing it. There are mistakes but no one minds. We all seem to be on the same wavelength."

No one minds - I liked that too. As a person who licks his lips at the prospect of linguistic tinkering, I really savoured this one!
No-one minds. No one-minds.

When the mindset changes on the inside, wonderful things start to happen on the outside.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mind The Gap #2

The train pulls in...the tannoy message booms out,
"Mind the gap between the train and the platform edge!"
People get off...people get on...The train pulls out.
Its a process that's taking place at every station along the journey.

The Train of Thought

The railway and the train has not yet been with us two hundred years, and yet it has become the vehicle for a enormous array of common phrases, puns, metaphors and other linguistic artifices, that fill our lives at every turn.
From a very young age I've been captivated by railways, trains, and everything around and associated with the whole domain. This spills over from the external realities of this mode of travel, the people encountered along the way, right down to all the atmospheric, internal, metaphorical and other worldly stuff that abounds around railways and everything therein and thereof.

In terms of examples - where to begin?
OK - coaching and learning is about trainers, being trained and being a trainee. We have a station in Life, living on the wrong side of the tracks, we've reached the end of the line, we get sidetracked, letting off steam, there are buffer zones, we go off the rails, on completely the wrong track, we're on the wagon, just chugging along, get up a head of steam, have tunnel vision, changing tracks, stepping up to the plate, that's just the ticket, passing through the barrier, staying on track, being railroaded into something, he has a one-track mind, a whistle-stop tour, jump the train, going over the points, the permanent way, there's light at the end of the tunnel...

There are oblique hypnotic references like arriving through the station entrance, things around being transported, a transport of delight, rails resting on sleepers, going into a deep tunnel...

and that hypnotically ambiguous one that has inspired this set of blogs -
Mind The Gap

In literature, poetry or song, trains keep appearing.
Whether from the rhythm of W.H.Auden's 'Night Mail' :-
"This is the Night Mail crossing the border, Bringing the cheque and the postal order..."

to the timeless moments captured in Edward Thomas' 'Adlestrop':-
"Yes, I remember Adlestrop –
The name because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June..."

From "Last Train to Clarksville", "Chattanooga Choo Choo", "Morningtown Ride", "Take the A Train", "Night Train", "City of New Orleans", "Rock Island Line", "Midnight Train to Georgia" and many others through to Flanders and Swann's 'The Slow Train', a wonderfully wistful piece of nostalgia:-

or the hugely romantic notion of Finchley Central:-

Agatha Christie was particularly fond of trains as settings for some of her mysteries - "Murder on the Orient Express", "4.50 from Paddington", "The Mystery of the Blue Train".

In film, there's a catalogue of examples where trains play a major role - Murder on the Orient Express (again), Brief Encounter, Strangers on a Train, Dr Zhivago, From Russia with Love, Back to the Future 3, Von Ryan's Express, Throw Momma from the Train, The Taking of Pelham 123, Under Siege 2, right back to Buster Keaton's legendary "The General".

There's also some oblique examples of trains as metaphors as we can hear with Elton John's changes in his subject's life:-
"I used to be the main express, all steam and whistles heading west..."

So where am I going to with all this? Into a siding, off on a branch line, or non-stop into the terminus?
It's for you to decide what the meanings are here for you. Trains and railways - even if we don't travel on them physically - have quite a significance in our lives. Perhaps it's to do with the route of life the rails are marking out, perhaps it's to do with the resigned air of captivity around the passengers being shipped from A to B through a station called NOW, or perhaps it circles around the metaphor of trains of thought.
I can only say that physically travelling on trains with my curiously charged mindset often leads me to interesting experiences and conclusions.

All I will say in this conclusion here, is -
Take a 4 minute trip from London to Brighton...