NLP in Action: Feedback vs Failure

The way you give meaning to an experience will determine the way you respond in the future.

In the process of moving towards your outcome you will invariably experience results that are not moving you towards what you expect. When you experienced this result and begin to label it as failure then your next response will likely to be negative towards your outcome. It will literally stop you on your tracks!

On the hand, you can also label the experience as feedback. The results let you know you are not doing something right. It is a feedback for you to change the way you are doing it.

Jane is an entrepreneur. Lately, she has been feeling demoralized because her business is not doing well. On top of it she feels she is losing interest in it. When coached on the business challenges she begins to share her failures. She mentioned that she is losing customers to her competitors despite the excellent service she has been known for and gotten results in the past. She does not know what to do. These negative experiences have taken away the sparkle that she had when the business was doing well.

To help Jane, I got her to firstly hold the frame that there is “No Failure, Only Feedback”. With this frame in her mind she starts to look at possibilities of building her business. The exercise gave her some very good ideas to work on. More importantly, this frame provided her with hope and positive feelings.

In Conversation with Antoinette Biehlmeier – Singing Bowls

In conversation with Antoinette Biehlmeier on her growing collection of Singing Bowls and Inner Tune Therapy.


 

A little bird tells me that you bought 2 Singing Bowls at the recent Heart, Mind and Body Festival. What drew you to them?

I am usually drawn to a bowl either because of its magical sound or the vibration that it creates in my body. One of the bowls had such an amazing deep soothing sound that I couldn’t resist and the other one immediately had an effect on my solar plexus…. they had to come home with me.

 

How many bowls are there now in your collection? Honestly.

I think about 30 plus right now.

Shree Krishna Shah and Santa Ratna Sakya, my teachers from Kathmandu who performed at the Gallery Helios Himalayan Singing Bowl Charity Concert, brought me a really big one on their recent visit- you can stand in there and then play it. Absolutely stunning!

Then there are the ones that I offer for sale… so quite a good collection. My husband luckily lost count of them.

 

How did you first discover the Singing Bowls?

The first time I visited the Holistic Fair at Fort Canning, I passed by Shree’s and Santa’s booth thinking “oh never mind, just another item that needs dusting “. It was only a few years later, when I had my own booth at the fair, which happened to be right opposite theirs (no coincidence, of course), that I became a bit more curious, and at the end of those two days, I came home with my first three bowls. I was really hooked – the effects of the bowls are simply amazing and I truly appreciate their magic. For me the outside world simply ceases to exist when I play them; it is so meditative and creates inner stillness so quickly.

 

Tell us a little bit more about Singing Bowls.

Traditionally, Singing Bowls are made from an alloy of seven metals- copper, tin, iron, lead, mercury, gold and silver. This combination produces the unique tones that enable the bowls to be used for therapy and rituals, as well as for meditation purposes. The bowls can be plain or have religious or spiritual depictions, prayers, or mantras carved on them.

These days, the more commonly found Singing Bowls are usually from Tibet, China, or India. They can be made from copper or a variety of other metals or alloys and are less likely to include precious metals. While Singing Bowls have for centuries been handmade, giving rise to the beautiful hand-beaten burnish, with the older bowls polished smoothen from years of quiet meditative play, these days there are plenty of machine-manufactured, mass-produced pieces. They just don’t have the same timbre.

 

How did you train to become a Singing Bowl / Inner Tune Practitioner?

I had to beg Shree and Santa for more than 2 years before they finally found the time to arrive a few days earlier in Singapore to give a workshop. I was really lucky to be taught by two very skilful teachers on how to use different bowls for healing work and also how to play the bowls for a concert. However to be honest, it takes years of practice before I can play the bowls like they do.

I love the Inner Tune Therapy sessions, where a client lies on the floor and I position 7 bowls around according to the chakras. Sometimes I add the smaller ones to bring in more harmonies. It doesn’t take long before the client drifts off into a very deep relaxed state and by which time I can hear which bowl doesn’t sound harmonious and needs to be played more often to release the corresponding area of tension in the client’s body.

Meanwhile I am confident enough to teach myself and just last year I received a little touch up by Shree to play the bowls more softly. It makes a really big difference how a bowl is stroked.

 

What is a typical Inner Tune Therapy session like?

The client lies fully-clothed on a mat on the floor and the Singing Bowls are placed around him, aligned with the seven major chakra points (energy centres) of the body. Each bowl has a tone which corresponds to a specific chakra. At the beginning, the bowls, or sometimes tuning forks, are struck and sung in a particular rhythmic pattern, and as I tune into the client’s energetic imbalances, intuition gradually takes over.

Sound and vibration have been used to alter brainwave states to promote deep relaxation by inviting the brain to move into the more relaxing frequencies of lower Alpha and Theta.
Besides being deeply relaxing, the sound energy harmonises the chakras, thereby balancing the person’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing on many levels.

Clients report energy shifts during the session, altered states of awareness, sensations of a deep inner peace and tranquillity, as well as a letting go of old frozen energies and blockages. Some take the opportunity to do a little astral travel. The effects of a single Inner Tune Therapy session can last for several days.

Inner Tune Therapy can break pain reflexes, deepen breath, reduce stress, harmonise the left and right hemispheres of the brain, aid sleep and much much more.

 

As a therapist, how do you feel after the session?

It is always a very rewarding experience for me. As I mentioned, I lose track of time and the outside world and am totally in tune with the client, the resonance and the bowls themselves. I feel more peaceful and grounded after a session, very relaxed and much more aligned.

So if you ask me I would be more than happy to give Inner Tune sessions all day.

 

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to organize a workshop towards the end of the year so that we will have a few more therapists around – then perhaps I am lucky and get a Singing Bowl therapy session more often!

My aim is to visit Shree and Santa in Kathmandu next year, not only to see how the bowls are crafted, but also to learn more from them. It just came to my mind to perhaps organize a Singing Bowl Retreat with them. What an intriguing idea. If anyone reading this is interested, please get in touch with me by email, Antoinette.Biehlmeier@GalleryHelios.com.

Language – Prisoner or Liberator?

“It is inherent in our intellectual activity that we seek to imprison reality in our description of it. Soon, long before we realize it, it is we who become the prisoners of the description. From that point on, our ideas degenerate into a kind of folklore that we pass on to each other, fondly thinking we are still talking of the reality around us.” ~ Aneurin Bevan, British statesman.

John (not his real name) is a childhood friend. We grew up together in a small little town in Malaysia. When he was in his early adults he was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. He went through periods of trauma and ?nally stabilized with the help of medication. He has been stable for more than twenty years now. He is physically healthy and mentally ?t. However, every time I see him he will says he wish he can have a normal life with family and children of his own. “Who will want to marry me? I have no hope”. On the hand, I have a neighbor living upstairs and also suffering from Schizophrenia. He will occasionally show physical symptoms like shouting and singing out loud. So I thought, “who will marry him?” Lo and behold, suddenly I notice he got married. He even has a kid!

We give meaning to events that happen in our life and represent it through language. As Bevan says, language can imprison us and stops us from doing things. In NLP, there is a category of linguistic patterns called Generalization that can be particularly limiting or empowering. Statements such as “He is always late?” “This country is not safe?” “She is always nagging?” are some examples of generalization. A person who holds this generalization and responds to the world in this manner can sometimes limit the potential for choices of actions. On the other hand, it is not uncommon to notice successful people saying to themselves “there is no failure, only feedback”. This is a generalization that empowers people to continue to progress. Simply replacing the word failure with feedback allows the person to continue with the process of pursuing goals or outcome. As soon as the process is labelled as failure, it becomes an event with a label of ?nality. The process is implicitly stopped. The word feedback turns the event to process again and therefore there is hope for achievement. Is like magic!

In the context of coaching, language becomes a tool that opens possibilities for the client. In the hands of an expert, it can unveil the cloak of darkness with just a word or a question. Sigmund Freud, musing on the origins of language in his introductory lecture in psychoanalysis in 1915, wrote, “Words were originally magic and to this day words have retained much of their ancient magical power.” Beware of what you say to yourself. Slow down your thoughts and notice the language you use in your head. You may catch the culprit that has imprisoned you for a long time. Change the language and change your life. We all deserve a great life!

Simon Wong, NLP Trainer and Coach

Wanna feel wonderful?

Choose the way you want to feel.

If you were to ask ten people what they want in life you are likely to get answers like happiness and peace. These are higher goals that most people aspire to have. Obviously, there are spiritual goals too. Let’s bring our attention to happiness and peace. These are examples of feeling good. If you were to think of a situation in which you feel happy you will likely cast your thoughts to sometime in the past that you felt happy. You will remember where and when and perhaps with whom you were with. As you begin to immerse yourself into this memory you will regain the happy feeling you had then, now. In essence you are able to feel this happy feeling anytime you want.

To illustrate this point further, imagine you are attending a wedding dinner. With a camera in your hand you decided to take some pictures. You scanned around. You proceeded to snap away. A few days later you fished out your camera from your bag and thumbed through those shots. Each shots reminded you a specific moment in time during the party. Some shots brings back moment of joy and laughter. Some shots bring back memories that go way back and connect to some nostalgia and etc. The effects of thumbing through those photos evoke a range of emotions.  Think for a moment. If you have not thumbed through those photos you will unlikely have experienced those emotions during and after seeing it. With this awareness, you have some control on what you choose to feel anytime you want. It underscores the point that the mind and body are connected. What you think can produce feelings. What you choose to think will produce the feeling that you want.

Would you like to feel wonderful, now? You can. Here is how.

How to Feel Wonderful

You do not need to have a reason to feel wonderful. You can feel wonderful any time you want. This is how you do it:

Steps:

  1. Think of a situation in which you felt wonderful in the past.
  2. Notice the surrounding, the people (if any), the sound and the feeling.
  3. If you see yourself in the picture, float into it and be in the picture. See what you see, hear what you hear and feel what you feel.
  4. Notice the location of this wonderful feeling in your body.
  5. Touch the sensation with your hand and notice which direction it is moving.
  6. Whichever direction it is moving, spin it faster.

By spinning it faster you get a more intense feeling of wonderful. Think about feeling gorgeous. You can have this feeling anytime you want. You don’t have to wait until you are dressed up for it.

Enjoy!

Simon Wong