Springingtiger's Blog

Now is a Good Place.

“The mind is a complete multi-sensory record of successive moments of ‘Now’” (Werner Erhard).

This quote has remained with me for nearly thirty years, the idea of complete multi sensory records speaks to me although my memories are far from successive. My wife says I have the biggest “Now” of anyone she knows, I also have very little awareness of past and future. Some people wonder what the future holds for them, I wonder what’s for dinner. Dinner time is about as far ahead as my conscious mind routinely looks our cares to look. Most people arrange their memories on a line from past to future, my memories are stored spatially around me and not in a line, sometimes I can be seen literally grasping for memories with my hands. For the point of exercises I can make a timeline, but its positioning is arbitrary – I once put it from left to right in front of me, and accomplished as much in an hour as I would normally in a day, but that’s another story – and I change it as I choose. The work of NLP in looking at how we store our memories and how we can use that to enable someone to heal a traumatic personal history is an amazing gift. Steve Andreas & Connirae Andreas applied Richard Bandler’s insights on submodalities to how we relate to time, and in turn Wyatt Woodsmall introduced it to Tad James and together they developed Timeline Therapy ®. I learned Timeline Therapy ® on my NLP Practitioner course and was amazed at the speed with which we were removing the emotional charge from people’s traumatic memories because the name Timeline Therapy is so closely guarded others who work therapeutically with timelines, many of whom have progressed beyond TLT, tend to use tother terms like, for example, “Time-Based Techniques” for what they do. A popular use of the timeline is to empower the goal setting process. This is done by putting the completed goal onto someone’s timeline as a complete multi-sensory representation of their accomplishment of the goal, with all the attached positive emotions to make it compelling.

One of the reasons that traumatic memories continue to plague us for years is that memories are complete multi sensory records, any sensory stimulus that was present when the first traumatic incident occurred when repeated will bring back the memory, that’s how anchoring works. NLP has techniques for discharging unwanted anchors, but also for installing useful anchors, for example, to put one in a resourceful when facing a challenging task like public speaking.

I remember during the est training, one of many light bulb moments occurred when we got to realise that we only experience in the present, because by the time we start to think about an occurrence it is already in the past. “You aren’t even remembering what happened, you’re remembering a concept of what happened!” This is, of course, the truth that underlies the spiritual injunction to surrender to the present moment found in Eckhardt Tolle and Jean Pierre Caussade amongst others. The essence of spiritual practice is to be aware in the present. Most of our problems exist in our interpretions of past events or in our anticipation of things to come; and it’s all made up! I am fortunate in my now disconnected from past and future. So many people live lives of discontent because their thoughts are elsewhere, they wish they had different jobs, different partners or they were somewhere else, and so they can never fully experience nor enjoy the present. I rarely suffer from anticipation of the future because like many Aspies I tend not to connect actions to consequences. I can logically plot a course of action, but I don’t have emotionally charged dreams and hopes. The only place we can live is here, the only time is now. I cannot imagine a better time or place to be than now.


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I’m enjoying and learning from your blogs, Rory. Thanks!

Comment by Robert Frost

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