Saturday, July 29, 2006

Digging For Humor

Susan Skye is teaching an NVC Basics weekend, which I'm missing, because this is my only unbooked weekend in five weeks, and I'm wanting to spend my time doing errands, spending time with my partner and kitties, and tending to those things that I sometimes postpone longer than I intended.

I remember how excited I felt when I attended one of Susan's trainings for the first time. She has an academic background, and I loved the systematic, structural approach that explicitly described the interrelationship of some NVC components. There were also practical exercises... and lots of laughter and humor. Sometimes, NVC trainings seem somber to me. People carry so many unhealed wounds, it's easy to forget that life is also a source of exuberance, enthusiasm, joy, laughter, delight.

Request to self: Practice creating humor in "humorless" situations. (Be willing to do it silently!)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Marketing for Hypnotists

Hannah Martine spoke about marketing today at the Oregon Hypnotherapy Association meeting. I found her presentation exciting and informative.

A lot of people hate sales and marketing. They think it is about getting compliance: convincing someone to do something against their wishes, or against their better interests.

If that's sales, I don't like it either!

For me, sales and marketing aligns with NVC. It's about helping customers get their needs met. What needs are unmet in their current situation? What strategies would most completely fulfill those needs? Sales and marketing is about being of service: helping someone discover what's most important and valuable for them, and then how to make it a reality.

A huge range of NLP processes and concepts apply to PR, marketing, advertising, and sales. After spending 20+ years in PR, I'm especially interested in those uses.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

What is Hypnosis Good For?

Someone recently asked me what hypnosis is good for.

What isn't it good for!

Most commonly, people come in to

* manage their weight
* stop smoking
* overcome anxiety or fear
* build confidence
* break old habits
* change perspective or attitude
* gain motivation
* improve athletic performance
* relieve stress
* improve sleep

Then there are the medical applications, which are reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association and other peer-reviewed journals. Browse the papers at, and read about hypnosis in obstetrics (to turn breech babies in utero), dentistry (when local anesthesia is insufficient and general anesthesia is contraindicated), and pediatrics (especially for children in burn wards). At a meeting of the Oregon Hypnotherapy Association, I met a hypno-anesthesiologist from Kaiser Permanente. Cancer patients may use hypnosis to manage pain and combat the severity of side-effects of chemotherapy.

Is hypnosis a cure-all? No. Does it work for everyone? No. Everybody has different needs, situations and beliefs.

Will it work for you? The only way to know without a doubt is to try it.

If you tried it once and didn't get the results you were looking for, does that mean hypnosis won't work for you at all?

No. I've seen clients who had an unsatisfying experience with hypnosis the first time, and the second time, everything clicked.

Why doesn't it work 100% of the time? Sometimes people are distracted, mistrustful, tense, or have unrealistic expectations. Maybe they have misgivings that don't get addressed. Change can be scary.

Sometimes the hypnotist isn't a good fit for the client, and the client doesn't know they may have a completely different experience with someone else. There are many styles of hypnotists and hypnosis. Have you ever tried to find a dentist or chiropractor you really liked? It's the same thing.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Needs Underlying Competition

Back in May, there was a report about high school football coaches in Connecticut facing suspension if they "rout" opposing teams. Coaches say it's "unnecessary" to win by large margins.

I'm curious about what they mean by "necessary." I'm not clear what this new rule is meant to achieve. Is it intended to keep the losing team from feeling badly? Is it meant to shift the purpose, or intention, of the game - from winning to something else?

I have friends who dislike the idea of competition because it creates "winners" and "losers." I don't agree that creating winners and losers is negative, in and of itself. When I was a kid, my grandfather told me, "It isn't whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game." It's been my experience, in the 40-some years on the planet, that "Sometimes you're the windshield; sometimes you're the bug." Peaks and valleys; ups and downs. It's part of life.

Also, I'm better than my friends are at some things; they're better than I am at others. Nobody's great at everything. Does that mean I feel crappy when my friends or coworkers outshine me? Only if I've got a stingy spirit.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

Keeping score is one way of getting feedback, which is an important component of NLP and NVC. Am I paying attention? Am I being fully present to the game and to my teammates? Is my energy high? Am I playing to my strengths, and the strengths of others? Is my focus on what I'm doing well, or is it on my flaws? Am I distracted? Afraid? Arrogant? Worried? Am I so "in the flow" that there is no "me" or "them," it's just the rhythm of the game?

I worry that if we eliminate "winners" and "losers," we'll have attacked only the symptom - not the cause - of what we fear: creating a class of people who are "better"; more entitled to admiration, money, justice, comfort, respect, or whatever we value as a community.

I think about Shakespeare, Edison, Einstein, Salk, Steinbeck, Mozart, and all those whose works I feel grateful for. Would I have wanted them admonished to keep their achievements small, because it wasn't "necessary" to excel? Do I want to live in a society where people are encouraged not to do their best?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Waterfront Blues Festival!

It's Independence Day weekend, time for the largest blues festival west of the Mississippi! If you haven't heard the horns, guitars, drums, and bass booming from Safeway's">Waterfront Blues Festival (benefitting the Oregon Food Bank), you haven't been listening.

Saturday is Zydeco Day! Come down and dance! Take a deep breath and smell the BBQ ribs, corn on the cob, corn bread and sunscreen. It's a family affair, so bring the little ones. Wear a hat. Stay hydrated. Stop by Music Millenium's book at take home recordings of the great bands, including Patrick Lamb's incredible Ray Charles Tribute. If you saw this act last year, you'll be thrilled to know that the studio recording captures every bit of joy and passion you saw on stage.