A Funny Thing Happened To Me On The Way To My Life; NLPeople Talk: Amanda Khatib
Amanda Khatib went to Burning Man 2016, a radical 9 day festival that takes place in Black Rock City in Nevada. Everything is extreme there she says, the people, the heat, the activities. Amanda did research on the event so to feel as prepared as possible. She felt that the most important and effective thing she could do is set up a system in her mind, her Unconscious mind, a place she could go to the inside of the self, when she needed to “get away” from the chaos that is Burning Man. What ended up happening for her was very surprising to her. Prior to the festival Amanda held a presupposed belief that she would inevitably get overwhelmed while she was there, and would need to retreat into a safe space so in order to collect herself. What actually happened was much different because of the NLP mental programming she used in advance, with her NLP skills. Amanda realized that she was speaking to herself at the other-than-conscious, deeper level, in good Milton Model language patterns. As the event began to unfold, she would begin telling herself “how relaxed and calm I am”, “how safe I am”, “how everything around me is ONLY happening around me and not TO me”, and “I can be at ease at all times”. When it was very, very hot, she would simply talk to herself about how good she felt, how good the warm sun is was for her, that she was taking care of herself by wearing sunblock. When there were tons of people around, she would simply make eye contact and smile as she looked around, acknowledging that this wasn’t one large massive group, but a crowd made up of individuals. A took known in NLP as chunking down and shifted perspective. She said It felt better for her to look around and see one person at a time than many people all at once.
Amanda also went into Burning Man feeling very stressed out about food. In her past, she had many dietary troubling issues, having been diagnosed with IBS and reacting badly to gluten, dairy, sugar. This had created a lot of anxiety around food and eating, and Amanda felt worried that this would be a problem for her while she was at Burning Man. However, she says she quickly realized that she could use the chaos of Burning Man to completely change her limiting beliefs about food by using more of her NLP skills. She used events at Burning Man as pattern interrupts, and therefore she had NO awareness of worry about what she had just eaten or if was going to make her sick, as she would have done, based on her behavior of the past. She decided to simply have her meal with everyone else, engage in conversations with fellow camp mates, and as soon as she was finished with her meal, she’d immediately be off on the next activity. Activities such as a bike ride to a neighboring camp where she would dance, meet new people, get a massage, do yoga, or whatever. There was always something new and interesting happening around her, which is exactly what she said she needed to rewire her brain from fixating on past old, and worthless anxieties. She was able to bring her focus to the present moment, to what was happening right around her.
Now, almost a month after Burning Man, Amanda says she is still at ease with food. She still eats according to her diet… being gluten and dairy free… and the anxiety that used to accompany her meals is completely gone! Occasionally she notices the absence of the anxiety, even interviewing for this blog she had a hard time remembering what had changed since Burning Man as the new way of relating to food and eating has become naturally healthy, effortless and permanent. She had been living with anxiety around food for 10 years, and for the first few minutes talking with me, she really had to think about how NLP™ played a role for her, almost completely forgetting the woes of the past 10 years. NLP is like that. To the individual whose made behavioral and emotional changes, it doesn’t seem to them like they changed as much as it feels more like having returned to the way things used to be or the way they always meant their behavior to be. It’s no more a conscious thought than the color of your eyes. It just is.
While at Burning Man, Amanda also had an opportunity to use her NLP change-work skills to benefit another person. She told me the following story about the experience. There was a girl attending the event who wasn’t feeling well, and she kept complaining about a headache. Amanda had the girl close her eyes and began the change-work by asked her where the headache was, where she was feeling it, what direction it was spinning in, what color it was, if it was making any sounds. Once all of these submodalities had been identified, Amanda had the girl reverse the spin, change the color, change the sound etc, and then did a pattern interrupt. At the conclusion of this change-work session, Amanda checked in and asked the girl, “what’s different?” And the girl was at first, confused about the question, and then realized that the headache was gone! Amanda said “It was very fun for both of us”.
Amanda Khatib is the owner and creativity coach of Kids Creations and a graduate of Clarity Institute’s NLP Practitioner Training – 2016
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