Rest In Peace

 It was a beautiful day. February sun in a clear blue sky; cold, but with the promise of Spring. Walking with good friends along Hadrian’s Wall. Making our way down through the trees from the ridge about Crag Lough my mobile rings.

I don’t recognise the number. I answer and my sister tearfully says “You’d better sit down” and I know the news isn’t good. My Mum’s body was found by the district nurse this morning slumped in the hallway of her home.

It’s a shock, but not a complete suprise, in her 79th year her health had been bad for some time. I comfort my sister as best I can from 200 miles away. I hang up and tell my friends, who are as shocked as I am.

The walk back is strangely calm. The sun continues to shine, the sky is still a delicious blue. People pass enjoying the day as we walk back to our cars. My senses are very clear and I feel quite peaceful. I wonder if perhaps I should weep or wail, neither seems to fit my feeling so I just keep walking appreciating the space my friends give me to feel the way I feel (my friends are very good friends). At the car park we hug our goodbyes.

I drive home to Gateshead to get ready for the five hour drive to my Mum’s home. Along the country roads I marvel at how beautiful it is, how extraordinary it is to be alive and to have this experience of a beautiful day.

When I get home I do what needs to be done to put everyday life on hold for a while, pack my bags and start the long drive home. The first part of this journey passes through some of countryside my mum loved. It’s at it’s best and I drink it in for her, she would have loved to be here on a day like today.

After a little while I pass the place where I decided 10 years ago, on the drive home the day my father died, that I would do my best to be open to what ever happened and what ever I felt and do my best to honour him by how I handled it. I already knew that I would do the same for my mother. I want to be fully present through all this and beyond. The long drive home is a mixture of sadness and gratitude.

Being alive is an amazing improbable gift. It was her great gift to me and I want to make the best of it.

Thank you Mum for the gift of my life and for all your kindnesses.


Rest In Peace


Joan Hunt (neé Thompson)




(Experienced on Saturday written on Tuesday)

Medical NLP

NLP is a skill set that is used in all sorts of fields from education, training, management, sales and medicine to name but a few. When learning about NLP for the first time people often wonder how do I apply these approaches in my line of work.

There are quite a few medical practitioners using NLP in their daily work. In this talk to the West of Scotland Pain Group Jonathan Bannister (anaesthetist) and Garner Thompson (trainer) discuss the application of simple NLP principles in a medical context. If you are in this line of work yourself you might like to listen into this discussion of NLP in action.

If you are a complete newcomer to NLP you might want to check out our three day Introduction to NLP that IntegrityNLP will be running later this year in Newcastle. If you would like to attend an NLP Practitioner training then we are starting our next on in September this year (I know that sounds like a long time away, but the earlier you book the less it costs).

Mindfulness and pain

Last week one of my clients had expressed an interest in mindfulness meditation for pain relief. She was looking for some general information. I offered to lend her my copy of Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat Zinn which is one of the earliest and most comprehensive books on the subject

Since I have quite an interest in this topic I did some searching on the internet for her and came up with this simple introduction to the subject from National Public Radio: Meditation a Hit for Pain Management

For a more in depth look at the field of mindfulness the excellent All In The Mind from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation had a 30 minute program devoted to ‘Dr Mindfulness’

If you are particularly interested in mindfulness in pain relief work you might like to listen to this podcast from the West of Scotland Pain Group (no, it’s not a masochism organisation) but a group of doctors based in the West of Scotland that sponsor talks of interest, record them and post them onto the internet for the benefit of their far flung colleagues. This particular talk takes a while to get going and includes a lot of uhms and errs but the content is interesting.

EFT for Self Acceptance: Part 3

A lot of our difficulties with feeling self-acceptance comes from the idea that we don’t quite come up to standard. We’re too fat or too thin, we don’t have enough confidence or patience. If you are going to judge yourself you need to have a standard against which to fail.

Over the years we’ve accumulated a number of standards of behaviour, appearance, thought, speech. All the ways we are supposed to measure up to be a good person, worthy of respect and appreciation. Because we’ve been awash in these standards since an early age we can’t easily spot them. They are just part of our universe. Fortunately there are clues in our experience as to where these standards lie.

You can find them in these kinds of sentences

I’m too … – fat / greedy / lazy / (add your own)


I’m notenough – clever / tall / rich / (add your own)

Let’s take “I’m too fat” as an example. The key word in this sentence is too. If I say “I’m am fat” it can just be a statement of fact, I’m above my ideal weight and that could cause medical problems and difficulty getting into my current set of clothes.

If I say “I am too fat”, the word too adds a standard (too fat compared to what?) and gives you an opportunity to judge yourself – self judgement is a long way away from self-acceptance. Being too … something is an opportunity to beat yourself up for not meeting a standard which is often out of conciousness and probably aquired during your upbringing.

If you say the sentence with the too in it I suspect you will get an extra ‘charge’ on it. Try this experiment complete this sentence

I am too X [pick something that applies to you. ]

Now say out loud

  • I am X
  • I am too X

What’s the difference in feeling when you say those sentences?

The flip side of being too … is being not enough. For example: I’m not disciplined is different to I’m not disciplined enough. Disciplined enough compared to what?

What we are after in this part of the process is to neutralise the sense of too … or not enough. We want to neutralise the charge of self-judgement that goes with those statements.

You might be thinking if I don’t feel an attachment or charge on these thoughts, won’t I just run-amok. I am too greedy if I accept how greedy I am won’t I just make a dive for the kitchen and eat myself silly?

My answer to that is: Do you have to feel bad to be good?

Standards are useful as guidelines they are not so useful when they are used as sticks to beat yourself up with. The extra emotional charge on the I’m too … is just that, extra, another opportunity for self judgement for believing that you don’t come up to scratch.


Make a list of I’m too ... statements that apply to you. Get yourself a sheet of paper and just say out loud “I’m too ….’ and write down what comes to mind. When I tried this exercise for the first time I listed more than 20 items.

When you’ve completed the list, work your way through each item. Saying it outloud and scaling the negative charge on that statement from 0-10.

Starting with the sentence with the strongest first start tapping (or use whatever change process you would like to use) to reduce the charge. Using the example I’m too fat.

“Even though I am too fat I accept who I am and how I feel.”

If while you are tapping on that statement memories come to mind, make a note of them so you can deal with them later. Each of these memories probably paid some part in coming to these conclusions. Neutralising them will pay dividends.

If you find yourself getting stuck you can use the the following setup phrases to take a different angles on the issue

  • Even though I don’t want to accept that I am too … I accept who I am and how I feel
  • Even though I can’t accept that I am too … I accept who I am and how I feel
  • Even though I am ashamed that I am too … I accept who I am and how I feel

When you have neutralised the charge on each item, test the result by saying

I accept that I am … [fat]

Take care of any tail-enders that arise.

Use the same process for the ‘I’m not … enoughs.’

Make a list filling in the blanks I’m not …. enough and start repeat the tapping process.

NLP Cafe – How to Increase Self Esteem

When people are feeling great, on-top of the world, self satisfying, self belief and self-aligned, they might well be described as having high self esteem.On the other hand, when people are feeling down, unhappy with their lot, under preforming and perhaps even miserable, they can be described as having low self esteem.

We all use this somewhat ubiquitous term of ‘self esteem‘ term but …

  • What specifically is self esteem?
  • How is self esteem created? and
  • How can you get more of it?

On February 13th at the NLP Café meeting Nigel Hetherington will demonstrate the structure of self esteem and how you can go about transforming your own and other peoples self esteem to create responsive, durable and above all honest foundations of the person who you want to be. This session will be based on Steve Andreas excellent Transforming Yourself work.

Once you know the structure of self esteem, just imagine what you will be able to do once, you will necessarily be able to :

  • Recognise and transform blocks into higher self esteem
  • Increase both your own and others self esteem
  • Transform mistakes into powerful and directive learnings
  • Have processes that you can self apply to change now and become who you want to be

The NLP Café will be meeting at St Oswald’s Hospice Teaching Centre in Newcastle between 7pm – 9pm on Wednesday February 13th.

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