Tag Archives: neuroplasticity

The path less travelled

If you walk through a field, then it makes sense to follow the worn path. It’s an easier route to go. 

Unless the worn path goes all round the field. Then it might make more sense to cut a new path straight through the middle. 

At first that new path will be hard going, but pretty soon it will get easier. 

When others notice the new path, they will probably use it too. More footfall means it gets worn down quicker. 

As the other path gets less used, it will grow over until eventually it will not exist at all. 

This is like your brain as you change. 

Each time you do something new you create a new path – a neural pathway. 

Each time you travel that neural pathway by doing the new thing you reinforce it. 

Old pathways disappear as you stop using them. 

Seeking that new pathway and thinking about that new pathway makes it stronger quicker. 

Pretty soon the old way of thinking and behaving is a long forgotten path. 

This is Neuroplasticity. This is what every client I work with goes through. Permanent changes in the brain. 

Don’t give up on yourself

This weekend I was at Regents University in London for a course run by Quest Cognitive Hypnotherapy. To get to the Uni, you walk through Regent’s Park. It’s a stunning park right in the centre of London, close to Baker Street, and behind Madame Tussauds.

I have experienced many moments in this park.

  • There was a conversation with Trevor Silvester about how I would one day look back on my childhood experiences and be thankful for them. I remember that conversation. It seemed a ridiculous thing to say. He could tell it unsettled me and quickly switched to a distraction. But I remembered it. And, of course, he was right. I am in that place now – but only just!
  • There was a moment just a year or two ago, where those of use who were qualified came together for an annual Cognitive Hypnotherapy event. I felt so different. I felt like I didn’t belong. And I felt sad, because I always felt different. I sat on a bench with a Starbucks over the lunch break. I left everyone else behind to chat. I isolated myself. It was just me and a squirrel that wanted what I had (no way it was getting my Starbucks!). I have since learnt to accept my differences – even like them. I can be comfortable with people I don’t connect with, in the same was as those I do. Not everyone is my tribe.
  • There were many Saturday mornings where I walked along, having had a session with Trevor on the Friday, desperately trying to process the barrage of emotions and thoughts that flooded me following yet another fundamental shift.

As I walked through the park on Saturday, I felt a deep, calm peace.

It occurred to me that I was unrecognisable in comparison to the person that first walked through the park just over 6 years ago. So much so, that you would swear it was not the same person.

There have been many times in the last few years that I have felt that I have reached the limit of change. Often, with things that I still was unhappy with. I would try and accept the version of me that I was. I would try and convince myself that some things just couldn’t be changed.

But I didn’t believe that to be true for my clients, so how could I accept it for myself?

And like that 18 year old me that didn’t take the bottle of tablets, there was a part of me that still fought; a part of me that still believed there was something better for me.

And then another shift has happened. In many ways, this was the most profound shift yet. And I realised that I was wrong: everything can change.

Bowling

I often tell my clients that this process is like bowling

Image result for bowling images

When you go bowling, you don’t know how many pins you are going to knock out of the way until you actually roll the ball down the alley. You have to bowl, and wait.

Each session we bowl.

You also can’t take the bowling ball and go round the back to get the back pins first.

You have to start with the front row.

So sometimes you feel that you have gone backwards. You uncover a row of pins, and because the others have been cleared out of the way, they feel significant. It feels like that was the main problem all along.

But as with bowling, you can only get at the back row once the rows in front are gone.

Don’t give up

So my message to you is: don’t give up on yourself.

Keep bowling. Keep going. If you are not happy with anything, it can always be changed. It might take a while, and it might even catch you by surprise, but everything can change.

And remember, whatever you think, the fact that you are reading this blog post means that you have not given up on yourself yet!

What if I go back to how I was?

Bemused curiosity.

That’s what I tell people to hold on to when they leave their first session with me.

After all, that’s the most common look on their face. They are thinking:

How did that, change everything I’ve been struggling with my whole life?

It’s a weird process where we physically change the brain.

I think of it like the story of Hansel and Gretel, where they left a trail of breadcrumbs so they can find their way home. But the birds eat the breadcrumbs so the path back is gone.

When we work together we are using Neuroplasticity to physically change your brain. The neural pathways are rewired. The original path no longer exists.

When you leave that first session with me, as far as you are concerned the breadcrumbs will still lead you back to the original path. But you learn, with your sense of bemused curiosity, that the path is no longer there.

You notice different things on the new path, of course. Especially when you stop looking for the old path.

It can be scary at first. It’s unfamiliar. You don’t know where it will lead. You try and choose the turns that are familiar. You keep looking for the breadcrumbs. But they are gone. I swept them away.

There is no going back. The old path has gone.

 

Before and After – of the brain?

I rarely share before and after photos on my site or on my Facebook page.

Why? Because it’s really tricky to show before and after of behaviours, feelings and thoughts. And the reality is, that it is those things that change most when I help someone.

It is none of my business what size someone is, that they smoke or drink too much, that they are no good in interviews, they’re scared of flying, or in fact anything about how someone lives their lives. I couldn’t care less how you live your life.

I do care when you come to me and ask for help. I do care that your subconscious is getting in the way of you making the best choices for the way you want to live your life.

My job is simply to get your subconscious out of the way so that you are free to make the choices you want to make.

A person who wants to lose weight for health reasons knows exactly why it’s important to lose weight. They even know what they should do to aid the process. They don’t need me treating them like an idiot and telling them what they should do.

I treat you like a normal, intelligent human being that is simply being hijacked by your subconscious. My job is to stop the hijacking.

My job is to allow you the freedom to be you

If you come to me for weight loss and decide, as a result of our work, that:

  • You are happy as you are and don’t need to worry what people think (because you can’t read minds after all), that is excellent.
  • The emotional hold that food has over you is removed, so you lose enough weight to reach your target size, that is excellent.
  • You no longer need to use your size to hide behind so it becomes ok to lose weight permanently, that is excellent.

Because I help you change your brain. I don’t change you. You do all of that.

I use neuroplasticity to stop your subconscious switching your brain off. I guide you to rewire your brain. If we had your head under an MRI scanner during a session, we would see neural pathways changing. Neuroplasticity.

This excellent video explains it very clearly

So you won’t find many before and after photos on here because so much more than outward appearance changes when I help you. And because these changes are through re-wiring your brain, you can’t go back to how you used to be.

They are steady and permanent changes that free you up to be whoever you want to be

It also means I don’t knock you out and change your head. How can I possibly know the right thing to change without your involvement? It may seem like an easier option to be knocked out, but it’s a little more hit and miss. The approach I take is just as quick (typically 2-3 session is all it takes) and is permanent.

So why not drop me a mail and see if I can help you change your brain to free you up to be the best you can be?