What do you do with your evil twin?


Hi, wanted to share with you some interesting thoughts about our ‘evil twin’ sent to me by my NLP coach:

Hi {Binki}
Have you ever had the privilege of baby sitting? Not something I do regularly but, the times I have, I am often amazed at the range of emotions a toddler can display in just a matter of moments.

Sure, a toddler or baby wouldn’t be classifying their experience in that way, and that my friend is, a real, if not the real skill! They have no concept of what we as adults categorise as an emotion, never mind the labels … think about it!

Adults all too often seem to forget this natural ability, to be able to experience a full range of emotions. As adults we often become accustomed to a less complete range (related to the concept of small ego, should not’s and should’s) and as one consequence, can experience what I will call emotional constipation. I think the term is very appropriate!

As a therapist, change professional or coach, there is often both a tendency to focus on our client feeling good at the end of a session and their outcome focus as some kind of completion. Both of these in my opinion have the potential to distract from the real generative process of change.

Joseph Campbell is very famous, among other things, for the phrase “follow your bliss”. There is another form of this and it is “follow your wound”. I first heard this wonderful statement from Bill O’Hanlon. The real skill here is using either your wound or your bliss to make a genuine and heart felt difference in the world and certainly your own well being.

This to me, means integrating and accepting pain, pleasure and your evil twin, Skippy! Who has a great deal of energy to offer you. If you will welcome them in.

There is a real power to be gained and it’s about acknowledging and welcoming, yes, welcoming your wound, or the parts of you that are pulling against the small ego. There are ways to many therapies and change processes that concentrate on the so called positive. So, what about acknowledging ALL your feelings be the bliss or piss? Welcoming your demons and angels.

Nietzsche said “Beware lest in casting out your demons you cast out the best thing that is in you”. Joseph Campbell said that “So many psycho-analised patients are like filleted fish” – The best part ( the guts ) is missing … Think about it and perhaps you can harness and integrate an incredibly powerful part of yourself.

Here is a little experiment for you to explore and internalise.

Let’s say you have a negative experience, like emotional pain, hurt, guilt, anger, rage, animosity etc … all of these are somatic and are within your body, the feeling is not a concept, it is a feeling!

First, acknowledge your own feelings (anything else will surely lead to a kind of dis association that is IMO ultimately unhelpful). That is feel it and then … welcome the physical sensation. Notice where you feel this sensation.

Notice I am already re-framing a labelled emotional response to a physical feeling.

Then concentrate on the sensation, notice if the sensation is moving or still, and BREATH and then BREATH in and out through the sensation. Welcoming this physical sensation. This is not a 30 second exercise.

What I want you to do is imagine you are breathing in through the place in your body your are experiencing the sensation. And keep breathing, in and out, through this place (or places) and notice consciously if the sensation is static or dynamic, if the sensation is changing or staying the same.

Do this until the sensation passes or until it is really, very different. Concentrate on the sensation and NOT on your descriptions of the sensation (anger, sadness, jubilation, sickness), this is way to conscious mind stuff. The whole aim here is to be mindful of your body sensations and not your conscious mind description of the emotion.

If the sensation moves to some new emotion (well a sensation really) repeat the process. This really is a very deep meditation and is intended to re-orientate us to a skill we all had access to as children. After all there are no pre-verbal babies or toddlers I know of who are sad, angry, depressed, happy, pissed off, expectant, disappointed, worried, anxious or you name it.

In fact, the naming process of emotions was ‘inflicted’ on all of us by someone else, our parents or care givers who were very well meaning. Time to re-write our own feeling interpretation systems?


What do you love about yourself, now you are sober?

Sometimes when people behave in ways that I don’t understand or don’t grasp ideas that I think are obvious because they have a different view of the situation, I have a tendency to catastrophise. Like pretty much every person under the sun, from time to time I experience what people honestly call a ‘problem’ or two with the perspectives of others.

Something I find useful in trying not to panic about how a situation will turn out with someone is employing what NLP practitioners call an alternative perspective. It doesn’t necessarily change the problem, but it does change the way I look at it, and the sense of doom that something bad is automatically going to happen starts to recede.

I have struggled with anxiety about people and how they behave, and how people perceive how I behave, for most of my life, and sometimes it is simply agonising because I hate confrontation, and yet I have this deeply held belief about fair play which means I cannot walk away.

I have found a great deal of inner peace through studying CBT and NLP methods to manage my anxiety. For instance, to adopt the perspective of someone else when dealing with a problem can enable a different point of view which brings relief from anxiety about how things will turn out. If for example, you try to adopt the point of view of a doctor, a religious leader or guru, a psychiatrist, a teacher, an engineer – anyone you like. Then compare their perspective with your own.

It’s a very easy and cost effective way to get a second opinion and a third and…!
I find that when trying to understand why someone would behave in a certain way, seeing how they act from the perspective of someone else really helps. To see through the eyes of a teacher, for example, might show me that the person with whom I have an issue really needs educating and hasn’t acted in a selfish or thoughtless manner on purpose. To see through the eyes of a doctor might help me perceive that the person has a series of health issues that might alter the way they interact with the world. To see the person or situation through the eyes of a spiritual leader might help me develop compassion for their situation which may be affecting the way they relate to others.

Much of the reason why I drank was about anxiety around other people. I used it to calm anger and frustration, I used it to calm nerves about meeting up. I used it to squash emotions about people who I disliked but had to deal with. I used it to squash my instincts about the motivations of people who appeared to care but had really quite selfish interests. I used it to cover up what I suspected about myself.

Getting sober hasn’t just been about learning to deal with people without a chemical prop, it has/is about learning to cope with my feeling about myself and how I feel others perceive me. I am deeply insecure despite the bluster. What I do love about myself now I have got to get to know myself a bit better, sober, is that I am stronger than I knew. That’s quite exciting. I bet you are too. What have you learned to love about yourself? I would love to hear xxx

are you afraid of failing?

You failed! That is wrong! And that didn’t work!


All potentially very negative ways of perceiving the results of experience.

Failure is another way to describe repackaged experience. It is a way to describe knowing what not to do. It is valuable currency!
Richard Bandler co-Creator and originator of NLP is famous for saying he makes a lot of mistakes, probably more than anyone he knows…

Why could this be?

Because he is way of track? No!

Because he is an idiot? No way!

Because he has no fear of failure …could be…

The fear of failure is what stops most people from becoming who they really want to be. It stops people launching their own business, stops people being paid for what they would love to do, stops people living the life they honestly desire.
If you honestly think on this, fear either motivates or cripples. Fear is the most
powerful motivation factor there is.
Pain is neurologically conditioned in the nervous system and as humans we avoid pain wherever possible. On the other side pleasure is what biologically and neurologically we as humans seek.
Good decisions come from experience; experience comes from making lots of bad decisions and learning from them.
It is a catch 22 or the ‘Hidden Hamster Wheel’ of existence until you acknowledge the wheel and choose to start to make the decisions now that will create the life you want in the next five years from now.
How do you now begin to create the life you want to live? Well it is not going to happen overnight. It will begin when you TAKE ACTION and take small ‘Kaizen’ steps (a theory based on continuous improvement).
An accumulation of small positive steps will over time make a massive positive difference.
Every little action you take, no matter how small is a step in the right direction. Bitch and Moan all you want about your current situation but it won’t change unless you begin to TAKE ACTION…

Your life can and will change in measurable ways as soon as you begin to take small steps – no matter what the FEAR is. By associating often uncomfortable new ways of being into your life to pleasure and moving away from pain you are literally changing your destiny.

So here is a thought…

Do something, anything, to make little steps into manifesting the destiny you, only you, really want.
Failure is another word for understanding and gaining knowledge about what did not work in a specific context. The more ways you experience ‘not quite’ getting the result you want, the closer you will come to discovering the ways to manifest what you do want.
Warmest wishes, Binki

stuff the mantras

I am learning a lot about NLP and thinking processes at the moment, and am finding that ‘brain training’ otherwise known as neuro-linguistic programming is capable of having quite a remarkable effect.

People trying to change their own behaviour may know there is great value in repetition of commitment to projects and goals over time. This is about training the mind and body to develop unconscious skills, through practice.

Repeating the same thing over and over can get monotonous however and the brain sometimes starts to automatically discount the ‘nagging voice’. I must, I should, I could, I choose, I need to, I have to…repeating the same phrasing stops working, if they ever worked in the first place. It gets to the point where as soon as you tell your subconscious to do something, it rebels against the instruction even before you’ve finished thinking the thought. A bit like a parent and a naughty child.

I have this thing going on at the moment where as soon as I tell myself I am going to quit eating excess sugar, all I can think of is finding sneaky ways to get lots more of it. I tell myself ridiculous lies to justify my consumption. Likewise, people telling themselves to stay off the drink can find that they start to obsess with the idea, because it has become forbidden fruit. The bliddy human mind. Whatever we tell ourselves we shouldn’t have, we want. So a whole cheesecake becomes for me the ultimate desirable dessert. Yet if I was presented with all the chemicals it is actually made of, in separate test tubes, I wouldn’t stomach it at all.

I have resolved to do something over the next week and if I find it of sufficient value I could of course make it a daily and nightly practice. I’m going to try it with my sugar addiction. Maybe consider trying it?

Questions focus attention and your unconscious will continue to search for more answers long after your conscious mind comes up with one single answer.

Mantras can be very useful, for example repeating “I am sober” over and over again may well add to and create more success.

What if we try going beyond mantras?

I am going to try dropping the positive affirmations which just don’t work for me and use developing questions that may challenge me to change my behaviour permanently and in a comfortable way.

According to NLP theory developing questions sets and directs your conscious attention away from the true intention of the questions. This is very different to mantras/positive affirmations! You ask yourself about your other intentions and motivations rather than focusing on the could/would/should repetition mentioning the very thing you know you need to move on from. It’s a kind of subtle game.

The questions suggested here for example are concerned with gratitude, creating opportunities and increasing perception.

For the next seven days you may like to join me to ask the following questions and where appropriate formulate answers. Ask these questions before sleeping at night and on waking in the morning. You might decide to create your own versions.

• What are three things I am grateful for and appreciate in my life right now?

• How can I create new and different opportunities in my life that will move me forward creating positive difference and continue to support my values?

• How can I be more receptive and open to noticing new and different ways of thinking, perceiving and acting in the world?

Our unconscious once tasked by our conscious mind will faithfully go find answers to these questions. I am treating this as an experiment by taking action and doing this for a week…it will be interesting to see if we notice positive change, whatever our issues?