Powerful NLP Process to Transform Depression

Posted by Holly Stokes on May 4th, 2012

In Neuro- Linguistic Programming (NLP) we think of depression as a mental habit rather than a disease.

Now a mental habit sounds fairly simple to change, right? Well, yes and no. What we know now in how the brain works, we can help it set up a new mental habit very quickly, yet emotions can be tricky, they can range from simple to very complicated.

At the simple level, we have emotional habits, like feeling stressed when you open up your mail or pay your bills. Then we have emotional associations, like the emotions that different foods have, such as the feeling of warmth and family that comes with pumpkin pie.

Then, we have emotions as messengers, giving us useful information about our lives and how to find greater happiness and well being.

Emotions can also indicate automatic thought patterns that are working against us. Rather than avoiding, denying or cutting off these negative emotions, its even more useful to identify what is causing or triggering the feeling, and then change it at the underlying level.

Emotions are messengers

Emotions are messengers giving us important (more…)

We Forgive for Our Own Happiness!

Posted by Holly Stokes on October 31st, 2011

Its important to forgive because the resentments that we hold onto mostly affect us, not the other person that we are angry with. Any resentments that we hold get in the way of our happiness. Much like spots on a windshield, we can’t see our lives effectively if we haven’t washed off the spots that get in the way of our clarity. Our brain records all our memories and our emotions together. You may have found yourself driving down the road and thinking about a past event, even though the event is over and done, as you think about the event, you experience the same emotions that you felt at the time. As you think of an old argument, you feel angry or frustrated all over again. It’s hard to move your life forward if you keep getting sucked into negative emotions of the past. If we carry lot of resentments, it gets in the way of our quality of life.

Another way to think of forgiving is to think of it as letting go. Even though some people may not “deserve” forgiveness, we don’t forgive them for their sake, we forgive for our own wellbeing. Forgiving the past can improve your quality of life, it can improve your happiness, and allow you greater clarity in moving forward. As we forgive others, we are better able to move forward in our lives, without getting sucked into the negatives of the past. Here’s my 6 steps to forgiveness: (more…)

A Funny Thing Happened On the Trail of Life

Posted by Holly Stokes on October 14th, 2010

Funny story I thought I’d share from my days as a backpacker.

I was working with a teen  wilderness therapy program. We were out on the desert in the wilds of Utah. As staff we were there a week at a time and the kids were out there anywhere from a few weeks to months. In some ways it was a pretty intensive program, and in other ways life got really simple.

Each of the kids had a tarp for shelter and all their gear would roll up in the tarp, which they would then tie up into a bundle and then thread seat belt webbing through to make a backpack. Every morning we would tear down the shelters, roll up our packs and hit the trail for anywhere between 2-10 miles. When we arrived at our campsite for the day, we would unpack and make camp.

In the middle of nowhere, the desert of  Utah, there was a stillness there that spoke to the soul. A deep quiet so strong and peaceful it is my belief that this desert magic could soothe the confusion and the difficulties of the teens who came.

So, we pack up as usual like so many days before, as we are hiking, one of the students, lets call him Mike was just really tired and struggling.

Me: Hey Mike, Hows it going?

Mike: Oh, I don’t know what it is, my pack is so heavy today

Me: Hmm, maybe you are just more tired today.

Mike: yeah, maybe it just feels so heavy.

Me: Well, hang in there, we’ve only a couple more miles to go.

The last couple of miles Mike looked tired and worn. He was a good hiker but the trail today was really wearing on him.

Finally, we arrived at our campsite for the night. Everyone began unrolling their backpacks, we heard Mike shout  “No wonder!” as he stood over his bundle of possessions. I came over to see what he was talking about.

There, nestled between his socks and an extra pair of pants was a big fat rock. We are not talking a handsized rock, we are talking about a sizeable two handed 10 lb. rock about the size of a large grapefruit! We used rocks to secure the sides of the shelter, and that morning while he was packing up, it must have gotten buried among his clothes or he got distracted in tearing down the tent tarp.

As you think about it, what a great metaphor for life. How many times have we hiked around in our life with giant rocks in our backpack? Old ideas and thought patterns that weigh us down and hold us back?

What’s in your backpack?

Do you deserve to get what you want?

Posted by Holly Stokes on September 17th, 2010

You know this old idea of worthy and deserving? I was thinking about it last month because it came up for me as a block against moving my business forward. I didn’t think it was there, but alas, another layer of it. As I reflected about this idea, I realized a few things.

What are the hard and fast rules of being worthy or deserving? there aren’t any, worthy and deserving is a judgement- if its a judgement, someone must be deciding…

So, Who is it that decides who is worthy and deserving? If something is worthy and deserving – its just a person’s opinion. There are as many opinions on this planet as there are people.

Even to  say – yes I am worthy- you are still missing the mark. Its based on the presumption that some people are more deserving than others, that some people are more valuable than others.  At the core level, we are all souls on the same journey of learning and growing. As you look at people for the value of their soul- we are all priceless, and there is no judgement.

As I worked with a client today to change an old belief, the new belief that came out of the process was, “I create and define my worth and value.”

How much better to recognize your own responsibility in defining what’s important to you, what holds value for your life, and living up to that aspiration on your own terms rather than living by someone else’s rules or opinions.

How often do we let other’s opinions and ideas define us, or limit us?

Maybe its time to let go of old judgements. Maybe its time to see ourselves and the world of people as souls on the same journey. The judgements you hold for others are the same judgements you hold for yourself.

If you look at people with that perspective, you might ask the question I asked, “why then do some have more than others?” My answer through the eyes of soul: Focus

Its an attracting universe – we get what we focus on.

So, I choose not to believe in the old idea of  “worthy and deserving” and to believe instead in the priceless values of souls, travelers on the same journey, and the question is really: What do you want to grow in the world – that’s where you put your focus.