I’ve opened files three times today to write a post and ended up just staring at the blank screen. Sometimes it is a good thing to let the mind sit idle for awhile. I remember a long time ago when I was over involved—running a preschool, going to grad school, running an aerobic dance studio, and doing a counseling residency—you get the picture. Some days I wasn’t sure whether to put on a bib, a skirt, or my leotard. I used to have dreams that I would end up in the wrong attire. Sitting in a counseling session in my leotard . . .
With some unexpected intervention, I was forced to face my extreme workaholism. I remember actually praying. Please—show me the right direction, show me where I belong. Very soon after that moment I learned that my first husband had lost his job, and I discovered that I was pregnant.
It was a crazy time—we were going to move to Arizona–he applied for a job and got it. I quit all of my activities within 30 days. Suddenly I was sitting there with nothing on my agenda but a baby in my womb. And it felt exactly right. I listened to eastern music, wrote in my journal, and spent time examining my life and my marriage to Wayne. It was both painful and exhilarating.
I prayed again. (I am not a big pray-er normally), but I was so confused and wanted to know my direction. I made a promise to the Greater Force to not pick up another thing until I was sure it was the right thing. Oddly, Wayne ended up resolving the reasons he had been fired and was hired back. In the end, there had been no need for me to quit school, my residency, and all the other stuff I was doing.
After a few quiet winter months, the first thing that crossed my path was an opportunity to study Neurolinguistic Programming. A group of us in Rapid City asked an NLP trainer who was also a Presbyterian minister to come and do a training seminar over six months for us. Tom Fairhurst was a gentle soul with a passion for all things Milton Erickson.
I moved from being an erratic, outwardly-directed person to an extremely inner-directed person. I studied NLP with all that I had. I learned to see, to hear, to feel. The training was an intense experience of bringing my shallow awareness into a wider spectrum. It was an amazing time. When the training ended, I continued to study, followed other trainers, read books, read people until the skills I was learning began to feel as natural to me as my own skin.
When my daughter was born, I experienced the birth in a dissociated state, floating along the ceiling watching a woman labor. But at the moment of birth, I was instantly back in my body and falling in love with my baby.
That was almost 30 years ago. It may sound strange, but those skills have taught me when to “step away” from what is happening, and when to be fully present to what is happening. Most of us don’t know that we have a choice in the matter. We do.
It is amazing how that formative time in my life has shaped every day since. For me, NLP means a New Life Path.When my son was born a few years later, I named him Tom Fairhurst Christopherson after my first NLP trainer. Tom Fairhurst died of liver cancer and Wayne and I wanted to honor his presence in our lives.
Tom was given an unusual middle name—but he has never seemed to mind.
On another note, I had an amazing week. We actually rented a space in an office building in Bemidji—a place to offer courses (NLP of “course”) and talking circles and youth radio and and and.
Wait, I need to be careful not to repeat my own history. More on The Many Kites Learning Center later.
A few questions for you . . .
Are you present in your life?
Do you find yourself involved in things that no longer fit you?
Are you able to let them go and move on?
Do you see a path or a course toward what you want?
Is it time to act?
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