Caring for the Collective.

Each year at NLP University in California a general intention is set, and this summer it was ‘caring for the collective’. This naturally lead to many discussions about caring for our environment, not just for future generations, but for us now.

This coincided perfectly with one of the reasons Ed Hines and I decided a few months before to create a training in Paris on 16th & 17th November called Environment, Identity and Vision – Your Purpose and Planning on a Changing Planet. We are holding this course in the venue in the Marais area of Paris where Ed and I started teaching together in 2002.

Since that time, we have both had the privilege of seeing many people realign their lives, follow a new path or find a renewed enthusiasm for their existing one. Time has passed and Ed and I wanted to create a course to enable people to update that vision (if needed) and to find out if there are any blocks.

Choosing Change

NLP and Coaching often ignites in people new and powerful ways to reconsider their beliefs and purpose. However, that ‘ignition’ can be accompanied by a sense of discomfort, knowing deep down that something is out of kilter.  Some forward pressing coaches may say ‘ignore it and reach for your goals’ – however, modern approaches in NLP would ask you to dig deeper and find out what that conflict is about (sometimes called cognitive dissonance). My firm belief is that finding out is always worthwhile – we may not choose to change, but facing it with acceptance and without shame can create unexpectedly positive shifts when done in the right way.

One area that we sense is a dilemma most of us share is that of the environment. I said to Ed something like, “I would rather do a bit of recycling than really find out what my lifestyle is costing the planet, because I don’t really want to live in a tent and make the huge necessary sacrifices”. Ed pointed out that the problem with this approach is an implied perfectionism – ‘if I can’t do it perfectly, I don’t want to do it at all.’ This leads to endless cognitive dissonance. Some more useful questions might be “What changes would I be willing to make, given more knowledge? Would it be possible to make some positive difference?”

Integrate to Accelerate

To become more congruent – to act ‘wholeheartedly’, means integrating our personal vision and mission ecologically (the word actually means working effectively within a system – any system, including that of your own life). We all probably need to make some changes, both personally and collectively, to help bring this about.

Lastly, ‘perfect is the enemy of done’. We can often succumb to ‘analysis paralysis’, where we don’t act on important things in fear that it’s ‘not good enough’. I know that I have sometimes avoided things as it somehow seemed ‘better’ than the shame of inaction. Once I became aware of this, I decided to take that coaching advice and ‘push past  it and act’.

We hope you will join us in France where I hope we can all take some positive steps forward.

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