Magic Wands do not exist - oh, and neither does Insomnia by the way...

26 May, 2008

.......does that seem like good news or bad news? Actually it's good news and it's good news. Let me explain why.

Since my article on my One Hour Sleep Solution came out in NEXT magazine in New Zealand and my appearance on TV One's Breakfast show as a sleep therapist - I have seen, and continue to see, a large number of people presenting "insomnia" - which is according to the Sleep / Wake Research centre at Massey is characterised in 4 main ways; difficulty falling asleep, difficulty getting back to sleep after waking, waking more than 3 times in the night, and awaking unrefreshed. I had helped quite a few people resolve this issue before all the media attention (hence my 2 client case studies featured in the article who solved their longstanding sleep problems in just one session with me) and have since seen many more. I have noticed several recurring obstacles with people trying to resolve this issue.

I tell you about them here as it is my passion to help people create a life for themselves that they are satisfied with, it's my life's work, my mission on this planet if you will, and I do it with love and admiration and these obstacles are seriously getting in the way. I would like to help you overcome them - starting right now!

The Limitations of a One Session Cure Expectation

As my case study ladies and many of my other clients have solved their sleep problems in just a singular, one hour session, it seems that the expectation has now been set - everyone wants the same result. I can understand that - I probably would too if I had read an article like that - it would certainly open my eyes to what's possible. So, Charlotte, what is the problem then?? Well, the limitation is this - what happens if you don't get life changing transformational results in a singular, one hour session? Typically the following:

1. Disappointment in oneself, usually an emotional response and also punctuated by bouts of.....
2. .....beating oneself up for not doing it 'right' i.e. "here we go again, can't you get anything right?"
3. Telling yourself 'nothing works' and giving up on the process all together.
4. Focussing on the negatives as oppose to what has changed and what has been good/different since the session. I had such a classic example of this the other day it is worth sharing with you:

I have a lovely client who had been having problems sleeping since her children were first born (they are teenagers and young adults now, so a very long time) - her problem was a double whammy of difficulty falling asleep AND waking up for long stretches in the middle of the night 'solving the problems of the world'. She was subsequently tired and low on energy during the day, which was seriously impeding on her happiness and overall quality of life.

In the first session we gathered a detailed, specific, solution focussed outcome with all the ways she would know if this changed. There were some very common things included; to be waking up only when the alarm went off, more energised during the day, wake up feeling ready to start the day, feel more positive, have better personal relationships i.e. less grumpy and irritable with people and more tolerant and easy with people, do more things that are enjoyable and generally enjoying life more.

We did some straight forward NLP change techniques in the first session and I taught her how to relax and calm her mind, and we scheduled in some problem solving time during the day - so her brain didn't think it necessary to do it in the middle of the night. Things definitely shifted for her when we tested it in the session, and I knew she had changed and was interested to know how much.

When she came in one week later for session number 2, I asked her, as I do all clients "so, what's been different for you since last week? No matter how small it might seem, what has changed?". She replied "oh, you know, it's been OK, it's not as good as I'd like it to be though...". Now, I know a little bit about how the brain works, and I know that people have a habit of deleting the positives in their lives and simply remembering the negatives, so I checked again, and got a little bit more information this time - she was in fact, now sleeping through the night!! She now slept 6 hours straight, once she'd fallen asleep, and was therefore no longer waking up for long stretches in the twilight zone 'solving the problems of the world'. I was like "wow - how are you doing that?!" as to me that sounds like something I want people to aware of as it's incredibly resourceful. I also then re-read her positively stated, detailed outcome we had shaped the week before to check further, to which she listened to and then replied "well, when you put it like that! ...A lot of those things have actually happened!" and so we acknowledged the progress and celebrated it.

So what happened there? It wasn't that she didn't get results, it wasn't that she didn't achieve her outcome, it was that she was so used to focussing on the parts of her life that are not going well, she had forgotten to acknowledge her own progress and her own achievements. Something, it seems, as human beings, we have become very good at doing. She still isn't falling asleep straight away, and is a work in progress. However, that result after a one hour session for a problem she's had for over 15 years, is very positive indeed. She's certainly heading in the right direction very quickly.

How to Overcome These Limitations

These are such common obstacles for people wanting to change their sleep patterns, I really hope that by sharing this it will help you achieve your results with sleep. I feel so passionate about getting the message across I can't quite find the words to be as emphatic as I want to be! Sleep can change, it will change, you have read about people who have changed it easily, it is the most natural, unconscious process in the whole world and every single person on this planet knows how to do it - we've ALL had the experience of falling asleep. It's simply about learning how to run your own brain - so you can learn, once more, how to do this amazingly natural process again. You can, and you will, we all have, we all can, it's just about re-learning it, it's about learning how your brain and your body works, and they do work, perfectly. Some things that may help your practitioner help you:

1) Invest in yourself, in your life. NLP therapy is the most effective, efficient therapy that exists and if it is possible to transform sleep in ONE session, then it's totally possible in two, three, four, five or even 10. If it does take 10 sessions to transform your sleep that's a little over 10 hours. In the context of a lifetime that equates to 10, 20, 30, 40, 50+ years of good quality sleep to follow - that's not a bad ratio is it? How much is that really worth to you?
2) Commit to doing what it takes. Make a decision that this is going to work for you - because you are 100% responsible for what happens in your own mind, no one can reach inside your head, press a button and get you to have a thought or a feeling - you do that part, and therefore you can change what you're doing to get the result you want. If you've had years of doing the old pattern, it may take a while to get that consistent progression that you're after. If you give up on yourself, then how can someone help you? Commitment to your own progress is the name of the game. If one is committed and has that will and determination - you seem to get your results faster anyway - it just seems to be the way it goes!
3) Recognise and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small, along the way. Sleeping for 6 hours straight after over 15 years of waking up constantly for long stretches in the middle of the night is HUGE progress- as well as the numerous benefits of more energy during the day and the improvement in mood and temperament and therefore personal relationships. It is such a shame if this goes unacknowledged - your own magic unnoticed! Please, look out for and remember those positive changes (they will be there) and celebrate, it will help you achieve more, and more, and more. If you don't acknowledge your achievements - how will you know when you've got what you want? It's worth getting into this positive habit right at the start of your journey.
4) Go easy on yourself. I know it's such a common pattern to stop worrying about what you were worrying about before and instead start worrying about the NLP processes your practitioner has given you to practice. They become your concern, as oppose to the 'problems of the world' and this then keeps you awake at night instead. Worrying and being hard on yourself is a large part of how you are creating your sleep problem and therefore this is unlikely to be an overnight change - because you're an expert at it! You've probably been doing it most of your life. The thing is, you have the ability to be an expert at something - great! We just need to transform that into being an expert at running your own brain and getting it to do what you want it to do. Be patient with this process and allow yourself to be learning along the way. You didn't learn to drive a car in an hour and you didn't drive flawlessly the first time you got behind a car. What did you have to do to learn to drive? What did you not have to do to learn to do it? And now you do it without even thinking about it! It's so not about 'getting it right' it's about learning new ways of being yourself, which you will, if you're willing to learn and be patient with yourself learning.
4) Be honest with your practitioner. I believe people know their own truth, whether they know it consciously or not. If something doesn't feel right - by sharing it your practitioner can help you. Sometimes NLP is a very new concept for people and it can feel a little 'out there' at first. That's OK. We're all in this together - see the process as collaborative - help your practitioner help you discover your own magic. Insomnia is not a thing that exists inside of you. If you do something different - you will get a different result. That's the most empowering thing to know about yourself. Honesty with yourself and your support person works magic.

I recently had a client who resolved a really significant issue and changed his whole perspective on life after just two sessions say to me in all seriousness; "I know you say on your website that you don't have a magic wand, but I am beginning to think that you do". I replied "ah, but you're the one with the magic wand, so get used to enjoying your own magic."

And I meant it.

With the utmost faith in the human mind and all the love and best wishes possible,

Charlotte. for NLP services in and around Wellington.

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