Golden Shades of NLP by Stefanie Pagel

by Houston Vetter - DocResults on May 19,


Some things are just too good to be true (such as NLP – Neuro Linguistics Programming), and should hence be shared with you.  Recently, I had the pleasure of attending Chris Mulzer’s BRAINPOWER workshop, April 20-26, in Berlin, Germany. Just to warn you, most of my comments are “likelihood” frames, as you never really know for sure what the hell is going on in his workshops. Nevertheless, I personally believe that this will be worth your time, so please take an extra few minutes and let me know what you think. Even if you haven’t poked around in NLP enough to know some of the names or techniques, perhaps you may need just a little more.

All in all, it was a fun and entertaining week, a stirring and open-minded group of people, and a great spring-cleaning of your brain to tune up the neurology for peak performance. But first things first… I’d completed the same workshop last year; thus, I was expecting something of the same tenor — and couldn’t have been wrong. It had the same name, but magically different content.

Golden Shades of NLP

Take, for instance, the first day’s setting of “now, I wouldn’t be so presumptuous to suggest that it is happening to us now, but wouldn’t it be fun if you could look back from the future and see yourself as having this as the start of a great new adventure?” And in fact, it should become an adventure, the adventure of anybody!

This time, the event hall offered more of an intimate semi-circular seating arrangement around the stage, so everyone got to see each other instead of sitting in speaker-centred positioning. And Chris’ interaction with the group was a real treat. He subtly managed to keep track of everyone in the group continuously, checked if you were still keeping up, patiently answered questions by walking his talk, in addition to doing a lot of individual work under the guise of talking to the group as a whole. I guess that’s one of his major secrets to creating the right kind of “classroom” swagger, and a very dense intensity to beam people away to generate their very change as devil’s advocates.

I told myself that this time I’ll pay attention to the structure of his communication — and found myself getting drawn in to the content and back out again, besides loosing track of time. One day I will crack the code on his storytelling! The workshop consisted of hypnosis, charisma, and brain machines (anybody who has ever witnessed one of Chris’ workshops will know that this was only the tip of the iceberg). Generously speaking, NLP makes observations of peoples’ behaviour by building models, whereas BRAINPOWER builds tools to make the brain have more fun.

And we all had a great deal of fun! First and foremost, Chris had what seemed like the greatest fun on earth working his art, e.g., he began by describing the use of language to change one’s state of mind and how linking jokes and learning can tickle the mind to make you feel good. While listening to a story about hypnosis, you could hear the outer church-bell-ringing clearly to make Chris interrupt to elegantly explain how conscious incorporation may be used in hypnosis while interpreting the sounds as the “aurorum tibidorium” (Golden Age) of your emerging future. Could there be better timing to account for pattern interrupt, reframing, or auditory anchoring?

I love stories and metaphors that prove useful and entertaining by giving a new perspective on an issue. Was it Gregory Bateson who said that everything is a metaphor for everything else? Anyway, Chris’ gift for working out metaphors is admirable, as each is unique, and even without interpreting them, you will have “aha” moments where you viscerally recognize that “this is my life,” but see it in a new way (and NLP is all about new perspectives). Take, for example, the metaphor of a five-pointed star-shaped pentagram rotating around the blue diamond (alias multilayer resource anchor) — hats off! Some of his fun inductions and anchors were included merely as clever play on words. A naysayer’s trance intro, jolly neologisms, and it didn’t take people long to go bananas again. He also demonstrated conversational change by using extravagant methods, e.g., by using words in different languages (devil and angel, or words spoken with different accents and emphasis).

This brings us back to the first topic — hippinosis, or what are we to say? The truth is that all communication is hypnosis and all hypnosis is communication. Anytime you turn inwards, engages in introspection, in self-awareness, in guided imagery in storytelling, you are involved in hypnosis. By learning how to make conscious use of such patterns and understanding how language works, you can then run your own brain as you so choose.

We worked on language skills for gaining rapport. We delved into the sub-modalities and how to use them in language patterns. We did a good number of exercises designed to tie all of this together and to fully turbo-charge our language. And Chris, who seemed to be bristling with energy, talked ceaselessly, luminously, and hilariously. The states he led us through were definitely dazzling (even for the old hands entre nous NLPistes).

I find Chris’ teaching style to be exceptional and entertaining on multiple levels, as he not only presents the processes but demonstrates them as well. He presented the experience-oriented learning of fractionation along with activity-based learning in people’s afternoon exercises. Anyway, the effect of such constant talking was to decisively and completely blot out all internal dialogue for most of the time — probably from total information overload. I sense as though (you never know for sure with him) he instilled in us the ability to go into such states on command, yet have conscious control over what happens in them.

And yes, I think it takes a skilled trainer to allow everyone to benefit at different levels. I admit I’ve seen Chris several times at various workshops, but each time I grow to appreciate his skills more and more. Since last year, he has evolved once again — using new techniques and applications — and has created and designed new ways of making change simpler and easier, using a different chunk size in his presuppositions and language of stories (well, sometimes easy can be hard!).

Still, the trick is to get people to feel good for no reason and then to figure out how to make others feel good.

And whatever workshop you are attending, you get into these states and learn how to use anchoring (in all representational systems) to make changes before you ever feel bad… but more on that later. And then, charisma, and a welcome bridge from the hypnotic language pattern of nominalization… While charisma is a gift, it’s a gift we all possess. Some of us have just learned how to unwrap it.

And what if charisma can be taught? We were asked to define charisma for ourselves prior to Chris drawing on a bunch of NLP techniques to break charisma down into these defined components that actually fit in with everyone’s existing personality. Presence, for example, is the ability to be fully present in the moment, to be so focused on the person you’re talking to that you can make them feel like they’re the most important person in the world. Chris concluded by demonstrating with volunteers from the audience, and it was an excellent and well-received presentation, and an auspicious inaugural event for everybody else.

All I can say is that it works, and people can get the skills they want and use them fast. One way to do this is to have the right mental state, which usually arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort because of your (negative) emotions controlling your thinking, behavior, and actions. You cannot change or control your emotions, but you can learn to accept or release them by using the magnetic cure of Dr. Brad Nelson’s Emotion Code. We don’t usually think of the heart muscle as a potential thinking organ that stores and processes emotions and memories, but it really is. But that’s not the direction I want to go to. One key to being charismatic is to already feel as if you have it on a deep level (and at best by using multi-layered NLP hypnotic suggestions to influence your subconscious).

So, we just covered everything from sub-modalities to eliciting strategies (learned behaviors triggered by a specific sensory representation called stimulus) for decisions, motivation, learning, living, etc.; calibration exercises, many wild energy experiments, anchoring, developing our own well language approaches to using trance structure (see Elman, Milton); eliciting states in other people and working at the neurological level. Brain machines were an adventure into how to make change using your body and energy using the principles from time, memory, feelings, language with anchoring, and states that regulate states because our memories and learning, our strategies, are dependent on the state in which they are created.

To the close the loop, strategies can be thought of as having a trigger that starts them (anchor), an operation where you act and collect information in some sense, a test where you check whether the results you get are the ones you wanted, and an exit where you act based on this test. Of course in real life, strategies are not simple sequential operations as featured in the TOTE model, but your brain is able to meta-respond to a strategy, giving birth to the idea of brain machines.

Ever thought about your intuitive abilities? Intuition is hardwired to your neural pathways, mostly accompanied by unmistakable physical signals like this “aha” in your mind — loop closed. Most of the time, however, intuitive thoughts, images, and feelings are subtle — sometimes so subtle they are not recognized as intuitions when they happen. The universe as the source of intuition — a guiding higher power always broadcasting for your very benefit…

Chris finally dealt with the top level of the logical learning pyramid (see Robert Dilts), raved about the LOA or the Secret making esotericism tangible. When mastering your mind you perceive your inner universe in all three major senses (primary modalities) flashing very quickly. Are you still with me? An understanding of the brain helps you to make sense of how human beings perceive idealistic states. Sensory experience is divided into self and non-self to experience Universe in its undifferentiated unity (hey, that’s scientifically proven!).

NLP is how to make the Law of Attraction practical.

And now be completely honest. Have you ever reflected on whence you come from, where you are and wither you shall go to? In this respect, I really and truly appreciate Chris’ trainings as he intrinsically bypasses the great questions concerning the meaning of your very own life unlike many other NLP trainers. Anyway, every day was rounded off with a very special tidbit in terms of a musically accentuated trance, par excellence, always beginning with Claude Debussy’s “Claire De Lune.” From the beginning to the end, Chris demonstrated his unique ability to use the skills and ideas of NLP to help people change their belief system and break free of their limitations.

No later than halfway through, I again arrived at a decidedly new plane of consciousness where I could feel and see what Chris was doing over and above language used as a golden cover. The real work he was doing seemed to be of a very different kind. I notice that once more I’m living NLP without even thinking about it, and more frequently, with more ease and fun than before. And I finally got loads of new ideas with the better attitude of adventure and curiosity to manage life. I am sure that I will expand and intensify this experience later in the summer during his next workshop. The gods only know what kinds of things he will have come up with by then!

Stefanie Pagel


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