We’re delighted and excited to have been invited by Karen Falconer (formerly Moxom) and the NLP International Conference team to present a special masterclass in May 2019 on a theme that is important to us and close to many of the hearts and lives of people in the NLP community.
We’d like to take this opportunity to introduce ourselves to Rapport readers, to talk about the history and the current situation in NLP, and how we are so happy that this generation of NLP students and enthusiasts are creating positive social contributions, strengthening the credibility of the field, and innovating new applications and achievements.
We also want to invite you to join us at this unique and inspirational day so we can share key tools and frameworks to support you, your gifts and your goals – for yourself, for your local communities and for our challenging global situation.
The NLP International Conference is already taking a key global leadership role in terms of encouraging delegates to take NLP into their lives and communities to make a difference. The new special Awards evening on the Saturday night of the conference now shines a bright and warming light on some the best of what NLPers are creating in the world. It is a real joy and honour to hear of the work being done and to meet the inspirational ordinary/not ordinary people who are leading the way with bold ideas and real, meaningful results. (Also FYI there’s an amazingly fun party – this year I joined Robert Dilts and many others to dance the night away! JL)
So we are really looking forward to meeting you in May ’19 and spending what we hope will be an inspiring, magical, practical day together, clarifying and advancing multiple projects, large and small, networking, sharing tools and resources, and generally having a great time enriching our perception of just what might be possible.
Judith and Judith
Judith DeLozier and Judith Lowe have spent many years developing, training and creating contexts for learning and applying NLP. Judith DeLozier is a key co-developer of NLP from the early Santa Cruz days and her many contributions are woven deep into the fabric of the field. Her background in religious studies, anthropology, health and dance, her love of nature and animals, her humour, wisdom and warmth have suffused much of contemporary practice. She is a model of generous leadership, always curious, compassionate and skillful.
For an in-depth interview with Judy see the Rapport profile in issue 43, in which she talks in more detail about somatic syntax and some of her many achievements. Judith Lowe, through PPD Learning in London, and through long-term partnerships with many of the best NLP trainers, has developed masterclasses, study groups, seminars and products, and brings different disciplines together such as Alexander Technique and NLP. She has been instrumental in bringing out potential in many trainers by setting interesting challenges for new seminars, not to mention her amazing ability to model in a casual conversation.
The Passion in Action project is a new seminar arising from one of those interesting challenges.
The big band
JDL: ‘Originally, Judith and I were asked by both the NLP community and the non-NLP community to create a seminar to address social change and social issues that would also be enriching and accessible to everyone who wanted to come. ‘After many conversations over time we thought to create a context where people could come who were working and committed in the area of socially focused projects, who needed support, community, a place to dream new dreams, connection with others like themselves, and a place for healing. This is a part of the community of NLP for which I feel so much pride. ‘We also wanted the programme to be a welcoming access point to key NLP tools and frameworks, for beginners and experts alike, to develop multilevel leadership skills for everyday life, regardless of whether they had a social project in mind. ‘For both of us this seemed like another way for NLP to grow. There are now so many areas of application in NLP. There are strategies for learning, health, both physical and mental, leadership and entrepreneurial areas, creativity, and teams, families and communities. ‘This has added more beautiful goodies to the landscape of NLP, as Judy would say. And the beautiful NLP goodies – meaning the tools, skills, experiences, descriptions and models that we have learned or developed along our NLP journeys – and the many pioneering developments like these have been created, from the beginning, in partnerships and collaborations. ‘I think of Todd Epstein who said that NLP was never written as a solo. It was a least a duet, maybe a trio and some hold with the idea of even a big band. For myself I see that the pattern was that NLP was always a kind of generative collaborative effort, whether it was John and Richard, Frank and John and Richard, Richard and Leslie, Judith and Robert, Judy and Judith, Judy and Robert. The best work from my perspective has come though this co-creative path.’ The ‘big band’ approaches of generative collaboration and co-creative collective intelligence is one of the central themes of Passion in Action.
The growth of NLP – through modelling
The growth of NLP as a discipline has emerged in different ways. Of course the skillful modelling of expert performance is fundamental to the field.
JDL: ‘I always say that people model for different reasons:
1 You enjoy learning about something in particular, model it, and look for a place to apply it. You look around. Who can use the results of the modelling?
2 You look around and see a need, a context or place that is in need of knowledge and you create something that could be useful to that context or group of people. ‘This was the case with Passion in Action. We knew that there were lots of people asking for this space to be created; we knew that corporations from various countries had monies allocated for community projects; and we knew there was a lot of passion out there waiting for an opportunity to express itself. We thought, what a great opportunity. ‘A major tool for us then is through the process of “live” modelling. The success stories, the awakening stories and the stories of contribution serve as the pool for modelling strategies, attitudes and inspiration. What unfolds is people being generative and creating a generative community. This supports partnership and collaboration and creates something concrete, through modelling, that people can bring home to their own communities.’
JL: ‘I remember Judy saying that she had once worked with a group of Native American women in a small rural women’s refuge and that she had invited them to think of their inspirational role models in life. So they had been calling out their role models who were all amazing people of course, like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King and Our Lady of Guadaloupe, and then she said, “These people are all great role models, but hey, let’s look around the room!“ And it was a moment of great revelation in that group, to see themselves and to see each other as role models – for strength, for caring, for survival, for spirit, for humanity. ‘So “Hey, look around the room!” has been one of our mantras. And, as we say in NLP, “People have all the resources they need.” The issue for most of us is to identify, access, mobilise, enrich and strengthen our resources, to find meaning and direction, to be able to contribute.’ With even basic NLP skills and quite a broad-brush approach to modelling it’s possible to learn deeply from each other and to be profoundly enriched.
The growth of NLP – through application areas and description
JDL: ‘There are now three descriptions. They are called generations but for me they are descriptions, which encompass different areas of human experience. As Robert and I might say, first the cognitive mind, then the somatic and relational minds. Each adding to, enriching and filling in aspects of each other. I think this came about quite a bit by focusing on different areas like beliefs, identity, mission and vision. So the “neurological levels” model (Robert Dilts) was a fabulous way to guide our attention to different spaces for development. ‘The bigger picture is that we are all members of a larger community and like all communities manifest many differences. ‘However, I think we all want to make a difference to something through the tools, techniques and models of NLP. Differences to ourselves as individuals, to our families, businesses and communities.
‘I remember in conversation with John Grinder we would say that a leader needs three levels of congruence: one with the self, one with the vision and one for where the vision will live. In what context? There needs to be congruence with the community where the vision will be realised. For myself, and I think for Judith as well, we realised that bringing together the people with passion and desire, the people with projects and the people with need would create a very rich and generative association.
‘So some of the exploration focuses on areas of belief, identity, mission and vision. We have a metaphor of finding your “true north” like a compass needle
The issue for most of us is to identify, access, mobilise, enrich and strengthen our resources
most appeal to someone in a natural way. It’s a great and simple way of finding direction and alignment. We also have a process called “Gathering the allies” that for some people is quite life changing and full of surprises. And so we’re looking to supply tools from all the “generations” – the cognitive, somatic and relational – to support the creative ideas that can flow from there.’
Touching the world with love and grace
JL: ‘Judy’s dad, then in his nineties, once sent us a good luck message for this project for people to “touch the world with love and grace”. We are also both inspired by this piece by Gregory Bateson in Steps to an ecology of mind: Aldous Huxley used to say that the central problem for humanity is the quest for grace… he explained the word in his own terms… He argued… that the communication and behaviour of animals has a naiveté, a simplicity, which man has lost. Man’s behaviour is corrupted by deceit – even self-deceit, by purpose and by self-consciousness. The problem of grace is fundamentally a problem of integration. And what is to be integrated is the diverse parts of the mind – especially those multiple levels of which one extreme is called “consciousness” and the other the “unconscious”. For the attainment of grace, the reasons of the heart must be integrated with the reasons of the reason. ‘Judith DeLozier and John Grinder’s wonderful, completely unique book Turtles All the Way Down: Prerequisites for Personal Genius is a kind of love song to Gregory Bateson. In it they explore many of Bateson’s ideas as their inspiration for the new NLP patterns they produced in the ‘80s. It’s where the ideas of “New Code NLP” originate as possible answers to the questions of what types of changes in living systems – and in living communities – possess a kind of wisdom.
‘The premise of the workshops on which Turtles is based is that NLP as a field, as developed in a western, more individualistic and technological society,
important NOTE! Article & pictures are taken from Rapport Magazine!
has a tendency to drift, in its practice, to the cognitive and to the conscious, and to metaphors of control. Drawing on poetry, dance, music, dreams and amazing activities like crossing over the Golden Gate Bridge in an altered state, key ideas from Bateson about grace, wisdom and change in living systems get explored in practical ways. ‘In Bateson’s piece he is talking about art and culture and how the art of some cultures is too conscious and that of other cultures too unconscious. We’re talking about personal and social changes and asking similar questions. ‘Can our touch have wisdom and grace? Does it heal or harm? Are the reasons of the heart being integrated with the reason of the reason?’
Look around the room!
We met Judith Lowe’s friend from Texas – Neva, a community activist who had been rallying local help for the Hurricane Katrina survivors and who memorably said, ‘You can’t lend a helping hand with one arm tied behind your ass!’ We modelled some of our students from PPD Learning. Glenda was running an amazing after-school music programme for black youth; John was a churchwarden of an 11th century church and was removing the Victorian pews to make the space of worship more wheelchair-accessible and child friendly; Simon had recently completed a sponsored ride to raise money to protect gorilla habitats.
The programme really started to come alive – taking their passion, their heartfelt values and bringing them into the world in some kind of action, making a difference from the heart. For many people this process brings the rich qualities of their values and their vision more deeply into their everyday lives. Your ‘project’ is yourself and your life. The second time we ran a ‘Passion’- type programme in the UK we were joined by a special guest and friend of Judy’s, Rev Patricia Novick, who had marched with Dr. Martin Luther King in the 1960s and who now works as a pastor in a big southside Chicago congregation, near where the Obamas used to live! She was a great source of inspiration to the group, especially as she shared her living mission to continue with Dr. King’s work and vision. It was pretty amazing to be only one person away from one of the great world figures in modern history. At the practical level though she is extremely gifted at getting stuff done – very proactive and persistent. One of the interesting characteristics of her work is what she calls the ‘replicability’
Can our touch have wisdom and grace? Does it heal or harm?
of her projects. She gave as an example a workshop she had created aimed at supporting health and self-care for nurses. This project includes art and prayer, movement, breathing and water. Someone from the group then took this self-care project into a London drama school to help the students manage the ups and downs of an acting career. David and Earl were raising money for an orphanage in Botswana. We drew out the supportive and collaborative way they were working together. We were delighted to be guests of honour, albeit not in our ballgowns, at a blacktie evening the following year, as they raised further funds and celebrated their achievements. John had been commissioned in his role in the corporate world to find a way to recruit and create jobs in his sector for people with certain types of neuroatypical conditions. His project was then picked up by an HR manager in the group and another manager in a global energy company and then replicated in their organisations. Someone else just ‘stole’ a key belief from him about having a go at something even though you don’t know what you’re doing yet, making a start on something outside your current knowledge and learning as you go. For her, that belief was the difference that made a difference! Sara helped an elderly stroke victim recover communication and joie de vivre; Paul organised an eco approach to cycling provision in his borough; Rix brings chi gung into mental health wards for patients and nurses together. Rachel co-authored a children’s book on climate change. A group of women from Poland started their own political party! One evening at a special edition practice group I asked a group of incredible young teachers from an East End primary school to tell us something about their work in a busy, multicultural school from a deprived community. Their belief in what was possible, their certainty about the potential in children to learn and grow, was contagious. Everyone at the group took something wonderful home with them from that session. Over the years we have met and formally live-modelled some amazing people.
May 17 2019 – It’s happening
So we are now in development mode, thinking about how best we can serve the NLP International Conference in May ’19 and the unique, amazing NLP people who will join us on the day. Here are three things we know so far:
• Everyone is super welcome and already full of great ideas and resources.
• Houston, we have the technology.
• It’s time for all of us to step up our practice.
Also we’d love to hear from you. If you have stories, comments, questions, jokes, role models, songs, miracles, arguments, visions, book recommendations, videos, dances, photos of cute animals etc., please send them to us in this dream time to weave into the day next year. What will make the day so special is you. Come as you are, it’s more than enough to get us all started.