Posts tagged: unconscious

Taking Shortcuts

What does this doodle say to you?

 doodle od a dark cloud gradually lifting to reveal the sun and the possibility of a short cut

Doodling is a great way to explore ideas without too much conscious attention. 

What does this doodle say to you? My guess is that it will say different things to different people. It depends upon your current experience, your thoughts and your mood or ‘state’ as we might label it in NLP terms.

Here’s a closer look…

a closer look at the image reveals that there is more than one way to reach your goal

sometimes a closer look reveals something unexpected


Click on the image to open it fully and look even more closely. begin to notice details that you hadn’t previously noticed.

I have shown it to a few people and asked the question… “If this doodle had a message for you, what would it be?” and got a surprising number of different replies:

  • “It’s about how the sun is always in the sky, even when all you’re thinking of is the clouds.”
  • “Even when you think you’ve solved a problem, something can come up that seems to set you right back to the beginning again and yet it’s not quite the same this time and you can keep going.”
  • “The clouds are your problems. The sunshine is feeling better, sorting something out.”
  • “Is it about depression and the depression can lift and come back and then lift again?”
  • “The arrows are all the different paths if you want to escape from something.”
  • “It’s about shortcuts. Sometimes you have to go the long way round to get out from under the grey sky but sometimes you might spot a short cut, and sometimes there’s an even shorter one.”

There isn’t a ‘right answer’. I was concentrating on something else at the time (my most interesting doodles seem to come during online meet-ups, TED talks or Tony Robbins videos). I would love to hear from you about what you make of it.

Better still, have a go yourself and maybe ask a few people what they make of your unconscious doodling.

No Map Required


sparkling grey and curious
own teeth,  phenomenon
landscape untrammelled
fellow traveller
for transderivational searches
and singularity



This is poem 19 for National Poetry Writing Month.

Today’s prompt: Write a poem in the form of a personal ad!


Letting Go of Unconscious Beliefs

As National Poetry Writing Month continues, I am gaining some fascinating insights into my both writing processes and my beliefs about myself.

I have been discovering beliefs that I do recognise as mine but of which, until now, I had been so vaguely aware that it was a virtually unconscious thought.  It’s like something emerging out of the fog and coming in to focus.

Once it became clear, for instance, that I had been believing that a poem had to be put away for months, recovered, drafted and redrafted before it could be shared with anyone else, I could see that I was behaving as if something someone had once said to me was undeniably and irrevocably true.

Once a vague belief is thrown into sharp relief in this way it becomes easy to see that I have a choice… I can continue as if it were true, or I can decide to let it go.

Beyond Expectations

Moving Beyond my own Expectations

Beyond Expectations book

I have always thought of myself as a writer and assumed that this meant that, one day, I would ‘be published’.  What I hadn’t realised, in spite of my NLP and Narrative Practice training and experience, was that I was holding myself back.

The clue lies in the phrase, ‘be published’. With hindsight I now see that I was waiting; waiting for someone to come along and publish me.  Having discovered this blind-spot, I have re-framed my interpretation of those words and now see myself as author rather than character in my own story.  What may sound like a small change in my thinking has made a significant difference to who I am being and it suddenly makes sense to publish my own work.

Once I achieved this seemingly small breakthrough, several interesting things occurred: I recalled being published in a small magazine while still a teenager; remembered that I’ve had poems published in a well respected poetry magazine; and acknowledged that, while magazines and websites have published my articles and book reviews, I have not allowed myself to interpret these facts as evidence of my being a published author. I already am published but had somehow failed to allow myself to notice the fact!

It’s fascinating to think that I have spent so much time waiting for something that had already happened.  The story that I was telling myself, my ‘Waiting to be Published’ story, was preventing me seeing the story I wanted to see – my ‘Published Author and Poet’ story.

We can all have unconscious expectations holding us back. Once we see the possibility of a different story for ourselves, all sorts of new possibilities open up.

It was working with my son, writing and launching my life-coaching App ‘Beyond Expectations’ that triggered this amazing bit of self-discovery and prompted a re-authoring of my own story.  In creating a series of coaching exercises to help you let go of your own limitations, I was unconsciously coaching myself, letting go of some of my own, invisible and self-limiting expectations.

Have a look at Beyond Expectations here It is a 4 month course of coaching exercises based on the Narrative NLP principles that inform my work with clients.

Later this year I will be publishing the material in book form. Watch out for my novel and a poetry collection too.

Once you let go of whatever is holding you back, there will be no stopping you!



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