Changing the way you show up in life can be a game changer for how opportunity unfolds for you. EW speaks to Helen Pleic, RTT and NLP Coach on what it takes.
What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like/your morning routine?
My alarm goes off just before sunrise, then most days I meditate, it sets me up for the best day. Then it is either a coffee while listening to an audiobook, or I head out and
go for a walk, especially now as the mornings are fresh.
What is at the core of RTT and NLP?
At the core of both is how to change human behaviour. Each modality does this in a different way. At a high level, NLP Coaching is forward focused. It’s about how to move towards goals, defining and aligning your identity, improving your perception of where you are and changing your perception of what is stopping you. It is primarily at a conscious level, i.e., talking with some exercises in a more relaxed state. What you learn while studying NLP is important.I was lucky enough to study with a teacher meticulous in language, soft skills and providing precise feedback. It is all about rapport in a relationship. RTT is deeper work, it fast tracks healing, as it impacts your nervous system. It releases over reactions that are a result of the past. Imagine what your life would be like if you significantly reduced triggers for stress, anxiety, lack of confidence and anger, then you can begin to understand why I advise people to do “the deep work” initially and then focus on moving forward with Coaching.
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How can these practices support in improving the way we show up in life and how does this affect how life unfolds for us?
I am sure some of this will resonate with a lot of people. You get to a point in life where you realise, most things are a habit and a reaction. Your emotions and thoughts are typically reactions, you have the same story and expectation of certain people. You go through scenarios in your mind of how to get specific outcomes, which means when you show up, you listen to replies and don’t understand because you want your needs met or you want to be validated, which causes frustration for the other person as they do not feel seen, heard or understood. You can break any element of the above cycle and create a different dynamic. When you change your internal metronome, you stop reacting, and you start participating and navigating situations. If others do not change with you, you now adhere to your values and set boundaries and make decisions that allow you to get out of dysfunctional situations in any area of life, friendships, relationships and workplaces. Unless you are creating newnessin your life, your life is a series of patterns from the past that you are repeating with different people playing the same characters [please read and understand this, if there is a situation in your life that you do not like]. You are attempting to change the outcome and you can only do this if you change.
How do we know if trauma is holding us back?
People mostly want to feel content with where they are and, optimistic about the future and moving towards it. So, if the average of your physical, emotional and mental state is not mostly contentment, and you are not moving towards what you want in a constructive way, then this is a cue for you to do something differently. A lot of people don’t want to admit to childhood trauma; however, they will admit to confusion or being exposed to things they should not have been exposed to. Confusion, indecision, over communication, lack of awareness, being slow to take action, not being able to make longer term decisions about your future, low confidence are all subtle signs of childhood neglect and trauma. I wish everybody would educate themselves on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE Scores) and Childhood Emotional Neglect. If they did, they would have a different lens to reflect and understand why they are not content and bingeing on food, gaming, shopping, social media alcohol etc. If you are not achieving your goals and your goals are realistic (i.e., a +5% stretch from where you are), then there is a problem.
How many sessions does it take to overcome trauma?
Tell me the problems you want to address, your ACE score and what you want to achieve and then I will tell you the number of sessions! Most people just want to feel better where they are and enjoy their life. They have low levels of stress and could do with an improvement in confidence. They had some confusing events in childhood. If they are self-aware, one to two sessions would be enough. Some clients come in with eight areas they would like to improve, high ACE scores, they feel great after one session, see positive changes in their behaviours, and when they come back for more, they see significant changes and make life changing decisions with 6 – 10 sessions. You need to consider the following factors: the age the trauma happened, how prevalent it was (duration period and the number of people), what coping mechanisms were developed that are now part of your foundation e.g., overachiever, people pleaser, are there new skills that need to be learnt, like effective listening and communication, setting and enforcing boundaries. Your age, if you are on medication, your openness and willingness to change all impact the number of sessions you will need. If you are open and excited without expectations, this is the biggest game changer that will help you transform quickly. You can liken it to going to the doctors and saying I broke my leg, which is obvious to fix compared to: I feel a little off and they can’t pinpoint the cause, so they run a lot of tests. To speed up healing, you need to be open, admit to confusion and initially only look at it from your point of view at the age the trauma occurred.
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What are common challenges or traumas you see recurring in patients and is this related to how the world has changed?
Lack of safety and connection are common underlying factors of trauma. Today, broadly speaking, we as humans are overstimulated and disconnected from our simple needs. When you think about the quality of connection and safety in your life, how would you rate it? Or would you even be aware of it with all the distractions that you have? Industries are designed to maximise profits, which in turn requires them to seduce you with products and services that meet your unmet needs and increase your dopamine levels. The instant dopamine feel good factor is the problem. Not understanding how your brain/body works and a lack self-awareness, and then being exposed to media messaging of always needing to feel good is like telling someone to be on a sugar high and only eat sugar. Eventually it will rot your brain, make you sick and you will burn out. Here are some common beliefs that are formed in childhood; I am not important enough, I am not seen, I am not loveable, I don’t belong, I need to hide, I am helpless, I must be a good child. With people becoming busier and the way that society has changed, these beliefs will be more prevalent in a wider number of people purely due to the lack of quality connection.
What other mindfulness practices do you find are supportive to implement alongside RTT or NLP?
I would like everybody to understand how crucial mindfulness is. To do this you need to understand that your nervous system is your number one system. It reconciles your inside and outside worlds through all parts of your brain. There are primal instincts that you cannot override, like freeze & flight when you see a snake. Then you have logic/ego that is the sum of all of the past meanings of the experiences that you have had. Every human is, body, emotions, mind, and soul (and for those that are not religious, replace soul with the intelligence that breathes on you and allows you to breathe). To be mindful means to do anything that calms your nervous system. You can easily do this by being very intentional with your focus. We have so many distractions that create diffused awareness which can put your nervous system in a higher state of alert and scanning for threats. Breathing is an excellent way to reconnect with your body. Try not breathing and see what it does to your decision making. So, if breathing calms your nervous system, which calms your mind, it then follows that you have improved observation, awareness and decision-making skills. The thing is. most clients resist doing the breathing exercises I give them. Breathing is free and you can do it anywhere and all you have to do is commit to breathing mindfully for about one to three minutes at a time, multiple times a day. You could commit to breathing deeply at each set of traffic lights that you are stopped at, or when you are angry do a more forceful style of breathing to release the anger. Narrow your focus and absorb and describe everything in detail and be grateful for five minutes. So, before you get out bed, intentionally smile and greet the day with a good morning. Place all your attention on your feet and wriggle your toes and be grateful you can ground your body. Really observe the nature around you, all its detail and colour. Walking. As the old saying goes, walk your worries away. Set the intention, every step I take I let go and move forward in my chosen direction. Observe everything you see. I have
studied yoga and have an immense respect for its ability to reconnect you with your body.
What have been the most challenging or rewarding aspects to date and why?
The most rewarding aspect of what I do is that I free people. It is a process, and every session with every client is different. When clients tell me they feel lighter after one session and that people notice the difference in them, that is powerful. Releasing trauma is like removing blocks and this is done in levels. I am always learning something clients’ mind forms specific beliefs around experiences. There are overall general patterns however every client is different. The most challenging thing about it for me has been my perception of where I am on my journey for working for myself. I completely changed roles and industries. When you lead teams at a high level you have a certain amount of experience, momentum and an unconscious commitment that moves you forward. When you work foryourself, in a new industry, you are faced with all of you each and every day, gaining experience and becoming an expert in what you do. It has been a huge process of self-reflection, which has resulted in significant gains in inner peace and authentic confidence as well as deeper connections. I have a lot of respect for the techniques as they are powerful.
You’re launching an App – can you share more on how we can utilise this?
I am very excited to be doing this. I’ve had a career of designing and implementing systems to maximise outcomes, so now I am applying those skills in the self-hypnosis and development space. The content is based on trends and patterns of what I have seen to be effective in individual and group sessions. The app will have everything I wish I had on my journey and what I have found to be effective. Exercises for breathing, guided journaling for inner child healing and gratitude practices. And what I am really excited about are the challenges that I will be able to run, which will allow for more people to get results, faster.
Have you had any mentors and if so, what advice did they impart?
I have, sporadically. The best pieces of advice were an introduction to meditation and ted talks right when they first started, integrate your professional and personal identities, and make complex things simple to understand.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Trust and nurture your instincts. Learn about how your childhood experiences can impactyour thinking, mindset and decision making. Mental and physical wellness is the ultimate
luxury, so invest in yourself as soon as you can. Accept help and it’s also ok to ask for it!
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