Ready to release

“Your intellect may be confused but your emotions will never mislead you.” ~Roger Ebert


Ah, those pesky emotions! Doesn’t it feel like that sometimes? We all enjoy the positive emotions like love, happiness, pleasure, delight, and confidence. But then their counterparts show up, like anger, sadness, disgust, and fear — and suddenly, emotions are no longer so welcome.

Modern psychology emphasizes that we can consciouslycontrol our emotions rather than letting our emotions control us.

Sounds good, but I prefer the idea that we can work with our emotions. The word “control” smacks of grabbing our emotions by the throat and beating them into submission. It can be easily misinterpreted (and I think it has been) to mean that emotions, especially the inconvenient negative ones, should be kept locked away in some hidden room. Out of sight, out of mind.

But emotions – all of them – have a purpose and a wisdom. And studies have shown that tamping emotions down or shutting them away can create all kinds of problems, not the least of which are physical health problems. But the Hawaiians knew this centuries ago.

When the first Westerners came to Hawai‘i in the 19th century, they found a group of people who were almost completely devoid of mental and physiological disease. Why? Because the Hawaiians knew how to work with their unihipili to release stress and their “stuff,” all the repressed emotions and memories.

Unihipili is the name the Hawaiians gave the unconscious mind, and its literal translation is “little creature” or “little one.” If you saw something scurrying across the floor you might say, “Oh, look! An unihipili!” The Hawaiians believed that the unconscious mind was a little self that lived inside you.

This little self had several important jobs, one of which was to help you deal with your emotions. If you experienced something traumatic or something you didn’t have the tools to understand or process, yourunihipili would take the experience and throw it into a metaphorical black bag. Your unihipili then zipped that bag up and stashed it somewhere in your body – but it was never intended to stay hidden away forever.

As my teachers of Huna explained it, later you might consciously recognize that you have a black bag. You might opt to find the black bag and process the emotions within, then let them all go. But at other times, they believed that your unihipili, your unconscious, might decide that you’re ready to let go of the emotions or experiences before you consciously recognized them. So the unihipili would open up the black bag, causing all the emotions to flood into you so you could release them.

Have you ever had that experience? You’re having a good day when – Bam! – sadness, anger, or fear bubbles up. This is a signal from unihipilithat “You’re ready to let it go.”

As Westerners, we find that experience pretty disconcerting. We do everything we can think of to “calm down” or “think about something else.” We don’t see the upheaval as a positive signal from the unconscious that we’re ready to resolve the issue, but rather a signal that something is wrong with us. We medicate, we deny, and we avoid. We push those feelings back down below the surface.

But the ancient Hawaiians appreciated the flood of emotion and knew it was healthy and natural. If they felt sad, they would weep; if they felt anger bubble up, they would express it somehow and allow it to dissipate. They had faith that unihipili knew when the time was right, and trusted that they had the tools and techniques to handle it. They didn’t make a big deal out of it. They simply released the black bag and moved forward.

To the Huna way of thinking, the unihipili is working hard to preserve the body, to release anything that could upset the mind-body balance.  The unconscious mind knows that you need to remove the black bags of unreleased negative thoughts and feelings from your neurology before it makes you sick.  From the Huna perspective, this is the basis of all physiological disease, not germs or viruses or aging. Disease cannot be explained or fixed on the physical level alone without dealing with the emotional component.

The next time you feel a negative emotion well up inside, try something a little different. Rather than “coping” or ignoring it, take a moment to ask: “What is this trying to show me?” You may or may not get a clear answer. But still give yourself some time to really experience the emotion itself. Find a safe place to give the emotion expression. Then thank your unconscious for helping you to release it.

Dr. Matt

Brilliant Minds 10 Question Problem Solver


Summary: A very short set of questions that can be asked by a coach or friend to help shine a different perspective on a problem. A link to a video of Dianne Lowther asking the questions and a mind map link which may also help when working on your own. 

Most people who try this brief 10 question experience are very surprised and very pleased at just how effective it is.

There’s nothing to lose… this is a free resource and also available by clicking here  So I really encourage you to give it a try. Pick a problem you’d like to solve and let’s get started!

What I would like you to do is to ask yourself each question and then to think about your answer. Take as long as you need.

Please make sure that you have an answer to your current question before you move on to  the next question.

1 What’s the problem?

2 How long have you had it?

3 Why do you have this problem?

4 Who is to blame?

5 Why haven’t you solved it yet?

6 What do you want?

7 How will you know when you have it?

8 What resources do you already have that you could use to achieve your outcome?

9 When have you succeeded in something similar?

10 What is the next step?

I have also produced a mind map of the questions which you may prefer to work with by yourself, simply click to be taken to the file.

How to remember something by Hedwig Von Restorff

So try to remember her name for starters!

Put simply, the Von Restorff effect states that we more easily remember things that are unusual, outstanding or out of the ordinary.

If you want to commit information to memory you need to take heed of Hedwig!

There are various ways of making things outstanding. These include:

Heightened Senses
Imagining things brighter, louder, smellier, delicious or disgusting makes them extraordinary.

Play with changes of scale or proportion, making things huge or minute. How can you Accentuate differences?

Humour relies on the juxtaposition of unexpected elements. Surreal or silly situations are memorable such as Monty Python’s or Spike Milligan’s sketches.

We are attracted and engaged by movement. Think of the difference between watching a movie compared with a photo album. How can objects interact with their environment in unexpected ways?

Sexy individuals attract our attention and stand out in our memories. Advertisers often exploit this – Sex sells!

Copy Writing with NLP


  1. The outcome of copy is to make sure that your reader does not say no.
  2. Milton Model and Presuppositions rule.
  3. Pace Pace Pace Pace Lead

Salient notes from Harlan Kilstein and his 30 day NLP Copywriting Youtube videos.

1 VAK descriptions do not work with written copy. 98% of your audience is reading to themselves so Auditory is the prime modality.

2 Visual Anchors do work so find some source of External Stimulus or Trigger ie a brilliant Image and this will invoke an involuntary Prior or Previous STATE that you want them to go into.  Give the reader what they want and use it strategically. What buying state do we want them in? What would be great universal anchors? Such as:

  • Happy families sitting around a table enjoying a meal.
  • Kids devouring a fun healthy meal.
  • Smiling faces enjoying food and a good laugh.
  • Rewarded Mums feeling proud of their decision to buy from DTTE

3 For video and audio have your own Jingle as an anchor at both the beginning and the end. What would be great universal anchors? Crowds of sports fans roaring in the background after a goal.

4 GIGO with reference to the META Model. A short version written on two hands.

  • All                                           All?
  • Should                                    What would happen if you didn’t …
  • Unspecified Verb                    How specifically?
  • Unspecified Noun                   Who or what specifically?

5 If you spot a pattern and it’s appropriate to interrupt it then:

  • Altering yours or another’s breathing pattern is a great pattern interrupt. 4-2-6-0
  • Nobody has sung “we’ll be going round the Mountain to me today”
  • Change the environment or MOVE

6 MILTON MODEL is good.

7 Presuppositions – all 32 patterns are good. Time – Before, during and after.

8 Stories are good – short stories for copy. Metaphor is brilliant.

9 Hypnosis/Language is broadly in two types:

  • Direct – not the best for hypnosis but is good for DCR (Direct Customer Response) in copy.
  • Permissive – good for hypnosis and essential for achieving RAPPORT in copy.

10 In Bedded Commands are gross in the written word but can be used elegantly in Video and Audio.

11 Pattern Interrupts

  • Written – ish but if they are attached to something shocking then if at that moment you give them something that they are not expecting it will go in at a deep level – would have like an example of this.
  • Video – good
  • Audio – good

12 Found lost horse story from Milton Erikson – on back – found its own way home.

13 Nasty boss story – anchored a missing sub-modality by singing a tune and wagging his finger.

14 You get into rapport with a complete stranger by meeting them at their bus stop and thereby getting into their heads.

15 Eyeball volleyball. When asked a question, look up, look from side to side and then look down for inspiration and guidance. Remember the three legged VAK stool.

How to learn something new


  1. To do this for real you need to take action!
  2. Stick it in your iphone calendar.
  3. Recall the stuff from memory first!

Although we don’t have switches in our backs that control our behaviour there is a useful analogy to learning. Have you ever been on a training course or read a book and left feeling inspired to make a real change in your life? Maybe you do this for a while and things are great. Then daily

life gets in the way, your switch gets re-set and you slip into your old habits. When you do any sort of learning remember to include time to review and sustain the gains that you make so that you don’t slip backwards. The ideal intervals for reviews after the leaning period, as described by Tony Buzan are:

  • 10 minutes (reinforcing the learning straight away makes for a strong foundation)
  • 24 hours
  • 1 week
  • 1 month
  • 3 months (by this time the information should be locked in long term memory)
  • perhaps 6 months as little refresher.

The great thing is that the more you learn and maintain, the easier it is to learn new things. The new knowledge can link and associate to the old.

How to retain more of what you read

HOW TO RETAIN MORE OF WHAT YOU READ is courtesy of Phil Chambers


  1. Have an outcome in mind and ask questions of yourself about why you have chosen to spend time reading and this will filter your experience.
  2. Be a critic. DRC. Emote. Again ask questions but this time of the material and the author.
  3. Create a mind map. Explain it to somebody or even teach it.

The more the brain process information, the better it sticks in your memory and the better it is understood. Back in the days before photocopiers and word processors, most large companies had typing pools. Ranks of typists would reproduce documents by copying. They were highly
skilled at rapidly and accurately retyping a document but without any understanding. The process was simply eye to hand with little going on in between. This is why coping out notes from textbooks is a highly ineffective study strategy. Many students waste hours taking notes of notes of notes with demoralising poor results.

If you process information a little deeper by approaching a text with questions in mind, you will be more engaged. You are more attuned to the reason for your reading. Certain parts of the text will have additional significance imbued to them by virtue of being relevant to your questions. The more significant something is, the more your brain pays attention to it and the easier it is to comprehend and remember.

Going deeper still: Try arguing with the author. Be a critic. Do you agree with the point of view being expounded? Why does he or she write this? Is there an ulterior motive or hidden agenda? What evidence is there? Does this conflict with other books you have read on the subject?
Challenge everything and get angry. Bringing emotion into you reading massively increases the impact of the text. If you think back to strongly remembered events in your life, they are often those times associated with powerful emotions. Your first love, times when you have been furious,
disappointed, ecstatic, awe stuck or inspired.

Creating a Mind Map involves a greater amount of processing than traditional copied notes. You are choosing key words to summarise big chunks of text, linking concepts together and are more engaged due to the use of colours and images. Memory works by association and imagination. Mind Maps utilise both of these skills to give increased recall of wide context and detail.

Have you ever faced a difficult problem or decision and asked a friend for advice, but by the time you finished explaining it, you knew the answer yourself? The act of articulating a problem crystallises it so that you can see it more clearly. The same is true of reading. Explain a book to a friend. You will find that by putting it into your own words, it will make more sense. You are taking
the ideas and making them your own – Synthesising them with your existing knowledge and truly understanding.

Finally, the deepest level is teaching a subject. You not only have to very clearly explain the material, you also have to be able to phrase it in a variety of ways, answer questions and engage your audience. This requires a deep understanding and a great deal of mental processing. I am always tired after delivering a full day’s training course. I probably won’t have expended much physical energy but will be mentally drained. Dr Marian Diamond, Professor of Neuroanatomy at the University of California at Berkley said, “Each one teach one”, when referring to the ideal educational system. By getting children to teach their peers after initially grasping a topic, it greatly
embeds and consolidates their knowledge.

Follow this link to retain what you have just learnt.!

Influencing those who influence you


  1. Offer all the information that you have about a given scenario or issue to those you want to influence and be willing to adjust your point of view and map of the world.
  2. Perception is projection.
  3. Use the Question – Situation – Complication – Answer technique for written communications.

Sources:From Dianne Lowther; Harvard Business School Memo; RAF; Minto Principal.

There is a presupposition of NLP that tells us that ‘people always make the best choice based on the information available’. So to enable other people to see how right your plan is, you have to give them access to the same information as you.

To put it simply, you have to manage the available information so that whoever looks at it, the best choice indicated by the facts, is the one you thought of! If you are prepared to line up all of your information that points in the direction of your view of the Right Thing, you can also invite your colleagues to add to that information. They can contribute what they know, what they believe and what they think. Then, you make a collective decision based on ALL the data, not just one person’s. This way, you avoid arguments, you’re not manipulating anyone and the decisions made are the result of real collaboration.

Provided you’re willing to adjust your point of view, this is a great way to persuade people to a joint decision.

I think this may be the basis of the Harvard Business Review Memo Model.

To influence your boss then you need him to switch, for just a small window of opportunity from Internally Referenced to Externally Referenced! In addition if you can combine this with a knowledge of his Convincer Strategy you may increase your chances. Remember there are two  elements to a convincer strategy, one relates to the way the information is presented (VAK), the other is the time factor and number of times he needs to receive the massage.

Royal Air force:

  1. Brief
  2. Communications – two way plan.
  3. Backup plan – what if stuff goes wrong.
  4. Debrief

I like the reminder that stuff does go wrong, combined with an agreement about communications. This should also be referenced to their personal preference for VAK. In a group situation cover all VAK bases.


Remember people don’t get top jobs unless they are actually pretty smart at making decisions and figuring out who to consult and who not to consult. So make yourself a trusted source of good quality information and your time will come.

 Maps and perception is projection

” in any human experience there’s more than one way of experiencing what goes on. We live in our own vision of reality not some kind of objective single point reality!”

” ….. if what you believe about other people becomes your experience and you are not getting what you want then it may be time to take stock about what you believe about other people and change where required”

Fruitbat 1957 – 2013 and still going strong!

Written influence and information

Holly Weeks  “business readers are content driven, time pressed and searching for solutions”

  1. Question – this can be implied or spelt out with as much attention grabbing as required.
  2. Situation – a quick factual sketch that serves to focus the direction of the reader.
  3. Complication – why you are writing the report or memo, the issue that has arisen.
  4. The answer – your response to the question and your solution to the complication.

Content should be “Concise” which means as tight as possible and complete. Start your case for the solution by drawing out the pyramid of the answer. Complete the cascade from any angle.The story that you tell should be from Top Down as in the diagram – click to see a larger image.





Off the cuff speech


  1. Prepare the structure not the content.
  2. Present just three main points.
  3. Practice on any random subject to get the idea.

Resources: 4Mat; Hypnosis Downloads; Andrew Hardman

The key to giving unprepared talks isn’t having any number of topics ‘stored up’ in your head ready to be rolled out when the occasion demands. The key is getting very familiar with, and really comfortable with, the essential structure of a good short talk, and then practicing threading any topic that you might briefly speak about into that structure.

In a nutshell, the essential talk or presentation consists of:

  • the introduction – you tell them what you’re going to tell them and how you are going to do this
  • the talk – you tell them and or show them three main points
  • the recap – you tell them what you’ve told them

This structure is extremely flexible and allows you to concentrate on the bit in the middle that really matters – the talk – and create it out of only three or four ‘main points’. ‘Making three points’ is a far less scary proposition than ‘giving an unrehearsed speech’.

The 4Mat principal is based on :

  • Why
  • What
  • How
  • Where else and what if?

In the Thomas Cook suggested outline they follow the following guideline and refer to it as “like reading the News”:

  • Tell them what you are going to tell them.
  • Tell them / show them the news.
  • Tell them what you’ve told them.