Sunday, January 21, 2007
The Key to Deep, Rapid Learning: Forgetting to Remember
Keeping on with the subject of learning, I'd like to share with you some new findings which provide more evidence to support a core concept in accelerated learning, one that you can apply to allow you to learn even the most complex subjects much more quickly and easily than you might be able to otherwise! Read through the entire article and I'll give you some simple how-tos to show you how to take advantage of this for yourself!

In my last article, I talked about the way that human beings learn things.

If you'll remember, I was talking about a fellow who had an approach to learning that was demonstrably hampering his ability to take in some new concepts. More specifically, he was having problems learning a new way of looking at things that he already understood from a different perspective.

As I described the situation in the previous article...
You see, this other fellow seemed to have a strong preference for how he chose to look at things he didn't yet understand. His basic strategy seemed to involve comparing every new thing to everything he had previously learned or understood. He would, it seemed, find the closest equivalent in his experience to the new thing and would then equate them. So, ‘this is like that, therefore this essentially is that’.
This situation immediately came to mind when I came across this press release based on recent research conducted by University of Oregon psychologist Benjamin Levy into the function of memory in learning, in this case second languages. Here, he was specifically looking into the phenomena of 'language attrition'. This is where people who are learning a new language tend to (at least temporarily) find their own language suddenly and strangely unwieldy and words in their native tongue harder to recall than usual.

Levy's findings are interesting, I think, because they not only confirm this phenomena but also track it across the learning process and with people of varying levels of fluency. In doing so, Levy uncovers evidence for what might be a natural application of a thought process conducive to learning. Learning to tap into this process may just be the difference between a difficult learning experience or taking in new information like a sponge!

Levy found that the students did indeed temporarily lose their facility with their native language. It seems as though their brains literally put aside what they knew about language, not completely but just temporarily, so that they could take in the new information.

In this way, the brain seems to be using a strategy that is often used in both accelerated learning and in Zen and Taoist approaches to understanding things at a deep level.
Although the value of suppressing previously learned knowledge to learn new concepts may appear counterintuitive, Levy explains that "first-language attrition provides a striking example of how it can be adaptive to (at least temporarily) forget things one has learned."
So, rather than using a comparison strategy, holding two different concepts in mind simultaneously in order to contrast and compare, the brain creates a state in which old ideas are hard to maintain and therefore the new ways of thinking about things are given a blank slate on which to be written.

Compare this to the 'no-nothing' or 'empty' state in some meditative practices and martial arts or as taught in NLP modelling and I think you'll see the similarity.

However, those of us who also value the tools of contrast and analysis may be wondering why we should lose such valuable cognitive tools, tools which have an obvious application in the learning process... Levy's research provides us with some useful clues there, as well.
Importantly, subjects who showed the largest asymmetry between English and Spanish fluency suffered more inhibition for native language words, supporting the idea that inhibition plays a functional role in overcoming interference during the early stages of second-language acquisition.
In other words, the more the students learned about the new way of thinking about the subject, the more easily they could access their previous knowledge about it

This suggests a two-stage approach to learning.

First, during the initial learning stage, the brain has a preference for learning something as being simply what it essentially is, with minimal contrast and comparison to complicate things.

In the second stage, access to other similar learning returns to its former state so that those tools of thought can come in to play.

And of course, this is not a binary system. It works on a sliding analogue scale. The more you know the new information you're learning about familiar things, the easier it is to remember information from the way you looked at them previously.

So, I hallucinate that some of you might be curious about exactly how to make use of this yourselves...

Here's an experiment you might want to try.

If you know how to meditate, use whatever your standard meditation technique is to allow you to get to a very relaxed place.

If you're not an experienced meditator, I would suggest simply finding a quiet spot, sitting in a comfortable position with good posture and then fixing your gaze on a single spot and breathe slowly, deeply and rhythmically for a few minutes until you notice yourself becoming more and more relaxed.

Once you've reached at a very relaxed state, imagine for a moment that you are a clean slate, an empty sponge, an innocent free of preconceptions. Don't worry about doing it for real, just pretend... Pretend as though you are seeing things you want to learn about as though you might be seeing it for the first time. If what you want to learn about is a subject, like maths or science, make up a representation of that thing for yourself.

Now, allow yourself think about that thing and to notice what it might feel like if you were feeling that sense of wonder that you can remember feeling when you see something new and remarkable.

One thing we've learned from modern neurology is that if people imagine something vividly enough in their minds, it becomes effectively true for them in their brains. So if you play this game of pretend with yourself both earnestly and vividly, it will actually begin to have an effect on the way that you perceive things!

Now, in that state, allow yourself to start learning something about that thing or subject. Approach the things you'd like to take a look at differently and noticed how they look through fresh eyes and with fresh understandings. Notice all the things that you hadn't noticed in so long because you've learned to think about them and only a certain way. Really let yourself enjoy that sense of innocent curiosity.

Don't be afraid of playing the fool, because in a very real sense you are playing the fool on purpose! If it's more important to you to keep your dignity than to learn something new, this probably isn't a great approach for you... On the other hand, learning to encourage behavioural flexibility in yourself will not only help you in this instance but in almost every other instance in your life! If you learn nothing else from this but that, then you will have already learned something immensely valuable!

It's useful to have a sense of your own natural curiosity. When you sense your curiosity being satisfied, then it's probably a good idea to wrap things up. Take a moment to digest your new perceptions and learnings. Review the process and notice what you've taken in. Then you can allow yourself to return to a more normal state of consciousness.

What can be interesting is to do this a few times during the initial stage of learning something new about something you're already familiar with in a different way and then, once you're starting to get the hang of the new way of thinking, take some time to compare what you know now to what you know about the same thing differently from the way that you have learned about it before. I'm willing to bet that you not only know some new things but that some of your new insights may actually provide you with an even greater depth of perception into what you knew previously.

In my experience, every time that we learn something new about something we already knew, it's like adding a new facet to our ability to perceive a gemstone. It's the same stone that we've always looked at but now we simply understand it from more different levels and the more we learn to understand, the more we can also allow ourselves to appreciate each facet and what they can mean.

I'd love to hear some feedback from some of you who might be doing something like this for the first time! Please leave some feedback here or consider e-mailing me directly to let me know what this is like for you!

As for me, I think I'm going to take some time to learn something differently...

Be Well,

Michael Perez
posted by Michael Perez at Sunday, January 21, 2007 | Permalink | 0 comments
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
The Power of Preferential Thinking
I'd like to start exploring a concept which is one of the most important and powerful concepts in all human thinking. It's something that underlies all of our communications, our actions and which also can profoundly affect the way we perceive and think about our world and every single thing that we say and do.

If you learn to work with it, you can be an incredibly effective communicator and persuader.

If one works against it, they might find it can foil the efforts of even the most determined and capable masters of language and negotiation.

Curious about what this might be? If understanding and being understood by others is important to you, I imagine you are!

The principal in question was most recently brought to mind as I watched a interchange between a friend of mine and another fellow. They were having a discussion about learning styles, which could use a little elaboration to help make things clear. I'm going to leave out names because this isn't about this particular incident but rather what lay beneath it...

The fellow on the one side of the discussion is someone who seems to me to be a really nice guy who had, at that time, spent about a year intellectually chasing his own tail in trying to learn something, which is what provoked my friend’s intervention.

And to understand the other side, let me tell you a little about my friend. He is a master of both communication and persuasive language. He is sought out by people wishing to learn the art of influencing others. He's an acknowledged expert in the field and commands a high fee for his consulting and training services and, I think, deservedly so.

It was clear to both my friend, myself and many others that there was a simple, basic problem in that this other fellow seemed to be running into. His approach to learning was clearly and demonstrably hindering his ability to learn what he was trying to learn.

You see, this other fellow seemed to have a strong preference for how he chose to look at things he didn't yet understand. His basic strategy seemed to involve comparing every new thing to everything he had previously learned or understood.He would, it seemed, find the closest equivalent in his experience to the new thing and would then equate them. So, ‘this is like that, therefore this essentially is that’.

Of course, sometimes things are sufficiently similar that one can successfully learn by drawing comparison. Even things that are dissimilar can have similarities on certain points which can help us along the process of understanding.

However, like all things, this is a tool which works best in the proper balance and in the correct context. If one finds oneself turning into a contortionist in an effort to equate one thing with another, chances are that forced equivalence might be less useful in the learning process than the ones which appear more easily.

Also, when people are trying to learn things which have very subtle distinctions from one another, creating an equivalence between them might also mean never learning or even being able to recognise the distinctions between the two things!

So, after yet another example of this fellow running the same cognitive pattern and, as a direct result, missing out on some valuable learning as a result, my friend decided to intervene.

This began a discussion which went on for days (let me clarify something now, to avoid some interesting mental imagery. This was a discussion on a public forum, not a physical conversation!).

My friend used every applicable tool of logic and reason. He used his language admirably well, working like the craftsman that he is. He used his communication to clearly both demonstrate and explain the ideas he was working to get across. He varied his approach whenever it became clear that his communication wasn't getting across. He came from many different angles and many different emotional states. It was a masterful performance, I think, the work of someone who is clearly an exemplary teacher and a skilled negotiator.

And in the end, the other fellow stuck to his position, seemingly unpersuaded and unconvinced. Further, he seemed offended and more entrenched in his position than ever!

I won't say that he wasn't affected by the discussion, and at the same time it doesn't seem that any of my friend’s arguments were taken to heart. Instead, this other fellow simply felt put upon and singled out for attack.

Now admittedly there were a lot of other issues here in this particular communication which were important factors in the outcome. But I think that there was one key issue which made this a very difficult uphill battle for my friend, spite of all of his prowess as a communicator and as a persuader.

People tend to have certain concepts or ideas which serve as perceptual filters for how they view things at certain times and in certain situations.

In NLP, we refer to these perceptual filters as metaprograms.

The most common metaprogram and the one that most of us are familiar with is the 'polarity response'. I think we've all been in a situation with someone who seems to expressly contradict anything that is said to them.

The classic example...

'Don't you think this is nice?'

‘I've seen better.'

'This restaurant is excellent!'

'I've had better.'

We've even coined the phrase 'reverse psychology' to refer to a method of dealing with people when they're evidencing that kind of mental program in the way that they communicate.

(And yes, those of you familiar with the concept may notice more than one metaprogram in these two exchanges.)

A skilled communicator will notice metaprograms and will tailor his communication to work within them.

So, in dealing with a polarity responder, for example, a persuasive speaker will begin to subtly begin to move his conversational position in a different direction so that the other person can begin to use this contrarian position to reach the desired conclusion.

'Now that you mention it, it probably isn't very nice...'

'I don't know, it's not that bad!'
'Maybe you're right, maybe this place isn't all it's cracked up to be...'

'Aw, it's all right!'
But my friend wasn't having this discussion in order to play into this other fellow’s metaprograms. In fact, he was working to get this fellow to realize and understand that his own basic metaprogram for dealing with the subject at hand (in this case, learning) would need to be changed in order to allow him to learn optimally.

And therein lay, I think, the most difficult part of the discussion. Effectively, my friend was having to work to get this person to fundamentally change the way that they thought about things in order to enable them to see his point. And since that very change in thinking was the subject of the discussion, it was a difficult point to argue on the face of it!

In fairness to my friend, he also had to work through the problems of distance and written language. Somehow, I think that if the discussion had been face to face, my friend probably could have gotten his point across much more easily and effectively.

And in spite of all that, my friend still managed to deeply affect this other fellow and the way that he thought, even if in the end he didn't achieve the desired outcome in the exchange. He also achieved an important secondary outcome by laying the concept for anyone with 'ears to hear' as clear as day. Skilled communicators will almost always work with more than one outcome in mind, and this is a good example of that, I think.

In the modern world, we don't always have the luxury of speaking to someone face to face or even being able to use our voices. So, as communicators and persuaders, we are faced even greater challenges.

So, as you begin to think more about metaprograms and the way that they work in human thought, it might also be interesting to think about recognizing the need to change metaprograms in ourselves and in others to allow us to see things in a way that works to our advantage.

And learning to recognize these perceptual filters and utilise them in our communications with others and in the way we think about things ourselves can be the first step towards changing them in a way that's useful in the experience of our lives.

So I wonder just how different things can be the next time you have a really challenging discussion with someone now that you've begun to notice that you're not only taking the content of what they're saying into account but also their perceptual filters and metaprograms at a deeper level? I have the feeling that you might just start to experience not only greater understanding but also greater ability to create opportunities for influence.

We'll talk more about this in the days to come...

Be Well,

Michael Perez

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posted by Michael Perez at Wednesday, January 17, 2007 | Permalink | 0 comments
Friday, January 12, 2007
Welcome NLP Connectors!
I'd like to take a moment to extend a hearty welcome to all of my friends from NLP Connections!

I've been working pretty hard on putting together some resources for you like this blog and my podcast, as well as my upcoming seminars and trainings (scroll down to read more and hear a bit about those!).

One of the things that I've experienced over and over again when dealing with some of the very best trainers in NLP is an abundance mindset.

These are people like Jonathan Altfeld or James Lavers (just to name two, there are many others!) who make their living teaching other people NLP and then go out of their way to give freely of that knowledge as well, rather than cautiously guarding their secrets.

Perhaps there are some people who only take and never give back, but my experience is that when you give, you attract the kind of people into your life who also give. And let's face it, the people who don't give back might be best ignored anyway.

I think that there's not really much fun in building your life around the things you want to move away from. I'd much rather build my life around the things and people that I want to move towards.

And so, this is another step that I'm taking in moving towards all of you. Thanks for all of your interest in me and for all of your kind words over the years. If the resources that I can give you in this place and in my podcast can serve as a small thanks for those kindnesses, then it is my pleasure indeed to say thank you in this way!

About The Podcast

If you'd like to subscribe to my podcast so that you are automatically notified of new episodes, just subscribe to the RSS feed for the podcast by clicking here.

If you use iTunes to sync your iPod, click here to add my podcast automatically.

New episodes come out every one to two weeks and tend to run about 20 minutes in length. If you've got questions you'd like to ask or topics you'd like to see me address, click here to e-mail me!

I look forward to hearing from you!

Be Well,

Michael Perez

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posted by Michael Perez at Friday, January 12, 2007 | Permalink | 0 comments
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
An Extraordinary Master Practitioner!
For those of you not familiar with NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), it's a kind of behavioural anthropology and psychology that focuses on studying and re-creating human excellence, amongst other things.

And for those who want to learn the basics of NLP, there are two courses that are offered, the Practitioners course and the more advanced Master Practitioners course as a follow on.

Generally, these courses are conducted by a single trainer or perhaps a training team of two or three trainers.

However, my friend Michael Christon tends to be focused on doing things in extraordinary ways, therefore he has decided to put together a rather extraordinary Master Practitioners course which features a number of the best NLP trainers and exemplars in the world, all popping by to train on the same training!

This would be (if such a thing were possible anymore) like somebody reuniting the Beatles in order to give music lessons to aspiring musicians!

For those who know what they're looking at, the line-up here is, I think, amazing...

20/21/22 April 2007 - Eric Robbie

  • The foundations of NLP Mastery

12/13 May 2007 - Owen Fitzpatrick

  • The mastery of language and metaphor

23/24 June 2007 - Tim Kenning

  • Excellence is not enough

21/22 July 2007 - Kate Benson

  • Meta 4 learning

14/15/16 September 2007 - John La Valle

  • The business mind and mastery

Michael has also convinced a certain someone who writes this particular blog to participate as well. I'll be heading up and training the assisting team on the course, making sure that every participant gets to interact with people who know and understand exactly how to make sure that they get the best out of each and every interaction.

Michael is bent on providing every attendee with the ultimate training experience and I've got to admit I've never seen anyone go out of their way to make sure that every detail of the course is being handled with skill and precision.

For those of you who decide that you'd have to be barking mad to miss an opportunity like this, tell Michael I sent you! I'll look forward to meeting you there!

Click Here to see the course details!

Click Here for contact information so you can sign up now!

Be Well,

Michael Perez

Addendum 11 January: You can now visit the site to download interviews with the exemplars! My advice? Check it out!

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posted by Michael Perez at Tuesday, January 09, 2007 | Permalink | 0 comments
The Spiral: The Mind/Body/Spirit Connection
I'm pleased to say that I can finally announce that you can register now for The Spiral: The Mind/Body/Spirit Connection.

'What is The Spiral?', you may ask?

The Spiral is an exploration of the interconnection between mind, body and spirit in all the ways that they interact with and transform one another and, in doing so, create the spiral of life which, in turn, creates the experience we have of our lives.

So, once you learn to understand The Spiral, you can see how it creates your own personal reality and shapes your whole world.

Finally, you will learn how to use The Spiral to shape your own reality and gain control of your life in a powerful and profound way!

Where the human body is concerned, you will learn to control even the most devastating chronic pain, create intense wellness, optimize the quality of life and perhaps even extend the human lifespan!

You'll also learn how to work with the mind at an even deeper and more powerful level than what is taught in NLP or hypnosis! You'll get insights from the latest research on neurology that will enable you to deal with phobias that won't respond to regular phobia cures, learn the neurological basis of learning and understanding that will transform your ability gain deep insight and learn things quickly and profoundly!

And for our spirituality, our sense of identity and connection with the universe and with others at a deep level, I'll share with you the insights I gained from modelling Tibetan monks and Japanese Zen Masters. I'll teach you to reach states of profound bliss and peace that can require 20 years of practice to reach via traditional meditative techniques. I'll also show you how to use a unique Identity Integration Process I've developed to help you learn where your deep centre of identity is and how to use that knowledge to both create deeply congruent states and also to make wise and good decisions for yourself in your life!
This is about learning to find a centred place where we can really be free to be who we are at the core of our beings. It's also about learning to find states of bliss and transcendence within us so that we can easily access those things when we really need them.

This is also about learning to understand and purposely alter your neurology without the use of drugs in an incredibly powerful way, so that you can quickly and easily change emotional states, induce deep hypnotic trances and altered states of consciousness, easily change problematic behaviours and have an wonderful sense of mental stability and clarity.

And it's also about how all of these things interact with one another in a system, a spiral that creates our subjective reality. And once you learn how to control the spiral, your life and the lives of anyone that you help with these learnings will never be the same again!

Because these things are already a spiral, it's just a matter of deciding whether or not it's an upwards or a downwards spiral. Instead of depending on fate and circumstance to deal you your destiny, why not take control of The Spiral now?

If you're interested in learning more, here's a 17 minute audio presentation that will give you an idea of what you can expect. Just click on the track. 'What is The Spiral?'...

This spring, I'll be doing this seminar in London and in Glasgow. Seats are extremely limited as I'm keeping class sizes down to only 25 participants to make sure that everyone can get the individual attention and calibration this material requires. So, if you want to attend, I suggest that you contact me immediately.

Call me now for specific dates, times, prices or for answers to questions.

In the UK, you can reach me on
020 8133 7202.

My Skype ID is michael.a.perez .

And, if you call and mention you saw it here on my blog, you might just get a special bonus... I look forward to hearing from you soon!

I'll point out that this seminar is not meant to give medical advice. If you have medical issues, please insure that you are receiving the attention of competent medical personnel. And if you're doing that, then this seminar can give you the tools to work in synergy with that and with The Spiral of your life and allow you to live transcendently!
I look forward to seeing you there!

Be Well,

Michael Perez

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posted by Michael Perez at Tuesday, January 09, 2007 | Permalink | 0 comments
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
In the New Year - The Mind/Body/Life Transformation Challenge!
As we approach the new year, we also approach a time rife with memories of promise... and of broken promises. How many times have you heard the well-worn tale of new year's resolutions lying broken and battered on the road to February? And how many times have you participated in that yearly ritual yourself? It all just seems to confirm that things can't ever really seem to change for very long...

Well, this year, why not put aside the resolutions and just change your whole life instead?

Does that sound crazy to you? Outside of your experience? Never heard of anything like it?

Good, because there's a first time for everything, you know...

This year, all during January, this blog and my podcast are going to be about a step-by-step process for beginning a life-changing transformation using powerful technologies like hypnosis and NLP in a proven method to allow anyone, especially you, to make tremendous, positive changes that last.

How would you like to find yourself next New Year's Eve looking back at this year as a tremendous breakthrough year in allowing you to do and be so many things that you've always wanted to do and be?

It's all here, it's free and it's my gift to you.

Keep watching this space...

Be Well,

Michael Perez

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posted by Michael Perez at Tuesday, December 26, 2006 | Permalink | 0 comments
New Podcast Episode and a New Podcast Player!
Momentum continues to build towards release with a holiday themed podcast episode and a brand-new podcast player on the sidebar of this here blog!

Now you can listen to new episodes here if your MP3 player isn't handy or preview the podcast before you decide to use up that valuable space on your iPod with the digital reproduction of my dulcet tones... ;-)

There's some other really exciting stuff going on! Those of you who attended my online Mind-Body Connection seminar remember just what an incredible and successful event that was for everyone who attended. Well, I'm pleased to announce that I'll be doing a live version of that event as three full days over a weekend in February in both Scotland and England!

There's a tonne of new material going into this one including much of my new work, based on correlations between many of the latest findings in experimental neuropsychology and NLP. This stuff is so powerful it can send your effectiveness with both yourself and others through the roof and allow you to make amazing changes in both mindsets as well as in physical health and energy!

Yikes, I sound like a Tony Robbins ad... And with all due respect to Tony, the best thing about this is that it's not something that wears off two weeks after the fire walk!

Anyway, watch this space for more details!

Be Well,

Michael Perez

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posted by Michael Perez at Tuesday, December 26, 2006 | Permalink | 0 comments
Monday, December 25, 2006
A Very Merry Christmas...
Well, the days and weeks and months go by and this blog begins to approach its official announcement, so that we can finally end this silly (but necessary) 'Beta' business. So, chances are most of you won't see this Christmas post until after the new year.

And, maybe that's okay. Maybe it might be better to think about thinking about peace on earth and goodwill towards men on a date other than December 25.

Christmas is littered with anchors, things that allow us to remember all the things that Christmas
has come to mean and has ever been about for us. And of course, for many people, Christmas isn't about anything other than stress, expensive presents and/or overeating.

For others, Christmas is a continual struggle to chase after fondly remembered memories that never seemed to be ahead and always behind.

And for others, Christmas can be about so many other things that happened so many Christmases ago now.

And all of these things can certainly be valid, I think. And they can all be valid at the same time. And things can also mean what we decide that they mean for us and what we allow ourselves to believe that they mean.

Symbols and Meaning

You see, Christmas and all of its trappings are symbols.

It's just like the letter A is a symbol. The letter A means a specific sound because we've been taught that it means a specific sound when
it's used in a specific way and we decided to adapt that teaching.

There's nothing intrinsic to the letter A that makes it mean anything. It's just our decision to see it that way and to think about it that way.

So imagine for a moment that somebody else was raised to think about the letter A as having an entirely different meaning or sound.

Perhaps to them it's the number six! Perhaps it's the symbol of their religion. Perhaps it's a drawing of a house or a tree, or a rocket ship.

Obviously, their experience of that symbol is very different from what yours might be. And all of our experiences of all of the symbols in our lives can become different when we begin to see them for what they are and think about them differently now.

Creating Symbols and Making Meaning

So, here's a thought experiment for you. Why not take one of the meanings of Christmas which is peace on earth and goodwill towards men and then think of some things in your daily life, some common everyday things, that could symbolize that concept for you. They can be something like a painting on your wall or even something as obtuse and seemingly unrelated as the gear shifter in your car.

Imagine that for a while now, you're going to allow yourself to just play around with the idea of making that thing mean peace on earth and goodwill towards men for you. Think about it every time you see that thing or touch it or interact with it in any way (those of you know some NLP will know how to make do some anchoring for yourself to help you in this).

After a while, you'll notice you don't even have to think about it, the association will just be there. And then you might even begin to forget about it or maybe you can still allow yourself to think about it that way every time...

Because I suspect if you can allow yourself to think about peace on earth and goodwill towards men a little bit every day, perhaps every day can have a little of the kind of spirit that the best Christmases can have and, just perhaps your future Christmases can all be just a little brighter now.

To all of my friends, no matter what your personal or cultural beliefs, faiths or convictions, I wish all of you peace on earth and goodwill towards men, in just the way that would be the most appropriate for you and your lives in every day and in all the days to come.

A Merry Christmas to All, and to All, Be Well.

Michael Perez

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posted by Michael Perez at Monday, December 25, 2006 | Permalink | 0 comments
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Podcast episode 003 - What is Trance? Pt, 2
The third episode of my podcast and the second part of my explanations about what trance is should now be available at the usual locations (iTunes, Odeo, etc.) or you can just click on the title of this post which is the link to the feed for my podcast.

My podcast is generally intended to be enjoyable even for people who have little or no background in hypnosis or NLP. And, a the same time, those of you who are already familiar with these things can learn something from them on a slightly different level...

One of the things I like to do is teach things on many levels at the same time, and my podcasts are no exception. So, those of you who have a familiarity with non-authoritarian hypnosis or NLP might want to have a different listen to podcasts two and three, comparing and contrasting...

And no matter what level you're listening to it on, I hope you enjoy it!

Be Well,

Michael Perez

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posted by Michael Perez at Sunday, December 17, 2006 | Permalink | 0 comments
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Podcast episode 002 - What is Trance? Pt, 1
Hi Everyone,

The second episode of my podcast is up. It's an exploration of the concept of Trance and just what it might be, both as an experience and as a neurological phenomenon. My podcast is designed to be enjoyable whatever your skill level, so feel free to give it a listen!

Don't forget that you can subscribe via
iTunes, Odeo, and via just about any RSS reader. We're at 2,400 subscribers thus far, without yet having advertised its availability... ;)

And how about considering doing your old pal Michael a favour and writing up a review or leaving me some feedback? A review, good, bad or indifferent, will help others determine if my podcast might be worth a listen or not. And feedback can tell me how well (or poorly) I'm getting across what I mean to be communicating and will give you a voice in what you hear next!! And if you want, you can even Skype me and ask your question on my next podcast yourself!

I'm waiting to hear from you!

Be Well,

Michael Perez

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posted by Michael Perez at Sunday, December 10, 2006 | Permalink | 0 comments
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Going to Glasgow
I find myself getting ready to catch a few hours sleep before beginning the long journey tomorrow to visit Glasgow in bonnie Scotland. Being that most of my own direct ancestors are from either Spain or Sicily, I can't say that the land of the Scots is likely to hold any of my kith or kin. Yet somehow, I've always felt a kinship with many of the ideals and visions that this place has conjured up in so many hearts.

Although I'll be there ostensibly be there to be doing something else (attending Jonathan Altfeld's Linguistic Wizardry workshop to keep my own speaking skills razor-sharp), I know that I'll be thinking of the history and philosophies that make that place so special and I think that standing in that place will give me a special sense of perspective.

I may or may not be able to update for a few days whilst I'm away, but I will definitely take the opportunity to share anything that I think might benefit this conversation.

I'm also grateful for the comments that I've already received about this place, even though I haven't yet taken it public. By the time most of you read this, it will be a few days from now when I'm sure that everything is working well enough to broaden the conversation and bring you in as well. And so it's also interesting for me to think of the time that I'm about to have from the point of view of someone who's reading about me leaving well after I've returned.

There's so much in the world which changes based on where and when we're standing at any given moment.

Most of the time, we stand in our own shoes and view the world through our own eyes, perceiving ourselves as the centre.

Sometimes, in moments of compassion, we place ourselves in someone else's shoes and imagine what life must be like for them in their situation.

And every once in a while, we try to take a step back and allow ourselves to see a situation from the point of view of an outsider, a dispassionate observer, so that we can judge things from a clearer perspective.

And all of these positions can tell us something that we didn't already know about any situation that we may be in.

And something else that I like to suggest is to go beyond perceptual positions and to see what it might be like to take a look at things from different historical positions or cultural positions that you may be familiar enough with to understand what it might be like to see the world through those sorts of eyes. If you take the time to learn about William Wallace (and no, I don't mean watching Braveheart 10 times in a row ;) ), I wonder what things in your life will look like from his point of view? Or da Vinci's? Or Edison's? Or Twain's?

Sometimes, I think it can be very useful to learn about people from different times in different cultures who did what you might consider to be great things, things that you personally find admirable and to learn enough about them to begin to understand what it might be like to look at your life and the things in it from their positions or even to imagine what they might have thought looking through your eyes at your life and the things in it...

And so, I know I'll be taking a look at things a little differently and I'll also be looking forward to having learned from the differences.

Be Well,

Michael Perez

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posted by Michael Perez at Thursday, November 02, 2006 | Permalink | 0 comments
Some Late Thoughts on All Hallow's Day...
It's early the next morning here as I write this, the day after the Day of the Dead. I think that the idea of having a time once a year when one may consider mortality and immortality can be a useful one.

I know a number of people that I admire have shuffled off this mortal coil.

Some of them I knew personally and I have the greatest respect for my memories of my experience of them.

Others I did not have the good fortune to come across during their time among us, but I have read from them and of them and about them and admire them for those things.

And I wonder just who will admire me and what I've done when, in 50 years, someone else sits and ponders mortality and immortality on the Day of the Dead.

So perhaps a good question when thinking of things taking the very long view might be,
'Who am I in the process of being, right now, and what am I in the process of doing, right now, that someone in the future might be realistically expected to find memorable or admirable?'
If you don't have a good answer to that question, perhaps this is a good time to allow that idea to begin to simmer on the back burner of your mind. You might just be surprised at the kind of answers to those sorts of questions that can just pop up at the oddest and the most opportune times. At least that's the way it seems to work for me on this, the day after the Day of the Dead...

Be Well,

Michael Perez

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posted by Michael Perez at Thursday, November 02, 2006 | Permalink | 0 comments
Monday, October 30, 2006
Monologue Vs. Dialogue
Having put together some of the first few posts here as well as the first podcast (or perhaps the more generic 'netcast is a better word, I'll ponder that), I'm wondering what people can be thinking about these conversations. After all, most conversations have some give-and-take and provide feedback, feedback which can then be used by both parties to find even better ways to communicate with each other about the topic of conversation or even decide when to move on to a different topic.


In my experience, the further you move away from close, personal interaction, the closer you come to a monologue, where one person says something in a vacuum and then others who listen can then respond internally to what is said or not. Even the kinds of interactions that are normally referred to as monologues usually aren't.

For example, a comedian delivering a comedy monologue before an audience is usually engaging in a conversation with that audience because their applause and other analogue communications will tell them whether or not their material is working or whether or not they need to make subtle changes in their delivery in order to better reach the people they're interacting with.

And the true monologue can happen even in the most intimate of one-to-one interactions. People can become so fixated, fascinated or even obsessed with what they're saying that their focus becomes entirely internal and they can ignore the other person that they are talking to. Sometimes they can even use this orientation of internal focus to take external communications and completely re-render them using their own internal point of view to the point that rather than addressing the other person, they essentially reframe the entire conversation as an internal dialogue. Needless to say, this isn't a really great communication strategy if your intention is to understand someone else.


Therefore, I prefer to think of this medium, (and by that I mean both this blog and my podcast, as a dialogue, albeit one that evolves more slowly than a direct conversation might. So I'm going to rely on you to give me your feedback and ask me your questions so that the conversation can move in a direction that's useful for you, for all of you and, by extension, for me.

You'll find that when you post a reply here on this blog, it will tell you that the replies are moderated. Although I'm trying to make sure that I eliminate content that basically amounts to spam, that doesn't mean that I'm only willing to post positive comments. I'll let through most things as long as they're reasonably coherent and seems to bear some vague relation to the content at hand, even if I don't immediately see what that relation might be.

And that's not the only reason that I'm choosing to moderate the comments here.

Since the comments are moderated, it means that I get an e-mail every time somebody leaves a comment here. That means that I can also pay close attention to everything that's written and I can take all of those things into account and keep them in mind as I write the next things that will appear here. In this, the monologue becomes the dialogue and we can all enrich one another with the conversation.

So, I'll ask you to please comment where you think you have something that's worth saying. Even if you're not sure, write it anyway if you think it might be the least bit constructive, and who knows what can come of it?

And to further the spirit of this, I'd like to announce that future podcasts will include a questions and answers segment. You can e-mail questions to me as text or, if you'd like, you can even record yourself so that you can ask your question directly on the next podcast! Just E-Mail the recording of less than 10 MB (or the plain text if you want to chicken out ;) ) to me and we'll all look forward to what will come!

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Be Well,

Michael Perez

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posted by Michael Perez at Monday, October 30, 2006 | Permalink | 0 comments
Podcast Episode 001 - Analogue and Digital

The first episode of my new podcast is out. it's a quick 15 minute look at analogue and digital communication and how understanding just how to use one and the other together, in a congruent way, can absolutely cause your communication accuracy to shoot through the roof, not to mention get you out of a bad spot on occasion... ;)

A word to the wise. There is a fair amount of hypnotic language in the content, so I wouldn't recommend listening whilst driving or operating heavy equipment. Wait until you have an opportunity to lie back and relax for a few minutes and we'll both be better off for it!

Love it, hate it or anywhere in-between, I look forward to reading your feedback!

Be Well,

Michael Perez

PS: To subscribe, just click the title of this entry, it's a link. Or just click here.

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posted by Michael Perez at Monday, October 30, 2006 | Permalink | 0 comments
Sunday, October 29, 2006
How Jack Nicholson Taught Me to Control Pain…
You think I'm kidding, right? And no, I'm not talking about taking a clue from some of his exploits in the 1960s. Do enough drugs and you might not have any pain, and you might not be able to think very functionally either... ;)

Sam Hamm penned the script to Tim Burton's first Batman movie many years ago and I will never forget one particular line as immortalized by Jack Nicholson, hamming it up to perfection as the Joker as he complained about the Caped Crusader’s interference in his elaborately planned and now-ruined dastardly deed. Glaring with his best demented smile in full force, Nicholson intoned, 'I have given a name to my pain...'

Now of course Batman never caused me much pain (there were the Joel Schumacher Batman movies, but that's not the kind of pain I'm thinking of), but the concept of giving a name to pain is a powerful one.

I spent several years debilitated by intense chronic pain. There were a few basic distinctions that allowed me to begin to control my pain and eventually help me arrive at the place where I am now, a place of being pain-free. One of those distinctions was the understanding that I could change my subjective experience of pain. I could do things that would allow me to experience the pain differently and, with trial and error, I learned that some of these ways were more or less useful for me; depending on how I thought of it exactly, my pain was more or less intense. And eventually, I found a way for the pain to tell me everything it needed to tell me with no suffering at all on my part.

So, just like Jack as the Joker, I've given a name to my pain and that was the beginning of a process that eventually gave me my life back. I wonder, what things in your own life might you find can be different if you decide now to experience them differently and change the way you represent them to yourself? We'll never know until you find out...

We'll talk more about this as time goes on.

Be Well,

Michael Perez

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posted by Michael Perez at Sunday, October 29, 2006 | Permalink | 0 comments
And So It Begins...
Hi everyone,

I'm Michael Perez and some of you may know me from my writings and forum moderation on NLP Connections or perhaps one of the various psychology, self-help or NLP mailing lists on which I write. If you've come to this place from one of those places, I'm glad you're here and you're welcome to sit back, kick your shoes off, wiggle your toes around and relax. Think of this as your home away from home.

For those of you who don't know me from those places but perhaps know me from other times in my life, it's great to have you here! I hope you'll stick around so that we can get reacquainted and pick up where we left off.

For those of you who don't know me from Adam and are here because the great g-d Google told you there was something here of interest, there is and will be. It's nice to meet you and I look forward to the wonderful conversations and feelings to come.

Whoever you are and however you got here, let me tell you a bit about who I am and about this place, Trancecendent, what it is and what it's meant to be.

Who I Am

Well now, figuring out a way to say who you are exactly is quite a tall order!

I could tell you my name, but that's not really me, it's just what I'm called.

I could tell you that I do life transformation seminars, life coaching or change work, but that's not really me either, that's what I do.

I could tell you that I am my mother's son or my sister's brother, but that's not who I am, those are just relationships that I have with others.

I could tell you that I've been passionate about Japanese culture and philosophy or that I love to draw and considered being an animator or that I love writing fiction and may one day publish a novel, but all of those are hobbies or interests and not who I am.

Who am I? This isn't really a satisfactory answer either, but here it goes. I'll tell you for now that I'm a person who helps other people find a real, deep meaning to this question. And once you find that answer to that question, you can answer every other real question in your whole life informed by that knowledge of who you really are. And those answers, in turn, can allow you to live, really live, in a deeply satisfying way that can allow you to experience real happiness.

So that's not really who I am and I guess it's close enough for the sake of argument and for this message. I think you'll see more of who I am revealed directly and indirectly in what is written here over the days and weeks to come.

What This Place Is

This place is meant to be a place for me to write and reflect on my learnings and experiences in a way that is useful to you and that will give you something really worthwhile to take away from this place and bring with you wherever you go.

You see, you gave me something very valuable when you came here and you're giving me something very valuable right now, something more valuable than anything else you own. You are giving me your time.

Now people are sometimes quite stingy with time. Sometimes they're trying to save time or make time. Others seem to be more free and waste time or lose track of time. And yet the moment that you're spending with me right now reading what I've written is a moment that you'll only have this once and will never have again. So, when you give me this precious, irreplaceable, utterly unique-in-the-history-of-the-universe moment, you're giving me something that you'll never have again and will never be able to give to anyone else.

In exchange for this precious gift of your time, I believe that I owe you something and it'd better be something pretty damn valuable considering what you're putting on the table! I guess I could have you give me your e-mail address so that I can PayPal you some cash, but I don't think that all the money I have would be enough to pay even one of you for this, let alone all of you that will ever read this over the course of time. In fact, I don't own anything that valuable even if were to stack all of my possessions up to weigh them against what you're giving me right now. I owe you and I owe you big.

The most valuable thing that I have and therefore the only currency that is commensurate with what you're giving me are my thoughts. Now you might be thinking, 'this guy seems to think his thoughts are pretty damn valuable!' and if you've already begun to think about your time about being that valuable by contras, maybe that thought will already be valuable enough to help pay you for the time we're spending together right now.

Pretty soon now, not in this post but in the ones to come, we'll begin to talk about more and more about how being who we are affects every aspect of our lives and how changing our ideas about who we are can make incredible transformations in our lives, either for the good or, hopefully, for the even better.

We'll talk about more specific things like how to control pain and feel wonderful, how to learn to take advantage of our mind-body connection to create great outcomes for our health and how to achieve all of our goals and dreams so that we can live the kind of really fantastic, happy life that we're meant to live.

And all of these things seem to come back to the same thing for me, which is what I believe about who I am and how that affects every part of my life and can mean and do the same for you.

I built this place so that I could have this discussion with you, so thank you for being here, for having the discussion and, in so doing, allowing this place to be what it's supposed to be. And I'll look forward to being here with you again, soon.

Be Well,

Michael Perez

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posted by Michael Perez at Sunday, October 29, 2006 | Permalink | 1 comments