by Charles Curtis
I attended the wedding of my niece this last weekend, and my NLP modeling skills were finding usefulness everywhere.
For example, I saw many emotional anchors being set, not only in the wedding couple, but in everybody else as well. In other words, the emotional intensity of the ceremony was being associated with various physical touches, such that when those touches happen in the future, they will “spontaneously” think of the goodness of the wedding.
The little children who took place in the ceremony had no idea, at an adult level, of what was happening. They were responding from their map of the world, that this was fun, and time to laugh and play, and enjoy all the silly things the grownups were doing.
I noticed how everything at the wedding was about association and dissociation, the two major themes in NLP. The wedding couple were dissociating to some degree from their families of origin, and associating to some degree with their partner’s family. They had already been associated with each other for some time, first during the relationship, and then during the engagement. Now they were making the ultimate association, by legally cleaving to each other, and now had the full weight of both society and their religion behind having the deep physical relationship they want with each other.
The ceremony was very emotional for me, as it triggered memories of my niece back when she was just a baby, and watching her grow up, and then get involved with the man who was now her husband, and watching their relationship flower and grow. During the exchange of vows, I found myself glad I knew EFT, as so much emotion was coming up in me that covertly rubbing the gamut point on the back of my hand was substantially helpful.
One particularly poignant moment was when I wrote out the check for her wedding gift. It seemed entirely strange to write it to her in her married name. Yet I knew she had been living this reality in her mind for months, she had been living with his last name in her consciousness as hers, and this ceremony was a recognition of what had already existed in both of their maps of the world for so long, that it was only the rest of the world that was now catching up.
One of my relatives, who was a professional concert pianist, played the wedding music. The church only had an electric piano, so he was missing the magnificent grand pianos he usually got to play. Yet, as he admitted when we talked before the ceremony, that no matter what kind of musical instrument the church had, they would be officially married at the end of the ceremony. And when the ceremony actually took place, even though he may have been frustrated by the limitations of the instrument, the rest of us were, as usual, blown away by his magnificence, as his skill and experience made this synthesizer sound like the $100,000 concert grands he is used to playing.
As I watched my niece exchange vows and rings with her beloved, I had to accept that she was, at last, grown up. They want a family, so it will be interesting to watch them go through all of that. I’m sure there will be little ones not so long from now.
Like every other couple who ever got married, it seemed like a good idea at the time. I found myself hoping that they continued to find life with each other a positive association, and that they would find themselves on the positive side of the bell curve with respect to healthy long-term relationships.
Personally I don’t enjoy loud rock music, so I was pleased to find that the DJ at the reception was playing the music at a very reasonable volume and seemed to be mostly picking Frank Sinatra. So my positive associations were being triggered and that put me in a good mood, so I enjoyed dancing with my girlfriend and found myself enjoying associating with the pleasant people at the reception for a long time. And yet I know at other receptions where the music was to me ear-splitting, that that’s what that couple wanted, and they were enjoying it immensely and dancing up a storm, so their positive association caused me to dissociate from their gathering rather rapidly.
As the reception unfolded, the DJ played all the right songs, pushed all the right buttons, did all the right rituals. As he worked his way through the “wedding script”, I thought about how all of this was so much ritualistic anchoring. So much societal custom, the throwing of the bridal bouquet, the cutting of the cake, the father-daughter dance, the chicken dance, YMCA, etc etc etc.
And yet custom was mixing with custom. Many of her father’s and mother’s friends were Quakers. They would have been just as satisfied with a long period of meditative silence, or a reception conspicuous in its plainness and practicalness, for that is their tradition.
And my sister, being a Quaker, rather than being upset and rushing about as many mothers of the brides find themselves, was calm and peaceful throughout, and so she got, as a benefit, to enjoy the experience immensely as compared to someone rushing about and being filled with upset out-of-harmony feelings as can happen at some weddings.
The wedding took place at a beautiful new Protestant church with a magnificent auditorium. In contrast, the reception took place at an ancient Quaker Meeting house, where the building was humble and functional, and where the focus was on high consciousness and living the peaceful life.
On their grounds was a huge and famous oak tree that was estimated to be 600 years old, and that was therefore there when William Penn settled the colony that became Pennsylvania. Being a nature buff, I enjoyed walking the grounds with my girlfriend. There were farm fields all around, and the area was full of wildlife, so I was in my element, and felt profoundly peaceful.
The next day we had a reunion for our side of the family at an old mill that had been restored as an event center. I don’t have a strong skill at visual organization, so I really appreciate it when I’m in the presence of something arranged artistically by someone who has a gift for visual representation. This was also in a natural setting, with birds and small animals in abundance on the beautifully landscaped grounds.
The food was exquisite, and the only problem was to decide to eat, as there was so much, one could not have it all. It was all awesomely good, and the relatives were all in a mellow frame of mind, so the family reunion went very well and everyone was feeling good throughout the event.
As an added bonus, I got to have a conversation with one of my relatives who is also a hypnotist, and so I found myself moving into NLP fast-time, as we got to rapidly communicate our movies of the mind, as we compressed all of our experience in the last few years into the few minutes of conversation we ended up having about our professional and private experiences.
I could go on, but you get the picture (sound)(sensation). The whole experience left me in a very good place, and thankful for having good family. And so I got to contemplate how good memories are set in place, and also to acknowledge how knowing NLP gives me an edge in almost every situation I experience. And since this was a good experience, I now had all of these resources anchored in my subconscious mind to comfort me in future moments of meditation.
And that will make me a better NLP Practitioner in the future, as I have that powerful experience of harmony and peace as a resource to draw upon when my clients need support in dealing with their issues, and also a good example of how families can do it right to describe to those struggling with dysfunctional upsetting situations.
And in the end, like always, I found reinforcement for my own model of the world, that life is good, and that my life is very good, and that I have a lot to be thankful for, on a regular basis. And so I always do, as that is part of my belief system.
And we always get what we expect. Interesting, isn’t it?