Sunday, September 19, 2010


Geetali came up with the idea and I think it "rocks" - like my kids would say. Asha Sridhar is my guest blogger for this post. She is into training and motivating and writes her blog on 'Self-leadership'. This article is all about 'shifting/changing paradigms within'.


When we first came up with this idea of contributing to each other’s blogs as guest bloggers, my first thought was that everything I knew about Reiki, I knew from Ranjani’s blog. How could I then add anything of substance to it, which all of you had not read on her blog before?

I therefore decided to do a piece on something other than Reiki. I completed my certification as a Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) last year and I wish to share some of the things that have happened to me since then.

NLP was created by John Grinder and Richard Bandler, by a process of observation and modeling other techniques and processes that had proven to be successful. A basic premise in NLP is that people are equal in terms of mental and physical capabilities. The difference arises as a result of values, beliefs, attitudes – all of which impact motivation. Motivation either drives people to be excellent or mediocre.

Having been created by modeling other successful models and concepts, NLP has successfully proven that success can be modeled. To drive home this point during our training, we did a board-break exercise. Some of you may either have been exposed to this yourselves or you might have heard about this ‘magical’ experience from others. There is nothing magical about it, believe me. The key to breaking the board is in the following process:

 Find a model of real excellence. Find somebody who is excellent at the behaviour you wish to model. The key is to find real excellence. If you model an average behaviour, what you will achieve is mediocrity.

 Identify what makes this model of excellence tick. Find their:

o Beliefs and values (why do they believe what they believe? What are the values they have held? What are their motivations, their desires? What are their enablers?)
o Strategies (how do they speak to themselves? How do they build a picture of success?)
o Physiology (breathing patterns, posture, body language)

 Install the above in yourself without any modification.

Skeptical? The proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating. We all had thick wooden planks to break. 99 out of the 100 participants broke the board that day by simply following the above process. Over 75 of us (including yours truly) did this at the first attempt.

We modeled our trainer Dr. Adriana James at this task. We spent time with her, eliciting her beliefs and her values. We learnt about her strong self belief – that she can do anything she wants to do. We found out how she spoke to herself. She said, “my brain is really good at processing positives. I build a picture of success for it. I imbue the picture with beautiful and strong colours, sounds and feelings and I can feel the feelings of success coursing through my body”. She then showed us how she did it. I paid close attention to her posture, her breathing and her body language. All this helped me, as I am an extremely visual person.

I took what Dr. James said and built a picture for my brain. The picture was of myself with the broken pieces of the board in my hand, clapping hands with my classmates at the successful completion of the task. My ego started talking to me telling me that I’d look foolish if I could not break the board. I firmly muted my ego and started my breathing exercises to enable me to get strong. And then I was placing my board on the bricks. I took my position, took 3 deep breaths, closed my eyes and brought back to mind the picture of success I had made. I saw my hand touch the floor beneath the board. I opened my eyes and wham! My palm smacked the middle of the board and it touched the floor just where I had known it would. The sense of achievement was actually numbing. I did not feel exhilarated, because I had known all along that I could do it.

To you all, my dear friends, let me say: I have not broken any other physical boards, but since then, I have broken a lot of mental boards, which were acting as brain barriers and stopping me from reaching my potential. First of all, I started to write seriously. There was a wooden board inside me that stopped me from writing and my ego kept that board healthy by adding negative messages. I used the above model to get over this.

 I identified a model of excellence – somebody in my circle who writes exceedingly well – my friend Geetali. I have modeled her – consciously and unconsciously – and have actually become a regular blogger.

 I started communicating with my unconscious mind and I realized I had a friend within myself. A friend who did not chastise, who did not criticize and who did not tell me that I was going to look like a fool or worse. A friend who said, “go ahead and do this, because it is good for you. I am there through thick and thin with you”. I tasked my unconscious mind with reminding me to get back on track and to help me find the right resources – both within and external – to help me with this and guess what! It has performed this task wonderfully!

 I constantly now build an image of success when I embark on a new journey.

Why don’t you all do this too? Start off small and see the big difference it makes in your lives.

Watch us break our boards here


  1. Oh! I do so relate to this.In weight-training believe me it's about breaking the mental boards about what you can do-how much lifting is feminine enough.Ditto with boxing.
    But the mental strength and sense of achievement that you get from it spills over to all else.

  2. Thanx . You write excellent on ideas and beliefs . .

  3. Reading this has sort of reawakened me.Hope I feel this way for a long,long time and don't go back to that rat's hole again................Hope I go back to my former self soon............

  4. @Delo - you can go back to what you were. You won't be the same person, because your experiences have changed you. Start with the image of what you want. Focus on what you want your life to look like. It will not be the opposite of the rat hole, so don't focus on the rat hole and say "I don't want that". Say, "this is what my life looks like, smells like, tastes like and sounds like" and then keep it in your mind it. Remember that whenever you are at a decision point in your life. It will be a reality, I know that and so do you :-)

  5. Thanks Asha.Just read your wonderful poems.........