Challenges come in many shapes and sizes but sometimes, it's a matter of life and death. That was the case for Katalin Marton, NLP Practitioner of 2019, who learned to truly be present and honour all feelings after a life-threatening emergency. Today she's sharing her insights to help us come home to our true self. Enjoy this powerful article!
Please allow me to share with you a snapshot of some of the greatest lessons of my life from 7 years ago. I went home for lunch that autumn day, walking with a sense of joy I could not really understand, it was otherworldly and I had not had that sunny feeling for a while... There was a presence in and around me that knew no impossible.
"Mindset mattered, and in my case, mindset was a life or death question. "
Before eating, I did some exercise, and the moment I got up, I felt an excruciating pain in my head. I was used to regular migraines from an early age, but this was very different. I looked blue and sweaty in the mirror, when I unexpectedly said out loud, looking into my eyes “I will survive this.” The soul emerged and something bigger than “everyday me” took over, I reached for the phone without thinking…not knowing it was a type of brain haemorrhage.
I was lucky I could ask for help, as it found me alone. Or did it? That presence from the walk was with me all the way. We are never alone.
Mindset mattered, and in my case, mindset was a life or death question.
Picture me the next morning... There I am, consenting to a procedure that could leave me dead, partially or completely paralysed. Doctors explained that I’m in the safest hands, with the most advanced know-how and state of the art medical infrastructure. I surrendered…“As if I had a choice” I said.
I signed the forms and off we went to the operating theatre. I did not think about “everyday stuff”, worries or problems. My thoughts focused on what and whom really mattered, reflections on my “near-death bed” in my late twenties. And how things will be different if I make it out alive.
I was in the right place, at the right time, to get the right help and for that, I am forever grateful. There had to be a purpose in all this and I was determined to find it. I had a choice in how I responded.
"The brain’s ability to heal and adapt, learn and optimise never ceases to impress me. It is a learnable skill to rewire your brain. It is available to you, too."
Needless to say, control was out the window. I could not rely on its illusion anymore. I needed to reach deeper within me for resources like trust; trusting in something bigger than me and finding a sense of purpose in the suffering. Safety, purely from the knowledge that I will figure it out one step at a time.
Resources I had forgotten I had.
The trauma was an opportunity to stop, pay attention within and grow. It taught me to “just be” and honour my feelings in the now, rather than be “busy”, which used to be the go-to habit. It taught me to accept help, even learn to ask for it!
The lessons were learnt, one vulnerable step at a time, allowing myself the capacity to be human. It was a masterclass from my own nervous system - from the inside out. A living example of neuroplasticity.
“If I could heal from this, anything is possible”- I thought.
If I could embody change at this scale, so can everyone.
The brain’s ability to heal and adapt, learn and optimise never ceases to impress me. It is a learnable skill to rewire your brain.
It is available to you, too.
Fast forward to 2020 finding ourselves in a pandemic. Transformation remains more relevant than ever on a global scale. We are growing together through this, as humanity.
NLP is the game changer I turn to regularly, next to various other methods. I have now delivered 1000+ hours working with those, who decide to transform with effective strategies, accessing their inner wisdom.
If you are reading this article, you may be curious perhaps, why NLP?
A significantly large part of your behaviour (and resulting experience) is run by other-than-conscious patterns. Would you want to know what those are, and whether they help or hinder you?
From a neurological point of view, we're looking at the neurons that have fired together and wired together.
The good news is, and the science now supports everything mainstream NLP has to offer, you can change the wiring if it does not help you anymore.
Let's take it to the next level.
Asking some pertinent questions now allows you choice. How empowering! What would you like to do with the insights?
This is how “I’m not good enough” could become “I’m unstoppable”.
“I’m not worthy” to “heck yes I am!”.
“I’m either a good parent or a good leader with a successful career”, could become “I have a balance of both, honouring these values in a way that works for me”.
If you could be at your best more often, would you want it? There is a set of particular NLP tools that could help you achieve your desired outcomes like the above, and much more.
Yes, there is a commitment to the process. You have to trust your process and review your “default settings” in life, moving towards a more congruent way. You see, your brain says something like “I am pattern-matching to your past experience. Let me set the filters for giving you all the evidence for what you hold true”.
By default, these may be unconscious beliefs that wired in a long time ago, may not be so helpful, still influencing your present. To your brain, thoughts real or imagined, are reality.
Can you see how the contrasting examples from above shape a very different quality of life?
I will invite you to come home to yourself. See what jumps at you from the following reflections inspired by the key pillars of NLP. Some questions may stand out, others may not resonate at all.
It’s ok, there is no right or wrong answer here. It’s a discovery of yourself, the ever-transforming, unique, magnificent you.
Fundamentally it boils down to what do you want and why? In your work, in your relationships, in health or any area in life that’s important to you. People often say to me frustrated “Katalin, I don’t know what I want. I know what I don’t want!” What an honest insight.
Step one, lets’ get some clarity on this.
What moves my heart and soul is when people tell me they never allowed themselves to ask that question. It’s a conditioning, and decades could pass by like that. I’m here to tell you it matters, you matter! It is never too late, and I invite you to honour yourself by figuring it out. And when you are being yourself at your best, you can connect outwards with a different quality, with benefits to your wider environment, too.
Knowing your desired outcomes and your why really matters, especially before designing the roadmap forward. Grab some pen and paper to capture your insights. List your values - what is important to you in your life? Then prioritise them in order of importance, and start figuring out what has to be in place for you to feel you have met them.
From that space, you can set goals and review your actions to honour them. Outcomes are set and reached, goal posts may also change, it’s part of the journey. Your fundamental core values, based on which decisions become easier, are there to guide you from within.
Keep it visible and make a commitment to yourself in honouring them.
The things you see, hear, feel, your energy and how it changes, bodily sensations, inner self-talk, mental associations. Where do you feel discomfort, emerging internal or external conflicts? Where are alignment and flow? What is the difference that makes the difference for you? What are the conditions for you to be at your best in a given context? Let that be relationships, health, career, creativity.
What do your answers tell you about where you are now? And what could be the next smallest step to get closer to where you would like to be? Your sensory and somatic signals provide you with powerful extra information, it helps you to make a better-informed decision by being aware.
Breathe deeply, be present, and notice what you notice. If the insight is not comfortable, it’s okay. No resistance, no judgement. Curiosity, contemplation, exploration serves you better.
What are you learning from the signals? When and how do you need to apply in-course correction if something feels off? Take action or not, but I invite you to make it an informed decision, rather than an ignored set of insights.
The person with the greatest flexibility is most likely to reach their ideal outcome. Where in your life are you flowing and adapting with ease? Where are you feeling a bit stuck? What is the story you are telling yourself about what is going on for you? Does that story serve you or limit you? Take your time. Once you know your answers, what would you need to reframe? How will you practice thinking differently? What other options could you introduce you may not have considered before?
Move at your pace, in your own rhythm. No rush. Allow and create space for yourself to contemplate. Treat yourself with compassion on the way, as if you would treat a loved one. You are engaging your brain differently, creating new connections. Confidence comes with practice, be patient with yourself. Break it down small enough, it will become manageable and a lot less overwhelming.
NLP is life-changing and the positive feedback has mirrored this time and time again. Us, practitioners don’t only work with a topic area coachees may bring, as complex as it may get. We can help address those, and besides, I always say real transformation happens when people no longer need me in the room.
They don’t only address goals, they learn about how their mind works, their brain in action, putting themselves in the place of clarity, and from that insight, increased choice and decisive action. That is when I have done my job well! With the gift of transformation, they can harness themselves beyond our work together.
So tell me, are you ready for positive change? If you're thinking 'not yet', no problem. What would help you feel ready? All your answers are within you.
Katalin Marton is the coach and consultant who will help you and your organisation transform and realise your fullest potential. She won the NLP Practitioner Award at the 2019 International Coaching Awards, and she works as a Business Support Manager and Transformation Consultant with CoSector University.
Developing NLP Practitioner skills will help achieve outstanding results with your clients and yourself. Your thoughts have a powerful effect on your feelings and create your behaviours. One of the greatest gifts you will give yourself from the NLP Practitioner programme is learning how to have greater control over your state- no matter what is happening in your environment.
By adding the power of NLP to a solid underpinning of coaching techniques, you can really make a difference in your own life and the lives of those you coach. Find out how to get started here.
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We caught up with the lovely Katalin Marton, winner of NLP Practitioner of the Year Award at the 2019 International Coaching Awards to get a glimpse into the life of an award-winning coach. We hope you enjoy this inspiring interview!