Its 3.26 am on Saturday morning. I have been working on my computer into the early hours because for some reason sleep is evading me tonight , and whatever I do to drift into deep, restful dreamland , I still remain wide awake.
Tabbing over to Facebook for a much needed distraction, I see a request from the Radio 2 FB page asking for people to post on their thread the reasons they are still awake at this time in the morning. “Oh well, I thought, why not! “ I imagined my 15 seconds of fame taking the form of my name being mentioned over the airwaves in the soft dulcet tones of Richard Allinson – and even if no one else that knew me heard it, I will always have had a moment of fame on Radio 2 ( for now anyway- watch this space for the future!)
“I can’t sleep…too much caffeine” was my brief, clipped contribution to the thread, which as soon as I pressed the return button, was added to the much more interesting updates from the other Radio 2 insomniacs – a security guard in Peterborough in his control room working all night, an ex- pat in Virginia who always listens to radio 2, a mother with a young baby who’s tiny sleeping body was spread out in her bed in the shape of star fish and finally someone who is waiting up in full anticipating of winning the euro millions!
Quickly I tune the TV on to the Radio 2 channel in the hope my comparative feeble reason for insomnia, and more importantly my name , will be be mentioned on air. Waves of soft, soothing , easy listening music reach my ears, soothing my tense, tierdless body, and a sudden a feeling of deep relaxation gently engulfs me.
I begin to imagine who these other people are who are posting on the thread at this time of night, what do they look like , what type of personalities do they have – I like the thought we were all brought together in our anonimity by a common bond of being Radio 2 fans and the fact we are all still awake to see in the dawn.
I have just heard my name being read out by Richard Allison ” And…….,Patsy Wood from Milton Keynes can’t sleep due to too much caffeine! ” (Maybe not the best advert for a NLP trainer who has sleep inducing techniques at my finger tips – but hey I blame the caffine !) The tone of Richard’s lilting , experienced radio announcer’s voice actually makes my contribution sound interesting! Wow! He is now reading out the name of the security guard and followed that immediately by the young mother and generously shares their reasons for being awake with the rest of the listening world too! How cool is that!
I start to imagine how my Radio 2 sleepless cybermates are feeling as they hear their names being read out over the airwaves,
I picture the security guard, a big burly young chap with a flask and sandwiches – and broad grin, sitting alone , apart from 2 large black guard dogs, in his small brightly lit office surrounded by cctvs and security cameras thinking ” Wait till I tell my mates and/or missus about this!”
I have an image in my mind of the young mother smiling quietly to herself as she has a stolen moment of peace in the ,still dark night. As she lovingly watches over her beautiful baby sleeping peacefully, I like to think she captures a treasured moment of pure stillness, calm and love, in her otherwise hectic life as a busy young mum.
For some reason I get a feeling that the Virginian ex-pat is sitting in a typical American diner having breakfast – pancakes and maple syrup of course! He he has blonde curly hair and a broad smile lighting up his welcoming and friendly face. He speaks with a slight American lilt to his otherwise English accent. Outwardly he is really excited to hear his name being mentioned, yet inwardly, when he hears Richards voice reading out his name, he is reminded of his home in England, the family he left behind and his joy is tinged with a sense of momentary sadness remembering his loved ones back in the UK.
The guy who anticipates winning the euro millions wrote with such humour. I imagine him in his late 50s, with grey hair, a great sense of fun and very popular. He laughs out loud to hear his name on the radio and will tell his story in lots of happy social gatherings.
How wonderful our minds are. I had such fun creating personalities for my fellow radio 2 fans sharing sleep deprivation with me in the early hours of this Saturday morning. The pictures of them in my mind are still very vivid and very real to me. How easy and effortless it was for me to create a real person just based from what I read in their short messages. A whole perception of a person just from a couple of lines! And how accurate do you think I am in my descriptions of these peole? You are right – How can I possibly know, what evidence am I basing my opinions and conclusions on other than those I have created in my mind ?
The characters I created were formed from somewhere deep in my subconscious based on my past experiences , feelings, memories and what I would like to believe to be true in this moment in my happy, feel good state of mind.
How easily we can do the same in everyday situations too. We create images of people and situations based on what we see and hear at a surface level, and how they may make us feel by their actions and behaviours. We can form conclusions about others really quickly based on our how they relate and compare to past experiences we have had, both good and bad , our values and beliefs of what we believe to be right, the emotional state we are in at the time and how it can drive our thinking and reasoning – and also what is really important for us in that moment of time. We can create a good or bad impression of a person or situation in our mind , based on very little information at all – and then that impression becomes our reality
NLP teaches us to explore the other persons “map of the world”. To ask the questions that will enable us to know and understand what lies beneath someone’s surface behaviours, and give us a much deeper understanding and clarity of who they really are and what is actually going on for them . We learn to honour people’s uniqueness, and also understand that each of us have our own unique way of processing and interpreting whats going on around us in any moment of time and making sense of it to us – our own map of the world . To understand this concept opens up new dimensions for exploring and gaining a deep level understanding of other people, and their true character – and even if we may not agree with their views , we can begin to understand how they formed them. .By doing this we have the basis for creating rapport, gaining agreement and managing conflict in all relationships.
Now, getting back to my comrades in insomnia, I could choose to go into Facebook and ask the questions that would allow me to find out more about the reality of my fellow “sleepless in cyber land” friends and who they really are. Not a good idea or appropriate methinks in this scenario , and actually I have no need or reason to do so!
I am very happy to let the working of my wonderful mind take over completely on this occasion, and enjoy the unique personalities I have created and made real for these lovely people, secure in the knowledge that I have formed them all completely from my internal “map of the world” – and the only things I know that could be true about them are the names they shared and their reasons for being awake at this time in the morning!
Have fun map-reading in your worlds everyone!