Using NLP to “rewrite” your life!

eraserA Grandfather’s Gift by Ricardo Ocampo.

On his first grandchild’s birthday John Richard presented his son and daughter-law with an elaborate leather-bound journal so they could begin recording the events in their son’s life.

Over the years, the parents and other family members wrote in the journal—noting his trials, tribulations, accomplishments, and limitations in the boy’s life, as well as their own hopes and dreams for his future.

When he became of an age where he could read and write, a ceremony was held. The grandfather presented the book to the child and explained much had been written in it by his ancestors and that he could read their perceptions and beliefs about him.

But even better, he could now begin to write his own journal entries – his experiences, his own hopes and dreams, his fears and his own thoughts.

As the years went by and he turned into a young adult, the grandson began to suspect that what he was writing in the journal was being influenced by the stories that preceded each entry – way back to the first ones, and that these were directing his life.

He felt he had lost control of the direction the journal was taking and was unable to write the stories he wanted. He tried to make adjustments to the older stories but without much success.

He visited his grandfather and asked what he could do about the stories that had created a life of their own. “I was hoping you would notice that and come to me,” said the wise old man. He smiled and pulled from his pocket a small, soft rectangular item. Holding it between his index finger and his thumb for his grandson to see he said: “This is a magic eraser, just waiting for your request. It has the power to change the stories and allow you to write new ones that reflect the direction you want your life to take.”

As the young man grew older, adding new entries and adjusting old ones with the eraser, he noticed he could align the old stories so they supported the direction he wanted. He felt he had more control of his life and could manifest the powerful vision he had for his purpose.

We are all born with our own “book of life.” Early events and the opinions of our forefathers and mothers create the beliefs and behaviors that begin to form our lives. But we need only discover that we each have our own “magic eraser” with which to alter any direction that is not in our best and highest path.

NeuroLinguistic Programming allows us to discover and use our own eraser – to identify and change the beliefs and behaviors that get in our way to having the best life possible.

Experience that magic and come find your own eraser at the 2017 Real World NLP Practitioner Training in Winter Park, Colorado July 24-August 5.

For more information: or call Ricardo Ocampo 303-550-8553

A little of “this” and a little of “that”: the power of one word




Joe’s energy was charged with tension in our first session. He was anxious about his job performance — afraid of getting demoted for missing deadlines. He avoided his boss for fear she would fire him. She was a no-nonsense, hard-driving woman who didn’t praise very often but was generous with criticism.

Jane was an energetic entrepreneur who had set high standards for herself: she wanted to take her sales company from $500,000 a year to $1,000,000 in 9 months.

Both were candidates for high blood pressure and ulcers. Both were out of touch with their own bodies, even though they worked out and were in “great shape.”

A good number of my clients come to me in order to overcome anxiety. Today’s culture of immediate turnarounds and internet relationships often causes tension, alienation and unhappiness.

When clients come to me they usually have heard about NLP and have expectations of immediate relief. Quite a bit of difference from the old “psychoanalysis twice a week for years on end” program, so I try to give them a few tools in the first several sessions that at least give them a bit of control over their situation.

First I examine with them their external circumstances — is there indeed a cause for the concern? In Joe’s case, he had not checked with his boss to see if he was really in trouble so we strategized the best ways he could approach her and find out how she evaluated his work. With Jane, we analyzed whether or not the big jump in income was realistic (it was), and what would happen if she didn’t reach her target (not much). In both cases the external stressors were not life and death — very manageable.

The next step is to help them identify what we in NLP define as submodalities — the physical location of where the sensation of anxiety manifests itself (usually in the stomach, chest and throat), what size, color, sensation, movement, sound, temperature, and shape it has.

For Joe it was between his gut and his chest; was dark, almost black; was tight and shaky; about the shape and size of a dumbbell, and equally heavy. No sound was associated with it. The level of anxiety on a scale of 1-10 was a 9. We tried several NLP and EFT processes to lower the level but got little movement. So I decided to try something new.

“Put your one hand on your gut and one on your chest. Feel your body there and hold it with compassion.”

Joe’s face relaxed a bit.

“Now say aloud: This is anxiety.”

This helps a person own the state but defines it as part of themselves, not their whole being.

Then I asked him to say, “That is anxiety,” aloud several times, pausing between statements to notice the effect. After three or four rounds he looked surprised. “It’s gone!”

With Jane, her anxiety manifested as an agitation in her mid and upper chest and a tightness in her jaw. I had her hold her chest and go through the same steps as Joe. Within moments we had the same results: the anxiety was gone.

I wrote down the simple process for both of them so they could do this on their own. Weeks later each is much calmer and able to analyze and take action to address their problems.

Try it yourself — and notice that the word “this” brings a feeling close, the word “that” moves it away.  Simple and powerful!

We will be experimenting with the power of words in even more ways in the NLP Master Practitioner Training. If you’ve completed your Practitioner training and want to increase your effectiveness in with world, join us this spring!



The Meaning of “Master”


“According to traditional conceptions, the function of a master is not limited to the teaching of doctrines, but implies the actual incarnation of knowledge, thanks to which he can awaken other men and help them in their search simply by his presence. He is there to create conditions for an experience through which knowledge can be lived as fully as possible.” 
– G.I. Gurdjieff, Meetings with Remarkable Men

Include our remarkable women trainers in the above quote, and that is what we intend to deliver in the NLP Master Practitioner training this spring.

“In the beginning there was the Word.”

I just had an inspiring talk with one of our Master Prac trainers, Charles Faulkner. His two-day section in April will focus on language: how it works and how to work it. Taking a “principles-based approach” to language —in contrast to examining individual patterns —Charles will show how Meta-Programs, Sleight-of-Mouth and other advanced language patterns are all aspects of the same system of distinctions (and there are only a handful of them). This will expand what you learned about the Meta-Model and the Milton Model in your Practitioner training as well as open the possibility of conversational change.

This won’t be about memorizing new processes but about deeply understanding and being able to generate useful language in our conversations with others.

The limits of my language are the limits of my world.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

Through modern neuroscience and linguistics, we are only beginning to understand the power of language — something poets, healers, and even politicians have practiced over the centuries. Charles has been studying language for decades and will be sharing his knowledge and skills with us by demonstrating what language does, how it does it, and what we can do with it to expand awareness and growth to facilitate perceptual and belief shifts in ourselves and others.

Master Trainer Lara Ewing has been practicing the elegant focus of attention through language for equally as long as Charles and will teach in our May session.

Man acts as though he were the shaper and master of language, while in fact language remains the master of man.” – Martin Heidegger

Isn’t it time you changed that in your life?

When you join us, you will be sharing the wisdom of some of the best Masters in the field.


Movie review and the Disney Creativity Model


Saving Mr. Banks movie poster

Image property of the Walt Disney Company

Last Friday two friends and I saw the movie Saving Mr. Banks, the story of how Walt Disney finally convinced author P.L. Travers to give him the rights to make a musical of her book Mary Poppins.

It took him 20 years to accomplish the task!

The trailers for the movie had me expecting a funny, frivolous experience – it was anything but that. I highly recommend it, especially to those interested in NLP. All three of us are NLP trained and had fun discussing how Disney was finally able to crack Mrs. Travers’ code. Without spoiling the movie for those who haven’t seen it yet, here are some of the things we discussed:

One aspect was his ability to envision his outcome so vividly that it kept him motivated to complete the project in the face of two decades of yearly rejection. His objective was so clear and his purpose so compelling, he never lost sight or belief in his ability to win her over.


That said, his plan to win her over failed until he uncovered the motive behind her recalcitrance. Even after the initial hurdle, he struggled to build rapport until he finally understood the values underneath her resistance. His response to her objections was: “How do we fix this?”

The results were nothing short of magical.


Disney Creativity Model

The Disney Creativity Model

In the 1980s, NLP innovator Robert Dilts codified Disney’s winning strategies and called it the Disney Creativity Model.

In the NLP Master Practitioner training, we teach and apply this strategy within the context of individual goals as well as in group or company situations. I have used it myself many times to achieve personal goals and have facilitated dozens of meetings using the strategy to help companies move toward big visions.

If you would like to experience the powerful energy and success strategies employed by Disney and used by many companies since Dilts’ codification, join us in the Master Practitioner this spring.

See, hear, and feel you there!


Is it NLP or is it “Ain’t”?

photo credit paul bica

photo credit paul bica

Many sales gurus and motivational speakers claim to be trained in NeuroLinguistic Programming and to be experts in the field.  Unfortunately, those who have been “trained” by these gurus show up in my office in a state of self-denigration because they haven’t achieved the success they “should” have.

So why is this the case? What is the difference between what many claim to be NLP and what really is NLP?

In my humble opinion, the difference between NLP and other types of quick change is the set of principles or presuppositions that guide the processes and the framework within which skills are applied.

The Major Presuppositions are:

1. Every behavior has a positive intention.

2. People respond to their map of reality, not reality itself.

3. The effectiveness of a communication can be evaluated by the response it gets.

4. The element in a system with the most flexibility will usually be the controlling element.

5. People work perfectly – within their map of reality.

6. People make the best choice available to them at the time.

7. Every behavior is useful in some context.

8. People have all the internal resources they need.

9. There is no such thing as failure, just feedback.

10. Most things can be accomplished if the task is broken into small enough chunks.

11. The more choices we have to accomplish a goal, the better chance we have to achieve it.

The presupposition that guides all my work now is: Every behavior has a positive intention — so don’t ever try to eliminate a part of yourself or a behavior!

If I don’t determine the purpose or positive intention of the problem, and make sure it is met before making any other change, I know I will fail.

I didn’t always understand this principle until early in my practice when a client came to me to change a very destructive behavior.

“Curt” had a history of self-mutilation and was referred to me by a Chicago NLP psychologist who had been working with him. He had made a lot of progress with the psychologist and wanted to continue the work after his move to Denver.

In our third session, he revealed he had been cutting himself for years and he wanted to “destroy that part of himself.” I asked the part of him responsible for the behavior what it was trying to accomplish for him. At first he was baffled – it was a “bad” thing; what on earth could be the positive intention? Once I explained the possibility that it was trying to help him in some way, we uncovered the intention: to prove to the world that he was sorry for hurting his daughter when she was a child. He had a deep sense of responsibility for her emotional problems and wanted to have a way to demonstrate his regret. He had made amends to her but needed to show “the universe” that he had truly “paid his dues.”

Once we had defined the purpose, we found healthier ways to satisfy the positive intention. He was able to give up the cutting and other destructive behaviors (he had actually shot himself a year earlier!).

No matter what intervention I may consider, I now always presuppose a positive intention and accommodate for it.

The Presupposition in Meetings

This same principle operates effectively outside therapy. Over the years, I have facilitated many meetings for companies, executives and professional organizations. They usually call in a facilitator when there has been an unmanageable level of conflict or need to institute an organizational change.

Objections, complaints, resistance and frustration are a huge part of what keeps meetings or change from being effective. When I assume a positive intention behind each one of these and address the objection as a useful behavior, it is much easier to get to the underlying, and usually important, purpose

Meetings go much more smoothly when objections are seen as a useful way to get to the source of a problem.

Years ago I attended a Tony Robbins seminar (who by the way is an amazing motivator and has done a lot of wonderful publicity for NLP). He led the audience in an exercise wherein the energy of a motivated part was “poured” onto the resistant part to eliminate it. I then understood why people who had been trained by him showed up in my office for help!

When I think of the various “short cuts” used instead of uncovering the positive intent behind a behavior and finding more useful ways to achieve it, I’m reminded of the Whack-a-Mole game.  Those shortcuts almost always are a suppressing mechanism of some sort. The shortcut becomes a long-term commitment of energy to keep that behavior suppressed, and it still pops up. It then requires more energy to deal with the resulting behavior, and so on.

One could say: “If the process or person is ignoring or violating one of the presuppositions, whatever they are doing, no matter who they are, it isn’t NLP.”

Imagine Yourself Here: A day in the life of our NLP training

Summer Day – NLP Training typical day

Early morning: You start your day on the deck of your condo, enjoying a cup of your favorite hot beverage in the cool morning air, watching the sun through the pines, listening to the chirps of robins and the whirring of hummingbird wings. Maybe you take a quick hike on one of the trails wandering from the condo, ride your bike along the river, or walk into town to get a warm bagel from Carver’s.

A little before 9 am: You walk down to the Beaver Village conference room (maybe watching the moose walk through the parking lot on the way) and join the other fascinating people from all over the globe who are excited about learning NLP with you.

The NLP training day starts with our Aikido master leading us in easy movements that represent and integrate the previous day’s learnings and gently waken our bodies for the day. One or two of the other trainers explains the day’s principles and techniques, demonstrating a change process and how to maximize your learning. You join your cohorts in practicing how to change obstacles into stepping stones, respectfully influence others and read the subtle communication signals that indicate success. You’re encouraged to try things out, make mistakes, experiment and have fun while learning.

1:00 pm: You take a 1½ hour break for lunch maybe pulling together a healthy lunch in your condo, walking two blocks into town to eat at a local restaurant with other students,  heading across to road to take an hour long horseback ride or up to the resort to whiz down the Alpine Slide, or just resting quietly on the deck.

Back in the training room after lunch you join in the music and drumming for a little while to wake up your senses and enliven your energy before going back to the lesson and practicing techniques.

5:30 pm: You have another 1½ hour break for dinner time to eat with others or alone, take a walk in the woods surrounding the condos or swim in the indoor pool.

7:00 pm: You could choose to rest for the evening or take the opportunity to join a small group to discuss the techniques you learned that day, a time to ask questions; talk about what might not work and why, when and with what situations to use the processes; share your experiences of how you were able to see the changes in your own mind/psyche that day.

8:30 pm: You return to your room, deliciously tired, and sleep soundly with the cool mountain air coming in through the window, grateful for the new friends you have made and the changes you have experienced. As you sleep, your unconscious processes the day’s learnings in your dreams and prepares you to awaken the next day excited to find out what’s next!

Mountain Sunset – NLP Training typical day

Top 7 questions asked about NLP training

1. What is NLP training?

Neuro Linguistic Programming is the study and application what works. We are told by motivational speakers, business gurus, and mentors that we should solve conflicts peacefully, manage our emotions, understand and establish good relationships with our colleagues, friends and family; but how often do they show you HOW? NLP is the HOW!

What body movements, internal mind strategies, language patterns accomplish this? That is what NLP teaches.

2. Why get a certification?

A certification from a reputable training organization will open the doors to further advanced training; some coaching institutions and corporate consultants are looking for people with NLP certified training.  The medical information company for whom I was a liaison paid for my training to help with communications between doctors, nurses and editors.  It is a plus on a resume!

3. 12 days is hard to set aside, why shouldn’t I just do a home study?

Home study can help people understand the concepts of NLP.  Only experience and practice can incorporate it as a natural habit in your life. Interacting on a daily basis with people of different personalities from all over the world will help you apply the principles and techniques over and over until they are second nature. Not to mention the life long friendships you will develop.

4. How is the summer intensive different than the extended weekend format?

Both have their advantages. For those who can’t travel or don’t have the power to take the vacation/time out of their lives to focus on themselves, the weekend format is fine.

For those who want to immerse themselves into the learning; share the experience with fellow travelers, enjoy nature in the mountains (watch a moose wander by outside the training room window), spend the evenings discussing the day’s experiences with qualified coaches, and have a summer to remember for life the summer residential is It!

5. What will I learn that will make it worthwhile?

You will learn how to turn obstacles into stepping-stones; how to understand and respond to others effectively; how to understand and become friends with yourself; and how to manage how you feel. Conflicts and objections will change from scary circumstances to be avoided to interesting possibilities.

6. Why your training?

Never before has such an experienced team of NLP experts been gathered like this.  Their backgrounds vary from therapy careers, NLP developers, business consultants, teachers, and business owners all NLP master trainers providing the most in depth, widespread experience ever offered. The cost has been honed so that it is the most economical, well-spent time and investment we could offer.

7. Who comes to these trainings?

CEOs of large companies, entrepreneurs who have to sell their ideas, people who manage teams of all sorts, sales managers, therapists, coaches, parents who want ideas about how to relate to their kids better, individuals who want to up their game in life, and teachers all have benefited from NLP trainings in Winter Park.

Check out these video testimonials about NLP Training