As I was walking through my students all hypnotising each other yesterday, I decided to turn around and walk a few of the steps around the room backward.
I sometimes do that because walking backward works different muscles in my legs and as well as observing my students development, I also like to hear them from time to time without seeing them… For me, it helps me listen very closely to what they are saying… Of course, I watch lots of what they do, sometimes I like to listen very closely without any distraction too…
At lunchtime and during the tea breaks, I attempted to walk backwards here and there too… I reckon I have very good hearing and I can hear and sense other people around me, I still felt compelled to turn and look behind me (which was actually forward) just to be sure.
And even though I looked once, I found myself turning around again and again on the same small stretch of carpeted foyer area or hallway… Onlookers may have thought me crazy… Why was i doing this? Let me explain…
To me, it seemed ridiculous that I didn’t have enough faith to just walk backward without looking. What was wrong with me? I was pretty sure that nothing untoward was going to occur, but I just couldn’t stop turning around. The only other event in the hotel at the time was a lady’s 85th Birthday… Most were seated quietly in another part of the hotel, and this was no crazy knees-up… And of course there were other hotel guests… Not that many of them because this is not the busiest of tourist months here on the south coast…
Then I got to thinking… Nothing was wrong with me (in relation to this issue that is!).
It’s just human nature, isn’t it? To want to look in the direction you’re going! Whether you’re driving a car, cycling or walking, you naturally want to face forward… What’s more, your face naturally faces forward… It is on the front of you… Well, what we consider to be the front anyway…
It keeps you on course, and most of the time (if your vision is clear) you can see obstacles coming and avoid them. Facing forward, you can see and choose the straightest, most direct path, and you’re able to step over manageable obstacles in your way.
It’s just downright tough to move confidently in one direction while you’re looking in the other direction. You know this, don’t you? I’m not telling you anything new… So this might explain why so many people have such a hard time staying focused, on task, and moving forward through their lives.
Could it be because they spend more time looking backward into the past than being here in the present? It was interesting because this month I was teaching regression use and time line strategies in therapy…
When people are looking backward, dwelling on the past, having regrets, holding grudges and resentments, and second-guessing past decisions, they may be holding themselves back… There is use in getting the past straight, though people that are living today, that are so pre-occupied and consumed by the past often may have lives that are not necessarily moving in a direction they’d like, because they’re almost asleep at the wheel of life.
We all reflect on the past — it’s important to remember where you came from so you can learn from your mistakes, enjoy your experience and appreciate where you came from. The past can teach you, good memories are fond to revisit, and your past has in large part, shaped who you are today, so it’s great to go there once in a while.
I worry when I meet people who let the past rule the present. Ok, I am going to stop walking backward to prove my small point, I’ve got a fabulous week ahead…
Adam, as you know I have studied time line work in previous NLP training and despite being familiar with it, yesterday I experienced a mild sense of discomfort during the exercise that I couldn’t place or find the sense of. That is, until reading your piece this morning.
I realise now that when I have previously been facilitated through the steps of these exercises I have made my movements back in time by walking backwards along the time line. Trusting my guide to keep me safe from actually colliding with furniture or other students. Perhaps my comfort in moving this way was because I was moving back through my own past in a kind of ‘rewind’ trance.
So what was different this weekend? Yesterday I was guided back along my time line facing the direction of the movement. That is, I ‘faced my past’.
I wonder if some of the baggage I carry has been comfortably invisible to me in until now, receiving little or no consideration, an extra layer of me to haul about.
I have to agree with Adam, moving forward whilst fixedly looking backward is by any consideration, the makings of an accident. Perhaps sometimes it pays to turn around and have a good look at what it is you’re dragging along with you, and if you choose to do so, I can recommend one of several pairs of safe hands in which you would be very safe.
I’m lighter today. Thank you.
Adam and Eddy,
How beautifully descriptive and clearly, an enlightening experience for Eddy.
On reading, an image popped into my mind too, one of a resolute figure finally departing a unwanted situation with every limb and piece of clothing being clung onto by someone wailing don’t go, him turning for a final time looking down upon these beings and gently and bravely shaking them off and returning to his chosen path…
Could this be a piece of art I have seen somewhere? Although it matters not.
… and by the way ☞ Eddy ☜ you personify safe hands!
“It’s just downright tough to move confidently in one direction while you’re looking in the other direction.”
Children do this all the time (well, mine do!). But then children always believe they know where they’re going anyway, so I guess they have time to look at the view on the way.