The Right Hand DOES Know What The Left Is Doing…

hands landscape

When I was debating the decision to leave my office job and try to make it in the scary world of freelancing/novel writing, I undertook a session of NLP.

NLP – or to give its formal title, neural linguistic programming – looks at the ways our minds work. A lot of people use NLP for issues such as overeating as many of us are guilty of reaching for the choccie when times are tough. Realistically, that rather scrumptious bar of fruit and nut isn’t going to bring your ex-boyfriend back, make your boss nicer to you or result in your kiddiewinkles suddenly developing well-behaved tendencies*.

I did it because I wanted to make sure I was making the right decision, especially as I finally made the decision on a Monday. I mean, office workers don’t routinely arrive at work on a Monday morning and feel the urge to quit, hmm?! There have been plenty of dodgy decisions in my past often fuelled by excessive wine consumption. I tell myself mistakes are the best way to learn…** Anyhoos, I met up with the trainer (Steven Terris at Synapse Personal Performance) and we did an exercise called Parts Integration.

[SPOILER ALERT!! If you plan to use NLP yourself, look away now.]

Parts Integration involves you holding out your hands, closing your eyes and picturing a person, say in one hand (usually the less dominant hand) and using the other hand as a ‘voice’ telling the right hand why your decision is the right one. My pesky right hand kept coming up with reasons not to quit my job. Money reasons mainly.

My NLP practitioner kept badgering away at me – come on, come on what does your right hand need to know? The left voice almost shouted: “I DON’T KNOW!!! Flip’s sake, I just want to never work in an office again and spend my summers typing away on my laptop, mooching around in the garden and baking high-sugar items!”

But then the left voice thought up more valid reasons; reasons that made sense and sounded well-thought out.

Gradually – and without me really being aware of it – my hands drifted together until they were touching. And voila, the left hand had persuaded the right that leaving my secure (ish), comfortably-paid job was the right thing to do.

*I know; I was gutted when I found out the deluxe family bar of Dairy Milk fruit and nut can’t do this.

**These days, my policy is to hide my credit card from myself when looking at skincare websites online.

Kettle Bells: the Russians can keep ’em!

Madge: I am a teenager of the 80s. Of course I love her…

Madonna; marvellous woman. Wouldn’t want her love life but her arms are something a girl might covet.

To this end, and as I have elected for a sleeveless wedding dress and confess to a degree or 20 of bodily vanity, I have enlisted the help of a personal trainer and charged him with giving me Madonna like limbs. (Kind of regretted this, as he has taken me at my word.)

We’ve been working together for a couple of months. Press-ups feature a lot, as do kettle bells. When I began working out years ago, I remember doing bicep curls, tricep dips and the odd movement with a barbell. Fast forward 15 years and exercise got that rather more difficult. It’s not enough to move one muscle at a time – you’ve got to use a few of them at the same time and get a wee bit out of puff too.

Working to fail seems to be pretty popular these days too. It’s no use to pick up a 3kg weight (no matter what Tracy Anderson says, I think that the lean body weight she promises is more to do with the starvation diet than anything else!) and lift it 50 or so times without breaking a sweat. Trainers these days prefer you to lift really heavy weight, struggle and only manage 10 or so.

Groaning, swearing, cursing the trainer and the woman who brought him into the world all seems to be the norm with such sessions. But it’s all part of the journey to something (better muscles, living mindfully through exercise, doing something when you think you can’t etc etc) so er… watch this space?!