NLP Time Lining
Most often than not, the frames set in our childhood affect our adult lives. When certain old patterns of thinking become outdated or useless, they might start creating trouble in our modern life. Time lining helps to get rid of these old and useless thinking patterns, and reframe our minds into a more innovative thinking using Neuro-linguistic courses.
The tools of Neuro-linguistic Programming and time lining techniques can be used to heal a person from painful memories using the person’s own resources. When the painful memories are healed, the person can forgive the people who caused the hurt. A complete healing can only occur after a total forgiveness. This can be done using Neuro-linguistic courses.
In Neuro-linguistic programming, the process is usually more important than the content. In time lining, we need to find out the how our brain codes time, distinguishes between the past, present and the future. Naturally, the brain possesses some way for identifying the distinct events in our life and ordering all the events on the scale of time. We also use the language of time in our language with statements such as “I look forward to meeting you”, “I wish I could go to the past and change that event” etc. Our brain recognizes the difference between past, present and future events, and orders them in time and space plane.
As an experiment, think of an activity you do regularly. It can be anything like driving, brushing teeth, walking etc. Imagine a time five years ago when you were doing this activity. Then imagine doing the activity two years ago. Think of last week, today and then next week. Think of doing this activity two years from now, and five years from now. Now note the differences in each of this individual imagination images. Note how they differ in color, panorama, movement, dimension, brightness, perspective etc. This is known as Neuro-linguistic submodality coding, and it helps the brain to distinguish between the past, present and future.
How the Brain Processes Neuro-linguistic Submodalities
The brain uses the Neuro-linguistic submodalities to understand which activity occurred in the past, present and future, and how they were ordered. This power of the mind is an unconscious process, and it codes the memories so that they are placed on the time line. In Neuro-linguistic programming, this collection and organization of memories is called Time-Lining. Once the memories are organized on the time line, they can be easily accessed or recollected. This can be done by undergoing Neuro-linguistic courses.
In the Neuro-linguistic Time-Line Therapy training meted out by Tad James, a common question asked is how you know it is “you” when you get up in the morning at look at the mirror. If we did not have any collection of memories of the past, and their order of how we look, sound of feel like, we would be looking at a stranger in the mirror.
The basic presumption of Time-Lining is that our memories in the form of pictures are ordered in a linear manner. Since time is usually seen as moving or flowing, we associate time with a metaphor such as some quality or characteristic. Memories can be stored on a line, which could be straight or curved, folded or bent. Once you have individual memories of your routine activity, see if you can draw a continuous imaginary line joining each of these events. This will be the Time-Line for your specific activity.
When we consider time as a line, we are usually employing the visual submodality of brightness, color, distance, focus, size and location. The most important factor of the visual submodality is distance, since it tells us how far or near in time the activity happened or will happen in relation to the present. When a greater distance is perceived, the activity is far away in time as per the present. Other visual Neuro-linguistic attributes also indicate the age of the memory, and whether the memory is of the past or the future. The brightness and focus attributes signify how far away in time the memory is. For some people the past is dark and gloomy but the future is bright and clear. For some, the future might be bright but not focused enough or lingering near the horizon.
Some people use auditory submodalities, but it is difficult to access different memories at the same time using this submodality. Kinesthetic submodalities are also difficult to use since they are not very precise. People who use the auditory or kinesthetic submodalities have trouble differentiating between memories in the past, present and future. It is therefore advisable to switch to the visual submodalities, since visual coding is much more precise and is the best way to access, analyze and change memories. This can be learnt using Neuro-linguistic training.
Important Features of NLP Time Lining
You can find out if time appears flowing or moving, or is standstill. You can try to see if you are moving along with time and through life, or watching it go by.
The order in which our memories are stored is a very important aspect in Time Lining. When people have their past in front of them, they keep living in the past memories, and try to change the things that have already happened, also leading to regret and depression. On the other hand, when people have their future behind them, the unconscious mind thinks that the event has already happened and does not give any significance to it. This leads to a loss of self-motivation, since there is nothing to look forward to; the future has little relevance for the mind.
However, if the future is kept ahead of you and the past behind you, you can let go, forgive and forget the events of the past, and the future will appear big, bright and clear. If these visual submodalities are relevant for you, you will be highly motivated to achieve your goals. As per Neuro-linguistic training, Time-Lining makes us understand that a clear vision of the future can help us achieve definite goals.
In the Neuro-linguistic book “Time-Line Therapy and the basis of personality”, the Neuro-linguistic Programming author Tad James talks about two types of Time-Lines, Anglo-European and Arabic time. The Anglo-European time is derived from the Industrial age where assembly line work made it essential to be on a linear time structure. Therefore, Anglo-European time is the time where one event occurs after another, in a linear fashion. The events in time are placed linearly as if on an assembly line.
As per Neuro-linguistic courses, the Arabic time indicates that every event occurs at the same time. People in this time line live for the moment, since there is no real difference between today and tomorrow. If Anglo-European time based people stick to a particular time, Arabic time based people are not so particular. They can handle several matters simultaneously, but might not follow a strict time schedule.
For example, in a marriage, the wife could be based on Anglo-European time while the husband could be operating on Arabic time. That means the wife will plan ahead for the future, think of spending and savings for the future, whereas the husband will do things at the spur of the moment, and will indulge in present expenses than worry about the future. This difference in opinion is due to their neurology and concept of time.
In order to find your personal time line, you need to find out how your mind arranges the different memories. This is dependent on your internal submodality coding of time. You can imagine multiple memories of the past, present and future and arrange them in space. Note the difference in direction, location and placement of these images. When you join all these individual memories in order, you will have your personal Time-Line of Neuro-linguistic programming.
For some people it is not easy to determine the direction of a memory to be in the past, present or future. In this case, it is important to see a visual image of the memory using Neuro-linguistic training. You will need to create an image of each memory and use your finger to point to the direction of the past and then the direction of the future. You can then place this image on the Time-Line created with the help of direction indicated by the finger. The key idea is to compel a person into using the visual submodality since this is the best way to understand the difference in past, present and future.
As per Neuro-linguistic training, another important aspect of Time-Lining is that a person should be able to dissociate himself from the Time-Line. This way he can get rid of any unpleasant or hurtful feelings from a bad memory or event. In addition, it is important to pay more attention to the image of the memory rather than its content. That means the process of remembering a memory is more important that the actual description of the memory. By focusing on the image of the memory, it becomes easy to find the location of the recalled image.
Another differentiation of a person is how he visualizes the memory. If the memory appears as an image in front of him, the person is a “Through Time” person, or a “Judger”. Such a person usually operates in the Anglo-European Time. On the other hand, if the person’s Time line goes through or behind him, the person is an “In Time” person or “Perceiver” and usually operates in the Arabic Time. These concepts can be learnt in Neuro-linguistic courses.
By understanding our personal Time Line using Neuro-linguistic training, we can gather important aspects of our personality, and try to mend them in order to achieve greater success.