When we are working to achieve our goals or thinking about starting something new, we sometimes get hindered by feelings of limitation. These conceptions are often just our imagination putting limits on our capabilities. I came across the following interesting technique for removing feelings of limitation in Fran Burgess’s, “The NLP Cookbook.” The ‘Push and Pull’ method was invented by Hypnotherapist Steve Gilligan. It takes the somatic expression of a limiting emotion and makes use of ‘the wisdom of the hands’ to find resolution.
The Push And Pull Technique
1. Think of something you know you want to be, yet are holding back from becoming. You know you have it within you, yet there is something stopping you.
How Successful do you feel you can be? (1 low – 10 high)
2. Be aware of what it is you want. Devise a movement with your hands that somehow encapsulates this sense of what you want to be. Just allow your hands and arms to move as they will. Avoid being too literal. The movement might even involve your whole body. Work on this movement until it completely fits with what you desire about this possible future.
*Remind your explorer to trust their body to come up with the answers. This is not a thinking exercise.
3. Now consider what might be holding you back. As you become aware of this, once more let your hands and arms move in a way that describes this limiting feature. It’s worth remembering that a limitation is usually present as a way of keeping you safe.
4. Once you have both movements appropriately practised, perform the first one and then the second one, and then return to the first one again. And so on.
5. Soon a new movement will emerge that is a combination of both of them. Let this new movement evolve and take a firm hold, so that you can fully sense the wisdom that is being expressed through your hands and your body.
6. Once you are satisfied, ask yourself:
How successful do you feel you can be? (1 low – 10 high)
If you go through the exercise you will experience an interesting shift in your perceptions through the movement of your hands and body. It’s a different way of creating change by using somatic expression rather than the more commonly used verbal or linguistic approach.