The Timeline Pattern

Concept. Sometimes the problem we struggle with does not concern anything in today's reality, but something that occurred in "the past." Thus the problem exists about how we keep our thoughts and feelings from the past in our current awareness.

As we take cognizance of the wrorld via our nervous system with its five central portals, we input information. Next we process that information with our internal programs. We also go further as we create abstractions of those abstractions. Through words and concepts, we start constructing an interna] world full of "ideas" that transcend our senses. Immanuel Kant called these a priori categories of the mind. Korzybski called them higher-order abstractions. In NLP we call them non-sensory based symbolic maps. In everyday parlance, we call them "ideas," "beliefs," "understandings," etc.

"Time" exists as one of these. This term refers to what? Since the "coding" of anything determines everything, we need to become aware of how we represent this abstract concept. Source: Dandier, James and Woodsmall (1988), Hall and Bodenhamer (1997).

"Time" Elicitation Pattern

1. Think of some simple activity you regularly do. Think of some simple thing that you did five years ago, one year ago, this morning, that you will do next week, next year, five years from now (brushing teeth, going to work, getting dressed).

2. Notice your representations. What awareness do you have of this activity that allows you to distinguish having done it? In what modality? With what submodality qualities? Especially notice how you use location: size, detail, space segment of "time": the size of "today," "a week," "month," "year."

3. Step back and identify the overall configuration. Does your time structure look like a line, a boomerang, a spiral, etc.? Do you have some metaphor for it? Do you have more than one Timeline or time-configuration? How many? For what arenas of life (business, personal, recreational, spiritual, etc.)?

"Time" Orientations


Memories Solid/Real Fixed, Rigid, Stuck Limited

Predestination Consequential Thinking Already

Sense of Reality


Sensory Awareness Flexible

Some Fixedness Choice

Responsibility Impulsive Thinking

Sense of Today, the Now


Possibilities/Plans Anticipation Primarily Movement /Opportunities /Expansive Visions/Dreams Anticipatory Thinking

Then, One of these Days

Sense of Hope /Desire

The coding/structure of "time" enables us to tell the difference between events past, present, or future. It affects our personality in major ways since it affects our sense of cause-effect, order, structure, etc.

Figure 5.2 "Time" Styles

Out of Time

Dissociated Out of the Body Sequential

Values and Likes Tunc On time; Punctual Aware of Time

In Time

Associated In/through the Body Random, Simultaneous, Synthetic

Disvalues and Dislikes Time

Frequently Late, Non-Prompt

Lost in the Now, the Moment, the Memory


Timelessness Above the Body Meta Position

Neutral to Time

The Pattern

1. Identify your "time"-line(s). Having elicited your representations for "time" past, present and future via the metaphor of a "line/' now imagine floating above it and looking down upon it.

2. Float back in "time" along the lime-line. As you do, notice the You of your "past."

3. Now go forward in "time", observing both the events you represent and how you represent those events, remembered or imagined.

4. What "time" problems did you notice that you'd like to address? What events exercise too much importance? What events carry too little impact?

5. How might you like to alter your "time" line? Identify some of the things you might like to change about the events on your "time" line: shape, configuration, tilt, color, etc.

6. Using the submodalities, change the properties of the situation, e.g., distance, size, brightness, etc.

Hypnosis Plain and Simple

Hypnosis Plain and Simple

These techniques will work for stage hypnosis or hypnotherapy, however, they are taught here for information purposes only. After reading this book you will have the knowledge and ability necessary to hypnotise people, but please do not practice hypnosis without first undergoing more intensive study.

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