A Somewhat "Brief" History of Attention Shifting Coaching and ToaLT
About 8 years ago it hit me that All We Are is Change and that if we were, then it was not a matter of creating change, making change, but rather catching it, directing and re-directing it. This dramatically changed how I approached coaching and my life. By late 2007, I developed a model that had this belief at it's core but worked more at the level of attention called Attention-Shifting Coaching or the ASC model.
I then discovered what I was doing in coaching matched a lot of the newest research involving the Quantum Zeno Effect, new findings about how our brains work based on PET scans and the physiology of 'Aha’ experiences. So if All We Are is Change then how we experience change was related to where our attention is directed as we are in the process of changing each moment. This accounts for the quality of our experience and also sets the direction we move toward or away from.

The model is based on the simple formula:
Source of Attention + Type of Attention + Target of Attention = Result

Source: Angles of Point of View
From what point of view does the attention originate?
Perceptual Position

Type: Expansive or Focused
This correlates with Inductive or Deductive Functioning
Is the field of attention more open or more focused?

Target: Object of Attention
On what is the attention directed?

If you shift any one or more of these you will get a different result. The training in ASC teaches how to manipulate all of these but do so conversationally. If you'd like to know more about this model, you can
listen to a 2 hour TelecoachingU Class.

ToaLT 2009
At the beginning of 2009, I felt like it was time to really switch gears and decided that instead of further refining the details of this model, I wanted to turn the spotlight away from the client and back on self. So the theme became "Coaching the "I". In TelecoachingU we spent about 4 months of classes applying ASC to self.

Creating a model that one can use in the heat of the moment demands simplicity. It's not easy to do 7 -step technique on your own when you have an unwanted reaction to some one or some thing. So the focus on the classes was on how to create processes and practices that anyone could use. So when Trance of a Lifetime 2009 came around these were some of the main themes of the that experience along with
really looking at some of the original work of Korzyblski and Non-Aristotelian logic. We also experimented with techniques to change brain wave functioning. It became apparent we were starting to deal with pretty interesting things like the construction of concepts of identity, ego (in the Eastern Philosophy sense) and even of reality, in a new way, but it was still kind of rough. It also become evident that what we were really learning was how to "Coach Beyond the"I".

ToaLT 2010
In the Fall of 2009, I taught Beyond Words for the first time in a couple of years. Beyond Words is a Llinguistic model Julie Silverthorn and I developed back in the early to mid 90's. Basically it is a system for how to use language to transcend itself. The idea was, how could we create language patterns that would take a client off his or her map long enough for the unconscious mind to re-organize itself. Over the past 7-8 years I continued to streamline it. While many coaches and therapists loved that way of working they had challenges really being able to generate the appropriate language patterns on the fly. So in preparation for the Conversational Change Beyond Words training that Fall I decided to take the whole model apart and rebuild it with my current understanding. Through that experience and later developments, all of these threads wove together to something very streamlined and that was what Trance of a LIfetime 2010 was about: Coaching Beyond the "I"- Directionalized Ambiguity and Cultivating Exceptional States of Consciousness.

ToaLT 2011 - 2012
In the Summer of 2010, I was able to come on to some other new findings from working with clients and that gave birth Linguistic Alchemy which is being featured in this year's course. I was still centering on the idea of how to de-nominalize constructions, but found simpler ways to bring the entire process into now.

The only place where change can occur is now.

When either the client or the coach leaves now this is often were the process doesn't seem to work as well. As I made this more my style, I noticed the entire experience started to seem very slowed-down like classic Ericksonian work. Literally what we were producing was a type of time- distortion, you'd find in classic hypnotic work. This is likely because as the client pays more attention to their on-going sensory experience, they are activating sub- dominant hemispheric functioning, which as research indicates, does not track time. All is now.

Why is this important? One of the reasons why we don't have a direct experience that "All We Are is Changing," is because our attention is not on that part of our experience. We miss the direct experience that our feelings, sensations and other sense impressions are continually waxing and waning. We miss the spaces in between the more obvious elements of our experience. We miss potential openings were we can easily shift an issue or feel differently.

With ASC it is all about catching the client in moments of changing, that may be subtle or gross, provoked purposely or not, but are the ones they are missing because they are too fixated on something else. Often they have labeled or categorized something and are no longer referring to their current experience. They automatically refer unconsciously to the label, and it is the label - or grouping of labels called abstractions which keeps everything frozen.This creates the illusion that we are not changing, moment to moment.

Labels act like tethers on our experience, keeping it fixed and static.

This labeling is the job of our dominant hemisphere. It organizes more direct on-going sensory experience by categorizing it, keeping it fixed. For example, some say "I'll believe it when I see it, " when in fact that is not all how things work: "we seeit when we believe it."

Bottom-Up Change
To create wide- spread re-organization of our internal experience the "label maker" has to stop long enough for the sub-dominant hemisphere to reorganize our sensory and extra sensory experience into a new configuration. This is what Erickson called "unconscious change." By the time the label maker is active again it creates a new label based the new re-organiziation of experience which then stabilizes the new
construction. Often called "bottom- up" neuro-plasticity in neuro-science, this is the feeling of "OMG, I feel different! How did this happen?" It does not come from "rational processing." How do we make this happen in coaching? That is the subject of this year's training.

Linguistic Alchemy
Around that same time I came on to the process of how to get the problem defined in such a way I could use the elements that actually made the problem to transform it. Once you have those elements, it is kind of like building blocks that you can re- construct to build something else totally new. In other words, use the problem to transform itself!

The real magic isn't necessarily the intervention, but in how
the problem is elicited.

It is how the coach/hypnotherapist sorts for the elements of the problem that can be turned into gold. This is where the Linguistic Alchemy metaphor comes in. We are distilling down "common" or "base elements" transforming them into "gold" or something else special, like a NEW YOU.

Bringing Hypnosis to the Foreground: Putting ASC in Trance
In the Fall of 2010, something happened that was very similar to the previous Fall. I had the opportunity teach material I hadn't for a couple of years. This time it was the Training Trances material from the book of the same name, now taught worldwide as "Hypnosis II and III, by many trainers. So, again, I decided to take it apart and put it back together to reflect my current understanding in light of everything I mentioned above. At the same time, I felt it was important to include some of the more eye catching aspects of classic hypnotic phenomena done in an ethical way. This way, students could really appreciate it's power, and, of course the power of their own unconscious mind, things like: amnesia, more exotic forms of dissociation, anesthesia, hallucinations, post hypnotic suggestion, coupled with metaphor, unconscious searches and classic Ericksonian structures.

That is when I thought, "How cool would it be to do a training that includes both of these ways of working? - ASC and more obvious hypnosis, so the coach, at any point could segue from one to another. Of course at a training like this there would have to be a lot of trances...that would be fun too."

2013- 2014
For 2013 and 2014 ToaLT continued to down the path of LinguisticAlchemy, with a special emphasis on utilization of "not knowing" and similar states as a halfway house for transformation.  I developed an easy way to know how to elicit and anchor "not knowing states" to create the option to segue into formal hypnosis or to stay in uptime and chain into a resource state.  Also, new was snazzy, concise elicitation protocol, a good number of brand new linguistic drills to create non-linear inductive language patterns as well as a new pattern called the "synesthesia splitter" which can be used in many different contexts where it's difficult to isolate a contextualized trigger.

Over the course of 2013, much of my work was oriented toward leadership in the corporate environment and coincidentally, a good number of business consultants and managers were attending the ten days, so the second week of ToaLT took on more of a business feel. We explored how Beyond Goals, Meta Programs, Values and the Gunas from Vendata, make for a potent way to work with teams in a corporate environment.

I also expanded the Cultivation of Exceptional States of Consciousness, so that it became a daily part of the training.  Participants were able to entrain to Alpha, Theta, Delta and Gamma states as a way to integrate and consolidate what had been learned over the course of that day.

So there you have a little background on the content for last year's Trance of a Lifetime.

So what about This Year? What will you be teaching John?
All I can say is three things:

Everything up till now...STILL COUNTS, All we are is Changing, and You never know...