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This Might Help – A Practical Exercise for Releasing Your Inner Strengths When It’s All Too Much!

by Nancy Blake(more info)

listed in nlp, originally published in issue 276 - February 2022

Three issues before we start: 

  1. For purposes of simplicity in writing, I address you as a woman.  I hope that men will be able to use this exercise too, just change ‘you’ into a man!;
  2. As a person with ME, now 86 and virtually bed bound, I want to say that this exercise is for everyone who retains the ability to create beautiful spaces with their imagination! If, for whatever the reason, you are not physically able to move from chair to chair, or you don’t have an appropriate physical space, create in your mind your own light, airy, spacious room, with furniture that is comfortable as well as beautiful, to make use of in following this exercise in your imagination;
  3. Nothing here is intended to mean that any mental exercise can cure a chronic illness. We are not our disease:  having a chronic illness doesn’t mean we don’t have other problems that a mental exercise can help with.

This exercise is based on the concepts in the book. Core Transformation, Reaching The Wellspring Within. Connirae Andreas, with Tamara Andreas, Real People Press, Moah, Utah, USA, 1994. Revised 2015.


Core Transformation


Connirae and Tamara assure us that ‘whatever we consider our biggest limitations become our strongest allies. ….the change comes from ourselves, not anyone else.’

In my practice with clients, I found that trying to carry out the Core Transformation process simply verbally could become convoluted and confusing.  To solve this problem, I developed idea of moving physically from one step to the next, and using physical movement to ‘shake off’ one set of feelings in order to progress to the next stage. 

It is most useful when we are being assailed from all sides with many complicated challenges that seem both overwhelming and impossible to separate out to deal with one by one. 

Using your most distressed state as the first step on the pathway toward inner peace, this is a practical process which you can engage in yourself, or with a sympathetic companion, or a therapist. 

I have written the directions as clearly as I can.  For the moment, set thought aside, and simply, follow them as carefully as you can.



Nancy Blake 276

I am not with you, but please imagine that I am, giving you careful directions, looking after you as we take this journey together.

You need to be in (or imagining you are in) a room big enough so that you can find five or six  places to sit, at least six feet apart, in some sort of order - a line or semi-circle.  (In my practice space, I used the opposite ends of a big settee, as well as chairs that were around.)

Make your sitting places as comfortable as you can!

  • Sit down in the first place that feels most natural to you.
  • Allow yourself just to sink into all the troubled feelings, the many different aspects of your challenging situation.
  • Notice how you feel, physically and in your you are sitting. How you are breathing.  How the thoughts are going through your mind.  The emotions these are giving rise to.  Let it flow, let yourself be aware of it all. 
  • It’s all impossible.  And it’s OK to feel like that. 
  • Take enough time just to experience it all. Just long enough....
  • Think of a word or a phrase for what that state is like.
  • Then – get up!

Gently, leave that troubled you still there, with all her distress, all her painful feelings and thoughts.    

You are not abandoning her, you will be back.


Stand up, step away. 

Give yourself a good shake (think of a dog, vigorously shaking water out of its coat!). Shake your arms and legs, your body, your head and neck (carefully!).

Breathe it all out – all those muscle tensions that those feelings were creating, all shaken out. 

All shaken out?  Go to the next seat in the room.

You are in a new place, looking over at the ‘you’ who is holding all those troubles, all that confusion and pain. 

  • Make the visual image of her clear by first noticing what she is wearing.
  • Notice how she looks, her expression, the position of her body, the rhythm of her breathing. You know what she is thinking and feeling because you’ve just been there.
  • Now you are just looking, knowing what that is like.
  • Feeling a little guilty relief that it’s her, not you.
  • Keep a clear visual image of the ‘you’ that is still in that place...details of clothes! it will help you to stay outside of that person, stay in the place where you are now – looking, thinking about what it is like to be that person. 
  • What is a word or a phrase for what it feels like to be in the place you are now, observing that troubled ‘you’?
  • Feeling what you feel towards her?
  • (What would you like to say to her? Imagine that you are saying it.  Notice her response)
  • Take all the time you need to experience this.
  • Only when you are ready, gently get up, leave this second ‘you’ where she is, with whatever she has experienced in this place. She is OK to stay there.  Again, you are not abandoning her, you will be back.

Again, gently shake yourself, each limb separately, your body, your head (vey gently).  Enjoy being a floppy rag doll…just to break up the patterns of tension that belonged to that second place.


Having released all that, come fresh into the third place you have set out.

Sit down there

  • Again, pay attention to this new set of feelings, new set of things you are now experiencing, new things you are saying to yourself. Find a word or a phrase to describe it.
  • Use making a clear visual image of the ‘you’ in the first place and the ‘you’ in the second place to reinforce that this ‘you’ is separate from them.
  • (What do you want to say to the suffering ‘you’ in the first place? Say it.  Notice her response.
  • What do you want to say to the observer ‘you’ in the second place? Say it. Notice her response.)
  • By this time, you have already gained new perspectives, new insights.


Now you know the steps to take;  gently but thoroughly shake off all the physical tensions that are the pattern of feeling in the place you have just occupied.

  • Go thus unburdened to sit in the next position, a physical distance away from the last one.
  • Let yourself be aware of the new thoughts and feelings that arise in this new, freer place.
  • Find a word or a phrase that describes it, to use as a label when you are coming back.
  • What will be happening is that you are being reminded of the qualities, the achievements, the strengths that had been getting buried under the burden of your current difficulties.


Repeat these steps two or three times more. (Place 4, place 5, place 6...)

  • Then take a final step by imagining that you are miles, years, distant...: out in the clear blue sky, peace and eternity, the love that is the basis of our universe, all that is flowing in.
  • Breathe all that in.  Feel it flowing,  like your life blood, into every cell in your body, into every cell of your mind, into all of your past, into all of your future....
  • breathe it in, breathe it in, breathe it in!
  • Allow all the time you need to let this process work through you...breathe, breathe.....


And NOW...

KEEP all of that!  As you revisit the place you were in just before.....bring  it all with you.

 Remember the word or phrase that described that next to last position.  Sit there, breathe in all you have brought to that place, allow it to integrate with what was in that next to last position.

Let yourself feel that integration happening


Only when you know you’ve fully attained that new, integrated state, now get up, keeping it with you.  Bring all that into the next position you were in before the next-to-last.  Again, remember the word or phrase describing this position.  Bring all you have here, again, allowing it to integrate with what belongs to this position.  Breathe, breathe, draw it all in together.

  • When you’ve given time and attention to experiencing the integration of all you have brought into what belongs to this place, now continue bringing all those resources with you to the next place back toward the beginning, reminding yourself of the word or phrase that describes the place, let all you bring to that place integrate with what is there, breathe, breathe as those powerful resources join with what is special in that place....
  • Do this carefully, thoroughly, taking all the time you need for the integration of what you bring back with what is there, as you take each step back toward the place where you began..
  • Now, gathering all that strength, energy and wisdom you have gained, you are ready to rejoin the troubled you who is still waiting for you where she first sat down.

There is likely to be a bit of trepidation ‘I really don’t want to go back to feeling like that!’ 

Trust the process, trust the care and concern with which you have taken each step, carefully and thoroughly.....go ahead, bring all your gifts to that suffering person.  Lay them in her lap, let her breathe it all in.

And let her just experience all that takes place now that you’ve brought all her strengths back to her.  You don’t need to do anything more.  The process will take care of itself.  Just let her breathe, breathe - as the once-buried treasures you have brought her do their work. Let that continue as long as it needs.   (And you can trust that it will continue to work long after you have moved on from that place.)

So – only when you’re ready - maybe it’s time to go and have a cup of tea!


Further Information

The author can be contacted at



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About Nancy Blake

Nancy Blake BA CQSW, has worked in mental health settings since 1971. She served as the Chair of the ANLP PCS (now the NLPtCA), as well as on a National Working Party developing postgraduate standards for Psychotherapy (NVQ Level 5), and contributed to the document which led to NLP being accepted as a therapeutic modality by the European Association for Psychotherapy.  She has presented workshops at UKCP Professional Conferences on an NLP approach to working with victims of abuse, and in psychoneuroimmunology.  Recovering from ME since 1986, she is the co-author, with Dr Leslie O Simpson, of the book Ramsay’s Disease (ME) about ME, as well as A Beginner's Guide to ME / CFS (ME/CFS Beginner's Guides). Both titles are available both in paperback and Kindle formats on Amazon. Nancy was previously enrolled at Lancaster University in a PhD doctoral program; her thesis topic was Conflicting Paradigms of ME/CFS and how the Psychiatric Paradigm creates its Influence in contrast to the Medical Model. She may be contacted via Her books are available to purchase at

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