Coach Jane Malyon had a client who had super-fast behaviour in every respect: driving at breakneck speed – he had written off two cars in two years – talking so fast it sounded like a foreign language, using drugs to boost his muscle-gaining speed in the gym etc. Just being with him for a few minutes felt a bit exhausting!
All his life, he had been told by teachers, by his father, by his instructors: SLOW DOWN – but had never achieved this. He knew that the world tended to want him to change, but he couldn’t/wouldn’t put it into practice.
Soon after the two driving accidents he, too, decided that there was wisdom in ‘slowing down’ and visited Jane for a Clean Language session. And in that one session, his life changed.
“My client was thrilled and in an hour and a half achieved what a lifetime of brutal treatment had failed to touch, so the man that left the session was a quite different man from the one who arrived,” she explained.
“When he arrived, he told me that he was often getting into fights in pubs and clubs, road rage incidents in cars, too, and he was keen to circumvent a continuation of this behaviour!
“He felt he needed someone else’s help to slow him down, and to act as a buffer between his knee-jerk reactions to the world, to give him a chance to think first, act second.
“As the session continued this ‘help and buffer’ he wanted took the form of a small, old, wise, Chinese man (like Mr Miyagi from Karate Kid!) who he imagined standing in front of him. As he developed this idea further he discovered that the small, old, wise man needed to grow – he wasn’t enough to slow down the big client, apparently! So he grew and grew in height and in long grey beard, and accompanied by a cherry blossom tree, the metaphor took final shape, also finding a comfortable way to attach to the client and only assist (not getting in the way) of his life.
“The client ‘tried this on’ whilst he was talking and imagining, working out the practicalities of how old, wise Chinese man could protect and buffet him, could slow him down and give him thinking time…….and then…it was DONE: a radical and visible change in everything about him, instantly! He slowed his speech, he moved with power and grace (before it seemed like Keystone Cops frantic movements), he looked calm and thoughtful – and WAS too!
“He began to notice details that he said he had never seen before, beauty in nature, shadows and light, shapes and colours – and he could barely stop smiling (he said the cherry blossom made him happy). He also said if he had found this technique years ago, he would never have tried drugs: it was better than any ‘trip’.”