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Thread: Dock on the Bay

  1. #1

    Dock on the Bay

    A while back I took a training course in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). It's a tool that we all can use to achieve excellence in desired area of our life, using models based on practices that have achieved results. The application of this tool can be used in professional setting, as well as a personal one. During my training, I was introduced to the exercise called "Dock on the Bay" that encourages acceptance and embracing of self.

    The first time I was presented with it, I literally ran out of the room and just sobbed. I couldn't do it. I left that night without doing it, but the experience didn't leave me. In fact, it haunted me. It involved using the attributes that we love, admire, and/or look up to in others, to accept who we are. This exercise had a profound effect on all participants. One student was a cancer patient who had difficulty accepting her diagnosis, and thus, herself. Other students were doctors and therapists that have gone on to use this with some of their trauma patients, with great success.

    It begins with visualization of a beautiful day, in the bay, with a long dock. The air is filled with smells of your favorite food cooking in a distance, and your favorite drink is next to you. At the end of the dock is a person that looks and sounds just like you, in every way. That person is not you, but someone that is exactly like you. He or she quietly sits there, enjoying the day, fishing, gently throwing the fishing line into the water.

    As you observe this, you notice that someone is approaching you from the left. And as you turn your head, you see a person that you either know personally or not, but one that you admire, for whatever reason, come before you. And just as they stop in front of you, they disappear, leaving behind only their shoes. You step into those shoes and absorb the positive qualities of that person, the qualities that you desire, into you. This can take a minute or more, but feel that quality in you, make it your own. When done, a second person approaches from the left and they too, disappear right before your eyes, leaving their shoes behind. Stepping into the second pair of shoes, again, take the time to absorb the qualities you admire, fully integrating them with your own. A third person approaches from the left and they too, disappear leaving the shoes behind. And again, step into those shoes and take in all the qualities you love, making them your own.

    Now give yourself a moment to identify all those qualities and attributes that you absorbed, feel them within and own them. They are now yours, gifts from the three individuals that you admire. When you feel those qualities or habits, lift your eyes to see the person at the end of the dock, the person that looks like you and sounds like you and call them, motioning for them to come closer. And as that person that looks and sounds like you comes closer, wrap your arms around them in an embrace, and hold them close, all the while integrating them with you, and all those great qualities that you now have from others shoes. Tell them you love them and that you accept them and that no harm will come to them.
    It's a very cathartic experience and may take a few tries. If you know anyone that is familiar with NLP, or your therapist, perhaps trying this tool with his or her may help. Don't be alarmed if tears come, it just means that a change is taking place, a good change.

    P.S. I used quote feature to separate the exercise from comments.

  2. #2

    Dock on the Bay.

    Interesting exercise, Lana. I've moved it here to "Resources" to make it easier to find.

    Do you know the author/source of this? I don't like to post things without full credit.

  3. #3

    Dock on the Bay.

    Hi David,

    I've sent a request for info to the NLP folkes that provided the training. So far, they have had difficulties identifying the original author. Because the NLP tool in question falls into a New Code, they speculate that it may have orginiated with John Grinder, or Darek Balmer, founder of NLP Canada Inc where I received my training.

    I'll keep you posted as to what I find.

  4. #4

    Dock on the Bay.

    Thanks, Lana. At least if the original author does see this, s/he will understand that we are interested in providing the proper credit. And if anyone else reading this knows the source, please let Lana or me know.

  5. #5

    Dock on the Bay.

    I received more information and the exercise was created by John Grinder. He has a book called "Turtles all the way down" and it was suggested that the exercise is described in more detail there. Haven't read it...yet Time to update my reading list. :0)



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