Linda R. Ferguson
AYear of NLP
A Thought for Every Sunday in 2020
Welcome to A Year of NLP
It’s likely that you’re looking forward to some tips and techniques that will improve your
feelings or your results. You’re hoping that I have something in this book that will make a
difference in your understanding of how people work. And you’d like to understand
quickly, because you have so much that needs to be done. I get that.
That’s why this is a book of poems. They work fast and they work deep. I know you
probably don’t think you read poems but you do look at the quotations on social media
posts. Poetry isn’t what it used to be. It’s often just a few words and a picture that make
you smile or think.
There’s a poem here for every month of the year, and you don’t have to read a whole
poem at once. You can think of them as a collection of Facebook posts, and just read
one every Sunday. You can even skip around and read the verse for your next vacation
or your birthday or someone else’s birthday. Each verse is part of a poem, but each
verse will also give you something good when you read it on its own.
Every Sunday, you can read a few words that represent an NLP technique applied to the
time of year and the theme of the poem. We begin with “Cold Starts” in January,
because don’t you hate getting out of bed when it’s dark and cold? I do, too. Yet January
is also a great time to get icy clear on what you want and what you value. And after
working through all four seasons, we will end back in December with the season of
If you’re a person who journals, consider writing about the Sunday verse two or three
different times. We are not good at repeating ourselves. Revisiting a thought invites new
insights. You can dig deeper the second or third time. Or write about two verses
together and ﬁnd out how they speak in connection.
You can read the whole of each poem, and notice how the parts build the theme. You
can read all of the poems, and get a feeling for the whole of your year in just a few
minutes. This book is not a monument; it’s a set of building blocks.
When you need hope, you’ll ﬁnd it here. When you need perspective, you’ll ﬁnd that
here too. When you need a reframe or a shift or a new point of view, you’ll ﬁnd those are
all here. This is a book of NLP tools. They just look like poems.
Room temperature is lower
than womb temperature
From the beginning, we start cold
It is movement that makes us warm.
You’ll wait a long time for the perfect time
Every hot streak starts
With getting out of a warm bed
And making something happen.
It’s not just cold; it’s dark in the morning
You tap your phone to light the way to the coffee
Knowing a small light is enough
To show you the next step.
The circumstances in winter
Are always wrong. It’s too dark, too cold, too messy
Start anyway. Your inner climate
Is warmed by will, not won’t.
We Is A Magic Word
We are not alone
Born into connection
So we can borrow strength
Do something together
Movement drives connection
Learn from one another.
Family is a state of mind
A connection we build
With heart and hope
At the centre is you
You conduct your connections
Their voices, your music.
Slower Than You Hoped
Spring will come but almost always
it comes with uncertainty
slower than you hope
You cannot make change safe or certain
When you experiment
Failures are teachers too
Frustration won’t last forever
You will break through with unsteady steps
Falling forward, failing forward
Sharpen your eyes and open your ears
Give up what you know to discover
Signs of what you hope
Knowing change is almost upon you
Feel your breath and ﬁnd your balance
Gather yourself for the spring ahead.
Ask what comes next
as if you did not know
as if a new path might appear
Expectations are grimy windows
If you did not already know
What else would you notice?
Never ignore what shines
You cannot replicate
What you do not observe
Both hopes and fears
Are seeds fertilized with attention
What are you growing?
There’s nothing insigniﬁcant
About starting small
It takes acuity to see new growth
When you are not seeing progress
It is time to make some
A small step is an act of power.
Luck is like four leafed clovers
You ﬁnd it by looking for it
A reward for active optimism.
Success sometimes arrives
Like rain on a long weekend
A messy messenger of growth.
Engage enthusiastically in your process
Joy comes from engagement
Achievement is a by-product.
It’s easier to keep on moving
Than it is to start cold
So take that next step.
A checklist makes it easier
To make your next choice
A good choice.
Get outside for some tree time
Remember to balance on your roots
And reach for the sunshine.
Don’t go with the ﬂow
Be the stream itself
Inevitably in motion.
To be sense-able
is to give up analysis
seek out what you want ﬁve times over
one sense at a time.
Suddenly, a sensation
Pulls you out of presence
Into memory so clear and real
You can use its power
Laughter releases us into connection
We grow through the strengths of our friends
Take your old ideas out of the box
Side by side they look different
To generate possibility
A Discovery of Edges
It’s the season for beach walks
where opposites meet
pull and release
On patios and picnic blankets
The world turns inside out
Exposed and relaxed
Power and freedom meet at an edge
Like the shifting between sand and sea
Experienced through bare soles
The rhythm at the edge
Alternately insists and soothes
Integrates air and skin and sea
In integration, we ﬁnd
Not strength or achievement
But the energy in between.
New schedule, new routine, new rhythms
The familiar rush of return
To the work of connection.
What’s different as you step
Away from the edges
Your eyes on the horizon?
Feel the beat of your breath
An equinox of self and world
A syncopated give and take.
A new pulse pushes to your skin
Mental muscles tensing and relaxing
Exploration pulls toward discovery.
Resources grown in solitary reﬂection
in individual analysis and vision
are best when gathered
with a group.
Appreciation hangs from two threads
Perception and intention
If you don’t know why it’s good
You won’t be thankful.
What you appreciate grows
The strength you recognize stabilizes
In the person observed
And also in you.
In a team, each individual achievement
Is a note in a chord
Shared goals and shared strengths
Are also self discovery.
To explore beyond the limits
Of comfort and understanding
Toss a line and tie it loosely.
Nothing is so strange
That it does not connect
With the edges of your understanding
Conversation depends on listening
Instead of choosing your words
Reach out to mend the gaps
You can see from your side of the bridge
Everyone is stronger when the bridge holds.
Don’t check the mirror before you speak
Become a mirror for what you see
Reﬂect another’s strengths.
When the days are short and dark
You have two choices
Find a light
or make one
Make light of what weighs you down
Interrupt your fear
With random acts of laughter
And small gifts
In the dark, sparks ﬂy
Bits of the future you desire
Ready for a well-directed breath
To blow them into light
Hold tight to knowing
Night inevitably ends
Choose vision, choose courage