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Update on GaugeWork
Update on GaugeWork by Astra Johnston & Christine Sutherland
I've shared Astra Johnston's GaugeWork several times in this journal and have been pleased and interested to hear feedback from subscribers and others on the lists, describing their various experiences.
I now want to share a way I devised just 2 weeks ago of "applying" a gauge to a problem event.
I realised we had not even begun to "get to the bottom" of GaugeWork, and indeed, there's much more to GaugeWork than first meets the eye, but I really do believe that any experienced therapist will discover for themselves ways to use it effectively, with true artistry, as many have already.
I think that most of us are very aware of the "literal and precise" nature of the so-called "subconscious" and probably exquisitely sensitised to the client's language and physiology. These twin skills make GaugeWork both rapid and easy. And of course most of us would use GaugeWork in combination with other approaches and probably flow rather seamlessly from one to the other, depending upon the task at hand.
Recently, I discovered that gauges can be "applied". I had been wondering about the nature of energy therapies and what it is we are actually doing, and thinking to myself, there has got to be an even faster way, once we discover the "key" to this. I felt that possibly this related to internal states (as in NLP). This has been continually nagging me for the last several weeks. Then, as I was working with a client and she blurted out "It's like they just don't have any respect for me" complete with strong physiological effect, my alarm bells went off. I gently inquired about her level of respect for herself and she began to cry. I figured at the time (and I think I was wrong - will explain in a moment) that this was a key "value" for her (neurological level).
So we did a gauge for "I deeply respect myself at every moment and in every situation". I noted her dramatically changing physiology and thought, "This is one very powerful gauge!". I wondered what would happen if we could take this gauge and "apply" it to a past event. So I MT'd to check her unconscious mind would indeed do that in a comprehensive way, and proceeded to test on a relatively minor "hurt" she had reported earlier. It cleared. Applied it to another. It cleared. Went for broke and applied it to the biggie she had come to me for in the first place and which I had been moving in on very slowly because of its traumatic nature. Saw the "smoke coming out of the ears" look.
Applied it to every single emotional response to those events, every single physical response to those events, all shock/trauma, anger, judgement, unforgiveness (thanks Larry Nims). This took maybe 60 seconds. Asked her to just touch the trauma. Just a smile. Asked her to fully relive. Laughed and laughed. Complete physical transformation. Voice, posture, gestures, cognitions. Powerful person sitting in front of me.
Now the mistake I made. I assumed this gauge was a powerful one because it was set at the level of values, rather than environment, behaviour, capabilities. Now, after more experimentation, I believe it was actually higher, the level of spirit/connection/vision. I think for her it had that higher/deeper meaning.
I'll share a personal example as further explanation. I decided to deliberately set a gauge for myself at the level of spirit/connection/vision and did "I am one with God", thinking this must be the "supreme gauge". To my surprise and dismay I found "I am important" was the statement that expressed that level for me. I may just be rationalising something crass; however I also wonder if that word truly represents that level, sprit/connection/vision, and it could, because for me I discovered it carries a sense of awe at everyone and everything.
I cannot say "I am important" and feel separate. When I say "I am important" I have a sense of "going out" and "being one" with all, as if I lose myself in everything. So you see, once again, this stuff isn't necessarily logical and may even seem paradoxical.
To get the most out of GaugeWork, one has to put aside surface meanings and judgements and be prepared to work with what presents. What words come as you work? What response do you have, physiologically, to them?
I also experimented with combining gauges by "applying" one gauge to another. Astra has put her happiness gauge "over the top of" all her gauges. Kevin (thank you Kevin) has "aimed" his gauge at a target.
I encourage everyone to play with these concepts, and ask, in the words of Richard Bandler "How much delight can you stand?" :-)