Two days ago I was sitting on a plane coming into land at Barcelona Airport. I have flown into Barcelona thousands of times over the past 40 years. In fact my connection to the town of Sitges goes back to my parents bringing me here for the first time when my mother was pregnant with me. My father was a pioneer of his time, with a travel agency in the times of Franco, bringing tourists to Sitges in the 60s and 70s. In fact in those early years he used to drive us from England to Sitges, for two and a half days through France and the Pyrenees coming down through Candanchú. Then in the 70s we started to fly, so really I have flown thousands of times. As we started the descent I suddenly realized we were a long way from the sea. Now anyone knowing Barcelona, knows well that the airport of Barcelona is directly next to the sea. And yet we were far away. Suddenly I realized where we were. We were flying behind the Tibidabo, right at the back of Barcelona, flying in between the Tibidabo and Montserrat and flying directly over the Parque del Garraf, the sierra behind Barcelona spanning from Barcelona to Sitges and across to Vilafranca del Penedes, homeland of Cava. It was the most amazing approach and the first time I had ever flown in across this flight path. I was intrigued and marveled by the sight of the mountains of Garraf, with all their magic and splendor as well as hit by the energy of Montserrat piercing into the sky through the distinctive and enchanted rocks towering up from the house of the Virgen of Montserrat. At the same time I was in wonder and awe, I noticed that I was also slightly worried that we were taking a flight path that I had never flown before. My old friend in my brain, my limbic system, alarmed about something new, something different. When something new happens to us, the limbic system automatically goes on guard just in case we come under threat and at the same time, the new sensations and new perspectives kick into the brain with excitement and curiosity. My eyes were soaking in the grren mountains, the curves and contours, I started to recognize Sant Pere de Ribes and that is when the plane gently banked to the left leading us towards the Mediterranean and again turning just behind the old discotheque of Atlantida, over the hotel I was coming to stay in and then paralleled us with the shoreline positioning us directly flying towards the airport. What an amazing experience and what an amazing entry into El Prat Barcelona Airport.
My curiosity remained and when we were getting off the plane, one of the pilots was standing outside the cockpit to say goodbye to all the passengers. I could not resist stopping and I asked him :
“May I ask you a question?”
“Yes with pleasure….”
“In all the 40 years I have been flying into Barcelona, I have never ever flown that flight path to land.”
“Neither had we……!!” He said with an enormous smile on his face. “It was due to the wind currents, we had to come in this way, and really it was out first time too!”
I left the plane smiling and praising the ability and skills of my Germanwings pilots, who had safely guided us into land over new territory.
So, what is the reason for talking about this? Well, I realized that sometimes no matter how many years we do something and how many years we are used to doing something, life presents us with new surprises, with new perspectives, with new angles for seeing and doing things. In some ways that is exactly what we are doing with Neurolanguage Coaching™ . For over a hundred years, there have been set ways of teaching languages and now we are shifting into different perspectives to match the globalized world of today. Just as the plane had to react to the wind currents, language learning is reacting to demand, requirements and globalization. Through Neurolanguage Coaching™ we are introducing principles of neuroscience and how the brain likes to learn as well as using a totally different style and approach, with coaching principles and ethics, as well as the structure of coaching engagements. Of course, something different raises heads, arouses curiosity and resistance, as well as fear of something new. But with nearly 100 accredited and certified Neurolanguage Coaches in the world, we are now demonstrating that this is something for today´s demands: this is something which empowers learners and helps us to understand that we all CAN, once we really know how and the HOW for each person is different because no two brains are the same!
Over the last twenty years, thanks to new technological advances in machinery, neuroscience has opened our minds helping us to blast away those limiting neuromyths that we had clung onto for decades. Now we know that the brain can reproduce new brain cells (neurogenesis): even stem cells are present in our brains; in addition the brain is not static, it is extremely plastic – meaning that we actually CAN change our brains (neuroplasticity). Fascinatingly, 1/3 of our brain is genetic and the remaining 2/3 of our brain is what we, as individuals, put into it, our learning and experience. And every single one of us will input different learning and experience throughout our whole lives. Now, learning has to adopt a holistic approach and an approach that is adaptable to the learner, as we now know that each learner´s brain is different. Language learning per se, is a process that can arouse our limbic systems into that threat status, which in turn blocks the major areas of the brain which we need for learning, the pre-frontal cortex and the hippocampus, so the language learning process MUST take this into account to relieve this limbic reaction and keep the brain in a “perfect learning state”. Neurolanguage coaching addresses this right from the start and all accredited Neurolanguage Coaches have an enhanced awareness and perception of how the brain is reacting at any given time of the learning process. We also share with our learner what is happening with the brain, which in turn enlightens the learner and leads to a much more efficient and relaxed learning process.
So the next time you experience something new, something that you have never experienced, which takes you away from the norm and the habit, stay curious, live it and feel it. Be open to it and learn from it. New perspectives can lead to powerful insights, as Neurolanguage Coaching can lead to new awareness, not only for the coach but also for the learner.
Copyright Rachel Marie Paling 2015