N Boake, Toronto Ontario

A few years ago, when a serious personal event sent shock waves through my life, I believed I was prepared to handle it. I had been through therapy, met my inner child, achieved advanced status in transformational workshops on both coasts, practiced yoga naked under Kauaian waterfalls and even run a couple of marathons; I could handle anything, couldn’t I? Well, I did handle it; I was strong, kept life calm for my daughter and maintained the roof over our heads; became a Real Estate agent and took in boarders. But I was angry, very, very angry. No matter what I did – more therapy, a mindfulness stress reduction course, mediation, transformational breathing, swing dance lessons – the anger was as evident to all as if I were wearing Cruella de Vil’s puppy coat.

In November 2009, my brother, who is studying NLP, recommended both NLP and Chris to me and I went eagerly, desperate to gain some peace and freedom from that constant, nasty voice relentlessly filling my head with poison, sapping my energy and keeping me always on guard in case I ever vocalized the internal soundtrack. The only thing left to me was my determination to change.

I knew I didn’t have to “believe” in NLP for it to be effective but, other than that, I had no idea what to expect. With his warm voice and fabulous jewellery, I trusted Chris instantly and was delighted to sit back, stop intellectualizing, do what I was told and just let the process and the practitioner work their magic.

And magic it was; the results were immediate and profound, yet subtle and amorphous. I was different – I felt it, people noticed and commented on it but it was very difficult for me to identify exactly what was different. The internal soundtrack was gone, yes, but I was somehow just lighter and easier. In any case, intellectualizing hadn’t done me much good in the past so I was just going with the flow.

More sessions with Chris, more and different modalities from the seemingly endless supply of arrows in his quiver. Often, because of his sensitivity and connection during a session, Chris would change the plan because of something I said or did that took us in a different direction. And the results kept compounding – I was able to handle situations that previously would have triggered severe reactions with ease and aplomb, I transformed my back garden from a weedy dust bowl to a delightful courtyard retreat, I hosted dinner parties and I started wearing nail polish again.

One evening, Chris had his gemstones and jewellery supplies out when I arrived for a session. They were so beautiful, I begged him to show all his necklaces to me. When he uncovered a soft, chunky purple and green one with an iridescent green pendant, my hands reached for it and I said “That’s mine!” Such a clear, powerful intention. Luckily, we (my gorgeous fluorite and Labradorite adornment and I) resonated and, when we go out together, we are much admired and we both glow. More magic.

We are told that mental and emotional pain and anguish is “all in our heads” but our heads are part of our bodies and our bodies ache. When I visited Chris for a body work session, I was the veteran of many fabulous massages but none had been accompanied by the melodious singing and chanting of the body worker; it was beyond soothing, again, very hard to describe but healing and hypnotic as well as primal and deep.

At some point in the summer of 2010, I realized that I knew what it was to be living in the moment; I was actually doing it, right then (right now). Freedom, peace, joy, the whole Zen megillah had snuck up on me just when I had least expected it.