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Logic: The glue that holds inner worlds together


Series 4 of the Inside Clean programme that I offer alongside Penny Tompkins and James Lawley is called Logic: The glue that holds inner worlds together.

Glue is a such great metaphor for our personal logic, because glue is:

  • Largely unseen: we know a box has been glued, but 99% of the time we pay attention to the box, not the glue. Same with logic - it's kind of in the background.
  • Sticky: obviously! But if somehow our logic has got stuck into place in a way that doesn't work for us - then we end up, well, stuck.
  • Hard to remove: it's not easy to pick all the glue off a box, or any other object - this would be a painstaking process. Similarly a lot of care needs to be taken when unpicking your own or someone else's logic.
  • Varied: just like there are different kinds and brands of glue - UHU, glue sticks, superglue, Gorilla glue, epoxy, etc - so there are different kinds of logic - many more kinds, and much more different as we each have our own unique logic.

It’s important to choose the right glue for the right job. Some glues stick well and do a good job; they’re fit-for-purpose. Others do not. It’s also important, when you’re sticking things together, to get everything in the right place; breaking them apart again could damage the individual pieces. 

Sometimes things stick together even when there's no actual glue involved. Have you ever found a batch of old photographs all stuck together? It can be difficult to prise them apart without damaging them.

In life, it's often like this. There's been no deliberate sticking of things together; it's just happened over time. We've picked up beliefs and different ways of reasoning as we've gone along and they've become enmeshed as we've enacted them over the years, largely unconsciously. Other times, it's a bit more deliberate. People marry because their partner seems like a good fit and they stick together for all kinds of reasons. Or we attend workshops or discuss our beliefs with others, find new bits of logic and add them into the mix on purpose.

When people decide to get some coaching or therapy, it's often because something is going wrong in their life, something they can't figure out on their own. And when we work with them using Symbolic Modelling, by using symbols to represent different aspects of their experience, and then by helping them figure out the relationships between these symbols and the thinking-and-feeling sequences they engage in, their underpinning logic - their glue - soon becomes apparent. It becomes known instead of unknown, conscious instead of unconscious - and so available for change. 

I remember in my very first Symbolic Modelling session with Penny and James becoming aware of an "I might need that" pattern, which was underpinning many of my behaviours and leading to lots of unwanted situations. I still have this pattern in relation to things (art materials, books, ideas, computer apps, etc) - and now have strategies for keeping those things relatively tidy so I can also enjoy some harmony in my living space. But the problem I had gone to them to resolve was not about these kinds of things, it was about holding onto particular kinds of resentful thoughts - and learning the logic of my process for doing that led me to changing from holding on to letting go - which in turn completely changed my life. That 'holding on because I might need that' glue tendency is still there, but now I know about it and I can recognise the signs that I am acting out, or beginning to act out, of that unhelpful logic, and I can do something different.

If you'd like to learn more about logic and how we can work with it within Symbolic Modelling sessions, come and join us for Series 4 of Inside Clean - Logic: The glue that holds inner worlds together.

About Marian Way

Marian Way's avatar

A highly skilled facilitator and trainer, Marian, who founded Clean Learning in 2001, has developed and delivered training across the world. She is the author of Clean Approaches for Coaches, co-author, with James Lawley, of Insights in Space and co-author, with Caitlin Walker, of So you want to be… #DramaFree.

Marian is an expert Clean facilitator, an adept modeller, a programme writer and an inspirational trainer. She has a natural ability to model existing structures, find the connections between them and design new ways for people to learn. Marian was a leading innovator within the Weight Watchers organisation, which included developing the “points” strategy, a local idea that went on to become a global innovation. She is a director of both Clean Learning and Training Attention CIC, world leaders in clean applications for corporate, educational and community development. She designs our programmes and workbooks, leads workshops and teaches on all our courses. She’s trained people in Great Britain, Russia, Sweden, Germany, Australia, Japan and the USA. Marian is also a recognised Clean Assessor.

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