Eleni Sarantinou bLU Talks 2019

Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge

I was born in Greece, the home of olives and grapes. I studied Economics and had a successful career in IT before stumbling across Life Coaching and NLP. Today, I’m an NLP trainer, a Life Coach, a wife, a mother, a world traveller. Nothing gives me more joy than sharing what I’ve learnt, and am still learning, with you. Read more


Here is the deal. Today, at 16.00, it is date night until late! Have been waiting for that one a while now. Just the two of us, yes! We go across the street and install ourselves at café Vienna. We are thousands of miles from Vienna but the atmosphere does remind Vienna thanks to all the ballerina paintings and the classic music. We order some nice food and start catching up. Next stop, bookstore. The evening is just getting better by the minute. Spend an hour there as well and then we decide to check on a nice movie before we call it a night. It’s only 21.30 after all. There was a movie poster a couple of days ago with two guys, one is shaving his head and the other one resembles a well-known comedian. It is called 50/50.

We get to the movies but do not see 50/50 on the billboard. Only Hollywood blockbusters; I wish 50/50 was still on, I had a good feeling about it and seemed European which I quite miss. Before we leave, we decide to ask and yes, it is still on. Great! Really our lucky day! Shall we check IMDB website quickly before we decide? Nope, let’s us go into a movie without the faintest idea of what it is about; exciting. 50/50. What could it mean? Oh well, we’ll see. We quickly buy some peanuts and find our seats.

Movie starts. First scene, it plays in Seattle, how cool! We are planning to fly to Seattle next summer. Definitely a good sign!

Third scene, the main actor, a young guy finds out he has cancer.

And you know what, it would be ok, had I not had cancer myself a couple of years ago and actively working on leaving all that behind me. We look at each other: Are you kidding me?

Ok, my husband asks me with the eyes if I want to go…let’s see where this is getting to…what about you? He shakes his head still in disbelief for the situation…let’s see, we can always get up and leave any minute…

Shots of chemotherapy treatments and sad announcements, the whole process a cancer patient has to go through and we have recently just left behind us, is unfolding on the screen; but I have a good feeling…the movie is funny with some nice witty dialogues and a bit of romance. Good acting and I sense a hopeful message hidden somewhere there.

We stay and watch.

Soon, my body relaxes completely. ‘It is a movie, anyway. It has nothing to do with me. Maybe the hero survives anyway, why not? This is not ‘Terms of Endearment’. This is a different script. We can leave at any moment. Everything happens for a reason. The universe thinks I am ready to watch the movie. This has not only happened to me. I had definitely more support than the main hero.’

Phew! Yes, the main hero survives, his operation is successful. I am glad I stayed.

Situations mean only what we want them to mean. There was a decision inside me to continue our date in the positive tonight. Internally, I kept on reframing the whole coincidence; focused on the fact that I stayed, enjoyed it and came smiling out of it.

Reframe (NLP Tool) sometimes is easier than others and sometimes it is just not possible. Honestly, had I known what the movie was about, I would have not watched it. After difficult times, it is a good idea to stick to fun stuff, funny and light movies; I like to shower my mind with nice pictures, laughter and happy ends. I would also not necessarily be able to reframe that well a second time, watching a similar movie.

The point is: once you are conscious about Reframe as a tool, you can choose to apply it or not in every situation for a better outcome and shift negative emotions to positive ones. Every time you reframe, it is a good step towards making it a good habit.

Reframe is simple as in feeding ourselves with more aspects of our initial perception (internally in our thoughts-inner talk): ”My daughter is stubborn”. Reframe: “She knows what she wants and fights for it. It will serve her well.”

Reframe helps us understand and forgive easier (externalize it and give one more meaning to a situation). “He hates me. He is so upset that he does not want to talk to me.” Reframe: “Probably because he loves you, he wants to calm down before saying anything hurtful to you.”

Reframe can lighten up situations and brings us back to what really matters and make people feel better about themselves. ‘I always have the bad habit to leave cupboards open”. Reframe: ‘My grandmother always said that means you leave your luck door open”.

I like to see Reframing as a door wide open to possibilities. How wide depends on the quality of our reframes (positive effect and timing) and how often we use it.

People have been reframing since the beginning of time and long before NLP but within NLP, it became a clear communication tool in order for everyone to master it and consciously use it.

Change Book Cover

The Change Book Series is all about empowerment and collaboration! My chapter with title ‘Sacrifice-less’ came straight from my heart in a flash.
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