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"Who's Driving the Bus?"

By Susie and Otto Collins

In his book, "Using Your Brain-for a Change," Richard Bandler, One of the founders of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, gives a great metaphor for what happens frequently in our lives and relationships. Bandler uses the question of "Who's driving the bus?" to suggest that we put our brains on auto pilot much of the time and we aren't consciously aware of the patterns our brains run. This is also what we often do in our relationships as well.

He says, "Most people are prisoners of their own brains. It's as if they are chained to the last seat of the bus and someone else is driving. I want you to learn to drive your own bus."

We find this to be an amazing parallel to how we get stuck in our unconscious patterns in our relationships.

In "Spiritual Partnerships" or "conscious relationships", if the purpose is to heal, learn and grow, then we need to learn to drive our own bus and be conscious at all times.

In our relationship, we find that we do a pretty good job of staying conscious when we are centered and life isn't throwing us any curves. But, when life gets stressful, we allow ourselves to slip into old unhealthy patterns of past relationships. These times give us the opportunity to see the parts of ourselves that need to be healed.

We have found that when the patterns emerge and the dramas of past relationships rear their ugly heads in our current relationships, we have gone to sleep and are not living in the present moment.

What we do when one of the two of us discovers that a pattern from the past is being played out, we immediately bring it up to the other person and we talk about our feelings and the situation. The trick is to "kill the monster while it's little."

As creators and masters of our own lives, we need to unearth these destructive patterns and resolve them once and for all.  It's sometimes painful but necessary to look at yourself openly and honestly. But, we feel the first step to making any change in our lives is awareness. It's only after becoming aware of things that need to be healed can we heal them and move forward.

Only when we become more aware and conscious in all aspects of what we want for our lives and relationships are we truly "driving our own bus" and are not just passengers in a bus that's careening out of control.

Susie and Otto Collins are married, life partners who are Relationship and Life Success Coaches, and authors of several books on relationships, including "Should You Stay or Should You Go?" "No More Jealousy" "Creating Relationship Trust" "Communication Magic" and "Attracting Your Perfect Partner." In addition to having a great relationship, they regularly write, speak and conduct seminars on love, relationships and personal growth. To read more free articles like this or to sign up for their free online relationship tips newsletter visit or


Susie and Otto Collins
P.O. Box 14544
Columbus, Ohio 43214
(614) 459-8121

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