Like Bees To Honey
We wear clothes that look good, feel good on our skin, and keep our body temperature comfortable. We are attracted to people who smile. We figure out a way to put food on the table and a roof over our head. We are born with the drive towards pleasure/comfort and away from pain/discomfort. This drive keeps us from harm and is the biological foundation of survival, otherwise known as adaptation and effective living. We seek help to feel more pleasure/comfort and/or be more effective
It Is All In Your Mind And…………Everything Is Physical
When feeling shame, our head moves downward, eyes look away and posture tends to slump. We think critically of ourselves. When thinking positively about ourselves, facial muscles are more relaxed, and smiling is more likely as is feeling of joy. Physical activity like exercise or playing a sport can bring thoughts of optimism and feelings of calm contentment. Feelings, thoughts and behavior are inseparable. The mind and body are one. The connector is physical, namely our brain and nervous system. Therapies for health and wellness are distinguished by primary emphasis on changing thoughts or feelings (mind) or behavior (body). When all is said and done, true change means retraining the brain.
Who And What Is Driving The Bus
We don’t consciously control internal behaviors like our heartbeat, muscular contractions in our intestines, blood flow to our fingers or the secretion of hormones. Try as we might, we often can’t consciously effect desired behaviors like sticking with healthy eating, speaking with more projection, more effective sexual performance or walking with better posture. Just telling ourselves to relax doesn’t necessarily bring relaxation. The conscious desire to find a mate is not enough for realizing the goal. Frustration results from the fact that so many important behaviors are outside our conscious reach. Gaining more access to the ultimate driver of our bus – unconscious, and seemingly involuntary processes – will bring greater pleasure and effectiveness.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Our bodies can’t lie. We reveal who we really are in all behavior – walk, talk, eat, run a meeting, swing a club. Changing behaviors by focusing directly on the behavior as in traditional coaching tends towards the mechanical, technical and specific “how to:” Walk with shoulders down, eat to the point of 80% full and have a clear meeting agenda. Psychotherapy and other mind/body practices like meditation alter behavior by changing fundamental aspects of ourselves. An approach having elements of both coaching and personal change practices brings the best results – developing a skill and developing ourself.
Love Makes The World Go Round (And Fear And Hate Too)
When feeling in love, we literally have more bounce in our step. The athlete’s fear of humiliating loss can drive exceptional athletic performance. Anger drives revenge behavior and perhaps even great wars in history. Feelings drive our personal “story.” If our life is like a movie, not only do emotions “make” the story, feelings are the color, lighting, camera angle and soundtrack of our lives. Tapping into feelings gets right at the “heart of the matter.”
It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know
Popular music repeatedly expresses the emotional impact of love found and love lost. The adage, “the customer is always right” is a business strategy indicating awareness of the importance of maintaining good relationships with customers. The nature and state of our relationships greatly influences how we live and experience life. “Success” measured either in personal life satisfaction or financial-career is much more likely for the person who is “connected”. Examples of being connected include close personal relationships, skill in networking and the ability to just “mix” or “mix it up” with people.
Self-awareness or self-knowledge is crucial for effective living. Consider these examples. A partner is able to acknowledge his contribution to intimacy problems. An executive recognizes both her strengths and limitations. The artist has the ability to identify and express feelings. The athlete tunes into body sensations and subtle glitches in their movement. The more evolved and developed person is the more self-aware. In some Eastern religions and philosophies, expanding consciousness or awareness is the ultimate goal and the pathway to God. Practically speaking, we have more options when more knowledgeable. “The truth will set you free.”
Getting It Together
Integration is the ultimate goal of therapy and coaching. The phrases, “trying to get it together” or “trying to keep it together” or “really having it together” refer to various levels of personal integration. The sense of integration is a richly pleasurable experience of calm, fullness, responsiveness, openness, and competence. The integrated person has all the “cylinders firing.”