A Balanced Approach to Wellness

Archive for the ‘Development’ Category

Intersections: Choosing to Turn

 

Intersections

Intersect, v. 1. to divide by passing across. 2. to assist by providing choices.

Intersections present themselves to us as we walk the path of life. The going straight is never really straight and the intersecting criss-crossings present themselves as crises or connections, suggestions from strangers or friends, and hunches or self-confirmations of soulful longings.

Each intersection provides an opportunity to choose actions, thoughts, and impact. The intersection can be minor, like deciding how to while away an hour (with a friend or alone, with a book or an interesting challenge, with a smile or with a complaint).  The intersection can be life-altering, like deciding on a life path (pursuing a dream, an expectation, or an empty time-filler).  Intersections are deceptively straight, and the turn down one of their paths can be twisted and enthralling or twisted and monotonous.

The more we know the aspects of dislikable activities and information that repel us, the more we can pursue activities and information that pull us. We can’t follow every path and we can’t take each turn that presents itself. When we know ourselves—the things we like, the things we don’t like, our speed at absorbing information and performing activities, and our convictions and reactivity—we can choose the turns with confidence and with enthusiasm.

Curiosity fuels success

Curiosity-stilts

People who are curious succeed in business and in social situations more than people who hold back their curiosity. All of us start out as curious infants, exploring our world as busily as we can. Curiosity is built-in and propels development of our senses and our abilities.

Often, curiosity is halted because of societal restraints, family restraints, and environmental barriers. People who experience too much repression of their natural curiosity add to the repression by quashing their urges to learn and explore. Sometimes, the desire to experience is so strong that curiosity leads the way and the repression can be overcome.

People who grow up in a nourishing environment that allows natural curiosity to flourish are able to develop more freely. This type of environment does not guarantee achievement, but it does offer support.

To enhance curiosity

  • Approach the known with questioning. Do you always do something a certain way? Why is that? Notice your habits and question the ones that don’t make sense.
  • Approach the known with innovation. Notice the choices you make repeatedly. Do you eat the same foods over and over again without evaluating their appeal? Do you tire at the same time every day? Why is that? What can be done about these things?
  • Approach the known with wonder. When the rain starts, don’t rush to take cover. Feel the drops and be connected to them. Look at the trees and other vegetation that you see every day and really notice them.
  • Approach the known with certainty. The things that are familiar are comforting. Let them bring comfort, but then move beyond them. Explore something less familiar while keeping the familiar within reach.

Curiosity is with us from the moment we can experience awareness until the moment that we cannot. The more we let ourselves develop, the more fully we live!

The sense of self—the sixth sense

sense of self

While writing Awaiting Light—Understanding the Development of the Soul, I learned that there is a sixth sense:  “The senses develop in staggered pairings (taste and touch, sight and smell, hearing and the sense of self [one’s boundaries])…”.

The sense of self is awareness of oneself separate from others, awareness of boundaries, and awareness of one’s body. An infant normally develops these awarenesses unless interference has occurred. Interference can be natural (such as complications during the birthing process or genetic causes) or unnatural (such as complications during the birthing process that are not related to natural birth, accident, or abuse).

The sense of self is connected to all the other senses: tasting one’s skin, touching oneself, seeing one’s body, smelling one’s body odor, and hearing one’s voice and the sounds emitted from one’s body and from using the body. An infant experiences these sense sensations and through the awareness of them and through maturation of the thinking process, comes to understand that there is a physical container for all these developments. The physical container is the baby’s body, and a baby delights in his or her development.

The sense of self has impact on future development. A baby who receives encouragement develops with strong sense of self. A baby who receives negativity often develops with skewed sense of self. The sense of self accompanies a person into adulthood and influences actions and decisions.

Here is an example of a person I have worked with: a woman in her 30s is battling excess weight. The struggle began when she was very young because she was a pudgy baby whose mother had weight issues. The mother related to her daughter’s size negatively, which affected the daughter and her sense of self.

The sense of self has physical and nonphysical elements. The physical elements are the sense organs that continuously feed information to the brain about the body and its boundaries, actions, and hurts (wounds, aches, pain). The nonphysical element is the emotional component of health: the feelings for the body, its actions, and its hurts. The feelings about bodily functioning include acceptance or disregard for normal bodily functioning, admiration or impatience for the body’s actions and abilities, and reasonable or overzealous focus on hurts.

The sense of self and the other senses create the feedback that people require to live and grow.

“Smells and sounds and textures and visual cues and taste bud activity provide interest to human life. And provide warnings. And provide information for storage. And notice for information retrieval. And input for reactions. And input for instigation of creativity. And awareness of outside interesting sensations and varieties. And wonders.” –from Pond a Connected Existence.

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