Thoughts on waking this morning:
We are meeting with a wonderful facilitator as we plan for the next Tribal Gathering at Interface. Doc Klein is a mountain climber and systems thinker. He is helping us design the program. I have enjoyed getting to know him and really am learning from his writings, his leadership, and his guidance. I am grateful for his inspiration, which brought about these thoughts this morning. He introduced the idea of creating an amazing year. I am caught up in what that might mean to me, to my family, to my world. Doc also took us through a whole day of team creativity. We arrived at the concept of three circles. One was for the SELF; another for our ORGANIZATION; and the third for COMMUNITY/SOCIETY. Then Lindsay James, our biomimicist, suggested that a fourth circle could be drawn around the whole picture. The fourth, all encompassing circle is NATURE. All of this ingenuity has stimulated my mind-brain highly. So when I awoke this morning, these ideas were swarming and I want to share them with you.
HOW DO WE CHANGE THE STORY?
The beginning of change is always inside the SELF. We cannot change our organizations or our Society until we change our own stories. Peace on earth is an inside job. When a critical mass of humans feels peace within, we will create it on the outside.
First we must be aware of our habits of mind…..recurring over the course of our lifetime, wiring and firing neuronal pathways that produce the chemical-glandular-hormonal neurotransmission in response to every thought we think.
Feelings are from the body. Thoughts are from the mind.
AND, every thought is like a prayer request sent to our brain—that marvelous operating system responding when we download the software programs of our thoughts—to issue forth a gush of chemical, electromagnetic neurotransmitters, hormones and neuropeptides that bring forth the feeling we experience. We identify with the feeling by saying I am angry. I am sad. I am glad. Those are creative statements that declare, this is who I am. You can be sure that you are WHERE you are; you are WHO you are; and you are WHAT you are and HOW you are due to this highly miraculous process. Your recurring habits of thoughts-feelings-behavior establish the predictable character traits that we exhibit in life. They amount to our beliefs about ourselves. Beliefs leading to Thoughts to Feelings to Behavior. That is how we do it. And the more we do the same patterns, the more habituated we become—even to the point of establishing ourselves as a person with a certain temperament. E.g.”She is depressed” He is hyperactive, etc.
Our stories develop as rationale for the thought patterns we have chosen, the resulting feeling patterns and the continuing reinforcement and justification of those patterns. A hypothetical example: my brother stole my yo-yo when I was seven and to this day, I have chosen thought patterns of resentment about people who use my “toys”….my stuff is part of my story and the size and shape of the stuff changes but the basic story remains the same. I have a habit of being a victim of brothers who are bullies. So here and now, today, in my work I find just the right person who is capable of delivering the right trigger to kick off that old habit of thought and feelings. I resent my co-worker because she takes my stapler.
Strengths work the same way. The difference is that they are based in what works, what is positive, what creates conditions conducive to life, and what builds relationships that endure. Knowing what my talents are—what I am good at—and being able to put those talents to work becomes my story. If that story wasn’t written in childhood, it is never too late to have a happy childhood. The power and magic of thought is that you can get the same feeling of being born to perfect parents in a perfect world, just through the imagination and the creative frontal lobe activity of your brain.
Deep Diving into our inner self is safe when we use Strengths Psychology. There is no dark to fear since we can rely on the knowledge that our own beliefs-thoughts are the progenitor of our feelings and behavior. And the “dark” does not roll up in a ball to attack us when we turn on the light of knowing our talents. Light destroys darkness. (Our own shadow shrinks in the light of our self knowledge and “merciless self awareness.)
We still must cope with the personalities that exist in the old form—believing that people are objects to be manipulated. This old style leader will rant and rave about the faults of his employees, believing that is the only way to get results and meet quotas. Scared employees will produce, fearing for their livelihood but they will dread coming to work, they will ask, “Is HE here today?” They will endure the tirades and they will perform, sometimes actually meeting quotas. He will continue believing that people must be driven, yelled at, cajoled, in order to get them to perform. They will endure as children and wives have endured for centuries, tolerating this out of control little boy boss or father or husband (yes, it is the same for female tyrants, too). The difference is that when the tyrant is in command, people will be sick more, they will find other employment, they will be absent more, and they will not be engaged. In fact they may be not only be disengaged but actively disengaged. Active disengagement means they will talk about the tyrant behind his back and they will imitate him–blame just as he blames, they will explain and justify just as his model suggests. And the workforce will be adequate but not reaching to the creative excellence that can bring about an “amazing year.”
The deep dive into the circle of the self creates a flow of energy that leads to the deep dive into the other circles, eventually arriving at the big system circle where we “get it” that nature knows best, endures, and gives us a pattern to emulate.
From the deep dive into self, we are able to see our community/society, our organization, and our world through new eyes. Given a condition where we can explore with open minds-hearts-wills we will activate the frontal lobes of our brains, inviting creativity.
A 4-H brain model: 1) the HABIT brain (reptilian and unconscious); 2) the HEART brain (limbic system and mammalian); 3) the HEAD brain (cerebral cortex—right and left thinking brain); and the HIGH HOLY HUMAN brain (frontal lobes—able to be the executive of the whole brain). The tyrant I described is using his head brain in service of his habit brain. He is coming from the fight-flight response that reptiles and other thick-skinned, cold-blooded critters use to maintain their territory. And he wastes the possibilities that come when the head and heart brain are programmed to serve the “high-holy-human” frontal lobes, the brain where creativity abounds.
Self is a living system with Mind as the software and Brain as the operating system. Brain simply takes in the signals sent through thought and delivers according to that thinking. Change of mind means change of thought. Change of thought means inventing a new story. Inventing a new story brings a new Self. When a community of people are actively engaged in the process of inventing themselves in the highest form they can imagine, we have explosions of possibilities, and cascades of creativity—all good.
Mind represents consciousness, which sends the thoughts to this marvelous inner OS (brain). Thoughts are the soft-ware and we are able to upgrade and update our software, putting in new patterns and programs of thoughts which will engineer new feelings and changed behavior. These patterns will cluster into new systems of belief that can create a FTWTE (future that wants to emerge). Thereby, we can join our neighbors in creating a fascinating, exciting, brilliant, beneficial, inventive, crazy AMAZING NEW YEAR!!!