28th Jul 2016

Locked In Combat

Have you ever felt like things are a constant struggle? Whether it is at work or at home, sometimes you just feel like you are constantly being placed in arm locks by the people around you. Literally, you say to people that they have your arm up your back!

Or perhaps you are the one feeling that you need to apply arm locks to others just to get things done around here. “Why won’t they just do what I am asking them to do?” comes the exasperated cry. The more they resist, the more you need to apply it. “I didn’t want to have to do that” the voice in your head is telling you in a very apologetic tone as you justify your actions.

It can be tiring for you, them or both of you. And generally someone is left feeling a bit sore from the encounter. Resistance is futile, submit, tap out!

Ask yourself who you are being when introduced to new concepts, directions or when you feel challenged on your ideas or contributions. Quite often it feels like being manipulated, coerced or straight out told to follow the norm.

There may be certain people in your world that you automatically go into resistance with. Perhaps due to past experiences with that person. In other words, you are already preparing for combat before you even see them.

Understanding how the brain works gives us the ability and opportunity to see that this is normal and I want to take a moment to share two learnings about the brain from that could make a difference to you.

Through the work done at the University of Toronto by Norman Farb, and a team of six scientists, they studied how human beings experience their own experience from moment to moment.

The first is called ‘Default Network’. This is where you experience a moment in time where your brain automatically creates a story in which you or others become more relative than the actual moment you are in.

Here is an example that may help explain. Imagine you are at Niagara Falls and rather than taking in the experience and marveling at the grandness of what you are seeing, you automatically start remembering a funny moment you had in the past.

The second is called ‘Direct Experience’. This is where you are not thinking about the past, future, other people or yourself. Rather you are experiencing information coming into your senses in real time.

For example: Lying back on the beach, your attention is on the warmth of the sun on your skin, the smell of the ocean and the sand between your toes.

So, why is this important?

Whilst the Default Network helps you get through the day by planning and learning from past experience, it unfortunately limits you to see the world from only your own paradigm.

When practicing Direct Experience you are completely present with what is happening right now, without judging or letting your beliefs around it get in the way. We call this the potential in all things.

So learning to listen intently, being present and mindful in life (and therefore situations at work or home) should allow you to yield and join rather than resisting and forcing. By doing this you can learn to adapt quickly when change arrives and to ultimately master change. With time you should never feel that life has you in an arm lock or where you feel you have no control of what is actually happening to you.

If you were to apply a small 2° shift towards Direct Experience, you will soon discover that this change of paradigm will allow you to see opportunities to learn and, over time, ultimately master change.

Of course, if someone is intent on being the one to place you in an arm lock then you can’t really control that. Or maybe you can? I will explore that one another time.

No more arm locks! Imagine what that would be like.

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