What are you steering your life by? (Part 1)

Having goals, having intentions, having plans and preferences are all well and good but, for the most part, they do not affect how we live moment to moment, day to day. In order to bring life to our intentions and aspirations we must discover what is shaping our actions, our thoughts, our speaking right now. What we do, say and think generate the results we have and cultivate the kind of person we are.

We affirm or shift our public identity with every social statement we make and, consequently, people interact with us differently, bring us different possibilities, withhold different things from us, feel supported by or alienated from us.

When we act in response to a strong emotion we reconstruct our nervous system, making it more likely that we will respond the same way when we encounter the same emotion next.

When we arrange our office, living room or bedroom we set up an environment that will evoke slightly different response from us when we come into it.

Every action we take makes a difference, has consequences.

Yet, most of us are not aware of what we are acting from. For example, are we really feeling our emotional anxiety, sensing the tension in our neck and stomach, noticing our worst-case scenario thinking when we begin to read our e-mail while on a phone call?

Just below the level of what we are aware of (though we can become readily aware of it), we are speaking, thinking and acting to modify, correct, expand, move away from, extinguish sensations and experiences. They are the real sources of what we do. Even when we have a story that explains or justifies what were doing. (We always have a ready story—even when what were doing doesn’t make sense to us. When someone asks us, we come up with something.)

Our development depends on our ability to detect these sources and intentionally direct our actions. When we ask our coaching clients, “where do you feel that in your body?”, we are not asking an idle question. We are helping them build a conscious connection between a body sensation and the story the client is telling and the action he/she is taking.

How good are you at doing this yourself? What has you know it’s time to exercise? Or reach for a glass of wine? Or call a friend? Or meditate?

Yes, it might be on the schedule but that doesn’t mean we’ll do it. And there’s so much that we do that’s not scheduled.

What is really going on here?

What is steering your life?

I strongly urge you to find out by doing your own close-in research.

Read Part 2.

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