This is the first in a series of blogs written by Kate Griffiths, founder of Whole Self Leadership, looking at how being true to your ‘whole self’ – i.e. mind, body and spirit – can make for a happier and more fulfilling life.
Back in September I led a very enjoyable morning’s session with the Mum’s the Boss (MTB) crowd in Bedford where we started to look at what leadership of the Whole Self means. Sam and Helen then asked me to write a series of four blog posts for the MTB blog and this is the first in which I explore why you might want to take more time to explore the leadership of your whole self.
When you check in with yourself and take note of what is happening, how often do you catch a sense of anxiety about the future or find yourself thinking if only….with a sense of regret about the past. Or are you one of those people who are pushing yourself on to achieve the next goal, always busy never stopping to take in what you have accomplished? Look it another way when you are with others, what is your overriding desire? Do you want control, approval or a sense of security?
The interesting thing is that each one of us has responses to life and these patterns which manifest themselves in our non-verbal communication often go unnoticed by us. What we tend to focus on is the fact that we did not win that piece of work from an existing/ potential client or the fact that we do not feel as successful as we want or…(fill in the blanks). In other words we all spend a certain part of each day giving into negative thoughts of some kind or other.
It is all about taking time to notice what our patterns are and by that it is not only what we say and how we say it but how our body is responding. Do you brace your body or do you lean back on your heels under stress? As we become more aware of our personality (and by that I am really talking about our egos, yes we all have one), we can accept and acknowledge it and start to recognise that there are a whole range of other ways at looking at the difficult place we find ourselves. In other words we can become empowered to choose our response to life.
So how do you get from a place of anger, pain or grief you might ask? The key is learning to centre yourself to bring your whole body into alignment. What does that mean you might ask? We all have an understanding of what IQ measures: it looks at the extent to which we apply analytical logical reasoning to situations that we face. More recently there has been greater acceptance of EQ which is the ability to understand our own emotional responses and those of others. Increasingly there is a movement towards developing SQ, spiritual intelligence, which can also be seen as the collective unconscious as defined by Jung. These have representations in our body: namely the head, the heart and the gut.
The work that I do is about helping others bring these three separate centres into alignment so that individuals can hear if all three want to do a course of action that is being proposed or see where there is non-alignment. I also help people to find the still small voice of calm when everything is raging outside by sharing with them Wendy Palmer’s four part approach to centring which has become part of my daily practice in preparing to face whatever the world brings me each day.