by Cilette Harris
We respond and make decisions based on how we feel about events and situations in our lives – at work, at home and in our relationships. Often, our reactions and decisions are determined by the first, unedited version of the story in our heads; without taking the time needed to gain clarity about what is really happening. We manufacture our reality and act accordingly; often regretting that we did not respond in a more considered fashion.
In many ways, gaining clarity is simply about pressing the pause button and checking whether the story in our head is real; and whether it is the full story.
How can we do this practically?
One helpful practise is to increase our awareness of what we think and feel. Freud likened the human psyche to an iceberg. Above the waterline is what we are aware of; below the line is what we’re not aware of.
Myrna Lewis, the founder of Lewis Deep Democracy says that our wisdom lies below the waterline. Myrna teaches that:
When I feel triggered or disturbed by something that happened, I know it is time to clarify how I really feel about it.
When I invest the time to become present, the waterline lowers, and I become aware of my repetitive thoughts, and the emotions associated with these thoughts.
Jonathan Foust developed a unique method (Body Centred Inquiry) which has four steps to gain clarity and wisdom. The steps are easy to remember as they spell the acronym R-A-I-N.