Our world relies on the domestication of other species, yet we often don’t realize the degree to which we’ve also domesticated our own minds, bodies and emotions. It can be hard to feel beneath our conditioning and get in touch with our emotions, even when our survival depends on them. Now more than ever, we need tools and practices to access and feel our feelings so that we can reconnect with the power of our ecological intuition and find our courage to act for our survival. This article gives tools and a reflection process for “rewilding” your mind, reconnecting with your emotions and rediscovering your own inner ecological compass.
The discovery that you’re gifted as an adult has personal and social implications that are known to create some measure of chaos in your self-understanding and in your understanding of the world, until you learn to integrate your gifted mind fully into your life. In my experience as a psychologist and coach, I have witnessed a fairly predictable pattern that follows the discovery of one’s giftedness. It includes some of the famous stages of grief from researcher Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, as well as some key aspects of giftedness researcher Kazimierz Dabrowksi’s Levels of Positive Disintegration.
Sometimes hurrying up is to our advantage in life – when we’re running to catch a train, when we’re faced with an important deadline, or when we’re joyfully accomplishing a personal challenge. However, hurrying, beyond a certain point, becomes self-destructive. As a constant way of being, it is not sustainable. It is a “yang” energy in our lives which must be balanced out by the “yin” of slowing down, if it is to be effective and valuable. It is a “doing” micro-energy that can only have meaning and value in the context of a “being” meta-energy. Clients are often initially disappointed to learn this, because they arrive at the coaching process in a race to reach their goals, and are often impatient to move forward. But it is the wonderful yin meta-energy that gives their goals context; and to see this, they first must slow down and observe.
Have you ever wondered why at times your creativity and productivity seem to flow, and other times you can’t think straight and produce mediocre work? Why at times you are happy to be with people, and other times you are fed up with their presence? In reality, each of us has a preferred way of approaching and ordering activities and tasks, and if we plan according to our preferences – when and with whom and how we collaborate, solve problems, make decisions, and brainstorm, for example – we naturally find effectiveness and joy. The trick is knowing our preferences in the first place! Let’s learn about them together…
Many of our emotions are self-experienced; however, sometimes our emotions are carried emotions — emotions that we do experience but that are not ours. These emotions have been given to us by others (our parents, our culture, etc.) and they make us feel like we are living someone else’s life. In this article, I explore the difference between self-experienced emotions and carried emotions, and show how gifted people can gain conscious control over their inner emotional lives.
Intense inner disharmony can sometimes accompany the experience of giftedness. But rather than framing this disharmony as mental weakness or illness, Dabrowski looked at it as a catalyst for advanced personality development. Learn about Dabrowski’s Overexcitabilities, Theory of Positive Disintegration and the climb toward gifted self-actualization in this article.