Introduction to The Game Board: Living Authentically (Part 3)
Updated: Oct 28, 2018
You have made a commitment to live on the right side of the Game Board.
Isn’t living authentically from the heart scary?
This is part 3 of a 3 part series on the Game Board. In part 1 we learned about the emotions on the left side of the Game Board that serve as “alarm systems.” These emotional alarms go off to keep us safe at all costs, which is great when there is a real problem. Unfortunately, many times it is a false alarm and we end up creating problems. Click here to read part 1.
In part 2 we learned about the emotions on the right side of the Game Board. These positive emotions open our hearts and allow us to live authentically and with high levels of well-being. Click here to read part 2.
Isn’t living authentically from the heart scary?
I understand it can be scary to follow your heart (I still get scared a lot!). That’s because we naturally gravitate to what is familiar, so it’s easy to give in to our need to feel safe and secure. Hey, it’s a valid need. Sometimes though, the need to feel safe causes us to make bad decisions… we stay in a relationship that is hurting us, or we reduce our fees just so people will think we are generous, or we exhaust ourselves doing things for people to be pleasing and on and on. We get trapped like this because we don’t want people to be mad at us or to reject us. In order to keep people happy with us we choose to “settle” for bits of what we want all the while minimizing and suppressing our pain over our losses. No way would your heart guide you to do that!
If your heart guides you toward truth then what stops you from being authentic?
Well, it’s those dang alarms that’s what. First, let’s look at how the alarms help us. You are unhappy in your marriage and you begin to think about leaving your spouse. Immediately the “alarm” of fear goes off to stop you from acting on this thought (click here to read about the alarms in part 1). You use the tools I taught you and you make the physiological shift to the right side of the Game Board. The alarm is now off. From a feeling of neutral you are now ready to assess your situation.
You pause and notice all of your fearful thoughts. You have no job, you have not worked in 10 years and you have no identifiable skills. Mm, leaving your husband may not be too smart! The alarm served its purpose. You have some real issues to address. You can see the left side of the board is not just a bunch of “negative” feelings, rather a set of alarms to get your attention.
Let’s look at this example again. You think of leaving your husband and you feel fear. What if you didn’t know how to shift from the left side to the right side? When you felt the fear, you would have stayed trapped on the left side. You would begin to react to the fear by following the fear program and here is where the compromising begins. “It’s not so bad. Everyone gets bored in their marriage. I’ll just try harder.” This is what stops us from being authentic, we don’t know how to shut the alarm off so the program makes our decisions for us.
It can play out so many ways depending on the situation. Imagine again that you do know how to shut the alarm off. As you review the facts you acknowledge that you have a well paying secure job, a solid set of friends and no problem looking after yourself and yet you are still paralyzed by fear and will not leave your husband. In this case, the issue is something from the past impacting and limiting the present. That “something” is preventing you from following your heart. It is stopping you from having an authentic response. And since it is physiological you can’t “talk” yourself into a solution. Your s/b stressful physiology will win almost every time.
Physiological Coherence is the key that opens the power and intelligence of the heart.
That’s why we need physiological coherence. We shift to the right side physiologically and we get coherent and that opens up the power and the intelligence of the heart. Game over!
What rewards do we get from living on the right side of the Game Board at least 80% of the time? That’s an easy answer. Just tell me what is most important to you. It’s people right? Well, living on the right side of the Game Board means that you will be in integrity with the people you love, which means lots of vibrant aliveness! It does not mean being comfortable all the time. We trade comfort for aliveness.
Living on the right side of the Game Board means taking risks (yes, and being scared) so that you can do work you love and you can live your purpose. It doesn’t mean you won’t have stress, but what it does mean is that your stress is in service to your dreams. Let’s face it, anyone who dreams of becoming a doctor is signing on for lots of stress; but since it is stress that has meaning it is stress that is more tolerable.
Living on the right side of the Game Board means choosing to continually grow, which means making peace with uncertainty and discomfort.
Personal growth from the heart leads ultimately to an abundant garden you call your life.
We need all of our emotions on both the left and the right side of the Game Board. Our alarm emotions on the left are needed as reality checks to keep us safe and our emotions on the right keep us in positive possibility and joy. Viewed this way you see that both sides are necessary. They both guide us. The left will trigger actual issues to be aware of or it will trigger issues from the past to be released. The right is to create our lives from, to enjoy our relationships from and where we will find our meaning, purpose, and fulfillment.
We have barely scratched the surface here of what is possible when you know how to get coherent and listen to your heart. Establishing a foundation of physiological coherence is the key to opening the door to the intelligence of the heart. Once you are through the door your possibilities and potential is limitless. That is the gift of the heart.