Updated: Oct 28, 2018
This is part 2 in a 3 part series about The Game Board. Click here to read part 1 and learn how our survival strategies can get us into trouble creating problems where none exist.
Let’s look at the emotions on the right side of the game board starting at the bottom.
The emotions in the bottom right quadrant are: Peace, contentment, serenity, compassion, harmony, calm, centered etc.
What these emotions have in common is:
Most of us experience these as pleasant, positive or desirable ways to feel
The impact on the body is quiet, still, ease, loose muscles, an ability to “sit and be content”
Let’s look at the emotions in the upper right quadrant: Passion, love, joy, adventure, appreciation, care etc.
What these emotions have in common is:
Most people experience these as pleasant, positive and desirable.
The impact on the body is energizing. They add energy but it is a calm, focused, dynamic and energized state. There is movement but it is focused and grounded.
If the emotions on the left side of the Game Board are alarms triggering possible threats to your safety, what are the positive emotions on the right side telling us?
Positive emotions tell the brain and the body that everything is OK. You are safe. You do not need to be hyper vigilant, looking over your shoulder, ready to defend yourself, etc. It is safe to lean back, close your eyes, let your mind roam and be creative.
Whereas the biochemical state of the left side leaves you hyper alert and not able to think clearly, the biochemicals released with the right-side emotions give you well-being and add energy to your system. It puts you in a state of “positive possibility.” This state of positive possibility allows you to tap into the power of your heart, get the resources you need and respond authentically.
Does being on the right side of the game board mean you will have no problems or challenges in life? HA!! Wouldn’t that be nice. Not so.
Being on the right-side means that you are creating a space of possibility from the heart from which to respond, and it is an authentic response.
Let’s say you are struggling with a relationship challenge. How you respond to that challenge will be VERY different depending on what side of the game board you are on.
Left side response: “My safety is threatened. If I say what I really feel he/she might leave me. I better be quiet. I’ll just adapt and live with this.” This response, over time generally causes one’s heart to begin shutting down. It doesn’t happen right away, but it does happen over time.
Right side response: I am aware I feel a bit anxious. I am going to connect to my feelings of care, love and kindness toward myself and toward my partner. I want to avoid this moment but I understand that in the long run that will cause more problems. I will take time alone to create a loving message that expresses my experience and my needs vs. telling my partner that he/she is wrong. I will make a request for what I want. I will hear my partner out and adjust any positions I may have after listening to him/her. I will ask for this talk in advance so I don’t blindside my partner. I will remember that my ultimate goal is to create connection and love.
If you truly love the person you have a problem with, being loving is your authentic response.
From the left side of the game board most people don’t know how to be loving. Coming from safety and survival makes us more concerned with being right vs. wrong, good vs. bad, finding someone to blame vs. solving the issue.
Authenticity from the heart removes all these defeating black and white responses.
So, how do you get to the right side of the Game Board? Moving from the left side to the right side is a physiological shift. You can’t do it in your head.
It takes self-awareness to know you have been thrown to the left side.
It takes really wanting it to make the effort to shift your body, mind and heart back to the right side.
It takes time, awareness and commitment to identify and know the values of your heart that are on the right side and live from them.
A rock-solid commitment to the right side of the game board IS the foundation of living authentically from the heart in as many moments of your life as possible.
Let’s face it, if you are feeling fear (for whatever reason) it will not be easy to go for your dreams, to act with courage and be who you really are. Fear crushes dreams every time. Fear causes us to compromise. Since the compromises are tiny, moment to moment we think it is not a big deal. But overtime, a life lived more on the left side means one day you will wake up and notice you are filled with resentment or grief over the accumulation of little compromises you have made to keep yourself “safe”.
Here is an example of what might be considered a “little” thing.
A friend asks you to go out to dinner on a work night. You are tired. You want to say “no”. As you think about saying “no” you immediately experience a feeling of guilt. The guilt is that smoke alarm going off. The “no” triggered the feeling of guilt, an alarm sending you a warning based on past threats. If you don’t understand that, you won’t “shut it off and check things out.” You will say yes to your friend because you have to; it is the survival program from childhood.
Your job is to turn off the alarm and then see if there really is a problem.
Let’s say you do shut the alarm off and you see there really is no problem. You know it’s OK to say no. As you begin to decline the invitation your body might pull the alarm even harder. It thinks you are about to make a dangerous decision. If you have tools that help you shift your physiology and anchor into the values of your heart you will be able to override the alarm and respond authentically.
Will it be easy? Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Responding authentically takes courage.
The emotions on the left side and all the stories we have attached to them cause us to fear we will be abandoned if we tell the truth, we will be rejected if we raise an issue that is in conflict, that the boss won’t think you are “nice” if you ask for a raise or maybe think you are “selfish” and “want too much.” These are the natures of our alarms and we give up our authenticity to avoid these false problems.
The solution is wholeness in the heart. It is gaining strength from the right side of the game board. It is choosing our resources wisely. It is shifting our physiology out of survival mode into conscious authenticity from the heart.
This is not an “always happy airy-fairy place.” Sometimes living authentically from the heart requires us to make very hard choices. Yet we live more easily with those choices because we made them from the heart.
This is what Clear Directions is all about. The “direction” is authenticity.
Living an authentically inspired life from the heart begins with the Game Board, self-awareness and knowing your own heart. It begins with a commitment to Truth and Kindness. It is a commitment to be who you really are vs. be who people want you to be so you can feel safe.
All of this is the foundation, the jumping off point. I can help you create this foundation. Once you do, I will show you how to use it to transform even the most challenging situations in your life, or to create the most wonderful experiences in your life. This is what it means to be at choice and to live powerfully from the heart.
Do you want to learn how to make the physiological shift from the left side of the Game Board to the right? Watch this video.