Posted by: wellness training services | October 7, 2012

A framework for a balanced life – Part 2

A framework for a balanced life – Part 2

By asking timeline questions, you can sort out internal data that has always been available to you, but which you have not methodically and consciously thought through before and did not access. When working to sort through a problem and set a goal, it is useful to use masking tape on the floor to create three boxes representing the past, the present, and the future. With each perspective, step into the appropriate box. This helps trigger the mind to come up with information to explore.

When we sort through data to review a problem, we study the cognitive structures of the experience. This allows us to see our process without the feelings of failure. The concept of failure has to do with the beliefs we hold about our ability. In this process, as in life, there is no failure, only feedback.

It is important to get to the root of a problem to understand fully all the associated issues. For example, we may ask, “What stops you from achieving the goal weight of 118 pounds?” Your answer might be, “The fun and pleasure of the food and drink at the immediate moment takes over from my future dream of an ideal weight.”

The present is more immediate fun than the idea of a future abstract outcome. Now we are getting closer to the source of the problem. This information expands the problem area and we need to ask more questions, such as, “What is fun and pleasurable in the immediate moment versus the future desire or outcome?” The answer might be, “When I’m with people who love to eat and drink, I am stimulated to eat and drink with them. In order for me to eat and drink less, I would have to be with people who are eating and drinking less.”

These questions and answers provide insight into how we relate to the challenge of achieving our future outcome. If the people around us stimulate us, then the problem is not just the eating patterns but also the association with others and our need to stay connected with them in a stimulating way.

This is an example of using feedback to sort out the experience of the problem and become more conscious of associated issues that influence the situation keeping us stuck. Since a problem is the gap between the current reality and the desired outcome or goal, the problem creates a feeling of tension within us. This tension to achieve the goal motivates us to continue to search for ways to eliminate the problem so the tension will go away. When striving to achieve our goals, we need to look for evidence that we are moving toward our outcome. The evidence needs to be tangible and reliable, which means it must be sensate-based. Someone else should be able to see it, touch it, smell it, hear it, or taste it.

Problem-solving processes appear to fail if we have not explored deeply enough into the problem. To look further requires more questions. For example, we might ask,

“What would be in the way of achieving the outcome you are after? Who else might be affected by your goal? How will they be affected?” The answer might be, “My husband enjoys eating and drinking, and we often reward ourselves with food and drink. Also, when we are stressed, we comfort ourselves by going out for a nice dinner. We would have to seriously change our patterns if I want to weigh less.”

It appears that the problem area of food and drink provides a strong emotional connection to people, especially to the husband. In order to get closer to the goal, new resources are needed. A resource is something that is not currently used but could be employed to help move from the present reality to the future goal.

We could ask, “What resources would assist you in achieving your weight-loss goal?” The answer might be, “Drinking a low-calorie protein drink when hungry to avoid eating fat-producing foods and getting more exercise on a regular basis.”

When ideas (AIR), actions (FIRE), and reactions (WATER) mix with practical matter (EARTH), things can look muddled. WATER tries to blend the ideas and the actions from above downward to EARTH. It does this to assist in the manifestation of the idea of AIR and to slow the speed and reduce the friction generated by FIRE. This helps to stop things from burning up or burning out before the results are evident and the idea is in a tangible form. By slowing the process down, assimilation of the idea into practical matter begins to take shape.

The first set of tools, then, has to do with developing our self-awareness. The next sets of tools take us into developing a focused approach to goal-setting and an understanding of where our imbalances originate. Now that we have identified and clarified what these imbalances might be, we can see how they affect us and provide some suggestions to reestablish balance.

Stay awake, aware, and alert and strive to lead a well-tempered life – a life that possesses both hardiness and flexibility.  The good news is that once you are awake, it’s hard to go to sleep again, but if you do, do it on purpose and prepare yourself for the consequences.

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