Posted by: wellness training services | October 17, 2012

Elemental Personality Theory – Part 5: The earth element cont.

Elemental Personality Theory – Part 5: The earth element cont.

The Critic is designed and intends to protect us, but sometimes it overprotects us and prevents us from moving forward. In managing the Critic, we can address obstacles and turn them into action items; or, perhaps we simply need to honor its voice and slow down our process until we are stronger, more ready, have more resources, or whatever. There may be an inner ecological necessity for holding back. Explore and challenge the Critic. Flush it out. What is it trying to say? Pay attention.

We honor the Critic by hearing and respecting its voice, and in so doing it helps us in furthering our AIR-Dreamer work. Now the Critic is at the level of our consciousness, and having it there will give us power and energy to move forward. The Critic is to be valued: Its purpose always has been and is to protect us.

POST-IT NOTES

Keep working with the Critic in you and allow yourself to ride the waves it shares. Make a post-it note for each “voice” about why you cannot live/achieve your dream/goal. You may end up with ten or twenty post-it notes to stick on a wall or a flipchart to review and arrange into groups—very likely you will find they are easy to place into three or four general categories. Arrange the post-it notes by categories, then label each category with a post-it note.

As we explore our beliefs around why we cannot live/achieve our dream/goal, we can pinpoint the obstacles that will confront us on our journey and turn these obstacles into steppingstones. Here is an example of the obstacles flushed out by someone we will call “Elaine”.

1. Who do you think you are?

2. We don’t draw attention to ourselves.

3. We suffer; that’s more our style.

4. You’re such a “goodie-two-shoes” immature and unsophisticated person.

5. What will everyone say when you fail?

Two main obstacles that Elaine identified centered on “judgments of others” and “you can’t call it work if you’re not suffering.” These internal voices, designed to serve Elaine in some way, came mainly from her mother and her grandmother, both of whom she said loved her in their way. These were internal programs she carried around within herself that were now outdated, but still driving her life and her choices, and ultimately her results.

Elaine actually is a mature, sophisticated woman who knows herself, but she needed to reprogram herself to learn that failure is nothing but feedback. In guiding her through further exploration of the Critic in her and its voices, her fears around failure diminished.

We started with the questions:

Failure according to whom?

Failure according to what?

As we worked, Elaine began to understand the Critic in her and from whom and where its voices came. With this greater awareness, she recognized that she had the opportunity to make a more conscious choice about who was running her life. She could take charge of her own life and find ways to alter the internal programs she carried around within herself. She began to realize that she was the main player in the show and drama of her life and that everyone else was just a bit player. She began to learn that she could develop her own personal voice and speak about what was important to her.

We want to use to our advantage the Critic in us and the gift of EARTH’s detailed approach, which strives to conserve energy and protect us by not undertaking unnecessary actions before first getting all of the detailed information required. Now that we have more information, we can start to create some action items, turning obstacles into steppingstones.

It is the FIRE-Realist (Social-Mental) in us that turns obstacles into steppingstones and ultimately into action items. The FIRE-Realist does not see obstacles; it sees only actions and steps to take. If, for example, I were to decide that I will swim to lose weight, the EARTH-Critic in me might say: “You can’t go swimming; you don’t even own a bathing suit!” The FIRE-Realist in me would simply encourage me to beg, borrow, or steal a bathing suit if I need one.

Here is how the FIRE-Realist in Elaine responded to her obstacles once they were surfaced:

 

1. Who do you think you are?

FIRE-Realist: You’ll find out who you are as you move in the direction of your dream/goal.

  • P/T studies
  • Exercise – swimming 2x / week; go with neighbor
  • Rebounding – 2x / day @ 2 min
  • Circulatory mat work – 2x / day @ 2 min
  • Walk lake road and commune with nature – 3x / wk

 

2. We don’t draw attention to ourselves.

FIRE-Realist: Look for ways to draw attention to yourself so that you can develop greater confidence along the way.

  • Do more in-class presentations
  • Speak own mind in discussions

 

3. We suffer; that’s more our style.

FIRE-Realist: When you suffer, use that as feedback that it is time to please and enjoy yourself. We were put on this planet to increase and enliven happiness and joy. Suffering feelings are indicators that you need to find ways to experience happiness and joy.

  • Take more time for reading
  • Give self permission to have fun—re-create in your adult mind that your mother and grandmother give you their permission and also wish they had done so for themselves
  • Take more walks in nature

 

4. You’re such a “goodie-two-shoes” immature and unsophisticated person.

FIRE-Realist: Thank you for sharing.

 

5. What will everyone say when you fail?

FIRE-Realist: There is no such thing as failure, only feedback. Others can think and say what they like as that is their process; yours is to live your life through your own intentions.

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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