Embodied Cognition – Inertia and Vibrancy
5th May, 2017
Do you know what happens in your body when you make a decision?
Random question huh? But an important one – since our lives are a series of decisions and how we go about choosing makes a big difference to the way we express ourselves within the world.
The term interoception refers to our ability to tune into some of our internal life sustaining / regulating mechanisms.
Heart rhythm, breath and digestion for example are processes that happen (in the main) in the background whilst we go on about our daily life. They only really come into our conscious attention when something significant changes… for example we get hungry or we exercise and our heart rate and breath patterns change to keep up with the exertion…
It is curious therefore that at times when we are making significant decisions our nervous system provides signals, such as “butterflies in the stomach” or our “heart fluttering” with excitement, perhaps we get a headache or feel sick at the thought of something…
Odd isn’t it that a thought is often accompanied by very real visceral qualities… even more intriguing when we consider that the physical feeling often precedes conscious thought!
I’ve noticed coaching clients holding their breath when asked a highly challenging / provocative question or gulping at the very thought of taking action, getting sweaty palms or a dry mouth, fidgeting with nervous energy.
Terms like “you can feel the tension when you walk in the room” are often more a reflection of our ability to pick up on chemical signals than visual / auditory cues… evidence of the deeper structures of our nervous system in play.
There are so many signals our nervous system provides when processing our thoughts and if we remain unaware of these or choose to not acknowledge them we are stumbling in the dark when it comes to the options we choose.
Littoral Wisdom practices such as: mBraining techniques, NLP and Freediving exercises, Yoga and Meditation practices and Blue-breath routines… can all contribute to becoming more than “mindful”… they can enable us to truly acknowledge our distributed wisdom – individually and collectively.
Learning to gain access to “what our body thinks” provides new ways to make decisions and we can take conscious action to reduce noise on the line! We begin to really pay attention. Waking up to a more embodied cognition can truly transform the way we approach our lives and work encouraging us to engage in more deeply meaningful pursuits.
In addition we can notice disconnected decision-making within others and therefore adapt our communication to invite them to make choices that are aligned and coherent for themselves too.
Observing “vibrancy and lethargy” within yourself and others when it comes to decision making can be a great start…
Locate within you where inertia lies and ask what might this signal in terms of awareness or alignment requirements.
Take a moment to sit and breathe in a balanced and effortless way…
Think about the last time you made a great decision…
- How did you truly know within you that the choice was the right one for you?
- How did you problem solve and how freely did ideas come?
- What role did you sense yourself taking deep within the very core of you to enable you to move forwards?
- How conscious were you of your wider environment and other people?
- How connected were you with a greater good and how expansive was your sense of collective and progressive impact?
- How relevant was time within your decision-making?
Now do the same for a decision that was not so wise…
- Were you aware of any signals from heart, head, gut or wider nervous system?
- Did you acknowledge and address the signals you gained and question what they might mean?
- How wisely were you using your nervous system to let you know the best course of action?
- Were you breathing well?
- Consider pace and space – how, if at all, did you allow time and location to impact your thinking?
Decision science is personal…
The way we make choices is so much more “littoral and fluid” than simple risk mitigation and benefit analysis models… Intuition plays a significant role in the choices that really matter when it comes to *successful living*.
The more we can learn about the way we intuit, the greater our ability to feel joyful ownership of the choices we make…
It may very well be a world filled with non-certainty… and yet these are times when we have more choice, personal autonomy and collective responsibility than we ever have done – and that is a privilege to be celebrated…
Science is only beginning to uncover the mysteries of this amazing nervous system we have each been given, so lets begin to learn how to navigate it!
Do you want to know more about your body’s ability to ‘know”?
- LITTORAL WISDOM COACHING can help you gain and retain coherence – get in touch!
Perhaps you lead a team and wish to work with them to discover and learn new techniques that will transform your collective thinking?
- LDM-BLUE is a 2 Day Leadership Decision Making mBIT / Going Coastal Programme – to develop mBraining techniques blended with Neuro-Conservation for Cultural and Environmental Coherence within your business and professional field – get ahead of the curve and book a sykpe call.
*Successful living is defined here broadly as “winning at life” expressing yourself fully, acting with compassion, curiosity and creativity… and encouraging this within others. Taking action to foster healthy relationships and preserve the planet, being of service such that the world is a better place with you in it. Success does not exclude yet is not defined here as material wealth.