We all fall out of balance some times. Sometimes it is easy to find peace with our children, our spouse, our job. Other times, not so much. Yesterday, I was having coffee with a student who has been learning from a psychiatrist, Dan Siegel. Dr. Siegel believes that “mindsight is the ability to observe your mind through meditation, creating neural connections that integrate different parts of the brain. Through the exercise of mindsight, we can have a direct part in increasing our well-being.” My friend shared a visual image with me. This image stayed with me all day and held a mirror up to my actions. It allowed me to see what happens so clearly when I fall out of balance. I thought I might share with you.
First, we have needs that must be met in our lives and brains:
1. Horizontal Integration – between left and right brains
2. Vertical Integration – from head to toe
3. Memory Integration – implicit to explicit
4. Narrative Integration – making sense of the past
5. State Integration – moving beyond habitual patterns and denial
6. Interpersonal Integration – achieving true connection
7. Temporal Integration – living with uncertainty
8. Mindsight and Freedom – unresolved trauma or loss of identity
He says if these needs are met, we live in a “River of Integration”. This river flows, we are in it and we are able to live in harmony. When these things fall out of balance, we turn to either chaos or rigidity. Some of us fall to chaos, severing relationships, not able to get out of bed, doing things we know are not good for us. Some of us fall to extreme order, clinging and control. Things need to be exactly as we want them to be. The visual my friend drew for me was a river, on one side was chaos and on the other, rigidity.
Now when I feel myself needing to control, clean like crazy, or throw all of the “clutter” away, I hope I can stop, hold a mirror to my behavior, and use this as a signal that I am out of balance. Maybe then I can use my yoga and I can breathe my way back to the river.