On today’s episode, Tim and Sharon explore the relationship between congruence and the Self, what is also described as “I am.” We discussed how the connection to Self can be an important grounding space from which to process and integrate one’s experience. The space of congruence entails thing such as calm, curious, acceptance, love and compassion.
1:15 Sharon discusses the spirit as “I AM” and a recent experience that helped her understand “I am” separate from particular roles, adjectives, nouns or functions at a moment in time. Congruence is being in that place of “I am” without characterizations, expectations, and hooks. A person can say “ I am experiencing depression and this depression is not who I am” This space between person and experience and being in the place of life, I am , Self we are connected and grounded in the present moment.
4:50 Emotions can become the whole experience and overtake the experience of the Self. The emotions and reactions then become the filter for the behavior that comes in relationship to the outside world. Mindfulness is the practice of creating a detachment from particular thoughts and feelings and not identifying with them.
7:30 Congruence is behaving and expressing yourself from the secure base of your dignity and worth. Congruence grows from the connection to “I AM”.
9:00 Sharon will ask people how they are relating/feeling towards their feelings and parts and other people. When people have an opportunity to look at their experience and to say what they observe they are creating distance from the part/feeling. Expressing it from the place from Self means there is now a space from the experience. The energy of this process is calm, curious acceptance, love and compassionate. When a person shifts out of survival stance into congruence their body posture, tone, eyes, changes and they can express themselves differently.
11:23 Health is the integration and synthesis of experiences which is done with the energy from the core of the human being, the Self or I AM. Sharon invites people to be in space of caring and love in relationship to their experience.
13:00 Emotional experiences or reactions need to be taken care of and disavowing and rejecting them is not a sufficient way of integrating these patterns into our lives. We can look at behaviours as entirely negative, but being able to connect to the intention and life in a particular emotion or reaction enables us to understand and honour the need that is beneath the negative behaviour.
16:30 Congruence being willing to deal honestly and truthfully with the messiness of life. Congruence has a lot to do with conscious choice.
17:15 According to Dr. Dan Seigal, in order to integrate you need to differentiate and link. We discuss what these words mean. The process of differentiating an emotion also requires linking that emotion to the whole person.
19:00 Dr. Dan Siegal use of differentiation and linkage is similar to Dr. Jean Piaget’s concept of assimilation and accommodation. Assimilation is that which we experience which we can attribute as the similar to our existing knowledge, abilities, experience and understanding. Accommodating is when our experiences push the boundaries of our knowledge, abilities, experience. The ground of this dialect between assimilation and accommodation needs to be based in the foundation of Self-connection. Having the five freedoms empower us to process and integrate our life experiences particularly the challenging ones.
23:00 “Always” and “Never” or all or nothing thinking is an indication that we are not in the energy of congruence. These represent parts of ourselves. Parts can be thought of adaptations of living. Virginia would often ask and challenge people to check the limits of what they think should happen.
27:00 Being connected to our Self we can hear more clearly our deepest wishes and yearnings. The five freedoms enable us to look at the difficult experiences and then to go deeper to discover our deeper yearnings.
Sharon shares that feeling her feelings of sorrow of anger in relation to aging enables her to move through the emotions and acceptance.
29:10 The five freedoms might also be thought of five choices. The freedom to choose to see/hear, freedom to choose to feel, the freedom to choose to say what I feel/see/hear, the freedom to choose to ask, the freedom to choose to take a risk.
30:50 Life is handing us pieces of a puzzle and what we do with the pieces our integration of those experiences help grow our wisdom.
32:30 we slow down our conversation to check in with our own connection to congruence. Tim describes feeling energized and appreciative. Sharon shares her appreciation for life given her health challenges with cancer. She talks about the gift of having connections and that the surgeries have helped her experience each day as a gift.
She describes the importance of learning to be more loving and connected to yourself and to others.
37:00 We experience happiness and joy in moments of calm, and we experience tremendous growth and expansion in moments of pain and suffering.