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2020 Vision - Tapping into the 3 Brains

Happy New Year and New Decade, friends!

I make a habit, each year, of personal visioning, taking time to pause and reflect on what matters most. I lead clients, individuals and teams, through visioning exercises that include journaling, drawing, vision-boarding, brainstorming, reflection and discussion.

But this time around, I’ve put a new spin on the process:  Embodied Visioning - from the head to the heart to the feet, literally.

When I booked my New Year’s trip to Southwest Louisiana, Cajun Country, I had no idea I was embarking on this embodied journey of discovery.

I simply wanted (and needed) a getaway down on The Bayou filled with music and dance.

But by Day 3, at the infamous Breaux Bridge Zydeco Breakfast, two-stepping to the lively rhythms of Geno Delaphose & French Rockin' Boogie, and it hit me: THIS is what I want for myself in 2020!

I couldn’t have put my vision into words at that moment – I was too busy zydecoing and waltzing around the dance floor, sweat dripping down my back, the accordion pulsing in my chest – to stop and think. And I wouldn’t have a minute to think all day – Geno was just the first of five dance events lined up for that Saturday.

I was delirious by the time I arrived home, the night capped off with Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble at The Blue Moon. As I lay down, in the quiet of my Airbnb room, I felt my body vibrating with exhaustion and joy.

Sometimes our visions are not available through the normal channels – at the desk, solution-ing and resolution-ing. We may need to move our bodies in order to tap into them.

Believe me, as a Myers-Briggs Intuitive-Thinker – a systems analyst by training and trade – I am huge proponent of the rational mind.  But what I’m coming to find is just how limiting the mind can be. When we are so head-focused, we miss out on what the heart and gut have to tell us.

Neuroscientists refer to the three brains. (MacLean, Paul D. (1990). The triune brain in evolution: role in paleocerebral functions.) Each is responsible for a different function and can be mapped to a different bodily energy center.

•    The head – observes and analyzes the world – Neocortex (rationality) •    The heart – reaches out to the world – Limbic (emotions) •    The gut – directly engages the world – Basal Ganglia (instincts)

If we want access to our breadth of creative energy, we’ve got to be aware of and stimulate all of these vital areas.

My experience on the dance floor, limbs moving, blood pumping, gave me access to my direct, primal experience. I felt open, joyful, and receptive; the feelings stayed with me as I headed back to Washington. Then I took the time – as I am doing now – to journal about the experience – translating the visceral into thoughts and ideas.

And, importantly, I’ve set the clear intention to have more zydeco joy in my life in 2020 and beyond.

Of course, I cannot be on the dance floor every day. I have to earn a living and keep my house in order.

So here’s my challenge and opportunity: to find joy in everything – in doing the dishes and working with challenging clients and riding the crowded Metro and writing this blog post.

And to go dancing as often as possible!

How about you? Consider these reflection questions and set your intentions for a embodied year!

Reflection Questions:  Your Embodied Vision

  • What energetic activities help you tap into your direct/primal experience?  Do you run, swim, play ping-pong, hike, walk, sing, make art, do yoga?

  • What feelings, impressions, inspirations come up when you get in that groove?Take time to journal/reflect on the experience.

  • What is possible or what would you to create for your work and/or life in 2020?


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