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engaging Positive Intelligence… Here Come the Judge!!

by | Jul 27, 2020 | engage, Eric Clapton, Positive Intelligence

engaging Positive Intelligence…

Like everyone, I have had a bit more time at home lately, and have been putting that into learning.  I am just starting a new program called Positive Intelligence, which claims to put together research about The Brain, Positive and Jungian Psychology with the premise that we have mostly been treating symptoms.  The claim is to get at the foundational elements in our psyche and help us start the journey of lasting change.  And as I have mentioned before, I learn best when teaching others – by having to put it into my own words, my own framework, this could actually be a good way to see if I understand it.  There are 10 Saboteurs, and 5 Voices of the Sage – 15… so that would be 2 weeks of posts.  I needed someone who has a deep and diverse catalog… which was easy – Eric Clapton.  And it all came together as the snake slithered by my foot… 

… exercising for your Mental Fitness 

… your brain is organized into different areas, and for today I want to focus on the prefrontal cortex – your thinking brain – probably where you mostly were… until I mentioned the snake 😉  It is where rational thoughts occur, where you can puzzle through concepts, and make good decisions.  The other area where I want to focus is your brain stem and amygdala which controls your “automatic” functions like breathing, heart beating, and motor control.  And probably where you went when I used the word “snake” in that sentence.  Like all of my best stories, I was weeding – and was tired so I was moving slowly… and quietly.  Trimming the overgrowth from a lush spring I was enjoying music at a very loud volume in my headphones and happened to look down as a large diamond shape went just past my left foot.  No problem – probably nothing… followed by a larger rattle (with 12 segements)… yep – now I am for sure NOT in my rational brain!

And you would probably be surprised how often that exact thing happens… without the snake.  You are in a meeting and someone challenges your assumptions, or even just THINKING about being in the meeting – yep the animal is on the loose.  And before you know it, your rational brain is taking orders from the animal, which, by the way, will make up data and facts, selecting patterns that have “worked” in the past – where “worked” is a well-worn pattern… not necessarily good or helpful, just the “same”.  Much of my work is helping people start to slow down the animal, and bring back another perspective.  Recently I had a leader who was going into a meeting with his boss and was very anxious so I asked “imagine coming out of a meeting that went well, what happened?”.  The response – “I can’t ever remember that happening – ever”.  

The Master Saboteur we all have – The Judge!!!

The First Saboteur is one we all have and is the Master: The Judge (queue Here Come the Judge for my age group).  It has 3 targets.  Lastly it focuses on your surroundings – This is really not what you deserve, This is really not working for “you”, “If only”.  In the middle, it focuses on others “wow I am SO glad I am not THEM, I am SO much better than they are”.  But that is all after it starts where it usually impacts the most: What is wrong with ME?  I am not enough, I am stupid, I am never going to make this work, I can’t.  The voice may sound like others from your past – parents, spouses, others… but by now it has become fully yours… When triggered, it takes control of all of you, flooding your bloodstream with adrenaline which is helpful with tigers… and snakes. 

What can we learn from Eric…

Interestingly, when you dig into Eric’s background, as shown so painfully in the documentary Life in 12 Bars, his Master Judge Saboteur was what got him into guitar in the first place.  Born to a teen mother, he was raised to believe his mother was his sister… and when he was 9 he found out the truth.  He was of the right age to fall into love with guitar along with every other kid in Britain.  His first guitar was very hard to play, cooling him to it, but eventually, in art school, he played a better one and started to get very good.  His mother eventually married, and Eric was visiting for a holiday, and her husband started picking on Eric and how he would never amount to anything, how playing the guitar was just a waste of time, and eventually “accidentally” sat on his guitar… queue the Judge and his soundtrack of the events… 

… which is the dark part of the Judge – but there are positive outcomes.  It can drive you to become truly great just to improve your circumstances, prove it to others, and much, much harder, prove it to yourself.  Or in my case, this actually WAS a snake, and I needed to do something about it… which I did… followed by a very stiff drink – another soothing mechanism that quiets the Judge.  As we start out on this 2-week journey, if you would like to follow along, I would encourage you to take the assessments – Saboteur, and PQ Level.  And you might get prepared for 14 days of some of the greatest blues/rock ever played.  Today we see him in between The Yardbirds, and Cream – on the only Bluesbreakers album he played on… and one of the top Blues albums on almost every list.  Called the Beano album for the comic that Eric is reading, a good start for our journey – and a reminder for the Judge – It Ain’t Alright…

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