FROM THE SWAMP TO THE MEADOW: LEFT BRAIN, RIGHT BRAIN FUSION
In most educational activities the focus is on learning how to do something effectively and elegantly and then encouraging the practice of behaviors, holding the thoughts and emotions that delivers success. In the self-improvement, mental health arena, we are presented with an apparently different task. People, who are survivors of life experiences and trauma, and competent and successful in their lives, present themselves to a healing consultant with a problem, or set of problems that has them feeling bewildered, overwhelmed, helpless. The intention of counseling is to help the client identify and then change behaviors, thoughts, feelings that have not worked with the hope that new behaviors, thoughts, emotions will be generated and these will work more effectively. The focus of most counseling practice is on what is not working. There is a hope that the person will learn how they can get from here to a better there with some guidance. Traditionally many “why” type questions are asked with answers that have defied explanation. It can take months or years of exploration to arrive at a workable answer with the final question remaining: now that you know why something happened, what are you going to do about it, when are you going to do it, how are you going to go about doing it. The real work is yet to begin. Knowing why can be helpful, but usually exists in a past that is no longer the present. Problems also present with one point of view, and this view is remembered with memory that is selective and not very accurate.
The swamp to the meadow is a straight forward tool that helps present a map of the territory for getting from here to there. It asks the basic question, “ if you want to be here (termed the meadow) why do you continue to practice thoughts, feelings, behaviors that leave you there (termed the swamp)? “
One way to present this dilemma is the proposed, “I need to change my behavior, but I can’t change my behavior as long as I keep thinking certain thoughts, caused by certain beliefs. Beliefs that I believe to be true when they’re not, but I think they are. Because of my beliefs I have certain feelings/emotions that creates a disconnect between the part of my brain that thinks logically and defines problems, searches for answers and reaches conclusions that are rational vs the part of my brain/mind that is beholden to a whole other reality or set of realities that resonates to vibrations with different, non-verbal language, different perspectives and different rules. If the two sides aren’t congruent, then the result will be discord rather than resonance. And we’re stuck. In the Swamp.
A basic rule of human behavior is that “ Everyone in every situation does the best they can with the resources they have available.” If I look at that “rule”, and want to effect change, the only practical variable that can be impacted is the presence of resources.
Left brain, right brain fusion presents a graphic view of the presence of resources necessary to get out of your swamp into your meadow.