YOUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Each of us has an internal way of organizing thoughts about and reactions to both external and internal events. For example: Your supervisor comes to your office and you think: what does she want now? Or I can tell by the look on his face that there is a problem, what did I do wrong?
As a result of our thoughts, there is a physical reaction that corresponds to those thoughts: anxieties, anger, joy. There is debate over which comes first, the thought or the physical response. They both happen so quickly it’s difficult to tell, and sometimes it may be a physical reaction first, with thoughts that follow, and at other times the thoughts come first.
While life goes on around us, there is a constant stream of internal chatter that has it’s own agenda. Sometimes our internal world is monitoring, evaluating and commenting on external events. Sometimes our internal world ignores external events to focus on our internal world. Both are real, and both exist together yet separate from each other.
This model offers one way of organizing the internal world of thoughts and feelings with the external world. It helps us understand that while we have thoughts and feelings, they are not in-charge. You are. You are the chairperson of your board of directors. Each of your thoughts and feelings serve the higher good, and are doing their job, the task they have been assigned to help you fulfill your goals.
LIST OF CHARACTERS:
You: The part of you that is forever. This you stands above your thoughts and feelings. This part takes in information, processes it, compares the current thought/feeling with past (and future) experiences and arrives at decisions about how you will react. This part is connected with God, the Dream Giver, and is aware that anything is possible if you have the resources, courage, and perseverance to achieve.
Your chief of staff (COS): This part carries out your orders and makes things happen. The purpose of this part is to serve your higher good, but often we inadvertently give our COS assignments that are not in our best interests. Our COS will carryout our wishes, but needs to understand clearly what those wishes are.
First Responders: First on the scene of any emergency – real or imagined (and internally, they are both the same). Work under the direction of the COS, and respond to the immediate crisis. Always on duty, always on alert. Have been known to over-react, and sometimes have been asleep at the switch.
Consultants: Decision shapers. Consultants have two aspects: Dark and Light (not positive and negative although they are often thought of in that way)
The Child: Loves discovery and adventure. Loves to learn, is open to new experiences. Loving and trusting. OR angry, petulant, demanding, irrational
The Victim: The one who is powerless (one who reacts) to stop events from happening OR the part that takes charge (one who takes action) to become a survivor.
The Prostitute: The one who gives what they have to give for a price. We all have a price. What is yours?
The Saboteur: The part that undermines our efforts, often in subtle ways. Uses rationalizations, minimizing, projection, blaming, and other tools of the saboteur’s trade. OR The part that helps us recognize the consequences of a proposed action so that we can modify our response.
There are other critters who play a part:
Monsters: hide under the bed and promise to eat you. They are only there at night, and disappear during the light of day.
Dragons: Sleep on treasure. You want the treasure, you can have it, just be careful to not wake the dragon!
Gremlins: Nasty critters that mess with your plans anyway they can, at any time, and usually when you least expect it. Their favorite gambit is to get you to argue with them. The more you argue, the stronger they become. Carol Jung stated: What you resist persists. To defeat a gremlin takes the skill of Wu Wei (fighting by not being there).
The Board of Directors: Some call these thought and feeling patterns your internal family (reference). You may feel free to identify them in any way that makes sense to you. The concept is that each “character” i.e., anxiety, fear, courage; has its own way of reacting to any situation. Anxiety reacts by “feeling” anxious – tightness in the stomach, high, shallow breathing, highly alert to threat; and its own thoughts: what did I do? What’s going on? I can’t stand this. Anxiety always reacts to situations, especially new or unexpected ones, with anxiety. Fear always reacts with fear, anger with anger, and so on.
From the examples above, it would be easy to identify them as the bad or negative emotions. But that would be inaccurate, and more importantly, unhelpful. They are doing their job and reacting as they have been instructed. Neither good, nor bad, just “are”. Other characters *thoughts, feelings, physical responses) could be called good: courage, patience, joy, love, acceptance. But they also just “are” and have both a dark side and a light side. For example, guilt and shame are often attached to not doing something that someone, or some part of our past has termed good – a good daughter always visits her mother for dinner on Sunday. Ah, the trap has been laid, and both parties can become ensnared.
So, here is a view of the Board:
Forever You-the Chair Chief of Staff – Responsible for Intention, Consultants, Critters & Consequences
First Responders: Respond to disturbances in the Force
Gratitude BOARD OF Anxiety
Appreciation DIRECTORS* Anger
Serenity Adventure Courage Curiosity
*The participating audience: Judgments and beliefs : Guilt, shame, doubt; Hope, Joy, Purpose and many others.
Each board is similar but unique. The cast of characters active in your current board may be different from the example board above. You may want to add, change or modify your board to fit your past, current or future situation. It’s your Board. Who do you want to include to serve your highest good?
Some thoughts to keep in mind:
Carl Jung: That which we resist persists
Choose the light (positive) thoughts and feelings but respect and accept the shadow (dark).
Be aware of the words you use both internally and externally. You are what you think as well as what you say.
Acknowledge others. Appreciate yourself just as you are today.
Marianne Williamson: It is not our darkness that frightens us, but out light
The love you get is 10 times the love you give. So give love away!
The worry you get is 10 times the worry you give. Keep that out of mind!