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Happy Holidays from Your Energy Healing Coach

Never before has the celebration of the return of the light been more important.  Conflicts abound in health, relationships, government, work-life balance, and inner peace.  Yet each of us has a gift that resides within that is meant to be shared to resolve disturbances that,  at first glance, may seem insurmountable.

holiday-gift-2016For several millennium, we have been shrouded under “the veil” of conformity under the guise of security and living up to expected roles for the greater good.  That tactic no longer holds.  The real solution is to embrace our authentic self, the gifts bestowed upon us, and to share our being among others with a strong interdependence, recognizing and valuing the unique traits in all of us.  As a whole, we have everything we need.  Sharing is the key to our success.

We are seeing the disintegration of many social constructs and norms.  This can be seen even among the traditional celebrations we hold at this sacred time of year.  The definition of family, religious rituals, and even the traditional foods we share have all been altered over the years as we evolve into a new way of being.  We, too, must each let go of the way things were, the way we were, in order to move forward creating the way we were meant to be, as one.

We have for generations, put our faith and trust in authorities outside of our self, trusting scholars, doctors, and ministers to manage our minds, bodies, and spirits.  This still works for some.  It is not working for many and it is certainly not working for the collective.  The problems we face seem too large to tackle and we look to others who we believe have better answers.  They do not.  The real solutions remain hidden while we wait, trapped in our own insecurities.

I tell you, we can no longer wait.  We each must wake up to our magnificence and then be brave enough to share it!  Peace on Earth will not come in the form of conformity nor the false sense of believing we know who others are and trust them because we can predict their behavioral patterns.  Peace will come when we each step into our full potential.  Many have come to our world to show us the way, the truth, and the light.  Teaching us to be unique and be one at the same time.  It was not easy or tranquil, but it was necessary.  It still is.  You and I are now among the way showers, change agents, and the paradoxical peace keepers.

This holiday season, take some time to reflect on your light.  What is your higher Self urging you to be, to do, and to share?  Who can you surround yourself with that will allow you to safely explore this part of you?  Can you be brave and share your gift to answer your calling?  It is our time to shine.  Each in our own way.  Be light, love, and take steps to share your beauty!

I look forward to supporting you in the ways that I am called to move ahead.  Many blessings to you this season and in the New Year.  Much love to you at this amazing time in our humanity.

Carolyn

Carolyn Dunow, RT, MAOL, Holistic Consultant and Energy Healing Coach

Carolyn@EnergyHealingCoach.com

 

Miraculously Achieving the Seemingly Impossible!

 

Copyright ©2016 Dunow Enterprise LLC all rights reserved.  Please request permissions by contacting Carolyn@DunowEnterprise.com

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello Dear Friends,

I hope you will be enjoying a wonderful holiday of thanks with your loved ones.  There is much to be thankful for and there is much to be done still to allow all to thrive being our most authentic divine self.  

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I am thankful for my incredible support system and the many who have helped me through the past few years!  I withdrew from my work, both in health care and in my healing practice, to answer a higher calling.  I am thankful that I will be publishing a book on my GMO (genetically modified foods) experiences soon.  I hope the ripple effect of this will allow us to share many healthy thanksgiving dinners in the future.  

With this monumental feat completed, I will be focusing on restarting my classes and workshops once again.  However, this time they will be conveniently available online!  This shift is in response to many requests from busy people and my foreign friends, as well as my own limitations from being exposed to GMOs.  I have spent the past three years teaching online courses at Concordia University in Health Care Leadership.  It has been a wonderful learning experience for me too.  I have mastered the art of online education and am in the process of transforming and updating my energy healing courses.    

I hope to be starting the new year with many of you!  I am thankful for all that I have learned from you in the past.  I hope we can continue to grow together!  I will offer workshops which will include inspiration, education, and tools to help you on your spiritual healing journey.  I will also be launching a certification course for energy healers.  This will be the first of several certification course offerings from advanced transformative healing and coaching to energetic leadership and I will also offer a communications course to help effectively share our healing experiences and wisdom with the world.  I am thrilled to be offering even more incredible insights that I have learned the past several years.  I hope you will be too!    

For now, enjoy the holidays!  Then let’s get ready to continue to heal and grow in accordance with our divine plan so that we can be strong influencers as our world continues to change.     

I’ll be in touch again soon.    

Much love to you and your families!   

Carolyn   

Carolyn Dunow, RT, MA OL, Holistic Health Consultant and Energy Healing Coach

Carolyn@EnergyHealingCoach.com

Miraculously Achieving the Seemingly Impossible

Copyright ©2016 Dunow Enterprise LLC all rights reserved.  Please request permissions by contacting Carolyn@DunowEnterprise.com

Spring into Our New World!

A few years back, while I was studying shamanism, it was foretold that we would be creating a new world.  I definitely see this happening.  It is even more pronounced this year.  Specifically, what was shared was that our thoughts and intentions would literally dream our ideas into existence.  Conversations in my healing circles also unveiled there would be no more fence-sitting.  People had to decide which side of the fence they wanted to be on.  I was not clear about what specific fences the intuitives were actually speaking of.  In the late 90’s and early turn of the century, we had problems of course, but we were not nearly as divided as we are now.  Those prophecies are indeed coming to fruition.  As a holistic practitioner, I am also not so sure being divided was or is in our best interests.  Politically, we are viciously fighting over polarizing values.  No one solution is going to satisfy both sides.  Yet I truly believe that both sides can be satisfied.  In our neighborhoods, we are shutting out those who are different from us.  Perhaps this is due to a sense of power or social hierarchy.  This is not the world I want to be in.  Truthfully, the most powerful are the ones who need no force and see the greater potential when we all come together without destructive competition.  This is what I wish to dream into existence.

Spring New World Copyright

Of course, we all have our unique perspectives and clearly different values.  There is a way to live and thrive together.  We have to overcome what has made us so rigid with intolerance.  Our rigid values and our perspectives are largely due to our past emotional traumas and what we have become conditioned to believe we need in order to cope.  I tend to see this in my work as an energy healing coach.  The more rigid, the deeper the emotional wound.  The two are directly linked.  Many times healing sessions feel more like hostage negotiations.  It is hard for those who are scared or even terrified to see that another way could be possible.  I would like to be on the side of the fence that is focused on being our best, whole, true, healed selves, individually and collectively.  That is going to take a different way to thinking and a different way of being.  I can attest it will be worth it.

There are many tools to aid our self-awareness for personal and professional growth.  The Enneagram is a phenomenal self-awareness tool for doing inner shadow work and understanding our relationships with others.  It helps to uncover the traits which are usually so obvious to others and so hidden from our own awareness. Introspection, self- awareness and open, honest discussions are always fruitful.  Some have a hard time reflecting inward and confronting shadows.  It seems easier to get others to change to protect and coddle painful emotional wounds.  This only causes more suffering for all.

It can be a little painful to admit we are vulnerable, have flaws, and maybe are even downright wrong on some issues.  But we must.  It actually is not as painful as one might imagine.  In the absence of actual information or experience, we tend to make up stories to fill in the gaps.  Those stories are usually not in our favor – or anyone else for that matter.  I can’t help but wonder if this phenomenon alone is what is contributing to our polarized conflicts today.  What stories are we making up about “others” or even ourselves and our sitatuations?  What are we afraid of that we feel we must protect ourselves from more expansive or even opposing truths?  How tied are we to the myths that we have been telling ourselves in order to have a fleeting and fabricated moment of content?

Spring is a time for new beginnings.  To plant the seeds that we will later harvest.  To bask in the brilliant colors of beautiful spring flowers that have been waiting so long to emerge.  Many will celebrate Easter, and the resurrection of the Christed One who has shown us a way to be loving and tolerant of others.  I find it curious that many Christians do not recognize that Easter Sunday falls on the first Sunday, after the first full moon, after the first day of Spring.  This most sacred Christian holiday was selected with a strong Pagan influence – a blending of polarized traditions and values.  It has been OK to come together on this.  It is OK to come together on many other issues too.  It is healthy to bask in each others beauty.

We need to lift the taboo of talking about religion and politics.  We need to be comfortable speaking about uncomfortable topics.  We need to be agreeable to disagree.  We need to be strong in our own sense of being so that another way of life will not be threatening.  Anything we learn from another can only enhance our sense of knowing or perhaps even encourage a desire to change for the better.  Change is always our choice.  We can only win from greater dialogue and a greater understanding of each other so that we can better understand our self.

Knowing that we are in a time of great change, and that change is going to take shape from our thoughts and actions, I think it is time we start coming together to find the best of all perspectives.  We each must be vigilant of the thoughts and ideas we are submitting, for each thought is like placing an order for what we would like to create in our world.  We can continue to live in fear-based reality, fighting with each other and fleeing from our true nature.  We can, however, choose to live in peace and find ways that all can thrive together.  There is absolutely no reason we all cannot enjoy this precious and amazing life on Earth to the fullest extent.  Let me challenge you to reflect on your thoughts and actions.  To take steps to live with even greater authentic contentment.  Then think of wild and amazing ideas of peace and harmony.  It is the only way to change our direction.  It is the only way to achieve our collective dreams.  Think BIG – all is possible right now!

Be well!

Until next week,

With love,

Carolyn Dunow, RT, MA, Holistic Health Consultant and Energy Healing Coach

Carolyn@SoulProprietor.co

Miraculously Achieving the Seemingly Impossible

Copyright ©2016 Dunow Enterprise LLC all rights reserved.  Please request permissions by contacting Carolyn@DunowEnterprise.com

References:

Riso, D.R. and Hudson, R. (1999). The wisdom of the Enneagram: The complete guide to psychological and spiritual growth for the nine personality types. New York: Bantam Books

Villoldo, A. (2008). Courageous dreaming: How shamans dream the world into being.  Carlsbad: Hay House, Inc.

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Even I admit we may not see a day when everyone is holding hands and singing Kumbaya in perfect harmony.  The key to making progress is understanding how perceptions are derived and acted on.  My research indicates that perceptions are central to emotional well-being, the many aspects of emotional intelligence, as well as leadership.  It has been fascinating to be in business, health care, and healing during the convergence of neurophysiology (how the brain works) and social science.  As a trained shaman, I will express my sentiments that it was an absolute travesty the two were ever separated.  Yes, the indigenous have known for a long time what science is just now discovering and re-integrating.  Holistic awareness and practices are vitally important to thriving societies.  In order to solve today’s complex problems not only do we have to think outside of the box, we have to connect many different boxes.  It starts by recognizing and honoring each individual.  As a team facilitator, I attribute the lack of productivity in group-dynamics to recognizing and understanding how we each perceive the problem and thus viable solutions.  If we understand how our brain interprets and processes situations through the science of neurophysiology, we can then take better steps to move forward with less resistance to change, individually and collectively, and work towards more sustainable decisions and the development of healthy social groups and compassionate communities.

Holding Hands

We each can first understand cognitive function to discover what shapes our choices and actions.  We all have our own perceptions and our own fears based on our unique experiences.  None of us will view the same situation in exactly the same way.  While we need to own our traits and perspectives, we do not have to be victim to them.  We can heal and transform them, which opens our ability to see greater possibilities.  I consistently find two foundational traits in people who can do this.  One, being able to reflect on the past and two, being able to admit we make mistakes.  Not everyone can do this difficult task of self-reflection, self-awareness, and confession.  We seem to be much better at forging forward with a vision of a different future while attempting to bury the shame of our past.  However, if we do not understand and correct the real underlying problems, we will continue to pursue ineffective solutions thereby making the world even more complicated.  When people continue to force forward momentum without these two foundational traits we end up where we are now, in a giant mess.  Combine this with a lack of stewardship and we have an unhealthy impact on people, ecology, and the economy.  No one wins.  We all have to turn around and look at our regrets, heal the emotional traumas that have resulted from our unconscious actions and move forward in a more holistic way.  “Being human” is no longer an excuse for poor behavior or a lack of compassion and stewardship.  We each need to take accountability for our thoughts and actions and hold others accountable for their thoughts and actions.  This gets really fun …and effective, when groups can pull this off in a loving and supporting way together!  It does happen!

When we are in a calm and peaceful state, we can reflect through rumination of the past and deduct the cause and effect through reasoning.  The part of the brain that is used for this cognitive process is the hippocampus.  Contrary, when we are in danger, even perceived danger, the amygdala takes over and limits our ability to perceive reality or explore vast choices.  In a true fear state, our reactions become completely automated.  When we experience anxiety, in a perceived fear state, we get caught between thinking with the hippocampus and reacting with the amygdala.  If we do not understand this, we let the tail wag the dog and poor choices are often made out of an automatic reaction.  If we do understand this physiologic process, we can work our way out of anxiety, get back to peace, and think things through more clearly to make better, more sustainable choices that everyone, at least those who are also thinking clearly, can support.  Fear-based decisions and fear-based followership leads to long-term trouble – every time.  Collaborative, transparent, and grass-roots solutions are far more sustainable.

Ladder of Inference DE

So how are bad decisions and actions formulated?  The amygdala is highly influenced by unhealed past emotional traumas.  Limited perceptions and projections of limitations are formulated during past negative experiences and influence current situations when they may not have any bearing with current reality.  The above diagram, influenced by Peter Senge’s Ladder of Inference, depicts the steps involved in cognitive thinking which informs our actions.  With every situation, we take in the information through our five senses.  Our brain stores the sights, sounds, smells, sensations, even tastes and relates them to the emotional events.  We then add meaning based on those sensations.  Bad events create a “bad” association with the historic experienced sensations.  Similarly, good events create “good” associations with other sensations.  This too, can provide a false sense of reality.  When we experience a combination of sensations in our current reality, we interject our interpretation of the past onto our current or anticipated experiences.  Through mindful awareness, we can instead make heart-centered decisions with compassion for ourselves as well as the others involved.  If the amygdala is in charge, we can be caught in a cycle perpetuating more and more limited beliefs.  Keep in mind that negative emotions have a much stronger influence than positive ones.  Therefore, the more we adopt beliefs from our unhealed emotional past, the more limited the scope of what constitutes a safe environment becomes.

Is it a wonder why we cannot find mutually beneficial solutions to our complex problems today.  If even one person on the team or within a group is adamant that a solution is not viable, the whole effort can be held back or completely thwarted.  To keep the superficial peace, solutions are often determined by accommodating the least emotionally disruptive common denominator.  These are not adequate long-term solutions.  They coddle to fear-based reality and actually perpetuate fear and greater turmoil.  Some leaders may prefer this because it is easier to push an agenda in a fear state.  Fear creates an opportunity for blind followership.  However, this does not result in viable sustainable long-term solutions.  Our culture has lost corporate executive loyalty and with it the prioritization of long-term solutions.  It is up to the grass roots and front lines to hold accountability.

The more effective approach is to hold each person accountable for healing the emotional upheavals that limit perspectives.  When this happens, proper debates can be deliberated to include a vast array of viable options.  Input can be solicited from all those who might be involved in the decision-making process.  Again, the more we understand how to heal emotional traumas, the opportunity to gain reasonable insights become more powerful.  The concern for soliciting disruptive fear-based antagonism is diminished.  Decisions can then be made based on peaceful cognitive analysis of both the short and long-term impact.  When a team can learn these processes together and support each other through loving, collaborative support, we all win.  Personally and collectively.

Be well!

Until next week,

With love,

Carolyn Dunow, RT, MA, Holistic Health Consultant and Energy Healing Coach

Carolyn@SoulProprietor.co

Miraculously Achieving the Seemingly Impossible!

Copyright ©2016 Dunow Enterprise LLC all rights reserved.  Please request permissions by contacting Carolyn@DunowEnterprise.com

 

References:

Catherall, D.R. (2003). How fear differs from anxiety. Traumatology, 9(2), 73-92.

Druskat, V. & Woff, S. (2001). Building the emotional intelligence of groups. Harvard Business Review, 79, 81-90.

Dunow, C. (2013). A pilot study to explore the results from learning a self-empowered energy healing technique as an emotional regulation tool intended to improve service industry leaders’ affect well-being and performance. Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership Theses. Paper 16. Retrieved from http://sophia.stkate.edu/maol_theses/16

Senge, P.M., Kleiner, A., Roberts, C., Ross, R.B., and Smith, B.J. (1994). The fifth discipline fieldbook. New York: Crown Publishing Group

Siegel, D. J. (2011). Mindsight: The new science of personal transformation. New York: Bantam Books.

Szyf, M., McGowan, P., Meaney M.J. (2008). The social environment and the epigenome. Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis, 49(1):46-60.

Villoldo, A. (2000). Shaman, Healer, Sage: how to heal yourself and others with the energy medicine of the Americas. New York, NY: Harmony.

Four Steps to Wholeness

When living in the essences we desire, the body relaxes and restores its energies naturally. Physical, mental, and emotional distress and some physiologic disease can disappear, and the cells within our body regenerate without remembering or regenerating the results of emotional traumas or stress.  Resiliency, vitality, and energy are easily generated.  We are able to adapt to the many challenges we face in our lives and stay strong. We accept ourselves for who we are.  We accept others for who they are, and the journey we are on together becomes much more pleasant.  If we adopt a learning attitude, life itself becomes forever intriguing.  We can also celebrate the gifts we all bring with less competition and judgment to achieve a worldwide sense of wholeness.

4Steps

I will share the four steps that I work on mastering and continue to use as a way of life.  These are in no way linear or isolated from each other.  If we understand them in a linear way, the complexity of life becomes a more manageable.  Emotions and energies are messy, just like life and relationships.  My four steps include healing emotions, balancing shadows, managing entanglement with others and answering true callings.  Grief aside, these can help get through all of life’s problems with grace and ease.  Grief is a process that is unique and must be processed in its own way.  When we learn to dance with these four actionable steps, we may find that we need less and can play more. We can then use our energies to create more beauty in our world.  I think when we collectively heal the greater negativity in our world we will experience one heck of a renaissance.  I cannot wait for all of us to play in that!

Love, peace, joy, bliss, and enlightenment are natural foundations of our being.  Yes, we should be experiencing these at work too.  No, lust is different from love!  If we recognize the energy that some thing provides we can shift our thinking from material, which provides a short-term gain, to ethereal, which provides a sustainable foundation for our being.  For example, if we work hard to save up for our dream car, we purchase it, and it provides a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction, and joy.  However, it is often a short-lived experience, especially if something happens or we no longer possess the car.  When we work on setting up our life with the energy of joy, satisfaction, and accomplishment on a deeper soul level, we are rewarded with a greater sense of being through an ongoing lived experience.  This can never be taken away.  When we live in these essences, we need fewer things to bring us satisfaction through fleeting experiences.  Living in this state is our ultimate existential choice.  It can be hard to imagine that it is possible until you start living it and realizing it for yourself.  Start small and work your way up.

Healing

Of course, I always start with energy healing.  Healing opportunities are internally focused and relatively easy to remedy.  The majority of emotional turmoil is relieved with some very simple energy healing techniques.  We have lost the knowledge of clearing our emotional energies.  Dogs shake it off to stay as unconditional loving and non-judgmental as they are.  Cats do the yoga stretch to release the built up emotional tension they so rudely pick up from other people’s energies.  Cats are much more savvy and discerning of other peoples’ energies than even the most emotionally intelligent humans.

Unless we have been trained in emotional regulation techniques, humans tend to stuff emotions.  This is not good strategy and perhaps is the root of our violence, oppression, and depression we experience in our culture.  When we release the emotional traumas of our past, our genetic past and our cultural past, we are more open to seeing things from a bigger and more loving perspective.  We are then able to solve problems more readily, with greater collaboration, and with a greater chance of sustainability.

Shadows

Working with shadows are also internally focused processes.  Carl Jung referred to shadows as our unconscious, hidden in our subconscious and collectively in our collective subconscious of cultures, communities, and humanity.  However, unlike healing opportunities, they can only be mastered rather than remedied.  Shadows are aspects of us that we must learn to embrace, understand, and utilize when needed.  They include the full spectrum of our potential, the light and the dark, the known and the unknown, the gifts and the curses. When we understand the extremes of these polarities within our self, we are better able to adapt to our paradoxical environment.  We also become less judgmental and more compassionate of others as well as ourselves.

On an existential level, we all have the same stuff!  Knowing and embracing our whole self, we can fearlessly approach any situation knowing we have the skills and ability to manage whatever is presented to us – yes, anything! It is the fear that disables us.  Courage, hope, love, and even curiosity enable us.  When we know who we are to the core, there is nothing to fear, and thus no one or anything, really, to fear.  Judgment of others is most likely a projection of unowned shadows.  Discernment however is different – We still may choose not to associate with another.  That is not necessarily judgment, that is just good emotional hygiene.  Our shadows are often exposed when we are entangled with others.  What are the things we tend to admire in others, or the things that are despised?  This awareness can lead to an inward journey to a greater understanding of ones’ tendencies, influences, decisions and actions.  That understanding can lead to better outcomes.

Entanglement

Emotions are contagious and the focus on entanglement is external and like healing opportunities can be remedied with relatively easy energy balancing techniques.  Developing good emotional intelligence will enable us to better discern our feelings, which may not be our own.  Entanglement covers that span from having our emotions influenced in a good or not so good way to having someone manipulate our actions or even including spirit possession.  My chapter on spirit possession is due to be published soon.  Many of the Christian mystics as well as indigenous nations, the Kabbalah, and Sufi’s offer teachings on the various forms of discernment for such matters.  We may think we are impervious to the unseen world.  I can assure you that line of thinking will only open the door for trouble.

Most everyone can relate to “love at first sight”.  This is the most common form of entanglement I see in my clients.  I am often asked why the relationship failed when “it felt so right”.  My answer usually involves an exercise in discerning where those initial feelings originated.  If it comes from both parties, the relationship is usually sustainable.  If not, and one partner projected their emotions onto the other, it is usually not sustainable.  Like healing, these energetic entanglements are relatively easy to discover, and remedy.

There is grief with the loss of any relationship.  There are many processes to remove ties so that grieving is not further complicated with unhealthy external forces.  There is concern with our cultural cohesion as well as legislative and corporate executive decisions that are being made.  Any lack of stewardship for humanity and ecology are most likely, at least in part, due to entanglement if not possession.  The three other steps are likely involved as well.  Recognition and support for energetic persuasion is much needed in our western culture today.

Callings

The last step is also externally focused.  Callings are inner nudges that would have us take action, to show up, to make the world a better place.  Emotional and circumstantial turmoil in our life offers expertise, experience, and wisdom to address or see through various dilemmas in our world.  These nudges do not go away until we begin to answer the call.  This step is often overlooked.  I hear spiritual healers promote, if there is something wrong in your life than there is something wrong with you not the world.  YIKES!  I beg to differ.  Our lack of action and holding accountability for others has caused great turmoil in our world.  Our missed opportunities to better our world may be creating the inefficiencies in our humanity, ecology, and economy.

To be effective, I highly recommend getting the internally focused areas of healing and shadows in order.  Overall, we need to be discerning our action to make sure it is authentic to our nature and purpose before acting on a foreign form of energetic manipulation.  Reviewing the previous steps will help to make action towards answering a calling more effective.  It is not necessary, however, to resolve and master the other steps to move forward in making the world a better place.  We are all dancing together and learning as we go along.  It is the complexity and interdependent character of these steps to naturally coincide and support each other.

No personal mastery is ever quite as simple as taking four clearly defined steps.  The non-linear nature of this way of being may lead us to engage in any of the steps or any combination of the steps for any given situation. These are all opportunities to grow into wholeness, to be more effective in the things we do and to be happier with our lives in whole.  Life is magical, especially when we learn a few of its’ nuances.  These steps have worked well for me.  I hope they will be of some benefit for you to ponder and take action!!  Now more than ever we need everyone to step up and do what each is called to do within his or her soul.  This will benefit all of us in our collective oneness.

Be well!

Until next week,

With love,

Carolyn Dunow, RT, MA, Holistic Health Consultant and Energy Healing Coach

Copyright ©2016 Dunow Enterprise LLC all rights reserved.  Please request permissions by contacting Carolyn@DunowEnterprise.com

Pondering the Practicality of Paradox in Holistic Leadership

I chuckle, because it beats being furious, when I see the political sides going at each other as if they were both wrong.  What I would like to explore in this musing is the misdirected waste of energy, time, and resources when two sides argue about opposing perspectives that are actually both right.  The problem is not in proving one side right and one side wrong by seeing things in such a purist black and white perspective, which our patriarchal society has us conditioned to do.  The actual problem is sitting down together to listen to the opposing perspectives, which are both right, and figuring out how to balance the rightness of both opposing solutions without being trapped in the wrongness of both perspectives.

ParadoxMice

In addition to writing, consulting, and learning, I teach leadership for health care professionals at a local university.  We look at the opposing leadership styles charismatic and servant leadership.  We also discuss the preferences the students have in their own leadership style as well as their preference in being led.  Most of the time, and particularly with the younger generations, the servant leadership style is preferred in both the position as manager and the role of an employee.  When we dig deeper into leadership effectiveness, we tease out the advantages (in the top boxes) and shortcomings (in the bottom boxes) of both styles of leadership.

PM Leadership

We can start by looking at the first point in each box, which actually weaves through many of the other points.  The driving motivation of these opposing leadership styles is leading the way towards a better future with a strong vision or by helping others to succeed in their goals thereby creating a stronger, more collaborative infrastructure for the future.  The charismatic leader is stronger during a crisis, but that style alone is not sustainable in a democratic society, or any society for that matter.  The servant leader is stronger when developing innovation and growth of a group, organization, or country.  This type of leader will tap into the gifts, visions, and talents of the whole to develop the best of many ideas generated to move forward.  However, that alone is not sustainable either.

Sometimes there are crises or simply just unpleasant executive decisions that must be made and carried out by the leader.  Those are not the times for collaborative problem solving.  Those are times for quick, decisive action.  Where balance gets tricky is when charismatic leaders rise to power, especially during times when anxieties, despair, and fear for survival are prominent.  There is no dispute, in times of crisis strong direction is required to focus on one solution that everyone can easily follow.  This should only be done in a time of crisis and not as a standard mode of operation.

For some reason, Westerners tend to admire bullies disguised as leaders, without recognizing their behavior is often a cover-up for insecurity.  These types of leaders can take advantage of troubling times and create a strong leadership position where they command trust and get people to follow blindly.  If narcissistic tendencies take over, decisions are made based on self-interest and not the interest of the whole.  Insecure leaders tend to silo work teams in order to maintain control.  One team or group does not know what the other team or group is working on or even what the bigger picture might be.  Blind followers can easily be distracted from hidden agendas.  When revealed, employees who thought they were working on something beneficial, end up contributing to a disaster.  This is why transparency in the mission, vision, and values as well as strong communication and ethics in operations is so vitally important.  Keep in mind, crises are short-term problems to solve and should be short lived.  If crises becomes the norm, we have to ask if the incentive of this norm is to keep insecure leaders feeling secure by having uncontested power over others.  Contrary to patriarchy, it is healthy to question authority, even among leaders in other teams, disciplines, or industries.  It is our duty and obligation not only to ensure the success of the overall mission, but of all groups, teams, and society as a whole.  If the charismatic leader cannot adopt a more collaborative servant leader style, everything becomes a crisis and we move into more of a dictatorship and lose the opportunity for innovation and growth.

Looking at the opposing leadership tendencies, if the servant leader does not have a clear vision of the future, they will not be able to manage crises effectively.  They may flounder with uncertainty about the direction in which to lead a team out of turmoil.  Couple the bully extreme with the tendency for our linear-thinking patriarchal society to glorify a winner and demote a loser and we exacerbate the problem.  If a leader makes a mistake, they are, with good cause, held accountable.  In times of insecurity, they can also be made the scapegoat for poor decisions.  Is it a wonder why some leaders are afraid of taking charge or making the seemingly radical choices we need to pull ourselves out of our ongoing crises?  If we adopt a learning culture, mistakes can be turned into priceless opportunities for not only the leader, but for all on the team so that future crises can be better managed.  When we outcast leaders who make mistakes, we throw away a tremendous amount of experiential wisdom and knowledge and perpetuate a culture of fear.  I wonder if this is why we do not know how to lose successfully, we do not know how to optimize retreat, and we therefore do not know how to survive without pushing ourselves over the proverbial cliff.  Is our fear of failure further contributing to our culture of crises?  If we adopt a learning culture, maybe, just maybe, before the lemmings jump, someone will trust his or her instincts enough to speak out to redirect a more effective course, without the fear of being outcast.

Clearly, we need leaders who can tap into the traits of both charismatic and servant leadership in order to be effective in various situations.  The economic state of our world has us living in a constant state of fear and crises.  This is not healthy.  It makes me wonder how much of our crisis is actually contrived in order to command blind followership.  We have a choice to make.  We can continue to waste our time arguing over who is right and be victim to the winning sides’ shortcomings.  I think the better choice is to start having mutually respectful dialog about how we all thrive by balancing both perspectives.  I hope not to meet you in the traps of wrongness.  There is a way to create a world where there are no losers and we all win.  Let us go there.

Be well!

Until next week,

With love,

Carolyn Dunow

Copyright ©2016 Dunow Enterprise LLC all rights reserved.  Please request permissions by contacting Carolyn@DunowEnterprise.com

References:

Greenleaf, R.K. (2002). Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness. 3rd ed. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press

Johnson B. (1996). Polarity Management. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, Inc.

Lussier, R.N. and Achua, C.F. (2013). Leadership, theory, application, & skill development 5th ed. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning

Can Emotional Pain Improve our Physical Health?

Yes, and it is easier to achieve than you might think.  It is easier if we understand how our mind, body, and spirit are interdependent and can work together to achieve more holistic and sustainable health.  As an energy healer, I intuitively knew this was the case.  When I conducted research for my master’s thesis, it became empirically evident.  Even the most intense physical and emotional turmoil can be alleviated with some simple and practical self-directed interventions.  We just need to take a minute or two out of our day to do it.

EmotionalSomaticMastersResearchPhIIPHOTOS

Today, health leaders believe that environmental factors, genetics, and access to health care play a much smaller role in the determinants of health.  Social factors and behaviors make up the majority of what determines our health.  We need to consume clean air, water, and food and get enough quality sleep for sure.  We also need to work in low stress environments and surround ourselves with loving supporting people.  Research in Emotional Labor tells us that negative emotional events at work can have lasting impact for at least two hours.  When we work 8-12 hours per day, that does not leave much wiggle room.  This is especially true in the service industries where our job is to meet the demands of others.  Whether we recognize it or not, we actually have control over this.

We can do our health a favor by learning how to manage emotional stress with ease.  This is something I have spent half of my career mastering.  Before I knew that GMOs (environmental toxins) were causing my ill health, I dove into emotional and energetic stress reduction.  This is what I had control over and what I wrongly suspected was the source of my ill health.  I think if we achieve greater transparency about GMOs, the determinants of health might change a bit.  I still suffer consequences to being exposed to the pervasive GMOs.  Now, when I am completely clear of GMOs, I am a picture of health with a resting heart rate of 46-48 bpm and my heart rate variability typically indicates a 1-2% stress level.  Emotional regulation has made a huge difference in my life.

The mind-body-spirit connection is a phenomenal tool if we learn how to use it.  When we experience physical pain, we can go on mental vacation and imagine being in our favorite vacation spot.  The shift in focus from our physical body to our mental body will stop the cycle of physical pain.  This is why laughter yoga is a great remedy for stress reduction and pain management in chronic illness.  Well, the positive endorphins released with laughter help a great deal too.  Biofeedback and mindfulness exercises are also effective solutions.

A similar mind-body phenomenon can happen when we experience mental and emotional pain.  When our thoughts spin out of control, we can focus on our body to break the cycle of mental anxiety.  If we want to be efficient in alleviating our emotional pain, we can actually make some sustainable changes in our energetic body to reduce the risk of experiencing that particular pain again.  We can use somatic processing (focusing on our physical body) to heal and transform emotionally traumatic scars that were formed from past traumatic events – even the inherited ones.  Here is how that works:

When we experience emotional trauma, we take in information from our five senses.  That information gets packaged up along with an interpretation of the traumatic event and it is stored somewhere in our physical body or passed along to descendants through epigenetics.  We actually have metaphors for these scars.  We sense betrayal as being stabbed in the back.  We may feel an emotional sucker-punch in the gut, which can knock the wind out of us when we are blindsided by another.  I have spent years working with these metaphors in my healing practice.  It is the recollection of a similar experience and not necessarily the actual current lived experience that causes emotional pain and disruption.  The current experience merely shows us where we have an opportunity to heal.

There is no doubt the body is a map for emotional traumas.  We can learn how to interpret the physical map and process the emotional baggage that is stuck in our body.  Honestly, it is not all that helpful to understand where or how an emotional scar was formed.  It is more important to process it, be free from its limiting conditioning, and move forward.  However, the drama king or queen in all of us wants to know the story.  Our egos would have us believe that we cannot let go until we understand.  Just the opposite is true.  A deeper sense of wisdom and power comes after we transform emotional trauma.  I think our world could seriously benefit by dumping our emotional baggage through somatic healing processes.

Just as easily as we acquire these scars, we can almost as easily heal them.  Most participants in my study were able to reduce significantly the physical and emotional distress they felt.  Some were able to clear them completely.  Participants rated their sensations using a scale of 0-10, zero being not present, 10 being the worst they ever felt.  On average emotional sensations started at 6.9 and were reduced to 2.9 after the process and after recalling the event after the process.  The physical sensations reported averaged 5.7 to start and dropped to 2.2 after processing and 2.3 after recalling the event after the process.  It took the study participants an average of 1 ½ – 2 ½ minutes to process the emotional events.  Participants collectively got better at processing with subsequent attempts and noted they wanted more practice sessions.  Practice makes perfect!

Collectively, we can gain a greater wisdom from these transformations too.  My research showed a strong correlation (Pearson Correlation = 0.84) between physical sensations and emotional sensations experienced when recalling and processing the emotional event that participants “wanted to feel better about.”  The stronger the emotional sensation, the stronger the physical sensation.  When they focused on processing their physical sensations, the emotional sensation automatically dissipated along with it.  This was not surprising to me.  I had witnessed this consistency in my healing practice.  What was fascinating to me, as a health care practitioner and consultant as well as an energy healer, was the sensations that were reported.  The results are depicted above, the bigger the word the more frequent the response was among the study participants.  Maybe I was primed to be the researcher who could pose a potential interpretation of the data in the way I did.

The top physical sensations were anger and frustration, which happen to be the emotions I work with when clients are experiencing cancer or the metaphor of “what’s eating you.”  The most frequent physical sensations were chest, shoulder, and heart tightness, ache, heaviness, and tension.  As a critical care practitioner, those sound like symptoms of a heart attack.  I want to clarify here that the study participants were not experiencing life-threatening symptoms.  I merely wonder, if not addressed, do emotional scars lead to physical disease?  It might be interesting to note that cancer and heart attack are constantly competing for the number one and number two spot in the cause of death among Americans.  The third next most striking report was Anxiety, which the health care system struggles to remedy adequately.  For a long time now, I have held the belief: where medicine fails, healing finds success.  My research supports that belief.

We may be able to, with some easy somatic-emotional regulation practices, alleviate disease without so many expensive and ineffective pharmaceuticals?  That will be another study – not likely to be funded by the pharmaceutical industry.

Be well!

Until next week,

With love,

Carolyn Dunow

Copyright ©2016 Dunow Enterprise LLC all rights reserved.  Please request permissions by contacting Carolyn@DunowEnterprise.com

References:

Bono, J. E., Foldes, H. J., Vinson, G., & Muros, J. P. (2007). Workplace emotions: The role of supervision and leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(5), 1357-1367.

Dunow, C. (2013). A pilot study to explore the results from learning a self-empowered energy healing technique as an emotional regulation tool intended to improve service industry leaders’ affect well-being and performance. Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership Theses. Paper 16. Retrieved from http://sophia.stkate.edu/maol_theses/16

Levine, P.A., Frederick, A. (1997). Waking the tiger: Healing trauma. North Atlantic Books. Kindle Edition. Retrieved from amazon.com

Lincoln, M.J. (2010). Messages from the body: their psychological meaning. 12th ed. Cool, CA: Talking Hearts.

McGovern, L., Miller, G., and Hughes-Cromwich, P. (August 21, 2014). Health Policy Brief: The relative contribution of multiple determinants of health outcomes.  Health Affairs, retrieved from:  http://healthaffairs.org/healthpolicybriefs/brief_pdfs/healthpolicybrief_123.pdf