Predisposed responses to pressures.
PREPARATION FOR LESSON TWO
You may proceed to the next lesson without answering these questions, but you will get more out of this course if you do, and you’ll teach me something:
What did you gain from Lesson 1?
What problems did you encounter in the last lesson?
What changes, if any, have you noticed in your thoughts, actions or movements?
LESSON 2: IDENTIFY YOUR PREDISPOSED RESPONSES TO PRESSURES There are basically two ways to do this. One is with your mind, the other is in your body.
THE MENTAL APPROACH
Think of a situation that feels like pressure to you, i.e. pushes your buttons. Make a short, simple statement out of it. It’s your “pressure statement,” and it will enable you to identify your predisposition(s.) You will also practice it later in this course when working with reverse body language.
Say the statement to yourself (or have someone say it to you) and see what response it evokes. Examine the language of your response. Use your imagination. Do the words push back? Cave in? Get rigid? EXAMPLE: Statement, “You’re not good enough!”
|Response:||“You’re full of crap!”||(accusing)||(push back)|
|“You’re just upset.”||(analytical)||(rigid)|
We are studying pushing back, caving in, and resisting in order to learn to transform them into blending with pressure in a manner that preserves our integrity. There are two other possible responses to pressure that are worth mentioning, but we will not be focusing on them. We can escape, i.e. “I don’t have time for this conversation.” While effective in many pressure situations, it’s not useful to study its transformation closely because it often leads to putting off dealing with the issue until another time. The other response, wrestling or manipulating, usually involve a tricky combination of the three most common responses we are choosing to use.
THE EMBODIED APPROACH
Say your pressure statement, or have someone say it to you, and notice how your body feels. Where in your body do you feel the statement touches? What does it feel like? Do you cave in, resist, or feel like pushing back?
Example: When I hear “You’re not good enough!” I may feel contracted, short of breath, withdrawn, or other manifestations of shame/guilt. That’s caving.
If my shoulders rise and fists tighten, and I’m ready to fight back, that’s pushing.
If I feel stiff or frozen, maybe I’m resisting.
With a partner you can confirm your identification, even without the pressure statement. That’s what we do when I teach this personally or in a workshop. Simply stand in front of your partner, anticipating the pressure, perhaps with one foot slightly in front of the other so that you can accept a gentle push on the chest. Invite your pressure-partner to push you gently, and notice your body’s response. Confirm your predisposed response by inviting your partner to say your pressure-statement while pushing you. Your body will tell you instantly what your preconditioned response is. It’s interesting to note that your mind won’t tell you it’s predisposed response to pressure, especially when it’s under pressure.
As you may have guessed, we can be predisposed to responding to pressure in different ways depending upon the source of pressure or the situation. I’m different with my child than my parents. I may cave in with the IRS, but resist an employee.
Identifying a common predisposition enables you to learn faster. Trust that your first selection of a pressure-statement will identify a common response. We are working with three common responses to pressure: Pushing back, caving in, and getting rigid.
So please begin by selecting one which comes to mind when you consider a pressure situation. For your initial study of this course, imagine being a: PUSHER, CAVER OR RIGID. You will select a course of instruction for the remainder of this program that suits your chosen (or revealed) predisposition.
It’s the most meaningful context in which to learn to access body-wisdom under pressure. Select a predisposed pressure response with which you will be able to customize your study of Lessons Four, Six and Seven. We all employ different predispositions in different settings.
Read the lesson appropriate to your selected predisposition. Later you may return to study lessons written for other predispositions. When you have identified your most familiar predisposition for responding to pressure (pushing back, caving in or resisting,) you are ready for Lesson 3. However to move onto Lesson 3 you must first purchase the course.
Here you can create the content that will be used within the module.
Center Ground Extension
The founder of Aikido spoke of spiritual energy in terms of the three basic shapes.
The circle represents adaptability and unity. The triangle is focus and direction, and the square is balance and stability.
The triangle is associated with the head, in which coming to a point is an anatomical theme. Square reflects the energy of pelvis, and the circle connotes the chest/breath.