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Modeling Through Spatial Anchoring

Know thyself The relationship between the mind and the body is an age-long debate. While the mind symbolizes the mental processes, thoughts and consciousness that occur inside the brain, the body stands for it’s physical structure. And the debate which follows is to what extent they are separate or the same thing. This whole modern day debate has roots in the 17th century when Rene Descartes gave the popular dictum, “I think, therefore I am”. Descartes’ take was that mind and body are two separate entities, but they interact with each other, thus holding the ability to influence each other. In psychology, different schools of thoughts are based on different assumptions related to the mind-body debate. Behaviorists, for example believe that, that which cannot be observed objectively should be eliminated as the subject matter of psychology. Therefore they dismissed the processes of the mind as being unscientific, thus unimportant. Humanists, on the other hand, believe in the supremacy of the mind over the body. Every individual interprets their own reality, and that needs to be respected. The cognitive school of thought, on the other hand, believed that the mind is like a software, allowing a variety of different software programs to run. They argue that the brain can be compared to computer hardware that is "wired" or connected to the human body. Whatever the various takes on the debate might be, what is understood is that both, the mind as well as the body have the ability to influence each other. The best example to explain this relationship is what happens to our body in times of stress. Constant worry and stress can cause headache, stomach ache, tension in muscles, fatigue, high blood pressure, gas problems, etc. And subjecting our body to massage, meditation, acupuncture and yoga can ease the stress out of one’s mind. So not just the mind influences the body, the body has an impact on the mind as well. But we’re seldom aware of this interacting and mutually influencing relationship between our mind and body. And being unaware often leads to conflict in our daily lives. Since the day we’re born, our bodies as well as our minds start growing and learning from the information that we collect from the environment. As we grow through the different stages in our life span, we start learning different things, start attaining more information, with the use of technology, books, relationships, surroundings and even through our own experiences. The knowledge that we gain through all these sources helps us in forming our entire identity. Identity of a person is something which is formed from within with the help of the outside. In order, to attain what we call identity, our sense of self, there are different stages that we undergo in a life span. From crawling and wailing to fighting and playing. From solving different math solutions to painting away with your favourite colour. From loving and spending our lives with someone to getting our heart broken and sometimes even turning into a delinquent. Our experiences and our cognitive processes are what gives us our identity. However in this process of identity development, we sometimes forget to listen to our body, letting the mind take control of it. We start listening to what we think others would expect us to do, and start restricting our bodily requirements. When the mind and the body don’t match, it creates problems. Therefore it is extremely important for them to be fully aware of the impact that they have on each other. It is time that we start listening to ourselves, all of ourselves. David Goggins said, “The most important conversations you’ll ever have are the ones you’ll have with yourself.” It is extremely important that one is aware of what is truly part of you and your narrative, and what is not, what is the greatest potential you can reach, but what is stopping you, what do you want to become and what do you think you are now? After all, it was Jung who said, ““Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” In other words, things which you’re not aware of have the potential to take over you, in ways that you can never imagine. Therefore it’s better to know their answers, their true answers, in order to make reasonable choices in life, ones that truly reflect who we are and which take us where we really want to go. These questions not only help us in getting to know one’s self, but to accept one’s self as well. For, the minute you let go of yourself, is the moment where a step towards chaos begins. Identity is not the only thing which comes as a product of self-awareness. Personality, perspectives, intellectual abilities, fears, courage, strengths and weaknesses are also nurtured when you recognise your own self. As Thomas Lloyd Qualls said, “Every answer can be followed by another question.” Knowing who you are is not just one question, because to know who you are it is important to know who you are not, and this chain and go on and on. Therefore, there is a whole set of questions which dive deeper into different aspects you keep buried inside yourself. For each and every person out there, there is a different answer waiting, as one dives into the endless ocean in search of answers. And these endless number of answers bring forth another set of bountiful questions! Narrowing down all of these queries, a topic of ‘6 Questions of Life’ arose as an essential concept that aids in strengthening the thinking capacities of a human being. These 6 questions can basically be considered as orbits in the solar system. These orbits stay at a fixed point in your life which helps you gain a balance as you revolve around them. These 6 questions are very basic, something others ask you, something you ask yourself, but as we dive further into the concept, you will understand the actual meaning and depth of these daily life topics. The first question is: “Who Am I?” ‘Who Am I?’ is such a question that if asked today will receive an answer very different from what was received the day before. In other words, it’s dynamic, ever changing. Today I can be the writer, but tomorrow I can be a lazy student. However, it is not these logical answers that are ever ready to be replied to, which we’re concerned with. Once the initial awareness draws out, once we're done answering this question with the first, second, third, and forth attempts which may go like: ‘I am a human’, ‘I am a student’ ‘I am a girl’ ‘I am a Hindu’, ‘I am an Indian’, once we’re done with these upper layers of the onion, we can then proceed to the deeper ones. These are the ones that require us to introspect, to dig in, to look within and ask our body. ‘Who Am I?’ is a very common question asked by a lot of people who we come across daily, but what’s new is the way the realization of the answer helps you grow. The answer doesn't need to be basic or it doesn’t need to be lengthy, the answer need not have a measurement of words or lines or syllables or meanings. The root of the answer that stems from deep within you can be anything. It can be biological when you say ‘I am a child’, it can be geographical when you say ‘I am an Indian’, religious when you say ‘I am a Hindu’, relational when you say ‘I am a daughter, professional when you say ‘I am a doctor’, objectified when you say ‘I’m the house I own’, performing when you say ‘I am a failure’, etc. So we can say that ‘Who am I’ somewhere gives us the definitions that we attach to ourselves. When everybody has their own definitions of who they are, imagine what would happen when two people with different ‘Who am Is’ meet? They clash, and there is conflict. One’s a rightist, another’s a leftist- clash! One’s a vegan, another’s a non-vegetarian- clash! Sometimes, the very people we closely hung out with before, are the ones we stop getting along with. This is proof of the changing nature of our ‘Who am I’. Our today’s ‘Who am I’ is not congruent to our tomorrow’s ‘Who am I’. An example of this is the very recent use of violence in the Farmer’s protests. Before that, a lot of people who I knew were adamantly against the use of violence for any cause whatsoever. So at that time they were supporters of non-violence. However, the use of violence by the farmers changed the views of quite a few of them. They started believing that it might be justified at times when the oppressed need a medium to draw attention towards their cause. Their ‘Who Am I’ changed. But as we go deeper, as we move towards the body, the definitions most true to us emerge. When we ask the bosy, ‘Who am I’ and the body points towards your feet- it may be a metaphor for your liveliness, your free spirit maybe? Or just you being all over the place? Someone’s body may show them the colour red, maybe because they get angry easily? Whatever the body shows, can be somewhere related to what is happening to it or with it. Who you are, then, is a question that makes you understand your origin. An origin which explains your when, how, why and where. So let me ask you, who are you? Think. Probe yourself. The second question is: “What can I become?” David Blaine said, “We are all capable of infinitely more than we believe.” And therefore comes our second question, ‘what can I become?’ When you’re done asking yourself the question of who you are, it's easy to interpret what you can become because ‘Who you are’ is basically your potential, which directs you to attain an answer for this question. One doesn’t need to go to extreme lengths to find the answers, they just need to listen to themselves. What always happens with people is that we strive so hard to find answers from various sources around us, without actually realizing that they’re just within us. One has to look, listen, feel, smell and taste the answers. For instance, for this question, one needs to imagine, or visualize what their body is capable of becoming. Basically, go VAKOG. It may be a movement, or an action, or mere talk. One needs to peel the onion of self awareness when one is searching for the answer, wandering within their own mind, making sure to explore the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious. Because, irrespective of what it is, each part of your mind, helps you realise a new thing about yourself. And while doing all this, what is important is to not let our judgements and limitations of the past limit our answers. The answer to this particular question should not really be proper or technical. It should be without judgement and confusion and should be filled with exploration. One needs to only focus on one’s ability to assess one’s future capacity. There is no good or bad in this, there are just different potential realities. Then imagine, which side are you leaning towards. Is that what you’re capable of, leaning towards the negative arena or the positive one? Are you capable of becoming a drug addict? Or are you capable of becoming a philanthropist? What are you truly capable of? What you can become is your capability. These capabilities come out when you push yourself to clear up the dark clouds surrounding the vision of your clear sky. When I think of this question myself, I can become more verbal about my thoughts. I can become a good psychologist. I can become less critical. I can become a good writer. I can become a good knitter. These are some sentences which describe what I can become, according to myself, according to my body. All I need to do is look within. I don’t know if I will become one for sure because I don’t know the future. I don’t know what the future has in store for me but I have a vision of what I can become, my body’s potential. This is what the trust factor tries to tell us in the four quadrants. Your inner and outer reality comes closer when you put your hope and trust in what you can become and what you can achieve. The third question is: “What Am I Not?” What am I not, is in the simplest of ways, the boundary that the ‘Who am I’ sets for themselves. A person might be okay with making fun of what one’s wearing, but might not be okay with making fun of one’s body size. One might be okay with verbal abuse, but might have a rigid boundary against physical abuse. Another person may be open to the idea of theft, but not murder. ‘What am I not’ is just something one doesn’t want, it’s merely a matter of preference.’ It is a lot of things, at least in comparison to ‘Who am I’. We know our boundaries, at least we think we do, and they are heavily influenced by the conditioning we’ve received since childhood, our own experiences as well as other socializing agents. We are restricted to a certain kind of knowledge as we grow up, depending on the mindset and culture we are born into. In a way, who I am not, is a conscious boundary. Take Ravi for example, Ravi was born into a society of elite traditional people who think talking about alcohol, drugs is going to rot a person’s mind. So, Ravi has been limited to that knowledge as he grew up. This made him restrict his mind towards a certain set of things. If you ask him today, about what he is not, or who he is not. He will say he is not a drug addict. He is an alcohol addict. Not only that but, he has a deep-rooted judgement for people who take drugs or alcohol. There was a case I came across when I was an active listener in this online therapy platform. I came across this girl who lives abroad, who went through an abusive phase. She was abused as a child by her mother but she didn’t realise it was abuse. Because she had experienced so much without realizing it was wrong, she had no idea that hitting someone to discipline them incorporates abuse. What she wasn't turned out to be something polar opposite to what I thought I wasn’t. Our boundaries clashed only because we had different life experiences while growing up. However through the healing process of therapy, her boundaries eventually shifted. Boundaries, therefore, can change, well at least some of them can. A lot of children, when in school, might be adamantly against the consumption of alcohol and drugs, but as they grow up, many of their boundaries shift, as they become more flexible in their ways of thinking and want to give it a try. Similarly, those who were bullied in school might really be against bullying at some point of their life, but may turn into bullies themselves in future. Once you understand the answer to this question of who you are not, you get to understand how much you allow yourself, what is your conscious boundary and your unconscious boundary. And then, you are able to recognize them, acknowledge them, and accept them. The fourth question is: “What is it that I am, but I don’t like that about myself?” Interesting topic of discussion with yourself, don’t you think? And I say that, because human beings are extremely defensive when it comes to their faults. Accepting one's own faults or things which they don’t like is like eating a lemon for many. But, it’s necessary don’t you think? The parts which I don’t like about myself, those what I perceive to be my flaws, are still very much a part of me. I may not like them, but I still have to accept them. Why, you may ask? Because George R.R. Martin once said, “Once you have accepted your flaws, nobody can use them against you”. And that is exactly what he also portrays through the most popular character of his Game Of Thrones series, Tyrion Lannister. Tyrion is a dwarf whose mother dies very young and everybody in the family blames him for being the ‘little monster’ who killed his mother. He hates it too, but he accepts himself. When everybody laughs at him, he laughs with them. When people abuse him, he makes sure to get back at them, in his own way and time of course. He doesn’t let his flaws take over him rather he recognizes his flaws. There’s a really classic show called ‘Glee’ which is based on the struggles a school’s singing club has to go through to be perceived as ‘cool and desirable’. A member of the club, Kurt, is also the only openly gay guy in the entire school and for that a Jock makes his life hell. At first it looks like the Jock is simply a bully, but later the audience realizes that it’s only Kurt that he picks on, and the picking grows more aggressive day by day. When Kurt finally, in a row of fury, tries to confront his bully, the latter threatens to kill him if Kurt doesn’t leave the room, but ends up kissing him instead. And that’s when it hits us, and Kurt, that the Jock is gay himself but clearly doesn’t like what he’s going through. Seeing Kurt reminds him of what the Jock himself is, but doesn’t like or accept, thus explaining his bullying behavior. If you can’t accept your ‘flaw’, it has the potential to take a toll on you, and to ruin your life. This ‘flaw’ of ours can be anything, something not that serious like ‘I tend to binge watch a lot of shows’, or something which you just cannot let anyone know, like ‘I have a crush on my best friend’s mother’. The more we run away from our flaws, the more dangers they can pose to us. The key is to bring them home, to acknowledge the pink elephant in the room and accept that you just can’t help it, it’s you. Balance is the word. You like to pray, but you also like to masturbate. Your body loves to masturbate, but your head is telling you it's wrong, it’s making you feel guilty. Balance is the key. You can’t keep praying all the time, nor can you keep on masturbating all day. You welcome both urges home, and strike a balance between your mind and your body. Otherwise, it will eventually mentally and physically exhaust you. And that’s what therapists help their clients do as well! A girl who loves to eat, but is overweight and doesn’t like it, but still loves to eat, will be guided by the therapist to reach that potential where she can eat but also control that urge. Duality cannot be removed, but it can be embraced, it can be integrated. Accepting your flaws is the first step towards recognizing your own self on a much deeper cognitive level. Because anybody can speak out about and accept their good abilities, not many can say the same about their flaws. The fifth question is: “What is stopping me in life?” There is always something that holds you back from achieving what you want right? There is always a narrative that we tell others, and ourselves, about what is stopping us. It’s money for some, attachment to parents for another, inability to leave one’s loved ones, and this list goes on and on. What is something which tugs on your shirt? What is it? It might be anything, something very general and basic to something very complex and puzzling. One might really want to start going for a run in the mornings, and would make up their mind every night before going to bed for it. However the same person wakes up in his bed only to snooze the alarm and go back to sleep. The very same person, but doing the exact opposite of what was planned by him, himself. And this is what we often experience. Our mind decides to do something, but our body doesn’t cooperate. ‘I’m going to start dieting from tomorrow’ is a very common thing to hear these days, but can everybody actually do it? I know for a fact that they don’t. Their love for food often holds them back. Similarly, the mind may know going abroad to study is a good option, probably the best, but the body looks inside the wallet and knows it’s financially problematic. And again, the key is not to push your limits, and it’s definitely not to brush off these obstructions. Because the more you brush it off, the more you keep it away, the stronger they get. Remember what happens to ___ in ‘The Fight Club’? He tries to brush off his restrictions, trying to go where life takes him, without stopping to fully understand the reason behind his low moods and monotonous lifestyle. That’s what gives birth to his shadow, Tyler, his ignorance. And his further denial just kept strengthening Tyler. Therefore, the key is to recognize the stoppage and to realize that the morning you is as much part of you and the night you. It’s to acknowledge all parts of you, and confess that the one who robbed the garden was you only. It’s to apologize to the night you, and try to strive for that goal, in a complete, more whole form. The sixth question is: “What are you afraid of becoming?” Now, this is the question of the shadow. The shadow of course is where your guilt and shame reside. You know you have that potential, but you are ashamed of it, because you are afraid of it. It is your dark corner, your fear, your weakness, your guilt, your shame. It’s the temptation which is always present inside of my body, but I am afraid of yielding to it. I may be on the verge of losing control and giving in, but I just can’t afford to since it terrifies me. It’s everything I can become, but at the same time, it is everything that I don’t want to become. It’s what our body would have done way earlier, if not for the control of our mind over it. My shadow may be the urge to forsake all the worldly pleasures of capitalistic life, or to let go of the control I practice on my diet. It may be to sell everything I own and buy a house up in the hills, it may be to stop caring about what the society will think of me and go marry the 60 year old man I fell in love with. It may be my potential to walk over to that guy who's looking at me with those lustful eyes and break that 7 year long relationship with my boyfriend. It also may be getting back in an abusive relationship with my ex, since it is all I’ve known my entire life and which I secretly liked but didn’t have the guts to admit it to myself. My shadow is my fear, and it lives in me. And if I remain oblivious to it, it will take over me, coming out in subtle forms, impacting my relationships as well as my life. The sooner we detect our shadows, and accept it because it is ultimately a part of us, can we reach the final point of our self-awareness. The shadow is the enemy, we need not fight, since we’ll be fighting a losing battle. _________________________________________________________________________________..__________________.. Davide Icke said, “When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see the real you, or what you have been conditioned to believe is you? The two are so, so different. One is an infinite consciousness capable of being and creating whatever it chooses, the other is an illusion imprisoned by its own perceived and programmed limitations.” This exercise of asking the 6 questions helps us gain an in-depth understanding of who we are at that particular moment in order to gain the greater wisdom of self awareness. As much as we know about our own body, and the extent of control that our mind exercised over it, we’re able to get an accurate estimation of our potential. What is it that we are right now, what is it that we can become in the coming future, what are our boundaries, what are our flaws, what are our limits, and finally, what is that we fear of becoming. The aim of this exercise is not to push our boundaries and our limits, it is not to change, but it is to recognize before it's too late. And well as the saying goes, ‘It is never too late’, and thus one can start with this exercise at any point in their life. The only requirement is honesty and courage to admit. This activity is more about processing your inner virtue, your inner mind. As we conquer them and give them their place in our lives, we ourselves will understand how to mould ourselves. Recognition of all these points makes you gain a balance. There is power in recognition and as you acknowledge and accept these 6 yous of your life, you can balance your position on the equator on the globe. This exercise also helps us to have and to hold multiple perspectives. When you go deeper in the process of self awareness, you find multiple perspectives within you. You see, there are different definitions, perspectives, perceptions that are hidden down there in your cognitive land. That’s where your thought process and formation stems from. And when you realize the existence of those different perspectives within you, you come face to face with the concept of various possibilities. Who you are, what you can be, what you are not, what you are but you don’t like it, what is stopping you, what are you afraid of becoming. All these questions take answers from multiple descriptions. There is no right or wrong, these are just different ‘mes’ waiting to be accepted by my own self. When you become self-aware in the domains of these 6 questions, you open yourself up to different possibilities in life. This is what makes you resilient, accepting and aware as an individual. And, when you open yourself up to these different possibilities, you gain wisdom. A wisdom which comes from within. A wisdom which is obtained from within. Gain this wisdom, take it and broaden your horizons. Know about your own body, a little more every day. Because Aristotle rightly said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” References Mcleod, S. (2018). Mind Body Debate - Dualism vs Monism | Simply Psychology. Simply Psychology. https://www.simplypsychology.org/mindbodydebate.html

This article on ' 6 questions ' has been contributed by Parinitha Kodali who is a student of Clinical Psychology, from Amity University, Mumbai. and peer reviewed by Saumya Joshi who is a psychology enthusiast, currently in third year of under graduation from Vivekananda College, Delhi University. Parinitha and saumya are both part of the Global Internship Research Program (GIRP), which is mentored by Anil Thomas. Parinitha's future plan is in gaining knowledge from various fields including research. Fascinated with human behaviors and space and ancient mythologies. GIRP is an initiative by (International Journal of Neurolinguistics & Gestalt Psychology) IJNGP and Umang Foundation Trust to encourage young adults across our globe to showcase their research skills in psychology and to present it in creative content expression. Anil is an internationally certified NLP Master Practitioner and Gestalt Therapist. He has conducted NLP Training in Mumbai, and across 6 other countries. The NLP practitioner course is conducted twice every year. To get your NLP certification


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