Centered and Exhilarated Only is a Social Permaculture pattern design and Flow State Communication Skill, useful for improving organizational structure around interpersonal relating in Intentional Communities, workplaces, and anyone wanting to incorporate mindfulnesses based practices into their daily lives and teamwork.
Participants find this practice:
- improves their ability to read and support others
- builds emotional intelligence
- develops a toolset for consent and boundary setting
- leads to nondual, whole brain, unitive consciousness
The structure is designed to provide meditation level regeneration through the medium of social interaction. This is not therapy and does not leverage any other person’s expertise. It is a core belief that all growth can be replenishing and can come from within.
For more information, here is a link to the free digital copy of CEO Dialogue: The Book.
C stands for Centeredness, which for the purposes of CEO, we’re describing as a spectrum of feelings that starts with calmness and can deepen with relaxation. Moving along the centeredness spectrum in this way furthers our access to connect from our inspirations in conversation, so that we can speak on topics as they align with our integrity. In this way, we can learn to express our unique gifts to give the world, all from participating in a collaborative space of conversation. By bringing conversation into mindfulness practice, we are engaging what UCLA Professor and Neurobiologist Dan Siegel refers to as the Left Brain’s 4 Ls: language, linear, logic, and literal. With these 4 Ls, we can strengthen our ability to assess and create supportive containers in conversation so that others can also relax and relate from their centeredness. As we strengthen this ability, we are also releasing neurons that reduce our whole brain experience, because we are replacing them with neurons that have empowered discernment tools, in order to have a whole brain centered experience in more of the types of social interaction that we’re likely to find in society. The measure of strength we have developed in these new neurons can then be felt in our body as a spectrum of exhilarated and empowered feelings.
E stands for Exhilarated. In recent neurobiology discoveries, we are learning more and more that our centered right brain access was already quite thoroughly mapped years ago as the supportive feminine qualities of Carl Jung’s model of the static and dynamic feminine. It just so happens that E (the Exhilarated spectrum of empowered centeredness in social interactions), maps directly Carl Jung’s supportive masculine archetype once the 4 Ls of the left brain have grown the strength and confidence sufficient to upholding the centeredness spectrum in everyday social interactions. Through applying the exhilarated tools of discernment, a practitioner can bring a mindfulness container to even some of the most difficult conversations. But before we dive into the tools to do so, here are two examples of what the Exhilarated spectrum feels like.
The first example is of a beautiful human with long black dreadlocks standing waist deep in the ocean waves, gently watching over their infant baby, who is joyfully paddling and swimming about without a care in the world. As a wave comes crashing in, sure to tumble the baby about, the adult fluidly lifts the baby up into their arms and gently sets the baby back down on the water just as the wave passes. This experience of joy during absolute protection that the baby is experiencing is on the same spectrum of feelings of exhilaration that can arise in conversation, when the left brain’s 4Ls have the tools and savvy to protect the right brain’s centeredness. By figuring things out in a coherent manner, as the intellect dances with our internal world of centeredness, the feeling of inspiration becomes palpable. On the other hand, when others are disempowering in conversation and a power dynamic is present, the exhilarated spectrum slowly goes into hiding. This is why CEO focuses on the strengthening of discernment, so that centeredness can be increasingly protected for the self and others, even as the amount of power dynamics begins increasing. When a topic is becoming too stressful and we are noticing the centeredness slipping away in conversation, by using the layer cake tool, it can become second nature to discern whether there is an option to defer the difficult topic to a later time when it might be easier to discuss, or when both parties are more fully resourced. Even this simple action of noticing and voicing options around maintaining centeredness begins to build trust, which begins to feel like the unquestionable level of protection that leads to feelings of exhilaration.
In the above example, the grown up as an innate awareness of the level of the waves and an instinctive alertness for any subtle shifts. In conversation too, we as humans can develop an instinctive alertness for subtle shifts in the flow interaction. And we can help make shifts before they arise!
Let’s go into one last example of exhilaration, to really ground the feeling of the concept. Imagine a situation, say when you are delighted to be with a best friend or favorite family member. It can be quite natural to feel both centered and exhilarated at the same time during conversation with this person. Here, it is our centeredness that arises from feeling supported in who we are, in our unique expression of ourselves and our personal desires. Now, with this person we have in mind, we can relax, deeper and deeper with each other, can’t we? At the same time, we can still feel quite exhilarated. What we may not realize, is that an unconscious part of us has built up trust that the centeredness and exhilaration in the container is protected. As we work through difficult situations or topics together without losing the centered and exhilarated feelings, we add to the trust bank account, feeling even more exhilarated and centered. We feel lucky to have these people in our lives, where the centered and exhilarated feelings are just expected. Like there is an unconscious tacit agreement around a sacred space of a whole brain experience. There is trust that the conversation will somehow be mutually supportive of centeredness and exhilaration. Now imagine being able to choose this, consciously, with the people you work with, or even the people you meet at a bus stop. With the tools of CEO Dialogue, we can learn to notice when centeredness is feeling exhilarating, and to not only support the centeredness, but to also support the feelings of exhilaration. When both C and E are supported actively, something very new occurs: the O. This is the most exciting ingredient to CEO Dialogue!
O is a circular symbol used to convey the experience of mindfulness when both centered and exhilarated spectrums are mutually supported in a conversation’s container. For this reason, we like to refer to the O as the “CEO”: it emerges when both Centered and Exhilarated spectrums are present and trusted to be actively supported. When multiple participants are sharing in this mindfulness, it grows bigger, similar to how mammals can feel each other, becoming alert when another becomes alert, or becoming more relaxed when the others are more relaxed. We can feel each other as humans in this same way. There are tests where brain scans show coherent brainwave peaks and troughs in participants that are sitting in neighboring rooms from each other, as one participant is given varying sorts of stimulus. In this same way, the more relaxed and exhilarating the conversation becomes, the more the orbit of the O widens. In CEO Dialogue, while we might call this O symbol the CEO, but for this reason, it has also been referred to as the Orbit. It really does feel like orbiting around a shared experience of mindfulness. In Zen Buddhism, the symbol of the circle, known as the Enso, has grown to become the universal symbol of mindfulness. This mindfulness experience is very difficult to put into words. In the Tao Te Ching it is said “the Tao that is spoken is not the Tao”. We like to have fun with this statement by calling the O many different names, as a nod to the Tao. We might call it the Ensorbit. In the case of the 30 Day Challenge, CEO might stand for Centered and Exhilarated Only and you’ll understand why when you get to that chapter. We might even refer to CEO as Cute and Eager Only. Even when the Tao that is spoken is not the Tao, practicing CEO leads to a shared vicinity of experience that will speak for itself. Best yet, it is repeatable, and there are tools we can learn!
And if you’re really hungry for more info, here is the free digital copy of CEO Dialogue: The Book. Free audio book coming soon!