Yesterday, I led a session on bridging the gap between information and transformation at “My Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover” event organized by Master Coach, NLP Practitioner and Audio Author Sue Stebbins, the founder of Successwaves. We discussed the topic of information imbalances and the ways to correct them by engaging multiple intelligences.
We may not think of ourselves as information, but that's what we are: the cells in our bodies contain information about who we are, what traits and predispositions we have. The information is also all around us. It comes to us through a variety of channels: text, images, people, experiences, dreams, insights, feelings, emotions, etc. Our reality is, in essence, defined by the combinations of information: what information we choose to recognize and what information we ignore, how we access and interpret this information, and how we integrate it into the knowledge we already possess.
Have you ever played with kaleidoscopes - those tubes of mirrors with loose colored beads? You turn and shake them, and the same stones form different colorful patterns reflecting off the mirrors. Our minds can be like kaleidoscopes. We receive the same pieces of information, but they get reflected off the mirrors of our experiences, attitudes, beliefs, and form our own, unique patterns of understanding.
Learning is about taking in information, making it your own, and using it to function well in the world. I wonder if a person who only uses some information channels but not others is at risk of information imbalances. For example, as lawyers, we have been trained to rely on our cognitive skills to solve problems and ignore our gut feeling and intuition in favor of critical thinking and analysis. An unfortunate consequence is that we often stop recognizing the intelligence of our bodies. The disengagement from the wisdom of our bodies manifests itself in addictive behaviors, compulsive eating, prolonged stress, anxieties, and a multitude of other health and mental issues. The good news is that this body intelligence is always present and available to us, but we have to re-learn how to access it and interpret its messages. Engaging multiple intelligences can help open up some of those underused information channels. Here are some examples:
- Use your bodily-kinesthetic intelligence to take time throughout your busy day to notice how your body feels. Think on your feet: let your body guide you when you need to make a decision. If you experience muscle tension, a "pit" in stomach, or a sudden headache, perhaps, your body is telling you that you are moving in a wrong direction.
- Use your logical-mathematical intelligence to rebel against your own limiting thinking. Flip your assumptions, mock the established thinking patterns, and come up with fresh, powerful, energizing ideas.
- Use your linguistic intelligence to build a healthier vocabulary and ban toxic words that poison your body. Avoid negative conversations when you eat because the chemicals your brain sends through your body in response to the negative emotions and stress affect your digestion.
- Use your spatial intelligence to practice stress-reducing visualizations. Here’s the one I like to use. Close your eyes and imagine that you are near the ocean. As you are walking along the shore, you feel the softness and warmth of the white sand under your bare feet. And with each step you take, your worries and anxieties just dissipate into the sand. You feel peaceful and relaxed…
- Use your musical intelligence to listen to natural sounds of wind, waves, leaves, birds, etc. to harmonize your body and mind.
- Use your naturalist intelligence to explore how a certain concept that’s relevant to you is played out in nature. BEAUTY, BALANCE, PURPOSE, HARMONY are all good candidates. For example, if you want more balance in your life, you can explore how nature manifests it.
- Use your intrapersonal intelligence to learn what brings you joy and energy and do more of it!
- Use your interpersonal intelligence to strengthen your support system and share your curiosity, humor, creativity, and appreciation with others.
Related post: For suggestions on how multiple intelligences can be used in law school, read 8 times smarter : learning with multiple intelligences.