Hidden aspects of ourselves

Hidden Aspects of Ourselves

I doubt whether any of us are straight forward.  There are aspects of ourselves that perhaps we care to keep hidden or at least only show on rare occasions.  At times, others around us see things in us that perhaps we don’t see or recognise ourselves.

Back in 1955 psychologist Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham developed a model that enabled people to gain a better understanding of themselves in relation to others.  Combining their Christian names together they created Johari Window which continues to be used today especially within team development.  It is a feedback and self-awareness model that I have used myself when running workshops on team building and developing confidence.

I do think that it is worth, every now and then, to consider our own Johari window and to check out which areas can perhaps do with a bit more developing!

In its simplest form there are four quadrants or areas to the window, see diagram below.

Area One is known as the Open area and this represents our skills, behaviour, attitude, knowledge and experience that are known to us and to others.  It is open, nothing hidden, there is clear open communication.   When working as part of a team this area ideally should be developed in order to lessen conflict and avoid miscommunication.

Area Two is the Blind area which represents information that is known by others but not by the person themselves.  Maybe others are deliberately withholding information from you or you may be choosing to ignore issues about yourself.  Others interpret you differently from how you perceive yourself.  Not necessarily a good place to be in and often people who are known as “thick skinned” have an over developed blind spot.

Area Three or Hidden area  is what we know about ourselves but have chosen not to share it with others.  These can be our fears, past experiences, feelings, secrets, hidden agendas.  There may be many reasons why we choose not to make it open but we need to be aware that there may come a time when it is appropriate and healthier to move it into the Open area.  As the saying goes “what we resist, persists”.

Area Four known as the Unknown contains latent abilities and experiences that are unknown to both us and others.  It is the bit yet to be explored or discovered.  Maybe we have yet to have the opportunities to push out of our comfort zone, to realise that we are far more capable than we think we are.  Self-discovery and observation by others can help move from this area into area one.

By taking a quick check using this model are there aspects that you are ignoring about yourself? Maybe you hear others repeatedly tell you about certain skills/attributes that you are not accepting? Does it feel appropriate to be a little braver and move out of your comfort zone and stretch your potential?  For all us we rarely stand still in our personal development and growth so I hope that a reminder of this model will help you take another step forward.

Johari Model
Abundance and generosity of Nature

Abundance from Nature

September is the month for gathering in the harvest and making use of the bounty in the hedgerows.  Since we were first on this Earth we have been making use of Mother’s Nature generosity and abundance to help us get through the darker leaner months of winter.

This year appears to have produced an abundance of blackberries , sloes and apples ready for the birds and animals to feast upon or for us, humans, to create alcoholic beverages and warming pies! We can’t always rely on produce being available and certainly farmers this year have had a tough time due to the harsh wet winter and then parched dry summer.  It is very easy to be removed from our food source and therefore not appreciate what we are receiving.

Recognition of food is highlighted in September with the harvest festival in Christian tradition and pagan celebrations of the Autumn equinox.  Whatever way we celebrate or appreciate our abundance it is not to be taken for granted and it is the same when we receive from others.  It is often a pleasure to give things or do things for free to others but we also need to be aware that by doing so we may  leave others indebted to us or become depleted in our own resources as we continually give but not look after ourselves.

One of the first things I learnt in Reiki after qualifying at Level One was that there needs to be an exchange of some kind.  People need to give back for what they receive in order to fully appreciate what has been given.  The exchange doesn’t need to be financial but can be in any shape and form.

The article Planting the Seeds of Generosity quite rightly talks about what we send out we get back in return so we need to balance what we can do for others and how we can best look after ourselves.   Just as nature works in balance with using the nutrients from the soil she also gives back by enriching it for the following year.

So when we gather our berries from the hedgerow or our beans from the garden or even the food we buy in supermarkets why not give something back in form of thanks or a gift to the earth that has provided us with this abundance.

Nature and well being

Using the Resources of Nature

We need only step outside and be embraced by nature.  Even in an urban environment we will walk under trees or pass by flowers growing up in cracks of pavement.  We will see the sky, feel the breeze and hear the sounds of birds.

Our ancestors knew the power of nature, learning how to read the signs, working alongside her and honouring her beauty and strength.  As human kind evolved we eventually moved away from nature putting our trust in new industry and technology.  Nature has never left us though and today we are more in need than ever to find health and peace from her.

Everything around is energy so it’s not surprising that sitting under a tree or walking along the banks of a stream can have a positive effect on our sense of well being.  Peace or the sounds of nature allow our minds to relax, to be free to wander in thought, to reflect or just be in the present moment.

Research is showing that being out in nature can reduce hypertension, decrease stress, improve mood and restore energy.  Just being outside for 5 minutes can lower blood pressure and if you combine it with using all your senses the overall effect is one of total immersion in the present moment.

Other benefits of being in nature include:-

  • Stress relief
  • Improved concentration
  • Increased mobility of joints
  • Creative thinking
  • Increased boost to immune system
  • Decreased anxiety and depression
  • Reduced risk of early death

 

Using nature’s resources is easy.  Just a 10 minute walk each day, take your time to see colours and shapes, tune into background and foreground noise, sense what you can feel, be aware of smells.

Over the year be aware of a specific tree and how it changes with the season – the flowers, fruit, bark and leaves.

Look up into the sky and notice the clouds, how they form, what shape they make and how they move.

If it is difficult to access the outdoors, indoor houseplants or growing seeds on the windowsill can also have health benefits.

Nature is free and all around us so make the most of it to boost your health.

 

(extracts taken from e-book A Guide to Common Sense Well Being)