Musicians call the sound when they are out of harmony Dissonance. That means that things sound bad. Our lives too can either be in harmony or not. How often do our lives sound out of harmony? In fact, would it be easier to list the times our lives are in Harmony, than the time they are dissonant?
It is easy to see when our body is out of harmony. It doesn’t seem to work well. Usually we feel a pain. That is the body’s way of saying to our minds that we should pay attention to that part of our body. Most of the day are we aware of our toes? When our toe hurts we stop and pay attention to it. Did we stub them, or did a horse step on them? Both situations and the many you thought of before your eyes read the words are all abnormal. Usually by the time we focus on our toes the problem and the pain is gone. When it isn’t we continue to work on the problem. We will need to put ice on the stubbed toe and seek better help for the crushed foot.
There are other sensations that our bodies send to our brain. Some are the usual status updates like where our feet are as we walk. Feeling hot or cold are other status updates that we might decide to respond to. Right now my arms feel cool, but my body is warm, so no action necessary. Sometimes we are aware that one toe feels different than the other. When we step in water it if it feels hot to one foot and not the other signals a problem. Are the feelings from one foot not reaching our brains? That can happen for many reasons as things injure the nerve pathways from our toes to our brains.
How does harmony play out in our emotional lives? Since emotions happen in our brains life does not teach us the sensations of our emotions. As infants we initially expressed that we needed attention. Infants cry when cold or lonely. Parents respond and go through a problem solving routine. Over time the infant’s cry’s change and the parents learn to recognize the meaning of each cry. The infant learns to express different types of discomfort differently. The parent’s response helps to reinforce that.
As the baby’s skills increase so do the needs. Frustration with not being able to stand gets a cry. The parent hears the cry and cuddles the child. Comforted, the child squirms and seeks to be let down. The parent watches as the child try’s again to stand. This gets either praise as the child stands or sympathy when the child sits down again. An emotional bond is forming. As the parent continues to be attentive when the child expresses frustration, the parent can help to teach emotional problem solving. Too often parents have not learned all the lessons the child faces, or has learned poorly suited answers. A parent that escapes into alcohol when stressed will teach the child to do the same. When we thing, “Boy I could use a good drink.” We should pause and ask ourselves how else could I respond, and why do I need to respond?” what put me out of harmony?
What is the sensation, or feelings that tell us we are out of emotional harmony? Frustration often leads to anger. When I start singing over my computer, it is a precursor to cursing at it. Thank goodness I recognize this before I explode and throw the computer out the window. It would really be cold with a broken window.
Other signs of emotional disharmony include crying, watery eyes, sleep or insomnia, dreams or nightmares, day dreams too. There are many other emotional sensations, some pleasant and some not so pleasant.
Since our bodies work as a whole our emotions have effects in our physical body as well. Anger leads to increased heart rate and blood pressure. Priming us for a physical response to an emotional sensation.
Our emotions are not just response to what is happening in our body, but outside it as well. Recently When I wanted to get up and walk in response to my wife’s telling me what I should do, I knew to pause and reflect. I am uncomfortable because I am seeking her support not her advice. I am trying to make changes in that area of my life already. I don’t know how well they will work, but I don’t want another set of actions and expectations to deal with. Let me see how I might deal with this in a way that won’t harm our relationship. Why is she offering unsought advice? How does she feel about me?? Yes! I think she has noted dissonance in my life and wants to help.
How might I respond to her about how I am making changes in my life? Today, I shared some signs of improvement in my coaching business. I shared how my work in one area is helping to prepare me for work with others. As I learn the technology to record and share interviews, it will allow me to interview several other people. Those interviews might be for the podcast to the blind community, or interviews for my book, “Recipes for Lemonade: …” and for a teleSummit. All efforts to share my healing abilities to more people.
Why do I want to heal the world? Like most people I feel pain when I see it in others. This is called sympathy. As a physician I saw lots of pain in others’ lives. I was trained to deal with the physical pain but not the emotional, social and spiritual pain I saw. By becoming a Life Coach I have learned about these forms of pain and some ways to help others.
Social and Spiritual Dissonance are the worst types. There are very few masters of these realms of our lives. Dissonance in these areas trickle back through our selves. Like emotions they can lead to physical illnesses.
Where do you find dissonance in your life?”
How have you overcome dissonance in the past?
Do you know others who need to recognize the dissonance in their lives?
As All Ways, Seek Joy,
Coach Dr. Dave
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