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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Limbic Resonance and Attunement

Though a majority of Western society values the rational, abstracting, reasoning rationality of our brain’s left hemisphere, a majority of people approach daily life through our sensing, feeling, and emotional mind. Why is there an enduring attachment to right hemispheric action and reaction in a time that seems to demand the concrete, no-nonsense functioning of our left-brain? Though the practices and interests of fast-paced society become increasingly isolating humans, by nature, are communal creatures. We approach our worlds with a forced left-brain to mask the true inclination to identify with others through our right-brain. However, our sensing, feeling selves cannot be squelched or diminished because our right-brain informs us about ourselves in relation to others and is always there, whether or not we decide to acknowledge its presence. Our right-brain informs us of new insights obtained through our pre-logical, intuitive responses to encounters with our surroundings. It sees the glimmer of a gold fleck hidden in the deep color of a blue eye; it delicately brings the pleasure of beauty to our attention. It lightly taps us on the shoulder and whispers non-verbal responses about who we are, how we feel, and how that knowledge is connected to others in our world.

In our logical society, more concerned with thoughts than feelings, there is a disconnect occurring between our actual experience and our perceived experience. The cost of masking our feelings becomes an inability to even access our feeling, and then when we do we no longer know what they are, or how to feel them. The hardest task for a therapist has become getting their clients to describe their feelings rather than the internal verbalizations of their thought process. Many people cannot distinguish the difference between their internal summation of “something”, and the way that “something” makes them feel. People forget that language is the translation of what occurs, not the actual event; much is lost in translation. Many times an experience is beyond words, and the only true way to access the authentic essence is through our sensing, feeling, and intuiting right-brain.

So, how do we get past the concrete wall of words to our truly felt experience? We must utilize the presence of Limbic Resonance. Limbic Resonance mediates our emotional ability to bond with others by tuning us in to another’s internal state. This affords us a reliable avenue to an authentic understanding of another’s emotional state. An alternative method is to pay attention to facial features and body language, but then we would still be neglecting the emotional connection if we do not “tune in” to their felt experience. The limbic activity of others can result in an almost immediate congruence between our felt experience, and that of others in our environment. At one time or another, we have all felt an energetic shift in a room as happiness turns to anger, or vice versa. The ability to read the emotional state of others is as old as time, and when we ignore the most basic and core aspects of our self, then we not only lose our ability to understand the authentic experience of others but the authentic experience, sense, feeling, within ourselves. The Hakomi method Mindfulness is helpful for those who have trouble connecting with their inner experience.

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