I have never really treated my mind or body with much respect. In fact, when it comes to my body, I can be pretty mean and from what I can gather, it’s normal – so normal, in fact, that Dove ran an entire ad campaign around it.
We’re gradually shifting the rhetoric around physical beauty and body image but what about other areas of our lives, such as mental health? Mental ill-health in all its forms is a growing concern and we’re attempting to do the same thing – change the rhetoric so we can remove the stigma and get people talking.
In both areas, these are signs of great progress and my post today seeks to add to that progress.
The short answer to “what is team you”? is: your conscious mind, subconscious mind and body.
Here is the long answer for those who want to know more.
10 days ago, I started doing something called The Wim Hof Method (WHM). It’s a breathing technique, followed by a cold shower. It’s winter in the UK. I’m South African. I HATE the cold. Yet, I’m making progress with this technique – largely because I’m slowly learning to treat my conscious mind, subconscious mind and body as a team.
It occurred to me over the last 10 days that I don’t know my mind very well at all and I certainly don’t know my body. In fact, for most of my adult life, I’ve made a habit of ignoring my body. It irritated me. It didn’t look the way I wanted it to look. It didn’t perform the way I wanted it to perform and, more often than not, I felt let down by it. Wrong shape. Too pale. Moles. Hairy. Cellulite. Broken veins. Yuck! Yuck! Yuck!
In recent years, I’ve exercised regularly, eaten more healthily and made more of an effort to treat the old heap a bit better. After all, I’m in my 40’s and I probably need to get another 40 – 60 years out of this thing so I’d better make sure I keep it going, right? I use this language deliberately to illustrate the presence of good habits alongside a problematic disconnection between the mind and body.
It wasn’t until I started practicing the WHM that I got a true sense of the three elements of myself – my conscious mind, my subconscious mind and my body. WHM pushes you way beyond your comfort zone and requires your mind and body to work as a team if you’re to make any progress. In the 15 – 20 minutes it takes me each morning, I have come to realise that I know almost nothing about my body and how to get the best out of it. I know the theory – I’m well read about psychology, nutrition, superfoods, the importance of exercise and all those good things – but I have never made an effort to learn about and understand MY body. I have never listened to it, paid close attention to it, respected the information it provides. “Too full? Too bad. We’re eating more!” “Too sore? Too bad. Keep exercising!”
I woke at 1.09am on Tuesday with an epiphany. They’re a team!! You have to treat them like a team!
I run a corporate training company and one of the subjects I train is about becoming a High Performing Team. For people to do this, they have to learn about the other members of the team, pay attention to strengths, share information, listen and create opportunities for the others to do their best. They don’t ignore each other, override each other and sabotage each other.
I need to become a high performing team!! It’s going to take patience, curiosity and a series of experiences that allow me to listen to all the parts of me and find out more about them and how to get them working together.
In the next few posts, I’ll explore what that means and how it’s working.
What is your experience of “team you”? Is yours a dysfunctional team or a high performing team?