By Toby Macklin
Living Alive Phase I (October 1–26, 2018) focuses on self-awareness, but very much in the context of relating with others. It’s an intensive course in what we describe as “self-responsible relational living.”
One way of thinking about the kind of process people can go through in the program is through the Johari Window. This model has been around for 60 years and is pretty well known. Perhaps you have come across it before. It was created by two American psychologists, Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham, in 1955, and its name comes from combining their names, Joe and Harry!
In the diagram above, the Open area represents what you know about yourself and others know too. You can think of it as free, available energy. The red box that overlies the diagram shows that this area can both expand and contract. Often, however, we tie up or restrict our energy in working hard to control what others know about us (that is in keeping aspects of ourselves Hidden). We also tie up our energy by controlling what information we are willing to take in from others and what areas of ourselves we are willing to look at (that is, there are areas we are Blind to).
This constriction of energy provides a measure of safety but can have all sorts of troublesome consequences too, including illness, depression, addiction, loneliness, indifference to others, and various difficulties in relationships.
The model suggests ways that we can expand the Open quadrant, by self-exploration and by asking for and receiving feedback (thus reducing the Blind area). We can also expand the Open area through self-disclosure and giving feedback (in order to reduce the Hidden area).
In this process we can tap into the Potential area of our lives – aspects of ourselves that were previously unknown to both ourselves and others.
Living Alive Phase I offers fantastic opportunities to practice all of this.
It can be quite the ride – sometimes thrilling, sometimes uncomfortable – and the rewards are great! Expanding our energetically Open area frees up energy to respond more effectively to the circumstances of our lives. People discover new ways of working through the painful consequences of energetic constriction to become healthier, happier and more loving … creating better relationships with their friends, partners, and families, at work and in their communities.
Join me and Jo-Ann Kevala for Living Alive Phase I October 1–26! Open up the windows of your life!