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Life Paradigm

In 2016 I spent 8 days in Zagreb, Croatia, as part of a group of therapists from all over the world that came together to share information, treatments and ideas. It was an informal think tank and an amazing eye opening week for me personally as I got to watch and learn from people that had decades more clinical experience than me. I remember watching someone that had been trained by Tom Bowen directly (the old way, as a master would teach an apprentice) and I quickly came to realize, in the words of Socrates, what I knew is I knew nothing at all. The trip was also a panacea of sorts as it offered me a respite from the 4 year grind of getting The Centre for Structural Medicine off the ground. It was a life changing experience and what I learnt quantum leaped my clinical work and the understanding of what I was doing. It was an information immersion and some of what I witnessed I’m still trying to figure out, 3 years later. I learnt a lot but the one bit of information that was my biggest takeaway from the trip wasn’t what I learnt around a treatment table but rather from a conversation in a coffee shop. I had arrived earlier in Zagreb and so got to spend the morning watching life from a coffee shop with a mentor before everyone else arrived. As we worked our way through multiple cappuccinos our conversation topics included life, money, wine, treatment, astrology, psychology and philosophy. Words flowed, ideas were discussed and information was transmuted. I can’t even remember what we were discussing but the words that changed my trip were “if you don’t have eyes to see something you’ll probably never be able to see it.” What Graham meant was that if your personal paradigm didn’t have the capacity to see or understand an idea, you would probably never be able to see it. It was something that made a deep impact on me. I mention this idea because it is so prevalent and has such a large influence on our lives. We all have a paradigm (a particular way we see and experience the world) and we filter out lives through this paradigm. They are unique to each person (shaped by learning and experience) and although paradigms can be similar, no two are the same. It is for this reason that often we have so much disruption in our personal, familial and social relationships. Often we expect people to see things the way we do but when that view isn’t included in their paradigm, they just can’t. I have 3 kids under the age of 8 years and if I had received money every time I or my wife repeat ourselves this email might be about wealth management and not health and mental state shift. You see children under the age of 10 have an under developed prefrontal cortex (the part that controls rational thought and emotion regulation). That’s why they are prone to temper tantrums and ask “why?” a million times a day. Their paradigm is different to yours as as an adult. What they see and feel is different to what you might see and feel. The same is true for all relationships. Different paradigms lead to different life experiences. Cultural upbringing, trauma, hormones, addictions and even gut bacteria can alter how we see things. Everyone filters life experiences differently and so everyone’s life expression is different. We see the same things differently and believe we are all seeing the same things in a similar way. Remember that next time your spouse, kids, colleague or friend seems to be behaving irrationally. You are both viewing the same situation or problem but having different emotional responses to it. If you understand this you’re most of the way there to finding a solution to the conflict. Chat soon

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