Hollow Relationships - More Mind Body Connection Stuff

Ever felt like someone you were speaking to wasn't there? How about a therapist? Ever had one whom you felt wasn't listening to you. Or whom just plain didn't get what you were saying? In this episode of Plain Talk about Talk Therapy, we're going to explore what underlies these uncomfortable experiences. Including the feelings I call "hollowness." Not from the psychological perspective mind you. Rather, from the mind body perspective. Why do we feel this hollowness? Is there something inherently wrong with us? For instance, are we all just bad listeners at times? Or is hollowness more a normal feeling? Do you know? Let's see.

"Hooking Up"

Ever overheard a young person say, "we hooked up last night"? Modern parents know to pay particular attention to this phrase. Why? Because for today's kids, "hooking up" is not exactly 'hanging out." Hooking up means your kid had some kind of "body to body" contact. Or as we old folks used to say, they "got it on." Of course, were you to inquire directly as to what they did last night, they'd probably say something like, "we just talked." Translation. They had the kind of interpersonal contact officially sanctioned by the league for the parents of perfect kids. "Mind to mind" contact.

Then there's the look. You know. The one wherein your daughter appears to have just swallowed a halogen lamp. The bright, light, sunny, airy, floaty look. The "yes, I really liked him but don't ask me any more questions" look. Which means what exactly? Which means your daughter had person to person contact. Mind to mind and body to body. And a whole lot more. In the hormonally driven teenage sense of "a whole lot more." But they didn't necessarily hook up. Confused?

Actually, it's quite simple given you take a minute to reflect on it. Then again, with all the late twentieth century TV therapist type psychobabble floating about these days, it's a wonder some modern parents can still boil an egg let alone talk to their kids. After all, why else would they ask things like, "how old is he; where's he from; and does he get along with his mother?" Oh, Lord.

Interestingly enough, when you know how simple mind body connections are, most of these questions go away. Or at least, they feel a whole lot less important. You see, the kinds of things which can happen to us in these situations are pretty much set within the first encounter or so. The tone of them anyway. And this holds true even for us older folk. You know, the "no fool like an old fool" situations and all that.

So how can knowing about mind body stuff tell you what may happen to you? Can it tell us how well we'll be able to connect to others? And what happens when we fail to connect? For instance, when we feel like people are not listening to us? Is it our words? Is it our timing? Is it even us?

Let's start with something simple. The idea that there are only three interpersonal mind body states wherein we can actually connect to someone.

What can be confusing here though is that, in two of them, we can connect and still feel hollow. Not because we've failed to connect, but rather because we did connect. But only half way.

What are the two states?

One. We connect to someone mind to mind, but not body to body. "He's handsome, intelligent, and perfect on paper but I just don't feel any chemistry." This is what it's like to feel physical hollowness.

Two. We connect to someone body to body, but not mind to mind. "She's gorgeous, sweet, and thoughtful but she's not the brightest bulb on the tree" type of hollowness. This is what it's like to feel mental hollowness.

So okay. There are two kinds of hollow connection we can make. Mind to mind, and body to body. What about when we do manage to connect in both ways, as in person to person contact?

In many cases, when this happens, we make a connection for life. Or at least, we make one for some significant amount of time. Moreover, while the nature of these encounters is that they often end up being significant romances, even when they don't, they still have the power to change our lives. Often in ways we never thought possible.

Obviously, these person to person connections do not come along very often. Nor do they always last in a meaningful way. You see, while person to person connections are the heart and soul of realness, there's obviously a lot more to having a lasting relationship than connection.

For instance, say we feel a strong person to person connection but you both have too much unfinished business. This becomes what I call the "starter house" relationship. Here, because you have a great person to person connection, you feel close right away and may think, "this is the one." Unfortunately, because there is the matter of the unfinished business, you also right away begin to struggle and hurt.

What happens then? The Mayan death grip. You love them and hate them and cannot leave. Thus, even with a great person to person connection, being healthy and continuing to work on yourself is much more important than say, an ever present physical connection. Not that this connection is unimportant. It's just that there are things which are more important. Finishing unfinished business is more important.

Whatever the case, even in the best relationships, we all need courage to keep a connection going. Fate alone (the mind body state) is never enough. And yes, there are people we can feel "fated" to have met. I've felt this feeling a few times myself. The soul mates at first sight kind of thing. However, in hindsight, and with a lot of years and failures behind me now, I more know these feelings to be the signs of a strong person to person connection than any predictor of meant-to-be-ness.

I suppose the thing to remember here is that even soul mates argue. And need lots of TLC at times. So yes. It's wonderful to have that special connection. But I wouldn't sell the farm until you learn to see past the person to person glow and into the other person's darkness.

All kidding aside, my point here is, person to person connections are never enough to sustain a relationship. Let alone make it a good one. Certainly, these feelings are often enough to get one started though. But then. So are the other two kinds of mind body connections; mind to mind and body to body.

Know we'll be looking at all three mind body connections later in this episode, when we take a closer look at The Three Interpersonal Mind Body Connections. What they look and feel like, and how they affect our lives.

What else will we be looking at in this episode?

For one thing, the three mind body situations wherein we fail to connect. The one's I've drawn in the diagram you see above. I call these three situations, The Three Interpersonal Mind Body Disconnections, as, in most cases, they result from people having tried and failed to make one or more of The Three Interpersonal Mind Body Connections I mentioned a moment ago.

Why do these failures happen? Before telling you, let me tell you a few things that are not true.

What is not true is that we fail to connect because we have nothing in common. We all have things in common with everyone. But we can't know this if we fail to connect. Thus, while we do have more things in common with some folks, this "more" is more likely a function of how good the connection is than a measure of how much we have in common.

What else is not true? It is not true that we fail to connect simply because we fear getting hurt again. And yes. People can and do feel afraid to get hurt at times. We all do. Often, very powerfully. Even so, if a strong person to person connection comes along, this reasoning evaporates very quickly.

Ironically, feeling strong connections is what gets us over these fearful feelings. Which makes learning to recognize and use mind body connections a heck of a powerful personal skill.

What about the idea that we're just not ready? The fearful therapist's mantra? Is this ever true?

The truth? Life is the one who decides when you're ready. Not your therapist. Nor you. And yes. You may be in the middle of sorting out a whole lot of garbage. Baggage. Issues. Whatever. Still, when you find yourself feeling any one of the Three Interpersonal Mind Body Connections, then you know life is saying, you're ready. Ready to be with "the one"? No. Ready to be with "the next one."

Which brings us to the next point. Is there always a "next one"?

Yes. There is always a next one. However, when I say there is always a next one, I do not mean, there is always someone better. Or that we should leave out present relationship. I mean only that life's way of getting our attention is to allow us to connect. We do not create these opportunities. We only say yea or nay. And if you're already in a relationship, then nay is the proper response.

The whole point here is, despite the psychological reasons some experts offer us for why our relationships fail, for the most part, they fail simply because no one teaches us about the Show First- Tell First Cycle. To what am I referring? To the two ways in which all people can communicate and reach the other person. The Show then Tell method, which works best for the Body First people, and the Tell then Show method, which works best for the Mind First people.

What makes knowing about this cycle so important?

The fact that the two most common failed attempts at connecting; Mind to Body failures and Body to Mind failures, occur, not because people do not try, but rather, because a Mind First person and a Body First person do not, by nature, know how to connect. And they can connect. And stay connected. But only if they use the Show First - Tell First Cycle.

What is especially sad here is that the thing which prevent these folks from connecting is so simple, that many times a lasting improvement can occur between two people in a single therapy session. We'll talk about how later in the episode.

So what do we have so far?

We have the three ways in which we can connect, mind body wise; [1] mind to mind, [2] body to body, and [3] person to person.

We also have the three ways in which we fail to connect, mind body wise; [1] mind to mind, [2] body to body, and [3] person to person. Is this it then for the ways in which we can and cannot connect?

Actually, no. There are two more to mention. The times wherein we make, or fail to make, an internal mind body connection. Thus in this case, we are not talking about interpersonal relating. Rather, we are talking about those times in which we try to feel a connection between our own mind and body. What I call, a "personal connection."

The thing to know here is that, because no one teaches us what the mind body connection is, most of don't even know what we are trying to achieve let alone how to live this way for any length of time. Thus despite the fact that many folks have a genuine willingness and desire to learn, unless you know the nature of mind body connections, these effort fail despite these good efforts.

What's the problem here then? In other words, where have we been going wrong?

For one thing, when people advice us as to how to make mind body connections, most of them discuss these connections additively. Rather than simultaneously. What I'm saying is, most people who teach folks about mind body connections teach that if you cover all your bases, mind body wise, that your mind and body will somehow connect in the process.

Oh, were it only this simple. But it's not. Why not? Because this advice actually causes us to disconnect, mind body wise. And for the same reasons all three of the interpersonal failures occur. Because the efforts they tell us will help us to connect within ourselves are based mainly on mind body arithmetic, not on mind body holism. In other words, you can't add mind plus body and get a connection. This only results in some kind of mismatch, some wrong signals between our mind's way of connecting and our body's way of connecting. Thus the jagged red arrows in this episode's first diagram.

What is going on here though? Basically, just this. We each have a mind and a body. And they each have a separate brain. Physiologically. And psychologically.

In addition, both these brains function within a different range of speeds. Body is in the slower range. Mind is in the faster range.

Thus, in many ways, we function like two great runners. One is a sprinter and the other, a long distance runner. Now can you imagine these two runners running on the same track and trying to have a conversation?

Please know, this analogy, as odd as it might sound, reveals the very worst part of the mind body connection problem. The mismatched by nature speed problem between the body and the mind. Moreover, the entire solution to mind body connection problems is to learn to notice and make corrections during the race. Similar to how these two runners would have to adjust to each others speed. Or not and not connect.

We mostly do not. And do not connect. Even within ourselves.

In a very real way then, we live life as if we were two separate people. A quick running, mind based person. And a slow but steady, body based person. Moreover, because we fail to notice and honor this difference, we more times than not fail to connect mind body wise. Moreover, this holds true even internally as we are subject to the same limitations which exist between two physical people. More so if the two literal people are a Mind First person and a Body First person.

Okay. I admit. I've just thrown a whole lot of information at you. Far too much to expect yourself to fully comprehend. The thing to know though is that, even if you understood very little of what I've just said, if you make an honest effort to learn it, you can learn to make mind body connections. Albeit, it may take you a bit of practice.

Given the effort and perseverance though, you can connect. Or at least know the real reason you failed to connect. Not all the psychological mumbo jumbo reasons. The real reason. The feeling I've been calling, "hollowness."

Can you see now why I've titled this episode, Hollowness in Relationships. It's the entry point into the entire cause of failed connections. And yes. Learning to read and use mind body connections can literally take a lifetime. However, acquiring the main skill; learning to recognize hollowness, can be learned rather quickly.

Okay. Time for a recap. Up to this point then, I've mentioned eight mind body states. The three ways we do manage to connect. The three ways we fail to connect. And the two ways connect internally. The good news is, that's it. Eight states. And before we delve any deeper into what these possibilities are like, allow me first list them all for you once more. Beginning with the four ways in which we fail to connect. Mind body wise. Then followed by the four ways in which we do connect. Mind body wise.

The Four Ways We Fail to Connect

  • A Failed Mind to Body Connection (a hollow mental attempt)
  • A Failed Body to Mind Connection (a hollow physical attempt)
  • A Failed Person to Person Connection (an extended interpersonal hollowness)
  • A Failed Personal Connection (an internal Mind to Body hollowness)

The Four Ways We Successfully Connect

  • A Successful Mind to Mind Connection (a physically hollow connection)
  • A Successful Body to Body Connection (a mentally hollow connection)
  • A Successful Person to Person Connection (an extended interpersonal Mind to Body connection)
  • A Successful Personal Connection (an internal Mind to Body connection)

What Is Hollowness?

In a moment then, we'll begin to explore these eight possibilities. Before we do though, let's first briefly talk about this business of "hollowness." What is, "hollowness?" Is it what we feel when we fail to connect to someone else? Is it the feeling we feel when we fail to connect internally? Or is it simply a common everyday state, the personal feeling of aloneness?

The answer? Hollowness is the norm as far as our mind body state. Thus, to answer to the questions I posed in the opening is, yes, it's normal to feel hollow a lot. In fact, no one walks around continuously connected to anyone. Not even to themselves. Why not? Because it's not in our nature to do this. Good thing too. If such a thing were possible, we'd be as vulnerable to injury as newborn babies.

Now take a moment to consider the weight of what I've just said.

Now allow me to explain why I've said it.

If you remember what I've told you about injury in prior episodes, you know injury occurs from a simple sequence of three experiences. Connection, Disconnection. And neediness. Moreover, our natures get programmed to respond to life this way in a single moment. The birth separation moment.

In that moment then, and in all subsequent Sequence of Three events, we get programmed in such a way as to be unable to connect in that particular situation. We literally get startled by the disconnect and never see it coming. Followed by a reliving of the neediness we felt in the instant just following our birth.

Can you see why we feel so helpless in those sudden disconnect moments?

What then is the nature of our inability to connect? Literally, it is situation dependent. And not even the whole situation. Only what we experienced in the startling instant.

What I'm saying is, whenever we get startled while in a connected mind body state, the energy of this startle gets permanently associated to whatever or whomever we were connected to at the time. Person, place, of thing. It doesn't matter. This person place or things becomes charged with the startle. After which, we can no longer connect to this thing. At least, to the exact way we saw it in the startling moment.

For example, take Lima beans. I have hated Lima beans for as long as I can remember. And until a few years ago, I hated even the sight of them.

No biggie, you say? How much could a Lima bean injury affect your ability to connect? Well let me tell you a story. The story about the time in which I realized how serious a simple injury can be.

At the time, I was out to dinner with my closest friend, Brit. He and I were eating at a Japanese restaurant. A great one. The meal was going well, actually. As do all meals when you connect to the person with whom you're eating. And Brit and I connect exceptionally well. He's as close to a brother as I'll ever have. We are closer than most brothers in fact. You get the picture. Anyway, so here we are, having a great meal, and Brit suggests a dessert. "Why don't you have the red bean ice cream?"

The air went out of the room.

He then asks me a second time, and a second time, I disconnect. And look down at my plate as if he's just personally insulted me. He did. In the reliving an injury sense of the word insult.

He then asked me what was happening, that he'd never seen me react like this. Especially after we'd been feeling so connected for the prior few hours.

So what was happening? I'd been startled. A long time before. I was seven years old at the time and my mother, a seriously volatile woman, had just beaten my sister Teresa, age six, with a yard stick. We were eating dinner at the time and only moments before, I had felt similar feelings to those I had felt with my friend Brit. Connected to my mother in a safe and caring way.

Then she suddenly picked up this yard stick and beat my sister repeatedly. After which she asked me calmly, as if nothing had happened, to eat my Lima beans.

Brit is even tall and thin like my mother. And when we met, years ago, he was probably just as volatile. My whole point here though is, all he did was suggest I have the red bean ice cream. Not Lima beans. No violence. Just a simple suggestion.

This was all it took for me to relive that terrible event. Why? Because enough of the details were present to bake this seemingly dissimilar events into what felt to me to be the same cake. Why? Because the energy of the startle I felt when my mother calmly followed her beating my sister with a request to me to eat my Lima beans was more than enough to poison my ability to stay connected to my best friend.

So what in that scene made me vulnerable to getting injured in the first place? Was it the violence present? No. It was that I had been so connected to my mother in the instant before. Can you see? Connection made me vulnerable.

And if I had not been connected? The truth? My mother did this a lot. However, I don't have a lot of these wounds. Why not? Because I witnessed most of them in a disconnected state. A state where I was protected from injury because of the hollowness I felt.

This then is one of the most important things I could ever pass to you. The idea that connection is the path on which the instrument of injury travels. Moreover, unless this connection exists, we cannot be injured. Hurt physically. Yes. But the broken bones heal. Hurt psychologically? Yes. But the insult goes away. But hurt when our mind and body is connected? This is the one. The only state wherein permanent injury occurs.

And the nature of this permanent injury? That we will from that time on be unable to connect when in that exact slice of life situation.

In a way then, you can say that, in order for us to get injured permanently, life must have full and complete access to our minds and bodies. Simultaneous access. Mind Body Connection access.

Know there is an up side to being connected mind body wise. A good side. An amazing side, in fact. What is the good side? That anything permanent, bad or good, requires we be in a connected mind body state.

What's kind of permanent good things can happen? Actually, there are five. Five permanently good things which occur only in connected mind body states. The Five?

  • Falling in love with anything or anyone.
  • Any and all true learning which involves aha's.
  • Discovering your true woundedness in a lasting way.
  • Permanently healing any one of these found wounds.
  • And becoming more conscious (in the Buddhist sense).

These are the five ways in which we our personalities can be permanently altered for the better; [1] love, [2] learning, [3] discovering wounds, [4] healing, and [5] becoming more conscious. Moreover, these five things can happen to us only when our minds and bodies are connected. Why? Because as I've said, in order for anything to permanently affect our personalities, the changes must occur simultaneously to the whole person. And not just to us in an additive way. In pieces.

This in fact is why babies can learn so well. They live in a more or less constant state of mind body connect for at least the first few years. Which is why babies can learn and grow so quickly. They experience life for the most part only in the state wherein they can make the permanent changes. All the time. What a great thing.

Remember the down side though. This kind of access renders babies vulnerable to permanent wounding. Personal injuries. Psychophysical damage for life. And the only remedy to being this vulnerable is to feel hollowness. Which is to say, to be disconnected in some mind body way. Either mind to mind, or body to body, or both.

So now. Let me ask you. Have I gotten you to have any aha's about what I've been saying so far? For instance, did it dawn on you yet why it would be so bad for us to be walking around in a constant state of mind body connection? Can you picture this? Living like little babies. We'd be getting wounded all the time. God knows what our world would be like. We suffer enough with the injuries we do get.

Can you also see why most injuries happen in early childhood? Because early childhood is the period wherein we spend the most time in a connected mind body state. And yes, it is also the time wherein we learn the most. So yes, being this open to life is a good thing. If you're safe. However, if you're not, hollowness is the only protection we have from injury.

Thus, early childhood is a good time to be in a constant state of mind Body Connection. We need to learn a lot and quickly. And we do. The thing is, we also get a lot of external protection then. Parents and even strangers protect us from all kinds of potential harm. This means, while we are, in theory, more vulnerable to injury, we are also literally safer. Thus, being connected all the time is not so bad for babies.

And as we get older?

As we get older, the world protects us less. Thus spending time in a Mind Body Connection is less safe, even for healthy people. This idea, in fact; that the state of mind body connection is what allows us to makes permanent changes, may be the most important idea in this whole book. Certainly if you're reading this to get more out of therapy.

Am I saying this clearly enough? Hollowness is simply the feeling we get when we try to connect to someone who is currently unavailable mind body wise. And rather than this being an insult to us, We should see this as them being in a protected state. A natural state. Our default state. As adults anyway.

This means the psychological crap that many folks try to spew on us; that we distance ourselves for reasons, is a bunch of hooey. We don't choose to disconnect. We do this simply because it is build into our nature to spend much of post babyhood in a protected state.

This disconnected state then is not a state wherein people "do not want to connect to you." Rather, it's our default state. And we live our daily lives this way because without this state, we'd be injured, all of us, each and every day of our lives.

Finally there's the part many people struggle with. The part wherein people accuse the other person of not wanting to connect. Is this even possible? To stay disconnected?

Desire wise, it is possible. You can want to feel disconnected. And stay disconnected. But can you do this by choice? Not really. You see, while wanting to protect oneself by remaining disconnected looks good on paper, there's something in human nature which prevents this from happening.

Don't believe me? Well think about it. When something has hurt you, can you simply decide not feel this hurt? Of course not. And if you are one of those folks who, through years of pain and practice, has become more able to focus away from a hurtful thing, are you then deciding to disconnect? Not really. You see, even here, these disconnects have more to do with the simple fact that our default condition is to walk around in a disconnected state than that we can choose to disconnect. We, in fact, walk around in hollowness very similarly to how we breath. Without thinking about it. Just another part of our autonomous nervous system.

Okay. Let's recap what I've told you so far. Here four points to keep in mind as we explore the eight mind body states.

  • One. We can learn, heal, love, grow, and become more conscious permanently only when our mind and body is internally connected.
  • Two. We can be injured permanently only while in this same mind body state.
  • Three, because this is true, when we are not in a mind body connection, we are protected from injury. At least form the permanent variety.
  • Four. At the same time, we are also unable to love, learn, heal, grow, and become more conscious. Or make any kind of permanent alteration to our personalities.

Now pause and take a number of big, deliberately chosen breaths. Why? Because these four ideas are the most important ideas in the whole book. They literally describe what enables us to make permanent changes of any kind. Love, learn, heal, grow, and become more conscious. Get injured, and be protected from injury. All this in just four ideas.

Now let's look at how these mind body states look out there in real life. The Show and Tell part of this episode, remember?

The Two Situations Beneath Our Successes and Failures

Let's start with the what all four of these failures have in common. They all involve failed mind to body connections. In fact, of the three failed attempts at interpersonal connecting, the most common involves a Mind First person trying to connect with a Body First person in a Mind First way; by talking. By explaining. Which to a Body First person feels more like lecturing than connecting.

The thing to remember here is that Body First people are like long distance runners. They more need time to get to the connection finish line. Not because they're dumb. They're not. But because for them, connecting is a longer run.

This is why Body First people connect better through Show then Tell activities than through Tell then Show activities. Telling is lecturing, remember? Thus you want to time your attempts to them during activities which involve plenty of physical contact. Sex? Yes, sex. But also things like candle light dinners and playing physical sports and such. As well as doing things together like drawing and dancing, and hiking and singing, and visiting zoos. And walks in the park.

Doesn't sound too bad, does it?

You also need to remember that if you need to interrupt them for some reason, you need to give them plenty of time to process that you're even there. As well as time to process what you're saying. Especially if you interrupt them in the middle of doing something physical. Like vicariously playing sports by watching the game on TV. Or if they're in the middle of the yard work they've been putting off for months. Now's not a good time, in fact.

At other times, when it is a good time, or when you really need their attention, you need to remember that Body First people have a longer run to connect. Translation. Connecting can occur whole minutes later. Sometimes even hours later. Know it can be well worth the wait. For instance, yesterday, someone who has an uncle in a nursing home told me that because she knew to wait a while for her uncle to respond, that she realized that her assumptions; that he couldn't hear her, was actually wrong. Thus while he was indeed responding to her conversation very slowly, he was also responding with perfect sense. And care. This despite her ongoing belief that he had lapsed to far into Alzheimer's to hear her.

As she told me this story, I had to ask her to wait. I so welled up with tears. Can you see why? Can you imagine the profound improvements which might occur between family members and folks with Alzheimer's? Even marginal improvements would have a profound affect. I know. I've experienced this myself.

My main point here though is that Mind First people need to remember to wait when they're talking to Body First people.

They also need to understand what connecting is like for Body First people. Physical. Hand drawn. Something shown not told.

And if you miss this?

Miss this and you'll fail to open the lines of connection. After which, even if you do get responses, they'll feel hollow to you even if they are not. In fact, Mind First people frequently feel Body First people are only "doing their best to fake an answer." You know. The kind of responses which make you feel they don't care one bit what you're saying to them. Or worse. That you're just annoying them. Or that they just they're just not interested in you.

You are interrupting them. And you are annoying them. But not from trying to connect. Rather, from demanding they drop everything and pay attention to you.

What can make this hard for Mind First people is that when they make these requests to other Mind First people, those folks can drop everything at a moments notice. They may even like doing this. And it can be exciting. Again, though, remember why Mind First people can do this. Mind First people are like sprinters who have only a short distance to make it to the connection finish line.

This in fact is why so many Mind First wives complain to their Body First husbands that everyone else listens to them. Just not them. The thing is, most of our friendships, certainly the ones wherein we connect easiest, occur between like natured people. Mind First people with Mind First people. Body First people with Body First people.

Speaking of which, how about when Body First people are trying to connect to Mind First people? What's the scoop there.

To begin with, this one is simply the alter ego to mind body connection failures I've just mentioned. Only instead of the problem being that the person trying to connect is not waiting long enough, in this case, the person trying to connect is taking too long to get it out. You know. The times where you feel like saying, "Come on now. Spit it out. What is it you want from me?"

Obviously saying these kinds of things does not do a heck of a lot to make connections happen. Moreover, they actually do a lot to break or prevent connections.

The thing to remember here?

Mind First people run at a higher speed. And if you want to catch up to them, you need to keep this in mind. How? Perhaps, by jotting down a note or two before you actually approach them. This way, you can deliver your opening connection attempt in an expedient Mind First manner.

Does this sound too contrived? Well let me ask you. Does it feel better to try and then to just walk away frustrated? Definitely not. And in those times wherein you feel they always have time for their friends but never time for you, do you read into this as meaning they care more about their friends than about you? They don't. It's just that connecting cross mind body type, while exciting at times, can be equally frustrating for both parties because of the time differences involved.

In a way then, these attempts have a lot on common with trying to call someone who lives many time zones away. You can do it. And it can be very rewarding. But you have to put up with the psychophysical limitations that time imposes on the two of you.

So what can Body First people do to better connect to Mind First people?

For one thing, remember that if Mind First peoples' minds are not stimulated, they get impatient quickly. In other words, as quick and as smart as they seem to be, these folks have short attention spans for things other than those which interest them. What can you do about this? You can introduce the thing you'd like to connect in and around with an intellectually stimulating question. For instance, "what did you think about . . . " works really well. And "can I get your opinion" works too.

And if you'd like to share something physical with them?

Then you need to first introduce to them something personal about it which they may find interesting. For instance, why do you get so excited when your team is losing. Do you think this is obvious to them? It's not. Remember, you're experiencing this at a slower pace that they are. Which means what exactly? Which means you see, hear, and feel details they are not even aware exist. Meaningful details. Personal details.

For me, a Mind First person, I do this at times by telling stories. For instance, Say I'm talking to people about the founder of AA, Bill Wilson. The Mind First people will usually be ready right away. But the Body First people?

Because there are almost always some Body First people present, and because I know that the strength of the connection within a group is only as strong as it's weakest member, I usually open with some kind of story wherein everyone can picture Bill. In fact, one of the most interesting openings I ever used was a time wherein I used a personal interest, my interest in authentic astrology charts, to talk about how Bill Wilson's chart predisposed him to the life he ended up having.

Do I believe this to be true? The fact is, it doesn't matter. All I wanted was to get everyone on the same page. And doing this did. Amazingly well, in fact. Why? Because astrology is one of the few things wherein both the mind and body is simultaneously stimulated.

Astrology aside, my point is, if you are a Body First person, remember to do all you can to, first, think through what you want to open with, and two, do your best to include something mentally stimulating. Better yet, include something about you and what you think and feel as a person, and you'll pretty much guarantee this Mind First person will be interested.

Lastly, we have the most common failed mind body state of all. The internal mind body disconnect. The state of personal hollowness. How can you do better with this?

It's simple really. Everything I just said? Well it all applies to you. How? You, no matter who you are, have one of each. A mind and a body. Thus, when you are doing Mind First activities, do the kinds of thing I've just told you to do for Body First people. And if you are doing Body First things? Then do what I've just told you to do to better connect to Mind First people.

And if this still feels hard? Then remember, cultivating an internal mind body connection is a lifetime long endeavor. No one, not even the Dali Lama, is born baked.

What I'm saying is, we all need time to learn to do and master these simple things. Why? Because we are born without this skill. And two, because we all have injuries which impair this skill in us.

My point? Be patient and persevere and you will succeed. I promise.

What It Looks Like to Successfully Connect

Now let's take a brief look at what success looks like. Mind body wise. What does it look like to actually make these kinds of connections?

To begin with, the most common way in which people connect is through Mind to Mind connections. No surprise here as this is what underlies most science and religion. And most technical trades. And most books and newspapers.

Mind to Mind is also the main staple of most educational systems. Remember the order thing occur in school. Theory first. Lab second. This is because schools are oriented mainly toward mind first activities. Especially political and philosophical studies, such as law, ethics, and the social sciences; history, psychology, and social work.

So how do people make Mind to Mind connections? From what I've just told you, it should be obvious. Through explanations, theories, and logical dissertations. In fact, to Mind First people, this stuff usually comes easy. And interests them. And so they do well.

Students connecting to teachers. Writers connecting to their readers. Therapists connecting to their clients. And lawyers connecting to the law itself. All these connections exist mainly between Mind First people. Why? Simply because it's these peoples' nature to connect this way. Even more so because the world currently so values Mind First things.

It wasn't always this way. And in fact, not long ago, the current second most common way in which we connect was king; Body to Body connections. And yes, this is partially because this is what underlies most sexual contact, regardless of how spiritual the two people are. However, it is also because body to body contact in what underlies all team sports, most bands and orchestras, all ballet companies and circuses, and most gymnastic performers. Along with most artists, sculptors, medical doctors and military folk.

Certainly, this is a lot of people. And a lot of important professions. The thing is, unless you are famous in one of these professions, it's doubtful you'll get much respect these days. Why? Because as I've said, the current world favorite, at least in developed countries, is mind to mind contact.

Where does this leave people who want body to body contact then? Mostly, must choose their professions wisely. As well as who they try to relate to personally. Thus, choosing poorly means you'll, in some way, be missing something in your sex life. And in your exercise life. And in your personal life in general.

Are there remedies? Absolutely. In fact, most remedies for hollowness are body to body based remedies, including medical remedies (like vitamins and healthy eating), hands on remedies (like massage and healing touch), body to mind remedies (like yoga and martial arts), and so on.

Most of what I've just talked about are the ways in which we internally succeed. What about the interpersonal successes then. The ones we make with friends, teachers, lovers, and heroes. The ones wherein we successfully connect Person to Person.

Here, the descriptions are simple. All the things with which we internally connect? Those are the things we will best connect to with to others.

And if there are significant interpersonal differences? Remember. We all have more in common than we ever really know. We miss seeing this commonality, not because we do not have it but because we do not see it. Connecting mind body wise is the only way to see it. Thus, the real way to have a good life is to learn how connect mind body wise.

The Show First - Tell First Cycle

Before we go, I want to briefly introduce you to the Show First - Tell First Cycle. The only pattern of communication wherein we can honor both people no matter what their mind body type. Moreover, if you learn to use this cycle, while you may, occasionally fail to connect, more likely, you'll succeed far more than you fail.

Where do we start? Start with something I've already told you; that there are only two ways in which we can attempt to make a connection; by show someone something, or by telling someone something. What's the difference?

When you show someone something, you show them something which physically represents what you are about to explain. At least in your opening bid. In other words, when you try to address the body side of connecting, you must physically present the situation you're attempting to connect and only then verbally offer your logic behind it.

Know this works even better if you draw what you're about to showing them, one element at a time. In fact, since learning about how mind body connections work, I often draw what I'm trying to get across. Even during the course of therapy.

Does it sound like doing this would disconnect people? Well know that I've had Body First people just about jump for joy when I styled my communications this way. Drawing is big for them. More so, if you have them then draw what you've told for themselves.

And for Mind First people?

You simply have to make sure you use good, concise labels and that you label the elements as you go. Not just at the end.

This in fact is a good example of mind body cycling. Dram then label. Then draw. Then label.

The thing to see here though is that, within the first two steps you'll have offered the other person at least something which feel right to their mind body preference. For instance, if you start by drawing, or by physically demonstrating anything, you get the Body First people to connect. Then, when you label the first element, while the Body first people will have to pause, you'll get the Mind First people to connect.

Moreover, doing things in this order has a great advantage. Getting a body First persons attention is usually harder. Why? Because it takes more time for them to get to the point of what you're saying. Thus, getting their attention first and then having them wait until you label gives them plenty of time to internally process what you're saying.

This then is what you'll find in this episode's third drawing. The cycle of Showing then Telling. No coincidence this is the exact same phrase teachers use when teaching young children. Young children are the best students, remember? And this is what works best for them.

This Episode's Session Notes

Finally. You've made it. You've finished the longest episode in the book. Congratulations.

Now consider why this has been the longest episode in the book. There were so many ideas and concepts I needed to offer you this time.

What have I told you about? For one thing, the six ways in which mind body connections play out in interpersonal relationships, and the two ways in which they play out within us as individuals.

What are the eight mind body connections again?

The Four Ways We Fail to Connect

  • A Failed Mind to Body Connection (a hollow mental attempt)
  • A Failed Body to Mind Connection (a hollow physical attempt)
  • A Failed Person to Person Connection (an extended interpersonal hollowness)
  • A Failed Personal Connection (an internal mind to body hollowness)

The Four Ways We Successfully Connect

  • A Successful Mind to Mind Connection (a physically hollow connection)
  • A Successful Body to Body Connection (a mentally hollow connection)
  • A Successful Person to Person Connection (an extended interpersonal mind to body connection)
  • A Successful Personal Connection (an internal mind to body connection)

Then we have the Five Lasting Changes we as human beings can make.

  • Falling in love with anything or anyone.
  • Any and all true learning which involves aha's.
  • Discovering your true woundedness in a lasting way.
  • Permanently healing any one of these found wounds.
  • And becoming more conscious (in the Buddhist sense).

Finally we have The Four Points to remember about mind body connections.

  • One. We can learn, heal, love, grow, and become more conscious permanently only when our mind and body is internally connected.
  • Two. We can be injured permanently only while in this same mind body state.
  • Three, because this is true, when we are not in a mind body connection, we are protected from injury. At least form the permanent variety.
  • Four. At the same time, we are also unable to love, learn, heal, grow, and become more conscious. Or make any kind of permanent alteration to our personalities.

Have I asked you yet if this was too much for you to take in? And yes. I know. I do tend to apologize a bit too much for how complicated human nature is. As if I'm the one responsible. Hardly.

What make help to know is that it's too much from me to take in as well. This has been a long episode. Three diagrams long.

And if I didn't have the ability to write it all down?

I'd probably have forgotten to tell you some of this. Much of it, in fact.

Would that have really mattered though?

To some degree, yes, it would have mattered. You see, we genuinely use only what comes natural to us. At least, on a daily basis. Which means doing the rest usually takes more energy than it generates. Will power is not cheap, remember?

Even so, even if you're practicing these things on will alone, doing these things even marginally can make a whole lot of difference in your ability to connect. To others. To yourself. And to the world at large. And I should know. I'm pretty much doing a lot of this marginally myself at this point. I'm a newbie too, remember?

The thing to keep in mind then is that we're human beings becoming. So don't be discouraged if remembering to do this stuff feels hard. More so if you are a Body First person. A person who needs, and deserves, more time. Not dumb. Just different.

And if you are a Body First person? Then use Show then Tell, remember? Show yourself, by imagining or drawing. Then tell yourself what you drew.

Now clear on this stuff yet. Don't worry. They'll be a lot more things to tell you before we close this book. Which is not all that far away actually.

What's next? Addiction and Recovery - The Therapists Role. Certainly an interesting topic. Especially when the person writing it has worn pretty much all the possible hats; recovering alcoholic, parent to two alcoholics, addictions counselor for many years, family therapist in a rehab for teens. And so on and so on.

Add in all this mind body connection stuff and we should have one heck of an interesting episode.

Until the next episode then.

I hope you are well,