Have you ever met someone who was just far easier to talk to after 11am than he/she was at 7am? Oh yeah, that’d be me – I’m a night-person. You bright-eyed bunny-hopping morning people make me crazy; how do you do it?? I simply can’t cope with the sensory overload until after my system has had a chance to wake up slowly on its own. But give me a party that starts at 9pm or a social phone call that starts at 11:30pm and I’m good to go.
So, Gail is a night-owl. So what?
Not only am I a night-owl, but I’m an auditory, descendant, yin-in-relationship yang-at-work, sameness-processing, 2nd-tier (I think, generally), planning-oriented, INFJ, yellow-red, 6, American white girl. No, I didn’t just drift into speaking spy-code, I just expressed my inclinations and my social education in terms of type.
The great thing about identifying your type across many subjects is that it gives you power – the power to choose circumstances that are a greater fit for you, the power to function more effectively as your Best Self, and the power (if you wish it) to cultivate the other type dynamic’s skills. (thank you Frank Herzog for our pretty image of power in the form of a brunette)
However, let’s be careful not to imagine we can pigeon-hole the complexity of humanity into a few letters and key words. We’re dynamic; we change, we grow, we adapt to suit our circumstances; in infinite ways, we find ways to be unique. We’re not simplistic two-dimensional robots who are always simple to categorize.
Meanwhile, I also propose that in the midst of our dynamism, we also tend toward preferred ways of being, in the same way some of us are right-handed and some left-handed. Even ambidextrous folks typically sign their name and eat with one hand or the other, and put their pants on one leg at a time.
In TIA – The Integrated Approach, we are invited to continually cultivate “both/and”, rather than living from “either/or”.
In this case, “both/and” means cultivating skills across multiple types, across multiple traditions, complementing the skills that we already hold and prefer and are adept with. We each naturally tend toward a particular type, as though we were dealt a hand of cards by the universe in our family, our genetics, our preferences, and our natural abilities. However, how many card games could we win if we always held a full deck of cards rather than the limited hand of cards we are dealt? Ha! With the entire deck we could win any card game we wish to play. Four aces, anyone? Anyone?
If you had your choice, would you walk around with one arm atrophied and limp with the other arm super-powerful? Or would you choose to cultivate and use both arms, even while one arm is stronger?
Likewise, in TIA we know that we have exponentially more power (the capacity to mobilize resources to fulfill the needs of ourselves, our families, our communities, and the world at large) when we are capable of choosing between two sets of skills rather than being hijacked and limited only having one set of skills. The pillar / module of TIA that invites us to this discovery and evolution is called, “Fully Expressed Energies” .
Also, by identifying our type tendencies we can identify our blindnesses, our biases, our unconscious expectations of what’s “good, true, and beautiful”. We unconsciously develop social biases by race, by country of origin or immersion, by gender, by religion, by political affiliation, by age… And when we remain passively isolated in this particular education or type-inclination, we inadvertently arm ourselves with a weaker, skewed, less complete perspective. It’s natural to be inclined toward a particular niche, strength, or bias; there aren’t enough hours in the day to enjoy an “occu-passion” and to cultivate omniscient mastery in all traditions’ types. However, we can choose – as a form of play – to actively broaden our horizons from time to time by deliberately exposing ourselves to unfamiliar types, cultures, countries, and ways of being. I’m sure you’ve experienced the expansive fulfillment and value of getting out of your comfort zone at some point in time, haven’t you?
Learning about type also is sane-making, in that it shows us “they’re not crazy, they’re just not us,” and “I’m not crazy, I’m just not you.” In exposing ourselves to a variety of type trainings we not only cultivate strength, choice, and power, we also cultivate compassion, tolerance, and acceptance of diversity.
From “Fully Embodied Energies”, below you’ll find a list of types from across many traditions. In each tradition, identify your niche preference / tendency. In each tradition, where do you tend to most often gravitate in your skills?
How much more powerful would you be if you cultivated *all* of the following type-skills? *
Here’s to options and possibilities,
Are you dominantly – a night-owl or a morning person?
Are you dominantly – auditory, visual or kinesthetic? *
Are you dominantly – ascendant or descendant? *
Are you dominantly – yin or yang? *
Are you dominantly – sameness-processing or difference processing? *
Are you dominantly – left-brained or right-brained? *
In business / at work are you dominantly – a planner, manager, or a doer? *
In wealth are you dominantly an employee, self-employed, a business-owner or an investor? *
In communication, are you most often informing or directing?
Are you dominantly – (Spiral Dynamics center of gravity) 1st or 2nd tier? *
Are you dominantly – (Spiral Dynamics center of gravity across lines of development) red, blue, orange, green, yellow, etc.? *
Which Myers-Briggs type do you most identify with (E/I, N/S, T/F, J/P)? *
Which Personalysis type do you most identify with (red, green, yellow, blue)? *
Which Enniagram type do you most identify with (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 + a wing) *
Which world culture do you most identify with?
Which race, gender, political affiliation, religious training do you most identify with?
How old are you?
If you’re a woman, which energy do you most often embody: queen, amazon, seductress, comedienne, nun, nurturing mother, whore, superheroine, bimbo, little girl.
If you’re a man, which energy do you most often embody: king, warrior, lover, comedian, monk, nurturing father, gigolo/player, superhero, idiot, little boy.
* To learn more about types, or to cultivate your power and skill across types, enroll in a 12-session coaching cycle by calling 1.877.535.5438. I’ll even throw in an additional first-hour for you for free, so we can discuss your
goals and hopes for the study/practice and cater the program to suit your needs and intended outcomes. It’s a toll-free call, so ring me today!