Today, I want to share a fabulous Ted Talk from earlier in the year. In it, Louise Evans, a corporate communications specialist, did a wonderful job of speaking to talking points we bat around a lot here. She uses chairs to depict our level of awareness and perspective in any given situation. For the inner peace and harmony we are looking for in every given moment, I can’t think of a better reminder than these five chairs to right our course to that of a more highly evolved human being.

Louise came up with the idea of these chairs after attending a 9-day course in nonviolent communication by Marshall Rosenberg, a man known for making strides in world peace. The thing that I think is brilliant about this talk is it gives us a quick reference as to how our mind is perceiving any given situation. For me, just applying Louise’s chair label to my current state of mind, can be an empowering tool. It causes you to pause, assess and recognize the path your thoughts are apt to lead you down. Pure awareness is powerful, is it not?! From recognition, you can always shift yourself up into a seat that a more highly-evolved consciousness would choose. And the beauty of it is – we can forever shift ourselves toward that chair that is more empathetic, compassionate, caring, loving and giving. It’s a lovely seat, a throne really, a cushy place to reside all the time. Don’t you think?

So, here’s a summary of Louise’s chairs that represent the behaviors and attitudes we can bring into the world at any given moment. You can use this as a quick reference for future use, should you forget the five positions:

1.) The Jackal

The jackal is always in attack mode. If you are sitting in the jackal chair you are feeling blame and tend to complain and gossip. The jackal is looking for what is wrong in people and situations. The primary identifier of a jackal mindset is judgement.

2.) The Hedgehog

The hedgehog chair is where one sits that is feeling vulnerable. This is a mindset of self-protection and fear of rejection and failure. There is a lot of victim mentality in this seat.

3.) The Meerkat

The meerkat can stand on guard for hours. This is the chair you sit in when mindful, vigilent and in a pause-and-wait mode. The meerkat mind gets curious as to what the other meant by what they said and by how you yourself are perceiving the meaning of what has been said.

4.) The Dolphin

The dolphin chair represents the mind that is self-aware. You know who you are, where you are going and don’t feel threatened by others’ words or perspective. When sitting in the dolphin chair you can face an opposing view and be assertive but not aggressive.

5.) The Giraffe

I think it beautiful that Louise pointed out that the Giraffe has the largest heart of all land animals. They also have the biggest neck which gives them great vision and clarity. In this chair, we put our ego on the back burner and look for a steadfast connection with the person with whom we are conversing. The defining characteristics of this mindset are great empathy and generosity of spirit. We look at others perspectives and embrace diversity.

Great food for thought, right! So, the challenge is to stay aware of where our mind is, pause, reflect and continually shift into that seat that gives a good vibe to each moment – a true path to higher consciousness. Blessings!

Sandra M Bell

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