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Welcome to the third part a four part personal wellness conversation. To review the previous parts, select  Part One: Who Are We in Thought? ;
or, select Part Two: Human Doing Vs. Human Being

Part Three
Permission – What Does It Look Like, & Who's Giving it To You?

Welcome to Part III of our discussion on personal wellness. In part II Human Doing/Being, I introduced two WEL-Systems® Models. The Seven Logical Levels – Predictable Structures of Thought™, and, The Androgynous Baby™. These models provided a lens through which to view the responses we have to our lives. Specifically, those responses that fire off inside of us, internal cues, as a result of what goes on outside of us, external cues. It is important to note that we do not have to be the experiences we've lived, rather that each day is an opportunity to choose a different strategy on how to live, based on our experiences, and what we now know. With that brand new experience, a new reference point from which to stand and be. Assuming that is what you're looking for. In this piece I will introduce you to a WEL-Systems Model I hold relevant to this conversation, Nested Living Systems™. I will also introduce the Meta Model of Safe/Dangerous and how it plays out in our lives.

It has been my experience in conversations with folks in both a formal program room, and in one on one client conversations that there are many who I have experienced as seekers. Some are silent seekers, that on the outside, their life appears perfect, and on the inside, they experience a gut wrenching desire for more…mostly because there is an innate knowledge that there is more of themselves that they haven't accessed yet. Question is, why the seeking in silence? Then there are those that simply know and desire openly the more of their self.

Consider that we do create everything in our lives, from the best of the best events to the worst of the worst events, and in so doing each one, significant or not, was created as an opportunity for our own growth. What if every interaction we have, whether with another human being or the jammed photocopier was about our ongoing evolution? Growth, is the biological imperative, and as Cellular Biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton has discovered, the trillions of cells that are us, cannot be in growth and protection at the same time. This desire then to know of and seek whether silently or not the more of you is an innate ability that we all have because we know at a much deeper level than our intellect that the more is what sustains us, the more of us facilitates growth. That said, take a moment now to check in with yourself as I pose this question, and know it is your body that will give you the true response, before the perceptual filters of your intellect are given the opportunity to distort, delete, generalize, analyze, rationalize the truth of your experience away. It all happens in a flash though, so feel free to check in on your body now, by taking a deep breath, and just relaxing your tense shoulders. Ah, and you hadn't noticed your own tension…and now you know, and so too do you know how to release the tension. It is much easier to release it when you notice its presence...and You're Welcome! Oh and feel free to notice your state of tension or not as you continue to read. I suspect as things resonate your body will respond in kind.

As you take your breath and relax, based on your experiences, and how your daily routine unfolds, are you running away from or towards your life? So again, do you live your life in an "away from" or "toward" context? Away from sounding like, "I don't want "X" in my life any longer", and toward sounding like, "I want "Y" in my life. If your immediate sensation was of running away from it, so too are you keeping your cells in protection. Which strategy are you running? The clincher then is what Dr. Lipton also says about cells in protection. After a certain period of time, the cells in protection simply die. In one of his lectures he likens the process of cells dying to that of persons who have sought protection from a nuclear attack in a pre-constructed underground burrow/city. For a certain and intended period of time, you are in a state of protection. No doubt in the initial response it serves a purpose. Though his is in the context of bunker, I am sure you can draw the analogy to your every day life. The question becomes then, assuming that everyone that didn't have the same protection as you is now deceased outside of the bunker, how will we know when it is "safe" to come out of that state and back into growth, and will it ever be safe? Notice though, to stay in that state of protection however is as detrimental to our breath of life as it is to run the risk and step outside the bunker, and I would suggest more so…in the bunker your fate is sealed. Cells in protection die. Yet so many of us sit in the bunker of our lives waiting for the all clear, and what if it never comes? What is it that scares us then, and actually causes us stop our evolving life dead in its tracks?

Much like the bunker we take for refuge in the short term, when we continually say yes when we mean no, we engage in the strategy of waiting for permission from outside of us to say "no", "no thanks", "I'll pass", when our bodies are screaming it to us in so many ways. Instead, with say yes, and run the habituated response of running to the bunker of perceived safety. All the while hoping, talking about how the next time will be different. What if that permission never comes? We never give ourselves permission at the possibility that we may be seen to be putting ourselves first. Either by the way it impacts on others, or simply based on their beliefs, values, and attitudes (BVAs) about putting one's self first. In some cases, considering the real and perceived fallout of that, it has become easier for the intelligence of the intellect to just deny one's self permission, than to deal with the wrath of what others may think. And yet another piece of you gets hived off…that is cells staying in protection, and that is where the manifestation of our many states of un-wellness begins. That is what makes our personal wellness is personal. Only we know what we really need. Only we can give ourselves permission to say "no" when that is what we mean.

If you are afraid, what are you afraid of, and is the fear such that it keeps you in the strategy of protection? Do you consider the world in which you live a safe place or a dangerous place. If you are responding to your world from the perspective of "it's a dangerous place", fear may be the precursor to so many decisions, and I am not just talking about bungee jumping here, which personally I would never do. What if the energy of fear presented as something else, like, intention, desire, curiosity? What are the possibilities then of your own personal growth? That fear you carry translates directly into your state of health and wellness.

I have suggested in Part II that if the conversation of Human Doing/Being feels uncomfortable, what aspect of your BVAs plays into what is acceptable to say about this topic, and what isn't? If any part of that article had a resonance for you, what was it, anger, curiosity, fear, familiarity…and what did you do with that sensation? Were the responses about you or were they about the author….and what we think about others is most definitely about us. Did you close yourself down, not permitting yourself any further read? If you started to read and stopped, what was that? If you stopped the read, it is likely you also stopped taking in breath for a second. In turn, shutting off the valve for energetic processing What might you be protecting yourself from, and now that you know the scientific findings are that cells in protection die, did you want to give yourself permission to read it again, and pay mindful attention to the parts that your body responded to? Don't be afraid, that is just you experiencing an insight, typically something your body is already aware of and that the words read caused your intellect to realize it. From that can only come growth. Yippee! As Dr. Lipton has indicated, growth is the one biological imperative. As I have stated, your personal wellness is personal and only you can give or deny yourself the permission your body seeks in the moment of the energetic cues. You know, that lump in your throat, the empty feeling in the pit of your stomach, the heightened sensation of the blood running through your veins. They are all energetic responses, and are all deserving of your attention. I have spoken of this concept of saying yes, when you mean no, and there are so many contexts in which this can occur in our daily lives. It is important here than to give the concept some depth through content, a story. So then, Permission – What Does It Look Like, & Who's Giving it To You.

I have decided to lend my personal experiences around this issue. In other words, I choose to de-cloak so to speak. The only truthful experiences I can lend are my own. Any other are my truth of your experience, my mind read about you about us. We will touch more on that when we discuss Iceberg of the Self™ in Part IV, Vital Human, Vital Self.

There is a significant paradox which occurs for me in the writing of this third part. What I had intended this piece to be has changed numerous times since my decision to offer this series. The intended message hasn't changed rather the content that I will use to impart it. Why? Because I as a human being have experienced that biological imperative I have been referring to. Growth. I knew that would be the case as I set out to write these articles, and I feel it is important to make that digression for you here. To write it a month from now, again the story, the content may be different. That is the brilliance of our growth. Even, when it may feel like you are dying inside, or not, as long as you hold growth as the intention for all of it, and learning as a given, what you have is your creation, and what you get is your ongoing evolution. In creating all of it, what is most exciting is that if you don't like what you've created, you get to do it all again in the next moment. Moment to moment. I understand that for some that may be a little more difficult to swallow, and given that our ability to give voice to our choices is via the throat, that makes perfect sense to me. We were taught to believe that choice was not an abundant offering as we move through our days. Not on its face, because for certain we are choosing all the time. Rather, what is it that drives and motivates the choices we are making? Could it sound like, What will others think? What will others say? Will they like me if I say or do this? Did any of those considerations have to do with what was genuinely going on for you? Then there is the scarcity concept around choice. Words that sound like, "we have no other choice, we will just have to do "x"." A very limiting, and unimaginative statement. And it is used everyday, and has huge implications on individual, family and organizational wellness. Limits our creativity, innovation, and ability to trust our selves. The actuality is, in the moment of that statement, you are making a choice, two of them, the choice about the thing, and the choice to believe that there is no other choice.

To give context to this permission thing, I now share a brief snippet of myself. It is not meant for judgment of any one or any thing, rather as an example of choosing and more importantly, in real space and time, giving one's self, one's own permission to choose in a fashion that ensures their wellness. I would encourage you to pay less attention to the content and more to the context of giving one's self permission. It may also seem unconventional and yet, I give myself permission to impart.

I have experienced a year of growth at magnitudes that are off the charts. As a result of that year of growth, and as it continues, the times when I feel/felt like I was dying inside in retrospect were when I was doing the most growing. When I was making difficult yet necessary choices outside of my habituated response, that had they not been made, I surely would've died, maybe not physically in the short term but certainly in terms of my drive, my hutzpah if you will. All of the choices were made without the driver being what others would think, say, and do as it relates to me. It couldn't be about them, after all this was my life, being lived by me!

Based on the significant event of my mother's stroke, and that thankfully she survived, I found myself alone in my model of the world making choices, decisions that were far less than popular, professionally and personally. At a time when old strategies could've easily run themselves, I knowingly gave myself permission, to see what I knew I was seeing, hear what I knew I was hearing, and know what I knew, and move forward from that perspective. All the while knowing the choices I made would not be popular, but also knowing that had I made choices based on their popularity, and expectations of those outside of me, my parents were certain to perish as a result. I could bore you with content here, and won't. What needs to be stated is that even in the face of all the stories that I am aware have been and continue to be told about me, the stories are not about me, rather they are about the permission I granted myself, and how acceptable that is in our various cultural systems. Had I acquiesced to the choices that the world outside of me expected me to make in this situation, it would be comparable to staying steeped in my own protective properties of my cellular structure. The choices I made were not assaultive, if they were seen for what they were, a set of circumstances that by virtue of their intricate nature, a different response was required. With the promised de-cloaking of me drawing to a close, what is most important to bring out here, is that I could not have made the choices I did without having first given myself permission to do so. What I did know for sure was that permission to do/be different and effective in my personal circumstances, was not going to be coming from my family or the Organizational living system. I knew this because the information on how living systems work that's available to us at this point in time is incomplete. Unless one is seeking, there is much about how we work, human behavior that is, that we are unaware of.

Today I continue to be primary caregiver to my parents, and their lives are starting to bear a quality that absent of my choices in the initial year of the stroke event, would simply not have been available to them. Now they have their dignity, self respect, and sorely needed self esteem back. I couldn't give to them what I didn't already have myself. Giving myself permission to be authentic and genuine with my thoughts and perspectives allowed the space for my dignity, self respect, and perseverance to remain steadfast and wholly in tact. Had I made the choices that were expected of me, I wouldn't have had any of these selves at my avail. Imagine, all the very things that feed us at our level of identity as it were.

To breathe life into the paradox I have suggested exists in the writing of this, the composing here comes at a time where it was that I had sought permission outside of myself and in not being granted it, it was clear I would have to give it to myself. In personal and professional circles that could be likened to letting go of the trapeze, mid air…and I believe you don't always see the awaiting safety of the second trapeze until you have released the old, tired and about to snap one that you are clinging to. You just have to trust that it will be their, living absent of fear, and at cause, and poof there it is waiting for you to grab onto.

When I say, Permission – What Does It Look Like, & Who's Giving it To You, I suggest this to you. Often when we say yes to the expectations from the outside of us, fully aware of the detrimental effects it may have on us personally, that means for certain that we carry no power in the real time events of our life. No permission, no power. It is my belief then that all too often in not giving ourselves permission to put our real selves on the list of who to do/be things for, we succumb to the likeness of a manifested physiological ailment. Be it the flu, cold, indigestion, heartburn, back ache, migraines, and this in the short term. The ultimate permission slip, a readily identifiable physical ailment and the doctor's note to prove it. This is often what the permission slip looks like. It is what our bodies simply do for us, what our intellect can't bring itself to do based on all of the real and perceived external pressures, and expectations, coming from the stories we tell ourselves. What we haven't considered is that if we aren't paying attention to these real time ailments, or forcing endurance upon ourselves, our bodies will up the ante and make cause for really getting our attention. Things like life threatening disease, Parkinson's, Diabetes, Manic Depression. You name it…disease, aka, diss  ease manifestations when we choose to run the only strategy we are taught to believe is at our avail, and that is saying yes, when we really mean no or vice versa. You create the context. The heaviness presenting in your chest, the pangs in your lower back, the piercing pain in your solar plexus, these are all things we dismiss, minimize, or blame on the tag football game we played the night before, and it is our bodies trying to get our attention. Disease gets our attention! For those of you who are avid country music fans, specifically fans of Tim McGraw, think about the underlying presupposition of permission in country singer Tim McGraw's hit single, Live Like You Were Dying. The only safe space to answer the question honestly about what do you really want to do, is when someone asks, what would you do if you knew you were going to die tomorrow? Until now that is. It shouldn't take a life altering event like being at deaths door to have us not be afraid of our own lives anymore. Consider this, it was our own fear, in or out of our awareness that got us to death's door. What are the conversations you are having with yourself? The ones, none of us outside of you can hear.

I am able to be shameless in sharing this personal circumstance and perspective with you and each creates plenty of space for dialogue and to ask, where do we grow from here? If we are going to consider permission to be an inalienable right, where do we grow from here? Where do we as, family systems, and organizational living systems grow from here. More importantly, because the theme of these articles is personal wellness, and that it is personal, where do you the individual human living system go from here, having what you now have to consider? My belief about it is if we are taking the best care of ourselves, and that comes via permission to notice and respond in kind to what is going on for us, then the entities of family and organizational and corporate systems are sure to reap the benefits. Second to the wellness of human living system, comes the wellness of family/organizational living systems. It is my view that it has to start with the human living system however, because if they weren't to show up for work, well there would be no organizational system to consider. The organizational system is only as healthy or not as the human system working in it.

WEL-Systems Model, Nested Living Systems™ speaks very succinctly to the degree to which we all experience the health or not of the particular nested system we are in. The nest can exist in many contexts. The nest can be the nest of the family. The nest of those families living next to each other called neighborhood. The nest of those neighborhoods bordering each other, called community, and we could go on and on. Let's bring it back to the family again. Our typical notion of nest as a family is that of the togetherness of two people in love, children, and possibly a family pet. If it is the family has within it a human living system that is not well, typically the family will be affected by that, and depending on the state of un-wellness, the context of it, this could also spill over and into the nested system of neighborhood. For example, James next door is suspected of drug dealing. The conversation between Doug and Martha, Jamie's neighbors may sound like this. "That Jamie, three doors down from us Martha, and I'm sure there is drug dealing going on there. I don't feel comfortable having those kinds of people coming to my neighborhood."

Based on the various nested living systems suggested here, if one collective in the nest is un-well so too are the others. That we can be experiencing more than one nested system at one time, we carry that un-wellness into our other Nested Living Systems. Depending on where permission is coming from for you, your state of wellness or not is affected, and you bring that affect with you everywhere you go.

How much wellness do you think would be available to you, if you changed the degree to which you give yourself permission for everything in your life. To cry when it is you are choking back the tears for fear of ridicule, to laugh when laughing is otherwise not allowed, to agree to disagree, to say yes when you mean yes, and to say no when you mean no. It is possible to have all of this without having to apologize for it, or becoming assaultive, invasive, intrusive, offensive, to another. When it is we are being genuine, authentic, truthful, we are hard pressed to challenge that.

There can be no doubt at the level of our environment and behavior there are certain expectations that we cannot digress from, that ensure the very basic needs of the human living system. That is our safety, security, and freedom to be out there, without concern that any will be compromised. When we start moving up the logical levels of thinking, structures of thought, beyond our environment and behavior, and now into our capabilities, BVAs, choice, identity, spirituality there is lots to be said for how our lives can be very different and fun when we actually count. When we give ourselves permission to have what moves in us as our truth be expressed, growth is assured. This is not a conversation about always having it our own way, rather that there is always space to speak your truth. The space to do/be that is created by you, it comes from the permission you give yourself to be truthful, when it is popular and most certainly when it isn't. No relationship, friendship, advancement, promotion is worth the pieces one's self has to hive off to attain it. Give yourself permission. That would be you growing.

Permission, it must come from inside of you, it is after all where you live. See you in part IV, when we conclude this series with a conversation on Vital Human/Vital Self.


Kae Roberts, Founder of Awakening Wave, is a WEL-Systems Catalyst and CODE Model Coach™. Kae has over 16 years in Law Enforcement and brings both safety and wisdom into her conversations with those who seek to live their lives more fully. She welcomes the opportunity to journey with you as you discover your own personal resourcefulness as it lies within you.

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