Embracing Irrational In A Rational World

I have been conditioned to embrace rational in an irrational world. I propose that in a world of change, uncertainty and diversity, we benefit from shifting our perspective.

Human behaviour is driven by both rational thought and irrational feelings.

We acknowledge that as humans, we are body, mind, and spirit. We strive to learn about the world through a rational analysis, backed by science, data, and intelligence. However, as we delve into energy, feelings, and emotions, the understanding we search for is less apparent. To connect with this energy, we need to shift from our comfortable, rational thought and tune in to the subtle, irrational feelings. When we don’t have an acceptable explanation for our feelings, it is easy to brush them aside and discount others who pose that perhaps we ‘overreacted’. We strengthen and defend our positions to validate our merit and the more we are challenged, the more intense our response.

We are conditioned to strengthen our physical and cognitive resources and to control our emotions.

Although the underlying energy can be very powerful, it is often discounted and the emphasis is placed on defining laws, policies, and procedures to create a rigid structure.

In many societies, outputs are the measure of success. As one group or nation builds and claims resources, other groups must further develop their resources to maintain a relative position and a standard of living. As societies integrate into a global community, the principle of ‘survival of the fittest’ necessitates a focus on strength, speed, and perseverance. Although the underlying energy can be very powerful, it is often discounted and the emphasis is placed on defining laws, policies, and procedures to create a rigid structure. The subtle energy of feelings and emotions, which signals our bodies when things go awry, is easy to overlook. Our strategy is to control, avoid and ignore the irrational responses that are activated when under pressure so that we can force our way through for success. The flow is disrupted, however, there is no callout to pay attention until there is a breakdown.

As we increase focus on rational, we underestimate the powerful influence of irrational.

Many of us live in an environment where we believe that we can happily exist by taking care of our physical and mental health. If the stress from our external environment builds, we have access to coping strategies: avoid the stressor; change the environment and strengthen our mind and body. However as we strive to achieve the level of success set by societal standards, the task requires significant energy. At some point, things become stuck. Irrational thoughts, emotions, and sensations get activated when we are under pressure. Our cultural background and our past experiences provide us with our programming and our expectations about how things should operate. When our environment does not match our beliefs, tension occurs. We no longer feel comfortable. There may be no rational explanation for the emotions and sensations, yet they are present. We are triggered and we react.

We can learn to use reactions as information to process irrational emotions.

We live in a time of change, uncertainty, and diversity. Conditions often do not feel comfortable. Our body does respond. As the intensity of change increases, the pressure builds. The responses are unique to the individual based on cultural background and past experiences. We often search for a rational explanation and finding none, we are inclined to ignore the signals. However, something remarkable happens when we develop a skill in using these reactions as information to identify the perceptions that trigger the response. These responses are energetic and we can learn to use the power of words to shift the energy that is stuck in these perceptions.

We now have a better understanding of how to guide the work. The Logosynthesis® method of guided change, developed by Dr. Willem Lammers, provides a beautiful philosophy and simple technique to resolve frozen energy structures. In 2017, we conducted a survey of psychologists, psychotherapists, and coaches trained in the method.  This is their preferred method for a number of presenting issues, such as anxiety, depression, burnout, PTSD, anger management and others. The cited benefits are overall effectiveness, speed of work, ease of use, client comfort and targets the presented issue.

Processing irrational feelings can enhance health and productivity.

We often consider our world irrational and we take pride in being rational so that we can focus our energies on fixing the issues. Yet often our world is so focused on cognitive approaches, that we lose our ability to even recognize how subtle energy influences critical situations. We are often left scratching our heads in dismay. When we learn to embrace our irrational responses in a world that values rational thinking, we are able to process the reactions that derail us – often beyond our awareness. Our behaviour is dictated by irrational reactions, often before rational thought has a chance to intervene.

Each one of us is human.  Each one of us reacts.

Policies, procedures, and laws are put in place to mitigate reactive behaviour. We provide rules to reflect our societal values. Yet non-compliance is a common occurrence and significant energy is placed on enforcement. When we learn to effectively diffuse the trigger, the need to control the response falls away.

We value ‘rational’. When we learn to embrace, rather than suppress, irrational, we can begin to create an environment that supports individuals to resolve the limiting beliefs, painful memories, and notions that result in distress. When we recognize the opportunity to resolve, rather than avoid and ignore, our reactions, we can create a calmer environment to enhance health and productivity. Logosynthesis® provides a fascinating tool to support this journey. We have an opportunity to lead change and to approach it with openness, intrigue, and curiosity.

Cathy Caswell
Cathy Caswell
CATHY is president of The Healthy Living Plan Inc. and holds an Executive Masters of Business Administration. She has managed a successful corporate career in marketing and sales. In 2013, she encountered Logosynthesis®, a guided-change method developed by her cousin, Dr. Willem Lammers. With curiosity and intrigue, she has been training in the method and exploring application as a tool for both personal and leadership development. Her work is to share the philosophy and the method to help individuals and organizations to build resources by neutralizing reactive behaviour and creating space for more constructive working relationships, especially in diverse, dynamic environments.