2. Reflecting on the Three Zones of Living
By paying attention to our self-talk to label our tendencies we can discover what mental zone we are in. The following diagram symbolizes the compass of my life:
In the creative zone we experience the tension between our supra-rational tendencies (eagle mentality) and rational tendencies (beaver mentality). In the survival zone our rational tendencies are fighting off our irrational tendencies (dodo mentality). In the conversion zone, usually a temporary state, our supra-rational tendencies rescue us from the self-destructiveness of our irrational tendencies.
The Survival Zone: We struggle to keep our head above water as we shuttle between our rational tendencies and irrational tendencies. For example, we survive in relationships when we live in confusion that is offset by moments of order, and there are times of certainty compensating for our pervasive skepticism that make us wonder if this relationship is worth the effort.
The Conversion Zone: When we have hit rock bottom, we either destroy ourselves emotionally and/or physically or respond spontaneously to our intuition in the goodness of life that awakens our vision and hope about our possibilities. Often severe depression triggers a spiritual and/or religious conversion. The annals of human history recount the extraordinary changes of sinners becoming saints. William James chronicles an array of conversions in his classic work, The Varieties of Religious Experience. We all know peoplewho in the ordinary course of life made extraordinary changes from being dominated by their irrational tendencies to living life fully in the exercise of their more than rational tendencies.
The Creative Zone: We experience the completeness of life when we are constructing the order of our days according to our vision of what is most important to us. Clearly, we see the connection between the power of our free choice and our responsibility to take control of our lives. Accepting change as a necessary experience of life, nevertheless, we feel a subjective certainty and confidence that we are making our world in the image of what we value.
How can we stay in the creative zone?
To live in the creative zone we need to develop the mental habits of paying attention to our intuition and of reflectively dialoguing within ourselves. A few minutes of meditation each day will keep us in touch with our ideals and the practical concepts to realize them. When we choose to be mindful, that is, attentive to our thoughts, feelings and actions, we can discover what is most important to us and how to transform our central values into creative actions. A declaration of our ideals and their corresponding practical concepts will form a personal creed. Like the software, a personal creed produced by our spiritual dimension will guide the hardware of all our other dimensions.