Understanding Our Physical Surroundings

A person can either have a harmonious or confrontational relationship with his or her environment. This is one of the hard facts of life. You can’t have something in-between harmonious and confrontational because such a state does not exist. You can of course have varying degrees of harmony and conflict. Understanding that our physical surroundings are extensions of our physical bodies can be helpful in creating more harmony.

Everything Is An Extension Of Ourselves

Simply stated, our physical bodies are extensions of our spiritual bodies, if you will, and our physical surroundings are extensions of our physical bodies. There is no separation between them at all. It is in believing that a separation occurs that can foster conflict and result in things being more difficult and arduous. This way of thinking mirrors the idea that all things in the Universe are interconnected and extends it somewhat further. Consider what it would be like if we viewed all of our situations or circumstances within our personal lives, as extensions or part of us, like our arm or toes.

If someone at work were having difficulty with a co-worker, then by default all the employees who worked closely with the troubled employee would also be suffering from the same difficulty. Notice that I said they would have the same difficulty, which is important to ensure that no separation occurs. I wonder how the individuals in such a scenario would act. By default, they would not be able to ignore the situation and say that it is their co-workers problem and not theirs. They would be forced “into involvement,” and so be a part of the solution or assist in the further damaging of the situation.

By the way, what I am saying is not just my opinion but also the correct way to view interconnectedness. To be interconnected does not mean a “partial” connection or that a connection occurs when it is convenient. Every person, place or thing that is in a person’s life, whether beneficial or not, is a part of that person. Let’s give some examples shall we.

1. If your neighbor is involved in domestic violence, then you are involved in domestic violence.

2. If a co-worker is being over-worked and under-paid, then all of his/her fellow employees are affected deeply by this injustice.

3. If a friend is physically assaulted and raped, then all of his/her friends and acquaintances will be emotionally scarred from the assault as well.

4. If you are walking down the street and witness someone being mugged, then you will be affected by that mugging for the rest of your life just as the person who was mugged will be.

5. If you cheat on your taxes, then all people who cheated on their taxes will be significantly affected by that choice just as you will be.

I am merely speaking in a factual way, without making any judgments about what should be done in each given example above. The value of connecting to our humanity on such a deep level enables us to move beyond boring cliché and tap into such qualities as Motivation, Empowerment, Purpose, Love, Empathy, Support, Nurturing as actual human experiences and all the risk involved with making these types of choices. Yup, that’s right all, there is risk involved with standing up for each other. In doing so we have to look at our fears squarely in the face and honor them. Stare at them, feel them, and allow them to be what they are, which is simply feelings. They are not things that cause us problems or pain or trauma or anything negative. They don’t really have that much power over us unless we let them. Learning to feel without judgment, which can be translated into resistance will allow feelings to be our ally. They will nurture us, inspire us, empower us, and motivate us to name a few. Yet, this enemy of the people is a victim of a false identity. Someone along the way, probably a man, and remember a man is writing this piece, decided that feelings should be suppressed because they could somehow hurt us. Now that is a silly notion and I for one am a little upset at this falsehood! Feel people, so that you can become humanistic and move out of your robotic intellectualism.

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About Shawn Athanasios

A little bit about me. I received my BA from California State University, Northridge in Speech Communication and my MA in Culture and Communication from New York University (NYU). My Master’s degree was within the field of Interpersonal Communication and Conflict Management and my thesis topic was Meta-Cognition and Human Defensiveness. I wrote about the importance of individuals learning how to understand their defensiveness and negative thinking habits as a way to improve the overall cohesiveness within their human relationships. Curerently, I am an Adjunct Professor at SAE Institute, and my pasrt teaching experience includes several of the top Universities in the U.S. (NYU, LIM College, Pace University, Manhattan College & Georgia State University). My teaching experience includes the following courses: Interviewing Strategies, Intro to Human Communication and Culture, Interpersonal Communication, Small Group Communication, Principals and Theories of Communication, Public Speaking and Theories of Speech Communication I decided to create my own Coaching Business (JAAS Coaching) under the umbrella of Personal and Career Development for those looking to enhance their current profession, change careers, discover their deepest passions, communicate and manage conflict more effectively, achieve high levels of motivation, and find balance with their total self by offering a holistic approach to career and personal development. My eBook, "The Soul Search Before the Job Search," encompasses all of my work as a Personal and Executive Coach. My website/blog is www.JAAScoaching.comLinks to an external site. I have had many fulfilling experiences that include being raised in Laos, Ghana, India & Egypt by parents of the U.S. Foreign Service and Diplomatic community, teaching ESL in South Korea, serving as a Primary Counselor for kids out of Juvenile Hall, and mentoring grade school children through a Psychologist’s referred program. In addition, I am proud to have received a full scholarship for my Masters Degree at NYU, to have been the sole recipient of the Rosenberg scholarship and for graduating Magna Cum Laude upon completion of my graduate degree. I also presented two papers at the New York Speech Communication Association (NYSCA) conference while at Graduate School where I discussed the importance of taking full ownership of one’s shortcomings as essential to inducing change within oneself and one’s environment and how to be an effective interpersonal communicator. And finally, I was voted Faculty of The Year and Georgia State University after just one semester on the job! The article can be found on my website/blog. My volunteer work is reflected through participating in Buddhist Activities as a member of the Soka Gakkai International, the largest Buddhist lay organization in the world. Previously, I was the Young Men’s Division Leader for Houston District, I transcribed the World Tribune to audiotapes for the blind Buddhist members, I published an article in the Soka Gakkai’s Living Buddhism magazine and was a volunteer staff writer for the organization’s newspaper (The World Tribune). I continues to lead group discussions on Nichiren Buddhist Theory.
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