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Health is an attitude
Connection breeds health



Nov 10 World Science Day for Peace & Development "has ..helped foster cooperation between scientists living in regions marred by conflict - (eg) the UNESCO-supported creation of the Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization" (UN web). The theme for this year is "Building trust in Science". We believe scientific endeavours can bring peace wherever there is hunger, natural disasters, war or underdevelopment though we see from the Israel Palestine inhumanity raging, peace DOES NOT depend on science but on social science and psychology.


🕊 🥋Every time we attack something that is coming against us with energy in a direct way mirroring it and reciprocating in the same way, we are using violence. What is more, by directing all our force AGAINST it, we are giving it more energy. This is what is taught in martial arts : if you oppose an opponent directly, you are giving them your strength. Martial arts teach how to use the movement of the attacking force to re-conduct it.


🕊 🌁Science still has to bridge the gap between our cognitive and emotional understanding of the world making room for psychology, emotions, the limbic brain (regulating our reactions of fear and flight) and reptilian brain (regulating our survival instinct).


🕊 Peace ultimately lies within. No peace inside, none outside. We transfer our violence in-out. Peace is coming to terms with ourselves. The more we are in peace, the less we get caught in conflicts. When we are in an inner area of peace, our threshold of reaction is much lower and our brain has time to process and respond in a more creative way 


🕊 Violence comes from lacking the basics or being robbed of our rights or possessions or believing so. Watch how you react when you believe your rights are not being respected. This may happen in the least significant moments of our lives. It is not only happening in places of wars or collective conflicts but right at home.


🕊👹Violence is a reaction to FEAR. Fear triggers fight or flight response. If we are not passive, then we respond aggressively.  We have to find and localise which fear is being triggered and from an area of peace in our brain, learn to tame the fear so that we can have more intelligent reactions in real life situations !


🕊 Let's start with our own self, community, company, country wherever we can, even starting small and erase the violence still existing in many areas of life towards...gender, children, education, agriculture, animals, our Earth ... We can find her we are going against the very nature of living beings and agressing. We force children to learn in a way that their brain is not prepared to yet. Against natural plagues, we respond with chemical pesticides which do more harm than good. Machism forces the feminine gender to remain in a role which doesn't  allow women to flourish. The more all our areas of knowledge are connected - science, agriculture, education, medicine, technology, psychology - the less harm we can do by considering  


🕊Interfering often arises from people who can't accept the absence of total control which is an inherent part of Life : looking for people to control gives an illusion of control....🤔 


🕊The cognitive mind divides - black/white, good/bad. If I believe I'm right, then you HAVE to be wrong. Becoming aware we're caught in dualistic thinking opens up communication. Peace is coming to terms with others.


🕊❤️The more we bring the heart into our lives, we create union. Let's not fear to act and take decisions connecting the cognitive and rational brain with the heart, be it work or business. 


🕊🩺 A disease may be the sign we aren't at peace with ourselves and act as a code. Deciphering it will help us achieve balance. Let's not see diseases or mental diseases as BAD. First let us listen to what is saying to us before trying to eradicate it in a violent way.


🕊🌿Let's stop bullying our own body. Non invasive therapies do succeed, specially when a disease is about to set in. Botanical ingredients without any side effects, Homeopathy, acupuncture, magnetic therapy, trauma therapy, any kind of therapy, hypnosis, even love and  listening.


 🕊😇 Miracles happen. Accepting the non-standard can help us see what to do to make them recur. Terminal diseases have cured under sudden shifts of energy or thought (eg Anita Moorjani -Ted Talks)


🕊 Reordering things in a wiser way and acknowledging what must can bring peace. Bert Hellinger's work with (family) constellations has much to offer.


🕊👃🏽 Breathing or collective breathing reduces anger.


🕊🚶🏽‍♂️ Go slow when we can. Take it easy. Slow reduces stress and allows processing.  Every time we are in a learning process, we need to slow down. To learn how to react in a different way than a response of violence, we have to slow down to allow our brain to process and find creative ways of responding.

The heart is not only our tool for empathy but also for lowering stress, health and mental wellbeing, INTELLIGENT DECISION MAKING, team work, long term vision and peace.

So, we have to acknowledge the heart at work. It’s not going to ruin your sensible decisions ! It will help you calm down, keep your feet well on the ground. It is not going to disrupt your data : it will help you look at it with intelligence, seeing the global picture and not just in parts.

How do we call upon our heart ? Just practice the breathing you learn in yoga - short inspiration, apnea, long expiration, apnea - this is called cardiorespiratory coupling and now cardiac coherence.

During Inspiration the sympathetic branch of the autonomous nervous system is activated and the heart rate increases. It is when we have our fight or flight response with the release of adrenaline, cortisol and noradrenaline.

During expiration, the parasympathetic branch of the ANS is activated, controlling all unconscious activities such as body temperature, glycemic hunger, digestion, heart beats. During expiration, heart rate can be lowered.

Slow breathing (down to 6 breaths a minute) has shown to decrease mean blood pressure and to improve asthma conditions such as in the Buteyko method also used for children. After 10 weeks, patients with coronary heart disease find their stress level reduced by 22%, depression time by 34% and physical performance increased by 14%.*

In fact, a 6 session yoga programme was shown to significantly improve working memory and cognitive functioning.** Furthermore, a 2021 study by Giuseppe Forte et al says “An adaptable rapid and flexible decision making requires integration between brain and body. Heart Rate variability (HRV) indexes this brain body connection and appears to be related to cognitive performance”***

In addition, after a five minute heart focused meditation in pairs in a meeting room, their HRV (Heart Rate Variability) shows an overlay of the HRV waveform for each pair thus showing a synchronisation between the partners. **** Starting a meeting, a discussion or a negotiation with a five minute heart focused meditation could lead to very positive outcomes.

So, have you thought about what this Chinese proverb implies ? Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Heart and brain have to become aligned for intelligent decision making.

Contact us for bringing the Heart into your worklife and in your Company.

*The physiological effects of slow breathing in the healthy human - M.A. Russo, Danielle M. Santarelli, Dean O’Rourke

**A yoga programme for cognitive enhancement Brunner D, Abramovitch A, Etherton J (2017)

***Heart Rate variability and decision making : Giuseppe Forte et al, 2021

**** Frederic Luskin, Stanford, 2002

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We have mostly got over the generational gap and we are slowly gaining ground on the gender gap, However another kind of gap is blatantly lying open : The gap between the square and the circle.

The growing abyss between the square and the circle mindset will soon have unprecedented and unstoppable effects on our daily lives, on our companies and our society if we do not understand what is at stake.

The square is obviously based on a linear structure. In our prevailing process of thought, we go along lines – sequence – time flow - cause / effect. One thing leads to the other.

You take information and find the consistency, the rules, the patterns. You establish categories. If x = y, y= z, then x=z. It says that if an apple falls to the ground and I can observe that other elements also fall to the ground, there is a common force operating.

Linear thinking breaks information into parts, into smaller and smaller parts to simplify what is complex.

It has brought about rigor, consistency and soundness to our thinking, hence the huge advances we have been witnessing in science in the last three centuries. And science has made our lives progress in such a way that we only swear by it.

In linear thinking, you apply the information from one situation to another : What is true in one condition will be true in another similar condition. This is the basis of standardization. This allows us to process information in bulk and to manage processes.

As we standardize, we can also better control our world. It is an assurance against fear, against risk, against hazard (from the French hasard : chance).

The Linear thinking model is how we are educated at school and it prevails in our way of viewing the world in most fields – science, business, finance, medicine, education.

All our systems go by William Thomson Kelvin’s famous adage which has become a religion even in people domains such as HR. What is not defined cannot be measured. What is not measured, cannot be improved”.

However is that always true ? What is it not taking into account ?

Improvements do not always start from measurements. Einstein had his insight E=mc2 in a dream (yes you read me right) and he spent the 7 years after trying to understand it. When Newton saw the apple fall, he connected dots - what is called an insight - and solved a problem he had already been pondering over. Richard Branson didn’t make measurements before launching his low cost flights against the odds but seized the opportunity when his flight to the British Virgin Islands from Puerto Rico was grounded on the tarmac. He asked for a chalkboard and with all the delayed passengers, pooled a $39 one way ticket to charter a flight so he could go meet his girlfriend again. More often than not, improvements are empirical.

Growth in awareness doesn’t usually come from testing the model first either : there is the phenomenon of belief which leads to changes in paradigms. Black Americans didn’t test out Malcolm X’s vision of equality. They followed and made it come true.

Measurements can be fooled, measurement dysfunctions may arise, measuring the wrong thing. Vasili Alexeyev, a famous Russian super-heavyweight weight lifter, was offered an incentive for every world record he broke. So, he kept breaking world records a gram or two at a time to maximize his reward payout. And, would you measure the success of an event by the number of people turning up or by the outcome efficiency – ideas, solutions, motivation etc… ?

As we standardize, as we generalize, we create the average. What some call the culture of the mediocre. What can emerge as genius, vision, creativity or innovation is stifled. In fact, standardization is the very antonym of DNA, the uniqueness of each self. Standardization seeks order and control, DNA serves the expression of uniqueness and each leap acts as a lighthouse for others to follow.

Our 22nd century perspective on disease derives from linear thinking : when a disease occurs, we directly attack the symptoms or the disease itself without paying attention to the context in which the disease takes place. A by-effect of this upfront approach is the attack on the organism itself. Each of us has a very personal way of creating disease, of reacting to disease and healing from it. Once you are ill, your journey of self-discovery may bring about the cure which standardised means may provide only in part - if ever.

The same goes for traditional medicine which has worked and is still working for many as in the long course of history. The French government is planning to prohibit the use of lavender whilst there is no analysis of each and every one of the 600ish molecules present. The reasoning advocated is to protect the population from any allergens, carcinogens, endocrine disruptors etc… which may be present in any of these molecules - overlooking the fact that the effectiveness of these 600 molecules may proceed from the synergy itself ....

Lateral thinking obviously also increases our neural connections and relates our cognitive abilities to our emotional and intuitive intelligence. Edward de Bono (the father of lateral thinking) gave the example of the Judgment of Solomon from the Hebrew Bible to illustrate what lateral thinking entailed. Two women came before Solomon, claiming to be the mother of the same child. So seeming to follow linear thinking, Solomon proposed to split the child in two halves, giving each woman a half. He knew what would happen next : the real mother gave up her child to spare their life. What he did was to make the woman move from linear thinking to connect to her emotional intelligence. This brought out the truth. Lateral thinking brings us closer to wisdom.

Some experts say our governments have dealt with the Covid issue - with linear thinking. Unheedful of the minimal percentage of infection in March 2020, they found a drastic way - not devoid of harmful effects - to protect the 99+ % of the population who didn’t have Covid not making use of their powerful immune system and exposing them to measures which would in turn bring about the health problems we are now witnessing. What if our experts had been invited to think laterally about this global issue ...

In linear thinking, the need for control itself can be exacerbated, We may come to believe that our intelligence stems from our rational mind alone leading us to delude ourselves in trying to live 0% risk (the spermatozoid that manages to cross the egg shell would tell you there is no such thing) – even though there are so many questions that still remain unanswered by science : How does consciousness happen ? How does life spark off ? How does understanding take place ? Linus, Charlie Brown's friend says “Trust the science is the most anti science statement ever. Questioning science is how you do science “. Linear thinking makes scientists look limited when you hear some say things like "We know everything now..."

Circle thinking, lateral thinking or non-linear thinking takes into account the whole in an intuitive way. Nothing exists separately from the whole and nothing exists WITHOUT the whole. A disease is set in the context of a system (body-emotional-mind-spiritual) itself within the context of ever growing systems (family – society – culture – country – world …). When absenteeism or work accidents proliferate, linear thinking would say : more health insurance, better work conditions. This may likely be only part of the problem. We have to look into the work environment but also the motivation, the relationships or the history. Sustainable solutions are a product of circle thinking, which expands the options.

Thinking out of the box, brainstorming are the offspring of lateral thinking, thinking in all directions. Lean and Agile themselves hold people as a pillar, equally important as processes. Tools such as the stand up meeting is a way to share first hand information by and with the people themselves in a process of lateral connection and the fishbone analysis is itself destined to trigger lateral thinking.

In companies, lateral thinking allows you to respond fast and get round the limitations you may believe to be daunting. It allows you the flexibility you need to grow emotional intelligence and understand other approaches to problems. It helps those who learn valuable tools as varied as even the Enneagram or Lean to stop using them blindly and better adapt to the situation. The rational mind tends to make us rigid and self-sufficient. Lateral thinking allows us the flexibility to take advantage of opportunities on the market, to see new possibilities and make use of all situations and of all the talents around us to their best. It predicts novel directions way before the voice of the customers themselves - who would have bet for the technological revolution but for Steve Jobs and his like ...? All departments - R&D and Marketing of course, but also GM, HR, Sales, Finance, Operations - can benefit from lateral thinking. It is a pillar for Innovation or Communication.

Companies can promote this culture in different ways. It enables start ups to devise ways to move forward overcoming the obstacles for reaching the market with less expenses. How to do it ? Once you have carried out lateral thinking workshops, these techniques have to be used systematically within your work meetings taking time to deal with the issues you have. De Bono proposed exercises such as the 6 thinking hats. (If you don't know it yet, this is how it goes. The issue is first exposed : the person wearing the white hat looks for the data and facts, the red hat expresses the feelings and emotions, the black hat, the critic all the risks and negative points, the yellow optimistic one explores the possibilities and the positive outcome, the green hat for creative solutions however absurd and the blue hat for order to manage the decision making processes).

Amongst others is the provocation creative technique announcing you are about to come out with a provocation by announcing it with the interjection PO (Provocative Operation) ! Someone makes a deliberately stupid statement such as "We can talk under the sea. PO !". The consequences of the statement explore the benefits thereof, what special circumstances would make it a sensible solution, what principles would be needed to support and make it work, how it would work and what would happen if the sequence of events was changed. Einstein himself exercised what he called thought experiments : "What would I see if I was travelling at the speed of light?"

The underlying assumption in lateral thinking is that our usual assumptions may be false or restrictive. If they are false, then this helps us bring agility to our minds and processes of thoughts, curb the prevailing view that we are right or hold to our beliefs fanatically. It is a way to foster a culture of flexibility of thought and means. Along with the fun, it helps teams relax, become comfortable around each other in challenging situations and seize windows of opportunity.

Also, meditation or mindfulness help release the grip our psyche and usual behaviour have on our habitual way of thinking and open the door to lateral thinking. As my clients know, I myself prone mindfulness in new natural settings so as to learn about being part of our environment - a greater whole. The form these activities take and the focus will then depend on the mission and vision of the company : shall we go looking out for the properties of plants or shall we explore Nature as the reflection of a Lean system are just a few topics which can connect the dots and empower a company in its purpose.

Some people are born with lateral thinking skills. Others have developed them struggling through the events of life and working their way out of constraints. A very proper CV may not hold the array of possibilities you will get from a candidate with varied experience but not such an academic background. However, we can all learn. If in some areas of the company, a more rational approach is no doubt indicated, one or two such elements on your team of managers will boost your resources and lead you off the beaten track. Building a culture of lateral thinking can but optimise your possibilities.

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