• Nancy Dennis ACC

Staying in Balance - Your Perspective

Updated: Jun 24, 2019

The first of four essential elements to personal mastery...regardless of what is happening around you.

Your experience of any event is defined by 4 key factors:

•The first key factor is how you look at something – the meaning you give it.

•The second key factor is your expectations.

•The third key factor is your emotional presence.

•The fourth key factor is your action/reaction to events.

These 4 things fit like a puzzle together to define your daily experience. You have total, absolute control over these things.

When mastering these things, our objective is to move forward toward the results we want, and move further away from the results we do not want. Often we think we want to have more self control or self discipline. I personally do not prefer these terms – they can quickly take on a harsh or negative meaning. I like to look at it as exercising self training, focusing on developing and improving skills that influence the outcomes and/or produce results.

Let’s review the first of the 4 key factors.


We have a remembering self, and an experiencing self. The remembering self relies upon memories of changes, significant moments and endings. It is the remembering self that tells us a story, and sometimes we are aware that the story is going on, and sometimes we are not aware.

When you are a child and touch something hot and burn yourself, you quickly place that memory on the remembering self path. You are less likely to repeat that action, because your remembering self recalls the end result. If you had continual amnesia, you would repeat it over and over again because the remembering self would not be present to provide you with experiential wisdom.

The experiencing self, on the other hand has an awareness of moments of experience – about 3 seconds long, most of which is completely ignored by the remembering self.


What was your experience as you drove to work this morning?

Note ‘events’ and non-events, and the impact it had to the remembering self. If there was an accident and traffic was backed up, and we were frustrated, the memory of driving to work might be all around that – forgetting the part of the drive that was not impacted by delayed traffic.

Sometimes, we rely on the remembering self a little too much. For instance, if we have an experience of a parent yelling at us as a child, and then being physically struck resulting in pain, and that is repeated over and over, as adults when voices are raised, our remembering self automatically kicks into high gear and sends out warning alerts. The remembering self could totally control and define how you look at the event/the meaning you give it, your expectations, your emotional presence and the actions you take. You might even be aware of this and say “Because this happened in my past, I can’t help but respond to these situations in this way”. But that would be incorrect. You can always become aware and make choices. It takes practice and attention.

In reality, when voices are raised, it does not need to mean what the remembering self wants it to mean. Imagine an outsider without the same ‘remembering self’ history coming in and hearing raised voices. This person could easily say, “Hummm, someone is passionate about something,”, or “Some people just like to be loud.” They could also think that it has nothing to do with them, and not even put a meaning on the fact that voices are louder than what is found in normal conversation. This person’s experiencing self is not uncomfortable. It passes like a blip – part of that “completely ignored” collection I mentioned earlier.

Let’s look at ways to wake up to the automated types of responses and reactions, so that we can be intentional in our actions and have more influence over our outcomes.

We want to develop our skill set in these areas. I want to encourage you in advance, be patient and gentle with yourself as you decide to implement these practices. It is not an overnight thing. We will be creating new pathways in the brain, and we will want to reinforce those pathways frequently in order to change the things that have not worked well for us up until now.

Call to Action:

Think of the choices you make when you feel uncomfortable.

•Is the remembering self in overdrive?

•Can you step back away from the stories of the remembering self and strip away the meaning and emotion in order to look just at the facts?

•What happens when you do this?

•What do you see differently when you are willing to let what is just be, without a past story, judgments or labels?

Drop me a note and let me know how you are doing in this area. I like to hear about challenges as well as success. If you have questions, just let me know.

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