Theory & Embodied Knowledge
Our team has an academic background and high interest in life-long learning as well as applying knowledge and science to our work. Therefore Joy of Being leans on a solid theoretical background about self-knowledge and self-awareness.
We will start with the main components of self-awareness in Harriet’s InTune model. Next up is Theory U, the umbrella theory for Joy of Being. We will also walk through several other approaches and literature that have been valuable in the Joy of Being work. The references are at the end of the page.
by Harriet Fagerholm
InTune Pedagogy for Self-Awareness
Harriet has gathered the main components of self-awareness to her InTune basic model. Its parts are integrated to the Joy of Being guided meditations and journaling process.
Body awareness is the ability to sense what the body tells and to feel the resonance and dissonance with the environment. This often requires healing the nervous system from trauma. As our body awareness increases, we feel at home in our bodies, our ability for being present evolves, and we are able to create healthy relationships. We become more attuned to nature and the living world around us.
Emotional freedom is about trusting and following these body sensations and our true feelings, without a need for suppressing any emotions or holding ourselves back. Truthful expression means expressing these feelings freely, and taking responsibility for our contribution in the family or group. We become aware of the benefits of everyone’s right to be themselves and express themselves truthfully.
Having negative thoughts about ourselves is like pouring poison into our being. Most of us have carried that poison since childhood and school years where we constantly compared ourselves to others. Awareness of our thinking asks for the will to transform the core beliefs we have about ourselves and the world. This, in turn, requires finding the root causes of the negative beliefs, removing these beliefs and replacing them with loving ones.
The real gate opener to the whole model lies in the simple expression of full acceptance. When we are ready to accept ourselves as we are, things start to happen and we get access to our inner truth mirroring the universal values in life. We become present to ourselves and our inner truth. Stillness and inner peace are the outcomes of the whole cycle of exploring.
Method, Dialogue and
The umbrella theory for Joy of Being is Theory U which is a methodology for deep change developed by Otto Scharmer active at the Presencing Institute at MIT.
Moving down the left side of the U is about opening up, letting go and dealing with the resistance of thought, emotion, and will. In the bottom and the core of the U is presencing, meaning “the capacity to connect to the deepest source of self - to go to the inner place of stillness where knowing comes to surface”. Moving up the right side is about bringing forth the new into the world by intentionally reintegrating the intelligence of the head, the heart, and the hand.
In the Joy of Being programs, we learn and practice the presencing. Guided meditations connect us to the inner place of stillness, and the journaling texts are often direct messages from the inner source. We learn to recognize the old patterns that are blocking us and causing the resistance. Presencing activates our true will which enables us to receive a new vision and intention for our life and work.
Dialogue and Relational Space
An intimate relationship between two people is a two-way process of response and recognition in the body which is sensitive to the relational field between you. Thomas Hübl uses the phrase “I feel you feeling me”. This is what happens in a real dialogue. Both of us in turns give and share, receive in an active way, listen and sense what happens in me, share it, and so on. In the Joy of Being processes, we practice both written and oral dialogue with a pair and in small groups.
The latest articles by Johanna Sandbäck Forsell, Linda Nyholm and Camilla Koskinen from Åbo Academy of Caring Sciences show impressive results on how creative writing affects personal wellbeing in a positive way. It has a cleansing effect, and it affects identity creation, offers control in a challenging life situation, supports self-discovery and creates meaning.
Trauma-Informed Mental Health Care
According to Peter Levine from the Somatic Experiencing® Trauma Institute, trauma may begin as acute stress from a perceived life-threat or as the end product of cumulative stress. Both types of stress can seriously impair a person’s ability to function with resilience and ease. Trauma may result from a wide variety of stressors such as accidents, invasive medical procedures, sexual or physical assault, emotional abuse, neglect, war, natural disasters, loss, birth trauma, or the corrosive stressors of ongoing fear and conflict. Trauma creates fragmentation of self and it continues to live inside us until we integrate it.
Both Gabor Maté and Pete Walker present trauma-informed work on a practical level and inspire in healing from trauma thanks to them sharing their own processes of healing. Maté explains that we need emotional competence – which we practice in the Joy of Being programs – to protect ourselves from the hidden stresses that create a risk to health, and it is what we need to regain if we are to heal. According to Walker, relational healing of complex PTSD requires empathy, authentic vulnerability, dialogicality and collaborative relationship repair which, in turn, are embedded in the Joy of Being culture.
Joy of Being is not therapy nor a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment (see the full disclosure at Joy of Being You or Joy of Purifying Grief page). However, traumas may show up in the Joy of Being process and therefore we aim at a trauma-informed way of acting acknowledging the need for sensitivity and ways to express if trauma responses are activated. The six key principles of a trauma-informed approach by SAMHSA are safety, trustworthiness and transparency, peer support, collaboration and mutuality, empowerment, voice and choice, and cultural, historical and gender issues. In a gentle way we invite you to reconnect with yourself.
Emotional Dynamics is a method developed by Antti Pietiäinen in Finland. It guides you to be in contact with our authentic emotions, to understand our emotional heredity and how emotions affect the way we behave in our relationships. The unconscious dynamics of fear, anger, guilt and shame create drama and stressful situations. When emotional patterns learnt in childhood are made visible, new opportunities open up with the freedom of listening to the messages of our emotions, without belittling or feeling ashamed by them. Our pure emotions fuel our actions. If feelings are suppressed we are not guided from within but instead unconscious patterns are leading astray creating deep states of self-denial, blaming others, negative self-sacrifice, bitterness, escaping, egoistic behaviours and victimhood.
Co-Creative Process Inquiry
Co-Creative Process Inquiry (CCPI) is an emerging developmental approach for cultural transformation in individuals, groups and organizations developed by Terhi Takanen. It transforms the ways working together from ego-centric acting to genuine co-creation. Its phases combine self-reflection and sharing and mirroring with others. Harriet has used the CCPI methodology with individual clients, small groups, and work communities for a decade.
The Power of Now and The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle open up a deep understanding of our true selves and the new paradigm we are embracing as a collective. He discusses the awakening that is taking place all over the world. Awakening means that you have an awareness of the dynamics of how the inside creates the outside, meaning that what we see in the world is a reflection of our level of consciousness and inner awareness. Everything is co-creation and the question is if you are aware or not what is being created. In the Joy of Being, we are consciously creating a new way of being and doing, and it reflects a genuine will of supporting awareness and awakening to our highest potential as individuals and communities.
References and Literature
Hübl, T. 2020. Healing Collective Trauma: A Process for Integrating Our Intergenerational and Cultural Wounds. Sounds True.
Maté, G. 2011. When the Body Says No: Understanding the Stress-Disease Connection. Wiley.
Pietiäinen, A. 2019. Tunne, antitunne, perimä. Natura Medicina.
Presencing Institute. https://www.presencing.org/
Sandbäck Forsell, J. Nyholm, L. & Koskinen, C. 2019. Caring in Creative Writing – A Case Study. International Journal for Human Caring. 23: 91-100.
Sandbäck Forsell, J. Nyholm, L. & Koskinen, C. 2020. A Caring Science Study of Creative Writing and Human Becoming: Creative Writing and Human Becoming. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences. 35: 10.
Scharmer, C. O. 2016. Theory U: Learning From the Future As It Emerges (2nd edition). Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
Scharmer, O. 2018. The Essentials of Theory U: Core Principles and Applications. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
Somatic Experiencing® Trauma Institute. https://traumahealing.org/
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 2014. SAMHSA’s Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach. HHS Publication No.(SMA) 14-4884. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Takanen, T. 2013. The Power of Being Present at Work - Co-Creative Process Inquiry as a Developmental Approach. Aalto University.
Tolle, E. 2004. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. New World Library.
Tolle, E. 2008. A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. Penguin.
Walker, P. 2013. Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving: A Guide and Map for Recovering from Childhood Trauma.