How we deal with conflict reflects itself through all the systems of our body, our relationships and the systems of the world.

I heard this statement “How we deal with conflict reflects itself through the health of all the systems of the body, our relationships and our world.” by Becky Bailey, a teacher for parents and other school teachers on how to raise children without power struggles. Becky’s approach is based on the brain and our patterns of relating and her approach is to empower the relationship vs. dominating or submissive parenting.

Our skeletal system is effected by the postures we take ( dominant, submissive, neither) most often in life, our cardiovascular and muscular system will be effected by the stress we take on if we are approaching conflict as win/lose vs. a win/win. The opposite of conflict is harmony. What if we found the way to approach challenges with less struggle and more joy in creating with ourselves and others??? The definition of conflict is “living in a state of perpetual disharmony which is brought on by having to deal with mental struggles brought on by opposing needs and wishes. The fact is, when we get to the core of our truths, we are going to start expressing them as needs and wants and this will create conflict with those around us. Unless we want to live solely completely alone in a world with no love ( or very little), we will come up against conflict. It starts with ourselves and inner desires …..

From Dr. Deri Joy Ronis’s book “How to Handle Conflict” : Your perception and experience of a conflict will be effected by your ability to accept anothers values and beliefs will differ from your own, you won’t need them to agree with you in other words, but you will want respect. Conflict is a continual process of life that we learn from even when we don’t like the lessons.

As babies learning to walk the developmental stages each prepare us for the next postural need in order to move from being on our back, to rolling, to squatting, sitting, and standing to walk. Every stage comes with challenge and conflict to how are we going to learn. This organic natural learning is complemented with the environment our families/caretakers hold for us to learn…… How we approach conflict may begin as a balance of our personality mixed with how we learned to approach conflict at this early stage. The gift is we continue to grow, it doesn’t stop at walking. Becoming better at relating, and creating more harmony with relationships is a continual practice. It brings in conscious awareness and offers us an opportunity to change what we are doing, feeling, or bringing to the conflict. As we learn new ways to think, it becomes easier to be honest. Collectively we grow by sharing our fears and replacing “confrontation” with “communication” and practice feeling comfortable being honest.

I had some new students in Kai today and they shared 3 scenarios as they reflected on their experience. One was very uncomfortable, couldn’t relax, had a lot of inner talking happening, was wonderfully honest with me and wondered “ Why are we doing this? What will I get from it?”. The second had an amazing experience her first class and this was her second. She didn’t enjoy it as much, was also “thinking” a lot and very concerned about her friend she could tell wasn’t feeling the joy. The third friend was in a blissed out state from beginning to end. Now each of them had different experiences to pull apart to understand where their inner conflict or harmonized bliss resides. Each had an opportunity to self reflect. What perspective can I take that helps me to understand more about myself and how I create in the world ( starting with my body)? This is the starting place of finding conflict resolution. Understanding that first you have to pull out what the real conflict is??? Is it that you’ve never moved with pleasure before? Is it that you felt overwhelm and shut out the experience in a effort to self protect? Getting vulnerable and honest is a raw opening into the emotions and the understanding of exactly where the conflict begins.

One amazing gift of Kai is through the breathing, cardio, body awareness practices the nervous system gets both calmed, stimulated and at the end it’s in a natural healthy state of resiliency. Like a rubber band verses a brick. Resiliency gives us breathing room to not have an emotional reaction or interpretation of an event happening to us that we need to exert excessive force, or pull away from. Our dance builds centering in the body that give participants a practiced way to use the body for information when in a conflict to remain calm, centered, present and in inquiry of what to do next.

Problem solving with ANOTHER is another whole dance. This requires both parties to be “willing” to CHOOSE to word towards a resolution. Trying to control another or solve a problem on your own are fruitless efforts that continue a struggle. Everyones feelings and needs have to be taken into consideration. Asking for more time to “get clear” on what your own needs are is a way to self respect and respect the other as you coming to the table from your truth.

The age old question “ do you want to be happy or right?” is a good one to consider if you are wanting to respect the other person in the conflict equally to the respect you’d like to receive. Consider what it is that you really would like and place deliberate attention on this equal to understanding what the others point of view and desires are…..embracing the gifts in the resistances that you feel. Embracing the situation and moment as an opportunity to grow and learn. Exploring new emotions, new behaviors and a willingness to create while be honest with yourself. Resolution that is a win/win takes creative options, willingness to explore, and the wisdom that everything is always changing around us so anything we go into with curiosity to experiment with can offer new results.

Lastly, look for empowering relationships as role models for how to interact. Ari Hinnat in her article “Ten Ways of Great Relationships” offer some pointers:

  1. Surround yourself with people who respect your ideas, beliefs, and embrace your differences.

  2. Surround yourself with people to speak to you with love, acceptance, kindness and empowering honesty. Sometimes honesty hurts. Learn to live with an open heart and mind.

  3. Unhealthy, non-evolved, spiritually unaware, and unhappy people will distract and draw from your energy and life purpose.

  4. Sometimes, compassion means letting go of hurtful relationships. Bentley walk away from people who are overly critical, intolerant, consistently neglectful, combative, negatively aggressive, non-communicative, defensive, and dangerous.

Imagine how the systems of our bodies can re-wire along with our brains when empowering relationships are the norm! Choosing the challenges that make us stronger both physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually will reflect out in how we create family systems, financial systems, school systems, political systems and more. If you’d like more information on conflict resolution check out Dr. Deri Joy Ronis PHD. She has a book you can purchase with much more information and she offers her counciling services in Sarasota and abroad.

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