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Our Three Centers of Intelligence

You may be familiar with the imperative, “Use your Head!” When we think about making decisions, we think about our heads, or our brains. After all, that’s where our intelligence lies, right? In part, yes, but that’s not the whole story.

Rock inscribed with the words mind, heart, and body

We actually have three centers of intelligence through which we experience and interact with our world: our heads, where analysis and insight occur; our hearts, where empathy and compassion reside; and our bodies, in which our somatic responses to danger, stress, and sadness arise; and in which we connect to our intuition, that feeling of knowing something when there’s no reason to know it—that “gut feeling”.

We tend to favor one of our intelligence centers to the exclusion of the others. Albert Einstein said, “we cannot solve our problems using the same thinking we used when we created them.” If we have created our problem by using our heads to the exclusion of our hearts and bodies, we have to access our hearts and bodies in order to solve our problem. To be our best selves and to make our best decisions, we must access each of our intelligence centers. But, how do we do that?

The first step is to discover how you connect with each of your centers of intelligence. You may be familiar with personality assessment tools. The Enneagram personality tool assesses your personality according to how you connect to each of your centers of intelligence.

Once you know upon which center of intelligence you rely and which you may be neglecting, the second step is to get all three centers on-line. As we work together in your coaching sessions, we check in to your three centers of intelligence—exploring what is most important for you from your head, your heart, and your gut— What are you thinking? Is your head following your heart? What are you feeling? Where do you feel it in your body? What is opening up for you? What is your gut telling you? We listen for your learning from each center of intelligence, and when you are accessing all three, you will be more present.

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