Unity and Individuality
When our caregivers first gazed into our eyes and we gazed back at them, we experienced a surge of brain activity, soothing theta waves, opiates and feel-good endorphins.
In adults, when there is a strong attraction and connection, moments of physical touching and mutual eye gaze also create a powerful neurochemical effect. The irony is that these neurochemicals for attachment and bonding can also spark insecurities and hesitation.
The reason for this is that however good the neurochemicals feel, they can’t last forever. We cannot be permanently physically embedded in another person. As complex adaptive organisms, we need to also navigate and master our world on our own.
What can happen for some people is a (often unconscious) fear that the neurochemical bond from physical connection and intimate presence with another may lead:
-each person to ‘lose themselves’, get off track from their sense of mission and purpose (enmeshment)
-to a sense of loss or withdrawal when the bonding moment comes to an end (abandonment)
To feel safe to let down their guard, both people must make it safe to be intimate and vulnerable for a period of time, AND safe for both people to become individuals again.
Intimacy and vulnerability can be physical closeness, as well as letting someone see your imperfections and know they will have your back no matter what. Individuality is inspired when we see their strengths, powers and gifts even when they may doubt this within themselves.
The dance of freedom and belonging, of expansion and home is true for children and their parents, as well as intimate partnerships. The more of us who can understand and apply this, the safer we make relationships. This safety helps us experience the neurochemical joy of intimacy, vulnerability AND the power and agency of staying connected to our sense of purpose.
I bring this up because this is the power and potential that exists within secure partnerships and relationships. It is this power and potential that I am also learning to access within myself to bring my partnership with an extraordinary leader to the next level. I'm excited to continue sharing those learning experiences with you.
One of those partnerships that inspires me is Ryan and Heidi Sawyer, who were both running their own podcasts, and then chose to join forces to create the Integrated Mindset Podcast.
Ryan has been a client of mine for the past year, as we consulted on the neuroscience behind many aspects of his coaching program.