Tuesday, February 27, 2007

in the interest of full disclosure

This will be the first in a short series that will let you know something about how we conduct ourselves and where it differs from what we teach or what you might expect us to teach. This first is about goal-setting and state management.

Chris and I begin our processes for both goal-setting and managing our states with prayer, often supplemented with reading our Bibles. We do not teach this: we teach processes that offer some of the benefits of prayer within a completely secular model. We know that the processes we teach are highly effective. They work for people of many different beliefs.

We define our own strengths and integrity around our Christian faith. For us, the process of gathering ourselves and our resources is a process of connecting with God through Christ and through Scripture. Typically, when faced with a choice point, I will open my Bible, then pray, then check to see what has shifted. Typically, I will use states of focus to quiet my mind so that I can be open in prayer. Chris prays differently than I do, yet we both use prayer to gather resources and perspective.

What I do personally uses the processes I teach and integrates them with my own sense of faith and purpose. The goals I set depend on an integration of what I want and what I believe God wants from me. I call on resources within and outside me in ways that are similar to those I teach in a secular context.

Chris and I believe that people who want to use integrated thinking to deepen their faith experiences will find it helpful without any explicit "teaching" or even modeling. The states of quiet, intense focus that are produced by several of the processes we teach lend themselves readily to religious meditation or prayer.

The practices of focus, attention and communication that we teach are extraordinarily effective in many contexts. We share only the process of dealing with states and goals: the content of those remains private. It would not be useful for me to know how many people combine integrated thinking with prayer. It may be useful for clients to be aware that the two different models can be integrated effectively and ecologically.

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