an Integral Enneagram of Consciousness; a model of consciousness, including
all aspects, for designing practical
paths of personal development and evolution.
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A popular myth about our brains says that we only use a small portion of
it; and if by virtue of some fantastic drug or mutation we could use all
of our brain, look out! Although disproven long ago, the idea keeps
popping up, because it’s so attractive. Who wouldn’t want to have
access to all of their potential? This could be the Holy Grail for our
lives. Imagine increasing your I.Q., being able to solve problems in a
fraction of the time, be in command of your emotions, and increase your
productivity many times over. The possibilities and benefits just go on
What if there’s a piece of that myth that isn’t entirely fantasy? What
if you could in effect, increase this kind of functionality in your
brain? We can look at the myth with a slightly different filter. We
just need to look more closely at our meaning of the word “use.” From a
perspective of looking at the brain from end to end, we do in fact use
all of the territory between our ears, but how we use it is another
If you were to look at a square mile of Wichita and a square mile of
Manhattan, you could say that in each case, the square mile is being
used. A huge difference is the density of the “wiring.” Even if we use
the corollary of population density, we’re drawing a pretty clear
picture of the difference between two seemingly identical brains.
This is where we readdress that definition of “use.” For example, you
can use a Thesaurus or a Dictionary for a doorstop, but that isn’t
necessarily getting all the benefits they offer. Indeed it may seem that
some people primarily use their brains to keep their ears from touching,
but in all seriousness, most of us don’t fully utilize all the features
that come standard with our brains.
What Does That Do?
Let’s be honest. Have you taken the time to learn what every single
button on your TV remote does? How about every single feature of every
single program or app you have in your computer or phone? We’ve only got
so much time.
Between TV remotes, computer programs, and the rest of our “labor saving
devices,” there seems to be a time-consuming learning threshold where we
hit the brakes. We just learn the basics and move on, unaware of the
possibilities we’ve never investigated.
In many cases, people buy brand new devices, promising features that are
likely in our existing devices. And some people prefer a little
ignorance, because if they don’t know what they have, they won’t miss
not using it.
Obviously that’s a pretty limited way to live. In the midst of this,
you have a remarkable set of time-saving devices that came standard with
being born, and this feature-rich, mostly untapped resource resides in
There are areas of your brain that specialize in certain functions, but
a far more interesting plethora of functions are the result of different
areas of your brain working together, sharing information in a
We’re not necessarily aware of the hundreds of
thousands of neural, muscle, ligament, and tendon actions performed in
harmony every time we get up from a chair, but they’re doing their jobs
anyway. We have proprioceptors offering feedback, counter-balancing
weight distributions, load bearing, and equilibrium feedback,
maintaining our positioning in space, and more. Our brains are taking
care of all that without much conscious assistance, beyond our simple
intention to stand up.
Our brains are not the singular organs we once thought of them as being.
In fact we could look at our brain as a system, like the digestive
system or respiratory system; a group of organs related to one another,
crammed into our protective cranial helmets, and functioning together,
with mechanisms we can learn to understand and use.
Your Brain's Features
seem simplistic, but much like our TV remotes, our brains have more
features available to us than we’ve ever investigated. If we take a
little time to learn about the mechanisms and systems in our brains, we
can use them with the same ease and confidence with which we use all our
other labor saving devices.
Many of the issues clients feel challenged by often share common roots.
For example, on some level, Focus, Concentration, Confidence, and
Willpower seem to show up as the culprits driving hundreds of other
“symptoms.” These areas can be directly improved by doing repeated
exercises that aim for the mechanisms underneath our behaviors.
Last year I posted an Integram™ about Brain Training specifically,
including some of the exercises you can do for brain fitness, and the
resulting benefits. The first shift we need to make is recognizing
things like focus, problem-solving, and
willpower as not just ways of being, but actual mechanisms and systems
within the brain, subject to our desire to improve them through
We can use Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRIs) to see specific
physiological signatures for given states, and find other ways to create
that signature to help us achieve that state. For example, the
physiological signature for expressed willpower and many of our
executive functions includes a balance between sympathetic and
parasympathetic nervous systems. This is a kind of equanimity between
the “rest and digest” and the “flight or fight” systems, with neither
exerting undue influence.
This is why learning how to achieve equanimity or evenness of mind
increases all of our executive functions, which are hampered by stress.
We quite simply think better; focus better, and problem-solve better,
when we’re in this balanced state. And this is a learnable skill-set,
not an “if only” pipedream.
Another important feature we rarely take advantage of intentionally is
our Reticular Activation System, which functions to help our neocortex
determine waking vs. dreaming states. It also works as a primary sorting
system for what your brain thinks deserves your attention. By
intentionally focusing attention in specific areas, we can greatly
influence and impact our very way of being in the world.
“attention density shapes identity. Repeated, purposeful, and
focused attention can lead to long-lasting personal evolution.” [Dr.
David Rock – “Quiet Leadership; Six Steps to Transforming Performance
at Work” Collins; 2006]
This is why a training program where you become the master of your brain
and mind can enable you to reap literally thousands of benefits you
might not have even dreamed of yet. If you want to do virtually
everything you do better, smarter, faster, and with less stress,
everything you need is right behind your eyes.
Want to learn more about how to become the best you possible?
Come visit the
or better yet,
contact me and see how we can design a program to fit your needs and desired outcomes.
- Ian J. Blei
April Isn't Just For Fools:
Maybe this is the month for you to start playing with your own version
of "Limitless," and see how you can increase everything from your
problem-solving skills and I.Q. to your emotional resilience.
I'm offering 3 complimentary Dynamic Discovery
the first 3 people (who haven't already worked with me) who email me
this month's secret word: "Hippocampus"
No, this isn't a summer camp for hippos, but a seahorse-shaped organ in
your brain that plays a starring role in learning. Just put "Hippocampus" in the Subject Line of your email, along with your contact
info, and we'll schedule your session.
combines his extensive knowledge of integral theory, the Enneagram, and
neuroscience, in a seamless way (truly a Grand Unifying Theory of
Everything), and helps you apply this greater understanding to whatever
matters to you. He helps you build the trellis which you can hang any
flower on that you choose.." -
P.R., - S.F.
Each session is
normally a $187.00 value, and will be worth much more to you in
life-changing ways. Good luck!
The Integram (TM)
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Melissa Risdon's Raving Fan Radio Show:
Ian Blei on the
ourselves, each other, and our relationships
KG Stiles: "Conversations that Enlighten and Heal"
Ian Blei on Kind Ambition and the
visit the Blog.
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Welcome to the Integram, where consciousness meets
Institute for Integral Enneagram
Without Losing Your Soul
about you having
the tools to slide over to the
driver’s seat of your
Circumstances will always be
changing, seemingly thwarting
our plans, but we don’t have to be
thrown around by them. You can
charge of your choices and actions more than you might imagine - yet.
is written for you,
as a practical guide you can
right now. It is a collection of
insights and actions designed to help
you move forward and get more out
of your life at home and at work.
The chapters hold to a formula of
first giving you a new way to look at
things, then offering you tangible
Action Steps to try them out, and
finally some things to notice when you do.
Kind words for
"If you are interested in success, whether it is in running a large
organization, a small business, or leading a satisfying life, you will
find a right blend of rules, wisdom and wit in a digestible fashion that
will serve to accomplish your objectives. The notion that kindness can
be blended with ambition and made to work and serve the "bottom line" is
enlightening, uplifting and satisfying."
-Steven Kiefel – CEO, Red Pill Media
“An easy to use guide for anyone who wants to
growth and success. His sensible and practical tactics
solve age-old challenges with real, how-to solutions. Best of all, Ian
lives his work!”
-Romanus Wolter -
Author: Kick Start Your Dream Business
Success Coach Columnist: Entrepreneur Magazine
Radio Host: Syndicated Kick Start Guy Segment
We all face obstacles in our lives and careers. Some of these come from within, subverting our conscious intentions. The
good news is: they can be overcome. The techniques and processes found in this book will help you on your way."
-Margaret Heffernan – Author: The Naked Truth: A Working Woman's
Manifesto on Business and What Really Matters
Syndicated Columnist: Fast
scientifically-based, spiritually-awake, (and smart and funny) guide to
making the most of your life. Ian Blei provides the know-how, the
inspiration, the structure and all the tools you need in this
-Lisa Betts-LaCroix, Past
President of SF Coaches
Star of Unapix film,
“Dance Me Outside”
Ian Blei shares his deep insights in simple and straightforward
ways. His work continues to inspire me whenever I feel I'm getting stuck in some area of my life."
-Roy King, III
Partner/Channel Marketing Manager - Skype