For example, maybe you lack the energy to clean your house or go grocery shopping, but that doesn't mean you're lazy. Few people are. More likely, if you consider yourself lazy, you just don't have energy reserves to draw on because you're so busy surviving, or you've devoted all your energy to hypervigilance. Perhaps you have such fears of inadequacy in front of others that you are frozen and can't get anything done. We focus determinedly on what's wrong in our lives, but how often do we get into our cars and say, Wow, thank goodness--a full tank of gas! We notice when we're out of time, but do we ever notice when we have enough? We're scanning for the dearth rather than the plenty. The problem with that is that many of us are living in a scorching desert of stress. The sands are encroaching more and more, taking the pleasure out of each day. These moments of contentment, joy, enthusiasm, and love are a lush oasis. Yet most of us, when we come across one of these mini-paradises, pause long enough just to nibble at a date or two, take a swig out of a coconut, and go along our busy way. We forget (or don't make time) to indulge in this bounty of plenty. When contentment comes along, we need to do more than nibble and run. We need to feel how it changes our physiology; Understanding Meanings and Intents It is not even enough that the group-centered leader attends to what others say and gives some proof of this by reflecting back to the speakers. It might be enough, provided people said what they actually meant. We know, however, that people seldom do. They are prevented from doing so both by the limitations of language itself and by internal inhibitions which operate to protect the individual from threat. Furthermore, even if people actually said what they meant, it is not always true that the listener will understand.

This discrepancy between expression (of the speaker) and impression (of the listener) has been pointed out clearly by Ichheiser, who writes: Our answer is an insistence that some, and frequently even a great degree of, discrepancy between expression and impression is the normal state of affairs and that we are bound to misunderstand extremely important aspects of human relations if we fail to take these ever present, basic discrepancies fully into account. The expectation that there is some kind of natural harmony, or even a complete identity, between expression and impression is based on the silent assumption that the mechanisms of expression and those of impression are somehow, in a predetermined way, attuned to each other. Between the inner personality, its attitudes, sentiments, and tendencies, and the external personality there is always a certain degree of incongruity. Don't like exercise? Maybe there's a reason. For example, the emotional trauma of being known as the fat, clumsy kid in gym class may prevent you from becoming interested in sports. As burlesque performer Fancy Feast describes, I wasn't bullied, but I didn't have to be. Being last to finish the mile run, being chosen last for dodgeball, not fitting into child sizes for my school uniform--all made it easy for me to absorb the message coming in: none of this was designed for me, exercise was a form of punishment, and I would be less of an inconvenience if I would just shrink myself. When viewed through a trauma-informed lens, the behaviors we think of as counterproductive or destructive instead get understood as survival. For example, adolescents are often perceived as being purposefully hostile, rude, or disrespectful when, in reality, they may be unconsciously trying to protect themselves from additional trauma. In other words, they are emotionally traumatized and have a deep sense of shame, and antisocial or unkind behavior is a way of pushing people away and protecting themselves. They may become emotionally shut down to the point where they are no longer sensitive to their own needs, and carry this into adulthood. A trauma-informed lens requires ongoing openness to reexamining what you think of as your own bad behavior, and others' behavior as well. We don't tend to have this full experience of the positive--but it's a skill we can develop. The way we do that is by developing our inner radars for the positive emotions and fine-tuning them so that we're primed to look for and absorb positive moments. This is the secret to how we recharge. Take Action The first action tool here is a skill that some of you may have been using, if maximizing and minimizing is a thinking trap you tend to fall into. It's highly effective for recalibrating your radar toward the positive, and today we're going to suggest it for everyone.

Here's how it works; At the end of the day today, write down three good things that happened to you. Even on the worst days you can find three good things. They don't have to be earth-shattering events. In human relations we have always to suppress, or at least to modify, the frank expression of some factors. The group-centered leader tries to function in a way which will reduce this tendency of individuals to suppress, or at least to modify, the frank expression of some factors. One of the ways he does this is by trying to understand the actual meaning or the intent of members' comments and behavior. That is -- to express this idea in somewhat different terms -- the leader tries to adopt the internal frame of reference of the other person, to perceive what the other person perceives, to understand what is in the central core of the speaker's conscious awareness -- in a sense, to take the role of the other person. The group-centered leader in this respect is relying on what Reik (161) has vividly described as free-floating attention. His attention goes farther than the words or content of the speaker. He is after the latent meaning, the secret intent, or what Ichheiser has called the expressional aspect of communication. For example, as the group-centered leader listens to a lengthy anecdote being told by a group member, he may be thinking in some such manner as follows: This person seems to be talking about a personal experience he had. The group previously was arguing the relative merits of two different courses of action. It asks us to consider that everyone is doing their best given the circumstances, and that our behavior is usually an attempt to regulate ourselves so that we feel safe and comfortable. Consider this example. A former colleague and friend altered some of our joint work without informing me or seeking my collaboration. When I discovered that she had done this, I initially experienced it as a profound violation of trust. However, lightening up on my judgment enough to ask why helped me to learn that she was reeling from the hurt brought on by the ending of our personal relationship, and those feelings resurfaced more viscerally every time we did business together. This understanding was a game changer for us.

We realized that we were continuing to hurt one another in our efforts to avoid more hurt--which motivated us to realize that we needed to either repair the relationship or set better boundaries. There's a lot to be learned when you open to looking behind bad behavior. These days, healers are putting less attention on diagnostic criteria and instead recognizing the value of offering trauma-informed care to everyone. We're all at least a bit traumatized living in a world with so much injustice, whether we are on the receiving end or bear witness to it. Finding out your purchase offer on your dream house was accepted is a great addition to the list, but small things like your kid giving you an extra squeeze and unexpectedly saying he loves you count, too. Tomorrow, before you make breakfast, check e-mail, go to the gym, or do anything else, read those three things. Read them, and then go about your business. At the end of tomorrow, do the same thing. Write down three more good things that happened to you, adding them to your list. The next morning, read those six things. Do this exercise for ten days, and by the end, you'll have thirty good things written down. You will very quickly find that by seeking out the good, you become more attuned to it. You are literally reprogramming your brain to scan for the good stuff. This is an excellent tool for overall positive conditioning. He must be giving this experience to support one of those courses of action. I'll listen to see if this seems to be true. Yes, I think that's it. I wonder which of the two he is trying to support. This experience is one in which a course of action like Plan A failed. He seems to be for Plan B.

I wonder if he feels this is fairly conclusive evidence that Plan A will fail in this case. Yes, he certainly does. He thinks his experience is almost identical to ours at the present. Yet he hasn't actually said that he favors Plan B; Of course, this is not to say that all trauma is the same or has the same impact. TRAUMA AND BLAME If you experienced a traumatizing incident, it's helpful to remind yourself that you didn't have control of the situation--it happened to you. Whatever you did or didn't do in the moment was in large part mediated by your reactive reptilian brain, with little input from your rational thinking brain. Your response--to fight back or not--was derived from a history embedded in your body, recorded from your own life experiences and that of your ancestors. Too often, traumatized people blame themselves or think that if only they had reacted differently, they could have controlled the outcome of the situation. Neglected kids often believe that if they were more lovable, their parents would have paid more attention to them. Part of healing is letting go of that, recognizing the limited power you had, and acknowledging that you did the best you could at the time. Trauma is not a personal failing. Trauma happens to someone, whether it is the result of a singular traumatic event or ongoing microaggressions. You can take this a step farther, though, and actually cultivate specific positive emotions you want to experience more of. Just as Andrew and his research colleagues mapped out the Big 7 negative emotions that get in our way and the negative radars that lead to them, his work has uncovered the Big 6 positive emotions that people seek and the thought radars that garner them. The Big 6 are happiness, pride, interest/engagement, esteem/respect, love, and contentment. We can learn to scan for the good just as capably as we scan for the bad. Emotions, as we know, are caused by thoughts. Just as frustration is caused by thoughts of not having enough resources, contentment is generated by thoughts of having everything you need.