There is one picture that I draw for my clients more than any other – and that’s The Star Diagram.
It pictures us as being a conscious I or self with a number of personality functions which the self relates to through the agency of Will. I use this model to help people realise that they are more than their thoughts feelings, bodies and so forth – and that they have a centre from which they can orchestrate and direct these various functions of their personality.
For example my mind often runs off on its own thinking about upcoming meetings, imagining what to say and what might go wrong – and this in turns evokes worry and even indigestion! In situations like this my mind is effectively out of control – it is determining my experience and not serving me well. When I recognise this is happening and, critically, when I recognise that can choose not to listen to my mind, I start to choose my experience and my reality.
Any of these different functions can take control – our fears, our pursuit of physical pleasure, or our need to be loved can all control us. I know one person who is controlled by their intuition. When faced with a choice, his intuition often ‘tells’ him what to do - and though this is frequently something that he doesn’t want to do and thinks is not the right thing to do, he still does it - because he ‘knows’ that to not do it would be disastrous!
The challenge is to be master or mistress of our personality, not a slave to it. We need to develop the skill to choose and act from that central place – to be able to exert our Will – rather than have our choices and actions determined by functions such as our thoughts, feelings and so on. And the first step is to recognise our own centre distinct from our thoughts, feelings, and all the other aspects of our personality. So that when I say, “I choose this” it really is me who is choosing and not some rogue part of my personality! (More in any standard Psychosynthesis book. Two excellent books on liberating ourselves from our feelings and thoughts are Susan Jeffers' Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway and Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now.