Inclusion and Diversity Inside

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. I am large; I contain multitudes.”
- Walt Whitman

Would that Whitman's declaration was understood and appreciated by all. We would not be suffering from so much inner strife. So often, we humans work hard to be consistent, which translates into monotony or monochrome. How boring to have only one color. Imagine if all paintings were monochromatic and not multi-colored like an orchestra. Sometimes it is wonderful to hear one instrument alone, but all together an orchestra playing a symphony has grandeur, nuances, sophistication, complexity, and richness that is unparalleled.

We human beings are similar. Think of yourself as made up of many selves—your inner characters. If all of your different selves were the same, we would have no difficulty deciding what to do, what to eat, to wear, to pursue, etc. Decisions would be easy since there would be no opposing ideas or desires. There would be no conflicts from one character wanting to push ahead and another wanting to rest. It would be easy, but wow, how boring, lacking the heterogenity that creates a rich, textured, and lively internal diversity.

The problem comes not from having many characters inside, but from not knowing how to get them to harmonize. When one character shames or blames another, it is similar to what happens between people. Let's use internal self-blame as an example. The self-blamer is pretty abusive internally. It might say something like, “You are a wimp. If you had been more courageous, they might have listened. But you wimped out. You're always going to be a loser. They're never going to listen to us.”

Any internal character hearing those words would have a hard time staying centered and in a thrive state. Let's play it a few different ways that reflect a very meager angel voice to a strong one:

  • Option 1, Internal Angel Character (a newbie, just coming onto the internal scene): “You're right. I'm sorry I screwed it up so badly. I'll do it better the next time.”

  • Option 2, Internal Angel Character (a toddler, moving in a positive direction): “That's not fair and it's mean too. I don't want to listen to you. You don't know everything. I'm trying my hardest. Now back off.”

  • Option 3, Internal Angel Character (practiced and getting stronger each day): “Wait a second. I didn't do so badly. Yes, I could have done better, but at least I said something. That's better than nothing and certainly better than before.”

  • Option 4, Internal Angel Character (advanced and aware that the self-critic inside is actually trying to help, albeit misdirected): “Hey, I know you mean well. You only want me to do better. You're trying to protect me from having others criticize me. But I don't have to be perfect. And I certainly know that your criticism doesn't get me to want to do more or better. Let's work together. I want your help, just in a different way.”

When you get to the stage of Round Table Work™ where you feel as if all your characters are valuable and play an important role, although many are quite difficult, it is then that you can start creating harmony. When you start appreciating what each character is attempting to do for you, that's when the music starts.

Diversity is the magic. It is the first manifestation, the first beginning of the differentiation of a thing and of simple identity. The greater the diversity, the greater the perfection.”
- Thomas Berry

Judith Bell, M.S., Master LHEP™

Judith Bell, M.S., Master LHEP™

Judith is the founder and president of Rewire Leadership Institute®. A master facilitator, consultant, teacher, and coach, she has created and facilitated personal growth, team development and organizational change seminars, coached executives and teams, facilitated strategic planning and high visibility meetings, and supported culture change for over four decades. Judith works with a diverse range of companies from government agencies, non-profit, Fortune Global 500, to small and mid-sized family owned businesses including such organizations as NASA, Seaflow, Total Oil, Restoration Hardware, San Antonio Water System, and Culver Company.

Superb at supporting individuals, pairs, and teams in developing the skills necessary to realize their full potential, Judith helps executives, managers, and staff gain the ability to respond flexibly and rapidly to their changing environment. Through extensive experience and research, she utilizes a number of different approaches including the FIRO theory, systems theory, cybernetics, neuroscience, cognitive, positive, and success psychology.

As one of the world’s leading experts on the FIRO theory, she trains consultants internationally. A consultant’s consultant, Judith mentors facilitators, coaches, therapists and other professionals in the integration of the FIRO theory in their work. From 1981 until 2004, she worked closely with Dr. Will Schutz, the creator of FIRO theory. Independently, Judith developed FIRO Theory Profiling, which has been lauded as the first innovation in the FIRO theory instruments aside from Dr. Schutz’ own developments. She continues to develop courses that synthesize her studies and experience and are based in FIRO theory.

Starting in her teenage years, Judith has been a pioneer in her passion for authenticity, clear communication, and positive change. She is lauded for her ability to see others’ potential and help them realize it—be they individuals, pairs, teams, or organizations. Judith’s zest for life, appreciation for others, and generosity of spirit inspires those with whom she works.

An honor’s student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Judith’s desire and passion to learn about authenticity motivated her to move her studies to The Institute for Creative and Artistic Development (ICAD) in Oakland, California. As the youngest student in their teacher training program, she created and graduated with an undergraduate degree that focused on authenticity through California State University, Sonoma. Continuing on her quest to study authenticity and creativity, Judith began taking courses at California State University, Hayward where she also created and graduated with a unique Master’s degree that focused on communication, transformation, and the creative arts.

Interested in systems and change, Judith began experimenting with her innovative action-oriented approach to assess and intervene with families, groups, and organizations. Through this work, she became a much sought-after instructor, training masters and doctoral students in her seminal work. As chair of a psychology program focused on Creative Arts Therapies at Antioch University, San Francisco, she developed curriculum and continued to serve as guest faculty and lecturer at universities nationwide.

In addition to leading Rewire Leadership, Judith and her husband, Daniel Ellenberg, co-founded Relationships That Work®, where she serves as Vice President. She and Daniel co-authored Lovers for Life: Creating Lasting Passion, Trust, and True Partnership, which applies the principles of Rewire Leadership Institute® to romantic relationships. Recently, they co-authored a chapter in Mastering the Art of Success: Volume 8. With Matt White, Judith recently co-authored Leading with Courage.

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