Iceberg of Emotions

Emotional Iceberg

In attending a mental health first aid training, I was invigorated with the desire to visually represent the Hawkins Scale of Consciousness in a new format. A common analogy made in behavioral health treatment is that our emotional experiences present themselves in the same way that an iceberg in the ocean would. Above the waterline is the tip of the iceberg, which may be expressed as anger, irritability, apathy, happiness, etc. Underneath that water line we can then find our underlying emotions and subconscious thoughts. With that being said, I thought it would be beneficial to represent the Hawkins Scale in much of the same way.

What is the Hawkins Scale?

The Hawkins scale was created by David R. Hawkins, MD, PhD. He developed a map of human consciousness that uses Applied Kinesiology which is a muscle testing technique, to document the energetic vibrational frequencies associated with certain emotionally driven perceptions and behavioral patterns. The research was scientifically-validated and published in Dr. Hawkins’ doctorate dissertation titled Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis and Calibrations of the Level of Human Consciousness, an elaborate discussion of the Scale of Consciousness and its significance was outlined in his groundbreaking book, Power vs. Force: The Anatomy of Consciousness (Veritas Publishing, 1995).

The Numbers on the Scale

The lower levels of consciousness include Shame, Guilt/Hate, Apathy, Grief, and Fear. These levels are dominated by the ego and our drive to protect ourselves from harm. As you can see in my drawing above, anxiety and depression can become dominate as we hyper-focus on these emotion states.  These levels are the most painful that we experience and it is the pain that these levels create that drive us in our desire for understanding and personal growth.

Dr. Hawkins describes these lower levels of consciousness as ego dominated. They also align with our lower chakra system (root, sacral and solar plexus). Individuals that resonate with those lower vibrational frequencies generally are processing information directly from the amygdala, so emotional response is triggered before planning, reason and cognition.

Now let’s consider the research of Freud

Freud argued that the ego is the portion of a person’s psychology that handles the demands of the external world. The ego negotiates the demands of the id and superego. In psychoanalytic theory, the id represents base desires and instincts, while the superego serves as a perfectionist conscience. The ego mediates between these two influences. According to Freud, the ego develops as a child matures and becomes aware of their individuality and separates from their parents. There are many definitions of the ego, but to put it simply, it’s your sense of personal identity or feelings of self-importance. It helps you to identify your ‘uniqueness’, to stand up for yourself and to put plans into action.

Your ego impacts your decisions. Can you recall the last time you have done or said something, that had negative consequences? This may have been your ego at play. As you can become more aware of those negative emotion states, represented above, you will then develop control of your ego. Developing the skills to step away from your emotions and reflect, will serve you in achieving happiness, joy and peace.

The ego does not live in the present. While it is a fact that only the present moment exists, and the past and future exist only in the mind, your ego wants you to be thinking about the past (precursor to depression) and future (precursor to anxiety). This means thinking about things that have gone wrong in the past, or things that may go wrong in the future. As a rule, every single time you take something personally, this is the work of your ego.

Your ego, when overly expressed can prevent you from fully engaging your senses and enjoying the world around you. Consider the following questions?

  • Do you automatically know what that person is thinking before they say it?
  • Do you compare yourself to others?
  • Do you look for attention?
  • Do you see yourself as better as or nicer than others?
  • Have you ever looked down on someone for not trying as hard as you?

There is nothing wrong with the emotion states reflected by these questions, but when overly expressed or dominating your life, it can become problematic. I wanted to provide these questions as a starting point for addressing any ego concerns. Your ego wants to look at the past and the future to find trouble so that it can defend itself, which takes away your peace and enjoyment in life. Most people fully identify themselves with this negative voice in their minds. Have you ever considered the idea that this perceived you, is not you, but just one part?

When you get upset, or sad, or angry, or worried, or fear the future, this is not you. It’s just your ego – just your mind. Our mind is our greatest friend and enemy. This is why learning how to step away, observe and be aware of our minds thinking patterns will support your inner growth.

The Ocean…

Now let’s address the external forces and obstacles that life throws our way. As you can see in my drawing, life can bring forth betrayals, friendships, physical, drug related, trauma, abuse, money, crime and loss associated challenges. These challenges cause our ego’s to react. With that reaction we have certain perceptions/thought patterns that may develop. These beliefs can be seen as represented by the outer ring of the iceberg…

I always make mistakes.

I can’t control my actions.

I am always getting rejected.

I am an embarrassment.

I can’t do this alone.

The turning point…

The water line represents the decision to love. Anger is a turning point. Anger is our body’s way of telling us something is wrong. If you are feeling a desire and neediness for someone and they are not meeting our expectations, we then can feel that anger. Anger is telling you that the relationship represents a mis-alignment from that inner self you know to be the true you.

Now as you move up the scale into pride, further evaluation as to who you are and what you value takes place. You can then be courageous, think neutrally outside of those thinking traps, into a place of willingness, acceptance, reason, love, joy and peace. Enlightenment is the final step that with inner self work can be achieved. I do not like to think that this is a limited scope of consciousness that is un-obtainable, much like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Now as you begin to get your head out of water… You will learn to love yourself more fully. Thought patterns that develop can include understanding, opportunity, excitement, humor, and manifestation…

  • I seek to understand not win every argument!
  • Opportunities are always seeking me out!
  • I can be excited about the little things that come to me every day!
  • I love to laugh!
  • I am a powerful creator that can manifest the life I desire!

As your work through developing a healthy ego state, you will be able to handle all the challenges life throws your way. You will become very resilient and view the happenings occurring in this big sea of life as tasks to be mastered and overcome. As a reminder, you will face challenges, but the stronger your inner light, the more efficiently you will work through them with optimism. You are more than your body that of which will be gone in decades. You are part of an interconnected universe that exists because of coexisting energies. We are made of energy and thereby can influence energy. You are a powerful creator.

I encourage you to no longer to sit by and let life happen to you. You are happening to life. Reach for your dreams with faith and a greater understanding that you are powerful and intricately made!

Myers Life Coaching is represented by a husband and wife team dedicated to helping you solve energetically driven physical, anger, emotional and relationship driven problems through non-judgmental conversation. If you need further support, please do not hesitate to reach out! Let’s climb this scale together!