The 10 Elements

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The 10 Elements Diagram outer arrows
The 10 Elements Diagram outer arrows
The 10 Elements Diagram outer arrows
The 10 Elements Diagram outer arrows
The 10 Elements Diagram outer arrows
The 10 Elements - Observed and Experienced Understanding
The 10 Elements Diagram - EaseThe 10 Elements Diagram - FlowThe 10 Elements Diagram - EmpathyThe 10 Elements Diagram - ValidationThe 10 Elements Diagram - ResistanceThe 10 Elements Diagram spiral
The 10 Elements Diagram - Established SystemsThe 10 Elements Diagram - ChoiceThe 10 Elements Diagram - ExpansionThe 10 Elements Diagram - AppreciationThe 10 Elements Diagram inner arrows
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The 10 Elements is an interconnected framework that gives a big picture perspective, revealing a holistic understanding of life and gifting greater awareness that can be used to optimize many aspects of living. Essentially, The 10 Elements is a blank coloring book with outlines to give you the ability to color in your thoughts, emotions, motivations, and behaviors to help enable you to persevere and manifest your goals, dreams, and desires.

Without further ado, THE 10 ELEMENTS:

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FLOW

Feeling no tension, stress, or discomfort physically or emotionally.
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FLOW THROUGH ACTION

Thought and physical activity that results in feeling no tension, stress, or discomfort physically or emotionally.
  • This Element is “a time when the rest of the world melts away,” meaning there is only the full awareness of one’s self and that which one is doing in the present moment.
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  • FLOW THROUGH ACTION is most often experienced while performing or practicing a passionate hobby, pure play, pure fun, or, for the rare few, some aspect of work.
  • During FLOW THROUGH ACTION, most usually, one does not absolutely experience no tension, because often there must be enough nuance such that the mind is able to maintain singular focus of the task at hand. However, it is the closest one can come to no tension while in the mode of creating, experiencing, or discovery.
  • FLOW THROUGH ACTION can be experienced through physical repetitive ritual, creating a hypnotic state.
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FLOW THROUGH STILLNESS

Significantly limiting thought and physical activity that results in feeling no tension, stress, or discomfort physically or emotionally.
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  • Examples of how FLOW THROUGH STILLNESS can be experienced are staring into the flames of a campfire or taking a long quiet shower or bath.
  • FLOW THROUGH STILLNESS can be experienced through meditation or, depending upon length and kind, prayer.
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ADDITIONAL FLOW THOUGHTS
  • This Element is “a time when the rest of the world melts away,” meaning there is only the full awareness of one’s self and that which one is doing in the present moment.
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  • It is in FLOW that one is more easily able to control thoughts, emotions, and perception of reality as opposed to thoughts, emotions, and perceptions controlling self.
  • In FLOW, one is able to expand beyond the known capacities of a ESTABLISHED SYSTEMS and agreed upon limitations.
  • FLOW can only be accessed through being in the present moment such that there is no longer attachment to the past or future.
  • In FLOW, one is no longer aware of the conditional value of self.
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RESISTANCE

Feeling tension, stress, or discomfort physically or emotionally.
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RESISTANCE THROUGH ACTION

Thought or physical activity that results in feeling tension, stress, or discomfort physically or emotionally.
  • Examples of intentionally experienced positive thought RESISTANCE are research, reading, and reasoning, which later rewards one with a solution to a question or confirmation to a theory or hypothesis, giving EASE and VALIDATION.
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RESISTANCE FROM PRESENT

Presently active or significantly limiting thought or physical activity that results in feeling tension, stress, or discomfort physically or emotionally.
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    RESISTANCE THROUGH STILLNESS

    Significantly limiting thought or physical activity that results in feeling tension, stress, or discomfort physically or emotionally.
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    RESISTANCE FROM PAST

    Undesired acknowledgment of previous active or significantly limiting thought or physical activity that results in feeling tension, stress, or discomfort physically or emotionally.
    • Metaphorically, regret is continuously dragging behind one’s self an already opened parachute, following a rough or crash landing, so as to remind one’s self of the past landing. Also, similar to an already open parachute that is being dragged behind one and having, otherwise avoidable, objects getting tangled in it, regret often collects avoidable and detrimental circumstances, thus adding more RESISTANCE.
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    • RESISTANCE FROM PAST includes trauma and regret. If the lessons have already been learned and there's nothing one can do to change the past, there are few things more wasteful, in terms of one’s precious time, than focusing on regrets.
    • There are undesired recurrences and themes that may happen throughout one’s life that are often the result of RESISTANCE FROM PAST that occurred in a particular microcosm or set of circumstances. However, the EASE that one implemented, which allowed one to survive or be benefited during the specific past circumstances no longer does so and can actually be quite harmful to both one’s self and those around one’s self. The harm can only be resolved by reflecting on the previously processed negative EXPERIENCED UNDERSTANDING, releasing the emotions attached to it, and then, essentially, transforming EXPERIENCED UNDERSTANDING into that which is more desirable while creating a new set of ESTABLISHED SYSTEMS (habits).
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    RESISTANCE FROM UNKNOWN

    The strong desire to have all be clearly defined, creating thought or physical activity that results in feeling tension, stress, or discomfort physically or emotionally.
    • The fear and anxiety created from RESISTANCE FROM UNKNOWN can be significantly minimized by being in the present moment.
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    • RESISTANCE FROM UNKNOWN is a motivation for EASE, EXPANSION, and ESTABLISHED SYSTEMS.
    • Fear is normal, natural, and ultimately there to help protect self, but it can also make one overly reactive and judgmental and keep one anchored from doing the things that are desired or are needing to be done, which is why learning to bring moments of APPRECIATION and FLOW into the day to day is so important, helping bring balance to self.
    • RESISTANCE FROM UNKNOWN is where fear and most anxiety originate.
    • This Element includes the need for absolute knowing, safety, and certainty.
    Flow, Ease, and Resistance Element DiagramResistance section bottom icon
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    VALIDATION

    Recognition of existence and value.
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    UNCONDITIONAL VALIDATION

    Recognition of existence and value that is either given or received by the mere fact one exists.
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    • Many pets epitomize givers of unconditional love.
    • Ultimately, UNCONDITIONAL VALIDATION is one of the greatest gifts one can give one’s self and anyone else.
    • While comprehending the unconditional value of self just from the fact one exists, which allows one to see both self and the world objectively as well as release attachments that causes pain, it can be very hard for many, even after the enlightenment of one’s unconditional value, due to the plethora of conditional variables required to not only exist and survive in this physical reality but also because of the unconscious ingrained desire to obtain the most optimal mate(s) for the continuation of self via offspring while simultaneously trying to acquire and establish the most optimal environment and circumstances for those offspring.
    • SELF VALIDATION combined with compassion is a powerful and positively potent mix.
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    CONDITIONAL VALIDATION

    Recognition of existence and value that is only either given or received if someone or something is, has, does, will do or be, or has the potential to do or be, perceived or actual, a successful specific or set of specifics.
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    • Because one must live in this physical world, the trick, in order to adapt and survive while experiencing the fullness of life and not be wholly consumed by the emotional roller coaster of it, is to find a flexible balance between the VALIDATION states, which many do not know how to do and are stuck solely in the conditional value of self and the conditional value of that which surrounds them.
    • Often, to be at complete peace, one must let go the CONDITIONAL VALIDATION that one holds to self, allows others to hold to self, holds toward others, holds toward objects, and holds toward the surrounding environment.
    • Any framework that sees itself as having value due to the exclusion of others from it, with no exception, is founded in the conditional ego.
    • CONDITIONAL VALIDATION includes judgement, comparison, and circumstantial approval.
    • The conditional ego is more interested in perceptual self-preservation than actual truth. However, in FLOW, the conditional ego disappears and one is truly able to see and find truth.
    • FLOW and the conditional ego aren’t able to simultaneously be present at any one moment within self.
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    SELF VALIDATION

    Recognition of existence and value that is given to self.
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    EXTERNAL VALIDATION

    Recognition of existence and value that is received from outside of self.
    • One’s need for EXTERNAL VALIDATION is the reason one may choose to “jump off the cliff with everyone else.”
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    • Negatively utilized CONDITIONAL EXTERNAL VALIDATION allows self to receive VALIDATION only if another individual is deprived of VALIDATION. This aspect is why it is so important for everyone to have and be shown how to have positive UNCONDITIONAL SELF VALIDATION (unconditional self-love) and give positive VALIDATION to self by giving others UNCONDITIONAL VALIDATION (i.e. volunteering, giving a small random gift without expectation of a return, etc.) so as to, as much as possible, not create “victims” and “oppressors”, essentially negating the need to deprive others of VALIDATION in order to have VALIDATION (i.e. racism, genderism, etc.).
    • The conditional ego knows nothing of balance nor any concept of curtailing EXPANSION, even for its own sake, because it often only finds value in the expanding of its own conditional value.
    • If you choose to have other people’s opinions (CONDITIONAL EXTERNAL VALIDATION) be the only guide to your value, you will always be at someone else’s mercy and never have full CHOICE.
    • In terms of the positive aspect of combined CONDITIONAL EXTERNAL VALIDATION and UNCONDITIONAL EXTERNAL VALIDATION, everyone greatly benefits by being a part of a positive community where each knows that one is cared about and looked out for by others and is able to enjoy daily interactions. The previous mentioned aspect of positive combined CONDITIONAL EXTERNAL VALIDATION and UNCONDITIONAL EXTERNAL VALIDATION is no less beneficial on the smaller scale of individual relationships.
    • While CONDITIONAL EXTERNAL VALIDATION can be very beneficial through that of a community and relationships (family, friend, and intimate), it can also be very detrimental, because it can also create “the victim” and “the oppressor” relationship and mentality.
    • Continuous criticism, belittling, taunting, ridicule, verbal threatening, etc. (continuous verbal RESISTANCE), knowingly or not, takes validity away while giving absolutely nothing in return, essentially leaving holes in one’s external and perceived self-validity and self-worth of the victim who is receiving the continuous verbal RESISTANCE. This is particularly true if the victim is unaware as to how to both build and maintain positive SELF VALIDATION and positive self-worth. If “the victim” is willing to sacrifice the EXTERNAL VALIDATION and sense of self-worth of another in order to gain back the EXTERNAL VALIDATION and sense of self-worth that was lost, as opposed to building it back or maintaining it by validating one’s self, “the victim” becomes “the oppressor,” thus carrying forward the cycle. If “the victim” is not willing to or does not know how to take the VALIDATION of another, or if “the victim” is not shown how or does not know how to give VALIDATION to self outside of others (SELF VALIDATION), “the victim” will forever remain “the victim.” Also, if “the oppressor” does not know how or is not willing to build or maintain VALIDATION from self, “the oppressor” will forever be “the oppressor” unless one of two things occurs. First, “the oppressor” is shown the damage that has been caused, and through the feeling of EMPATHY, takes action to change (compassion). Second, “the oppressor” is forced back to being “the victim,” through an event or circumstance, where it is then possible to be taught VALIDATION that is independent of those outside of self (SELF VALIDATION). This is why it is so important that leaders have both natural or experienced EMPATHY and SELF VALIDATION (true self-confidence). Continuous verbal RESISTANCE, coupled with lack of knowledge as to how to build SELF VALIDATION is often responsible for the cycle of “the oppressor” and “the victim.” The other causations of “the oppressor” and “the victim” are continuous physical abuse (continuous physical RESISTANCE) as well as trauma, regardless of type.

      The foregoing reveals that much of our ESTABLISHED SYSTEMS (i.e. relationships, families, organizations, collectives, etc.) is built upon and operates on “the oppressor” and “the victim” where by one, several, or many are benefiting from, what could be perceived as or actually is, a dysfunctional system. This also reveals that this dysfunctional situation does not have to continue and one does not absolutely have to be a domino piece in carrying forward the model of “the oppressor” and “the victim,” even if one has already previously been exposed to and is currently operating in such a mode. Individual and collective have CHOICE in such matters.

      Democracy is an example of a ESTABLISHED SYSTEMS that arose due to the desiring and idea of evolving away from the system of “the oppressor” and “the victim” and the CHOICE to enact such.
    • Constructive criticism positively acknowledges a person’s validity and positive worth in the current moment while also providing guidance on thoughts or actions that could amplify one’s CONDITIONAL SELF VALIDATION or another’s already positive EXTERNAL VALIDATION.
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    ADDITIONAL VALIDATION THOUGHTS
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    • VALIDATION includes like, love, approval, respect, acceptance, worthiness, belonging, significance, purpose, and ego.
    • VALIDATION is ultimately the need to feel significant, valued, and wanted.
    • It should be noted that there are two spectrums/scales that coincide and interact with each other in relation to VALIDATION. There is one spectrum/scale for CONDITIONAL VALIDATION and UNCONDITIONAL VALIDATION and another spectrum/scale for SELF VALIDATION and EXTERNAL VALIDATION, which can be viewed in a matrix diagram.
    • The healthy interdependent and emotionally intelligent individual knows optimally how and when to transition into and be in one, several, or all of the quadrants simultaneously in the VALIDATION diagram, depending upon the circumstance, situation, and people involved and based on past personal experiences, education, training, and for the lucky few who know how to listen to it…intuition.
    Validation quadrant diagram - Unconditional, Conditional, Self, and External Validation
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    EXPANSION

    The ability and need or desire to grow or move beyond current circumstances, limitations, awareness, or understanding.
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    UNFOCUSED EXPANSION

    No specific end results in mind other than to be creating or having new experiences.
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      FOCUSED YET OPEN TO EVOLVING EXPANSION

      While there are specific end results in mind, the process and timeframe used to create the results are open to evolving; the specific end results desired may evolve as well.
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      FOCUSED EXPANSION

      There are specific end results in mind with little to nearly no openness for deviation in the process, timeframe, or specific end results.
      • While concrete processes and absolute finalized desired results can be beneficial as means towards focusing, they also can and often significantly limit new thoughts, innovations, learning (EXPERIENCED UNDERSTANDING), and new opportunities.
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      ADDITIONAL EXPANSION THOUGHTS
      • EXPANSION includes adventure, new learning, new growth, and innovation.
      Expansion Quadrant Diagram - Unfocused, Focused Yet Open To Evolving, and Focused Expansion
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      • Reflection is EXPANSION of knowledge (ESTABLISHED SYSTEMS) via insights and awareness through understanding the past, individually and collectively.
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      EMPATHY

      To comprehend the emotions, thoughts, or physical experiences of others.
      • Essentially, compassion is EMPATHY in action.
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      • Compassion is more likely to occur if one has already experienced a particular emotion or physical experience that others have had, are having, or are going to have as opposed to imagining an emotion or physical experience.
      • A narcissist is very dependent upon receiving EXTERNAL VALIDATION, while also lacking or choosing to ignore one’s own ability for EMPATHY. Also, while some narcissists may experience EMPATHY, the strong desire to receive EXTERNAL VALIDATION outweighs the action that may have otherwise been created from experiencing EMPATHY. A narcissist will very often deprive others of FLOW, EASE, VALIDATION, EXPANSION, and CHOICE in order to divert these Elements to him or herself.
      • A sociopath is similar to a narcissist in relation to not experiencing EMPATHY but is not very dependent upon receiving EXTERNAL VALIDATION.
      • Compassion, defined via the Elements, is EMPATHY combined with CONDITIONAL VALIDATION or UNCONDITIONAL VALIDATION of others followed by helpful action towards the acknowledged others to give EASE and/or VALIDATION.
      • Portrayed compassion is where one may not actually be compassionate nor feel such but portrays compassion in order to receive EXTERNAL VALIDATION.
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      CHOICE

      The ability and allowance to choose how to think, create, feel, and respond to specific circumstances.
      • Ultimately, CHOICE is the ability and allowance to choose perception, emotion, what, when, where, how, and with whom.
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      • CHOICE includes autonomy, independence, freedom, and free will.
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      APPRECIATION

      The realization and acknowledgment of the tangible and non-tangible that give FLOW, EASE, VALIDATION, EXPANSION, or CHOICE.
      • One’s ability to be fully aware and in the present moment is a key component of experiencing APPRECIATION.
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      • There is a direct correlation between one’s ability to be fully aware and in the present moment, acknowledging and realizing one is currently receiving FLOW, EASE, VALIDATION, and/or EXPANSION, and one’s ability to experience APPRECIATION. Without being fully aware in the present moment while receiving FLOW, EASE, VALIDATION, or EXPANSION, there is little to no acknowledgment and realization to self that one is actually already receiving these Elements, paradoxically creating the never ending cycle that further motivates one to continue the search for these Elements, beyond which may be truly necessary in order to experience APPRECIATION.

        Some rarely or never experience APPRECIATION due to the paradox created from not being able to or not allowing themselves to be fully aware and in the present moment, regardless of what they accomplish, who they know, or the material goods and assets they acquire.

        Elaborating further, some get lost in details of the present and future in such a way that they may never allow themselves to experience APPRECIATION due to self-imposed demands or being convinced by others that the stipulation of “x” details must be completed first before the feeling of APPRECIATION can occur. Because there are always more details unfolding, if one is utilizing this dependency and does happen to experience APPRECIATION, it, quite often, is very quickly fleeting and absolutely goes away much faster than the time it took for the action that allowed for the feeling of APPRECIATION. Also, demands may be set up by self or others in such a way that one may never be able to experience APPRECIATION (i.e. the sometimes used caricature of the carrot dangling from a string in front of one’s face that is attached to the end of a stick, which is then attached to one’s head).
      • If APPRECIATION is derived from SELF VALIDATION as opposed to EXTERNAL VALIDATION, there is little that those outside of self can do to control or take away one’s feeling of APPRECIATION. This means one has the ability to have and feel a continuous stream of APPRECIATION. Also, if one’s sense of APPRECIATION is not derived from EXTERNAL VALIDATION, there is no feeling of the need to take someone else’s VALIDATION in order to regain the VALIDATION that was taken. A commonly used metaphorical example of the need to regain VALIDATION after it has been taken is one feeling the need to “go home and kick the dog,” after a bad day (i.e. boss yelling, reprimanding, criticizing, etc. at work).
      • APPRECIATION includes happiness, joy and gratitude.
      • While APPRECIATION is not truly an Element in the strictest sense since it is not needed in order to physically survive, it is included in The 10 Elements as such due to the fact that it is necessary to have in order to be an emotionally whole and happy person.
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      ESTABLISHED SYSTEMS

      Provides specific processes on how to think, create, feel, and respond to specific circumstances.
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      The 10 Elements - Choice and Established Systems
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      EXPERIENCED UNDERSTANDING

      All relative information received that is helping to give feeling and perception of what was, is, and could be.
      • The environment and other people influence us while simultaneously what we do influences our environment and other people.
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      THE 10 ELEMENTS
      CONCLUSION

      All thoughts, emotions, motivations, and behaviors are derived from accepting or rejecting or fear or hope via EXPERIENCED UNDERSTANDING and ESTABLISHED SYSTEMS that FLOW, EASE, RESISTANCE, VALIDATION, EXPANSION, and CHOICE was, is, or will be given to or taken from (perceptually or actually) one’s self, that which outside of self one values or has APPRECIATION for, or that which one experiences EMPATHY towards.
      Truth Expanded - The Basics of Psychology Diagram - Emotion, Thought, Action, and External Information & StimuliThought, emotion, and action, diagram background

      TO BE NOTED

      In addition to my own reflections, I spent time reading to both validate and to find any holes in my above understanding. In that reading, I did discover a hole, which was the fact that the Element CHOICE was missing, found in the reading of Daniel H. Pink’s Drive.

      Also, upon reading, I became aware that The 10 Elements embodies various aspects of what others (i.e. Albert Bandura's Social Learning Theory, Carl Rogers' theories on Positive Regard and Self Worth as well as Congruence, and Kurt Lewin's Field Theory) have already discovered and revealed.

      Additionally, a friend of mine, a licensed clinical psychologist, let me know that I was not the first person to come up with the concept of FLOW in the way that I had defined it and that I should read Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentamihalyi. What I learned is that Csikszentamihalyi's concept of Flow is essentially the exact same as my FLOW THROUGH ACTION (better said, my concept is a reflection of his flow concept, since his concept came decades before mine), but my FLOW THROUGH STILLNESS is a completely different concept altogether relative to his concept of FLOW.

      Furthermore, the colors and icons associated to each Element have no true association and are merely used to help the reader in creating a clearer separation between the Elements.

      Lastly, FoUnd SoUL, generally speaking, does not ally specifically with any one faith, sect, or denomination. The 10 Elements is for all.

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      If you want to learn more about how Nathan can help you implement The 10 Elements in your life, business, or organization, feel free to connect with him.

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