I got the chance to chat with authors, friends and holistic life coaches Christina Reeves and Dimitrios Spanos about their new book, The Mind is The Map: Awareness is the Compass, and Emotional Intelligence is the Key to Living Mindfully from the Heart.’
Why did you decide to write this book?
The Mind is the Map was conceived and came to life in a magical and serendipitous way. We live in different countries and for the past few years we were responding to each other’s Facebook posts on some pretty deep and thought-provoking topics. We had many deep and meaningful conversations and many of our mutual friends were privy to our writings. These wonderful friends encouraged us a few times, asking us when we were going to write a book together. Well, we decided to do just that — and from a distance. Pages flung back and forth every day for over two years. It’s been quite a journey!
Who can benefit from reading this book?
Our book is perfect for those seeking personal growth and spiritual transformation, or people experiencing family/relationship issues and/or social issues. It’s for anyone who is interested in learning why do people do what they do, anyone struggling with negative emotions, anxiety or depression etc, and those interested in mastering the art of emotional intelligence.
Can you explain your method, the Mind is the Map, in a nutshell?
So many of us are unaware of the hidden mechanism within us that creates our reality, even though it’s happening all the time, in all of us. Many people today suffer from depression, anxiety, unhappiness, loneliness, relationship issues, family issues, and low self-esteem etc. The Mind is the Map offers some key concepts and processes that help us to understand the mechanisms of the mind as it relates to the biology of the brain.
And what about your other method, the Writing on Our Walls? It’s an intriguing title.
The writing on our walls is our most prominent advisor, and we consult it all day long. There is writing on our walls for whatever we do and think. Those words represent the “truth” as we have learned. We consult those walls for just about everything. Those words tell us about our opportunities as well as our limits and very often they conflict with each other.
The writing on our walls represents every experience we have ever had. It contains all of our how-to’s, our cans, our cant’s, our shoulds and our should-not’s. It contains our musts and our must-not’s. It contains our version of proper behavior, as well as what we consider right or wrong in this world. It contains our judgments, our successes, and our failures. It’s all there — everything we hold to be true — written on our walls.
This automatic programming speaks to the nature of our patterns. There is no longer any doubt about the strong connection between the writing on our walls and the way life shows up for us.
Can you explain what triggers are, and what role they play in the journey of self-discovery?
When we “get triggered” in an experience, we will know it as a very unpleasant feeling and a state of mind in which we feel that we are no longer in charge of our own thoughts and emotions. In such cases, we might lose self control or feel overwhelmed by our emotions. At this point, the mind has become emotionally hijacked.
How we perceive reality is how we create reality. The question is that of consciousness. The more conscious we are, the closer we get to reality. In order to do so, we need to keep examining our patterns, beliefs and assumptions, and we need to transform them to ones that serve us better—ones that can lead us towards living happier more peaceful lives.
There are so many powerful tools in the book. Can you give an example of a tool that people can use regularly?
One of the tools we can all use daily is the process of Awareness. This is a process we use to experience our self, free of the mind stuff, of our stories, and self-images. There are always three aspects of every experience: yourself in the experience; the situation or experience itself; and the manner in which yourself and others are processing the experience.
Often our programming has us making judgments, assumptions, and has us feeling helpless or powerless in situations that seem hopeless. By acquiring a habit of stepping back, seeing and acting from a place of Awareness, it gives us the opportunity to see a new perspective of what’s going on and it becomes an opportunity to re-evaluate, make a different choice and even rewire our habitual programming.
What kinds of personal changes should readers expect to feel as they move through this book and make a routine of its exercises?
Expect and allow miracles and synchronicity to show up in the most amazing ways and you will undoubtedly experience a few “aha” moments. In the most intelligent way, you will begin to understand that whatever path lay before you on your journey — whatever puzzles you must take apart and put back together — the secret of life has to do with the awakening and freeing of what has been unseen and asleep.
How long will it take to achieve personal and spiritual growth using your process?
Words are simply words on a page, and will mean little unless we integrate the processes and procedures and use them as guides and a foundation for living a more peaceful, happier life. Now we must seek to have a direct experience of discovering our own personal truths. Who am I? What is working within my life and what is not?
Our best advice is: Don’t be in a hurry. It is better to eat slowly, and digest and absorb what you eat, than to eat quickly. Without chewing or digesting the information related to our personal growth and development, your system is unable to reap the benefits. Productive seeking requires that one throws out all assumptions that there is a prize to be won.
To learn more, visit themindisthemap.com.