Cerebral personality types are formidable in their ability to organize thought, focus vision, and recruit other archetype traits for impressive impact in their immediate sphere, and the world at large. But seeing as how energy for cerebral types is largely above the neck, this archetype can devolve into detached psychological chaos without counterbalance from the other archetypes, and Sensate in particular.
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When Your Cerebral Personality Traits are an Asset
You are an extremely clear thinker who puts energy into organizing your thoughts, and speaks with great deliberation. Your conscientiousness and attention to detail display a highly disciplined approach to everything you do. You’re a finisher and people trust your ability to add order, thoughtfulness, and clarity to things that may seem too complicated for others.
You have a fierce level of focus and almost obsessive level of concentration, without any neuroticism. You have a deep capacity for understanding and creating systems. At a masterful level, you immediately “grock” a process, as if seeing a situation as the architect from 10,000 feet; linking the high-level concepts to minute details.
Your hyper-focus produces a consistency and steadfastness that afford you the capacity to be a dedicated craftsperson — beginning with an idea and following through tirelessly as you produce perfectly.
When Cerebrality is a Liability
You end up over-thinking and over-analyzing people or situations. Even if you’re not over-complicating things, you’re stuck in your head and unable to feel your body (perhaps cut off to emotions, energy levels, or any tension that could be released to help open the body as well as the mind).
Perhaps you’re stuck in monkey mind while meditating, or need to understand how to move your body intellectually before you’re comfortable letting the music guide you.
You may be extra-meticulous or methodical about any task at hand, forgetting not only to tune into your own needs, but those of others. Too caught up in the thoughts in your head, you end up living in the past or future, unable to enjoy the present moment. When defensive, you place more importance on what makes sense, not how you sense what may be happening underneath the words, logic or proof in front of you.
Corresponding Pillar of Mind Body Training:
Meditation (Concentration) & Process Adoption
Cerebralilty can be developed in a couple ways, but it's not an easy trait to measure. The core tool we use for this in Weightlessness Training is reverse counting - a practice that does exactly what it sounds like. There are key nuances to this practice that make it highly effective and scalable, but what I'd like you to take away is the type of experience being practiced.
Namely, exclusive, highly concentrated attention.
In this visualization practice, the trainee is visualizing only the number of the count. While no mistakes should be made in counting itself, which is how we measure overall capacity, the quality of experience is what the practice is all about. Focus should be intense, unwavering, and exclusive, meaning - unlike mindfulness practice - you're unreceptive no all non-relevant information - sensations, thoughts, etc.
Cerebrality can also be cultivated through systems (or process) adoption, where the practitioner is required to sustain attention on a narrow subset of tasks, or the integration of moving parts. Think sustained bouts of reading, playing chess, solving math problems, analyzing business models, etc. These are cerebral activities, but the doing of them also cultivates the ability to do them better.
If that ability transfers to other, unrelated activities determines whether Cerebrality is highly cultivated, or circumstantial.
Developed focus / attention is a skill independent of the subject matter of attention.
Training Cerebral Personality Types to Become Balanced and Centered
The energy of Cerebral is predominatly above the neck, processing experience and concepts. Employing sensing practices, like those of mindful awareness and moving meditation, are key to getting the energy, that conscious attention, to distribute throughout the entirety of ones present experience.
Starting with physical sensation, the mind must be allowed to expand in its reception of information. Feeling, sensing, draws attention from exlusive, focused rumination to an inclusive, receptive state of experience. In such a way the trainee learns to draw on the intelligence of the body, and all it's subtle cues and insights.
Coaching Cerebral Types
Cerebral lies on the mind-body axis in the Somatic Coaching Model of the Weightlessness Method, in direct polarity with Sensate. Sibling rivals, one is the analyzer, the other the feeler. Coaching Cerebral types can prove either incredibly easy, or incredibly difficult, for almost the same reason.
For many Cerebral types, shifting toward center and eliminating the pitfalls of hyper-analysis can prove difficult if they've never really known an alternative. This trait often begins early in life, stemming from undying curiosity, or as an avoidance/coping strategy for strife or trauma - "I've got to think my way out of this..."
Asking someone to feel who has either chosen to numb their senses to self preserve, or who has merely never found the need or interest to feel beyond the passionate workings of their mind, is a tall order.
First... what does feeling feel like? How do I know if I'm doing it right? Why do I need to do it at all? (Can you see the rationalization that begins what should be an immediate shift?) Believe it or not, these are actual questions I've received over the years in coaching this personality type.
On the other hand, a small number of Cerebral types take immediately to sensing practices, because, well... it's an amazing thing to feel. The immediate connection. The release of responsibility to 'know.' The loss of self into a world you've never known, but which feels really real. Some, when invited into this type of experience, take to it immediately and never go back. Balance organically manifests.
But for the others, the Cerebral and proud, tactics that don't require analysis, introspection, or inquiry are critical, because those tactics can all be gamed with the rational mind. In such cases, the coach must look for immediate, sensational validation - signifying a mind that isn't processing, but tasting.
As we discussed in the Sensate section, slow breathing is an unhackable, all purpose, sensing tool. While this falls more into the domain of "training" than "coaching," it quickly signals to the rational mind gaps in competence and mind-body control. In seeking to overcome those gaps, the client first becomes acquainted with their breath - it's location and depth.
Second, they learn to survey the body - first for structural misalignments that steal energy / oxygen away from the effort, and second to points of tension that can be immediately released.
This feedback loop of looking and shifting generates the skills of bodily sensitivity and awareness. Once these become tangible, coaching that individual in real time becomes effortless, as they can bank on their knowledge of felt sense and energetic shift to release their cerebral tendencies, and center.