Holistic Thinking

by Farah Khan

Emeraldschell (flickr)

Holistic Thinking

The word ‘holistic’ seems to be the ‘in’ word in today’s time – be it holistic education, holistic healing, holistic thinking, holistic approach to problem solving so on and so forth. More and more people are now realizing the need to move away from a linear and fragmented approach to looking at things as whole.

At Bhoomi we work towards a holistic approach in everything that we do – be it the teaching learning process, organizing an event, working with individuals or any activity that is offered. Most of the time we have experienced that at the end of a day’s workshop or volunteering activity most people leave with a sense of joy, fulfillment, satisfaction and gratification. This I guess is the result of engaging in the activities with the whole of oneself where multiple aspects of the self come alive – at least the Intellectual, Physical, Emotional and Psychic/Intuitive. The design of these events/sessions includes engagements that would stimulate each of the above four.

In every workshop there is an opportunity for the participants to engage in group discussions, share perspectives and express their thoughts and ideas. The intellectual engagement gives space for the participant to get the cognitive understanding of a concept or an idea, ask questions and discuss theoretical aspects and absorb inputs and information.

The design of a workshop almost always has an experiential element where the participants get to engage with a task physically and use their hands and feet. Physical engagement allows for actionalising the ideas and theories into practice.

The above two are the aspects we engage with most of the time – through our learning years in school and college or at work. It does appeal to some and most of us are comfortable exploring in these two aspects. However, it leaves out the other two very important aspects – Emotional and Psychic/intuitive. At Bhoomi, we believe that these are equally important and they are integrated in the design of all the programmes.

So any engagement at Bhoomi also involves creating a safe space where individuals are encouraged to look at the emotional connect with an activity/idea/concept. This brings ‘me’ in the focus and allows for a connect between ‘me’ and the ‘other’ and the larger collective. The focus is brought to ‘what I feel’ and ‘what are my responses from the emotive realm’. Emotional engagement allows participants to involve and immerse in the activity more deeply.

The Psychic/Intuitive aspect is the most neglected one. Most often we fail to see the deeper connect with the inner world. What does my gut feel say, what does my innate wisdom say, do I see how each thread is connected and therefore anything that I do or do not do play a role in the collective outcome. The workshop design include spaces that allows one to go beyond the personal journey and connect with the larger universe. This further helps in understanding one’s stand on an issue and strengthen convictions.

In my experience, when all the four are integrated in any work/task/activity/learning, there are greater chances of deeper involvement and immersion as an individual is bringing the whole self and not just the intellectual or physical self. And such experiences are much more joyful, fulfilling and gratifying.