27 September 2023

Rediscovering our ‘Supersense’

Start the conversation

Leah Sparkes* recommends an audio book that taught her to be more alive and connected to herself and others.

My latest favourite audible book is called Fully Human by Steve Biddulph (pictured).

In my opinion, this simple but profound book should be added to the mandatory reading list for high school students.

It gives the history of human psychological and spiritual development in a similar way Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens gave us the history of humankind.

Understanding history is helpful to better understand our own lives and stories.

Not only is Fully Human a bit of a history book, it is also a handbook on how to live well.

It is filled with knowledge and wisdom distilled from decades of work in psychotherapy and illuminated through personal stories that give practical tips on how to be more alive and more connected to ourselves and others.

One concept that really grabbed my attention was something the author called Supersense.

This is a profound and primitive capability anchored in our bodies that shows up as subtle flutters or sensations that can provide us with guidance moment-by-moment if we are attuned to it.

However, from our earliest schooling we are trained to harness the mind and the intellect and in a way subdue our body’s needs and messages.

Our workplace, society and culture reinforce this —only valuing the rational and thinking mind.

In a way we have cut ourselves off from our Supersense, an important source of information that can help us be more fully alive.

In coaching we often talk about ‘living from the neck up’.

Being in our busy heads all the time, we are cut off from fully sensing what is going on within us.

This has a profound impact on how well we lead.

The most obvious impact is on self-awareness.

If we have cut ourselves off from receiving emotional information and sensations from our bodies, we already have limited our self-awareness.

Bob Anderson, who wrote a book called Mastering Leadership, says one of the key practices of truly exceptional leadership is developing intuition and staying open to inspiration.

Maybe we could call this leadership Supersense.

With the level of complexity that most leaders face now, we need to bring not only our rational mind, but be able to listen to our intuitive knowing (or gut) to know what to do next.

So how do you develop a better Supersense?

We need to become more aware of what is happening ‘below the neck’ — the subtle shift of energy, tensions or sensations as they occur.

There are plenty of ways to become more embodied or body aware.

Stillness, mindfulness practices, walking in nature, yoga and surfing are a few things that work for me.

I find I feel more connected to myself and far more alive, more vibrant and more fully human.

If we can develop a better Supersense, better hear and trust our intuition, we would not only make better decisions, we would feel grounded, present and alive.

That’s something worth doing.

*Leah Sparkes is head of Candeo Consulting and has always been fascinated by what makes people tick and helps them flourish. She can be contacted at candeo.com.au.

This article first appeared at candeo.com.au.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.