~As we enter into the depths of conversation and idea exchange, it is important that we agree upon some common terms to avoid misunderstandings and polarization, and instead, support education and ignition of new ideas. 

These are some loose, creative definitions of terms so that we can attempt some “shared reality” in conversation. Enjoy!  


Authentic Relating: A communication practice that is the practical application of “Integral Circling (also called “intersubjective meditation”) for use in real-world relationships. It is a combination of Gestalt therapy techniques, Non-Violent Communication, and practicing removing all unconscious bias from the mind while also completely owning one’s personal experience and being able to express it as one’s own instead of a projection. It helps people to reach the 3rd level of relational connection (emotional intimacy) called “shared reality”. Authentic Relating can be used as a leadership and facilitation style as well and is the basis of this summit. (-Erin)

Bastardization: to change (something) in such a way as to lower its quality or value, typically by adding new elements: "The word feminist has been bastardized".

Caste: According to Isabel Wilkerson, author of the book Caste, "caste is the granting or withholding of respect, status, honor, attention, privileges, resources, benefit of the doubt, and human kindness to someone on the basis of their perceived rank or standing in the hierarchy." 

Dark Night of the Soul: Technically: “A period of spiritual desolation suffered by a mystic in which all sense of consolation is removed.”  

Historically: Dark Night of the Soul (Spanish: La Noche Oscura del Alma) is a poem written by the 16th-century Spanish mystic and poet St. John of the Cross. The "dark night of the soul" does not refer to the difficulties of life in general, although the phrase has understandably been taken to refer to such trials. The nights which the soul experiences are the two necessary purgations on the path to Divine union: the first purgation is of the sensory or sensitive part of the soul, the second of the spiritual part. Such purgations comprise the first of the three stages of the mystical journey, followed by those of illumination and then union. St. John does not use the term "dark night of the soul", but only "dark night" ("noche oscura"). (Wikipedia)

For our summit: a Dark Night of the Soul is the beginning of Positive Disintegration before insights, ideas, and new perspectives are born. It is necessary to normalize that it is normal and healthy for the individual or nation to not give up. 

Diversity and Inclusion: A common organizational department in a business that is meant to deal with caste issues. The difference between Diversity vs. Inclusion is as follows…  Diversity refers to the traits and characteristics that make people unique while inclusion refers to the behaviors and social norms that ensure people feel welcome despite differences. 

Emotional Weapon: Using one’s emotions to posture over another in a power struggle. The alternative is to own our emotions and express them as a way to feel seen, heard, and understood; the building blocks of emotional intimacy and collaboration. 

Entrepreneurial spirit: A mindset, an attitude and approach to thinking that actively seeks out change, rather than waiting to adapt to change. It's a mindset that embraces critical questioning, innovation, service, and continuous improvement. (Google)

Existential Crisis: “An "Existential Crisis" is when an individual starts to question their entire existence and questioning if being alive even has a point or if it's all pointless. It is hard to get out of because when you are debating if reality has a purpose it gets in the way of everyday things, like Making Cereal or Recording Videos or any sort of activity.” (Urban Dictionary, lol). For the purposes of this summit, we assume that an existential crisis is a good thing if the person is wanting self-development growth and also willing to receive guidance, support, and insight.

Feminine-encoded: Cultural norms and behaviors that are correlated with feminine neurobiology and somatics. Anything that is “absorptive” or “receptive” is feminine-encoded. (masculine-encoded is penetrative). (Dr. Douglas Brooks, professor of Religion University of Rochester)

Feminine Neurobiology: The study of the differences between the average male and female human brain shows that the female brain is very different than we previously thought. Some studies show that the auditory cortex of a female is three times larger than a male’s brain and the visual cortex of a male brain is three times larger than a female brain. The auditory cortex is associated with empathy and communication; the ingredients for attachment, co-regulation, collaboration, and community. (Source is workshops Erin has attended)

Feminist: “a person who supports feminism, the belief in social, economic, and political equality of the sexes. Although largely originating in the West, feminism is manifested worldwide and is represented by various institutions committed to activity on behalf of women's rights and interests.” (Google)

In our summit: Feminism does not mean that women want to rule the world and will squash everyone to get there. A feminist includes men and women alike in her leadership style which is “inclusive”: Her leadership style is more collaborative and relational and less hierarchical. (-Erin)

Gaslighting (or Ambient Abuse): The act of inaccurately accusing someone they are mentally ill until they start to believe it. This can also happen to marginalized groups. Sometimes in popular culture the word “gaslighting” is used interchangeably with “slandering” but in actuality, they are different. (-Erin)

A more psychological definition of ambient abuse is "an increasing frequency of systematically withholding factual information from, and/or providing false information to, the victim - having the gradual effect of making them anxious, confused, and less able to trust their own memory and perception.” (-Urban dictionary)

Gifted: Feeling an intense urge to share your gifts with the world in order to address the world’s pain-points and being capable of multi-levelness (see below). The definition of "gifted" is highly debated, so we chose our own. Typically it is determined with an IQ test, but IQ is only one of the 5 categories of giftedness (and it is highly probable that IQ tests are misogynistic because female neurobiology is not left/right brain divided). (-Erin)

Imposter Syndrome: (also known as impostor phenomenon, impostorism, fraud syndrome, or the impostor experience) is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments or talents and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud". (google)

Interdependent: When two or more people are dependent upon each other without losing their individuality. (Often used to describe a healthy form of dependence and collaboration.)

Matriarchy: A social system in which females hold the primary power positions in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege, and control of property. A matriarchy is a hierarchy. (While those definitions apply in general English, definitions specific to the disciplines of anthropology and feminism differ in some respects. Ex: in the book The Chalice and the Blade, the research suggests that women do not form matriarchies when they are not influenced by patriarchal culture.)

Matrilineal: Matrilineality is the tracing of kinship through the female line. It may also correlate with a social system in which each person is identified with their matriline – their mother's lineage – and which can involve the inheritance of property and/or titles. Ex: The Dravidian society was “matrilineal” but not a matriarchal or patriarchal society. 

Multi Levelness: also called ‘multilevel organization of the brain’; experiencing a tension between what a person feels to be higher and lower qualities of oneself; a self-evaluation is possible. A judgment as to the gap between the person one is and the person one feels one can become. Experience of this gap comes on with great intensity (dark night of the soul) and often evokes considerable self-criticism. This is the basis of personal growth. (adapted from Living with Intensity: Understanding the sensitivity, excitability, and emotional development of gifted children, adolescents, and adults by Susan Daniels and Michael m. Piechowski)

Neurodiversity: (n) an idea which asserts that atypical (neurodivergent) neurological development is a normal human difference that is to be recognized and respected as any other human variation; The concept of there being diversity in the neurology of humans just as there is a diversity of other traits. (Urban dictionary)

Overexcitability (OE): Is a term introduced to current psychology by Kazimierz Dąbrowski as part of his theory of positive disintegration (TPD). Overexcitability is a rough translation of the Polish word 'nadpobudliwość', which is more accurately translated as 'superstimulatability' in English. In his book Positive Disintegration, Dąbrowski uses the terms "hyperexcitability", "increased excitability", "overexcitability" and simply "excitability". He uses these terms interchangeably with nervousness.

(For the purposes of this summit, we can call the "Overexcitabilities" the types of "Giftedness". OE is more like having extra antennae rather than having "nervousness". - Erin and the book- Living with Intensity)

Dąbrowski introduces these terms to describe a heightened physiological experience of stimuli resulting from increased neuronal sensitivities. He describes those who have hyperexcitability as showing "strength and perseveration of reactions incommensurate to their stimuli." Piechowski noted that Dąbrowski used the term psychic overexcitability to "underline the enhancement and intensification of mental activity much beyond the ordinary".

There are five forms of overexcitability. These five forms are psychomotor, sensual, emotional, imaginational, and intellectual.

Psychomotor: OE is a heightened excitability of the neuromuscular system. This manifests itself in a capacity for being active and energetic, a love of movement, a surplus of energy, and an actual need for physical action.

Sensual: OE is an intensified experience of any type of sensual pleasure or displeasure emanating from one of the five senses, i.e. sight, smelltouchtaste, and hearing. It manifests as an increased appreciation of aesthetic pleasure such as musiclanguage, and art, and delight from tastes, smells, textures, sounds, and sights. Conversely, extreme pain and disgust are experienced upon exposure to sensations perceived as unpleasant.

Intellectual: OE manifests itself as an extreme desire to seek understanding and truth, to gain knowledge, and to analyze and categorize information. Those high in Intellectual OE are commonly seen as intellectually gifted and have incredibly active minds. They are intensely curious, avid readers, and keen observers. They frequently love thinking purely for the sake of thinking.

Imaginational: OE manifests as an intensified play of the imagination, causing a rich association of images, invention, fantasy, use of imagery and metaphor, and elaborate dreams and visions. Often children high in Imaginational OE do not differentiate between truth and fiction or are absorbed in their own private world with imaginary companions and dramatizations.

Emotional: OE is characterized by heightened intense feelings, extreme experience of complex emotions, identification with others' feelings to the point of actual experience, and strong sentimental expression. Other indications include physical response to emotional stimuli such as stomach aches when nervous and obsessive concern with death and depression. Emotionally overexcitable people have a strong capacity for deep relationships; they show strong emotional attachments to people, places, and things. They are empathetic, compassionate, and extremely sensitive.

According to Dąbrowski, a person who manifests any given form of overexcitability and especially one who manifests several forms of overexcitability sees reality in a different, stronger, and more multi-sided manner.

(Erin Keeley is researching the possibility of two more OEs: interpersonal and metaphysical.)

Another note: Dąbrowski's posited association between OE and "giftedness" appears to be supported in other research. It appears that at the least OE is a marker of potential for giftedness/creativity. OEs can help teachers and others spot a gifted person. Dąbrowski's basic message is that giftedness might be disproportionately associated with a process of positive disintegration and personality growth. (Wikipedia)

Patriarchy: A hierarchical society in which the cultural norms are created by the neurobiology of the men who have achieved leadership. The hierarchical structure is actually a caste system, sometimes overt and sometimes covert, and is based on “dog eat dog” cultural rules. (-Erin)

Patriarchy Stress Disorder: Intergenerational, collective, and personal trauma of oppression, the invisible inner trauma barrier to women’s happiness and fulfillment. (-Dr.Valerie Rein)

Polarity Thinking: (Polarity Management): is an approach to life that up-levels emotional and interpersonal intelligence. It can be applied to individuals, teams, organizational development, and is critical for constructive conflict. Polarities are paired values (often competing) that need each other to achieve a greater purpose. Ex: yin and yang, inhale and exhale, individual and collective. (-The Yarbrough Group). Yin can't exist without yang and vice versa. For a system to function, both are needed in opposition to each other, in a dance with each other. (-Erin)

Positive Disintegration: Dr. Kazimierz Dąbrowski developed the theory of Positive Disintegration, which attempts to describe how personality development can progress as a result of accumulated difficult experiences. "Disintegration" refers to the abandonment of clusters of prior sensitivities and attitudes, based on learning from these events and perceptions. The resulting shift, if there is one, may be regarded as positive when the process has moved the personality to an increased capacity to contain such experiences and gain new perspectives. (Wikipedia)

The theory of positive disintegration (TPD) by Kazimierz Dąbrowski is a theory of personality development. Unlike mainstream psychology, Dąbrowski's theoretical framework views psychological tension and anxiety as necessary for growth. These "disintegrative" processes are therefore seen as "positive", whereas people who fail to go through positive disintegration may remain for their entire lives in a state of "primary integration", lacking true individuality. Advancing into disintegration and into the higher levels of development is predicated on having developmental potential, including overexcitabilities, above-average reactions to stimuli.

Unlike some other theories of development such as Erikson's stages of psychosocial development, it is not assumed that even a majority of people progress through all levels. TPD is not a theory of stages, and levels do not correlate with age. (Wikipedia)

Psychache: A condition of intense psychological pain and hopelessness. Psychache, a neologism coined by suicidologist Edwin Shneidman, is unbearable psychological pain-hurt, anguish, soreness, and aching. Shneidman theorized that unresolved psychache results in suicidal behavior. In almost every case of suicide, psychache is the cause.

Psychological Safety: “...is broadly defined as a climate in which people are comfortable expressing and being themselves. More specifically, when people have psychological safety at work, they feel comfortable sharing concerns and mistakes without fear of embarrassment or retribution. They are confident that they can speak up and won’t be humiliated, ignored, or blamed. They know they can ask questions when they are unsure about something. They tend to trust and respect their colleagues. When a work environment has a reasonably high psychological safety, good things happen: mistakes are reported quickly so that prompt corrective action can be taken; seamless coordination across groups or departments is enabled, and potentially game-changing ideas for innovation are shared. In short, psychological safety is a crucial source of value creation in organizations operating in a complex, changing environment.” -(Amy Edmonson in The Fearless Organization) 

Robopath: Socialization without individual examination leads to a rote and robotic existence (the "robopath" described by Ludwig von Bertalanffy). Individual reactions are not unique, they are based upon social contexts ("I cry at funerals and laugh at weddings—everyone does"). According to Dąbrowski, people primarily motivated by the second factor represent a significant majority of the general population. (Wikipedia)

Twice Exceptional (2e): The term twice-exceptional was coined by James J. Gallagher to denote students who are both gifted and have disabilities. In other words, twice-exceptional students are those who have two special needs. For instance, they might have gifted learning needs and a learning disability. Or, they may be a gifted learner and have a developmental disability, such as autism spectrum disorder.

People have known about twice-exceptional students for thirty years; however, identification and program strategies remain ambiguous. These students represent a unique challenge for the educational system. Teachers and educators will need to make special accommodations for their learning deficits (such as remediation), yet adapt the curriculum to meet their advanced learning needs (for instance, through acceleration or enrichment). Twice-exceptional students are considered to be at risk because they are hidden within the general population of their educational environment, and often viewed as either underachievers or average learners.

The term “twice-exceptional,” also referred to as “2e,” is used to describe gifted children who have the characteristics of gifted students with the potential for high achievement and give evidence of one or more disabilities as defined by federal or state eligibility criteria. These disabilities may include specific learning disabilities (SpLD), speech and language disorders, emotional/behavioral disorders, physical disabilities, autism spectrum, or other impairments such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Like other gifted learners, 2e students are highly knowledgeable and talented in at least one particular domain. However, their giftedness is often overshadowed by their disabilities, or these students may be able to mask or hide their learning deficits by using their talents to compensate. Sometimes a twice-exceptional child’s special education needs are overlooked until adolescence or later, or are never identified throughout his or her life.

Unconscious Biases: are social stereotypes about certain groups of people that individuals form outside their own conscious awareness. Everyone holds unconscious beliefs about various social and identity groups, and these biases stem from one's tendency to organize social worlds by categorizing.

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