Episode 54: Navigating the Tides of Change

Positive Disintegration at Gift-a-Palooza 2024

Chris Wells & Emma Nicholson 

Release date: March 11, 2024

Episode 54 features the presentation Chris and Emma gave at Gift-a-Palooza 2024, a virtual summit with more than 45 speakers on the topics of giftedness and neurodiversity. This was our first time presenting together, and we had a great time. We edited the audio from our discussion of positive disintegration in gifted adults. The Q&A isn't included.

If you’re reading this on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or another podcast platform, please visit the show notes on Substack for the slide images.

This first slide is Emma’s representation of the process of positive disintegration. [From the transcript] Emma: “When you think you know who you are, everything starts to fall apart. You can go through a process then of sorting things out and trying to reshape. It's a little bit like pulling apart Lego bricks and rebuilding yourself, figuring out what goes at the top and what goes at the bottom… Disintegration's not just a linear, straight-through process. You don't just go step one, two, three, four, five. Through your life, you will get moments where new informational circumstances will come in and it can start that cycle of development again.”

The next slide gives insight into values. From Emma: “When we think about what values are, they are the principles or the standards that we have in place for ourselves that drive our behavior, But they're based on what we see as important in life. So, you can see that little diagram I've got. You've got everything that you believe to be true in life and what your priorities are… Based on that, you then build out standards for yourself of how you think you should behave. And then your behaviors come out the back of that.”

At the 08:30 mark of this episode, Chris tackled the difference between the unilevel and multilevel processes.

On the next slide, we offered an overview of the dynamisms, which can be defined as inner forces that shape and direct our development. At 15:22, Chris described the overexcitabilities as the raw material for producing dynamisms.

The path to authenticity represented by a strutting cat.

From Emma: “[The path has] got to be self-created because you're the only one who can define what you believe, what's important to you. So then, what are your values? You're the only one who can truly say who you are authentically inside… Think about what's important to you, think about what you really value, and then look at your behavior and say, am I walking my talk? And if I'm not, what can I do to change that to make sure that I am behaving in a way that aligns with my values?”

From Chris: “The heart of this theory is inner transformation. It's what the dynamisms are all about: helping you shape yourself into who you're meant to be, who you want to be… One of the beautiful things about positive disintegration is that it can be a creative process of self-development based on your values.”

Just after the 25-minute mark, Chris and Emma began discussing their own experiences of positive disintegration, represented by this Disintegration Timeline.

We had a blast presenting together at Gift-a-Palooza, and we can’t wait to team up on July 11, 2024, at the Dabrowski Congress for a 90-minute workshop called “Walking Your Talk: How to Define and Live Your Values.”

Click here or go to https://dabrowskicenter.org/DC2024 for more about #DC2024.

Links from this episode

Positive Disintegration on Substack

Adults with Overexcitabilities on YouTube

Michael’s book Mellow Out

2024 Dabrowski Congress

Gift-a-Palooza 2024 recordings are still available from Gifted & Thriving.