Cultivating our natural capacities

The core capacities, all of which can be practiced from the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual perspectives, are the processes that enliven the L4WB framework.

Core capacities engage the physical, mental and emotional aspects, along a continuum from the material to the spiritual, providing means for exploring the individual qualities, aspirations and innate ways of processing of each person. They offer ways to address, with respectful awareness, the differences between people. Their practice helps deepen relationships and transform communications of all kinds. Engaging and practicing core capacities contributes to the nature and quality of our participation, responsibility and decisions, and allows us to experience the wholeness of life and its interconnections.

Core Capacities include:

  1. Relaxing
    Power to ease tensions in thoughts, feelings and body opening to physical, emotional, mental ease
  2. Embodying
    Power to relate to the body as a source of knowing nurturing, stimulating, and expanding our multiple senses
  3. Observing
    Power to place attention, widely and closely keen, engaged and consistent noticing
  4. (subtle) Sensing
    Power to engage with what is not visible acknowledging and expanding non-rational ways of knowing
  5. Reflecting
    Power to explore other views pondering; looking back, projecting forward; offering feedback
  6. Listening
    Power to tune in to what surrounds connecting to words, sounds, spaces in oneself, others and the environment
  7. Inquiring
    Power to seek what can expand knowledge and actions Tracking, asking and uncovering an experience with openness and curiosity
  8. Empathizing
    Power to know (see and feel) with and through others active and deliberate resonance with their thoughts, feelings, experiences
  9. Discerning patterns
    Power to perceive what is interconnected recognizing interdependency and the relationship of the parts to the whole

A base for learning and inner resourcing

Developing these core capacities provides a solid basis for all life activities, including learning, creativity and inner resourcing.  Practices that support the core capacities help children and adults understand how they frame their thinking, experience feelings, engage in imagining, discover motivations, and so forth.  In a classroom or other group environment, these core capacities support the development of key competences and skills for lifelong learning. In the broadest sense, together and separately, they can be termed a key competence for living and functioning in society.