My Surprisingly Deep Transformational Journey With FEBI
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My Surprisingly Deep Transformational Journey With FEBI

My Surprisingly Deep Transformational Journey With FEBI

By Brad Reed
Photo credit: Brad Reed

I remember when I was first learning FEBI and how amazed I was that there was a psychometric able to bridge our mind-body and corresponding behaviors. Although the emphasis was on workplace behaviors and leadership, immediately I was imagining the various ways it could be applied. Questions in my mind arose about its uses for somatic therapy, performance coaching, team retreats, wellness workshops, etc. The ideas were endless! At one point, however, I stopped the cacophony of ideas in my mind and took a deeper breath and felt the question, “How can FEBI help me?” As I started to dive into the material more and get a feel for it (literally). I began to experience a variety of ways that it might serve my practice, my habits, my well-being and ultimately my life. Thus began my real journey into FEBI and the power it holds to transform one’s life.

First, I want to acknowledge the power of our body. In Zen, mind and body dualism is a delusion and our practices help us experience this truth more fully. From the perspective of FEBI there are 4 main energy patterns in the body that correspond to our day-to-day habits and behaviors. FEBI shows us how to work with our body and mind together so we can learn to build on our weaker patterns, work more skillfully with our strong ones and draw from the various patterns as needed. In short, it teaches us to draw from the entirety of our body, not just the more deeply ingrained patterns. This has significant applications when we look at somatic coaching, somatic therapy and body-based tools for improving our mental well-being. In my case, I wanted to highlight the key areas that FEBI and the emphasis on the physical practices has helped improve my life.

Energy, Into Matter

My upbringing in many ways was challenging. Couple that with a heavy dose of ADHD and you get a somewhat flakey, non-committed and bouncy individual who can’t seem to move the needle of his life forward in the way he always imagines it. Key here is “imagine.” It’s quite amazing all the things I’ve imagined myself doing and how so many have not materialized into reality. In fact, my imagination can be quite useful for many applications such as my studies in Engineering, human psychology, workshop facilitation, coaching, teaching etc. It can also be the most brilliant factory of BullSH&%T you can imagine. Most of my plans and dreams existed in the collection of nerve impulses and brain waves that make up my thoughts. As my teacher Ginny would say, the energy was NOT turning into matter. The foundation of this blockage was two-fold. First, my organizer energy (the ability to create structure in your life and surroundings) was horrendously low. Second, my visionary energy was through the roof. For those who are new to FEBI, that’s like lighting a pile of gunpowder and expecting it to fire a bullet into a target. It just isn’t going to happen. Thanks again to FEBI, I took the exercises seriously. Little by little (truly baby steps) I have worked on organizing my life. Using calendars more, making to-do lists, Yin yoga, Kendo, reading, studying mathematics (I’m a nerd but it helps me focus). Zazen is immensely helpful as well. While sitting in the midst of an internal storm of energy, the knowledge of the Jiki’s not-so-gentle “Stop Moving” helps keep my body still and allows me to bear witness to whatever is arising. Achieving stillness in the mind, body and breath I have found to be tremendously valuable in training my mind-body to settle the visionary energy and organize it into something useful. When coupled with my increase in Driver energy, I have experienced measurable changes in my resilience and ability to get things done.

Creating a Life That Matters

When I first took the FEBI, my Driver energy was quite low. This is no surprise, I was living quite a suppressed life; I was not embodying my masculine energy, and I was ‘stuck’ in a much more Yin style of practicing. My aversion to risk was high, I had unstable levels of resilience and was easily distracted. After learning this, I made a sincere effort to double down on my existing practices and add some more. I began more regular yoga, kickboxing, kendo, and weightlifting in addition to my Zazen, vocal toning and breathwork. Through the course of a year I have experienced substantial improvements in my ability to push forward, get things done, advocate on my behalf, have clarity in my intentions, keep my commitments and achieve my goals. In all honesty, this has been new but rewarding territory. FEBI helped me make sense of this and it was a sigh of relief that my “problems” actually originated in the nervous system and weren’t just “in my head.” This actually felt very empowering because I KNEW (thanks to FEBI) that there was something I could do about it.

Change Your Relationships, Change Your Life

My collaborator energy is also very high. A residual set of habits grounded in the need to be seen and please others has its uses. However, as I’ve learned and accepted, not every relationship needs to work and many just aren’t meant to be. Due to the far more embodied approach I take to my training and my life, I can hold all kinds of difficult sensations and tension in my body now. I have been able to create a much better relationship with myself and recognize and work through toxic ways of thinking and old behaviors that were not conducive to my overall well-being. In short, I am much better able to remain grounded in the face of adversity and build a strong internal locus of control. This is particularly useful when it comes to relationships as, in my experience, that’s when we really show up. Those parts of ourselves and embedded emotional memories from childhood, are most efficiently brought up relative to others in our lives. I have a much higher level of discernment and ability to hold space for the discomfort when I am “triggered” by others. This has created a much more sustainable way to hold space for those in my life and also recognize when holding that space is not healthy for either of us. It leads to greater integrity, more clear communications, better professional partnerships, and rapid resolution to conflicts. In truth I have never felt so well positioned to handle the people in and out of my life as I am now and it’s only getting better, day-by-day!


FEBI was a wonderful window into my soul. To have the internal workings of my nervous system mapped onto a page, with recommendations and explanations has been a game changer. The in-depth training we receive as FEBI facilitators and Zen Leadership Instructors, greatly compounds our understanding of the mind-body connection and how this plays out in every aspect of our lives. As I have taken the necessary physical steps to achieve better balance between the 4 energy patterns, my mental and physical health have also greatly improved. I still have my days no doubt, however with the practices and practical framework of FEBI behind me, everything just feels better.

Brad Reed is a member of the IZL community and becoming one if its instructors. He is also a transformational coach and trainer and the founder of Repurpose You.


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