Welcome to the Sacred Gyre Podcast, staying connected to your deepest values as you work for change.
In the first two episodes I talked about the purpose of this series of podcasts and what I mean when I talk about the importance of staying connected to your deepest values. But you might well ask why it matters or what's the problems? I have strong values and I'm committed to them. Why should I worry whether I can stay connected to them?
My answer in short is yes, but it's true that we are able to commit to new ways of treating each other. That does not change the fact that under stress, we often react in ways that reflect old mindsets of things like winning, no matter what.
This can take many forms, but it happens to all of us under the right circumstances. If we want to increase the likelihood that we will act according to our deepest values, we need to do things when we are not under stress, that help embed those values so they become the subconscious routine we go to when we are under stress.
Now, let's use the example of learning to ride a bicycle. When you first learn to ride, you struggle to stay upright because you have not encoded all the large number of muscle and nerve memories that will help you instantly react. After practicing for a while, those memories start to get encoded in your subconscious mind and you don't have to think about it any more.
If you learn how to ride on paved city streets and get taken to a vacation spot where there are paths with partially submerged rocks or unexpected dips in the ground, you may likely feel less competent for a while. But if you consciously practice in that environment, you will embed new encoding that makes it easier to ride the bike in a wider variety of places.
And having someone else go along with you to give you coaching or to learn together with you will make it easier for you to make the transition and more likely that both of you will encode those memories deep in your subconscious minds. Now, living according to your deepest values is only partially like learning to ride a bicycle.
It is in fact more complicated and having the social connections work with you has more importance. This is due to the increased role that our relationship to right and wrong plays when living our values. It is partly about being able to remember to do things like say, Ask curious questions when faced with a new social situation.
It is also about practicing and encoding what goes into your commitment to do the right thing in accordance with those values. I think there are three ways at least, that we can all learn to do this, and I can easily name how I've tried to help myself get better at it. First, we need to learn how to be present with other people under difficult circumstances.
Now I've taken classes, read books, and practiced with friends and colleagues. The primary guidelines I use to help me are transparency, saying what I know that's relevant to the situation. Curiosity, listening and asking questions in a way that invites the other person to be transparent with me.