Here’s what we got curious about with Carla’s example of having dear friends who you know to be kind, loving generous people, wanting to vote for a candidate you find intolerable:-
- situations that create cognitive dissonance are where we are trying to hold opposing positions which feel impossible to reconcile e.g. good people voting for bad candidates
- cognitive dissonance feels uncomfortable
- it’s understandable we want to get out of the feeling of discomfort
- it looks like if we choose between two positions we’ll feel more comfortable but it seems impossible to choose
- doing that can often take us into more judgment and division
- or we can go the other way and do a ‘spiritual bypass’ where we avoid getting into the feelings because we don’t want our peace disturbed
- but that binary choice, where neither choice feels okay, is maybe where the problem lies
- if we can say ok to the discomfort of holding two apparently contradictory positions, we find actually we CAN be uncomfortable
- when you try to hold the dissonance from what you already know, you get stuck
- however, if you stay in the dissonance, you can get curious and wonder what do you not yet see?
- we wondered if there’s a loneliness in staying with the dissonance?
- many of us weren’t taught to be able to sit with uncomfortable feelings – it wasn’t modeled for us
- so we can imagine it might be more strenuous and isolating than it actually is
- dogma or bypassing can look easier, maybe just out of habit
- our particular flavors of insecurity and the way they show up can look and feel safe, especially if it’s endorsed by a big group of people
- falling back into the known appears safer; the unknown can look scary
- just like with anxiety, cognitive dissonance is another feeling state: if you sit with it, acknowledge it, and let it move through you may or may not see something new on the other side
- there may at times be real danger but more often we are reacting to a perceived danger of being cast out – the primitive part of our brain is always looking for such threats.
- it’s okay to sit with the discomfort, the cognitive dissonance and open to the curiosity available from this place
- some of the best artists use their emotions to source their art – what might be available if I don’t get caught up in analysis paralysis
- when we have feelings of being vigilant we LIVE in the experience of vigilance and see danger and threats everywhere
- having our own realization of how easily the mind can change, can help us get less fascinated with our dislike of discomfort which can allow curiosity to arise instead
- a little bit of suspicion about an urgent desire to fix people or things is useful as we see it is often about us – Carla tells a great story about when she stopped trying to fix something for her client and their relationship transformed – she remained curious and open
- trying to fix people caps our creativity because we’re so focused on the problem
- we wonder what happens if we look towards what’s possible rather than the problems. Does that unleash more creativity in every walk of life: art, business, relationships, and society?
- we don’t see each other; we see our stories about each other. If we want to change the dance we’re going to have to drop our attachment to our stories so we can get curious about who this person really is, in front of us. As if meeting them for the first time
- young people being supportive, generous, and open-hearted is very hopeful
- what can arise when we pay attention to our connection with self and others – two points on a circle
- we cannot see the ripples of conversations like this but we can become more sensitive to them
- at any point in the day when we can refresh our view of ourselves, we get to turn the tap of creativity on
- we can feel the difference between, say, a heartfelt post and one coming from dissonance and upset (which rarely works out well)
- the young entrepreneurs Carla works with want more than just money. They want good money AND they want to make a difference in the world and they want to feel that heartfelt connection. Realness matters to them
- often young people can sense when you’re not being real or authentic and they don’t trust it!
- Juliet is seeing more people who are looking at the Western world and how it works and saying ‘really?’ We can do better than this and we need a big sweeping vision for something new
- all of us who can model and encourage others to tune into their own heartfelt sense are giving permission to others
- Carla ends saying she feels lighter and how honored she is to do the work she does.
- Juliet talked of the impact of hearing Christa Campsell, a Canadian educator and author and experiencing her profound, quiet love for her students and her work and seeing deeper how simply bringing love and understanding for ourselves and for others, it is so deeply nourishing and transformative
Be sure to tune in next time!
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Carla is a mindset & performance coach working with high achieving, high-performance entrepreneurs who are dealing quietly with anxiety.
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Poet & 3 Principles facilitator, Juliet loves exploring and pointing towards freedom of mind for those curious to engage more fully with all aspects of their life.
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