The human group - session 15 - practicing our way to new thinking and the wisdom of the other
Check in - What advice do you give that you don’t take on yourself?
The humans offered the following.
Tuning into the body, the emotional state of being; other people as well as yourself, listening, charity, generosity, making changes aligned with the environment, asking for support, being authentic, trusting, sitting in discomfort and creating a seperate tax account.
The discussion shot off into advice giving and how among familiar loved ones we can often give unsolicited advice. Why is there a strong reaction around receiving unsolicited advice? Sometimes the advice is absorbed too quickly and without question. Is it the giver or the receiver that needs to change or perhaps it’s both?
Offering advice or support places the ball in the court of the other person. When helped or preached to without consent there is a hierarchal structure much like the teacher to student and when we each think of ourselves as equal across the board this can create an opportunity to project insecurities and wounds. The image of ourselves becomes ruptured.
Why do people give unsolicited advice? Is it to control their environment? To practice their own ideals upon the lives of others? Having a lack of confidence to take your own advice may just lead to projecting it onto others.
However, behind the drive of authentic advice giving is an empathy and compassion.
How do we determine the advice is authentically trying to help and not dominate the other? Maybe all advice giving is a power play?
Why do we react to unsolicited advice? Perhaps this reaction comes from a desire to be empowered or even a story of thinking we are empowered individuals. Getting advice can instantaneously destroy that illusion and the fact that it can be so easily destabilised points to the fragility of the individual and lack of empowerment and autonomy.
Does one have to be a confident individual to consider or receive advice? Knowing in themselves they can choose what they take on and what they don’t. Whilst also understanding that the person giving the advice is doing it out of love. Taking the response ability to accept it or not.
Asking for consent can clear away the contentious nature of giving and receiving advice, whilst each individual takes responsibility for their actions and affects on the other.
We then got onto polarisation and the no-man’s land that stands between the two poles. Almost like a battle field riddled with mines and live fire. Everyone who questions or makes a statement at neither end of the opinion poles can be driven to the extremities depending on which polarised bully wants a piece of the projection pie. It is the ultimate test of empowerment and autonomy. To stand up and speak authentically from the perspective you have whilst holding your ground as the bullets fly from both sides. This also could be explained as taking advice from the two sides and finding your own space to occupy depending on what you wish to take on. This kind of strength is the same as the one in which holds back from giving unsolicited advice and maybe offers an open question or asks for consent.
The practicing of withholding impulsive advice whilst also listening to the love behind the words advice will provide a way forward into change.
How can we practice our way to change?
A fellow human offered a story surrounding a testosterone fuelled surfing spot that he transformed from an aggressive and abusive fight for waves to a courteous, light and relaxed surfing experience. He did this through smiling and acknowledging everyone out there while also broadening is focus of joy from surfing to the whole experience of being out in nature among the waves. By the end, fellow surfers were offering him waves.
In the Brisbane floods of 2011, the people of Brisbane all got together and helped each other cleanup the neighbourhoods that we effected. This created an atmosphere of love and support and for the 3 following months everyone was stopping for people to cross the streets and allowing one another to merge lanes in peak hour traffic. There was a bond created through the crisis of the floods.
Do we need to wait for the crisis to practice our way to change? Does there need to be a disturbing and present need for us to change? Or can we be proactive and practice a new way of being that offers the space for people to step into the change themselves. Much like the transformation of the aggressive surf spot.
Another story in which change was practiced was in a coffee shop dealing with grumpy customers. When the staff continued to respond with graciousness, persistent positive service and a big smile, the customer received no negative feedback from their negativity. Consequently allowing them to step into a totally different way of being. The grumpy customer would silently transform and wave a big goodbye upon leaving.
This is an aspect of the peaceful warrior; taking the slings and arrows of the world and transmuting it into love, compassion and energy. The battle being an internal one with the impulse to react, lash out, or lay down.
We then spoke about the dysfunctional relationships we have within ourselves. Interpersonal relating, in which, we comfort ourselves with irrational love to sooth the damaging suffering critic or the young upset child.
This then brought us to the multiple personalities we each have within us. One human even mentioned the discomfort around stating who they are for they know that tomorrow it will change.
We are changing due to circumstance. What does it look like when we change the circumstances?
Join us next week for '2020 vision and the drunk symposium'.