Thursday, October 26, 2017

sneaky is as sneaky does

Haven't written here in a while. Partly because I've been wicked busy but mostly because my thoughts have been swirly misty things too hard to pin down into a cogent set of words. I'm not sure that's changed but here we go anyway.  I am back from my second teaching gig with the VioDy crew. This time at VioDy Prime. The original location and with mostly retreads (people who've done it before). Significant to me because I was teaching stuff they'd all seen before and seen before by the person who created the stuff. Yeah - no pressure there, nope....none at all.

Like, teaching structure in front of a couple of Judo/Jiu Jitsu instructors who's art forms are anchored in structure. I seriously considered throwing Rory Miller out of the room for that one because my monkey brain was all "oh hey, let me teach that one thing that you taught me...and yeah - the drop step oh yeah, teaching that one too and it took me forever to get THAT one down and now you're going to sit over there and watch me teach it...fuck that".  Didn't kick him out but I thought about it.

One of the get-to's about VioDy is I get to teach Conflict Communication. I think the material is transformational and I really like teaching it - for a lot of reasons - but mostly because each time I teach it the insights that pop up in the room change how I see the material and inform more deeply into how humans work and seeing as how I'm a shrink, that makes my day.

We talk a lot about the monkey brain (your limbic system etc.) and how much it resists change. The resistance goes waaaayyyy up when that change impacts any tribal affiliation or your place in that tribe. The monkey brain is also wicked smart. Not intelligent necessarily, but smart - clever - underhanded and devious even. It's always cool to find the evidence of this, particularly in your own self.

Working with Rory, Kasey, Randy and Terry is a gift all the way around and I am privileged to say Rory is one of my closest friends. My closest friends are the people who are comfortable saying the hard things. Spent several days with this bunch and discovered something. I know that he smart little monkey brain will use our own biases and glitches against us. What didn't occur to me was how this smart little aspect of the socialized self will use our personal ethics in an inverse strategy to undermine change.

If I work to minimize behaviors I identify as personal character flaws - like weakness - my monkey brain can and will use that against me if it means maintaining stasis.

Me: where I find weakness in myself, I will work to change that - do the hard things, etc.
Monkey Me: if you do XXX that will be weakness
Me: Oh! Damn. Okay, got it. Won't do XXX.
Monkey Me: good job! (claps me on the back) atta' girl. (and smiles a little just at the corners to avoid being obvious because not doing XXX does not benefit me or the goal but homeostasis in the tribe).
Me: Wait. What?

Homeostasis of the tribe isn't bad or wrong. Usually. But sometimes it works at cross purposes to strength and growth. Growth and strength - and transformation - they upset the balanced systems of the tribe so the monkey is going to prevent it and if it has to, the monkey brain will use your own personal rules for living to the tribe's advantage perhaps at the cost of your own well-being.

Sneaky little bastard.

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