I love when I recognise societal conditioning in myself – awareness is the first step to changing things! In this episode I share two shorter pieces of me uncovering and dismantling unconscious biases in my own life.

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Having grown up in a “modern” (i.e. patriarchal, white Christian supremacist, capitalist, racist, ageist, ableist, colonist) society, we all hold a lot of unconscious biases in our system that create separation inside of us and among one another.

I’m committed to a more equitable and inclusive world for all, so I’m actively working on dismantling societal conditioning in myself, first and foremost.

Today I share how I recently uncovered extraction culture paradigm and unconscious biases at work in myself. Maybe it serves as a reminder for you that this work takes time, it’s a process (not a linear one!), and it’s okay to mess up as long as you learn from it.

I dive into:

  • what extraction culture is and how I fell prey to it with regards to the summit I’ve recently been speaking at
  • why story is a vital part of our human learning experience
  • how easily we perpetuate the systems we’re trying to challenge, if we aren’t mindful of our choice of words
  • why we’re all “wet” and that the only requirement for a different, more inclusive future is a willingness to learn
  • my Quiet Revolution

Ressources I mentioned:

Connect with me and let’s have a conversation: lisa@lisa-jara.com

And if you’re wondering how I can support you to make living as a cyclical being in a world set up for linear progress be more easeful for you, book a Connection Call to find out.

Dismantling Extraction Culture

[00:04:25] Good morning or good day or good evening. For me it’s morning, early morning and while I was in the bathroom getting myself ready for the day, it’s those moments when other people might be under the shower and I’m just pottering about and something pops into my head that I wanted to share and it’s about extraction culture and what a beautiful example I had recently, of myself falling under the spell of extraction culture.

And in case you don’t know what this means, it’s basically when you try to extract as much as you can out of a situation, out of a person, out of an experience, while giving as little as you can. So taking as much as you can while giving as little as possible. And that’s how our societies work in these days and it doesn’t matter whether you go to the Americas or whether you are in Europe like myself or possibly even in Asia. We all have been growing up with this idea that we try to get away with as much as we can while giving as little as we can in return.

And we even do that to our own bodies, our own cells. We extract so much from our bodies, that’s why we get to burnout. That’s why we have all these diseases, because we ask our body for more than it can give, because we have been growing up with this kind of conditioning.

And I had, as I shared an example recently, because I was a speaker at a summit. It’s a summit, a beautiful summit called Women Lighting the Way, which is all about bringing out women’s stories, hard times they have experienced in their lives or just major turning points and how they made it through and how they grew through the experience, how they found their own light through the experience and how, now, by sharing their insights, by sharing what they’ve learned in their process, they light the way for other people who might still be in this dark phase of their life.

Or, I mean, we all go through these every once in a while and then it’s nice to be reminded that yes, we all do have a light inside of us. Yes, even the worst of experiences can sometimes become our greatest teacher, our greatest healer.

And what I found when I was pondering on the nature of this summit, we were all asked to share our personal stories. We were explicitly not asked to teach something. And when I think of a lot of summits that I see out there, that I’ve been an attendee to, most of them are about teaching you about business or teaching you how to unleash or having practices, not just teaching, but even showing you practices, how you can liberate your body or whatever it is, or have a somatic experiencing kind of thing.

And it’s really interesting because for this summit that I participated in Women Lighting the Way, we did have attendees and also a group of 1500 people, a Facebook group, that are potentially interested. I would have thought that we got way more attendees than we did. Now, I certainly go for quality over quantity and I am super happy with the people who are there. It just made me think, like, why is that? Or why could that be?

And I think I found this link to the extraction culture paradigm that we live in. And I found it in myself even, this judgment that since it’s not a teaching, not a “Let me teach you five tips how you can improve your marketing.”, or “Let me give you three ways how to have less stress in your life.”, or “How you can manage your time better.” — which is a whole other thing.

We told stories, stories of vulnerability, stories that were real, like the real raw stories. And that might not have been as appealing to people, and especially to our brains, who are so programmed to look for how can I get as much as I can out of the experience while giving as little as possible. I mean, it’s for free anyway, so that’s not the issue. But how can I get lots of value out of it?

And hearing someone will be teaching or leading you, guiding you through an experience, is potentially more valuable to your brain than listening to a story of someone who went through hardship. And it’s fascinating because what is also true is that we humans, we have evolved through storytelling. We learn through stories, through telling our stories, because the telling itself can be a really healing experience. And women have been kept from that for a very long time, so we’ve got lots of healing to do. But also listening to someone else’s story is healing, it’s connecting, it can make you feel less alone in this thing called life.

And so it’s how we transport lessons and how we transport our culture. I mean, humans have had oral traditions for as long as we can remember. It started very late that we wrote something down, compared to how long we’ve been on the planet. And so we are an oral tradition, an oral species that “teaches”, by telling stories.

And when you listen to a story, you automatically start empathising with the person, you learn how to put yourself into someone else’s shoes and take on their perspective for a while. So you foster understanding for other people and how they do their life and why they do certain things the way they do because you understand more about them. And because of that relationship that you build when you listen to someone’s story, you’re much more likely even to do similar things, to do certain things or to avoid certain things.

Because when I think of myself and someone tells me what to do or what not to do, there is this little rebel inside that automatically wants to go “No.”, “No, I’m not doing it.” or doing it just for being the opposite’s sake.

And when we listen to stories, I think it’s far less likely to fall into that pattern of doing it on purpose, like doing the exact opposite on purpose. Because we’ve started empathising, we’ve started building this relationship, and then we are much more open and receptive to the lessons that we can get from what was shared, in our personal life.

And it’s also this part of connection that builds. Like humans have always met in circle and sat in circle and shared stories in circle. And there is something in the air, something in the atmosphere of being in circle that makes this experience so much deeper and almost surreal sometimes, and magical. We feel less alone, we see ourselves in the other person.

And we had panels for that summit, on Saturday and Sunday, a live panel where seven of the speakers would come together and just share their experience of sharing their story. And there were so many gems coming out of there. We all had the sense that, “Yeah, I took something away for myself from every story.” Big things, little things that might or might not even be related to the story that was said, but there was some kind of aha, something pinging inside of me.

And it also makes us see that we’re not so different after all. We all go through experiences and we all have our own way of dealing with it, but at the core, we are not so different. Yeah, and when I was wondering, if we went back to that kind of thinking to value a story, to value a human being that is telling you their story that is opening up because it really requires being vulnerable. It really requires being honest with the self and then sharing that.

Because sharing always has the risk of rejection and we want nothing less than being rejected by our tribe when we think of our human evolution. Because being rejected from the tribe means almost certain death because of all the risks and dangers out there in the darkness, in the woods or in the desert or wherever you lived.

And so opening up like that, it takes courage and being allowed to receive that kind of courage together with the story and the lessons the person learned is actually a real gift. And I think at least I myself sometimes forget how much of a gift it is. And you know, I even thought like, “Yeah, well, why would people sign up for the summit? It’s just us telling stories. They are not even like getting the hard facts, teaching kind of thing. What do they get out of it?”

And I’m like, “Hey, Lisa, do you hear yourself talking?” Because I’ve fallen under the same spell, I’ve grown up in this society, too, that teaches us to extract and exploit as much as we can, even from ourselves and our own bodies.

Yeah, and I hope that you got something out of this little speech, these thoughts that I had and that I really wanted to share with you. And I wish you a beautiful day. And if you like, let me know what your takeaway is, from my little video now, like what it made you think of, what kind of aha or insight you had. I am very curious about that and would love a good conversation.

Have a good day. Bye.

Uncovering Unconscious Biases

[00:18:56] Hey and welcome. Today I wanted to share another brief little moment in my life, where I understood how easily we fall prey to our unconscious biases and how, if we are not very mindful about it and about the thoughts running through our head, we so easily perpetuate the very systems that we actually strive to dismantle and unpack in ourselves.

And the reason I bring this to you today is that yesterday I went on my evening walk and I came back home and I opened my post box and there was a flyer, a leaflet in there. And just upfront, I’m not going to dismiss this company. I actually do believe that they mean really well. Yet, it was just so funny how from one sentence to the other, or one paragraph to the other, they were kind of falling prey to their own biases.

And I say this with the utmost love and compassion I have because I know I do these things too. Please call me out on that if I do. I made a video the other day about extraction culture and how the narrative of extraction culture really got me in my own brain and in my own way of living. So go check that out. I will link to that.

But in this case, and I briefly translated the flyer because it was German and the company, the company’s name was something related to the body, so that it made me think of, “Oh, they are for embodiment and being in your body and enjoying your body.”

So that’s when I started reading the flyer, which said in the first paragraph, “We celebrate the vitality and beauty that’s in every body, pure and natural. Let’s awaken them together.” That is a message that’s beautiful, right? I’m all for that, about vitality and beauty in every body, pure and natural. Amazing.

And then the next section was about their method. And it said, “It’s an effective combination to battle problematic areas of the body. If the proportions aren’t right, or the skin loses its tightness, if sport and dieting don’t help, you can get your well-being back with our method. It’s about a joyful journey towards your well-being.”

And I don’t know, but I was struck by this disconnect from one paragraph where they want to celebrate the beauty and vitality in every body, and then they speak about your body having problematic areas that you need to get rid of. And that the tight skin is the ultimate goal. And this so feeds into or speaks of the narrative in our society that we have, especially around aging and ageism, that skin needs to be tight in order to be beautiful, that there are things like problematic zones in the body that are unwanted and that we need to get rid of. And that there are proportions that are right, which automatically means that there are proportions which are wrong.

And again, I don’t mean this in a bad or disrespectful way towards that company, it’s just that these narratives persist in society and in the media. And this language speaks so much to the diet culture and feeds into this narrative that there is something wrong with your body, or that there can be something wrong.

I mean, your body can be unhealthy and unwell, yes, but the looks? It’s your body. It’s your vitality. It’s your beauty. And beauty is so different in everyone’s eyes, you know. So beauty is also just another made up concept that changes every few years, the beauty standard, the beauty ideal.

And again, it’s not to dismiss what they are doing. I actually believe they mean well, and yet they contradict themselves in one single flyer. And maybe it’s because I’ve thought about these things and I’m mindful of these things so much that this immediately catches my attention. But it was just such a perfect example of how we fall into this trap, how we fall prey to our own unconscious, subconscious biases.

Because what if there is nothing inherently problematic around certain areas of the body? What if there are no right proportions that your body needs to fit into? Yes, of course, there is a state of well-being where you feel good, but that’s an inside job, or it’s on the inside. It shouldn’t be dependent on how your body looks. How you feel about it, that should be it.

I feel well in my body, I take good care of my body, the nutrients I get in are good for my body, the waste can get out as easily as possible, and I genuinely feel good living in my body. And that’s the goal. And I guess that’s the goal for them too, they just happen to express that in a very interesting way.

Yeah, so if you are ready to unpack and dismantle more of your own biases, and again, I’m learning here too, right? I do that myself all the time, and then I let you know about it, like in that video about the extraction culture paradigm and so on. So if you want to come on this path of the Quiet Revolution, which is my revolution, like I’m not one to go outside on the streets and fight against patriarchy, because right now, we have nothing better to put in place.

Because if we fight, and if patriarchy falls, there is a power vacuum that needs to be filled. And as long as we don’t have any different ways of being that can fill that power vacuum, we will just perpetuate the same systems. We just saw that in this little flyer.

So in my eyes, it’s about looking within, dismantling it, unpacking it, unraveling it within ourselves. And by doing that, withdrawing, not buying into the narratives out there. And that’s how change occurs. And then these structures out there, these oppressive structures, they crumble and fall because less and less people are there to uphold them. Because we’re already on the way of the Quiet Revolution.

And yeah, this way they fall, but we have something different in place. We’ve got practice all along, inside of ourselves. And this is not about there being a right way to do it and to dismantle. It’s just going at it with open curiosity for our humanness, because we are all humans and in this big and confusing journey called life together.

So if you want to come to this part of the Quiet Revolution, please subscribe to my Moonday Musings. That’s my weekly letter that I write on Moondays, (Mondays) and that helps you unpack these things, but also land in your body more fully on the Moonday mornings, so that you start your week with more relaxation and mindfulness and being more connected to yourself.

Or subscribe to Woom Whispers, which is my podcast where a new episode gets released every Friday on the day of the Feminine, Frija’s day, the South Germanic goddess of love, to just give you a lovely start into the weekend.

And then of course, reach out to me, get in touch. I would love to know what you take away from this little episode and what it stirred in you maybe.

And last but not least important, a reminder that we are in this together. We are here to unpack, unravel together, because at the basis of the problem, there is the separation that we create. So we can only heal together. Come onto the path of the Quiet Revolution and I’ll see you around soon. Bye.

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