From Dissonance to Resonance: Belly-Up Values Alignment

You know that place where you wish you could take a vacation from yourself? Leave your chattering mind behind?  

If this resonates, think about a recent time when you felt stuck, frustrated or irritated. Now consider this:

When we’re in the grip of dissonance, we’re likely trampling on an important value. And our system is sending flare signals of distress.

I was there last week. Technology issues devoured my time, energy and disposition as I watched my ability to meet deadlines slip away. It was quite the cluster including:

  • Outlook became an etch-a-sketch: showing dates and then magically erasing the dates.
  • Calendly refused to recognize my vacation exactly as people were scheduling online dates. 
  • Zoom randomly denied access to my scheduled sessions.  

 And you know how it works: One (too long) IT call/chat solves a problem only to create a new one. It was crazy-making and I had lost control. 

Here Comes the Judge (aka Inner Critics)

I felt out of control, and with that thought in walked The Bench – my very own Supreme Court of judges.  

They were not happy. They stated I was to forge forward with all commitments. They stated that I was to follow through on everything, all the time. Otherwise, my character and competency were at risk.

With these thoughts, my sense of confusion and anxiety spiked even higher.

Have you noticed that these inner critics don’t engage in a dialogue? They talk endlessly at us, but not with us.

They want to solve our problems, but not with new information. They are the keepers of an old status quo. I like to call them protectors from the past. They once served a purpose, back when our teenage brains were forming. The Bench likely got me out of bed and to school during a turbulent childhood. But now, maybe 2% of their council is useful.

Yet, they speak with such supreme authority!

Time to Go Belly Up

I asked The Bench if they would kindly depart and discuss something urgent, like climate crisis, in a separate room leaving me space to better problem solve – and to begin my belly-up exploration.

So what was the underbelly of this frenetic situation? What value had I trampled down into the dark?

I began by first settling back into my body, where I realized that my back and shoulders were aching from too much sitting, missed dog walks, missed lap swims, and no time to shop at my farm store. And OMG I could taste the fresh strawberries and arugula awaiting me there. The season is so short, and they’re so delicious – just the thought made me happy.  

Wait – happy? I just felt happy? How and where did I lose myself? Was the belly-up side of my overwhelm a need to honor my value of self-care?

Ready to Rock the Boat?

The Bench was not pleased with this self-awareness and roared: ENOUGH of this pity party! Get over yourself and back on task!

Following our values guarantees we will rock the boat – our own and others. It isn’t a destination but rather a continual process of realigning with what resonates for us as we deepen our purpose, passion and action.

What happened next for me is that I chose to reschedule a couple of things, and believe it or not, this was courageous for me.

PLEASE NOTE: I didn’t get there by positive self-talk, which would have whithered under the scrutiny of The Bench. Rather, I got there by linking my decision to a core value of self-care.  

And guess what? No one died, including me, and my energy and focus were restored.

When the inner critics rage, we can become paralyzed because they can sound so damn convincing in the moment.

So the situation I invited you to explore? What’s your belly-up? What’s a core value you might be trampling upon? Don’t expect to feel comfortable as you recognize it. Be prepared for your own Bench of critics.

And this is important: You don’t need to banish them like they are toxic parts of you. Long ago they were doing their best to help you. But they are no longer in charge.

So call in your support system, and rock the boat!

Good things await in our moment-to-moment value realignments. Right now, what awaits me are two quarts of freshly picked strawberries. 

Something good awaits you, too. I know it to be true. 

Scroll to Top