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This week

The Unseen Work


Maria’s Midweek Mindfulness 


the Wednesday Whisper

Unpaid cleaners

Much of what we do and repeat comes out of social conditioning. For example, I still find myself buying my granddaughter toys ‘suitable for girls’. And, even though I notice myself doing it, I can’t quite buy her a Scalextric (if they still exist) because the conditioning is too great and the change requires a process of undoing.

In the same way, most of how we run society comes with an ingrained conditioning not to recognise the emotional work. For example, soothing, empathising, energising, comforting, mourning, celebrating, commiserating and clearing up are overlooked. Yet in any family, workplace or group this work is going on and so I refer to the unpaid cleaners who absorb, identify and process these emotions on behalf of those who avoid or deny that this work is happening.

But here’s the problem, if the people doing this work, do not know they are doing it, can’t articulate it, do it out of any resentment or have no training or systems to share this work fairly then we have an unconscious incompetence adding to the denial and avoidance, which induces sickness, disputes and fracturing.

This is one aspect of what the Dialogue Road Map can provide. It exposes this work and overtly allows those who feel moved to do the training and recognition of the task and, more importantly, the DRM facilitators gently guide others to take on their share of the emotional work. This is why our projects in prisons, schools and communities are so important. I believe that a social shift into recognising, valuing and making this work transparent will provide the relief from political posturing, corporate greed and intelligent rationalising that has taken over mainstream society.

Maria’s Midweek Mindfulness

I’m noticing how my life changed when I realised that I had spent a lifetime sensing this emotional work, having no means to articulate it and doing it really badly. And, how, since the Dialogue Road Map has come about, evolved and developed, my life has improved exponentially.

The Wednesday Whisper

Who does the emotional work in your family, workplace or community? And what language, skills or process do you use to manage your own?


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