AmeriCAN Series Part 5: How to navigate one’s internal judicial system to prevent and resolve external conflicts

Posted on: July 20th, 2012 by Laura Palmer 3 Comments

Have you ever gotten stuck in a traffic circle with an extra outer-circle that requires you to move over to the outside of the outer-circle in order to be able to make your turn? (A bit of a mouthful…I’ll explain below.)

Artistic Photo by Artist Marielle Mariano

In this beautiful photo, the exits are directly from the circle, so the only task is being in the right lane at the right time. However, one time, I was trying to find the correct 19thth street exit in Dupont Circle, but when I finally saw it, it was too late because the outer-circle was blocking it. I was supposed to move out of the main circle and hug its outside first before making the turn.

Traffic circles are designed to slow us down and force us to pay attention to where we are going. Admittedly, I was on the phone (hands-free!) and got frustrated when I missed it twice. The solution was simple: hang up and focus on where I wanted to go. I then set my intention on seeing the initial pathway and positioning my car to take it, and voila! I made my turn and got where I wanted to be.

Think of the conflicts and challenges that emerge before us as little traffic circles forcing us to slow down and think about where we actually want to go. Doesn’t matter how big or small—the process for success is the same. The trick is remembering that the circle has exits and that we need to watch out for them. When we get distracted, it can be easy to forget.

Part 1Part 2Part 3, and Part 4 of this series explain:

1) The mind is the originating point of conflicts (traffic circles) and solutions (exits).

2) The mind develops conflicts that hinder our efforts to positively move forward individually and collectively.

3) The mind and the government functions are essentially the same, and the same negative illusions are driving both. So far, we have covered the legislative branch (at length) and the enforcement arm. Today, we’ll cover the judicial branch, which is where many conflicts go for an attempt at resolution.

Before law school, I interned with a judge who would regularly ask me for my opinion on who should win in cases where the law was clear but the facts were not. The first time he did this, I read the briefs and said, “Judge, someone’s lying here because they both can’t be true.” He laughed and lectured me on the role of evidence.

It always amazed me how both sides could often produce the minimal amount of evidence needed to prove they were right. I was also shocked by how many cases had crazy results when everyone knew the truth. The evidence rules (which were implemented with the positive intent of creating a neutral and fair process) sometimes kept out important information. Guess what, they were over- and under-inclusive, too! (See Part 2 for over- and under-inclusive concept.)

We have many complicated laws now making it easy for nearly every problem to potentially be litigated. Ultimately, the debate is over who is the victim, and there are “mitigating” factors that sometimes must be considered. What could have been done to prevent it? Who’s responsible for the catastrophe? How do we make something stop? And, once in the system, good lawyers will find the best cases to prove your story is the one most in alignment with the laws.

A lot of time and energy is expended focusing on the past in this system—people go round and round like the traffic circle. Eventually, most get tired and settle just to escape but may not take the exit they really wanted.

In the microcosm, when our subconscious minds are still holding limiting beliefs drafted from past circumstances that no longer apply, our minds are having a similar debate. (Picture a cartoon with a devil on one side and an angel on the other!) Part of the mind is focused on the protective, fragmented truths or illusions that I have previously described. (Illusions/lies about ourselves, such as, “My value is only based on what I produce.”). Part of the mind is voicing wisdom—intuition. Just as a judge holds the space for each story to be told in an effort to allow the truth to surface, the neutral mind helps us to do the same on a personal level.

We get caught in mental traffic circles, though, when we spend too much time looking for the evidence of what is true. Sometimes we forget that we have a source of wisdom because we have a subconscious habit of ignoring it (as explained in Part 4). Thus, the evidence in favor of wisdom is hidden. For most people, this happens for certain topics and situations, but not all. It varies by life experience. For example, one may trust their intuition when it comes to the substance of their work but disregard it when it comes to relationships.

Ironically, we often don’t trust our inner-wisdom because “it feels too good to be true” even though: a) Our negative feelings will tell us when we are focused on a lie/illusion or headed in the wrong direction; and b) Our positive and neutral feelings will tell us when we are on track.

The mind is afraid to believe this in cases where a protective habit kicks in because it wants to ensure our safety. Thus, we start looking for evidence of our truth.

The problem is that we create our own evidence based on what we believe or where our mind is focused. If we don’t believe we have an internal compass that can navigate us on a certain topic or situation or challenge, then we will continue to go around the same traffic circle. We will continue to see evidence of that challenge.

Thus, it becomes difficult to see the truth.

The solution is remembering that we create our own evidence based on what we believe or where our mind is focused. If you want out of a particular circle, the first step is to ask yourself what you want instead of what you see right now. Decide which street you want. This turns your focus so it will be easier to see the exits. Next, start looking for what you want. Take stock of any evidence (no matter how small) that you can create what you want. Then, discipline yourself to take a small step in favor of that goal. In other words, take any step that feels good. And, keep doing that. You will run into fewer traffic circles this way.

Luckily, we have lots of evidence that we have an enormous capacity to create something even before we see evidence that it can exist. Just look around at all of the things we have now that did not exist yesterday or several days/years ago.

Nevertheless, sometimes we have to go around the circle a few times to see what all of the options are before we can find the path to it. We have this underlying limiting belief that we can’t create what we want. Sometimes there’s a turn that must be taken before you can get to the exit, like in Dupont Circle trying to get to 19thh Street.

Sometimes, we have take the wrong exit to see evidence that it’s wrong before we will trust our internal compass and venture down the one that is right.

Sometimes, we need to ask for directions. There are times when the evidence stacked against wisdom and our capacity to create with it is so high and driven by such negative emotion that we need someone from the outside to convince us of what the truth really is and that we’re safe to believe it. (Analogous to the times when we must hire a lawyer to represent us in court.)

That’s where I can help-with representing your wise-self, not with practicing law (I’m retired.). When I practiced law, I responded to labor and employment behavioral conflicts by legal issue-spotting, researching laws, locating evidence to boost my client’s story or convince the client to settle (in cases where moving forward was going to lose), and arguing for the best possible outcome.

As a behavior consultant, trained in hypnotherapy and other modalities, I help individuals and organizational leaders respond to conflicts by illusion-spotting to see what false belief is distracting them from obtaining their goals and keeping them in the same traffic circle. Next, we unravel the illusion(s) around the topic through conversation and the use of logical and metaphorical communication with the subconscious mind (AKA hypnosis) so that it becomes easy for the person to believe his or her own wisdom around the topic instead. This gets them focusing on the exit they want. I also teach techniques so my clients can continue to progress on their own. For those who want to learn more about how Bridgenosis® can help your personal judicial system run more smoothly, schedule a complimentary phone appointment by calling (202) 709-6013.

Keep reading for more information on how communicating on this deep level can help us as individuals and collectively in our communities, organizations and nation.

Click Here to Read Part 6 


  1. Jason Hull says:

    Hi, Laura–

    The biggest mental traffic circle I see is when we try to find every bit of information that’s out there before we make a decision. Since we’re typically averse to making decisions in a state of imperfect information, we procrastinate on taking action and use the excuse of more research as the reason not to move forward. We’re looking for that silver bullet, or a-ha moment that the first 50 pieces of information somehow failed to reveal for us.

    I’ll give you a concrete example from my industry. The financial planning industry is constantly telling the public that more education is the answer, that somehow the message of spend less than you make isn’t clear enough, and we have to put more lipstick on the education pig to get people to live within their means. Yet, evidence shows ( that more education doesn’t really have a material impact on our financial lives.

    It’s the same with going to the gym or dieting. We promise to start tomorrow and then when tomorrow comes, we rationalize not starting because we need to research dieting or workout plans more and more.

    Our limbic system – the Monkey Brain – wins yet again, and we never do anything except keep driving around in the traffic circle.

    • Laura Palmer says:

      Thank you, Jason. I love this example. It’s true. We get distracted by the “education pig” as we doubt ourselves and our own wisdom. While the internet has many positive affects, if we don’t turn inward for guidance from our own internal compasses, it’s easy to get caught in the wave of information.

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