Something that has sustained me over the last couple of years (apart from being in nature) has been a deepening process of discovery, relating and connection, in a couple of small groups I belong with.
In my current phase of resting and reflection, I’m realising the preciousness and gifts of these small group journeys. These ‘islands of coherence’ have provided safe-enough, brave-enough spaces where I can be fully myself, being heard and witnessed exactly as I am. For me, this has included times of deep distress, shock, grief, intense anxiety, self-doubt, feeling lost and alone, and hopelessness. I’ve also shared moments of joy, gratitude and new insights, which have arisen from these ways of being together.
Although the groups I’m referring to have been meeting for different purposes, they have particular qualities in common. Without having planned, or consciously intended it, I have been learning and practising profoundly new (and ancient) ways of being, belonging and relating with others, which I believe are essential. Especially at a time when we see so much division and turbulence in the world.
How can we fully participate in creating a brighter future for our loved ones, unless we unlearn old (patriarchal) conditioned patterns of separation and learn to connect, communicate and relate from more natural and authentic aspects of our being?
How can we nurture a better balance of masculine and feminine, left-brain/ right-brain, or active and receptive relating and listening, both within and between ourselves?
Here are some of the skills I’ve been developing and practising in my ongoing journey of deep discovery, these last few years:
Slowing down and having time to sense what’s here ~ An important aspect of deep relating is that it happens in groups small enough to allow each person plenty of time to sense into what is here and what, if anything, they want to speak to and be witnessed and held in.
Tuning into our bodies and hearts, before speaking our minds ~ Perhaps this world has had enough now of ideology and opinion, which tend to polarise and separate us. What happens when we speak from the deeper truths of our hearts? (which may be very different from what our conditioned minds think they know!) Embodied knowing has a ring of truth that is unmistakable and can be surprising to our more familiar ‘thinking parts’.
Deeper relating from the mycelial layer that connects us all ~ I have often experienced speaking from a place which seems even deeper than my own separate body-mind and I’ve heard others speaking from this place too. I think of this as the mycelial layer, beneath the surface where our separate ‘fruiting’ bodies appear to be. From this deeper place can come profound wisdom that is resonant for several, if not all, members of a group.
Discovery and emergent qualities ~ In groups that develop trust in relating authentically and deeply together, we can discover new collective themes, insights, inspiration or solutions to a problem. These remind me of the emergent properties of living systems, in which ‘the whole is greater than the sum of the parts’.
It has slowly dawned on me that what I need to be offering in the world is that which I love and which most sustains me. Apart from my loving nature practices, this is it - simple spaces for belonging, without agenda, except to unlearn old patterning and learn new ways of being together, relating deeply and authentically with one another.
I’m calling this simply ‘Being Together’.
What I'm proposing are some small group deep discovery journeys, in which I'll share some skills and practices I've been developing over the last few years and hold space for participants to learn and practice these deeper ways of sensing, sharing and relating with one another.
I’d like to offer this profoundly nourishing and sustaining deep relating experience to a small group of people who feel drawn and willing to commit to a regular (fortnightly) group practice session. I’m not sure yet exactly when this will take place as it will depend on the availability of group members. So, I’m inviting you to contact me if this appeals to you and once I have heard from six people, I’ll be in touch to find the best time to meet.
I’d like to request a modest exchange for my time in coordinating and hosting these groups and sharing my skills. I’m thinking of a ‘pay as you feel’ contribution, in the region of £10-£20 per two hour session, or £60-£120 for a six session journey, held over 12 weeks. But, if you feel strongly drawn to this and can’t afford the minimum contribution, please get in touch anyway and let’s explore other possible exchanges.
As always, I welcome feedback, comments, questions and would love to hear from you if this touches you in any way at all.
With my warmest greetings,