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The guidelines and suggestions below will support creating a resonant space to explore together.
- Be mindful of the time. If you have 5 people in your group and only 1 hour, create boundaries so that everyone gets an opportunity to be heard and witnessed. A timekeeper can be very supportive.
- Keep track of who has received focused support during each week so you can rotate each time
- Refer to the group requests in the classroom on SarahPeyton.com. Keeping to the requests that apply to these circles will support connection, safety, and learning.
- The suggestions below are important to keep in mind and bring intention to when approaching small groups where people are vulnerably sharing.
Some things to keep in mind:
1. As a space-holder (listener), your role is one of open and warm curiosity toward the person sharing. Be in quiet enjoyment of the sharer’s existence. The person sharing makes sense and is having a wonderfully normal human experience. Create a non-judgmental space for the people in your group to discover and share what is happening for them.
2. If the impulse to offer support arises, return to open curiosity with the sharer. Unless the person requests it, this is not a space to offer advice, tell them about how you might approach the situation (or have in the past), or give them information.
3. If the sharer asks for resonant empathy, offer guesses as an inquiry into how it is to be the other person. Be open to their experience being different than you guessed (For example: – “I wonder if you are angry?” may be met with “actually no, I am really, really heartbroken!”)
4. If you are sharing and you notice someone is offering you advice, education, sympathy, evaluation, distraction, or sharing their own experience, feel free to advocate for what you need. (for example, if you would love a quiet loving witness, you can ask the person to just listen, or make a request for resonance).
5. After someone has shared vulnerably, we recommend a short round of needs met and gifts received if they would like it (you may request this for yourself or check in with each other). When we let people know the gifts of their work or sharing for us, it helps them to reclaim belonging and safety in the group.
6. As a space holder (listener) as well as the one sharing, remember to return to the body throughout your time together.