Have you ever had an experience that was so profound that you literally felt a physical shift in your body/mind/spirit that you knew was permanent? I sure did. Like three days ago. I'm still reeling.
What happened to cause a permanent change in my worldview?
People listened to me.
Really listened and then shared with me what resonated with them. Without commentary, meaning-making or qualification. Just my words and experiences reflected back to me.
Super simple, right?
Yes, the practice is.
The work is not so simple, however. It's fucking hard.
Telling a deeply personal story to relative strangers was one of the hardest things I have ever done. The only reason I could do it was because we had come to some agreements beforehand and had a set way to resonate - like a script. That was freeing. Because I knew I wouldn't have to hear other people's stories while unburdening my own.
The basic set-up: Get a group of several people who have some relationship/common cause. Somebody tells a story based on a framework/prompts and the other folks offer resonance in response to the story. Each person tells their story. Everybody else resonates. Repeat until everyone shares. Simple.
But in that simplicity is a million little factors of healing and connection. Deep listening and resonance are healing modalities. Being heard and receiving resonance is what makes us most human. Our brains and bodies are wired for resonance and connection, we can't help it.
In our current culture of isolation and self-sufficiency. We are so lonely and disconnected. It's not the fault of social media or desk jobs (they aren't helping though). It's the culture. It's killing us.
We are taught to be self-sufficient, to take care of ourselves, take of our own. Weakness in any form is to be hidden for fear someone will take advantage of us. We must project competence and self-control at all times. We must never subvert the social norms, except in the most conformist of ways that marketers tell us are cool. We must produce to be valued. We must never be poor or sick or unsure. Keep your problems to yourself. Be ashamed of your body, of your failures, of your deficiencies, of your feelings, of your dreams and desires. Hide. Protect yourself from strangers in this dangerous world. No one is to be trusted because everyone is out for themselves. Be afraid.
Not me. Not anymore.
I choose connection. I choose community. I choose interdependence. I choose living in cooperation with my fellow humans and the Earth.
I'm not sure what this looks like exactly. But I know I'm going to figure it out.
You're probably wondering how I came to this through spending a weekend listening to and sharing stories. It has everything to do with the beautiful people I met and the loving and communal space we co-created. It also has everything to do with all the work I have been doing on my inner life and aligning my life and values. But the key ingredient was radical acceptance and love. No conditions. No advice or meaning-making. Humans sharing stories and learning how to hold space for each other in ways that heal and bring people together.
The 3 hour yurt dance party was epic.
If you want to learn, check out Relational Uprising.