CIRCLES OF RESILIENCE
Circles of Resilience is based on the ancient way of being together and learning from each other before books and YouTube, when our pre-literate ancestors would sit around the fire and tell/listen to stories. Here we learned the skills of resilience: how to connect, how to co-regulate and how to collaborate. Circles of Resilience uses the dialogical practice of council that creates a safe container to hold space for deep listening, at times, even with a broken heart. The practice creates heart connection with others, which is itself a resource of resilience. Circles of Resilience supports community building arising out of mutual rapport and respect. It cultivates authentic expression, the grief, and the joy.
As we move into an era of pandemics and other environmental crises, as we move toward social and economic collapse, as mental health is compromised, we need each other. In this time of Covid-19, for those who are alone, the isolation can be harmful to the nervous system and the body’s experience encourages negativity bias. The opportunity to connect through the online listening practice of Circles of Resilience is an opportunity to co-regulate each other’s physiological and emotional state and deeply listen to each other. We then feel safer and become more generous with others, more accessible. With compassion, we tend to the emerging reality. We grieve what’s been lost, we let go of what no longer serves, we reclaim, renew and reimagine what is possible. We reconcile with all of our relations.
"When we listen to people, our language softens. Listening may be the cardinal act of giving... it is the source of peace."
- Paul Hawken
In this time of Covid-19, for those who are alone, the isolation can be harmful to the nervous system and the body’s experience encourages negativity bias. The opportunity to connect through the online listening practice of Council is an opportunity to co-regulate each other’s physiological and emotional state. We then feel safer and become more generous with others, more accessible.
Video connection provides the intonation and facial cues that words and emojis in emails or texts cannot. We are not just exchanging content. We are exchanging cues. We are reaching into the ‘other’s’ nervous system to say, “I’m here. I’m present with you. I am listening.” In council we listen with one purpose, as Thich Nhat Hanh suggests, to relieve the suffering of the other. With compassion, we tend to the emerging reality.
During the 6-hour introductory program we will:
Experience grounding and resilience practices.
Explore different forms, exercises, games, and ways of sharing council in intimate relationships, families, schools, businesses, and communities.
Practice facilitating in virtual space including making use of Zoom technology such as breakout rooms and whiteboards.
Do this in the context of exploring the questions we are living now in this time of global pandemic such as: what are we grieving, what are we letting go of, what are we discovering in ourselves, what do we want to keep or restore, and how do we reconcile with all of our relations.
Engage in home practice with other participants to practice your skills.
Lori Austein is a Trainer in the Way of Council, and has been facilitating Council groups in the U.S. and Canada for over 20 years. She was a co-coordinator of the Palms Council Project , a school based council program before moving to B.C. Since then she has served on circles to advance the practice of Council and currently sits on the Trainer’s Mentoring Circle which shepards the path and the people seeking to become facilitators and trainers. She has been practicing hypnotherapy for ten years and continues to train and assist programs at The Wellness Institute where she also received certification as a transpersonal life coach. She is currently undergoing certification by the Centre for Mindfulness as a teacher. She is inspired by her mentors in these processes, as well as the work of Jung, Meade, Pinkola-Estes, Rumi, Oliver, Whyte, Berry and many more.
Leon Berg is a founding member of the Ojai Foundation (), an educational sanctuary in Southern California. He is a Senior Trainer of the Way of Council, and has been facilitating Council groups in the U.S. and abroad for over 25 years. Together with his partner, Glori Zeltzer, he teaches the Art of Intimate Conversation to couples ().