We have adopted the following touchstones for creating safe and trusting spaces when we gather.
Invitation and Welcome:
- Heart of Invitation: Everything is offered as an invitation or opportunity. Come as you are and choose for yourself when and how to participate. This is a space of pause rather than a place of requirements, obligations, and pressures.
- Welcome presence: Presume that you are welcome and extend welcome to others. Be present for yourself and all you bring and to others and all they bring.
- Make space for silence. Slow down and pay attention to what is happening and the voice of your own soul.
- Embrace difference, embrace each other: Listen with an open heart and mind to each other’s experiences.
- Generous listening, compassionate inquiry: Be sensitive and curious about what you hear; seek understanding and clarity instead of fixing, solving and advising.
- Pause before speaking.
- Speak from a place of personal experience. Speak from your lived experience and invite others to speak from theirs.
- When your experience in the group is troubling, hold a willingness to stay in the tension with open wonder. Turn from reaction and judgment to curiosity and compassionate inquiry. Be open to learning from the experience with “soft eyes”.
- Observe confidentiality: Trust that your words and stories remain with the people with whom we share, and are not passed on without permission. We are free to express any insights we gain from listening to others without violating their privacy.
(Touchstones adapted from www.couragerenewal.org)