In ‘A Men’s Group’ one of our practices is to sit in a Circle and take it in turns to speak. Each man has a specific amount of time to speak or to simply pass.
Often we go around the Circle so you know when your turn will come. Other times you get to speak when you feel to take your turn. We can also just have an ‘Open Conversation’ but that is another thing.
In the Circle-work there is also the freedom to not speak at all but simply be present to what others are sharing and how what they share affects you.
Circle-work is a special space and time which is different from the day-to-day.
We often live in our rational thoughts and seek to be seen in a certain way by what we say and how we present, etc. In Circle-work we use the time as best as possible for each man’s greatest benefit. To create ways that go beyond the normal, more surface, ways of communication. In the Circle we often focus on being spontaneous.
By that I mean that you do not work out what you might say before it is actually your turn or before you feel you want to speak.
When we are using a Talking-Stick, each man is encouraged to simply be with what is going on outside himself as well as within.
To remain in a state of listening and feeling until the talking stick is in your hands and it is obviously your turn. Even then, I encourage the men to just ‘be’ for awhile. To wait at least 10 or 15 seconds until you feel that you heard what the previous man shared, as well as until you have something you feel you want to say. To simply wait, and be, and wonder.
In waiting you experience what it feels like to have the space to share.
To feel the support of the group and to use the time to give yourself the opportunity to experiment with how you are with others who care. To sit with whatever is in your heart that you might feel you want to share. No other expectations other than you use the support however you will and are able. There is no hurry. There is just a supportive space.
Sometimes you just wait and then speak to whatever comes to mind. In this way you allow something from deep within you to come to the fore. To allow yourself to be present to what is within you that wants to be aired and shared.
To use the opportunity to experiment with speaking your truth, and seeing how you feel as you do so.
Similar to Native American tradition, we aim to speak from the heart as well as listen from the heart. We aim to be conscious of the others in the group as well as to ourselves. As part of this Circle-work we aim to be spontaneous and present in our personal truth.
There is freedom in being spontaneous.
Being spontaneous frees you from worrying about what you might say or how you might look in other’s eyes. You get to be present to yourself and your feelings and your thoughts as they arise and settle again. To see what stresses you have been carrying – to share about traumas and wounds – to speak to your hopes and dreams. Being spontaneous frees you from social programming to just be you. Who you choose to be. What you choose to share. What issues within you, wish to come to the surface and be let go.
There is no need to be primed for battle – there is no need to be ‘clever enough’ – there is no need to be anything other than yourself.
Perhaps you will get to see what you have repressed. You may well get relief from some rigidly held beliefs that sit in your unconscious mind from childhood and adolescence.
In being spontaneous, all you need do is relax and be present to your own responses and to the others in the group.
In being spontaneous there is an invitation to be present to, and awakened by, truth.
And you always have the option to simply pass.
The practice of being spontaneous gives you permission to sense what is in your heart.
It gives you permission to simply be.
In being spontaneous, you get to decide how you respond.
You get to speak in a way that can clear your heart and mind of what has been troubling you.
In being spontaneous you get to experience what you feel, in the present moment.
In being spontaneous you get to be in a Circle of other caring men who equally benefit from what you do share.
In sharing what is in our hearts, we see how each of us have inner challenges and issues that we are working through.
Each of us is wounded in some way, however large of small.
Each of us has hopes and dreams as to how we might prefer life to be.
In the practice of being spontaneous we give ourselves the opportunity to see and feel what we usually ignore. We create a space where hidden issues may come to the surface. We don’t go digging for them – we just relax and enjoy the company of other men as we allow ourselves to be natural and true.
We create a space for the unfolding of a process of Acknowledging, Feeling, and Letting go.
In the practice of being spontaneous we are re-educating ourselves to feel and to trust in what we feel. To trust your personal intuition. To get to know what is – and what isn’t – right for you.
You get to sense who you want to be at a deeper level.
You enter a process of refining and creating your life the way you would prefer it to be.
To shift from whatever ails you, to move your awareness and life-choices into this present moment and what feels most right for you.
You get to experience what is within you.
You get to feel and let go.
You get to challenge yourself to open to more wholeness.
In this present moment, you get to experience life as an adventure and a play. A discovery of your whole self and positive potentials. And you get to do this in the company of other caring men.
These are just some ideas as to how I experience what being spontaneous gives me in ‘A Men’s Group’. There are many different Men’s Groups and perhaps there is one that is just right for you. I wish you well on your sacred journey.
(c) 2019. Govindamurti
‘A Men’s Group’ has been running in Daylesford, Victoria, Australia since October 2017.
For more information see www.innerwork4men.com
Greg (aka Arjuna) is available in a Mentoring / Counselling role as well as for facilitating Men’s Circles in Corporate and Community levels.
Contact via firstname.lastname@example.org or text 0466 339 287