These are the 4 guidelines we use at the beginning of each Program, Group, Meeting or Gathering.
We think they are good guidelines for life. What do you think?
The first is confidentiality. We don’t talk about who attends a group or program or what’s said there to anyone outside of that environment. Names and stories stay within the environment in which they are shared. Confidentiality creates a safe space where everyone feels personally acknowledged, heard and valued.
2. Listening 100%
Secondly, we listen 100% when someone is speaking. That means one person speaks at a time and we really hear what’s being said rather than listening to our reaction to what is said. If you are talking about something that is troubling you and I’m judging that your challenge is nothing compared to mine, then that’s me listening to me rather than hearing your anguish. It is not a competition to see who is suffering the most. Each person’s issues are of real importance to them. We give each other a precious gift by listening 100% to the other person. We encourage people to be fully present to the other rather than be manufacturing their response while listening.
3. Not Judging or Criticising
We don’t judge or criticise ourselves or other people. If a person feels miserable, depressed, peaceful, positive, jealous, angry, suicidal, anxious, we don’t tell them that they shouldn’t feel that way no matter how confronting. If that’s how you feel, that’s how you feel, Having someone say you shouldn’t feel like that is less than helpful. This allows people to speak their truth in a non judgemental environment and truly be heard by others with a loving heart. People won’t share their unspoken treasures if they feel they’ll be judged.
4. Staying with Feelings
We stay with our feelings rather than our theories or beliefs about things. We stay with our actual life experience rather than describing how we think things should, could or ought to be, or how our family, society, or anyone else thinks things should be. This is a relief as we can be real with what’s going on for us. It is through embracing our feelings without judgement that we find a path to peace. People living up to a self imposed standard that neither resonates with who they are or how they feel find peace elusive.
These guidelines provide an opportunity for a journey of self discovery, acceptance, and understanding….something we all crave.
Have you attended a Quest for Life program? How have these guidelines supported you on your journey?