Here is a practice for developing we-ness in a group. After one of the group members has expressed a thought or feeling, the rest of the members do the following:
1) Close your eyes and look within. Feel in your body what this brings up for you. Identify the emotions. What is the strength of those emotions? Why is the expression of this individual important to you? Open your eyes and write down your answers. This is point of information #1
2) Close your eyes again. What is the first idea that comes to you of what you feel you want to say or do? What effect will this have on each of the individuals in the room, in this delicately balanced ecosystem, including yourself? Open your eyes and write down the names of each person and the effect you believe your words will have on them.
3) Close your eyes again. Listen again, with every fiber of your being to what the person who spoke originally has said. Feel its resonance with past and present. See what images come up for you. What does this person need? What does he or she want from you, whether spoken or unspoken? What can you give? Open your eyes and write all of this down.
4) Look at the three points of information that you’ve written down. What is the opportunity here for you to have a positive impact on the entire ecosystem, including yourself?
1) Awareness and interpretation of one’s emotions as they come up in real time.
2) The ability to objectively (i.e. through self-distancing) examine the ramifications/consequences of one’s actions
3) Deep listening to hear the energy, emotions, needs and values or beliefs of the other
4) The capacity to make an action plan based on integrating numerous sources of information conceived as mutually impactful; the ability to see one’s self as a key player in taking opportunities to create positive change; the courage and honesty required to take a leadership role.
We-ness Skills – Short version:
1) Presence within one’s physiological/emotional state
2) Objective self-examination of consequences of one’s actions
3) Listening (presence with the other)
4) Seeing the whole picture, seeing self in a leadership role. This in effect says: “I can have a positive impact. I can make a difference.”
See if you can get your friends or colleagues to try out this practice as an experiment. Let me know what happens.