Community Support for your Individual Growth
Smartview Village people and Inner Companions model holding on to our own sense of self while being part of a group or community. Our materials offer small group listening and embodiment activities such as writing, art, movement and role play, to expand your sense of empowerment to show up for your self, your family and other communities in your life.
Rewiring to Move Beyond Division
The average human brain is strikingly divided. Our corpus callosum, connecting our two hemispheres is smaller now than ever in our evolutionary awareness. On average (and Focusers are rapidly changing this), only 2% of the LH-RH are connected. The majority of these connections are inhibitory. The owl, Ashamaya, is an incredibly powerful reminder that 'space' is our super power. When we show up to be our own listener, in a way that welcomes all with clear boundaries around safety, we rewire the nature of our inner world. We literally create within us the world as we would like it to be around us. The world around us, is of course, a co-creative effort; however, our environment will respond over time.
Living in Rhythm with Nature
One of the concepts practiced passionately in our Smartview Stories series is something we call the power of the pause in Focusing. Nature is one of our best teachers here and we will find ourselves paying more attention to the nature around us. Neuroscience has a lot to say about rhythms of rest, movement and eating that support a healthy brain.
Cultural Norms are Falling Apart
All around us, cultural norms are falling apart. Aspects of being human such as hierarchy, ways of making a living or contributing to society, family traditions, energy sources and more are in transition. What had worked for sometimes thousands of years, is no longer working. This is incredibly exciting to be here, in these bodies, contributing to how humanity chooses to evolve. It is also often overwhelming to have so much of what we relied on as ‘normal’ not working.
Neuroscience and the Inner Companions
Understanding our brain, how it works, how to stay in relationship to it, how to support thriving, will ground us again and again. We will deepen our understanding of our own brain neuroscience by becoming familiar with how it is embodied by the three Inner Companions in Smartview Stories. It is Iain McGilchrist’s work looking at the evolutionary patterns of the human brain and crossing this with Gendlin’s patterns of philosophy (Three Types of Theories), that is the ground for the development of our three Inner Companions.
Speaking from our Center to the Center of our Circle
This is a skill I first learned from Parker Palmer and the Courage and Renewal folks. Essentially, we are putting Gendlin’s ‘situation’ or ‘topic’ spatially in the center of our interactive space. We speak our truth to this center and not directly at each other. In addition, we'll practice skills from Interactive Focusing where the relational space between Storyteller and Listener is explored. All of this is HUGE in terms of creating space and safety to explore life’s challenges together.
Life Forward Knowing
Gendlin’s philosophy reminds us that all of life has its own forward knowing, its own next step toward thriving. In times like these, we can only find this if we are freshly pausing. Trying to express this something new often needs a new way of communicating. THIS, this new way of communicating is what you’ll cultivate here with our support for engaging in conversation. Over time, one becomes skilled at finding symbols to live forward with, and reframing or rephrasing that invites this something new.
Gendlin was clear that Focusing is not just listening within ourselves or holding space for others. We are finding our own right actions and acting in the world. What is a right action for us in this situation, won’t always be appreciated by others. Especially in these times of cultural norms changing. Many people will insist that the old patterns worked and will work now if we all just follow them. It is helpful to recognize that our personal right actions often still come with doubt or fear. No wonder! We are being called to do something brave or courageous.
Where this fits the relationship, we can borrow this valuable practice from Interactive Focusing. Essentially, we are inviting appreciations about how we are with ourselves as well as what we appreciate about 'the other' that we are in relationship with. Always there is room in our space for fears and what is asking for improvement; however, we intentionally bring together those with our appreciations. In general, appreciations are something to share and celebrate now. Fears or judgements are something wanting more of our attention and we promise to come back to these until we are clear on whether they require action.
If you goal is more authentic conversations, we begin and end by checking in on how we are mentoring ourselves. Our goal is to experience a greater sense of flow around doing 'hard things'. The owl, Ashamaya, models this for us with how it brings trust, humor, humility in holding space for life situations that unfold in the stories. A significant part of this is understanding how 'sticky' our left hemisphere is. Our LH likes to hold on to patterns it knows from the past. We will become more efficient at recognizing when this is holding us back by studying left-right hemispherical views that are outlined in Iain McGilchrist's research. For the older patterns that humans have been doing for a long time (older than this lifetime), our LH often becomes quite confused. Acknowledging to ourselves that change is a risk and we are ok with that risk, can open the path forward.