GUIDELINES FOR PARTICIPATING IN DYNAMIC GROUPS
Have you ever been in a community that you know you’ve got a whole team of people cheering you on to reach your health goals? All members of your dynamic group are on a growth path, and their pace on this path accelerates in an engaging and supportive environment. As each member “pays forward” their attention and commitment to the group, the group gives back exponential value to you. Higher levels of growth and development only happen when we surrender to and commit within a dynamic group and stop trying to evolve alone.
To build a truly dynamic group, both the leaders and the members must lead each other. Most people have never had an experience of a intentional, dynamic group, and sometimes have even been trained to be passive, skeptical, and energetically separated from a group.. So it’s natural to spend a bit of time articulating how to show up.
These ground rules are meant to amplify the group’s potential!
1. Be “ALL – IN”
Dynamic groups gain traction when every member is fully engaged. Being “all in” turns on our ability to listen deeply for the truth or essence behind the words. Being”all in” means being equally interested in our personal growth and the growth of the members in the group. Each member takes responsibility for the group´s experience. In a group being “all in” means speaking up to step into more growth for oneself or for another member. When a dynamic group is “all in” for each member, they have each other´s backs. This creates a safe space for growth. Those who are shy actively attempt to call themselves forward to participate with the group in a more interconnected way. Those who tend to dominate call themselves back to allow the supportive container of the whole group to develop. Everyone can then show up more fully, attentively, and vulnerable.
2. Prioritize Your Growth
Once you´ve committed to your evolution, competing desires will arise. You may face a continual barrage of conflicting demands on your time. On a growth path, your commitment will be tested time and again. Your dynamic group is designed to help you prioritize your growth. Show up to the group with wholehearted presence, and inspire each other by demonstrating your desire to evolve.
3. Engage Your Edge
Growth means moving into new territory. Our growth has an edge; when you´re “all in”, your preference becomes staying engaged at the edge. By its very nature, the edge is edgy – it´s unfamiliar and uncomfortable, it stretches you and leads to more growth. When you’ve engaged your edge, you step into new ways of being. Dynamic groups help us explore edges, take risks, and try on new ways of being. They allow us to evolve into emerging identities.
4. Nurture Identity Evolution
As we grow, we become more integrated, more connected versions of ourselves. As a dynamic group member, you release past conditioning (the fixed feeling that “I know who I am”) and instead embrace your growth (the growing skill that “I pay attention to who I´m becoming”). Collectively, we hold each other to the standard of our emerging potential. This enables the more evolved, more integrated, more interconnected identity to take root. Instead of holding each other to who we used to be, or to outdated versions of ourselves, we weave new levels of integrity into a more integrated person, culture and community.
5. Listen Deeply
When your group meets, practice and receive deep listening. Listening deeply means you participate in receptivity mode 100%, without immediately calling to mind something from your own experience. When a member speaks, you connect with the essence beneath their words. You turn up the volume of your care and allow yourself to be impacted by their self-exploration and learning. Deep listening is the glue that holds an evolutionary conversation together. Your listening has a depth that you should actively dive into when you´re with our group. If you do, an evolutionary tension arises that propels your group into dynamic growth.
6. Communicate with Care + Candor
Good communication is the bedrock of dynamic groups. Your growing edge will either be speaking with candor or speaking with care. If your edge is candor, surrender your ego to speak your truth, in your own words, while trusting your own voice.
7. Elevate Above the Complaining Self
Growth is work. We´re conditioned to see the unfamiliar and uncomfortable as negative, so we tend to avoid it or complain about it, turning the responsibility outward. Living on your edge of growth means being willing to accept the emotions that arise as a part of your evolution, engage, create space around them, respond with the courage to exhale, and finally compost them so they transform into understanding and fuel your evolution. Reorient yourself. Ground yourself in the horizon in front of you, and embrace the ever-changing scenery along your growth path.
8. Reach Out When You Tweak Out
On a growth path, you´ll stretch yourself and at times feel overwhelmed, frustrated, or depressed. This is your nervous system contracting in the face of growth, reacting in an old pattern that’s comfortably familiar rather than in your best interest. Recognize any unhealthy tendency to withdrawal as self-sabotage, and learn the skill of reaching out. If you don´t reach out, your tweak-out pattern will stunt your growth again and again, reinforce your old identity, and wilt the group. In a dynamic group, we reinforce the habit of reaching out to the members and group leaders. We practice the skill and develop a habit of reaching into the group for compassionate support and dynamic guidance.
9. Overcome Resistance by Kindling Your Desire
Often, before a breakthrough, there´s resistance. Practice noticing when reluctance arises. Oftentimes this is when you´re hesitating or finding excuses to not participate. See it for what it is: Resistance. Pause and take a moment to remember, reconnect with your “Why”, and fan the flames of your deeper desire of growth, integrity, interconnectivity, and personal and collective evolution. Identify small, doable actions you can take right now that are aligned with your deeper desires. Focus on your Why, and the resistance melts and dissolves.
10. Give to Receive
The pulsation of life is giving and receiving, like our bodies and breath. It is being supportive and receiving support. Offer honest feedback when asked, and you´ll get honest feedback when you need it. Feedback is essential for growth because we can´t see our own blind spots. Our blind spots, however, can be easily identified by other members of the group. Ask questions and receive feedback with a beginner´s mind. When release fear around being willing to receive genuine supportive feedback, it becomes easier to speak our truth and offer those around us the same.
11. Be Ready for Action
Before your group meets, get ready. Show up early to reflect. What is your one burning question of the moment?What progress or setbacks have you experienced since the last meeting? What exactly do you need from the group or the leader right now? Write and reflect before meeting to direct your attention first to your personal growth path and then to the blessing of being in the unique support of a dynamic group.
© 2019 Atma Ayurveda