“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”
— Martin Luther King
Be the change that you wish to see in the world.
— Mahatma Gandhi
Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.
— Rumi
(The ecstatic poems of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi, a Persian poet and Sufi master born 807 years ago in 1207, have sold millions of copies in recent years, making him the most popular poet in the US.)
I also believe “people can change”. I know I have. I have seen my family change. I have seen my patients change. I have seen the world change.
I think my transformation begins on the inside. It is a growing awareness. This awareness is beyond head knowledge; it is rather a knowledge confirmed by personal experience (the painful ones especially grabs my attention) or by experiences share by others in authenticity and received by me in gratitude.
The latter process can be facilitated in a Talking Circle.
“Talking circles are a non-hierarchical form of dialogue. Participants sit in a circle, which symbolizes completeness, and discuss a topic. The thoughts and feelings of all participants are valued equally.”
The following are Group Norms used in the self-management education groups I facilitate. My intention is to provide a safe space for authentic sharing, deep listening and growing awareness.
As a listener:
I shall respectfully listen to others perspectives as their own and not offer comment or solution unless explicitly asked.
I shall respect confidentiality of everyone.
As a speaker:
I shall respect everyone’s time by being concise and share what I believe is relevant to the group.
I shall not make jokes about others or single other people out, even if I have good intentions.
I shall bring value to the group by only offering my personal and authentic perspectives and experiences by using the “I voice”
I shall try to contribute to the group by sharing my authentic experience even if it is only one word or one sentence, however, I know I do not have to share if I choose not to.
Thanks for writing and reading.
Have a great day!

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