What helps Inner Transition to be accessible to as many people as possible?
This was the question of a recent International Inner Transition conversation, with some great ideas from people in places as diverse as Brazil, Europe, Canada and Australia. There was general agreement that many people who might benefit from some of the ideas or practices of inner work don’t make the most of it. This might be because of their self image, a belief about inner work, a discomfort, or finding the langauge unappealing. There was also a recognition that inner work isn’t for everyone, and that it can take many forms – including things people do on their own, or in the course of everyday life.
We shared stories of people who found their way to inner work despite initial reservations, and found it really helpful – so it seems a useful enquiry to ask, how can we make it as appealing and accessible as possible?
Here is a summary of the ideas we shared – please add comments if you have other suggestions.
How do people get to know about Inner Transition?
Be creative about channels – arts, music, outdoors, fun, reflection, learning, enquiring, writing, skills training are all ways people expand their inner world.
Language is important. Can we use words which don’t cause people to react negatively?
- e.g. talking about fairness rather than caring
- Resilience and personal resilience e.g. for activists
- Using the mind to see all the parts (e.g. Wilber’s four quadrants and other models)
- Talk about personal development
Make links with inner practices which are already more mainstream
- such as Mindfulness, Yoga, Presence. Football?
- It helps if people hear about the value of inner work from different sources– friends and colleagues as well as flyers and emails.
- People may prefer to receive information in private rather than a group – by email or twitter
- It’s great if leaders speak about inner work as a normal part of what they do and value.
Integrate Inner work into all that we do – it’s not really separate from “outer”
Take opportunites when they come
- Opportunities for shift come when the focus on Doing isn’t working so well – when there is conflict, or tiredness, or emotional charge.
- Take opportunities when people are having a great time to enquiry as to what’s working so well, what’s helping them feel good on the inside?
- Offer space for connection, support and reflection when it’s needed, at a time and place that people can get to – in the workplace, or in the group meeting.
Integrate inner work
Include inner pieces in meetings and gatherings – simple structures like a go round, how are we? appreciations, reflection on what was good in the meeting at the end, what can we improve?
Giving it time
- Don’t call it inner work – just do it
- It just takes time to build relationships where people start to try something new because they know and trust you.
- It can be challenging to find time for this work which is helped by spaciousness. Are there things which are quick and easy?
Be solid in our facilitation
- If we’re a bit unsure about the value of inner processes it’s more likely that people we’re facilitating will find it difficult.
- It helps to really stand in our confidence in the value of Inner work, and to “be” that.
Inner Transition is not for everyone
- It’s good to say that not everyone will come to inner transition activities and that’s fine.
- We can still be available with things when people need it.
Processes that are useful
Some practices that are commonly used in Transition:
- The Work that Reconnects (Joanna Macy’s work)
- Circle Process (and other meeting structures),
- Communication training (Non Violent Communication and others)
- Conflict resolution (Restorative circles and others),
- Seasonal celebration and other kinds of nature connection
- Mindfulness (and other awareness and meditation practices),
- Yoga and other movement practices).. There are many more..
Countries represented in the conversation
Belgium, Germany, Canada, UK, Italy, Brazil, Australia, Israel, Norway, France