We can connect at a distance

Lesley Glenner

A silver lining of “the great pause”?

We can connect at a distance.

The past year plus of zoom life has a silver lining: It taught us that it’s at least somewhat possible to connect at a distance.

I have always been a huge proponent of in-person work, demanding that mirror neurons could only do their thing in close proximity.

Yet the truth is that we are all connected. This year has given us an opportunity to learn how to connect with more physical distance between us.

Seeing your deeper self within a group

As an arguably introverted person, I have not always loved group work. But I have learned that there is a value to group work far beyond individual work.

We’re all multifaceted beings. The experience of being seen within a group context allows more of our facets to be witnessed in real time. The more eyes we have on us, the more we are — quite literally — seen. And, if we’re with a skillful group, we can be deeply seen emotionally and psychologically, as well as in our physical projection. When others’ eyes are on you, you also can begin seeing your deep self.

The intensity of myriad eyes seeing us in our truth can expedite problem solving, seeing our blind spots, and healing our deep wounds. However, this must be done in an appropriate container.

Facing our primal fear: ostracization

The reality of the challenge that comes when we gather (online or in person) is that we all have a deep-seated primal urge for community and belonging, yet an equally primal terror of each other and of not belonging — the fear of being ostracized.

Group work automatically puts us on its edge – – a really valuable edge to be on. In a safe container we learn that our terror is understandable but ultimately not needed. We can learn to strategically put down our guard in order to receive community and belonging.

Don’t all breakthroughs come from facing our fears? With a facilitated group in a therapeutic setting, there may be moments of discomfort, but you will belong. Growth requires getting at least a little uncomfortable at times. That’s where the hard work of showing up helps you see your own blind spots.

The modern, practical benefits of group work

Group work is an antidote to the lonely, disconnected set-up of modern life and parenting. If we try to parent in a silo, how healthy and connected will our kids be, ultimately? If we want to prepare them for life, we must prepare them for making real connections at the societal level. The best we can do is become role models who are better skilled at relationships ourselves. Through this work we mature and become true adults with emotional, relational maturity which of course benefits us, our families and the world

Meeting in community reminds us that we’re meant for “alloparenting.” All the people that interact with our children — who aren’t the biological mom and dad — do serve a central role in care giving and offering feedback, lessons, and safety to our children.

It’s only in the past 100 years that parents have parented the American way – entertaining kids in faux, kid-centered worlds. That we developed the Mothering Myth and sought the help of parenting experts.

For millennia prior, kids had chores that meant survival. Every member of a family focused on living a regular life, and being a good member of the family. (See the Atlantic’s “Hunt, Gather, Parent” article.)

Sharing Ancient Wisdom through the The Fulfilled Family Fellowship 

In September we start the Fulfilled Family Fellowship, a group course for parents who are looking for something more. Who crave a deeper, more conscious, less superficial approach to parenting. (Learn more here: https://tinyurl.com/fulfilled-family.)

The program will be national in scope, held over zoom. However, this won’t be a “microwave heated” serving of instant connection. It’s a slow cooked course, as we’ll be spending a whole year together.

While this group won’t be alloparenting, per se, you will be receiving the viewpoints, perspectives, feedback and suggestions of other wise parents- helping your grow so that you can parent your best. This cultivates within you a more well-rounded approach to dealing with your own kids, partner, and greater family dynamics.

The pace and depth of material — total immersion — will allow all of us to get to know each other and sync our nervous systems in order to foster the safety required for Emotional Honesty and for deeper transformation in our own individual worlds.

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Want to learn more about how to thrive in a group experience, and beat parental burn-out?

The Fulfilled Family Fellowship starts in September.

Learn more: https://fulfilled-family.com

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