What is Sacred Conversation?
We all have a core impulse to recognize our inherent wholeness. Sacred Conversation groups are for those who want to experience support, community, and deep connection, and who want to be around other humans who are balancing their brains.
In our groups, one way we do this is by turning toward ourselves with warmth. This helps us to make our brain a happy place to live. I believe this process of regulating our brain is most likely to happen when we are surrounded by other caring humans who want to hold us with kindness, understanding, and deep listening. An essential principle I’ve learned from doing this work is that we need each other — our brains are not wired to “go it alone.” We need, in caring community, to be heard, seen, witnessed, understood, and met for who, what, and where we are in the moment. This allows us the emotional resources to turn toward ourselves with kindness, while addressing what blocks us from living the life we want to live.
How does a Sacred Conversation group differ from other groups?
What’s missing for me in our general mode of communication is warmth: turning toward ourselves with warmth and a true desire to listen deeply and compassionately to others, without trying to fix them or “help” them change. Many people (like myself) didn’t know how to receive tenderness, care, and listening, but these are universal needs that we all share. If we can’t get these needs met, we often blame ourselves for missing out on something we don’t believe we can have.
When we begin to companion ourselves with affection and welcome, a softening begins to emerge. Perhaps we’re in a cycle of pain and self-hatred where we haven’t been able to move past the darkness in our upbringing. The sense of belonging and mattering lets us be present with our past without needing it to be different. We’re having our experience while being held in caring community by others. We’re not alone. The changes that happen are neurological — a re-wiring of the brain, where there’s an inner strength that gently soothes the edges of self-blame and guilt.
What happens in a Sacred Conversation Group?
Sacred conversation groups take place in person in Mill Valley, CA. and online via Zoom video groups. Our group combines these three fields of study that help us make our brain a happy place to live:
1) The study of social neuroscience, AKA interpersonal neurobiology
Did you grow up in a family where there was warmth and tenderness, and your feelings and needs were cherished? Did you have an ongoing experience of mattering and belonging? If you’re like me and you didn’t, there’s great news about the neuroplasticity of our brains. We can develop an internalized version of the parent we always wanted, where we companion ourselves in ways that calm our inner critic, soothe emotional pain, and protect our tender nervous system from isolation, shame, and reactive triggers. It’s called our resonating self-witness, and it’s a slow and steady process of rewiring our brain.
In social neuroscience we learn how our brain relates to other brains, bringing a deeper understanding about our humanity. Using fun cartoon images, we’ll understand:
- how our old patterns of thinking and behaving developed, and how to change them
- how to nourish warm relationality with ourselves and others
- ways we can experience a more calm, regulated nervous system, which includes more resilient and balanced emotions, the experience of calm self-connection, and flexibility in our response to others. This is an integrated brain, the heartbeat of well-being.