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Am thinking of doing a conversational group out of my living room while Im still here called something to do with the Unraveling that many of us feel deeply. I do and would love to share with others how to care for ourselves in these challenging times. I loved doing the deeper conversation gatherings last year or was it two years ago? but this would go deeper into how to deal with this unraveling… do we grieve, meditate, go for walks, perform vigorous yoga, play tennis, talk with friends or all the above? Visit here for more info:

One interview we published with David Korten offered some unraveling when he was interviewed by HopeDance contributor Brad Johnson : directions, please email me at [email protected].

From the earlier version called Deeper Conversations Gathering: [Revised slightly Jan 1, 2014] Are there many places where people gather in small groups that involve deep conversations? I’ve only found a few and they were in two psychospiritual communities that I had lived in and a men’s group I started.

So, when a close friend and I had numerous wonderfully delicious and intellectually and emotionally alive conversations we decided to create one among some friends. And now because of the gatherings’ success we decided to write a bit about it, start a Facebook page and see what kind of response we will receive.

This short article is to hopefully encourage others to do the same and perhaps comment here so we can all learn more about what and how our groups are doing (or simply be content with attending one and not be interested in starting a group).

Let me explore this “deeper conversation within our unraveling.” I could use the term speaking about less superficial topics but it would be redundant. We decided to set down some guidelines:

1. No talking about business (if you are working at the same business).

2. being aware of our judging other people… and note it and move along…

3.  Try as best as we can to use I-statements (see link for more details… we will be exploring this more as we progress….). These of course are our guidelines and your unique group will have their own unique set of “rules.”

“Deeper” implies speaking about what’s really going on — as in about one’s primary relationship or difficult friendship, or one’s spiritual practice or how one is changing or how one is exploring certain shifts and phases in one’s life. Something that moves us personally that would be helpful if we took it to another level to include more people. This is not necessarily a workshop or therapy but a gathering of friends and new people to simply encourage deeper conversations.

Often times a particular theme will emerge from the group. There is no specific leader but in my experience I act as a nudger of the group in a particular direction to go deeper. We also discovered that nudging became less the more people got acquainted with the atmosphere and feel of the group. This is our time to speak and share deeply about our lives in the hopes that we are listening, being listened to and feeling the appreciation that we have come here to experience this. We are very busy people, typically. So for people to gather for two hours from their hectic schedule to join in for some “deep conversation” is a boon unto itself. So we need to respect and honor that.

UNRAVELING simply means feeling the incredible awkwardness and being shaken up to our core.. and conversing about what it means, how do we maintain some semblance of sanity to sit in the midst of chaos…

Some of the themes that have emerged so far have included:

1. What does it mean to be a friend?

2. what does unraveling mean to you?

3. Why is it that we find it so difficult to ask for what we need, as in having a specific illness where we need to ask for assistance? Why is it that we don’t want to tell anyone? Rather than having conversations about political matters as to particular solutions these deeper conversations require us to to go deeper into our own health care, our own fears, our own need for community, for family, for tribe rather than having a political solution that will “fit all.”

4. Fear of speaking honestly with a mate.

5. Exploring what is “happiness” and “purpose” and their relationship with each other.

6.  Exploring one’s MO to see if in fact ones MO is working or not. MO means modus operandi ( or our specific mode of operation. I spoke about how my particular MO wasn’t working, since I reflected that I was becoming “insane”; using the definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results

7. The death of one’s MO and how that death may relate to one’s physical death (at one point we imagined what it would be like if we lived till the age of 200 — how we would live, how we would or wouldn’t pursue what we enjoy — and the 200 years business wouldn’t necessarily mean just being in a wheelchair drooling but an active mind/consciousness so we could live in a more expansive wise state especially how we can see ourselves evolve as we mature. Just imagine the state of our wisdom if we had more years. It seems such a waste to have gotten so far in our “spiritual development” only to die and not be able to give and share our newfound rooted wisdom and to be of service to more people and to the larger culture. But perhaps we don’t die (another topic for another evening).

As you can tell, there are numerous topics we all love to explore in these deeper conversations. Not only is this a way to simply have conversations of such deep matters but it helps us being in a sacred space so we can practice articulating our personal challenges as well as our innate wisdom.

These are not workshops per se (even though they could be kicking off places for cool workshops).

If you’re reading this and you resonate with this project, please give it a try. See what comes of it. Let’s go deeper together and share what’s going on. I surely enjoy speaking from the heart and I imagine others wish that as well. Also I enjoy sharing with what went on that evening the next day with my friend. Perhaps other people are doing the same. In fact last night one of the themes that emerged was gossiping and judging, very rich conversations and explorations about how we can speak about other people (when they are not there) with an open heart and positive intentions (and check in with our motivations). But more of that later. One thing that has emerged of course is confidentiality. My perspective is that if you are wanting to talk about so,methihg thats not gossipy but more of a learning experience that you wiush to share, one can easily transform the setting and date and names ands still speak about the gem of what went on with you that you want to share. We can be very creative. Its what story tellers do all the time.

You may also discover what I have been discovering, these conversations become so rich for not only our growing friendship but in terms of artistically expressing ourselves, either through writing poetry, stories, ideas for workshops, essays and perhaps even establishing various schools or centers where we could branch out to other communities about deeper conversation gatherings so being authentic and joyful could be expanded into our normal daily conversations… and perhaps even to be included into our media. But more of that later.

Thanks for reading.

Bob Banner, publisher of HopeDance Online
Facebook: HERE

Also: a report about Deep Talkers Happier

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