Calling the circle

Having a gym membership doesn’t make you fit.
Going to a garage doesn’t make you a car.
Attending church doesn’t make you religious.

For many people, religion is a significant aspect of their identity,  representing the group with which they feel kinship and the people with whom they spend time. Religion can provide a path that helps us remember our connection to Source, pointing at larger truths and our better selves. Religion connects us with fellow seekers, can be a catalyst for transformation, and help us break through the small self ego to serve as a gateway for the Great Spirit. Religion comprises aspects of action (body), knowledge (mind) and devotion (spirit), involving practices that help keep our souls recharged.

JF hands

My Namaste fellowship has chosen an intentional path, focusing on individual growth and increased self-awareness in a group setting. Our meetings require a shift from socializing, chat or debate into receptiveness, attentiveness, distilling thoughts and deep listening. Bringing the gifts of many together enhances the whole.


In Smarter Faster Better, author Charles Duhigg suggests that an effective team or group requires only a few norms, with trust and commitment as essentials. A group must feel psychologically safe, confident that other members will provide support without regard for divergent opinions or questioning attitudes. Members must be dependable and keep promises. A group needs safety for participants to expose vulnerabilities, as well as speak and hear the truth in love. Trust requires trustworthiness.

“I pin my hopes to quiet processes and small circles, in which vital and transforming events take place.” -Rufus Jones

JFHonoring commitments to the group is integral to forming bonds. Beside trust, a group needs commitment. Psychological safety emerges when everyone feels like they have equal air time, that their voice matters, and when teammates show sensitivity to how other feel.“[Members] don’t have to be friends. They do, however, need to be socially sensitive and ensure everyone feels heard.” Social sensitivity is the ability to discern how others are feeling, ensuring everyone can speak without conversation dominators.

Duhigg recommends “Manage the how, not the who of teams.” We get to dance with the ones who show up, learning from them and about ourselves. By setting conditions for commitment and trust, our spirituality group can epitomize a safe place to grow in wisdom and grace.  JF _0001

© Joan S Grey, 26 Aug 2016
Photos by Kris Casey

IndexCardCure™: distilling life’s essence


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