Clearing a space for the process.
When I was invited to coordinate one of the groups at the conference I could not help feeling a little nervous at the prospect of the newness for me, of the task, however, I decided to trust my felt sense concerning the whole project, which told me that I "only" had to BE. This coincided with a theme of the conference " You know more than you think you know". I soon noticed that this attitude worked well; how my so-called inexperience faded into the background, and was replaced by a group oriented concern born out of experience in other spheres. It was to create an atmosphere of safety, international co-operation and joint responsibility, where each persons qualities could be expressed. From here a fruitful co-operation with my two Hungarian colleagues was able to grow, and a sharing of responsibility proved to be most enriching.
Our group was made up of 12 people from 7 different nationalities, and many different occupations. There were people concerned with groups of babies, infants, primary-school children, teenagers and teaching young adults, a veritable spread of experience. Some were experienced focuses, whilst others had completed one basic course.
When we began working we learned that a group is made up of individuals but that it can operate as a group only when its members are appreciated individually. We found that collectively, child/inner child, or adult, and despite cultural differences, we were able to build up a deep respect and openness for each other, when we experienced ourselves being respected. Naturally this is an open door but it proved to be precisely this experience, which traveled from the inner self to the outside, and was an example of the hypothesis-process model as described by Ynse Stapert during a plenum, which worked so marvelously.
Our own certainties are not necessarily the certainties of another, and this was also clearly seen amongst our different nationalities. As adults, we cannot assume that a sureness we may feel will instill in a child the same feeling of trust. Everyone wants his.
Individual characteristics to be recognized and acknowledged. Our group was careful to create secure surroundings so that everyone could experience such acknowledgement, and provide optimum conditions for our focussing. We provided an example for ourselves of how a groups process can flow, and from there we can make the link with our practical work with children, in whatever form it might take, and for whichever age group.
At the conclusion of the conference I can say that we progressed as one homogeneous group. We were able to go forward - from doubts, even fear, to security, from security to an openness towards each other, to making acquaintance with ourselves internally, to a focusing attitude externally, towards each other, towards children, so we can help children to listen to themselves.
What we noticed in our Hungarian-English pedagogy group
1. ON THE SUBJECT OF SECURITY AND SAFETY:
That attention to language difficulties was directed by connecting our
ways of expression with our felt sense.
2. ON THE SUBJECT OF RELATIONSHIP ADULT - CHILD:
You can guide children to go inside themselves with a story, which has
importance for them, for example an elevator or mineshaft, or something else, depending on
3. ON THE SUBJECT OF SAFETY AND RELATIONS:
The teacher makes space for trust by recognizing/reflecting what the child
TAKING SERIOUSLY WHATEVER IS INSIDE YOU AND ACKNOWLEDGE ITS MEANING, IS ABOUT (e.g. imagine an elevator ride):
... listening and noticing
... being respectful and silent
... stories that live inside our bodies
HOW CAN CHILDREN BE INVITED TO SHARE?
Examples to choose from are: