1:1 T-Group 2.0 Practice Sessions
Since the first T-Group gathering last August, I've been offering 60-minute 1:1 T-Group 2.0 Practice Sessions to all who participate, and it has become one of my most favorite things that I do.
But it wasn't until recently that I started to realize that something else entirely was being created, some kind of hybrid between T-Group and coaching.
The most frequent piece of feedback people gave was that it was like looking into an ultra clear mirror - one that could reflect the pieces and parts of themselves that are most difficult to see on their own.
Now I'm making these 1:1 T-Group Sessions available to anyone, even those who cannot attend our gatherings. We can meet via Skype or, if you are local to the bay, in person.
I'm still in the process of finding words for the special magic that comes through in these 1:1 T-Group Sessions, so in the mean time, here are some words from the people who've experienced it first hand:
"We sat facing each other on the floor, seeing what we found there between and in us, trying to stay present to what was alive in that moment, sinking in to allow whatever thoughts or feelings that were arising to be brought up to the surface to be shared.
It’s a real practice to be able to sink down and catch a hold of some of the most real and authentic thoughts and feelings alive in us: stuff that has rarely been truly invited out of us in our upbringings or our culture through this kind of deep practice of enquiry.
Crystallin is such a good guide and model for this capacity for enquiry and authentic sharing. One on one, the attention was really special in its stillness and the sense of presence. Through the things Crystallin shared with me about what she was noticing in herself in response to me, I learnt a lot about how I come over, and my impact on her/others. She made an observation about my pattern of avoiding eye contact during certain types of communication which was the most thorough appraisal of my eye contact that has ever been given to me - such a gift of noticing, from which I can grow in awareness and begin to challenge and change my patterns.
My eye contact patterns relate to self esteem issues in me, and these issues also expressed themselves in my session with Crystallin when I noticed a sort of performance anxiety in me - a concern for her to like me; a self-consciousness. I shared this feeling with her, and her responses (which illuminated an expression of scarcity bound up in my sense of self, which would be invariably taken up by the subconscious of the other) were really valuable.
I left the session with a magical sense of self growth and possibility, and a sense of being nourished in being so authentically seen, heard and supported. I was hungry to get to making some notes of all of the gifts of noticing Crystallin had given me, which I can now consider and embody further, and incorporate into my ever shifting and growing sense of self, and in my relationships in the world."
"When I went to Crystallin’s for a one to one t-group I wasn’t sure what to expect. I sat out under a tree before going in an meditated and decided I wanted to bring my whole-self in and really enjoy the session, instead of leading with the seemingly broken parts of me which has been a habit of mine. It was easy to go deep quickly. Crystallin was really skilled at this, and really open. I wasn’t expecting this to change my life, but it did. Part way through something came up that has come up for me with many people. The way Crystallin put it was that there was something mysterious about me. Others have told me I’m a bright light, I’m a beacon, I’m mysterious. But it’s always baffled me because I didn’t know why they were saying it or what it meant. Crystallin and I when into this and what came out was - I left one foot in infinity, the eternal. I bring a piece of the cosmos with me everywhere I go. (I’ve had infinity symbols tattooed on my wrists since I was 18.) I’ve reworked that as “I’m a cosmic being.” Mystery solved! Part of what was so profound about this for me was that there are qualities I have - like having trouble putting something into words - that I felt made me broken, that are so well explained by this revelation. I don’t feel like I’m broken anymore. I feel whole, and like I can see and accept my incredible gifts and quirky difficulties."
"There is a famous story of an old fish running into two young fish. 'Hi boys! How's the water?' The old fish says as he swims past. A moment later, one of the young fish turns to the other and asks: 'So, what is water?'
Working with Crystallin is kind of like trying to see my emotional equivalent of water, the habits that run in the backdrop when I am in relation to another person.
I can't say that it was pleasant. But then if I wanted pleasant I would not have been there.
Without a group to defuse the attention, I felt all kinds of self-doubt come up. I wondered what she thought of me. I wanted hide my nervousness. I dreaded the idea of sharing negative experiences. I noticed how much I wanted your approval. I felt ashamed for wanting that. Normally those things would be pushed to the background by small talk. However, in a 1:1 there is no choice but to confront these very real feelings in the moment.
Hearing the effect that had on her was powerful. She shared that what would get in the way of us connecting more was her worry that if she fully expressed herself, I would shrink away.
It was a direct look into a mirror that reflected back my insecurities. I left both shaken and pensive from the experience, as it revealed a lot about myself. I was glad to have done it and know I should do it again even though it was a difficult experience for me."
""My 1:1 T-Group experience with Crystallin was awesome. I felt vulnerable and open yet totally safe and held in loving awareness. She helped me to drop deeper into to my present-moment experience and express my feelings from a place of honesty and authenticity. I thought it would be awkward and uncomfortable to spend an hour making eye contact and sharing whatever comes up, but instead of pulling away, we were able to lean into any discomfort and make our connection even stronger. At times when I would wander into stories of past and future, Crystallin was able to subtly and skillfully guide me back into the present. I would definitely recommend this experience for anyone looking to deepen their connection with themselves and practice applying mindfulness to communication and relationship."