Sä-v(ə-)rən: one that exercises supreme authority within a limited sphere.
To be Sovereign is to claim supreme authority over the limited sphere that is rightly yours:
your body, your heart, your mind, your space.
And equally, it is to relinquish authority over all that lies outside it.
Under the demands and pressures of daily life,
we all have moments where we unknowingly hand over our authority to others,
where we allow them to trespass the borders of our limited sphere.
We disempower ourselves without realizing we’ve done so.
And conversely, we unintentionally trespass the borders of others' limited spheres.
When we fail to respect their Sovereign authority,
we elicit their defensiveness and aggression.
We set the stage for endless cycles of frustration and dysfunction.
To claim your Sovereignty is to be deeply rooted in your power and your truth at all times.
And to fully respect the Sovereignty of others is to create wise and functional relationships that can reach the furthest depths of intimacy.
T-Group is a social technology designed to illuminate the moments where you unknowingly relinquish your Sovereignty or unintentionally trespass the Sovereignty of another. Waking up to what's happening in these moments is 80% of the work, and the remaining 20% is experimenting with new possibilities. This Intensive, Closed Group will be the laboratory where you can make these crucial discoveries and run new experiments in a safe space.
All genders welcome. Select the ticket that best matches how you self-identify.
When Sovereignty is weak…
You don't know what you think, feel, want, or need. It's hard to discern what's actually happening within the borders of your limited sphere, which makes it difficult to make important decisions and steer your life.
This lack of inner clarity also makes it difficult to negotiate across borders with others. You may wind up consenting to having experiences you don't want (or missing out on the ones you do want).
Your sense of self fluctuates with others' opinions of you.
You feel responsible for others' feelings, obligated to make sure they feel certain things (and not others) in your presence.
You feel “at the effect” of other people, believing that they have the power to “make” you feel things you don’t want to feel, and your only choice is to put up a wall or avoid them altogether.
In instants too fast and silent to be consciously aware of, your mind creates stories about what other people are thinking, feeling, or doing, and it believes them.
In the same automatic, unconscious way, the mind also creates stories (or expectations) about what they should think, feel, say, or do, and it believes those too.
Others respond to you with defensiveness and aggression, because these stories and expectations constitute a crossing of their sovereign boundaries. People do not respond well to having their Sovereign Authority trespassed upon, even if no one is aware that that's what's happening.
We all do these things, a lot more often than we realize.
When Sovereignty is strong...
You have deep and continuous access to your inner truth at all times; your body lets you know what you feel, think, want, and need, and is your unfailing compass in life and relationships.
You confidently negotiate across borders with others, and you deeply trust your ability to advocate for yourself skillfully. You feel empowered to say "No" to the experiences you don't want, and to say "Yes" to the experiences you do want.
Though you hear and consider feedback from others, your sense of self is ultimately sourced within.
You understand that just as others are not responsible for your experience, you are not responsible for theirs. You no longer attempt to manipulate their experience in any way.
You understand that no one can ultimately “make” you feel anything, so you no longer need to fear or avoid them.
You are conscious of your inner storyteller, and though the stories themselves never end, you are "at choice" about whether or not you believe them.
This means you are also "at choice" about how you feel, what you think, and how you respond, no matter what others are doing.
Others respond to you with openness and respect. When you respect their Sovereignty and uphold your own, there is no longer a need for defensiveness or aggression - even when differences and conflict emerge.
When we get clear about Sovereignty, we open up a space where we can communicate more effectively,
where we can hear and understand one another more deeply,
which opens the door to authentic connection and profound intimacy.
When we know where we end and others begin, our relationships become more functional.
We become capable of navigating differences with more skill and less reactivity.
We discover how to give feedback in ways that can actually be heard and integrated.
We learn to receive feedback with openness and grace.
Sovereignty is the foundation upon which all synergistic and harmonious partnerships, groups, families, teams, and organizations are built.
The group will begin and end with Private Intensives at Crystallin's home in the gorgeous redwood-covered hills above Fairfax, CA (carpooling and transportation will be collectively arranged as possible/needed). When you sign up for the group, you will be invited to the Doodle Poll that will allow us to establish the dates and times that work for everybody.
The six, regular meetings will take place every other week in Emeryville, CA, at the same time and place as the Sunday Night T-Group Gathering (a room will be designated for Closed Group only). This will allow you to alternate between Closed Group and the regular Sunday Night Gathering, if you so choose. Crystallin will offer private facilitation and guidance during the Opening and Closing Intensives, and the six bi-weekly meetings will be collectively self-led in the same way as at Sunday Nights.
Format for the bi-weekly meetings:
Opening Round: grounding and check-ins
2-Hour T-Group 2.0 Session (bathroom breaks taken as needed; intermission optional)
Closing Round: sharing and check-outs
Extra Credit: complete the writing practice again in the time between groups and email it to Crystallin for help and/or feedback (it can involve others from group or from any other part of your life).
The requirement for joining is to have watched the Training Video and attended at least one Sunday Night T-Group Gathering. The group is open to seven people, and I ask that all participants commit to all of the sessions (minus one pre-planned absence, if necessary).
Opening Intensive: Friday, August 17 from 5:00 PM to 9:30 PM at Crystallin's home in Fairfax
All regular meetings occur on Sunday from 6-9:30 PM
Week 1: August 19
Week 2: September 2
Week 3: September 16
Week 4: September 30
Week 5: October 14
Week 6: October 28
Date & Time TBD: Closing Intensive at Crystallin's home in Fairfax
T-Group 2.0 is the single most effective tool I've found for illuminating the micro-moments where we are still getting confused about Sovereignty. When we start to feel heated, reactive, or triggered in our relationships, we can know that we are either crossing into someone else's space or allowing them to cross into ours (without knowing how not to). Experiences of judgment, aversion, reactivity, and so on are signals that let us know we are stepping outside of our Sovereignty. You can learn more about the full practice here.
T-Group 2.0 is an evocative practice, designed to draw out and illuminate these dynamics in a safe space. We will also be working with a guided, written contemplation exercise I have designed to assist us in untangling these dynamics and finding our way back to Sovereignty. And as this skill begins to grow stronger, it becomes second nature, and it will generalize into every relationship you are a part of.
The contemplation practice has been designed to help you to:
Illuminate the stories that get created silently, automatically, and unconsciously in relationship.
Witness the impact that the stories have on you, and how they cause you to think, feel, and react in the ways that you do in group.
Increase consciousness of the impact you then on others, and how it tends to elicit certain responses from them (often, the very responses you expected to get in the first place).
When we shine the light of awareness on these processes, we create the space within which they can let go of us.