On Being Real

Listening to a program on KGNU public radio, a husband and wife team of wilderness guides spoke on the process of Circle (or Council as I learned it.) Council or Circle is a native way of truth telling where you listen and speak with heart, sincerity and truth. Depending on the lineage of council you get slight variations in the pillars and process.

But the gist is the same.

A group gathers. They take turns in listening to one another, tell honest stories form the heart. A rich ritual. A way of being.

These wilderness guides were talking about this practice and how it can often be rather cursory in the beginning. People sharing honestly but not really truth-telling into the depths. All it takes, they said, is for one brave sole soul to ignite the fire of deep reflective honesty from within. Like dominos all members fall into the depth of their own hearts--seeing our stories are less unique and singular than we once may have believed. We realize we are less alone and sometimes our aloneness sensations may even be mirrored back by others.

I remember studying the way of Council in graduate school and experiencing personally this spiraling nature of vulnerable truth-telling.

You see, truth is catching. It's a total turn on. So is vulnerability. And it's not about finding one singular truth or being in agreement with one another. It's about witnessing and being part of the raw nature of someones heart. Together.

If we want our culture of yoga to be more honest and real, then you be more honest. If you want social media to be less fake and more true then you tell what's in your heart. If you want your classes to be inspiring, there is nothing more inspiring then an integrated and whole human.

Dare to speak honestly. Share sensations and feelings. This is how we build connection. This is how we build understanding. And when we share without the expectation that someone should take care of us—when we share full knowing we can take care of ourselves and be witnessed in our joy and pain—bridges are built without the rickety and unstable mortar of emotional codependence.

Shall we?

Livia ShapiroComment