What is expected of me?

Part 3 of 5 in the series KindNest

KindNest is a safe place to listen and be heard, to release expectations and to heal.

Each Kindnest is a compassion-based event, so by attending you are committing  to suspend your opinions, criticisms, beliefs and judgments, and to respect yourself and others who attend.
In other words, we ask for everyone’s kindness; then you can relax in the company of others who are also being kind to you. In our experience you will find this surprisingly refreshing and hopeful!

Oh yes, please bring a smile.


You are optionally encouraged to bring along any drink or food you wish,  enough to share, and a gold coin donation to assist with the venue costs.

There is no charge for the event, nor any obligation for anything during or after.

As this is a safe place event, you may choose to pass on singing, talking or moving at any time! The intention is no pressure, only invitation.

As part of a KindNest you will be invited to participate in a listening circle. All participants in every listening circle commit to:

• listen from the heart: affirming both the other and ourselves as we listen deeply to each other’s stories.

• speak from the heart in the present moment: to be vulnerably honest with ourselves and others

• be lean of speech: to cut to the chase, and say only what needs to be said

• be spontaneous: to open to our own authenticity

• Preserve boundaries of respect, including holding confidential what is said in confidence unless specific approval is given

• respect others without criticism, unasked advice or comment

• only ask heart-led questions to which there is no way of predicting the answer, with the intent to assist the speaker’s story (See article below)


OPTIONAL EXPANSION ON THE ABOVE GUIDELINES:

Confidentiality

Throughout KindNest, others are invited to share insights, stories or memories with you or the entire group. It is important to remember that anything that is said or discussed in the sessions should remain confidential, unless someone specifies otherwise. Retaining this confidentiality will foster a safe and trusting space for all participants.

Speak from “I” when telling your story

We may be inclined to speak in a way that presents opinions or perspectives as facts. There is a difference between saying “Eggs are disgusting” and “I think eggs are disgusting.” The latter states one’s opinion but respects and allows room for other views. Speaking from “I” actually gives more value to your statements. It helps cultivate a sense of confidence and empowerment.

Don’t Give Advice
There are opportunities after KindNest to respond to requests for help, to befriend and support. Please refrain from giving advice during the time that the candle is lit.

Mostly, people simply want someone to listen. Rather than giving advice, try to actively listen by not interrupting or redirecting the conversation.

If you are going to ask a question during the committed KindNest candle time, please ensure the question is open and honest:

The broad purpose of a question is to gain information. But in western culture we often use questions in ways which are also sneakily giving information. Very often in our conversations we will ask questions we already know the answer to; or we will word questions in ways which lead the person we are in conversation with to answer in a certain way or to give the answer that we want or to think the thoughts that we want them to think.

There are times of course when these things are completely appropriate.

Open-Honest questions avoid these features of conversation.

Open-Honest questions are questions which create an invitational space for the person being asked the question to think more deeply about their topic – that’s the open bit; and they are questions which the asker cannot possibly know the answer to and contain no leading – that’s the honest bit.

When used with people about the happenings of their lives and their emotional responses to those happenings, and when followed with attentive, ‘present’ and non-judgmental listening, Open-Honest questions can be really helpful in supporting that person to gain new clarity. The beauty is that it is clarity they have gained from within. It is not advice imposed upon them.

Most people don’t really love having advice imposed upon them. Often we don’t love receiving advice even when we have asked for it. How many times have you asked for advice and when given it, gone away knowing that that advice is not right for you and that you won’t take it?

The clarity which we see for ourselves, we are more likely to engage with.

This is why Open-Honest questions followed by deep listening are a gift.

If you give this gift, you will deeply, gently support and honour the other person by doing so. If you receive this gift you will feel it as support and honour.

Open-Honest questions can deepen connection between people. There must be trust and non-judgment; and when so, there is also a place for vulnerability.

Open-Honest questions take many forms depending on the topic and the person, but mostly they are simple questions which go to the person as well as the situation.

Here are some examples of open honest questions from the heart:

  • What did you learn from that?
  • What moves you about that?
  • How is that working for you?
  • What questions do you hold about this situation?
  • What are you finding hardest/easiest?
  • What hopes did you have?
  • What are the images that spring to mind when you feel that?
  • if you pause, close your eyes, and ask the wise woman who lives inside you to show you the way forward, what does she have to say?

You will know if the question is open and honest by the demeanor of the person to whom it is directed. Your goal is to help them find their truth, not yours.

This great article originates from Rosie Martin in Australia: https://chattermatters.com.au/open_honest_questions/

Compassionate Integrity – the definition of operating “from the heart”

You may be wondering what heard based listening is. This is an explanation from Compassionate Integrity:

As human beings in today’s world, we live in complex, interconnected societies. Our everyday activities and personal goals require contributions from countless others.
Therefore, other-interest and self-interest go hand-in hand. Our relationships with each other are as vital as our relationship to the environment. If we were to destroy the environment out of short-term selfishness, this would hardly be an effective act of self-interest.
Similarly, to seek personal gain in ways that alienate or deprive everyone around oneself is not effective self-interest either. Science is showing that far from harming self-interest, the cultivation of pro-social emotions like compassion, gratitude and forgiveness actually benefits the self, just as much, if not more, than it benefits others. If genuine altruism seems too lofty a goal, we can still aim for an enlightened self-interest that benefits the self by benefiting others.

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