Communicating During Quarantine

couple sipping a milkshake through their masks

IT’S JUNE 1st, 2020 and most of us have been in quarantine or semi-isolation for going on three months. Lately, I’ve started feeling more longing to really communicate with my family. Despite our socially-distanced hikes and Zoom calls I’m feeling deprived and lonely. I haven’t hugged my granddaughters in so long, let alone my daughter and son-in-law. We are an expressive family. So,last week I suggested that we all (myself and my husband as well) sit in Council together again.

Council is something I use in my business as well. For years we have offered COUNCIL FOR BUSINESS in a practical workshop form to major corporations.

On our business page on-line there is a brief history and introduction of Council: “People have been meeting in Council for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years.  It is a formalized meeting between two or more people where participants are encouraged to speak about themselves honestly and to be heard sharing what’s really important to them in life. 

“Council is a place for people to express themselves in a group without others interrupting, and talking over each other, as is so often the case when people meet together. While technological wonders such as smart phones, texting, and email have certainly increased our productivity, genuine human interaction has suffered. Council may be used to solve specific problems, to brainstorm and foster creativity, or to deepen communication.” Read more here: http://laurieburtontraining.com/council-for-business/

I suggested Council for my family to help deepen our communication and to support and strengthen our connection during these difficult times. And to help us experience a new and deeper way of expressing ourselves when we’re together. I’m not suggesting that my family meet in Council every time we’re together, but occasionally to get a grounded and meaningful sense of how everyone is thinking and feeling. Of course, during this time, since Council requires sitting in a circle, my husband and I would have to make it a wider circle.  Children should be included whenever possible. Even kids that haven’t experienced sitting in Council seem to intuitively understand that this is a special time together. Children find that they are given the chance to find their voice and establish their place in the family.

Essential to the practice are the Four Intentions:

* Speak from the heart
* Listen actively from the heart
* Be lean (mindful of time and others’ need to also speak and be heard)
* Be spontaneous

Notice that these are not the “rules” of Council; they are the intentions we set to communicate with authenticity and empathy.

The act of actively listening to someone is a gift—of your attention, your interest, and your concern. When someone feels genuinely heard they are affirmed and validated for being who they are.

Reach out and invite some people to sit in Council with you. And let me know if you’d like some support.

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