Fierce Kindness is
the strong determination to change thought patterns, beliefs, and behaviors that are ultimately not in our best interest,
and doing so out of self kindness, not self judgment or criticism.
Forming a support group is a wonderful way of encouraging each other to spend the time necessary for learning new ways
of thinking and behaving and integrating them into your life. Depending on the group size, an hour to an hour and a
half has worked for the groups I have led.
Consider having a leadership role - this person would make sure
everyone feels welcome, set the agenda, and ensure everyone has opportunities to contribute (and no one person is dominating
the group time). Decide if you want to have one leader or to rotate the leadership role at each meeting.
agree to a rule of confidentiality - no one’s name or input would be shared outside of the group without that person’s
permission. Hold meetings in a private space where people can feel free to express their experiences.
The tone of the
group is one of acceptance and encouragement rather than confrontation or criticism.
I suggest each meeting include
at least 10 - 20 minutes of meditation. You can use the guided meditations on either of my CDs, sit in silence, or be
guided by another person experienced in meditation.
Spend a few minutes checking in with group members for comments
on how they are doing and what they are working on. Unless this is the core purpose of your group, it is best if these
comments are brief.
a topic for each meeting, such as a chapter in the Fierce Kindness book. It is helpful if people know the topic in advance
and have read the identified material. There could be discussion and an opportunity to be guided through one of the
exercises or practices suggested in the book. The CDs offer guided practices on many of the topics in the book, and could
be part of the group experience (they can be ordered on the www.sashaloring.com website).
nice way to end the group is for everyone to say one thing they are grateful for.
I wish you great success! Sasha Loring