welcome shadows & extremes in groups

two exercise-ideas to welcome shadow and character/idea/opinion-extremas in groups to foster wholeness…

  •  in silence (with beautiful gentle music maybe) individually write on post-its “what you feel rejected for from this field” / “what parts of you you feel are not welcome here” / “which sides of your character you feel you need to hide here to be accepted” > then with eyes closed (anonymity to keep safe space) post them all on the wall – then everyone a step back and look for few minutes at it (maybe someone reading them loud) > start clustering-process to see what people have ‘in common’ in their shadow sides in this group. it will be most likely a lot in common and that ideally triggers a unity-wave and shadow-welcoming-energy :)
  • partner up in groups of 2 and one starts telling something “extreme” of their thoughts, ideas or experience in a way where the other person ideally does not understand too much. instead of pushing to understand it the listener will ask questions to complexify it even more far beyond anything (s)he can understand. then swap, afterwards share how it was. the intention is to allow the characters to burst out into their extremes and be welcomed and held in that – transcending the need for forcing cognitive understanding. we are more together the more different we are – united diversity :)

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Benjamin Aaron Degenhart

Currently pursuing a Masters in Computational Science and Engineering at TU Munich.

4 thoughts on “welcome shadows & extremes in groups”

  1. Hi Benj – love these two exercises. Making conscious the places we resist / hold back, and welcoming them in. Awesome :-) I’ll remember these two and hope to try them! Love Son**


  2. I really lilke the first suggestion….a lot….and I think the result would often be that there is a great relief that it isn’t just “me” that feels that way…but almost everyone.

    The second one….and I’m laughing at myself….is really good IF you can get someone to do it honestly and not make up the story. I think people look at me rather oddly when I just tell my story in absolute seriousness…and often wonder if the person believes me.

    Like your thought path on this…



    1. thank you Susan! exactly, this effect of “it isn’t just me” is what i was intending and has shown in a small group – certainly curious how it will be in a bigger group.

      Haha, i see – yes it can be very odd to make something up just to make it overly complex. But it is certainly a space for your own story in absolute seriousness and to be held in that!

      i appreciate your resonance with this path of thought Susan, more to come. just wrote a children story (but it might be more for children in adults) and there will be a telepathy exercise in it… will post it soon :)


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