Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2001
From: Lee Lady
Subject: ZEGG: The Forum
To: Many friends
Before I go completely off into Lee Land, it occurs to me that I really should tell you about the Forum, since --- for me at least --- it was one of the most important parts of summercamp.
So here we might be, the Dorf group, sitting in a room in a big circle. And the group leader asks, "Does anyone want to go in the middle?'' And then someone, me maybe, might get into the middle of the group and talk about something. Some Problem, most likely, but in any case something that's important to them at the moment. And then the group leader might do something or other: holding the person, perhaps, or asking some questions. And then, when the person in the middle was done, various people in the group would get up and give "mirrors."
In principle, when one gives a mirror for someone one tells them what one saw (and heard) while they were talking. So there I was a minute ago, say, in the middle, talking about my concerns, believing that I was communicating various things, but what did the other people get from what I was saying? Was what they heard what I intended to communicate? So the mirrors tell you what other people actually got from your communication.
That's what a mirror is in principle. In practice, though, the person giving the mirror might say most anything, as long as it's intended to be helpful.
So that's the Forum. And, as I recall, I stood up in the middle and talked about the ways things were going for me twice, and the second time I cried. But then, over the two weeks, there were several people who cried.
And I gave lots of mirrors for other people. Lots and lots of mirrors. That part is something I know how to do well. (From experience in More University groups, from my NLP training, from having done suicide prevention counseling.) A couple of times I said things that the person in question was not very thrilled to hear, but I was never trying to attack someone or tear them down. Sometimes the things I said were harsh, but I hope they were beneficial and not destructive. (Unfortunately, I did not get any mirrors for my mirrors. In other words, I intended to come across in a certain way, but I can't know how I actually did come across.)
I don't know. The things that people were the most hesitant to say to me, because they could have been seen as attacks, were actually the things I had the least problem hearing. When someone is willing to honestly tell me the way they see me, and tell me the negatives, to me that's very valuable. I hope that other people found the things I said valuable.
When I went into the middle the first time during the Forum (when I did not cry), the group leader, Kastor, asked me, "Are you shy?" And I could only say that I don't know the answer to that question. I guess that most people who know me would say that I'm shy. I guess certainly the people who know me at Anna Bannana's would say that. And yet I don't sense myself as being shy. And there are certainly many situations in which I do things that are anything but shy.
In the Forum, for instance, I was certainly not shy. I was surprised when some people said that it took courage for them to step into the middle of the circle and talk about their problems. For me, it was completely easy to do that, and completely easy to make quite strong comments in giving my mirrors.
Somehow for me it seems to be somehow a matter of permission. When I said that during the Forum, people didn't really understand what I meant. And perhaps there's no point in my trying to explain it more here, since it's mostly just of interest to myself.
It's like with the woman at the airline counter when I was leaving Berlin. When she said, "Oh, you're so lucky to live in Honolulu," she stepped just slightly outside the boundaries that were appropriate for the transaction we were conducting. And because she did that, it gave me permission to say, "Oh, would you like to come visit me?" And we both knew that there was no way she would accept my offer, so that made it safe for us to play.
Love & kisses to all,