For about seven years, I have been doing mini-readings for a delightful group of women here in Vancouver. Some of you have been to these sessions but for the benefit of those of you who have not, this week I thought I’d tell you a little about how it works.
Short readings let you try it out
In this particular case, my longest running group of this kind, one of the women hosts the evening and her friends come along for the socializing, hors d’oeuvres or take-out food, as well as to have a mini-reading done. In this case, I work in another room and the ladies come in to see me one at a time. We do 20-30 minute sessions, depending on how many are attending. There is a limit to how long my voice holds out so I can usually only do a maximum of 9 20-minute readings in an evening.
In other cases, I have done each person in the group with everyone else present in a circle. The disadvantage to this whole-group approach is the lack of privacy but the advantage is that the whole group gets the benefit of the wisdom imparted to the others in the group, as well as what is directed to each person specifically. When I do the whole group together like this, I find that there is a group synergy, and often a theme that is particularly helpful to everyone. No one is alone with their joys, sorrows or challenges and group members tend to be supportive of one another, even if they have never met before.
In a group setting, how ‘public’ does it have to be?
Some participants are concerned that sensitive information could be revealed in front of the rest of the group and they may feel this isn’t appropriate. I’ve noticed that the phrasing of this sort of information tends to be such that only the person who is meant to understand will know what I mean. If the person chooses to share it with the rest of the group afterwards, they can, but they don’t have to reveal anything if they don’t feel comfortable. Participants are amazed at how much other people’s messages mean to them.
Not sure you want to try it?
Sometimes there are new members at these group sessions and they aren’t sure about whether they want to have a reading. When I do individual readings in another room, newcomers have until the end of the evening to decide. Some like being able to hear the people who go before them as they relate their experience and reactions. If they like what they hear, they may opt in. If they don’t, there’s no pressure. It has also happened that some folks come for the socializing and don’t want a reading at all. That has always been fine with me. It has been my experience that some people will come back several times before they feel the urge to have a reading themselves, or they may never. It has to be the right place and the right time.
Seeing a group picture
Group sessions can be particularly interesting and useful when I do them with people who are part of a team or organization. I can often see patterns in the behaviour of the group that have not been articulated before. Bringing these to the attention of the group can do amazing things to validate the efforts of the individual group members and to resolve blocks or issues within the group that may have been preventing them from performing optimally.
I did such a reading for a working team in a municipal office in Sweden. One team member was seen as the nay-sayer in the group. He was described as raining on everyone’s parade. In his eyes, he was the voice of caution and the only one who was willing to point out the pitfalls of projects that could sometimes seem overly optimistic.
By the end of the reading, the group felt able to express their frustration with what they saw as unnecessary negativity and he, in turn, was able to express how thankless and alienating it was for him to be the lone voice of dissent. By the end of the reading, they were able to agree that the group would take over some of his cautionary role so that he wouldn’t always have to be the one who pointed out the pitfalls of new ideas. I was able to intuitively reveal the problem that no one else had dared voice for fear that they would be misunderstood.
Mini-readings can give you a chance to taste what it feels like to work with me. Many people book a longer session at a later date where they have a full hour to themselves and can go into more detail. It’s a gentle way to sample the goods, so-to-speak! If anyone is interested in booking a group session, or wants more information about how the process of a group reading works, please feel free to get in touch and ask me for more information.