Since the election people are looking around, checking out their environments with a heightened awareness. As if a part of life we took for granted, a part we may have assumed was permanent is wobbling on its axis. It is as if the very ground we built our lives on is not what we thought it was. Many of us feel threatened. These kinds of disorienting sensations are motivation for figuring out ways to come together to protect shared values, move forward on shared goals and explore our differences in order to improve our insight and know we are not alone.
The Women’s March was a symbolic gesture towards strengthening community through shared values. The issues raised, the conflicts that continue to be highlighted and the variety of perspectives being expressed are all things that need to be articulated and explored. There is a lot of criticism out there about what it should have been. It’s a stormy group that’s getting out what needs to be said out there and be explicit. Just because there is disagreement that does not mean it failed. It is healthy bickering. A group that can’t tolerate conflict is
an unsafe place to be.
It is important to invest in local community. It is in your own best interest to develop relationships with your neighbors.
Strong community ties are how change happens.
Alli Fronzaglia marches with women weekly around Boulder and beyond. Her group Boulder Hiker Chicks offers a variety of hikes. She is a wonderful group leader and inhabits her role with equanimity. Her hikes are wonderful ways for women to socialize, meet new friends and get outdoors for exercise at the same time. This past fall the Boulder Hiker Chicks came together to spend a day cleaning up Boulder Creek. While doing so they came across people living along the creek and soon discovered that part of the creek and its bank were littered with human waste. Since that day Alli has mobilized her network and is investigating the situation further. She was recently quoted in an Daily Camera article on this subject and the story also ended up on the Denver News.
"I'm very sympathetic to the situation with the unhoused community, and I don't want to demonize them," said Alli Fronzaglia, the founder of the popular club Boulder Hiker Chicks and, more recently, leader of a new advocacy group called Friends of Boulder Creek. "I understand there are many factors involved in why they're there, but we just can't have people living without facilities along waterways."
This is an excellent time to brush up on group skills. One of the best ways to hone your interpersonal skills is to join a process group. Our community is rich with group psychotherapists, several of them with decades of experience.
Check out the upcoming annual conference for: AGPA (American Group Psychotherapy Association)
We have our own chapter here COGPS (Colorado Group Psychotherapy Society.)
Jeff Price is offering a post-election group free, Every other Wednesday evening from 7pm to 8:30pm
RSVP at COGPS Facebook event page
Or check out his upcoming Large Group Institute, Saturday, February 11th, offered through COGPS.
Jeff is a senior member of the group community in Boulder, frequent AGPA attender and well known for his “Mayoral” like role in Naropa’s masters program in Contemplative Psychotherapy & Buddhist Psychology. Jeff specializes in addictions and in being fully human and available. And he is a wonderful dance partner.
Phillip Horner is offering a group on white privilege He wrote an article that was in the Daily Camera on White Privilege. He was recently interviewed on the COGPS podcast on the same subject. Phillip's name regularly gets mentioned along with his photo in the Daily Camera articles about the housing co-op community in Boulder.
Group skills are are invaluable for organizing advocacy communities.
If you are interested in using writing to provide an outlet during troubled times checkout Kate Thompson’s writing workshops. Writing groups are great places to explore your impact on others and get curious about the experiences of others and what motivates them to be who they are. Kate also runs a group for adults who grew up adopted.
Another local resource is Mark Gerzon, a professional mediator who works with Republicans and Democrats to develop methods for bipartisan dialogue. Mark was recently interviewed on Colorado Public Radio. In his book The Reunited States of America he emphasizes the Latin phrase “E pluribus unum,” “Out of many, one,” on the Great Seal of the United States
“Between pluribus and unum is a lot of hard work. It involves opening our minds and our hearts to find common ground. In essence, it advises us to discover the underlying unity beneath or beyond our strong vital differences.”
The Reunited States of America, p. 14
Mark Gerson suggests looking within at your own conservative/ progressive parts.