Participant Testimonials of Taking Part
in an Empathy Circle.
Please note: Some of the original images did not easily transfer since “spaces” were included in the original file names.
Benefits of Bridging Political Divides with Empathy Circles
Video on YouTube and on Facebook
2019-01-05: ANGRY ABOUT
I deployed to Afghanistan and Africa in the military and I have witnessed the power of empathy to literally stop war in its tracks. What we are doing is effective and I want to iterate that from a military standpoint, this is no BS. This really works and I really believe in it.
I Like: As always and like everybody, I got something out of it. For those of you that don’t know my background I spent quite some time in some wilderness survival programs where we did this for believe me, way longer than two hours and it is extremely exhausting. I realize I am like marathon trained to do this. I did deploy to Afghanistan and Africa in the military and I have witnessed the power of empathy to literally stop war in its tracks. What we are doing is effective and I want to iterate that from a military standpoint. This is no BS, this really works and I really believe in it.
There is a few times where I really had to bite my tongue, because I wanted to jump right in there.
Again I would reiterate maybe a later time. I think we might get a different crowd and I would be a bit more awake. I think it would be different if it would be later. ― David Carson
I have a lot of hope in empathy and in the Empathy Circle process, that if we can get more people learning this and spreading it, and replicate it.
I Like: I always get a lot out the taking part in an Empathy Circle. There was a depth to it today talking about trauma and it seemed to go deeper.
I Wish: I have a lot of hope in the process, that if we can get more people learning this and spreading it, and replicate it. Because it is easy to replicate and is very effective. I would wish we keep working to spread the process. ― Edwin Rutsch
I really appreciated the opportunity to dialogue. I appreciated the ways that each person was willing and able to really be present with what arose for them in the moment.
I Like: I really appreciated the opportunity to dialogue. I appreciated the ways that each person was willing and able to really be present with what arose for them in the moment. One of the ways I knew that was happening was that there were surprising things that showed up. And that always speaks of authenticity, which I like and I especially appreciated because it is the thing I find lacking in the political spectrum is depth and authenticity. So I like that.
I always appreciate these too. I feel like I learn new things and I learn how to see things in a different way.
I Like: I always appreciate these too. I feel like I learn new things and I learn how to see things in a different way. I appreciated and was surprised at the depths that occurred. I also feel like the times I participated in these I feel at the end like the conversation is so incomplete. Like I could keep going for hours before you get to all the nooks and crannies of it. I’m trying to think of how to maybe address that or if it needs to be addressed
Maybe another suggestion might be to be more specific with topic. Because I feel when we start really broad, everybody sort of goes in 10 different directions and there are some many different themes you can go in. I guess that is one way to do it. It’s not a bad thing, but maybe another way is to get extremely specific and kind of really explore in depth one very small piece of that whole conversation. Maybe there could be people piggy backing off each other. We could take what developed from one empathy circle and then decide as a group what some thread of that do we want to explore in more depth and them pick it up and have a sequence.
Again, I love participating in these and feel that it really helps my own personal growth and development and open mindedness and flexibility and it’s great. ― Sam Kifer
I feel it takes a lot out of me and I don’t think I am the only one who experience it as being exhausting and effortful to participate in. But I keep showing up.
I Like: There is so much left unsaid at the end of it and yet I don’t think I can imagine trying to do this for more than two hours. I feel it takes a lot out of me and I don’t think I am the only one who experience it as being an exhausting and effortful to participate in. But I keep showing up. So I must think something about it. It would be really interesting to see how the discussion unfolded around one very small small and specific thing. But I also like the format of people bringing whatever is alive for them. In our group we delved more into trauma and the function of trauma and how it works on our brains and I think it was helpful in lot of ways. I’m glad that this exists even though it’s hard. Thanks to all for being here. ― Corey Collier
I Like: I always enjoy getting to meet with new people and hear their thoughts. It’s really interesting and I definitely learned something new. It’s helping meet my need for connection and community and self expression.
I Like: Needs met for hope, effective communication and deep listening. I definitely enjoyed the process and feel grateful.
I always love hearing people’s experiences and what causes them to feel a certain way.
I Like: I always love hearing people’s experiences and what causes them to feel a certain way. I thought we were just going to talk about politics and we talked about things like abortion, homelessness, interracial children. We just talked a lot about things and I think what is so amazing, what I was reminded of, that we are all just people together with different backgrounds and were we hear each other, we have a commonality. And I am pleased to have been on the call.
I am so full of feeling. I feel so grateful for the conversation that the four of us just had.
I am so full of feeling. I feel so grateful for the conversation that the four of us just had. The listening was so skillful and so right on for me and I think for others also – is my observation. It was a very rich and very deep conversation. I really got to talk about things that were important to me and I really enjoyed hearing what everyone else had to say. I learned some new things, I was exposed to thoughts I hadn’t heard before and I am grateful for that.
I wish to continue participating in conversations like this because it was really wonderful for me.
I wanted to reiterate that is was very enjoyable. I think we really approached some very deep and emotionally sensitive things. I just want to acknowledge the deep courage of everybody in sharing that way and my deep respect for everybody who did.
It went ok. I like this format, it’s pretty good. What I wish would be a later time. I think it would draw a different crowed. Like when I do these things I’m the only one on the right and there’s a couple of neutrals and one more lefty. So I can be more vulnerable when I am not the only person defending one side.
So that is one of the problems with this and everything as a whole, that when you feel you are the only representative of something that it’s hard. You can’t be too vulnerable because you are already vulnerable by default.
― David Carson
I really enjoyed our group. I think vulnerability is a means to strength and I think that we are getting into a very strong place
I really enjoyed our group. I think vulnerability is a means to strength and I think that we are getting into a very strong place. Which means a very vulnerable place. We are creating a space where we can do that and I just want to reiterate the gratitude and appreciation for doing that.
I think this is a good thing and a powerful thing and I would like to keep doing it. And keep bringing more people in and keep upping peoples listening skills. The listen skills were excellent. everybody is very strong and powerful listeners, and I just want to keep bringing more people in and upping those skills for everyone.
― Tyler Morris
I liked that I did somewhat manage to feel connected and hear and be heard despite significant technical difficulties. I also am wishing for a later time and also want more.. Want to be able to say more.
I also really appreciated when people are vulnerable and share things from their own lives. A lot of emotions come up for me and I feel really strongly when that happens. So thanks for doing that, and I encourage more of that from others and myself.
Wishes, we are still working at getting more people from the right so if anyone wants to collaborate on that.
― Evan Magor
I feel that every time I am in one of these, I feel like I am able to be more vulnerable and more open about things and I see that with everybody else too.
It’s a progressive thing with these Empathy Circles, I feel that every time I am in one of these I feel like I am able to be more vulnerable and more open about things and I see that with everybody else too. This was a very powerful session and I really really appreciate and am grateful for the passion that we all shared with these conversations.
And honestly I don’t know if I really want this but if I had to say one thing, one thing I wish for is that it was just longer today because I feel like we were just going, and going in a really great place.
― Art Burns
I enjoy the richness of it. It feels like a lot of insight comes up.
What I really like is the diversity of options. I see the power and interest of having the right and left and having diverse options and points of view to clash and explore. I enjoy the richness of it. It feels like a lot of insight comes up.
What I wish for better technical environment and i have background noise here with a jack hammer near by.. We had some technical issues and they inhibit the connection a bit.
I wish for getting more people involved. There were 36 people had indicated they were interested, and I would hope that more interested folks would come and we get more variety of people.
I like people taking more responsibility and doing hosting and make this all come together.
The gifts of this work are quite subtle for me. I feel that after showing up for two hours, those two hours that I could have negotiated with myself to do something else. I am very grateful that this is what I did choose to do. I am lifted up by the fact that, that is true for 3 other people today in this environment.
So just that alone, and practicing our listening skills, is a positive for me because it is something that I know helps me have a greater chance of hearing other people in a more sympathetic way instead of going straight into triggering. This is my take away, is to just be mindfully with the gift of that listening and how powerful that is for me and hopefully for others too.
I’m a bit frustrated by the extra time it takes to have to go through the process to repeat and to hear other people repeat what I did hear and I absolutely do get the benefit of it.
I’m a bit frustrated by the extra time it takes to have to go through the process to repeat and to hear other people repeat what I did hear and I absolutely do get the benefit of it. To not only hear other people feeling better heard and for me to feel heard. The benefit is well worth it.
Generally I just love the more open heart feeling and learning about one another. And very personally I actually thank you Claire because I constantly need the feedback of not just the part that feels, but when I cross over a little bit in coaching and listening and feel like the compliment of how..
“That was nice what you said,” takes away from the pure listening in a nonjudgmental way. Luckily my ego has gone through enough learning so that I say, “O’h my god, thank you, I appreciate the mirror that helps me learn.” Because it helps me learn.. thank you. So thank you for being bold enough for saying what I needed to hear.
I’m grateful for being able to exercise
this muscle of listening.
I’m grateful for being able to exercise this muscle of listening. I wish I had another time in the week to do it because I feel my muscle is week when I start the call each week. I feel that it has been a week since I really exercised the muscle. I’m also grateful since it meetings my basic need for connection as well.
…later after it’s over I notice that I feel lighter for having been heard by a variety of people on a variety of things.
Sometimes I feel frustrated with myself like, I wasn’t clear enough and feel kind of weird. like during the call but then later after it’s over I notice that I feel lighter for having been heard by a variety of people on a variety of things. So the positive effects come afterwards.
Something I have been thinking of doing is like blogging about some of the thoughts that get brought up from these calls that there is not time to share. I always feel I have more to say.
Bridging Divides Empathy Circle: Women March Feedback
2019-01-19: WOMEN MARCH
It’s always a relief for me to get
certain things of my chest.
It’s always a relief for me to get certain things of my chest. It’s hard because this jumps around because of the format. This is the first one I was co-facilitating. with David.
I value the cross generational dialogue. it’s not just left right. There are lots of different axis, like generations is one. of them.. More communication between generations.
I always enjoy hearing younger people. What your experience is. I just like hearing young people. It keep my mind open, it allows me to hear what the experience is of the future generation.
I’v done a few of these and it’s good. I’m usually more on the sideline. I’m actually helping record this and turn the knobs and switches and stuff. Do I am getting more involved in this process which I think is proof that I kind of believe in it to a certain extent. I’ve got some friends that make fun of me for doing this. This like like killing two birds with one stone. It gives me an avenue to actually voice things with my voice instead of just typing things out all the time. It helps me connect my soul with my ideas so to speak.
I also believe in this process, because what got me into politics in the first place is freedom of speech issues. This is part of that. It was intense tonight, maybe it’s an element of doing this during the moon hours.