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A Tribe of Tigers


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Shadow Work Founder Coach Facilitator Trainer Mentor Cliff Barry Boulder ColoradoIn the October issue of "Shadow Work® News and Views," we introduced you to Cliff Barry's new series of videos about bringing Shadow Work® tools into the workplace.

Now Cliff has gone deeper into the subject of Shadow Work® in business, in a new series of seven videos titled "A Tribe of Tigers." Also featured in the videos is Shadow Work® Facilitator, Coach and Trainer Dr. Dennis Hartwell.

VIEW "A TRIBE OF TIGERS" HERE

The title refers to the tiger-like parts of us that can hurt people, and to the longing we all have to belong to a tribe.

What do we do with the tigers inside us? Do we lock them in cages, where they go crazy? Do we let them out of their cages, where they can eat people? Either way, we lose.

There's a third answer: We create an environment in which tigers can safely emerge and where we can learn how to control them. We create an environment where things happen symbolically instead of in the "real" world of consequences, where there is good eldership and skilled facilitation from people who have worked with their own tigers and know how to control them.

In short, we form a tribe of people who work with their tigers.

By a tribe, we mean a group of people that has formed an emotional bond by revealing their tigers to one another in service of the larger goal of helping the organization. The emotional bond helps create the safety needed to work with tigers on an ongoing basis.

How do we create a tribe of tigers? We must first initiate people into membership in the tribe.

This is the essence of bringing Shadow Work® tools into the workplace: creating a tribe within a business or professional organization where initiated members can reveal their tigers and work with them safely.

Most of the people who have tried bringing symbolic work into the business world have failed because they haven't made the work safe enough. The result is that today's business environment hasn't been able to take advantage of the huge benefits of the kinds of emotional work that individuals can do on their own.

With skilled facilitation, we can create successful initiations even in the business world by paying attention to the risks involved, and particularly by working symbolically with the very real risks that a businessperson faces in doing emotional work.

CREATING A SYMBOLIC ENVIRONMENT

In Part 1 of the new video series, titled "Real Vs. Symbolic" (10:33), Cliff talks about the difference between the real and the symbolic and how that affects how we do initiations in business environments. In Part 1, Cliff explains:

  • why human beings have for millennia initiated their young people into adulthood
  • what forms of initiation exist in our society today
  • why today's world demands that we do initiations symbolically, and
  • how and why businesses also offer initiations to their employees.
In Part 2, "Can You Make It Real Enough?" (length 8:43), Cliff talks about other kinds of symbolic environments in our culture, including movies and video games, and about the common use of shame in the military, athletics, and elsewhere, to initiate people into groups.

BALANCES AND DISTINCTIONS

In Part 3, "Safety & Questing & Working Alone" (length 7:01), Cliff talks about the difference between safety and questing and the balance that is needed between them. In order to have a mission and go on a quest, we need to find a balance between the demands of the quest and keeping it safe. In any initiation, the person being initiated into the tribe is more likely to be willing to undergo the initiation when safety is a priority.

In Part 4, "Initiatory vs. Consensual Facilitation" (length 12:19), Cliff explains the many differences between the kind of facilitation called for when initiating somebody into the tribe and the more fully consensual facilitation that we use in Shadow Work. The differences include:

  • what the facilitator needs to know
  • what the facilitator does when he/she meets resistance
  • when and how the initiate integrates the initiation experience
Ideally, a facilitator can facilitate using either style, as appropriate, depending on where the initiate is. An initiate is either in what we call "uphill thinking" or in "downhill thinking."

UPHILL AND DOWNHILL

To explain those two terms more fully, Dr. Dennis Hartwell takes up the subject of "Uphill and Downhill" in Part 5 (length 7:15). Uphill and downhill are two phases in a three-part cycle that we all go through all the time.

In Part 6, "Uphill and Downhill: Cosmology" (length 4:07), Dennis explains the implications of uphill and downhill thinking on a person's beliefs about life, or cosmology.

In Part 7, "Conclusion" (length 7:15), Cliff describes some common examples of uphill and downhill thinking in our culture today.

The length of all seven videos combined is about 57 minutes.

LEARN MORE ONLINE AND AT REGIS UNIVERSITY JUNE 2013

Starting June 2013, Cliff and his team will begin teaching the skills needed for applying Shadow Work® to businesses and organizations.

Online courses are being developed that will enable students to study at home and at their own pace. Then, intensive sessions will be held at Regis University in Denver, Colorado, so that students can practice what they have learned online.

The first intensive is scheduled for June 3-7, 2013.

To sign up for the June intensive, contact Cliff at shadowwk@frii.com or by phone at 1-303-530-2840.

VIEW "A TRIBE OF TIGERS" HERE

 
Shadow Work® founder Cliff Barry is a Certified Trainer, Coach, and Group Facilitator living in Boulder, Colorado. Read more about Cliff.

This article originally appeared in our free email newsletter in December 2012. To subscribe, visit our subscription page.

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