Foundations for Anne's work

This is the TLDR version for all those words (!) below.

Here's what I'm interested in learning about, facilitating, and being with other people in groups to create and pursue:  

* conscious connection,

* deep courage,

* exceptional contribution and

* changing systems that are unjust.

I strive to incorporate these ideals into every experience I offer. See the extended version of my beliefs and practices below. 

--Anne O'Connor 💚

Values and Ways of Working

  1. Love, Care, and Respect are my operating principles. Working toward being a decent human being is a worthy pursuit and I bring that to all my work through secular practices. The bedrock value of my work is that you are here on the planet with us and that’s all you need to qualify for love, care, and respect. That’s it. No other requirements. I may fall down on these principles, because, alas--and also hallelujah…

  2. We’re all human beings: enduringly fallible, forgivable, and redeemable. We are going to screw up. Hard things will happen. When I screw up, I will work to make it right quickly and as wholly as possible. The important thing is…

  3. A good life is possible no matter what has happened so far. Imagine all the atrocities that human beings have come through and gone on to live lives of beauty, purpose, and love. We can heal. We can fix our mistakes. We can move on. We can let go. We can learn to become resilient, courageous, and comfortable in our own skin. It’s not always easy, but it is almost always possible. It is rare this happens alone, and that’s why I believe that…

  4. Small group work is the best format for creating the most effective and lasting change. If ever I were to believe in magic it’s when I see a group form, open, and love one another into new discoveries, new ways of being in the world, and into more connected, courageous, and values-aligned lives. There truly is nothing that changes the world more quickly and profoundly than a group of people, well-led, coming together with a common purpose. Creating this kind of transformation is some of life’s most powerful and important work. The power of the individual supports the power of the group. And the power of the group supports the individual. We need that interchange to be our most genuine and creative—living in alignment with the most true version of ourselves. That need is difficult and can be fraught with many layers of tension, trust issues, and other complications. So, it is important that when a group comes together…

  5. We hold confidentiality and boundaries with the utmost attention. In my facilitating of some small groups, I use a two-part confidentiality agreement. We commit to holding the confidence of what happens in the group from anyone outside the group. And we honor confidentiality and boundaries in the group: we don’t talk to one another out in the world about what happens in the group without permission first. You will, perhaps, never form a group so carefully as you will when you work with me. The formation of the group is crucial to developing the trust that allows members to do transformative work.

  6. As the facilitator and teacher in the groups, I commit to bringing my best facilitation, the best, current, and research-informed material that I learned from others and developed myself to meet the needs of the group and the individuals.

  7. I also commit to bringing playfulness, creativity, fun, and laughter to the group. Because life works better that way, no matter what you’re doing.

  8. I am not a guru or any other kind of miracle worker. I am a facilitator and coach with a lot of training and experience. I will walk beside you, I will give you solid practices, information, and skill-development techniques. I will both support who you are right now and consistently push you to keep becoming the most true you that you identify--that you want. Ultimately, you will learn how meeting your goals in the group—or not meeting them—is 100 percent your responsibility. But you never have to do it alone.

  9. We are here to do rigorous, deep work. We will be gentle and patient—personal development is an individual journey on its own timeline—but we will work diligently and persistently towards excellence and sustained learning. We will balance our need for safety with life’s need for bravery in our spaces.

  10. I recognize that my perspective is one of a White, cis-gendered, heterosexual, middle-class, educated, woman. This particular perspective can get in the way of me seeing other perspectives. I commit to the work of recognizing my social location’s influence and working to recognize and honor many ways of seeing and being in the world. And to keep working to shift the systems of power so they are more equitable and fair. I stand for the values encompassed by Black Lives Matter, to be a welcoming environment for LGBTQAI+ folks, and all people who live with difference in a society dominated by systems of White supremacy.

  11. My responsibility on the planet includes sharing what I’ve learned. I have some space in most of my groups for people to apply for scholarships for partial or full grants to attend. Another way that I give back is by donating a percentage of my work's proceeds to other groups working towards uplifting and teaching people to live well together. This includes groups focused on women’s and girls’ learning, social justice groups, and environmental protection groups.


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