The no-fix zone

Facilitating a journaling workshop at Camp Out Yonder, a mindful tech-free retreat for adults.

When I host workshops (especially journaling workshops like the one above), right away, I have to firmly establish what I call a ‘no-fix zone’…

The kind of journaling workshops I lead have a lot to do with people sitting around in a big circle, writing stuff they may not be so comfortable writing, and then (if they feel so compelled to) reading their entries out loud in front of everyone.

As you can imagine, sometimes people read entries that are… difficult to speak of. And difficult to listen to.

When we hear someone speak of any experienced pain, the first thing we often do is jump into repair mode. We want to fix them. Because anyone in our midst who may seem hurt or broken is just too much for our delicate ego to handle.

The ego sees that pain and identifies with it. It brings to light all the ramifications of its antics. And it makes it very uncomfortable.

About the worst thing you can do to someone when they’re sharing a vulnerable thought, is try to fix them.

Because as good as your intentions are in that moment, all you do is anchor in the false belief that they’re broken and need fixing.

When sitting in this space with someone, we must let it be. We must respect their space. We must soothe them with our listening. And we must hold a higher presence for them to drift up into when and if they’re ready.

Fixing almost always has the opposite effect we intend it to have.

So if you are one who creates this kind of space for people, keep this in mind. Whether it’s a workshop in the woods or just your living room with friends, establish that no-fix zone and make way for healing and catharsis to take place.

Jonas Ellison is a spiritual counselor and blogging coach who writes shortish preachments in Higher Thoughts on the daily. To jump on his mailing list and get his free email course as a gift of his undying gratitude, do your thing below…