Certified Points of You Trainer, Bassett & Friends, Transition Facilitator
"When the grandmothers speak the world will heal.” (Native American saying)
Legacies have been described as the “footprints we leave behind.”; evidence that our lives have meaning and that we have made a difference. Recently, I had the honor to facilitate a circle of grandmothers, ages 70 to 93; to ponder the footprints they wanted to leave – their legacies. In previous conversations with these grandmothers, I discovered a common core that we would explore in our circle: Life is short. Legacy lives on. In my personal and group work, I’ve found the power of the Points of You® cards has been an experience of a deeper understanding, a deeper awareness, a deep access to legacy – a rich opportunity to touch the soul core. This is the experience that was echoed again in this circle of grandmothers.
We modeled ourselves on the ancient ways of elders all around the world. Sitting in a circle, speaking our truth.
I asked that everyone listen and speak through mutual generosity as we asked three questions throughout our time together.
What impact do I want to leave on the world?
What is my gift to my lineage?
What has dried up in my life that once served me and needs to be released?
I invited the group to embrace the following protocols and provide agreement with their silence: When we are in circle conversations, we agree:
To speak with intention: Speak from our heart and from our own experience.
To listen with attention: Listen with respect, compassion, curiosity and generosity.
To hold stories or personal material in confidentiality.
Be willing to discover and explore, noticing patterns, themes, new questions.
To tend the well-being of the circle: remaining aware of the impact of our contributions
When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real. I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
- Mary Oliver
Spoken into the circle, I said: Each of you come from a long line of healers, midwives, songstresses, herbalists, dancers, birth-givers, artists, and wise women. You are a direct descendent of powerful women and earthwise womenfolk. Their ancient knowing resonates today deep in your marrow.
As we take a pause, please silently reflect on that which resides in you.
Pause | Circle Introductions | Pause
We paused with music of children’s lullabies without words. Then, each grandmother selected Coaching Game Points of You® card from the circle of cards that was in the middle of the circle facedown. Each grandmother introduced themselves answering the question: Why are you here today? One by one, each said their ‘circle name’, shared their card and gave their point of view of the photo and word as they answered the question. They had each been asked to bring something that represented for them their legacy. At the end of their introduction, they placed that object in the middle of the circle. After introductions, the group took another pause to honor the middle of the circle with their legacy objects.
A sigh emerged from the group mixed with tears of recognition of the presence and power of this group. Spontaneously, they held hands.
First Question: What impact do I want to leave on the world?
Each grandmother selected a card (face up) from the Faces Points of You cards in the middle of the circle. Then, they paired up to share their card and answer the question with their partners. The sound in the room ranged from quiet tears to boisterous laughter.
As a facilitator, I weaved through the group and noticed the range of emotions that was present as they answered the question through their Face selection. At the end of the partner sharing, in the circle, they volunteered their thoughts, images and sharing. They ranged from the desire to be a runner in a relay race where the baton is being handed off to one woman who had chosen a face that had planted a garden with each grandchild that had been born. Some spoke of the face telling family sayings or stories to be remembered. Others spoke individual words; courage was a common theme. The attention of the group was rapt as each woman spoke of what she wanted her impact to be. One woman said, “I chose this face because it represents me…I want to leave the essence of who I am, an example of overcoming odds.”
Afterwards, we took a break to walk outside and let the mood live in each of us in our own way.
Second Question: What is my gift to my lineage? (Dyad)
Each grandmother selected a Coaching Game Points of You Card (face up) to answer this question. The selection of the card seemed more focused. Then, they paired up to share their card and answer the question with their partners. The sound in the room was somber, pensive and quiet. As a facilitator, I weaved through the group and noticed how the partner that was listening was doing it intently.
The word “careful focus” came to me. At the end of the partner sharing, in the circle, they volunteered their thoughts, images and sharing. The cards that came forward were: Persistence, Joy, Love, Generosity, Forgiveness, Trust, Creativity, Gratitude, Risk, Innovation, and Initiation.
Ending Question: “What has dried out in my life that once served me?”
Each grandmother stepped forward individually and spoke of what has dried out in their lives that once served them and no longer does. They selected a Coaching Game Points of You card (face up). This card represented what we DID NOT want to go forward in our legacy. We concluded the evening gathering around a fire in which we named and released whatever holds us back from manifesting our legacy intentions.