Week 8 Meeting Guide

Overview of Agenda for Small Group Meeting 8

  1. Welcome and Settle-In (3 min.) Welcome everyone as they arrive and let them know that you’ll be waiting a few minutes for people to join before starting.
  1. Opening Ritual. (3-4 min.) Lead an opening ritual or guided meditation.
  1. (3 min. or less per person, about 30 min.) Each person shares what they want to about their Inner Critic work and learning about STJ this week.
  1. Questions. Invite people to ask any questions about STJ enrollment or about Inner Critic work and IFS.
  1. Closing Announcements. (2 min.)
  1. Closing Ritual. (3 min.)

Detailed Guide for Small Group Meeting 8

You can use this guide verbatim if you need more structure or aren’t very confident in leading the meeting. The words in italics can be read aloud or paraphrased

Welcome and Settle In

Welcome to small group meeting. My name is —– and I will be your leader today. We will wait a few minutes to allow more people to join.

Opening Ritual

You can use the meditation described below or create an opening ritual of your own. Please first enter a meditative space yourself and then speak slowly from that place. Leave pauses between sentences.

Let’s begin with a short guided meditation. Take a moment to get into a comfortable meditative position. Close your eyes. Go inside. Focus your attention on the sensations in your belly. You might notice a softness, a fullness, or a solidness. Or you might just notice the rise and fall of your belly with each breath. Or you may feel something else….

If you notice your mind wandering, gently bring it back to your belly in the moment…

As you stay with your belly, you may feel more centered and grounded. You may notice yourself relaxing, going into a deeper place inside….

Allow another half minute or so.

Now gradually bring yourself back from the meditative place you have been in.


If it makes more sense to combine the sharing and questions, feel free to do that.

We will now take time for each person to share with the group. When it is your turn, share whatever you would like to about your work with the class material this week. You can share whatever work you may have done on your Inner Critics, IFS, and STJ. What happened in setting up your real-time practice to activate your healthy capacity instead of your Inner Critic part?

This is a chance for you to share your experience with a whole group of caring, attentive listeners. However, it isn’t a requirement. If you don’t want to share, you can pass.

We want to have a limit of 3 minutes for each person.

If you don’t have a permanent timekeeper: Who would be willing to be the timekeeper for today?

Call on people one at a time until everyone has shared who wants to. If someone doesn’t hear the timer going off or ignores it and keeps going, ask them to stop.


Now is the time to ask any questions that came up this week? Do want to ask anything about IFS or STJ? Do you have any questions about Stage 5 or the real-time practice? Who has a question?

When someone asks a question, see if anyone in the group can answer it. If not, then you answer it, if you can. If you can’t answer it, then send it to me (Jay) in an email earley.jay@gmail.com and I will reply to your group with an answer.

Closing Announcements

I will continue to rotate the pairings unless you let me know that you have found a buddy that you will continue pairing with.

I invite you to tell me any feedback you have—about this small group or the course as a whole—either positive or negative, and any suggestions for how to improve things.

If you aren’t able to lead the next group, then ask for someone to volunteer to lead: I won’t be able to lead the next small group, so we need someone to volunteer to lead that meeting. This will be easy because there is a detailed Meeting Guide for each week that you can use to lead the group. Who would be willing to lead next week’s group?

If you have to miss more than one meeting in a row, then arrange volunteer leaders for each one. Keep track of who is leading which meeting.

We will meet a week from today at the same time. If you can’t make that meeting or if you will be late, please let me or someone in the group know so we aren’t wondering where you are.

Remember: Even if you haven’t gotten around to doing the course material for the week, please come to the small group meeting anyway. You will learn a lot by being with us.

Closing Ritual

Is there anything that anyone would like to say before we move to our closing ritual?

For our closing, let’s go around and have each person say what you are feeling right now.

Call on people to save time.

I appreciate what is happening in this group. See you next week.