Alright gals, when was the last time you said “hey, will you spot me?” You know how the guys do it at the gym – they want to lift more, push further so they ask someone to spot them. This was the premise behind a suggestion to form spotters groups by Barbara Stanny during her a Sacred Success retreat I attended a few years back.
I’m one of those people that rarely asks for help. With a smile and outwardly optimistic demeanor, even those closest to me rarely know what internal struggles are going on. I’m also very independent and certainly don’t need any support (hah). But “spotter” is terminology that spoke to me. I liked the idea of gathering a group of women friends with an emphasis of taking our businesses and ourselves further than ever before.
I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck.
Barbara is my friend and lives close by so she was my first Spotters group recruit. Another friend from town was at the retreat and enthusiastically said yes. There were two other women in business I knew, who I admired. I invited both them to my home to share my vision for a spotters group. They both agreed and now I had my group of five.
At our first meeting we discussed how we wanted our gatherings to go and decided on a time limit for each person to share. That idea quickly went out the window. In the beginning, there was the occasional cancellation or scheduling of other commitments that caused someone to leave early. But as we progressed, and the benefits of doing this type of work began to reveal itself, no one left early anymore! Occasionally it’s impossible to get our schedules to mesh, so we proceed forward with four of us, instead of five. However, this rarely happens.
I have experienced many life enhancing powerful experiences, but forming a spotters group, the opportunity to clean out those internal dust bunnies that collect every single month, has hands down been the most powerful and supportive experience I am blessed to have in my life every single month.
Inspired? Here are a few pointers to forming your own spotters group.
Five appears to be the magic number. This allows all of us to share as deep as we need to go within a reasonable time frame.
- Interview each potential spotter sister before hand. Are they on a similar path? Are they willing to commit to a meeting monthly? Are they comfortable with the other women you have asked? Will they honor the sacred privacy of what is shared?
- No alcohol! This isn’t a party ladies! You are at the gym of self growth! Alcohol causes the heavier weight to wobble. This is about clarity and truth – unimpaired.
- We meet at 4:30pm and usually wrap up by 7:00, but have been known to meet past 8:00. Heads up to your family at home! We finish when we are done, not by the clock.
- Begin the meeting by calling in sacred space. We are fortunate to have Mary Deveneau in our group and as we are all spiritual gals, Mary begins our gatherings in a way that speaks to us (discover what speaks to you). A candle is lit and we begin.
- Someone always says “who wants to go first”. We go with the flow.
- We share until we are done. Then simply say “I’m complete”. Spotter sisters will offer ideas, thoughts and different perspectives. But mostly, we allow the person sharing to go as deep as they desire without interruption. Let your intuition be the lead.
- While sharing, if the person pauses, let them be with their silence. We women are so quick to jump to “fix it” mode. As Barbara says, there is value in the void. What a joy to be in a space that is so safe, we can pause and let our thoughts form and our tears flow, instead of feeling pushed to keep speaking.
- Don’t worry if you arrive thinking you have nothing to say. While listening something always comes up. And if not, that is fine too.
- If possible, have a set day and time each month. And always schedule your next meeting before heading home for the evening.
- Be prepared to go deeper and become closer to yourself and your spotter sisters than ever imagined.
- Have a box of Kleenex close by.
Like a sister who you love, but you may not hang out with all the time, I know if the shit hits the fan at 2am in the morning, one of my spotter sisters will have my back! I’m an only child, so for me, this type of support means the world!
We have met monthly for four and a half years – wow! Our spotter sister gatherings have become the vehicle for deep personal growth that continues to take us to places we would not have imagined in business, in relationships and with ourselves!
With deep gratitude and love to Barbara, Mary, Kristin and Teresa!