Validation is probably the most powerful tool we have to help us in this complicated world. 

Validation is when we are given a safe space to say,  “This is what happened and yes it was hard. {Exhale}.”

And in that pause the intensity of the experience decreases and we can go on without quite so much weight.  The heaviness of the surprise, shock and disappointment is now a memory of something hard we have gone through and the insights we have gained from going through it.  

In this way, we are open to new experiences and ready for being present.  In this way we are more powerful in our lives, ready to show up fully to be our best selves.  

In this way, validation makes us stronger, wiser, and more resilient. 

But many of us don’t have this experience of validation and instead stay stuck in layers of reactivity.  Our society isn’t set up for validation.  We don’t have pauses in which we feel safe to breathe and realize what we are feeling is real.  We don’t always teach this in our families and our workplaces are designed for more practical conversations.  

But at a minimum, we need validation in our personal lives with the one or two people who know us the best and show up for us every day consistently and kindly.  And when we don’t have this we suffer.  

And now, added on top of our usual life stressors, we also are processing the impact of the pandemic and widespread social unrest.  

The pandemic has caused far reaching losses, changes and adjustments for us all, especially those who have been forced to work from home during the pandemic, those of us who have lost a job or revenue as a result of the pandemic, or those of us who have been forced to work more as a result of the pandemic. 

And the social unrest over police brutality and institutionalized racism bring a further complicated slew of questions about where we stand, what we want to do or not do, and how we want to talk about it in our communities.   

These are difficult questions and difficult subjects.  

At Greenstone we are now offering a series of structured and deliberate group discussions for any group that wants to come together to discuss all these changes and disruptions.  

These groups are places where individuals are heard, where the rightfully emotional edge of hard experiences can be validated, where each person’s story will teach others’ something new, where new insights can lead the way to better social dynamics, better problem solving, and new ways of interacting and being in the workplace that are respectful and needed in this time.  

Respectful discussions allow for a collective, “{Exhale}.” And the intense experience becomes a meaningful memory with insights attached.  And what we have learned together can bring us forward constructively in this complex time.