I have recently facilitated the Big Mind process a little more, and there is always new insights – either about facilitating or the roles and relationships among the voices. Sometimes, it is quite obvious, but still important reminders.
As a novice facilitator, I find that it is helpful to check in periodically with the self. It helps us both digest and see where we may want to go next. I also find it very helpful to pick up on cues – in terms of qualities, characteristics, emotions, attitudes mentioned by the current voice – these may give hints about which voices to access next. And of course, after exploring the views of the voices on the personal level, there is often a more complete resolution when we access Big Mind and Big Heart.
All voices have an important role to play. All (?) of them are essential for the survival of humanity and of each one of us today. One function of the process is to help clarify the role of each voice, and how they each assist the self. This is an important reminder for the self, as well as for each of the voices.
In this process, the relationship between the self and the voices often sorts itself out. Where the self is too identified with the voice, there is more distance. Where the self is too closed off from the voice, there is an opening. We allow the voices in and find a more conscious partnership with them. There is also a gradual awakening of the Master. The captain of the ship. The conductor of the symphony who indicate which instruments come out when, and how they play together.
Fear is among the voiced that are often ignored and pushed aside. Our habitual conscious attitude typically tells us that fear is a problem, that it is undesirable. And when we resist it, we experience a lack of comfort, which in turns fuels our desire to push it away.
Through the Big Mind (and Voice Dialogue) process, we come to recognize fear as invaluable. It helps keep us alive, and it always has important information for us. As a self, we can learn to listen to the information in the fear, take it seriously, and make a judgment and decision on it in the wider context of our situation. When fear is taken seriously and listened to, it can relax. It can express itself more gently and directly, because we will listen to it. The relationship between the self and fear becomes more straight forward, simple and comfortable. Rather than having an adversarial quality, it becomes one of partnership.
For instance, fear may come up around pursuing a particular line of work. If I try to push this fear away, it will persistently come back and in different ways. No voice ever goes away. They each have an invaluable function for the self. Instead, I can take the information in that fear seriously. The fear may tell me that I won’t make enough money. Is that true? What is the worst that can happen? What are the ways I can take this possibility into account in my decision making? I may realize… (a) Although it is possible, it may not be very likely. (b) If it happens, I have people who can help me out if need be. I won’t die. (c) I can diversify my income so that I am not dependent on just one line of work.