Naturalizing RC at a Music Camp

I love to share information that improves people’s lives and shifts our culture in a positive direction. So it was exciting for me to teach naturalized RC at a music camp this year.

People could choose among a few dozen workshops. About two percent of the campers participated in mine, and many others asked me about it over meals. I initially called it “Listening Tools for Healing and Leadership,” but as the camp grew closer I called it “Vent with Consent.” At the workshop I shared eleven tips:

Vent with Consent—the Basics

1. Consent

We ask, “Will you stay with me while I clean out my (mental) closet?” and “How much time can you spare?”

2. Taking turns

We clean out one person’s mental closet at a time.

3. Equal time

We are each important. We each get the same number of minutes for our turn.

4. Beginning and ending with love

We start our turns with saying what is good and new in our lives. We end by changing the subject and thanking our listeners.

5. Letting it flow

If yawns, tears, sobs, laughter, shivers, growls, shouts, stamps, or pillow-pounding come out, we don’t try to block them. They are signs that the mental closet is being cleared out.

6. No new damage

We hit Puffy Pirate,* not people. We don’t name names.

7. Staying clean and sober

We stay clean and sober for twelve hours (or more) before the workshop, so our minds can re-organize our mental closets after we pull things out.

8. No blame

We are good people who do stupid stuff when our mental closets are messy. It is no one’s fault, but we can make it better.

9. Delight

We’re glad that the closet is getting cleaned out, even if it means seeing and smelling some yucky stuff.

10. No advice

When it’s their turn, we encourage people to open the door, peek into the closet, and pull something out and show us. We don’t need to tell them which old shoes still fit or whether or not to keep the mouse poop [feces]. Once they take stuff out and examine it, they will know what to do with it, better than we do!

11. Confidentiality

We don’t tell anyone what was in someone else’s closet. We don’t even discuss it with that person unless they ask us to. After all, what they said in their turn is not the same as what they will believe after they re-organize!

Thanks to Dan Nickerson (the International Liberation Reference Person for Working-Class People) for challenging us to think of short, snappy [lively] slogans and other ways of making RC more accessible to working-class people, and to Tim Jackins for reminding us that we need to lead hundreds of people and can teach at least some RC tools everywhere we go.

Jennifer Kreger

Fort Bragg, California, USA

(Present Time 193, October 2018)

* Puffy Pirate is an inflatable pirate doll with a heavy base. People can hit him hard and knock him over, and he bounces back up and they can hit him again, without any hand pain or broken furniture. He wears a nametag saying, “Hello. My name is racism, sexism, exploitation, cruelty, temptation, religious intolerance, imperialism, colonialism, out-of-tune music . . . .” We also had a dartboard labeled “Everything I can’t stand [tolerate],” and cotton balls to throw at it, and a couple of rubbery pads to stamp on or squeeze.

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00