The principles of a 5th Place

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The principles of a 5th Place developed with the work in the early days. As the work was being done in different spaces, with a diversity of people these principles started showing themselves.

The principles of a 5th Place

  1. Listen to hear
  2. At my core I am perfect
  3. It’s always about me
  4. It starts with me
  5. I am because I feel
  6. Heal the hole to make me whole
  7. Hook me to heal me
  8. It’s never about me
  9. Accept and say “yes”
  10. Take the step that’s in front of me
  11. Offer, don’t give
  12. Accept what is

1. Listen to hear

At 5th Place we have a different take on what it means to listen and why we listen. We listen to hear, not to respond or to understand. The aim of listening is to create a holding space. A safe, respectful, non-judgmental environment. We don’t need to understand, we are not there to debate or discuss. It’s about giving the speaker enough time and room to connect to themselves and feel whatever they need to, without any input from us. It’s not about us, nor is it about our need to understand. It’s about the person doing the speaking. Our listening role is to support them in the best way possible.

"When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand."

—Karl A. Menniger

2. At my core I am perfect

We believe that at our core we are perfect. What is needed is to clear away the debris of the difficult feelings collected and built up over the years. When this is done, the godlike qualities are uncovered, qualities such as compassion, kindness, community and love that sit at the centre of who we really are. At my core I am perfect. Beautiful, complete, flawless, whole, intact, just right, great, wonderful. Perfect!

"Within each of us there is a silence, a silence as vast as the universe. And when we experience that silence, we remember who we are."

—Gunilla Norris

3. It’s always about me

It's always about me offers me the opportunity to take responsibility for what I am feeling in the moment, without blaming, shaming, or finding fault on the outside and with the other. This is so much easier said than done. When I throw the criticism back, I no longer have to sit with the feelings of inadequacy. I can feel righteously indignant instead. Right. I am right, you are wrong, I win. I don’t win, of course, I lose. I lose the opportunity for growth. I lose the opportunity to find happiness. I lose the opportunity to be me, accept me and love me. To find the 5th Place inside of me.

"True freedom begins and ends with personal accountability."

—Dan Zadra

4. It starts with me

We have a desire to make the world a better place. How we do that starts with me. It starts with me choosing to clear my own stuff and do the inner work on my emotions and feelings. Deliberately. Consciously. With regular practice. If I make my inner world a better place, I find that my outer world becomes a better place too.

“As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…”

—Hermes Trismegistus

5. I am because I feel

We remember more easily when there is an emotion attached to the memory. We also suppress memories because the emotion attached is so traumatic, we cannot deal with it. Because we feel, we remember, because we remember, we have a history, because we have a history, we have an identity. I am because I feel.

"Individuality is founded in feeling"

—William James

6. Heal the hole to make me whole

We give ourselves a great gift by attending to the difficult feelings attached to our past experiences. Scars from past experiences can feel like holes in the fabric of our being. By attending to these holes and clearing the feelings associated with them we become whole again.

"There is no remedy for love but to love more."

—Henry David Thoreau

7. Hook me to heal me

Each time we get hooked (or triggered) it’s an opportunity for us to look for the root of the hook in a past experience. Using Shape of Emotion, we can attend to the hurt, reveal the gift that it offers and heal in the process.

"Barn's burnt down — Now I can see the moon."

—Mizuta Masahide

8. It’s never about me

If you upset, anger, or hook (trigger) someone else and you did not mean to — it’s not about you. It’s about them. If you can stay centred and not react to their response you will be assisting them to heal their emotional holes if they choose to and not be attached to the outcome, if they don’t.

"Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it."

—Charles R. Swindoll

9. Accept and say “yes”

Life offers us all kinds of opportunities to grow (and heal). These opportunities can be wonderful, positive, opportunities, like an overseas trip or an opportunity to speak at a conference. But because we haven’t travelled much or feel some trepidation at speaking in front of more experienced people, we may be tempted to contract and say, No thank you. At other times things may not be that clear, there may be a small risk that has to be considered. Again, fear could tempt us to say “No, thank you.” At 5th Place we believe that the only way to find out what life wishes to offer us, to help us grow and heal, is to Accept and say “yes”.

"You have to accept the fact that sometimes you are the pigeon, and sometimes you are the statue."

—Claude Chabrol

10. Take the step that’s in front of me

There are times when life feels overwhelming. There is too much on the go, too many people relying on you, too many bills to pay, not enough work, too much work, looming deadlines, exams, demanding children, partners or bosses. The anxiety and stress wells up and it feels like you are going to drown. What to do? Where to start? There is too much to do! At 5th Place we advocate that the most powerful way to stop feeling overwhelmed, stressed or anxious is to take the step that is in front of you. Do what is right here, right now.

"Just handle what is in front of you now and the future will take care of itself."

—Dan Millman

11. Offer, don’t give

When we are tempted to give solutions to others without asking if they want our assistance, we assume they are helpless, that they need rescuing. If we can stop and offer our help, we acknowledge them as capable and resourceful beings who can choose to accept or not.

"Here’s the deal. The human soul doesn’t want to be advised or fixed or saved. It simply wants to be witnessed — to be seen, heard and companioned exactly as it is."

—Parker J. Palmer

12. Accept what is

Life does not always go as planned. And when things go awry or can’t be controlled, it can result in distress and anxiety. We want to control, plan every detail, eek productivity out of every last second. When the bus is late or the product is faulty it can be tempting to see it as negative or disastrous but if we just pause and accept what we cannot change, what we have no control over, then maybe we will see the gift, the realisation that "it was meant to be this way".

"Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like."

—Lao Tzu

For those who would like, please download 5th Place's 12 Principles

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