What is the
Peak Living Network?
PLN is an all-volunteer, mutual support organization for women and men who are pursuing emotional healing in any form, and who are ready to both give and receive thoughtful caring.
Here are the key principles that make our network special:
* We are equals. No one is considered “more healed” or “clearer” than anyone else in PLN. We’re all on a healing journey, learning from each other’s experiences and sharing mutual respect.
* We are a “No Advice or Suggestions” zone. We don’t propose solutions to each other’s difficulties or tell anyone what to do. By taking problem-solving out of the equation, we dramatically transform the way in which we interact with each other.
* Time is shared evenly among all participants in our support groups. No one gets to dominate discussions; everyone’s turns to speak and receive support are timed and are the same length.
* Emotions are accepted and encouraged. We’re not in the business of telling people to “look at it differently,” or trying to talk them out of their feelings in any way. If you need to cry, this is a place where you can cry as long and hard as you need to. We believe in accompanying each other through the dark places instead of pretending those places aren’t there.
* We work to become more and more skillful over time in how we listen to each other, validate feelings, and offer support. We believe that loving each other well is an art form that calls for life-long learning.
* We deeply believe that people can heal. Human beings have a limitless capacity for emotional recovery and wellness. You can live a life of satisfaction, energy, and love, and you can take action to change the world. It makes sense to reach for peak living.
* We are a community. We believe that emotional healing is a collective process, so we’ve built a network of people who are pursuing wellness in keeping with the above principles.
* We have no dogma. Everyone is free to pursue healing in their own way, with our support and encouragement.
We encourage people to join of all ages, races, backgrounds, sexual orientations, and economic circumstances. Before you become involved, it’s important to read the PLN Principles and Agreements because all participants are agreeing to follow those principles.
PEAK LIVING NETWORK ACTIVITIES INCLUDE:
* open PLN meetings
* online support and discussions, which currently takes place through our Slack space
* support groups
* splitting time with other people in the network, also called co-counseling
* co-counseling trainings
* orientation sessions
* drawing upon the extensive PLN materials
* occasional PLN retreats
Most of these activities are free, and the ones that involve a fee charge only enough to cover PLN expenses. No one is paid for anything in PLN.
Participants in PLN are here to pursue their own emotional healing and not for any other purpose. It’s not appropriate to use PLN to seek friends or dating partners, find business customers, or recruit participants for other organizations. PLN is also not appropriate for men who have histories of abusing women, even if they consider themselves to be in a process of change.
By learning a handful of powerful concepts, and by joining together with other people pursuing healing, you can unleash your potential for emotional recovery and vibrant wellness. The result is that your life will move toward satisfaction, energized living, and love. Hand in hand with your personal recovery and empowerment, you will uncover your ability to have a positive impact on the world to effectively address our planetary crisis.
NEXT STEPS FOR PARTICIPATING IN THE NETWORK
There are three main steps to getting involved with PLN:
1) Attend a PLN Orientation Session. You can receive notice of upcoming orientations by signing up for the PLN mailing list [LINK]. While you wait for your next opportunity to attend a live orientation, you can watch the video version, Peak Living Network Orientation.
2) Join the PLN Slack space where PLN communications and discussions take place.
3) Read the Peak Living Network Principles (see below). Reading these carefully will help you to know whether the PLN philosophy and approach is a good for you. Anytime you participate in the Slack space or attend any PLN gathering, whether online or in person, you are agreeing to follow these principles.
THE CORE PEAK LIVING NETWORK PRINCIPLES & AGREEMENTS
I. The Core Agreements
Anyone who participates in the Peak Living Network, including joining our online discussions or attending any of our in-person or online gatherings, is committing to honor the following agreements:
1) Anything that anyone shares at a Peak Living gathering, or on a PLN online space, is to be kept confidential by everyone.
2) PLN is an “advice-free” zone, with no suggestions to be given to another person unless he or she explicitly requests them. This means we don’t even ask, “Can I make a suggestion?”
3) We create an atmosphere where people feel free to feel their feelings, talk about them, express them, and release them. We don’t try to talk each other out of our feelings or tell people that they are feeling the wrong thing.
4) Crying, laughter, and the other inherent releases are our single most potent healing processes. We support people’s attempts to discharge distressing emotions, rather than discouraging or interfering with these processes.
5) All human beings are of equal value. Therefore, we treat each other with respect at all times, even (or perhaps especially) when we’re angry or in conflict. We strive to be especially aware of being respectful toward members of groups that have historically been targeted for oppression.
6) We take an orientation toward each other that is kind, loving, and supportive.
7) Everyone has the equal right, and the equal need, to be heard. Even when we’re in crisis, we need to listen well to others. In PLN groups and co-counseling sessions, each person’s turn to talk is timed and the listeners work to be fully present.
8} We pay attention to making sure tat all touch and affection between ourselves and other PLN participants occurs awarely, respects boundaries, and is wanted.
9) We strive to think about each other well, and to do so all the time.
10) We gather for the purpose of supporting each other’s healing. It isn’t acceptable to attend PLN activities toward a goal of finding a dating or sexual partner, networking for your business or organization, or any purpose other than the stated one.
2. The Core Healing Principles
1) People have a profound and limitless capacity for emotional healing and well-being. We view each other as people who will succeed in making life work better and better, and we strive to see ourselves in the same way.
2) Healing is a collective process. Our potential for healing jumps dramatically when we form supportive relationships and develop a commitment to each other’s well-being.
3) People are naturally loving, caring, energetic, and clear-thinking. Our healing processes carry us back toward the people we truly are.
4) Destructive behavior patterns are signs of things that have gone wrong in a person’s life, including emotional wounding and societal indoctrination. No one is inherently bad, lazy, unintelligent, or selfish.
5) Most of what we are all struggling with has its roots in trauma and oppression.
6) There is nothing to be gained from blaming people for their own difficulties. (However, we do need to be held accountable for how we treat others.)
7) We choose not to doubt what people share in PLN unless they give us very good reason to do so. Few people exaggerate the wrongs that they’ve endured.
8) People are their own ultimate authorities on what will best help them heal and move forward. There are many paths to healing, and what works well for one person may not work for another.
9) Listening well to others not only contributes to the healing of people around us, but is also crucial to our own healing. We work to constantly improve our listening skills.
10) We need everybody’s best thinking and strongest heart to be brought into everything we do. You, in particular, have a tremendous amount to offer others; your love, support, caring, and thinking can make a large difference in people’s lives.
11) Each of us has the capacity to live at a much higher level of satisfaction, energy, and connection than we are currently experiencing. To reach for peak living makes sense.