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Last night we explored Touch as a need in a free flowing discussion and empathy exchange. There were a few new members, so the conversation around touch also focused on the basics of empathy -- observations, feelings, needs and requests.
We began the evening with a grounding meditation, then discussed how touch was something that has been supportive in our life, and some of the confusion and even distress that has occurred when touch was handled in ways that didn't show respect, consideration or understanding. We had a chance in the large group to reflect back some empathy guesses for a couple of people who were sharing some of their experiences and reactions. There was some recognition that touch is a level of communication that is hard to put in words at times -- it impacts us at a very fundamental level. Several people reflected on our childhood and prenatal experience of touch and connection -- both physically and emotionally. A couple people noted that invited and welcome touch can be soothing, calming and grounding. For the last part of the evening we broke into groups of three to talk about how we have valued touch, and also a way that touch has been challenging for us. There was a deep sense of connection and safety that grew as the sharing continued. The suggestion for homework was to look for ways we can meet our need for touch from ourselves -- a bath, paying attention to the clothes we wear, how we hold ourselves, etc. Jim