Step Up! Step Back!

By Rev. Kurt Condra  
Most facilitators spend a few minutes establishing ground rules when working with groups. It's usually boilerplate: One speaker at a time. Maintain confidentiality. Be respectful. Here’s one you may not know: Step up. Step back. 
It calls participants to assess their patterns and make a conscious effort to show up differently. If I typically don’t share in groups, "Step Up" asks me to speak up and join in the discussion. If I have a tendency to dominate conversations, "Step Back" encourages me to listen and create space for others to contribute. 
It’s also a great spiritual practice. Spiritual growth is an adventure made richer and more engaging by consciously choosing to break patterns and habits that, while comfortable or familiar, are ultimately limiting. When we choose to show up in love rather than fear, forgive rather than condemn, choose faith over doubt, the universe responds accordingly. Our experience of God’s presence and grace expands. 
So, step up: Embrace whatever you’re inclined to resist! And step back: Let go of whatever you most want to control. It may not be easy, but there's no better practice for breaking ties that bind us to limitation.