"Telling the truth is hard to do, because it is so contrary to our conditioning. People might get their feelings hurt, or get offended or shocked or unbearably relieved. But if neither you nor they run away, and you stay with your experience, on the other side of that short-term breaking of the taboo is great freedom and love for each other. Telling the truth is hard, but covering up is harder on you and harder to live with than the truth. Being isolated within our own internally-judging minds is what most of us suffer and die from. The rescue from our mind's oppression comes through authentic contact and honest sharing with other human beings....the quality of our lives depends on this contact and sharing..."
-Brad Blanton, Practicing Radical Honesty
In this group, we get together to learn and practice Radical Honesty in the style of Brad Blanton (Gestalt psychotherapist, author, and American maverick). Radical Honesty means telling the truth about what you have done, what you think, what you feel, and what you want.
Radical Honesty is about paying attention to ourselves and other people exactly as we are in this moment, and describing what is so for us, out loud. We practice paying attention to three things (the only three things you can pay attention to): what is happening right now in our immediate environment, sensations and feelings in our body right now, and thoughts & images in our mind right now. This orientation toward noticing is a liberation from all the pretending, performing, managing and controlling that we normally do. Instead of trying to make a good impression, controlling what we say & do, and trying to manipulate others, we simply notice what is there, and describe what we notice out loud (especially the parts that we usually withhold and lie about). By doing this, we can experience:
...deeper intimacy and connection with others
...relief from anger, resentment, fears and shame
...freedom from our mind's reactive triggers and control patterns
...presence, acceptance and forgiveness
....greater vitality, creativity, and spontaneity
Over time we learn to distinguish between reality (something you can see/hear/touch/notice) and our interpretation of reality (judgments, imaginations, the meaning our mind makes up), and become more grounded in present moment experience. We learn to pay attention to what's actually going on here and now, inside our own skin and right in front of us, and to describe that to other people. We often find that living in our right-now experience is more nurturing and gratifying than living in our minds.
Here is Brad Blanton's Tedx Talk for an introduction to Radical Honesty from the man himself: