Standards of Presence

These are the foundation for my work and my life. They have been adapted many ways, into many forms. I present them here as they were first presented to me in a group environment. Over time, I have explored how they work in large groups, small groups, intimate relationships, and as my own personal doctrine. I have found the practice beautifully rewarding.

Love and Gratitude to copyright owners and

The Standards of Presence

 The Approach: Co-creating a Safe Environment
All groups that come together for the purpose of learning, creating, communicating, living or celebrating are served when the creation and maintenance of a safe space is established. A truly safe group environment provides the basis for powerful transformation, empowering exploration, inspired collaboration and vibrant living. The use of the Standards of Presence, a clearly articulated and easy to understand set of guidelines, provides a proven container of safety in any group.

The Underlying Principle: Acceptance
The primary underlying principle of the Standards of Presence is acceptance. Know that everyone is doing their best to learn, grow, respect, and follow these Standards.

Self-acceptance is particularly beneficial to experience a safe, empowering environment to learn, create, communicate, and celebrate.

The Practice: It is my intention to . . .
Each person in the group agrees to practice these standards to the best of their ability.  The co-creation of this group’s safe space begins with . . . It is my intention to . . .

It is my intention to . . .

1         . . . maintain confidentiality.

  • What I see and hear that is personal or specific to another within the group will stay here.
  • When sharing the essence of someone else’s story, without the names and specific details, I agree to share in an honoring manner that celebrates the original person’s magnificence.

2       . . . adopt a stand for innocence.

  • I have a beginner’s mind.
  • I release evaluating or comparing what I am learning.
  • I allow myself to “try on” and wear the information for a while, as it stands.

3      . . . practice a positive focus.

  • I focus on the 98% (or more) that is working.
  • What I focus on expands.
  • I fill my tank with the power of positivity.
  • What I perceive in others I strengthen in myself.

4       . . . connect at a deep level.

  • I practice opening my heart to the essence of what is being conveyed.
  • I practice opening my creative and life-affirming mind.
  • I get out of my limiting and judgmental mind.
  • I release the need to evaluate and judge, at least for now, in the moment.
  • I am anchored in my body as I connect with others.

5       . . . claim my experience as my own.

  • I focus on the parts that are magnificent, particularly in myself and particularly when learning or exploring new areas.
  • I speak in “I” statements so I can claim my own experience.
  • I release telling others what they should do, feel, or believe, how they should act, etc.

6       . . . listen deeply and with honor.

  • I am 100% engaged and focus my positive attention on the presenter or person sharing.
  • I refrain from side talk, cross talk, or interrupting when someone is sharing,
  • I refrain from formulating my response until the person sharing is complete.
  • I refrain from making repetitive comments or drawing attention to myself.
  • I re-spect, and look again with new eyes.
  • I release anticipating what the person is going to share.
  • I see it as an opportunity to be fascinated by another.
  • I look for the gifts being shared – their vulnerability, authenticity, brilliance, etc.
  • I allow the person sharing to indicate that he or she is complete.

7       . . . give only authentic and positive acknowledgment and support.

  • I am authentic while giving only positive feedback.
  • I keep it simple and speak to the essence of what I experienced.
  • I maintain eye contact and/or heart contact with the person to whom I am giving support, while remaining fully present in my body.
  • I allow this session to stand on its own, and I release comparing this session to past sessions.
  • I notice when I want to give unsolicited advice, criticism, counseling or consulting, then release it without sharing it!

8       . . . fully receive acknowledgment and support.

  • I am open to receiving acknowledgment – as the gift it is – and let it sink in.
  • I maintain eye and/or heart contact with the person acknowledging me while remaining fully present in my own body.
  • I respond with a simple “Thank you,” and I refrain from “cross talk” or comments back to the person acknowledging me.

9       . . . practice self care and self responsibility, and allow others to do the same.

  • I maintain a safe space for myself. I take care of and honor the wisdom of my body, heart, mind, and source of inspiration, allowing them to guide me.
  • When something feels like a judgment or advice, I can simply ask that it be reframed.
  • When I have a judgment, I say “Thank you for sharing,” to that voice within me, and I choose a more resourceful thought and focus.
  • I empower others by allowing them to take care of themselves.

10    . . . be fully present.

  • I maintain these agreements in and out of the learning space. (I’m honoring!)
  • I am here on time to start and after all breaks. (I’m here!)
  • I stay for the entire course. (I stay here!)
  • I wear my nametag in a visible place. (In a teleclass, I state my name when speaking.) (I’m known!)
  • I am free from the effects of mind altering substances. (I’m conscious!)
  • I value my intuition and my multiple intelligences to guide me. (I’m fully present!)