On Reaching “The Intimate Phase”
Or: Stretching Ourselves Towards The High-Hanging Fruits
Whether it’s an intimacy-focused event or a normcore social gathering – whenever people meet for the first time, there is a “first phase”.
The “first phase” is when the low hanging fruits of social interaction are being harvested. Among these are being excited by the new, connecting with people over our similarities (instead of across our differences), stimulating first time encounters and to enjoy the fresh, easily digestible content that is delivered to our brain. First-time encounters provide us with easy, instant gratification of some of our social motives.
It’s convenient, even addictive, to go from one social event to the next and keep harvesting the low hanging fruits. After many repetitions, we may notice a shallowness that creeps into our experience. Somehow, among all this easy gratification, we remain thirsty. We also call this first phase “the excitement phase.”
One focus in our gatherings is to use the energy generated by the “first phase” to enter the “second phase”. What’s the “second phase” about?
The “second phase” is the more challenging and the deeper rewarding one. As we are getting to know each other on a deeper level, the opportunities to hide, to avoid, to downplay or to pretend become scarce. That is when every group member’s influence and participation becomes unique and enriching for everybody else, and for the group as a whole.
We start to connect to people across our differences, we dare to go into authentic contact and learn about our own and our group members’ unique qualities and difficulties. Moments of silence in the group feel relaxing and connected. The atmosphere within the whole group becomes cooperative, respectful and intimate. As we experience a more long lasting fulfillment, our social motives no longer need a quick fix. We also call the second phase “the intimate phase”.
Reaching the “intimate phase” is a beautiful and delicate process and needs a dedicated frame.
That’s why we intentionally design The Intimate Imaginarium to have
✦ an intimate group size
✦ a duration of six days
✦ awesome participants from diverse backgrounds
✦ community services
✦ co-creation time
✦ dedicated time for self-regulation and co-regulation
✦ facilitators with experience in individual as well as group processes
We are touched and inspired by how delicate and unique each Intimate Imaginarium group developed. We and the group really need your contribution to make it happen!