What is a Sovereign Group?

A sovereign group is an informal group where people work together as equals to develop their King or Queen energy.

Sovereign groups

One other aspect of shadow work is the possibility of forming a “sovereign group” in which you can start to address these shadow sides of yourself. It is possible to work on shadow, unconscious issues for yourself without a facilitator, at least to start with.

Sure, it helps if you have someone in the group who is a trained shadow facilitator, but that is not essential. The key components to forming a sovereign group are set out in this document, which you can download here. Now, at this point, you may be wondering what a sovereign group actually is, how it works, and what it is for. 

What Is A Sovereign Group?

A sovereign group is a group where people work together to raise their level of self-determination, power, presence, and emotional maturity. In short, it is a group where people grow the Adult part of themselves, their Inner King or Inner Queen, if you like. These are groups that make a difference to peoples’ lives. (The Sovereign is one of the fundamental human archetypes. Check out the idea of the Sovereign archetype here.)

There is synergy of energy, commitment, and excitement that participants bring to a sovereign group.

The beauty of such groups is that participants raise the bar by challenging each other to create and implement goals, brainstorm ideas, and support each other with total honesty, respect and compassion.

Group participants act as catalysts for growth, and provide support and challenge when needed. It’s also a place to celebrate success, and where the group energy is a wholesome place to “check in”.

In the group, the agenda belongs to the group, and each person’s participation is key. Your peers give you feedback, help you develop new possibilities, and set up accountability structures that keep you focused and on track. The group is a community of supportive colleagues who will work together to move the individuals in it to new heights. 

You’ll also gain insights which can improve your business and personal life. Your sovereign group is like having an objective board of directors.

What Will You Get From A Sovereign Group?

  • Solutions and ideas, which come from brainstorming with the group.
  • Tap into the experience and skills of others, including mutual facilitation with blocks and problems.
  • Increased confidence that you’ve made the right decisions and are taking the right actions to achieve your goals.
  • Accountability and real progress in your business and / or personal life.
  • An instant and valuable support network.
  • A sense of shared endeavour.
  • Design things to be the way you want them to be, not as you’ve been told they “should” be.
  • A boost to your everyday positive mental attitude.

Who Should Join a Sovereign Group?

People who:

  • have a similar interest or intention for self development
  • have a similar developmental / experience level
  • have the desire and inspiration to make life better
  • want a supportive team of sovereigns to sit with in circle
  • want to reach or exceed their goals
  • are ready to let their desire to be passionate about life overcome their fear of change
  • are willing to commit to the change required to grow, and willing to commit to the group

Points To Keep In Mind

  • People in the group should all be at a similar or higher level of development, and experienced in group process.
  • Everyone should be equally committed to attending and contributing.
  • You should all be clear on your goals.
  • Every six months, it is a good idea to review your purpose, goals and practicalities, so you are consciously making it work.
  • Maintain a spirit of harmony, without any egos. 
  • Be willing to show vulnerability. 
  • Don’t worry if your particular issue doesn’t get discussed. You’ll still benefit from giving and learning, and will no doubt get your turn next time.
  • Agree working principles and stick to them (including how to enable safety).
  • Establish the criteria for people joining and leaving. Agree how / when the group will end / be reviewed.
  • Be prepared to ask people to leave if they are not demonstrating the appropriate level of commitment or harmony. Address this promptly, or you will be seen to allow unhelpful norms and it will affect the usefulness of the whole group.

Here is a possible agenda for 3 to 5 members, meeting once every two (maybe three) weeks. Four tends to be too long to maintain a coherent flow between meetings)

1) Check in (up to 5 minutes each)

2) Recounting Gold – ie. what are you proud of doing / changing / achieving since the last meeting? (7 minutes each)

3) Challenges & support – each member gets time to talk about blocks, shadows, challenges or anything else they wish to. The other group members may offer insights, challenges, accountability. This is the part of the group where mutual facilitation may be offered. (Up to 15 / 20 minutes each).

It’s more about finding ways forward than analysing the past. I see it as keeping your eyes on the distant horizon rather than looking downwards into the murky shadow, though this can be helpful too.

4) Goals for next time. What you intend to do before the next meeting. Big or small objectives. (10 minutes each.)

5) Organise leader (who has responsibility for logistics, agenda and minutes if appropriate) for next meeting. 

6) Check out (3 minutes each)

For 3 people this would take 15+ 21+60+30+9 = 2 hrs 15 minutes. Obviously you can adjust timings according to need. 

Groups work best with between 3  and 6 people. But success is more about the commitment and intention of the participants rather than the numbers in the group.

We have also found a period of shared silence is very helpful. 15 minutes might take your time to 2.5 hours, which is our meeting length. We meet once every three weeks, but there is an acknowledgement that every two weeks would be better.

Evolution From A Mastermind Group

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