Feelings checkin is a Recurse Center tradition, which is designed to give people a space to share and process their feelings. I find that it’s really useful to reflect on the feelings I’ve been having, so I started a feelings checkin group shortly after leaving the Recurse Center. It’s really easy to do, so if you would value having a space to process your emotions, you too can start a feelings checkin group!
Feelings checkin is a weekly event, usually with somewhere from 3 to 10 people who attend. It’s a space to reflect on the feelings you’ve had over the past week. It’s held in a private, hopefully comfy room. The structure is as follows:
- Everyone sits in a circle.
- There is a speaking object (usually a pillow) - whoever has the object is the only one who speaks, and you indicate that you’re done by passing the pillow on to the next person.
- Someone reads out the following rules, if there are new people:
- Whoever has the speaking object is the only one who can speak
- Don’t share anything anyone says in feelings checkin without their explicit permission
- Don’t give people advice or commentary about their feelings unless they explicitly opt in to it1.
- The person who has the speaking object talks about their feelings in whatever depth or detail they would like.
- The speaking object is passed to the next person.
- Repeat until everyone has had a turn.
- Usually, once everyone is done talking, someone starts a conversation either about something they talked about or something someone else opted into discussion or advice about, and the whole group has a nice meandering conversation for a little while.
I’ve found feelings checkin to be a wonderful addition to my life, and I really value the community around the feelings checkin group that I run. It’s really easy to run, and I highly recommend starting a feelings checkin group if it’s something that you think would be valuable for you.
If your feelings checkin group has a mostly consistent set of attendees, you can have people opt-in to advice in general if they would like - it can be easy to forget to opt-in when it’s your turn to speak, so allowing people to specify their preference in general can help with that.↩