My friend Aislinn is interested in joining this fall's Steering By Starlight course and she asked me a bunch of great questions about what it's like. She's kindly agreed to share our exchange for anyone who may be wondering the very same things. Thanks Aislinn!!
Aislinn: When does it start and what will our first meeting be like?
Jessica: The group will be 6 people max. That's how many people fit into my living room! The first week I ask people to introduce themselves and to share some of their hopes for what the course will do for them. Which leads directly to the first exercise in Chapter 1 of the book about identifying what you really want.
The course is structured to lead us through the Chapters of Steering By Starlight in 8 weeks. I lead the group through the exercises in the book to show how to make the shifts to both identifying and getting what you want in your life. The first time I read the book I was all - yeah, great, sure I get it - and I didn't do the exercises. But doing them is what makes it work!
It tends to get deep very quickly which is where the magic is, but you only share what feels comfortable for you.
Aislinn: Oooh! That sounds really exciting! I'm at a point in my life where I feel an exercise like that would be incredibly helpful and rewarding.
Jess: I can honestly say that every person who has taken the course, and really done the work has made incredible changes in their lives that have surprised the hell out of me! In a good way of course!
Aislinn: Of course! That is VERY inspiring and interesting to hear :). Is it sometimes people you know and sometimes perfect strangers?
Jess: Yep. I didn't advertise my first group as I only invited people I knew. Several old friends and a few newer acquaintances. They were my batter testers!
Aislinn: Haha, spoon lickers!
Jess: But my second and third groups included several people I didn't know. Both groups did Part 2 also, which comes next. And now that I have two groups of alums several of them have asked me to do a Part 3. The group becomes an incredible problem solving resource and a huge support to continue to move goals forward. So that's happening too!
Aislinn: A very good sign of happy and satisfied participants! And you seem like you would be a very capable tour-guide through an experience like this. Do you enjoy it? (silly question, I think ...)
Jess: I love it. I was trained as a group facilitator in university and taught Women's Studies 101. And then I spent 15 years teaching people how to dance together. Which is all about relationships, letting people know it's ok to be beginners again, and showing up with the belief that they can do something they often think they can't. I'm always right about that one! This is where my mojo really shines. And the book has almost everything in it that I have seen change lives. It changed mine! The few things that are missing, I add in along the way.
It's funny, I only recently threw out all my materials from those first classes I taught. It's been over 20 years after-all. But I still cannot part with the final reflections that my students gave me - they were so full of wonder and gratitude at how much they'd changed and grown. And they are a direct connection to the work I do now. Which ultimately is about consciousness raising and self-understanding.
Aislinn: You are an entirely fascinating woman, Jessica Jenkins.
Jess: I can't deny it ;)
Aislinn: Please save me a spot, I'm most definitely interested!
Jess: Ok, see you soon, and thank you for the beautiful questions!
Click here if you want to know what Aislinn thought after taking the course.