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  • Fe Robinson

Using sponsorship to overcome dysfunctional behaviour

Today I want to talk about the idea of sponsorship.

Sponsorship is the process of holding a space open for people to enter, explore, and test out their feelings, thoughts, and intentions, it’s about creating a space where they feel safe to do so. It’s a gentle yet powerful way to facilitate someone re-establishing balance and connectedness inside themselves.

The word sponsorship comes from the Latin, meaning, to pledge solemnly. So sponsorship is a vow to help a person (including oneself) to use each and every event and experience to awaken to the goodness and gifts of the self, the world, and the connections between the two.

We can sponsor ourselves, and we can sponsor elements or parts of ourself. A time when this becomes essential is where we notice dysfunctional behaviour, that is behaviour that is outside norms and does not achieve what we want it to. Instead of condemning ourselves and the behaviour we have displayed, when we come from an attitude of sponsorship we can see the dysfunction for what it is; an attempt to awaken something inside, to get a need met, to begin to make a change. While it can be hard to perceive sometimes, all behaviour has a positive intention for the individual. All behaviour is intended to cause something that at some level has a pay off.

When you become aware of the payoffs your (or someone else’s) actions are aiming for, then you can bring awareness and healing to the part of you that is calling attention, and so remove the need for the dysfunctional behaviour to occur. This is not necessarily a quick or simple process, but it is a powerful one.

I find sponsorship not only a useful concept in my work, but also in my personal life and relationships. In any healthy relationship there are times of tension, sponsorship can really help when family dynamics are not calm and smooth. If you hold in mind the idea that all behaviour is communication, you can get really curious about what is being communicated by actions and words. As this becomes apparent, the interests and concerns that drive this can be revealed, and ways of supporting them functionally can be found.

Given that what you resist will persist, perhaps using sponsorship as a concept may be interesting if you want to enable change, in yourself or other people. Why not give it a go?

A tea-light in a circle of tea-lights


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