• Nicole M. Borunda

I'm New Around Here

Updated: Aug 31

This blog entry is especially for those of you who have found your way to the GRI website but have not yet participated formally in a GRI event.

That was me a little over a year ago.


I first learned about Group Relations in a graduate course on leadership. My work is in social justice and the first time I read about BART I knew I had finally found a language for “the work” I wanted to do. It was something that had been on the tip of my tongue since I could remember but I did not yet know how to articulate or navigate consciously. I wanted more.

I didn’t really know what the next step was after my course concluded. I thought about switching graduate programs, getting my PhD, or finding a way to fund trips to GR conferences (I had only been to one as part of my graduate program). Instead I became a GRI lurker, following on Facebook and checking the website from time to time. I wanted to reach out and connect with GRI, but I had lots of “buts.”

But I don’t know exactly what I want to do.

But what if I don’t belong?

But what if I don’t have the right credentials or experience to participate?

But I don’t really know what it means to “join” GRI.

But…but…but…

It would be four years before I would work up the courage to email René to ask if there was space for one more on the silent retreat in Bolinas. I had wanted to go the year before, and the year before that, but I didn’t because I was afraid I would not belong. Then in the silent company of six strangers on the shore of Bolinas, I finally figured out what I had been looking for from GRI: community.


I want a community where I can continue to learn with people who are also using group relations to make the world a better place. It’s still not entirely clear what this looks like in practice, but it’s already happening. The gut feeling that drew me to GRI and pushed me to go on retreat is telling me to keep going and that I belong here.

In addition to conferences and retreats, GRI just announced the opportunity to become a Co-creator. I’m super excited about this new invitation to contribute to GRI and continue “the work” with the support of this community. So, if you’re a GRI lurker like I was, I am encouraging you to listen to your gut and perhaps turn the volume down on your doubts. Send that email.

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