Main Ideas. What we have found to be best in our gatherings is to focus on these main ideas: community, inspiration, intention, and the combination of love, healing, and empowerment. We also highly recommend some kind of opening and closing for your gathering. We share with you below some possibilities on developing these themes. An easy way to start a new group based on these ideas is to start with our suggested format and then improvise and adapt to the needs and desires of your group, based on your own ideas and/or some of those listed below.
The opening brings everyone together to focus on the gathering, on the members present, and on our shared intentions. While you're waiting for people to arrive, you might sing a few songs, play games, sit in silence, or just chat freely. Once everyone is present, we recommend standing or sitting in a circle (with everyone holding hands if they are comfortable with that).
If you have a lot of new people, you might have someone read or discuss briefly the purpose of our community and the reasons we come together. The following is a suggestion for points to mention:
Community involves a sense of belonging. Simply by meeting regularly we develop a sense of community with each other. Sharing a common commitment to what's best, to divine guidance, and to loving, healing, and empowering each other creates a further sense of belonging as we share these meaningful intentions in our lives. When we regularly invoke these commitments as a group and on our own, we further strengthen our bond. And when we open to the support of all of our community members, wherever they may be, there is a sense of belonging to and contributing to something even greater.
All of the activities mentioned for the both the opening and closing are ways of fostering community. Here's a list of further ideas for deepening our sense of community at gatherings:
Inspiration gives us hope for the future and motivation to be the best we can be. Through sharing inspirational stories, especially from our own lives, we can inspire each other to make positive changes both in our own lives and in the world around us.
Here's a list of other inspiring activities:
In larger groups, we recommend for all personal sharing a time limit of three minutes per person. You can appoint a timekeeper for each group. This helps to keep everyone focused and allows more time for personal sharing after the gathering.
By taking time at each gathering to write down and continually refine our intentions or goals for our lives and for the planet, we focus on what's most important in our lives and open to support from our community in this. We generally use the word intention rather than goal as a goal implies something fixed which we either succeed or fail in achieving. The term intention implies something more flexible, something we can feel free to change at any time if it becomes clear that is what's best in our lives.
Love, Healing, and Empowerment
Love, healing, and empowerment are essential ingredients of our community. When everyone feels loved, healed, and empowered by the community, we develop an ever-deeper bond and trust with each other. As one of our three principles, we commit to love, healing, and empowerment for all.
Sharing inspiration and intentions is one way of empowering each other. Yet the most meaningful way to share love, healing, and empowerment for many people is helping each other to make it through challenging times or situations and to focus on what's important in our lives. This kind of support opens us to receiving love, healing, and support both from others and from ourselves. When we give each person time to ask for and receive love, healing, and empowerment in difficulties they are currently facing, we open to deeper connection with each other and thus strengthen our whole community.
Here are some ways we can love, heal, and empower each other at our gatherings:
The closing of the gathering is a special time to celebrate and give thanks for all that we've shared together. We highly recommend some time for people to share with the whole group anything significant from their experience during the gathering. After verbal sharing, spending a few minutes in silence allows everyone time to digest all that has happened, to feel the wonderful love of everyone present, and to give thanks for the healing and empowerment of our entire community. This silence is the ideal time for us to envision together the world we are creating, filled with love, healing, and empowerment. You can break this silence by singing or stating the three principles, and then end with stating three times in unison: Love, healing, empowerment, YES!!! A final thanks and open the gathering to free time sharing together.
All Ideas and Groups are Welcome Here
All of the above are ideas we have come up with which help to develop community, inspiration, intention, love, healing, and empowerment at our gatherings. If you have other ideas, we'd love to hear about them and possibly include them here in the future. You might even choose to add some principles to the three upon which we are based. We welcome this and would love to hear your ideas and share them with others in the community who might be interested.
Special Interest Groups. We also welcome groups forming around special interests. Your group might choose to focus on topics such as poetry, inspirational readings, politics, music, sports, dance, theater, prayer, peace, religion, philosophy, education, business, health, love, or any other subject important to you. You can design your group around a topic, or adapt the suggested schedule to give time to your chosen topic. Our community embraces diversity and welcomes any person and any group willing to follow the three principles upon which Global Community for All is based.
Other Groups. You might also consider bringing some of these ideas to other groups or organizations you are already involved in. Your group might be interested in incorporating some of this into their organization. They might also have interest in becoming a group member of our community. We believe that the more people and groups we have focused on love, healing, and empowerment, the better our lives and our world will be. Just imagine if every parent, friend, teacher, politician, businessman, and lawyer truly did their best to love, heal, and empower all. We would live in a pretty wonderful world!
Integration Breath. In our gatherings, whenever someone shares something particularly deep or personal, taking a deep breath and/or a moment in silence after their sharing allows everyone to fully integrate what was said and appreciate the speaker before moving on. Some groups might choose to take an integration breath after every personal sharing of any length.
Breaking into Smaller Groups and time limits. When it's time for personal sharing of inspiration, intentions, and/or love and healing, we find it's best to break into groups if you have more than seven people. Smaller groups allow more time for each person to share so that it is easier to create more depth and intimacy. We've found small group sizes of four to seven people to be ideal. Setting a time limit of three minutes or so per share can also be very helpful. We recommend appointing a timekeeper for each group. This helps to keep people focused and allows for more free time for personal sharing after the gathering.
Meeting Times. Each group can determine what are the best times for gathering. If there is interest, you might also get together for other activities or events. Think about planning a group outing together. Once your group feels a strong sense of community, inspiration, and support together, the possibilities are endless.
These Are Only Suggestions. All of the ideas here are only suggestions to help you in forming or strengthening your group. You are free to develop something completely different if that feels best to you. If fact, we'd love to hear about it if you do, as others may be interested. Our only requirement to be members of this community is that you embrace the three principles upon which we are founded. Other than that, we welcome your creativity and explorations. You can contact us with any ideas by visiting http://www.inspiringcommunity.org/contactusgca.php. You can also find more loving ideas for community gatherings on a sister website at http://www.weboflove.org/circleofloveideas.
Best Wishes. We wish you and your group all the very best! We wish you lots of love, inspiration, and rich sharing of intentions and community in your gatherings! Just let us know if there is any way we can support you more.