There is quite a sense of community now in our gift circle now. Theres a whole network that people can tap into to help each other. Its like if you have a big problem, or small you can ask for help. And more often than not someone will help you. Its like village.
I feel like I have a tribe of about 40 people behind my back now. When my car broke down, I didnt feel as worried because I felt the community would have means of helping me out.
I also see some people around town differently. Before I would notice them as walking down the street, I might say hi. After they came to the gift circle, I see them as part of my tribe, and I am willing to help them with their life.
The circle is definitely quite self-organizing. Around week 11 I would say I got the sense that if Matthew and I (the people who held down the energy at the beginning) left the circle would go on. Now having finished week 16 there have been probably about 10 different facilitators of the group, and people are stepping up and playing more leadership roles in organizing and looking at how we can further evolve and expand.
One of the suprises is that the gift circles has also spun off other circles. So we have a dream circle, a art/village visioning circle, bodywork circle that got started because someone said at the circle who would like to get together to do this. So in some sense while gift circle mitosis has not yet happened, circle mitosis has. Which is exciting.
A couple of weeks when I led the circle I thought it would be interesting to see what kind of deeper consciousness spaces we could get to. So we had more pauses after speaking to listen more fully, and we tapped into deeper parts of ourself when we spoke of what our needs were. Theres a field that begins to envelop the whole circle when that happens. Feels powerful
Matthew led a circle the week after, and we continued exploring coming from deeper parts of ourselves.
In going deeper though, we also did not talk so much about some of our basic needs, so the following week we focused more on simple needs.
Our circle has been growing steadily, about a person a week, so now last week we had 24 people show up. Thats about the max our room can hold, so we might have to mitosis soon. Which is a point I’ve been waiting for, because I would love to get a second gift circle going in our local area to see how the circles can synergize and collaborate with each other.
I think the gradual process in growing has been good, it allows a mixture of new and old people at each meeting. It allows the culture to grow. There has to be a kind of retraining sometimes for people to get how to be in the circle. So its good not to grow too quickly. People sometimes have to retrain themselves to think that its ok to express their needs. There can be awkwardness and guilt sometimes at first associated with doing so. And the idea of gifting your service sometimes takes a little getting used to , sometimes people come thinking this is a barter circle which its not. You give without expecting anything in return.
And its important the community is built, as that is the basis for a lot of generosity.