|RE: Sharing Circles||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Rob Sandelin (Floriferousclassic.msn.com)|
|Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 20:00:30 -0500|
Sharing circles are simply a tool, and like any tool, its use can be modified to meet your needs, at least to some extent. I would encourage you to hold guiding sharing circles and include newcomers and visitors. Make the topics interesting (in a guiding sharing, the guide suggests the topic) stuff like, I want Liberty Village to be a place where ________, or my favorite relative, a story from my childhood - topics where people share their histories, their hopes and dreams. This is very bonding stuff, this sharing, and very few opportunities arise in most peoples lives to share this in an intimate setting. I was a visitor at a fancy retreat center in Hawaii once, and people paid $2,000 each to spend the weekend having sharing circles! I would advise to keep sharing circles for dealing with feelings about community issues somewhat closed to committed members to encourage safety. How you define committed members is up to you. I have not much experience with Sharing Circles in forming communities. I stole the notion from already existing communities, thus the dichotomy of whose in and whose not is much clearer. The idea works both ways, people may not open up with first timers watching for fear of scaring them away, and if they do, they in fact may scare new people away. You can open them up if you wish but pay attention to how people react. It would be a good idea to start with them closed for the first few times just to have a sense of what they are like before opening them up, so you have something to compare to. But. as always, feel free to ignore me and experiment. Each group gets its own mileage out of these tools. Rob Sandelin ---------- From: cohousing-l [at] freedom.mtn.org on behalf of Paul Kilduff Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 1998 11:11 PM Subject: Sharing Circles from Paul Kilduff, Liberty Village, Libertytown MD, moving in, we hope, Nov, 1998. We are using guidelines for sharing circles taken from an article by Rob Sandelin in CoHousing Journal, Winter, 1994. We just did our first one last week. Most wonderful experience. One thing I am wondering about is "Rob's recommendation" number 1, "No strangers; members only." For one thing, I found the process so powerful that it seems hard to believe that strangers could screw it up. For another, I wondered when people got to be non-strangers: when they pay their $6,000? Seems kind of a strange standard, but it's the definition we're using. I also wonder, looking at it from another angle, how people can become non-strangers if they're not allowed to participate in the sharing circle -- kind of a chicken-egg thing. How do you define strangers and members, and how does a stranger become a member without participating in the circle? I would have sent this just to Rob, but I thought I'd also like to get others' reactions. Thank you, Paul ..
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