Sometimes I run across something too good not to share. That happened this week when I listened to a Brené Brown podcast recommended by my friend, Rev. Cindy Grimes of the Center for Spiritual Living in Ocala. Brené’s guest for this particular episode was Priya Parker, an expert on gatherings and the author of a book titled The Art of Gathering. Having hosted spiritual gatherings for over a decade now, Cindy knew I would enjoy this fascinating conversation between these two very bright and insightful women. She was right! I was happy to hear that many of the things I already do like opening rituals help to make my gatherings a more powerful experience for the participants. I was also happy to get some new ideas to make them even better.
This information isn’t just for workshop facilitators or party planners. It’s for everyone. Brené and Priya discuss all kinds of gatherings: birthday parties, board meetings, weddings, baby showers, memorial services, dinner parties, spiritual conferences, and even podcasts! If I had to distill the conversation down to one nugget of wisdom it would be this. Have a clear intention for why you are coming together and then make sure all elements of the gathering are in service to that intention. When the purpose seems obvious like a birthday party, Priya says we need to be even more intentional with our choices. Without inquiry, we end up doing things the way they’ve always been done which may not serve our intention or anyone in the group.
There is so much great information in this podcast, I couldn’t possibly cover it all here. That’s why I decided to share the link for the podcast here for those interested in learning more. It sure seems like great timing since many of us are rethinking how we will gather for the holidays this year. I trust you will get some great ideas on how to gather creatively during COVID times and in person once we can do so safely.
If you are interested in A Course in Miracles, we gather online twice per week with the strong intention to share miracles and extend love to one another while we discuss this life-changing spiritual teaching. These online study groups are open to all, regardless of your experience with the Course or where in the world you live. If you have been curious about this big blue book, visit the Miracles page on my website for more information on how and when to join.
I’m also sharing the link to the recording of my conversation with Rev. Cindy from CSL Ocala. We talk about a lot of things including my rocky childhood, A Course in Miracles, Family Constellations, and embracing the shadow. My hope is that something we discuss will be of comfort to you during these challenging times.
Until next time, keep gathering safely and gather with intention!
All those you brought with you will shine on you, and you will shine on them in gratitude because they brought you here. Your light will join with theirs in power so compelling, that it will draw the others out of darkness as you look on them.
A Course in Miracles ~ T-13.VI.11:9-10
“Gathering matters because it is through each other that we figure out what we believe.”
– Priya Parker