I'm going to be working a weekly communication session into the small community I am a part of and I'm looking for some help on ideas for themes and activities. One of the activities we will be doing is deep listening with partners, but that is the only idea I have at the moment. I know talking sticks are used, but thats more for when there is an issue at hand. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Activites are going to depend on how your community is structured and how much interaction members have with each other on a daily basis but here are some ideas Ive picked up over the years but keep in mind the comunities Ive been in have been very COMMUNE-al. IE: all meals together, set work schedules etc .. most of the day is organized (ie: its not just a land share with familied doing their own thing)
personally IM a BIG fan of morning circles.
meet early in the morning before the work day begins (a bell or gong can sound to signal the start)- form a big circle. Ask if anyone is inspired to lead an activity or a song. Favorite activities are usually: camp styles songs/games like the Bungalow song. or after a heavy day of work yesterday - circle massage. Everyone turns to their left, sits down on the ground and massage person in front of you for 2-3 minutes then everyone turns to the other side and gives he massage right back.
mornign circles only have to last 10-15 minutes (including daily co-ordination / logistical arrangements) but its such a great way for everyone to come together to make the day a great start.
Weekly SHARE meetings are great. most communities wil have a weekly or bi weekly LOGISTICAL meeting to organize the community take care of business etc but SHARE meetings are simply for sharing. start with a few moments of silence (or meditation or whatever your group is into ) to clear the air and let ppl think. Then, starting with kids and parents everyone shares their thoughts feelings and emotions of the past week. obviously if you have a large group you want to keep it down to a few minutes each. people can talk about anything they felt - or they can choose not to talk at all. Its a great way to hear and understand what other members have been experiencing the past week... you can share joys sorrows, you might find out that Mr X wasnt actually shitty with you on tuesday, he was just having a bad day because his mom died 2 days before (ive seen that happen) . when a community is aware of what the other membersare experiencing in their lives, it makes it easier to connect and work together! BTW kids and parents go first because usually small kids wont sit for long.. so let them say their bit first so if they need to go they can but they still get to share.. likewise their parents share first so they can take kids home etc
open stage/ "no talent" show.
once a week or month (depending how often your community rotates members if at all) have an open stage. One person can be the "host" and community members can do magic, juggling, play guitar, sing a song, read a poem.. anythign at all - its only as limited as your imaginations!
Start a laughter club! if you havent heard of laughing "yoga" you are really missing out! some groups call themselves laughing "clubs" because the term "yoga " tends to scare some people away. there are NO stretched or contortions. You all get together and have a good hour or two together laughing. You can play games or just do pure laughing. DO a google search for laughter yoga to find out more about this but I have found it to consistently be one of the most enjoyed and requested activites in communities.
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