So, I'm a sporeganizer for Evolver Pittsburgh.
Me and my pal Sophie had a talk with Remi Gurak and Jonathan Talat-Phillips, one of the founders of Evolver this morning, about how we're successfully building community in our spore. He asked me to write an email to send out to the whole world-wide Evolver network about it.
After spending the afternoon writing the email and putting in all the links, I had a feeling like-- hey, this is relevant not just to sporeganizers but to everyone interested in fostering community.
So here, I reproduce the letter for your reading joy.
First, a few quick tid bits about us:
We started around this time last year. We're going strong now with a core group of about 6 - 8 people who consistently show up to ALL the planning meetings and events and of that core, 3 of us regularly take on leadership responsibilities. We've thrown 3 big consciousness parties-- two events called Interweaves (attendance 150 - 200 -- here's video of our gorgeous fire spinners and live art), and one amazing outdoor live ritual theater fairy-themed Solstice celebration (about 300 souls-- here we are setting up the dark fairy camp -- and here we are in the fiery midst of it). We usually see groups of between 10 - 15 at our monthly events.
So what's working?
Charles Eisenstein's essay, A Circle of Gifts, has influenced us all very deeply. In the essay, Charles makes an excellent and eye-opening point which I think of now every day- that community comes from creating together and not from consuming together.
We have such a strong core group in large part because we throw ourselves into doing the big visionary parties.
When we're making a party happen, we're not just sharing information or talking with each other, we're creating something wild and wonderful that's so much bigger than anything we could accomplish individually. We all get a chance to share our deep talents as artists and metaphysicians. We rely on one another to show up and do our parts so that the parties happen. If someone drops their ball, we all are worse off for it. If someone does an excellent job, we all benefit.
That reliance- -well, to me it's extremely tender-- and at the risk of sounding like a big old sap, I have to tell you that my fellow evolvers make my heart melt with gratitude again and again as we do this work together -- I've turned into a giant puddle of happy mush while looking at a gorgeous labyrinth that Josh built for Solstice, or an incredibly well-thought-out to-do list that Sophie made for Interweave.
As a result of all this mush-making, I've fallen rather hopelessly in love with everyone in the spore. So I'm willing to go extra miles to make them feel mushy. So the happiness spreads.
Also- bonus -- through the big parties more people find out about Evolver, think we're super-cool, and come to our other stuff and help us plan.
2. Gift Circles
Back to A Circle of Gifts again! Charles also outlines in that essay how to hold gift circles. With Transition Pittsburgh, we've had some incredible gift circles.
Here's a brief video of one - check out all those hot evolving and transitioning folks. ;)
Through the gift circles, we deepen our reliance on one another-- so not only are we helping each other throw the parties, we're also helping each other learn psychic abilities, get healed through reiki, fix up our organic gardens, clean house, set up websites, etc. etc. in an endless whirling blur of goodness.
Also-- we draw more folks into our orbit-- 'cause man, who doesn't love a gift circle?
We've got kind of big extended family vibe going on now, and I think we just want to be close to each other. So we go ahead and make that happen.