Wow! When I came home and thought about it, it simply came down to: "The only way it could have been any better would perhaps to have had more people involved in the process!" It was that good.
Real community in my experience tends to be self selective and self creative. It attracts those who have done some personal introspection already and who have a true interest in warm and honest relationships. So we started out with a group primed to go and go we did! By Friday afternoon we were already moving into an easy and authentic interchange. It was wonderful to see.
We went on into Saturday where there had been an after lunch, group work
process scheduled; but on Saturday morning we all awoke to a dismal gray
sky and rain steadily coming down. No way was there going to
an outside work party that day! So I improvised with an inside
movement activity and things continued to move into more touchings into
"real" community. Saturday night was the 'social' get together and
It was a wonderful time of poetry readings, spontaneous song sharing, laughter, jokes, and sitting around an improvised inside "camp fire" (translate that a single candle flame). The mood was one of very warm camaraderie, comfort and a simple but deep pleasure at being in the company of one another. Several people the next day commented on how it was "hard Saturday night to leave and go back to my motel."
Sunday ended up being the 'perfect' blue sky, warm sun, flowing tall grass
in a slight breeze, type of day which was a perfect time to do the
outside work project. We came over from the local community house
to the building site for the first house here and all worked together in
clearing some top soil away from next to the existing foundation.
Shoveling, scooping, loading wheel barrows, establishing the foundation
outlines with tautly drawn string, moving the dirt over the side, and laughing.
The space we created will be where the foundation goes for the kitchen
which will be added onto the existing house and foundation.
Naturally it was a time to experience different elements of our personalities coming out. Yet there was an easy flow among us. The synergy was high and we accomplished our task in an effective and harmonious manner. Plus it was fun, even for those who were not used to manual labor. Steady work, slight pauses with laughter and jokes. A sense of accomplishment. A great time.
Toward the end of our time together (for right now) a couple of people (both of whom had been trained in the FCE community building modality) remarked how GateWay had been better for them than any of their other community building experiences.
"I've done this process of community building many, many
times and have been trained in facilitating the process. Yet none
of those times compare to this. This is the first time I've come
into community through
"The weekend was wonderful. I fully appreciated your monumental
and sincere efforts to make it happen. Your sincerity shone through
by your organization, thoughtful preparation, and gentle nudges motivating
us to be accountable to a schedule and punctuality. The container
NEEDS a structure and boundaries if it is to survive. Yet, you were able
to straddle the fine line between harnessing the group through control
and letting things unfold and flow. That is a delicate and difficult space
to be in......and I must say you executed it well. Your humility
and willingness to be flexible highlighted your surrender to the flow.
Thank you for your contribution to a wonderful, enlightening, educational,
and illuminating weekend. I want more."
I came, my focus was on having an experience that would bring about spiritual
growth. I did not know if that was even a possibility, but it did
happen. If nothing else happened because of the experience, I have
already received much more than I ever expected."
Some of the Goals initiated in the GateWay to Community process:
In-depth, authentic and successful relationships.
Greatly increased financial freedom.
A nationwide network of community friends.
The opportunity for increased day-to-day involvement in "real" community.
Increased creativity, personal developement, fun and shear Joy in life!
As one person put it...
"Community... a true path to personal empowerment!"
We invite you to join us in an extraordinary adventure !
GateWay to Community