As I have said before in my experience of community and organisations to create that sense of connection and love among a group of people, daily sharing using the "Way of Council" is the most powerful tool.
Way of Council is a modern method derived from the way indigenous cultures especially those native to the North Americas, sat together to share stories and create a space for magic.
When people come together in a circle with the intention of all being equal, of dropping judgement and just accepting everyone for who they are: individuals with their strengths, weaknesses, fears and feelings. When people feel accepted they feel empowered and able to take space and feel respected. When people feel good about themselves they happily co-operate with others.
It can take a while for someone new to speaking in public, especially the young, to become comfortable and feel safe. If they do participate for some days it is inspiring watching them find their voice and find themselves; to observe themselves and dig deeply to discover what they are really feeling.
When people feel safe enough to express their vulnerability and then be welcomed and accepted it makes them feel validated and better able to handle any pain.
The format is that people sit in a circle , maybe around a central candle or alter, and someone holds the space as an equal. Connection and sacred space can be created by a reading, meditation, shared song etc. To give people the time to speak and be listened to an object is used as a talking stick, this can be a specially decorated stick, but also a crystal, a shell or some other natural object.
The talking stick can either be passed around the circle or returned to the centre with people choosing when they feel drawn to speak. When a person is holding the talking stick only they may speak or express in another way they choose (song, dance, poetry).
In part 2 I will share the guidelines that have been found to lead to the most powerful sense of connection and the joy that comes from that.