We have two types of meetup when we get together. One is a discussion using Abraham quotes as our point of focus. The other is what we call "the processes table" where we sit down and 'do the work' on our issues, using Abraham processes.
This thread is to give the how-to's of facilitating the discussion table. In a few weeks I'll be sitting down to write up something similar about how to facilitate the processes table.
First let me write down what I think have been the keys for the success of our meetups.
- Just pick a time and place, and schedule it. They will come. Sure, everyone would prefer to meet near where they live, and I always offer to post meetups if they would like to facilitate one in their neighborhood. Otherwise, I do it when and where I can easily make it.
- Along those lines, I do the meetups for myself, I don't try to please the group. Naturally I hope the group will be pleased(!) but the reason I started doing this was to do my own work with the Abraham teachings. Occasionally a member has suggested one or another change to the meetups that aren't things I'm interested in doing, so I don't do them. Likewise, volunteer facilitators are free to do the meetups "their" way so long as they keep on topic with Abraham teachings.
- About once a month I send out a group email with a chatty recap of that month's meetup. Then I post these meetup reports on the website. Even members who don't come to meetups get to know me through these emails. Anyone browsing the site will see the reports and know that we are meeting regularly and will get a flavor for what we're about.
- While I like to have a nice sized group signed up for an event, I don't try to get people to join our group and I don't try to get members to come to meetups. If no one comes, my attitude is that it may be aligned for me to do my own work instead of meeting with others. So, when no one RSVPs (which only happened once), I prepare to use the time (at the meetup location) for my own personal Abe work. In practice, except for that one time there have always been one or two members who either RSVPed at the last minute, or just showed up without RSVPing, or -- in one of my favorite meetup stories -- another AbeHead happened to wander into the meetup venue where I was writing out my intentions, and we ended up having ourselves a very high-energy meetup. (That was the meetup that no one RSVPed for!)
- Two-person and three-person meetups can be every bit as energizing as gathering in larger groups. For me, the ideal size for a discussion is five or fewer people. I know most people like to meet everyone and hear different perspectives -- but I like to talk about this stuff, and when there are six or seven or ten people, there's only so many minutes any one person can talk! (Sounds like I monopolize things, doesn't it? I dunno if I do or I don't. Like I said, I do this stuff for my own Abe shot, and that means I like to jabber.)
Okay, next are the "facilitator notes" that I would typically send in an email to an upcoming facilitator. Here goes:
- Select a venue that has counter service. (We don't want to get interrupted by a server taking orders or people reading a menu. And we don't want to monopolize a waiter's table and ask for dozen separate checks.) Pick an "off" time when they won't be busy.
- Bring Abraham quotes on separate slips of paper. We normally go through 10 to 12 Abraham quotes at a meetup.
- If we anticipate more than four people, it's a good idea to call the venue and tell them that we'll be having a meetup there and explain that we'll be hanging out and talking for 90 minutes. This is more important at small and independent places than bigger places or chains. Often there are RSVPs one day before a meetup.
- Get there about 15 minutes early. Put a red meetup table tent on the table.
- At the start time, start. Fan out the quotes like cards (face down) and let each person pick one. If someone's at the counter getting their drink, just go ahead and begin without them.
- Ask people to find a way that the quote they selected is meaningful in their everyday life. We want to stimulate discussion on how people are using Law of Attraction in their lives as opposed to just talking about the teachings in a more theoretical way.
- When the discussion veers off into other disciplines or some long winded story, that's the time (at a suitable pause) to ask who else has a quote to read. (Anyone can do this, not just the facilitator!)
- The point is to talk about the Abe teachings and how they relate to our lives. Although the person talking may be very into their story, the rest of the folks there came for their Abe hit. Sometimes someone's telling a story or vignette that enlightens me and sometimes...not. The way I cut to the chase is, I came for my Abe hit -- am I getting it? If not, I bring us back to the next quote.
- Meetups take on an energy of their own. There's not a lot to do except be there early, have quotes at the ready, and bring the discussion back to Abraham's teachings when it starts to ramble.
- At the ending time, end the meetup. Take a photo before people leave. Make note of who attended. If you circulate a sign-up sheet, then email everyone with the contact information.
- Afterwards, the guest facilitator will either post to the message board a write-up of how it went, or email it to me and I'll send that out to the group in my email. When meetups were smaller, I tried to mention by name each person who attended. It's a little tougher when we get 15 people.
- All of us are probably into related teachings and practices, and it's natural that we bring some of that into our discussions. And since it can get hard to know where to draw the line, I just draw the line at Abraham. If it isn't "straight Abe" then I bring the discussion back to Abe. I found the quotes work beautifully for that, and that's why I use them.
- We naturally get to know bits of each other's lives as we discuss how this quote or that one pertains to us. Aside from that, we do not use meetup time for getting to know each other personally. Often a few people will linger to talk to each other afterwards and somtimes a group will go out to eat together. But my aim is to use the meetup time for "Abe work" and not for socializing.
- At the early meetups, I used to be kind of nervous as I was heading over. What I told myself was, everyone else on their way to the meetup right now is setting their intentions to connect with like-minded people, to uplift others and to be uplifted -- thoughts like that. It helped remind me that a meetup is a co-creation, it's not just up to me, and that there were other intentions out there combining with mine.
- After giving all that detail on how I facilitate the meetings -- guest facilitators don't have to do it the way I do! They are welcome to make the meetup their own and try a different approach. All I ask is that we keep to the Abraham teachings as we are the Abraham-Hicks meetup group.
That's everything I can think of, and perhaps more detail than you wanted...but I figure it's best to give you everything and let you sift through it.
Edited by Teresa Rogovsky on Jul 13, 2007 8:47 AM