We primarily did an exercise from Diana Leafe Christina’s Book, Creating a Life Together on page 46: The following exercise is excerpted from her book:
Exercise # 1: Individual Values, Group Values
The exercise begins by writing five different two or three page recollections of experiences in which you felt especially fulfilled in a community-lie setting or a shared group activity. These settings can include:
- your family
- summer camp, as a child or as a camp counselor
- hiking or camping trips with friends
- a college dorm, fraternity or sorority, or student co-op
- a shared group household or intentional community
- an activist or service project, a shared work task
- a therapy group, 12-step group, ritual group. or men’s or women’s group
- a theatrical or musical presentation team sports activity or shared athletic event
- your workplace
- the military
You’re looking for times when you felt profoundly happy with other people, as if you were blessed to be there, as if you had “come home”–when you not only enjoyed the experience, but felt connected and bonded with other people present.
If you can only think of positive time that weren’t all that profound, that’s fine. Just write about some experiences you enjoyed with others. If you can’t think of five different times, that’s OK too. Just write as many as you can.
While writing these stories focus mostly on what you felt and thought during these experiences, rather than going into detail about what happened…..
Next, form into groups of three. One person at a time reads their stories and the other two listen, taking notes of they like, and reflect back to the reader what the stories tell them about that persons’ values, beliefs, and aspirations. The first person The one who read the stories) writes these insights down, adding any more that come up.
After everyone has had a turn, each person selects five or six of the values , beliefs or aspirations that are most personally significant, and writes the essences of each on a phrase or short sentence (not in a single word) on large yellow sticky notes. Each person reads out their phrases and hands them to the facilitator, who sticks them on the wall of easel paper or a large whiteboard. The group can ask clarifying question but doesn’t otherwise comment on the statements, or agree or disagree with them..
After everyone has finished, the whole group, or a few people from the group clusters the sticky notes into whatever natural categories they seem to fall into. these may include “interpersonal relations,” “shared meals,” “governance and decision-making”, “celebration,”, “Shared work”,”Children”,”ecological values”, Spiritual values” and so on.
The facilitator gives each person half the number of stick on read dots and there are people doing the exercise (e. g. Three dots if you are six people; five if you ten, etc.) Each person places a red dot next to the cluster s that are most important to him or her personally in a future community.
Not eh facilitator gives each person the same number of green stock-on dots as there are people the room (in other words, twice the number of red dots). within the clusters, each person places a green dot next to the individual phrases that are most important to him or her personally.
Sit back and look at where the dots are. this is an indication of what’s most important to you as individuals and as a group, and how aligned or divergent your values and interests may be.
Talk about what you see. Do most of you share the same values and interests?
(To keep this work for the writing-it-down phase of your visioning process, ask someone to copy the clusters, phrases, and read and green dot indications onto one or more sheets of easel paper you can hang in the room.)
Here is a summary of the results that the four of us came up with
1) Family Relationships and Interpersonal Relationships
2) Faith in God and True Parents
3) Education and Guidance for and within the community.
1) Giving and Receiving Appreciation
2) Faith and Belief in God
3) Creating a place that gives a sense of belonging
4) The importance of a healthy husband and wife relationship
5) Educating and Guidance for the next generation
6) the importance of working together to accomplish goals
7) Taking care of the environment
We think that it will be essential for all joining this group to go through this exercise. Since Richard & Stacey have clear timeline of forming an intentional community within the next five years, they will need to identify two or three other families who want to do the same. Richard commented that he feels a multi-generational community is God’s Will. Those attending today with Richard and Stacey are interested, but can’t commit to our timeframe of intentional community right now. Richard and Stacey will work to identify interested families and then work on the process above.
It was suggested that virtual community would be good as we move toward physical community; perhaps camping together in the summer at Shehaqua or elsewhere or other shared activities that could then move into physical community (with those three or four families.) Altogether, the meeting took about five hours.