Picture this: Your Well Circle has been growing and thriving, whether it is at its infant stage or your Circle has been going strong for many years. You have a system set to plan a date for the coming months. Maybe you meet on the same day of the month every month to keep things simple. You and your Circle sisters have been sharing the lead of facilitating and hosting or maybe even have an appointed person to set up the video conference link if your Circle meets virtually. All is going according to plans for a picture-perfect Well Circle.
By no one's fault, you miss a month!
Believe me, it happens. In fact, it happened in my Well Circle and occasionally happens from time to time. And no, my Well Circle did not dissolve. Admittedly, each of our lives went spinning in different directions. Instead, we found ways to remain connected in the off periods.
Before you begin panicking that your carefully crafted Circle is falling apart, consider that a month's break might actually be a good thing, an opportunity for the group to come back stronger the next month. Here are a few considerations as your Well Circle ebbs and flows through the natural cycle of group gatherings:
- Consider intentional pauses at certain moments of the year. Discuss with your Well sisters if there are certain months or seasons that feel especially challenging for gathering. Then, when that skipped month happens, it feels less like a miss and more of an opportunity to regain momentum for the next month. For example, summer can be a challenging time to plan for gatherings because people are traveling or prefer to hold an irregular schedule to differentiate it from the rest of the year. Is there an opportunity to name the pause with compassion, and then take the pause mindfully together as a group?
- Get creative with a group chat. If your group can't meet this month, establish a group chat or reignite it if your group has one. What opportunity for connection might arise from a single screenshot from the Moon Manual that month? This focus on quality over quantity can go a long way, highlighting an intention or attribute of a month. Perhaps invite everyone to respond in one word only, or in a single sentence or phrase to lower the threshold for participation. An approach like this might take the pressure off the group while still making a connection. We get it, lives get busy.
- Location, location, location. Is getting out the door or securing a location the challenge? Perhaps you or your group are feeling the pressure or itch to meet in person now that we are at this stage of the pandemic. Maybe it feels really comforting to share in the same physical space. But, it could be the case that although an in-person gathering is ideal, it may not be realistic, especially after the pandemic forced us all to reshuffle our lives and learn new behavior patterns and habits. With kids’ bedtimes, after-work commutes or juggling multiple evening extracurriculars, it might make the most sense to meet virtually. Instead of this being a fallback, honor this option as holy and valuable as being in person. That way, perfection doesn’t get in the way of what might need to be just enough or just right.
- Seek a chevruta. The chevruta learning style, originally applied to studying rabbinic texts, could be your friend here. Schedules are hectic and finding a time when the majority of your group can gather could feel daunting or near impossible during certain months. What would it be like to reach out to just one person from your Well Circle instead of trying to find a date in the upcoming month that just isn't working out for the whole group? Finding time one-on-one with someone from your Circle can ease that logistical stress and can also strengthen the spiritual bond between you and another person in your Circle.
These are just a few of the creative possibilities that might help honor and uplift where your Well Circle might be during certain moments of the year. Striving for perfection might set us up for disappointment or push our sense of accountability to the limit. Instead, what often makes the most sense at certain times is to lean into all the creative ways we’ve learned to stay connected to one another, especially with technology. With these ideas in mind, perhaps your Well Circle has an opportunity to emerge from a pause with renewed commitment and energy to investing in this time for ourselves and our well-being.