1. Set a date. You can, of course, pick any ol' date, but think about significant dates within your chosen season. New or full moons, an equinox or solstice, or just focus on spring/summer/fall/winter. I like to choose dates around the changing of the seasons or moon phases. Wednesday and Thursday evenings or a weekend date are generally pretty solid choices.
2. Create an easily shareable invite. If you want to spruce up your social media shareabiity, create a free event graphic using the rad creator website Canva. The image below was made for free for our upcoming Women's Gathering and it looks great across all our social media platforms.
3. Invite all the women you'd like to attend. The first women's gathering I hosted, at least half of the women who came I had never met. That may not always be the case, but consider making it an open invite. Sometimes women you've never met will see the invite and be more likely to come if they bring someone with. I like to say "bring a woman you love."
4. Keep the conversation going. It helps to post questions inside your event invite to remind people of the upcoming date. For food, start a thread about who's bringing what...which leads me to #8.
5. Make it potluck. No one wants to be responsible for bringing all the goods and that kinda goes against the spirit and nature of the Women's Gathering. Make the event potluck and give everyone the opportunity to make or bring their favorite dish. I've had some of the MOST delicious food at our potlucks. Another idea is to ask a local grocery store or restaurant to donate food for your event...sometimes that is a long shot, but it works every once in a while.
6. Choose a theme. Keep it SIMPLE. If you pick your date based on a moon phase or a season, you can build your theme around that. Otherwise, pick a word to focus on that you can center the main conversation around. Some discussion and theme ideas are:
- Abundance-where is abundance (of health, wealth, joy, opportunity) flowing in my life? Where would I like it to flow?
- Gratitude-what am I grateful for? In what areas of my life am I choosing to cultivate more gratitude?
- Consistency-how can I show up more consistently in my life for myself and those who are important? What routines do I need to work on?
- Boundaries (always a popular choice)-what boundaries do you need to work to put into place or take down this season?
After everyone has had a chance to chat, snack and settle in, we typically ring a bell and call everyone to sit in circle. This is where we introduce the theme. Come up with a question. The host can speak about how she is integrating the theme into her life in this season. And then, go around in the circle so that each women can speak about it.
7. Consider an activity. This goes back to your theme and creating ritual. Sometimes adding a ritual to the event can make it feel extra special--it's not ALWAYS required though... so ease into if you'd prefer to just keep the gathering to a discussion circle. Here's a few ideas, though.
- Bury an egg. For our spring equinox events, we write our intentions on eggs and then we bury them in a sunny spot and sprinkle seeds on top. (The burying part can be done at the women's own home.) The idea is to tend it and cultivate it through the season so that each time you water it, you do the same for your intentions.
- Have each women write her I AM statement on a piece of paper. One by one, a woman stands in the center within the circle while everyone in the outside circle can read back to her what she wrote down. The woman standing in the circle hears her message over and over until everyone has affirmed her.
- Have each woman pour tea into another woman's cup as she explains what her intention is. A pours B (who speaks) and then B pours into C ( who speaks) until everyone is done.
8. Let go of your expectations. This is the biggest. No matter who shows up, what is brought, or if you've prepared the perfect discussion questions (there's no such thing), just creating a space for women to gather and feel safe, heard, and loved is enough. If you're scared, do it anyway. There's nothing to regret except not doing it for you and your community.