Love in a time of Coronavirus
Hey lovely woman, It is amazing how each of us is experiencing lock down and social distancing differently. Our experiences of it are as unique as each other, but when the relationships we have with people are changed in this way we get to see our connections in a different light, which can be very powerful. I am finding that I am more connected than ever before to family far away, and more sensitive to the friends in fragile mental and physical states. I am busier than ever before, more connected online through work, friends and family, yet other people I am close to are finding the solitude and the absence of work undermining to their foundations in very destabilising ways. Some of us are peopled-out and conversely social distancing may be increasing the amount of time we are spending in connection through virtual means.
The multiplicity of experiences of this singular event is staggering so in this issue, we have invited some of our collective to share how they are reforming their relationships with people they usually see in person for Red Tents and choosing to hold them online or build other connections.
Last New Moon I launched the Red Tent Bedfordshire online; we had not been in lock down very long at all. For me, so used to working online and communicating from behind a laptop, it actually felt natural and far less scary than it did when I was planning a live launch. There are benefits to it for sure, the space I needed to make inviting was tiny, people were more responsible for their own comfort and tea and snacks. But it took a bit of getting used to and I had to work quite hard to get away from it feeling “worky”. But everyone really loved the experience and most of them are coming back this week. We are all in this together, and it was great to experiment with co-creating this new space. Starting online also has the benefit of building the excitement at being able to meet in person and do proper hugging soon.
If you need support during this time on holding circles online or want to share your experiences then get in touch!
Insights from the Red Tent Directory team
I don’t know if any of you feel the same but I am grieving the lack of physical connection. I wanted to start a Red Tent as I am on maternity leave and finally have a little…time is not the right word but maybe… mental space to establish one where I live. I have been forming the idea in my head for a while like the way you rub a smooth stone over in your hand. It was nearly time to start the circle and invite women to gather. But now I’m stunted by this unprecedented change.
I am feeling connected with women all around the world who are more alone, more busy, more scared, more stretched than before. But there are women just right close to me, women I wanted to meet with in face to face connection. Don’t get me wrong I know there are many ways of feeling together. I do not doubt the power and presence that we could establish as an online meeting and how precious this could be. But I am carving out a lull in my fast paced ‘need to fix things’ life. I am currently making space for the grief, for the sadness and for the gap in flow. Maybe for some of you who regularly attend a Red Tent you might be feeling this too. And it’s OK.
What we have found in the Red Tent I organise is that when I’ve attempted a zoom or organised a meeting people are struggling to pin themselves to time. It’s like linear time has gone. We are responding to peoples needs as they arise in an informal way. Instead we are holding each other with phone calls, distance healing and meditating at the same time. The ‘formal’ gatherings aren’t there for now.
Personally I feel no matter your faith or religion, there is something very powerful which is created when we collectively pray for the highest good. Whether you can spare a few minutes a day, a few hours a week, spending time in silence has worked wonders for me. Tuning in with your own rhythm, 10am and 6pm work well for me to sit quietly for a moment, send out good wishes and positive intentions for my family, friends, humanity, the collective. If you can connect with your local red tent and tune in at a time together, it’s really special. It doesn’t require you to go online or waste too much energy. Just simply closing your eyes and pray with your heart and soul, a place of soft power and love.
Holding a circle for ourselves. You can do a Red Tent for one in your home.I moved country 5 years ago. I experienced a lot of change in my friendships and I found myself spending more time alone than usual. Feelings of sadness, grief and loneliness arose. These feelings invited me on a quest. On this quest, I have learned that feeling lonely is not really connected to how many people surround us, but more it is dependent upon our own ability to connect to ourselves in a loving way. Being alone can really help to connect within and connecting within will help dissolve the feeling of disconnection. So now I value the space that I can create to spend time alone and connect within and holding a circle for my own self. Through my inner world, I can connect to a much wider circle: sisters, soul family, ancestors, spirit guides and the divine wisdom that holds this place together regardless of the location and the time.
When I first dreamed of an online red tent it was 2015 and I had just given birth. I’d also recently moved and didn’t feel ready to create or join one out of the house. I wanted the tent to come to me! By that stage I’d already spent years doing deep work online so I knew what was possible. But I found it hard then to convince others. Wind forward to this moment and I’m so grateful we have the technology that makes connecting deeply at this time possible.
Guidance about connecting online
For us at the Red Tent Directory Red Tents are about revolutionary ways to be together as groups of women. If we are to take that revolutionary way of connecting online we need to do it with intention.
Here’s a few suggestions from us about how you might do that:
Even though you are going online and are in a room at home prepare your space. Perhaps light a candle, make an altar, clear the space beforehand or do a centering practice or a dance that connects you to yourself and your senses before you begin. Do whatever you need to be ready to hold space & connect.
If you need to have a screenshot on your virtual meeting until you are ready and others are joining you could use one of ours that you can download here.
When you begin the tent, create space deliberately. Think about sensing your connections despite physical distance by using a centering practice or connecting energetically in some other way. You can invite each woman to bring their own talking piece or candle or an object or reading they want to share. Invite them to wear red too if that feels good. All of this ritual is intended to help you all have a sense of the sacredness of space even though you are not in one room together in the moment.
Remember the circle might need more attention. You need to track the voices – has everyone spoken? Time keeping? The beauty of witnessing is very possible in this way even though we miss the hugs, the touch, the in- person connection. Just focus on keeping the container as you would in person.
Don’t be afraid of having long calls. You don’t have to spend the whole time staring at screen, you can also do activities together, invite women to bring things to do together, it could be crafting, journaling perhaps. Or you might do some gentle movement or meditation. Don’t be afraid to experiment with being in each other’s company virtually and perhaps each bringing a snack or meal too and sharing that virtually too. Don’t forget a closing circle. A simple way to finish. Or keep it short and sweet and stay connected in other ways. This is a time to innovate new ways of connecting to one another.
Note about confidentiality and zoom bombing.Be sure to continue to remind everyone at a virtual tent about confidentiality and also consider (if you are using zoom) using a password and locking the meeting once everyone has joined to make sure no one else is able to ‘gatecrash’.
Keeping uninvited guests out of zoom https://blog.zoom.us/wordpress/2020/03/20/keep-uninvited-guests-out-of-your-zoom-event/
Our Resources created for you…
Our team have also been busy creating ways to connect. Carly our Engagement Lead has made some wonderful videos about Zoom and how to use it. Take a look and you will soon be on your way to connecting online.
Red Tent Directory How to Zoom videos:
Posters to publicise your tent
We have created posters for you to use to promote your Red Tent and to invite women. This might be just the thing you need for your online Red Tent or gathering. You can download them for a suggested donation of £3. Any pennies raised go towards covering costs for running the Red Tent Directory which we do out of love for free and always have. https://redtentdirectory.com/images/