When we started our “moms” groups in the 90’s, the main goal was to offer a safe place for moms to meet others, discuss experiences and share their stories. We used articles and resources that we gleaned from magazines, newsletters, books and videos. The resources provided the structure to begin the discussion, but the feel of the group was open and trustful story-telling.

The most successful Pathways Gathering Groups are those which encourage sharing personal experiences. Remember, the essential goal is to build heartfelt communities. The ideal way to initiate each meeting is by first having each participant introduce themselves. Dr. Laura Brayton from a very successful group in NJ says along with their personal introduction, each mom will present their greatest challenge and greatest success since their last meeting. This warm, type of sharing allows each person to feel welcomed, comfortable and safe.

Then the leader of the group, who has read the Pathways article in advance, will open discussion about the subject of the article. Since many attendees may not have had the opportunity to have read the article prior to the meeting, the purpose of the group gathering is to allow for discussion about the topics with experiential input, not meant to be an instructional class about the article content. Each participant will get to take a Pathways home to read the articles themselves, this precious time together is an open organic opportunity to share lifestyles, choices and above all establishing a trusting community.
Facilitating an openly structured group like this is easy and fun with minimal preparation time.
Here are Dr. Laura’s suggestions:

Additional Meeting variations: