Written by, Jamie Gore
What an amazing life this is, to be able to bring people together with a drum circle! Each group I get to work with is SO different, there are so many reasons to drum together!
Here is a snapshot of the last week for me:
Drum circle one: A daughter and her father and mother have been attending a very special set of drum circles, at Wellspring, as her father is living with cancer. She knew how much her father has benefited from this drumming that she decided to surprise him with a birthday celebration circle. She got together with her brother and they rounded up all the people that are special to her father to surprise him. We were all ready and waiting for him to arrive. With tears in his eyes he realized that the circle was there for him. What a special experience for him to share with his loved ones!
Drum circle two: Later that day I came to the home base drum circle, the community drum circle that happens every Friday night. The energy and connection is amazing, and the folks that come bring me such joy! It truly is an anchor point in my week.
Drum circle three: Saturday arrives and it is time to facilitate the drum circle for people who are going through cancer and their caregivers at Wellspring. The circle was session five out of six and an absolutely deep and so healing.
Drum circle four: Sunday evening, Rhythm Lodge. This was the first time I was ever to facilitate our rhythm lodge. I was so excited to do so! The people that attend are able to experience drumming in a deeper healing intentional way. With focus and intention, the frame drums work their magic. A special evening for me. I absolutely loved to do this.
Drum circles five and six: A regular program, two drum circles back to back on Monday afternoon for adults with disabilities. These participants get to drum weekly for nine weeks. It is so special for me and I know it is for them as well. They get to come and be part of something greater than themselves, and they are seen for who they are, NOT THEIR DISABILITY. I asked them to tell me something that stresses them out, and one lady’s answer brought me to tears. “When someone sees me as my down syndrome, I feel like a total failure, that stresses me out.” I told her that I see her as who she is and not her as down syndrome. The drum circle is a place where they are seen and heard, equal and human.
Drum circle seven: Monday night I facilitated a drum circle at a women’s shelter called Sonshine. These women are coming out of a domestic violence situation. Drumming with these women is yet another gift for me. In the first round of drumming every time I stopped drumming they would all immediately stop as well. It took several times to encourage them it was okay to keep going even if I stood up! They were very timid and shy in the beginning. One participant was absolutely disconnected from the beat of the group. She was almost connected by the end of the session. It shows through the music, that with tenderness and support there will be healing. Giving a woman a drum to play and letting her know that it can be a way to communicate is very empowering for her. This was the first drum circle of a new monthly program that we have worked to create at Sonshine!
Drum circle eight: Tuesday afternoon, I was so excited to be able to facilitate a very special drum circle at the residence of Judy’s parents! Judy asked me to fill in for her as she is having a health issue, and what an honor to do so! The lodge had never had drumming before, and forty seniors showed up ready to give this new experience a go! They all had a super time, as did I! Judy’s parents got to see the person that Judy brought under her wing. As the eighth drum circle came to a close, I took a deep breath and noticed, Yes I am physically tired in this moment, but this work is so fulfilling and rewarding spiritually. NOW time to recharge!!
Judy has taught me so much, and she is always there to hear how things went after each circle. I feel very lucky to call this my vocation, and am truly grateful that Judy has brought me in to this work at Circles of Rhythm.
On a side note: This business is rhythmical and it has ebbs and flows. As I write this article I am happy to know that after a flow there is an ebb, and I have the chance to recharge before our next surge of drum circles! I take each day as it comes, and happily look forward to my next DRUM MARATHON!