THE SHAUMBRA KITCHEN
Crimson Circle on Facebook is this funky, lively, spicy, and heartwarming space on the internet where Shaumbra meet each other over a virtual cup of self-infused coffee or a glass of wine. It’s where we get to play as who we are, and where we are free to express a grand variety of insights, experiences and silliness on our casual discussion wall. It’s as snazzy and cool as its newest members, and as cosy and compassionate as the veterans make it. We see faces from all over the world, and while most of us have never met each other in real life, the sense of being a family is tangible. Just like our human families, Shaumbra sometimes squabble and bicker, and we deal with it and move on. All this adds to the rich aroma of our very own space online, our multicultural fusion kitchen party, where we chat around the table at this most historic time on Earth.
The group is for sharing what it’s like to live what we’re experiencing through Shouds, Crimson Circle materials and workshops. We have our individual experiences, based on our chosen potentials, so each story looks different. The common thread is what it’s like to make these sometimes challenging consciousness shifts, come to realisations, and have revolutionary insights about what we’re like and why we’re here. There are differences in style, perspective, and where we are at, but each contribution is precious for the one sharing and often for the one reading, and that alone serves a grand purpose.
The troupes help when you feel all alone in this world and just miss Shaumbra – yeah, eHugs, cheers, Likes and Loves are abundant, we don’t skimp on showing our feelings! – and you get a real feeling of us walking along the path unknown, sovereign but together. It’s among the best alternatives to attending a live gathering, especially at this time of lockdowns and physical distancing, to just chat with fellow Shaumbra. Friendships form and respectful advice is exchanged. Perspectives and pointers are offered and, as new energy would have it, the more you “spend,” the more you “earn,” so join in!
MODERATING IN MODERATION
A social group is the sum total of its members, a co-creation based on a choice to participate and trust. Members create the conversations, and moderators work in the background making sure it’s all going smoothly and that the discussion doesn’t meander too far away from the group intention. For instance, there may be a group for rose gardeners where the topics revolve around growing and tending to roses, perhaps rose shows or trimming workshops, but not around breeding tulips. No one is posting questions about how to fix their head gasket or what the best tip shape is for gel nails. It is not for sharing photos of your neighbour’s mulberry bushes and you won’t stay long if you suddenly realise your passion lies in wild daisies. Or... if you are there just to take advantage of the group.
I have been part of the admin team moderating the group discussions – or “admining” as we call it – since 2014 and have been an active member from the beginning when the group was created in 2007. Through some stormy times when we were still learning to manage our energies, the group has grown into the exceptionally open, respectful safe haven that it is now. I go in every day, starting after I’ve had my morning coffee and quiet time, and then keep checking in every few hours until bedtime. I am nearly always available for private chats with members who ask about the guidelines and other issues. I’m a volunteer, doing this because I like it and find it important. It flows naturally around how I do my other life stuff, adds to my experiences, and I enjoy participating in the conversations. I and the other admins (Geoff and Linda Hoppe, Jean Tinder, and Vili Aguirre) obviously can’t be there 24/7, even though we work from 2-3 different time zones. We each have our ways and areas of admining, but we all follow the same rules and team up to discuss any developments.
The biggest shift since it was founded took place in early 2019. The group was changed to a private/closed group (only group members see who is in it and what is posted) and the focus was now further clarified, the effort spearheaded by Geoff, who knew it was time to take real responsibility for the safe space and the focus of the group. Before that, the group had been open to everyone (sometimes even spammers) and we still allowed a lot of “noise,” closing (or rolling) our eyes and scrolling past. The group was also a mix of those who followed other teachers, and we weren’t particularly clear about its purpose. There was a lot of mindless sharing of viral memes, cheap giggles, drama, and members taking over the wall with their personal problems or momentary “insanity.” It was time to grow up!
The admin team created new guidelines that reflect what Adamus urged us to do: treat each other with honour and respect. A simple code of conduct was formulated and put in place. We would no longer accept any disrespectful behaviour, and the group would be focused on our journey and commitment to Embodied Realisation. This meant saying “no thanks” to other channeled materials; selling or advertising anything; new members who weren’t in the Crimson Circle database; and disrespect and drama of any kind. As sovereign beings, we chose to create a space that is safe, respectful, compassionate, and clear about its focus, and a few basic rules have been enough to make this a reality.
WHAT, RULES FOR MASTER?
Like many Shaumbra, I personally struggle with rules and systems. I am no anarchist, but most rules and systems are troublesome for two main reasons: they are about power and they are complicated. Good rules, however, make sense and are helpful. They are widely adopted, respected, and you don’t even need to know why they work. Crimson Circle as an organization does not have any rules beyond the bare necessities required for a system to operate and be in service. The same applies to our social media group on Facebook.
Some rules are necessitated by the platform itself to secure a basic level of respect and safety. Because our messages must be written (and English is often not our first language!) instead of spoken face-to-face, we need to know how written communication works, and also possess social skills and a good level of sensitivity. Most Shaumbra grew up not fitting in and had to separate themselves from the rest of the world during awakening and cocooning. With this background, acting as a group member may not come naturally – and now we are ungrouping, so things can get confusing. We also need “Shaumbra skills” to deal with aspects that get triggered, stories that are playing out, and patterns that may be holding us back. There is a tremendous amount of change happening all the time, so our perspective of living as a multidimensional, divine human is always a consideration.
For a special shared space like ours to serve all of its participants requires a dash of teamwork, fifty kilos of grace, and a ton of compassion as we explore our own energy and its expressions. Clearly, we need some rules, but just the word “rule” will initially cause allergic reactions in most Shaumbra. You may even ask, “If all energy is mine and I am a free being, how can another person set rules for me?” Our rules are, however, not a judgement of character nor are they intended to control any individual. We need these rules because social media is quite a jungle, especially considering the sheer size of our group: nearly 8,000 members from all walks of life! As admin of some smaller Shaumbra groups and a member of many others, I see that when a group grows in size, problems start cropping up. With the anonymity of large numbers, it’s easier to hide behind the screen, overstep the usual healthy boundaries, and forget you’re talking to real people on a similar journey.
As with any boundary, once you draw a line that excludes certain people or behaviors, there is often a reaction when we perceive “freedom” from the human perspective only. Our job as admins is to stay neutral, of course, and transparent. We love our Shaumbra brothers and sisters even when things get rough, and applying the group rules is never personal. Compassion calls us to vehemently insist on maintaining the safe space for all members. Those who have taken SES will appreciate this fully and know what is going on, and why we have zero tolerance for abuse. The admins must address situations when a group member crosses the line, and we have heard the grateful feedback for doing so a thousand times.
How do you, then, sustain a safe space with almost 8,000 people? By maintaining personal integrity, collaborating on communal agreements, and sticking with them. Magic!
25 SPICES (OR MORE)
One the most important (and, therefore, sometimes most challenging) guidelines in the group is the 25-word rule, which says that all posted videos, links, memes, and images must be described with at least 25 words. The guideline is there for the purpose of relevance: all content must be relevant to the Shaumbra journey and/or the work of Crimson Circle. While this focus is clearly defined and only applies to this specific Facebook group, it is not restrictive, and this allows for freedom of expression. The rule itself may be unusual and 25 is not a magic number, but it works!
A posted message essentially becomes relevant when you add your own unique input. It becomes meaningful. Rich. Delightful. Even insightful. There is so much wisdom and depth within Shaumbra, waiting, maturing, desiring to be expressed, and this group is a fantastic place to do so! If you find yourself resisting the rule or find it hard to come up with 25 words, it may be a sign that what you’re posting is may not be relevant or appropriate. So, have fun with the challenge, embrace it, go beyond the resistance, and take the opportunity to create and embellish!
It’s been a long journey of becoming, and brutal at times, as we have become seasoned Standards for the rest of humanity. Shaumbra deserve this private safe space where we can be who we truly are. In this virtual kitchen of ours, your amazing Self is welcome – that true one deep within with a glowing crimson heart, that innocent idealist of pure sensual nature, that pirate exploring unknown seas with a crazy, quirky sense of humour – without judgement, control, or the pull of mass consciousness; without aliens, conspiracies, ridicule, distractions, or masks. It is your house, which we admins have the honour of maintaining. If you’re new in the group, the energy may feel intense at first, but things will find their balance.
As you look at Crimson Circle on Facebook from the Angel’s Peak, it’s one of the sparkling blasts of color and light in the otherwise blue community of Facebook. A gathering of students and Masters, all inspired by and supportive of each other, with space for divinity, true love and appreciation of Self.
Dear Shaumbra, when you enter the warmth of this fragrant kitchen, take a deep breath, relax, and remember why you are here. Come on in, you are welcome, dinner is served.
Check out Crimson Circle on Facebook and join the fun!
Maija Leisso has been with the Crimson Circle since 2001 or so. Her true passion is Embodied Realization in this lifetime, and this Energy thing. She is a mother of two, a Keahaker, and formerly an Advanced Studies Teacher and Crimson Circle Staff member. She now enjoys reading, writing, volunteering, playing with grand ideas, and doing a whole lot of other fabulously insignificant things. She may be contacted on Facebook or via email.