Heyung (hello)

The following format was used by the Red Road meetings I used to facilitate at Coyote Valley in Northern Ca.  We found it to be successful because we made it family friendly.  During the meetings we allowed the children to color or play a game at a separate table as quietly as possible.  Many times mothers also brought their babies who were infants or toddlers in walkers.  Sometimes it would be a little distracting but for most of the meetings everyone took part in the meetings.  We always allowed the kids to sit at the "grown up" tables if they wanted to (but they had to be quiet) which were in a circle more or less and we always asked them if they had anything to say about their life or about drugs and alcohol when passing the talking stick.  This included them in the process and many times they talked about what was going on at home or school.  It was a very positive and empowering experience for them to be listened to and valued by adults.  As a leader of the group and a lifelong student of counseling and sobriety I would facilitate the meetings by making appropriate comments.  I would also point out and praise individuals to recognize their mental and spiritual growth when they talked about ideas of truth that they came to realize about themselves, their behavior and attitude.  People in sobriety need this pat on the back and it helps them realize the steps they are taking which motivates them towards taking more steps.  In order to serve the group in this way you must have a leader that is mentally and spiritually mature to some degree (no one is perfect but you need to have a leader that is honest and disciplined in certain areas of their life i.e. no addictions preferably). The facilitator must be humble enough to admit to the group his own faults and / or failures if they occur.  This demonstrates to that no one is above making mistakes.  It also demonstrates that no matter how long we have been sober we have to keep a level of humility in our attitude so that when we make mistakes we are able to go to those we have offended and ask for forgiveness.  No one knows everything and we are all still learning and must pray for wisdom to keep our hands and our hearts clean before the Creator.   With this format you allow everyone in the talking circle to speak and then the facilitator speaks.  With this process it allows you to speak to specific things that are brought up by individuals in the talking circle.  These are the basic guidelines that we ran the meeting by with the format below:

Opening Prayer (may be a prayer song or both)

Talking Circle (w/ talking stick)

Facilitator Shares Life Lesson For Maintaining Sobriety / Wisdom

Potluck Dinner