Each of us belongs to many groups; among them are families, faith communities, professional networks, political parties, tribes of origin and nations. Some are given and some we choose. They are circles whom we influence and who influence us.

At their finest these groups recognize and affirm who we are. They bring out our best. They protect us and advocate on our behalf. They celebrate collective milestones and individual life passages.

Certainly, the power of groups can also have a dark side, but those dynamics are themes for another post. Today I celebrate the gifts received from one particular group.

Last September I retired from coaching students in a two-year certification program. Created by Melisa Pearce with help from Peggy and me, the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method enables practitioners to partner with horses in helping clients break through to achieve their full potential in life. The students and graduates of the program are a professional community.

Of the many gifts I have received from this herd – including appreciation of equine wisdom, lessons in leadership and follower-ship, trust, sharing, friendship, personal growth and professional challenge – I share one today that has enabled me to develop a latent interest. Thanks to their generosity I have been able to attend a series of workshops to learn skills associated with wood-turning. I have just completed my last session which resulted in the cherry bowl pictured below.

I share it as an expression of gratitude to the EGCM herd. For me it represents the challenge, beauty and nuance of any human endeavor inspired and nurtured by a special community.

What are the gifts that you contribute to and receive from your circles of influence?

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