Gathering: Desire vs. Obligation

Priya Parker is one of my favorite writers and leaders. Her book, The Art of Gathering, written before COVID,  is even more brilliant and relevant today as we gather together this time of year.

Often, gathering implies connection. How often have you felt deeply uncomfortable at a gathering and wished you were at home. In your pajamas. Curled up with a book?

Being together does not ensure connection.

Priya recently talked on the podcast We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle, Abby Wambach and Amanda Doyle. (Look for episode 256.) Priya is a powerful speaker, and it's worth listening to get some tips for avoiding underhosting and being more aware of how we can help create a meaningful and transformative temporary world with our gatherings.

Another point Priya makes is the difference between the desire and obligation to gather. Desire begins with curiosity and discernment. Why gather together? Who do we want to be there? What do we see or appreciate about those we have gathered with? Why would they say yes to the effort required to be with us?

Obligation means I say yes because we're in the habit of doing something, and there is the expectation that we'll keep doing it. Sometimes, even treasured rituals need a remodel to make them remain relevant. Or even a year off.

How will you gather and connect with those people who matter to you this holiday season? I hope you'll explore what Priya has to offer to shed new light on what you desire for gathering and being connected in the new year. 

As the year comes to a close, our Prasada team is taking the two weeks around the holidays to rest, reset, and reflect. To be curious and gather intentionally. I'm looking forward to many naps and extended pajama time.

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