"Thinking outside the box by thinking inside the circle... The drum circle that is." What I mean is, just by doing something that you wouldn't normally do like being part of a drum circle is actually thinking and acting "outside the box". With this particular drum circle you learn basic technique, West African rhythms, how to listen to each other, how to be present at the same time as feeling the hypnotic syncopation of the drumming and hearing me talk about feeling the Universe move you. Here is the crazy thing, because I am teaching the class, I am the one who gets to share my stories and opinions. It kind of feels like I'm standing on my soap box. For those of you who might not know what a "soap box" is, it was what was used in the early 1900's during a time of political turmoil in the US when people in the big cities would stand on top of a crate to be above the crowded streets and voice their opinions for everyone to hear. The crate was usually an empty wooden box that had soap in it to be delivered to the stores, hence when you "stand on your soap box" you are publicly sharing your opinion.... kind of like what Facebook is. The key for me during class is to be as articulate a possible which is difficult sometimes because the people that come to class are thinkers and very opinionated in their own right and so they sometimes challenge what I say. Last night I brought up the Ego as a generalization of how from my experience, men who participate in drum circles have more of a tendency to want to drum louder, have the need to take control, and be flashier with their movements. For women who are just "thinking outside of the box" by attending a drum circle for the first time, the strongly egoic man drummer can be quite intimidating and that perhaps the new woman drummer might not want to come back for a second class, which defeats the purpose of creating a fun filled, non intimidating, supportive community drum circle. I suggested that maybe I was thinking of starting an all men's drum circle and a separate all women's drum circle. Well, this seemed to have caused a stir. It took a while for everyone to settle down because all the participants had their own opinions to share with the person sitting next to them and no one was listening to me or each other.....finally someone in the group was fed up with the cacophony and began drumming a rhythm I was trying to teach earlier and all of a sudden everyone was drumming.... not talking.... just drumming! This particular jam went on for fifteen minutes or so and could've kept going all night long, but it being 9 o'clock it had to come to an end. Everyone clapped and felt some relief, combined love, and an amazing amount of Gratitude. A classic case of the teacher learning more from the students than the students learn from the teacher. I too have to "think outside the box" more often.