container craft

the fine art of creating group experience

container craft

the fine art of creating group experience

You have an idea for creating an amazing group experience.

Maybe for an existing community. Maybe for the community you dream of building.

You know there’s something important about the gathering of more than two. Something about humans being able to reflect each other’s experience that amplifies what’s possible. Something about moving out of isolation to see one’s singular experience as part of the larger collective experience that accelerates our healing and restores our faith.

You’ve already perfected your 1:1 game. You have great facility and a process for working with the singular client and producing profound shifts or game-changing deliverables.

And maybe you’re a little bored with this. Or maybe you just know that something more is possible.

You may be a coach reaching the ceiling of how many 1:1 client calls you can fit in a day.

You know groups are next, but something holds you back. Maybe it’s a sense that you can’t work your subtle magic in a group if you have to follow a format because you won’t be able to respond to what’s happening in the moment. Maybe it’s some anxiety that you don’t know how to handle the conflicts or unexpected issues that may arise in a group context. Maybe you’re still researching which delivery platforms will make you seem most professional and captivating to your potential audience (I invite you to release yourself from this particular hell, whether you decide to join us or not).

But I think you’re reading this because you know you have a message that more people need to hear and a medicine that more people need access to. You already know it’s time to create a community of learners, players, shifters, transformers, or explorers.

Because you feel that calling, And you are right.

You are the answer.

and the time is now.

what you are creating is also creating you.

Being the holder is another level of personal development. Moving from party goer to party thrower is a call to own your own expertise, to deepen your understanding through teaching, and often to step into greater visibility with your work. 

You can be sure that whatever you intend to offer your participants is also going to work you. Probably at a deeper level than you’ve ever experienced before.

This container is also about supporting you in the essential growth that group holding requires. Providing a context to move through all the doubt, resistance, desires to hide, and imposter syndrome that comes with stepping up to be the leader. 

It’s not just a place for the program you want to create. It’s a place for the emergent and expanded version of you that your program will create.

Photo Credit: Summer Hokulani

You want to understand before doing,
but the path to understanding is by doing.

Group program design works in 3 phases:

Phase 1 – Conceive + Convene

Phase 2 – Facilitate + Iterate

Phase 3 – Expand + Systematize

For the last 5 years, I’ve been running year-long and multi-year containers. This year, I’ve put those long-frame containers on pause to reflect on all the major life shifts those programs have catalyzed and to create more infrastructure for Phase 3. 

As I reflect on both my own experience over these last years and the leaders who have emerged from my group programs with the desire to lead their own, one of the things that’s very clear is that YOU MUST BEGIN. Where you are. With a group of real humans and beyond the ruminations in your mind of what the perfect group coaching program, retreat, design circle, men’s group might look like. Because it will never look like that. 

I was a professional artist for many years before this calling, and I can tell you there is nothing more dynamic, more unpredictable in form, or for me more satisfying than the medium of human experience. Like a potter at the wheel, you have to get your hands in the clay to make something brilliant. 

I see so many people try to begin with Phase 3–the website, the shiny platform, the perfect copy. I’ve just started building web pages for my programs. Because, before you’ve had your hands in the clay, they usually fall pretty flat. And that failure experience can leave you feeling more certain that you’re just not cut out for groups, which is just not true. The secret is that the people who need you want YOU, not your perfectly polished page. For great human experience design, you have to begin with a direct relationship with your material. Other humans!

This work can begin with the simplest inspired invitations. Once you have clarity that you are ready to share that which is most deeply true for you. 

It isn’t after the next credentialing program. Or when you’ve perfected your funnel. Or when you’ve mastered Facebook ads. The time is now. When you’ve heard the internal call to BUILD COMMUNITY.

What is a container anyway?

From the Latin continere, “to hold together or enclose” con “with, together” + tenere “to hold”

A container is a framing premise that creates the parameters of a shared experience.

The questions it begs are how do we hold ourselves together? what are our relationships? and what will be the context within which we will journey together. In a learning or transformational container, we imagine not just being together, but transiting from point A to point B or state A to state B.

Practically, those parameters include everything from the when and where, to the objective, to the agreements about how you’ll relate to each other during the experience.

Your container can be in-person or virtual. It can last an hour or a year. It’s what time you convene and also how you treat each other. It’s the context of the work.

the cozy container

Group experiences can come in any scale. You’ve probably been to conferences or programs that have convened hundreds or even thousands of people.

Our focus will be on intimate-scale containers, where the intention is to create space for each individual to be seen and addressed at some level. Think of a circle where everyone will be known by name, and you’re in the zone of the cozy container.

I’m not saying that smaller is better. But it’s specific. And it’s my zone of genius.

I started my teaching journey 27 years ago as a graduate teaching assistant, breaking out small groups of a dozen or so undergrads from the herds of theater-sized lectures to help them turn information into understanding.

The intimate container is not about purveying information. It’s about helping people learn to use it. In real life. Often in real time. And guiding it well takes a certain set of skills and understanding that can only be cultivated in the practice of doing.

To be clear…

This is not for creating a course in a box

This is for creating spaces for real-time engagement

For human transformation

Even if you have dreams of speaking to the masses, there is a true proof-of-concept you can only get by going deep in the dozens.

If you’ve already heard the yes inside, schedule a call to find out more.

Who is this for?

Photo Credit: Summer Hokulani

Who is this for?

Photo Credit: Summer Hokulani

the seven competencies:

The program is built around seven key areas of consideration. They represent the process I’ve taken myself through in the creation of this and all of my courses. While many courses focus on how to organize your information, we focus on the experience of being held together–the literal meaning of contained–you and your clients together, on a collective journey of growth and expression. The seven areas are: Clarity, Commitment, Direction, Form, Vision, Culture, and Energy.


What is yours to share?


Offer from your zone of genius.

I’m sharing my gift of creating profound real-time multi-person experiences.  I’ll be sharing not just the sauce but how the sauce is made.


What’s the impact you want to have?


Identify the core shifts you’re trying to catalyze.

I want people to move from thinking about leading group experiences to actively and confidently leading them.


Who is it for?


Refine the audience to ensure that the people who commit to the container will be well-served by it. They are people who are actually ready for the shift you’re going to lead.

It’s for practitioners who already have a solid base of expertise and experience helping singular clients make big leaps.


What does it look like?


Align the elements – duration, cost, framework, context/location.

It’s a 3-month interactive virtual course that includes both group engagement and 1:1 support. It’s costed to support my ability to engage in both of those ways effectively.


How do you lead the shift?


Put your attention on the shift you’re creating rather than on the content you’re delivering. It will become easier to see the pedagogy, to understand what to teach when, and to adjust as needed, so the experience stays alive.

You’ll get to experience the magic of dynamic teaching that responds to the people, questions, and concerns in the room, while holding our shared goal of having each person create and enroll their own programs.


How will people relate to each other?


Build supportive agreements and create a safe relational environment that encourages risk-taking, vulnerability, and expansive reflection.

Have you noticed that we’re already building agreements? If you say yes, you’re agreeing to build a program or experience during our course. By also agreeing to offer it in this calendar year, you’re contributing to a culture of learning by doing rather than by gathering information. (see what I did there ? ;-)


How will it feel?


Learn what it really means to “hold space”. There are some very practical ways to consider creating the feeling of your space. We’ll learn a few tools for doing that–from mindful listening to metaphysics. Many of which involve getting clear on your own internal experience as the holder.

Every element of our communication includes both a word and a feeling (transmission). If you feel inspired while reading this page, that’s transmission!

ok, so maybe we’re really going to do this together

and you’re wondering if we’re a good fit.

I have…

you are…

a little more about my story…

Photo Credit: Summer Hokulani

My name is Kianga Ford, and I’m the very real woman behind Love + Freedom Education. Almost 9 years ago now, I exited the university system that I’d grown up inside of to become a free range educator out here in the world.

I started teaching in university classrooms when I was 22 and barely older than the undergraduates in my classes. I loved teaching and learning, but too many times I found myself facing the limits of how and what the university was prepared to teach. I knew I wanted to teach whole people. In contexts that matter deeply to them.

At the end of my academic career, I was a full-time university professor and a full-time fine artist. I was also a full-time program director, hiring and training faculty and running one of the top fine arts programs in New York City. All those full-times added up to not enough sleep.

When I left the academy, I thought I might spend the rest of my days sleeping off my exhaustion in the jungles of Hawaii (which is literally what I did for the first 6 months). But…as it turns out…my passion for teaching is strong. Not long after The Deep Sleep chapter of my life, I found myself enrolled in a coaching program and learning to work with people around their sexuality (talk about contexts that matter!).

I’m now a full-time entrepreneur with a coaching business that focuses on helping men and women come into creative and relational aliveness through understanding and mastering our masculine and feminine energies. And I do that largely through group programs, workshops, and retreats. Love + Freedom has 7 distinct and ongoing group learning containers.

When I first transitioned into working with adults outside of an institutional context, I made the same mistakes I see so many other people making. I kept working like I always had as an artist–toiling away in the studio, waiting until the masterpiece was complete to unveil it to its audience.

But crafting live human experience doesn’t work that way. It isn’t actually a product that you polish and put on the shelf. It’s a dynamic process of working with people.

I bring the decades I’ve spent thinking about pedagogy together with my love of creating immersive experiences (I was an installation artist) to create group programs that are alive, responsive, and that genuinely move people from an A point to a B point in their lives.

While I’m taking a pause from running my regular programs to dive into the Phase 3 vision, I want to convene around how we run programs without getting stuck in the ego traps of trying to look like the expert and polishing our content to the point of lifelessness. In my most soul-nourishing teaching experiences, I am learning by facilitating. And this feels like a model that is both more sustainable and more sustaining. I wish this for all of us growth junkies who have made our passions for people’s well-being, expansion, and creative expression the center of our professional lives.

In case you’re reading for the titles, I have a PhD (abd) in cultural theory and an MFA in fine art. I’m also a certified coach, Orgasmic Meditation trainer, and ordained intuitive healer. But what really qualifies me to do this work is living the process.

phase 1 – conceive + convene

This is a 3-month accelerated program, designed to move you from a thing you have in mind to a thing you are offering and that is contributing to your revenue in 2023.

It’s not just a place for the program you want to create. It’s a place for the emergent and expanded version of you that your program will make possible.

March-June 2023

In March, there will be 2 bonus pre-program calls to help you prepare.

From April to June there will be:

the investment

$3600 – individual

$5200 – for co-facilitators*

*this applies only if you have two leaders working together to develop a co-led program


Enroll by March 14th and have the opportunity to join the two bonus pre-program support calls to help you brainstorm and focus in on where to begin and how to focus your efforts for maximum success in the program.

Paid-in-full bonus:

Receive a 1:1 focusing call prior to the start of the program to help you confidently identify which program idea to begin with and to get a clear sense of scope.

OR a course-in-progress support call for when your program is up and running.

Payment plans:

Payment plans are available.

$1000 minimum deposit required 

A note about this investment:

By month two of this program, you should be fully ready to make invitations for your group experience. It is an essential part of the premise of this work that this investment should pay for itself with your program enrollment.

The journey begins the moment you sign up.

it’s time to talk about it.

Is it OK to contact you via text?
Have you previously led any group experiences?
Do you know anyone who has worked with Love + Freedom?

Copyright 2023. All rights reserved. | This page co-created with Wild Blackberry Studio.