The Braided Commitment Band is our symbol of dedication and responsibility to the PolyFamily. At the heart of PolyRelationships is our ability to make and keep commitments. The commitments we make to ourselves and to our partners and our integrity to those commitments is the clearest manifestation of our annual reaffirmation celebration. Our Band represents the essence of our family's growth. Through our annual anniversary celebration we become conscious of areas of weakness, areas for improvement, areas of talent that could be developed, areas that need to be changed or eliminated from our lives. On our anniversary we make new commitments, set goals and be true to them, we also draw from the strength of character of Polyamorists who have come before us who have made possible every positive thing that has happened in our lives.
It is through our reaffirmation of our commitment that we find ways to put ourselves in control of our lives immediately. We can make commitments and keep them. We can set goals and work to achieve them. As we make and keep commitments, even small ones, we begin to establish an inner integrity that gives us the awareness of self control and the courage and strength to accept more of the responsibility for our moods and lives. The power to make and keep commitments to ourselves and our PolyFamily is the essence of developing healthy loving Polyamorous unions. Knowledge, skill and desire are all within our reach to sustain our commitments. As our PolyFamily circle becomes larger, we more deeply internalize the principles on which we create the strength of character to move us in a balanced way toward our personal commitments and the promised future of all humankind.
1. 6 knots for every year of the commitment to the PolyRelationship/Family representing the 6 essential elements of sucessful PolyRelationships.
2. Each PolyPartner provides a bead for each of the other Partners. The beads should be made of a durable material, (Gold, silver, hard stone, plastic.)
3. Each bead should be located equally between each set of knots representing the amount of years committed. This sybolizes the equality of the Polyamory commitment.
4. Bands are rebraided every year of the relationship with new braided cord on a mutually agreed upon anniversary as a reaffirmation of the PolyPartners commitment to the Family and Relationships. Every year at the time of the reaffirmation celebration the new 6 knot set is added between each partners bead representing the amount of years of the PolyRelationship. As the Relationship/Family grows with the passage of time so will the Polyamory Braided Commitment Band.
5. On the day before a new PolyPartner commits him/herself to the PolyRelationship/Family the New Partner(s) ensures that all bands are rebraided with the new beads.
6. PolyPartners who are deceased still remain a PolyPartner/Family member and are honored by retaining their individual distance between each set of braids representing the years committed. Their presence, wisdom and love remains with us still.
7. Children of PolyFamilies from infancy to 17 years of age are represented with their bead separated by 1 knot next to one of their birth parents or guardians bead then 1 knot after the childs bead. On the childs 18th birthday and for the rest of the life of the PolyRelationship/Family 2 knots are tied after one of their birth parents or guardians bead then 2 knots after the young adults bead to honor their successful transition into adulthood. No additional knots are tied for children or young adults annually as are for PolyPartner(s), either 1 knot for child before and after the child's bead or 2 knots before and after a young adult's bead. Multiple children are handled by the same 1 or 2 knot tradition.
8. Beads from PolyPartners who leave or divorce the Family/Relationship are placed together as a group after the first set of braids representing the amount of years as recognition and respect for their commitment once to this PolyFamily/Relationship on the anniversary celebration day following their departure. (In cases where the departure was difficult the family may wish to remove the bead entirely.)
9. We encourage the Polyamory Braided Commitment Band to be worn somewhere on the body. We feel that the closer in proximity to the skin the Band is worn the stronger and more powerful the individual commitment to the PolyFamily and PolyRelationship. As the band grows, wearing it may become impractical and the family may choose a place of honor to display their bands in the home. The intent is to be connected to the Family/Relationship and your commitment to your loved ones 24 hours a day 7 days a week.