When I am asked to very simply define of the gods I talk instantly about the culture of community. Of the Gods is the WHY everything takes place. Everything that we create from that, is the HOW.
There are a few reasons leading me down this path. Of course if we are paying attention, or even take the time to stop and check in, we can look back on life and find a pattern, or a rhythm that threads through our lives creating a weaving pattern that creates a most marvellous design. One that expands over time and draws in every aspect of our experiences and pulls it to a shawl neatly fitting around us. Cloaking us, gently on our shoulders.
Keeping us warm within all that we have done, yet open at the front to all that we can become.
The beginning of Why
Was a strange piece of the thread that saw me, someone who is extremely apt at being alone, always embracing community. Working in places that were very communal. Places where people came to 'be' and 'experience' or simply have fun and wind down. These places varied from days working in a winery in the desert, to days opening my own book cafe. I also found it in the many gyms I worked in. People came to these places to connect on a level of joy. And in this I always noticed their joy. I saw many arrive with pain and the pain melt away to laughter. I saw many come with stress and anxiety and that diminish into dance or memories with friends.
When I took the time (sum 18 years) to complete study in the field of counselling, I did so in order to help people find that. To open people to a pathway to that. I loved it. I don't know that I was brilliant at it, but my clients and I always developed a sense of connection that allowed them to desire more, and greater such that they left looking for ways to step back into a community of like minded joy. I was always very aware of what went down in those sessions. Connection, comfort, laughter, trust, tears, more trust, tea, plenty of tea or water .... and as a few elements of their world changed, so did they. As their food changed they became lighter, not just physically but energetically. They cleared and cleansed their minds and all of a sudden their was a need to get back into the world.
The beginning of How
The how was something I always wanted to bottle. I often joked that when I had 'special' friends there were times I wished I could put them in a jar and onto the mantle piece so that I could smile and recall them when in need. So my HOW had to be something where I was in a jar.
Because, and this is the linking most important piece - I KNEW - that the journey of life was never one meant to be taken alone. That true wellness, true life spirit and love and enjoyment, is a you n me thing. It is a community. It is connection. And ultimately we don't find true wellness without it.
You n Me
You n me is the basis of community. We are a unit. No matter what we look at or the way we look at it, without connection, without community, without BEING together, we don't fully find meaning to life at all. And so the culture of community was at the very essence - the WHY that runs through all our how.
Of course, this is exactly how life intends it to be. How when we truly nurture the land, or nurture each other - when we work together - when we are symbiotic, or united, we are working at our greatest potential. And so I research the heck out of it! Because I know that the only way we truly have all that we seek, is through community. The you n me culture.
I found this quote to be exceptionally interesting....
Hegemony How-To by Jonathan Smucker, : an excerpt on the importance of fostering a sense of community in creating a better world:
"In modern US society, many of us suffer from a lack of adequate community in our daily lives. Indeed, social alienation and psychological strain seem to be endemic.
When we look at the state of the world we may understandably feel frustrated, angry, and heartbroken. Besieged by a dominant culture in which destructive values and politics seem to reign supreme, we may feel isolated. We can find community—a sense of sanity and belonging—by coming together with likeminded people to express our alternative values boldly, loudly, and, most importantly, collectively. The explicit purpose of coming together with likeminded people is to affect change, more effectively by joining together in greater numbers. A second, less explicit purpose is to surround ourselves with community and also with reflections of the values that we hold dear. Together we create projects, spaces, culture, and ritual that cultivate a strong life of the group.
Sums it up!
Wellness and the culture of community
The more I research, both through other people and my own clients, I see a common thread seeking to weave into connection. That the cloak and shawl I have made for my shoulders may be able to be extended to warm someone else as well. And maybe a whole community. That when we seek wellness, the journey of self love, we come to understand that after the first step of loving who we are, comes the vital step of loving all that is around us, the people, the earth, the plants, the animals... all things. And in that space we seek community to embrace not only each other but embrace our own self as well.
Whilst I am loathed to use a cliche, it is very true that we find an I in illness and we in wellness. It is a simple statement showing us that the more we push ourselves into an island, the more we take our heart out of society and the more we retreat into loneliness we find ailments increase. Aches and pains steadily grow and the depression deepens. Unlike those who seek community. It is open, it is the light, it is unity it is a collective space where we find more of who we are.
You n me simply shows us that it is together that we create wellness not alone.
Seek, act, commit
May have been a few words we have used in the past to ask us to step into community. I prefer these:
Accept - find your own heart, love it, accept it, be ready to let it shine
Accept again - others. In allowing our own self to shine, we find the ability to allow others to shine in their own right. This invites an acceptance of diversity and it leads us to unity.
Unite - with others, find like minds, find those who challenge you, find people as a whole that you can step into and grow and become greater with. Unity builds strength. It helps us to stand. It helps us to grow. It helps us to connect.
Embrace - connection is about embracing. It asks us to open our heart, to make sure our shawls are draped around our shoulders and not covering our chest. It allows us to stay open to all thats in front of us and ready to become us. It allows us to embrace others fully with our arms out spread and hearts open.
Observe, expand and grow - Just like nature observing those around us helps us to expand and grow. It tells us that we can step out and that we can step forward. It shines a light on our path greater than ever before.
All in all - find room for you n me. Find more community. Find connection. This is the space that wellness thrives!