Enlivenment, Community, & Staying Close
"What fresh hell will surface on the news today?”
This is an unconscious thought that now greets me daily. Between elections, climate change, and global pandemic, interacting with the world has occurred as stressful and overwhelming.
This was the manner I entered into last weekend's Yoga and Writing workshop with Christina Sell, Sarah Regina Ryan, and Mary Angelon Young. I did not have expectations going into the workshop, but I did know the general weariness of the world had settled into my bones and manifested as a feeling of, “I don’t wanna.” I went anyway.
We spent the weekend steeped in yoga, words, and writing practices. The sense of community was tangible and rich, with ages spanning from 28-75. Over the course of the weekend I was moved slowly and imperceptibly out of disenfranchisement and into the current of love, like a block of ice thawing in the fridge, by sharing and being shared with. By the end of the weekend, my form was water. I was moved by the profundity of community and how we can connect on the experience of being alive - the pain, the loss, the suffering, the humanity. And how when we touch into our innate connectedness, even just for a weekend, we receive the ineffable gift of enlivenment. The feeling of belonging to a community nourishes something that, when we experience it, we are certain it is necessary. Like drinking clear, cool water from a steel canteenduring dry desert hike.
I sit on the other side of what was truly one of the most spiritual weekends of my life, laughing. Because nothing outside of me has changed (much, at least, except the increasing numbers of covid-19), and I feel better. So much better. What changed is this: I feel closer to myself. Really close. Through meditation, asana, and writing in an intensive setting, I got to melt some of the anxiety and drama of the day-to-day, and got the gift of remembering who I am underneath it all.
And I don’t think it’s any coincidence that when I tapped into the heart-expanding sense of community, what I got was a deeper connection to my Self. These two are undeniably bound together, our sense of Self and our sense of belonging in a community.
So, now, more than ever, it is time for us to do the things that keep us close to ourselves. If you love running, run. Yoga, practice. Write, dance, spend time with children, do it. And if you have a community of the Heart that can help keep you accountable, even better. Do it for the Love of it and the love of you.
Britt and I are running a program called "Studies in Wholeness," and we begin on April 6. This four-week course explores who you are as a whole being, according to the Quadrant model: your physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual quadrants. If you've been searching for a community to dive deep with, this course is for you. Save your spot or request more information by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.