The Value of Community

I sit here now after having just returned from a Grandmothers’ meeting. We have them once a month, every month. Our group facilitator who emanates a spirit of giving and connectedness to our Earth and its people, leads us through meditation, sharing, prayer and connecting to the great nurturing energy of the feminine principle. Language barriers sometimes hinder the process of intellectually understanding everything, but our hearts hear crystal clear what this is all about.

These meetings open up our hearts. They open us up to sharing, receptivity and love. This is what the Grandmothers’ energy represents that we invite to bless our meetings. And, with these gatherings, I find myself imbued with a refreshed and renewed outlook on life. I feel connected. I feel connected to life in all its manifestations, I feel connected to the women with whom I sit with, and I feel whole.

This is the importance of community.

[Photo copyright by Moyan Brenn]

We are emerging from a place of individualism where honour and pride is bestowed upon the man who can do it all himself, into an era in which we are recognizing that the circle of community is essential to our wellbeing and ability to thrive. However, this flavour of community is one of particular depth and dare I say connection that I think supersedes our ordinary conception of community.

You see, what I feel emerging in my life and what I’m noticing in the lives of many others, is that we are joining not only our hands, but our hearts in communities of love. We are coming to see that when we help someone else and they help us, we’re all happy. It’s a win-win situation. There are no winners and losers, there is just a community of support where everyone thrives and feels connected to the whole.

Two years ago I found myself craving community. I lived alone, but not only that, I felt alone—there is a difference. Granted I knew people and saw these people regularly enough, but something was missing. I lacked that feeling of connectedness. I didn’t feel whole, I felt lonely. And, this is coming from a hardcore individualist and introvert. I’m not saying I wished I saw people more often. I loved my alone time in my apartment reading or studying. I still love and relish that time. However, I missed having a sense of community. The only community I knew was my two parents who lived six hours away.

I’d never grown up with much family around and I’d never been one to be part of “cliques”  as I felt uncomfortable with the ways groups operated; group mentality and popularity contests…it was all not my thing and it just didn’t make me feel what I wanted to feel. I also always felt different and not entirely embraced or accepted by most people. I had a couple friends growing up whom I loved dearly, but often felt like there was something inside of me that was missing. So, really, I wasn’t craving community for two years, I had been craving it for a good part of my life.

But to get back to the point, two years ago when I was 23, I found myself in a class in which we were going to do an experiential exercise—a ritual to bring into our lives something that we really wanted. I dawdled on my choice on whether to go with ideal health or community. Despite still running into health problems, I chose community, because I knew I needed to fill that gap in my heart.

Community came. And boy, did it ever come. I came to learn what community really was and I began to fill that gap within me. I found myself bonding ever more closely with my classmates over the coming months and years (I think it says a lot that since our last class together in June of 2011, we’ve had regular class reunions every month or two).

I also joined a group online which I call “the card group” which is a community joined by their love and interest of reading oracle cards, but more so than that one of the most loving cyberspace communities imaginable. At its core, it’s a safe place where people can ask for support, healing, and whatever they need and those requests always fall upon loving and open ears. What this community proved to me is that, as Denise Linn says, “cyberspace really can be sacred space”.

Furthermore, I recently joined a spiritual mastermind group and I can tell you that this countered all my views of what a mastermind group was all about. I always associated mastermind groups with overly ambitious people in the business world and the thought of it all and its emphasis on profit-making and icky business talk like that had me shuddering away. I like helping people. I really just want to help in the best way that I can. And I can say that I’ve been blessed to find this gentle group of humble souls who really just want to do the very same. It’s wonderful, it’s fulfilling and it’s a space where we share encouragement and love on our individual paths.

Here is one last testament to the growing phenomenon of loving communities in my life (and maybe others as well? I mean, I’m not alone here in these groups after all…):This summer I participated in a workshop, which I feel exemplifies that community is about love and that what is emerging now in the consciousness of many is a need to share love; not to be something we’re not; not to puff up our chests and show off our egos. Just love. The workshop was experiential and we spent the entirety of our time there helping people access the portals to love through meditation, sitting and being present with people, and laying our hands gently (and respectfully) on their bodies. We helped people overcome their barriers to love to facilitate the experience of the awe-inspiring love of the Divine flow through our beings.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi

I feel blessed in my life to have discovered communities of love— genuine, pure LOVE and the more I focus on love, the more these communities sprout up. I find myself in healing circles and in circles in which we express prayers of gratitude and so on.

On a final note, I leave you with this thought: let’s form communities around love and not around our fear that we will be alone. This is where the fulfillment lies. No one in these communities makes you do things that are against your soul’s wishes, they only support your soul’s journey and that is what we need and what I needed.

I leave you here with a few words from Sharon McErlane, author of A Call to Power:  the Grandmothers Speak. She speaks about the “net of light”, which exemplifies what community is all about and what the Grandmothers’ meetings are all about.

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© 2012, Melina Schetakis. All rights reserved.

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