Community sweet Community

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“A community is the mental and spiritual condition of knowing that the place is shared, and that the people who share the place define and limit the possibilities of each other’s lives. It is the knowledge that people have of each other, their concern for each other, their trust in each other, the freedom with which they come and go among themselves.”
— Wendell Berry

Now that I am back from vacation, it was not only time to go back to work, but back to Yoga Teacher/Holistic Coach Training, which I attended last night. It was a wee nerve wracking as I had to teach with a group again, but I made it through. Even more nerve wracking was having all the other students provide feedback. It was all positive, even the areas to work on, and I felt pretty good about it. The second part of class is where things got interesting.
The agenda said our instructor was going to discuss herbal remedies; however, we had many people missing from class so she decided to do a coaching exercise. While some where not happy as they were looking forward to learning about the herbals, I think the exercise we did was even more valuable.
Our instructor provided a set of questions, things like “What were your original goals of teacher training?”, “What has been the most impactful?”, “What areas do you need to work on?” etc. We had 10 minutes to fill it out and then each person shared their answers. The answers people shared were nothing short of amazing.
I was absolutely honored that these women could share such honest and vulnerable things about themselves to our group. Some (myself included) were looking for a new community and new friends. Some were looking for healing for personal issues they were experiencing, and were so grateful for the class because they were experiencing that healing. Some talked about loneliness, not fitting in, and the struggles that ensued. It was so beautiful that we didn’t care we ran over time. It is times like that that inspire me to want to help people.
I don’t want to lose touch with the community we have built. It has benefited everyone so much, I can’t imagine it ending. I hope to have it morph into something new after the teaching training is over. What really surprised me is not one of those women signed up with the goal to become a Yoga instructor. However, when they learned about the training they could see that it had the potential to be so much more than that.
Some expressed the fact that through their growth some of their friendships had fallen away, or they became choosier about the people they spent time with. I could relate—I believe I lost one of my best friends when she couldn’t relate to the person I had become and where she was in her life. With the help of my life coach, I developed a mantra around relationships in my life – “attract equality”. What this means for me as I want to have relationships with people who are in my similar place in life with the same spiritual ambitions, a desire to learn and improve, and who display strength and authenticity. In the past I have let people in who were fine with the status quo, just moving through life day to day, molding themselves to the people or situation around them. And they were miserable and had no problem “acting out” that misery in a variety of ways. I said no more. And my friends at teacher training were saying the same thing.
The opening quote expresses exactly what I was feeling last night. I am determined to maintain that community, and I hope those that want the same thing will join me. I believe the strength of that community will not only benefit us, but our strength could be a beacon for others. Through our struggles and triumphs we could help others who are currently where many of us were 8-9 months ago.
How strong is your community? Do you have one? If you are seeking, don’t dismiss a group intent on one thing (like becoming a yoga teacher) as an option. You may discover that group has WAY more to offer than that one thing.

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