Are you enjoying the cold? I don’t mind it so much this year despite the fact that it feels a little icy at times. I seem to enjoy curling up with a good book a little more than strolling along the coast these days and despite this, I still feel very much connected to my tribe. One of my clients was chatting to me the other day about the importance of community and how important it is to have one, especially when your personal or professional circumstances change.
His own personal environments had changed dramatically when he embarked on some lifestyle changes that included a radical health overhaul, as well as the demise of his relationship. One of the things that came up in his kinesiology session was a longing to belong, and in his case, the trigger was the lack of supportive community around him.
From the moment our umbilical chord is cut, we have a longing to reconnect, and depending on our personality of course, this manifests in different ways, either by relating through a person, an organization or even by studying.
They say it takes a village, and for any mum that has needed a babysitter on short notice or a friend that needed another friend to simply be there and to listen over a cup of tea, the value of having someone close by is immeasurable. It was only the other day my best friend was able to drive me to work when I was running late and on a separate occasion drive me home from the doctor when I was feeling unwell.
In yoga, we call our community a ‘satsang’. The people that we choose to consciously surround ourselves with are the same people that will help to elevate our level of consciousness. This is especially important when the old adage of ‘you can’t choose your family, but you can always choose your friends’ applies to our personal situation.
But what about when our situation changes? What about when our new scenario means that the support we need from our community has now changed? For example, having a baby often means we need to be close to our family for continued support. Other examples are leaving a relationship or curbing a drug or alcohol habit means that being around our old friends can sometimes provide a trigger for destructive patterns.
The sense of connection we have with people is a 2 way street, as we personally feel that we have value when we can be of service to others. The yoga studio that I teach at in Newtown is a place that has been my second home at different periods in my life. Initially it was a safe haven where I practiced yoga, and then became the primary setting for my many yoga courses and recently it has been the community where I still learn from, but now also teach from.
When we fee supported, we make better decisions about our life and when we can think clearly about what we want, we value our needs and therefore our boundaries are better defined.
And in the words of a famous wordsmith, ‘Tis not enough to help the feeble up, but to support them after’. William Shakespeare