I found myself chatting to a woman a few years younger than me recently. She commented that she is loving what I’m creating with The Aspire Series. I thanked her and commented that I loved a post that she created recently. I felt that there was something more in this. She shared with me that she is trying something new and she appeared a little sheepish. I asked her what this was all about.
She responded with “well, you know how I’m studying counselling? Well I have all of these ideas and dreams and I don’t know what to make of them or what they’re even about. But I thought that if I just post one thing a week with my thoughts, then that’s something and I’ll see where it goes”. I congratulated her.
She responded with “Yeah, but I don’t know, because who am I to post stuff like this?’. I suggested that this is perfect and all that she needs to do is to begin, and to trust that the rest will come to her when it’s ready.
I remember sitting in a workshop 18 months ago. We did a meditation where we were encouraged to see our future selves in a mirror in front of us and we were invited to ask this woman for her wisdom. This woman, me, was ever so grounded, present and she looked directly at me with deep warm eyes. She looked somehow the same as my reality in that moment, and somehow very different. This woman looked directly at me and said to me “just begin, Michelle. That’s all you need to do”. She said nothing else and only stood, open hearted and deeply aware.
I had an idea years ago to create a space for women who work with other people to connect, with a focus on both self care and where they could share their ideas about their work and also provide a source of encouragement for one another. I didn’t create it at the time. I had this thing come up around “who am I to do this?” and that evolution of the story ended there. In a roundabout way, for many of these years, people have contacted me, to seek my advice about working in the community sector anyway.
When I looked at our Sunday Soul Session last month, I saw a room full of healers, teachers, leaders and community workers. These women were all at similar and at differing points across their various areas of life. They all believe in creating a better world and in encouraging other women in their various pursuits and modalities. I called these women in long ago, however my mind took its time in releasing enough to allow this to form in my reality.
Coming back to the woman at the beginning of this post, she said to me “I feel like I need to be around others who are interested in similar things. I need people in my life who don’t discourage my dreams”. I agreed wholeheartedly. It is in these spaces where we begin to believe in ourselves, and this is where these dreams begin to manifest into our reality.
We very much need safe landing spaces that support us when we go out into the world and do the scary stuff. We need to know that we can exist without the armour that we often create around ourselves. We need to know that our own quirky existence is actually a very valid way of being, regardless of what the broader society feels. We need to be able to exhale, to tune back inwards and to feel that we exist here, in our bodies and that little else is expected of us. We need to know that even when we are stretching and expanding ourselves and our old world is falling away, that we are not alone. That we are actually the most real and authentic version of ourselves at that very moment and that there is great beauty in that.
These things are a given and while not every community will best serve us, we do still need to have access and to feel that we can find those that do. There are communities for every single one of us, and as community leaders, it is our responsibility to keep the doors and lines of communication open. We need to keep our front light on so that those who are seeking us; can find what they need within our doors.
While we may meet for a particular purpose, the threads that run underneath this are so much deeper and the power of the space that communities hold is so much more powerful.
We are dream holders and we are enablers.
We also hold refuge for these intricacies which make us human on the way to creating these dreams. This is the potential of community and the undeniable fact of what we can provide and achieve together.