Building bridges and creating strong community feel like some of the most vital things we can do for ourselves in this unpredictable, ever changing world. In Quaker meeting Sunday several people spoke out of the silence about community. One sharing involved a rainbow and was quite beautiful. This is unusual as often times no one speaks or the topics raised are dissimilar. I think this speaks as a sign of our times and has inspired me. While you are always welcome to Focus on whatever you want, we will focusing on the theme of Community at this next Changes group. I invite you to sense with me into what community means to you and how we keep it healthy, safe, and rich. If you will not attend the group but want to Focus on your own and share thoughts, please send them via email.
As I walked around my neighborhood the evening of independence day, I found myself noticing how different my attitude felt from behind the closed doors of my home texting one of my neighbors about what might or might not be going on vs roaming around the streets with my neighbors. Sequestered inside our own homes, or smallest circles, it can be easy to start thinking whatever those people out there are doing is, at best, not taking us into consideration and, at worst, may begin to feel like it's against us. This was me inside my home hearing all those booms and crashes wondering how I would ever get to sleep, and what were those people thinking anyway, surely not about me, my kids, or my neighbor's dogs.
When we are intentional in our relationships with one another and step out into the bigger picture, being present all together, the feeling is completely different. For me, our mutual humanity feels obvious in this wholistic sphere, I am no better or worse than you and we are each trying to make things the best possible from our own frame of reference and understanding. This is how I felt out in the streets WITH my neighbors. They were no longer faceless wonders behind large booms and crashes. They were people, enjoying themselves, equally glad to engage with each other and share the experience. When I returned home, I shared all this warmth with the neighbor I'd been texting earlier, who in turn expressed her appreciation of my vicarious perspective bringing. Let us remember ,when that familiar feeling of 'us and them' creeps up on us, where we begin to create negative assumptions, that there is always a bigger story to be shared. And it’s in the bigger stories that we find our biggest selves, our understanding and mutuality.
I am just a shaky being said Gendlin. Yet he was also a brilliant therapist, a philosopher, and much more. Each of us contains all of this. Please know, whether today you feel like the shaky being, the great therapist, the misunderstood philosopher, or anything else you are most welcome here. Come as you are!
Our Focusing Changes groups are one small way we can both make a wholehearted connection with each other and maintain our practice of Focusing. Our next virtual Focusing Changes Group will be held on Sunday, July 12th, at 12:00pm
and continue on with the third Sunday of the month. (August 16
, September 20
, October 18
, November 15
, December 20
, and so on into the new year.) We will reserve two hours space for the group, however may end early depending on the number of attendees and individual needs. The experience will consist of: Group attunement, brief check in, partner exchanges, and sharing.