Feeling Belonged and the sense of Community

Today, with Palouse Mindfulness we gathered together on Zoom and shared a short awareness practice about the sense of community and belonging by remembering past or present experiences of it and see how was that for us then and now. I didn`t know that this will be the topic today until I entered to the room, and it made so much sense, as the word “community” occupies so much of my reality in this moment, which therefore I`ve decided to share my thoughts about it and curious about your point of view too, so please comment below if you would like to add something.

I am trying to recall when was the moment in the near past, if this phrase exist, that I began to think about the urge and the need to be part of a/the community and get involved; I was not sure then and I am still not sure what it means exactly or how does it look like exactly, but how I feel is … that this is the future (and of course it doesn`t mean you need to be extrovert and continuously share your time with others.)

When I say future, I mean about the following video, which was truly inspiring.

Besides of the Trauma Informed Approach and asking “What Happened to You?”, now, we can also ask “What is Strong within You?”

I only heard about the ABCD model, the Asset Based Community Development model a year ago in 2020, when I applied for a Social Prescriber position. It is a real pity that I did not know about this when I was a volunteer in Africa in 2011, I am not sure if I would have understood it, but I probably could have made a bigger impact, a sustainable change, than I believe I made.

It is very interesting that because I did not feel belonged nor in my Secondary School nor in my community I lived when I was a teenager and just only had a taste of it when I joined the volunteering program in Africa, I thought I need to chase it, that I need to look for it, that it will be somewhere else. So in many areas in my life I was in a continuous quest, travelling, moving on and looking for places, people, work, career, relationships and community where I could belong.

Since the African/Denmark based volunteering program, I felt belonged a couple of times of course, especially surrounded with people interested in Esoterica, but the real transformation started when meeting with Coaching & Mindfulness, as it inevitable resulted to meet with people who has similar interests, like minded people, and I was able to have amazing, open and inspirational conversations, brainstorming and bringing in new ideas, point of views and more.

Cormac Russel in the above presentation points out something very important, which is very similar to the idea and reasons I fall in love with Coaching, and it`s about evoking the excellence in others and “redefining” help, tapping into, working with, rather than giving advice, doing to people. Basically, ABCD is the community form of Coaching.

So coming back to the practice we did during the Zoom gathering above, the word feeling “rooted” was keep coming back to my mind. Community and the feeling of belonging provides me with the sense of rootedness. This is actually the basis of workplace engagement as well, and also what Johann Hari talks about below.

“Connections”

The sense of community, connectedness gives us reasons and meanings, that we are part of something bigger, it thrives creativity and basically everything around. This is what the bases of Maslow Pyramid and also the PERMA model for happy and meaningful life.

So how is community and the sense of belonging shows up in your body and in your life? What it means to you? How do you embrace it? How it gives you meaning? How do you show up as part of a/the community? Where is your community? Where do you feel belonged? How could you make a difference?

How community was present in our life before the Pandemic and how it is now? What has changed? What I see is that, even though it seemingly teared us apart, it actually brought us together. In my previous post about how mindfulness can transform our lives, I wrote about balance, well I also think and feel that Mindfulness can bring us together; becoming aware about our common humanity and shared experiences. So how could we evoke the excellence in each other? How could we appreciate the talents each of us has? For example, some people has talent which brings a lot of money, some people has a talent which brings something else, so how could we balance it?

I am now using the Olio app, to reduce waste, bring food to the table, but also become part of a/the community; another brilliant app, which brings people, meditators together like Insight Timer; or travellers like Couchsurfing.

How could we transform our lives, our communities for greater joy and benefit for everyone?

Very curious about your thoughts on this, please comment below.

Thank you 🙂

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