Re-establishing the Commons is an essential aspect of community health. Ever since the dawn of humanity, we’ve found central locations to convene, share, exchange and transmit with one another. These locations often look like hearths, churches, temples, sacred sites and sometimes even natural landscapes.
Regardless of the physical expression (which we’ll get into in a moment), it’s useful to understand the non-physical aspect of these spaces as a nodal point for connection. These areas are created as source points for the healthy connection that drives the energetic health of an ecosystem. Communities benefit from having shared spaces to convene, to connect, and to charge up. Whether we’re gathering around a table for a shared meal, or circling up around a fire for a clearing conversation and healthy debate; The Commons provide a space for communities to come into harmony.
The Commons could historically be seen as areas devoted to shared experience. We see the Temple as a perfect example of The Commons; a space where bridges are built between realms. The stewardship of these bridges is a task done by the Temple Keepers and holy folk who care for the integrity of The Commons.
Things that are hard to reach feel more holy. We can see this in the way temples are designed, where the progression into holier and holier places feels like a journey into deeper sanctity. Perhaps you can feel this essence when you summit a mountain top; the longer the journey, the higher the altitude, the greater the view and the felt sense of achievement. This sacred space, contained and protected, is an access point to union and communion with The All that Is. The more we create and invite shared experience into these holy places, the stronger our communities become.
So, What Now?
Now that we’ve come to a stage in human history where we have unlimited access, the game has changed. We are awarded with the sacred texts from myriad traditions, holy insights from a multitude of sources, and scripture from hundreds of different traditions. The path we walk from here on out hasn’t been chartered. There’s a need for a new way to walk; where the steps of those who came before us are informing how we dance in a new way. Regardless of how we walk forward into the future we are all breathing into being, it’s essential we do so together. Let’s ensure we cultivate the strength communities need by nourishing the central nodal points for connection. As long as The Commons thrive, we will, too!
We all know how important it is to nurture a sense of belonging within our bodies. The language may register at a certain level, perhaps cognitively in the mind. Yet there comes a time in our journey when things we understand in the mind must be anchored down into the body. Having a felt sense of the concepts that our minds have come to understand, is essential.
For instance, this concept of a sense of belonging. We may understand what this means in our heads; the idea of safety, security, and protection. This can be understood cognitively as a relationship. We have relationships to each other, to our human family, to the larger more-than-human world, and to this beloved planet. These relationships create constellations in which we can feel varying degrees of belonging.
Moving the sense of belonging from a cognitive definition into a felt experience is a process with no end. Like life, it is a work in progress, and we can only continue to deepen into the practices that sustain our health and well being with a strong will.
So, let’s have a look at three different signs that you are experiencing a felt sense of belonging, in order for you to amplify awareness around what the felt sense really feels like in the body.
- Relaxed Nervous System
The first sign we’ll look at is the state of our nervous system. Within a constellation where we belong, and feel that sense of belonging, we will likely be experiencing a relaxed nervous system across the board. We will not be experiencing any fight or flight responses (or at least minimal).
- Muted Internal Dialogue
The second sign that we’re experiencing a sense of belonging has to do with our internal landscape. Sometimes our monkey mind can run a muck. We all know this feeling, when thoughts seem to think themselves and they move at a mile a minute. Well, usually when we’re feeling that sense of belonging, the monkey mind is able to take a rest. There is way less mental chatter, and more spaciousness in our minds for present moment awareness. We experience more inner harmony that is in response to the harmony that surrounds us. It’s a feedback loop, and we feel it.
- Open-Hearted Authenticity
The last sign that we’ll explore together is about our ability to express authentically. When we’re in a relationship, group, space or place in which we belong, it will be easier for us to speak our truth. Authentically expressing comes more easily, due to the air of acceptance and inclusion that would be present. When we accept each other as we are and feel inclusivity toward each other, there becomes more space for our hearts to express their authentic voice. We feel this as a sensation of open-heartedness, where our heart space is emanating a coherence that is in harmony with the field around us.
There you have it! May those three signs serve to support you in celebrating how you fit within your constellations, whether in 1:1 relationships, groups, your affinity communities, or team dynamics.
It feels like a common sentiment to feel time passing quickly, doesn’t it? For many of us, it feels like the days are long and the years feel short. That time sometimes slips by us before we even hear the clock ticking. This feeling of time flying can be grounded in practice. Practicing the art of recognition, of acknowledgement, is something we’re being invited into now.
From one day to the next, one week followed by the one after, and each month continuing to unfold, we don’t often give ourselves a beat to recognize where we are. Well, consider this your invitation. We’re midway through the year, well into Summer up here in the Northern Hemisphere, and perhaps there’s a fair amount of change and transformation worth recognizing. Can you recall any goals you set out toward? Back in January, we entered into a new year and with it, likely felt a sense of commitment to something new. How is it all unfolding? Can you see the unfolding reflected in the people you surround yourself with? There are ways we can see our ongoing progress in the mirror of our friends and loved ones.
Celebrating the Little Wins
We’ve been conditioned to celebrate life’s large thresholds we cross and holidays, like when we graduate from high school or Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Yet, what about the little moments? The ‘little wins’ that are still worthy of acknowledgement. How can we create more space for these celebrations? It’s less a matter of creating a whole holiday celebration around completing your to-do list, as much as it’s an invitation into consistent recognition of the small things.
When smaller tasks are completed, can we create some space to celebrate? Can we pat ourselves on the back and acknowledge the completion?
We know that when things are completed with clarity of closure, it creates deeper and wider space for the next birthing. So, let’s be sure to celebrate and acknowledge each little win, so that our successes will continue to grow into their most expansive versions of themselves!
Self-reflection and Community
Doing this internally, with oneself, is the prerequisite for showing up in community this way. Once we become familiar with this practice of self-acknowledgement and gratitude expression, we are more poised to share this with community. The ecosystems we are woven into are permeated with our deeper sense of acknowledgement on our path. When we acknowledge our own journey, we bring that frequency into our community structures. When each step is acknowledged and celebrated (even the steps where we stub our toes or twist our ankles), we’re able to learn how to carry a rhythm all together, walking in harmony and beating our drums to the pace of our own heartbeats.
Shamanism is all about relationships. In this post, we’re going to explore what a shaman is, what role shamanism has played in different cultures around the world, and lastly, how a shamanic perspective can be integrated into your life.
So, what is a shaman?
Tracked back to the late 17th century through Russian etymology, the term shaman most likely originated in North Asia, where the Manchu-Tungus language described a personified version of the verb ‘to know’ (sa); the shaman is ‘one who knows’. Now, you may be thinking…the one who knows what? Perhaps we can think of it as the one who knows what we may not know.
What sorts of folks are there in your life that you look to for something you do not ‘know’? Perhaps a mechanic, or a doctor…you could think of anyone that you go to with trust. You trust that they know something that you do not. Now, when thinking of someone like this, there are aspects of training and experiential wisdom that are essential to trust building. This experiential wisdom, across pretty much every culture, looks like deep service in healing work for their communities.
Shamans are found in many different traditions, spanning across each continent, often sitting at the intersection of healing, arts, medicine and ritual. Within many traditions, we see correlations between shamanism and community health; bridging art into medicine and healing into ritual can make a big impact on a culture.
So, back to relationships. Bridging these oftentimes segmented and compartmentalized portions of society is the work the shaman does. Why? Because it’s important to understand (and tend) the relationships between and amongst all things.
The Here & Now
Alright, so maybe now you can feel more of a sense of what a shaman may be, and what role they’ve served their communities. Other than being vital contributors to the health of their community ecosystems, shamans are super connectors. They bridge realms, through and amongst dimensions, between and across species, and within many timelines. This is a way of being in relationship.
Is there an animal spirit that you feel a strong connection to? How could you strengthen this relationship? Perhaps it’s drawing the animal, or doing a dance to embody the feeling that this animal evokes in you.
At the end of the day, we are at a point in human history where it’s important for us to trust ourselves. We can begin to start sourcing internally what we’ve traditionally outsourced because we hadn’t invited our innate gifts to come fully online.
The time has arrived to empower our inner knowing, so that we can walk through life in the right relationship with the part of us that ‘knows’. In essence, there is an aspect of us that is shamanic, and that has shamanic abilities. It’s time to invite ourselves into trusting what comes through, feeling empowered by our inner knowing, staying surrendered to the fact that oftentimes the more we know, the more we know that we don’t know…
Humility is key, let’s keep expanding, friends!