Our good fortune is dependent upon the cooperation and contributions of others. Every aspect of our present well-being is due to hard work on the part of others. As we look around us at the buildings we live and work in, the roads we travel, the clothes we wear, or the food we eat, we have to acknowledge that all are provided by others. None of them would exist for us to enjoy and make use of were it not for the kindness of so many people unknown to us.
~The Dahli Lama
There have been so many signs in my universe lately about the power of community and the above quote was today’s tidbit on my Facebook newsfeed. In fact I had been mulling over in my head for weeks now the writing of this post without actually putting pen to paper so I believe this post was more of a proverbial kick in the asana than anything else.
The end of May marks a huge transition time for me in both my personal and professional life. As my children wrap up their school year, my husband completes up his year-end, and I wind down the daily yoga classes I teach during the school year in Eau Claire, WI. We all pack up and move to Madeline Island where I teach and run a yoga retreat business for women yoginis and adventurers. The busy-ness is overwhelming at times but as I bid a temporary farewell to my Eau Claire community, I am welcomed with open arms into the Madeline Island Community.
The power of community wasn’t much of a consideration in my life before 2009. Yes, I was aware of the blessings a close-knit family, kick –ass girlfriends, and even a great neighborhood bestowed upon my world, but a crazy cancer diagnosis multiplied the value a hundredth fold. Suddenly, I had a constant stream of support from my regular posse plus, a medical community, church community, the yoga community, and people I had never met. With every bad turn of events, the love and energy I received diminished the painful hit of the diagnosis. I felt compelled to be strong, to kick cancer’s ass, and to utilize every ounce of strength afforded to me by the show of support. Nothing makes you want to fight for your life more than the knowledge of your personal value in a community and what you mean to others as a wife, mother, teacher, and friend.
Then yoga came along. I mean, it was there before, but now I have a deeper understanding of the practice, the ability to tap into the healing components of it, and the knowledge of an inter-connectedness with myself and the world around me.
I’m not sure if I should credit cancer, yoga, my community or a combination of the three but more than ever life has significant purpose. There is clarity and calmness in the knowledge that all of us are responsible for more than only the betterment of our own children. Every child’s life made better contributes to the community that mine will exist in. It became a desire of mine to develop, write about, teach, and vote for issues that I truly believe impact all of us.
Speaking of community, I had the privilege to work with amazing photographer James Adams in Eau Claire this last week. My friend and fellow yogini Kristin from Drammen Yoga joined me for some beautiful yoga in Phoenix park. You can find (and like) both of their local businesses on Facebook.