I find as I get older that I am even more of a junkie for new ideas, ancient and modern aspects of well-being and social change, than ever.
I haven’t tried every diet, guru, vitamin pill, spa and ‘talked-about’ book from the US but according to my loved ones, I do get round to most.
I spent many years of my early working life running a busy PR agency – supposedly even the inspiration of Ab Fab, which of course I always deny, and I’ve always been enthusiastic about new ideas, and sharing them with others.
One area I seem to have been rather late in experiencing, however, is the area of social networking. Since I signed up for Facebook, all that has changed. I have found old friends, new friends, friends of friends and even distant as well as close relatives, but is it just a temporary fad?
Why is it that in this communication age so many of us still have feelings of isolation? After all it’s so easy to use Facebook and other social networking sites to acquire hundreds of friends at just a click of a computer key. I believe that there is a strong argument for a space for like-minded women and have even started my own sustainable community at seednetworkforwomen.com.
But as friendly as it is, a cyber community can’t hug you, eat with you or tell you how good you look. A community of friends who can meet regularly, whether as a book club, a group of single mums or a circle of women entrepreneurs can support each other by sharing their challenges and successes in a way that needs to be done face to face.
After all, communication is said to be only 10 per cent words and the rest is body language and vibration. And sharing our stories is what keeps us healthy, particularly women. We are naturally tribal and knowing our tribe gives us a greater sense of wellbeing.
Make the connection…
- Hold a tea party and invite some of your neighbours so you can get to know each other properly.
- Get to know your local shopkeepers in your area by finding out their names and introducing yourself.
- Join your local community association.
- Familiarise yourself with local community events, find two that you relate to and commit to attending them.
Personally I am a huge fan of women’s circles which have been with us since the beginning of time, where women meet regularly and support each others’ dreams.
One of the closest connections I have ever had with a group was on a recent women’s leadership retreat organised by the spiritual organisation Brahma Kumaris. We didn’t share our work or background but became true friends for who we really were. At the end of the retreat, we walked round the room staring into each others’ eyes from a place of love and peace, with no demands or needs. We were 90 women from 30 countries and after 20 minutes had become a community for life. Sometimes words don’t need to be said at all!
I am fortunate enough to have become a member of various communities. I have created my SEED community which meets in groups across the country with many dynamic, like-minded women; I am friends with my neighbours in the country; I have professional peer friends and I am close with members of many spiritual communities. I am lucky enough to have my own lovely family and my partner. I am blessed but I have always stayed open to finding the right communities as it is so important to me.
As the traditional family unit grows increasingly rare, single parents become the norm, and countless people over the age of 40 stay unmarried by choice as well as circumstances, so many of us are searching for a new model of community. We want to live in our own space, alongside others with simple values and vision. Now is the time.
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