Solitude Makes Real Community Possible
Solitude greeting solitude, that’s what community is all about. Community is not the place where we are no longer alone but the place where we respect, protect, and reverently greet one another’s aloneness. When we allow our aloneness to lead us into solitude, our solitude will enable us to rejoice in the solitude of others. Our solitude roots us in our own hearts. Instead of making us yearn for company that will offer us immediate satisfaction, solitude makes us claim our center and empowers us to call others to claim theirs. Our various solitudes are like strong, straight pillars that hold up the roof of our communal house. Thus, solitude always strengthens community.
Henri Nouwen, Reaching Out
I have been thinking a lot about community lately, considering what "authentic community" means to me and how to nurture such a community. There can be a pervasive feeling of isolation living in the DFW area. Most people experience brief glimpses of community and then feel alone again. Henri Nouwen often writes about a peace we have to make with ourselves and our loneliness, converting it to a receptive solitude before we can truly be in connection with another.
For me, I long for community in my life that stretches beyond the borders of my own perspective, opinions, beliefs or comfort zone but, in order to do that I have to 1) be firmly rooted in who I am while willing and open to changing my mind 2) Accept others without conditions. With the current state of our often polarized society, especially in relation to religion, politics, race, socio-economics and gender, I have this desire to just bring people together in their common humanity, agreeing to disagree but bound by a mutual respect and ultimately love for one another. Obviously, it's easier to be in community with people who think like you do, believe the same things you do and live a similar lifestyle. Perhaps it is my incurable curiosity or my deep sense that we are all connected in one way or another, but I can't help but want to sit at the table with humanity in all its forms and seek to understand. It is impossible to sit at the table with someone, sharing a meal or other communal activities, and not become friends. I also realize this possibly gets me in trouble with some folks who feel it necessary to sanction their world to include only those who believe as they do. For that group, I respect and love you too. I hope at the end of my life, people feel that I have radically accepted them just as they are and encouraged the good within them to grow exponentially. I believe that radically accepting ourselves as well as others is nurtured in the discipline of solitude. Some call it listening prayer, some call it meditation, others "quiet time". Whatever you call it, just do it.
We have three opportunities each week at The Sacred Space where we hold space so that you can encounter yourself and that inner voice of love within you while nurturing your solitude and the solitude of others. I believe this kind of practice enables sacred connections and authentic community.
Carla teaches Gentle Yoga, Tuesday evenings 7-8 pm
Megan teaches Yoga for 12 Step Recovery, Wednesday mornings, 8-9 am
(open to anyone and everyone as a donation based class)
Leah teaches Restorative Yoga with Thai Massage, Thursday evenings, 7-8 pm
Click here to join us for a class
We look forward to building this community with you.