I’ve recently moved into the “empty nester” stage of life (or, to put a more positive spin on this state of being, I’m now a Newly Independent Parent!), and have spent the last year or so cultivating partnerships in a number of community groups. Which leads me to ask you, what is your tribe, or what is your community affiliation?

Aristotle wrote, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” meaning that the combination of elements in totality provides a different and better quality than that of the individual elements.

While there is great value in solitude, reflection, and in developing an intimate relationship with and love for your self, there is also importance in being a part of a group (there’s that whole “yin-yang” thing again!). Humans are a tribe-based species – we function well when we are part of a collective.

Community is defined as a unified body of individuals connected by a common interest. Tribe is defined as a collective group identity based on commonality. The drive to be a part of a larger group is deeply ingrained within each of us. Community provides comfort, connection, and the opportunity for cooperation.

As a whole, people savor being in the company of like-minded individuals. Being a part of a community or tribe gives us a sense of belonging and purpose and pleasure. Sure, it can be fun to cheer for your favorite sport team, but it’s so much more pleasurable when doing so with friends! And think about the difference between sitting alone by a fire, and having a group of friends around that fire to share stories and laughter.

My search to foster a greater sense of community and connection has led me to participate in the San Diego Women’s Drumming Circle (which is celebrating 19 years of continuous sisterhood), to explore yoga and spiritual work on a Moroccan retreat, to host moon circle and Irish Goddess gatherings on my terrace, and to volunteer weekly at a local warehouse that provides clothes and home items for a multitude of people in need.

Being a part of a group fosters a sense of security; a level of ease exists when one is surrounded by others who share similar goals or viewpoints. Active participation in a group encourages you try a little harder, be a little better. To shine your light a little brighter. Doing something to promote these qualities – feeling secure, being at ease, wanting to be your best self – means practicing good Feng Shui!

So, I am curious, where do you go to fulfill your need for community and connection? Leave a comment or send me an email; I would love to hear from you!

Sending love and light,