What does being part of a community mean to you? Have you found your communities changing as time goes on? Has your sense of community changed?
As life changes, so does our community. When my children were young our community revolved around them and their friends. Our friends were the parents of their friends. In our working life we get a sense of community from co-workers or fellow entrepreneurs. We also can experience community through our religious groups, our hobbies and neighbourhoods.
So what happens when the children grow up and leave home, or our spouse dies, or we retire or experience a major life shift? Maybe we are no longer able to run half marathons after our motorcycle accident. During times of transition we can feel unmoored, without community.
To me the feeling of community includes feeling comfortable and connected with others through a common bond/interest. This spring as I have travelled far and wide speaking about my book and my mats I have never felt so connected, so much part of a community. That is the community of rug hookers. I know I can walk into a room full of rug hookers and make immediate connections. I know I will be welcomed and that we will share and learn from each other.
How to tell/spot a sister
You notice her across the room
She stands out and you think I must get to know her
Maybe it’s the sparkle in her eye, or the cut of her clothes, the bright colours she wears or the way she carries herself
Or maybe it’s hearts connecting, finding one another that makes you notice, tells you “I’m one of your tribe, for maybe just a little while or a life time”
(One Loop at a Time, p. 21)
When I teach my workshops in Hook a Healing Mat I know I am opening a door to the rug hooking community for my new rug hookers. My experienced rug hookers have an opportunity to take their rug hooking and design to the next level, to convey their healing journey and to create a bond with other rug hookers who are on the same path.
One more heartfelt note about community
More recently I have come to understand that part of fitting in and feeling comfortable in community comes from feeling settled in my own skin, being happy with myself. The more I feel that I am enough on the inside, the easier it is to feel connected to others, to feel part of a community.
My healing mat Love Letter represents two aspects of community to me. I created this mat as a love letter to my scar from breast cancer. It was an integral part of learning to accept and make peace with my new post-treatment shape. It helped me to feel more settled and happy with myself.
As well, while I was hooking Love Letter I was spending time with my friend Faith and her new business Sisterhood Fibres at the Saltscapes Expo. Being part of that community and seeing how others at the expo were drawn to the fibres gave me a strong sense of connectedness.
Go ahead and create – and find – community
I highly recommend you take up a creative pursuit as a path to rediscovering your sense of purpose and joy in this next phase of your life and to finding new community. Creativity is enriching and can bring you much joy and satisfaction. As well, it will connect you to others who are exploring their creativity and open up new possibilities for community.
“Awakening is how I would describe the Healing Mat Workshop. The workshop has re-awakened my creative and spiritual life. Instead of just surviving and making it through each day. I now embrace nurturing my life once again. Playfully and spiritually The Healing Mat workshop had reminded me who I am.”
As I speak and teach about rug hooking, writing, healing and creativity I feel blessed to belong to and be contributing to a sisterhood of (mainly but not exclusively) women who are exploring their creativity to move forward through transitions into the next phase of their life.
Have you had an experience of having to create a new community for yourself? What did you do? I’d love to hear about it.