Star Wars

Sometimes books fall into your hands and you are really meant to read them. This has just happened to me last week. Indeed, I was listening to a lovely Australian lady advising the person next to me about the very book I have in my hands. It is like “The Secret”, that you have probably heard about, except that this one is funny and gives simple experiments to verify the power of your beliefs, your thoughts. Ok ok, you already want to know the title: E-Squared from Pam Grout. I highly recommend it.

More importantly, as I was going through this book, I couldn’t help but copy the following sentences:
“God is more like the force in Star Wars, a presence that dwells within us, a principle by which we live. That’s why Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader have become such a phenomenon. Star Wars is a myth that speaks to us at a deep, gut level. Some part of us knows that “the force” is with us and that we, through our words, thoughts, and deeds, create the world.”

For those of you that have come to my yoga classes, you know that I sometimes welcome you to a “Star Wars class”. Indeed the deep breathing we do makes so much noise, especially at the beginning when we are learning. It could even make us think to Darth Vader, anyway I think of it particularly with my own breathing. Max Strom, from which I am largely inspired speaks more poetically of it as “Ocean breathing”… and the yoga jargon refers to it as “Ujjayi Breathing”. (Victorious breath in sanskrit)
However breathing that deeply is a fantastic remedy against stress, and more importantly it helps connecting to ourself. I really enjoy Pam Grout’s comparison with this life force, because that’s the exact reason of this breathing. We become so focused on our breath, we release so much tension that we connect again to the “force”.
I hope that you can either enjoy and read this book, or go to yoga class where you breath deeply and connect to this life force within, or even better do both. Whatever your choice is, I would love to know your opinion about it.

Community is everything

Community is everything. I truly believe that we connect and create communities among the people we know.

So how do we define a community? I mean how do we define a community on a relational point of view? Is it only about sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common?According to McMillan and Chavis, the sense of community can be defined as “a feeling that members have of belonging, a feeling that members matter to one another and to the group, and a shared faith that members’ needs will be met through their commitment to be together.”

We somehow all create our own communities. They meet our basic human needs for
love and belonging, respect, structure, involvement and ultimately, meaning. Having had the chance to live in different countries, I have build what I have called “my tribes” in those different places. I am indeed always keen on connecting people and sharing moments or knowledge.
I want to keep on building a community wherever I live. Lately I have tried to gather all the wonderful persons I get to know, trying to link those persons and enlarge this community. I am convinced that it is an ongoing process based on:

  • Caring and supportive relationships
    Those relationships rely on the values of compassion, understanding and respect. They are grounded in attentive listening and trust.
  • Positive and high expectations
    This allows me to highlight strengths and assets as opposed to problems and deficits.
  • Opportunities for sharing and meaning
    A community is based on gathering people that share common interests, even passions like yoga. I know that I always create international gathering, sharing moments of I hope joy and laughter.

Where are your communities? Where do you belong? What do you get from it?