I think a lot about community, especially since I am relatively new to the area where I live. Even the most introverted person most likely finds themselves, to some degree, in some kind of association with a group. We all tend to gravitate to groups that mirror our values and interests. That is the definition of community. One thing I know for sure, though, is that no two persons believe exactly the same thing.
Our interests and beliefs are formed from our life experiences and so no group or organization will give you everything you need to feel completely supported in connection with it. It might even be highly beneficial for us to have our beliefs challenged at times. It can be too easy to not question our beliefs to see if they truly match our evolution. It may be good to consider other points of view and to question if our “truths” actually came from our own unique knowingness, or if our minds have been indoctrinated by family, friends, or community.
Is it possible to feel supported and also nudged out of our comfort zones by groups that we associate with? Do you feel safe or supported to also share your individual point of view with those in your communities? Being stretched and being willing to share your deepest heart with others, in my opinion, makes for a truly special camaraderie.
community dinner in the Hunter Moon Homestead garden
It can get a bit lonely in the winter months. February marks the middle point between winter and spring, and a good time to begin to slowly come out of hibernation. I decided last month to open my art studio, by appointment, to anyone who wanted to come and work on an art project. I have many art courses that I pull up for guests as art prompts. Others have brought projects they have in process. It has been so lovely to share my space, to see what others are creating, and to share my projects, too.
Is there a way to reach out to others in your area as a way of collaboration, connection, inspiration? Collaboration can be the best way to begin a community that could serve a greater whole.
I know a lot of people have a difficult time with social media as a community, but I must say that I have found so many kindred spirits on this platform. Because I am an artist at heart, most of the people I follow and connect with are also artists.
A few you may want to check out are:
- The Ugly Art Club and Altered States Studio: Kristin Peterson from Altered States Studio, The Ugly Art Club, and I shared an art exchange via snail mail. For almost a year we exchanged two bits of fabric that we both stitched on and at the end of the year we both had a bit of art that contained both of our handiwork. Her work has an ease and beauty that is both playful and uplifting.
- Jeanne Oliver: JO gives so much to her art community; her blog posts are magnificent.
- Aimee Bishop: Aimee Bishop creates so many small videos on her Instagram pages, so much inspiration there! She's also teaching a workshop with us this summer and we can't wait to create with her.
- Nina McCully Veteto (Blue Ridge Botanic): Nina and I have had a sweet exchange recently. I noticed on one of her posts, that she had made some walnut ink from walnuts that she had gathered. For me the color of the ink is the perfect brown/sepia tone. I simply said, “I need some of that!” Generosity is a powerful expression of love! I was gifted with 2 bottles of her magical brew. I reciprocated with 5 small trays of water color I had made from mineral earth that was either gifted to me or that I had gathered from my travels.
- JK Creative: JK Creative is an artist wunderkind, and an inspiration for me every day.
- Krista Kim Studio: Krista Kim Studio is just the best and most elegant version of country living! I am so blessed to have her as a neighbor and someone I call on regularly for life advice.
Handmade Walnut Ink gifted from Blue Ridge Botanic
We are just days away from Chinese New Year and we are moving into the year of the Wood Dragon. This year promises to give us access to more extroverted energies to get things done!
I wish for all of you to see your dreams to fruition, and to reach out this month of February to connect with new groups, or old, and explore the collaboration of community.
Much love my friends,