I remember back when I was starting the Thriving Now Circles (which at the time were called the Team). A group call was scheduled, I showed up, and no one else did. Zip. Zero. Nada. Silence.
As I waited on the teleconference bridge all those years ago…
I did what I could… while I waited to see if anyone would show up
- I meditated.
- I stayed With+In my body (best I could).
- I prayed.
- I got flooded with doubts.
- I tapped for being scared no one would EVER SHOW UP AGAIN!
- I felt better after the EFT Tapping
- I recorded anyway and did some tapping on what was coming up for me.
I can’t find that specific recording right now in the archive (there are over 1000 there). But I remember the feeling, and echoes of it are being felt in me today.
What I can tell you is that right here, right now, as I prepare to open this Community Center, I don’t KNOW who will show up. Or whether they will stay. Or whether it will over time serve the intentions I have for our We-Space here Together.
And it brings me back to what I know to be true for me NOW…
- I am so glad YOU are here… with me in these words, this moment. You showed up! Woohoo!
- I am deeply grateful to feel spiritually supported in this work.
- This engagement feels important in my core.
- This feels worthy of my life force… even though it is hard.
- I am devoted to being courageous on behalf of Emotional Freedom for All. This fits that devotion.
- Virtual community building is an aspect of my Heartistry for sure.
The Power WITH We Can Get From Community
It has been a “calling” of mine to connect geographically dispersed people through technology since I was 14. My first software (written in BASIC) was for building a way to connect all my fellow computer programming students across Fairfax County, Virginia high schools. My co-creators and I wrote the first community software for HP minicomputers ever (SCOM). And we had hundreds of students using it from 21 high schools (and sometimes crashing the system - oops!).
When the TRS-80 microcomputer came out, I co-wrote more BASIC and Z80 assembly language software to answer modem calls from around the world to connect people. I spent $800 for a modem and $3200 for a computer (about $16,000 in today’s dollars) and $40/month for a dedicated “data quality” phone line. It thrilled me to see people login and write and share what they were learning, help answer their questions, and to feel the shared support.
Later I moved to CompuServe to support WordPerfect (which I was writing a newsletter about called The WordPerfectionist). I helped support and co-create software called TAPCIS that made using the $12.50 per HOUR CompuServe forums and email actually cost effective–quite a feat at the time. We also made it possible for people with blindness to use their screen readers without paying per minute (5000+ vision-impaired people used our software for free). At one point our forums had 55 volunteer moderators across the globe serving a community of over 250,000 people - pre-Internet.
- I didn’t do it alone. Together is always better for me.
- Community matters when we’re learning, growing, exploring.
In the gap between CompuServe and Facebook, I was focused elsewhere. And I really and truly missed engaging with community (which has always meant to me kindred spirits wherever they chose to live on the planet).
Facebook arrived for me in 2007-ish. It connected me with my local Zumba community in Morgantown, WV (home of West Virginia University where I often danced). It was so much better than nothing!
And yet, as I think most of us who use Facebook can attest, it is a mixed experience on its best days. While I am a member of 50 different groups on Facebook, I rarely have much of a sense of depth of connection and real belonging on Facebook.
Which Brings Us Here… NOW
First, thank you for reading (or skimming ) this far. I know you have many things calling for your attention. I appreciate your engagement right now.
Next, my intention for this Community Center is that it meet some of the needs that so many of us who are emotionally sensitive and empathetic share:
A sense of Safety and shared Respect for our unique and intimate ways of experiencing the world.
An inclusive sense of Belonging.
A place where Laughter and Tears are Welcome.
A We-Space that we can cultivate, where our individual and shared contributions add to and enhance the experience for All.
A place where we’re actively encouraging and supporting each other’s Heartistry… however that expresses itself.
Your Heartistry Matters
This morning, with the cold rain coming down at my family’s home in Asheville, North Carolina… I send out this energetic message - in words and prayer.
Your Heartistry Matters - and if you’re here reading this I invite you to feel into whether this community is a place where you might find support in engaging and expressing your gifts. If so, do click the Sign Up button and join.
It’s free to join and you’re always free to leave. We Love Freedom of choice.
You see, writing this right now, I did not know that YOU would show up, that YOU would read this, and that YOU would consider adding to this specific community in some way(s) that feel like a YES to you.
Perhaps that is always true of The Art in Our Heart - our Heartistry. We don’t know if or when or who will accept and appreciate it.
And we do it anyways (at least when we heal the trauma’s enough to unfreeze and move forward).
Because our heartistry matters.
So… Thank you. And if this evokes words and thoughts and feelings in you that you’re willing to share… please do reply. I’m looking forward to getting to know you.