Let’s imagine 200 of you bone&silver Blog readers want to live with me in a community (and why wouldn’t you). How would we make that work? And more importantly, what would we do when it wasn’t working?
Carol Perry is co-founder of Dharmanada Community, established for over 40 years- they have dinner together 5 nights a week, and grow 70-80% of their own food, including running a dairy and making their own butter and cheese! She is a dispute mediator and mindful communication teacher, plus cute and fun to listen to. She ended up travelling Australia doing Conflict Resolution presentations and mediations, right up to the corporate world. So she knows her stuff; she could help us out.
What happens when we get triggered? We’ve learnt about arguing before here on bone&silver haven’t we?
We lose all our intentions for harmonious, cooperative living, and just want to be Right.
She started her presentation by saying the most wonderful thing:
“My first Invitation to you all is that all the parts of you are Welcome, and I have all the room in the world for all your parts.”
Then she turned away, and let that sink over us in silence for several minutes.
I was shocked to find myself nearly crying, and many others felt the same. Then she gathered us into our bodies with a few awareness exercises, including breathing of course [Seems like there’s gonna be an awful lot of breathing on this community].
“Living in Community is a big Cauldron of Life and Challenge- you’re actually choosing to tune in and really FEEL your life. There’s no Right or Wrong; it’s just Being.”
She talked about childhood patterns of conflict, and a strategy for really dealing with very uncomfortable issues as an adult:
- Feel the feeling
- Identify it
- Work out the Need behind it
- VALIDATE that Need to yourself (a very important step- ‘I’m allowed to have this Need’)
- Request to have the Need met
Easy peasy right? Well, if you’re NOT finding it easy, that’s because you may have been sucked into The Power Game Triangle… where different parts of our triggered selves react to the other person’s: The Persecutor, The ‘Victim’, or The Rescuer. We’re not staying centred and empowered, from which to take compassionate, generous actions.
I really felt taken care of by Carol, and that she had a great grasp of the fundamental skills needed to live within a tribe, and function well. We practised various exercises, and we all agreed that if there was trouble, we were gonna call her, rather than the Ghostbusters.
After lunch, our main facilitator Shane explained that our deep Values as a community can help glue us together- Dharmanada has a Buddhist philosophy for example. He explained the 8 identified healthy ways we can connect with ‘spirit’ or a higher power, or God/Buddha/Allah/Ganesh for example:
- Yoga/Martial arts
- Dance, esp Ecstatic or 5Rhythms
I’d never really thought about it so clearly- we split into the practice we most aligned ourselves with, and then thought about ways we could increase that in our ideal Community- I easily built an amazing dance studio with sprung wooden floor, glass windows overlooking Nature, and the latest surround-sound system. Come join me anytime.
We finished the day with the incredible John Seed again, of Deep Ecology – “… an ecological and environmental philosophy promoting the inherent worth of living beings regardless of their instrumental utility to human needs”- Wikipedia 2018
You can do this yourself: look out at a green view of trees, then spend 5 minutes breathing out the carbon dioxide they need, and breathing in the oxygen they provide which we need.
“Breathe out Carbon Dioxide, breathe in Oxygen.
Breathe out Generosity, breathe in Gratitude.”