Today is the cultural beginning of summer. Many of us gathered with friends and loved ones, or remembered those who could not be there. We laughed and ate and watched as the rain cleared and the sun came out. We felt connected because we were together.
Last weekend Tracy Bleier came to Lila and gathered teachers around her, and she spoke to us of the need for community among yoga teachers. It felt so good to talk about the challenges and the joys of teaching and what brought us there and why. It felt good because we were together.
We as a culture are starved for connection. Although I do not believe technology to be completely to blame, but rather a slow cultural shift away from a village to a house with shuttered windows, our need for instant gratification and the rise of social media have certainly changed the way we relate to each other.
After our friends and family left this afternoon, I sat with my husband on our back deck, watching the sun set, and I simply said, “I needed that.” Whether we know it or not, we still need each other. We need to look into the face of a friend and know that they understand us. We need to be heard. We need to be held. We need to feel safe.
So gather. Surround yourself with those you trust, who let you be yourself. Find your tribe. Join a club. Start a group. Come to a yoga class. Whether we talk to each other, or we just practice together, we are gathered—in unity, in safety—to connect to ourselves. For how will we learn to listen, empathize, or connect to others, if we do not first sit with ourselves? Start by gathering your own thoughts, and then gather with others.