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What is community and how can we cultivate it?

For this month’s blog post, I was inspired to be curious about community.  Astrology may or may not resonate with you, but the archetype of Gemini season is interesting because it revolves around immediate community; friends, neighbors, household members and all people/creatures you generally run into in everyday life.


We live in a culture that is more technologically connected than ever, providing us with unlimited and valuable information.  Yet, it is increasingly clear that many of us are emotionally lonely and disconnected from each other and the earth on a deeper, vulnerable level.  Therein lies the question; how can we cultivate more authentic and connected relationships and community, in a busy and overwhelming world?  Could the mycelial network of psilocybin fungi be the answer?  Or is it as simple as a smile between strangers?  I think it could be both.


It is my belief that healing with psychedelic medicines also requires supportive community, and this is why I created the integration circle group in Vancouver two years ago. While Portland is not very far, with plenty of psychedelic groups and community there, we only have so much time in the day and getting there with ever increasing traffic is unpredictable, daunting and tiring.  I watch my group slowly grow and have face to face conversations every month with lovely souls who are yearning for information and connection around psychedelics on their healing paths. While Zoom is great for convenience, I find that in person connection is crucial for true, intimate human healing and community.


The other day, one of my neighbors stopped me to talk when I was walking the dog and it struck me; I have never had a conversation with this woman in the 16 years I’ve lived here!   She lost her beloved dogs to old age a couple years ago and we talked about them while Fernie sniffed and nudged her for attention.  What a brave and beautiful, spontaneous thing for her to do, to stop her car and take the time to connect with us on a whim.  It was a reminder for me about how incredibly important it is to be curious and open to new people and experiences, despite the business and monotony of life.  This is how we learn, grow and cultivate human connection.


It does not have to be hard or take a lot of time.  Sometimes it’s the simple act of making eye contact and giving someone a smile at the grocery store.  Or asking your family member how their day was or what they may have learned today.  Or watching a ladybug crawl on your sleeve. I encourage you to be curious as you go about your upcoming days and weeks, to take a moment and see how it feels to offer a random smile of acknowledgement to a stranger.  It might just make you feel nice to briefly connect with another human.  Or it might have the potential to change your whole life for good.


Let me know in the comments what community means to you or general thoughts on the post.


Many thanks for reading; I appreciate you all!


Courtney

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