By Narinder Kaur
“Sometimes each person’s load can only be taken collectively. Collectively we can pull the weight. We have a collective strength in us, hand in hand, in friendship, in the love, and in the affection. Do not keep things to yourself and say ‘I cannot.’ There is nothing you cannot do.”
-Yogi Bhajan 10/5/01
Hand-in-hand is how conscious community is built. There is no signin sheet or fee that grants your space in community. It is a gradual unfolding of connective experiences. Showing up as yourself generously is your contribution to the creation of the collective, for one’s unique gifts serve the whole, and the whole serves the one. Be confident in your offering!
Once you acknowledge the blessing of the community you are participating in, you quickly see how much help you actually have right in your own pocket; you see how you serve. The cook feeds the poet. The poet inspires the cook. The healer helps the student by supporting the student’s teacher. Many help new parents with the responsibilities of the newborn and the newborn blesses many.
Celebration of life is plentiful in community. And when there is death, the weight of it is carried respectively. The widowed are remembered and fed. Grief is not hidden but held in the light of the collective. A path to healing is illuminated. No one can deny the value of unity, it is the natural way.
You can find yourself in conscious community for varying reasons, but all in all it fuels the joy of your life to share your life and joy with others. It becomes your play and nourishment. Here you are inspired to collaborate, you find the ways you fit with others and create from this harmony.
And sometimes, when discord arises, you are given room to grow. You are challenged at times by community; working closely together, you can be rubbed the wrong way. Here you evolve by consciously communicating and not reacting. Sometimes there is space needed. Sometimes it doesn’t resolve. The community shifts around these singular parts and stays intact. Both are welcome.
Isolation stands opposite of community. It deepens depression with its subtle encouragement of rumination. You tend to experience your sadness alone. You don’t want to burden others with your depression. You continue to grow more tired under the weight. But, many hands make light work: reaching out is your victory! If you don’t want to share your grief but you need uplifting, find the highest point in your community, ask them out for tea and be the listener. You will find you leave their company renewed.
Conscious communities are a widening story, quilted with personal touches. A gift we give and receive at once. Resources are pooled together to support one who can support the whole. We fund the artist’s album, the midwife’s training courses, the reconstruction of a home. Because “All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
Narinder Kaur lives in Atlanta with her husband Brahamjot Singh. She is an artist and Kundalini Yoga teacher.