Friday, November 19, 2010


This past weekend I spent on the beach in Miami in the midst of  a community I  discovered seven and a half years ago. I was pretty resistant to this group when I first stumbled upon them. They were a bit too happy for me, a bit too positive, a bit too believing in the idea they could create anything they wanted.  But I had one of my hunches that I best not dismiss this too quickly. That Regena Thomashauer and her School of Womanly Arts were on to something. So I signed up for one course which led to another and then another and watched as my life changed.

It was there that I first had the courage to say out loud that what I wanted to be doing more than anything else was to write. It was there I started to believe I might actually be good at it.  It was there I began to see a picture not yet in focus of a life that looked different than the one I was living at the time. It was there that I found a community that supported me in whatever I chose to do. And it was there that I learned the foundation that stopped me from getting all crazy and doom and gloomy when I got my pink slip two years ago.

Until I met Regena I did not really understand community.  Yes, I was raised in a large, supportive and loving family, but believing in yourself and going for your dreams and what made you most happy was not part of the culture or the times. Yes, I had many wonderful friends and colleagues that became my friends. But my core believed  that whatever I wanted to achieve in life would be about what I did. I could do it alone. I did not need any help. I had limitations.

I had no idea how wrong I was.

This past weekend amidst pink sunsets and palm trees I was reminded of what I only first started to learn when Regena got her hands on me. That everything happens faster when community supports you. That doubt gets erased when the faces you look into believe in you when you don't. That transparency and authenticity are more scary but a much fulfilling way to live. That dreams do come true if you give them the space and the support they need to manifest and surround yourself in the energy that allows them to breathe.


Regena's curriculum is not for everyone. She is outrageous and courageous and will push you to the edge of your envelope if you dare. I am forever in gratitude that I took and continue to take that challenge.

This weekend I soaked in not only the sun, but the warmth of community. I remembered how essential it is to a life well lived. I remembered that it is critical to not just believe in yourself but to surround yourself with others who remind you of your strengths and who believe in you too. And most of all I was reminded that this thing we call life is a practice and if you want to get good at living a pleasurable one, as Regena would say no matter what falls in your path, you need to keep your community around you. They are the ones who help to light the way and to remind you when your practice needs practice.

Do you have a community that supports you and lifts you or do you have one that holds you back?
Do you believe you can do it all yourself or do you reach out for support?


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the reminder that "everything happens faster when you do it in community". I feel so lucky to be a member of the Sister Goddess community, a place where we're seen and appreciated for who we are and nudged (okay, sometimes plain ol' pushed) into being all we desire.

Suzi Banks Baum said...

Thank you Joanne. Your words ring true here in me. I am a living breathing expression of Community. Thank you for describing it all so well.
All my love, S

Donna HOTmani said...

You know, Joanne, I think back to the days when we were in IC together and I can still feel the love, the support, the cradling of this community, and sisterhood. I desire to feel that connected again- thank you for the reminder. And I am so glad you are living more and more and more your desires and your writing- you're truly great at it!

Dara Cole said...

Thank you for the reminder to fuel my desires in community! I love that it's as easy as taking a course, as choosing to be part of something and contributing and receiving from the group. Wahlah community!

Tammi said...

Beautifully written Joanne. It reminds me of how truly great our community is and how much gratitude I have for it.

Unknown said...

Thank you all for your beautiful comments! Yes, community rocks!!

Barbara Wayman said...

Beautifully expressed and so true true true! Thank you for the reminder of how powerful community can be.