Throughout my life, I have listened to many people I admire talk about how important their community is to them in their rise to success. I have witnessed people rely on their community to power them through difficult times, I’ve watched community lift people up, and I’ve see what communities can do to create change. I know the power of community, but, and this may come as a surprise to you, throughout my life, I feel like I’ve struggled to know what community means to me.
Truthfully, I’ve never felt a community bond, in the traditional sense. When I was three years old, my parents divorced. Though I was obviously very young at the time, I can remember how it felt to all of a sudden have to split my time between the two very different towns. My mom took up a home in Boca Raton, Florida, and my dad eventually landed in Parkland.
I found unique joys and comforts of each community, though perhaps due to the back and forth nature of my life at the time, I never really felt grounded or connected to either one. If any of you moved around, didn’t feel like you fit in, or just felt unsettled growing up, perhaps you can relate.
I recently was reawakened to the power of community, when a community that I could claim as my own experienced great heartache. When I heard the news two months ago that a school shooting had occurred in Parkland, I experienced a wide array of emotions. There was, of course, the feelings that arise when tragedy strikes, but there was also a sense of confusion for me. The disconnect of my own community had come back and left me unsure how to relate to the tragic news.
Watching the Parkland community band together in times of immense difficulty inspired me to re-evaluate just how important communities are. When communities band together, they can be a force for good. They can spark needed change, inspire truth and bravery, and create meaningful connection. They help people to heal, grow, and feel like they belong. It has been a beautiful reminder of just how powerful a strong, connected community can be.
After processing all of this, I remembered that I do have community: you!
I’m so grateful to claim the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life community as my own, and remember that we set out to create this space and this movement to be a community, perhaps for those who might have lacked that connection in their own lives, for those who craved belonging but never belonged, and for those who wanted to be seen and heard.
Remember, there are no bounds to the power of community, it’s never to late to create the community you crave, community can come in whoever form suits you, and lastly there is always somewhere that you belong.
I hope this helps you in embracing whatever community you can claim as your own, and knowing that you are never alone.
I would love to hear your thoughts about finding, creating, and sustaining community. Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments below!
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org