The beginning of a new year is upon us or has just begun depending on when you first found this. There are many who feel it is the perfect time to begin anew. New Year resolutions are a tradition of sorts; unfortunately, several of our intentions fall to the wayside as the busyness of life takes away the ambition we had for change when we toasted to the New Year. There are countless articles advising us how to keep our stamina up, especially for those whose resolution was to get more fit in the new year. Some profess there is no better way to recreate ourselves than to exercise ourselves into a higher metabolism and train for that next marathon. While this is an admirable resolve there are other aspects of ourselves that we often don’t find articles about. Our Spiritual selves need to be recreated as well.
When we are feeling sluggish and our energy is waning, when walking to the fridge for a snack, we feel the motivation to get more active and there are plenty of avenues “out there” for us to do so. But when it comes to renewing our spiritual energy where do we go and what do we do then? The answer for some may be to ask their minister or spiritual director of whatever individual religion they find community in. This is a wonderful beginning. But what if you would like to share that truth with others and learn from others? For some, spirituality is made whole and healthy by engaging with and sharing our stories with those who wish to share theirs as well. We can join a gym to get our body fit, go to a library to expand our knowledge and energize our brain power, and engage in a book club to find friends who like the same genre we do. But where do we find encouragement for the growth and health of our spirituality outside of church?
What if you don’t regularly attend a religious community? What does one do then? From what I have seen over the years you go it alone. And for the most part I have seen good things springing from the people who delve endlessly into their books and pour over as much as they can trying to gain access to who they are in a healthy, spiritual sense. The topic of religion vs spirituality has been discussed here before and so I believe we are mostly on the same page when I say that I am not wishing to dismiss anyone’s religious affiliation. Those are important to people wishing to fill that desire within us all, to have support from a community of like minds. To have somewhere “where everybody knows your name” so to speak. But for those who have not found a community yet, for those who would like to expand that community outside of their religion, or for those wishing to enhance or share their experiences, where do we go?
It is difficult finding places for spiritual community, outside of a religious organization. Some find their friends or even dates at their local church bazaar. Others reach out to the internet for making new friends, etc. And some of us get a bit too attached to our good friend, Netflix. But there is nothing quite like a community of like minds to raise our spirits and help restore our spiritual natures.
There have been several who have come to the shop looking for community. And within the walls here at MBS it is felt. But the community is dispersed and individuals come in one at a time, sometimes just to shop for a special item to uplift a sick friend, someone having a birthday or maybe uplift themselves. Sometimes it helps to just sit quietly in our upstairs loft and meditate or just breathe. It is felt and it provides one with a sense of community that fulfills and strengthens enough, but leave others wanting more.
I would like to offer more, beginning at the start of the new year. I am proposing we begin again here at MBS to build community that can meet up and share with each other. We held these gatherings the first few years we were open but life got busy and other things took precedent. In the spirit of creating relationships and community, outside of the shop itself, to provide growth and health to our spiritual selves, I will be opening the studio for such gatherings once again. (Please see the calendar for dates, times, etc.)
We will begin meeting once a week on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th weeks, which I am envisioning becoming monthly as time goes on. It won’t matter when you can make it, there is no sign up for attendance and no worries about whether you miss one. There will be a small fee which will be a free will donation to pay for heat, electricity, rent, cleaning, etc. from those who can give. No one will be left out because of ability to pay or not. I won’t put any stipulations about children to begin, as it is difficult for some to find adequate childcare so they may attend, but if anyone becomes too much of a distraction, (child or adult), we will revisit the parameters.
What do you need to bring? An open heart and an open mind. That’s it! Anything else is up to you! Several people have inquired about this and it felt like it was a good fit for me as well so I look forward to seeing you there. The first few times will be laying the groundwork but plenty of time for fun and sharing and community! All are welcome without regard to affiliation. Remember, it will be your group. I will be there to make sure to provide the logistics, the place, and guidance (for now) to create a safe space.
The year 2017 can be what we make it! Want resolutions? Exercise, eat healthy, find balance between work and play and then come to MBS to make some friends and meet the community you all feel when you step through the doors of the shop. We’ll be waiting for you!