Touching Base with your Community, the wider tribe around you, those beyond your immediate family is vital for a womans’ well being. It is striking to me that our social narrative quietly suggests that this benefit derived from emotionally strong connections with others as well as performing acts of service or care are unique to the make up of a nurturing woman rather than a man. Although this is a worthy discourse for another time, allow us to embrace the part that is true for all humans and still therefore true for women as well, especially while our society and her minions perpetuate the pattern of ‘women’ becoming the primary care giver to our babes. We literally THRIVE IN TRIBE and although this sea we all must travel is underrated and misunderstood, if she is not attended to she can overturn your entire ship!
Touch Day is a day to notice the relationships you develop outside of your inner often nuclear circle, to your friends, your soul pod & your community or world because if it hasn’t hit you yet, you NEED them.
Brene Brown , a worthy matriarch of our time talks, as do many others about the idea that “I am Enough” … controversially, as I do, I feel the need to broaden this horizon.
At MGY ( Mums GAP Year & My GAP Year for Women ) we put it this way – ‘We are Enough & We are NOT Enough unless we have each other.”
This glorious sojourn here on earth is essentially for one experience and that is seeing ourselves in relationship to others, relationship to nature, relationship to the divine. Seeing our reflection through relationship which is just one of the reasons I love parenting so much. Granted I am well positioned on the extravert scale and find myself easily refuelled by people, especially little people around me 23 hours a day.
However, even if I was an introverted woman, I would thrive as a mother because of this incredible gift in the ‘at home years’ children present us with. The gift is the mirror, the reflection back of who we are so far. I am saddened when we as mothers resist the display of emotions our children offer up to us often in supermarket aisles, as assumably they learnt it at home. The Flourishing Child is always one who’s emotions are validated and accepted.
Each child, you will hear me say many times, receives like a software upload, a cellular download of YOU, the primary care-giver. This is usually a women, their mother, due in most cases to a social expectation & narrative, in the foundational early 7 years. Little humans reciprocate with a mirror like reflection of ourselves though the parent/mother-child relationship and so we grow. If we do not choose to grow from the evidence we see in front of us, we get bitter, we take the bitter pill of reality with a glass of “wow, I’m turning out just like my mother!” & our bitterness grows even more until the soothing balm of gratitude has nil effect. We soon find ourselves yelling at these paduan learners and throwing them in front of more ABC2.
Touch base therefore with as many quality reflections of yourself as you can maintain. I choose a soul pod, a group of 4 women with a mutual load, similar interests and yet differing values to mine. I choose the challenging values in order to expand & change or to hold my own views and see my self in their mirror.
I pour myself into community also, because the service of others, making a difference in the world that my children will possess and leaving a legacy is what gets me up in the morning. I have in my hands the next creative, resilient & peaceful generation and I hope to help set the stage for them to draw in a more connected community we call the globe. Im happy to do this with a balaclava and subversive political statements as well as singing “tipperary” to elders in dementia wards while my children are looking on.
Real love, the kind that soothes and lasts, is not a feeling, but a verb, an action. It’s about what you do for another person over the course of days and weeks and years, not just for those in your nuclear kingdom but in the ripple effect of all the reaches of your community.
One day, it wasn’t the first time I’d said this, I declared, takes me to the addicts, the poor and lowly, take me to the broken souls down on their luck ( I was pre-children ) Take me to the alcoholics and the wife beaters because I want my love to make a difference. I thought however, I would serve them in soup kitchens on a Friday night and then return home to watch ‘Melrose Place’ on my plasma. It turns out, I ended up with a human with these types of limitations under my roof. We only find other souls to be confronting until we get to know them. Everyones life story, even the hard ones & especially those of my children, I consider to be a blessing and so I regularly speak to ot connect with every soul I can, at the bus stop or school drop off but always in a vulnerable, honest and authentic expression of myself. Keeping it real is so rewarding when you previously fear rejection only to be surprised by the warmth of a stranger sharing laughter with you or at least a smile.
So what does reaching out to touch base with community mean to you. There are many vulnerable souls out ‘there’ beyond your driveway and from time to time YOU are most likely one of them. So I say relationships heal, I say community heals, I say begin with stories and heal community from the inside of your community. Start sharing the stories of your grandmother and mum, start learning the stories of those who have blazed trails, start crying over the stories of struggle you can never have known. Begin to carve out space to listen to the stories emerging in your children and start living in the stories of those you do not know.
A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.