Community (Kula) 🌎

As Mother Teresa stated, “The problem with the world is that we draw the circle of our family too small.” Our intention this week is to invite more interconnectedness and community (“kula” in Sanskrit) into our lives — expanding our circle — while staying rooted, grounded, and balanced. Yoga Sutra lll.24 (maitryadisu balani) describes that the cultivation of friendliness creates inner strength. Experiencing healthy compassion and lovingkindness toward ourselves and others strengthens our interconnectedness and sense of overall well-being.

Where and with whom in your life can you experience more interconnectedness, community (kula), friendliness, lovingkindness, and compassion?

Let’s learn some lessons about community and interconnectedness from nature. Visualize a flock of geese flying overhead in a “V” formation.

Fact 1: As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an “uplift” for the birds that follow. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.
Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

Fact 2: When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose, we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.

Fact 3: When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position.
Lesson: It pays to take turns doing the difficult tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other’s skills, capabilities, and unique arrangements of gifts, talents, and resources.

Fact 4: The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep going!
Lesson: We need to make sure our “honking” is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is much greater. The power of encouragement, which is to listen to one’s own heart or core values, and to listen to the core values of others, is the quality of “honking” we seek.

Fact 5: When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another formation of geese and try to catch up with the flock.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times, as well as when we are strong.

Who is in your “V” formation?

(The original version of Lessons from Geese was written by Dr. Robert McNeish in 1972.)

Visualize the neighborhood in which you live. Do you know the names of five of your neighbors? Do you know much about them? Let’s aim to go from stranger status to acquaintances to building relationships — community — kula — connection — all with friendliness, compassion, and lovingkindness. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” ~Matthew 22:39

How do we build community and interconnectedness? 🌎
✭ Look for opportunities, be intentional — go the extra mile and take a risk!
✭ Eliminate personal “time suckers”— prioritize your time to create more availability in your day.
✭ Be willing to be interrupted, oftentimes these are Divine appointments and you and others will be blessed!
✭ Stay in a “V” formation — don’t fly solo!

Rise Up song lyrics by Andra Day

You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry-go-round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains

And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up
High like the waves
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you

When the silence isn’t quiet
And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying
But I promise we’ll take the world to it’s feet
And move mountains
Bring it to it’s feet
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you

All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other
And for that we have each other
We will rise
We will rise
We’ll rise, oh oh
We’ll rise

I’ll rise up
Rise like the day
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I will rise a thousand times again
And we’ll rise up
High like the waves
We’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
We’ll rise up
And we’ll do it a thousand times again
For you oh oh oh oh oh

“It’s funny how, in this journey of life, even though we may begin at different times and places, our paths cross with others so that we may share our love, compassion, observations, and hope.” ~ Steve Maraboli

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