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Storytelling. Humans learn best when seeing and hearing stories. Facts don’t arouse us as much


as narratives and full-body experiences do. Bombarding people with facts won’t create desired change. We must be inspired to act on the knowledge.


Elders. Shared history, respect and affection are vital to belonging. Adults coping with a high-stress,


industrialized culture might tend to find elders’ stories slow-moving and boring, but they are a critical resource for our collective survival. Beware of the “star from afar” syndrome that posits outsiders as experts, rather than honoring and developing our own community resources, which won’t disappear at the end of an event.


Gifts and sharing. As we focus on creating a sharing society versus a gimme culture, it’s nice to give


small gifts such as a plant or garden flower, organic seeds or regifted items to event attendees. It’s a simple way to help everyone feel valued, appreciated and welcomed. The key is keeping events local, simple and created by the community for the community. Many hands make light work, and some of the best community events cost the host little, while everyone involved brings their own chair or blanket, serving ware and potluck dish.


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Shopping. People have been bonding through meeting others in the


marketplace since ancient times. Sales or silent auctions are popular when


the money paid becomes a gift to the community.


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A little excitement. Raffles and door prizes add fun as long as any money raised goes into the


common coffers as a gift to all.


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Child care. Children provide a necessary source of untamed energy and enter-


tainment for any gathering. Multigener- ational exchanges also help form and shape them through exposure to role models and life education, even if they might not feel engaged at the time.


Transportation. Facilitating carpools and providing transportation for those


without cars or unable to walk builds community even before the event starts.


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Dance and body move- ment. Modern society makes us sit a lot. Physical


action connects us in a way nothing else can.


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Beauty and music. Our eyes and ears are portals to the soul and spirit of the


human psyche. Even a simple drum can bond individuals into a coherent group. Community singing can be powerful medicine, as places of worship ever demonstrate. A simple flower on the table or painting on the wall brings powerful archetypal energies to bear as we come together. An outdoor meeting brings nature’s magnificence to our senses, adding extraordinary power to events.


The bottom line is that any community gathering, organization or event that engages body, mind and spirit has a far greater chance of surviving and thriving.


Linda Buzzell is a psychotherapist, ecother- apist, blogger and co-editor of Ecother- apy: Healing with Nature in Mind. She co-founded a local permaculture guild, and a voluntary simplicity circle which met for 10 years in her local community. Connect at EcotherapyHeals.com.


Improve your Fitness and Health Today!


Judy Liu is a Registered Yoga Teacher with the Yoga The past cannot


be changed. The future is yet in your power. ~UNKNOWN


Alliance, a RRCA Certifi ed Running Coach, an American Council on Exercise (ACE) Certifi ed Fitness Instructor and Integrated Health Coach. She offers several group and private sessions at different studios in Cary.


For more information, please visit www.strenuacoach.com or like the Facebook page Strenua LLC.


natural awakenings October 2017 47


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