Last night I moved outside my comfort zone. I ventured into a unknown neighborhood, in a unknown town, to join people I had never met in a meditation/study group. My heart pounded as I got dressed and prepared to leave. Walking into a room, not knowing anyone, has always been a challenge for me.
As the daughter of a military man, the wife of a military man, and eventually as a single-again woman, I have relocated over and over again throughout my life. This experience of walking into rooms of strangers is not new to me. It has never become easy or second-nature to me because part of my fundamental nature is shyness and I am also extremely comfortable being alone with myself.
But I do it anyway because I must find new relationships and forge new friendships. This is necessary to my well-being. I need alone time and I am happy within myself. However, I know the value of be-ing with others and of loving and being loved in return. We are designed for this. We are profoundly connected in our souls and our souls seek to commune with one another.
Community can be 2 people or 50. It can be in a megachurch or at the family dinner table. Human beings thrive when loved, hugged, and when loving and hugging.
So, I walked into that room and was welcomed gently and warmly. I looked into the eyes of the people telling me their names and reaching out their hands. I saw the sweetness of their souls and I hugged them in return because I need to be hugged right now. There were seven of us sitting in a circle. We had tea and a bit of food; some snacking, others having a small meal having come straight from work. The evening unfolded as it began, gently and warmly. We meditated and then read a short passage from Rumi. Discussion followed and each person shared from their journey and from their heart’s desire for understanding and enlightenment. The time passed so lovingly that I settled into their presence with ease of heart and mind.
I have found a place to begin. I have met people of like-mind and I am looking forward to getting to know them. There is a similar group in a different home and town next week that I plan to visit as well. It will be easier because the host of that group was there last night so I have met her. I am quietly excited to begin this part of my journey. I suspect there will be familiar souls among those I meet, perhaps because our personalities or journeys are similar or perhaps because there are connections from other lifetimes. Only time will tell.
When we circled for a closing prayer, my heart was overflowing with gratitude that I had the courage to go outside my comfort zone. Perhaps some of you are on the brink of an opportunity to do the same. If so, take heart, breathe deeply, and go for it! I support your journey into the unknown and send blessings of joy to come.