I was in a writing group today and we gave ourselves the task of writing about anything we want about our feet in ten minutes. The first thought that came to my mind was the expression “stand on your own two feet.”
This phrase often comes up in my BodyTalk class on consciousness and I always talk about how ridiculous that statement is. I mean, are we really meant to be that self-sufficient that we can’t even rely on the earth for some support?
Sharing with Your Community
I’ve been reflecting on the concept of community these days and what it means to work in harmony with a group, team or tribe. I even brought it up to a friend who said, “well, that’s utopia you’re talking about. It’s been attempted and failed. When you talk about living together in harmony that means people need to share and that’s scary.”
But truly isn’t it more efficient and fun to share? For example, if you go to the market and buy food to cook a meal, isn’t it cheaper to buy for four and share the cost than to cook for one?
How many people who cook for themselves end up throwing out the leftovers? What if a bunch of people got together to cook the meal? Wouldn’t that be more fun and supportive than doing it on your own?
Where Do You Get Your Support?
I know this is not a new concept. And maybe I’m just too naive in thinking that we can live in harmony as a society, but I don’t care.
Screw standing on my own two feet! I want support. I want support from mother earth, from father sun, from lovers, friends and family and even strangers, too!
Yes, receiving support from strangers. Why not? And what does that look like? Actually, when I thought about it, I realized that I’ve had quite a few experiences of ‘kindness from strangers’, particularly in a place where one would least expect it: the New York City subway. Here’s one:
Help Sometimes Comes From Unlikely Places
…I’m hurrying down the subway platform toward the train, my guitar strapped over my shoulder and running late for my voice lesson, and the train conductor calls out almost tauntingly “Stand back! The doors are closing!”
I blow past a bystander who decides not to risk being smashed between the doors and I JUST make it through–but– my guitar doesn’t.
As I watch the doors start to close on my brand new Martin D28 acoustic, a young man sitting by the door reaches out his hand and holds the door just in time– the doors open– and I slip the guitar through the door.
“Thank you so much!” I say to the young man with so much gratitude in my heart. He smiles back through teary eyes. “I just lost my mother this morning and it made me realize how important it is to do something for someone when you can.”
Connecting with Your Tribe
Experiences like these really bring me back to the importance of feeling supported and what it means to unite with a community or tribe.
Growing up in our modern society, we aren’t taught to cultivate or look for healthy communities that are based on mutual support and sharing. Instead, we’re taught to compete and “make something of ourselves” and “stand on our own two feet.”
Well, times are changing and it’s about time for us to start standing together instead of going it all alone.
Some questions for reflection:
- Do you think about how you can be a support to others, or are you too caught up in your own challenges to reach out?
- When was the last time you got together to share a meal or a task with friends?
- How often do you walk barefoot on the earth?
- Do you feel that you have to ‘fight hard’ to put yourself out in the world?
- Do you find it hard to ask for help?
- Where do you find support and community?