Friday, December 13, 2013

REVERB13 ( DAY#13): Engaging in the alchemy of community begins with you, the individual self!

I MAY BE A PILGRIM BUT I NEED MY COMMUNITY! (Art by Hallelujah Truth from the 9/13 blog post: Sojourning doesn't mean solitude: We need each other on this creative journey.)
Hallelujah for community! We are not alone! Hallelujah for alchemical relationships, for those individuals and community bodies that transport us to fulfilled states of being!

CREATING SELF WITHIN A COMMUNITY. Where do we belong? What is our community? Doesn't it all begin with knowing who we are? What if you had to re-create yourself in another culture? How would you depict yourself? What traces from your past would you "mark" yourself? What new "marks" would you invent? Here a Bhutanese Senior (a refugee) at the CCC re-imagined herself with the existing materials for our Paperdoll Project. (from the Paperdoll Project I did with Seniors at the Clarkston Community Center (CCC), Georgia, 2010)
Today's prompt for Kat McNally's REVERB13 (DAY #13) prompt is this:

In 2014, how could you explore what community means to you? Where might the alchemy be?

WHERE MIGHT THE ALCHEMY BE? Where in ourselves do we find the elements that transform us and then our community? Or is it the other way around? Perhaps it is a reciprocal alchemy--flowing back-and-forth between the individual and community like ocean waves moving to and from the shore?  (from the Paperdoll Project, Clarkston Community Center, Georgia)

In 2014, I will definitely continue SEEKING COMMUNITY and am delighted to envision the ALCHEMICAL changes it will inevitably bring to me, the INDIVIDUAL, and then give back to my TRIBE!

"The group is within us," Cynthia Winton-Henry writes in her book, What the Body Wants. "The health of the tribe or group is a primal concern. Designed as communal creatures, we huddle, cluster, eat, sleep, and create together. We are one with the group, even when the group is broken or unsatisfying."

Yes! I agree with Cynthia! WE ARE ONE WITH THE GROUP. How can we insure that that ONENESS is ALCHEMICAL, not broken or unsatisfying? Each one of us must thrive individually for the group to thrive! Cynthia writes: 

"The more we can claim our individual physical style, energy, and truth, the more fullness and fun the group can have. Kinesthetic presence affects the whole. Consider your family. Each family member's body communicates deeper than words. A good parent knows that his or her greatest legacy is in actions that move directly to their children. Love, joy, beauty, and life leap directly from body to body.

The group body wants play, creative challenge, rest and communion. The body does not want to suffer."

I am particularly fond of thinking about my own KINESTHETIC presence, and how it impacts and is impacted by the COMMUNITY BODY. The ALCHEMY I am seeking in 2014 is joyful, playful physical well-being--ALONE and with my TRIBE! 

Below are communities I imagine being ALCHEMICAL with:

The Dancing Flowers for Peace (creative movement for women over 40)
The InterPlay community (living one's own body wisdom)
Decatur Dance Church (creative movement)
C4 Atlanta (business support for the Arts)
Five Rhythms (dancing life's waves)
Lesly Fredman's Improv classes (practice saying yes)

The Artist Conference Network (coaching network for artists)
The Clarkston Community Center, Clarkston, Georgia (fun projects)
The Language Institute at Georgia Tech (workshops, short courses)
BEING WITH COMMUNITY. I am excited about the possibility of returning to the Clarkston Community Center in 2014 to work and play with so many elements I love: art, internationals, growth, and communication. (from the Paperdoll Project,Clarkston Community Center, Georgia, 2010)
COMMUNITIES IN CONSTRUCTION (calling forth the alchemy in 2014)
A Year to Live Discussion Group (discerning what matters)

Hallelujah Truth Creativity Coaching Business (holding the space for others to make important changes in their lives)

Brain Health and Creativity Book Club (discussing books that direct our actions)

Environmental Stewardship Arts Projects (merging art and science to cultivate connection with nature)

Blogging About the Arts (blogging for a month on arts-related topics in conjunction with C4)

That's Coffee with Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me and tell me what alchemy in the community is brewing for you!
BEING PART OF THE COMMUNITY BODY. Here I am with Seniors from a session I did with them on making "wholeness circles" or mandalas. Each time I spent with this community, I was enlivened and filled with joy. (from the Making Mandala Art Class, Clarkston Community Center, Georgia, 2010)


  1. It seems as I have chosen to slow done you have done the opposite. You have so many fun and exciting plans for your next year. It will be exciting for me to read about them as the year progresses. Looking forward to many new and fun to read blogs.

    1. Darlene, you have just given me the gift of projecting ahead in the year and blogging about some of these exciting events! Thank you for the gift of "envisioning"!

  2. I am in awe of your plans for 2014. You are an amazingly talented person. I hope 2014 is awesome for you

    1. Jess, that is so nice of you to compliment me! I am still learning how to accept nice things people say to me and to hold them close to my heart instead of challenging them with questions: Who me? Talented? So I appreciate the opportunity to say THANK YOU! How kind of you to take time to write this warm response to me.

  3. Wow! That's some incredible community work you are doing!
    You continue to amaze. xx

    1. Kat! I love the Clarkston Community Center and all the new Americans that are there. It was an incredible privilege to work with the Seniors. I am planning to do an amazing project in 2014 with this community. So stay tuned! Thank you for your warm support!

  4. You make me dizzy! In such a good way! That brain health and creativity book club sounds like something I'd be interested in ;)

    1. Jennifer, I would be happy to share our reading list with you if you would like! The club went in fits and starts in 2013 and I hope to re-enliven it in 2014. Some of our books were very academic and not fun to get through but worthwhile nonetheless.

  5. all of your communities ... continuing, possible and calling forth ... sound incredible! I am discovering creative movement and the power of dance for myself for the first time at age fifty ... I am not a dancer but I dance ... intuitive movement that makes me feels better, whole, peaceful. I haven't really danced outside of my own personal space ... not in community with that yet.