I recently listened to a conversation between renowned and beloved Buddhist teachers Sharon Salzberg and Jack Kornfield. One of the things they talked about was the epidemic of loneliness, that deepened during the pandemic, along with the importance of finding new ways to connect and cultivate community.
It reminded me of how connection was a central theme in personal and leadership development retreats I facilitated. I recall leaders, across organizations and levels of leadership, talking about feeling alone and isolated. They gained much by sharing with others in similar situations.
In retreats for women, I often heard someone say, ‘I thought it was only me who felt that way’. Participants frequently kept up connection with one another after the program wrapped up.
Retreats can be ideal spaces for bringing like-minded people together. And when a safe and brave environment is created, the connections run deep.
I know the value of connecting to like-minded people in retreat settings where we share values and interests. I still keep up connections with fellow participants from Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication Intensive, some 15 years ago. And as a two-year immersive Growing in Wisdom Program wraps up, I have new friends to walk with on an ongoing spiritual path. We have a shared interest in in living our last years with grace and wisdom.
Sometimes it is challenging to find like-minded friends, although over the pandemic years, many new book clubs and groups were created. Around a year ago I wrote about life-giving communities after my granddaughter, Meghan, and I discussed the value of creating or finding community. She talked about her Motherhood Community, and I know she still values that growing group.
I’d love to hear from you here about a retreat where you made long term connections or a time you found or created a community.
The conversation between Sharon and Jack is such a good listen:
I am so fortunate to have participated in a program with Marshall Rosenberg through the Center for Nonviolent Communication, it was indeed life-changing, and I draw on the theory and practices to this day:
Growing in Wisdom involves two years of learning and exploring for those seeking a spirituality for their wisdom years. I am grateful I had the time and readiness to participate in this program that wraps up in June.
Check out what Meghan had to say about the value of her Motherhood Group. Talk about making a difference.
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