The Positive Power of Community

Affirming Your Life

“The need for connection and community is primal, as fundamental as the need for air, water, and food.”

— Dean Ornish

Affirmation: Today in meditation, and throughout the day, I will stay in gratitude for the support, compassion and inspiration of my spiritual community.

There is a wonderful story about an anthropologist who was studying the culture and social interactions of a remote African village. It appeared to him that there was a complete absence of competition, and he was curious to see what would happen if he introduced one. He placed a basket of delicious fruit under a tree, lined the children up, and told them whoever got to the basket first got all the fruit.

To his amazement, the laughing youngsters joined hands and ran, together, to arrive at the tree at exactly the same time.

“One of you could have had ALL the fruit,” the confused man said, as the children sat together enjoying the treat.

“But how can one of us be happy if all the others are sad?” asked a little girl.

This sense of a heartfelt community, where each member selflessly supports all the others, has a term — Ubuntu. South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu explains it roughly translates to mean, “I am because we are.”

“(It)…speaks of the very essence of being human,” said Tutu. “Then you are generous, you are hospitable, you are friendly and caring and compassionate…It is to say, ‘My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours.’ We belong in a bundle of life. We say, ‘A person is a person through other persons.’”

The idea that we can only truly discover ourselves through the healing power of community is at the heart of what makes Optimum Health Institute such a positive, transformational experience. Surrounded by like-minded, compassionate people, even apprehensive first-time guests soon begin to feel they ‘belong.’

Together they take on the same challenges — booting burgers for seed cheese and kale salads; chugging shots of wheatgrass juice; learning that at OHI, “Es and Is” are NOT new classes of luxury sedans.

Throughout the 21-day holistic healing program, the community itself becomes a motivating and driving force. When someone is having a tough day, others immediately move in to lend a helping hand, or a strong shoulder to lean on. The first week You Validation class is a profoundly moving session, as each person shares their appreciation of all the others. And during the Friday morning testimonials, everyone celebrates each other’s successes. One person’s progress in choosing a healthier, happier new way to live their life becomes everyone’s victory.

It is through this love in action that miracles become commonplace, and body-mind-spirit transformation blooms into being. Our deep connection to the growing OHI community becomes a mantle of divine grace and strength that continues to uplift us long after we return home.

It is to experience on all levels the truth of the concept that, “I am because we are.”

Celebrate and strengthen your OHI community ties through our Facebook pages, Optimum Health Institute of San Diego and Austin , and OHI Austin Community. Reinforce that sense of belonging through our blogs on our website at optimumhealth.org. Or the best option — come back to your spiritual community for an extended stay to reconnect with old friends, and make some wonderful new ones. Call us at (800) 224-2620 to book your reservation. Mention code June Get Away to take advantage of our current promotional discounts.

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