The Beauty of Community

August 30, 2017

in Waking Up, Growing Up

The caring, heartfelt, inspiring messages and acts of kind generosity that have been abundantly showered upon me since my diagnosis of cancer have moved me to share in a new and different way.

Blogging is something I have yet to master however it seems the best option at the moment, so I am resurrecting my sorely neglected web site in order to reach out.

Navigating cancer is proving to be a journey like no other I have undertaken, nevertheless I’m not intending this to be exclusively a cancer blog.

My primary desire is to honor community, to participate and to contribute. Community means many things to me and I am interested in developing a deeper understanding and ability to articulate and share.  One way I experience community is as an intricate web of personal relationships, so fine at times it can be invisible to the naked eye and yet oh, what a phenomenal holding capacity!  I snapped the photo here on my phone one day not long ago while wandering through the stunning Elder Cedar Forest on Gabriola Island with friends.  It was high in a tree off the path and I would have missed it but for a momentary glint of light that I paused to explore further.  Pause.  Explore further.

Valuing the benefits of community is not new to me, given that it has been foundational in my dedication to working with groups of people throughout the years. What is freshly illuminated for me right now is the awe inspiring beauty of what each person offers in their unique way within the web.  And how seemingly separate communities are actually interwoven.  What a profound difference this is making to the quality of my life, and can make in the life of anyone a community of people choses to focus on.

I believe I am in a passage of Waking Up and Growing Up, along with many others I know and don’t know. Some of the things I am waking up to are familiar to me in concept but are now being revealed in a different light, such as there really is no “me” without “you.” Martin Buber said many things that I relish, amongst them simply “In the beginning was the relationship.”

From Jean Vanier:  “Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world where people so often either ignore or fight each other.”  I’m tempted to wander off into my musings about why it seems to take tragedy to access our core loving, however I’ll wait for another time.

A perspective I am holding is that the loving kindness coming my way through community is beyond personal to just me. I believe I am serving as a pivot point for remarkable individuals and a network of remarkable communities to openly project their abundant loving, compassion, and generous spirits onto, revealing to them and all of us what our hearts are capable of, even and especially in times of strife and division.  I am waking up to my part in an astounding network of diverse communities.  There is my family in Nanaimo, Lions Bay, Edmonton and Leduc, California, England.  Beyond incredible Gabriola Island friends, astonishing Haven individuals spread around the country and the world, huge-hearted people in China and Chinese people in Canada, my dearly beloved women’s group and friends in Vancouver and Kaslo and Hawaii, and more!   Serving as a reflector for such beautiful beings is joyful!

One week ago I went through my second chemo treatment and as I write this I am coming to the end of one the most physically difficult days I have experienced so far.  Humbling.  Sustained weakness to the point of surrender is another new experience, a vulnerability I am less familiar with.  I am finding it challenging and even mysterious.  Knowing I am being held in community makes an enormous difference and I ache for those who are not so privileged.

Addressing my physicality is only one aspect of this life-changing journey. I am dedicating myself to delving into my unconscious, learning more about participating in our expansive super-consciousness, unearthing my underlying limiting beliefs, nurturing intuition, communing within the more-than-human world,  grieving, loving and living the mystery. We’ll see what happens!

love light laughter linda

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Linda Nicholls

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Sibyl September 3, 2017 at 4:16 am

Dear Linda, sending love, light and wishes for good healing to you. Thank you for sharing some of your journey through this blog. Big hugs, Sibyl


Cathy Wilder September 3, 2017 at 4:52 am

Dearest Linda – such gratitude, love, light and laughter …. I love reading your updates- your thoughts and images of community. – and your willingness to ‘put out your musings while letting go of perfection ‘ — it’s encouraging to me 🙂 — and Injust like hearing from you — and ‘no pressure intended’. I too over the last years have seen the depths and interconnections of various communities of mine — the heart, abundance, creativity, interest, passionate caring is both reassuring and inspiring at times for me. Today I am helping a dear friend with the basics — literally ‘chop and carry /stack wood 🙂 … and I have the beauty of sleeping in silence and waking to a sky filled with brilliantly shining stars and fresh air streaming over my face. Grace and healing wishes. Xox Cathy Wilder


Emma Jarrett September 3, 2017 at 5:18 am

Wonder-ful Linda! Words continue to allude me, but please know I am with you. With so much loving ❤️


Jackie Shannon Hollis September 3, 2017 at 7:55 am

Dear Linda,

Your words are beautiful and honest and express so presence and curiosity and connection. Bill and I are thinking of you and send love. Jackie


Sarah Lucht September 3, 2017 at 8:01 am

It was such a treat to see you at Haven at the beginning of August. You have been such an important, inspiring and magical presence in my learning at Haven over so many years. I just want you to know how much it means to me to read your words and connect with you and send you loving thoughts.


Eleanor Adaskin September 3, 2017 at 10:09 am

Linda, you have written so beautifully about your journey & the sense of community, connection, & love that you are experiencing in these challenging times. There’s a sense of the richness of awareness you are conveying. It sounds like you’ve decided to say Yes to all the experiences, both good ones & hard ones, & see what new learnings are emerging. Not easy, sometimes, I imagine, when the physical debilitation is trying to take over.
Sending you love & all the things you need each day as you travel through this. Thinking of you with love, & sending strength all along your path. Eleanor


Martie September 3, 2017 at 3:56 pm

Hi Linda! I think of you often and I can only imagine what you must be feeling like. I am extremely grateful that you are facing these daunting challenges with such grace and open-ness to the LOVING that this community and universe provide. It is such a gift when you share your experiences with us all…. Please let me know if there is any way that I can support you, at any time. I would be honoured. With loving, Martie


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