• Brettney Douglas-Al Hindi

Wellness Wednesday: 3 Reasons Why You Should Join A Community

"I am leaning into my tribe, trusting that we got us."

I remember when I rejected the idea of connecting with other women because I felt like I had nothing to offer, and opening up was scary AF. I had legitimate concerns like trust issues, fear of judgment, being misunderstood, and feeling exposed. To be honest, my anxiety, low self-esteem, and my ego had convinced me that I wasn't worthy of fostering healthy platonic relationships; and I, in turn, shunned the idea of allowing anyone to get too close to me. I could have saved myself years of unnecessary pain and turmoil had I been courageous enough to recognize my uniqueness and share my story. There is so much strength in vulnerability, but sometimes we get so stuck in this narrative that we have created in our minds that we can't see past our struggles. Over the years my perception has changed, and I have been more open-minded about things, and since then I have been able to form strong bonds with some incredible people. Had I not got my act together, there's no telling where I'd be.

Let's face it, most of us could not have survived this tumultuous year without community. Whether it was your co-workers, family/friends/neighbors, church, and or an online group; we all needed somebody to lean on during this season of life.

The Oxford Dictionary defines community as, "a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common; a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals."

In the thick of all that we've endured over the last 11 months, having a community has been my saving grace.

The stress was so real that I could have easily lost my mind, but it is because of my faith in God and my support system, that I am flourishing in every single way.

As Black women and women of color, we need safe spaces where we can unpack the mental and emotional unrest that we carry, and be our most authentic selves without shame, and without apology. We find strength in our community.

"Yes, you're strong AND I hope you have places where you don't have to be. I hope you find places where you can unfold, breathe, cry, unlock, become unburdened, receive, and do nothing at all."- Dr. Thema

Here are three reasons why you should join a community:

1. It's good for your mental health

Having involvement with a group of individuals who share values, and who essentially want similar things you want out of life has such a profound impact on your psychological and emotional well-being. Being a member of a community provides a sense of purpose, meaning, and connectedness. At the end of the day, we all want someone to be seen, heard, and listened to; that acknowledgment of our existence goes a long way. Love and belonging are a part of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, and when those basic necessities are met it has such a positive effect on our psyche.

2. Connection

Being without that human connection or not having access to it as much as we are used to has been a hard pill to swallow. A lot of us are starting to realize how important it is, and are craving it now more than ever. That intimacy, and face-to-face interaction with another person; there's nothing more powerful, it is singlehandedly one of the most important motivating factors for keeping us alive. Not to mention, it is good for our health; it can help regulate our emotions and self-esteem and can improve our immune system.

3. Share and receive useful information and/or resources

Being connected to a community gives you access to a wealth of knowledge and tips that you would not have otherwise. Ever heard of the saying it's not what you know, but who you know?! Nothing could be further from the truth. It gives you the opportunity to network with people from various backgrounds and ways of life who have shared experiences and could give you new insight. I can't tell you how many opportunities I have had the pleasure of having access to, all because I took a chance to step out of my comfort zone and join in discussions with new people.

Speaking of community, don't sleep on the virtual ones, they are just as lit and beneficial.

I've been a part of a fair share of communities, but nothing compares to Breathe. It's more than just "a community for women who need space to breathe to connect, cultivate, and bloom;" it's a sisterhood. The #OMNTribe is a group of like-minded women who have made it their life's mission to heal, and live well on their own terms. As a member, you have access to digital content, a book club, masterclasses with powerhouse experts, an invite to our Friday Happy Hours, meetups in your city, virtual retreats, and access to our Breathe Member Social Community Platform.

Did I mention that the Founder, Christina Rice also just launched a weekly IG Live series called 365 Days in OM, on living intentionally and living well every day?!

Stayed tuned, you're in for a treat!

Click here to join our tribe today.

Sign up for our 2021 retreats.

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