It has been about two months since the majority of the world has been under lockdown. Five weeks ago, VAWAA community gathered from all corners of the world to connect and share stories of quarantine. This time around, we brought the community back together online -- from England to Australia, US Virgin Islands to Illinois -- to focus on the future and share positive outcomes as we adapt to this "new normal".
Dalton Ridenhour, pianist from Lovestruck Balladeers, a stellar band of traveling musicians opened the gathering with a live jazz piece -- a beautiful way to start our Sunday! VAWAA Founder Geetika reminded us of the core things we all have in common -- that we as an adventurous and creative community are comfortable than most with uncertainty. In fact we like “playing” with it to push our own boundaries and to grow. She encouraged everyone to share experiments, learnings, “blessings in disguise” that have come up during this time. In the case of VAWAA, launching Online sessions has been a joyful experiment, letting go of any expectations of success or failure. There’s something exciting and adventurous in asking ourselves, “How can we stay creative & connect deeper without leaving our homes?”
Members of the community shared possibilities and outcomes that they’ve welcomed into their life. Alex from France, showed us her and her family’s remote mandala project; they plan to create a photo book to remember this time in history. We heard Steve from England, a psychotherapist and well-being trainer, talk about sacrificing the “perfect” as the way forward. Sara, a quilter from Oklahoma, realized that it’s simply about willingness to try -- she’s making masks for loved ones and experimenting with baking -- and continuing to learn along the way. For Fredy, committing to a simpler way of life using woodfired heat with wood he chops himself has pushed his limits; he’s letting himself experience a feeling of “missing” something before he gets it, instead of giving into instant gratification-- for instance relying on radiators.
We spoke about business, too. Weaver Jennie from Illinois and geometer Hamza from Morocco -- who gracefully serenaded us with Moroccan Andalusian oud music -- shared about keeping a flexible business model and reaching new people online. Collage and photomontage artist Annette from Greece has been finding power in imagination -- envisioning that she took a plane to New York to spend time with her son. Fine artist Clarissa is finding creative solutions for how to take care of herself, with acts of love and self-care. She shared her longing for collaboration and the opportunity she seized to create a special course with Annette!
We also got around to the topic of community. Nissa shared beautifully about the inclusiveness of communities-- noticing a refreshing and inspiring opening up of virtual communities. It’s led her to believe that in the future, physical communities will make an effort to welcome those who are not able to be present in-person. This prompts us to think harder about how we want to shape our future as it relates to belonging and meaningful exchange.
And just like that, we experienced a boundaryless world where we connected virtually from all corners of the world. From letting go of perfectionism to prioritizing meaningful exchange and experiencing democratization of community-- many stories had overlapping thoughts. It reminds us that we’re all interconnected, no matter where we are! Our collective wisdom and learnings are a way forward for our personal, community and work lives to create a better future. Thank you, VAWAA Family, for another great Global Gathering. Until next time!
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