by Zahra, Community Builder
Last January, I’d flown miles to see one of my oldest and best friends. We were sitting across from each other in a coffee shop. I felt... disconnected. I realized we were in different phases of our life, and I felt as though we'd lost our spark. Not only did I barely get to see her, but I realized 3 out of 4 of “my people” were all scattered across the globe and our relationships had become virtual. I suddenly felt really alone.
I was reflecting on this - while sitting across my friend with a long silence between us - when I did what we all do when we're uncomfortable. I pulled out my phone and opened up Instagram to free myself of the awkwardness. Kismetly, an ad from her-people sneaked in. I felt like the universe was listening and I immediately signed up for a February 2019 experience. I was going to meet 15 like-minded women and make new friends in the city.
The February experience was incredible. I met amazing women (including someone I now consider a true friend that I still meet up with 10 months later), learned watercolouring and calligraphy. As the month of February came to an end, so did the her-people experience and I realized I never wanted it to end. The universe listened again. While on Instagram, I saw a post that her-people was hiring a Community Builder. My thoughts were "pick me, pick me!" Long story short, they did and I became her-people's very first Community Builder.
Since March, I’ve facilitated 72 workshops and met 300+ women - many of whom were in the same boat as I was at the beginning of 2019. Looking to connect with new people, build new friendships, feel a little less alone.
The role of community builder has been joyful, but also challenging. Each week, 15-45 women are counting on me. Counting on me to connect with one another, the organization, the instructor and of course, me! How to help someone speak up. When to be a wallflower and let attendees bond on their own. I still don’t know what to do when I approach a group that is deep in conversation. Do I join in to ensure my presence is known or let them do their thing?
While it hasn’t always been easy, it is important for me to show up with high vibing authentic energy. I’ve realized that my energy impacts each person in the room and their experience. This realization scared me but also has helped me reflect and grow. I’ve since developed a meditation practice and explored breathwork. Each morning prior to facing the hustle and bustle of the day, I take 20-30 minutes to practice a mantra-based meditation. It helps set the tone for my day and be more calm and present, less reactive. The breathwork, which includes breathing through the right nostril 27 times for 4 rounds, energizes me when I feel depleted. I’ve also learned to practice self-kindness, compassion and forgiveness. Especially when things happen and I can’t deliver my intention as best as I want to.
I have so much gratitude for her-people and the incredible women I’ve met this year. Thank you for teaching me to put my phone down, connect meaningfully, learn and practice self-love and most of all, feeling a little less alone.