Episode 001: Community

Transcript from Stirred By Words Episode 001: Community

Chrissy Holm (00:05): Do you love words? Are you passionate about diving into meaningful conversations? Hi, welcome to Stirred By Words, a podcast that focuses on words and questions that impact our daily lives. I'm your host, Chrissy Holm, health educator, writer, curious creature, and now podcaster.

Chrissy Holm (00:42):

Before we start today's topic, we'll begin with a health tip. Today, we're going to focus on breathing. If you're new to breathing, well come on in. Let's get started. What I'm going to do is I'm going to count to four, you're going to breathe in for four counts and then you're going to hold your breath for four and then you're going to breathe out for four. So we'll give it a try, we'll do this twice through. Breathe in, for one, two, three, four. Hold for one, two, three, four. And breathe out for one, two, three, four.

Chrissy Holm (01:29):

All right, now that we've done it through once, let's do it one more time. Breathe in for one, two, three, four. Hold for one, two, three, four. And breathe out for one, two, three, four. Excellent. Ah. Notice how you feel. Maybe calm, relaxed, energized, wired? I'm feeling pretty good right now.

Chrissy Holm (02:11):

Now it's time to get started with today's word, community. Dictionary.com has a few definitions for community, but I'm going to just focus on two. The first definition is "a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share a government, and often have common cultural and historical heritage." The second definition is "a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists."

Chrissy Holm (02:51):

As I was preparing for this episode, I did a lot of thinking and I was trying to figure out, "Okay, well what does community mean to me?" And for me, it's a group of people that although may be different in some aspects, there's at least one commonality. For example, I found multiple sources of community just within who I am as a person. I've got like my writing and author friends that are one community, I have my entrepreneur friends that are another. I have coworkers from previous jobs and friends that I met in high school that I'm still friends with today. Shout-out to those basement memories. But really to me, it's people who make you feel safe, heard, and understood.

Chrissy Holm (03:38):

One of our listeners, Holly F., a clinical specialist, shares her perspective on the word community and what it means to her.

Holly F. (03:47):

So the image that first popped into my mind when I thought of the word community was just the town I grew up. So my classmates, my teachers, my teammates, my neighbors, all that kind of stuff. When we were growing up, or anyone who remembers the time before the internet, I think community was primarily based on where you lived, so your geographical location. When I think of the word community now, it's a bit more complex. With the internet and social media, especially after everyone being physically isolated because of the pandemic, I think community is just when you boil it down it's ultimately about connection. So you can feel a sense of community with people who maybe support the same social or environmental causes that you do. You're connecting with others to try and do good in the world or bring about change. Or it doesn't even have to be something as lofty as shared beliefs, it can be ... You could feel a sense of community in something as little as finding people who watch the same shows that you do or listen to the same podcasts, read the same books. Just connecting over little things can also bring about a sense of community.

Holly F. (05:07):

For me, at the end of the day, community is about connection. So whether you bond with someone over your mutual love of true crime or you help shovel your elderly neighbor's driveway, you can be part of multiple different communities, both online and in-person.

Chrissy Holm (05:32):

I'm going to read what another one of our listeners wrote in. Her name is Becca B., and she is a psychiatrist, writer, mother, wife, and friend, and this is her perspective on the word community.

Chrissy Holm (05:44):

Becca writes, "Community has always evoked not necessarily a location, but rather a sense of belonging in all the many facets of my identity. My work, my neighborhood, my children's school, and their activities. What surprised me the most was finding a writing community. Writing always starts as a solitary act, and at some point, an ache develops. That sense of I can't do this alone anymore. But it takes a risk to find other writers. What if they don't understand or even like what I'm creating? What if I don't fit in, or worse, find that I'm an imposter and I don't belong? But I've realized that a writing community isn't about having similar tastes, methods, or style, or even a certain level of skill. It's about connection. When I feel connected with others, that shared passion, it manifests itself in a creative energy that I could never sustain on my own."

Chrissy Holm (06:56):

Today's book recommendation is The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker. In The Art of Gathering, Parker defines gathering as three or more people who come together for a specific purpose. When we understand why we gather, she says, "To acknowledge, to learn, to challenge, to change." We learn how to organize gatherings that are relevant and memorable, from an effective business meeting to a thought-provoking conference, from a joyful wedding to a unifying family dinner. This book is full of big ideas with real-world applications that will change the way you look at a business meeting, a parent-teacher conference, and a backyard barbecue.

Chrissy Holm (07:37):

Before we wrap up the show, I encourage each of you to ask yourself a few questions. What does community mean to you? Who is in your community? How can you build or find a new community?

Chrissy Holm (07:57):

Message me your thoughts on Instagram @chrissy.holm or become a supporter on our Patreon page. It's patreon.com/chrissyholm, and you can join our Slack community and continue this conversation.

Chrissy Holm (08:15):

Thanks for listening to Episode One of Stirred By Words. This has been your host, Chrissy Holm. Until next time, keep learning new words, continue breathing, always ask questions, and stay curious, my friends.



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